(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "God's man : a novel"

Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 



GOD'S MAN 






-^^nuCJi Mjuu — - 




j4 Novel 



By 



o.c. 



GEORGE BRONSON-HOWARD 



ILLVITRATBD INITIAU BY 

WILL VAWTER 



mm 



INDIANAPOLIS 

THE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY 

PUBLISHERS 



COFrUCMT 19JS 
Tm BoBS*>Mnaiu. Compmt 



i THE ^E^V VO«K 
! PUBLIC LIBRARY 

I 824791 



To 

Hewitt Hanson Howlakd 

The Second Father of 
this Book 



CONTENTS 

BOOK I 
Chapteb paos 

I. Beginnings 1 

I. Genesis. II. The Fighting L'Hommedieas. 

II. Ths Cheytinq of Quiyvebs 8 

I. Our Musketeers at College. II. And Why They 
Chevied Qulvvers. 

III. Hatbe db Grace 22 

Our Musketeers at Home. 

IV. AnsTOOBATS 34 

I. Squire Hartogensis Receives a Proposition. II. 
The Attic in Gramercy Park. III. The Costly Miss 
Caton. IV. How She Lost One Musketeer. V. How 
She Won Another. 

V. Catastrophe 59 

I. How the Honorable John Waldemar Taught His 
Son to Be Honorable, Too — Introducing Miss Bobbie 
Beulah. II. Bobbie's Little Supper Party. 

BOOK II 

I. Abnold's Adventubes IX Plxtnderland .... 79 
I. Little One and Velvet Voice. II. The Trunk That 
Would Hold Three Men. III. Why Hans Chasserton 
Wore a Straw Hat in January. 

II. Sons of Subtebbanea 108 

I. Sonetchka Visits Mother Mybus. II. The Ungodly 
Horde. III. Hans Chasserton Takes up Residence at 
the Tew Tree Inn. IV. Old Mltt«nd-a-Half. V. The 
Cagey Kid "Turns Square." 

III. How Abnold Got Out of Jail 137 

I. He Meets Nietzsche In Motley. II. Justice — a la 
Corlgan. 

BOOK III 

I. The Pink Kimono 159 

I. Arnold Investigates Along New Lines. II. The 
Pink Kimono Hangs in Beeckman Place. 

II. CoNBPiBACT De Lux 16S 

Arnold Becomes a Good Business Man. 

III. The Gat Life 181 

I. At Rocamora's Restaurant II. On the Threshold 
of Subterranea. III. The Attic Has Hope of Arnold, 
rv. Arnold Gives Up Velvet Voice and Hears of an 
Old Friend. 



GOD'S MAN 



BOOK I 



GOD'S MAN 

CHAPTER ONE 

BEGINNINGS 
I. Genesib 



ALL began with — ^what? Who 
knows? The expulsion of onr 
Three Musketeers after the 
chevying of Qnirren? Qnen- 
tin QaiTvera he called himself, 
although the Lord (and every- 
body else) knows that was not 
hig name. The "Q" — "Peter 
Q. QuiTrers'* was the way his 
name was entered at Old 
King's College — stood for 
"Qnimby ." But there was an 
ancient clam-digger in Q's 
native village, an ape-like 

little brown man. And he was Quimby, too. Young Qniv- 

vers did not wish people to think ke was "related to him" — 

chiefly because he was. . . . 
There, there! QniTvers needs too mach explanation to 

begin with him. 
Did it begin with the arrival of Ivan, the moujih, tha 

hoyar to be? Ivan Yladimirovitcb — John, son of Wolde- 



2 God's Man 

mar — ^the Honorable John Waldemar, as he was some day to 
be called. . . . 

But, you see? It takes too long to explain how all thai 
could happen. 

Suppose we go back a century to the days when Jan Har- 
togensia and Amalia, his wife, served their patrons at the 
Yew Tree Inn, in old Greenwich, Manhattan — gold-laced, 
cocked-hatted patrons, snowy-wigged, club-queued patroons, 
many of them. 

Patroons ! 

Such aa the Van Vhroons, for instance. Van Vhroon 
Manor gave the Lane its name, then. And swords would 
have left silken sheaths had any gentleman (in wine, of 
course) had the hardihood to suggest, as a bare possibility, 
that a daughter of that house might some day be allied with 
a son of those peasant Hartogensisi. And these honest sons 
of Jan and Amalia would have used their beer-mallets on any 
one who dared suggest that their Inn might some day become 
a place where stolen goods were bought and sold. 

And yet ... all this, in good time, was to come to 
pass. 

And yet again Mother Mybus, then a fresh-faced Russian 
girl, wandering the old Bowery. Lacking male relatives with 
swords to defend her reputation against base insinuations, it 
is probable that she would have used her fists had she been 
told that she would preside over that same pawn-shop, and 
that furtive folk woidd some day submit to her ap- 
praisals. . . . 

Yet that came to pass also, as you shall hear. . . . 

Ah, after all, is there any beginning but one? '^In the 
beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth.'' The 
history of any man is the history of the world. No matter 
where we begin, we must always go back, always explain, that 
it was thus and so this man was made. And had it been 
otherwise there would be no evil — ^nor good — ^in him. There 
is no beginning and there is no end. 



Beginnings 



II. The Fiohtinq UHommedieus 

Althongh, as we have hazarded, there is but one actual 
beginning, that is quite a different matter from the first 
definite beginning. In the case of this chronicle of Arnold 
L'Hommedieu, his life and loves, and other matters important 
to him, the latter would seem to be a certain hot and dusty 
day on the field of Ascalon, nearly a thousand years ago, when 
there was conferred upon a certain Knight-Hospitaller, Sir 
Lucaa of St John, the Norman-French equivalent of sur- 
name 'Ti'Hommedieu*' meaning "God's Man/' 

This same Sir Lucas, a few years later, fled the Preceptory 
of the Knights of Jerusalem; having broken his monkish 
vows and married her whose importuning caused him to do 
80. For he was not one who could wax fat and wealthy in 
sin ; his conscience would not let him. And, although his sin 
need never have found him out, it was enough for him that 
it had found him. 

So he set a lifelong penance on himself and chained the 
woman's lips with a terrible oath never to reveal his birth, 
his titles or his former pretensions. . . . Beaching the 
trades-town of Dijon, he who had nearly been Grand Master 
of all the Knights-Hospitallers became a common Armorer 
to noblesse and commonesse alike, and was thereafter simple 
'^aitre Lucas." 

So well did he and his indifferently good dame keep his 
eecret that all their children ever found to connect them with 
the past was a vellum screed concealed between the moldy 
leather lining and the steel links of the chain-mail he had 
worn while winning the very honors the screed commemo- 
rated. It seemed that, for rescuing some Boyal Princeling 
from Saracen battleaxes, "our trusty and well-beloved Sir 
lAcas . . . sans surname of birth relinquished when tak- 
ing his vows" . . . should henceforward be known by that 
*Tiigher one'* (here we arbitrarily curtail certain Gallic ety- 



4 God's Man 

mology and Norman spelling), *Tje Homme De Dieu'^ — 
L'Hommedieu. 

Failing another name — they would much have preferred 
one which connected them with some ancient family — his 
sons and daughters adopted this one. But for all the fine 
sound of it, the world in general heard no more of the L'Hom- 
medieus until a certain Etienne I/Hommedieu, three cen- 
turies later — ^he who had also been consecrated to Holy 
Church — duplicated his ancestor's iconoclasm and, afterward, 
many of his deeds of valor. 

But a new religion had come into being since Lucas, and 
Etienne did not go back to his father's shop after taking a 
wife, but into the ranks of the Huguenots, carrying a Bible in 
one hand, a sword in the other as did many in those grim 
days; and when Harry of Navarre became a good Catholic 
Kingy went off to the Low Countries to become a leader of 
insurgent Dutch, and, when there was no more fighting, came 
to the New World and helped build New Amsterdam. But 
certain religious differences with the Dutch clergy made him 
eager to go where he might be the sole authority on points 
of worship so he asked for his first reward in return for many 
services to the Bepublic and the religion, requesting a grant 
of land wherever he might choose to settle; then sent to 
France for any sturdy Huguenot burgesses of Dijon who 
wished to be assured against persecution when Navarre no 
longer ruled France. Meanwhile he began, methodically and 
tirelessly, to search the country roundabout Manhattan 
Island. 

He discovered Havre de Orace by accident, his boat having 
been blown across the Sound while exploring what was after- 
ward called the Connecticut Shore; and, driven by contrary 
winds, made the first secure haven he could find. 

The next morning, when the early sunlight lay ruddy over 
the pine-clad slopes of his harbor he knelt and gave thanks 
for God's wise decision. The spot selected by his Creator — 
as he piously and somewhat egotistically believed — was a wide 



Beginnings 5 

harbor, half a mile across, shaped somewhat like a bottle, its 
neck jumping distance across. On all sides the slopes rose 
to a height of a hundred feet or more, guaranteeing health- 
ful air and no plagues of insects. The soil was fertile, a 
wilderness of vegetation; and was irrigated by a stream that 
wound in and out above, then dashed down in a crystal tor- 
rent, icy cold, a useful force to be harnessed to a future flour 
mill. Dolphins leaped and sported showing silver stomachs 
in the sun, flocks of red-billed green-necked ducks flew low 
over the marshes and gray geese fished with them in amity, 
while crows rose over fields of golden com, their well-filled 
black bellies purpling in the sun. Jeweled herons, too, fish- 
hawks and many gulls fiew in circles over the shining water, 
finding food everywhere and, ashore, he could see the breath- 
ing places of clams, and strewn along the beach, oyster shells 
and lobster-paws washed colorless by the tide. Over the 
dazzling sand a turtle ambled leisurely, as is the custom of 
turtles. 

There were Indians near by, the planters of the com, a 
small tribe and a peaceful one, and with these the Chevalier 
I/Hommedieu made a solemn pact. 

The Indians were to retain the left bank of the harbor, 
where the golden com gleamed. Although, for safety's sake, 
lest other and alien spirits be drawn by the success of his 
colony, the Chevalier had all that land included in his grant 
from the Dutch Bepublic The village of Havre de Grace 
was built on the right bank; its wharves, docks and public 
buildings on the lowlands at the harbor-head, the lowland 
that afterward held the principal streets of the town after 
the English accession. 

And on the high ground arose the Church of the Cross, 
bearing the L'Honmiedieu arms on stained glass especially 
done by Amsterdam artists. There the Chevalier gave out 
the Word of QoA without conflict with theologians, Dutch, 
French, or otherwise. There, and elsewhere in the town, his 
word was law, and* though the English came, the Established 



6 God's Man 

Church never. The English found the L'Hommedieu con- 
ception of the gospel sufficiently satisfying. 

A I/Honunedieu has preached from that pulpit ever 
since. The eldest son^ most frequently the only one — ^he who 
toils all day with his hands and half the night with his brains 
— ^is not prolific of progeny. In one thing all the L'Hom- 
medieus were unique. The Chevalier had laid down, among 
other family laws, the chief one. No wages, no gifts, were 
to be taken for preaching the Word. That must be done for 
the love of Gk>d, the love of man. 

^^T?ayment dothjtultifvJtbeLtmflu inasmuch as one depend- 
ent upon the good will of others is prudently tongue-tied 
when those who richly endow him shall fail in their duty to 
their fellows. Though the Word has said that a rich man 
may not enter His kingdom, many do seek so to enter paying 
His clerk to suppress reports of their wrongdoing. 

''And so I say to you, sons and grandsons (until this issue 
of my loins falter and fail), you may be free for God only 
when you are free of men. Till diligently the soil left you, 
tend tenderly Ood's creatures of the bam and stable, bring 
forth the fruits of His land in plenty, so that you may take 
His pay from His hands. 

''And when there is more than enough, it is His word that 
there are others who have less than enough, and it is your duty 
to seek and find them and give with both hands, overflow- 
ing." . • . 

So runs a literal translation of a half -page of the worn old 
sheepskin, the home-made sloe-berry ink faded, the clerkly 
Latin only to be guessed at, else the whole document, lordly 
but loving, fierce but tender, warlike yet only for peace, should 
here be given. Such a screed only a Prince of Men could 
have written^ let alone lived. That had been the Chevalier^s 
way. He might have been the first and the greatest of the 
patroons, those lordly landholders, rivaling any Duke of his 
native land. But it was too little for one who had ruled over 



J 



Beginnings T 

many Kingdoms in the souls of men^ and who meant that his 
descendants should do likewise. 

So the largest portion of his land became the township's — 
the common property of all. Every one of his friends and 
followers received patents from him for farms almost as large 
as his own, the extra portion set aside in his name being for 
the upkeep of the Church and for charity. As soon as they 
could afford a Town clerk the Chevalier filed with him docu- 
ments that would secure to each his little properi^; and espe- 
cially the Indians who had trusted him, against the greed of 
future white men. 

So, as something of Sir Lucas had been lioni again in 
Etienne, so was that something bom in Arnold nearly three 
hundred years later, that something that made men hold 
Bibles in one hand, swords in the other; that something that 
had cut down heathens at Ascalon and another sort of heathen 
in the defeats of the Guises and the Alvas. 

Arnold I/Hommedieu was to learn on less glorious battle- 
fields, however, men had grown meaner since the Chevalier, 
dealing blows with dishonest weapons, with what, until 
stricken, one could not know for weapons at all. 

And to learn these things Arnold must know disgrace — ^the 
martyrdom of civilization; must be crucified, too, and be, not 
a noble sight to move hearts, but a mock in the mouths of 
men; crucified between thieves, to find them, like Barabbas, 
nobler souls than those respected ones who had condemned 
them. 

And that is the story I will now begin to tell. 



CHAPTER TWO 

THE CHEVYING OP QUIWEHS 

I. ODB UUSKETEEBB AT COLLBOB 

E nearly began with QniTvers 

and his chevying before; and, 

in a way, it voald have been 

right to do bo; for that chevying 

was the first episode in the life 

of Arnold I/Hammedien that 

aerionsly concema this history. 

Had it not been for pasty 

QoiTvera and his aly ugly ways, 

Arnold I/Hommedieu would 

haTe followed his forefathers 

as rector of the little gray- 

^ lichened church aflame with 

red sage ; and would hare atriven, in all things, to have done 

as they did. Instead, through thia same despicable Qnirrers, 

he was to become . . . 

Enough of that I What wat he? That is what is before 
U8 now. 

Well, truth to tell, in appearance he was much like other 
youngsterB of his sort; just such another as any one of the 
boys one eeea at St. Paul's or Dartmouth or the smaller New 
England colleges. He was clean and wholeaome, if a trifle too 
infleiible and lacking in humor, perhaps ; but that can be for- 
given a youth who strove to live up to a standard of honor 
almost impossible nowadays. Arnold was even less mischievous 



The Chevying of Qui were 9 

than other boys of his kind are apt to be ; mischievousness and 
a sense of boyish dignity ill-comport together. Besides, he 
mnst remember that, some day, he would be the Beverend 
Arnold. He owed it to that some-day-to-be Beverend to do 
nothing to jeopardize his some-day-to-be Beverend influence. 
He must find things a boy could do that would serve as out- 
lets for his essentially and normally boyish nature, yet would 
in no way tarnish a Beverend's 'scutcheon. 

And he found them. Particularly one. 

Although he had never been known to begin a battle, he had 
more sanguinary encounters to his credit than most boys had 
to their discredit. It was to Arnold that maltreated urchins 
ran, digging knuckles into eyes already sufficiently grimy to 
keep up a flow of tears, tangible evidence of the brutal oppres- 
sion for which they sought a redress they never failed to get. 
There was a glad light in Arnold's eyes once his much-too- 
much-in-evidence conscience was satisfied ; the light that was 
in Sir Lucas' at Ascalon when he yielded-not-an-inch to I- 
don't-know-how-many Saracens and saved the Fat Prince and 
the Fatter Bishop. 

Arnold had the strength of a well-knit boy who is neither 
too tall nor too broad, and whose mind and body grow to- 
gether, neither at the expense of either; so that he was able 
to make the best use of his strength. He would spend hours, 
for instance, hardening the back of his hand against the barn- 
door if somebody told him (as somebody did) that the Jap- 
anese jiu-jitsu men could strike a more terrible blow with that 
member flattened, than could their American rivals with said 
member enflsted. 

And, having hardened it, he would go forth casually, pre- 
tending to himself it was for the sheer pleasure of walking ; 
but hoping, nevertheless, that something would happen which 
would aatisfy his conscience sufficiently to allow him to test 
the worth of the jiu-jitsu theory. 

Like all boys with the ability to enforce their commands, 
just or unjuat^ Arnold rejoiced in, and at times was pestered 



10 God's Man 

by^ a variety of henchmen ; a sufficient number to insure the 
future Beverend a congregation should other sources fail. By 
the time we begin to make his acquaintance in the flesh he had 
left the great majority of these behind. Only two had re- 
mained loyal enough, or competent enough, or of good enough 
address, or with parents who had money enough, to follow hhn 
to Old King's College, where we glimpse him for part of a day, 
the week before he — and they — ^were expelled. 

It was loyalty in the case of Archie Hartogensis, who had 
long yearned for Yale; where that patrician, by instinct, the 
good Squire Benjamin Hartogensis, Justice of the Peace, 
country gentleman, and son of many tavern-keeping Harto- 
gensisi conveniently forgot, would willingly have sent him; 
since there he would have met the sons of many other patri- 
cians, with or without patrician ancestors. 

It was loyalty in the case of Hugo Waldemar, son of that 
other patrician, the former peasant Ivan Vladimirovitch, now 
known as '^the Honnible Johnnie'' in that bailiwick that had 
sent him to the Legislature. For Hugo had a certain curiosity 
concerning physics and chemistry which might have led to 
something had it not been clearly impracticable for a future 
Beverend to prepare for his Beverendship by attending the 
Boston Tech. And, if not so clearly, it was quite as imprac- 
ticable for his present Beverendship's purse to pay the price 
of his son's admittance into the ranks of the 'T<ittle Brothers 
of the Bich." So no Yale for Arnold, either. 

Besides, there was the L'Hommedieu tradition — ^there had 
been a L'Hommedieu at Old King James' (the ^^Old" was 
silent then), since some incensed Jacobites founded that Uni- 
versity to compete with the Usurpers' memorial, 'William 
and Mary's " ; that is to say, some time early in the eighteenth 
century. Ever since each L'Honmiedieu had been gladdened 
in turn by the proximity of the old Parsonage to such a first- 
rate seat of theological learning. . . . Even Arnold in- 
sisted it was first-rate. 

And perhaps it was. It was small though, and the aristo- 



The Chevying of Quiwers 11 

cratB of New Ainfiterdam lineage, whose forefathers were not 
allowed to enter their sons there because thej were beneath 
the rank of an '^Esquire/' now turned up their noses at it 
and found it '^cheap/' too. But folk of an inquiring turn 
of mind might have noticed that a number of text-books used 
in the Greek and Latin courses of other colleges and uni- 
versities bore on. their title-pages "B. A.V' and *1j.L. D.V* 
obtained at King James*. And its *'Head/' an *'M. A., 
Ozon,*' was esteemed the best classical scholar in America. 

He said he preferred King James' because it gave him the 
most leisure for his own studies, and because the little village 
of Cyprus, in which it was ensconced, was like a bit of Old 
England. Indeed, there were in Cyprus besides King James* 
many other Jacobean buildings in twilight gray. 

II. And Why They Chevied Quiwess 

It was in their last year at Old King's, and after 
three terms of studies earnestly pursued — ^for Arnold had 
welded his own and his friends' future careers into a most 
harmonious whole — ^that an alien intruded himself upon our 
little community of three. TSo one of them was ever again 
heard to credit the theory of "Free Will." 

For they could in no way be blamed, justly, for what they 
did. Although two of the three fathers cared no whit for 
that, and for long after blamed them readily and stormily and 
incessantly, and visited their wrath upon them. Only the 
Beverend Jorian, Arnold's father, sympathized. Yet his 
hopes for his son were those most sorely crushed. But he 
could see that the act by which they terminated their college 
careers was one as imselfish and as devoted as any that had 
hitherto made him proud to be the father of one, and the 
foster-father of our other two, Musketeers. 

Jorian L'Hommedieu, himself, the gentlest and most for- 
bearing of men, found it hard not to hate the slimy reptile 
who had dragged his soiling person across the well-planned 



12 God's Man 

futures of ^'his boys/^ Afterward he was to understand that 
they were destined^ and particularly Arnold^ for higher pur- 
poses than remaining quietly in their birthplace. 

But enough of that now. All in good time. Let us con- 
sider the noisome one. Nor blame him too much^ remember- 
ing the kind of parents he had. (The kind we need waste 
no time over.) Also remembering that the pendulum must 
swing far to the left if it would go far to the right; and that 
certain future good could not have been had Quiyrers not 
been evil. 

And he was evil, right enough; bom crooked, withal an 
artful oily beggar, with a trick of getting your confidence 
and betraying it, which in school and college is called '^sneak- 
ing'* and, in modem business — ^in which Quiwers afterward 
shone — ^^'smart/* 

He early discovered opportxmity for this smartness when 
he found that many of his fellow students took small financial 
interests in the horse-racing that then fiourished in many 
parks around and about New York City. And there was a 
saloon, as near the bounds of Old King's as laws and regula- 
tions permitted, where bets were transmitted by telephone to 
a large pool-room in town. Quiwers could see no reason why 
the saloonkeeper should enjoy this royal privilege exclusively, 
so he opened negotiations with another and larger pool-room, 
becoming its official, but secret, agent in the college ; and soon 
had profitably outdistanced his rival, the saloonkeeper — ^too 
profitably by far. 

The scheme was a simple one and would have won him 
plaudits in that tricky business world, where, afterward, he 
figured. It was to circulate tips on horses that had not a 
ghost of show and, receiving the money, pocket instead of 
betting it, taking the one chance in a hundred that the horses 
would win. 

Trouble had come for the Three Musketeers when 'The 
Jinx'* took a desperate chance with his last ten dollars; 
''Jinx'' for obvious reasons; the boy had never had any luck 



The Chevying of Quiwers 13 

at anything, although there was nothing on which he would 
not bet — ^football, baseball, cricket, even alien and distant 
polo matches. Quiwers had more of The Jinx's money than 
that of any dozen others; and The Jinx — ^a pale harassed 
little freshman — ^was facing permanent withdrawal from col- 
lege life and incarceration in his father's shoe factory, '^to 
begin at the bottom," the lowest of unskilled labor, if his 
father received any more overdue tradesmen's bills. And 
beginning with the New Year, then only a week off, many 
Buch bills would be presented him, for Quiwers had a purse 
more than usually swollen with the allowances of Jinx's father 
that should have gone to tailor, hatter and bookseller. 

Jinxy must have been desperate, any one could see that, 
when he would take a forty-to-one chance on a horse of whom 
nothing more favorable was known than that he had once 
given a surprising performance on a rainy day. 'Toor Jinx's 
laying that 'sawbuck' the trackll be muddy," Archie had said, 
shaking his head at sight of the drawn harried face. 

It was pretty generally agreed that poor Jinxy had the 
proverbial snowball's chance— college boys are not brilliant at 
metaphor. Arnold, particularly, was sorry to lose him. 
Jinxy, while not a pal in the sense of Archie Hartogensis 
or Hugo, was his one literary sympathizer, as opposed to all 
those others of the college weekly, who worshiped at utilita- 
rian shrines in literature or else sat at the feet of the cynics. 
The first wanted to learn how best to turn words into dollars, 
the second how to achieve reputations at the expense of in- 
ferior souls. 

Arnold and The Jinx alone, of all the youths who wrote 
for The Oreen Bag — as the Old King's College weekly was 
called — sought, in Arnold's phrase, ''to express the true in 
terms of the beautiful." And, though Arnold's stuff had the 
most truth, Jinx/s had a beauty more easily recognized, 
the beauty that comes from love and a close study of the clas- 
rics. Vergil's Bucolics, Homer, Ovid, Aristophanes, Aris- 
totle, Plato, Xenophon, Cassar, Petronius, Marcus Aurelius— 



14 God's Man 

these were not schoolbooks to The Jinx, but more delightful 
than Arabian Nights' Entertainments. He would sooner find 
lyrical English for them than read the most enthralling ro- 
mance. Where the son of a middle-class manufacturer of 
boots and shoes developed such tastes is food for the students 
of heredity^ but here he was, the bom classical scholar. To 
take him away from his books was not only to deprive the 
world of future critical studies of value but of English ver- 
sions of great beauty as well — ^work that the world could 
hardly afford to lose, in order to gain an impecimious race- 
track follower, a spendthrift, a gambler. For certainly The 
Jinx would follow one strong leaning or the other ; he would 
work in no shoe factory. 

For the first time in his life Arnold had watched with 
anxious interest for the results of a race, trudging into town 
with the sad-eyed Jinx and his fellow Musketeers. And 
for the first time, when the results went up on The Echo 
bulletin board, did he feel the necessity for loud congratula- 
tions. The weather at Latonia had been as though it real- 
ized the grave issue that depended on its satisfactory, or un- 
satisfactory, behavior, and the imdistinguished forty-to-one 
shot, cheered by favorable surroundings, had romped past the 
Judges with the other contestants behind her. Jinxy was 
saved to the glory of classical literature, and swore in tearful 
tones, to take his second breath as God-given forgiveness; to 
bet BO more. For Arnold, now that things were no longer 
awry, had delivered himself plainly of the choice The Jinx 
must make. 

*1f s either doing the work you like best all your life, or 
spending your time with people who think Vergil is a foreign 
name for a very young girl. . . . What a pity a fine ani- 
mal like the horse should have such rotten press agents. And, 
look here, Jinxy, do you know my definition of what they call 
a 'sucker ?* A man who plays another man's game. The 
bookmakers' wives wear diamonds, the Casino at Monte Carlo 
builds marble palaces and pays the Eling five million a year — 



The Chevying of Quiwers 15 

they don't do that by losing, do they? There's only one 
mcoeseful way to gamble — own the game. And your game 
18 understanding words^ not figures. Tou've pulled out this 
once — ^ 

But had he? '^y luck. Thought it was too good to be 
true — ^for me/' The Jinx had said wearily, viewing a gray 
prospect of a life where a love of Latin and Literature was 
unknown. For profusely apologetic Quiwers told him he 
hadn't had the heart to throw away the last money the poor 
Jinzy had, and there it was — ^the original ten. It happened 
in the Three Musketeers' study, where, after searching the 
college for him, strong-armed Hugo had escorted the apolo- 
gist, grimly. 

''Wanted me to bring the ten. Said he hadn't the heart," 
exclaimed Hugo, with increasing grimness. He, good-nar 
tured, simple one though he was, had nevertheless the de- 
cided conviction that something was radically wrong. To 
find Qniwers in chapel, of all places — ^he who boasted openly 
of an intimate acquaintance with the works of Ingersoll and 
Paine, and who felt he had thoroughly demolished the Chris- 
tian religion by proving that the whale's small throat would 
have prevented his swallowing Jonah — ^to find this heretic 
staring raptly at a stained glass Madonna after Botticelli — 
he in whose room hung the sort of chromos given away as 
prizes for cigarette coupons; such things were suspicious. 
And, after turning over abstract suspicion and gazing pro- 
foundly at its bottom, Hugo had concluded, with no respect 
to the cunning of Quiwers, that the young gentleman had 
done such an obviously clumsy bit of cheating as to retain 
three hundred and ninety dollars of Jinzy's winnings. And 
he said so. 

**Pork out. Come on," he said, shaking Quiwers. "Fork." 
The pseudo betting-commissioner emitted a snarl of annoy- 
ance at the heavinesB of his captor's hand. 

^ou ought to be thrown out of some very high window, 
en to soma very hard rocks — ^no, sharp nails — ^no, stinging 



16 God's Man 

nettles/* said Archie Hartogensis excitedly. "I give you my 
word, I never heard of such a crook as you, Quiwers. Not 
in all history is there such a slimy snake.'* 

Arnold, of them all, said nothing, but surveyed Quiwers 
quietly with speculative gray eyes. More than the stolid but 
active giant of a Hugo, or the excitable blond Archie, this 
Athos of the Musketeers realized what Quiwers had done, 
and knowing how vile and little he was (for all his scrubbed 
cleanliness and six feet of height), failed to find any words 
that would express his opinions. Arnold knew, had Jinxy 
won and Quiwers held it back, the pool-room first must make 
the bet good ; second, discharge its agent ; and, though he had 
always despised the fellow, he gave him credit for too much 
intelligence to involve himself in so patent a swindle. It was 
so easy to find a record of the bet. 

No, there was another solution, and Arnold found the truth, 
as always, by surveying all possibilities and eliminating each 
one not impregnable. His three friends knew his methods; 
he had worked out too many intricate problems in mathe- 
matics for them all, had solved too many of their personal 
problems in just that quiet staring way of his; but the si- 
lence frightened Quiwers.' 

"See here, old pal,** the latter said to The Jinx, forcing 
confidence into his tones. He had a pleasing voice and, his 
vicious mouth hidden by a small mustache a la mode, a 
pleasant face. He took Jinxy*s hand. "I*d sooner dive off 
the clock-tower into a bathtub full of vitriol than have this 
happen. But I*m your pal — you know that — your pal. If I 
hadnH been your pal I*d have het that money. But I was 
going to add a twenty to it and take up a subscription among 
the other fellows. 1*11 add a fifty now.** Seeing that The 
Jinx — ^a trustful person and grateful for the smallest favor — 
was beginning to regard him as a benefactor, he turned to 
fields more difficult to conquer. "How much can you give, 
Arch?** 

Archie» resDooding to the sincerity of Quiwers* open self- 



The Chevying of Quiwers 17 

blaTTiiTig countenance^ veered immediately. ^^Of all the nerve 
I ever heard of in the whole worlds yours is the worst; taking 
it on yourself to decide about betting somebody else's 
money — ^' He paused^ wondering how much debt he dared 
incur. Quiwers had turned the tables, put him in the 
wrong. He could not afford to be less generous, but, finan- 
cially, he could not afford to be generous at all. His attitude 
influenced Hugo, whose brain was not in proportion to his 
giant-like body, although his heart was. Perhaps he had 
wronged poor Quiwers. There he had been sitting with 
awed face, contemplating a sacred picture, and he, Hugo, had 
laid aacrilegiouB hands on him, when perhaps Quiwers was 
meditating devotionally and learning to abjure the heresies 
of Messrs. Paine and IngersolL The superstition of the Bus- 
eian peasant — ^from which Hugo was only a generation re- 
moved — smote him heavily. 

*Tm Sony, Pete,*' he muttered. ''We all make mistakes, 
ni put up a hundred. Fm sorry.'' 

'TTou needn't be," said Arnold abruptly. 'Iiock the door. 
Give me the key. Now, Quiwers — " 

No hope here for appeals with sentimentalism, bluff hearti- 
ness, fake friendship, to this creature of intellect. Arnold 
had pondered and now he understood. ''He didn't bet that 
money, boys. He told the truth." 

Arnold paused. But Quiwers knew better than to take 
heart. 

"He wouldn't have returned it, though, if the horse had 
logt/' aaid Arnold coldly. "Thaf s how he's bought all those 
new clothes and stickpins and study fixings. He never has 
laid that sort of bet. Just put the money in his pocket. 
Well, that waa all right, up to to-day. The pool-rooms would 
have got the money anyway. But the pool-rooms would have 
paid when their judgment was wrong. He took the place of 
the pool-room. So he owes Jinxy his bet." 

From his hasty, incoherent jumble of reasseverated friend- 
ship for all, especially Arnold — "the last man in the world I'd 



18 God's Man 

thought could thinJc such a thing^' — Arnold realized Quiwen 
had not the remotest intention of fulfillilog his obligation; and 
although he saw trouble foreshadowed for all of them^ Arnold 
could^ for the life of him, do nothing less. Not for nothing 
had they been called the Three Musketeers. Coming up 
together from Havre de Grace school under Arnold's leader- 
ship, they had fought, shoulder to shoulder, against sopho- 
more and junior oppression; not content with winning free- 
dom for themselves, they had chastised the bullies of other 
helpless freshmen, inflicting severe punishment, upsetting 
all Old King's classic traditions, and given back to many 
their lost self-respect. "One for all and all for one" had 
been their juvenile oath in the Hartogensis bam when they 
were but entering their 'teens, and since those childish the- 
atricals Arnold had held them to it. 

They had brought a new idea into the college, an idea that 
is alwajrs new, although it was really novel only when our 
primitive fathers, the cave men, rose superior to the beasts by 
believing in it. Bullying of freshmen, save surreptitiously, 
had ceased since the Three Musketeers came to Old King's 
though, since it is student ethics not to carry tales to maa- 
ters, they had their hands fuU. ^The strong should protect 
the weak," Arnold had told Archie and Hugo, long since back 
in Havre de Grace, when they hung spellbound to his tales 
of bygone knightly prowess. He was never to be a preacher, 
in the local sense, as the Beverend Jorian, his father, fondly 
imagined he would be ; but one can not come of a long line 
of parsons — ^ten of them for grandfathers — and not have 
preaching in one's very veins. 

And this was his sort of preaching — ^the militant church- 
man's, that of those old Knights of St. John and of Jerusa- 
lem; Elnights-Hospitallers, Ejiights of Malta. He was an 
atavism; he was in fact just what the first known L'Hom- 
medieu had been before a maid had broken his vows. Six 
hundred years ago that, yet Arnold might have sat for his 



The Chevying of Quiwers 19 

when he told Hugo to hold Quiwers while Archie 
ut through hifl pockets. 

^7 quantity of crumpled bills were found, despite QuiT-» 
t^ kicks and threats and pleas of probity. But not enough* 
ake his jewelry/' said Arnold. 

rhe pawnshops were still open, and Archie sped to town in 
icle Jabez's ancient hack, while Hugo sat guard over QuiT- 
rs, ominous now, for he, too, had been betrayed and must 
tch himself like a hawk lest ^'the oily beggar come it oyer 
n again"; while The Jinx, alarmed by the sullen silence 
x> which Quiyyers had fallen, protested that it did not 
itter. 

[t was dusk when Archie returned, and Arnold looked up 
on the translation at which he had been working steadily, 
[wrently unaware of Quiwers, to whom he had not spoken 
Loe his request had been refused. But he spoke to him now, 
er counting the money Archie had brought. 
^Still ninety short," he ssid. 'Wasn't there a cheque-book, 
^? Give him a pen. A cheque for the balance, Quiv- 
, and if you stop it you'll be sorry." 
e should have taken alarm at the meekness with which 
Ters complied. ^To you ?" he had asked humbly. Ar- 
nodded ; he was afraid The Jinx might not cash it. ''And 
may I go?" asked the vanquished one, rising. Arnold 
d and Hugo opened the door. 

hour later they were all in the President's study, the 
) stared up at them accusingly from his blotter; be- 
lim Quiwers with the air of an outraged citizen. He 
I them of forcing him to give up money — ^highway rob- 
Nothing was said of reasons save that they claimed, 
Y, that he owed it. The point was, they had used 
He showed the red marks of Hugo's huge mcujik 
Ind the cheque had been in Arnold's pocket where ' 
had told the President it would be, and it was in 
name. Quiwers had known they could not cash 



20 God's Man 

it until morning; had thought, too, that they could explain 
only by betraying Jinxy's activities in betting, a misde- 
meanor also punishable by expulsion. Quiyvers knew our 
three would willingly suflfer almost anjrthing if they could 
go free only at Jinxjr's expense ; would suflfer it even though 
such silence would put him, their hateful enemy, in like dis- 
grace. 

Not strangely, but like all mean souls, he did not admire 
them for this; and while despising them as idiots, lunatics, 
''suckers,*' congratulated himself on his own acumen. 

But he had underrated Arnold, who was not the sort to 
suffer unjustly and give no punishment in return. Quiwers 
had probably ruined a career to which the Beverend Jorian 
had trained Arnold's thoughts since childhood — a career thai 
was the duty of every eldest son of the L'Hommedieus. Ex* 
pulsion meant he could never take his place in the pulpit at 
Havre de Grace, a L'Hommedieu pulpit for more than two 
centuries ; and all because it was vastly more important than 
he should retain his honor, protect his friends. But Quiv- 
vers should not remain to do .any gloating, to flourish by 
evil. 

Arnold faced the troubled President, and, since he could be 
no more thoroughly expelled for two crimes than for one, he 
spoke freely, in answer to a request for particulars as to the 
debt. 

"It was a bet on a horse-race,'* he said in a voice that 
showed he spoke reluctantly. "Quiwers is the agent of a 
pool-rpom — Long Tom Kelly's — ^telephone him if you don't 
believe me, sir." 

"We bet with him, too," said Archie, following Arnold's 
lead, shoulder to shoulder as always — ^'^Waldemar and I. He 
cheated us, sir. L'Hommedieu got the cheque for the lot." 

'TTes, sir," agreed Hugo dutifully, and nodding darkly at 
Quiwers, who was clutching at the back of the chair. 

Quiwers had not expected this; curiously enough, he did 
not think they might use his own weapons against him, and 



The Chevying of Quiwers 21 

the fact that none of the three had ever placed a bet with him 
had made him think he was secure^ knowing they would in- 
troduce no other names. 

''So I'll keep the cheque, if you don't mind, sir,*' said Ar- 
nold, withdrawing it from under the President's felspar paper- 
weight. 'If 8 ours, really it is, sir, and I know you must ask 
08 to resign for the betting if for nothing else, so we may as 
well have this. We may need it/* 

That was Arnold L'Hommedieu — ^fixity of purpose, calm, 
answerving loyalty to friends, championship of the weak 
and hatred for vile and cunning strength that misused power. 

The next day the President annoimced after prayers that 
three students had found themselves forced to resign; and 
that, he was sorry to say, he had found it necessary to expel 
a fourth^ Mr. P. Q. Quiwers. 



*j 



CHAPTER THREE 



HAVRE DE GRACE 

OtJB MUBEETBSBS AT HOUX 

HE Sdow Queen honored Long 
Island with a visit on the da; 
of the boya' return home, end 
the two hiUs which sheltered 
Havre de Grace, harbor and 
town, were hung and draped 
with white velvet Monsieni 
Jacque Froet had not been idle 
either; cedar berries were pow- 
dered with glistening dnst, pise 
needles glittered like little up- 
turned speare, and he had hung 
Bilver-bright swords and ahim- 
mering daggers wherever there 
were eaves or bushes to support them. 

When the three boys met half an hour before sunset t 
ghostly moon was beginning to give to these weapona from 
winter's workshop some of the sheen of steel itaelf. And 
with the setting of the sun gray ghosts galloped aroond Havre 
de Grace chimnej^B, galloped and galloped until the wind 
whisked them off to disappear among those elf -hills that mor- 
tals call sand dunes. 

"Of course, it had to go and snow and make us hate to 
leave as much as possible. It couldn't have been rainy and 
dismal and generally rotten. Oh, no I" 
Thus Archie. 



*""^^ ^ 



Havre de Grace 23 

Equally in character^ Arnold said nothing. 

''He ought to be thrown out of some very high window on to 
Bome very hard rocks/' said Archie Hartogensis excitedly. 
^ give you my word I never heard of such a mucker as 
Quiwers." 

And still Arnold said nothing, but surveyed the other two 
with speculative gray eyes. Yet he realized more than either 
what this Quiwers had done to them. Of the trio he would 
lose the most. 

^f a a dear old place all right/' he said, finally. 

*The best every added excitable Archie. 

''And anybody who says it isn't ought to get spectacles/' 
from Hugo. 

"A pair like yours?" interrupted Arnold, smiling. 

Hugo grinned sheepishly, as always when stirred to emo- 
tion he was unable to express or even understand. It was 
indeed a dear old place! Almost the best ever; for once 
nothing but such as Archie's exaggerations sufBced. 

"Just think — ^if it hadn't been for Quiwers we'd have in- 
herited all that—" 

Archie scowled and deliberately turned his back as, the 
northeast wind waxing with the waning of the afternoon, the 
mist was half lifted from Harbor Hill across the way, reveal- 
ing rectangular and hexagonal blocks of white, black-spotted 
Noah's ark houses, clustered above and below the spire of 
I/Hommedieu Church. 

^AU that? Don't be absurd, Archie," said Arnold, hoping 
to have Archie's wrath turned on him and away from their 
misfortune. 

''An — sure I And you know it. And it would have been 
like one inheriting it — ^you I Three souls with but a single 
thought.' " 

"Don't be sentimental, Archie," said Arnold, and led the 
way down the slope by what was, at best, a goafs path. 

"Now if you'd said three heads with but a single thought/' 
said Hugo solemnly. 



24 God's Man 

'Three — bright— at that everything that amounts to any- 
thing is a sort of Trinity/' conceded Archie. He was a great 
one at metaphysics^ the only science that requires no exact- 
ness. 

'^on't be blasphemous, Archie/' said Arnold, using the 
same expression but with a far different intonation. Arnold's 
reverence was the inheritance of many centuries. 

Hugo saw a storm gathering and interposed: '^y Gov- 
ernor won't even send me to the Boston Tech. — ^no Tech. at 
all. And that settles me. It was right enough at Old King's 
■^^xclusive I But now I've got to go to another 'gentleman's 
college.' The (Jovemor's so crazy for me to be a 'gentle- 
man' — as if I wasn't one." 

'^All fathers are crazy/' said Archie sullenly, and for the 
thousandth time that week. 

''My Grovemor says he's made the money. Let me make 
the family." 

Archie's sneer threatened to become a continuous perform- 
ance. "Oh, I know ! Family !" 

"Don't be nasty, Archie," said Arnold, who had regained 
his good temper, and was determined Archie should find his 
again, too. "Come on, you two. " 

They walked down to the shore and seated themselves in 
Parson L'Hommedieu's power boat. 

"He wants house parties, like he reads about in novels; 
with long skinny women in low-necked dresses and garden 
hats, playing bridge, and Van Doosens, Van Susans and vis- 
iting Dukes or Earls or Counts, dressed up in Norfolk jackets 
and blazers. Hugo's job is to marry a girl who knows that 
sort by their first names." 

"And I don't feel comfortable with that sort/' continued 
Hugo, taking the tiller. "The only girl I ever wanted to 
marry was — ^" 

Arnold desisted from his attempts to set the great iron 
wheel in motion. "Haven't I told you/' he began ominously, 
"that—" 



Havre dc Grace 25 

**Well, can I help it?" asked Hugo desperately. 'TE jtift 
can't get her out of my head." 

Up in the belfry of L'Hommediea Church a little light was 
swung out and up until it hung beneath the very highest 
point — the great gold cross. Or rather, they could not tell 
whether they saw the belfry light first or whether it was the 
TOW of little lights below that seemed to burst through gray 
walls and ivy. And then the old Dutch bell rang out its cen- 
turies-old reminder that the hour of evening prayer was fast 
approaching. 

'^ow ifU all end, Ood knows V said Arnold despondently. 

It was as if the earth had opened and had swallowed up idl 
the things that made living on it worth while. And the 
precious quality of all he was to lose was never more appar- 
ent than on such an evening as this, when the falling snow 
was whitest and the setting sun reddest. 

'TTouVe just got to get it out of your head/* said Arnold 
somberly; ''just as I've got to get the Parsonage out of my 
head, and go to New York and get a job. Father put it up 
to me. Asked me if I didn't think the story of my being 
expelled wouldn't grow and grow and be distorted — ^" 

'TTou just bet it would," shrilled Archie; 'this town's full 
of the rottenest, most envious — ^" 

"Precisely," Arnold clipped Archie's superlatives short. 
"And wouldn't all that growing and distortion hurt my in- 
fluence as a parson ? I had to say Tes.' Especially in these 
days when the number of moving-picture houses that used to 
be churches is only equaled by the number of garages that 
used to be • . . Something like thaf s what he said." 

Hugo nodded and looked drearily out to sea. 

'Ton know how hard it is to get people to go to church any- 
way," Arnold went on; "and how they come to ours because 
no one could ever say anything against our characters. No 
matter if what we three did was right or not, people will have 
tbeir nasty little scandals — and if the person amounts to any- 
thing, or has had a good character up to then, so much the 



26 Ciod's Man 

Tone. . . . Why, before we knov it, Wll bear that 
wo were forced to resign for some Qospeakably rotten thing 
that we wooldn't even whieper abont among ourselreB — " 

"They'd better not," interrupted Archie fiercely. 

"Oh, rot I" Arnold cut some possible heroics ehort. '*Who 
can keep people from talking? And all those mill-hands of 
your father's, Hugo ! Yon know how they're always saying 
about you; *He'fl no better than we are.' And how your 
father has done everything to square their resentment about 
you leaving public sdiools for private. And how a lot of 
these rats around here love to say rotten things abont us be- 
cause we licked their sons for being little rats. And, then, 
there's your father. Arch I ... No use pretending peo- 
ple like his English squire ways ; and making his tenants and 
workmen tip their hats to him and call him Squire, ... 
and all thatl And, since he's become Justice of the Peace, 
a lot more people hate him for sending them up to the Biver- 
head jail. Just think all those things over for a minute, 
and — why, before we got back home to-day Paul beard it 
whispered around High School that we'd had a choms-g^rl 
supper party in onr rooms. And got cangbt at it! And 
were only allowed to resign because our fathers had bo much 
influence. Know how that was said?" 

He expelled an angry breath, then imitated a whining woman : 

"Of course, if they'd been poor young fellows, they'd have 
been disgraced. But of course Parson't son . . . And 
Squires son . . . And Honnible Johnnie's son . . ," 

"Yes," said Hugo ruefully; "and it's because they're say- 
ing things like that — and the Qovemor's afraid of losing their 
nasty grubby votes — that I'm being sent away from old 
Havre, too. Otherwise I might V been allowed to stay and 
fuss with my chemicals over at the "Works.' He's so proud 
of that 'Honnible Johnnie' thing that he wouldn't lose for HH 
or fif^ like me. And he's got his eye on Congress now. 
Being a regular certificated Johnnie of an 'Honorable* . . ,** 



Havre de Grace 27 

He, too^ breathed contempt. For all his fraternizing with 
his father's mill-hands. And Arnold's politeness and genu- 
ine concern for the welfare of his father's parishioners; and 
Archie's good-natured liking for ^'Squire's" dependents; the 
three were intensely intolerant of any concessions made to the 
ignorant and prejudiced. They meant to conduct themselves 
with kindness and firmness allied; giving them '^not what 
they want but whafs good for them." Alasl for youth's 
golden dream of government; that never-to-be-attained 
benevolent autocracy that looks so incredibly easy and is so 
impossibly hard. 

**. . . But why is your (Jovemor sending you away, 
Arch, when he's so dead set against public opinion . . . 
that's the mystery to me—" 

Archie's opinion of the "myster3r" was thereupon given 
with a certain amount of profane and, necessarily in Archie's 
case, excited embellishment. 

'Tm not to go back to any college. I'm to be put to work 
with the old-fashionedest old frump that ever wore an out- 
of-date frock-coat. And act like a prize Sunday-school BoUo 
every day in the week, for if I get sent back by this old boy 
that father of mine, who loves money better than the Lord 
loves the Jews, ^ull just heave me through a different window 
every time I try to crawl back home. If s the old boy I'm 
nam^ for— old Uncle Archie Van Vhroon — old school — old 
fo(d— -old manners — old business — old house— old neighbor- 
hood—old everything — ^the oldest old man in New York 
and proud of it. And if I don't act like I love everything 
that's old and hate everything thaf s new, he'll leave his 
money to some old home for old chumps with old names in- 
stead of leaving it to his old godson and nephew. 'Cause 
111 he old all right by the time I've stood him six months. 
Ky hair ^nll be so white itil make Longfellow's look like Ed- 
gar Allan Poo's. And I'll have white whiskers, too. Won't take 
any interest in shaving or anything. Grow 'em all over. Look 



28 God's Man 

like a couple of features peeking out of an iceberg, island 
entirely surrounded by hair. . . /' 

He might have gone on with his tirade, working himself 
into a new fury every minute, if Arnold had not said, quietly, 
that at least they could be together in New York. At this 
Archie's dolefulness took wings. Hitting himself on the 
chest, a habit he had when extraordinarily glad, mad, or 
sad, he shook Arnold's hand violently. 

'^I guess somebody 'ull have something on us, hey?" he 
cackled shrilly. ''Shows, dinners on Broadway, see the 
sights, hear the sounds, go to prize-fights and belong to a 
T^ular bang-up club. I'd rather be a paving-stone in New 
York than a diamond anywhere else. If s the only life in the 
world. You're in the primary class when you're away from 
it Hey?" 

He struck Arnold a tremendous smack between the shoul- 
der-blades, then beat on his chest with both fists and did a 
little dance. 

"I suppose you could run around with a girl and nobody 
would know anything about it — ^in New York, couldn't you, 
Arnold?" asked Hugo hesitantly. '1 — ^I think maybe I'll 
cut college altogether and go with you two—" 

Arnold groaned, 'That girl again? Haven't I told you 
time and time again that she was just using you? . . . 
Whafs this about your going to New York, Archie ?" 

Archie answered him with a scowL '^Shipping business. 
Me in business! Can't you see me? Me, that hates figures 
and hates offices, and has always been looking forward to all 
this." He waved his arm around, scowling again. 'That 
father of mine's just the craziest old bonehead in the world. 
I could make our place pay; make the best paying farm on 
Long Island out of it — ^best in New York — best in the world. 
And all that geology and soils and crop bulletins I've studied 
— ^know more about scientific agriculture than any farmer on 
earth, I do. And all v:asted. You know what I could do 
with Ezmoor here— and how I love it — ^ 




Havre de Grace 29 

CEzmoor" was Squires Hartogensis' equivalent for what 
was known in Sussex County as Mantauket Hill, acquired by 
him with the proceeds of two centuries of inn-keeping.) 

There was no need for Archie to exaggerate now or to beat 
himself into a fury ; there was a catch in his voice, and, had 
they been women^ he would have sobbed on Arnold's shoulder ; 
and Arnold would have sobbed with him, and Hugo would 
have blubbered in his big clumsy way. Did they know what 
Archie could do with. Exmoor (alias Indian Hill) ? Did 
Archie know what Arnold could do with the L'Hommedieu 
church-school? Did Archie and Arnold both know what 
£^11^0 'could do with those smoky ugly works of his father's 
down there, a blot on the town? Had a night ever passed 
since their last year of High School when they weren't plan- 
ning under Aniold's leadership the things they would do 
to make Havre de Grace the model of its kind ? 

But what was the use talking about that now? They had 
lost their hold on Havre de Grace, every one; as each gained 
from the gloomy speeches of the others, Archie's elation being 
short-lived when he saw that New York meant to Arnold 
nothing less than imprisonment. 

*To be where you can't have horses and trees and green 
fields and things^" said Arnold. His thin face was distorted 
as he spoke^ and he clenched and unclenched his slender 
hands. 

*T)o you have to go?'' asked Hugo wistfully. "I'll stay 
here if you do." A statement Archie did not resent, for there 
could be no choice between him and their leader. 

*^What else can I do ?" asked Arnold bitterly. 'That swine, 
Quiwers, has done for me, right enough. I can't be a par- 
son with aU my parishioners whispering we were kicked out 
of college for some stinking, hushed-up scandal. I told you 
father put it up to me. He wanted me to go abroad on a 
trip and decide, and whatever I thought was right would he 
right to him. And Paul broke down (good little beggar he 
is, shows it, doesn't he?) Broke down; yes^ sir. And all 



30 God's Man 

because he'll get mj place, church, farm, the old bouee — 
eTeiything. There's not enough for two." 

"And yoa decided to give up everything?" asked Archia 
in awe. 

"What else could I do?" returned Arnold querulously. 
"The church is the main thing — ^making people believe. And 
it helps some in these days, when nobody can say a word 
against the pastor, when be usee bis own money to run the 
place and pays bis own salary. Other churches lose their 
congregations nowadays; the preachers preach to balf -empty 
pews; but we don't and never have. You don't think I'd 
take chances with a heritage like that, do you ? Ko. Paul's 
all right; studies hard, too. Ifs for the best, I guess." 

"Well, not wishing Paul any misfortune," said Arcbie in 
his high excited voice, "but be can't ever take the place of 
about the beet pal / ever heard of. Hey, Hugo P" 

Hugo nodded and put his heavy hand on Arnold's shoulder. 

'Tfo use saying ifs for the best, Arnold," Arcbie went on, 
"Ifs joat tbe most disastrous thing ever happened, that's what 
it is." 

Arnold smiled. "Don't take yourself so seriously, Archie," 
he advised. 

*Tm not," returned Archie hotly; "I'm taking you eeri- 
onsly and what you were trainin' us to do. Look at this town 
DOW. We conld hardly trait to get through school to begin. 
You've said it youreelf a million times. Used to be God's 
country, now ifs God-forsaken." 

"I never said 'Qod's Country' " Arnold defended hotly. 

"With these factories going up all the time, becaiue we've 
got water power," Arcbie continued, ignoring him, "and tbe 
boys and girls leavin' the farms and the fisbin' and bontin' 
where they were healthy, and had healthy children, and going 
to work in tbe factories just to get a lot of ready-made clothes 
and cheap junk, and loaf around picture shows and joints at 
night, and call themselves 'as good as anybody* — 'cause they 



Havre de Grace 31 

■ 

don't have to wear overaUs and get their hands dirty. And 
as for children — ^when they do let themselves have 'em — 
sickly pale brats no good to themselves or anybody. Breed- 
ing a regular slave race. We'd have stopped that^ we three; 
have run factories decently or run 'em out. With your pull 
as pastor and mine as the Squire's son and Hugo's as son of 
the owner of the biggest factory of alL It only takes a few 
big men to turn such a trick. And we'd have turned it all 
right Wasn't that what we were working for, and thinkin' 
about all the time? Don't pull that stuff about it all bein' 
for the best. To hell with Paul. What does he matter in a 
case like this? Ifs the worst thing ever happened in the 
whole world." 

Yon are not to suppose that the sociology and economics in 
Archie's speech were his own; they were the result of many 
Buch speeches by Arnold in the past, which had sunk in and 
become a part of his two companions, until they were as eager 
as boys for a new game, to stanch the tide that threatened to 
inundate their township with broken-down laborers and ill- 
begotten children. 

Arnold had worked out, and was still working at it in de- 
tail when the expulsion came, a comprehensive scheme of 
militancy in local politics, which, with his father's congrega- 
tion back of him and the hundreds of tenants on Squire 
Hartogensis' estate, and factory-hands in the Waldemar fac- 
tory would have made the three masters of local affairs, and, 
when they had proved their xmselfishness and capabilities, 
masters of county politics as well. 

"(Jets dark early these days, doesn't it?" muttered Hugo, 
and cursed himself for his inabilily to express either his right 
to love whom he chose, or the emotions that stirred in him at 
Buch sights as sunrise and sunset. 

The long stretch of harbor was alight, and as they drew 
nearer it the low-roofed, gray-lichened Parsonage seemed 
aflame with its red sage. Another stroke of the big motor^ 



32 God's Man 

another sweep or so^ and they were floating amid that vast 
blackness^ the shadows cast by the dark green mass^ the an- 
cient wood of the UHommedieus. 

Arnold pushed down the switch and the thumping of the 
motor ceased so suddenly they could hardly believe that there 
had also been a cessation of movement. 

Evening had come almost as suddenly. The clusters of red 
sage above were black now — ^black velvet. There was neither 
moon nor stars, and the fog sifted down like snow across the 
path of the setting sim. 

^^minds me of that sunset over there — ^Wolverhampton — ^^ 
said Archie, awed. "When we saw Carol, last — ^remember?'' 

^TTou never give us a chance to forget,'' returned Arnold, 
smiling. 

"You don't need any," retorted Archie. ^TTou were aroimd 
there as much as I was — ^tell the truth, now — ^" 

Arnold hesitated, but kept silent. Archie, however, took 
no advantage of his silent admission. His eyes were turned 
Wolverhampton way. And Hugo's toward Manhattan. And 
Arnold's . . . ? 

He was staring over there at the ancient wood of the 
L'Hommedieus, through which Carol came to greet him, 
waving a filmy scarf. And then it seemed that they met, and 
he tried to force on her another scarf, less filmy, less beautiful, 
in itself; but one that, when it brushed the near-by boughs 
and floated up to meet the overhead branches, caused them, all 
wintry as they were, to burst into white blossoms, each one a 
bell that rang out golden chimes. 

Just what all this meant he had not the slightest idea, nor 
was he able to remember it in detail a second later; it passed, 
as dreams do sleeping or waking, leaving only an impression, 
an imcomfortable impression. 

Archie saw Carol, too, out there in Sunset Land, saw her 
where he had seen her last — at Wolverhampton (Wolf Inlet 
before the Brooks-Catons bought it and built there). And 
she was running, too. But because the Hartogensisi were a 



Havre de Grace 



35 



family that had never heard any chimes except the chink of 
ca8}y---and because they had ceased to beat their women-folk 
before discovering how to evoke their respect instead of pro- 
Toke their fear — Carol did not come to Archie as to Arnold, 
but seemed to flee him shyly. 

Seemed^ indeed ! 

But Archie was as little likely to know this as Hugo was 
to know that the face of Miss Beulah Soberts — Bobbie 
Beulah, Merry Whirl Company, No. 2 — the face that he saw 
out there, was not so modest as the moss-violet, or so pale and 
pretty as the water-lily she seemed to him. . . . 

As is the custom with men when their work has failed them, 
or when they think it has, the thoughts of our Three Mus- 
keteers had turned to man's other heritage: woman. To 
Arnold, they were fascinating countries unexplored, to Archie 
and to Hugo, strange shrines in far-off lands. . . • 



CHAPTER FOUR 

ABISTOCBATS 

I. Squibb Habtogbnbis Receitbb a Pboposition 

HILE their bohs were recov- 
ering from their sentimeiital 
debauch, and were landing ol 
the other side of the Harbor to 
climb the steep hill to L'Hom- 
medieu Parsonage, the son of 
taany centuries of tavern-keep- 
ing Hartogensisi sat with the 
son of many centuries of earth- 
tilling peasants, in the for- 
mer's stately mahogany and 
teakwood dining-room at Har- 
togensis Hall. John Waldemar 
sat enthroned in a massiTe chair at the foot of the table, filled 
with a genuine admiration for the aristocratic air and gentle 
appearance of his host, who, in a chair equally massiTe, sat at 
the bead, a footman in livery passing dishes, a butler with 
metal buttons on a striped waieteoat, cooling ^e vine. 

The "Honnible Johzmie" was agreeing with the Squire as 
to the insolence of Havre de Gracians. He, more than Har- 
togensis, had suffered from these temerariouB townsmen. At 
least there were many who respected the Squire, owner of so 
much land, landlord of so many citizens. But the "Honnible 
Johnnie" must depend for his political support on the ig- 



Aristocrats 35 

norant and illiterate; to gain their good-will he must keep 
alive a hearty pretense of equality. 

Aetnally it was no more than half-pretense. For all his 
sins, he had at least the quality of camaraderie. But just now 
it pleased the Boss to agree with the aristocratic Squire ; he 
had need of the Squire in the near future, and wanted to pre- 
pare the way for a "proposition'* of which you are soon to hear. 

"The idear/' he made remark. "A fellow like me thafa 
got big properties and employs hundreds of men here and in 
the city has got to stand for that kind of stuff if he wants to 
be elected. Actually send his own son away from home. It 
jest shows yoUy Squire, what a state the country's in when a 
man of my position's got to act that way to get votes, ^ts 
of times/ I says to myself, 'I'd like to be the Squire, who 
treats 'em like they oughta be treated.' But it's different with 
you. Squire. Your old man left you money, you're an inde- 
pendent Qoxmtrj'genileman. My boy Hugo 'ull be the same 
and 80 'ull I, when I get through with politics. But jest now 
I can't afford it. There's a lot of army-contracts— Bureaus 
of Medicine and Surgery and what-not that've been promised 
me if I get my seat in tiie House. And Department of Agri- 
culture chemical contracts . . . and lots of others, too. 
Whaf 8 more, these here Federal snoopers won't be investi- 
gatin' my books and shipments, and all that part of the busi- 
ness I've built up from the time I was a pedler. One of the 
biggest parts of my business 'ull go to smash under these new 
laws they're considering, unless I get into Congress. I never 
told you, did I, partner ?" 

I The wine seemed to be warning him to indiscretion; but, 
actually, it was not. 

'Told me whatP' asked Hartogensis refilling the glasses. 
Waldemar took the churchwarden clay extended him. To 
look at them, rosy-gilled and rubicund, with the accessories 
of long pipes, port wine in crystal decanters, the long witch- 
faces of the candles on the long mahogany, the dark wain- 
looted walla hung with ancient oils and eighteenth-century 



36 God's Man 

fpoitiiig prnitf, was to imagine an English coantnr-hoase, a 
lumting aqoire of parts and a Corinthian neighbor. 

*^cfw I got my start," returned Waldemar joriaUj. ^I 
wonldnH tell it to nobodj but jou, Sqnire. To tell the truth, 
I wouldn't V told it to you. For a long time I was afraid 
70a wasn't a good fellow; jon know, Iroadminded." 

He held the bowl of churchwarden pipe over one of the 
candles, and the tobacco alight, beamed jovially. '^Nothing 
like a good warm fire and tobacco and drink handy and look- 
ing back on the days when you was on the outside looking in. 
Say, Squire, many's the time I used to stand tiptoe and rubber 
into some of them old houses around Wasliington Square and 
lower Fifth Avenue — ^that was the swell neighborhood then. 
Which you oughta know, being one of the old families. 

'TTes, gir," he added, having waited for the Squire to con- 
firm these ancestral antecedents. '^And I always said when 
I got money, I'd have a house like that with an open fire and 
alL . . . Well, I got 'em, all right." 

The wine lifted its voice and contradicted his approving 
note. Waldemar took another glass of port 

^'Oreat idear, these long pipes; makes a cool sweet smoke, 
as they say in the ^ads.' . . . But like I was telling you 
as to how I got my start. Peddling little pill-boxes. Quarter 
the box ; and they didn't cost me more'n a nickel. Some profit, 
hey? I saved enough in five years to buy out an old drug- 
store man who was retiring, hired a drug-clerk with a diploma 
for twelve a week, and went around to my customers telling 
'em to come to my drug-store. I wouldn't sell 'em what they 
wanted lessen they bought other stuff off'n me — said I was 
afraid of the police. Built up a great business thataway. Got 
to be known all over town. Kept open all night, used to sleep 
under the counter. Believe me, partner, I deserve all / got. 
It just shows you what opportunities there is in America for 
a young fellar wholl work, Tes, and save, and not have 
women and had habits. I never drunk, I never smoked, I 



Aristocrats 37 

[lerer even had a girl, until I was way past thirty. And as 
For the stuff in the little pill-boxes • . . ." 

He winked — ^^'I saw too much of what that done to my cus- 
tomers. But if I didn't sell it some one else would, wouldn't 
they? But if you asked these Socialists and Anarchists and 
irhiners to do what I done, how many would do it? The 
coxmtry'8 all right, say I, ifs the people in it that ain't any 
good. This here Socialism now . • ." 

He spat in disgust. 

'They'd keep a man from building up a legitimate busi- 
ness I Whaf s the use of working and scringing and saving if 
you ain't allowed to make good ? Makes me sick." 

The Squire had listened in some distaste, but he was re- 
strained from showing any sign of it by a most unwelcome 
memory of his childhood at the Yew Tree Inn, which, fallen 
somewhat in the quality of its customers, had been partly 
dependent on its side-door trade, Where negroes and the 
poorer whites were accommodated with inferior beer and rot- 
gut whisky. 

**As I see it," he said, exorcising this memory, ''those who 
amount to anything will raise themselves. Those who won't 
don't deserve any pity. Life has changed since the old days. 
To-day every one has equal opportunity. If they don't take 
advantage of it, are we to blame? Shall we be responsible? 
I wouldn't mind if they were like they were in my grand- 
father's day — ^respectful to their superiors, and all. But if 
they won't be, they can go to the devil. Thaf s my way of 
looking at it. And they'd better beware how they alienate the 
sympathy of the better classes. In fifty years more we'll be 
in a position to compel their deference again as in my grand- 
father's day." 

He had conveniently forgotten that his grandfather had 
been one of the most deferential. 

"No doubt thejr've forgotten that only a few hundred years 
ago they wore iron-collars around their necks with the name 



38 God's Man 

of their masters on 'em. We were sorry for them, thongh, and 
took the collars off. And look how they've behaved ! Look 
at the French Bevolution ! There's gratitude for you." 

It might have been imagined that, the iron-collar stage hav- 
ing survived in Russia until the day of Waldemar's grand- 
father (who had worn one), the Honnible Johnnie might have 
been moved to remonstrance. But he, like the Squire, had i 
convenient memory. He nodded emphaticaUy. 

"As I see it, life's a game with certain rules for playing it," 
he said, '^hen there's three kinds of players — them thafi 
afraid to take a chance, them that takes a chance and loses, 
them that takes a chance and wins. The first kind don't 
amount to shucks — ^they're like sheep— let people shear 'em 
and brand 'em and just keep yelling 'Baa-a, baa-a.' The sec- 
ond kind's got nerve all right but not brains. They try to 
get up but only get in jail. The third kind does a lot of the 
things the second kind does, but they figure things out. And 
the second kind call that luck. It ain't luck. Squire, it's 
brains. The ones that get caught ain't got any brains, 
thaf s all. Tou got to learn how to play the game according 
to the rules. What's the rules? The I^w. Before I bought 
my first place, that little Seventh Avenue drug-store, I went 
to see my Alderman and got him to go partners with me. He 
even put up part of the money. I knew there was a hundred 
per cent profit in the business, but I didn't try to hog it alL 
There was the Law and the Law had to be looked after. An- 
other fellow tried the same game and got raided. Why? Be- 
cause he gave policemen money. Thaf s bribery, and bribery 
don't pay. Mine was a legitimate business deaL" 

Whether or not this unethical unbosoming was ingenuous 
or ingenious, no mere historian may say. It is possible, as 
others have observed even from antiquity, that he whose 
major occupation is delusion may in time come to delude him- 
self. This particular self-deluder then leaned back and took' 
more port with an almost devout air. 

*^Cfw that other fellow — Simoney was his name^'' he ex- 



Aristocrats 39, 

plained farther* ^e braced me for a dollar only the other 
day. And he had a bigger drug-store than mine and a dumed 
sight better, too. But he didn't study the game, didn't learn 
the rnles. And all the good it did him was five years or some- 
thing when one of these here Uplifts got after him. He's 
working for me now, taking orders from East Side doctors. 
. . . They do a great drug business, those kikes, and if s 
getting so they have to do it with me. There's quite a trade 
in landanimi since the police started shaking down the hop- 
joints so much. The 'White Stuff's' on the up-and-up too. 
We got together the other day, Justus and old Urquhart and 
some of the rest of us wholesalers, and skyrocketed it (mor- 
phine, you know). Just doubled prices. We used to get sev- 
enty-five cents for a hundred cubes of the unrefined, ninety- 
five for the same in pressed hypo tablets, half -grains, that is. 
We raised it to a dollar and a half the cubes, two dollars the 
tablets. . . ." 

He laughed with the pleasure of one who is attaining his ob- 
ject, for a greedy look had come into the Squire's eyes. 

'There was plenty of kicks," Waldemar agreed, in answer 
to a question, "but I notice sales keep right on mountin' up. 
Why, I had to take on another workman in our instrument- 
branch — ^which, between you and me, ain't nothing but the 
artillery branch. Guns, you know." 

He laughed boisterously this time. The greedy look on the 
Squire's face had given way to one of curiosity. 

'"Arms and ammunition' — ^thafs my little joke," Walde- 
mar explained. "Morphine and cocaine are ammunition; 
'guns' — ^that is, 'hypos', hypodermic syringes — arms. Course 
we bluff at making other instruments ; I've got a case full of 
probes and bougies and tweezers and scalpels and pretty nearly 
eveiything else in the surgical line. But we never make 'em. 
I should say not. 'Get the money' — ^thafs my motter. 
And there's no money in professional instruments — ^not 
enough sold and too much competition. But when these here 
dmg-habits started getting good, I see the demand for a good 



40 God's Man 

cheap syringe coming — ^not the four-dollar solid piston kind 
the doctors use, but one to sell at a dollar and give a profit/' 

The Squire asked another question. Waldemar disagreed 
scornfully. 

*The four-dollar one — ^naw ! — ^no profit a tall I Not a talll 
Has to be heavy and solid to get the suction and keep the ai^ 
bubbles out. But — there's *nother of my idears! — ^jest put 
some gooey stuff in the barrel and you get the suction as good 
as the solid syringe. . . . One of these here Socialist 
workmen quit me on account of it, though; said the gooey 
stuff meant pumping poison and disease right inter the blood. 
Sich ignorance! As if the drug injection wasn't strong 
enough to kill anything else. . . ." 

He waved his relighted pipe with a triumphant air, and 
as he approached the business of the evening his enthusiasm 
was contagious. 

"And then the biggest of all and growing every day- 
cocaine. Why, down South in the Prohibition states where 
they've closed the saloons and where these niggers and poor 
whites 'uve been in the habit of getting drunk every Sattiday 
night, we jest can't supply the demand. I'll have to run up 
another shack here in a year or so and take over a bigger 
building in the city— or build one with warehouses to suit. 
Building 'ud be better if I was there with the cash. And 
that's where you come in sometime, Squire, if you're looking 
for a forty per cent, business investment. All I ask you is, ran 
up to town with me some day and look over my books. If 
that don't convince you, you'd think Gk)v'ment bonds was a 
gamble. And don't forget that where other fellars have to 
walk an egg-shell tight-rope, I'll be walking on TJnde Sam's 
private wall. And, whaf s more, I'll be walking with the 
people who run things in this country — although they need 
every vote in Washington to do it with, which is where my 
drag will come in. So if ever there was a safe game, you've 
jest been interduced to it, and you'll never be interduced to 



Aristocrats 41 

another like it if you live to be a million. . . . Say, you 
cerfny do look like that uncle of yours. Squire/' 

He nodded toward a portrait that hung above. It was part 
of the '^onnible Johnnie's" system of "jollying/' knowing as 
he did that the Squire fancied a resemblance to his own 
bulbous nose, in that somewhat swollen pictured feature — an 
'hincle/' the Squire said, but did not add that the avuncular 
relationship came through his wife. Having been unduly 
eager to copy the "uncle's" ante-bellum attire, Benjamin had 
only succeeded in achieving an appearance that smacked of a 
commercial interest in equine afEairs. The frilled shirt, the 
studs, the spreading bow, the waistcoat cut so low that it 
might have served with evening attire, the braided tail-coat 
and wide trousers — all helped to give him the appearance of 
a prosperous bookmaker, the sort seen at Newmarket and 
Epsom Downs. 

*1 looked over your Greenwich village property the other 
day, that Yew Tree Inn. Thaf s why I wrote you," said Wal- 
demar. With irritating calm, he again filled his church- 
warden and again smiled. ^'When I see what a ramshackle 
old tenement's wasting a fine piece of property for a manufac- 
turer that don't want to advertise, I jest have to laugh, that's 
all. Why, you've even got the right to put *No thoroughfare' 
on the entrance to the little alley; I looked up the deeds at 
the County Clerk's. All of which is fine business in these 
days of Uplifts hiring private detectives to snoop around and 
bribe drivers and watch wagons loading and read addresses 
on packages. Our wagons could load in that there Bupert 
Court and with 'No thoroughfare' and a couple of gates to the 
Passage, no strangers could get in. When I started thinkin' 
of my new building, I thought I'd look over your property 
first, partner, and then I knew I didn't need to look no far- 
ther. If ever there was a place made to order for what 7 
want . • . Why, whafs the matter. Squire? . . ." 

For the ruby red of the Squire's nose had spread to his 



42 God's Man 

other features; he choked^ coughed^ spat nnder Waldemar's 
alarmed ministrations; and an ear placed close to hia month 
could only distinguish the damning of Jamesby, his rental 
agent 

. . . ^1)on't ring/' was added^ as the Honnible Johnnie 
reached for the bell. "It's — ^nothing— only — ^I — signed— • 
three years' — ^lease — ^yesterday — ^with a woman named Mybus. 
A damned dirty pawnbroker, too." 

"Oh, is that alir said Waldemar, relieved. 'Thafs all 
right. Squire. Won't want to begin building until after then 
— ^if we do, whaf B a few dollars to buy 'em off. . . . 
Cheer up, partner. . • ." 

He experienced a strange joy in being able so to address the 
aristocratic Squire. And in knowing it would not be resented. 

"No hurry, partner," he added for the sheer pleasure of 
the repetition. *TVell, I've got to leave you now. Back to 
town to-morrow early, takin' that young cub of mine to lick 
into shape. After getting fired from college, he's got the 
nerve to talk about marryin' some chorus-girl. . . . Mar- 
ryvn* her, mind you I . . • Times has changed since I was 
a boy." 

Shaking his head sadly, over the depravity of more modern 
youths, he went his way. 

II. The Attio in Oramebcy Pabk 

As to the results of that talk with Hugo, you will presently 
hear enough ; more than enough, possibly. But since Arnold 
is our principal concern, and it had been arranged secretly 
between them that he and Archie should occupy a joint 
"apartment," if such a thing could be obtained for the amount 
of rent-money allowed them, it appears to be our first duty 
to follow them to the city and to see how they fared. 

They were fortunate enough to find the pkce for the price, 
and through the last person on earth I Archie's father. And 



Aristocrats 43 

put the place! An attic in Qramercy Park wHoae eaTw 
BwmllowB had not forgotten ; nay^ nor whose chimney-pots^ of 
which there were half a dozen braces. The house had been 
erected in those ^'spacious'' days when no room was complete 
without a fireplace. 

It had been a great establishment in its time, that house ; 
and a great family had nested there, too, during one stage 
of its flight up-town — ^Archie's mother's family — ^the Van 
Vhroons. They had left a broken winged Van Yhroon behind 
there when they soared Plaza-ward, a collateral Van Vhroon 
with chinchilla-like side whiskers and an old-world spring- 
collar and broad black satin stock-tie. To him, Benjamin 
Hartogensis owed his membership in a certain superior club ; 
and during the days of Mrs. Benjamin's decline and fall this 
Van Vhroon had been a useful substitute when her husband 
declined to accompany her on her search after health. Hence, 
Benjamin had '^accommodated'' him several times, grumbling 
outwardly, but inwardly congrattdating himself with the 
thought that the prices of Manhattan real estate were on the 
upgrade. 

So sure had he been of this that when the mortgage-interest 
went unpaid Benjamin allowed his impecunious relative to 
remain unforeclosured. He would soon die, anyway, and 
then a semi-advertised sheriff's sale could be arranged that 
would give the mortgagee the whole property. And now, 
thanks to his father's foresight, Archie could occupy ^'cham- 
bers" there, and would have a socially-impeccable old gentle- 
man to take him into exclusive bouses. 

A moderate rental was arranged — on paper — ^to be de- 
ducted—on paper — ^from the unpaid interest on the mort- 
gage. And so our Two came into possession of a rambling 
set of low-roofed and oaken raftered rooms, with diamond- 
paned dormers, and elm trees hiding them from the sight of 
passers-by and permitting their occupants to see over the 
roofs of the city to where that radiant Madison Square Clock- 
Tower told the time to the darkest hour of the night, and 



44 God's Man 

the Metropolitan search-light Bought out other sections vA 
lighted them up intermittently. 

And for company, they had always the chirping spanowi 
and, most times, the gurgling swallows, too. And set into 
niches by their three fireplaces were stores of books, old booksy 
mostly, and rare: '^Oulliver'^ in little fat duo-decimos and 
Dickens and O. P. B. James and Lytton in squatty three- 
volume sets, and Byron and Shakespeare and Shelley in long 
thin double-paged quartos . . . and so-on— down to 
Oolden Oems of Thought by '^A Lad/' and The Language 
of Love, or the Flowers' Secrets Revealed by **A Grentle- 
woman'^ (in reduced circumstances who revealed said secrets 
only to send her little sons to school — so the publisher said, 
anyhow). 

Such as these latter Arnold weeded out of his shelves and 
put on Archie's, for Archie never read anjrthing anyhow and he 
liked these better, for the bindings were the newest and fresh- 
est-looking. Arnold brought up many books of his own and 
added shelves over their ''study'' fireplace, and, ransacking 
the imused lower rooms, by permission, found many more 
volumes worthy of a place on them, so that soon the books 
overfiowed into his own room and shelves must be added 
there too. He was absolutely happy among these treasures 
of his (treasures unknown to-day), Chateaubriand's Indians 
and those serious romances of Hans Andersen's that have 
been forgotten and Harrison Ainsworth, complete, in one 
htmdred and twenty little volumes with the original drawings 
— odd, creepy things — by Cruikshank and others — and a host 
more that have left the early Victorian era so rich in our 
regrets and remembrances. 

And original black-letter volumes: The Little Oeste of 
Robin Hood, for instance. And an old Dutch edition of 
Lessing, with the English translation on opposite pages. And 
even (Ehlenschlager and Holberg and other learned and in- 
structive fireside-reading of dead days. . . . Everything, 
in fact^ to delight the bookman and bibliomaniac do¥m to 



Aristocrats 45 

The Oolden Am of Apuleius in half a dozen adaptations. 
In fact all the book-accumulations of the Van Vhroons since 
settling in their first home on the Bouwerie — ^that flowery 
fragrant-smelling Bower that is now otherwise odoriferous 
— our ill-smelling Bowery. 

All this accumulation had been left behind. It was lug- 
gage too heavy for the last stage of the Van Yhroon flight. 
The possession of all that learning would have held them 
back from further flights. In the days when Arnold came to 
New York town, books were the last things in the world to 
help one to attain its heights. 

Arnold would have willingly forgotten all about that noisy 
dollar-getting world outside, that half-civilized wholly un- 
educated mob that jostled and swore and exuded impleasant 
odors in Subway and on Elevated — among whom the slogan, 
''I'm as Good as You Are/' had been translated into overt 
acts of exceeding and obtrusive offensiveness. 

Thus Arnold thought, anyhow. He had yet to learn that 
one can not afford to be the perfect esthete at the start; one 
misses too much. Just as Archie would have done well to 
avoid being the '^compleat snob,'' assisted by his father's 
blood and by Miss Carol Caton, whose acquaintance we are 
gradually approaching. 

But for one troubling conscience, Arnold would have spent 
his days sunken deep in soft padded leather — ^and how soft 
century-old padded leather can be! — ^feet upon a hearth- 
hassoci^ eyes on the sea-coal fire that lit up the German 
forest and wood-cutter's hut at the back of the iron grate. 
Or turned toward the windows where through the elm trees 
one saw the chimney-pots of the old quarter and fancied 
oneself in Dickens' London. As one did also when looking 
downward at the quaint iron railings and gates and grass- 
plots and the gnarled trees of old Gramercy Park, and the 
old-fashioned Kensington-like houses over Irving Place way. 
Or staring up at the rafters, smoky with many fires, or at the 
well-ordered shelves of books and the firelight on the brass 



46 God's Man 

cttndle^ticks and the brass bowls over the window-aeats, the 
Bunlight on the green and crimson of their geraniums. 

It was all 80 old-world-like. 

All would have been well but for that same unruly con- 
science that bade him seek work and cease to be a drain on 
the none-too-well-filled family purse. So, daily, he Park- 
Bow-ed himself, and forced visiting cards on bored office- 
boys. He found that City Editors were far more important 
than Emperors. On his way home he dropped off at Union 
Square or thereabouts, and found that Magazine Moguls were 
less important but equally unaware of the importance of a 
L'Hommedieu. Finally arriving home in time for tea, and 
just about to be transported back to Book-Land, when in 
would come Archie, free from his uncle's office and noisily 
transform himself into a '^young society man" by means of a 
frock-coat, a silk topper and immaculate gloves. And would 
as noisily demand a similar transformation of Arnold. 

Sometimes Arnold would sigh and comply. And sometimes 
he would sigh and not comply. But always, he would comply 
and not sigh, when Archie suggested calling on Carol Caton. 
That is, at first. Afterward, he was neither to sigh nor to 
comply, only to pretend to snore. 

The reason therefor, you are about to hear. 

III. Thb Costly Miss Caton 

She lived behind the ivy-covered walls of a certain Murray 
Hill comer, 'barely existed," rather, during a season that 
barely recognized her existence. The comer opposite her 
sheltered the second-best private art collection in the world. 
Its famous owner had made it so since the time he decided 
he would rather be known as a patron of the arts than a 
money king in a day when every Lucky Little Babbit was a 
''financier.'* 

Our Babbit — "Good Old Babbit*' was Carol's pet name for 
her father — ^was not christened '^Henry Brooks-Caton'' any 



Aristocrats 47 

lore than hia wife was ''Winchelsea/' His name, ont of the 
)m country, appears signed to various cheques (hence we 
jlieve in it) as ''Henry Z. Kayton/' . . . And over that 
TT let us ''draw a veil/' Let us make a deep impenetrable 
lystery of it, and pass on to the former Minnie Brooks. 

Minnie! Winnie 1 1 Winchelsea 1 1 ! "Old-Engliah-family, 
ou-knoVM "Tounger-Son'M I 'Toor-Papa'M 1 1 That is her 
istory, and it is all the space she deserves. . . • She had 
larried Henry Z. when he was an honest, hard-working in- 
estor in the Middle West. And of this plaster-of-Paris she 
ad created a dishonest, whisker-tearing, harder-working 
tock-Oambler who lived entirely on his Luck. 

His old Luck. 

He knew that some day he was going to "draw it too fine,'' 
ence knew that the day was not far distant when his wonder- 
iil wife would never forgive him his bankruptcy. So, for 
3ar she would suspect, he never dared hint that she cease 
nnecessary extravagances. 

Unnecessary? She would have thought you just a plain 
ool if you said so. Had she not managed, by not being 
cheap" (so she fondly believed) in afiBliating herself with a 
Movement" that carried her into the "smartest" circles. She 
ad tried all the "Movements" when she heard that smart 
romen belonged to them: Christian Science, the Esoterics, 
be Socialists — ^many more. 

It was not until militant Suffrage came along that she man- 
ged to get recognizing nods from Mrs. "Van" and her sister, 
lrs"0.," to have the newspapers refer to her as "one of the 
martest young matrons," although she was not really a 
young" matron at all — Carol was eighteen. Her mother had 
pent most of the years of Carol's life knocking assiduously 
t golden doors ; at forty just managing to get a boot-toe in- 
ide them. 

Unnecessary? Extravagance? Was there any price too 
ligh for entering the Kingdom of Heaven? 

During those busy days she had not had time to train Carol 



48 God's Man 

into the perfect snob; but, her social position assnred, so long 
as she 'could contribute largely to the Militants, she started 
to finish what the boarding-schools had only begun; started 
about the time our Musketeers came up to town. 

After Arnold and Archie had called the first time, re- 
splendent in their new tail-coats and shining top-hats, Mrs. 
Brooks-Caton, after receiving information as to their identity, 
gave her daughter Lession No. 807, from that handy guide to 
Social Distinction, "Snobs : and How to Be Them." 

"That^s all very well for the country, where one can know 
anybody," she said severely, '%ut in town one is judged by 
one's associates, Carol, dear. I should imagine the best 
thing one can do under such circumstances is for one to be 
out when such people call." She had lately acquired the 
word "one" as a pronoun, and had fallen desperately in love 
with it. 

Carol answered in that tired, superior way so popular at 
the boarding-school that she was jolly glad to be so judged 
in the present case. "Archie's a nephew of Mrs. Jack Van 
Vhroon. Your Mrs. Van and Mrs. 0. aren't everything. 
They never get to Mrs. Jack's small affairs, only the crushes" 
— a distinction making all the difference! For far beyond 
the little inclosed deer park of superiority where these two 
ladies ruled were the high spiked walls of a Forbidden City, 
the captain of the guard thereof being Mrs. Jacob Van 
Vhroon, who had been known to refuse an introduction to a 
Duchess — originally from the Middle West. 

So Archie became a petted guest at the Murray Hill house, 
and, although Mrs. Jacob Van Vhroon, herself, would have 
felt more honored by a visit from the eldest son of the house 
of L'Hommedieu than by the intimate acquaintance of Mrs. 
"Van" and Mrs. "0.," the L'Hommedieus had never married 
among Manhattan patroons and had no collateral branches 
with names familiar to Mrs. Brooks-Caton. So Carol found 
things decidedly uncomfortable when Arnold called alone. 
Seldom was it that Mrs. Brooks-Caton did not intrude, in- 



Aristocrats 49 

nMing on carrying off Carol to fulfil some pressing engage- 
ment of which the girl had, hitherto, no sort of ^owledge, 
or else she would remain and ask Arnold disconcerting ques- 
tions about the doings of fashionable folk whom he ^d not 
know. 

Not disconcerting to him — ^to Carol. She would flush and 
make other and awkward conversation, although Arnold re- 
mained quite composed and smiling, replying either that ^%e 
had never heard of Tiim* — or 'her'*' — or that '*he could 
hardly avoid seeing in the newspapers that some such per- 
son — ^whom he could never quite understand why they fussed 
so much about — ^had sailed for the Mediterranean.^ 

One could hardly yield Mrs. Brooks-Caton separate vic- 
tories at these rencontres; but one who has been armor-proof 
against the smiles and snubs of women whom the socie^ re- 
porters delight to chronicle, is serene and calm under the 
satire of a '^nobody*' ; so when Arnold pressed her for infor- 
mation — ^*who in the world was that Charlie Dewitt anyway? 
Had he discovered some famous anesthetic to relieve pain, or 
written a great book, or painted a wonderful picture, or 
financed his country's panics, or what?" 

Mrs. Brooks-Caton's superior smile would imply he had 
done nothing so vulgar. Evidently Mr. I/Hommedieu 
didn't know the DeWitts of Westchester. 

TV. How Shb Lost One Musketeer 

An of which, plus some equally offensive mendacity over 
the telephone, and more of the same whenever he called, had 
the effect of cooling Arnold's affection for Carol. She must 
have concealed about her somewhere some of the traits that 
were so large a part of her mother. And once married and 
able to lay aside the mask, these would cause her husband to 
repent, daily, a sorry bargain. 

So Mrs. Brooks-Caton drove him away. As he grew to 
know her better his imagination began to play tricks on him. 



50 Cod's Man 

and he could not look on Carol's pretty flnfferies and flower- 
like prettiness without seeing behind them the mother'i 
shadow; while CaroFs little affectations of superiority and 
that tired manner — fondly believed to be aristocratic 
at the boarding-school— exasperated him beyond belief. 

One day he told her so. During their quarrel he did some 
more plain speaking and, as he enumerated to her the man- 
nerisms and characteristics he disliked, he discovered, sud- 
denly, and equally to his surprise, that his love for her, by 
the light of which he had gone to bed each night and risen 
each morning, needed a post-mortem. Leaving the Murray 
Hill house that afternoon, he decided never to enter it again, 
no matter how often she might write or telephone. Both 
things he waa quite sure she would do, if he, himself, did 
neither. 

'liet Archie have her,'' he said angrily. It waa the first 
unkind thought he had ever had of his friend. Later he 
proved to have repented it; for, one night of the same week, 
he brought up the subject artfully, and, no longer in love, 
spoke of Carol with clear vision. 

'^e saw the best of her down there all right. She didn't 
have the time to be a snob then, too busy swimming, canoeing, 
playing tennis and golf. ^No mother to guide her' — ^to bother 
her about social position and her own importance. She'd be 
a nice girl, Carol would, if she were vrith nice people, in nice 
places ; but breathing that poisoned air of her mother's lizard 
friends — ^ 

He shrugged his shoulders and lighted his pipe over their 
shaded study lamp. 'TLizards — ^what d'you mean, lizards?" 
demanded the offended Archie. 

*T)on't you remember when we used to climb up our wire 
ladder at the cave, drying out on the ledge after a awim. 
Well, when there weren't any boats passing or porpoises swim- 
ming or birds flying I used to watch those funny little lizards 
that looked like moving emeralds with black pearls set in 



Aristocrats 51 

ikem — ^jewels they were — ^jewels with their bright green backs 
•nd living black eyes and legs carved by Lalique in Paris 
after Chippendale designs — '* 

''Well/* interrupted Archie impatiently, 'Srhat^ve they got 
to do vrith — ^* 

*Tliey nsed to try to climb np that slippery rock wall/* 
went on Arnold reminiscently, ''that wall as green as them- 
selves, all oozy with wet. And they'd get np a little way 
and— -smack !— down they'd flop. But did that phase them ? 
They wouldn't even wait to get their breath before they took 
another spring and fastened their four little Chippendale 
leg^ in that ooze^ and^ this time, they'd go slower, and get 
higher. But soon they'd flop again and harder, too. Maybe 
they'd hurt themselves a little this time, and wait a minute, 
hiking in the sun ; but pretty soon thejr'd be off a third time 
— and a fourth — and a fifth. Sometimes they wouldn't go 
four feet in a whole afternoon, but they kept trying. I used 
to wonder what there was up at the top of that wall that made 
them so eager to get there; so, one day, you remember, we 
went reconnoitering — ^I didn't tell you why — said there was 
an eagle's nest up there or something to get you excited." 

''Well, of all the fool things in the world," ejaculated 
Archie; "of all the fool things thafs the worst — getting all 
bruised up for nothing." 

"It wasn't for nothing," returned Arnold, "knowledge of 
anything important enough to make a whole tribe of lizards 
sp^d their lives trying to get it — thafs worth knowing. You 
remember what was at the top there ?" 

"Why — some kind of purple flower, wasn't there? Didn't 
Hugo start to pick some and you stopped him — said they were 
poison?" 

"Purple poison," returned Arnold, nodding. "Beautiful 
but poisonous — ^just to remind people that beauty isn't every- 
thing and isn't always to be trusted. No fragrance — noth- 
ing—yet I saw one little lizard make the top of the cliff while 



52 God's Man 

we were there— come dragging his tired little body over to 
thoee flowers— couldn't wait — ^had to get into that purple 
poison and die/' 

He stopped smoking^ laying/ aside his pipe as though it 
were suddenly distasteful to him. 

''What fools I thought those lizards were. How glad I 
was we were above such foolishness as spending our whole 
lives in flopping and bumping and hurting ourselves just to 
wallow in purple poison. . . . But I'm not so sure 
we're so darned superior nowadays. There's Carol. She 
doesn't think of anything except who was at the Opera^ and 
is it worth while getting Horse Show Clothes when the people 
spend so much time looking at the horses? (By the way, 
wouldn't you like to find a newspaper head-writer strong- 
minded enough to resist saying, 'The Horse Is King' that 
week?) Or whether papa's allowance for mother's reception 
will permit having a couple of minor opera singers or pian- 
ists or fiddlers 'oblige.' Or how shall she treat that girl who 
went to school with her and who still insists on calling, even 
since her father's had the bad taste to lose everything and she 
wears last year's clothes and, really, can a swell like Carol 
afford to be seen taking tea with her at a place like the Bo- 
tunda ? She's likely to find any number of eligible men there, 
you know 1" 

Archie, who had growled several times, now had the cour- 
age to interrupt, decisively : 

"Cut it out, Arnold," he said; "call her mother a lizard' 
and her friends 'lizards,' but let her alone. . . ." He 
paused, breathing hard. "I — ^I mean it, old boy," he finally 
summarized, miserable under Arnold's gaze. "You had your 
chance, the same as I, and if — ^well — ^if — ^* 

He had meant to conclude with something to the effect 
that if she preferred Archie to Arnold, it fooled nobody for 
the fox to say the grapes were sour, with the addenda that, 
among well-bred foxes, it was fairly average bad taste to 
criticize such grapes. But Arnold's gray eyes and steady 



Aristocrats 52 

level gaze were especially disconcerting to any one about to 
impute dishonorable motives to him, so Archie did not finish. 
Arnold deflected the conversation to other fields. It wai 
worse than useless to continue it then. 

V. How She Won Another 

It proved useless also on all future occasions^ particular!]/ 
as Carol, soon after she realized that Arnold did not intend to 
answer her letters, or to be at home, officially, when she tele- 
phoned, wrote a cold little note, demanding the return of 
anjrthing in her handwriting that might be in his possession, 
sending with this letter a neat package containing his briefer 
screeds. Others, which contained some fairly good verse 
written in her honor, she retained, claiming to have burnt 
them. 

Later, from some unguarded hints Archie let fall, Carol 
suspected Arnold of sharing his depreciation of her, and so 
showed the verse to young Mr. Hartogensis. Proving how 
deeply infatuated her detractor had been and how sorry she 
had been they could not remain ^'just friends/' She felt se- 
cure, from Arnold's faithful compliance with her request that 
he had no proof to the contrary. But she did not know the 
I/Hommedieu notion of honor if she imagined Arnold would 
have betrayed a woman^s confidence for any purpose so petty 
as to prove something against her. 

So Archie put down Arnold's occasional anxious attempts 
to break Carol's hold as mere examples of human weakness. 
He was sorry to see them in his erstwhile leader, but they 
were natural, considering the heart-hurt that went with the 
loss of so great a treasure. And he was more inclined to 
pardon it since it had been because of him that the treasure 
had been lost. 

Such is our egotism, we men. We like to believe that the 
woman who has chosen us has refused, or might have refused, 
others who seem far more brilliant, far more important and 



54 God's Man 

worth whfle. ''Seem/' we repeat. It takes a clev^ woman 
like Carol to discover that we^ ourselves, though scorning to 
make a show of honest worth, are really the better men, after 
all ; and, partly for that cleverness, we love her. It is seldom 
we can love any woman truly who does not make us love our- 
selves more — ^if that is possible. 

Archie was one in whom it was. 

For instance, Archie had never believed he had any talent 
for financiering until Carol persuaded him that he had, and 
thus did her share to bring about that calamity which was 
partly due to the coming of Arnold to Bupert Passage. 
Carol's chief reason for believing in this latent ability within 
Archie was the very low opinion she had of 'The Good Old 
ftabbit,'' as she called her worthy father, a pale little person 
with fragments of mustache and beard that looked as if he 
went to a toy terrier to have them worried instead of to a 
barber to have them trimmed. He wore drooping eye- 
glasses, too, and, since his business kept him too occupied to 
remove his hat often, was bald on the part the hat covered. 
He was, in fact, one of the type that cartoonists use as models 
for "The Common People.'' 

Yet this competent Eabbit, when ordered by its master, 
Mrs. Brooks-Caton, had the ability to retrieve out of that 
muddy stream called Wall Street costly articles and sums of 
great value. And this was financiering. 

What The Eabbit could do, then, anybody could — certainly 
the man of her choice — ^man ? Archie was just twenty-one — 
whom, some day, if an unofiicial engagement was any sign, 
she expected to marry. But, before that could come to pass, 
he must be able to "support her in the style to which she was 
accustomed." Wicked, wicked phrase! Why, pray, should 
a youngster, just beginning, be able to do what an oldster, 
nearly ending, had only recently succeeded in doing? And 
yet it was "un-American," "unmanly" for such a youngster to 
accept any assistance from his wife's father, or, if she had 
money herself, worse to use hers. She might graciously re- 



Aristocrats 55 

lie^ bim of her hats and clothes, but the expensive apart- 
ment, the servants, the motor and all the rest — ^it was '^manl/' 
for him to provide. 

These are lessons the modem middle-class American 
woman has been implanting in men's minds until the men, 
as is their custom, believe them original masculine opinions, 
and are ashamed to be caught without them. And, by infer- 
ence, Carol was asking Archie if he held them when she in- 
sisted on his talent for financiering. He must do something 
better than sit on a high stool on his TJncle Van Vhroon's 
dock, superintending cargo-loading and unloading, mustn't 
he? That is, unless his father . . . 

Archie laughed. 

*^very bit of income goes into Exmoor, girlie,*' he said. 
"And that'll be all the better for us, some day. But he doesn't 
think a man ought to be married until he's past thirty just 
because he didn't himself. And even if he didn't get angry, 
he'd think what Uncle Archie pays me and the income from 
my mother's money ought to be enough. Course he don't 
inow. New York was different in his time — a regular vil- 
lage." 

"Thafs what I meant you could use as capital — ^your 
mother's money," said Carol hurriedly. 

She did not even admit the possibility of an income from 
a mere ten thousand being of the slightest assistance to them, 
when a decent rag cost more than a fourth of said income, 
even at six per cent. 

^1 know The Good Old Rabbit started with a jolly sight 
less. As capital/' she insisted again, "as capital if s quite 
all right— quite a Godsend. The Street will do the rest. 
Just watch it. Not the ordinary things, but those new ones 
just starting that will pay for capital — ^that's how The Rabbit 
got ahead. Four hundred and fifty per cent, one of his in- 
vestments paid." 

And, indeed, such had been the case. The Rabbit had been 
a clerk in a western shoe store, when an honest prospector (the 




56 God*s Mari^ 

last of an extinct race) had stamped into town from the 
mountains^ put an advertisement in the newspaper and 
awaited the assistance of Capital in purchasing machinery to 
unearth the vast quantities of copper he had discovered. And 
Capital had come in such driblets as the late Zachariah Kay- 
ton's insurance money. Later^ for his few thousands. The 
Babbit had many hundred to show. Such luck had never 
been repeated^ but having larger capital, he did not need such 
large percentages. However, always, he had profited hugely 
by assisting in the births of new ventures — amines, inventions, 
provincial trolley lines, "jerkwater** railroads. 

But autre temps, autre mceurs. "Big Business** looked 
after such things nowadays, hence his declension as a finan- 
cier and the bulk of his former fortune was drifting through 
the fog-bank of distress and toward the rocks of bankruptcy. 

Except in those rare cases where exploiters of new but 
worthy ventures were inexperienced, large returns for small 
capital were swindles; and Big Business was glad of it. It 
taught the middle class to thank Heaven for kindly places 
called banks which would care tenderly for inexperienced 
money, and even philanthropically pay a few per cent, of 
what that money made when properly and sanely invested. 

Of course, Carol could not know of these dangerous reefs 
in the business world. During the times her mother was in 
Europe and The Babbit dared open his timid mouth without 
fear of correction before servants, he partook immoderately 
of wine at dinner, boldly ordered his butler to cut courBet 
and fetch him a rare sirloin or something of the sort that 
could be grilled, "and plenty of it/* and then sat in his chair 
(head of the family, as should be), admired by Carol, the 
butler and the maid who served at table, all of whom listened 
entranced to the modem fairy-tale of Cinderellus, the shoe 
clerk, the African — or rather the Bocky Mountain — ^magi- 
cian, the haughty shoe store proprietor, and what Cinderellus 
"said to him, he says.** Of other Aladdin-like increases in 
fortune : the aeroplane that started in an Ohio woodshed, end- 



Aristocrats 57 

ing in the palace of a King ; the headache cure in the little 
brown bottle that made a drug clerk a millionaire in a twelve-* 
month; and other wonders of the Bight Investment at the 
Bight Time. 

It was such a night when she had Archie to dine that he 
might bear these modem fairy-tales. He listened, his eyes 
alight, and saw, not the tapestried walls of the Brooks-Caton 
home, but a smaller edition, his own, and Carol sitting across 
from him, and The Good Old Babbit, with another and 
equally thrilling yam added to his repertoire — ^the rapid rise 
of Archibald Hartogensis, Esquire (once only an assistant in 
a shipping ofBce), to Place, Power and an Apartment Off the 
Park. 

^'Why, Fve been wasting my life,^' he said to Carol, when 
they lounged, alone, in the Japanese room, with coffee and 
cigarettes. 

Carol nodded. "That's what I wanted you to see,'* she 
said. ^ thought — ^when you heard The Babbit — '^ 

Soon they were in the midst of discussions as to the rela- 
tive merit of fumed oak and Circassian walnut, white "cot- 
tage*' boudoir furniture (Archie was not so indelicate as to 
say *T)edroom'*) and mahogany. Of course, in mahogany, 
yon got four-posters, and those quaint glass knobs and tall- 
boys, and many another interesting individual piece; but 
with the **Trianon'' you could string along the wall, by 
lengthy roee-colored cords, the "most divine" Watteau 
prints. • • • 

And, that these purposes might be fulfilled, and the smaller 
edition of the Murray Hill house made a reality, Archie be- 
gan to take financial papers and to consult with The Good 
Old Babbit concerning Large Beturns for Small Investments. 

Beading the morning paper regarding the exposure of some 
get-rich-quick swindle, one wonders what hypnotic power was 
used to get victims to invest. It was ^eZ/'hypnosis such as 
Archie's; the belief that, somewhere, are philanthropists wait- 
ing eagerly to make large fortunes for small strangers. These 



58 God's Man 

philanthropists do not need to seek the strangers. They have 
only to advertise and they come, already persuaded. 

It was inevitable that Archie, in his present frame of mind, 
ehould fall a victim to the advertisement that finally "wrought 
his ruin,*^ or that blinded him that he might, eventually, see. 

Its immediate result was to separate him from Arnold. To 
save interminable taxicabs, he said, he must be nearer 
Canary's and "the club,*' nearer than Gramercy Park, any- 
how. Arnold preferred to remain. Gramercy had the old- 
world atmosphere he loved; his club was there. Besides, his 
income would not run to Canary's bachelor apartments, or 
others of the same sort along the Avenue. Neither would 
Archie's — income. . . . But, in view of the Eight In- 
vestment soon to appear at the Right Time, the "dower- 
right" of the late Gretchen V.-V. Hartogensis was a Fortu- 
natus purse, into which one might dip and dip vrithout caus- 
ing any perceptible shrinkage. 

Arnold prided himself on not mentioning money when writ- 
ing home. He had lived at his father's expense for several 
months while awaiting a vacancy, and now, although actually 
on The Argus, the city editor was paying him a beginner's 
wage — ^too little to afford the society of Archie's friends — or 
of Hugo's either. . . . 

Which reminds us that a certain catastrophe is close at 
hand — ^for us. Several years must elapse before Arnold is 
to be involved; but they were years that brought no radical 
change in his condition. That he should soon acquire some 
reputation as a reporter was as eventual as that Archie should 
answer that certain advertisement and that Miss Bobbie Beu- 
lah should give a certain little supper party. 



CHAPTER FIVE 

CATASTBOPHE 

I. How THE HONOEABLE JOHN WaLDEMAB TaUOHT HiB SoH 

TO Be Hokobable, Too — Intboducino Miss 
BoBBiB Beclah 

HE was working you — bow many 
times must I t«ll you ?" 

Thua Arnold once, as you 
have heard — thua Arnold inter- 
minably, before and after. 

The back of Hugo'a watch 

held a anapahot of a laughing 

dimpled girl with short aoubret- 

tish hair, Miss Bobbie Beutah; 

at their meeting one of the 

"ponies" in "The Merry World" 

company, playing the "one- 

nighters," Cypms among them 

— county seat and seat of Old 

Eiog's College besides. It was a bad ahow under ahoeetring 

muugement, to the members of which aalaries were oocertain 

and BO was booking. 

Hugo had been the good angel for whom girls in auch com- 
panies pray. Miaa Bobbie had ceaaed to be a "Merry Worlder," 
the Cyprian engagement once concluded. After having been 
Hugo's guest at the Sussex Anna for the better part of the 
following week, he had arranged for her to return to the City 
of Engagements solvent; bad restored to her that aolvency 



60 God's Man 

several times since ; had taken cognizance of her necessity for 
outfitting, and for singing and dancing lessons, only demand- 
ing that she obey his command — ^not renew an engagement 
with a wildcat company. 

Miss Bobbie had been a faithful correspondenl, bnt, mostly, 
her literary efforts were devoted to the making of requests for 
money. Eventually Hugo would have discovered this; life 
at Old King's and his leader's proclivities presenting few 
opportunities for visiting New York. But the expulsion had 
come at a time when Miss Bobbie had been gone from him 
only a month or more, and his desire was heightened by mem- 
ory. Had Arnold known of the correspondence and the 
loans he would have used all his powers to persuade Hugo to 
remain at Havre de Grace. 

*'She was working you; how many times must I tell you?'' 
he would repeat again and again. '^Not that I blame the 
poor little thing. . . ." 

Arnold had been of the party once when Hugo and Archie 
took Miss Bobbie and others to dine in a private room at the 
Arms. 

''She's had a hard time, I guess. I didn't mind your help- 
ing her; help her all you like. But don't fall in love with 
her. You're just a pocketbook to her, Hugo. She doesn't 
know whether you're good-looking or not; your bank-book 
hides your face. And she doesn't know you've got the big- 
gest heart in the world — as Archie would say — she just thinks 
she's clever enough to get money out of you. Thaf s one of 
the ways the poor take it out of the rich — ^breaking their 
hearts when they only mean to break their pocketbooks." 

But Miss Bobbie had considerable natural ability at chica- 
nery; and as Hugo had not spared expense, and as she had 
procured a Garden engagement, and as a girl who dresses 
with those young ladies who drive through Central Park in 
limousines 'loaned" by their dear friends has nothing to 
learn about ways and means in the matter of artifice. Miss 
Bobbie with a tinted veil was the ideal American girl — as per 



Catastrophe 61 

the magazine coyers. And when Hugo saw her again and was 
aKured of this incomparable creature's eternal affection, he 
had asanred her that his was equally everlasting. 

And had come back home, expelled, to add inault to in- 
jury — ^in his father's eyes. 

How could his son be so many objectionable and otherwise 
unattractive sorts of idiots? No, not his son. HIS son. 
His, always his. He then, with the native cunning that had 
made the son of a serf an American millionaire, had taken 
steps to insure the protection of his property. 

He had the acumen not to forbid Hugo any further ac- 
quaintance with the lady, for that, he knew, would have the 
same effect as an authorization. No! He advised his son 
to a cynical end, an end, however, which the average respect- 
able father would have approved as the wisest course; al- 
though how they reconcile such view-points with their avowals 
of sturdy Christianity, it is difficult to understand. 

'*What a precious green one you are, to be sure, Hugo,'' he 
said, laughing, and clapping his son on the back. (It was the 
same night that he had outlined his life's history to the 
Squire.) **But I was that way myself at your age. There 
was a little singer at the Salammbo, in St. Petersburg — what 
they call a caffy chantong — ^a music-hall. I was gone on this 
little singer. Nothing would do but we must be married, 
right bang, slap off. And my Dad, he come to me just like 
I'm doing now; he laffed — Piaffed, he did; yes, Hugo, that's 
what he did. And he said: ^Look here, son, before you 
asked this here little lady to be your wife did you — ^well, did 
you'—" 

Waldemar winked prodigiously, slyly, wickedly, like a 
smoking-room satyr. It was typical of his kind that he did 
not have the courage actually to put his sinister innuendo 
into words. Was he not of the sort that buys, eagerly, porno- 
graphic Parisian papers, scans them with many chuckles and, 
between France and America, tosses them overboard? And, 
if interviewed at the dock, says something impressive about 



62 God's Man 

the superior morality of the Anglo-Saxon? With which 
they have most often no racial connection. 

He went over the story of the imaginary little Sdlammho 
chanteuse several times that evenings and many times after, 
embroidering it, dwelling upon its lesson — ^which was that he 
soon tired of her after taking sage parental counsel and was 
indeed glad he had a wise father, who had restrained him, 
with clearer understanding, from tying himself, for life, to 
a wretched existence. 

"Boys will be boys,'' he said. ^T, was huming. I expect 
you to be huming. I expect every man to be huming. All 
I ask is decency. Bespectability, that's the keynote of the 
Anglo-Saxon race; that's made her what she is. And she 
asks that, and only that, from every Anglo-Saxon." 

He had a bad habit of intruding bits of his public speeches 
into his private conversation. 

"She says : T recognize this here humanity of yours, but 
I say a man must learn to be respectable if he wants to be 
huming. Look at these here French. That's what a man 
gets for bein' huming without bein' respectable. See?*" 

Hugo spent a wretched month or so after returning to 
New York to grace a desk in the oflBce of the Waldemar Man- 
ufacturing Company. Then, one night, he drank too heavily, 
and Miss Bobbie had to do some hard thinking. Here were 
the Crossways and she must choose. She did not blame 
Hugo. It was her fight with his father. Hugo was only 
a pawn, pushed forward by her, back by him. She had her 
chance, that night, to win a move. Hugo was passionately 
desiring her to get into his waiting taxi and drive to the min- 
ister's. But, to-morrow, it would be Waldemar's move, and 
her pay at the Oarden would just cover the rent and a few 
minor expenses. She had a friend who had married against 
the will of a rich father-in-law, and with her young husband, 
unused to the idea of earning money, had lived in a furnished 
room and cooked their principal meals over the gas and in a 
chafing-dish, until the youngster fell in with "the gang" and 



Catastrophe 63 

was now "steering** members of his former clubs to gambling- 
honses, receiving the "steer per cent/' Bobbie had heard of 
other such cases. 

One often wonders^ when momentous decisions must be 
made instantly, that so brief a time is sufficient to review 
details, the recital of which would consume hours. Bobbie 
saw her pretty furniture under the hammer — as poor Eosie's 
had been ; saw the beggarly price people were willing to pay 
for second-hand electrics "as good as new/* saw the possibility 
of "road** tours again — saw other disagreeable things, many 
of them. Yet, if she refused marriage she must be his 
mistress ; else, sooner or later, he would drift away. 

She was wise in the wisdom of necessity, was Bobbie. And 
she wrenched victory from defeat. Yield she must, but, 
yielding, lose none of his respect; that was her problem, as 
she hung, apparently limp and half -fainting in his arms; a 
problem easily enough solved in the case of one so simple- 
minded as Hugo. 

There is an argument, supposed to be exceedingly artful, 
which every yotmgster imagines he, alone, has achieved. Bob- 
bie had often jeered at it when impassioned young men had 
attempted persuasion with it. It had not persuaded her in 
the least, but it was just the thing to impress Hugo. 

"We can*t, we can*t,** she wailed. "It would be wicked. 
He*d never forgive you, and I*d never forgive myself. Sup- 
pose he died without forgiving you. Then you*d hate me. 
Oh, don*t say you wouldn't — ^after a while you'd hate me. 
We*re married anyhow, dearest one. He, nor anybody else, 
can*t change that; we're married in the sight of Heaven.** 
(Yes, she even dared that !) "I'll never love any one else, and 
you won*t either, will you, dear? And, maybe, some day, 
when he sees he can't make you love anybody else, maybe 
then he'll see that there are marriages that don't have to be 
made in churches. 'After all, could a priest mumbling a few 
words make us love one another more' — ^'* 

The last was word for word as she had heard it from at 



64 God's Man 

least two youngBters and one middle-aged man, who had 
started late as a Don Juan. But it was novel to Hugo, to 
whom the deception of women was alien. He hroke down, 
kissed her hand^ and said she shouldn't sacrifice herself; 
and — 

But to quote his respectable and highly original father, 
after all^ Hugo was *'huming/* 

II. BOBBIE^S LiTTLB SUPPER PaKTT 

So long as Miss Beulah Boberts had looked forward to 
being Mrs. Hugo Waldemar some day, she had so ordered 
her existence that, when she should be fulfilling matronly 
duties, no reminiscences of indiscretions would be possible to 
envious women and other carping critics. Such favors as 
she had received at Hugo's hands had been received, inwardly, 
with gratitude, which had prevented any extravagant re- 
quests. (The electric had been an unexpected Christmac 
gift, Hugo's own idea, kept secret.) 

The gratitude also prevented her from saving anjrthing at 
Hugo's expense; even the twenty-five dollars of weekly wage 
was expended. She avoided the class of girls who flouted 
conventions, and who let it be known, flagrantly, that their 
salaries were only "taxi-cab fares"; avoided restaurants, too, 
where such girls, and those who paid their expenses, were the 
chief attractions. 

She was a simple child of nature — a country girl — ^who be- 
lieved in the great American myth of social equality. A girl 
had only to keep her good name and not get talked about, and 
she was "the equal of any one." Bobbie plumed herself on 
her superiority to "those society dames" who smoked cigar- 
ettes publicly, and who had started a scandalous fashion in 
divorces. Really, marriage meant nothing to them at all. 

Now, marriage was the one thing reverenced by Miss Bob- 
bie. Her people had been Eoraan Catholics for centuries^ 
and, once it was plain to her that Hugo desired marriage, she 



Catastrophe 65 

had honeBtly gone to work to fit herself for that sacred state. 
Not only did she eschew acquaintances of doubtful repute, 
but she endeavored to purge her speech of slang and sole- 
cisms generally, to avoid late hours and to cease to look upon 
Hugo merely as a dispensation of Providence for getting her 
bills paid. 

A wiser man than John Waldemar or one who loved hu- 
manity better than empty honors would have perceived, in her 
efforts, a commendable spirit which would have resulted in a 
wife not to be disdained. 

But all that was changed now. Hugo's gifts were no 
longer favors, and she must smother the reproaches of a con- 
science that hitherto had found in monthly confession to 
Father Byan, and in fulfilling his small penances, all neces- 
sary solace. She dared not go to the worthy Father now, 
so denied an anodyne, she sought a stimulant. 

Since there was to be no marriage with Hugo or anybody 
else, she had still the idea that a compromised girl was doomed 
never to bear "an honest man's name'' — ^no acquaintances 
could contaminate her; so the girls she had once avoided she 
now sought. One ever seeks for bosom friends, those with 
whom one can be perfectly honest; and with the 'Tiome- 
cooking" girls, those who earned a living by chorus work, as 
they would have by sewing or selling ribbons, or those ambi- 
tious young ladies who were in vocal training, or went to 
schools of expression while doing chorus work for experience, 
her former chums in the company — Bobbie had to tell too 
many tall tales about her recently deceased imcle in the West, 
whose will had given each member of her family a small 
competence; too often had she contradicted herself on de- 
tails. 

It was inevitable that she should come to avoid them and 
seek those who had no horror of Hugo's place in her life; 
should come to despise them finally as "softies," "sillies," 
who did not have the sense to take the good things as they 
were offered. 



66 God's Man 

In the new mode of life that came to pass through the ad- 
vice of these more sophisticated ladies Hugo's allowance was 
severely taxed to pay the bills. Such young persons never by 
any chance walked if a taxicab was anywhere in evidence; 
nor were there more than one or two places on the Avenue 
sufficiently expensive to gain the approbation for frocks and 
hats. They ^'dressed'* after six o'clock as punctiliously as if 
they were to dine at a Plaza palace and frowned on male 
friends who did not do the same. They lived in luxurious 
apartments, furnished exquisitely by giving a certain *lady 
decorator" carte blanche to procure tapestries of the cor- 
rectly faded sort, real rugs from the actual Orient, pictures 
by painters of some reputation, and "period" furniture; and 
they counted that night lost when, after the theater, they did 
not show oflE a new gown in some smart supper-place, or give 
an affair of their own in a private dining-room, or at their 
own apartments. 

One autumn night Bobbie gave her first supper party— one 
that was to christen the new and expensive flat in "Devon- 
shire Mansions." Information of it was telephoned in to 
the city editor of The Argus by one of those anonymous 
persons called "tipsters," who earn some sort of a living by 
betraying their friends' secrets. This one gave full details 
of Bobbie's party and her guests ; and the news came in time 
to send a reporter to investigate. The bargain was that the 
story should be "exclusive" for the first edition, which went 
out of town; the tip would not be telephoned again except 
for later editions of the other Democratic papers, and the 
cheque was to be sent pay-day to John Jones Smith, Poste 
Restante, 

Hanging up the receiver, the city editor looked around for 
the best man in the "shop" to detail on so important a "story." 
Arnold L'Hommedieu was in the act of resuming his dress 
coat, having returned early from the German Theater in 
Irving Place to write his review of the first performance in 



Catastrophe 67 

mca of a Wedekind one-acter. Arnold's knowledge of 
man made his visits to the Irving Place Theater frequent; 

as his knowledge of music sent him — ^paradoxically, pes- 
ista would claim — to light operas and revues. 
(ut The Argus permitted no man an exclusive specialty, 
, though ordinarily Arnold would have gone home after 
dng his criticism, he felt no resentment when the city 
tor called his name across the crowded noisy room. 
Story for the first edition," said the city editor, thrusting 

telephoned notes in Arnold's hand. ^^As much as you 

write and take chances on setting it. I'll hold a column 
how — double score head^-double-leaded lead. Pay some 
►ne girl extra to send it in while you write it. It needs a 
d man to get over the delicate parts. It's a great story, 
lommedieu. Means our party 'ull carry that county." 

gave him two twenty-dollar bills. **Don't spare any ex- 
ise — and rush! It's only exclusive for the first edition. 
A!" 

!t could not have been said that he spoke the last word; 
exploded it. Arnold flew down the stairs. Not until he 
; in a subway express thundering on its way up-town did 
glance at the sheet of folded "copy" paper. Then he 
rted so violently that he was thrown heavily against one of 
se eternally vigilant and suspicious women who take even 
h an untoward accident as evidence of the general deprav- 
of the male sex. 

Lmold stared helplessly at the paper, then began bitterly 
iwear in tune with the thunder of the express. Why had 
not looked at the paper and told the city editor that the 
a was one of his best friends, and what he asked impossible, 

the brief notes included the names of John Waldemar, 
go and Bobbie Beulah. 

Tie Honnible Johnnie was both Bepublican and the "Be- 
q" Candidate this time. The Democratic Machine had 
i allowing loose road-houses and similarly disguised 



68 God's Man 

brothels to flourish in Sussex County as long as they showed 
a commendable and patriotic desire to assist the Machine to 
rule the people reasonably. 

The Bepublicans had interested the pulpit^ but another 
sort than that presided over by Jorian L'Hommedieu; this 
being a subject that would provide sensational sermons to 
attract congregations back from the moving-picture shows. 
Stump speakers had reminded citizens of Sodom and Gomor- 
rah^ and had urged the killing of the canker-worm that would 
destroy that morality for which the Anglo-Saxon race was 
famous — most of this being line for line from some of Mr. 
Waldemar^s famous public speeches. 

One did not need to be a newspaper reporter to realize the 
significance of the remaining notes: ''His son is giving a 
chorus-girl supper party to his girl — Devonshire Mansions. 
Has rooms in East 38th Street, but never uses them. Get 
the Devonshire elevator man and the door man (both places) 
to confirm this. Then get a look at the supper party on 
some pretext even if they kick you out afterward. . . ^ 

Why hadn't he read this in the oflBce? The city editor 
would have understood and sympathized when he explained 
how dear a friend Hugo was. Well, he would do the next 
best thing. He would telephone from Fourteenth Street, so 
that only the few minutes of the journey were wasted. 

The express grated and screeched to a stop and Arnold 
plunged out of subterranea, searching a public telephone. But 
as he reached it he realized there would be no difference in 
the results, whether he wrote the story or another. The 
scandal would ruin the chances of Waldemar^s election just 
as surely; the father, justly violent, might drown Hugo; cut 
him off — poor Hugo, who, since his chemicals had been taken 
away before he had mastered them, had not the faintest trace 
of ability to support himself. For the moment Arnold's 
Puritan conscience was torn between duty to his paper and 
to his friend ; but not for long. It would not harm the paper 
not to print the story ; it would ruin his friend. 



Catastrophe 69 

He hailed a taxi driver and promised him an extra tip for 
speed. 

Arriving at Devonshire Mansions — one of those huge piles 
of ornamental stucco, with Parian marble and atrocious ^^art'^ 
in the lobby, and many manufactured palms, all beloved by 
the ostentatious Manhattanese — ^he was admitted by a boy in 
a uniform and buttons that would have done credit to a Bear- 
Admiral, levitated skyward by another and admitted to a 
rosy-papered apartment by Hugo's valet, Tompkins. Hugo, 
pushing into the hall at the sound of the bell, gave an in- 
articulate cry of joy; for never before had Arnold consented 
thus to honor such fStes. Before he could explain that his 
taste had suffered no relapse, Hugo's huge paws impelled him 
violently toward an open doorway. Bobbie, standing on the 
table in a mock reverential attitude, about to rechristen in a 
costly vintage, a young man whose patrician features gave 
rise to the suspicion that it would be difficidt to improve on 
his hereditary patronymic, jumped down, echoing Hugo's 
boisterous welcome. Whereupon the entire party of young 
men and women, all in evening dress that bore the marks of 
superior shops and some imagination, kept up the reputation 
for originality, for which such parties are famous, by gather- 
ing around the newcomer, glasses upraised, and chanting lus- 
tily and unmelodiously : "For he's a jolly good' fellow — " oft 
repeated ; a statement that did great credit to their penetra- 
tion, for Arnold's face was as glum as possible ; during which 
entertainment Hugo, as host, hastily poured half a pint of 
wine on the floor in the process of getting half a gill into a 
glass that, willy nilly, must be thrust into Arnold's hand. 
Several of the wilder spirits whereupon hoisted Arnold on 
the table, demanding some a speech, the majority a scng ; the 
hired negro entertainers obliging with a pot-pourri of popular 
tones, signaling encouragement and requesting selection. 

Had Arnold followed his inclinations he would have hurled 
his wine into Hugo's eyes and broken the glass on his head. 
There came to his mind among other unpleasant things some 



70 God's Man 

remembrance of a Persian revel, and a handwriting large 
upon the wall. He swayed and teetered on the flimsy table, 
trying to dismount, but the laughing throng prevented, young 
Colin Bhynshinder holding his knees. '^Speech,'' demanded 
thickly this heir to an ancient name; ^^Speech. Gotta have 
speech. He's a jolly good fel-low, and jolly good fellowB 
gotta make speeches.'' 

And, all the while, those reporters from the other papers 
were getting ready to make a descent, unallied with sentiment, 
upon a worse scene than Arnold had suspected. More than 
the usual number of wine-glasses had been broken, more than 
the average number of girls had had their hair disordered by 
the clumsy embraces of men not sober, more torn dresses were 
pinned up after having been trodden on by turkey-trotters, 
and the glass tops of center-tables and mantel were a mass of 
smoldering cigars and cigarettes, tossed down without being 
extinguished — a foul reek. Altogether, just the sort of local 
color necessary to a highly successful newspaper "story** of 
Little Sons of the Eich and chorus-girls. 

"A speech? All right T said Arnold bitterly. "All right/' 
he shouted, for only shouting was in order. *77J make a 
speech — " 

"He sees he's gotta make speech," cried young Colin, 
delighted. "Hurray. One — ^two— three — ^and a tiger.** 
They welcomed an excuse to make more entrancing noises, 
and Arnold, inwardly groaning, wondered if there might be 
reporters in hiding across the street ; if so, those shouts were 
enough proof to print the story. 

'TTou wanted a speech,** he began. 

'TTes, yes,** said young Colin gravely. "Aye, aye, sir.** 

'Tiisten," said Arnold sharply, "keep still.** 

"Silence for the reverend gentleman,** said a girl, laughing 
shrilly, believing this humor. "Amen,** said another in the 
deep bass which had gained her a wholly false reputation as 



a mmiic. 

4€ 



Listen; listen!'* clamored Arnold. ^Everybody's got to 



Catastrophe 71 

go quick and quietly. Don't take taxis in front of the house 
here ; telephone for them to be sent two blocks down. Hurry, 
get your things, get out. And quiet — quiet. There's a story 
out about this party; reporters 'uU be here in half an hour — 
any minute. And if all of you don't want to see your names 
in the papers to-morrow morning — hurry. You don't under^ 
$tandr* This in reply to a question from the now half-sober 
Bhynshinder as to what business of newspapers was a private 
party. It was plain most of the others, too, regarded Arnold's 
speech as a joke in poor taste — ^'TTou don't understand? 
Well, isn't Hugo's father running on a Reform Ticket? 
To reform what? All-night turkey-trotting road-houses! 
(Set the point ? He'll lose the election if you keep going on 
ten minutes longer." 

Shynshinder, now completely sober, mentally, although his 
body refused radical measures, turned to the others, sketching 
rapidly what was not clear to them. *^e've gotta blow — 
quick. Come on, Hetty. Good night, everybody. You 
know my things, don't you, Tompkins ?" 

*This way, sir," said Hugo's valet, leading them off to a 
bedroom pressed into service as a cloak-room. 

**No noise — ^remember," Arnold called after them. But it 
was imnecessaiy to warn Bhynshinder; he had something to 
lose himself from any such story — a rich wife, for instance, 
the only hope of his creditors — and his one wish was now, 
that he had not been inspired to imitate the ^^umor" of some 
royal foreigner, said to have used a dancer's slipper for a 
drinking cup. This shoe had been Hetty's and she now reso- 
lutely refused to limp, **like a broken-legged duck." 

^f you'd get shoes your size a little champagne wouldn't 
hurt *em," he snarled. 

Arnold dashed into Bobbie's dressing-room, returning with 
a pair of patent pumps. "Oh, they're much too large/' ob- 
jected Miss Hetty, a statement to which Miss Bobbie took 
instant umbrage, a feminine word-battle ensuing, only broken 
short by Bhynshinder crying aloud to Heaven in exasperation 



72 God's Man 

and pushing his lady to the door, Hetty carrying the pomps 
gingerly between jeweled fingers. 

Meanwhile, Arnold, nrging on the others, had cleared the 
room, and, assisted by Tompkins and the maid, was hastily re- 
storing it to an appearance of order, paying no sort of atten- 
tion to those emerging dressed for the street. These insisted 
on dallying, even at such a time, annoying the worried Hugo 
and Bobbie with the conventional banalities regarding the 
pleasant evening spent. It was not until the hall lock had 
snapped on the last of them that Arnold spoke again. 

"How much cash have you ?' He took the roll of crumpled 
bills Hugo produced. "Now go and get the elevator man and 
the hall porter.'' This to Tompkins, who hastened ofiE; "A 
fine mess you've landed in, my boy. I'd like to know which 
of those friends gets his living by telephoning scandal to 
newspapers. Go put on your night-dress, Bobbie. You, 
Hugo, get back to your rooms and divide this between your 
elevator man and hall porter." He had halved the roll and 
now thrust half forward. 'Til attend to them, here. While 
they're up, walk down and out." 

"But the money — ^the cash — ^what's it for?" stammered 
Hugo heavily. 

"Oh, thickhead 1" returned Arnold wearily. "So theyll tell 
the reporters you're never there at night, of course. Thafs 
what you want them to know, don't you? You might add, 
gratis, that you're seldom sober and beat your father when in 
drink. All that sort of thing helps a man to be elected." 
As some comprehension came to Hugo's tired eyes Arnold 
heard Tompkins in the hall and pushed Hugo into the dining- 
room. "Step out when they come in," he added, sliding the 
folding-doors; and, then, under the escort of Tompkins, the 
two Bear- Admirals entered, their hands heavy with the weight 
of the gold braid on their caps. 

"There'll be some reporters here soon," Arnold told them 
succinctly. "They'll ask you if there was a party here to- 



Catastrophe 73 

night, wko was in it^ and whether Mr. Hugo Waldemar 
doesn't live here ? Youll look amazed. Look as though you 
think they're craasy. TheyTl offer you money, but not this 
much.'' He dangled the remaining bank-notes, allowing close 
inspection; ^'And this is what you'll get if there's nothing in 
the papers to-morrow. If there is, what the reporters give 
you will have to support you until you get new uniforms, for 
youll lose those you're wearing now when Miss Beulah moves 
out, explaining to the agent that if s because the servants talk 
too much. . . ." 

They began, as do all professional bribe-takers, with re* 
proachful asseverations of their high integrity. Arnold cut 
them short. "Then you never heard of Mr. Waldemar — 
wouldn't know him if you saw him ?" 

**He never comes here on our shift," said the larger Eear- 
Admiral — a Vice-Admiral, this one. "The night shift," he 
added slyly, but with an open candid glance. Arnold 
laughed grimly, was then ashamed. Why, unless they were 
tipped, shauld these men care what happened to the wasteful, 
noisy, often insulting people of the White Light Social Begis- 
ter? No doubt these tips were bestowed, unselfishly enough, 
on their children, for whom they hoped, at no distant date, to 
provide a better playground than the New York streets, where, 
daily, they were exposed to the danger of just such people's 
motor-cars. "Very well," he said briefly, but not unkindly. 
"See to it" 

So, when another reporter came later, asking for Miss 
Beulah, as though she was in the habit of receiving him at a 
late hour, Bear-Admiral No. 2 bore him skyward and Miss 
Beulah's maid, rubbing her eyes and holding together her 
dressing-gown, said her mistress could see nobody. 

"It was as quiet as Woodlawn Cemetery : no lights, nothing. 
And the elevator man hadn't seen anybody go up there to-night 
— ^not even after I showed him a ten-spot. Somebody's been 
stringing us." Thus spoke the delegate of the district re- 



74 God's Man 

porters^ retuming to his comrades^ waiting in their favorite 
caf6. 

"Sure: we know that/' said another looking up from his 
poker-hand — ^the delegate who had gone to Hugo's apartments: 
'^aldemar's in bed with a toothache and he's always there 
at night. Nobody but a spiteful dame could have phoned in 
a foolish tip like that." 

But the city editor of Arnold's paper knew better, for next 
day a letter from the tipster explained how Arnold's machina- 
tions had made his tip miscarry; and Arnold, after making 
sure there was none within earshot, made no eflEort to deny 
this. **He was one of my two best friends, Mr. Chapin," he ex- 
plained simply; "to print that story meant to ruin him for 
life." And he repeated the argument with which he had 
convinced himself. "It didn't hurt the paper not to print it 
and it would have ruined him." 

Chapin looked at him grimly. "Of course, you know you're 
fired," he said. 

Arnold bowed. 

"But don't go out under the impression that you're any 
martyr. Unless Benedict Arnold and Judas were martyrs. If 
we'd printed that story, we might have kept that unscrupuloua 
rascal out of Congress again — another one who gets fat on 
misery and degradation. You've elected him." 

But Arnold, recalling the bluff jolly face of John Waldemar, 
his charities and his church-going, put down this statement to 
partisan prejudice. 

"And more than that — to show you what / think of a 
man who'd do what you did," said the city editor, rising 
from his chair, "I'll blacklist you in every decent newspaper 
shop. We don't get the goods on many fat rascals, and we 
can't take any chances having our work destroyed by having 
Little Brothers of the Rich for reporters. Go and work for 
your friends, the Waldemar kind: youll never work for a 
decent sheet again. • . ." 



Catastrophe 75 

All of which Arnold found to be true enough when next 
day, next week^ and next month, he hunted for another berth. 

'^f he'd give them the gaff he'd just as soon do it to us/' 
argued city editors, for his guilt had been represented un- 
fairly, the narrators considering as negligible the story of the 
''best friend," and telling the tale from the standpoint that 
young Waldemar was wealthy and how he had made it worth 
young L'Hommedieu's while. 

It was soon after he left The Argus that Arnold moved 
from his comfortable rooms near Oramercy Park, one collat- 
eral Van Yhroon informing the other, when Archie asked for 
information almost a week later, that he imagined young 
I/Hommedieu was a sad dog: running away from a girl like 
that. 

''Like whaif* Archie's eyes did not twinkle as they might 
have done in the case of any other man whose engagement 
in gallantry had had undesired results. . • . Arnold was 

. . Arnold. 

Whereupon the older collateral Van Vhroon described a 
certain "splendid girl" — and described Carol accurately. Carol 
it was, right enough: Arnold having returned some signed 
and otherwise inscribed photographs found in a trunk, long 
unused. . . • And, although Archie had picked out the 
apartment they were to occupy . . . 

Fortunately, Archie's estimation of Carol's charms was as 
inaccurate as his belief in her integrity — hence the other's de- 
scription meant nothing to him. "Sold his things, shipped 
his books home and skipped, leaving no address. . . ." 

At The Argue they refused to hear any mention of Ar- 
nold's name. It was then that Archie, hearing about Hugo, 
began to realize why. Hugo's loudly advertised suicidal in- 
tentions failed to alter the situation: Arnold was not to be 
found. 

They would never have thought to look for him in those 
depths of Manhattan to which he was to descend, and from 



76 



God's Man 



which he was to emerge some six months later^ sick of soul 
and body: ready to become that rebel against the laws the 
L'Hommediens had upheld for half a millennitun, that noto- 
rious rebel he was soon to be. 
Which is also the story of Annis Eunice CfaassertoiL 



SND OF BOOK I 



BOOK II 



\ 



CHAPTER ONE 

ABNOUVS ADTENTUBE3 IN PLXmDEKLAND 

I. IjITTLE One akb Vblvbt Voiob 

UE centnries later (so it 
seemed), on a certain night in 
j Jannary, Arnold awoke in an- 

I other room than that one in 

I which he had gone to sleep. 

But, inside hall rooms in Man- 
hattan being almost identical, 
be did not immediately realize 
this. Beside the Hotel Tippe- 
canoe's similarity was not con- 
fined to shape and size but 
included contonr and content 
^-dark gray bed and bedding — 
white to optimists only; chair 
in collapse, trunk in contempt — or shrunken suit-case. And 
"boreau" . . . 

Were an historian always an artist ordered about by an 
orderly conscience, he wonld begin and end with that burean. 
Serried with scratches and Saturn-ringed by wet tumblers 
whose economy of size betrayed the saturnine liquid spilt, just 
as snrely as the sizes of certain concurrent circles went to 
diow that tea or cotFee had splashed out of certain cups or 
over certain sancers ... the "bureaos" of inside ball 
rooms in Manhattan are records as plain as the pikestaff of the 
unateor symbolist 



80 God's Man 

In the case of the room in which Arnold found himselfy 
some of the hideonsness of this material realism was hidden 
by a bureau cover of corrugated burlap: the super-cardinal 
color-scheme of which was ameliorated in its turn by some 
semi-silver somethings which — as obviously as the semi-satin 
skirt protruding from beneath the semi-circular protection 
of a semi-silken wall-cloth — ^he had never owned. . . . 

But the single window here was as cobweb-festooned as his 
own; was otherwise as opaque; the grime of twice yesterday's 
ten thousand days having settled there. 

Arnold observed also that the single jet was as short and 
as slender and as lacking in ambition as his own. Minimum 
burners had failed the management until the installation of 
gasometers like toy banks and as greedy of dimes, dimes 
yielded just as grudgingly. ... No ! — ^this jet had even 
less altitude. • . . Then he noticed that its superlative 
dimness was due to a small saucepan . . . that dragon 
which, until the onslaught of St. George of the Gasometer, ate 
up all the profits of those who rented rooms to impecunious 
light-housekeepers. ... 

Arnold's gaze swiveled toward the only unexamined angle 
of the room. And there sat two girls, their backs toward him ; 
from their position evidently hugging the "radiator" ! — a po- 
sition indicating either childlike faith, or powerful imagina- 
tion. 

Arnold knew too much about this monster to find in the 
girls' juxtaposition any explanation of what he continued to 
consider a rather remarkable and remarkably cheeky intrusion. 
. . . It was half an hour before it occurred to him that 
if he aroused himself from his apathetic abandon, he might 
connect effect with cause by a process no more complex than 
listening to their whispered conversation. So far, this .had 
been but a confused buzzing. He opened his eyes. 

The smaller of the two was leaning forward, a tiny hand 
on the other's knee. **Zen — w'at you do, zen, girl ?" 

'Then," replied the other, her tone tired: "well, then, I 



Plunderland 81 

thought I'd move to a cheaper place 8o's not to be broke 
next time.** 

The eympathetie quality of her voice^ its velvety richness, 
or throatinesSy seemed to say that displays of emotion were 
prevented by a strong effort. This odd voice affected Arnold 
curiously. One of his sort in his weakened state is free of 
bodily cravings and quick to visualize. . . . (Which is 
possibly why decadence grew out of impressionism — ^both orig- 
inally accidental.) 

This particular impression if pictured would have resulted 
in a slim necked, crinoline girl fingering a harpsichord, a 
China bowl of powdered blue — ^blue roses — a blue room . . . 
drawing-room . . . Jacobean ... its old damask and 
dim faded, Ghinois tapestries . . . like those of a certain 
L'Hommedieu guest chamber. The picture vanished however 
Wore Arnold could master its details. 

The Little One was speaking again. 

**2iOt ees good? Leev like beggars-woman? Zot is 'appy, 
heinf Oh, joyful. Look, girl. Eef a man 'e own a motor-car 
w'at break down — ^from too much *ard work — ^must zhe chauf- 
feur 'e save 'is money to pay? You just like zat: you work 
too *ard for 'im : zen you break down — zen 'im what owns the 
machine let 'im pay ze doctor bills. . . . Your lof ely 
eyes, red too. But w*at zey care ? Nuzzings ! . . /' 

She spoke with many spreadings of the palms, jerkings of 
the head, elevations of the shoulders. In her mischief incar- 
nate became repressed energy, standing she seemed perpetually 
balanced insecurely for a spring; sitting she oscillated like a 
rubber ball on an inclined plane. . , . Closing his eyes 
Arnold thought of a squirrel first listening, then up and away. 
. . . Opening them again he became aware of an excep- 
tional, if artificial, daintiness : her hair was abundant but art- 
fully coifed to suit her small head and add to her height, her 
cherry-colored kimono, a miracle of cleanliness (and in such 
a house!) was so closely belted it seemed form-fitting. Thus 
she sat, tiie soles of her slim pitter-patter foreign shoes rested 



82 God's Man 

on the radiator and tipped back the rickety chair at a danger- 
ous angle. 

"Jus* like zat," she repeated, with the gesture of an equi- 
librist who has just achieved some difficult feat, or of a 
philosopher having acquitted himself satisfactorily of some 
knotty problem. 

"He couldn't afford it, poor man/' returned Velvet Voice. 
"Bacing overtime to keep one jump ahead of the bankruptcy 
court. And the rent he pays for that tiny top-«tory lofil 
Small ones like him have to take on contracts that are simply 
awful. The work's just got to be done in so many days. Why 
— our wages for two days behind take every cent of his profit 
And for three days! Forfeit! Pay them, mind you. His 
month and our month all for nothing. Worse than that: it 
loses him money. But . . ." 

She laughed sympathetically. ^'But, nowadays, when it 
looks like he'll have to forfeit, we go on strike — ^" 

The Little One's back stiffened, as though the temptation to 
prefer charges of mendacity was restrained with difficulty. 
Her face, which Arnold could not see, must have betrayed her. 

^"It's true!" Velvet Voice laughed again. *The poor have 
to stick together. And he's poor, all right. . . • You see, 
if we strike, there's no forfeit. Strikes are in all contracts. 
We've 'struck' twice just to help him. He doesn't make any- 
thing off of us," 

''Oo izzit zen ?" inquired the Little One, as if humoring the 
illogic of a child. 'TTou zink he mus' to get — take zose con- 
tracks." 

"He can't get the decent ones — ^not many. They go to the 
big fellows. We only get the left-overs, the coarse cheap work 
the big firms don't want And I've heard the little fellows tell 
Simonski that if they have to pay him decent prices, theyTl 
have to shut up shop. And it's so. He explained it to me." 

'TTou talk foolish — I never 'ear nobody so foolish. Ton 
work for nuzzing. You say 'e work for nuzzing. And now 



Plunderland 83 

xe shofs don't make nuzzing. Nobody. Zat is impossible; 
notr 

'^he little stores have to sell too cheap to make much 
profit/' explained Velvet Voice. 'They're almost as poor as 
we are, those little fellows. If they don'V she added, antici-^ 
pating the question, ^'everybody goes to the big ones." 

'^Zen xey ge-getze money/' said the little foreigner trium- 
phantly. "Jletn f" The other nodded. "Zen zey can pay. You 
go work for zem, girl. Zere you are. Jus' like zat/* 

*They get it all," responded the other bitterly. 

**Zen zey can pay. You work for zem. Zere you are. Jus' 
like zat." 

''But they don't have to. The others can't, so they won't. 
It you don't like it, find some other place. There isn't any. 
So there you are. Just like that — ^" 

She imitated the Little One mischievously, but her gaiety 
was only momentary. 

*Trou can't tell me anything about working in New York. 
Big department stores, little specialty places, big manufac- 
tories and sweatshops — ^I've tried them all. And I like some 
so-called sweatshops best — ^where you don't have to keep up 
any front; where they don't expect you to spend all you malce 
on clothes. Thaf s the crudest part about the big ones. When 
some investigation starts, they say : If they wouldn't put it all 
on their hacksT . . . And they'll fire you if you don't. 
Come to work looking shabby and thejr'll say: 'Nix with that 
"poor working girl, God defend her" stuff. That's why we 
pay you extra — so's to look decent.' Oh, if s a scream 1" 

She threw back her head and, despite her velvet voice, 
laughed unmelodiously. 

"Eet eez f onny becauze you are not gay, girl ? Because you 
do not Jiff And all for nuzzings. Zat eez fonnyT 

"Sure if 8 funny." Velvet Voice was still laughing harshly. 
Then rising to stir the simmering contents of the saucepan : 
"Oo up to Central Park some Sunday and see the cars and 



84 God's Man 

carriages^ and look at the men in 'em who get our money. 
There they sit and their chauffeurs and coachmen are always 
ten times better-looking. And there they sit — ^their bosses. 
Little fussy side-whiskers, little round stomachs, or little fiat 
chests, trying to look important. Then the woman alongside 
says something. Watch ^em jump like pet cats being stroked 
or patted on the head. . . . And there the women sit — 
their bosses. Then look at them. Such fool clothes ! Silks 
and satins and velvets and crepes — ^for out-of-doors I And 
always made some fool way dressmakers call ^smart.' And 
they look all wrong and out of place in them, because most of 
*em were bom to scrub floors. And the way they try to look 
proud and haughty ! And not knowing how, the very people 
thejr're trjring to make good with just laugh and sneer at 
them. ^Look V I heard some society woman say, one of those 
tailor-made ones with a single-quill hat; one that looked 
'right' — one Sunday in a crush. *How hideous, Molly!' she 
says : 'And the creature's diamonds ! Some bookmaker's wife, 
I suppose.' The other says something worse than that, much 
worse." 

The velvet voice held that quality one associates with a 
woman's heightened color. "And the common one wasn't 
either thing they thought. She was the wife of a man with 
the biggest shirt-waist factory in town: two thousand girls. 
And all working their heads off for that fat woman to put on 
fool-clothes and fool-jewelry and be laughed at. You can't 
do anything but laugh." She arose and stirred the contents 
of the saucepan again. 

"I wouldn't," the Little One returned fiercely. "I wouldn't 
not; net/* 

*TVhat would you do ?" 

The question was asked languidly, with no hope of any help- 
ful answer. To Arnold it seemed that Velvet Voice had made 
an exhaustive study of her personal problem, without discov- 
ering the angle of successful vision, therefore mistrusted any 
cursoiy solutions. Arnold once had interviewed a life convict; 



Plundcrland 85 

her attitude was siinilar: her prison, the world; her chances 
of escape, save one, the same. 

The Little One had suddenly toppled her rickety chair back. 
Bang! One tiny hand was now extended dramatically. But 
her confidence died before she spoke; such was the other's 
steady gaze, and her words, when they came, were not dra- 
matic at all. 

"Zere are ways,'* she answered shortly. But her attitude 
seemed to indicate that one needed education before one might 
understand. . . . But: '^Oh, plenty ways," was all she 
added, aloud. 

*T[ know one," said Velvet Voice. "It doesn't appeal to me. 
Fm not saying I'm better than anybody, but to have drunken 
men paw you; and fools dirtying themselves ... to 
drink hard to forget how rotten you are. . . • And are 
you any better off? Instead of working for rabbit-men and 
donkey-men and nice little dog-men, you work for nasty little 
fox-men and wolf-men and hyena-men — ^policemen and poli- 
ticiana and — ^* 

She spoiled what should have been a profitable lesson in 
Anglo-Saxon alliteration for the little alien, finishing lamely : 
*^. . . don't you know I" And the attitude of the angry 
Little One added emphatically, this time, that she did. 

"Girl ! — ^You don't zink zat me — Sonetchka — ^zat I am like 
zat — ^no ?" Arnold saw her in profile now ; nostrils quivering, 
lips trembling, eyes snapping. "Girl! — ^you don't zink zat 
I am like zat ?" 

"Why, no," returned Velvet Voice, startled. *'You didn't 
think — ^* Her interpolator as though electrically shocked, 
leaped across and into her arms, crying and clinging like a 
helpless child, then shaking herself like a pet animal after 
handling. It was plain she lacked either humor, or its 
equivalent, logic; else could she have resumed the role of pro- 
testor and adviser — ^while Velvet Voice continued her soothing 
pressure of one tiny hand. 

'TTou can use my rooms, girl — ^you sleep wiz me," said the 



86 God's Man 

Little One peremptorily. "I 'ave air an' light and I 'etc 
traveling stove — alcool. We cook nice brikfas*, heinf I tdl 
you/' she said suddenly, with that air of solving problems that 
sat upon her so grotesquely, *T! hate to cook brikfas*. Ton 
be my cook : I pay wiz ze brikf as'. Say — ^jus' like zat — Tea, 
my dear.' Say it, girl." 

She caught Velvet Voice's hand. "Yes, my dear," said 
Velvet Voice with comic obedience. 

*TVell, you come, come," urged the Little One. '^Comc, 
girl. Sleep." 

*Tieave your door on the latch : I'll come when I've fed him 
this." She removed the saucepan from the gas and poured its 
contents into a little white pitcher. 

"Poor man," said the Little One, and he knew she was 
standing over him. "Poor, poor malczech — ^" (^ahlchick' 
the word sounded to Arnold who wondered in what language 
it had a meaning). "Eet is good zat you skr-skr-flkr-skrixn 
and I come to 'elp you, girl !" It was evident she used the 
word "girl" as a term of affection. "Newer you carry 'im 
yourself. Too 'eavy. 'E was more 'eavier not soon ago, too," 
she added, touching Arnold's thin drawn cheeks with the 
pointed tip of a glittering pink finger-nail. "Sometime I see 
zem like zat in the Ghetto, poor schnorrers." Her pity was 
cut short by a prodigious yawn: "Oh — I — aw — come soon, 
girl" — ^tmd took herself off still yawning and covering her 
mouth with the little paw of the pink pointed naila-— for 
such a little mouth needed rest after accomplishing what 
would have altered all history had it been done at the Tower of 
Babel. 

As the door closed, Arnold felt a gentle tugging at the sleeve 
of his shirt (he had sold his last pair of pajamas, one of a 
dozen silken frogged things, Hugo's Christmas-a-year gift). 
The tugging, though gentle, was insistent as was the velvet 
voice that kept inquiring if he heard. He opened his eyes. 

She had velvety eyes, too : oval face with an old ivory pallor, 
soft dark eyes^ eyes almost oblique, eyes almost as Oriental as 



Plunderland 87 

leT oval face. Away from the Little One, her height did not 
6y many inches equal his own five feet ten : only the other^s 
excessive smallness and her own excessive slendemess had made 
her seem so tall. 

Arnold was a match for her there; it wonld be difficult for 
any feminine slendemess to match the thinness of five months 
of scanty nourishment, capped by four weeks of sickness. 

"How did I get here ?' he asked. "Or you ? . . r 

*T)rink this,*' she said. 

*^ut— ,'' he began. 

*T>rink first,*' she insisted. 

It seemed that the saucepan contained a combination of 
oyster-liquor and milk : grateful warming nourishment for one 
who had fasted so long. With an effort he remembered his 
manners. Well for him he did: the shock though he drank 
slowly was severe enough to force him to desist until a sud- 
den burning pain should subside. 

Perspiration sprang from every pore and lay like powdered 
cocaine crystals on his forehead; but with the peacock egotism 
of the male when in the presence of any female who stirs, con- 
sciously or unconsciously, his sense of sex, Arnold locked his 
eyes and set his teeth. Weakness by the mere fact of her 
presence had become humiliating. And how bitterly he re- 
sented the proof that concealment had failed, when she began, 
openly, to pity him. 

"Poor boy,'* said Velvet Voice, enjoying her mothering im- 
mensely. *^o wonder.*' 

**No wonder what?" Arnold asked, opening his eyes, with 
a great effort of will, smiling. She did not answer, so he 
harked back to Sonetchka's fragmentary speech. 

'TTou and she carried me in here," he wondered aloud. 

*1 suppose FA. have been annoyed if you'd done the same 
for me" — to his further wonderment, she was actually apolo- 
getic; ^ don't' blame you for being angry. . . • They say 
only cowcurds commit suicide." 



88 God's Man 

Once more the laugh that submerged the velvetiness. 'Tlat- 
urally that's said by those who don't know. Cowards ? — Night 
after night I've got out the whole apparatus, yes, and turned 
it on and waited. And then I've leaped up and turned it cat 
Even with everything to gain and nothing to lose, there's that 
blank leap. Now if I only believed in something, why, I'd 
take a chance on Hell being better than this — ^for me anyway. 
But that blank leap into — nowhere — ? . . . I suppose a 
person's got to be sick, or in pain, or facing some horrible to- 
morrow. . . . Mine's just monotonous misery, and, being 
sane and all that, I keep thinking that there's always a chance: 
I've got one chance, anyhow — ^that *one chance' is what keeps 
our wretched noses to the grind, I suppose. Why, when I saw 
you lying there, I said to myself: *I guess he lost his last 
chance.* But it was pain, wasn't it?" 

Much of what she said was almost incomprehensible to Ar- 
nold. But she did not seem to mind his silence. Her talk with 
the Little One had loosened the reserve of a year without 
confidantes. And there was much she could tell a fellow- 
suicide, much she could never have brought herself to tell any 
one else. 

As she talked on, Arnold realized why she so considered 
him — and shuddered ! 

It was a night of storm and snow and while he slept some 
vagrant gust must have extinguished his flickering gas. She 
had noticed the odor, one so overpowering as to diffuse itself 
widely . . . and knowing gas to be the favorite lethal 
weapon of the poor, had investigated. 

She told him about it, and of how her scream had brouj^t 
Sonetchka's acquaintance and assistance. . . , "Dont 
pretend to thank me," she said, contemptuously interruptiiig 
some such stumbling attempt. 

"/ shouldn't thank yotu But you wouldn't have the chance 
with me. You didn't even lock your door. Anyhow, yont 
way's foolish — takes hours and hours. If you'd had this—" 



Plunderland 89 

She Teached under his pillow and brought out a coil of in- 
sulated rubber piping: but where an attachment for a movable 
gas-fixture should have been was a nursing nipple for some 
Brobdingnagian baby. 

*^y idea, that/' she tried to say flippantly. "Think I could 
get a patent on it? It would make things so much easier for 
poor people, wouldn't it ? My ! — ^but it's hard to grip that hose 
with your teeth and say 'prunes and prisms' with your lips, 
at the same time." 

Arnold shuddered at such sinister information, especially 
as it was patently the result of personal experience. 

"How about advertising it?" continued the girl in the same 
grimly satirical vein: ^^Comme c'eati Are you Hungry? 
HI? Miserable? Trouble's But a Bubble. Buy our TBeauty.' 
. . . No Poor Man Can Beat It I . . . Don't you 
love it?" 

Arnold's original idea of undeceiving her, vanished — 
her belief in his attempted suicide was his strongest hold on 
her imagination. And heredity was too much for him — ^he 
became "the" L'Hommedieu again. The strong may be tem- 
porarily vanquished, but let others than himself need their 
Btrengiii . . . and the world's knee was on their necks 
as so much thistle-down . . . Velvet Voice's life was too 
precious to be wasted. 

Yet Arnold had seemed powerless before poverty. Ship- 
ping-clerk for wholesale "notions," salesman of Ninth Avenue 
shoes, conductor for Brooklyn commuters, section boss, time- 
keeper for a lumber man, bookkeeper for a grocer — he had 
filled a mort of the many badly paying places open to the semi- 
skilled. And had filled them well. . . . But such as 
would keep him fed and half-decently clad did so at the ex- 
pense of his soul. Unfit for heavy imimaginative labor, it 
stripped the flesh from his bones, sent him home staggering 
and into a stupor, not to sleep. 

From this he would awaken early, back aching, hands smart- 



90 God's Man 

ing, bloodshot sunken eyes. Highly-bred racehorses die when 
put to dragging drays. 

^^Theorists talk learnedly of the immense amount of pro- 
teids a dims will buy, demonstrate irrefragably that ten dol- 
lars a week wUl keep a man in the pink of condition. Let 
them try to be clean and well-fed — as well as useful — on thai 
sum. Professor Blank — who voiced the economic conclusions 
printed in yesterday's 'Argus' — is probably paid by pluto- 
cratic endowments . . . that the coming generation may 
be as ignoranily merciless as is this one. 

^'The worst of it all is that it needn't be so: that it does no 
one any good that it should be so. . . ." 

"Old Subscriber*' Arnold had sent this to his former ''shop" 
a few days before. The indignation was fiercer now with 
the knowledge of this girl's plight. . . . Seeing color 
flooding his cheeks^ she considered it safe to leave him. 

"No talk/' she said; "sleep^and rest — see you in the 



morning." 



Unheeding his protests, she extinguished the gas and went 
out, but immediately returned, fumbling for something. 
Thinking it her purse, Arnold was hurt. But then came the 
noise of something flopping, and he understood I 

The rubber-hose I Apparently she did not encourage its 
use in others. 

II. The Trunk That Would Hold Three Men 

Velvet Voice had reported for work long before Arnold 
awoke. The Little One, having taken her place, brought in 
an aflFair of nickeled steel, compact but complicated, poured 
in alcohol, . . . managed, deftly, mjrsteriously, a break- 
fast of grilled bacon, poached eggs and toast; coffee from 
another engine, a pair of elliptical half-globes that, when the 
water boiled, reversed automatically, fragrant steam signaling 
with their little spout. 



Plunderland 91 

^'Eussian/* she said proudly, observing his interest. 

"I donH know how to thank you — ^^ he began. . . . 

She interrupted with a wave of a little hand — ^back 
dropped the kimono folds revealing a dimpled elbow — • 
miracle — another kimono from Miss Cherry-Pink of the pre- 
vious night; neither the sort of gannent worn by the poor. 
What was she doing in such a hotel? What . . . who, 
was she? *^Eussianl" '^Sonetchka*' . . . people called 
her — she told him, while he ate. 

" 'Sonetchka,* 'e say^' — she went rattling on, telling of some 
rich man who had loved her — ^^ 'Sonetchka: I loof you. I zink 
you are Jus' loofly. I worsheep you, Sonetchka:' ^So?* I say 
(jus' like zat) . ^So ? Zat is 'ow mooch I care whezzer you zink 
I am loofly.' . . . 'E was 'ansom zat harin, too. . . . 
Those ozzer stupid little pig girls zink I am crazee. My 
muzzer she beat me. But still I say 'Zat for your larinS 
I run away, zen. . . . You look like 'im. 'B was fine- 
looking man, 'im.'^ 

*'A baron r* asked Arnold. 

^*Net — net — ^not iaron — harin — zat means not movaih, not 
peasant, zhentleman. . . . But eat. Finish. . . . 
How you feel now?" 

*1 think ni get up," said Arnold. She nodded, pleased. 
''And I will ge-fix ze room for 'er. She nice, heinf" She 
had a way of mixing up her languages, using scraps of any 
that suited her peculiar pronimciation. She came forward 
and helped Arnold to rise. He was surprised at the steely 
strength of her diminutive wrists. 

*T! am str — ^r— ong, me 1" she aflBrmed, flattered by his ex- 
pression. "Zat come from 'ard work w'en I run away: w'en 
I was so 'igh — ^jus' like zat." 

The complete rest of the night, the quart of warm oyster- 
milk, the plentiful breakfast, all seemed to have exorcised 
Amold^s demon; the kindness and sympathy of the two girls 
had exiled his hopeless apathy. • • • He meant to see that 



92 God's Man 

Velvet Voice never carried out her threat But, to do that, he 
must better her condition. 

In the old days, dressing before bathing would have mads 
Arnold uncomfortable all day. Indeed, it vraa only recentlj 
that this costly luxury (cleanliness is a luxury, professon* 
pratingi or no), had ceased to consume a large percentage of 
his pay. Gradually, as ill-health and enforced holidays sep- 
arated him from clean tubs and perpetual hot water, acquaint* 
ing him with cloudy zinc and colonies of rectilinear khaki- 
coats resident therein, Arnold learned to sponge instead of 
bathe. This morning, he went to work at it, weak though he 
was, as though to make up for previous derelictions • • . 
attired himself carefully, brushing his one decent suit, hitherto 
used only when applying for positions. It was Avenue tailor- 
ing and had not lost its distinction of cut. Long since he had 
come to the wearing of the usual collars ; but several of his 
imusual neckties still showed smart and costly above the waist- 
coat. His hat, soft brown camel's hair, was indestructible. 

He was welcomed with surprise and approval by Sonetchka. 
She, with Turkish toweling and photogravures cut from cur- 
rent magazines, had transformed Velvet Voice's dingy room 
into one with some pretensions as a human habitation, while 
the gas-light was mellowed by a shade contrived from tissue- 
paper and cardboard. . . . She was still busy, stitching 
away at more toweling which was to hide the dubious bed- 
spread. 

Arnold's admiration for the metamorphosed room equaled 
Sonia's for his changed appearance. Neither expressed ad- 
miration orally, however — ^for a third person was suddenly 
added to their company : a boy who stared vacantly from the 
wide-flung door. 

He was neatly, though cheaply, dressed: black suit, black 
tie, black shoes; but — also — a round straw hat, telescope va- 
riety, and outside, snow. Not because of poverty: the hat 
was new, not a last summer's hat that had weathered 
the seasons, since. Nor did its wearer have the abashed air 



Plunderland 93 

of one conscious of oddity of apparel, but lounged in the 
doorway searching the room as if for some familiar face. He 
gave no sign of having seen either of its present occupants. 

'^oa want to see somebody i^' Arnold asked him. 

He turned and viewed Arnold, letting his gaze travel over 
the expensive tie, the snug coat shoulders, the hair smooth 
and glossy from much hard brushing; and, as he looked, 
scowled fiercely: the scowl repeated after a careful scrutiny 
of Sonetchka. 

*^ want Annie Eunice,'^ he said. '*I*11 fix her. Locked me 
up, she did. And it was all nice and greasy. Oil everyivhere. 
And oats. Especially oats. I hate oats.'' 

He spoke rapidly and passionately, coming forward with 
hands clenched. As he came, Sonetchka arose in alarm and 
the newcomer, observing the trunk on which she had been 
■eated, lost all evidences of anger and chuckled hugely. 

**Trunk,** he said. "Trunk. Tee-hee,'' and he giggled: 
then he drew his arm through Arnold's and addressed him 
confidentially: "I've got a trunk. Hold three men. Paid three 
hundred dollars for it. Got a little bunk in it and every- 
thing. Gtoing to sail to England in it, get away from this 
goddam countiy. It's fast, too. I'll show that son-of-a-gun 
Lipton. I'm an American, I am. Thousands for defense 
but not one cent for tribute." He laughed in an unmistakably 
silly way, adding: 

"Damn America. What's it ever done for me? Shut me 
up with oil everywhere. And knowing how I hate oats ! I'll 
show 'em. Got a cigarette ?" 

Although the question was addressed to Arnold, Sonetchka, 
who had now a look of horrified understanding, extended a 
box of thin Bussian ones. The man with the straw hat took 
one, thoughtfully, scrutinizing it with the utmost care. 

*^ave to be careful," he said. 'They try every way to poi- 
son me. But I'll fool 'em. Tee-hee," he giggled. "I'll fool 
'em. I've got a lot of poison myself. Paid three hundred 
dollars for it* Going to drop it in the reservoir. And all 



94 God's Man 

the birds were singing in my old New Hampshire home. Thou- 
sands for defense but not a cent for tribute/' 

He resumed his thoughtful mien and, patting the trunk with 
an air of intelligence bestowing patronage upon worth, he 
seated himself on it. 

"1*11 put a mast right here,'* he said, inspecting it. *^ith 
sails. Then lie down and smoke cigarettes all the way over. 
Three hundred dollars' worth I've got in that trunk. Yes, 
sir, bought 'em in London yesterday." 

He produced a thick roll of bills: looked then at the two 
strangers and giggled, and vnth a sharp glance of mistrust, 
replaced them in his pocket. 

"You jus' give zat to me — ^zat money — ^now ! — ^right now," 
said Sonetchka, meeting his eye. She thrust out her hand. 
"Put it zere. Bight zere." His eyes fell before her steady 
gaze. She repeated her command, stepping nearer as she 
spoke. 

"It's mine," he whimpered. *They gave it to me for writ- 
ing my name. Write your name and we'll give you three 
hundred dollars." He pointed to Arnold, '^e said it." 

"Yes," said Arnold, realizing that some good reason lay 
back of Sonetchka's treatment of this unfortunate. "But I 
said you were to bring it here and give it to this lady, 
didn't I?" 

'Thousands for defense but not a cent for tribute," said the 
boy, slowly drawing out the money and reluctantly surren- 
dering it. Sonetchka returned him a single bill. 

"Zere's one t'ousand dollar becauze you obey," she said, ten- 
dering the "ace" with a gracious air. 'TTou ze eet is good 
to obey. Eh?" 

'T can buy a new trunk with a thousand," he said greedily. 
"Hold ten men. Go a thousand miles a day. You can have 
this. You sail to England in it. It's a good trunk. Go 
quick and beat that old son-of-a-gun Lipton. I'm going to 
race Barney Oldfield in my new one." He crossed to the door. 



Plunderland 95 



"So long/' he said : 'Tve got to hurry or I won^t catch him. 
He's got a thousand miles start of me/* 

*^ait/' she ordered : "I go weez you. You wait. I dress.'' 
She motioned Arnold out as the man in the straw hat re- 
turned. 

'*Why does he have to go?" asked the latter suspiciously. 
'THaybe he'll phone Oldfield and he'll get an aeroplane and 
beat me/' 

"Zen we will, too," she returned soothingly. "A beeg 
hairoplane — ^begger zan zis 'ole 'otel — " At which he giggled 
again and, taking a second cigarette, seated himself, thought- 
ful of his coming victory, on his discarded International Cup 
racer. 

Before Arnold could ask a question Sonetchka had begun to 
explain. " 'E's 'er brozzer," she said. 

"What?" asked Arnold, not recognizing this queer jumble 
of lacking aspirates and reinforced sibilants. 

'Er hrozzer," replied the Little One, dabbing at her eyes. 
Brother?" gasped Arnold. "Uersf" Sonetchka nodded 
and opened the door to her own room. 

Here all evidences of a cheap hotel disappeared. Arnold 
saw silver candelabra with embroidered shades, mantel orna- 
ments in bronze and marble, an oblong leather cigarette-box, 
nail-studded . . . articles of hammered brass. Beyond 
was a bed canopied and hung with rose-colored draperies. The 
rooms were enormous — sitting-room and bedroom: once part 
of the Presidential suite, afterward familiar to the fashionable 
overflow from the Brevoort House, a few blocks to the west — 
but farther than Africa now. 

A small white dog leaped up, barking sleepily at the stran- 
ger. 

"My baby-dog," cried Sonetchka passionately, and hugged 
it tight. *^azzums? — ^well — ^w'at a baby." Thus intermit- 
tently addressing it — "dolly-dog" and "angel-child" — she ex- 
plained the case of Velvet Voice to the doubly amazed Arnold. 






96 God's Man 

III. Why Hans Chasserton Wore a Straw Hat ik 

January 

Half an hour later, at his oflBccs in lower Broadway, "Our 
Mr. Krafft,'^ of Cleyne, Thuradyke, Martinseft and Krafft, 
glanced at the written slip a volcanic Arnold had sent in and, 
having little conception of the relations existing between the 
orthography and phonetics of any name that appeared "for- 
eign,^' he coughed discreetly, as who should say the poor fel- 
low was responsible for having an outlandish French name, 
of being other than an "Amurrican*' citizen. If Mr. KrafEt 
had been born with any such family name, he would have 
been known as Lommeydoo. 

^^I came to talk to you about a boy named Hans Chasser- 
ton,** said Arnold, and grimly watched the smile fade from 
the Xrafil!tian face. So large were the offices of the firm, eo 
many the employees, so numerous the partners, Arnold had 
hardly dare hope to meet immediately the one whom, with 
all his being, he yearned to do an injury. Yet Mr. Krafffs 
neat little face, pale with guilty knowledge — ^for Arnold had 
the psychic quality of impressing, for the moment at least, his 
own moral standards on others — his neat little hands nerv- 
ously toying with his neat little bow-tie: these things con- 
vinced Arnold that this was the very gentleman that So- 
netchka*s story had sent him, headlong, in boiling rage, to find. 

"I do not care to discuss the matter,** said Mr. Krafft, his 
eyes turning longingly toward his ivory push-button, between 
which and Mr. Krafft stood the young man, whose eyes gave 
Mr. Krafft plainly to imderstand he was in for some uglj 
moments. 

**After all,** said Arnold unpleasantly, "it*8 no great won- 
der I should have met the very man I wished to see. Your 
name is lowest down on the sign. Doubtless your nature is 
like your name. And so you are given the low-down work 
to do; unknowns like myself and young Chasserton help you 
keep your place,** he added in a rising tone, as the lawyer 



Plunderland 97 

seemed about to saunter easily toward his desk. Mr. Erafft 
had taken that position by the window to be engaged in star- 
ing forth abstractedly when his unknown client entered; it 
was impressive not to be aware at first of the presence of un- 
known clients. Now he wished he had been content merely 
to sit at his desk and rustle papers. 

''Two orphans^ Hans Anderson Chasserton and Annie 
Eunice Chasserton. Point Number one ; orphans^ Mr. Erafft, 
Annie Eunice fourteen^ Hans twelve. She didn't send him 
out as bundle-boy or cash-boy. He had been going to the 
Polytechnic when her father died^ and she used the insurance 
money to keep him there — ^while she worked. In factories 
till her eyes went back on her, in stores until the doctor told 
her to look out for varicose veins, standing on her feet all 
day. Then back to the factories again, and so on. It went 
on that way until the boy graduated from the Pol3rtechnic and 
spent a year in the Nonpareil Motor-Car shops. Then they 
gave him a job demonstrating — " 

"Mr. Lommeydoo/' said Mr. Krafft, edging toward his 
push-button, **you are either the biggest lunatic in New York 
or the — " under Arnold's eyes he failed to recall a second 
superlative. Some eyes can be very ugly when they choose. 

"I shouldn't speak of lunatics if I were you," said Arnold 
softly. "And keep your place." Entirely voluntarily this 
time Mr. Krafft stepped farther away from the push-button. 

''Where was I ?" Arnold asked ; '*oh, yes ! young Hans got 
a fifteen-a-week job demonstrating new cars. Five and ten- 
dollar tips when he showed some purchasers how to run 'em. 
. . . Then he and his sister made a deal for a little house 
— one of those model cottages. Paid so much a month — 
*why pay rent? you know. Ten miles out in the country. 
She kept house. No more stores or sweatshops — home. Then 
enter Apple-Booster, enter Snake, enter Eat — ^your client, Mr. 
Krafft." 

Arnold was no longer red-hot: he was white-hot. "Eve 
thought pretty well of the serpent, too, history tells us. Well, 



98 God's Man 

when your client bought that Nonpareil six-cylinder-Bixty— 
made especially for him, wasn't it? — and Hans was to shoir 
him how to run it, and got a week's vacation for it, Eve's ser- 
pent was nowhere; even that last day when he was ronning 
it himself, and she, his sister, had heard Hans beg him not 
to drive too fast. 'At eighty miles an hour any little acci- 
dent's fatal,' Hans said. But when they started off down 
the Motor Parkway, I guess your client told Hans to shut np. 
Then the puncture. Even then she was grateful because he 
had had Hans taken to a private hospital — she didn't know it 
had to be private — and promised if he was permanently dis- 
abled he'd have a life pension. Then he goes off to the 
other side and leaves it all to you, I guess, and she had to let 
the model cottage go. Couldn't keep up the payments and 
all their savings had gone into the first instalments. Nearly 
a thousand dollars. Back to the stores and sweatshops for 
her. But she kidded herself along: it was only till Hans 
came out. Then he could get his old job back, or — ^keep yonr 
place, Mr. Krafft, don't let me have to tell you again — if he 
was disabled, there was that pension. She gave your client 
credit for not knowing she had lost the house and was back 
sweating: that she didn't even have enough spare cash for a 
trip up to that White Mountains sanitarium. But with your 
client so kind about the private hospital and the sanitarium, 
she felt sure it was all right/' 

He paused, surveying Mr. Krafft malignantly. "Anyhow, 
his lawyer told her right along, up to a few weeks ago, eveiy- 
thing would be arranged. And that's just the joke. Every- 
thing was. What makes the joke twice as funny is that her 
eyes have gone back on her again; and she can't stick in the 
shop. So what would be more shriekingly farcical than her 
meeting this brother who is going to save her, wearing a straw 
hat in the winter and talking about sailing across the ocean in 
a trunk that holds three men." 

Mr. Krafft's collar seemed to be choking him : a prophetic 
collar^ this. He avoided Arnold's eyes, but the avatar of the 



Plunderland 99 

fighting Li'HomiDedieus had pocketed his Bible to have both 
hands free for battle. *^ell," he asked in the ugly fighting 
voice of his breed ; *^ell F* He thrust forward a hand palm 
outward, forcing up Mr. Krafft^s neat little dimpled chin, so 
that the neat little eyes were forced to meet his. '^Vell ?" 

*The matter has been arranged/' said Mr. Kraflft miserably, 
sure this answer, although legally fiawless, would not be ac- 
ceptable to a high-handed bloody-minded young pirate. Van- 
ished all his eager little pride at having compassed a neat bit 
of chicanery for which his senior partners had praised him 
without stint, for which a large fee was forthcoming. So 
strong was Arnold's domination that Mr. Krafft saw his neat 
little legal trick for the cheap cowardly business it was. 

**The matter has been arranged f* asked Arnold, speaking 
lower as his fear of himself grew. ^TTou send the boy off 
where his sister can't see him, she might get suspicious and 
consult a lawyer. Send him to some out-of-the-way place 
where they perform illegal operations, I suppose; where 
women go when they are supposed to be in Europe — ^nobody 
but doctors that ought to be disqualified would stand by this 
damnable fraud. Is that what you would call arranging f" 

His talent for analysis had supplied the missing and ne- 
farious details. It had not been difficult after hearing So- 
netchka repeat Annie Eunice's confidences of the night be- 
fore: although they might have seemed hazy to an average 
auditor. Arnold thought at that time, before he learned who 
the man was whose carelessness had been responsible for Hans' 
condition, that this man would have been willing to do the 
decent thing had not these lawyers, greedy for fees, advised 
otherwise. After hearing Sonetchka's story, Arnold had real- 
ized the significance of that three hundred dollars that had 
somehow stuck in the boy's witless brain. No doubt they had 
his signature to a quitclaim — ^an absolute release. In his 
present condition, three hundred dollars was a gigantic for- 
tune. But, for the release to be binding, the medicos at the 
Banitaiium must be ready, if called on, to testify to the abso- 



S24791 



100 God's Man* 

lute sanity of Hans when he signed it— otherwise all thii 
trickery was for nothing. Arnold realized that Ejrafft had not 
omitted to secure himself on this point: therefore^ his shot 
as to the character of the place, had been only the result of 
logic. Its accuracy was evidenced by Mr. Kraflft's astonished 
start. Had Chasserton^s sister suspected; had some one in- 
vestigated ? Arnold followed up his logic. 

'*How long has he been out of the place? A month? Two 
months? Or did you date the quitclaim a month ahead 
and take a notary in with you. If you didn't you never al- 
lowed that boy to come to her directly he left there. She 
could take him to any physician and have him declared insane. 
And, then, it wouldn't make any difference how your shady 
sanitarium doctors testified. But, of course, if he signed that 
quitclaim a month ago, he could have had another accident 
for which your client wasn't responsible. Or, after he left 
your place, perfectly 0. K., some low-minded lawyer like your- 
self might put him up to pretend to be insane : to blackmail 
your client — ^^ 

"Exactly,'' said Mr. Kraff t ; but he put a high-backed chair 
between him and Arnold before he said it. "Exactly. He was 
quite sane when he left Doctor Brydges' admirable institu- 
tion: too well established for your libels to affect it. Doctor 
Brydges has the testimonials of many prominent people." 

Arnold gripped the back of Krafft's protecting chair. "So 
I'm a blackmailer, am I? And the boy's insanity assumed? 
I just wanted to get your line of defense, you little rat — '^ 

With a sudden kick, he cleared the chair from his path; and, 
springing at Krafft, locked both hands aroimd that gentleman's 
neat little neck. But for the gurgling of the man held at 
arm's length, only the roar of Wall Street — ^jackals consuming 
dead lions and lambs, bulls and bears planning other killings, 
hyenas astir in anticipation; the customary noises of Man- 
hattan's Monte Carlo — ^was to be heard in the room. For the 
moment his old strength seemed to return to Arnold. His 
muscles had not gone soft in his illness; only the energy to 



Plunderland 101 

use them had been at low ebb. Now, tbe motor of his will at 
high tension again, he was happily confident of his power: 
the great human machine was as competent as ever. He 
laughed gladly, fiercely, as he flung Mr. Krafft into a chair. 

*TVell, put it that way — blackmail,*' he said, then waited 
until Krafft should finish choking, spluttering, spitting. 'The 
law's on your side — keep it. With nd money and no pull, 
whafs the use of the law to anybody. Anyhow, you've got a 
good legal case. That blackmail idea was immense, for both 
of us." He waited again, smiling grimly at the fancy that had 
seized him. When he went on analyzing in his usual fashion 
it was only to convince himself, to watch Kraflft's face to test 
the accuracy of his analyses. 'They had to pass a law in 
France that people who got run over should go to jail. That's 
the only way they could keep the hospitals from being over- 
crowded. So many people threw themselves under motor- 
cars. Great for damages; and what was a broken leg or 
amputated arm if they could quit work for the rest of their 
lives ? So when they weren't lucky enough to lose their limbs 
or something, their lawyers — ^your kind — hit on that insanity 
dodge ; got doctors to teach 'em how people act who go crazy 
from blows on the head — ^" 

He looked up. "I'm boring you. You're well aware of all 
that; I can see you in court now, you and your associates, 
quoting all the authorities for it, all the precedents. You'll 
wait of course imtil you get the right Judge. Then you'll 
call on him to help you put a stop to this criminal perjury. 
That man is no more insane than I am,' you'll shout to the 
jury. And the poor little sheep on the jury 'uU look at Hans 
Chasserton as if he were Black Bart or Jesse James; and if 
they have automobiles themselves they'll think their chauffeur 
might get hurt and try the same trick some day, and most 
of the others *ull think of that girl their wives don't know 
about^ She might try this blackmail trick if they get tired 
of her and quit. You know you can always get a favorable 
verdict when you shout 'Blackmail.' Almost everybody's got 



102 God's Man 

something to conceal and everybody's afraid some day theyTl 
have to pay somebody to keep it quiet. Blackmail ! — ^that woi 
an inspiration. I*m much obliged.'* 

Arnold's voice had increased in bitterness ; the comers of 
his mouth were turned down. "Call up your bank/' he added 
suddenly. ^TEave 'em send a messenger with five thousand 
in small bills — tens, twenties, fifties, no larger. And have 
him hurry — your bank's near here I suppose." As Kraft 
gave him no answer, he went on. *Tell your telephone girl 
to send him right in when he comes." 

"Are you crazy ?" Krafft almost shouted. 

"Keep quiet," said Arnold fiercely; "shout like that again 
and I'll choke the life out of you. You do what I say." 

"I can't sign the firm's name alone — another member has 
to sign too," whined Kraflft eagerly, too eagerly. Arnold 
pulled out from under some volumes in yellow calf, a large 
square cheque-book. Flipping it open he viewed the signatuie 
of the firm stamped on each cheque, the line below preceded 
by the word "per" and sufficiently wide for but one other 
name. Arnold, his thumb pressed against one of these forms, 
delivered the book to its owner. 

"Liar," he said briefly. "Now do what I told you. Here's 
the telephone." He lifted and handed it, the long cord reach- 
ing to the window. He was aware of the ivory push-button. 

For a moment, Mr. Krafft held the heavy instrument as a 
child holds a strange toy. When he had seemed to solve the 
reason for its existence, his bearing was too cowed and abject 
to arouse suspicion in Arnold, who was never to be accused of 
holding too high an opinion of the average human's intelli- 
gence. But, having little conception of the deification of mere 
money, he was yet to learn that the stupidest of men may suc- 
ceed in collecting vast quantities of wealth, just as the early 
Christian martyrs gladly suffered death in the arena ; wealth- 
worship being the only live religion to-day because it is the only 
one people are willing to die for. Mr. Krafft's religion threat- 
ened, every ounce of him responded to a stirring call to anns: 



Plunderland 103 

his brain became a dynamo fed by the force of thousands of 
fiercely throbbing nerve ganglions; and a thought-process 
ihat^ as be was possessed of limited mental endowments^ would 
have consumed an ordinary hour, eventuated in the one silent 
moment before he asked for a telephone number. 

"Five-two-seven-eight ? — is that you Mr. Terence — this 
is Mr. Krafift of Cleyne, Thumdyke, Martinseft and Kraflft 
— ^tell the cashier to send over five thousand dollars in small 
bills — ^tens, twenties and fifties — ^nothing larger — a client 
here wants them. If you haven't them^ get them somewhere 
else and bring them over here yourself — I must have them im- 
mediately. Very important. Don't trust a messenger. It's 
too easy to run off with such money. It can't be identified^ 
you see. Hurry. Good-by." He slammed down the receiver 
before Mr. Terence had an opportunity of replying with a 
single word: Mr. Krafft had spoken with too feverish a ra- 
pidity. 

"I'm sure there isn't five thousand there," he whined again, 
reverting to his former manner as he accepted the pen Arnold 
had inked and handed him. Resting a comer of his cheque- 
book on the window-sill he wrote a date in neat Spencerian, 
filled another blank to "Cash"; paused at the third. But let 
there be no further secret made of it : the controversy that fol- 
lowed was but the result of a cunning plan to keep the mind 
of the bloody-minded young pirate so occupied that he might 
not cogitate on the double meaning of the neat little telephone 
message; even though, to the man at the other end of the wire, 
no bank-clerk as you rightly suspect — it had been vague to 
the point of misunderstanding: Mr. Terence, Agency De- 
tective, had, in fact, been divided when he received it between 
suspicions of drunkenness and dementia. 

'hadn't I best leave the amount blank in case he doesn't 
bring quite five thousand? All our cheques are in sequence. 
If we destroy one, it makes trouble in our bookkeeping. You 
understand — ^" Mr. ELrafft was surpassing himself as a 
creatuie of intelleci 



104 God's Man 

The telephone bell rang. Arnold came closer and faced 
him across the top of the instrument. '^No, I can't see any' 
body just now/' Mr. KraflEt answered his telephone girl. *'Ex- 
cept one person. Send him right in. Mr. Terence from the 
Bank." 

Again he cut off an earnest effort to promote absolute un- 
derstanding. "Mr. Terence from the Bank," the girl two 
rooms away asked to the empty air; but her question was soon 
answered in the person of Mr. Terence himself. Followed by 
two others as rosy-gilled as himself^ he leaped from an express- 
elevator into the reception-room. "Oh, you," said she of the 
switchboard. 

"Krafft's in his reg'lar oflBce, miss?" asked the rosy-gilled 
one addressed, breathing heavily. 

"And he said — ^" she began ; but again she finished to empti- 
ness. The three were racing along the private hall. In his 
room, Mr. Krafft, having filled in the third blank with the 
amoimt demanded, was whining out a request for a receipt to 
show his client. "Otherwise it's a dead loss," said the neat 
little man humbly. 

But in a space of time too brief to have a designation in 
our chronological measurements he was neither neat nor hum- 
ble, nor yet little. He had climbed on a chair when Terence 
and Company burst down the unlocked door — the method of 
turning the knob being too simple for the mental processes 
of police detectives — and, as they threw themselves upon the 
bloody-minded pirate, Mr. Krafft disheveled his scanty top- 
knot by scratching gleefully, as a dog flea-questing vengef ully. 

Followed overturning of furniture, smashing of inkwells 
and paste-pots. The head of one of the rosy-gills struck a 
brass-bound table corner as he staggered back from the first 
blow of the fighting L'Hommedieu; who, himself, went 
through the lower pane of a window — one of those with but 
two panes, an upper and a lower ; so that, as the glass crashed 
down to the pavement, half his body hung in space. But it 
was not as an applicant for one of Mr. Carnegie's life-Baving 



Flunderland 105 

medals that Mr. Terence tackled his legs, bringing him back 
to more solid support, but for the pleasure of driving him into 
some book-cases and adding several pounds of shattered glass 
to the general debris. Nor did Arnold misinterpret his mo^ 
tives but swung lustily and flattened out half of Mr. Terence 
on an oak center table, where he lay like an unruly corpse in 
a dissecting room. Then Arnold became the gyrating center 
of a Catherine wheel of arms and legs, all three rosy-gills fas- 
tening on him like beagles on a cornered fox, all three crash- 
ing down^ wildly struggling. 

Mr. Terence was the first to disengage himself from this 
dusty and irregular pyramid; and, swearing wildly, he kicked 
Arnold's head viciously but accurately. As pain faded into 
unconsciousness, Arnold could hear the once neat little man 
chanting on his own cunning. 

*'You can let him be a minute, now,'' said Mr. Terence, his 
gills rosier than ever ; and, pantingly introduced the others to 
Erafft: *Tiieutenant Wiley, Sergeant Kirstenbaum, Central 
Office — ^just happened to be in the office when you phoned." 

They always "just happened'' there. Although "front-office 
dicks," less prosperous souls circulated envious rumors that 
they used official time and civic expense accounts to add to 
the exchequer of that firm ; also recommended it on all pos- 
sible occasions to distressed citizens, accrediting to it attributes 
of persistent and successful sleuthing not to be found in those 
on the pay-rolls of the municipality. 

But now was the time for despised municipal powers to be 
asserted and the puffing Lieutenant asked what was the 
charge? The topknot smoothed out, the chant of cave-man 
cunning ceased, and Mr. Erafft, a neat little lawyer once more, 
considered. Best not refer to the Chasserton case lest a note 
of sympathy be struck in the public press before the charge of 
blackmail made that impossible. "Assault with intent to kill," 
he finally evolved. "The ruffian threatened if I didn't get him 
five thousand . . ." Enraged at the thought of his humilia- 
tion, Mr. Krafft gave the senseless body a second kick, then 



106 God's Man 

harried the actual story to give his cnnning stratagem in de- 
tail. '^Neat dodge^ telephoning you. Bank, eh ? And the waj 
I put it. Ha! Ha! I knew if you didn't quite understand, 
you'd investigate. tTnidentified bills. Client. Hal Ha!" 

"/ tipped him," said Kirstenbaum sullenly. He had come 
into forcible contact with the brass-bound comer, and was 
feeling a lump the size of an apple ; "They thought you was 
drunk or crazy." 

"Then if s assault with intent to kill, intimidation, and at- 
tempted grand larceny, eh?" said Terence hurriedly. **He 
ought to get life for that — ^a fifteen-years' stretch anyhow. 
Well, let's get him up out of that, or some silk-stocking re- 
former 'ull be writing letters to the Mayor about police bru- 
tality." 

Behind a screen was a stationary wash-hand basin wheie 
he drew water, emptying it on Arnold, to the intense amuse- 
ment of clerks and office-boys; even of the other members 
of the firm, all of whom were crowded together at the door 
while KraSt explained excitedly. Three dousings, one hot, 
arousing Arnold's consciousness, he was hustled to his feet, 
into the elevator, and down to a surface car. Here Terence 
left them. 

The Desk-Lieutenant at Police Headquarters entered the 
charge and seemed about to speak concerning disposition, when 
Arnold's captors winked, and the Lieutenant was content with 
ordering him into custody. 

So his few personal possessions were removed; he was 
pushed down a fiight of stairs, and up a cell-corridor. His 
small dark cell contained a plank stretched from wall to wall, 
a water tap, a toilet. Not until then did Wiley and Kirsten- 
baum deem it safe to leave him. 

"Dangerous guy, that," he heard one say, aa they retraced 
their way. "Look at my head. Keep an eye on him.*' 

^TThafs the idea?" asked the Lieutenant, when they re- 
turned. 

Kirstenbaum scowled. ^^Don't quite understand it myael^ 



Plunderland 



107 



jet. Going back now to see the complainant. We wanted 
to git him behind the bars first. Dangerous guy, that — ^look 
at my head/' He indicated the apple lump. 

*^e\l/* said the Lieutenant, ^^if they go through with these 
charges . . /' He squinted along the blotter and ad- 
dreased his comrade of the high desk, '^en years, eh ?'' 

The Sergeant also squinted. ^HTnless he gits away with that 
first offender racket — I ain't never seen his mug in the Hall 
of Fame/' 

"Listen," said Wiley contemptuously, *^isten : he's goin' to 
be chased. There ain't a tree high enough for him to 
dimb. ..." 

Down in his cell, the descendant of the fighting L'Homme- 
dieus — ^he who had planned to be a power for good in the 
Itnd, to rectify abuses, to be a terror to evil-doers : he who 
bad scorned to apply to friends for aid in so small a matter 
as tbe conquest of New York : he who was now a mass of 
acbea and bruises — ^lay, face-downward, on his rough plank 
—vanquished. 



CHAPTER TWO 

SONS or SUBTBBRANEA 
I. SoHiTOHKA Visits Motheb Mtbu* 

bad left Sonetchba earlj 
i morning. She waited nu- 
elvet Voice was due to re- 
before she took matters into 
own little hands: Annie 
ce mnst not be allowed to 
er brother until sometfaiDg 
hopefal had been arranged. 
[chka did not know about 
ubber hose, bat she was an 

^-;seioni8t in emotions and 

often as accnrate intuitively as was Arnold analytically: 
80 was conscious of her new friend's utter hopelessness 
with regard to everything except Hana. On him she had in- 
sisted pathetically. Even if be was injured, there was the 
pension; and that, she had told Sonetchka the night before, 
would realize her vision — a little patch of truck-fann land, 
eastern shore of Maryland : the pension eked out by straw- 
berries and Anne Arundel tomatoes for Baltimore-Wasbington 
markets. Thus in time, they could build themselves a honse: 
at first they would be content with any sort of rough shao^. 
She conld work if Hans was disabled. All they needed was 
the small capital necessaiy for a, start and to tide them over 
until profits began. 



Sons of Subterranea 109 

Meanwhile^ as the day wore on, Hans Anderson Chasserton 
had bought, in imagination, every conceivable article that one 
thousand dollars could buy. As pitiful as was his case, So- 
netchka had laughed many times at his ridiculous parodies of 
sense. Sometimes, in his wanderings, he achieved a piece of 
perfect nonsense that would have pleased the lovers of Lear 
and Carroll. He was an entertaining madman and harmless. 

''Come,'' said Sonetchka, giving up hope of Arnold's return. 
"We go 'ome, now." 

'^ut Annie Eunice P' he asked, ceasing his play with the 
little white dog. "I've got letters for her. Like a flock of 
birds. All white and everything. You throw them up and 
they come down flying like white geese. Letters. For Miss 
Annie Eunice Chasserton, Hotel Tippecanoe. Letters. One 
thousand letters. See? I hid 'em so they couldn't take 'em 
away. Look." 

He removed his coat, chuckling, and, tearing some threads 
of the lining, a cascade of envelopes rippled out. He threw 
a handful up in the air. *T*ike white geese they come down," 
he said delighted. "I hid 'em. I'm smart, I am. I'll fool 
'em alL" Sonetchka picked up some of the envelopes. On 
each, inscribed carefully, was his sister's name and address. 
But all were empty: fifty envelopes and not a letter. She 
could see Hans in his captivity, carefully addressing, then 
hiding them away from the sight of his keepers. Tears sprang 
to her eyes. 

"Come," she said, patting his hands, '^ere : put on this," 
and she fetched from a closet a man's great coat, tearing off 
price and size tags. *^She 'as gone. Wen she come back, she 
come and get you. We go 'ome now. Come." 

She caught up the little white dog, kissing and fondling it 
extravagantly, and murmuring endearments in her native 
tongue. Then she placed it in a rose-pink basket that matched 
the canopy draperies of her bed, and shook a warning finger. 
The dog closed its eyes and played dead. Hans followed her 
out, trotting obediently alongside her. He had been trotting 



no God's Man 

alongside her all day; at different times she had tired of wait- 
ing, had penned a message for Arnold, and had taken Hans 
forth; first to a lunch-room, again to the moying-pictaree, a 
third time to wander around in the maze of old New York 
streets of which Astor Place is the center. The Hotel Tippe- 
canoe was just around the comer from it, on that forgotten 
Manhattan thoroughfare — almost **no thoroughfare" nowa- 
days — ^Lafayette Street. 

This time they turned west along Eighth Street, past the 
mansions of the one-time great, now the sweatshops of such 
as Simonski, for trousers, vest and shirtwaist-making; past 
the Brevoort House, its old face rejuvenated with white 
paint. 

Washington Square was a thing of beauty and mystery 
against that winter sky of blue, its trees silver-laced and inter- 
woven with the flakes and festoonery of the Snow-Queen. Huge 
crystal balls of light, like iridescent fruits of the night, illumi- 
nated its ice and snow until the old Square shone like some 
Bussian winter palace. Over it all Judson's cross, the highest 
ornament on the highest Christmas tree, seemed lowered from 
the very sky. Hans wished to climb the tree and get the cross 
to give to the Little One to wear. 

"You come," Sonetchka said severely. 

Abashed, Hans trotted on. They passed Jefferson Market, 
and its old police court where Arnold, almost at that moment 
was being arraigned. 

Then it seemed that they disappeared, like folk in a fairy- 
tale. Ninety-nine passers-by would have failed to observe the 
entrance to Bupert Court, that narrow arched passageway set 
in between a tobacconist^s and his aunt's penny-shop. The 
passageway was slippery with ice. Some primal instinct that 
had survived both boyhood and loss of reason, stirred in Hans, 
producing some Pyle-like pictures. . . . 

An old hexagonal lantern, moimted on a post, and kept 
alight by Mother Mybus — ^the lamplighter of the district had 
long forgotten it — illumined the frozen flagstones and 



Sons of Subterranea 111 

out the ihiee golden apples over the doorway. Sonetchka 
entered the ehop-door, pressing a button that silenced the bell. 
A high-collared young Hebrew, ideal of "dressy** Fourteenth 
Street men, greeted her warmly but with respect. 

"Ain't seen you since George Washington died/* he said : 
adding benevolently: "say I heard a scream the other night. 
A 'comic* downta K. & P/s ses : *I didn't know he was sick.* 
. . . Going in ?*' 

"No, I come 'ere jus* to see you, you so *andsome,** she re- 
torted, rebuking him. Then in more gracious tones : "I wish 
you would look hafter my fren* 'ere — ^** she indicated Hans, 
interested in the show-case, and tapped her head significantly; 
then stooped and disappeared by a rabbit-hutch door beneath 
the counter. 

II. The Ungodly Horde 

Mother Mybus* was a business that required neither pub- 
licity nor casual patronage. That street-strollers were un- 
aware of her presence up the narrow passageway, that thus 
she failed to find a market for many remarkable bargains, that 
their tickets were soon fiyblown, failed to disturb Mother's se- 
renity. Hers was a soul that yearned for no intrusions. When 
she heard a stranger's step follow the hideous tintinnabulation 
of her special shop-bell, she peered out from behind her iron 
grill in positiye annoyance. No hostess, mindful of a reputa- 
tion for ezdusiveness, could have been more upset at alien in- 
trusion. Mr. Hartogensis' notions of English exclusiveness 
were simply nowhere. 

Her guests knew better than to annoy Mother by allowing 
the shop-bell to ring. They pressed a button as Sonia did, 
one oat of ordinary sight, and passed in noiselessly on rub- 
ber-heeled boots. Then Mother minded no more than the 
flies that buzzed about her flowers. She sat silent with her 
knitting before what had once been the Yew Tree kitchen- 
fire : a huge space of red tiles and red bricks, in sunmier filled 



112 God*s Man 

with pots and tubs and boxes — ^for, since Mother had come 
to Eupert Court, she had remembered that, in her native Eus- 
sia, flowers bloomed in the spring and many might be kept 
alive all year. 

On the other side of the fireplace, also in line with the iron 
grill, there sat at all seasons, one as thin as Mother was fat, 
as screwed and scrawny of face as she was round and placid, 
a fellow who was her age and looked her father^s; one who 
wore spectacles of expensive black tortoise-shell. It was her 
one mania to help him pretend be was not quite blind. 

He would often call out wrongly, that some man was wear- 
ing a red tie, or some woman a purple dress, and woe to the 
uninitiated who dared to correct him, or do other than echo 
Mother^s admiring assurance that it was wonderful how 
Nikko's sight was returning; soon he would be as able to see 
as you or me. 

Nikko had been her sweetheart in Petersburg, and when 
the Autocracy had broken up his hand printing-press and he 
was sent to the quicksilver mines, for such iconoclastic state- 
ments as those of the Brotherhood of Man, Mother had heard 
of it, and had sent after him a man who had reason to know 
the horrors of convict labor and who was expert in escapes. 
This one had found that bribes are as adequate in Siberia, as 
elsewhere, and police as easy to hoodwink. 

But he had brought back a blind Nikko— a condition not 
unusual to the miners of mercury, yet this fat, wicked old 
woman was so illogical as to regard it as a special persecu- 
tion and to use it as an added excuse for her depredations 
on a sane and upright state. 

But, because Nikko might not allow himself to be sup- 
ported without protest, she pretended there was some income 
derived from the sale of those works of his, no longer of the 
Brotherhood of Man, but the Efficiency of Eebellion. These 
he wrote laboriously, tracing his lines by means of a narrow 
band of rubber slipped along the page, and of each pamphlet 
Mother had a few bound in tooled calf with 'raised gold let- 



Sons of Subterranea 113 

ierSy 80 that he could appraise them with thin approving 
fingers. The remainder of the pamphlets, unbound, were 
sent ant to a private mailing list, to which he was always 
adding new names. The printing of Nikko's work cost 
Moth^ the proceeds of many remarkable burglaries. But 
she was recompensed by the forceful effects of Kikko's propa- 
ganda. There was no burglary, or pickpocketing, or crime — 
only TTor. Once begun, he would preach excitedly : 

**They take our labor and our time — ^* 

'*Not mine,** Pink, the Cagey Kid, interrupted on first 
hearing this. *T. take theirs.'^ It was purely a technical 
joke. This '*Kid'' specialized in watches — "soupers,** he 
called them. 

But Nikko never heeded interruptions; *'and they build 
palaces with our blood and bones. It takes a dozen chil- 
dren's lives each year for the upkeep of one of their mis- 
tresses — ^* 

**Ah,'' said the Phony Kid, "that shows they don't know 
women. I've grabbed many a dame like that and never give 
her nothing but a punch in the jaw. They don't know every- 
thing, them rich guys." 

But when a man has lost his eyes for a Cause he can only 
win, or die; so Nikko had no sense of humor, a handicap to 
people in deadly earnest anyhow. In the end he prevailed 
over lighter spirits. His similes took hold of their imagina- 
tions; rebels against authority are always imaginative. They 
liked hearing themselves called "Bebels," their activities 
''War.'* It pleased them to know that, all along without 
being aware of it, they were setting good examples to the sub- 
merged seventh. 

"They throw away the wealth of the world with both hands, 
wealth we helped to make, and they offer us, not our half or 
our quarter, or even our tenth — ^they offer us only enough to 
keep US alive, so that we can go on working for them. And 
I say that every man who rejects their unfair bargain does a 
noUe thing— '^ 



114 God's Man 

"Pink, you're noble/' said the Phony Kid. 

"So're you, Beau,'' replied the Cagey Bad. And they ahook 
hands and embraced. 

"We are two jolly noblemen, we are because we're noble," 
they sang cheerily. 

**Why are we noble, Nick?" asked Pink. 

The "Pink" was Pink because he took a devilish pleasuie 
in causing Pinkerton race-track detectives to *1ook more thin 
usually silly" — to quote him — ^by abstracting their watches on 
all possible occasions; and he was "Cagejr" and "Kid" also 
for the reason that he had never been arrested and was juven- 
ile of appearance. 

"I ask you, Nikko Nikkovitch, I ask you, as one nobleman 
to another, why are we noble?" 

"Children," Nikko would say wearily. He passed a with- 
ered hand over a troubled forehead. Mother Mybus frowned 
and the two youths looked serious. 

"I wasn't joking, Mr. Nikko," said Pink with the air of a 
dutiful and eager scholar. "I merely wisht to know why was 
it, that was all." 

"They offer us — ^you — ^him — all our class— wages to be 
their bondmen. Only enough that we may marry; many 
and bring other slaves into the world. No joy, no light, no 
laughter. Children though you are, you knew their offer was 
unfair and you refused it. You became Bebels, and if every 
one of your class would do the same, the Masters would make 
other laws, fairer laws — laws that if they dare to prevent yon 
stealing, they must make their McEIisses cease stealing. Steal- 
ing, no matter what name they give it, for 'you own the law,' 
say the Rebels. 'Very well, we reject it. We will make our 
own laws until you make better ones.' Do you understand f 

They did not, precisely, for Nikko's was book-English; bat 
the Phony Kid was moved to contemplation. "I dunnp ai 
I ever thought much about it before, but I guess you're rights 
Mr. Nikko." 

He considered his own case, his father in the millfl^ tea 



Sons of Subterranea 115 

weaiy when he came home to do an3rthii)g but fall into a 
heayy sleep after dinner^ except on Saturday night, when he 
came home drunk and laughing and told funny stories and 
sometimes took them into the gallery of a theater. "Beau** — 
his mother^ poor, fluttering creature, with a penny-novelty 
habit, had christened him "Beau-lieu" — ^had liked his father 
better when he was drunk. . . . 

"Come on up to the Attic, sucker,'* said Pink, breaking in 
upon his own and his partner's gloom. "Nothing like Li-un 
for plottin* against the Common Enemy. . . .** 

*lt grows — slowly but surely,** said the blind man; and, 
until Sonia came that night, meditated and massaged more 
of the mercury out of his tbin wrists than he had for many 
silyer moons. 

ni. Hans Chassebton Takes Up Besidence at the 

Yew Tbee Inn 

It was not a room to invite suspicion, that old Inn kitchen, 
with its shining flagstones, oak doors, huge fireplace with 
hissing teapot on the hob and sleek cat snoozing on warm 
tileSy decorated with domestic scenes from Dutch life, as was 
its Delft-blue china in an overhead rack; and in the broad 
belly of its bay-window — its panes opaque for a far different 
reason than those of the Tippecanoe — ^red geraniums in green 
window-boxes. Nor were the old people other than types 
of an admirable and irreproachable family life, until one saw 
Mother's eyes — ^those of some ancient but very wicked mouse. 

She was in her accustomed place on one side of the fire- 
place^ Nikko on the other. There was no light except that 
of tl^ leaping red flames, and neither Nikko nor Mother 
turned when Sonetchka entered. Too many passed through 
for Mother to show interest, and Nikko for all his expensive 
tortoise-shell spectacles might look all he liked. . . . 

But because Mother prided herself on a certain technical 
furtue— the technique of which^ after being revised by every 



116 Ood*8 Man 

techniciaB^ from Adam to Aristotle, had been abandoned in 
despair — ^few females were "in right*' at the Inn. And Nikko 
needed no spectacles for one with so light, so 'ladylike'' a 
footfall. 

"The Little One/* he called joyfully. Mother dropped her 
knitting; and, not only an ancient but an enceinte mouse 
when afoot, waddled to and pawed Sonetchka as such a rodent 
might paw another and dutiful and younger bringer of sne- 
culence. . . . 

"It is thou, Naughty One," she chuckled. ... So- 
netchka, answering both, added endearments surprisingly 
American compared with Nikko's sonorous Slavonic. Mother 
fetched her own comfortable chair, knelt and, wheezing, un- 
laced little fur-lined, fur-topped storm-boots and rubbed little 
silk-stockinged feet ; Sonetchka seeming to accept these offices 
as her right. 

"Naughty, wicked Little One," excoriated Mother; "who 
hast caused thy batushka and thy mama to grieve as for one 
lost lamb ! Three weeks since we saw this Ungrateful Little 
Animal, eh, Alexandrovitch ? . . . Would thou wert mine, 
and how I would knout thee. Most Mischievous of Little 
Frogs." 

Sonetchka laughed. Mother was her dearest Mama Petm 
Borisovna, she averred — and Nikko, who had also begun to 
scold, was her darling Papa and Saint Nicholas. . . . 
And Mother, mollified, shod the Cinderella feet in red-heeled, 
ruby-studded dancing slippers, a pair that had attracted the 
Inn's attention while dancing their owner into what the sen- 
sational "Sundays" called "society." And Sonia uncoiled 
Mother's mighty masses of Indian-red hair — an especial pride 
— ^beseeching the while certain esteemed Slavonic Saints to 
verify her statement that Mama Petra was little more than i 
"Little One" herself. 

"If Nicholas Alexandrovitch could only see thee," she sup- 
plemented, stroking and releasing in its loose abundance each 



Sons of Subterranea 117 

heayy braid until the kneeling fat woman was enveloped in a 
mantle that, as the mane of some roan mare, might have had 
points. . . . But no Sonia becomes a Sonetchka, nor any 
Bona, Bonita without possessing what is more important than 
physical beauty. And this Sonia saw what Mother wanted 
her to see. 

'^e would be proud, that Father Nikko, that batushka. 
Eh, son of Alexander's son ?'' 

**He sees, that Alexandrovitch,'' said Mother, with sudden 
asperity. ''And better each day, eh, Nikovita ? Last Sainfs 
day it is my good fortime to observe the most powerful lenses. 
And 80 I send our Mr. Pink to that Fifth Avenue shop and 
the frames are the real shell of the best turtle, taken from a 
pair awaiting their adjustment to some gilt-edged boyar. Al- 
ready he paid jRfty roubles. In my girl days fifty roubles was 
rich^. It would be strange indeed if Alexandrovitch saw no 
more clearly with a moujih's fortune on his nose. . . ." 

''Always I know when something quite bright dazzles me,'' 
confirmed this cunning and mentally sound-sighted son of 
Alexander, who, from acquiescing in Mother's hallucination 
of his improving sight, had found a chance for perpetual com- 
pliments Also had grown to believe that he saw what he 
ought to see. These were his seventh spectacles. Master 
Pink had taken an unnecessary risk in adding another pair 
of frames. But Pink's was the usual zeal of the artist. 
And to snatch the spectacles of a Sir Hubert of the Street 
after they had rested on his nearly nose. . . . 

"Very bright — ^thou hearest — and I spoke no word of hav- 
ing unloosened thy hair. And does it not shine very bright, 
as Alexandroritch says?" . . . 

Mother leaned over and kissed the Little One as if she had 
been responsible for a novel miracle. Yet, Mother knew that 
Nikko knew that little Sonia could not resist the temptation 
of unlooeening that hair, so that she might coil and recoil it 
in odd and bizarre coiffures. Thus employed, standing be- 



118 God's Man 

hind Mother, who had resmned her seat, Sonetchka explained 
her absence ; and that she explained in Slavonic explains the 
absence of slang and massacres of Murray. 

"Such disgrace ! I am arrested in Delaney^s by a common 
store detective, me — ^the Little One ! to be arrested by a com- 
mon store detective, and to beg and pray and weep to the 
owner ; I shall not forget that humiliation, never ! I told 
him, oh, such lies — anything the good God put into my little 
head. Not even did I conceive I was to be sent to jail. I 
told him that I only feared that my worthy mother and father 
should expire from shock. Once, in France (I was a little 
French girl) my parents had been rich and, oh, how I was 
dressed ; oh, so beautiful ! But, here, they were poor and I 
could not dress, oh, so beautiful! (And I shed tears, and 
loud!) So I stole — ^and — oh, sir, this is the first time. Oh, 
sir, if you knew how I wanted beautiful things, oh, so much ! 
. . . The owner — ^that good old man — ^he looked close at 
me and sent away the store detective. *My dear, you do not 
need to steal,' he said. And with his hair so nearly white, 
he told me we must be very careful when we met for fear of 
the scandal — of meeting his grandchildren, no doubt. He 
took me to a restaurant private room, and there he made love. 
But I was innocent, and, oh! so much afraid! He said I 
would soon learn to love any one who would be so good to 
me — ^*tee-mid leetle w^ite birrd.' . . .'* 

She ceased her Slavic speech to mimic other throatily 
tender metaphors, marred by a gradual and ghoulish thicken- 
ing of lips — ^not hers. It was remarkable that her thin, 
straight little lower lip and short, rosy, curved upper could 
reproduce such sickening sounds. . . . "And who would 
not be kind to me? Next day, when we met, I would be 
wearing, oh ! such a beautiful ring. And he kissed me good 
night whether I willed or not. And so I took his watcL 
Jus' like zat.'' 

She relapsed into English again, and, burrowing into a 
huge white-fox pillow-muff, produced many mysteries in 



Sons of Subterranea 119 

white tissue paper, one of which was solved when Sonia, 
ecoming Nikko's spectacles, iinwrapped a watch the thinness 
of a soda-wafer. 

"Fifty little roubles! Bah I Five thousand, zisi Zai 
for your Mr. P-i-n-kP* snapping little jeweled fingers and 
pluiddng out the "Pink** with the sound of pistol-shot and 
exit of projectile. . . . One unversed in that most ob- 
vious and persistent paradox, a woman*s use of words to con- 
ceal her meaning, might have imagined Master Pink "in 
Dutch,** to quote him. 

Nikko*s forefinger flew furiously across his knee. He was 
taking long notes for his next pamphlet on capitalist infamy. 
His black finger-nail seemed a stylus ; at any rate such panto- 
mime performances were somehow transferred from cuticle 
to cerebellum. 

"Good — ^nobly done,** was his scowling comment. "Thou 
wert always my best of rebels. . . .** 

"But Sonia Yictorona was to explain her absence of these 
three weeks, . . .** Mother reminded him mildly. No 
chance for satiating curiosity if Nikko began inveighing 
against modem Bluebeards. . . . Yet her tone conceded 
him the right of decision. 

'It was Mordkin,** said the Little One, with an air of hav- 
ing satisfied both listeners. She wanted to polish up on 
Nikko's "peculiar** political economics; needed to if ever she 
was to eflfect Velvet Voice*s conversion to her own creed. 

Mother wrung her hands. 

"Thy love for dancing,** she wailed; "I knew it could not 
be good. And now you love a dancer. When you could not 
love one of my boys !** 

The Little One laughed, then was as grave as she had been 

gay- 

"My dog — ^** she said, "that dear darling of mine, my own 
treasure, his mama*s little friend, the dearest in the whole 
world. Always I come at eight. I feed him. That night 
the old one kept me to know where I live. And that Mordkin 



120 God's Man 

he screams and cries his little self into fits. Two whole 
hours he screams. When I come I must have in a doc- 
tor. . . . That night I dream grandmama's spirit comei 
and whispers : 'Once f alien, luck gone. Steal again, no es- 
cape I' And I dream I am in prison and my darling Mord- 
kin cry himself dead, and I am a murderess never to be for- 
given by Father God, and I wake up and see my little white 
darling with his little black nose so sweet, and his little red 
tongue so cute, peeping out, and I promise him I don't steal 
no more, not once more, but be good girl. . . /' At least 
that is the nearest literal translation of her breathless nar- 
rative. 

''Just like zat,'' she concluded, dropping into English 
again. 

She spoke with intense seriousness, and the little white 
dog's death agonies revived in retrospect the original emotion 
reproduced, she wept noisily. Neither of the older folk con- 
tradicted her. Mother Mybus was Slavic, hence supersti- 
tious; and Nikko, the mystic, called his superstition symbol- 
ism. But . . . 

"She soon forgets and goes back again," thought Mother, 
knowing Sonetchka's love for expensive clothes. But to con- 
tradict her spiritual protector was to invite ill-luck. As for 
Nikko, he was busy endeavoring to symbolize the little white 
dog. 

"Then I move my things to a cheap hotel, so the money 
will last — a hotel where I live once when I am very poor. I 
do not even bring you the last things I steal — ^tapestries and 
candlesticks and furs. . . . Instead I use them to fix up 
the ugly cheap rooms. I think and think and think and then 
grandmama come again and says: 'Go be a dancer on the 
stage, for you can dance so v;ell.' Those three weeks I look 
around to be a dancer. They say 'Chorus.' I say, ^NeiT 
. . . I find plenty places to-morrow, next week, next 
month. It is not about that I come about, but for my 
friend—" 



Sons of Subterranea 121 

She told them of Annie Eunice and Hans. Nikko arose 
and stumped the room, thumping his rubber-tipped walking- 
stick Yiolently^ and deciding that the great revolution should 
be several years sooner. Mr. Krafft's client should pay dearly 
for these wrongs done tlie Chassertons. Then Mother Mybus 
sat stolidly, only wishing Nikko would not excite himself 
over everybody; her sympathies were for her friends; nor was 
she above profiting by the bitter need of business acquaint- 
ances afoul of ^'the common enemy.'' These sentiments and 
actions, however, she concealed painstakingly from Nikko. 

**And so I have brouglit the boy here to thee." Sonetchka, 
finishing her stoiy, became affectionate again, with ^'thee's'' 
and **thou's." "Many times have I heard Mama Petra 
Boriflovna desire a man-servant, deaf and dumb like in Africa, 
one who could understand nothing, tell nothing. This Hans 
will be such a one. He understands notliing; he can tell 
nothing, and if you say he will be seized and sent away again 
he will not dare venture out-of-doors. It will relieve thee of 
much housework, little mother. To think that thou, a rich 
woman, must labor and sweat with pail and bucket and mop. 
And so many rooms, too—" 

"They clean their own rooms, many of them," said Mother 
hesitantly. "It is not so much work." 

Nikko broke in sharply upon her. One would never have 
imagined from their respective attitudes that the business 
and the money were Mother's and that Nikko existed by her 
generosity. He spoke with all authority. 

"We will take the boy, Petra Borisovna," he said sternly. 
**Why do you suppose the good Father allows you to wax rich 
if not to aid His injured ones ? It is well, too, to have such 
an unfortunate in the house. The sight of him, and the 
knowledge of his wrongs, will make the boys braver and 
more daring; will encourage them to go farther, and what is 
most to you, to more profitable business." 

Mother's eyes brightened. Nikko was always right. So- 

tchka, needing no more than such a look, opened the low 



122 God's Man 

rabbit-hutcb door and told the high-collared shopman to send 
in her friend. 

"Zis ees your *ome, *Ontz/' she said, shaking a finger at 
the friend when he appeared. ^'Zere ees Mnzzer and zat is 
Farzzer. Zey will make you 'appy and you will do w*at »y 
say, ju* like zat. Kees your muzzer, ^Ontz ; kees your f anaer.** 

Bashfully, finger to his mouth, the boy advanced, pushed 
by Sonia, and touched each forehead with dry lips. Nikko 
caught his hand, patted it, welcoming him, reassuring him. 

The bo/s eyes brightened. "Following in father's foot- 
steps, following my dear old dad,'' he said affectionately. 
"And everything was like you want it. Yes. Peas and 
sweet-peas and green com and tomatoes. And a honey- 
suckle vine. And all the boys they say to me, good-daj 
to me, hurray to me. . . . See this coat — ^you wouldn't 
think it cost a thousand dollars. Yes." 

"Sit down, boy," said Nikko, peering at him helplessly. 
"Sit down." He pushed forward his hassock with a slip- 
pered foot. The boy seated, the old man quieted him with 
a hand on his shoulder, and Hans, soon silent, watched the 
fire. Sonia yawned, stretched her arms, debated a question. 

^TTou want that you should go up to the Attic, eh ?" asked 
Mother slyly, surmising accurately. 

Sonetchka's scornful snort served to negative this, . . . 
until Mother added : "All the boys they are there now, never 
so many at one time. Good business to-day, never better. 
. . . Mister Pink, him, too." 

*^'at I care for your Pinks?" asked Sonetchka, again 
scornfully. Both unconsciously relapsed into English when 
they discussed matters involving the untranslatable jargon of 
subterranea. 

Mother choked a laugh, forbearing to irritate the returned 
prodigal, and Sonia presently reconsidered. "Oh, well," she 
said, rising. "Oh, well, . . . and moved off toward 
the stairway and Apricott's Attic. 



Sons of Subterranea 123 

At the foot of the attic stairs she gave three short rings and 
three long ones. A huge door^ sheathed in sheet iron, swung 
outward automatically by a mechanism used in those cheaper 
Manhattan flats that have neither hall-porters nor elevators, 
and a pair of morose eyes regarded the ringer. 

IV. Old Mitt-and-a-Halp 

The swallows' nests were just tinder the eaves ; here was the 
attic where Jan Hartogensis and Amalia had slept; where, 
now, only the most trusted of Mother's customers were al- 
lowed. If Mother's room of the grille was a select and ex- 
clusive club, this was the Holy of Holies. . . . 

It was in charge of Enoch Apricott, ascetic, with a face 
like some melancholy King of Diamonds, for his eyebrows 
drew down his forehead into a Y-shape, an equilateral tri- 
angle, their articulation its apex. Such another was the 
lower part of his face— one to delight a Cubist — a broader tri- 
angle this, with the chin for its point, a chin like Punchi- 
nello's, the line joining his high cheek-bones, its base — a 
line that crossed heavy, sunken, discontented eyes. Above 
the chin were bloodless, almost fleshless, lips. Ascetic ? It 
was the face of a Jesuit. 

No woman had ever entered his life ; no woman ever should, 
he swore. It was a part of his religion, and a stem and stead- 
fast adherence to religion was necessary to one whose fore- 
bears foreswore all else to worship in their own way; who, 
ever since, had sacrificed most of the joy of this life for one 
more enduring hereafter. Yet their descendant kept a ren- 
dezvous for thieves; and, a disciple of Swedenborg, justified 
himself. The Lord was forging in the fire of His wrath the 
Mighty Flail to sweep clear the Unjust Kings and Wicked 
Princes. These men who gathered in the Attic were the 
Scourge of Locusts, the Pest of Flies, appointed by the Lord 
to Devour and to Sting, pending the time when Pomp and 



124 God's Man 

Pride should rise to its height and the Highly Flail should 
descend. 

Enoch Apricott. The foreman at the Garryowen shops 
could have told you that such a one had for fifteen years been on 
his pay-roll, beginning as apprentice, finishing as expert ma- 
chinist at seven dollars and fifty cents per diem; diligent, ear- 
nest and careful; and, at the lunch-hour annoying fellow work- 
men by expounding hidden meanings in Revelations and other 
Apocryphal "Books/' "Mitt-and-a-Half ' — ^by the underworld 
dictionary, "mitt** a hand, "half** differing from no other halt 
But Enoch had lost three fingers of his right hand, so that ^^a 
half* was a slight euphemism. That same foreman would 
have sworn that Enoch lost those missing ones through rep- 
rehensible carelessness, this confiicting slightly with his gen- 
eral statement of "diligent, earnest and careful.** One does 
not remain foreman at the Garryowen by giving testimony in 
law-courts that will result in heavy damages to be paid by the 
defendant; so, when called upon as a witness, the foreman 
failed to remember that he had recommended the machine 
which was to snatch away Apricott's expertness^ be ''scrapped'* 
and a new one installed on which the belt would not slip. 
The superintendent, who had forwarded the recommendation 
urgently advising it, suffered from a similar lapse of memoiy. 
So Apricott went out to find work suitable to a man with only 
a hand and two-fifths, while the Garryowen Company con- 
tinued paying twenty per cent, dividends and a large salary 
to the learned corporation counsel who helped save them from 
the necessity of paying damages to disabled workmen. 

It was then Apricott began to believe in the Mighty Hail, 
the Unjust KJngs and the Wicked Princes, among whom he 
would have numbered, had he known, Benjamin Hartogensifl^ 
Esquire, the distinguished country-gentleman who owned a 
large block of Garryowen stock, the entire price for which he 
was not to pay until his son, Archie, began to frequent Enoch*i 
Attic. 



Sons of Subterranea 125 

Apricott had not come to Attic-keeping all at once. He 
had yet to eat np his savings while be discovered how little 
work was actnally suited to a hand and two-fifths. It was 
only Mother Mybus who found any good reason for the exist- 
ence of one with missing fingers. He had come in to pawn 
his most precious possession^ to which he had held the longest 
— a huge watch-chain, some sort of emblem of high standing 
in a Machinists' Secret Order. Her assistant had returned 
to her to have it appraised, interrupting an earnest conversa- 
tion with a gentleman renowned for daring but lacking skill. 
If only she had some one to send with him, some one expert 
at locks and safes. 

So Enoch's charm worked wonders and he came to believe 
in the Swarms of Locusts and Pests of Flies. And he de- 
veloped inventiveness, under the whiplash of revengeful de- 
sire, inventiveness hitherto given over to discovering hidden 
meanings in Apocryphal Books ; so that, soon, Mother found 
him too valuable a man to risk in actual service and kept him 
about her to give her plans practicality, to advise and counsel 
the unskilful, and, also, since she found her Horde was going 
into mixed society to get what was now provided in her Attic, 
and as mixed society contained informers and weaklings, she 
fitted up the Attic and added Apricott as a lure — ^the great 
Apricott, who knew more about safes and locks than the men 
who made them. 

His were the morose eyes, from behind the huge door and 
through a Judas-hole, that regarded Sonetchka and became 
reassuring, nay, grimly joyful when turned in the other direc- 
tion. Old Mitt-and-a-Half had regretted the desertion of so 
clever a thief as little Sonia — ^the Pest of Flies had lost one 
of its sharpest Stingers, the Scourge of Locusts one of its 
greediest Devourers. . . • Therefore when he announced 
her return to her brother Flies and Locusts it was with a 
geniality alien to his cloudy creed. 

Two men leaped up from recumbent positions, one to re- 



126 God's Man 

Bume his hitherto discarded trousers. The room held nearly 
a dozen others, in groups of twos and threes, all reclining 
around little lamps set on filigreed trays. 

The two men to rise were, strictly speaking, not men at 
all — only the Phony Kid and his companion, Pink, the Cagey. 
The latter, reconsidering, resumed his attitude of Oriental 
ease, taking on in addition an air of studious indifference. 
What, after all, did the arrival of any mere "gun moll," no 
matter how proficient in her profession or attractive in her 
person, mean in his young life, he would like to know? And 
as Sonia entered he seemed to be slumbering. 

V. The Cagey Kid 'Turns Square" 

Sonia was no stranger here; any possible existing doubts 
were banished by the sight of the Phony Kid catching both 
her small hands, drawing her to him despite her struggling, 
until severely smacked for it. "Fresh thing," she said, " 'ow 
are you. Beau — *^ and shook hands with the Phony one; also 
with Apricott and the others, lazy of greeting but glad to see 
her. Mostly they were a young lot; "Rouge" and "Noir," 
Sally Surre/s assistants in bank-breaking (Sally was not 
there), hardly older than the two Kids; Edwin Moneypenny's 
"Canary^* boys — so called because they frequented that fash- 
ionable restaurant and seemed at home there. Only two had 
passed thirty — Moneypenny himself, a distinguished-looking, 
elderly gentleman, with French moustachios and a Southern 
Colonel's goatee ; and Doctor "Tack," a burly Bavarian, with 
Heidelberg scars. ... It was apparent from their greet- 
ings, even Hastings, the proscribed outlaw, being genial, that 
the Little One enjoyed their trust and good will. 

But, after the habit of those who use opium, taking little 
general interest in womenkind, having greeted her, they re- 
sumed their even low-toned conversation, no voice being 
raised for fear of those who lay on the next bunk. It was an 
interesting scene, holding something of the fascination of the 



Sons of Subterranea 127 

East; the dim lanterns swinging high among the rafters seen 
through clouds of drifting heavy smoke, faces here and there 
limned by the lamps — ^little rafts of light on a sea of smoky 
darkness. 

^TTon want I should cook for you ?'* asked Sonia, returning 
from her visiting. Having no corsets to incommode her, she 
kicked off her tiny pumps and climbed to the right side of the 
bunk, which Beau abandoned in her favor, lying down on 
the other side, his head pillowed on Pink's hip. Pink lay 
just across from Sonia, so that, when she looked up, their 
eyes met. A pile of pillows, common to both boys, raised 
their heads above the lamp's level. 

Sonia, with a woman's dainty deftness in small matters, 
dug out the chocolate-colored opium from a little white jar, 
a "toey," cooking it over a steady flame of peanut-oil. It 
bubbled and squeaked and gave out a smell like toasting choco- 
late. Then she took up the long bamboo pipe, to which, 
midway along its length, a stone bowl was attached ; in this 
she finished her complicated ^^cooking," kneading the sticky 
mass with a long steel needle, a ^^yen-hok." It changed from 
golden to dark brown, as the poisonous substances escaped in 
greasy gases and vaporous moisture; and she broke it into 
"pills'* the size of small peas, reheated one of them, rolled it 
into conical shape and thrust it into the little round hole in 
the center of the bowl. It flattened. Quickly she extracted 
and re-rolled it into a tight little cylinder. This, again re- 
heated and attached to the little hole, was ready for con- 
sumption. 

She reversed the pipe, handing it to Beau, so that the little 
cylinder was directly above the flame. Beau put the mouth- 
piece to his lips and the opium, disintegrating into semi- 
liquid form again, leaped through the little hole, becoming 
thick blue smoke, as he exhaled it in thin lacy clouds that 
drifted upward to add atmosphere to their private solar sys- 
tem, of which the lanterns were twin suns. Sonetchka took 
back the pipe, and, telling of her little white dog and her new 



128 God's Man 

resolve^ prepared a second pill, which also she handed to 
Beau, a procedure that aroused the Cagey one^s ire. 

"Say: I'm just as welcome here as I would be in the street: 
don't miss one if you can — that the idea?'' he asked. "That's 
what you get for letting a skirt lay around with you, anyway. 
Everything harmonious — ^then — bingo 1 — in drops a dame and 
everything's crabbed. That's why I let Lily King out. Jeal- 
ousy? She wrote the book. Tough habit in a woman. Why 
if I so much as said there was a good-looking woman on a 
moving-picture screen . . . Hey ! — smoke that pill. Beau, 
and I'll wear out the stem on your nut. . . ." 

He snatched away the pipe as it went to his friend for the 
third time, snatching also the cooking-needle and smokiiig 
without assistance. "You'll lie over with your friend, Mias 
Sonia Americanski Busski Jealousoscovitch,if you don't take 
off your blinders and notice. little Pink's among those present 
—see?'' 

Sonetchka gave him a cool impersonal nod as though this 
speech first made her aware of his presence. Beally, the 
Cagey Kid commanded her intense admiration, but he had a 
reputation for holding women lightly because of his repeated 
successes, and she had sworn her admiration of him should 
never be revealed. 

"I had a tumble, myself," he said, handing back the pipe 
and referring to her narrow escape. "I was hustling tte 
match with Joe Deane, and we took a big Swede from Min- 
neapolis for the works. Well, when I pull the finish on him 
about going back after the fellow who skinned us, it sounds 
pretty good to him, but he don't tip me — only follows in case I 
need assistance, see ? — me not jerry. Well, when I meet Joe, 
at Cleary's corner, Joe spots the Swede coming, and offices 
me to pull some rough stuff. So I starts calling him divers 
kinds of sons-of-what-you-call-'ems, and then we sparred for a 
clinch. At which the Swede unloads a cannon, and gits Joe 
in the currency kick. A big green harness-bull sees the shoot- 
ing and drops off'n a passing short and, jest my luck, mitts 



Sons of Subterranea 129 

me, while I'm trying to help Joe with his game leg. The 
Swede beats it, and the big lying copper's gotta make good 
for the pinch, so he swears he seen me pull the gat. That 
gets me held over night without bail, Joe to the hospital ; and, 
next morning, I'm in the line-up and the Chief tells the dicks 
to pick me up anjrwheres they see me loitering and jest bring 
me in on suspicion. Course I let Mother know and she had 
a mouthpiece there with the fall money; and he passed the 
word to Fourteenth Street to forgit the case, but the Chief 
can't call these coppers up in a body and tell them to forgit 
it — ^too many dicks stooling for the D. A. So, with a lot of 
heavy-headed goose-feet on my trail, I'm gunna lay low till 
they forget my mug." 

**Wat you do?" asked Sonetchka, forgetting her recent in- 
difference. 

*TEe'8 got a job playing pianner in the new room they're 
opening up-stairs at Sydenham's next Monday night," said 
Beau eagerly. Pink being occupied. ^TTou know how nuts all 
these socie^ skirts is about honkatonk stuff, don't you? — 
cabarets, they call 'em — ^turkey-trots and todolos and grizzly- 
bears and tangos. Fink starts to bang the box the other night 
in deary's, and one of the head fellows at Sydenham's hap- 
pened to drop in, and said Pink's playing was the darb — ^jest 
the local-color touch they needed. . . ." 

Pink, finishing his pill, broke in apologizing for considering 
any form of employment sanctioned by the law : "Course, I 
didn't think of taking it, then, but after I got this tumble — ^" 

'TTou oughta thank your rabbit's foot," said the Phony Kid, 
who was always willing to sacrifice the spectacular for the 
easy : '^Nothing to do but put on the thirteen-and-the-odd and 
set around with the other performers, all dolled up like reg- 
ular spenders and have your chuck and your drinks on the 
house and get paid for it, while it's costing the suckers the 
entire B. R. Wish I could glom a dame who could dance. 
I'd get a job there, myself — I wrote the book about trotting 
when it wasn't no farther north than Chatham Square." 



130 God's Man 

*TV^at about me?'* asked Sonia eagerly. ''Me — ^T am a 
danseuse extraordinaire, Zat is my meedle name. I dance 
wiz you, Beau, zen some managers see us and give us somesing 
beeg. Eh?" 

"Some idea," said Pink approvingly. *'You can git the job 
all right. They still want some rough honkatonk workers 
who kin wear evening clothes. And a guy to wear a powdered 
wig and silk pants and open the doors, and a telephone-girl— 
a good-looker. The old geezer that hired me told me so the 
other night. I told Beau to hunt up a skirt before^ but you 
know these hop-heads — always putting things oflf — ^* 

"Well, I ain't on the blacklist like you, sucker," said Beau 
shortly. "I kin still hustle. I won't starve if I don't grab 
the job. But if Sonny here means business — *' 

"Don't never trust no dame for nothing," said Pink sen- 
tentiously. "If she happens to wake up wrongside Monda' 
morning, she'd put a shieve into you just for amusement 
That's why I canned Blonde Aileen. She wasn't fit for a dog 
to associate with in the morning." 

"You an' your 'ussies/' said Sonetchka fiercely, again trans- 
ferring her attentions exclusively to Beau, less endowed with 
a lurid past. "You come weez me to my 'otel," she said to 
him, "an' you can 'ave somesing I kep' for you. Eet will be 
'andy w'en you wear your dress-suit — ^" Beally, she had been 
keeping this article, a fur-coat, for Pink; but his auto- 
biographical references always enraged her, a fact that both- 
ered Pink not at all, for he had found the surest way to win 
new girls was to have been greatly desired of others in the 
past. 

"Hetty Hamilton, too," he went on, referring to one whose 
name now blazed high over vaudeville theaters : who had been 
carried to popularity by the new craze for dances once con- 
fined to the underworld ; "she jest worried me to death, that 
Hamilton. I had to swing on her right from my heel every 
two or three days. No other way of living with her, there 
wasn't Every now and then she jest woke up, saying to he^ 



Sons of Subterranea 131 

self: This is the day I'll have a good time making him feel 
miserable:' and she'd contradict me even if I said huming 
beings had two legs and two arms and five fingers and five 
toes. 'Some haven't/ she'd say, jest as though they was fash- 
ions in sach things : 'some have more, some have less. Yon 
don't know everything.' Honest ! And if I let her get away 
with that and Uien I happened to remark: 'Ain't it fanny 
bow everybody has to die some day, and nobody ever comes 
back' — jest something to make conversation and get her out 
of her sulks — ^why, she'd up and say : 'Everybody don't I' TX)n't 
what?* I'd say. 'Don't die,' she'd say. TDon't talk foolish,' 
I'd say. *Who's talking foolish,' she'd say; 'no more foolish 
than you. You don't know everything.' 'Listen, broad,' I'd 
say, tiien, ^ou got your roasting clothes on to-day and you 
better take 'em off quick or I'll slam you one in the kisser, 
see'— %au8e huming nature has its limits. *Tou would,' she'd 
say : 'I'd like to see the man 'ud lay a finger on me — * And 
no matter how many times I done it, she'd pull the same thing 
next time, — ^Td jest like to see the fellow that would — ^ thaf s 
all she'd say, jest aching for it, and if she didn't get it then 
she'd go on, nasty. 'He wouldn't live long to tell people about 
it,' she'd say. 'What would you do P I'd say, nasty too, then. 
Td put powdered glass in his beer, thaf s what I'd do,' she'd 
say: I'd wait till he fell asleep and I'd cut his heart out, 
that's what I'd do. I'd—' But by that time, I'd 'a' done it, 
and I'd start packing my things. Jest about the time I got 
'em all packed, she'd come over and put her arms around me 
and cry and ask was her papa goin' to leave his poor little 
thing jest because she had a headache and felt bad — ^" 

"Sof fy," said the infuriated Sonia, "w'at womans ! Those 
'ussies. I'd like to see ze man w'at would strike me — ^" 

Thaf 8 what they all say," returned Pink wearily. "If 
horses ran to form like women. Beau, I'd be a regular Rocke- 
feller. And then when they get it they say: 'Well, you 
wouldn't dare do it again.' And when you do, they say : 'I'd 
like to see some other man do what you did.' And that's the 



132 God's Man 

way they go. While, really, the/re as proud as Pnnch. I »■ 
member one day, I give Edna Garry an eye like a Bunset, red, 
green and yellow. And when she went into the Owl to have 
the dnig-clerk paint it and he says : 'What's the matter, run 
into the elevator-shaft?' she says, *Huh! I guess not I The 
sweetest thing in the world give me that.' He told me—" 

"Oh, you make me seeck,*' said Sonia excitedly. 'TTou never 
'ave no nice womans. All 'ussies. Zaf s nuzzing w'at teg 
say—'' 

'That's what they all say about one another, too," said Pink 
in a bored tone. 'Tiily'd always say Blonde Aileen waa a 
tramp, and Aileen said Hetty was a tramp, and Edna said 
Aileen was a — ^well, I won't use her exact words, and not 
Sonia says Edna was a hussy. That's the way it goes." 

''Doan' you put me een weez your tramps," cried Sonia in 
irate emotional tones. "Doan' you zeenk, Meester Cagey Keed, 
zat Sonia fall for you. No. Net Not one time. Jus* like 
zat. Nevar. I 'ate you." 

'I'll get you yet, though," returned Pink, smiling aggra- 
vatingly. 'They always start hating me. I can tell the signs. 
Oee ! I wonder why those fellas that write books always poll 
that sucker stuff about women bein' hard to understand. If 
I had a dollar for every mistake I've made about woman, I 
couldn't buy the hair on a Mexican hairless dog. I on'y wish 
there wasn't nothing harder than telling what a woman was 
gunna do next — ^that's all." 

"Well, 'ere's one you can't tell nuzzing about," said Sonia, 
stifling her rage. 

"Oh, yes, I can," answered Pink, "you're gunna try to make 
me think you're stuck on Beau. What you're gunna give him 
you was saving for me. See ? I'm jerry." And he laughed 
at her encrimsoned face. 

"You — ^" spluttered Sonia, and then was silent. An almoflt 
unconquerable desire to seize his blond hair and poll it hard 
lay hold of her. "Conzeited sing," she said, defeated: ^^aome 
day you get in lofe wiz some girl w'at is aomesing and 



Sons of Subterranea 133 

-«he laugh at you. 'Wat — zat/ she say, ^zat funny 
ana/ Pooh! 'Ere, Beau.'* 

there was silence for a long period; but presently 
ition along less personal lines began; and, soon, all 
ere discussing the possibilities of their new employ- 
kin grab many a live one dancing in cabarets,'' said 
miniscently. **If they kin get the head waiter to bring 
r to you, you kin bet the works that guyTl buy wine. 
t you always order a different kind from his. Make 
)int8 'stead of a quart: and have yours frapp6. With 
around the bottle yours can't be tumbled for cider 
^here's two-fifiy difference in the price and you git 
»to encourage business — the house's profit's on his'n. 
you don't have to drink the stuff : the waiter 'uU fix it 
I pour it out when the guy ain't looking. I know a 
girl pulls down ten dollars a night jest in brass-checks, 
ithing wrong: her fella wouldn't stand for it You 
alf to know the guy outside. Less'n you managed to 
od live one. Then you might jolly him and make up a 
tier you're through. Show him tiie sights. You, me, 
md some other wise girl, maybe. End up in your 
snt for a little bridge-party. By that time he'd be so 
in old-time Mississippi river-boat cheater could clean 
t alone a couple smart young grifts like us. Split 
wajrs, with some luck-money to the other girl. . . ." 
3," approved Pink. 'TTou donno 'any little gal thaf s 
ittle gal,' do you ? Good-looker with a nice v'ice. Cause 
frou they want one at the telephone there. Swell job 

0. Wear clothes jest like the others, and the switch- 
8 all done up fancy like a cottage piano — and the 
Dsade like those old sit-on chairs — ^" 

dan," interrupted Beau, **see-dan, sucker, see-dan!'* 

1, those old chairs women used to ride in, two men 
ihafts — ^thafs the way the phone booths are, anyhow, 
ide, all pink roses and eveiything. And when you see 



134 God's Man 

the girl sitting at the switchboard, and the chairs and all, 
it^s just like you go in some swell droring-room, with a society 
dame sitting at her piano. You can't even see it's a switch- 
board less'n you get behind her. That's why they want a 
swell looker. And nobody 'ud dare slip her less'n a quarter 
tip : not to an outfit like that. Better not tip at all. Some 
place, believe me. Got 'em all skinned. Why, the waiters has 
to wear satin knee-pants and silk stockings and long chaiofi 
around their necks, jest like in Monte Carlo, or some such 
joint ..." 

An idea seized Sonia. Her black eyes snapping, she in- 
terrupted with a question as to when the place would open. 
"Monday, didn't I tell you?" replied Pink, "and then they 
got-" 

"Next Monday?" she broke in again: he nodded im- 
patiently. "And zees is Toosda," she ruminated : "say. Pink, 
w'at you zink?— could a girl learn w'at to do zere in seex 
days? I 'ave a fren, a lofely girl. Pink — jus' like zat— oh, 
lof ely, I gif you my word. An' I got some lofely drezzes, too, 
zat I boost from Vagen'als an' Zunda/s — ^beautiful. I gif zem 
to 'er — ^jus' 'er size, zirty-seex. You zink she learns to be 
telephone girl in seex days — " 

"The point is," Pink reminded her, "is she a reg'lar looker? 
No chips, you know. None of your chewing gum bradies — ^ 
Sonia plunged indignantly into a defense of Velvet Voice's 
charm. ^T^Thy, then," said Pink, "I guess that's the ducket 
Fine for us, too, 'cause she could tip us off to what she hears 
over the phone, and that might net us many a piece of 
change, knowing who's who and what they've got to lose if 
anybody heard of them cutting up high-jinks. If s always 
useful in case of a holler about bein' cheated. And it might 
get us a piece of money for a sorta refined Tbadger* — oh, 
nothing coarse, nothing rough, nothing not classy," he pro- 
tested, "that ain't our way. Beau's and mine. Strictly class — 
hey, Mitt-and-a-Half ?" 

Enoch Apricott, who had seated himself on a corner of the 



Sons of Subterranea 135 

bunk, pressed down the tobacco in his workman's cutty-pipe 
with the remaining fingers of his maimed hand^ and grinned 
sourly. ^'Hand it to them tlie same way they hand it to us/' 
he said harshly. "IVe always told you boys that. Go after 
the respectable ones. They're the worst. The kind that can't 
squeal because they're ornaments to some little Jersey com- 
munity. And around there they's deacons and ve6tr3rmen. 
. . . The Lord drives the money-changers out of His 
temple^ His ways are diflBcult of understanding . . ." He 
often went oflf into these Biblical paraphrases seeming for the 
moment to forget his audience entirely. ''And go after the 
rich men's sons," he went on savagely, "the ones that spend 
the money they minted outa human flesh and blood. Sting 
'em. Sting 'em. The Swarms of Locusts and the Pests of 
Flies. Make the Kings pay through the Princes — ^thaf s the 
law : 'the sons of the father . . .,' " 

Again he sat, staring abstractedly, his pipe-embers smol- 
dering no more darkly than his deeply-set eyes. And then he 
tapped Sonia on her thin little shoulder. 

'TDon't ever get sentimental over rich young men. Don't 
feel sorry for taking their last dollar. Remember, you are 
an Instrument — ^" He thrust the hand of the missing fingers 
almost between her eyes. 'That about paid for some woman's 
champagne bath. Take all you can get— give nothing — ^make 
'em pay." 

He arose abruptly and walked oflf to his comer, to put on 
liis iron-bound spectacles and to work on some improvements 
to various burglars' tools. Silently and swiftly he worked, 
except at rare moments, when he would raise his eyes, sur- 
veying his gathered guests, and laughing discordantly. "The 
Swarm of Locusts : the Pest of Flies," he would mutter. 

'Tie's nuts," said Pink in a low voice ; "jest plain nuts. But 
at that, he has some good ideas. The business of getting senti- 
mental over suckers makes my neck tired. 'I just can'i take 
his last dollar,* Helen Darling used to say, Tie's been so good 
to me.' *Listen, you poor imbecile broad,' I used to say to 



136 



's Man 



her. They don't mind taking our last dollar, do they, with 
their truets and everything? Course ie's been good to yon, 
'cause he wants to get you,' I'd say. ^And when he does get 
you, he'll drop you any minute he sees another dame he wants. 
So you make hay while the sun shines and clean him for the 
works.' But she always was a sucker broad, she wouldn't 
listen, went to live with him, told him she loved him not his 
dough, and he canned her in five months, and grabbed Cleo 
Darcy who won't let him in unless he's carrying part of Grif- 
fony's front window in his mitt and who keeps him waiting 
in theater lobbies while she has dinner with her fella who 
hasn't got a nickel. And yet the sucker is wild abont 
her . . ." He went on with similar instances until Sonift 
interrupted. 

"I want that you come weez me to meet my f ren," she said, 
having cleaned the "toey" and risen. **We have dinner to- 
gezzer, ze four of us, heinf Zen I dress her up in zose clothes 
from Vagen'als and Zunday's, an' we go to zee ze restaurant 
man about ze jhob, jus' like zat." 

They acceded and got into their street attire. 

On the following Monday, at the opening of Sydenham's 
^'Caf6 de Paris Cabaret," Annie Eunice Chasserton made her 
entrance before the footlights of Advertisement Alley. 



■.(■•- • 



CHAPTER THREE 

HOW AENOLD GOT OUT OF JAIL 

I. He Mkets Nietzschb in Motlbt 

T TWO o'clock on the afternoon 
of Arnold's arrest the door to his 
cell was fiung open and another 
offender vaa pushed in bo vio- 
lently tliat he fell to the floor. 
He arose, and to Arnold's aston- 
ishment vhistled cheerfully — s 
peculiar man this, although out- 
vardly distinguished chiefly by 
an elaborate jewel of a collar- 
stud, which served as a sort of 
^ — '^v^— ^ permanent substitute for necktie. 
Its owner had too young a face 
for his bald head and his comfortable round paunch; it was 
as though a boy's features peeped from a casing of false-face 
and padded body. His trousers were too tight for his little 
fat legs and his ancient cutaway coat, parted at the tails to 
show a patch in their seat, heightened their appearance to 
riding breeches. 

Having surveyed bis new quarters with the air of one who 
has been shown into the royal suite of a fashionable hotel, 
having nodded cheerily to Arnold as to an old friend, the 
newcomer fished into his pockets and produced from a cigar- 
ette-boz the stump of a cigar, which he thrust into a paper 
holder, all the while whistling in a shrill key, using his teeth 
for cadenza effects. 



138 God's Man 

''Oh, chuck it/' groaned an English voice from a near-by 
cell ; ''chuck it, will you ?^ 

The newcomer shook his head mournfully. "Let a little 
sunshine in, brother,*' he called back, "don't think you've got 
to be miserable 'cause you're in jail. . . ." 

Beceiving fierce remonstrance, he shrugged his shoulders 
and leaned back luxuriously with each puff of his cigar, eyes 
closed in blissful anticipation, inhaling so deeply that very 
little smoke was disgorged. "Jail's the only place to really 
enjoy a good cigar. You can give your whole mind to it," 
he suddenly confided in Arnold. "A man actually .threw this 
angel-filled. Heaven-wrapped cigar away half -smoked. When 
I need good cigars," he added, after a pause, as one who, 
after deep reflection, is transmitting a matchless secret, '1 
go hang around the Murray Hill or North Washington Square 
section — at tea time. It don't do for gentlemen to go calling 
on a lady armed to the teeth. So I get a fifly-cent smoke 
for the price of one of these here paper holders — a trey for a 
jitney — ^less'n two cents per smoke. They know cigars on 
Murray Hill. Fifth Avenue's apt to take people's words— 
too busy coining to git educated, poor devils." 

Arnold, head on palm and slanted elbow, stared. Evi- 
dently, this oddity was not essaying humor. Wondering 
about him, Arnold momentarily forgot he was a tragic figure, 
and only sneered faintly. 

"Not educated up to the joys of jail, eh? Sure," returned 
the newcomer, the sneer unnoticed; "while regular fellows 
are yoimg they have a hell of a time chippy-chasing — gloriouB 
jags Saturday nights with the ladies down the line." He 
smacked his lips as one whose tongue was rolling delicious 
morsels. "Those millionaire fellows save, instead. The 
other fellows learn about women and whisky and good times — 
they don't even know the women they married for money, or 
that could do the housework and save. When they get their 
millions at forty or fifty what use are they, not knowing how 
to enjoy life? I'm sorry for 'em. Fve lived every second 



How Arnold Got Out of Jail 139 

and I haven't done any work to speak of either except work I 
liked/' 

**With the result? . . /' suggested Arnold in gentle 
ellipsis. 

The other waited until he had tranquilly blown out some 
few final strands of smoke, then said philosophically : '*Well, 
it's winter. Jail in winter if I ain't been lucky enough to 
get down South with the birds. . . ." Here he shrugged 
his shoulders, suggesting worse alternatives, '^t was to get 
railroad fare to Mexico that I got myself jammed in here. A 
gix-er, I suppose. Well, itll be spring then. Saves going 
South anyway; and I hate railroad traveling. The worst is 
always the best if you know the answer. . . ." 

In the cell next door the self-appointed censor seemed to 
be sobbing. ^Just loves misery,'' commented the censored 
one. *'Tried to hang himself to his cell-door with his neck- 
tie, but it broke — so they were saying up-stairs. Shows there's 
some good in cheap neckties. . . ." 

^TTou don't believe in suicide, then ?" asked Arnold ; ^'when 
a man's got nothing to live for ?" He was regarded in aston- 
ishment. 

''Ever in the country in springtime ? Trout just hopping 
out of the streams begging to be caught? Or summer nights 
when watermelons just bust their bellies in the moonlight and 
their natural protectors is asleep? Or down around the 
marshes in the fall when the ducks fly so low you can hit 'em 
with a rock and get a roast one, chestnuts lying plentiful all 
around on the side ? Or along the Long Island shore, where 
you can unhitch a boat and sneak a lobster out of a tr^p some- 
body's kindly set for you — ?" 

It was Arnold who groaned this time. ^TTou're from Long 
Island?" asked the motley man. 'TVell, I needn't say any 
more about that lobster stuff; you know. . . . I've trav- 
eled into every country in the world, son, and I ain't et hafl 
the good things yet, nor drunk half the different brews nor 
won't neither, even if I had a beard I could use for a fishing- 



140 God's Man 

line. Say, that just makes me sick — a man killing himself 
when he's at an age when he ain't even et all the food of his 
own country let alone others. And what for? Women? 
Always a dozen to every man — a himdred to every regular 
guy. Broke ? Think of the new things you get to eat and 
drink chasin' around new coimtries trying to get solvent 
again. And the different kinds of women. . • . Sui- 
cide? Just plain anarchy of the brain-box. Change your 
woman, change your job. Change your country. Change 
your luck. But don't try changing your life until you know 
what you're drawing to. If s bum poker." 

Arnold laughed, rose, stretched himself, and as he came 
out of his dark corner surveyed his cell-mate plainly for the 
first time, the light from the outside corridor falling full on 
their faces. Both immediately began to stare, began those 
instinctive efforts of recollection semi-familiar features in- 
voluntarily impel. And Arnold remembered. A few yean 
before — Christmas holidays — a man minding fences and pig 
pens in a manner so desultory and deliberate that two fingers 
were frost-bitten; the work he was to have done, had not the 
frost-bite intervened, a return for Christmas cheer and an 
old overcoat. He had grown stouter since then and he no 
longer wore the parson's overcoat. Arnold wondered now 
if there had ever been a frost-bite, for this was the sort of 
man to lie awake planning how to escape any obligations that 
involved labor. But how had he made his fingers seem 
purply blue ? 

"You know me?" asked the suspected one. 'Tjefs see you 
full face, son;" and, seeing it, guffawed loudly, heightening 
Arnold's wonder as to how the deceiving color had been 
achieved. 

"Oh, stow it," groaned their neighbor plaintively. 

"He loves it, loves it, goodness how he loves it," reflected Mr. 
Quinn, for it was by that name he introduced himself to Ar- 
nold, after explaining his curiosity concerning the frost-bite 
stage-effect by offering to instruct him with a piece of cor- 



How Arnold Got Out of Jail 141 

;ated cord and any one of Arnold's fingers. Arnold took 
word for it 

^Qninn — Harley Quinn — christened Harvey but with one 
le change of letter, now much more suitable/' Mr. Quinn 
tinned. ''And so y(yu!re in jail." He chuckled, forgot the 
sr of nuseiy, and whistled again. ''And thaf s very apt, 
," he added after a few bars. "This is no place for a 
lister's son.' " He added a few bars different but equally 
crable. " 'Breaking the News to Father' is that one," he 
plained. "Sad little bit but ifs got to be done, eh?" 
^o," said Arnold shortly; "do me a favor and forget all 
^ut Long Island. I don't intend my family name to be 
graced — ^" 

iir. Quinn lay back, still chuckling. "You might come 
ht out of a book with that speech," he averred. "And Con- 
ssman Waldemar a neighbor of yours? — I see his son over 
your house that day, don't I ? — ^Though I don't know then 

he is, not until I do some odd jobs over to his dad's place. 
. . My fingers got well down in the valleys-different 
— ^and what leavings from the dinners 1 — ^patey-boy-grass 

1 mushrooms and — ^good God lemme forget it now. . . . 
ee that Waldemar boy plenty times when I'm opening cab- 
)r8 up around Times Square. Some spender he is. I'd 
5 to eat where he does. Ain't you let him know?" 
imold maintained a sullen silence. Since this man had 
ne into the cell, all tragedy had fled. Pace downward on 
I plank, unjustly persecuted and broken of spirit, the last 
the L'Hommedieus had at least the gloomy satisfaction of 
)wing he was the principal figure in a great tragedy : could 
ture himself condemned — still unjustly — serving his term 
ilent saturnine figure wrapped in impenetrable mystery : for 
I end of his term visiting Monte Cristo vengeances on his 
'secutors. Now, in the astonished question of the motley 
n's — ^"Ain't you let him know" — Arnold realized his anach- 
listic conduct. This was a game played with marked cards ; 
t more you marked and could use the greater your sue- 



142 God's Man 

cess. What else had Mr. Krafft^s client used to escape paying 
his debt for Hans Chasserton's lost wits: to protect himself 
from the righteous assaults of wronged men : John Waldemar 
to escape notoriety through Bobbie^s little supper party? Hi8 
own friendship for Hugo had marked that card and saied 
Waldemar Senior the election. 

"Marked cards I^^ he said aloud, "that's about what this 
whole game il^ isn't it ? With a pull, / can get out. Withont 
one, you can stay in. . . .'' 

Mr. Quinn chuckled. 'Thafs the book way of putting it,** 
he agreed: "but there's not much fun about 'marked cards' 
and there's a wh6le lot of fun about life ... a reg'lar 
Bowery mellerdram when you're young, but a burlesque-shoir 
after you've blown the froth oflf the beer. . . . Have yon 
got two dollars ?" he interpolated suddenly. 

Seeing from Arnold's face that he had, he set up an im- 
mediate loud bawling, which was answered, louder, as the 
hall man hurried down swearing. Hypnotized by the man's 
assertion, Arnold, by the time the official appeared, had en- 
abled Mr. Quinn to thrust one dollar in his hand. 

"You get Mr. Waldemar — ^young Mr. Waldemar — Congress- 
man Waldemar's son — on the phone," said Quinn importantly. 
"He's probably at his office — the Waldemar office — ^youll find 
it in the phone book — and if you hurry, you'll get the other 
caser." He held up the second bill tantalizingly. "One of 
his best friends in trouble down here — say — and he's to come 
hoppin'— one of his best friends, don't forget. No namea-— " 

"Marked cards again?" asked Arnold gloomily, remembe^ 
ing the push and the harshness of the now almost servile hur- 
rying jailer. 

"Value received," corrected Mr. Quinn : "do men work for 
wages or for love ? Maybe they oughta work for love ; but— 
they don't. . . . Thafs the only game: value received. 
The world's always trjring to make you give 'value received'; 
your parf s to make 'em think they got it." 

'^ot value received. Double and treble and quadruple 



How Arnold Got Out of Jail 143 

ue/* returned Arnold. "And for that, they — a few men 
o've got the game cornered — they kindly permit you to 
e and work for them — ^^ 

^That's where your smartness comes in/' returned Mr. 
linn, chuckling. *T)on't work unless you get paid what's 
^ht. They can't make you. There's the open country, so 
Id you can sleep outdoors even up here six months in the 
ir ; and then you do a little work and get a ticket South for 
B other six. Food? There's always food at farmhouses 
p a Union veteran with his missing arm slipped under his 
idershirt, due to a Bebcl cannon-ball— or for a little wood- 
opping if you want a bed and breakfast when the weather's 
laty— or there's the bam. Steady honest work — poor but 
•oud? — ^you can have my part of it — cheerful. Meanwhile 
3k around you for a rough chance thaf s worth risking seven 
ars in an itchy gray suit. I've had thousands in my time 
it of country post-offices. Blew 'em in on booze and women, 
it had a great time while it lasted. Course they nail you 
metimes: like this time and for small potatoes too, but 
at's the part of the game 'at makes things lively. You're 
iad right about it being a game; the greatest in the world, 
rouble with most people, they think it's either a picnic or a 
ineral. Take those titmice down in the ghettos and slums. 
heir own fault for staying there. Let 'em have sense enough 
' see nobody can make 'em stay, nobody can make 'em work. 
ake to the road — ^be hoboes, yeggs, anything but being so 
x>r and so proud and so honest they spend all their lives 
orking hard for shed and doughnut money. . . . And 
the farmers won't give 'em meals, loot the henhouses and 
le orchards and truck-gardens ; get together in a bunch and 
>ld up some small village — or, if they must be city-folk, 
len when they're out of a job, heave a brick through a win- 
m and say : 'I did it. Now put me in jail and feed and clothe 
e.' That's what I do when things are awful tough ; and if 
^eiybody was like me, the big gees who're running the game 
d tfoon get sore on building jails and supporting half the 



144 God's Man 

population in 'em^ and they'd make it more tempting-like 
for them to work — ^they'd have to give 'em something better 
than the minimum dougli and the maximum sweat. Caufe 
the big gees 'ud have to support their families if they didn't 
. . . People's own fault for being titmice. *Poor but re- 
spectable;' *work their jBngers to the bone sooner'n go to the 
workhouse/ 'sooner die than go to jail.' All right Such 
saps deserve all they get — no sympathy coming. They won't 
learn the game, so they gotta be taught. Then they all start 
at once. They're learning now — fast. More young fellows 
going in for being yeggs and grafters, more girls going on the 
town — all good business." He chuckled and licked his lipa. 
"We'll have one of those revolutions here, soon. Glory be!— 
I only hope I'm alive for it. That 'ud be worth living for. Ha ! 
Ha !" He went oflf into fits of laughter. "In the shuflBe when 
the present bosses lose their jobs — and their heads — I might 
grab one of their jobs myself. I know how to talk biggity 
and that's the main thing with the mob. I can see 'em now 
knockin' casks of fine old wines open with axes up there on 
Fifth Avenue, sitting with their arms around swell women's 
waists after they've croaked the women's husbands — and lis- 
tening to me talk by torchlight. Me with the swellest lady 
of the lot. Can't you see her ?" 

His face had lit up with such sensuous pleasure that Arnold 
turned away in disgust ; yet, looking again, he saw it was only 
the sensuousness of the wild animal; the man's rotund face 
had no evil in it. This was his conception of the game. He 
did not complain of the thorns, therefore why should he not 
have the roses ? ... It was the face of a Faun, a Satyr, 
a reversion to Phallic days. 

"So that's your idea," he said finally, forcing the recalci- 
trant disgust. "No love for. your fellow men — ^" 

"No bosh," returned Mr. Quinn. "The game always has 
been played that way, it's being played that way now. Any 
common girl thaf s extra pretty, the bosses get, nowadays, 
don't they? Well, just turn the tables on 'em. That'g fair, 



How Arnold Got Out of Jail 145 

eh? It ought to happened long ago if the titmice had any 
get up and go about 'em/' 

II. Justice — ^a la Cobniqan 

He ceased abruptly at the sound of many footsteps; in 
another minute, he, Arnold, the young Englishman next door, 
various other cell-mates, had been pushed up-stairs into a long 
low room where stood a camera, a man behind it. 

"Here, you I" said one of the plain clothes men in charge, 
pushing forward the Englishman who, thoroughly miserable, 
sat and stood, in a dull apathetic daze while photographs (to 
be labeled "suspect" until the prisoner should be convicted 
and more comprehensively photographed under the Bertillon 
system) were made . . . the other men also, until it came 
to the turn of Quinn, who protested mightily, speaking of a 
citizen's rights. 

"Say — you bum," shouted the burliest of the policemen, 
and buffeted him, staggering, into a chair. Quinn rose im- 
mediately, turning his back on the machine and facing the 
man who had struck him, surveyed him steadily, searchingly. 
Ill get you some day for that," he said, then to Arnold : 
They've got no right to make us guilty. We're innocent till 
a judge and jury decide. I ain't going to have a picture 
hounding me all over the earth. Not me." 

"Nor I," said Arnold, his heart beating high, his breath 
coming short. 'Tiet's see you make us," he added boldly. 

*T[ told you," said Kirstenbaum, reminded of his apple-lump 
and feeling it solicitously — he and Wiley were there with the 
others : "I told you, dangerous guy. . . . I'll fix you, mis- 
ter, when you come up before the Judge," he added fiercely, 
taking a stride toward Arnold. "I guess these 'uU look none 
too well anyhow — ^" He snapped a pair of steel handcuffs on 
Arnold's wrists — ^in that moment and position, the photogra- 
pher snapped him. 

"How do you like that?" asked Wiley, palm out, pushing 






V. 



146 God's Man 

Arnold^s head against the wall ; "you tramp, you bum. I on^ 
wish I had you alone in a cell for one minute. . . .'* Arnold 
stumbled under his pushes and would have lashed out savage^ 
with his boot-toe, had not Quinn restrained him. 

'They're looking for that to beat you up and say it wm 
self-defense," he warned. His own captor scowled. 

"Go on, you,'* he said, digging at him with his elbow until 
Quinn stumbled too. This detective carried tangible evidence 
against him, various tools with which Quinn had, at the insti- 
gation of a caf 6 keeper, endeavored to adjust the meter of t 
beer-pump, so that the great corporation supplying electriciiy 
would be mulcted of half profits. These exhibits he thnut 
beneath the Quinnian nose when the party was seated in the 
prison omnibus, adding vindictive prophecies as to their "send- 
ing up'* powers. 

'^ot at all,*' returned Mr. Quinn with an air of greit 
purity: "the pump was out of whack. Some lawless indi- 
vidual had done just that shocking thing you refer to, and J 
was trying to undo his villainy. The new owner of that caft 
is an honest man — ^he's too stupid to be anything else,'* he 
added with a grin. The pale young Englishman stared at 
him sadly. 

"Don't say that, my dear fellow,'* he urged; "I wish Fd 
never been sent to this blasted country. You get so accustomed 
to hearing things like that said, and reading about diahoneity 
and hearing it called 'clever business' that you begin to betieir 
it . . . this bloody America. . . ." 

His captor, born in Limerick, interrupted with patriotic 
profanity. "We don't want none of the like of yees nohov, 
dirty Englishmen — ^" 

"Oh, the English, the English, they don't amount to much,' 
sang Mr. Quinn cheerily: "but they're a damn sight betttf 
than the Irish." 

"Shut it, you," growled the man from Limerick ; but Mr. 
Quinn, greatly pleased with the eflfect produced, contimiedi 
with an air of profound contempt : 



How Arnold Got Out of Jail 147 

lie Irish, what were they when they was free ? A lot of 
^ always scrapping. A king — ^a rich guy with a potato 
1 and two pigs. And a thousand English come over and 
d all the kings and all the potato patches and all the 
—human and otherwise^ A thousand Englishmen ! I'm 
I and thafs what I got against my parents — ^giving me 
a lonsy start. A thousand Englishmen. . . .'* 
VUl you cut it outP' asked the infuriated Limericker. 
Lnd then,^ continued Mr. Quinn, shaking his head in 
»w, *'then the Irish come to New York and if s never been 
>r anything but pigs since. 'Everywhere the Irish go, 
Touble, trouble, trouble,* *' he sang in a high clear tenor. 
»h! — ^if I'd been bom a Hunlqr or a Qinny, or even a 
lisher boy — ^but Irish — 1 1 — ^* 

lis time his discourse was terminated by a blow on the 
*T1I learn ye, ye scut,'* breathed Limerick heavily, re- 
ng to his aboriginal brogue. "Now tell the Judge why 
; ye, his name's Comigan." 

linn turned to Arnold, holding his injured jaw. 'Think 
be much trouble for Congressman Waldemar to separate 
Harp from one job ?" he asked. 'T)id you say Comigan, 
er?— oh, yes — that's the fellow whose picture got printed 
1 they couldn't find one of the educated ape — ^I remem- 
' Arnold had been on the verge of a protest — it was 
ent Quinn assumed Hugo's father was to have him re- 
id too. But — ^this business of marked cards meant help 
• friends, hurt your enemies, let the rest go : Quinn had 
his friend, had roused him from despair, had known how 
Mtch Hugo. He owed him a debt. 

he wagon rattled up to the rear of Jefferson Market, the 
mers pushed into the 'T)ull-pen" — ^a huge square room, a 
e-floor filthy with tobacco juice, no seats, one side open 
be gaze of privileged persons — ^reporters, friends of the 
t, political visitors, shyster lawyers — ^^'counsel." Some 
beee latter came to the iron lattice calling various names 
n from the police blotters, names that promised a prob- 



148 God's Man 

able fee: Arnold's pseudonjrm of Arthur Lomerdoo— Mr. 
Krafft^ who had lost Arnold's slip in the o£Bce fight, had gifen 
it from memory — among them. Mr. Quinn's also; sevenJ 
more, to which a few responded. 

"That hall man didn't dare say anything/' whispered 
Quinn, ^Hbut he nodded to me when he got a chance, and I 
slipped him the other caser on the sly. He'll tell your friend 
where we are. Don't bother with these swine." 

"Hats oflf in the court. Silence I Silence !" they heard from 
outside. The bull-pen commanded a sectional view of the 
court : high desks where sat clerks and other officials, a low one 
for stenographer and newspaper men. The vacant chair in 
the center was now filled by a man, bald of hair and facial 
intelligence, in the black gown of the judiciary. His coming 
had been the signal for the gate-man to proclaim his own 
importance along with that of the court autocrat. 

Comigan, the descendant of Irish peasants, had received his 
appointment through a Tammany connection his family en- 
joyed; had, in fact, been sent to law-school where he had 
barely qualified for the bar, for the sole purpose of filling this 
office on which one of his Tammany relatives held a sort of 
feudal lien. Once appointed, Comigan had been useful: he 
seemed to take savage delight in venting a congenital spleoi 
upon weak and defenseless people, this severity equalizing an 
utter leniency in cases he was directed to quash at all hazards. 
A cunning faculty for appearing to judge cases solely on their 
merits made him appear, to the average intelligence, pain* 
fully just, but there was hardly a case brought before him that 
was not weighed and decided long before he came into coqtL 
By frequently writing to the newspapers excoriating other 
judges — who were not party men — or policemen who were in 
disfavor at Headquarters for unruly officiousness in arresting 
those who paid tribute or who were powers on election days: 
and by signing his name to articles written by newspaper men 
and purporting to be "disclosures" — (sold at good figures to 
periodicals and magazines) — Comigan had managed to im- 



How Arnold Got Out of Jail 149 

presB on the public mind a picture of himself as a zealous and 
eflEUdent justice of the peace. 

The young Englishman was the first to come before him 
on this afternoon of ours : the purloiner of a cheque sent in 
payment of a moribund account long since crossed off his em- 
ployer's books; this offense mitigated by a year of scrupulous 
honesty when he might have stolen a hundred times the 
amount of the cheque ; but, the writer of the cheque turning 
up, had forced this prosecution. The young Englishman told 
a story of a girl in serious trouble through him, no money 
for doctors' bills — ^temptation too great . . . just the 
sort of story to please Comigan immensely, giving him a 
chance to be virtuous without offense to the Golden Gods. 

^TTou are not ameliorating your offense by confessing con- 
nivance of other criminal offenses/' he shouted fiercely, ^^ad 
you been a decent man you would have married the girl in- 
stead of taking advantage of her weakness, after you got her 
into trouble anyhow. But your sort shifts the responsibility 
and says you are justified by necessity in taking other people's 
money. What an excuse ! It is as if this court had killed its 
clerk and complained it did so to kill a fly on the clerk's nose." 
He smfled broadly, being given to these antique jests and cher- 
ishing the belief that he was a wit; since time-serving sub- 
ordinates felt moved to laugh loudly, as did also shyster law- 
yers and any prisoners who could catch his eye; all those 
wretched souls hoping for his favors, which so encouraged him 
that, at his club, he was nicknamed ''Old Leprosy" as a result 
of the ancient expression ''shunned like the plague" — ^which 
he was. 

The Puritan prosecutor nodded approvingly, but the man 
of miseiy, after being adjured to answer the unanswerable, 
only muttered some nonsense about receiving wages too small 
to marry on; the girl, a cloak model, needing hers for the 
family's support, her father earning too little to send the other 
children to school. "And she'd seen too much of bringing 
children into the world without enough money to bring them 



150 God's Man 

up decently and give them half a chance/' he said^ moved to 
sudden bitter self-forgetfulness of his present position: *T)e- 
sides she'd lose her job if she had a child. . . .** 

"Enough," thundered Comigan as an actor on a cue and at 
a climax. "This court, sir, will teach you to shirk your re- 
sponsibilities and blame others. Held for the Grand Jury. 
Two thousand bail.'' 

Before the next name was read out, a man went through the 
gate and engaged in whispered conversation with Comigan. 
Some dim remembrance persisted in Arnold, he could not tell 
why; but, when his supposed name was called and he was 
led into the light of the crowded court room, and saw the man 
more clearly — he wondered if this man was not one of those 
who had stepped back to give him passage from Krafffs oflBoe 
— a clerk. At all events, it was apparent that what some per- 
son had said had prejudiced Comigan, or perhaps it was 
the handcuffs ; for his watery blue eyes held what their owner 
doubtless imagined to be judicial severity. 

"This court is shocked and surprised to see before it a 
young man who has committed a crime so cowardly, so mean 
of motive, so inexcusable, as yours. When the court read 
the charges against you, it pictured some one old in crime — or 
driven to insanity by drink," said Comigan, working himself 
into righteous indignation as he proceeded. "The least it ex« 
pected, from your age, was that you would be ashamed to 
meet its eye, that you would be contrite, repentant. Instead, 
you have the assurance to stand there as airily and impudently 
as if you had done no wrong — ^what is the Nation coming 
to? . . . Now this court has some knowledge of your 
case, and . . ." 

^TTou have no right to know anything that is not brought 
out by oflScial evidence," said Arnold wrathfuUy, Comigan's 
hypocrisy in the case of the young Englishman having sick- 
ened him. And now, to assume his guilt without a shred of 
evidence. . . . ^TTou've forgotten your law. Judge Cor- 
nigan, you have no right to lecture people who're unfortunate 



How Arnold Got Out of Jail 151 

enough to have to come before you, before hearing their side. 
Why, if a Juryman's prejudiced, he's barred. And you admit 
you are prejudiced and you a Judge — ^^ 

^SUence,'' shouted Comigan, striking the desk with his 
gaveL ^'Silence, sir, silence. How dare you ?^^ 

"How dare I — ^what?'* asked Arnold. 

What reply Comigan was about to make may be easily sur- 
mised from those previously made; but a touch on his ann, 
from a clerk who had just answered a telephone call, a per- 
sistent pressure that would take no denial — turned his ear and 
the whispering that reached it brought a change of expres- 
sion. Together, the two compared a name on the blotter with 
a name that had come over the telephone. Then Comigan, 
looking past Arnold, beckoned the man Arnold seemed to 
remember, and the whispering was continued. Presently Cor- 
nigan waved both away — ^the lawyer^s clerk to hasten to the 
telephone booth — and addressed himself to Arnold again, this 
time without meeting his eye. 

^Tfour tone is — er — amazing, sir,'* was his softened criti- 
cism. ^This court is a judge of men, it flatters itself, and 
it has found that such a tone proceeds from either a hardened 
criminal or one who is entirely innocent. Now above all 
things this court is unprejudiced. Your tone, to some courts, 
would inflame personal anger. With this court it conduces 
thought. Yet you threatened a gentleman with violence. The 
testimony on that point is irrefragable. But many give way 
to violent tempers. That is regrettable but not crim- 
inal. . . ." 

He looked anxiously toward the public telephone booth into 
which one whisperer had disappeared : then cleared his throat 
and began afresh: 

"Certain personal matters should never be brought into 
1^1 circles, however. This court is a believer in the good 
old Anglo-Saxon fashion of settling personal differences with 
the fists.'* Comigan — ^with only Celtic blood, not a drop of 
Jnte or Angle. '^If this was such an affair, the court is in- 



152 God's Man 

clined to deplore any reference of it to oflBcial quarters. Your 
attitude^ while I must regret it as disrespectfal to a repie- 
fientative of your countr/s laws, may have been inherently 
justified by a predisposition on the court's part to consider 
the evidence of the officers making the arrest as final. . . ." 

Again he looked anxiously toward the telephone booth. 
Wiley and Kirstenbaum nudged each other and turned pale 
anxious faces in the same direction. ^'It must have come 
straight from Fourteenth Street for Corny to talk thataway," 
whispered Wiley. 

"Silence in the court/' thundered Cornigan, viewing Wiley 
and Eorstenbaum with a malevolent eye. 

"Some of these officers/' he said slowly and distinctly, "are 
only too apt to forget they are serving the people, not ruling 
them. This court has often noticed a predilection on their 
part to justify themselves for arrests at the expense of the 
accused. It is no crime to have arrested a man without suffi- 
cient evidence — cases may seem to have that necessity. The 
crime lies in manufacturing evidence when facts have proved 
the incarceration an error — ^" As he turned once more to view 
the telephone booth, Wiley whispered again: "Fourteenth 
Street sure. Throw Terence overboard, Kirsch, or well be 
over our heads — ^" 

"Officer Wiley/' . . . said Cornigan, marking time des- 
perately, but preserving his judicial severity. Wiley, con- 
scious that Cornigan, under orders, was about to make them 
the scapegoats, approached the stand in fear and trembling, 
but was saved by the long delayed reappearance of the man 
from the telephone booth, who pushed him out of the way and 
begged the court's attention. 

Cornigan frowned heavily as one amazed that any one dare 
interfere with his official procedure. "I represent the com- 
plainant, Mr. Lemuel Krafft, Your Honor," said the man hur- 
riedly. "Certain facts regarding the prisoner's family and 
standing have been laid before him. He — er — ^he sees tbi 
assault was made under a misapprehension. He has no widu 



How Arnold Got Out of Jail 153 

therefore, to b e o r — ^well/' he finished lamely, the burden 
of imitating forensic phraseology proving too heavy for him 
as he had forgotten the leading noun and verb of his rambling 
sentence, **he— er — ^withdraws, .Your Honor/' Comigan 
looked triumphantly about him, as one who has scored heavily, 
and Wiley took this opportunity swiftly and surreptitiously 
to remove Arnold's handcuff. 

"As usual, this court failed to be deceived by appearances,'' 
said Comigan. '^r. Lommerdoo, I congratulate you on the 
courage of your convictions. A guilty man would have feared 
to address the court as you did ; therefore, instantly, I knew 
you were innocent. The case is dismissed, and you are ad- 
vised, in the absence of counsel, of a possible damage suit for 
defamation of character and false imprisonment. . . ." 

He beamed, a benefactor, upon Arnold, and also upon the 
huge young man in the smartly cut and costly fur coat — sable 
collar notched to correspond with the general bell-frock shape 
of it, who had pressed close to the railing and caught Ar- 
nold's hand, crushing it into numbness. 

"Oh, Arnold, old pal : Arnold," Hugo Waldemar whispered. 
*lf you knew how I've missed you, how I've hunted you. 
. . . Ifs all fixed now, isn't it? The Governor phoned 
the parties who can fix anything. . . . ." And at Arnold's 
acquiescence, he tried to hurry him down the aisle : "My car's 
outside. Lef s get out of this." 

"Wait," Arnold whispered back. ^TTou'll have to fix it for 
a friend too." And so they sat in the front row, common 
folk hastening to make way for favorites of the Golden 
Gods. 

Comigan was very uneasy under their gaze. His little 
moral lectures in the next two cases, suffering in conviction 
thereby, were cut short. Quinn's case was the third to follow. 
Undoubtedly the man was guilty against the most sacred 
laws of property. The Electric Light, Gas and Power Com- 
pany, the holder of all the Manhattan illumination franchises 
(undar Tarious names) — a heavy contributor to Fourteenth 



154 God's Man 

Street campaign funds in the city and to its rival Machine in 
the state — ^was anxious that the sinful Harley Quinn should 
be convicted: therefore Arnold could look as saturnine and 
comment in as sardonic whispers as he liked^ but Comigan, 
on safe ground and backed by the majesty of both Machines, 
was himself again^ and loosened, in excoriating the base and 
hateful nature of Quinn's crime, all the rhetoric he had corked 
in the two less conspicuous cases. 

But Mr. Quinn only smiled broadly, to His Honor's intense 
chagrin, causing him to wonder nervously if he had mis- 
calculated again, but no! in such a case it was impossible. 
Yet this prisoner declined the advice or assistance of manj 
hovering counsel, and 'liad nothing to say.'* 

"Only, Your Honor/* he added with a winning smile, "to 
ask the amount of bail.*' 

Comigan surveyed his mossy coat, his spatulate trousers, 
his absence of cravat, all reassuring. "One thousand, real 
estate only: satisfactory to the court — ^" That would dispel 
any possible dreams of release on straw-bail by professional 
bondsmen. 'Take him to the Tombs, oflScer/* he added, sure 
of victory. 

But Mr. Quinn turned a beaming confident face to Arnold. 
He, however, had already fulfilled expectations. Hugo was 
within the gate and in conversation with the clerk; a shoot- 
ing-box and pheasant preserve at Joram Lake, his own pe^ 
sonal property, although heavily mortgaged, proffered. But 
mortgage or not, any bail proffered by the son of a Machine 
Congressman was satisfactory. The bail-bond was signed, 
and Mr. Quinn went his way with the rescue-party, Comigan 
staring after them in dull dismay. In the remaining cases 
of the day, he showed a painful effort toward a greater len- 
iency than he had ever imagined himself capable. This was 
his unlucky day, he must be careful. 

In the corridor outside, Arnold stopped the exultant Quinn. 
"No ticket South, mind you/* he said. "Hand over the price 
of it. Who*8 your father's lawyer, Hugo. Send this felloir 



How Arnold Got Out of Jail 155 

down to see him. Now mind^ Quinn^ this case is not to be 
settled by your running away and making Mr. Waldemar pay 
the bilL Can your father fix it, Hugo ?'^ 

"I believe he can ^fix* most anything short of murder/' an- 
swered Hugo with his heavy bojdsh laugh. 'That's what he 
calls practical politics. Bather proud to be able to do it, too. 
Lord ! you should see him swagger sometimes." He had been 
scribbling on a card which he now gave Mr. Quinn. "That's 
the lawyer, Johnnie," he said. 

"And you're to tell him the exact truth, Quinn," said Ar- 
nold, pocketing the two yellow twenties that Quii;in had re- 
luctantly relinquished — ^the fare South. "Don't make out 
you're not guilty. . . . And call up at Mr. Waldemar's 
and get my address — ^give him the phone, Hugo — ^I want to 
keep in touch with you until your case is oflE my mind." 

'TListen," said Mr. Quinn with deep feeling, "any time I 
throw down a pal. . . ." Emotion overcame him: he 
shook Arnold's hand, then Hugo's, and giving his dented 
derby a defiant and jaunty slap, he marched off. Sooner 
Bpend the night in the streets than confess to Arnold those 
two yellow bills were his entire capital, incurring the suspi- 
cion of mistrusting his benefactor. "There's a swell free 
lunch down on Courtlandt Street if it ain't closed by the time 
I walk there," said Mr. Quinn, taking in two holes of his 
belt. That article, mildewed and rotten through much ex- 
posure to night and morning dew, fell apart. 

"A good thing too," said this incurable optimist. "I've 
been hurting my stomach pulling that belt so tight. Maybe 
I'll get suspenders now." 

So casting aside the remnants of the belt he proceeded on 
his long walk in the best of spirits, whistling as he went. 



END OF BOOK n 



BOOK III 



CHAPTER ONE 

THE PINK KIMONO 
I. Abnold Intestioatsb Alono New Links 

T IS certain that the former peas- 
ant, lYsn TladimiroTitch, knew 
nothing of the phenomenon that 
any act, evil or good, is a atone 
flung into the Lake of Life, that, 
sinking, sends out circles which 
spread until the; intersect other 
circles, and still other circles, until 
they intersect all circles; until all 
life is better or worse for that one 
act No, he knew nothing of this, 
nor did he realize that his circle had 
already broadened out to sweep within it the circle of Arnold 
L'Hommedien. He had been properly grateful for Arnold's 
aid in winning him the election — as told by a contrite Hugo — 
was willing to draw on the privileges banked by Fourteenth 
Street contribations ; was willing to ameliorate Arnold's' 
blacklisting by Park Bow, and, agreeably to Hugo's sugges- 
tion, to make a place for him in the Waldemar office. 

Ton need a private secretary. Gov.," Hugo had said on 
the night of Arnold's release ; "a fellow you can trust as yon 
do jonrself. Who can act for you when you're away. Who 
can IK people — ticklish people — and rub 'em right aide up— 
• gratleman. . . ." 



160 God's Man 

Mr. Waldemar saw the justice of this. A great belierer 
in personal justice was the Honorable Mr. Waldemar, as aie 
all such honorable gents. He had robbed Arnold of one job^ 
no matter how inadvertently or unintentionally, and he should 
therefore find him another. Moreover. . . . 

"It ain't even charity, my boy,'* he said, hugely pleased at 
this opportunity of combining duty with necessity. *1f what 
Fm thinking of goes through, I'll have to have somebody to 
trust. And there's not one at my oflSce with the intelligence. 
They'd be faithful enough. But they'd talk. It's too 
big. . . ." 

He had been planning it out for months; ever since the 
Honorable Noaks de Noailles, the Member for a Looisiaiia 
Bayou district had confided a secret necessity, and suggested 
a personal favor. The terror on the Honorable Noaks' faoe 
had set in motion the ponderous machinery of the Waldemar 
wits. . . . Noaks, Benjamin Hartogensis and some busi- 
ness associates with ready cash were soon to meet at Walde- 
mar House. The clerical work involved memoranda concein- 
ing ways and means ; private books of expenditures and profits 
would have been too much for Hugo— yet secrecy waa nine- 
tenths of their capital. . . . 

He had decided on Archie Hartogensis. Then he heard 
that Archie was speculating, and no speculator in need of 
ready money could be trusted. Young L'Hommedieu came 
at the right moment. Bound to him by ties of gratitude, 
Arnold could be trusted; and Arnold's intellectual prowea 
was assured. 

Therefore, when he engaged Arnold as private secretary ho 
advanced him a sufficient sum to rehabilitate himself. 

"Pay it back when convenient," he said heartily. "I lib 
you, my boy. I like Hugo to be with you. I like your 
father. I want you to feel I'm your friend. Your salary 'nD 
be fifty a week. And, say, take the day off; to-morrow, too, if 
you like." 

*^our Governor is a hrich," Arnold told Hugo emphat- 



The Pink Kimono 161 

ically. Hugo was waiting in the outer office, his car outside. 
Mr. Quinn was seated with the driver — ^a resplendent Mr. 
Quinn in ready-made, tawny tweeds, smoking his first whole 
cigar in a year, and suggesting residential districts out-of- 
the-way, quaint, reasonable. He had tramped over the city 
and knew its every possibility. 

'TFor a young gentleman like you, there^s Beeckman Place. 
like a comer of London, it is. Just a quiet little run of a 
block, back yards right down to the river with landing stages 
to hook up a boat. And the East Biver at night — red and 
gre^n lights on boats and barges. And all sorts of ships. 
And the lights of Long Island winking at you. You forget 
you're in New York, so you do. . . . There's a house for 
rent there — ^furnished and all, and you could get it for the 
price of a flat anywhere else. But New York people don't 
know about enjoying life. . . . We'd be very contented 
there, you and me, Mr. Arnold — ^" 

Arnold looked at him and laughed ; laughed long and loud. 
He had acquired this man, evidently, as folk acquire stray 
dogs and cats, who follow so trustfully one can not shut the 
door in their faces. 

^TTou mean youll forget your celebrated principles and do 
the housework?" he asked, still laughing. 

^. . . And can I cook Virginia ham and eggs a' mom- 
bg?'' asked Mr. Quinn, with sparkling eyes, '^ . . and 
planked shad? Can I? Say. . . ." 

They drove across town to Beeckman Place, an odd comer, 
like London, as he said ; on the extreme eastern shore of the 
Island — ^Amold, like many others, had hardly realized New 
York was an island — a street of plain, quiet, brownstone 
fronts, with elm trees in a little center square surrounded by 
iron rails and old-fashioned wrought-iron lamp-posts with oil- 
lamps. Several scientists lived there, Mr. Quinn informed 
Arnold. He had done odd jobs for both ; the wives of a num- 
ber of sea-captains ; they who owned a large motor-boat among 
them; some maiden ladies of ancient middle-class families, 



162 God's Man 

who had inherited their honaes; the widow of that Captain 
Withers who had gone down with the Eurasian, . . • 
others with histories more or less allied with the sea. It wh 
the house of a retired rigging-maker, recently deceased, t 
Londoner, wlio liked to believe he was in Wapping Old StaiiB^ 
his birthplace, that was for rent now. 

They had picked np Miss Bobbie Benlah at the old Lafay- 
ette, where she had waited Hngo's return, and she was wildly 
enthusiastic over the print curtains, the cretonne hangings 
the old prints on the walls. Otherwise, the house had somi 
relation to a ship, was furnished with various nautical furni- 
ture that had been originally intended for space-economj, 
leaving wide blank stretches that corresponded with tbe 
lofty ceilings. But it was the view from the rear windovi 
that decided Arnold. 

A patch of ground, green in summer and dotted with rosei, 
geraniums, hydrangeas, asters and nasturtiums, now covered 
with straw and manure, ran its sloping way, along vrith an 
asphalt walk, down to a stone breakwater, where was cut a 
flight of steps directly to the river, the bottom ones green and 
slimy at low tide. Boats were moored by iron rings near 
most of these, the rear of each house being a duplicate of this 
one. And, spread before them, was the life of the river- 
tugs and ferry-boats scudding and hooting, heavy barges pass- 
ing under spidery bridges, great ocean-going steamers, sailing 
.^raf t in tow — ^what not ? — ^with the green hills of Long Island 
dim in the distance. 

'*0h, you absolutely must. Ifs too deevy. Think of ihs 
top-hole parties you can give. What a ripper! Toppio|^ 
Something most terribly awful will happen to you it joi 
don't . . .'' Thus Bobbie. While Arnold saw himself 
seated in one of the broad bay-windows writing cynical oooh 
mentaries on life. Strange thai he could have thought of 
being cynical with so much beauty before him; but to te 
cynical was his ambition just then. 

'^Guess Fm a rotten picker, eh? And aU for sevenlj-fiiv 



The Pink Kimono 163 

>ntli. If 8 like finding that mnch a month,'' exclaimed Mr. 
on. He saw himself seated in a lower but quite as broad 
dowy smoking whole cigars and sending passing ships to 
t any enjoyable countries he desired to remember. 
L qualm smote Arnold. He could not afford even at his 
eroiiB wages so much rent with heat and lighting addi- 
lal. But this unwelcome intruder he dismissed angrily, 
would deny himself no pleasure hereafter. If he had not 
agh money, let others pay. He was through considering 
duties as a citizen — and such rot. He had done all that 

I what had he got for it? Jail. While, for violating 
Be duties, he was out of jail and about to hire a house. His 
mds and himself, ... let the others go hang. 

Ill take it, Quinn," he said. **And, say, Bobbie, lefs 
e a party to open it — a house-warming I You know a lot 
jolly girls, eh ? Pick a pretty one for me and ask her how 
'd like me to keep a regular room for her.'' He laughed 
Uessly. He'd enjoy life while he had the chance ; all that 
lishness he had mucked around with before — ^let other fools 
that For him, one of Bobbie's pretty show-girl friends, 
. . a pink kimono hanging in the room next door, 
. . her wearing it sometimes with the coffee percolator 
ween them on fine sunny mornings. That was life. . . . 
fifty dollars a week was too little, he'd find a way to get 
re. A clever fellow like himself could get money easily 
mgh in a town where half the fools were rich. To hell 
h all that foolishness about being given brains to help 
ke a better world. . . . 
Eb laughed again, zestf ul of life, '^ell you what, Bobbie, 

II get Archie — ^" There had been a stag reunion of the 
ree Musketeers the night before. '^He's going stale over 
it girl of his. We'll get him and you get two of your pret- 
it friends, and well have a regular time — ^a real time. 
5k out one for me who isn't ^booked solid' anywhere. Then 
11 repeat the operation when I move in here. What say ?" 
9e thought of the pink kimono again and his cheeks took 



164 God's Man 

on its color. And at the same moment — ^pink kimono 1— tb 
Little One — ^Velvet Voice. . . . 

'TTou're not attending," said Bobbie in severe raillery, an 
with that nice new enunciation she picked up since she ha 
become a lady— queer, hurried, jumbled, choking, affecte 
mannerisms learned from provincial English actors, who pn 
tend to portray sporting aristocrats — *T. was telling you aboi 
Alberta Arden. . . . Bertie, dear old girl, top-hole A 
is ; perfectly ripping. . . . She'll buck you up a bii 
you need it, old dear. You'd get on like billy-o—** 

Arnold looked at her in amazement. ]no wonder the 
American chorus-girls married English lords. Hugo had hi 
her in training just a year or so and here she was taUdi 
what he took for the jargon of St. James. 

"Why don't you go back to the stage, Bobbie?" Amol 
asked quite honestly. She, so occupied in her pose, failed i 
see the connection, assuring him radiantly that she intendc 
to. Would be in rehearsal shortly; a real part. At which a 
harassed look came to Hugo's face and he hurried the tal 
back to her soubrette friend who was to meet Arnold thi 
night if she was free. 

Free! The word took on a different significance applic 
to his neighbor of the Hotel Tippecanoe, Free? At tl 
machine now, her eyes strained and red. The hanging pin 
kimono suddenly ceased to be desirable; his proposed pari 
lacked interest. Who shall say what would have happeDC 
had she not left the Tippecanoe on the previous night, die an 
her friend. Miss Smith — ^'^the little lady — ^foreign," the dei 
explained. "No, they didn't give no address." **Wa8 tba 
a man with them — a young fellow?" "Two on *em— swe 
dressers — gay birds." The clerk winked. "Spenders, toi 
Gi' me a good cigar, I kin tell you. . . ." 

Something heavy smote Arnold somewhere. He dragge 
himself up the creaking stairs and packed listlesdy. Tb 
door to Velvet Voice's room was unlocked. How dirtf i 
was I He couldn't blame her. So the other had been 



The Pink Kimono 165 

wrong one^ after all. He had suspected it; those ki- 
monos. • • • 

Again he saw the pink one hanging in the Beeekman Place 
house. **Hell/* he said aloud. "She's dead right— dead — 
right.** But the word "dead** had an ugly sound. Then, as 
he stood at her open door, suit-case in hand, he saw some torn 
and twisted pieces of rubber hose on the floor — ^the giant nip- 
ple — split. He noted dully, as people do when the mind is too 
stunned for thought and occupies itself with registering, me- 
chanically, infinitesimal details, that the black rubber had a 
red lining. . . . 

It was to have been his persuasions that would cause her 
to destroy that. Instead it had been a gay bird's, a swell 
dresser's, a spender's, a giver of good cigars, imder whose 
escort she had departed to something better than this any- 
how. And because he was now at the cynical stage, there 
seemed only one solution. 

"She did damn' right/' he said, aloud again, "damn — 
right** 

"What did you say the girl's name was, Bobbie?" he asked 
as he rejoined the waiting motor-party. "Bertie! — ^that's 
rather a jolly name, what?" He was mimicking, but only 
Hugo noticed it. 

"Top-hole," agreed Bobbie serenely. 

"But has she got a pink kimono— that's what I want to 
know. If she hasn't, let's stop at Van Alstyne's and buy her 
one, right now. Until a pink kimono hangs in Beeekman 
Place itTl never be home, sweet home, to me — ^" 

Mr. Quinn, drowsing on the driver's seat, smiled an ap- 
proving satyr's smile, and thought of the plump-armed aris- 
tocrat whose waist he would encircle during the American 
Commune. And then he tried to fit Arnold's last words to 
various popular tunes. 

"You fancy yourself, don't you? Doesn't he fancy him- 
self, Hugo ? You men are all alike. . . ." 

Of such fresh original observations, delivered in just such 



166 



God's Man 



affected voices, was the speech of Arnold's female friends 
composed for some time to come. 

II. The Kimono Hangs in Beeokman Plaob 



It is as well we do not spy on him for the week that fol- 
lowed, when he came face to face with the possibilities of his 
nature along lines he had never investigated save on sadden 
imperative impulses, which had been regretted too bitterly to 
allow frequent recurrences. But, then, in school and college, 
he was to have been a parson; his every act must be calcu- 
lated, not as Arnold's, but as the future incumbent's of the 
family pulpit. So he had forced an ascetism to amaze Sir 
Lucas or the Chevalier Etienne, sons of freer sexual ages. 
And, after the crash, his New York days had been devoted, 
outside working hours, to the companionship of books of 
lofty ideals, to preparatory scribbling for the great work he 
was to do making a better world. 

But in that first week of his new life he ran riot ; the pink 
kimono hung where he had wished — ^there had been no difr 
culty about that. For the first time he had devoted his mind 
altogether to the conquest of a woman and had the fierce joy 
of realizing it was in his power, quite without love on hi 
part, to have a girl, beautiful and desired, cling about his 
neck with passionate endearments and reproaches for loving 
her too little, knowing meanwhile that other men provided 
for her as Hugo for Bobbie, being rewarded only with tolera- 
tion. 

"She'll do for herself with old Gayton if she don't watch 
out," Bobbie had said. "Hasn't seen the old rotter since she 
met you. It's a rotten shame, Arnold, if you don't care—" 

"Oh, I care well enough," he had responded indifikrently; 
and Bobbie had vented a vexed little laugh. How could Bertie 
go on being her chum if old Gayton ceased to be Bertie's hir- 
vest-moon ? 

It had been with the utmost difficulty that Arnold had pe^ 



The Pink Kimono 



167 



Biuded this girl she could not come down to Havre de Grace 
for the week-end of Waldemar^s convention, putting up at a 
hotel. ''Hotel/' he had laughed; "at the Inn every bellboy 
calls me by my first name ; they work as a favor to the pro- 
prietor — ^they call him *Henry/ Can you imagine me daring 
to come up to your room ? — and my dad the pastor of the 
church — yes, and granddad — and great-granddad. Now, 
don't start that 'This is no Place for a Minister's Son' — " 

"They're always the biggest devils — ministers' sons," de- 
clared tiie tear-stained beauty. "Oh, Arnold, you haven't got 
t sweetheart down there ? Promise me you won't go to see 
her if you have. Swear you won't. Oh, but what's the use 
of swearing. I couldn't believe you. Oh, why did I have 
to fall in love vrith you and be miserable all my life — ^" 

Proving that a rollicking life has its reckonings also. She 
kept him so long that the Waldemar car came near to starting 
withotit him. The Honorable Noaks de Noailles was in it, 
huddled up in a fur coat and traveling rugs, in anticipation 
of the bitter winter-trip. Mr. Hartogensis was to come over 
when they arrived, and the other future investors — ^nonenti- 
ties, Urquhart and Albee and Arthurs — would catch the four 
o'clock express. 



CHAPTER TWO 

CONSPIRACY DE LUX 
Arnold Becoues a Good Bubiness Mam 

ITHIN the city UmitB the gunt 
car traveled at a discreet lav- 
abiding pace, bnt after crossiiig 
the great bridge and paadng 
through Long Island City — m- 
cure in heavy non-skidding tires 
— the car ceased to be a car and 
became a purple comet, yet giv 
«^B^ ;b -1 -^ ' ing its occupants bo little shod 
iky- ^P ^'' ■ ~v that they played cards at a fold- 
? aP'i'V. '^ ing table. 

•^ ^ Before Arnold realized it th^ 

had come vithin sight of fi- 
miliar hills and houses and were passing down the dec^ 
ravine that led into his native town. Lordly, snow-capped 
heights rising on either side of him, and there just alwid 
was "Harbor View," old Miss Eastknicky's place, wheie 
often his mother had taken him for tea; where he had cinitt- 
mon buns, hut, better still, could view a panorama of earth 
and sky — "Tlie End of the World" — which in later years he 
knew for the Connecticut shore. 

What is that strange Savor that childhood gives to tht 
merest commonplaces.; that strange ineradicable flavor tblt 
is a lifelong remembrance when we recall trifling incideiiti 
of childhood days? And how we try to rediscover tint 



Conspiracy De Lux 169 

prance; but it is not to be had even in our triumphs; the 
e and money we spend to duplicate it, knowing it lies 
r behind, but assuring ourselves it is over the next 

• • • • 

?his fragrance of remembrance poured upon Arnold now 
h such an unimportant reminiscence as old Miss East- 
eky's cinnamon buns and the far-off sailing ships entering 

narrow harbor channel — every one pirates, or returning 
h musk-scented cargoes from Oriental adventures. . . . 
If I couldn't play a flush better than that, . . /' the 
ior Waldemar reproved jovially. But Arnold laid down 

cards. "Tired of playing,'* his excuse. He wanted to 
back and watch the snow fly xmder their wheels and breathe 
t fantastic fragrance. . . . There was the great 
Dg of the road and the little chalet-like house pierced with 
'olutionary bullets, . . . soon the L'Hommedieu 
» could be seen atop the tallest trees. 
f he could only go on afoot, trudge homeward through 

heavy snowfall! The comfortable electric-heat of the 

became suddenly distasteful to him, remembering those 
g voyages of exploration in snow-time; the colder he got 

more the great fire at home would overjoy him; when, 
eiwled with a book, he would read until supper-time, his 
ther knitting near by, or making her boys shirts, their 
ler emerging from his study as it darkened outside to 
i the New York morning paper the mail had just brought, 
I to speak on affairs of the day and the lesson of the news- 
ier. .. . His present companions had been painted 
many of those talks, prophetically recognized from the 
id of public opinion. 

... A new governing class, growing in power, a class 
le possible by treating money as merchandise-without 
iness honor or any conception of rich men's duty to the 
ntry. Our kind of people — ^the inheritors of honor — must 
k all the harder to make every man realize the claim every 
aan being has upon the gifts of God, and if one has more 



170 God's Man 

than one's share, to give with both hands. We mnst make 
the new class realize real happiness can never come from self- 
gratification — in the end. . . .'' 

Well, the dear old dad had been wrong; but as Harbor and 
Sound swung into view and the centuries-old cross of his 
family's crest shone in the snow-glare, Arnold wished his 
father were right; for, somehow, the fragrance was fading. 
There was only snow and hills and houses, . . . and so he was 
glad when the car panted up Sycamore Hill and under the 
porte-cochfere of Waldemar House, where one was in New 
York again, a man-servant to attend him to his room, to lay 
out his evening clothes and appurtenances, to draw his bath. 
The bedroom might have been one in a superior Avenue 
hotel; only the drifting snow on the oaks, whose gnarled arms 
seemed grasping at the windows, reminded one New York 
was miles away, . . . and the shining harbor lights 
winking through the snow, and once the approach of the Con- 
necticut passenger-boat, swinging broadside on like a glimpse 
of elf -land in the snowstorm, its lighted port-holes above and 
below decks crowded with little black people. How he had 
watched for that elf-ship those winter nights long past, 
crouched breathless in the library bay-window, peering 
through a toy telescope, sweeping the Sound about the Green 
Sands Light for the big boat to appear, crawling like a lumi- 
nous beetle out of black depths and distances. 

He threw open his window, undressed as he was, breathing 
the snowy piney air, and thrusting out his head for the sight 
of that very bay-window; to shock his attendant into honor 
regarding his health. So he resumed his dressing, donning 
a perfect dinner-coat from Hugo's tailor, the most expensiye 
tailor in New York. 

In the long, low. Gobelin-tapestried dining-hall he saw that 
the nonentities had arrived — Urquhart, Albee and Arthurs- 
monotonous duplicates of one another, with stiff single-stud 
shirts, square white waistcoats, loose dress-coats, untidy, life- 
less hair — ^what there was of it ; barring them from the leaping 



Conspiracy De Lux 171 

log-fire the portly, red-faced Hartogensis in his velvet waist- 
coat and amethyst buttons, and the tall Lonisianian, De Noail- 
les, in a sloping-shouldered, high-collared dress-coat and nar- 
row tight trousers — ancient aristocrats by comparison. Walde- 
mar was a compromise ; his clothes and linen were impeccable, 
but his neckwear was badly tied, his hair was in a cow-lick. 
Arnold suddenly felt the superiority that perfect groom- 
ing gives; answered monosyllabically weather prophecies 
from the nonentities, who, it appeared later, were slightly 
nervous concerning the nature of certain dishes and the sil- 
verware that would not insult their purpose. And so they 
passed by those dishes that presented the most perplexing 
problems. Would they, free citizens, betray to those in the 
livery of servitude their lack of security in negotiating por- 
tions from platter to plate ? It was plain they were starving 
in the midst of plenty. Arnold wondered what Waldeoiar 
wanted with such proofs of the social inequality of men. He 
had imagined none was invited to Waldemar House who could 
not further their host socially. It appeared these were whole- 
sale druggists from near-by cities ; TJrquhart, an elder of the 
Presbyterian church, very strict about not taking wine ; Albee 
wearing an Epworth League button in his dress-coat— doubt- 
less it was seldom in use except for such activities ; Arthurs, 
a little, spry sprat, Baltimore Alderman and IJnitarian. 
These affiliations, convictions and details were disclosed as 
they talked; all three men were of the limited mentalities that 
can discuss only personal affairs. Arnold was amused to 
discover that the Presbyterian and the Dutch Reformed gen- 
tlemen regarded the IJnitarian as little better than an atheist ; 
while De Noailles, a Catholic, whispered scomfxilly to Arnold 
of *T)ourgeois beliefs.'* What woidd the lot of them think 
of the I/Hommedieus who had acknowledged no church, were 
ordained only by the head of the family ? The form seemed 
to be the important thing in the religion of Waldemar's 
guests, with Waldemar, too, as a heavy contributor to the ex- 
penaes of the most fashionable Avenue church — Whence, like 



172 God's Man 

Squire Hartogensis^ and for the same reason, a devont Epis- 
copalian. . . . Later, when Arnold heard the reason for 
the gathering it seemed a most sinister, satiric thing that 
they should have wrangled about religion on this of all nights. 

A footman served the coffee in the library — an acre of un- 
handled volumes, whose rich tooling was the key-panel of a 
general color-scheme of purple. A butler poured ancient 
liqueur brandy as one administering a sacred rite. Walde- 
mar rose after the servants' departure and locked the doors. 
Squire Hartogensis was speaking on the difference between 
these decadent days and those when a man would have been 
kicked out of his father's club for applying recent principles 
to business as then practised. Waldemar waved all this 
aside. 

"Nobody but me and De Noailles knows why this meeting's 
called, do they? No, nor'd never guess. Jones bring you 
paper and pencils?" This last to Arnold, who nodded. The 
others shook their heads, one of the nonentities adding in 
guileful pleasantry that he had heard there was money in it, 
and that was good enough for J. A. 

"Money I" said Waldemar enthusiastically. '^Say. . • . 
Enough to satisfy Morgan! It's so big and I'm so busy 
. . . that you're declared in — ^" he nodded to the nonenti- 
ties, '^r. de Noailles gave me the idea; the Squire's my 
friend and neighbor and I thought he might like to turn the 
ready into three hundred per cent. . • • I'm putting all 
my ready in ; so's Mr. de Noailles — ^" 

"Three hundred per cent.," gasped a nonentity. "Why, 
that's gambling, . . ." The objection had a religious 
flavor, but it was really the risk that appalled him. The 
other nonentities, also of this mind, nodded approval. 

"Gambling," jeered Mr. Waldemar jovially. "Fm^'i call 
it gambling to put your money in a savings bank; it might 
fail. This can't even do that. Inside information, gentle- 
men, that's it. Wall Street tips come from Congress some- 
times. This is one tip the Street don't get. Won't be public 



Conspiracy De Lux 173 

a two months. Then we — ^that is CoDgress, 'nr goin' to 
»a88 some Anti-Opium Laws, smoking-opium. A good, safe, 
K)p-lar-administration measure. Sespectable people who use 
t, thousands of 'em, 'ud be afraid to let anybody know; those 
that ain't respectable — ^what's it matter how much they kick ? 
JLnd the Chinamen, who sell most of it, ain't got any votes. 
. . . The Admhiistration's been a little too easy on the 
big businesses and they got to put something over that looks 
moral as hell, but that don't offend nobody — and this is it. 
... No more smoking-opium to be brought in or made 
here neither." 

*T)amned hypoquits," exploded the irascible De Noailles. 
^Catch 'em pass such a law about whisky that does a thousand 
times moah ha'hm than hop does. • . •" He was fur- 
ther aroused by dissenting murmurs. ''I say it does, suh," 
be reiterated to Hartogensis, who had murmured the loudest. 
*Bat the big whisky people are rich and respected, leading 
citizen, by Goahdl And ev'eybody drinks it in high-class 
clubs and bahs. And all the district leaders own saloons or 
gfi a piece of the profits somehow. Imagine, a large glass 
for five cents. Bank poison that rots out yoah guts ; wuhss 
Qian thai — sends men out to scrap and murder, to beat up 
^ves and chillen. Look at police coht records; see if most 
^uhders don't come from drunks. . . . Drunks from 
rhat?— Whisky I" 

He threw out an orator's hand and went on in hoarse 
kHger: ^ut the United States Government only bahs a&- 
inihe. No moah a^stn/A^ to be imported. Why? Deadly 
Irug, they say. But the real reason's that if s made in France 
Uid Italy and Switzehland and drunk by people whose votes 
lon't count; so it isn't sufficiently profitable to the politicians 
^ho keep saleons to make protesting wuth while. That's the 
•oht of mohality we throw to the refohmers — ^hypoquits, too, 
tiost of 'em. What a country — ^ruled by crazy people all try- 
ing to hide something by pointing fingers at the next fel* 
ow. . . . And now — hop/* 



174 



God's Man 



He paused to light a cigarette^ glaring at the nonentit]fli^,| 
whom he took to typify the mob he hated; De NoailleSi di» 
scendant of French aristocrats. 

''Why, just look at the effects of drink. Ef yoah iomf 
want to punch somebody's nose, or split open his haid, joik 
go crazy after women, any kind of women. Half those a 
the street 'ud be back scrubbing floahs if whisky was mhi^ 
out. But hop makes yoah quiet, reflective^ philcaophicil; 
yoah wouldn't care if all the women died. Of co'ee ef jdt 
eat it as mo'phine or laudanum or hehoin or codeine it htt 
bad effects, but even then not one-tenth what whialg^ hn 
The scientific way to take it without any ill efEect^ ef yoth vm 
it in moderation, is smoking it. Fiah destroys the dangerooi' 
gases, a sort of filteh arrangement catches the heavy mioenl 
residuum that would huht the stomach. . . . Ifa a sofi 
anodyne for consumption and heart-disease. Why, the do&* 
tors gave me up and my Chinese servant saved me. Twentf- 
five years ago that was, and all that time Ah've smoked.'' 

The three nonentities drew away from him. Arthurs' weik 
little mouth tightened, TTrquhart's grim Presbyterian ejtt 
narrowed, Albee looked his pious horror. Squire Hartogen- 
sis cleared his throat as though to make a protest, on bcLiH 
of his class, against any such confessions. A gentlemaa 
should keep his personal affairs to himself. All of wfaidi 
the thin hawk-faced Southerner noted with grim amnaemeDt 

"During that time,'' he continued triumphantly, "Ah hati 
won a position higheh than that of any one heah; have madi 
a name that everybody down South knows. Ah've been ia 
Congress twelve yeahs. And when Ah went to a great Mft- 
cialist recently he didn't even detect tubercle geima, sail. 
physically Ah was sound. . . . And thaf a the stuff ttil 
hypoquitical govehment of ouhs is going to bah out. . . • 
Ah smoked half an houh befoah dinneh. Do Ah look eiiif 
or dreamy? No! All those lies about wild dreams mn 
invented by doctohs to scare people away from it. Bead D^ 
Quincey — ^you doan' git any dreams unless yoah take toomad^ 



Conspiracy De Lux 175 

rhy, if yon took opium away from the doctors they'd be 
slplesB to cuah pain — cocaine doesn't half fill the bill. . . . 
iid look at the distinguished men who've used it — DeQuin- 
gr, Wilberforce, Coleridge, Wilkie Collins — Ah could name a 
nndred. Yes, and theah's millions nobody knows about. Do 
jfOL realize moah white men use it than Chinese ? And thafs 
heah auh scheme comes in. . . . Mistuh Waldemah 
ill tell you about it." 

He eat down. Waldemar arose before the startled listen- 
m could recover. 

*Tf ore white men than Chinese — ^you heard the Honorable 
[r. de Noailles. And most of them right here in the United 
latea. Over two million, gentlemen. Now, what are they 
oing to do about their law — ^the law that makes it a crime 
> import it? Of course, a lot will be smuggled in. Men 
ill always take chances for a three-hundred-per-cent. profit — 
mir and five hundred per cent, on small smuggling deals. 
tat the smuggled stuff won't be enough — ^not near a thou- 
indth enough. So it 'uU be manufactured here from the 
mde gam — ^the kind I import in bales and sell to you, Jus- 
Bi.'' He addressed Arthurs from Baltimore. ^?ou, Eaton 
sd Andrew/' the nonentities from Philadelphia and Pitts- 

Mg. 

"But,'* added De Noailles, reminding him, "the congres- 
ional committee on this bill put on a devilish ingenious 
odger, making it illegal foah any gum opium to pass through 
le CnatoniB without being fuhst drenched in oil— oil easily 
moved by the processes you gentlemen use to make yoah 
io'pliine, codeine and hehoin tablets, but vehy destructive to 
Qoking-opium, becahse it leaves a vehy disagreeable taste 
id makes it extra infiammable. So that the gum opium 
ipohted afteh the passage of this law will make an infehioh 
Qoking brand." 

Waldemar nodded. "Now, I wonder if you understand our 
Imn? The passage of this bill will kite the price of smoking- 
num. A can of it used to sell for five dollars — five dollars 



176 



God's Man 



for less than a pound. When the factories in China veie 
closed — ^^ 

"Which was to please the Japs, who don*t want Cliinese to 
be gentle and peaceful like opium makes them, but to be readj 
to fight/^ inserted De Noailles rapidly. 

"Why, the price went up," Waldemar continued. "Ani 
after this bill is passed and becomes a law ifll go up to fortj 
the can, retail ; finally settle around tliirty. And there's oar 
three hundred per cent. We buy up all the gum opium we 
can get — ^now 1" 

"But the makking of the smokking-oppium — ^we knav 
nawthing of that/* said Andrew Urquhart anxiously in bk 
harsh Yankee-Scotch. He was glad now he had advanced so 
religious scruples against trafficking in the drug. His com* 
panion nonentities assented greedily, hoping the diflBcnlfy 
would be removed. Such a simple, obvious and easy mon^ 
making scheme had never before come within their ken. 

"We don't need to,'* answered Waldemar, winking. **Whafi 
more, we don't want to. To have it in your possession ii 
illegal. We might be raided, our stuff might be seized. Any- 
how, we'd have to pay rake-oflEs to those who could seize it- 
police and customs-people." He winked again prodigiondy. 
'TTou wouldn't suggest we break the law, Andrew ?" 

The Scotch Presbyterian blushed and blustered and ibt 
Unitarian and the Dutch Beformed man hid their greedy 
smiles and waited. 

''They will attend to that/* said De Noailles, impatient it 
Waldemar's cunning glances and roguish look; ''l^e peopb 
who buy from us — the people who sell to the smokehs than* 
selves — ^the private manufacturehs — ^the keepehs of smoldxif 
dens. They know how. All we do is sell it to ihem; btvi 
a few such wukking for us in every city and privately sioeii- 
ing the news, making sales on commission. We need cmlj te 
insist that the people we sell it to regularly have lettah-heidi 
printed 'Thomas Jones, M. D.,' or *Doctah Smith' — like th 
peddlehs of mo'phin and cocaine have printed, Waldenoit 



Conspiracy De Lux 177 

tdlB me, to protect him and you when yoah sell them 
stuff. . . /' 

The three nonentities frowned. Their religion taught them 
to believe in those letter-heads — ^not to imagine that their 
brothers would stoop to such low deceit. They were sorry 
Waldemar did not believe, too. ''Oh, I dare say many of them 
are doctors,*' said Albee stiffly. The other nonentities agreed 
warmly that there was no doubt many were, "And how can 
we tell the false ones ?^ asked Arthurs pathetically. Arnold 
could hardly resist the temptation to remind them that lists 
of qualified physicians were published ; but he remembered in 
time he was the employee of the man who wished to gain their 
support, and bo was silent. Let the affair be conducted in the 
usual hypocritical way. Once solitary, before these pillars 
of the church were abed that night, each would have persuaded 
himself he was actually saving souls. Arnold^s bitterness 
against average respectability waxed as he watched them, and 
be had heard that ancient Scottish fraud say before dinner 
that he was deep in the secretarial work of a Vice Crusade ! 
Such regret as Arnold had for that unregenerate week just 
past — ^r^ret stirred by the sight of familiar places and by 
the proximity of father and family church — ^was rapidly 
erased as the nighfs business drew to an end. 

He calculated estimates, added up theoretical figures, made 
notes of ways and means, did the necessary clerical work of a 
meeting where large sums were pledged and shares and prob- 
able divisions of profits must be set down ; did all these things 
without comment, as mechanically as any adding machine. 
It was as well none of the partners had pyschic gifts; par- 
ticnlarly none of the nonentities. . . . Submit as he 
might in action, Arnold was never to yield anjrthing but con- 
tempt for rascals, no matter how high their places; and to sit 
there calmly and hear Benjamin Hartogensis, Esquire, and 
the three nonentities persuaded that they might do this thing, 
yet remain substantial copes and cornices of rectitude, was a 
nasty draft, nastier when one must pretend it was pleasant. 



178 God's Man 

Squire Hartogensis, even, had the wit to answer hi 
objections for fear others would find them too difiScult; t 
sighing as usual for the good old days. In his father' 
men who went in for such a thing as this would be ex 
undoubtedly. But, then, these were not days like tho6< 
could not stem the mighty current of commerce. *'No 
when I leave my cash balances with my Trust Compan; 
do not hesitate to invest them for their own profit in vei 
less to my taste than this one. . . .*' 

"If you depositors only knew how your money m 
vested/' said the Honorable Noaks de Noailles signific 
as one well aware of shocking details humanity woul 
permit him to relate. . . . The nonentities gi 
eagerly at this. They invested their profits like i 
godly men; they did not make their wealth a stench i 
nostrils, a bad example to the rising generation, with 
suppers, gambling, Scarlet Women, Babylonish lecher} 
erally, as might those intrusted with their capital on in' 
They had heard of those Trust Company officials and ; 
bankers. ... At least, their money went to promote 
liness and right living. They were "forward-looking^ 

"They're saving souls already," Arnold thought in s 
dismay, suppressing himself with difficulty. They pi 
themselves soon after that. John Waldemar, Noal 
Noailles, Benjamin Hartogensis, Andrew Urqidiart, ] 
Albee, Justus Arthurs — 

"And A. L'llommedicu, please," said Arnold, rising, 
demar rose too and stared at him. So successfully ha( 
nold played machine that his employer had forgotten he 
might have human cupidity. 

"I don't understand," said Waldemar. 

"I merely wish to invest my modest share," AmoI< 
swered. "One thousand, gentlemen. Think how mud 
ter it is to have no one know our affairs except those i 
cially interested. Have I your permission ?" 

It was a bold thing to do, but it was in line with the si 



Conspiracy De Lux 179 

aeedings. A hold-up, nothing less, for John Waldemar 
w Arnold had no thousand to invest in anything. ''So 
I was his gratitude/' was Waldemar's first angry thought ; 
1 he grinned. The boy was playing good poker; he had 
le no private demands upon him, his friend, only upon the 
ipany — ^upon them all ! Shrewd business I His opinion 
iirnold was heightened. 

Put it down, partner,** he guflEawed heartily. "Partners 
! You have only to send your checks to-morrow and we'll 
in scattering orders. India, China, Ceylon, Burma — ^in all 

names. Deliveries to each— ^cept our last young part- 
. Mr. de Noailles has his warehouses, too— tobacco ware- 
lies. But the tobacco won't kick. Time enough to or- 
tiie our selling force when the stuff comes. ... A 
k-and-doris all around to our success — " And he began 
HI the glasses. 

Itll no be saidd of Andre IJrquhart that he everr touched 
impp of the stuff," persisted the Scottish fraud stubbornly 
m Waldemar tried all persuasions to get him to add native 
his Scotch soda. At which Eaton Albee, a prop of the 
qperance societies of Philadelphia, weakly acquiesced and 

down his own glass. But the other nonentity, a secret 
aker, derived too much that was exquisite in sensual pleas- 

at this excuse to give way to his failing in public. His 
ik eyes watered with anticipated pleasure; he only feared 

looks would betray him. So he drank with pretended 
iteurishness, making a wry face and anxiously scanning 
possible suspicion the eyes of his brother wholesalers. In 

face of his remark that it was nasty stuff there was noth- 

for a youthful cynic to do but refill his glass and drink 
wlj, smacking his lips. De Noailles regarded his action 

aly. 

'Only a nightcap," said Arnold, moved to apology. . . . 
^ore harm in what you just took than in all I 
oke in a day," said De Noailles, then yawned jaw-break- 
{ly, reminded that he needed his night-cap. He said good 



180 



God's Man 



night and hastened off, the nonentities following, Waldemtr 
seeing Hartogensis to the door. The Squire had ayoided 
scrupulously the inclusion of Arnold in his general good 
night. 

"In my father's day/' he said to Waldemar outside, ^ 
young man like L'Hommedieu would have found himself 
persona non grata with men of honor. The customs of to-dty 
forbid my cutting him, but there is enough left of my father 
in me that refuses, at least, to shake him by the hand.'' 

*T11 take your note for three months, partner," said Walde- 
mar, returning to the library and finding Arnold there. Pait - 
of the former moujik's success had been in making uglj 
things graceful, and he knew Arnold had lingered to discnai 
that thousand dollars he did not have. Waldemar clapped 
his shoulder heartily. *T don't forget my friends," he added. 
Which slightly shamed Arnold as to his ruse. 

'You see, . . ." he began to explain. 

'That's all right, my lad," said Waldemar. 'T[t was good 
business. Good night." 

Arnold had begun to capitalize his cleverness. 



iC 



<a 



CHAPTER THREE 

THE GAT LIi*E 

L At BoCIHOBA's BsaTADEAlTT 

N THE weeks and months that 

followed Arnold became one of the 

Silk-Hat brigade, those noble New 

Yorkers who spend their nighti 

endeavoring to lift our restaurants 

to the appearance of Parisian ones, 

our theaters to the appearance of 

Xx>ndon ones, to companion whom 

has arisen a race of yoang women, 

ez-convent girls, who might have 

been d^batantea but preferred the 

stage 1 

The resulting societ; resembles the real thing so closely 

that, when those others who had admittance to Newport's 

Holy of Holies came to dance at the supper-places, it was 

difficult to tell the varieties apart. 

Carol CatoD differed in no salient respect from Bobbie 
Benlah or Bertie Arden. It was the business of both to 
crack the whip over their males, to urge them to further 
efforts to pay large bills for lingerie and the latest modes gen- 
erally; and for jewelry, motor-cars, theater-boxea, foreign 
traveL Both "\ovei" to dance until daybreak, to parade the 
Avenue in automobiles. Both talked vivaciously during per- 
formances of the "adored" pianola and phonograph ragtime. 
Keither read much of anything, unless some one had a vogue, 



182 God's Man 

except fiction with bon-bon wrappers and contents to match; 
attending Shavian or Maeterlinckian performances for the 
same reason that took them to the Opera — ^the *Ti)est people* 
would be there. 

"The only difference between you is that until your kind 
wears wedding-rings, you aren't allowed the freedom of the 
city/* said Arnold to Carol one night in Bocamora's. When 
she desired a tango a smart young matron — Mrs. Bruce Pick- 
ens — with a habit of divorces and none for babies, accom- 
panied her as chaperon. Her husband was a South Carolint 
Pickens, which guaranteed her as a social cicerone; but he 
was generally South attending to the family cotton-mills, bo 
his wife was glad to chaperon one who gave her an excuse to 
visit the supper-places. Archie Hartogensis paid the bilk 
Arnold's remark on wedding-rings was made while Archie 
and Mrs. Pickens taxicabed twenty blocks south to procure 
that lady's special brand of cigarettes. 

"I've heard about you, Arnold," replied Carol in deep 
sorrow. "I don't expect you to have any respect for women 
any more. I never expected you to talk like that — ^not yott." 

"And I never expected to see you in Bocamora's at mid- 
night either, wearing a skirt so tight that when you dance 
every bald-headed ruflBan or young rascal can see every cune 
of your body — ^" 

She interrupted him with an angry protest, but he disre- 
garded it. ^^on't be prudish in words and risque in action, 
Carol — ^they don't go together. What else did yon wear the 
dress for?" 

"It's the style," she retorted angrily, "as you'd see if yon 
looked in the smart shops once in a while. What have I to 
do with it?" 

"You have to wear it," he returned, "and you have a mi^ 
ror. And you know if you stand with a strong light back of 
you . . ." 

Her lips compressed. "If you say another word about it 
I'll get up and walk right out of this restaurant," was ber 



The Gay Life 183 

nltiinatuin. ^'That^a a man for you. If the right sort of 
women dress like dowdies, they go hunt up some fast one 
who wears the last word. And if they^re in style, they're 
indecent. Not another word.'' 

Arnold smiled. *Tm not blaming you for doing your best 
to make men crazy about you/' he said coolly, ^^only I resent 
your criticism of my friends just because they're doing the 
same. You dress alike and think alike and live alike — 
except that you're in the Social Register and thejr're only 
in the telephone book. You happen to be lucky enough 
to have fathers and husbands who work overtime to buy 
yon new clothes and jewelry, which their fathers and hus- 
bands can't ; so they get other people to pay their bills. I'd 
like to know where the difference lies. . . ." 

Carol's eyes were snapping. "If you can't see any differ- 
ence between a — ^well — much as I hate the word — a lady and 



-a—" 



"Say it in French," Arnold suggested. "That's one of a 
lady's pet hypocrisies — to pretend a French word is better 
bred than an English one — a lady and a cocotie, eh? Yes, 
but these friends of mine aren't cocottes, Bobbie has been 
with Hugo two years. It's as long as Mrs. Pickens, your 
friend, was with her first husband. As long as a good many 
of your friends are with their first — or second — or third hus- 
bands — I'm not criticizing; I'm only trying to find out the 
neat of this wonderful superiority. . . ." 

Carol shut her eyes and clenched her teeth to avoid an- 
swering his exasperating smile in the angry words that sug- 
gested themselves to her. 

". . . Just as I'd like to find the difference between 
the average Wall Street broker and Jim Deering, who keeps 
a pool-room — a gambling-house — aroxmd the comer. Or be- 
tween what Archie's doing and backing a long-shot to 
wio. . . . If you're really fond of Archie, Carol, you 
shoul&'t let him do that wild-cat speculating. Look at the 
boy I He's aged ten years in ten months." 



184 God's Mari 

Archie and Mrs. Pickens had returned with her cigarettei. 
The wistful eager look of a pet animal was an habitual one 
in his eyes nowadays^ and that Mrs. Pickens should thank him 
only carelessly for the immense amount of trouble to which 
he had been to oblige her seemed to him all he should expect 
Between them, Mrs. Brooks-Caton and Carol had trained him 
well, thought Arnold, who imagined Archie was beginning to 
take on a growing resemblance to The Good Old Babbit, 
Carol's father. Arnold wondered if, when they were married, 
Carol wouldn't call him her ''good old'* something or other. 

"We were just talking about you, Arch,*' he said when 
the party became a quartet again. "I've offended Carol by 
telling her she shouldn't allow you to wild-cat — ^that you're 
getting old before your time — " 

"Dear old boy," Mrs. Pickens interrupted languidly, **j(m 
still smell of the country. You're half-civilized— quite. 
What's a youngster to do in New York with no money and 
expensive appetites ? It's either buck the double-0, play the 
big game, or be a piker and commute, carry parcels and hafB 
Swedish servant-girls. Have you told Carol it's her duty to 
educate Scandinavians in cookery ?" 

"Why not?" asked Arnold. "If thafs po terrible— cam- 
muting. And the best servants are those you catch at EDif 
Island and train yourself. But, of course, neither you nor 
Carol know enough to train servants in anything. Your 
educations 've been neglected." He smiled with aggravatiiiig 
irony. 

"Hark at him, Carol," said her chaperon in amused tol- 
erance. "Smells of the country ? He positively reeks of it 
We've mislaid all those middle-class ideas, you dear old- 
fashioned thing. They belong to the age of bustlea and crino- 
lines." 

"On the contrary," replied Arnold : "it's middle-class io ob- 
ject to them. All the old aristocrats pride themselves on knot- 
ing things better than their servants. It's only the Amenca 
heiresses and Gaiety girls marrying into the ariatocracj v)>i> 



The Gay Life 185 

have yonr ideas, you dear net&-fashioned thing. And that's 
jiut what I was saying to Carol : whafs the difference between 
the aYerage engaged society girl^ nowadays, and the show-girl 
with a banker friend? They dress alike, talk alike, think 



'This passes a joke, Mr. L'Hommedieu,'' said Mrs. Pick- 
ens coldly. 

** — and act alike the moment anybody dares to tell them 
the truth about themselves,'^ finished Arnold, rising to go. 
''While the first attribute of aristocracy is plain speech, I 
didn't start to offend anybody. I was just anxious for 
Archie—'* 

'lieaTe me out of it," said that young gentleman hastily. 
Tersonally, I think you can say the rudest things in the 
world, Arnold. Nobody ever heard of such a thing in all his- 
tory — comparin' ladies with chorus-girls — ^" 

''And, moreover," added Mrs. Pickens lazily, recovering her 
pose, "one should like to know where our young friend got 
aU his information about the aristocracy, Archie — '' 

"One learns from one's parents, usually," returned Arnold, 
roughly mimicking her tone — ^a habit of his, this mimicry, 
which had enraged both Bobbie and Bertie. '^If one doesn't, 
oiDe usually doesn't learn. • . ." He took himself off with 
that, conscious he had been bad-mannered, regretting it the 
next moment. But he was the sort who must have excuses for 
conduct : now he had allied himself with the Bobbie and Ber- 
tie sort, he must convince himself no better were to be found. 

Besides, he was angry on Archie's account: these women 
taking for granted all his favors. Archie could not afford ex- 
pensive supper parties, theater-boxes, ten to twenty-dollar taxi- 
cab bills-— all of which they had had that evening — ^had on 
many previous evenings. Among people assured of their so- 
cial position, a young engaged couple often dispensed with a 
chaperon — ^for theaters and luncheons and teas, at least ; but 
Kn. Brooks-Caton was a Median law giver with her insistence 
on this "smart" appendage, playing duenna herself whenever 



186 God's Man 

she had nothing of more importance. Archie's weekly pay 
as his uncle's assistant must be swallowed up in one affair like 
this one of to-night; and with this sort of life, and one or two 
reverses in speculation, his mother's legacy would vanish. But 
Arnold knew Archie too well to think he would give Carol np. 
It was in the boy's extreme nature to do something desperate. 
This worried Arnold more than he would admit, in his new 
character of cynic 

He tried Quinn's remedial whistling, but found it a hollow 
fraud as an anodyne. It was a dull night for Arnold. . . . 
Bertie, Bobbie and Hugo away at the American premiere of 
the London comedy. The Siirrup-Cup, in which both girb 
had prominent parts, Bertie because she was clever at imper- 
sonating slangy horsy female types; Bobbie — ^he more than 
suspected — ^because Hugo had put money in the show. Ar- 
nold's own duties at the office had kept him away from 
Bochester, the scene of the opening — ^the shipments of gam 
from Burma had come in on the Southern Pacific boat frinn 
New Orleans the night before, transhipped from the Los An- 
geles Limited and the Pacific Mail Altraria — and Arnold, 
in sole charge, had his hands full — ^hundreds of orders had 
been received on the bare whisper of the promised supply— 
the imderworld wireless had been working amazingly. . . . 
So, for the first time in several months, he had free evenings. 

Arnold was just beginning to know New York. Although 
he had spent more than a year as a reporter on The Argtu, 
his literary gifts had been recognized there, as it had been t 
chain of pleasant assignments among the best people — ^the best, 
literally : interviews with curators of museums, celebrities of 
scientific or sociological fame, visits to private theatrical pe^ 
formances of Qreek plays, open air Shakespearean revivali^ 
concerts, symphonies, opera performances out of the beatiai 
track — special, editorial page, Sunday "stuff." 

He had known of the misery of the poor : had, in the ab- 
stract, enthusiastically desired to end it; but, after his ox 
months among the under dogs, he knew now how unneceMiJ 



The Gay Life 187 

that misery was. And he had been virtuously irate over 
stories he had heard of the prodigal waste of money along 
Broadway. But he had never imagined that the misery of 
the poor gave their oppressors such paltry results. 

He could forgive the ancient Greeks their helots because 
of the philosophy^ literature and arcliitecture that system 
helped give the world : the Caesars their bloody conquests for 
the sake of the great Boman law^ which had taught the world 
unity and justice in government: the Benaissance tyrants 
their cruelties for their Sandro Botticellis — the Catholic 
Church its Inquisition for its encouragement of learning and 
art. . • . But what excuse had these spenders along 
Broadway for the thousand and one crimes perpetrated against 
the Annie Eunices and Hans Chassertons^ the helpless folk 
who must live as in a windowless cellar, not knowing there is 
sunlight in the world — ^'^crawling up drainpipes until they die** 
hadn't Wells said? And what was the rest of it? 

"It isn't as though they had something to show for the 
waste they make of us. They are ugly and cowardly and 
mean.*' . . . He remembered it all now, Afcw^crman'^ tirade 
to Kipps. His cheeks burned — ^What did they have to show? 

Women — he had gone into that to-night. 

Art — ^he grinned painfully at ugly piled up Broadway, the 
beauty of a winter's night, pale scimitar moon and moonlight 
blue of sky desecrated by electric advertisements, a huddled 
mass of varying heights and architecture, the blank walls 
next a pure Ionic building flattened out with hideous porno- 
graphic show-posters. 

Increased good taste — a mass of men in ugly clothes made 
to hang on wires, having no relation to the beauty of the 
human body^, ugly lumps of dusty hard black felt on their 
heads. 

Increased learning and education — crowded under a sky- 
scraper a theater bearing the name of a Bowery Waldemar 
who had found millions in cheap salacious melodrama. . . • 
A second crowded to the doors by exhibiting women in various 



188 God's Man 

stages of nndity; a third above which blazed in letters flie 
feet highy the name of a girl who had caused a great man 
to be murdered, a little one to be tried for his life. 

While, on side streets, artists who had gained proficiency in 
the work of great playwrights, acted to handsful of eager 
sympathetic people who had little more than the price of their 
seats : great paintings hung unobserved and un-understood in 
the museums; literature was hidden by bon-bon trade-goods; 
great men, unless they prostituted their talents and took or- 
ders from their inferiors, ate in dairy-lunches and boarding- 
houses; while, back on the Great Lane again, the ticket- 
speculator who insulted the timid into paying double pricefl^ 
ordered champagne for his fat greasy womenfolk. 

Gamblers and brainless victims, prostitutes and college- 
boys, stock-brokers and rural investors, actresses and "angels" 
— all the head-hunters and heart-breakers and pigeons for the 
plucking. And all bought champagne, champagne tluii few 
wanted and that those few should not have had. 

Arnold entered Sydenham's. He had heard of the new 
cabaret up-stairs but when his party had wanted seats it had 
always been crowded. Perhaps, to-night, alone^ they could 
crowd him in. He could not have explained why he went; we 
are all creatures of habit and he had been living that sort 
of life for some months. 

The head waiter shook his head in dignified reproof at the 
temerity of an unknown person expecting to be seated withoat 
a previous reservation. Arnold sighed and reached for his 
pocket ; but, at that moment, a small whirlwind of pink chiffon 
jioosed itself from a male dancer's arms and, turning sc^veral 
circles, bumped the breath from the head waiter and retfplved 
into the Little One, flushed and radiant, a hand on AMiiiti 
arm. 

*TV'at you tell zhis shentleman, Luigi?'* she demanded, 
'^'at you say — ^no place? I gif you my word, Luigi, eef yon 
doan' put in a little tiny table — ^jus* like zat — ^I go walk out 
of zhis *ole and go to Caii Abbaye. Now — ^w'at ?*' 



The Gay Life 189 

But Lnigi had already acknowledged defeat and sent an 
omnibua boy to cover a low serving stand, Sonetchka rattling 
out reproaches and questions meanwhile, and Arnold hasten- 
ing to explain. The omnibus returned to remind Luigi of the 
previous requisitioning of that *'table/' 

"Zhis fool Broadway/' continued Sonetchka in despair. 
**Zhey sit out zere half ze night to enjoy zemselves one hour — *^ 
She pointed to a row of waiting people who were glaring 
wickedly at the favored Arnold. "Well, zen, rules or no rules, 
he sit at ze entertainers' table. Tell ze proprietor he doan' 
like it, lump it. He doan' lump it get anuzzer dancer. Come 
—you." 

Only Pink and Beau sat at this particular table, so So- 
netchka could speak freely and she dashed rapidly into a rep- 
etition of Arnold's account of his treatment at the hands of 
the law. She was violently angry. But Fink only shrugged 
his shoulders, and spoke in polite scorn. 

** Anybody would think you'd just come to the Big Town 
the way you take it. Sonny." (He was careful to use good 
English in the presence of a stranger.) "What did you ex- 
pect — ^the lawyer to kiss him and the judge to ask him to 
have a drink? Those fellows all work together. Hit one of 
*em and you hit the bunch. They're at the steering-wheel 
and they've got gats — ^guns — for anybody who tries to stop 
their car — ^what difference does it make if a few common 
people get run over and killed, it's get out of the way or take 
your chances. . . . But the idea — anybody trying to stop 
'em — ^ He turned to Arnold. "If s lucky you had friends 
with a pull or you'd be on the inside looking out — ^making 
little ones out of big ones, old sport — ^" The strain of good 
English for a long speech was too much for him, and after 
surveying and judging Arnold, he thought it safe to relapse 
into normal expression. 

"How did she act when she saw her brother?" asked Arnold 
anxiously. 

Sonetchka winked. "She nev-ver see 'im. I got 'im weez 



190 God's Man 

friends. She think he got ze money and run away. Zat eei 
better zan she see him as he is^ hein f" 

Gazing at the two youths in modish dresa-dothea — save 
for certain eccentricities in the shape of jet buttons and silk 
cord — with their highly polished finger-nails and hair that 
seemed to have been subjected to the same process, Arnold's 
heart leaped, '^as it you — ^you three — ^who took her away 
from the hotel ?" 

Sonetchka and Beau took the floor again at the beckoning 
of the acting manager and Pink answered him in the affirm- 
ative. A curious lightness took hold of Arnold. ''A quart of 
Paul Roger, waiter/' he said, "four glasses. . . . How 
long before we four can get away to ourselves — a few hours? 
I'll wait.'' 

Pink, who wished Sonia had been more explicit aa to the 
stranger's views on the question of property, wondered if 
Arnold had been a gentleman in hard luck then^ or a grafter 
in good luck now. 

He determined to investigate and began, somewhat ob- 
scurely, it seemed. 

^That Cornigan," he said gently — ^^Vhat a judge. You 
see him in the joints every night — ^in deary's and The Kid's, 
sporting-girls at his table and all — and he says he's tnvesti- 
gating. Nice business — a judge with a sporting-girl on his 
lap. He got stuck on Kitty Conroy once and she took his 
dough and give him the ha-ha; and when he heard she fell 
for a honkatonk box-beater at Billy's, he had Billy's raided 
just on purpose to send that piano-player to the Island, 
vagrancy, mind you, vagrancy — so he could git Kitty back. 
Ain't it awful to think sich tramps sit around in black Mother 
Hubbards and look virtuous cause a dame stole a can of milk 
for the baby? When I was up before him once, I see him gii« 
a poor skirt who done that the Bedford and send the kid to 
St. Vincent's. 'Women like you are not fit to bring up chil- 
dren,' he says in his Sunday-school voice. And having Kitty 
Oonrojr on his knee the night before. Oee I" — Pink dendhed 



The Gay Life 191 

both hands — ^^whj are we all such a lot of rats that somebody 
don't brain that guy !" 

Arnold nodded assent. "That's just it," he said. '*A lot of 
sheep, not rats ; rats are braver than we are. We let people do 
things to UB because somebody says it's legal. As a matter of 
fact, all our laws ought to be pitched into the fire, and a new 
bunch made that fit modem conditions. The people who run 
things do anything they like with the law, use it as a club to 
make the other people work hard for them." 

*'They never did it for me," chuckled Pink, gloating. "I 
was on from the start. I guess I got next the day old Ogle- 
thorpe visited our school. They'd been teaching us honesty 
was the best policy and we, like a lot of saps, believed it. 
When our Superintendent told us Oglethorpe was coming to 
spiel us Commencement Day, I thought it was the bunk. I'd 
read what the papers said about that big yegg-thief and child- 
murderer — ^with those poor kids working in his mines. But 
the Superintendent ! ! you'd a thought he'd be on his belly any 
minute asking Oglethorpe to kindly wipe his hoofs on him if 
he'd thought his clothes were clean enough. And the other 
teachers ! — simperin' and going on like he was God Almighty. 
. . . And the old yegg had the nerve to look us thousand 
kids in the eye and tell us to be square and straight and we'd 
be successful — ^him that cheated at marbles I bet when he was 
our age and sneaked to the teacher if somebody licked him for 
it . . . The Lord give him his success as a reward for 
never missing Sunday-school and church and Epworth League 
in forty years. . . . And all those little suckers and those 
big stews of teachers jest gaped at him as if to say ^How true' 
— oh, my God I that made me sick. I never went back next 
year — started shooting craps and hanging around pool-rooms 
instead. . . . Grow up and be a nice kid, huh? — and get 
a good job running errands for three per, then in a few years 
be a clerk at six, and end up at fifty getting twenty-five; 
they'd run my dad out of business, so I couldn't have the store, 
and at sixty get fired and git the workhouse, less'n I had some 



192 Ood's Man 

kids to support me. . . . Not me; Not on your life. 
. . . I played that old yegg's game, instead — ^in my pettj- 
larceny way.*' 

Sonetchka and Beau had rejoined them during this speech, 
and they nodded emphatic assent. 'TTes, a lot of ub guys lie 
getting on/' confirmed Beau. ^T. got a father worked ten 
hours a day all his life and now Fm supporting him. I didnH 
go into the mills like he wanted me to because I didn't see tbe 
sense of working like a dog jest for the privilege of eating 
Irish stew five times a week and getting drunk every Satordaj 
night to forget what a hell of a thing life was." 

'^And me/' Sonetchka put in, 'Vhen I come over here I wif 
maid to a lady — ^fourteen hours on my feet, me. Zen I mab 
flowers for 'ats. No good. Ze lady I work for, she lie aroiuid 
all day until her 'usband come 'ome, zen she get me to pull 
her fat waist togezzer and zey go to theaters and restauiante 
and I sit 'ome waiting to undress 'er. She fire me because 
I go out one night to pictures and get caught in Subway acci- 
dent and she imdress 'erself . In ze factory, I work nine houn 
and 'ave to take work 'ome and work nights to get enough to 
eat. And, sometimes w'en I walk Broadway, I see womaai 
not so pretty nor smart as me come out of beautiful restuh 
rants and theaters and step into taxicabs and limouzines. 
And I zink about that lazee fat womans I lace up when I am 
maid. *Little fool Sonetchka/ I say to myself. Ton go 
throw yourself in river if you not smart enough to live soft^ 
too.' And zen, when ze man what own ze f actoiy start mib 
love to me, I doan' say, *Go way ; don't dare you touch me.' 
I make believe I like 'im touch me, I get him give me 
pretty clothes, I get him lend me money — ^I promise every* 
ting and zen, when I get what I want, I doan' give nu2xing. 
And once I get pretty clothes and some money from ^im; I 
find plenty more mens. And I learn tricks. And I live lib 
ladee too— nice and soft." 

She laughed and showed her little teeth. *1 teach 'er, too— 
Annie Eunioe. I say — doan' be big fools. You ^ave to pU; 



The Gay Life 193 

tricks — ^yon 'aye to fool people. So she smile and smile in- 
stead of looking 'ard and 'arsh, and man zink when she go out 
wiz zem she fall for zem. And zey give her big tips — dollar, 
Hceep ze change' — and when drunk men throw down ten dol- 
lars one day I say, 'Doan' give change/ And I make her zat 
she doan', and now many drunk men throw down money and 
doan' get change and uzzer men forget how much and she say, 
* rEre'fl your change/ and give zem dollar change for five dol- 
lar and all zat sort of sing/' 

^She's a smart girl, all right/' approved Beau. Arnold 
winced. But what difference between Beau's "smart girl" 
and Waldemar's "good business" — between Arnold's hold-up 
and her *Tiold-out" ? Yet, he hated to think of her at such 
tricks. Some reflection of his thoughts must have shown in 
his eyes. 

**W'ich you t'ink best?" asked Sonetchka, indignantly ob- 
serving this, "be cripple or go blin'? You make me seeck. 
Wat you do zat so 'onest?" 

**I'll bet/' said Pink in an assured tone, "that he's doing 
the public himself if he'd on'y own up. I'd like to see any- 
body be honest nowadays unless he's very lucky — in these big- 
time cities anyhow — ^that is, and live decent." 

"Thaf s what I've been thinking for a couple of months/' 
returned Arnold reflectively. *^ven in the newspaper busi- 
ness we had to print ads for quack medicines, lying real- 
estate, rotten personals — and had to keep ugly stories about 
department stores out of the news or they'd take their ^ads' 
out — and had to wink at Tammany because it was Democratic. 
But my city editor got mighty virtuous when I kept something 
out for a Reptiblican candidate — ^that's how I lost my job and 
landed where you found me. Miss Sonetchka." 

"And — ^you're back pencil-pushing now ?" asked Pink, who 
had not b^n confidential from any love of sociological discus- 
sion. This well-groomed, good-looking fellow could assist 
him in his line — if he chose. 

Arnold told of his present occupation, "About that you're 



194 God's Man 

certainly right/* he said. ^T. gness Waldemar^s respons 
for more drug fiends than any place in the city. The ' 
they sell it wholesale to these little pedlers. ... J 
Waldemar's a Congressman and a millionaire. A few moi 
ago I wouldn't have taken a job there, but now — ^it was eil 
slaving or starving — ^^ 

^TValdemar^s — '^ said Pink slowly. 

He had been sunk in deep abstraction. Now he raised 
head. "I got you — ^Waldemar's — don't you remember, E 
— old Mitt-and-a-Half talking?" The light of recogni 
came to Beau. He leaned eagerly forward : 

''What's this whisper about gitting all the gum you ^ 
at Waldemar's ?" 

Arnold needed no glossary this time. ''Why?'* he a£ 
grimly, pulling down his shirt-cuflf ; "can I book your ordc 

"Wait a minute," returned Pink, as, the orchestra retii 
for a rest, his turn at entertaining came. ''Beau, phone 1^ 
and-a-Half and Mother. You know what they said 
other night. . . ." 

"Tell Miss Chasserton I'm waiting for her to get off d 
too," added Arnold; but Sonia, evidently considering it 
right to impart this news, had hurried ahead; so that An 
was left alone, listening to the rapid staccato rag-time 
the Cagey Kid began to "beat outa the box," as he phrase 

Pink's piano-playing suggested Hogarthian pictures — ^1 
breasted, short-skirted, ox-eyed females, garish color, ! 
drunken laughter. Pink's was only a slight improvemen 
the sort of performance for which such places kept on 1 
unhealthy-looking youths with cheap Virginia cigarettes 
manently attached to their lower lips, glasses of beer wi 
easy reach, a hypodermic syringe in their hip pockets, < 
"lay-out" in the basement, and a friend who asked, "De 
won't you stake the Professor ?" 

But those were low dives. This was Sydenham's I T 
were jungle-beasts; here was Bandar-log with thin feat 



The Gay Life 195 

md Blender shapely bodies. . . . Yet their faces lighted 
ap with the same barbaric emotions tliat had inspired such 
tones, their bodies swayed to the same sensuous rhythm. 
**Thi8 is Madman's Lane/* thought Arnold soberly. 

There was a girl barely sixteen, not of the Blue Book crowd, 
tndy — ^their conventions did save a girl for supper-places 
until she had been a debutante — and they did insist on the 
Bhallow safeguard of chaperons — ^but of decent folk ; probably 
a daughter to a prosperous tradesman or head bookkeeper ; 
and there she danced, a tigerish sensuousness in her half- 
dosed eyes and in those of her almost equally youthful 
partner. The end of that evening was as plain as if they had 
abouted their intentions aloud. 

As this couple swayed past Arnold he could hear them sing- 
ing softly the words to Pink's tune. This was the lad who 
had requested it, the words being quite familiar to everybody ; 
published in this same city that had jailed the performers of 
the work of one of the world's greatest playwrights. 

**But it put the blame for immorality where it belongs," 
thought Arnold ; **and that's the last thing hypocrites want — 
things called by their right names. Give them the off-color 
iQggestion and the snicker up the sleeve. . . ." 

Pink plunged on with his brothel classics ; his next a great 
favorite in scarlet society. . . . One who knew could 
imagine Pink sliding out the words from that corner of the 
mouth that held the cigarette. 

"Prankie and Johnnie were sweethearts. . . ." 

The sixteen-year-old girl and her escort seemed to know 
Quit one, too, although the rest of it was too unsightly to 
permit of publication. Arnold tried to forget the possibility 
of her pupilage in such knowledge, and, turning, observed 
mother girl scarcely older, posing in imitation of a former 
**parlor girl," Aow a vaudeville star — and tempting an in- 
genuous-looking youth, her partner. 

Could that woman of forty-five, wife of a celebrated cor- 



196 



God's Man 



poration-lawyer^ easily recognized from her many published 
photographs^ realize the sort of stuff to which she was daiu^ 
ing ? How would she like the words printed with her name 
in Sunday^s "society*^ column ? . I . 

He saw her join a party where^ disregarding the champagne 
on the table^ another woman in a daring Doucet gown was 
drinking whisky pegs and lighting fresh cigarettes on the 
butts of those consumed. 

Why should he notice all this to-night, when it had been 
going on all around him since he began patronizing cabarets? 
Bertie did the same thing with her cigarettes — a sort of end- 
less chain. There was no good pretending. He knew vdl 
enough — ^Velvet Voice. He resented her presence among 
such people. Blue Books and ancestry or no. . . . 

Pink dashed into another song suggested by a youth with 
vivid jewelry. Observing the attention of the patrons, he 
motioned to certain other young Semites, who began to sbont 
hoarsely for the author of that sensational turkey-trot, "I 
Don't Want to Be Loved, Just Like Me in a Begular Way." 

It appeared, curiously enough, that the motioner was h& 
He bowed and was popularly supposed to blush. 

"Song — song,'* shouted the "boosters,*' their homy hands 
colliding with the sound of pistol-shots — ^undesired publicity. 
But Pink and the cafe manager were to be observed urging 
the famous youth to consider his duty to the public, the homy- 
handed ones posing as simple melody-loving private citixens. 

The song was sung. It suggested that if a "spoony Coney* 
railroad could only have a tunnel fifty miles long, • . . 
"my favorite child's name is Matilda," and it was sung with 
all possible grins and shrugs. The boosters joined in at the 
second chorus. By the fourth repetition wine-flushed yonths 
shouted it with loud laughs and arch glances at their femtb 
companions and emphasizing its most suggestive line. 

Leaving them to their chorus, celebrated compoeer tsd 
'Osoosters" went their way further to advertise genius .^ M^ 



The Gay Life 197 

fieau and Sonetchka returned to give another '^refined terp- 
sicborean^' entertainment — bom on the Barbary Coast. 

II. On the Threshold of Subtebbanea 



**. . . And yon like it ?' Arnold asked^ frowning. Vel- 
vet Voice nodded with a certain defiant gaiety. **My God !** 
he commented — ^**my Godl'^ — ^but a "my God" of helpless 
scorn — no drama in it. 

**Why not ?" she wished to know. 

'TTou mustn't mind her," said Pink tolerantly. "All these 
dames are the same when they first hit the bright lights. 
They go plumb dotty. They're only women, you know," he 
added tolerantly, as if that explained any folly. 

"And you — ^you smart, hein — ^you big smart fellow — ^know 
everything?" asked Sonetchka. 

"If you don't know that, you don't know anything," an- 
swered Pink. "Forty million times over I tell you what a 
lucky little skirt you are to have me take the trouble to wise 
you up. I dunno what I do it for, I'm sure — ^' 

The restaurant in which they were having supper was as 
dififerent as possible from the "Caf6 de Paris" — quiet after 
Sydenham's noise, and for good reasons — its patrons having 
learned it was wiser to communicate their sort of conversa- 
tion in guarded tones that did not reach any not concerned. 
It was Chinese, the cleanly kitchen in full sight, with its 
polished copper-pans and brightly shining stove, the res- 
taurant walls hung with tasseled scrolls and Japanese prints 
of whiskered ogres and oblique-eyed angels. Most of its f re- 
-enters, quietly but expensively dressed, and seemingly above 
the average intelligence, had been pointed out to Arnold and 
Velvet Voice as well-known specialists in check-raising, wire- 
less wire-tapping, "the match," "the pay-oflf" and cards— one 
extremely pretty girl as baring been arrested fourteen times 
and never convicted. 



198 



God's Man 



"JuBt give her a jury — a heavy-headed jury — and she's as 
safe as if she was in God's hip pocket/* Pink had said, proud 
of the intimacy her greeting of him had implied. "One smart 
little girl, go bet your shirt/' 

"Smart," sniffed Sonetchka, "smart womens don't get ar- 
rested fourteen times — I never get arrested, me." 

"You never had no big ideas — no ambition," explained 
Pink. Arnold had cut in with Velvet Voice to prevent an 
embittered answer. 

"In a way," Pink went on, referring to the limitations of 
Velvet Voice (and of women generally), "in a way, women 
never git more'n haff wise. I've had 'em all — all kinds — and 
they'll always fall for the front — the show-off — ^the clothes 
and the lights and people gettin' an eyeful of their new hat— 
the admiration stuff. They like restaurants and theaters and 
crowds because they think one hundred and one out of a hun- 
dred men are wishing they knew them, and then go home and 
look at their wives or girls and say, *0h, hell/ sure ! So ihej 
do better on the stage than men — think just standin' there 
not sayin' nothing is giving a thousand guys a treat and mak- 
ing a thousand dames wish they had their taste in dress, and 
go home and copy their hat." 

"Oh, shut up/' said the infuriated Sonia, reaching for the 
nearest missile; and Pink masked prudence by loud laughter 
and the lighting of a cigarette. 

"N"o wonder the little girl likes it," Beau began to explain, 
winking at Velvet Voice; "who wouldn't, with a little ten- 
thousand-dollar go-cart sent around every afternoon to ride 
her around again, Willie. Special flower-shop running just 
to keep her in roses, too — didn't notice those American heaar 
ties on her switchboard? She's got a special room fall 
home. And pipe the hock-rock on the pinky — " Arnold 
glanced as Beau pointed and saw on her hand a marquise,! 
pure white triangle edged by tiny flat rubies. Velvet Voice 
smiled, almost, it seemed, purred. 

"Name of Spedden," Beau elucidated. "And I gueai she 



The Gay Life 199 

don't hate him any^ 'cause when we offered to let him into a 
little friendly game she put in the saxi." 

^'Why should I risk having him snspect my friends cheat 
at cards?" asked Velvet Voice indignantly. 'TTou couldn't 
win as much in a night as he'd give me freely if I asked 
him." At which Pink interrupted with a roar. "Our little 
Eunice — ^Elsie in the Great City — ^ho! ha I heel Eich, ain't 
it, boy?" he asked Arnold. 

^'Why shouldn't I have a good time like everybody else?" 
demanded Velvet Voice angrily. '^Didn't I put in ten years 
not knowing any better ? . . . And if you could see what 
tape on my switchboard with dimes and tries to tell me to get 
numbers for 'em like they heard some actress say, 'Home, 
James.' . . . Am I going to take impudence from 
dressed-up minxes all my life? It isn't as though people 
respected you more, knowing you could get all the clothes 
yon wanted, but prefer to work. They just think you're a 
plain fool. And I shouldn't wonder if they're right. It's 
a girl's own fault if she gets overworked and starved in fac- 
tories and stores. We've got no right to be there. There's 
only one business we're cut out for, and thaf s — men/* 

Several times Arnold had been at the point where he felt 
he must interrupt savagely, but now she had stated her case, 
he wondered what he should say. All his remonstrances 
would sound Sunday-schoolish in such a place, among such 
people ; and, moreover, how they would disagree with the new 
set of ideas he had himself adopted ! 

It was only convention that yearned for speech. The old 
order: man to do as he pleases, women to do as he pleases, 
too; and if he pleases for her to attain some standard of in- 
credible virtue she must pretend to be attaining it. Becog- 
nizing this imf aimess, Arnold saw that he should desire noth- 
ing of her he did not himself approve ; and Quinn's scornful 
^'poor but honest" recurred to him and his own acceptance of 
the negative. . . . Nevertheless, he did net want her to 
accept rich men's favors. It was all so highly perplexing he 



200 God's Man 

did not remonBtrate at all^ but left it to the indefatigable 
Pink. 

'Thafs all right, Annie Eunice/' said that young gesiik- 
man, ''you got the right idea all right and the wrong one, too. 
Qet all you can out of these rich fellows, but don't double-up 
with none permanently. They ainH our breed any moie'n 
cats are dogs. They're our natural-bom enemies— «yerythiDg 
they think is jest opposite what we think. Get his monqr— 
all you can — ^and then hand him his hat." 

Velvet Voice went crimson. 'If you're suggesting — ^' she 
began. 

"Now, ain't that like a little sucker broad?" asked Pink 
wearily; "willing to marry a rich guy for his dough and 
divorce him soon's ever she gits the chance, but sore at the 
idea of cutting out the ring stuff — anything so long's it loota 
respectable. Jest as you said" — ^he nodded to Arnold— **a 
lot of sheep willing to let people do anything to 'em 'cause 
somebody says it's legal. She hates the sight of him, but 
she tries to kid us she don't so's she can kid herself marriages 
are made in Heaven. Lef s not talk any more about it. Thii 
sucker stuff makes my neck tired." 

This Cagey Kid seldom misjudged his man. He had been 
living by judging men — and women — some few years, and 
though Arnold's talk was not theirs. Pink had recognised a 
common hatred of hypocrisy and love fpr rebellion in the last 
of the L'Hommedieus — instincts that were surely driving him 
to a life not unlike their own. So Pink had admitted him 
into his confidences, for he had an instinctive feeling Arnold 
was to be a highly profitable adviser in those higher forma of 
larceny to which Pink's ambitious soul yearned. Beaidei^ 
there was the matter on which Beau had telephoned. 

"Tell him what Mother and old Mitt-and-a-Half said,' ta 
directed his friends. Beau glanced discreetly at Velvet Vcnos. 
"You don't need to mention what — ^he's jerry to that — hand 
him the proposition." 

"A friend of ours — I'll write the name," and having doDi 



The Gay Life 201 

80, he cnimpled up the Japanese crSpe-paper napkin and 
pocketed it, ^Vants a thousand pounds. To make the other 
stuff — ^you know — and peddle it by the can. The more gum, 
the more profit — so he'll make it worth your while — a dollar 
on the pound to you, and 'ull be 'round to-morrow and give 
it to you, if Wb all right. Don't forgit the name. You 
oughtn't to — ^if 8 funny enough.'* 

''What a game thafs going to be after they put the lid on 
next week,** said Pink, his eyes sparkling. ''Some chance 
for the big money there if a man has a little capital. The 
Customsll look fi^e trying to keep it out all along the Cana- 
dian border, the Mexican border, and the East and West 
coasts — what a chancel And there'll be thousands at it. 
Think how few of those little cans it takes to make a thousand 
dollars — ^thirty or forty at the new price — ^that's all. I got 
haff a mind to take a chance myself with that kind of 
profitr— " 

"Some game, all right," agreed Beau, his face also alight. 
As for Arnold, he was thinking of the enormous profits the 
Waldemar company would make on their new deal — even he 
with his little thousand stood to quadruple it. If only he 
had more invested I Suddenly he turned and saw that Velvet 
Voice was regarding him queerly, wistfully, in a way that 
hinted to Arnold that she might not consider any millionaire 
if he were able to give her even one-hundredth the things Mr. 
Spedden could. 

He must begin to make money; he had wasted enough time, 
ind without money the things one wanted one never got. 
Pink's suggestion of smuggling in the stuff, the high profits, 
fMcinated him. He was in debt for a good half of his win- 
nings, but this thousand dollars Enoch Apricott would give 
tt a bonus for a thousand pounds — Mother Mybus, really, as 
he was to know — ^would nearly repair that damage. If he 
oould reinvest at the same figures — a can and a half came 
from a pound— even at ihiriy dollars the can, he would be on 
the road to wealth. Then more like investments and more 



202 



God's Man 



and he could return to Havre de Grace, buy a farm he knew 
of and be a country gentleman. He salved his conscience by 
explaining to it that any harm he might do now he would 
more than repair — ^then; go to Congress to follow Waldemar; 
stand for good government in local politics, protective meas- 
ures against more factory-building . . . what not? 

"It isn't a man's fault going wrong in these big cities," he 
said aloud, wanting the corroboration of others to administer 
the final opiate to that stubborn conscience; '%ow can he do 
anything else — ^unless he wants to see the unscrupulous and 
ignorant get everything, and himself pushed and hustled 
about by the very danm fools he's trying to help. The only 
thing to do is to get money enough to get out — ^thafs the one 
excuse a decent fellow has for being here. . . /' 

"Hear, hear," applauded Cagey and Phony Kids. Velvet 
Voice was silent, viewing him as if she, too, would like to 
remonstrate, but realizing that her own proceedings did not 
justify it. 

"I on'y wish I was big womans,*' said Sonetchka greedily. 
"I go make trips to Canada and Mexico and bring back cans 
hid in my clothes. But — ^me — ^zey see a lump as big as a 
peanut ... too bad.'' 

III. The Attio Has Hope of Arnold 



"That young feller is all right,'* said Pink to Mother 
Mybus, Nikko and Apricott later that night. Mother and 
Nikko having lumbered up to the Attic to hear the gossip of 
the baker's dozen there gathered; "he oughta be pie for joa, 
Mother, once we git him hooked. He's got class — ^not jeit 
clothes and small-talk like me and Beau — ^but real class. Toi 
oughta hear him spiel — Nick, you and Mitt-and-a-Hafl V 
in the cripples' class. . . ." 

He repeated, in the vernacular, some of Arnold's lefoh* 
tionary propaganda. Nikko rubbed his moist hands stetlft* 
ily. "They ain't clever," he said, "not clever, no I these p| 



The Gay Life 203 

plutocrats. Not even taking care that such smart young 
fellows of their own class donH join with us. . . /* 

**Which is what we need — ^leaders," growled Enoch Apri- 
cott. '^Leaders — ^just that kind. They don^t listen to us — 
watch the difference in the army between the oflBcer out of 
the ranks and the gentleman bom. The soldiers stand for 
anything the gentleman orders and growl at the simplest 
ones the other gives. . . . We've got to get the gentle- 
men, too. They'll teach the flies to sting — sting hard, gentle- 
men wilL** 

*T8ut steadily, slowly, it grows,*' chuckled Nikko, polishing 
his useless spectacles, one of his many little subterfuges for 
pleasing Mother. ^'It grows big, and when gentlemen join, 
the appointed time's shortened by many years. . . . How 
can we make him our friend, young Pink— one of us — ^grad- 
ually, gently?" 

'TTou don't bring him here, mind you, Mr. Pink, nor Mr. 
Beau — ^not until you're sure of him," warned Mother, fon- 
dling her huge tabby-cat. "What he do to get poor— drink — 
cards — girls ?" 

Pink shook his head. "Reg'lar guy, this," he said scorn- 
fully, "reg'lar guys don't fall for sucker games, . . . 
though he's stuck on young Lipton's sister over there." He 
nodded toward Hans Chasserton, sitting cross-legged beside 
the bunk where Doctor Tack was lying. A childlike curiosity 
concerning the smokers' activities had developed in him and 
he could watch them unblinkingly by the hour, seemingly 
fascinated. He did not identify himself by Pink's descrip- 
tion. 

''And there's another one oughtta come in handy some day 
— ^her," said Beau. "You oughta see how she gets away with 
the sonp-and-fish effects — ^there ain't a dressier dame along 
the Lane. If her and him ever started working with us we'd 
buy the City Hall for a branch office. . . . But I told 
ycfa how she put in the knock when we offered her flf ty-flf ty 
to let us take that Spedden guy?" 



204 God's Man 

"Still, she likes him," Pink averred. "Arnold — she's just 
dead sore on those ten years she put in sweating and she'll 
join us out some day when this Spedden makes a bad break. 
Jest now he's playing safe; getting her used to taxis eTei; 
afternoon and charge accounts for clothes and swell kipping 
at cut rates in the shed he owns. When he thinks she jest 
can't breathe without a maid to help her, he'll say, ain't he 
got something coming from herf "So man with a face like 
his'n never got into a bank as no philanthropist, less'n he 
kicked his way in with a jimmy. . . . And then she'll 
call on us — how kin she git back at him, and we'll show her." 
He grinned. 

"And once she's been shown and sees how easy it is, shell 
fall easier next time," supplemented Beau. "The same way 
with him — Arnold." 

"I've got a place like this — ^yes," they heard Hana Chasser- 
ton chuckle shrilly, drowning Mother's comment. "Better*!! 
this, though. Thousand Chinamen fanning a thousand 
gals. Bought it off a big Chink with specs like his'n.'' He 
indicated Nikko. "Ye-es. Wanted me to go to China and 
run the King's car, but Mr. Quivvers give me a thousand not 
to. Ye-es. Oh, ye-es. Didn't see my sister when you iwi 
out, did you ? I got her name written down here. I'll show 
it to you." He drew nearer the bull-necked Heidelberg doe- 
tor of the sword-slashed face, showing him with an air of 
mystery a dirty envelope, on which Annie Eunice's full name 
was written. "Ain't she pretty ?" asked Hana, touching the 
name. 

"Sit down and keep still," commanded Apricott harshlj, 
and the innocent-eyed Hans obeyed, trembling. 'T^That did 
he say about the gum — ^this Arnold — ^young fellow? Kd 
Mother's dollar a pound fetch him ?" Beau explained. Apii* 
cott was to have ofi&:ial physician's paper printed in fin 
names — "Doctor Cagey Kid, Doctor Phony Kid, Doctor IDtt- 
and-a-Haff, Mrs. Doctor Mother Mybus, Herr Doctor Nick 
Vitchovitchski — any monakers you like, but difibrent id* 



The Gay Life 205 

dresies. Write for two hundred pounds each. They canH take 
a chance letting anybody have more than that/' Apriootfa 
hoe felL To what five addresses could he trust having the 
precious atuff sent? His expression interpreted by Pink, it 
was explained that this was but a subterfuge. The thousand 
pounds would be shipped directly to the Inn. ''Those phony 
letter-beads are only for the Federal gees examining their 
books. • • P 

*'If your Arnold will do that, he will do more/* said Nikko, 
writing furiously vnth his forefinger a horoscope of Arnold's 
future; ''slowly, surely. Only the excuse is needed. Make 
friends with him, young Pink, but steadily, certainly; do not 
shock him. Gradually, cautiously. The dose of poison that 
kills can be spread over the hours and save. Mother is a 
woman, I am blind, Apricott was in slavery too long to lead — 
and all the while the business grows — ^the rebellion grows — 
sflently, slowly. Apricott has it; only leaders are needed; 
those in the enemjr's confidence. As your Arnold is. If you 
need money to spend entertaining him. Mother will give it — 
eh, Catherine Borisovna?'' 

And Mother, behind her closed eyes seeing a greater busi* 
neta, a monopoly in theft, one so strong it could crush compe- 
tition, yet allow her to doze by the fire while one greater than 
ihe fulfilled her dreams, was willing it should be called a re- 
bellion or anything else, so long as it accomplished those 
results. 

"I was smoking myself,'' came in Hans' high shrill voice 
igain. "Old lapton was with us. Ye-es. Oh, ye-es. On 
board his yacht I was. A thousand cans and forty pipes. 
Bich, ain't he, to have all that ? I drove Mr. Qui were' motor- 
boat over to London yestiddy, too. The King was out, and 
we had to be back for supper. Everything was all greasy and 
[ give the car plenty of oats. But I says to Mr. Quiwers, 
ilwaya treat a car with kindness. I hate oats. . » ." 

"Punny how he gits all those things mixed up — oats I 
They must 'a' fed him on oatmeal up at that joint, I goeis. 



206 God's Man 

And this guy QniTvers going abroad ; and him telling him 
before the accident to treat the car right ... I wonder 
what he means, though, when he polls that 'eyeiything vit 
greasy* stuflf.** 

'"Salve and stuff on his broken nnt, half-wity** explained 
Pink with the air of one imparting polite information. ''And 
the Lipton part's easy enough — ^his one idea was to own a cat- 
boat and sail it around; they come from down Chesapeake 
Bay, him and Annie Eunice. . . . Poor sucker ! What 
a rat that fellow Qnivrers is. I'd like to get an eyeful of 
liim once. I'd bend a paving-stone over his beezer. . . ." 
He was going on to further extreme measures, but Apricott 
broke in upon him excitedly. 

'^Better than that Sting him. Do what he done. Tab 
him. Trim him. Hey?" He laughed in his dry, noiseleai 
way. Nikko nodded and put a hand on Pink's knee. 

"That's for your Mr. Arnold," said Mother hoarsely. *^ 
my Nicholas," she added in Slavonic. ''He loves tiiis girL 
Would he not be glad to harm those who harmed herP** 

"You sec my children," said Nikko, nodding and inter- 
preting, "this man Quivvers comes some day to your res- 
taurant — all New York comes there. And Catherine Boris- 
ovna means that you will have your Miss Eunice and joor 
Mr. Arnold both to help you then." 

"And then drain him. Suck him dry.** Apricott beit 
his hands together savagely. "No trash about not taking liis 
last dollar. His sort take ours. ..." 

'Tes, yes, we heard all that before," interrupted Pink, irri- 
tated, **but I'll hand it to you for your first idea. Taking 
him's better than beating him up — ^hurts more. . . .** 

"And when your Arnold's helped you once, and sees hot 
much is to gain, . . ." Mother licked her lips, too. ^o 
diflSculty after that. And he'll think up better things for 
you and Mr. Beau to do, Mr. Pink. . . . Hell be one 
of us then and he can be brought here. Ill give you etch 
something handsome out of stock the day that itf- 



The Gay Life 207 

pens. . . r And she waddled off down-stairs before she 
could be committed to anything more definite. 

**Que88 she's right at that/' said Beau, yawning, 'T)ut mean- 
while Fve been talked out of about ten pills 'at belong to me. 
So jest you knock off serving yourself, sucker, and remember 
you're among friends." 

IV. Abnold Qiyes Up Velvet Voice and Hears op an Old 

Friend 

Word reached Arnold every day in the shape of sixteen-page 
letters of The Siirrup-Cup, which, for several reasons — 
one that Bobbie ruined a leading part — had received no very 
enthusiastic encomiums up state and in the Massachusetts 
manufacturing towns where it was now playing. But theaters 
must be filled at any cost in days of warring syndicates, and 
80 long as Messrs. King and Apelheimer had a young man 
lesponaible for company losses the theater managers must 
stand theirs or go dark for the week. And, as New York 
needed attractions also, a crowd composed of Messrs. K. and 
G. Marko, the booking-agents, the owner of the Atlantic thea- 
ter and two bright young writers caught young and put on 
salary and at dramatic carpentry and repairing, had recently 
viewed the production, criticized, censored and left tlie writers 
behind to correct. It appeared their first suggestion had 
been to cut down Bobbie's part, since she was incapable of 
interpreting it correctly, but Bobbie had made Hugo tlireaten 
to withdraw if this were done. 

**Which is extremely foolish of her," Bertie wrote, "because 
Hugo is losing pots of money; and if we were only shaped 
up we might make a hit at the Atlantic and get back what 
he's lost and more besides. . . ." But of the sixteen 
pages daily there were very few devoted to the show, many to 
accusations of misconduct with other women and despairing 
reiterations of undying love. *TVTiy, I never see anybody but 
Hugo and Bobbie, and I have no end of friends in all the 



208 God's Man 

cities where we're trouping; and they'd be only too glad to 
have me out to dinner and supper and take me antomobiliog 
and send me candy and flowers and all that; and not Btop 
with candy and flowers either. Why, one young chap in this 
very town, whose father left him a fur-store, wanted to give 
me a sable coat — a sable one, mind you, down to my heek 
And I suppose you know, since old Gayton came up to 
Bochester for the opening and I locked my door on him, no 
check. And he never missed a week for over two years, no 
matter where I was. So little Bertie will have to give np 
her cute little flat and sell her car; even if the play's a hit tht 
car will have to go. But don't think I care, dearest boy. So 
long as I know you're mine, and mine only, I'd live in a hut 
and scrub floors. . . ." 

WHiich had the eflfect of making Arnold highly uncom- 
fortable. The chains were tightening, those strongest chains 
forged by the weakest hands, by absolute submission, by nn- 
asking self-sacrifice. Alberta Arden (what her real name 
was nobody knew) had met, for the first time in her experi- 
ence with men, one whom she loved deeply, and "there is no 
difference in women when that happens," wrote Arnold in his 
diary about this time; "they want nothing except the man 
they love. But they do not pursue him as artlessly as their 
sacrifices seem to suggest. They know sacrifices are their 
strongest hold upon him ; if they could come to him in raga» 
without a place to sleep or the money to buy a meal, and prow 
conclusively that all this destitution had been incurred for his 
sake, they would do so gladly, for they know any average hon- 
orable man with a conscience would be their bound and htlp- 
less slave forever after. . . ." 

As may be seen from this Arnold was uneasy. He wa 
beginning to understand that he was in love with Vdiet 
Voice, and yet — curious as it may seem to the uninitiated— hi 
would read Bertie's insane protestations of savage devoti(» 
with a sort of half-ashamed pride, taking up one of her numo^ 
eus photographs afterward and looking at her pictured hean- 



i 



The Gay Life 209 

ties — ^hair, eyes, neck, lithe and stipple form — ^with a quick- 
ening heart. It heightened his belief in himself to realize 
that this girl, so madly desired by many, loved him blindly. 
Thus, when hurt by the refusal of Velvet Voice to accompany 
him in preference to the Spedden person, he would, on his 
return to Beeckman Place, gaze long and lovingly at Bertie's 
pictures and wish her home again. When she returned she 
should live at Beeckman Place. 

But when Velvet Voice denied Spedden, Arnold would lie 
awake half the night wondering how he could write grace- 
fully the scoundrelly hint that it was better not to neglect any 
good friends, and wasnH it more sensible to make her peace 
with old Gayton that the weekly check might once more ar- 
rive? But, though he had trained himself to a good style in 
prose, he could never find the right words in which to write 
this; so it went unsaid and he faced his shaving mirror of 
mornings and called himself a coward and a blackguard. 

Another thing that combined to worry him, with Archie's 
speculation, was the draining of Hugo's bank-account; and 
the fact that women were responsible for both these things 
gave him a fancied justification for ill-treating Bertie, for 
coolly refusing to give her his confidence as to how he spent 
his time nor any assurance of continued devotion. Which 
made Bertie miserable and increased her mad passion for 
him. 

He was slipping away fast from Archie and Hugo, whose 
davish subservience to their women was the sort of thing for 
which Arnold's new friends had the largest amount of scorn. 
Even Mr. Quinn, at home, commenting on the comedies of 
the daily newspaper — ^he found only comedy, especially in 
suicides and murders on account of women : ^'Haff-civilized, 
thaf 8 what I call such men," this sage would pronoimce. 
**With a dozen females to every regular man." 

Arnold was living now in the first stages of rebellion, 
which gave him a vast contempt for the world at large, a 
trame of mind that had made Sir Lucas a fighting monk. 



210 God's Man 

had driven the Chevalier Etienne into the ranks of the Hugue- 
not clergy; which, had his family remained in France for 
Eevolutionary days, would have made of Arnold a Jacobin, 
a minor Voltaire or a Tom Paine with a splendid but youth- 
ful "Age of Reason/* But religion no longer a live issue in 
these days, he must seek other outlets for rebellion; and ao 
found it among those who were turning the tables by preying 
on the rich. He even forgave Bobbie for her treatment of 
Hugo. If Waldemar, Senior, had permitted their marriage 
she would have been a devoted mother by now. 

"There is a period between puberty and maternity during 
which women commit most of their cruelties/* he wrote, 
apropos of this, "during which they give men most of their 
misery. Something is missing and they seek it in all fonni 
of excesses, in unchecked passion, in useless extnviH 
gance. . . . The obvious cure for which is for the man 
who loves them to see that they have a child.** But he neTcr 
allowed himself to think of a child for Bertie — ^the bondi 
would be unbreakable then. And, every night, he was up- 
stairs at Sydenham's, leaning over the switchboard and urging 
Velvet Voice to throw off Spedden forever. 

It was plain the girl was sorely tempted. Arnold did not 
doubt she cared for him. And when he was with her her 
icy resolution melted into water. She was saved only by the 
appearance of 6. Alexander Spedden himself, a great bulk of 
a man, a mine-owner and promoter, who had at the sight d 
her an eager hungry look. And more and more, in the pri- 
vacy of her own thoughts and conversation with Sonetchbi 
she realized that her one safety, where Arnold was concernedi 
was to bring Spedden to the point of proposing marriage « 
swiftly as possible. , 

"Wat he do for you, this Arnold ?'* Sonetchka would tA 
"He got feef ty dollar week — and w*at chance for much moief 
Zen some day he maybe lose his jhob same as when we meet 
him, and zen w*at? Doan* you get enough to be poor oncif 
You want more f Zis million-dollar man he marry you and 



The Gay Life 211 

give yon beautiful home and money and everything. Zen you 
can Bee your Arnold jus* ze same — ^he be your sweef eart — ^^ 

'*Stop, Sonetchka/' commanded Velvet Voice, her eyes 
blazing. 'Ton think I would do a thing like that!" 

The Little One shrugged her shoulders. ^'AU ze big people 
tey do — ^kings and queens and million-dollar people and 
iarins in my country; zey doan' marry for loof — ^zey know 
loof — ^how long he last? Zey marry for nice 'ome and plenty 
money. Even peasant people, if zey have little land, zey 
marry some one have little land, too; zen more land, zen more 
next time till the family gets rich. Doan' you be beeg fool.*' 

The suggestion that this arrangement was general had per- 
sisted with Velvet Voice, and one night, when Arnold was 
more importunate than ever, she voiced it. What had he 
to give a wife ? How could he have what he wanted and give 
her anything? . . . Whereupon Arnold had stormed 
out of Sydenham's and home, where he wrote Bertie a sur- 
priaingly affectionate letter. She didn't think about what he 
oould give her; she just gave herself, gave up everything and 
only asked for love. Well, she should have it, poor girl. 
Velvet Voice had proved herself base metal; and here, for 
veeks, his comparison had been unfavorable to poor Bertie, 
vhen she was really the superior. 

And the next night he telephoned Pink and Beau he would 
be at the Chinese Bestaurant, but that he was not coming to 
Sydenham's again. 

"Good idea," said Pink when they met, "why waste your 
money in a sucker joint?" Then, mindful of Mother's ad- 
vice and deeming the time ripe, "I'll take you to a place where 
you can have some real fun. Just the gang and their girls. 
It's due to-morrow night — a blow-off one girl's giving who's 
going across the big ditch — Europe. She and her fellow's 
just grabbed themselves some important dough. . . . She 
got one of these respectable married millionaires to write her 
crazy letters saying he'd frame up on his wife to get a di- 
vorce — ^the xat was gunna have his chauffeur swear he took 



212 God's Man 

her to assignation-houses ; fine guy — ^what ? Well, this gi 
fellow was wise and asked for a hundred grands to get 
letters back, but this gee had the nerve to yell 'blackmail' t 
had him pinched — ^* 

'TBlacfanail/* said Arnold, "is a poor man's attempt 
make a rich one pay for being a blackguard. When a ri 
one makes a poor one pay it's justice or the law taking 
course, or protecting the community against criminals.'* 

*^'ell," grinned Pink, "this girl's fellow was no boob. I 
knew that kind of gee always hollered for the law; so wh 
he was in a cell downta the 'Front Office,' he got word to 1 
girl to go to the gee's wife — ^the wife could git a divorce s: 
big money on the strength of those letters, and would, U 
after reading how her husband wanted to make a tramp o 
of her to the whole world. And, sure thing, Boon's the vi 
see one of the letters was tlie goods she said she'd give t 
girl what her fellow told her to ask for. And then she fle 
for her lawyer and when he said that one-third of all her hn 
band had would be a romp home to git with those letters, bI 
had her junk sent down to a guy who lends to rich people u 
he give her the hundred thousand dollars on it— diamoi 
tararas and stomach thingmajigs and strings of pearls as loi 
as an East Side clothes-line, Nellie says they were — Nell 
Noonan's the girl — ^you musta seen her in these here Brof 
way shows hiding behind a spear. Some swell-looking din 
she is, too ; but it jest shows swell looks ain't nothing withoj 
brains. Until she met this fellow of hers she was dubbin 
around with wine-agents and young stock-brokers and t 
that kind that thinks they're Simon Legree if they pay tii 
board-bill. This fellow of hers, when she gets stuck on hia 
says to her : 'Can all that stuff; you're on'y gitting a comBtf 
rep. Wait till one comes along who kin throw Wall StnH 
'round his head jest for exercise ; play him to many J«* 
Well, she done it. She cut out the all-night life and lifri* 
her little thirty per, and what her feller made — and see fW 
happened. ... It takes a man every time even is i 



The Gay Life 213 

■Oman's own business. ... I pulled that one on Edna 

Qtrry when we were doubled-up, and she comes back at me 

with some high-brow stuff about great women writers — she 

was educated, that Garry dame — and of course then I was 

Oftr my head. But next day I go overta the Astor Libr^y 

and asks for some books about great women writers and 

Uamed if most every one of them ain't wearing men's mon- 

akers — George Eliot, George Sand, . . . bunch more, 

and when I read about 'em I see they ain't women at all,. 

sen's brains disguised in women's figgers. . . . And 

didn't I wallop that Garry dame for making me waste my time 

looting around with sucker stuff." 

"Oh, say. Pink," protested Arnold, up in arms : "a sucker's 
ODS who plays somebody else's game, and you're being the 
ncker now. Some of the greatest men ever lived have written 
holffl. Don't talk like that. . . ." 

"Well, I wish you'd put me wise, then," said Pink wistfully. 
'^eiy time / pick up one of these here magazines or new 
boob, I jest naturally seem to encounter a lot of junk. Every- 
fluog dead wrong: stuff pulled 'ud make a dog sick. One 
vriter I was steered on to as one of the big fellows of to-day — 
telb about a gee who goes nutty on five pills of hop and it 
tikes twenty-five for any feeling at all — ^that's jest an example ; 
fcnt how kii I believe the rest of the story's true when one 
thing's wrong. . . . Same whenever I read about grifters 
or gans — always this ^master cracksman' stuff, kin take the 
Bink of England, but when it comes to blasting an ordinary 
box I could kick my way into in my stocking feet, I read some- 
thing like this : The burglar leaped lightly over the garden 
Will' — ^when he would have sprung the lock of the gate and 
took no chances ; 'ten minutes later, he was kneeling before the 
•pen safe . . .' kneeling before the open safe — ain't that 
rich? How'd he get in the house? — the writer guy don't 
know. How was he jeny to where the pete was — the writer 
•ui't there with a single idea. How'd the pete get open — elec- 
tee drill? — carbon pencil? — ^was the T)urglar' — ^'cracksman' 



214 God's Man 

as those suckers call 'em — a tip-top peter-man, a house-sneak, 
or a rough yegg working with soup and blanket — don't uk 
that 'underworld' writer. Underworld ! — ^" he was breathlea 
with scorn — ^**don't talk to me about books — . . . And 
even when thejr're writing jest ornery mush, they step all otw 
themselves — I never read about one woman in the magazina 
that wasn't jest a cut-out paper-doll. There was one I see 
on'y a few days ago. She's supposed to be nuts over a guy, Imt 
when she finds out he fell for forging a cheque once, she tumi 
him down cold^ sends him away forever, and realizes she retUy 
loves some Willie-boy who never fell for nothing more desprit 
than the Y. M. C. A. Why, that dame 'ud have loved the 
scratch-man all the more for having took a long chance. . . . 
Them skirts is got no respeck fer law — even the highest tip- 
toppers. They encourage a man to the rough stuff — doirt 
tell me! . . ." 

**You're talking about magazines — they're different," ex- 
plained Arnold ; "they're run to get big circulations so they 
can charge high for advertising, and they have to print stof 
that will please the public — and writers must live, you know, 
and mighty few men have a big enough reputation to write 
what they like and make the public like it, too. Ill write 
down a list of the few like that, so you won't pick any more 
'junk.' And a list of real books ; there are some. But if 8 jitft 
like everything else when the ignorant and uneducated rule, 
just like a woman goes on the streets because she can't get 
pretty clothes and hats and good things to eat unless she does. 
. . . If those White Slavery muckers would only try to 
remember that instead of listening to girls who've quarreled 
with their men and want to revenge themselves by getting 
them into jail. . . . But blaming White Slavers letievei 
the uneasy consciences of the rich." 

He smiled sourly: he had profited by Pink's confideneeL 
The hitherto silent Beau, always absorbed when Arnold ex- 
plained anything, added, scowling: 

''And what d'you suppose they think when those SuodiJ 



The Gay Life 215 

fallers tell about that little French dame or some other woman 
who's got her start that way : there's always pages about them 
and how many hock-rocks they've got and how they spend 
more than the President gits jest on makin' a swell front. So 
the working-girl, if she's got the nut of a field mouse, jest 
says to herself : *Say — ^why be a sap ? To hell with hard work 
and hall rooms — ^me for Broadway.' " 

Arnold blazed up again. "And people that've good homes 
and never did a real day's work, speak about 'em as if they 
vere animals in a zoo; but when they get on the stage, pay 
double prices to see them. It's the same with writers. Pink. 
A man who knows anything about the world can't read one 
novel in a hundred without laughing himself to death. . . ." 

He paused, out of breath and a trifle vexed : he had expected 
applause. He understood their attitude better when Pink ex- 
plained they had heard much the same tirade from Nellie 
Ifoonan's "fellow," "one of those writer fellows, a cracker- 
^ck," but unable to exist unless catering to cheap and vulgar 
tastes. 

'^Which he says be damned if he will and trained Nellie to 
go after the big money instead. He sure had to wise her up 
wome to get that old gee to put his fist to those frame-up let- 
ters. Some guy! — ^you and him 'ull get on like a pair of 
Siamese twins. . . ." 

"Ill be glad to know him and wish him success," said Ar- 
nold warmly. 

"He's got that already," returned Pink. "Success? Ain't 
he got that hundred thousand ? Why can't we think up some 
nch big money racket, brother?" he asked boldly, a hand on 
Arnold's arm, winking at Beau unperceived. 

1 wonder," Arnold returned thoughtfully, with half -closed 
ejea. With a hundred thousand, he need have no fear of 
Spedden — ^might marry Velvet Voice. . . . But, immedi- 
ately hardening, why should he want to many any such mer- 
cenary woman? 

"Eh?" asked Pink; 'Oiow about it, pal? Set your think- 



216 



God's Man 



box going and dope ont a way for three smart yoting feUowi 
to grab a chunk of perfectly good green stuff — '^ 

^^'d even be willing to split ten thousand for a starter-** 
Beau winked this time^ and laughed. '^But — straight goods* 
Fink and me's decided notta take no more rough chances till 
something big breaks. It ain't worth going to the house-gow 
for petty-larceny pickings ; let Mother howl her head off, hey, 
Beaur 

But Beau's eyes were still on Arnold. **Think you're on the 
trail of the big idea?'' he asked solicitously; for he had noted 
Arnold's eyes light up at the recent suggestion. Arnold an- 
swered him slowly, thoughtfully, as one still considering. 

*^What it is, exactly, would be hard to say. But I've got a fad- 
ing the big money's in this and that you and a lot more are in 
on it. . . . Strangely enough, I keep dreaming about tbe 
place I come from — ^the harbor there. Last night I dreamed 
about being on a ship just outside it. And thaf s got 9om^ 
thing to do with the idea you've just woke up again, I suppose, 
and is just about as clear." 

**Not smuggling hop ?" asked Pink, acutely recalling a pre- 
vious prophecy of the vistas this inhibition opened up. 

Arnold nodded, an eager troubled look in his eyes ; such as ani- 
mals have at earnest efforts of recollection, '^ut thafs notli- 
ing, in itself, just the smuggling," he said quickly: **! seem 
sometimes to be just on the verge of grasping just what I d§ 
mean — ^just before I go to sleep— or when I'm half -awake. And 
then it leaves me. But it's there — ^not any petty personal Hmgf 
either — something big • • • Oh, well," he added, shrug- 
ging and rising, "if 11 come some day. Shall we go? — '^ 

When they parted outside. Pink reminded him of his en- 
gagement for the following night — ^the place Fifty-eightk 
Street>— one of those mushroom hotels to be found on e?es7 
side-street off Tenderloin Broadway. 

"And ask for Mr. Jouncer's party," said Beau. '*Dan Joan- 
cer's Nellie's fellow." 

Dan Jouncer I«^Amold repeated the name as he boarded 



The Gay Life 



217 



itMB-town car. Jouncer 1 — Daniel Eadle Jouncer I — ^to be 
-and at the remembrance Arnold's stick struck the ear- 
as it fell from a numbed hand. That defenseless boy — 
liarmless sweet-tempered little school-fellow whose battles 
d fought. . . . 
Q Jouncer was '^he Jinx.'' 



EKD OF BOOK ni 



Y'-M 



BOOK IV 



m 



CHAPTER ONE 

IN WHICH ABNOLD GETS A CHBQTJB 

And Cohss Houb Aqain 

BNOLD did not go to The Jini'a 
party. The thought of that mild- 
mannered youth in business as a 
blackmailer vas one blow too 
many. He was stricken vith a 
sudden fear; he saw that he was 
teetering on the edge of a quag, 
into wliich he would soon slip and 
be engulfed by the mud of easy 
morals. For one sudden numb- 
ing moment, his though ti had 
been stripped of sophistries; n» 
matter what the cause, these en- 
lining companions of his were tkievea; the atmosphere in 
:h he was spending most of his spare momenta was one 
re robbery, swindling, chicanery of all sorts, were the 
C9 of ordinary conversation. At the Chinese restaurant, 
tboee well-dressed men and women were lawbreakers of 
e kind, or else contemptible parasites. No matter that 
irty and the vicionsness of the upper olasses were respon- 
i; that was a good enough excuse for the weak. One who 
strong could not afford to urge it — it was too con- 
ptible. . . . Strong? He had been very strong 
Q be lay penniless in the Hotel Tippecanoe; belpleea in 



222 God's Man 

jail. Had not the arm of wealth and power been outstretched 
in aid, his address would be Sing-Sing Prison. . . . 

He thrust such unwelcome thoughts from him. It had 
been his own fault; he had been quixotic; what right had one 
with his advantages to go forth friendless? Part of the 
strength of the strong people lay in friendships and afiBlia- 
tions inherited, just as was property or wealth. To discard 
them was as if a medieval knight discarded horse and armor. 
Now he was on horseback again, he must take care not to be 
dragged down by foolish sympathy for those less fortunate. 
He could best aid them by staying where he was. 

To his horror, he realized he was thinking along lines of 
self-deception similar to those with which Waldemar, Senior, 
and Benjamin Hartogensis tricked their consciences; one 
through ignorance, the other hypocritically. What was his 
life now that it was so superior to Pink's, Beau's or Soma's? 
The selling of a forbidden drug; an artful circumvention of 
the law. In what way was that superior ? 

He shook his fists in rage and despair. Was there no vaj 
of circumventing this closing net of circumstance, the net that 
had already meshed Hugo and Archie — Hugo the cavalier of a 
chorus-girl ; Archie the slave of a selfish woman ; himself a 
tool of dishonesty and greed. 

A sort of helpless desperation crushed him. Had it been 
their fault they were expelled from college and herded to the 
city ? Once there, had it been the desire of any one to fall to 
low estate ? What perverse wind of destiny was driving their 
frail barks direct for the jagged reefs of disgrace and sdf- 
destruction ? — ^f or to Arnold, as to all very young men, suicide 
seemed the necessary concomitant of a lost reputation. 

Was he to blame because they called him untrustworthy and 
unscrupulous in newspaper offices ? What could he have done? 
Other work, honest work — ^he had tried that once . . . ai 
a result the Hotel Tippecanoe and the jail. 

For two nights after Pink had told him of The Jinx, Ar- 
nold remained alone in his rooms. By midnight of the aeo- 



In Which Arnold Gets a Cheque 223 

ond he had come to the consideration of various methods of 

Bulcide. It might as well come now as later. What use to go 

through any more of life the slave of baser men, misery on 

all sides of him and he unable to lend a hand? In Arnold 

L'Hommedieu, strive as he might to drown it, the blood of 

centuries of parsons — the spirit of the fighting monk and the 

militant Huguenot — ^was not to be denied. He must battle 

against evil, he must fight for the helpless, else be eternally 

miserable. And, being miserable, chafing in impotency, there 

seemed no reason for existence. 

It was during these considerations that he remembered the 
rubber tube. Velvet Voice ! — another bitter memory — this girl 
who must have gaudy clothes and motor-cars. Again wild 
with rage, he denied that there was a possible chance he might 
love such a frail worthless thing. Poor Bertie was far her 
superior. . . . Yet it was not until he had received 
Bertie's wire in the midst of these meditations that he began 
to have sensible thoughts. The Stirrup-Cup company would 
head for New York on the following night, so the wire read. 
She would soon be here — in this very room. How could he 
caress her again, answer her affectionately, day after day pre- 
tend to care ? 

There is no simile more true of man in the grip of adverse 
circumstances than that of the fly in the fast-spinning web of 
the spider — ^no matter how he may struggle or where turn 
another spinneret throws another strand in his way. Bertie I 
— ^he had not considered realistically what her return meant. 
It drove out all thoughts of suicide. Thus the drowning man 
forgets weariness at the sight of an oncoming shark. He fell 
asleep over this new problem, and awoke with it. 

When he arrived gloomy and dispirited at the ofiice that 
morning, he found a cheque from John Waldemar for his 
8hare in the syndicate's winnings, the accompanying letter in- 
forming him that his chief and others of a Congressional Com- 
mittee were to go West that day on an investigation of certain 
plans for the preservation and propagation of the few remain- 



224 God's Mm 

ing American bison. The cheqne was larger bjr a fifth than 
Arnold had anticipated; and, after paying his debts, and 
counting in the thousand he had received from Enoch Apri- 
cott, he had, all told, a matter of some thirty-five hundred 
dollars. 

And, as the lightning flash of The Jinx's degradation had 
shown all things hopeless, there came now a second flash that 
showed the way of escape. This money would enable him to 
avoid Bertie, forget Velvet Voice, leave his new-foxmd com- 
panions, rid himself of his uncongenial occupation. Back in 
Havre de Grace, where were honest folk and simple friend- 
ships, he would write down what he had seen and learned; 
would help awaken his slumbering countrymen to their im- 
minent danger. 

"I'm going away for a few days — I'm — I'm ill," he told the 
general manager of the Waldemar warehouses. "If any one 
comes on personal business postpone it until Waldemar geti 
back. He'll only be gone a week or so—" 

"So he says," returned the other; "where are you going, 
Mr. L'Hommedieu ?" 

And Arnold replied, keeping the joyousness from his tones 
only with an effort : "To Havre de Grace — home !" 

He would break the news in a letter to Waldemar; Harrey 
Quinn could dispose of the Beeckman Street lease and join 
him afterward. He knew of a little cottage he could secoie, 
high on a bluff overlooking the sand-dunes and Havre de 
Grace breakwater. Here he could watch the homing ducks and 
sea-gulls, see the ships, almost the Connecticut shore. When 
Quinn came, he would take that cottage, knock in a great 
bow-window like that at the Beeckman Place houat and than 
he would write ! 

But he said nothing of all this to Quinn ; indeed could not 
hurry that person fast enough over packing his bags, last 
something happen to keep him a prisoner in a city grown lad- 
denly a dungeon. Quinn endured the hurrying philoeoph- 
ically, nor asked questions; although something of moment 



In Which Arnold Gets a Cheque 225 

ras brewing be knew : bis quasi-master bad never before bad 
lioee brigbt abining eyes and eager lips. 

By tbe time tbe Long Island ferry-boat left Manbattan, 
.mold's excitement bad brougbt tears to bis eyes. A great 
lankfnlness was in bis beart; tbat of tbe convict wbo bas 
on bis release. Wben the train bad passed tbrougb Jamaica, 
le last strongbold of tbe enemy, and fields and forests slid 
J the car windows, be strained bis eyes as migbt a slum-cbild 
0. its first outing. 

At Havre de Grace station, bis father — telegraphed for — 
waited in tbe ancient family phaeton, old Julius, snowy of 
col, at tbe reins just as always when Arnold came home for 
olidays and vacations. Back of the weather-beaten railway 
GBceSy fields of early spring flowers, white and yellow and 
ink, stretched away to meet the forests. Honest homely faces 
x>ked up at him from under shabby bats. Even the hideous 
lap-boarded eating-bouse on one comer, the dingy saloon on 
he other, failed to destroy his illusion that here all things 
rere beautiful. His father's face — how serene his mild blue 
yes, bow fresh and unwrinkled his skin, despite his sixty 
'ears. 

And then, as they passed old Miss Eastnick/s Harbor View, 
be sunset on Havre de Qrace Harbor, with its rainbow arch 
d flaming salmon, against which the slim straight masts of 
ailing ships and a single gull poised above the light-house 
rere etched in the delicate tracery of a thousand growing 
hadows. 

'Wonderful — ^wonderful — ^wonderful,*' breathed Arnold. 
"How could I have stayed away so long, father?'* The old 
nan, to whom such glories were part of his daily life, only 
miled tolerantly. '*But I'm back now," Arnold added ; 'T)ack 
o stay. If rd bad any doubts, all this would have decided it.'' 
le waved toward the lofty green-thatched hills that encom- 
Msaed tbe Harbor, little white houses clinging to their sides; 
be masts and spars of shipping below. '^I never knew bow 
nnch it meant to me." 



226 God's Man 

Afar out to sea, heading for the narrow channel, came tin 
Connecticut boat carrying tlie night-mail, the Bmoke from iti 
funnels drifting toward the early glimmering harbor ligbL 
"Do you remember how I used to watch for that, father? 
asked Arnold eagerly. "Did you keep my old brass telescope? 
' Bemember how many sermons I copied out for you to get that? 
— Remember how I used to lie in the big window waiting to see 
the boat coming, so I could run down to the wharf and get 
your evening paper before anybody else got there ?' 
. The old man laid his hand on his son's shoulder, then 
gripped it with a sudden tremor of affection : he did not trust 
himself to speak. 

And, as they went on jogging behind Julius* charge- 
equally ancient with himself and the phaeton— old dappled 
Joris, to whom whip or spur had been strangers during all her 
twenty years — ^men raised their hats to the Reverend Joriin 
L'Hommedieu, and, gravely, he returned tlieir salutes in kind. 

Just as they were about to turn into Parson's Lane, the be- 
ginning of the L'Hommedieu property, a sweatered youth of 
his own age, his hair crisp, curly and light, hatless — ^few of 
the younger men wore headgear here except as protection frrai 
the cold — stepped to the pony's head and spoke to Arnold's 
father concerning his motor-boat on which it appeared he hid 
been working — the boat that carried the Reverend Jorian to 
his distant parishioners at Green Sands, on the other side of 
the Harbor. This was one of the mechanics at some garage^ 
Arnold judged from his speech ; which was to the effect tiiit 
his afternoon's work had not remedied the engine's failure 
to do its duty. 

"And, of course, I can come to-morrow morning and wonk 
on it," the youth admitted ruefully; "but I hate to nm op 
any more time on you, Parson, without doin' any good. I 
suspect there's watter in her tank ; so if you don't have to ms 
the boatt to-morrow, I'll come 'round after hours — Saturdajf'e 
a half-holiday — and look her over on my own time. . • • 
I'd like to, sir. You've paid for enough time that hasn't dona 



In Which Arnold Gets a Cheque 227 

jott any good. "Why, hello, Arnold,*' he added, his eyes better- 
tnined to the fading light. And Arnold shook hands with 
an old public-schoolmate, the mathematician and draftsman 
of his class. 

*And where would you find that in New York ?*' asked Ar- 
nold when the youth had gone off whistling. 

"New York— ehem! yes,*' his father replied, in his 
nsoal abstracted manner, '^e has no right to give me 
Ids time that way — ^I must find him some suitable pres- 
et .•. He could have gone there,** he went on, 
vithont the slightest idea he was not being perfectly 
dear, *'and the people who make the motor-cars Inker- 
Hum's agent for wanted him as demonstrator and sales- 
i&an. Some rich man stopping at the Inn wanted him, too — 
to take charge — ^he had four cars and an electric, Tony told 
Bie. Lots of offers, that lad has had I But he stays with Ink- 
tnnann. Seems to enjoy pottering around machinery. And 
ttoQgh always complaining about the lack of amusement of 
nights, he stays. A good boy, Tony — a great friend of Paul's.** 
That was something like democracy, when a mechanic could 
■ fe a **great friend** of the heir to the L'Hommedieus — when 
lie could do the Parson a favor, and call his eldest son ^^Ar- 
^\i/* all without an idea he was being unusual. Arnold 
tmiled grimly at the realization that some of the snobbery of 
Carol Gaton's set had been absorbed by him. Why shouldn't 
tny self-respecting, educated, self-supporting man be Paul's 
Iriend and call his eldest brother '^Arnold" ? Was it because 
lie wore a sweater and shapeless trousers and Arnold a suit 
trom that expensive Avenue tailor? 

He was beginning to understand why things were going 
twry with Americans in the big cities. They had abjured 
the duties of democracy without achieving the obligations of 
vistocracy. They had lost admiration for the man who re- 
tpected, himself too much to take money he had not earned; 
toad were giving it to him who respected himself so little that 
bfb was proud of never having earned it. 



228 God's Man 

But he had no time for ethics and metaphysics just then: 
there were too many keen sensations to he felt — ^the sight of 
the familiar playgrounds of his youth, the centuries-old houfie 
with the moss-covered slate roof that sloped over the long lov 
windows of the first floor, and from which the dormers of the 
attic story peeped out ; the last rays of the sunset finding t 
thousand sparkling shooting-star jewels in their diamosd- 
panes. And, on the long fiat slab of slate that had been von 
glassy smooth by the feet of the many generations of L'Hom- 
medieus who had used it for a doorstep, Paul L^Hommedieu, 
his arm linked in his mother's, stood shading his eyes and 
watching for them. 

"Oh, my hoyT the small, spry and generally cheerful oU 
lady cried as she put her arms around her eldest son. II 
was hard to imagine that she and her husband were three- 
score. A life free of worries (save only Arnold in these Itto 
years) and complete absorption in congenial work, had left 
both younger than many who lacked a score of their yeui 
Only the sobriety of Mrs. L'Hommedieu's black satin drefl^ 
the stiffness of her petticoat, and the lace-cap that she iron 
because she "thought it fitting at my age," gave any hint thit 
she was past the middle period of life — ^while the Beverend 
Jorian had looked the same for so many years that he had 
imagined it "due his years" to grow beard and side-whiikeis 
that would disguise his youthful appearance. . . . Pid 
was destined to be another like him — ^his face cherobic, hit 
figure clmbby, lie seemed hardly due to leave grammar-school 

"Where have you kept j'ourself ?'* he asked, as he linked hii 
arm with his brother's — an affectionate habit — and took Mb 
off to his old room. It had been kept as though he still hid 
residence there : his boyhood books — Ballaniynes, CasiUfMHi, 
Kingstons, Oliver Optics, Hans Andersen, Arabian Niglk, 
Tom Brown — ^merry men all, a crew of genial ghosts, that lud- 
denly people the room, crowding upon him with jovial giiBi 
and reminding him how ungrateful he had been to think fte 
world a poor place when they had had so many happy tiDNl 



In Which Arnold Gets a Cheque 229 

I 
t 

ether on those long winter nights before the fire, through 
86 long smnmer days in the sweet-smelling hay-loft. Ar- 
d hardly heard what his brother was saying. 
'. . • Why, it's been your first trip in two years 
, . Yon don't know how father and mother were cut up 
nt it- Caught her crying, lots of times — and you know 
'b not one for that. And father sits and stares, doesn't an- 
r you — ^which isn't like him. . . .*' 
Oh, I know it — I've been a filthy brute.'' Arnold closed his 
I and spoke wearily. If they ever knew he had been within 
lile of the place and had not even stopped! ^'What a 
te,'* he added fiercely. 

lis bat, his telescope, his fishing-rods, his birch-bark canoe 
ing up among the rafters, even his battered old school- 
ks — all were exactly as he had left them : the pictures he had 
from magazines were still tacked to the whitewashed walls; 
i, hanging over one, the sling-shot fork he had cut from 

elm whose branches still encroached upon the windows. 
i there was his twenty-two caliber rifle and his ducking- 
i, the especial pride and joy of his grammar-school days. 
But I'm back, Paul," he said finally, choking down an un- 
oly something in his throat. *TBack to stay. Not to rob 
, kid ; no, no I To write! To write what I learned while I 
r a selfish brute. ... It all came over me like a shot 
I morning — and here I am — to stay." 
le seized Paul in a bear-hug that even that youth's chub- 
ess found inimical to the safety of his bones : then dealt 
I a heavy buffet in the small of the back, and toppled him 

the patchwork quilt of the bed, where he was affec- 
lately pummeled. Finally he was forced to defend him- 
, and a lively scuflle ensued during which chairs were 
et, water from the washstand basin was spilled, and a 
le of books was overturned endangering the plaster of the 
ing-room below. From which escapade Arnold emerged 
lus the years that had separated him from his younger 
ther, and they answered the dinner-bell by racing each 



230 



God's Man 



other down the broad winding stairs^ half -sliding, half-sciB- 
pering: then regardless of the maternal lace cap, black bScI 
and stiff petticoat, which should have awed him by their £g*| 
nity, Arnold lifted the little woman high in air and while hi 
held her, kissed her. 

"Oh, Arnold, you bad boy," she protested, quite as of old;; 
and Belinda, wife of Julius, looked on grinning, and tbi: 
Beverend Jorian's laugh was almost boisterous. 

"He hasn't changed. Mother,*' said Paul, with a ridicnloai' 
attempt to put into his young voice the toleration of agete 
youth. 

"Xo, he hasn't," said she with pretended severity; "tii 
harum-scarum thing he is. Sit down and eat your teA-CMka, 
sir, or the/11 be cold. . . .'* 

She, herself, could take nothing, so full was her heart, ii 
full would her eyes have been had she at any moment aUoted 
her vigilance to relax. Nor could the elder L'Hommediei 
find his appetite. Instead, both aided and abetted their eldeit 
son in stuffing himself with those delicacies of which, ia 
younger days, he had protested never had he had enough. Be» 
sides the hot tea-cakes, there were those toothsome crullers and 
jam doughnuts that weighed a little less than nothing at all, 
and that nobody but Belinda could make ; various spiced pre- 
serves — ^peaches, damsons, yellow tomatoes; grape and crab- 
apple jams ; crisp brook-trout caught only that afternoon and 
browned with bacon ; enormous thin slices of sugar-cured ham 
— ^the curing a secret of Julius' smoke-house down by the 
brook; large strawberries grown under glass by the Beverend 
Jorian himself and served with cream but an hour divorced 
from Belinda's namesake, the spotted Aldemey that was to be 
heard giving vent to various rumbling "moos" outside as she, 
with the others, noisily advertised their dining in the near-bj 
barn. 

Arnold, accustomed to the spare measured "portions* d 
restaurants, swore he had no room for any of the huge joint 
of browned beef that Belinda, of the continual grin, entroated 



In Which Arnold Gets a Cheque 231 

Julius to carve. But when be saw the rare red of slices that 
rled off nnder the knife and splashed into their own rich 
ice, he found room for several ; was again recalcitrant and 
[ain recalled his refusal when his mother's silver knife slid 
iTongh the crust of a pumpkin pie as though cutting butter. 
), that, finally, the mental helplessness of the overfed seized 
im, and he slid down in his chair and leaned back to hear 
te others talk of homelike things as of old, to listen to the 
ickling of a fire that leaped high in its home of bright blue 
leg lighting up the history of Holland pictured thereon, 
icking up his ears to the weird crooning of the night-wind 
at swept up from the Harbor to rock the treetops that waved 
Br the house of the L'Hommedieus. And when the moon 
Be, church spire and gilded cross were flooded with light as 
ODgh their good friend of centuries, the Moon, knew, and 
shed to be remembered to the little boy who had once 
ited and watched each night for his coming; but whom it 
d been unable to find over there in the city among so many 
jple who did not care whether it shone or not, so seldom 
I they lift up their eyes from the mud in which they lived. 



CHAPTEK TWO 

NO-MAN'S LAND 

Abnold Ueets a Philosofheb 

E on the following eTeiiis( 

nold leaned on his oara vhi 

gray crept up out of the r 

■ft-atere, and spread over 

and sky. It had been f(^ 

day; now the fog-banks 

hiding tovn and harbor 

Arnold wae obliTiona to the 

that, in other times, would 

told him old Mother Car 

brewing broth for ber chi 

out there on her mj«ti 

island in the gray sea. H 

sunk in a sort of rapt letn 

tioQ. He was seeing what wise men have Been from tl 

ginning of time : that the evil of man is but a smsll ill-am 

tallow-dip beside the glory of his inheritance. He can 

of his meditations with a start. Not seeing the boat i 

mantle of fog, there had swept across his bows, almost 1 

ing his face with their wings, a brace of green-necked 

footed ducks, in hasty retreat for the shore to join the m 

army in the caves of the cliifB. As be looked after thi 

their low-lying flight close to the rising wave-tops, be 1 

squawking their plaintive "peet-peet," a pair of sea-goB 

cling high above him. 



NoMan's Land 233 

illed to a realization of the gathering storm by these 
r-wise dwellers in the air-currents, Arnold began to 
the direction of the narrow bottle-neck of Havre de 
Barbor ; but a heavy wind had arisen and was capping 
res with white. Moreover, the fog had now grown thick 
}otchman's porridge and he caught only a glimpse of 
e-black lines of breakwater that indicated the channel 
ainst which the heavy seas were now dashing them- 
into thousands of bits of seething white spray; while 
draperies of sea-mist slowly descended and wrapped 
ith the color of sky and water. It was now as though 
his boat had been lifted from sea to sky and were float- 
heavy banks of cloud. An immensity of grayness 
ii about him on all sides hiding all things. The heavy 
affled the waves so that the long oily swells carried him 
ito the air without warning, twisting the boat out of 
•se, no matter how furiously he might paddle. He lost 
36 of direction; and when the long searching rays of 
innel light were blunted by the surrounding grayness 
blurred incandescence like a light behind a thick and 
rindow-pane, he saw that his instinct had played him 
id that he had been rowing toward Green Sands, the 
r light from which now shot through the fog-banks 
laming zigzag of heat lightning. But only for a mo- 
then, Havre de Grace light seemed to have been ex- 
bed and that of Green Sands reduced to pale green 
S8. Meanwhile, the waves rose high — sea-horses shak- 
te manes threateningly — or came at him in great green 
sweeping up and over his light craft, or waltzing with 
ight a giant with a feather, its direction wholly at the 
the rapid sweeping current. Useless to attempt to turn 
r and row against such obstacles — ^with all his strength 
loubtful if he could keep even the position he held, 
hipped his oars. Fortunately the tide was going high. 
Tent was bearing him shoreward — ^not to Havre de 
Bbirbor, truly, nor to Green Sands, either, but to that 



234 God's Man 

long peninsula that stretched between them, a No-lCan's Lind 
of dunes and hummocks — sand ^links' of Scotland — unten- 
anted^ unclaimed by any, a treacherous coast of shoals and 
rocks, currents and low tides; a coast that fishers, oystenDOi 
and pilots gave the widest possible berth. Cut ofE from the 
mainland, at high tide, by water rushing through a wide gully 
of waving rushes, it was a favorite playground for Arnold and 
other young adventurers in youth, for there, half -covered hj 
the drifting sand of more than a hundred years, was a sf^ 
cioufi single-roomed hut built of sturdy ships timbers— oik 
and spruce, a tradition among the boys of Havre de Grace 
being that it had been built by treasure-burying pirates, jw- 
haps even the summering place of the infamous Elidd. • . . 
He thought of this hut now : it would keep him dry until 
the storm blew over, and there was always enough driftwood 
on the shore to build a fire. So, when the current rapidly boa 
him in that direction, he gave it no resistance — altbomgh b 
blamed himself for not waiting until Tony should hate it 
paired his father's boat, the motor of wliich could bid ca^ ^ 
rents defiance. Then suddenly one great roller carried tb 
boat high and dashed it down again to crunch its keel aoi 
grind its bottom against stones and sand. Arnold leaped oit 
painter in hand, into a foot or so of seething white scum ol 
dragged the boat beyond the reach of the next dischait^df 
heavy sea artillery. Artillery, indeed, for the breakers iwt 
pounded the beach with the sound and fury of a park of p^ 
guns, and the howling wind came through the sea-mist liioei 
charge of shrapnel and grapeshot, whipping up particles <it 
spray that stung Arnold's eyes until they blinked, amufad 
and wept; that raised red marks on his cheeks. It reqainl 
some fortitude to persist in dragging the boat beyond lui^ 
water mark, after which he stumbled through the fog in wU 
he took to be the direction of the old hut — a difficult progr* 
with such a retarding foothold as wet sand, his feet slii^ 
occasionally as the undermined ground above the burrowi d 
rabbits and moles gave way beneath bis weight. Onot b 



No-Man's Land 235 

night his foot in a snake-hole^ stnmblmg and falling face 
ownward; another time he kicked his way through a flock of 
rigfatened white gulls^ hundreds and hundreds huddled in 
he shadow of scrub pines and gorse-bushes^ not seeing them 
ntil they rose^ their cold wet wings beating against his f ace^ 
be mother-birds fiercely fighting for their young. This 
mned him from his path^ so that he passed in a circle around 
he hut and found himself slipping on the gravelly shore again, 
{tarting back patiently^ he stumbled into a sand-pit and fell 
ipon solnething that scurried away — a rabbit probably; and 
ltd he not turned to attempt to follow it through the fog 
irith his eyes^ he would have gone off at a tangent from the 
hut that was so near all the while. But^ as he looked after the 
nbbit^ he saw another misty patch of light, yellow, this one, 
and near — some fisherman, no doubt, driven ashore like him- 
aelf, had sought shelter in the hut. So he pushed on toward 
tbe light and came, to his surprise, to panes of glass behind 
which it shone, but he was too wet and cold to wonder long 
how the glass came there, only tapped on it with his seal-ring, 
lidlooing loudly the while. Immediately the door was opened 
>Bd 80 suddenly that Arnold fell on all fours, in the glare of 
• loaring fire of driftwood. Eising, he began to warm him- 
sdf : that was more important than troubling to examine his 
IttBt, although he mumbled some conventional thanks, and 
^logized before slipping off his high-laced ducking-boots 
"b diy his stockinged feet. 

The man of the hut drew up another chair and sat down 
hiide him — a handsome man with features vaguely familiar, 
Atoned and weather-beaten, his eyes not remarkable for size or 
col^, bnt deeply set and holding some strange hidden quality 
'tttt, unconsciously, demanded respectful attention. His dress 
^ simple : a closely fitting jersey-jacket, knickerbockers but- 
''^ed over heavy stockings, all of soft gray wool, while he had 
^dently just discarded the wet hip-boots that stood near the 
be for a pair of worn dress-pumps. 

He had been giviog Arnold careful scrutiny while both sat 



236 God's Man 

silent^ scrutiny few could have accomplished without the d* 
feet of offensive suspicion, or vulgar curiosity. 

When he spoke his voice held some quality as vagoely dift* | 
quieting as that in his eyes. ^'Very remarkable head, young i 
man. Wonder if you have ever done anything vrith it P' And, j 
again, despite the apparent rudeness, Arnold felt he had Both- 
ing to resent, so only smiled and replied that he doubted he 
had, but intended he should. Then he surveyed the hut A 
list to starboard, effect of a century's wind and piling sand, 
had been corrected : the walls were now entirely hidden bj 
shelves of well-bound books. On the upper shelves framed 
prints stood slanted against the oak rafters. Some of these 
Arnold recognized for photographic portraits of famous icon- 
oclasts, Shaw, Wells, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Bjornson — and lesser 
lights, Synge, Symonds and Strindberg — ^all Arnold's own 
particular Deities. He said as much. 

'^You're that rare animal — a man who can think, then," 
was his host's comment. "For which I am duly thankful Ex- 
pected an evening of boredom. Happened before. Current 
circles this peninsula, and drives people ashore stormy dtys. 
Had a dozen guests since I came here : one for a week. Thst 
was during the blizzard two years ago. He drove me msd. 
Told me al)out every blizzard he'd ever heard of, or his grand- 
father, or his great grandfather, or his friends, or that he'd 
read about or dreamed about. Spent the rest of the time 
wondering what the boys were doing in Havre de Grace Hoose 
bar-room. Jim was playing pool with Bill and giving him 
twenty balls, and Pete was taking his fourth drink, and Jack 
was talking politics, and, at home, his wife was just aboot 
putting the boy to sleep — in all the time he was here he nercr 
uttered a sentence that showed even the intelligence of s 
marsh-rabbit. ... If he'd stayed here a day longer W 
have picked a quarrel with him just to escape any more of Us 
imbecile good nature — ^" 

The kettle hissed on the hob, interrupting him : he reniovtd 
it and infused tea leaves, then brushed off, with a long bsn- 



No-Man's Land 237 

d fork^ the ashes that ooyered some potatoes buried in the 
wing embers of the hearth. Satisfied with their appear- 
*e, he cleansed the fork^ sliced several pieces of bacon from 
litch that bxmg from a raf ter, and began broiling them, 
1 as he did so he answered Amold^s questions. 
[i appeared that the State had owned the peninsula and 
it he had bought it for next to nothing. He had discovered 
years before while cruising the coast and had thought it 
tn the ideal spot for a hermitage. Not that an occasional 
elligent guest was not welcome, but he was not likely to 
et many strangers whose conversation might be worth the 
»uble of entertaining them. As he talked the familiarity 
his features grew upon Arnold imtil he could no longer 
imin his curiosity. 

Tve seen you somewhere, surely,*' he said at length, busy- 
l himself at his host's request, removing the roasted pota- 
ss from their fiery bed. He was not answered; the man 
afessed not to have heard him, even when he repeated his 
Bsi-question as they sat down to dinner togiether. His 
seks burning, Arnold hastened to turn the talk to those 
iters whose works lined the walls. But his own ambition 
emulate them which presently came out, was met by a 
ike of the head. 

^'A pity,** said his host briefly. *Too many writers, too 
r thinkers. Those early writers, who worked for love and 
) spreading of knowledge, if they could see the trash that 
ors from printing-houses to-day, they'd be sorry they hadn't 
t making books to monks. When each letter was hiade by 
ad few worthless books got made. And books were beyond 
f who didn't desire learning mighty earnestly. Of course, 
i mob had its tale-tellers and minstrels, but their stuff 
ildn't reach any farther than the sound of their voices. 
t now every fool can get his foolishness printed and mil- 
ns of people can read it and confirm their conceit of them- 
ves. So don't write — unless you must." 
^*I must, then," said Arnold seriously. 



238 God's Mail 

"Then/^ returned his new acquaintance, "yon should Ion 
the truth heyond women or wealth or fame. Yon should be 
content to have fools laugh and jeer at you, and rich illiteratei 
and unscrupulous rascals spit in your face and call you ^d,' 
'insane/ 'an anarchist/ Don^t expect respect, or love, or 
friendship. You will he a very lonely man — such as I am." 

His voice was careless and matter-of-fact and betrayed no 
feeling; his loneliness did not seem to weigh on him. 'That 
is/* he continued, "if you would find the truth and write the 
truth. Solitude is necessary for that. One must be alone 
much of the time to puzzle out the mysteries of love and lib 
and death. There should be no room in your heart for the 
love of a woman, or the desire for riches, or the hope of fani& 
The truth will swallow them all up. . . . And ifs too 
soon for you to think of giving up all those things which eeem 
precious as life itself to youth. One must first have lived | 
them all, which you are too young to have done. Go out and ; 
live. Then come back and write. You canH live and write 
at the same time.** 

For the moment his eyes were lit by something that giie 
Arnold vague alarm ; which, perceived in some uncanny fisb- 
ion, for Arnold was sure he had not shown his feelings, the 
man made his eyes somber again and his laugh a harsh jarring 
one. "What nonsense I'm talking — ^nonsense to you. Nof| 
you want the women to say, 'How clever.* And the tune 
critics to say, 'What masterly technique/ and the publiihas 
to put out your book in a gaudy wrapper like that on a box of 
candy — the monk's frock and the warrior's armor traded te 
the gaudy dress of the public panderer. And a hack Till 
dramatize it and a 'perfectly sweet* actress will play in it for 
two hundred nights in New York.' . . .'* 

He pushed back his chair and strode across the hut to stui 
out at the driving spray and sleet, in the wildness of whiA 
he seemed to find kinship. There was silence, Arnold sn^ 
veying the bare room with its hard pallet-bed, its rongh 
chairs and table, its absence of luxuries. Was this beiidBd 



No-Man*8 Land 239 

IT witH the odd disquieting eyes some famous ieono- 
uch as those whose works crowded the walls? That 
account for the vague familiarity of his face. 
Uled a long clay pipe and offered Arnold another. He 
come calm^ self -detached. 'TTou don't believe me? 
9 understand life? Tou know the whys and where- 
Tou have a philosophy that will explain the world's 
Qt paradoxes and inconsistencies?'' Arnold stared at 
iddenly alarmed. *T see that you don't — and haven't," 
led his mentor; 'Hhe lines coming in your forehead 
bewilderment, and around your eyes fear, about your 

bitterness. You have seen things out there" — he 
his hand in the direction of the cities — "and you are 
B to put them down that other people may be horrified, 
Don't ! Life holds enough misery without books being 
I about it, . . . unless the things you saw have 
you how misery may be mitigated. Which they have 
the troubled look that just came into your eyes. . . . 
ore, go out and learn more. You haven't seen enough. 
: forty years to teach me. What do you know? Only 
fe is not what copy-books and Sunday-schools taught 
That, when men and women get to a great city where 
re free of watching neighbors they often lose even the 
nee of virtue. . . . But how does that help any- 

The cities must be peopled. Where is the error, then ? 
I to blame ? You don't know." 

Irew on his pipe ; he was quite placid now. ^TTou vnll 
though," he said presently ; "men with heads like yours 
t into the world to know — and to teach. But the head 
gain many hard bumps first. Then • • ." He 

and crossed to the window. "It is clearing," he said ; 
rill be able to go soon." Once more he was without 

even as the author of so inhospitable a speech, 
^'t you tell me your name, sir?" asked Arnold, hi& 
espectful. 
J name will do," the man responded. 'They call me 



240 God's Mail 

Tobinson aTOund here. It is as good as any other to figon 
on tax-reports, and that's the only use I have for a nsnuL 
We should all have numbers, not names. Then all this Btri^ 
ing to impress the public with the superiority of a oeitaiA 
arrangement of letters would cease and much destmctiw 
waste of energy would be eliminated. . . • Yea, the stiii 
are coming out. You won't have any difficulty in getting 
home now.'* 

Arnold followed his pointing finger and saw dear and 
bright a dark blue belt of sky set with many pointed jewels d 
light, while the darkness in one place seemed thrust forth ob 
either side and a misty patch, larger and brighter than anj 
dozen light-house lamps, was shining through — ^the moon. He 
began drawing on his boots, his mind in a turmoil of dissat- 
isfaction, curiosity, wounded pride. But for the moment tki 
was dissipated by the man speaking again. 

^'Whenever you can't decide for yourself and want me to 
decide for you, come again,*' he said. Arnold hesitated. 
Should he confide in his inhospitable host the fact that he did 
not intend to take his advice? — ^that he would remain and 
write, regardless of the other's dictum? This fellow unde^ 
rated him because of his youth. He did not know, youth or 
no, that Arnold's experiences were those most elderly iM 
never had. As for women — ^had he not given up both Bertie 
and Velvet Voice ? He crowded out and crushed down the 
sudden yearning for Velvet Voice that always came with to 
thought of her. Was slie dining somewhere at this very no- 
ment with the unspeakable Spedden ? 

"With all due respect to you," said Arnold, '1 think I 
know best about my particular situation. If I'd stayed aaf 
longer in New York I'd have ended up like most of them nj 
age do. That is, if they aren't bom to the purple. I'd gone 
far enough as it was : taken money I would have spit on lAei 
I first struck town. And the only excuse for taking it is to iij 
to make myself a better man with it. Put it that way: 



No-Man's Land 241 

if my writing won't be valuable to anybody else^ it will be to 



me/' 



The mtn who was called Tobinson shook his head. 'You're 
dodging the issue. You're running away from the fight. 
You'll never forgive yourself if you give up before you've 
learned the answer to the Big Problem — WAyf — ^And you 
won't learn that down here." 

^hen I don't want to know it/' retorted Arnold, his anger 
stirred. *'TFAyf — ^You may well say it. Why do the hypo- 
crites and the ignorant and the rascals hold most of the 
power? Why is everything good in life, in business, in poli- 
tics, in literature, in art, subordinated to the desire of a few 
thousands to get more money? Why are the fools raised up 
and the wise men kicked down? — ^the selfish rewarded and the 
unselfish beaten ? . . ." 

**That is just it — whyf* interrupted the other coolly: 'TTou 
don't know. Thaf s why I advise you to go back and find out, 
not moon away your brains down here worrying over it — ^' 
*Tou are here, aren't you ?" asked Arnold savagely. 
*T, know the answer," was Tobinson's quiet reply. 'T?here's 
Do Srhy' about it — ^to me. I lived forty years in the fighting 
and found out, and now I'm going to try to use my knowledge 
to help keep the ignorant from making more mistakes. I may 
influence a few hundred thinkers who will influence a few 
hundred more — and the ball will grow and grow. But what 
Can you do? Just increase the despair and befuddlement of 
the average man by pointing out wrongdoing that you can't 
tell him how to stop. Everybody knows there's too much 
Kkusery and injustice in life-— do you know the result of giving 
the public the details? It merely gives them an excuse for 
being crooked themselves. Everybody else is doing it — ^why 
dot I ? Thaf s all the good that comes of exposure without en- 
lightenment. And the answer is not in your eyes. If it were, 
Uiey would be confident and serene. For me there is no 
•Why.^" 
^oP' asked Arnold sardonically: ^^then maybe yoa can 



242 God's Man' '' 

tell me why two of my friends and myself who Had intended 
to live decent lives and be some help to our fellows — ^why n 
have been forced into shoddy practises and shady lives? For 
exposing a rascal^ I was expelled from college. For shielduf 
a friend, I was reduced to the worst kind of poverty. For 
trying to get justice for a helpless woman, I got into jaiL 'bj 
using influence with the most corrupt kind of politicians I 
got out To get back to my former kind of life, I had to lo- 
cept a position with a man who is a wholesale poisoner. To 
get the little money I've saved, I had to blackmail my em* 
ployer. . . . And with my two friends matters are mndi 
the same — ^the things they are doing were forced on them if 
they were forced on me. — ^Why? Why? — No, I donH knot 
the answer and I don^t want to, if I have to be entirely de- 
stroyed to learn it." 

"The answer is perfectly plain,'* returned the other grtvdy. 
'TBut there's no use telling you now — ^you wouldn't believe, nor 
understand. But think on this, and apply it to yourself and 
your friends. We are not so free as we think. A gigantie 
Purpose is behind all we are forced to do— a Purpose that 
has never abated, never despaired, never relaxed, never beea 
unsuccessful — in the end. For all those who can read betwees 
the lines, the world's history is only the fulfilment of that 
Purpose. And knowing something of It, knowing It waihi 
no energy, I'll tell you something. You haven't had all tho0 
bitter experiences merely to come down here and live oat thi 
rest of your life with an unanswered question in your qfV* 
My advice was needless. You will go back." 

^To-night," said Arnold defiantly, '1 write to resign mf 
position and lease my house — ^" But, nevertheless, be vai 
chilled by the man's assurance, by his steady gaze that sav 
held something of compassion. 

"Such men as you and I — ^we are the sacrifices," he sai4 ^ 
low Arnold hardly heard him — ^he seemed to be looking pai 
the walls of the hut into strange wild voids. "Our yoiuft, ott 
hopes, our loves — ^they all go to learn the answer whether vi 



No-Man's Land 243 

rill it or not. The Cross is the symbol of that sacrifice. Our 
Lves are lost that others may be sayed ; our identities merged 
ato the Purpose. And the Resurrection is the symbol of the 
newer: only after we have been crucified can we know that 
U has not been lost. All has been gained.^' He started to 
is feet, his eyes alight. ^^And then and then only can we 
each.'^ 

He caught at Arnold's shoulders and stared at him steadily. 
1 knew you were one of us when I first saw that head of yours. 
)o you think I'd have wasted time on a mere scribbler ? It's 
lot writing with us : it's teaching. The world can only know 
zom us. Writing is nothing : scribble and be damned. Thaf s 
rhat I'd have said to your tale-writer, your stylist, your 
idiolar. . . . But you — ^when you write, it must be with 
four life's blood. And your time hasn't come yet — ^nor your 
Ctlvaiyr 

His intensity chilled; it was as if the hands on Arnold's 
ihoulders were tons of ice. The boy sank into a chair, still 
itiring into the imfathomable eyes that blazed with strange 
fres, hinted at strange secrets. And, for the first time, began 
to understand dimly that his way through the shades of the 
unknown jungle called Life was lit by some dancing will-o'- 
tte-wisp that must be followed, even though it led through the 
pit of destruction. But it lead through. . . . 

His mentor had sunk into an abstraction even more pro- 
found, hardly seeming to hear the younger man stammer out 
lus good-by. And though Arnold repeated it several times, 
Ids strange fellow only nodded, staring vacantly. So Arnold 
itrode o£E toward his boat, stumbling through the wet sand 
Igain. The new stars were spangling the deep blue arch, the 
(dder to the moon lay lightly upon the smooth waters. Near 
he land a crow, rising toward the trees, was etched in the 
tofted light; in which Havre de Grace far beyond, with its 
Utlying clusters of white houses on the harbor slopes, seemed 
i]» a Mediterranean town of Boman days built on hills of 
liter oliye trees. A fearsome sense of all this beauty caused 



244 



God's Man 



Arnold to gulp : to realize how far a man must yet go t( 
himself worthy of his inheritance. 

Moodily he threw his strength into thrusting down h 
from high-water mark, into getting afloat on the shinis 
ror-like water. His oars, as they washed it, set up littl( 
of phosphorescent flame. . . . 

It was not imtil he had left the peninsula well behin* 
he heard a halloo from the shore, and turning saw * 
shelving shingle of the shore white as the whitest of bos 
elongated shadow of a man, its head decapitated by the 
tide — ^behind it the stranger calling: 

"Eemember — call on me when you need me.^' Tl 
tainty of his tone chilled Arnold again. Neither ans' 
nor giving any sign he had heard, he bent his back 
rowing, to put between him and this disquieting one a 
sible distance. But look back he must, and, in that li{ 
could see when a mile had been covered that the black 
still stood on the white sands. It was not until h 
rounded Havre de Grace Harbor that he lost sight of i 



CHAPTER THREE 

CONTRABAND 
Ektxb Captain Danht of the "Coehobant^ 

~ T WAS in the late afternoon of 

the same day that Arnold met th« 
philosopher of the peninsula that 
' Harbor Inn — the shelter of those 

who came by sea — gained another 
patron, a bronzed sea-faring man, 
with teeth as white as his skis was 
dark, and a small fiat head, its 
shape not unlike that of a diamond- 
back terrapin's; small of body, too, 
but with as distended a chest and 
aa swaggering a gait as though he 
were six feet tall : a sailor by every 
known mark; although he came by land, on the Havre de 
Grace Express as the natives somewhat egotistically denom- 
inated the one fast North Shore train. Alighting, this per- 
*aa took his place in the ancient tally-ho, to drive which had 
■>tice been an aristocratic pastime. 

The stranger seated himself beside the driver, a tanned and 
SHzzled old coachman, with many marks that at once betray 
• follower of the sea. He introduced himself to the stranger 
*■ Captain Sallust of the S. S. Oak City; which, in sum- 
ib«r, plied between the Lon^ Island and the Connecticut 



246 God's Man 

shores. He owned both steamer and bus, taking his driWi 
place occasionally for want of other occupation* 

"Are you now, mate ?*' returned the other, seemingly dii- 
appointed. 'TE thought from the cut of you, you were at ii» 
old trade, so I did. But there's not a many of us left, Captiia. 
Drumm, my name is, Dan Drumm, captain of the finest clippo* 
ship that ever weathered a sou'wester off Hatteras. One d 
the Van Yhroon coffee clippers, so she is. Ever hear of her? 
— she's made some records for fast sailing.'' The other cap- 
tain (neither of them had a captain'3 ticket, Drumm a fint 
mate's, Sallust only a pilot's) responded with some poliii 
mendacities, which seemed to gratify his fellow seaman. 

"And you're thinking of dockin' her here in Portf h 
asked, growing enthusiastic in praise of a certain dodgfizl 
owned and controlled by his sons and relatives. But it WM 
time wasted — ^the stranger shook his head. He was looking for 
a gentleman his owner wanted him to see about some shqh 
ments. A Mr. Lommydoo. Did Captain Sallust know bim? 

^Tximmydoo f — hommy der," corrected Captain SaUnst ift- 
structively. "Do I know north if I look at the compass? T<m 
can't steer a course in these waters without runnin' a Lommf* 
der down. 0' course, there's the Parson, and then thenfli j 
Doctor Will, and Lawyer John, and Judge Lommyder, thiA j 
J. P., and there's Billy, that's in with my son in ..." Hi j 
remembered his enthusiastic and seemingly unprejudioel 
praise of the dockyard and checked himself. 'TTou conUirt 
toss a biscuit anywhere between here and the Harbor, and not 
hit a Lommyder," he concluded. Captain Drumm erpIiiBei 
that the one he sought was a resident of Manhattan^ home te 
a visit. 

"Parson's son, Arnold, I guess he means," said the man ita 
was holding the horses, now that all passengers had Snot 
barked save the stranger. "He's home : I see him last n^it' 
Captain Sallust frowned on his officious assistant, and poiniil 
toward the spire of the L'Hommedieu church, aloft the kil 



(Contraband 247 

11 jest be setting down to snpper, I reckon/* he said, 
better wait lessen you know ^em pretty well. Steer 
larbor Inn^ friend. They have grub there that suits 
ack.^' 

again was not pure disinterestedness for the captain 
a commission on all passengers sent there from boat 

Inn Captain Daniel Drumm, learning there was no 
ik that night, engaged a room in which many other 
had slept ; and, having finished his supper in the tap- 
lich bore all possible resemblance to a ship's cabin, 
ts size and its great log fire, he set out for L'Hom- 

house — ^to be rewarded for his steep climb in the 
L rain that had come up since his supper, only by the 
ion that the gentleman he sought had not yet returned 
rip out in the Sound. This information was given 
irson himself, who cast troubled looks at the weather. 
Drunmi declined the oflEer to wait — ^the communica- 
lad come to make was not one to be heard by a Par- 
l stumbled out into darkness and storm again, leaving 
fit that, when the son of the house returned, he should 
his visitor at his Inn. It was a most important mat- 
»uld not wait until the morrow, 
uld be a fine piece of sail-making if that young man 
)ed by Davy Jones after I took this trouble for him,'' 
I the maritime gentleman. ^^A fine piece of keel-lay< 
would be, wouldn't it? And ifs a dirty night. I'll 
not be far from shore, though. • • ." 
vhich he consoled himself as he picked his way back 
xrow little lane where of the two hexagonal lanterns 

before the Inn one had lost its light from the wind, 
greeable nature of the night had kept the usual 
old cronies from venturing out to their favorite tap- 
) the captain, after changing his shoes for carpet 
borrowed from the landlord, disposed himself in a 



248 



Cjod's Maa 



high-backed chair inside the great bricked fireplace^ and fintl^ 
fell asleep. 

It was close to eleven when he was awakened by the lant 
lord, who was about to extingaish the lights and lock up &r 
the night. The captain was voicing his disappointment iilitt 
the beamed oak door swimg open from the street, and AiBflU 
entered. Captain Danny saw him, but so juyenile was Ui 
appearance in golf trousers, soft rolling collar and plaid df^ 
that the captain failed to identify him with that importaiit 
agent of a great firm whose absence from New York had bb- 
cessitated this journey into the outlands. The host, hovevn^ 
showed the late visitor that deference due a L'Hommedifl^ 
lord of the soil (as was his inherited English way) and pointei 
out the drowsy Danny, whom Arnold regarded questioning. 
Coming on top of the peninsula philosopher's prophecy, fli 
news that some one from New York had been inquiring for 
him had increased that sense of fatality that had laid hM d 
him in the little hut : so Arnold had hastened out again, not 
waiting to change his damp clothes. 

Captain Danny could not repress altogether the look of dii- 
appointment that Arnold's youth had caused — a parson's lot 
was bad enough; that meant foolish scruples to overoow; 
but a mere boy — could he be trusted with a secret likdj to 
cost Captain Danny property and liberty ? Yet, from the 90 
counts received such business as he had must be tnuMHdil 
either with Mr. Waldemar or his confidential secretaxyi lb* 
UHommedieu. 

'^ow d'you do, sir?'' He gave Arnold an ingratiating fluik 
'Tm very glad to see you, sir, so I am : Drumm, Dan DronuiA 
my name, Captain Danny they call me, and the fact is, IiD' 
Captain of the Cormorant coffee clipper, Mr. Ixmnrjdoi 
Ever hear of her — she's made record runs between here tf^ 
Bio. A fine ship, Mr. Lommydoo, as fine as ever hid te 
keel laid in this land of the free — ^which means the fineith 
the world." 



1 

\ 



Coiitral>and 249 



Mi 



Go awn,** put in the landlord tinpatriotically, reverting to 
lis grandfather's view-points : ^Hhe best boats come out of the 
Hyde — everybody knows that as knows anything/' 

•Not to contradict yon any, mate/' returned Captain Danny 
riih a velvety snarl, ^^ut this here conversation happens to be 
irivate, so it does, and youll oblige me by sheering off to the 
rindward, if you ain't any objections. ... I come from 
OUT office, Mr. Lommydoo. Your boy tells me you've steered 
or home, so I follows you. And here I am, begging this here 
mh-water genf s pardon for venturing to request privacy jest 
acanse I pay for it." 

The landlord, who had grown rosier of gills since the first 
Btimaiion of his intrusion, now advanced, choking with the 
Btention of ordering forth from his inheritance this impu- 
knt stranger. But Arnold laid a pacifying hand on his 
am, and the two were left alone with the great smolder- 
ing logs, the Inn being now shuttered and lightless along its 
bwer floor. When the landlord's last footstep resounded on 
fhe creaking stairway. Captain Danny wasted no further time. 

Tve got two hundred cans to sell — the pure stuff," said he 
npidly, 'for which I want twenty dollars gold apiece and I'd 
Bk the money right away, sir." This information, transmitted 
b a thrilling whisper, failed to stir Arnold. 

TouTl have to wait until Mr. Waldemar gets back from 
fte West,** he returned. . . . 

*TS'ow, mister," pleaded the other feverishly, "don't tell me 
Ehat That would be a fine piece of docking, that would. Dan- 
id Dmmm's as sharp as a steel trap, a regular old gray-whis- 
Bsred water-rat. I got friends in Yucatan thaf s done busi- 
Itts with you, mister, and thaf s got cheques with A. L. H. 
igned on 'em xmder owner's name. And these here friends 
liey says : 'Go hunt up A. L. H. and if you find his name's 
^40mmydoo don't be surprised none.' And I ain't, 'cause I'm 
t regular old shark for never being surprised none. And if I 
sets a cheque for four thousand dollars signed A. L. H.^ don't 



250 ;Goa*s Man 

you be surprised none if you gits a present from on nBknown 
admirer, just like barlyque queens get bookajs: see?' hi 
winked. 

"I don't know any one in Yucatan/' said Arnold, becoming 
tense and suspicious, and lying coolly. The government mi^ 
have wind of the syndicate's operations and have sent iliii 
man to offer him the interdicted smoking-opium; it would 
prove their traflSc was illegal if he accepted it. 

"Not Don Guillerme Gomey Pereira?*' asked Captain 
Danny with a decided Latin- American accent. 'Takes wj 
meals on his liacienda homeward bound from Eio: ^nsen^ 
he grows, which is in demand among the New York Chinks. 
A little private venture of my own.*' He winked so pro- 
digiously this time that Arnold was quite sure this particulir 
ginseng was a euphemism for the forbidden pen-yen, *Tlu» 
time," Captain Danny went on, *Tie says to me the Don does: 
'Danielo, my boy,' he says, 'you do like I done and do business 
with A. L. H. Shipped him two hundredweight of gum I 
did and got my cheque prompt, and I'd ship him sometliing 
what's in that warehouse over there,' says he — speaking Span- 
ish he was, of course, and dignified like all those Dons, bnt 
may I drop dead at my wheel or fall out of my crows-nest 
next trip if it don't mean just what I'm telling you. And 
then he steers me over his poppy fields and there's a big shack 
with a lot of peons stirrin' and pourin' and cookin' and sweat- 
in', and a big Manchu Chink, six foot three with a pair of bif 
horn spectacles on him, bossing the job. Tell el capiim^ 
where you worked one time,' says the Don, and the Chink an- 
swers in English as good as what I talk myself : TLii-nn fl^ 
tory, Shanghai' — not Fak-Lung: Li-un/' Danny interpolatei 
triumphantly. "Then the Chink says : 1 make 'um all sann 
Li-un here. You smoke?' 'No,' I told the heathen deril 
Too bad, I show you better,' he says ; and takes us into lA 
own hut where there's a pipe and lies down and cooks him- 
self a pill. 'Smoke ? says he, holding it under my nose. hA 
then I says : 'Danny, here's the real thing, so it is. ThouaaiA 



Contraband 251 

ronld like to be in your shoes, so they would/ Well, the long 
aid short of if s this, Mr. Lommydoo : just when the Senor 
Don's got a fortune in hop, the United States up and passes 
hat law about no pen-yen being brought in. Which is a fine 
dece of sail-making. And the Senor's got to sell it to those 
haf ye got the nerve to dodge United States Customs sharks. 
)ld Danny done it : he's a long-nosed ferret when it comes to 
lodging. And here's two hundred cans of pure Li-un offered 
it half of what you kin git for it. I could peddle it myself, 
mt there's Custom spies all over Chinatown and they might 
ceel-haul me before I unshipped a quarter of my cargo. With 
four crew and discipline and no suspicion, you ought to git 
fifty a can for it, so you ought." 

**/ ought to," said Arnold mechanically. 

**So you ought," agreed Captain Danny eagerly. *TVTiy— 
whafs the matter, Mr. Lommydoo ?" 

The use of the personal pronoun had electrified Arnold. His 
eyes shone, his hands trembled, his body shook. 'TTou didn't 
tell anybody at the oflBce what you came to see me about ?" he 
demanded fiercely, clutching at the old fellow's knee. A look 
of scorn answered him. Arnold breathed free. Why not a 
personal deal? This came as no response to an order from 
Waldemar: he had ordered only gum. This was a windfall 
into his own lap. He saw now by seizing on such lucky 
diances as this how men made fortunes. Waldemar was away. 
Arnold could utilize the warehouse force to ship the stuff to 
^ous people whom he knew would be eager to receive it. 
Phat is, if Enoch Apricott and his patron. Mother Mybus, 
ronld not want the lot — which, in all probability, they would. 
le knew, from the tales of Pink and Beau, that Apricott sold 
he inferior stuff of his own manufacture for thirty dollars the 
an. This would bring at least a third more, therefore Aprit 
ott should be willing to pay twenty-five at least — five thou-, 
and dollars. . . . 

^Give me half a dozen of the cans to examine to-morrow 
nd 111 give you my cheque for three thousand if I find th^ni 



252 God*8 Man 

right/' Arnold said, recovering his compoenre. A wail fnm 
Captain Danny rent the air. Mr. Lommydoo wonld get mm 
than double that. . • . Sooner would he take chances and 
peddle it himself. It was a fine piece of marlin-apikingy ii 
it was. 

''Then good night/' said Arnold^ rising. He had leaned 
well the r6Ie of business man since his Waldemar employment: 
had chaffered with too many buyers and sellers not to knov 
the tricks of the game. 

*'And a lick and a promise for all my risk and trouble?* 
whined the diminutive captain : "that's a fine piece of — ** 

''Don't be absurd/' returned Arnold in a weary tone. Toa 
never paid that Mexican more than six or seven dollars apiece. 
And did you pay duty? — or freight? — No! Then yarfre 
doubling your money. I'm not even doing that. . . . 
Take it or leave it." His heart was bounding high : this df 
little seaman would not refuse. 

"The way that Senor Don spoke to me of Mr. A. L. E, I 
never thought he'd drive a Scotch-Jew's trade with a poor 
simple old sailor man/' grumbled the apparently grieved isd 
disappointed mariner. 

"W'ell ?" asked Arnold sharply. 

"All right, I give in/' said Captain Danny. "Thirty-fln 
hundred !" 

Arnold turned away and reached the door. "Thirty-two- 
fifty/' screamed the other, catching his arm : and, when Ar- 
nold threw oflE his hold : "Have it your own way, sir. But 
it's a fine piece of — ^" 

"Of what ?" demanded Arnold, and Captain Danny grinned. 

"Have a cigar, sir," he said soothingly; "best they make on 
the Yucatan coast, which is to Cuba like a captain to t 
cabin-boy." 

"There's a train to-morrow at eight-ten," said Arnold, the 
cigar directing attention to this information on a wall time- 
table. "I'll meet you at the station. Be prompt, now, bectoe 






Contraband 



253 



I want to get the business over^ and be back here by night- 

He spoke defiantly, as though the peninsula philosopher 
lieird him. How little that pretended sage knew, after all, 
▼ith his Purposes, and Sacrifices, and Whys — and what nots ! 
Here, like a ripe apple, there was about to fall into his hands 
lofficient extra money for more than another year of uninter- 
npted work at Havre de Grace. By the time five thousand 
iras spent, he could have won honor and respect with what 
he bad to write. He wished the philosopher were here to wit^ 
MM his triumph — ^he and his "fights.** . . . 

*ni be there, don't you never fear, Mr. A. L. H.,'* said the 
owner of contraband. ^TTou can go' to sleep on that: you 
Un get your alarm-clock by Captain Danny. Good 'night, sir, 
and all the harm I wish you is that you sleep like a sailor on 
vttch when the mate's groggy — good night, Mr. Lommydoo.'* 

And after Arnold had gone, the sailor-man soliloquized: 
Think you've done something clever, I suppose. And I'd 
l»en glad to git twenty-five hundred." On which he grinned 
delightedly and sought the ancient room where so many cap- 
Uds had slept before him. 



CHAPTER FOUR 

THE HAPPENINGS OF A SINGLE DAT 

I. Qdentin QiJivTBBa — Benefactob 

^IFTT-SIX thonHand, ax Iran- 

dred doUan, net profit," repeated 

Mr. Peter Quimbj Qnivren, tl» 

"P. Quentin" of his own mum- 

facture whoee name did not 'a 

any way figure upon the Bt«tio»- 

ery, or in the gold lettering <a 

doors and vindows, of the "btr 

etantaneoQs Boiler Company, lio:- 

ited," in the private oflice of vluch 

he Bat nsdonbted master. Ill 

vice-president, general miiuger 

and secretary, Mr. Mink, had just completed the balandngof 

its actual cash-book for Mr. QaivrerB' benefit— <lthongh in ths 

outer office the ostenEible one wag on viev for stocUiolden 

and investors, showing a considerable net loss. 

"Fifty-six thousand profit," Mr. Quiwers again repeated; 
whistled long and loud, then smiled, patting Mr. Mink*! 
shoulder. "Pretty soft for Minky, eh ? a dub who was play- 
ing paper-weight to a park bench a year ago. The five tboB- 
sand that's coming to you *ull put yon so firmly on your jrioi 
an ice-wagon couldn't knock you off again." 

But Mr, Mink only scowled his dislike for hia patron. "Thit 
kind of money's got the curse of God on it," he said taaAj. 



[TKe Happenings of a Single Day 255 

on't expect any luck with my bit of it, I tell you that, 
be a lucky thing for me if something donH happen to the 
)r friend wife for mixing into a thing like this. . . .'* 
'ontinued in a like strain to the great amusement of his 
Factor, who whistled in gentle forgiyeness as though 
)ring an amiable lunatic. 

it one lype of man uses the expression "friend wife." One 
s a thousand Mr. Minks at the noon hour when from 
Taper rabbit-warrens multitudinous rabbits come forth, 
nibble in crowded lunch-rooms, shedding oflSce-coats of 
la, paper cuff-guards like gauntlets without gloves, green 
hades-— daylight being as rare in the warrens of the hu- 
rabbits as in their animal prototjrpes. Thus is the clerk 
developed: entry-clerk, bill-clerk, file-clerk, bond-clerk, 
•graphic clerk, copying clerk — all manner of clerks; as 
ar in appearance as in tastes and opinions — or lack of 
. As great businesses become gigantic machines, creative 
and initiative become concentrated in the lords of the 
mos : the rabbits do but oil wheels and keep belts in order, 
ch an oiler and order-keeper, then, was Mr. Mink. You 
t pass him in the rabbit swarm multi-million times yet see 
not, so colorless was he, as characterless as a drink of 
r — and as necessary. Yet, as human rabbits do, he imag- 
he had a "strong" face, "not handsome but strong,'* as 
Babbit had learned to say to friends and neighbors and 
pect in response : *T.ike my Ed"— or "Hen"— or *^illie." 
because each rabbit has found one person who thinks him 
*ong man, each Mrs. Babbit is loved devotedly despite 
al bickering : this indeed, constituting their chief, almost 
only, relaxation. Dear to the rabbits is that bit of dog- 
that enables them to exchange knowing grins and, 
I drinking, to shout with wild laughter : "My wife's gone 
e country, hooray — Hoo — Bay;" but each is lonely when 
loes seek the sylvan solitudes taking "the children with 
' and she is sure to be welcomed back with frantic en- 
nents. 



256 God's Man 

The reference of Mr. Quiwers to the park bencK wu not 
totally justified. . . . Mr. Mink had, indeed, so sat ft 
year since, and had seen Quiwers loom up in the apparent rSIs 
of angel of light. But a perfectly good hall-room held Mr. 
Mink's inherited hair-trunk containing his Sunday clothes and 
stiff shirts ; and enough was in his pockets for said hall-room 
to go on holding them for a week or so longer. But then there 
would be an ignominious return to Parsonville and a pitiful 
plea for his old place in the Emporium. Wags and wits would 
refer for the remainder of his life to **that city fellow, Psnl 
Mink,'' howling with glee. He had left Parsonville in lomt 
pomp to take a place secured for him by the correspondenct 
school that had taught him stenography. 

But his lack of fundamentals had rendered his proficiencj 
in pot-hooks a useless accomplishment : his spelling and fw^ 
tuation made the value of his speed negligible. . . . And 
the correspondence school had to fulfil their promises to other 
graduates : they had done what they promised, he could ex- 
pect no more. . . . Then the usual story of a man of 
minor value engaged in competition with a whole city-full. He 
complained luck had not been with him, until Quiwers— who 
had Mink's acquaintance from the da}^ when Quiwers sold 
scented soap "on the road" — ^began to portray the before men- 
tioned angel. 

To Quiwers, Mink's very defects were abnormal virtuea. 
Out of the wise East comes the saying that most difficult of 
all is to find an honest partner for a swindle : it might wdl 
have been written impossible — save when honesty is in direct 
relation to density. Even now, when the cataclysm was upoa 
him, Mr. Mink sought to convince himself that, actuaUy, thi 
angel of light had also been deceived, endeavored to explftiA 
away the duplicate cash-books. , . . "You give me year 
word you thought Mr. Marchanter's invention was on the 
level?" he now asked. An afiirmation would greatly $aiA 
in his moral whitewashing. 

Mr. Marchanter wag the president and secretary of the oaor 



The Happenings of a Single Day 257 

fuaj, the inyentor of the Instantaneoue Boiler, a device that 
when attached to a spigot and to an electric plug, yielded 
boiling water within the minute. Mr. Quiwers had found the 
capital to form a limited corporation to market his dear 
friend's patent; Marchanter, president, and Mink, treasurer, 
holding all the other ofiBces. Quantities of stock had been sold. 
For a brief period, the article had been manufactured and, for 
one month, had been widely advertised. There was no doubt 
it could do precisely what it claimed: the demonstrations 
proved it. Electrical and mechanical engineers had examined 
the network of tiny wires within each metal cap, pronouncing 
the invention excellent; and the brief advertising campaign 
had showered Instantaneous Boilers in all sections where hot 
vater was a luxury: in districts where farmhouses had been 
built before the days of plumbing; even among city-dwellers 
who let fires lapse of nights. Many were bought in hospitals 
and in other places where drinking water is boiled. Its suc- 
cess was complete. 

Then the electric bills came in, and it was discovered that 
the Instantaneous Boiler was almost as costly in upkeep as was 
a motor-car. The actual cost of one fluid drachm of water 
Iwiled by Instantaneous methods was almost equal to the same 
amount of radium. Only the companies of electric power sup- 
ply had a good word for the inventor ... so that indig- 
nant letters had begun to reach the company's ofiBces, enraged 
owneiB of Instantaneous Boilers resident in Manhattan and its 
environs made violent calls on its inventor, whose artistic 
temperament was so annoyed, after a week or more of such 
insults, that he had decamped — ^to all appearances— for Eu- 
rope, taking with him one-half the cash on hand: claiming 
this as his share in the letter he left behind. 

As a matter of fact Mr. Marchanter was no inventor at all. 
Mr. Quiwers had long since discovered that by studying the 
reports of the Patent Office, he could find many impractical 
patents that could be purchased for next to nothing. In this 
way he came to know all manner of inventors, some of whom 



258 God's Man 

often brought him their models before sending them to be 
registered. The Instantaneous Boiler had come to him in. 
this way, and he had bought the sole rights for a small som^ 
which would permit that crack-brained enthusiast, its origi- 
nator, to continue work on his masterpiece — an aluminum 
motor for aeroplanes. 

So, "My dear Mink/' said Mr. Quiwers, shaking his hcid, 
"I am surprised as you that Marchanter's invention has not 
been a gold-mine for all of us. . . ." But he said it 
negligently, flippantly. No longer under the necessity of 
humoring this nonentity, Quiwers was deriving some amuse- J 
ment from his qualms of conscience. 

"I don't believe you,'' said Mink, suddenly moved to wrath. 
"And I don't intend to do what you say at all. My good 
name is involved. I won't be thought a cheat and a m- 
cal. I—" 

"Your good name?" murmured Mr. Quiwers, smiling 
broadly. *TVhy, whoever heard of you. Mink? Quite i 
clever little clown, ain't you? Go on, you scalawag I" And 
he nudged him with an elegant elbow. 

"You meant to cheat all along," continued Mink wildlj. 
"That's why you wouldn't have your name mentioned in con- 
nection with the Instantaneous — ^you and your brokerage 
firm not being allowed to float stocks and sell 'em, too. . . . 
And listen, I'll put the police on to that villain Marchanter. 
They'll get him before he gets to Europe. Ill see the peojifi 
who invested in any stock my name is mixed up with get i 
square deal. I — ^" 

"Quit it, old pal," commanded Quiwers, rising. "Quit it 
and behave. You can't do it any more than I can dive ol 
the Singer Building into a bottle of ink. Behave yourself, joa 
little rascal." And he grinned at Mr. Mink. 'T)on't jw 
know when you signed that cheque with Marchanter for the 
twenty-five thousand that you were aiding and abetting a fcl- 
ony ? Why did you sign it ?" 

"Why," faltered Mr. Mink, "why, he said it was for a- 



The Happenings of a Single Day 259 

ises of installing machinery for our factory, and I called 

I np on the phone and you said it was all right. . . /' 
T)id you have any witnesses to that call ?^ Quivvers was 

II grinning. He knew very well only Marchanter had been 
isent. 

'*So you see/' he summed up for the benumbed Mink, "you 
I you're just a little comedian, 'cause only a comedian would 
id for the police to arrest himself. ... If you hadn't 
t your name to that cheque along with Marchanter's he 
ildn't have gone off with the goods. The court would 
3bably compel you to give up the part he gave you for 
Iping him. Swindle the company, would you? Ah, you 
fle laughing rascal, you — ^" Mr. Mink interrupted with 
low of profane protestations. 

**/ Jcnow, old pal," acknowledged Mr. Quiwers; 'T)ut the 
art won*t. As for mixing me into it, not a chance. All 
5 papers you've got to show prove I was one of the come- 
b; bought stock myself — ^" 

Tes, and sold it before you sold any of the company's," 
:iimed Mink bitterly. "Got it for next to nothing and 
sd our advertising to sell it at par. Why, you must have 
ide a fortune out of this swindle." 

''And you, dear old pal, how about your salary? About 
5 times what you ever got or ever will get. And five thou- 
id, five more than you'd ever saved. So considering the 
cunt of brains invested, you're five times better off than 
. . . . Stop that blubbering and hire yourself out 
h a circus where your talents as a clown 'ull be worth a 
tune to you — ^" 

?0T Mink had put his head between his hands and was 
leavoring to conceal evidences of internal conflict and con- 
mation. "A dark wet cell for yours," Quiwers went on; 
tver nobody to talk to and bugs running around the floor 
t never were in any encyclopedia. Think of being alone 
h all kinds of bugs. Not alone. You'd have a cell-mate 
. cockroach you could put a saddle on." 



260 God's Man 

He langhed so heartily that he must put up a fleshy jeweled 
hand to a thick throat to loosen his collar; for Master Qut- 
vers had become bulky since his college days. Then he 
pushed the telephone receiver toward Mink. "Go on, phone 
the police, why don't you? Marchanter's getting ten min- 
utes' more start of you." 

He gazed idly out of the window at the forest of shaft- 
like buildings below ; coolly he awaited his companion's com- 
posure. "As it is," he went on when that person's short boIjb 
no longer annoyed him, "you go home to Parsonville, set np 
a little place of your own; have everybody imagining you 
made a monkey out of old Manhattan ; had it jumping through 
that. . . . The wife 'ull think you're a hero, you get to 
be one of Parsonville's leading lodge-members and teach your 
children to bless the name of your best friend, P. Quentin 
Quiwers, Esquire. Get me, old scout ? . . . Now we'd 
better have a dress-rehearsal of what youll tell the stock- 
holders at the meeting. I'll leave six thousand for cash on 
hand — wouldn't do to make a clean sweep. The remainder, 
the authentic cash-book shows, was paid out for experimentil 
purposes and new machinery. The bills are all 0. K.— " he 
touched a bundle of receipts from the Columbia Iron and 
Molding Company, organized under the presidency of other 
men of straw in Quiwers' employ, their oflSces occupying one 
small room in an inexpensive building. "And you've got the 
lease on our proposed factory — ^" (Tliis was a ramshidde 
building on a piece of waste land, bought up by Quiwers— ax 
months' advance rental from the Instantaneous Boiler Cob- 
pany immediately indemnifying him.) "Then there's the 
office furniture and safe and the boilers on hand, — all asieti. 
Be sure and list everything down to the fountain-pens to 
prove you, the vice-president and treasurer, are a strictly 
honest man, and meanwhile be kind enough to add your nime 
to this perfectly good blank cheque Marchanter left with Di 
some time ago lest we be embarrassed by his leave-taking.' 
He grinned again. "It's dated two months ago. I give job 



The Happenings of a Single Day 261 

my cheque for your five thousand, old pal, when you put your 
neat little John Hancock along with March's/' 

Mr. Mink took the extended pen and traced his name, not 
raising his dull eyes, and Mr. Quivvers, after scrutinizing it, 
made a calculation and directed him to fill in the cheque for 
the company's balance less the six thousand cash to be left 
to the creditors. "And here's your cheque, my little clown," 
he said in the winning tone of a friend of humanity. "Now, 
I should advise you to set everything in order and notify the 
stockholders of the terribly sad news. It's the only thing left 
for an honorable man to do." 

Quiwers, as he spoke, was glancing at the list of those same 
stockholders; and, his gaze fixed on the name of Archibald 
Hartogensis, laughed aloud. "I'd sooner see his there than 
any ten others," he said, "sooner than anybody's else except 
that big burly Hugo, or that white rat, Arnold L'Hommedieu. 
Three smart fellows!" he snarled. ... It was seldom 
lie permitted his face to assume any save a jovial humorous 
expression, had long schooled his features to that end. Well 
that he had, for, as he gloated over Archie's rage when he 
should discover his great loss — ^he was by far the largest 
stockholder — Quivvers snapped his teeth savagely, and his 
lieavy chin hung in ugly folds over his high collar, his small 
•harp eyes narrowed, his whole appearance was one to fear 
and to distrust. 

Presently he aroused himself from this pleasant carnival of 
gratified spite. "Come on, Minky," he said, struggling back 
to his usual air of amused contempt, "I must rehearse you 
in what you've got to say to them. Your cue's the honest 
man grieved and hurt at false human nature. You've been 
victimized along with them. Lucky you've got the kind of 
face grafters pick out to sell the Flatiron Building to. . . . 
Now, suppose I'm the stockholders and you're going to break 
the bad news. I'll storm and rave and ask furious questions 
and youll storm and rave and answer them. Now get what 
you call your brain ready. I'm going to begin. . • 



9f 



262 



God's Man 



All throngh the afternoon they continned, actor and stige- 
director. And before he went Mr. Quivvers dictated the leir 
ter Mr. Mink was to send out, and Mr. Mink took it down 
rapidly and incorrectly. After which Mr. Quiwers slipped 
into his bell-shaped frock overcoat^ on one sleeve of which 
swung his walking-sticky and taking from a gold ease, numo- 
gramed in diamonds^ a fifty-cent cigar^ lighted it and called 
for a taxi to drive him to his club, where, as P. Quentin Qui?- 
vers, dealer in unlisted securities, *1)ucket-shop** keeper in the 
parlance of the curb, he had the admiration and esteem of 
many minor lights of the stage, to whom his appearance was 
the equivalent of a good dinner, washed down by a respectaUj 
aged wine. 

Conscious of his worthiness, he smiled pleasantly upon i 
newsboy, giving him a dollar for a paper, the boy's perfenH 
thanks and those of the taxicab driver, whom he bade keep t 
quantity of change, absolving his conscience from any am; 
indeed, giving him the pleasant feeling of a philanthropiflt 
Besides had he not been generous to Marchanter and poor 
little Minky — had saved both, in fact, from an untimely end, 
restoring them, solvent, to their overjoyed families. But b 
did not expect gratitude. This world was an unappredatifs 
sort of place — the consciousness of having done good mmt 
suflSce. 

He entered his west of Sixth Avenue Club, cheeiy oi 
bright, hailing all within sight cordially, inviting them to 
refreshment, bringing more joy into the world. How conU 
any accuse him of being a power for evil? Yet if Minlj 
ever broke down. ... He took a number of dziidato 
banish the unpleasant thought. 



II. On Forty-Seventh Street 

At about the time Mr. Mink was having his first portent ct 
bankruptcy Arnold, a package under his arm, accompanied lif 
the Phony one — whom he had uprooted from his bed at M 



TKe Happenings of a Single Day 263 

Tmseemly hour which most of the world called noon and Pink 
**inidnight** — ^made his way across Broadway toward a street 
in the upper forties. Since taking on the duties of dancer at 
Sydenham's Caf£ de Paris Cabaret, Pink and Beau, no longer 
needing a place where they could at any moment seek safety in 
lednaion, had remoTcd themselves from the Yew Tree Inn, 
and from the indignant contempt of Mother Mybus. So that 
when Arnold appeared at the small apartment hotel where 
fhey were in residence and in bed, Pink had frowned on the 
idea of going below Fourteenth Street to test the quality of 
Captain Danny's sample, having no mind for Mother's cun- 
ning arguments regarding the chances for wealth he had de- 
liberately abandoned in turning "square." If he refused to 
listen the vials of wrath would be outpoured upon him for an 
ingrate, an upstart puppy — ^this from Mother. For a traitor, 
a condemned Judas — ^this from Nikko; and a pestilential 
coward — ^this from Old Mitt-and-a-Half. . . . These re- 
proaches would be redoubled because he had also led Beau 
and Sonetchka astray, according to the Inn's light, robbing 
Nikko's ''rebellion" of two sturdy soldiers, and even worse, 
decreasing Mother's revenues. 

At first the Sydenham employment had seemed to the Inn 
but a subterfuge that would for the moment deceive the police, 
famishing as it did evidence of lawful occupation. As for 
Sonetchka and Beau — ^being free to choose — ^the Inn had not 
imagined that they coidd endure for long the dulness of hon- 
est pursuits — theirs was a mere divertisement. 

But it had not proved so. The novelty of sleeping of 
nights without fear of the law, of awakening of mornings 
facing no necessity of taking new chances which, for all they 
knew would put them to bed in a cell — ^this had not worn off. 

*T[ tell you a guy's got a nut of pure ivory when he's a 
grift," Pink concluded, explaining this to Arnold; "that is, 
it he kin grab himself shed and doughnut sugar by a regular 
job that don't ask a man to be a nigger slave. . . . 'Cause 
grifting ain't what it used to be. Fourteenth Street's got 



264 God*s Man 

protection down to a system — a regalar underworld tariff oa 
larceny. What's more, it's got stools and coppers keeping 
tab on you and knowing how much you snatch to the last jit 
It's getting like bringing junk from Yurrup. You'd sooner 
give it up than pay the duty. I was jest a little sucker to 
keep on the gun when there was jobs like this one laying 
around loose. I'm wise to the layout now. Getting doii|^ 
is like playing cards. If they catch you cheating they not 
only take what you've won away but kick you out of the game 
besides. The thing to do is to find out some way of beating 
*the game. Same way with the law. It's a game. You bluff 
around it somehow and that's 'good poker.' Like that Walde- 
mar you work for, buying up all the pen^-yen and not selling 
it unless you've got a doctor's letter-head. . . . Catch m 
working for coppers and politicians any more. Which is sore 
what you do when you grift. You take the chances and thq 
git the dough. Not in your Uncle Pink's. . . . Thaft 
why I'm passing Mother up. This place I'm taking you ii 
where I smoke nowadays— one great joint, believe me— ind 
the fellow who runs it has a brother who's got about a thiwi- 
sand votes in his pocket, the best bunch of 'colonists' and 're- 
peaters' in New York. So he ain't troubled none by nobodj 
even asking for their 'envelope' Saturday nights, and the 
captain 'ud as soon think of pulling a church. . . . Here 
we are." 

The entrance was not impressive. It was one of a row of 
high brownstone fronts in one of those neighborhoods once 
occupied by small merchants, head salesmen, superintendenii 
of factories, . . . others enjoying a comfortable affluence. 
But since the day of modern apartment-houses and their manj 
inducements these abandoned villages have become the lain 
of lodging-house keepers, and interspersed among them are 
places even more decorous in appearance, their shades never 
admitting the sunlight. These yield a rich revenue to the 
collectors of "protection" — houses of chance and houses rf 
greater chances still; occasionally among them such a one ii 



V 



The Happenings of a Single Day 265 

tbat to which Arnold was now admitted— once the Chinese 
attendant had peered through a comer of one of the glass 
panels and had seen him in company with Master Fink. 

*^y the bye/' that inquisitive young person had inquired 
while they awaited the answering of the bell, *'you say you've 
picked up some real Li-un? Qee?' And he smacked his 
lipa. 'Ill soon tell you — ^though if you did you've got 
Christopher Columbus lashed to the mast. There won't be 
enough of it left in a year to make a polo-cap for a flea. 
. . . How'd you gi — ^get it?" The opening of the door 
liad poetponed the explanation, and Pink now led Arnold up 
the soft-carpeted stairs. "There ain't many places like this 
kft, go bet your shirt on that, boy," he explained. "Though 
the town used to be full of them twenty years back, the old- 
timers tell me. Nowadays it's one guy in a one hall-room with 
one layout, one customer at a time. Since this new law you 
can gi-^c^— say, kick me in the pants every time I start pull- 
ing that rough-neck pronounciation, will you? I'm trying to 
learn to talk the way you educated ginks do — ^there's only 
■mall potatoes for the fellow that crooly massacrees the Eng- 
lish langwitch the way I done. Did, I mean. . . . Since 
this new law you can get a two-years' bit at the least jest fa — 
just for selling the stuff. And if they catch you making it, 
they throw the book at you and tell you to add up the sen- 
tences. • . . So the only people who've got the nerve are 
those thafre so broke most of the time they haven't got a 
bean. As for fitting up a joint like this, nobody 'ud dare do 
it that didn't have a pull as long as an East Side clothes- 
line. . . • The down-stairs floor is a kind of a Chink res- 
tmnrant — strictly private for the people who come here. You 
get awful hungry after smoking, and thirsty, too. The sec- 
ond floor's the joint and the private rooms. There're soma 
swell people come here, you bet. The third floor's private 
looms, too, and the fourth's where the Chinks sleep — he won't 
have anybody but Chinks, thinks they're the greatest people 
on earth — don't know a thing they hadn't ought to know when 



266 God's Man 

people start asking questions. He don^t live here — got i 
swell fiat on the Drive^ they tell me^ and his wife rides around 
in the prettiest little runabout you ever laid eyes on. If 8 sll 
right, Sam/* 

Pink had knocked on a door at the head of the stairs, the 
Chinese who had admitted them to the house having vanished. 
Arnold now heard a faint rattle which, had be been better 
informed on such matters, he would have known for the clos- 
ing of a tiny shutter, their presence having been already in- 
nounced. When they stepped upon the last stone but one 
they rang a bell, the attachment of which lay under the cir- 
peting; thus they were viewed before they knocked. Such 
precautions were necessary, even to one with extraordiniiy 
political influence, in a city that swarmed with societies fa 
the prevention of this, that and the other, whose agents were 
everywhere in search of evidence and whose activities and 
accusations reaching the newspapers necessitated the dosing 
of such places to save the Police Departments "face,** which 
meant a week or so without business. 

The ante-room to which another Chinese now admitted 
them was fitted up plainly like a physician's or dentisf^ 
magazines scattered on a center-table. At an open escritoiie 
in a corner sat the proprietor in consultation with his Boy 
Number One, checking up the sales of the previous udfjbi, 
calculating profits, piles of silver and bills before them. Boy 
Number One, a neat little person in blue serge, black tie, lot- 
cut patent-leather shoes, immaculate collar and cuffs, wai 
running swift fingers over the strung beads of his countiBg> 
box, the ancient abacus, which seemed to give results much 
quicker than the proprietor's double-entry bookkeeping, the 
Chinese announcing his totals first. With his queue deleted 
and his thick blue-black hair parted and brushed into gloiff 
smoothness, he seemed in that dim light to resemble man 
nearly a Portuguese, a Sicilian or a swarthy Greek. 

The Chinese who had opened the door and who, like all the 
other minor servants, wore the long blue cotton rob^ H^ 






The Happenings of a Single Day 267 

)d breeches and felt shoes of his native land^ signed the 
>r8 to wait, and the proprietor nodded and grunted at 
but went on with his work. He was an English Jew, 
baired, f air-skinned, with no Hebraic features, only an 
ital something of sensual eyes and lips. He was attired 
"e thousands of prosperous members of that vague com- 
that lies between lower and upper middle class, which 
ys its origin by wearing the sort of clothes shown in shop- 
ows, which never happens until the upper class have 
d to wear them. Mr. Clabber^s collar and tie were too 
r correct, his waistcoat too low (it would have been too 
if that happened to be current), his jewelry too florid — 
al solitaire diamonds adorned his fingers, a huge tri- 
lar one his tie, — ^while he wore buttoned patent-leather 
I with attention-compelling tops of light lavender kid. 
face seemed very youthful and guiltless for one in such a 
I, and his manner, when he laid down his pen and nodded 
8 head servant, was one of frank friendship. 
[r. Clabber, Mr. UHommedieu,'' said Pink, his phonetics 
mold's surname defying any printed reproduction. "Mr. 
>mmedieu's got some of the real stuff under his arm there, 
rants to give it a try-out and I told him your boy, Tom 
could give him the real dope on it. Mind if he lies down 
US a while T' And as Pink was a steady customer and, 
over, brought others, Mr. Clabber assented. But he 
^d at the genuineness of the article. 
?'eal stuff — ^thay, you make me laff. What d'you mean, 
lost your dawgl IVe got the on'y weal stuff peddled 
nowadays ; bought up evwy can I could get my hands on 
L I see this famine coming. You got bats in your belfwy, 
; you got wheels in you head. Hey, Tom ?'* Boy Num- 
hie nodded a grinning assent. 

didnH say it was real,'' put in Arnold, annoyed. "I only 
I was told so. If it is, I've got the chance to buy all I 
of it pretty cheap — ^" 
"hat's enough to prove it ain't Li-un," interrupted the 



268 God's Man 

lisping proprietor. "If it wath weal stuff it wouldn't go i 
cheap. They thell it for fifty doUarth a can — ** \ 

"Would you give fifty 7^ asked Arnold quickly. 

The lisping man was visibly disconcerted. "I — ^I— got 
plenty/' he stammered. "I — ^I couldn't make no profits if / 
paid that much. Even my customerth wouldn't pay it, and 
I've got the swellest in town. Pink can tell you. . . . 
Some of them might pay for pure stuff, but I'd lose half my 
twade. ... I tell you what, though," he added, as he 
thought that perhaps the stranger might have fallen upon 
such treasure after all, "I pay as much as anybody elseth give 
you and I take all you got — if it'sth Li-un. But it ain't! 
Hey, Tom ?" Boy Number One again gave grinning assent, 
this time from within the folding-doors that shut off the ante- 
room from the divan. He had removed his coat and waist- 
coat and was lying on one of the bunks built close to the 
wall; tliere was a number of these in two tiers not unlike 
Pullman berths, but wide enough to accommodate two people 
lying full length with a space that would have served a third 
between them, this for the filigreed tray which held the various 
articles necessary for preparing the opium. 

It was both too early and too late for customers, the last of 
the night's crew always leaving before noon, the afternoon 
rush seldom beginning until close upon tea-time. So that the 
place was empty ; even most of the Chinese ^'cooks" were still 
asleep in the attic. This main room had swallowed up s 
former drawing-room and library, and had evidently been 
furnished by an Oriental in imitation of similar places in 
China, Japan and India. No heavy draperies or curtains of 
cloth caught the smell and held it, no carpets, no rugs; on 
the floor a clean rice-matting, to the bunks hangings of some 
woodenish, fibrous stuff painted in gay colors; while the head- 
rests were piles of round mats ; the folded bunk covers tloM 
were of woven stuff, something like Turkish toweling. 

The room was lit dimly by strings of Chinese lanteniSf in 
which low-powered electric arcs were coiicealed ; veiy gay to* 



The Happenings of a Single Day 269 

terns shaped like the lily and the lotns, the dragon and the 
bawk^ especial importations of Boy Number One. On the 
rails were tacked many long strips of red paper covered with 
7hmese idiographs. Tabourets of teak and tall kakalmono 
ars for spent cigarettes were scattered about. There was no 
ther furniture. Hence, the room gave that sense of cleanli- 
less and spaciousness usual to Chinese houses. Without ez- 
«nse an effect was achieved that no amount of money could 
lave increased; one suddenly felt and smelt the East, and 
Jew York seemed very far away. 

**Lie down/^ Pink directed Arnold. He had removed coat 
nd collar, resting his head on the pile of mats. ^^Come on. 
! want to enjoy this if it*s Li-un ; I don't want to have to turn 
ny head around to you every minute. It kills the effect, 
noving all the time. Come on. Take your collar off, too, 
tnd put your head right above my hip and sorts curl up your 
rams. That's the trick — ^" and Arnold lay watching the deft 
(wift fingers of Boy Number One as he dipped into one of 
2!aptain Danny's cans with a long, thin cooking needle, stir- 
ring and kneading and drawing up the golden stuff that was 
like sirup both in appearance and odor. 

It was not evident whether Boy Number One was pleased 
or disappointed; his placid yellow face gave no hint; but both 
Pink and Clabber, who sat on a tabouret near by, watched 
eagerly. 

''Bubbles like Li-un," Pink asserted. 

"They all bubble," returned Clabber shortly, but, as the 
Chinese took some on the point of the yen-hok and began to 
toast it over the filigreed lamp. Clabber sniffed as appreci- 
atively as did Pink. 

*^lony all some good Li-uh smell," asserted Boy Number 
One, despite his master's frown, which he did not look up to 
Bee. The cooking continued. The first draw at the pipe 
was taken by the cook, who inhaled and exhaled it with satis- 
faction. ''Him all light," he asserted as he blew out the final 
lacy cloud. "Li-un all light." Now he looked up and for 



270 God's Man 

the first time saw Clabber's portentous frown. ''Well— 
mebbe — '* he began, but Pink, suspicious, turned swiftly and 
he, too, saw the frown. 

"Oh, forget it. Midge,** he growled. 'T)on*t pull any 
of that stuff to try and git it cheaper. Tom said it was 
the goods the first time, and you can't get away with it 
Tom knows too much about the Bcanunish to make anj 
mistakes.** He took the pipe and smoked. ''Well, I should 
say,** he continued. "Like candy, it is. Gee! What a 
difference. And you call that stuff of yours Li-un, Midge. 
A pound of Li-un to a pound of seconds, you mean. You 
might save the good stuff for the private rooms, but you don't 
give us any like this down here.** He silenced the diminu- 
tive Jew with a : "Well, bring out some of your stuff and 
let me smoke it pill for pill with this. 1*11 gamble you don't 
dare.** 

Mr. Glabber fell into whining. "Well, what you expect, 
Pink ?'* he asked, spreading his palms. "You wouldn't paj 
Li-un pricesth. And if I give you lessth you don't come no 
more. . . . But don't you say nothink to your friends, 
Pink, and I give you Li-un for yourself. You hear, Tom?" 
Tom grinned. "And you sure this is Li-un, Tom?** Tom 
grinned again rather uneasily. 

"Go on, tell him,** urged Pink, and Clabber nodded. 

"Him Li-un all light,** said Tom. "All same Shanghai 
Plenty good, master. You buy.** 

"I give you thirty a can for hundred cans,** said Clabber 
quickly. "Cash down on the nail.** 

"Why, you little burglar,** protested Pink, "didn*t you just 
say it was worth fifty ?'* 

"I saidth/' emphasized Clabber, "that they thell it for 
fifty — retail. And look at the money tied up — ^look at the 
wisks — look at — evvything,** he finished with a flourish. 
"Three thousand. Mister, and a good bargainth for you, toa 
Cash on delivery. Cash." 



The Happenings of a Single Day 271 

'*Thirty-five and done/* said Arnold. "No haggling — 
ixty-five does it. I could say forty-jfive and come down to 
at, but I don't work that way — ^thirty-five ; take or leave it/* 
is heart was thumping madly. Here was a vast increase on 
!iat he had expected ; he would more than double his money. 
But the lisping proprietor said he could not believe that 
ly one would have the temerity to ask forty-five hundred; 
lit was absurd. Even four thousand ; as for thirty-five hun- 
red, Arnold might get it in some places, but he could not 
lord it, so he could do just what he pleased. But Pink 
X)Ted his knee gently and Arnold only shrugged his shoul- 
en. Yet still Mr. Clabber talked on of interest forfeited, of 
he likelihood of Federal government intervention and prob- 
lUe confiscation of his stock. . . . Why, even if they 
ihanged captains in this district it was ruin for him. Al- 
uofit, he shed tears upon his unfeeling listener. 

'TFe won't haggle, like you saidth,*' he concluded; "split 
he differenceth — ^thirty-two-fif ty and not a centh more.'* 

*Tery well, Mr. Clabber,'' rejoined Arnold. "I'm not ask- 
ig you to take it. There are too many want this sort of 
Hff. . . ." And Clabber capitulated. 

^THien'll you bring it ?" he asked. Arnold thought, prob- 
>ly, to-morrow. ^Telephone me first," said the lisping man, 
Lnd I'll go to the bank. But I've got the wight to pick out 
ilf a dozenth cans and open them before I pay !" Arnold 
)dded and Clabber retired to his ante-room jubilant. At 
e prices he charged for small amounts he stood to gain 
Qch by the transaction ; and so Pink told Arnold, 
'^ut so would anybody else who had the dough to take a 
mdred cans off your hands." He eyed the Chinese un- 
dly, then fished up a thick gold-plated pencil by a trousers 
cket chain, discovered an old letter in a hip-pocket and 
rote a question as to how Arnold had secured so large an 
lOfunt of stuff, and couldn't he get in on it? Which Arnold 
omised to explain when they were alone. 



272 God's Man 

*^ere, here, Tom Lee/' said Pink, scowling as that amiable 
Oriental took advantage of his position as chef to accommo- 
date himself with another long draw. 

*'Don't catcham ploper Li-un many time/' explained Tom. 
"All same Shanghai when I smoknm. Velly much TbUged," 
and he nodded suave thanks to Arnold, helping himself to 
more of his property. "All same Shanghai,'' he said again, 
sighing. "How much you sellimi one can to poor China boy, 
hey, master ?" 

*^Vhy," said Arnold, "you and my friend can have this can 
between you — ^three-quarters to him." He had been moved 
to this generosity by the look of wistful desire on Boy Number 
One's face. He realized that with such the matter of smoking 
was less of a luxury than a necessity, and that such stuff as 
this once tasted, it was like asking a man to return to a diet 
of boiled bones after an existence on excellent marrows. As 
for Pink, he was too much elated by this unexpected gift to 
quarrel with sharing it, and a look of doglike respect came 
into Boy Number One's eyes. 

"Mebbe you like tly youself , master ?" he asked. "I cooknm 
velly fine, you see; velly small, too." He held out the pipe 
to Arnold enticingly. 

"Go on. Sir Eeginal Vere de Voo/' Pink urged. "You 
oughta try it once, anyhow, if you're going to peddle it 
How'U you ever know the goods from the bunk? Just get a 
taste of that and nobody 'uU ever be able to pass the phony 
article on you. You can't tell jest — ^just from the smelL 
Go on." And, as the pipe was prodding him in the cbeft, 
Arnold took it. 

When one desires, or is curious, any excuse will serve, and 
Pink's seemed well put. Captain Danny might have t con- 
signment of bad stuff with only a few picked cans for sam- 
ples. He must test it to-morrow himself. 

"You're sure — it — it won't — ^" he began, and Tom LbA 
grin returned. 

"Won't give you a horrible habit if you smoke it oncef 



The Happenings of a Single Day 273 

jeered Pink. ''Why, sure ! Yonll wake up to-morrow clutch- 
ing the sheets and shrieking for the deadly dmg, and if some 
kind friends don't bring it to you in ten minutes youll just 
die for want of it — ^and you'll see green elephants and purple 
rats — ^I see 'em now. . . . And youll hear the little gold- 
fish singing Home, Sweet Home. . . . Sure I it's terrible 
stuff." But Arnold had already permitted the Chinese boy to 
steer the bowl over the flame and now drew on the mouth- 
piece as he had seen Pink do. 

He lay back, surprised despite Pink's jeers, that he felt 
nothing. Nor had there been any effort or strangling in in- 
haling the smoke; thick, it was mild, far milder than the 
cigarette that he hastily lit to banish the taste, which, though 
not nauseous, yet in its sweetish way was reminiscent of medi- 
cine. . . . And then silence fell, while the Chinese boy 
passed the long bamboo stem from one to the other. Arnold 
handled it more than a dozen times before it achieved any 
result. 

Then he felt constrained to talk. To his surprise he had 
some difficulty in keeping back the tale of Captain Danny 
and his Yucatan treasure-trove. A burning conviction that 
these two men were his best friends and that he was justified 
in telling them anything overpowered him. And he told them 
of almost everything else. Of his bitter dislike of New 
Tork, his retirement to his birthplace, his determination to 
devote the remainder of his life to the writing of books that 
would benefit the world. Never had he loved his fellow men 
80 dearly; never had he throbbed so indignantly to their 
wrongs. A great desire to be known for a philanthropist was 
Upon him. How could he help this deserving Chinese, for 
instance ? In his mind he reached the heights of self-abnega- 
tion and understood the lonely philosopher of No-Man's Land 
who talked of wealth and fame so contemptuously. Arnold 
spoke to his companions of this man as one speaks of a na- 
tional hero. 

And still the rush of ideas came so rapidly his speech could 



274 God's Man' 

not keep pace with them. He lay back and closed his q^ 
The tenor of his thought changed from sentimental to prto 
tical. He forgot he was in New York for only a day. He 
saw the possibilities of Captain Danny^s treasure-trove. They 
were unlimited. The next time Danny sailed he, Arnold, 
would entrust him with some of the profits of this deal, whid 
would mean many more thousands when more stuff was 
brought back and sold. And — so on — Toyage after Yoyage— 
until he became rich. . . . 

And then he remembered his dreams, the ship standing oS 
Havre de Grace Harbor, and in a flash came a gay and gor- 
geous venture — ^not a shoddy bit of personal smuggling, vith 
minor profits each voyage, but one memorable voyage that 
would win everything. He would give up the entire present 
profits and borrow more from Hugo and from Archie. Hugo 
had plenty and would be glad to lend for the sake of the debt 
he owed him ; Archie was always speculating and would be 
eager for a fif ty-per-cent. profit. Let in a few others, Enoch 
Apricott and this Clabber, who knew how and where to sell it, 
retail. Tliat, then, was the significance of his dream. The 
ship should stand off Havre dc Grace Harbor some night tnd 
he and his partners should tranship the cargo to a smaller 
boat and carry it ashore; the Cormorant could then pro- 
ceed on its journey next morning into New York Harbor. 

As for chances of detection, it could be done at nigfai 
Captain Danny himself should promise each one of his men 
a bonus for keeping his mouth shut. Anyway, they would 
never know who received the stuff, so even if they talked they 
could prove nothing against anybody but Captain Dannji 
who would be well enough paid as a partner to run the liit 
As for revenue-cutters ! Arnold knew the habits of thoiB 
coast-guard folk. They cruised off that part of the Wind 
for a few hours once a week, and usually on schedule time; 
and there was no Port Officer at Havre de Grace any more 
Besides the town was almost hidden by the high hills thatpw* 
tected the Harbor — and between Green Sands and Havm dt 






TKe Happenings of a Single Day 275 

Grace was that No-Man's Land where only the unknown 
philosopher dwelt — ^all others were miles from the shore — 
there were only ducks and wild geese and sea-gulls and por- 
poises to look on; and the keepers of the two lights^ iGive miles 
apart, always slept from dinner until dawn save when they 
must attend to the fog-bells. And if it was foggy they could 
Bee nothing anyhow. ... As for passing ships, after the 
Connecticut night-mail none passed within miles of the 
Island; those bound for Boston or New York keeping to the 
Connecticut shore, twenty miles away. ... In fact an 
objection had only to be propounded to be answered instantly 
and favorably. He wondered that more smuggling was not 
done. Perhaps it was; naturally, he would not know ; smug- 
glers did not advertise their successes. 

Now he saw why it was that those tales were told of opium 
giving dreams of wealth. It sharpened the brain, as De 
Noailles had said ; showed men chances they were too indolent 
and ambitionless to grasp. ... He could understand 
that indolent part of it, too. As he lay there, his eyes closed, 
it was as if the whole world came to him, its picked inhab- 
itants performing for his benefit. He saw things clearly, yet 
not cynically; felt rather as a father to naughty children. 

With these thoughts his benevolence returned, granting ex- 
cuses for broken laws and such. With wealth what a power 
of good he could be; independent of timid publishers who 
feared not to make profit on his burning books ; of "practical" 
politicians who would not help him in his work of reforma- 
tion, fearing loss of perquisites — his money could beat their 
campaign funds. . . . Yet, withal, he seemed to dream 
practically; it was as if two souls were within him, one bring- 
ing forward all possible objections. What the Musketeers 
had planned in college should yet take place — they would be 
without their Aramis, true; Carol Caton held Archie too 
firmly — ^but he could coax Hugo down to help him, he felt 
sure. 

And 80 his thoughts raced on until, exhausted, Arnold 



276 God's Man 

dozed, while Tom Lee eontinned steadily to feed the insatiaUt 
Pink. 

III. What Abkold Heabd is His Alcove 

HiB reflections, added to his slnmber, had consumed moit 
of the afternoon; the patrons of Mr. Clabber had long siDOi 
begun to gather, as more normal folk (though Clabbers peo- 
ple would have claimed the opposite) were beginning to gather 
for tea. Xor must it be imagined that Mr. Clabber's peo]^ 
in any radical wise lacked resemblance to the tea-drinkers. It 
was the profession of a majority of these Clabberites to mab 
their presences personable. Chiefly the difference between 
them and the tea-drinkers was in the matter of ostentation; 
each emphasized diflerent details. There was a greater du- | 
play of jewelry here where the other sort kept jewelry for vpt- 
cial occasions. Here with the men was too much insistence 
upon silken haberdashery, watch-fobs, solitaires. 

But all were quiet vocally if not sartorially. Clabber ad- 
mitted no others twice. Besides, his prices, including in 
assurance of safety and the amount of ezclusiveness one was 
willing to pay for, were too high for any who were not of 
Subterraneans aristocracy. As for the others, theatrical folk 
and such, this being what the tea-drinkers would have called 
the "smartest" of its sort, was the Mecca of many with names 
long and favorably known to the public, some of whom, com- 
ing late and unable to secure private rooms, were so imbued 
with the unconscious freemasonry their habit entailed that 
they took places in the common room. Peeping through the 
gaps in his fiber-curtains, Arnold saw a woman take her place 
in a bunk opposite him, a woman whose name blazed ewij 
night in electric letters ; her escort, through frequently pnb- 
lished photographs, was almost as widely known. Upon these 
Boy Number One, who had long left Arnold and Pink, wis 
dancing an eager and apologetic attendance. 

'TTou see ? . . " whispered Pink in a strained but tri- 
umphal whisper. . . . 



{ 



XHe Happenings of a Single Day 277 

Almost before the famous pair had drawn their curtains a 
lender girl in an ultra-fashionable costume appeared ; f ollow- 
ng her a youth, in clothes he fondly imagined to be of aristo- 
satic English lineage, was roundly denouncing Clabber, who 
rtood apologetically near by, for a lack of more extended 
leoommodations. 

^very time I come here and tell people they can get abso- 
luU privcLcy you're on hand with a stall. What've you got 
in those private rooms? Bank-presidents? BsiJik burglars 
more likely. Never again do I patronize this joint if I got 
h> take a stall, hear me ? Swell when steady customers like 
ne have to . . .** 

"Look who's here," came from behind a pair of curtains, 
and the girl instinctively reached up to cover a face already 
kearily veiled. "Why didn't you tip us His Nobs was coming, 
Clabber, and we'd all be standing in a row singing God Save 
ike Queen. Oh, mercy !" 

''Rich, ain't it, boy ?" Pink whispered to Arnold. "What's 
Cood enough for a couple of Broadway princes don't suit that 
little Joker that 'ud need assistance to roll a peanut. . . . 
I knew him when he couldn't get the ham and eggs out of 
iock, the shrimp ! . . ." 

The shrimp was now disclaiming bitterly any intention of 
compelling any "lady friend he brought there" to mount any 
Itdder to any upper bunk — the only vacant one being that just 
•bove Arnold's. But here the cause of the shrimp's solicitude 
proved more tractable than he and surmounted the elevation 
hj way of a pair of sliding steps that a Chinese servant had 
brought. 

"Burglars are polished gentlemen compared to a heel like 
ttat," murmured Pink. "Know what he is, don't you ? He's 
got all the earmarks — little head and little hat, a coffee-cup 
^id make a sunbonnet for him. Ssh ! Listen !" But there 
^as no sound from the bunk above. The lamp once alight, 
Oie youth, having discarded the upper portion of his near- 
Knglish attire, was too occupied in putting an end to the ter- 



278 God's Man 

rific yawns that were racking him, the protests of a body de- 
prived too long of its daily drug. 

"Be still, can't you ?'' they heard him snarl between two 
gigantic gapes. 

^TTou'U hear something rich if you go on listening,** Pink 
murmured into Arnold's ear. *^Vait till Petty Boy starti 
bullying that skirt. Why do these frails fall for such a lonae? 
He gets the finest, too. Women with swell clothes and apart- 
ments and automobiles — ^half-a-dozen on the string all the 
time. And, all together, they don't ever seem to let him 
have enough to blow to a round of drinks or a card of stuf 
He wouldn't give the Lord a prayer." 

Ordinarily disgust would have clouded Arnold's eyes; as 
it was he was only amused ; it seemed but a corollary of the 
universal militancy that such men as Petty Boy should eiist 
The women on whom they preyed in turn preyed on rich men, 
who preyed upon poor men, who begot sons who preyed on the 
women again. And if he was to be shocked at Petty Boy he 
must be shocked by the whole system, and he had not the time. 
"Fleas have smaller fleas to bite 'em, and so proceed ad ta* 
finitum," he quoted more or less correctly. 

"Well ?" they heard the girl above say. 

"Oh, I don't know," was the sulky reply. *Tve told you i 
dozen things to do, but you won't do 'em." 

"I tell you, Artie, he hasn't got the money/' fretfully, l^ 
stinctively Arnold bristled — the voice was familiar. 

"He'll do everything he can, but he's already doing ^AflC 
she continued in the same petulant tone. "And now this 
beastly, rotten old show's taken every last penny his father 
will give. . . ." 

"There you go," cut in the man, "cheap chippy vanitj. 
Whoever told you you could act ? Just slipped a cool to 
thousand to some canny kikes. Easy money. You ought io 
have your head examined and get that nest of titmice taint 
out of it . . . His father's got plenty of sugar, thon^ 



The Happenings of a Single Day 279 

ley?* There followed some exasperated reply, the truth of 
rhich the man hastened to admit. ^^That's all right. He's 
ixd heir, ain't he? He can raise all kinds of dough on his 
prospects. Some of these Jews down-town make a business 
if thai. Fifty and a hundred per cent, stuff. But what does 
lb« care if he'll get millions? . . . You do what I say. 
Tall him either he's got to marry you or settle something on 
yon so's the best years of your life won't be wasted like a lot 
of your friends' were — all that kind of rag-time. It always 
goes with suckers. If he don't do one or the other you'll walk 
<mt of his door never to return. That 'walk out the door 
never to return' is a sure-fire. Wonder if they think you'd 
iralk out the window or down the dumbwaiter if you didn't 
jut that 'door* in ? . . ." 

*T)ear old boy," the girl began, and at the affected manner- 
imi Arnold started, suspicions confirmed. 

"Chop the dear old Piccadilly stuff," growled the man. 

Tou're among friends where you can tell your right name. 

Ton have to do enough of that stalling when you're outa your 

dass — don't pull it here." Again an indistinguishable reply. 

Then, *T)on't answer me back like that, you little tramp, or 

youTl be wearing a heavy veil for a week after I get through 

with you. Don't get me mixed up with those Fifth Avenue 

>tp8. And don't start cracking you'd like to see the man 

who'd lift a hand to you, 'cause if you do you'll get your wish 

•11 right. . . ." 

A long silence followed, broken only by occasional sobs, 
then: 

"Artie, how can you be so brutal when you know how much 
I love you — ^" A growl. '*I'll do whatever you say." 

^That's right, then." He seemed suddenly to regain his 
Sood humor. 

"Let's go," whispered Arnold. *Tve had enough of this." 
NTow, indeed, was he sick at heart. Boy Number One, whose 
Ijnz-like ears caught the sound of their going, hurried after 



280 God's Man 

them, promising to keep intact Pink's share of Arnold's ^ 
after weighing out his own. '^How much we owe jou, 
Midge ?" asked Pink. 

"Well/' lisped the little man, 'Tm not sure I oughtn^ 
chargeth you as much as if you thmoked my stuff; you took 
up valuableth room. But — half-priceth then,*' he hastened 
to add, noting a stonny look. As Arnold opened the door be 
reminded him he was to telephone before he came next daj 
to deliver his merchandise — ^that the cash might be ready. 
Arnold nodded. It was the old Arnold again; self-inteieet 
swallowed by unselfish concern when affairs were not as thej 
should be with one closely allied. For a long cross-toini 
block his teeth were set, his hat pulled savagely over scowling 
brows. 

"What's on your mind ?" demanded Pink, as they reached 
Broadway. 'TTou look as happy as a cripple at the ciobl 
Old Colonel R. E. Morse sittin' on the shoulder? Was it i 
wicked little rascal to dally with the Oriental Pleasure? Or 
is the Common Enemy — the law — on your trail ?" 

Arnold settled his hat at a more usual angle, but the scofl 
remained unaltered. *^hat would you do if the fellow ttae 
two were talking about happened to be your friend T 1» 
asked suddenly, at which Master Pink whistled shrillj. 

"A pal/' he asked. "He is. Well—" and considered. ^'Bidlj 
stuck ?" he asked again. 

"Thinks the sun rises and sets in her," said Arnold with la 
oath. 

"Then don't you mix in," advised Pink solemnly. "I * 
member when I was doubled up with Helen Darling, shetdli 
me the Harmony Kid's gal — girl (I beat you to it)— •• 
running around under cover with Pewee Pratt Hfr 
mony's girl musta fell for his looks, jes — just Uffi te 
skirt — ^for he hadn't anything else. But when I hem 
it I run bellering to Harmony and he mitts me and iffi 
he thanks Gawd he's got one pal. Then he takes a ahii» 
out of a drawer and says he's going to furnish some lotfli 



The Happenings of a Single Day 281 

rith a lot of nice huming organs — ^heart and liver and every- 
hing. Well^ I grapples with him and grabs the shieve away 
nd cnt a gash in my pants that cost me the price of a new 
et of scenery. And I stick around with him all that night, 
;ettin' him so sonsed that when he wakes up next day liis 
lead *ull hurt too much for to go carving up anybody. Stood 
ne back a sawbuck doing it, for that Kid's only started after 
le's drunk up the Hudson and took the East Biver for a 
ihaaer. . . . Counting the new clothes, I'm out a couple 
veeks' profit. . . . Well, when he gets over his headache 
Qie girl sees him and explains everything, and the next time 
be Bees me he looks up to see what kind of weather we're going 
to have. And now he tells everybody I got him loaded and 
lifted his souper — ^he lost his watch somewhere that night. 
Me — cross a friend I Gee! You keep out of any sich mix- 
ups, Lord Montmorency de Villyers. Take a tip from a gink 
"Who has played 'em through." 
'Ifs a pretty selfish tip," returned Arnold sourly. 
'Trouble with you," commented Pink, "you keep thinking 
W things ought to be instead of how they are. This friend of 
Jtmrs is probably a damn sight happier with this frail than 
«ther of i« could be with a dame 'cause t£;e know too much. . . . 
Say, I was standing shivering on a street comer last winter, 
^ and Beau, not a bean to get the ham-an'-eggs outa hock, 
^ot even to grab a short and trolley ourselves down to Moth- 
^8. Ten above zero, too. And along comes a guy in a 
'Cgular bang-up sleigh, the nicest kind of a sable collar to his 
^t, and a piece of ice in his tie that made Tiffany's front 
^dow look like a hardware exhibit. But Beau and me had 
Jeit him out of half-a-century at the ^match' one night when 
ke wag drunk, a month before. So that little sap Beau says : 
Look at that little sucker! Sucker I Poor sucker! — ^nice 
tnd warm and rich and riding, and us wise guys — nice and 
iold and poor and walking. . . .' Don't be so sorry for 
hoBe 'gnekers.' Gi' me that lad's money and any skirt that 
ian get away with it can trim me out of it; if they don't I'll 



282 God's Man 

give it to them. The proudest day of my life's g 
when all the dames along this Lane point me out a 
thing. Them's my sentiments, as the poet says. Sir 
de Mortimer Montague. . . /* 

But as they parted, Pink to go in the direction of 
to change into his ^'uniform,'* as he called his dres 
he added one proviso : "Course it's up to you to see 
fall for that Petty Boy's frame-up. Kinda sugges 
it's a bad business to let women have much cash. I 
any girl I was doubled up with have more'n half a d( 
time. A dame with a whole dollar's too damn' indc 
Or else she comes home with some truck she bought 
was marked down two cents — a skirt figures if sh( 
thing at one dollar and ninety-eight cents instead of 
lars she's saved a dollar. They oughtn't to be trus 
dough at all." And so saying, went his way. 

IV. In Which Velvet Voice Does N"ot Wait fob 

TO Cast Heb Off 

After Pink had left him Arnold, moody and ; 
backed against an angle of a great theater that c< 
Broadway block and watched the street pass into the < 
possession of the sex he was engaged in hating. 

"Surely this is Madman's Lane — ^Madwomen's, ral 
swore sulkily, several toilettes more than usually blat 
ing offended him beyond reason, one a sheath-skirt "9 
row-shouldered, tight-hipped coat, a bright purple € 
the hat pulled so low that even its owner's moutl 
shadow as she hobbled along on stilt-like heels, waddl 
wise, in lame duck fashion. Another, • . . bi 
member the absurdities would be to catalogue as 
Homer's ships, that endless number. And, worst of ; 
displays of costly cloths, silks, satins and milliner] 
served their object. Their men-folk had been bankr 
proBfer modistes, tailors and milliners, who forced up 



THe Happenings of a Single Day 283 

dnded women fashions so radical^ so bifurcated and trun- 
ited^ biased and diagonaled^ as to serve only for the current 
it — ^to endeavor to remake them in accordance with new 
licts was to take apart a number of small bits that would 
jrve no purpose other than a crazy-quilt. 

This technical trickery, however, was not what enraged Ar- 
lold. It was that these styles suited only one woman in a 
core, the majority appealing to only one^s sense of humor — 
ight skirts on stout women, slashed skirts on angular ones, 
onall hats on bucket-like heads, large hats on tiny bird-like 
ames, high-heeled slippers bent sidewise from carrying double 
veight, short- vamped shoes on squat broad feet that, far from 
disguising their size, only gave them the appearance of tor- 
tured bunions yearning to burst through. Verily the birds 
and the silkworms had been slaughtered in vain, and men 
worked overtime to no purpose. 

"The waste of it all,'* Arnold thought bitterly, '^en like 
Archie Hartogensis worrying themselves sick to buy things 
ttat, nine times out of ten, don't even have the excuse of 
pleasing the eye. . . . And the self-suflSciency of these 
^omen !" 

He turned away in the direction of a cab-stand. But he 
>ansed before reaching it : he was at that stage where he felt 
^ must vent his ill-humor with the world on some one de- 
^nring verbal castigation — ^what use to go to Beeckman Place 
md waste rhetoric on Harley Quinn, the original of all 
misogynists : to him Arnold's opinions would be those of one 
tut graduated from kindergarten. . . . Some guilty one 
ras wanted, to whom his words would be insulting icono- 
lasms. . . . And, so bitter was he, the thought of Yel- 
et Voice produced no softening effect. ... He strode 
Bck toward Eighth Avenue, between which and upper Long- 
cre, on several streets, new apartments had replaced the 
rownstone fronts. 

Here then that Mecca of the Broadway habitant, a furnished 
partment, sitting- and bedrooms, kitchenette and bath^ in 



284 God's Man 

one of them Velvet Voice and the Little One with thei 
housekeeping. 

Arnold could hardly wait for the slowly rising elevate 
door was opened by a maid in the sort of cap and aprc 
chiefly associated with musical-comedy but transfenx^ 
life by the actresses therein. Their wearer, who seen 
dainty to be of practical use, announced Arnold in a t 
fected voice, and showed him into the sitting-room. ] 
never visited the place before. Now he saw, everywhc 
hand of the obnoxious Spedden — ^heavily gilded 
frames surrounding mediocre landscapes, hunting-scei 
still-life, tapestry hangings to doors and windows, whi 
niture of the Trianon sort, all commonplace but expe: 
and on mantel, tables, and on the top of i^e little wh 
tage-piano, a profusion of bric-a-brac and numberless 
graphs in silver and silver-gilt frames. On the mus 
an ambitious composition by a Bussian symphonist— 
one could execute without years of study. Part of he 
he supposed. 

The heavy scent of many cut flowers, an odoroui 
decay, himg over and weighed down his spirit with iii 
sweetness. Flowers were ever3rwhere: in long stemm 
hemian glasses, in high slender holders of chased sil 
bowls of china and cut-glass, and banked up and beri 
were pots and wicker-baskets of them hiding the firepL 
taste was displayed in their indiscriminate arrangem 
that for all their individual beauty, the effect product 
to the sensitive, much like the striking of rich hn 
chords. And Velvet Voice, entering, seemed like one 
own hardy chaste Northern roses set amidst sickly bu 
riant hothouse growths, a nymph of the greenwood, 
artificial fragrance of an Oriental harem. For she w: 
heavy rich robe of quilted silk that was shot with 
traceries and with silver threaded dragons, her feet : 
heeled gilt-toed Turkisli slippers, her hair, fresh fn 
ministrations of her maid — a masterpiece of artifice, tr 



The Happenings of a Single Day 285 

nd crowned by false curls^ and raised and interwoven with 
ike switches. He noticed^ angrily, that she, too, had come 
» the use of ronge : a hasty dab of it on either cheek only ac- 
'ntoated the pallor that was the result of nights spent in 
bacco-fonled air and days of sleep in a bedroom shut off 
om light by drawn blinds and heavy draperies. 
Tet, despite his anger, the old thrill returned at the sight 

her : that unaccountable thrill that was not passion — and 
erein lay its strength. Alberta Arden appealed far more to 
m physically, with her long sinuous lines and dark fringed 
es, half-closed at the sight of him. With this Velvet Voice 
was some cursed obsession, he told himself angrily : her soft 
ice welcoming him, he could not but answer tenderly. What 
IB it, this love? — ^hypnotism? What absurd nonsense to 
tempt to explain it as mere passion. Why, if this were 
ertie, they would have flown immediately into each other^s 
■ms; he would have clung to her, his eager lips on hers, 
at, afterward, there was nothing. Through this girl's eyes 
I saw visions, dreamed conquests, was lifted upward and 
iward, damn her. 

"I*m glad you finally decided to come,'* slie said. No word 
f their quarrel, of his determination never to see her again. 
Uybe she thought that was all nonsense: that he was unable 
) live without sight of her, and would accept any terms — 
rould even take Spedden seriously. The thought drove out 
he welling tenderness : he would show her what a real man 
ns like. 

*! was going to write you,*' she went on. . . . Fool ! 
fhj hadn't he waited: she would have capitulated. (Thus 
is traitor heart against his masterful head.) "Yes, I wanted 
im to understand, and show you're a true friend by coming to 
J wedding. It vnll be just a small affair." 
Numbed by the shock though he was, his sense of humor 
aght the readiness with which these women acquired the 
ood form" patter — *'only a small affair" — and a few months 
fore working in a factory ! — ^^'just a few friends." — ^There it 



286 God's Man 

was again : the society noTelists' jargon — ^ouTl come, ironi 
you?" . • • And then, in shrill alarm : '^Whaf s the nut- 
ter with you, Arnold. . . . Don't touch me — you foigel 
yourself — ^' Still quoting from the novels. 

He had risen with a white awful face, and had caught Ler 
wrists, hurting them sorely. Then he grinned, a ^lastly sort 
of grin it was ; and slowly but with irresistible pressure, drew 
her to him until their eyes met : when, releasing her wrista, he 
forced back her head, and kissed her cold tightly-closed lips. 
His own were colder, tighter : the action had nothing of the 
caress in it It was merely one of ownership ; of one who, har- 
ing his property, could use it at his wilL Then he pushed her 
away. She caught at the little white piano for support, and 
stared at him with frightened eyes. 

'TTou are going to get married, my dear," he said savagely. 
"I'm ready. Take off that trash you've got on, put on pur 
street clothes, and come on. I've stood all the foolishness 
from you I'm going to. I've got a little money and well get 
married now — right now. D'you hear, Eunice? . . • 
Well , aren't you going to do what I tell you to ?' 

He pau^ed, the look in his eyes was just as terrifying, but 
it no longer seemed to discompose the girL 

"You've been drinking," she said contemptuously. *Toii 
wouldn't act this way if you hadn't been. What right have 
you ? I've got my chance to be somebody and nobody's going 
to take it away from me. What do you know about being 
poor? Six months. Is that ten years? I've got to ha^e a 
lot of pleasure to make up for that. lyyou think you or anj 
other man can take the place of Paris clothes and motor-cais 
and servants to wait on you day and nighty and eveiything 
made pleasant for you? Give all that up for love? Not be- 
fore you've had it, had the pleasure that goes with it . . • 
I tell you I want to live! 1 want to see the world, all the 
wonderful places and people and cities and boulevards and-* 
everything ! I want to be somebody: to know the big people d 
the world and have the little people respectful to me. I wutk 



ie Happenings of a Single Day 287 

sit in opera-boxes and wear clothes and jewels that^l make peo- 
ple stare. I want to lie back in my motor-car and watch peo- 
ple get out of the way. I want all the things IVe never had. 
I want— everything^' — she made a wide sweep of her hand 
— ^^^oney can buy. And, my dear bo/* — she was at the 
novels again now, the bored duchess manner — ^'^do you really 
think the difference between you and Mr. Spedden is worth 
^ving up all those things ? If you do, you must be insane. 
*Money can't buy love,' you hear all the fools say. Who wants 
love when they can have everjrthing else : one hasn't time for 
it When the time comes, I dare say love will come with it- 
Apply then, my dear Arnold. At present, I'm not to let." 

She made him a low curtesy, her eyes satirical. "That cave- 
man display of yours was quite well done, though," she added. 
"It gave me a real thrill. I wanted for a moment to let my- 
lelf go. If it's any consolation to you, Arnold, believe me 
Pd sooner marry you with half of Spedden's money, even a 
quarter, I guess. But can't you understand? — ^if anybody 
csin you ought to, considering what poverty drove you to — ^" 
She was referring to the suicide she supposed he had at- 
tempted : he had never thought to undeceive her. ^Ttemem- 
fcer, I would have done the same thing in a few days— only I 
knew how better than you." He remembered the rubber-tube 
"•rith its red lining, that evidence of cold-blooded preparation 
that had made him shudder, and he recognized in her voice 
tile same note she had used then. And the sudden fire that 
tiad flared up into savagery gave its last flicker at the realiza- 
tion of a determination just as coldly logical, just as in- 
capable of being shaken, as that one of yesteryear. 

Something in his despairing look softened her. She crossed 
to him, sat on the arm of his chair, caressed his hair. '^Ar- 
nold, dear," she said softly. 'T!n the struggle to support me, 
io give me what you want the woman you love to have, you'd 
have to give up all you want yourself. You wouldn't be a 
dever boy any more, you wouldn't be able to make your mark. 
ToaM just be a married man, with hard work to keep up the 



288 God's Man 

life-insurance and pay the doctor for bringing your children 
into the world. And you'd hate me in a year or so for ruin- 
ing your career. All this talk about love^ Arnold, is childifih- 
ness : pure childishness. One woman's not much diflEerent from 
another after you get used to having her around. That idea 
of the 'only one' — it's been responsible for half the trouble in 
the world : hatred and jealousy and murder. If s always the 
toy that's hardest to get that looks the prettiest, dear Amoli 
. . . We're such a young country. I've been reading lots 
lately and I'm beginning to understand human nature better. 
The older races marry their boys and girls before they see one 
another — and they have more happy marriages than we do. 
It's all a question of suitability, indeed it is: thafs what 
brings happiness in marriage. Marry and have your romance 
afterward, the French say — ^your romances — but marriage's 
an important business matter. You want to be sure your 
partner's bringing her share into the firm — and what would 
I bring you ? You couldn't let me go on taking tips as a tele- 
phone girl and jollying men to get them. And, to support 
me, you'd have to give up the things that make you happy. 
. . . Can't 3'ou see ?" 

He had never loved her more than then, but he noddei 
"When does it take place ?" he asked, his coolness surpriaing 
him. 

She shook her head. "I'm hoping he'll let me go abiad 
iirst and get a sort of polishing-o£E in one of those Frend 
convents where the rich Americans go to mix with the Enf 
lish girls and learn their tricky ways of talking and aU th» 
little mannerisms a fashionable woman ought to know. • • • 
For I'm going to be a very fashionable woman, Arnold, d»» 
and it's all up to me — I must get rid of that kind of talk; \ij 
the way — ^not *up to me' but — ^well I can't think of anythiBg 
else — I mean I'll have to do all the work because he's 006 of 
those self-made millionaires who wears ready-made dotheaanl 
can't talk about anything except things that bore fashionaliii 
people. . . . How I've studied them and their waya anl 



The Happenings of a Single Day 289 

iheir talk since I've been at Sydenham's. • • . So I hope 
hell let me do that first. Then we can be married abroad and 
111 know some smart girls and they^l come to the wedding 
with their people^ and it will amount to something — instead 
of being a ynlgar newspaper story about Western Millionaire 
Marries Telephone Girl.' A thing like that would take years 
to get over. I hope I can make him see it my way. Less 
than a year's all I ask for. ... I think'' — she meditated 
— **that 111 try that trick of saying : If you don't love me 
enough to wait a year for me, here's your ring' — ^that gen- 
erally works^ I'm told. But, one way or another, I'm leaving 
America in a week. So, if he insists, I'll be married next 
Monday, the day before the Chartic sails — ^I'm booked on 
hei--" 

Arnold never remembered how he made his adieux and got 
to the street. He was conscious of answering questions, of 
breaking these long speeches of hers with appropriate com- 
ments and suggestions: but he remembered none of them. 
Only there danced before him an ugly picture of the un- 
Bpeakable Spedden bursting out of a smart morning-coat and 
white gloves, a lily-of-the-valley in his straining buttonhole, 
« pair of perspiring red ears — ^he had never before seen ears 
perspire. And opposite Spedden was Annie Eunice • • • 
while, like a drowsy honey-glutted bee, a fashionable rector 
in smart priestly garb intoned a service, each syllable a liv- 
ing horror, implying as it did unalienable possession of her 
hf that red-eared minotaur. . . . 

But the effect of Captain Danny's drug had spent itself 
How, leaving him weak ; for the thoughts and impressions of 
many hours had been crowded into two, and the hours follow- 
ing must be bankrupt. A profound listlessness had set in even 
iriiile the girl still spoke : now he no longer saw even the pic- 
ture at the altar. He was conscious only of a desire to rest: 
lie wished he were in Havre de Grace, where no sound save 
ibe waves' lullaby reached his little whitewashed bedroom. 
mm. But it was almost as still at Beeckman Place. 



290 



God's Man 



"I feel a little faint/' he had said, without apology, cuttinj 
her short as she spoke of her coming jonmey. ''Wotdd yon 
telephone Quinn that I'm coming home — East Eiver 200 it 
is — and then ask the oflSce to get a tazicab. . . /' Hii 
voice sounded far away ; he was almost on the point of lookiiig 
around to see who had entered the room. A surging, as of t 
great sea, sounded in his ears. The shock of her announcement, 
of his own violent outbreak, of her cool planning which de- 
stroyed the last vestige of his hope, added to his angiy con- 
cern for Hugo caused by the whispering in the alcove— ill 
combined to wear off the drug effect quickly, and leave him 
almost inert. 

She gave a little cry of alarm. "Arnold, dear boy"— but 
he repulsed her feebly : he did not want one to touch him irho 
could so calmly consider an alliance with that red-eared mon- 
ster. He was again puzzled that he could ever have desired 
her. He remembered he had come there to make an end b^ 
tween them forever. "Just as well she did it,'* he muttered 
gruflBy but in an exhausted tone, "or I'd have done it myself.** 
He was not conscious of the absurdity of this from one ^ 
had so recently turned Berserker for love of her. 

^TDear, dear, dear boy," she murmured distractedly, and be- 
gan to bathe his forehead with some pungent preparation, di- 
recting the musical-comedy maid to do the telephoning he 
had requested. Her fingers, the necessity for hard labor over, 
seemed to have gained the velvet qualities of her voice. But 
Arnold accepted the purely physical pleasure of the contact: 
it kindled no flame. And still she murmured over him lib 
a mother over a favorite child, hurt through some matentl 
remissness. In a dull apathetic way, Arnold had a feeliof 
that, if he were to urge his helplessness as strongly as he hil 
urged his strength, her remorse would force consent, for al 
logic flies from a woman who has been made to feeL Asi 
at this moment. Velvet Voice was stirred to her depths. 01 
guard, the genuine affection she had for him roee up, almoit 
overpowering her. Her fingers moved slower^ rested haff^ 



The Happenings of a Single Day 291 

ipon his Bkin. What soft skin he had for a man^ not moist 

md sticky like Spedden's, nor unpleasantly dry like other men's 

— flof t but firm^ and so white and clear • . . and warm. 

k desire to voice soft cooing endearments almost choked her: 

a tenderness that strained tears to her eyes swept over her. 

. . , To inspire love in a woman is to combine the fear 

of a faithful dog with the maternal desire to cradle and to 

lock. To win a woman wholly one must be both master and 

diild : master enough to cause her to thrill at his touch, child 

^enough to rest helpless upon her breast. Both of these Arnold 

liid been in that hour. And so it was the moment for him 

1o etretch up his hands, drawing her down until his head was 

pillowed upon her. But he was too tired to want anything. 

Then, so complex is life, so many the strings, so tiny the 

bys — the telephone rang, and she, who might not have waited 

fe his desire but have acted on her own, must answer it. 

And, at the mention of the waiting cab, Arnold was on his 

fct, bidding her good-by, was evidently eager to depart. 

Long after he had gone, she lay in the gathering dusk, 
bating the heavy odor of the dying flowers, clasping tightly a 
>oft pillow of eiderdown. Once the maid thought she heard 
l^moan. 

V. COKCEBNINO DULNESS IN THE COFFEB TrADE 

To Mr. Quinn— christened Harvey, from which the pre- 
tenultimate letter had been deleted and in its stead one sub- 
tituted that carried out his grotesque humor in nomenclature 
-—the countries, counties and cities of his wanderings, ex- 
ited only as names for various local dishes, delectable or 
otherwise. He only regretted that from his occasional funds 
ihere must be deducted the price of clothes sufficiently pre- 
Msntable to admit him to the restaurants where these dainties, 
Mrith suitable liquid accessories, flourished at their best. 
Diereforey the anxious Captain Danny having arrived be- 
BcKv his tim« and speaking of Yucatan, Mr. Quinn was 



292 God's Man 

moved to execute some masterpieoes of friJoUs, ch 
came, and some weird dulce compounded with citroD 
rum and flour paste^ the ingredients for most of which 
patched the willing Danny some fourteen blocks: th 
was as crestfallen as a painter rejected of Academy oi 
when Arnold merely sampled these achievements of i 
and put down knife^ fork and spoon. 
. *^omen?'' diagnosed Mr. Quinn accurately and disg 
for Captain Danny's benefit : he knew his quasi-master 
heeded nor heard him when in downcast moods — ^whic 
often lately. **Just loves misery, the boss does — eats i 
If he hasn't it for breakfast, he keeps it on ice for 
Misery's always fresh in this house. ... If it's y 
boss, I see the prettiest little peach down to the con 
was hoping you'd be back, so's I could get your word 
some candles — ^we need 'em case the electric lights bl 
some day. Not that they're going to but why take c 
and anyway I gotta have an excuse for speaking to he 
works behind the counter in that lamp store over o 
Street. Never let a woman think you go outa your 
meet her : it swells her all up. She gets to think too < 
well of herself. This one's the flirty kind and would i 
a fellow like you easy. ... I see her give the eye 
of those jacks-in-uniform visiting this hyer captain's 
next door — I was going to make a play for her myself, : 
and he sighed but struggled nobly to preserve an appe 
of having done so only because short of breath — ^^'anytl 
get you out of the dumps, boss. Think of all the things 
got to be glad of. Anywhere you look. You don't ta 
him for instance" — indicating Captain Danny — ^^'or in 
can grab all the females that you want Fellows thi 
like us 'uve got some reason to look grumpy. We gott 
them that'll have us. Why, if I thought all I had to do 
be to walk around the comer and get that girl in the 
store, I'd sing little songs all the time — until they lo(4 



The Happenings of a Single Day 293 

But noticing that Arnold's chin was sinking lower on his 

ooUar, he despaired and clattered off with the dishes. Captain 

Danny, thinking of roseate Fourteenth Street and time wasted 

that might be profitably employed in laying the corner-stone 

of a magnificent edifice of intoxication, coughed deprecatorily ; 

hemmed and hawed, and, with an apologetic gesture, touched 

Arnold's arm. "Found the stuff A No. 1, didn't you, Mr. 

A L. H. ?" he asked a little tremulously. "Don't tell me no, 

'cause that would be a fine piece of sail-making if you didn't, 

tfter all that greaser Don and his Chink said — swore, by Jim- 

miny. Hard on an old shell-back that sweated blood to lay 

up savings for a safe harbor and good docking after the last 

cmise. Swing the couple of 'em up in my own rigging if 

they steered me wrong, so I would, Mr. A. L. H." And the 

little brown turtle face looked uncommonly fierce, like that 

of a diminutive pirate who made up in ferocity for what he 

lacked in size. "Even if I swing myself up afterward. What 

'ud I do in my old age when nobody 'ud give me a ship?" 

He would have gone on indefinitely had not Arnold stopped 

him by calling Quinn to fetch his cheque-book ; at which the 

bronzed face lit up and the flexible turtle neck drew back into 

the huge white turnover collar that in the city was evidently 

Ids concession to fashion, along with a suit of hard shiny cloth 

80 stiff that it seemed to be cut from the same wood-fiber that 

Clabber used for curtains. 

"I'll post-date it a day," Arnold explained, when he had 
sent Quinn back to his kitchen. "You can't cash it until 
Wednesday, I mean." And as a perplexed frown came to 
Captain Danny's face, "The stuff we oi)ened was first-rate. 
We're going to select half-a-dozen more to try out to-morrow, 
and if they're the same, don't bother about your cheque not 
being cashed Wednesday." Captain Danny's face cleared. 
**K thejr're inferior, we'll have to make another deal. That's 
fair, isn't it? You don't need cash right this minute, do 
you?" 

'*No, sir; no, Mr. A. L. H.," returned Captain Danny, 



294 God's Man 

bridling. '^No, sir ; a captain's wages at the end of a cruke 
donH leave him precisely a derelict, no, sir. . . . As &r 
the stuff, if one can was A No. 1, they^ all be the same or the 
Cormoranfs a low-down freighter. And God knows shA 
beat all records for clipper-ships. Did I tell you about her 
run from Bio when the owner, old Mr. Archibald, was aboard? 
. . .^ He went maundering on while Arnold wrote the 
cheque and filled in the stub. "There,** he said, cutting him 
short, and Captain Danny rose to go. 

*rBy the way,'* asked Arnold. **When does the Cormorant 
go out again?'* The question seemed involuntary, a mere 
piece of politeness, that would atone for lack of interest in his 
story. At least so Arnold told himself. That foolish plan 
which in all its comprehensive details had flashed upon him 
at Clabber*s had nothing to do with it — he should say not 
Yet he had an uneasy consciousness that, after all, it might 
Nonsense,'* he said aloud. 

Xo, sir ; not nonsense, though it sounds so to say the finest 
clipper-built ship afloat 'ull be idle for months,** protested Cap- 
tain Danny, and Arnold saw that the sailor had been ansver- 
ing his question. "The flrm has just got more Rio in iti 
warehouses than it has orders for and till it sells half it's got 
anyway, what's the sense of loading up with more — ^which i« 
a fine piece of kcel-hauling as I said myself to old Hr. Archi- 
bald, Esquire, my owner — ^a fine piece of barratry and mutiny, 
says I, when the firm of A. V. V. & Co., oldest in the colfee 
trade, ain't even got one ship afloat — ^for the two othen ii 
hired out to Mastersons, guano trade. But not the Ctur- 
morant. Mr. A. V. V., Esquire, ain't going to have the finrf 
clipper-ship afloat stunk up by guano, not him, not if she gets 
barnacles on her bottom as big as a bunch of bananas. And, 
showing what it is to work for gentlemen, he gi'es me half-pey 
all the time she's idle sooner'n lose his oldest skipper. . . * 
'Cause I was in the trade when the coffee clipper fleet (mb 
Baltimore — ^the Leverings and the Stewarts and all them old- 
time merchantses — ^was as big as the U. S. Navy. We hid 






TKe Happenings of a Single Day 295 

times them days, Mr. A. K H., owners betting almost as much 
•8 what their cargo was worth on what their skippers and 
diips eonld do, and the skippers getting bonuses every time 
ihey won a bet. I was apprentice then, and I thought when 
I got to be skipper I'd be regular rich. But steamers got to 
lell too cheap since then. Nasty dirty boats all covered with 
loot, they are, the kind in the coffee trade ; old worn-out scrap- 
engines. And as my old captain always said, ^Dirty ship, 
dirty cargo.* You ought to see the Cormorant. Bat your 
dinner off her deck any time. Cleanliness, says I to my boys, 
18 next to godliness, leastwise so they say, but I ainH sure for 
• sailorman that churches got holystoning beat much at 
that. • • . 

Arnold heard very little of these reminiscences and opin- 
ions. His mind's eye held a picture of the peninsula philoso- 
pher talking of his Fights and Purposes. . . . Was it 
truth after all, or was it only coincidence that things were 
being made so fatally easy for him to do what he knew he 
Ehonld not do ? And yet— why not ? If it was written that 
be should do this, what was the use to struggle ? Some fresh 
exigency would arise to compel him if he were not content to 
obey* Who was he to say that it was evil if circimistances so 
persistently drove him to its execution ? ... He roused 
Mmself to hear the last of Danny's harangue. 

*Ton think she could be hired, then?' he asked idly. The 
sailor burst into an eulogy of his ship calculated to strengthen 
any wavering idea of such hire. "I was just thinking," Ar- 
nold remarked, as though the matter was of small moment, 
^that if Don Gomez had much of such stuff as I tried to-day 
it would be worth a f ortime if it was brought to New York— 
hy a man who was willing to take big chances for big profits," 
lie added meaningly. "No need to tell the owners what for. 
Or you might say — ^let's see — that I was going down there 
for some newspaper that wanted to investigate the truth of 
fhe revolution we hear is coming off. . ... I don't say 
Fve got any intention of doing it^ but you might cable Don 



296 



God's Man 



I 



Gomez in some words the telegraph people wouldn't under- 
stand and ask him how much he could have ready, workiiig 
day and night shifts^ in the next month or so. And you 
might find out how much the Cormorant could be hired for, 
cost of running her down there and back, and how much 
would have to be paid your men to keep quiet. ITl pay any 
expenses you go to to give me these figures. . . . But, 
mind, I don't say I'd ever do it. I'd have to lay it before 
some capitalists. Just see you don't let it out, thafs all, or 
I wouldn't touch it with fire-tongs. ... By the bye, Mr. 
Van Vhroon's nephew — ^you know him?" He cut short 
Captain Dann/s usual verbosity. "He's one of my best 
friends. That's all the reference you need." Another fa- 
tally easy detail, he thought grimly. "And, mind you, a 
newspaper cruise. No mention of the Waldemar Company or 
my connection with it, understand ? Just a newspaper man 
on a trip of investigation — ^" 

Captain Danny's small turtle neck was lengthening and 
contracting, his little eyes gleamed and glittered, his hands 
trembled. "It's a fortune, sir," he managed to breathe; *^ 
easiest fortune ever was made since they dug gold out in Cali- 
fornia. If you're thinking of it, you go on thinking, take my 
word. It's a chance I'd take myself if I had the scads; I 
often thought of it. It 'ud put old Mr. A. V. V., Esquire, on 
his feet if he'd listen to me and do it, but he's one of the dd- 
fashioned sort — old school, he is," said Captain Danny pity- 
ingly. "Sich ideas don't get you nowhere nowadays. Whick 
is why he's going to shut up shop one of these here fine daji 
and file his petition, so he is. Wouldn't listen to hia besk 
friend — ^a fine piece of sail-making, that is. . . . I'm glad 
you're known to young Mr. Archie, 'cause old Mr. A. V. T, 
Esquire, might think I'd gone somewhere else with my schena 
if you was a stranger to him. . . . But," and hia faea 
became suddenly overcast, "he knows you're at Waldemar'^ 
don't he ? That settles it, Mr. A. L. H. He wouldn't bin 
you the Cormorant if it saved him from bankruptcy, not (b 



The Happenings of a Single Day 297 

old gentleman. ..." Captain Danny sank down^ dispir- 
ited. 

**He doesn't know me at all/* said Arnold wearily. If only 
he did; if something would only intervene to make the project 
impossible, to lessen this damning feeling of being propelled 
from behind. "And ni see that his nephew doesn't tell him. 
But cable Don Gomez first — see if it's worth while. Thaf b 
ill. Captain. I'm very tired. Good night." 

When his visitor was gone he sat a long time before the 

fire, watching it intently yet seeing neither coal nor flame, 

instead only the scornfully wise face of the peninsula philoso- 

I^er, as he told him one did not suffer so much only to moon 

away his life with an unanswered question in his eyes. "Why?" 

And he had replied he did not wish to know. But it had been 

a lie; he wanted to know more than he wanted wealth or 

Women or fame. Why — ^why — ^why — ^why was he driving to- 

irard the rocks of cynicism and crime? Or was it cynicism? 

I^erhaps it was truth. Was it crime? Crime was only a 

Word; like morals, as many wise men had said, a matter of 

geography. Was it not rather that he should acquire wealth, 

he who would use it so well, who thus would be enabled to 

belp the weak in their losing battle against the strong? 

He thrust these sophistries from him angrily — ^they were 
kbe Hartogensis brand, a type of hypocrisy, grown all too fa- 
miliar of late. . . . The strong must always be the vic- 
tors. It was they who must be helped, must be taught that 
Imppiness did not lie on the side of selfishness. The weak — 
the rabble — ^must first become strong before iJiey could be 
taught anything. They were only what they were because 
they feared; give them power and they were more merciless 
than the strong — as are a pack of wolves than a single lordly 
lion. If the lions could only be taught to help instead of 
harm, not for any moral reason but because that way led to 
the most and best in life. When strong men learned this, 
then, like the Crusader Lucas and the Chevalier Etienne, 
things happened that were worth while. 



298 God's Man; 

Their faces looked up at him out of the fire. For all tlii 
Crusader's cap of chain-male and the Chevalier's steel bomieiy 
they seemed singularly kind — and singularly like his own. Ha 
thrilled at the thought. And there was the name L'Honmie* 
dieu — ^^'God's Man/' That was the answer. Evil was piled 
in his way that he might conquer it. And the figures d hil 
childhood's Pilgrim's Progress, creatures of quaint eighteenth- 
century wood-cuts, peopled the flames. 

"Christian" had obstacles to surmount^ battles to fight, foa 
to slay, that weaker souls might pass in safety. That vtt 
indeed the answer. . . . Christian. . . . **God'i 
Man" — God's Knight — God's Chevalier. And what WM 
their descendant? 

Picked out in the blue gases and deep reds of the grate, he 
saw a prisoner in clanking chains. Leering evil shapes were 
about him and foul spawn were at his feet. Glaring up at 
him from dark desperate eyes, a monstrous ogre witii a 
knotted club sat ready to fell him to earth should he oeaae to 
observe the filth at his feet — ^for he had only to look overhead 
to see a way of escape, and just beyond the shepherds of the 
Delectable Mountains. . • . "Christian in the Power of 
Giant Despair," the old wood-cut had been captioned. In- 
stinctively Arnold squared his shoulders. Quinn, entering at 
the sound of his chair grating back, was gratified at the li^ 
of his smiling face. 

'Tlemember when you worked for my Dad — or rather got 
first aid to the injured ? How'd you like to live down thert 
all the time — ^there instead of here ? Matter to yon, Quinnyr 

**With ducks fiying so thick you can bring 'em down wift 
a bean-shooter and sturgeon and black bass and all kinds U 
small fish hopping around as sassy and as many is Uaj- 
flies, and reed-birds in clouds and snipses and qnailaea lA 
armies and as many lobster-pots as there is buoys in the bar 
bor that somebuddy set to save you trouble I Matter I Anl 
beds BO soft the oysters get as fat and juicy as orango^ md 



TKe Happenings of a Single Day 299 

bushels of dams and shell-fish at every low-tide. And — but 
what's the use? It only makes me himgry. Matter! I 
ihoiild say it does matter. Why, I was willing to work to 
stick around your place. DidnH I do odd jobs at Waldemar's 
after I left you? But after that the floating population 
seemed to ha' grabbed every other job and after I got so tired 
havin' my right arm so numb from being tied up 'cause I lost 
it in the war and was therefore deserving of free pie, I quit. 
• . . But that* s my ideas of dying and goin' to Heaven, 
Boss. I dare you to turn me loose among all that food. I'll 
bet you if anybody ever stayed to our house a week they'd 
bust right out laughing every time anybody ever talked about 
the Caffy de Parry or Mr. Plaza's. I dare and double-dare 
you." 

^TTou're on," said Arnold, still smiling, and held out his 
&and. 

What a fool he had been to pay any attention to that non- 
■ense of the peninsula philosopher. Down there,- with a 
beneficent Nature outside and absorbing work within, life was 
is it should be. He had been back here less than a day and 
Iras reduced to melancholy brooding already, had taken opium, 
had hatched a nefarious scheme while under its influence, had 
learned of Hugo's regrettable waste of affection, Bobbie 
Beulah's cheap infatuation and pitiful treachery, had been 
enraged by a street full of painted, half -dressed peafowl 
women, had seen the girl he loved turn sordid and mer- 
cenary. 

Fight? What was there to fight up here? These people 
were unredeemable. Let them go the way they liked. If he 
temained too long among them he would be the same. His 
jnefsage was to others than these. • • • 

*Tres — ^to-morrow night," he told Quinn. ''See that trunk 
the Captain brought? Make two equal consignments of 
idiaf 8 in it. Mark one for 'M. Clabber, 47th Street,' the 
ether for ^. Apricott, Bupert Passage.' Use a couple of 



300 God's Mart 

those grocery boxes in the cellar. Be sure and nail 'em up 
tight. . . . I'm going back home to-morrow. Yon cai 
come as soon as you arrange everything here/' 

VI. The Pink EIimono Comes Back to Bebgkican Pua 

His foot was light npon tlie stair as he bounded up to bit 
room. The very thought of Havre de Grace was like opening 
a window in a close room and seeing the smoke and the vapon 
incontinently driven forth. He would get Clabber's money in 
the early afternoon ; but, before that, he would have cloeed 
with Enoch Apricott for the balance of the stuff. He bietr 
from Pink and Beau that were the bargain worth the tronble 
Mother Mybus could raise any reasonable amount of cash on 
demand. If he got less from her than from Clabber — ^well— 
the Clabber sale was a stroke of luck, anyway. . . . And 
he could be aboard the Havre de Grace Express and home in 
time for dinner. 

As he stumbled about on the upper landing, fumbling for 
tho hall gas, a pungent odor attracted his attention. Bertie^i 
favorite perfume. How it lingered. And that reminded 
him he must have Quinn pack her things, notably her silw 
toilet-set — s, mark of progress, that set — a present from her 
first admirer. At her own place she had a gold one, Gayton'i 
donation. Poor Bertie I He would write and explain. Pte^ 
haps *'old Gayton" could be won back if Arnold made ha 
understand how hopeless their affair was. • • . He hated 
himself for such thoughts. It was another proof of Manhat- 
tan's ill influence that he could calmly think of her in tbe 
arms of a man she hated. But, after all^ why blink mattetif 
What was the difference between Velvet Voice manying 
Spedden and Bertie accepting Gayton's ^'protection''? S» 
would soon begin the little battles of her craft again, sendinf 
him away, seeing him only when her bank-account was ia 
jeopardy. Perhaps, if Gayton really cared for her and Bertii 
was clever, she could arrange it so that he would settle aoiOM' 



The Happenings of a Single Day 301 

; on her. Arnold would arrange for some one to suggest 

Pink, for instance. Maybe she might find consolation 
nk. Then she might have both money and love, 
nold laughed. Then his eyes hardened. A nice set of 
^hts, truly ! A year before he would have seen no com- 
n Pink's oblique view-point, indeed would have scorned 
an acquaintance. But it was difficult to scorn Pink 

he knew his outlook, actions, avocations and occupa- 
were but the result of example and environment. He 
een life so lived, had neither created nor desired, only 
ted it. And his quaint, vivid, often picturesque speech 
ed such accurate observation and felicity of expression 
had he had the proper training, these gifts might have 

him a "star-reporter,** a highly-paid writer of adver- 
ents, even of fiction. It was not by choice he was what 
IS. How gladly he had availed himself of the oppor- 
j to "turn square,** even though the reward was less, 
ere was that confounded puzzle, that iniquitous philoso- 
3 wliy — why — why. And of all the "why*8** why could 
6 cease from troubling himself about other people's af- 
? ... He smiled grimly ; that was easily answered. 

was his work, his future. His brow wrinkled again; 
more the imanswered question was in his eyes, and he 
itruggling against a belief in what the philosopher had 
lesied. . . . Joy fied him, and he felt it fleeing, 
this sort of thing to go on forever ? In that case small 
are was in store for him, home or anywhere. . . . 
sound in the next room startled him. BecoUecting he 
ailed to direct Quinn to call him early, he was about to 
is voice for his retainer, when the sound was repeated. 
18 as though some one dropped a shoe from a bedside, 
then he knew that Bertie had entered with her latch-key 

he had sat before the fire. He knew he should be 
led and angry, should lock his door; at any sign of 
sion should make bold to say what he had intended to 



302 God's Man 

But — Buch is human nature — ^he was conscious of far difo- 
ent emotions. Nor was he angiy that it should be so. Hi 
remembered only that Bertie was very, very pretty, very, my 
much desired^ and that she loved him very, very much. A& 
of which, coming on Velvet Voice^s rejection of him, filled hia 
with a fierce satisfaction. To his qualms of disturbed oo- 
science he made angry replies. Had he sought Bertie oat? 
Would it not be brutal to reject her without warning after ber 
long absence, just when she thought to give >iiTn a pletaut 
surprise ? Was he stone that he could endure the sound of 
sobbing all night? Had he given her the latch-key; bad ib 
not had it made herself ? 

At the third sotmd, that of a window opening, he fonod 
himself trembling. A pleasurable tremor it was, too, and it 
brought him to his feet and took him toward the door. Ha 
was hardly conscious of his actions ; he submitted them to tba 
approval of neither brain nor conscience. His exit into tte 
hall was almost involuntary. Then came the opening of kit 
door, the quick closing of it, behind him. . . . At tltt 
sight of the room's many little feminine touches his trembling 
became violent, his voice, when he tried to find it, was simpij 
nowhere. 

The little fringed pink shades of the candles on her dreii- 
ing table threw the light downward on her polished silw 
brushes, on her cut-glass bottles. How little a woman's touch 
changes a room, yet how much. The cretonne hangings to 
the windows, the soft furry mat on the floor by the bed, tb 
lace doily under another pink-handed candle on the ni^ 
table, and in its light her long jeweled bar-pin, her rings, hff 
golden vanity-case and mesh-bag studded with brillianti, An 
gold baby-pins that had fastened her blouse, all lay in i 
sparkling, shiny mass — all was as before, and over all tb 
delicate odor of iris, so much her own particular perfume tW 
it was a part of her. . . . Everything as before. Shi 
might never have gone away. . . . 

A curious sense of the naturalness of the situation gave luB 



pTKe Happenings of a Single Day 303 

chance to think. He was soothed and lulled by habit, 
At the traitor that bids the brain not bother about matters 
irorthy its attention ; and, while it rests, infringes upon its 
TOgallTes. Unconsciously, then, Arnold's eyes sought a 
oiliar object that was missing — the pink kimono that 
»uld hang on the closet door. Slowly he turned and saw 

* wrapped in its filmy folds. What a beautiful thing she 
s! so soft and appealing, what a childish neck and shoul- 
"8, with just the faintest indication of shoulder-blades under 

* rosy flesh, flesh that seemed so alive ; even her hands — ^not 
e the cold, unresponsive hands of most women, the result 
calculating hearts that beat out just enough blood for prac- 
il purposes. She was warm, vivid, like a tropical flower 
a long slender stem. 

Later that night he was puzzled to know what persuasions 
) had used to break down his defenses. What had brought 
8 aflair back to where it had been when she went away ? He 
dd remember nothing; could not tell, even, how he had 
rsuaded himself. He had thought it would be brutal to 
k his door against her — ^he recalled that. But between 
:h a negative and the affirmative of kisses and caresses there 
a only a blank. . . . 

Actually when their eyes met she had put out two small 
ttering hands, and he had come forward to take them just 
he had always done. And then the scent of the iris be- 
tne mingled with another, subtler and sweeter — ^that "per- 
me of her presence'^ one reads of. It overpowered Arnold, 
always. He drew her to him and breathed her deeply, the 
ft lace and diaphanous silk of the pink kimono pressed 
ainst his face. 

And then she seemed to be seized by a sudden wildness. It 
illed him and warmed the lips and arms that held her. It 
8 wonderful to know that she was fragile and that he was 
ishing her in his fierce embrace. 

TTou still love me, Arnold? You haven't been untrue to 
? Oh, Arnold I Have youP' The loose sleeves of the 



304 



God's Man 



kimono fell back from her soft arms as they wound the 
selves around his neck. And he lied — ^his voice thick, '. 
eyes humid. 

"I love you/' he choked out ; "I love you. What did t 
want to go away for ? I've wanted you so much. . . . 
much. . . •*' 

That had been it, he told himself with heart beating hi^ 
If she had not gone Velvet Voice wouldn't have mattered. 
was the same thing, only he had been a sentimental ass, h 
called it by sanctified names. Yes, he loved Bertie! T 
word meant just this and nothing more. It meant thougl 
of soft fragrant arms, of a beautiful body dimly outlin 
through sweet-smelling silks and lace; it meant eyes ha 
closed, cheeks blazing high, and burning red lips to kiss a 
kiss again. . . • 



END OP BOOK IV 



bookv 



m 






^■1' 

l:i'- 



CHAPTER ONE 

THE BLOW FALLS 

L "^AN Vhhoon, Coffbb" 

THE two riven that Hanhattan 
separates and which it allows 
to meet only when both have 
reached the open aea, one is 
apaimed hj networks of cob- 
webby steel, over which fly trol- 
leys, motor-propelled vehicles 
and wagons, on their way to 
Long Island. Both are crowded 
with ferries crowded with peo- 
ple, and shipa crowded with car* 
goes, ahipa leaving or reaching 
the many piers and docks — 
docks that, near the coast line's 
tre as gigantic as the great ocean greyhounds whose 
they are; docks that grow smaller as the river rushes 
*d the sea, for nearer the Battery and almost in sight 
tain satiric Statue are the homes of the older ships 
those days when Americans actually pretended to 
asting a week or more of valuable time crossing so 
n arrangement as an ocean. 

among these antiquated devices of commerce lay the 
nt, "coffee clipper," her slim masts slanting toward 
a, like the very latest thing in transatlantic liners' 
indeed, so scanty of beam was she, so sharp of bow 



308 God's Man 

hollowed out toward the water line, and so elliptical of 
as to appear remarkably and jauntily long. She hac 
the pride of her Philadelphia yard at her launching, a 
though that dated back a quarter of a centuiy, she st 
mained the latest model of her type. Since then 61 
been hauled into dry dock many times; she had been 
a new keel and a new bottom ; her plates had been rei 
while as for masts, sails, spars, rigging and gear in g 
their name was, if not legion, at least cohort. 

Below decks it would have been the same, but, as i 
ample, her main-cabin had been originally finished in 
eye maple, with "skeleton linings** of the best Besaeme 
its ^lunatic'* owner — ^as Archibald Van Vhroon was ca 
a newer t}'pe of merchant — ^had found little excuse for e 
iture here. Nevertheless, he had installed some recent 
ing to remove an odor usual and expected by all whc 
in such ships. Save only for a lack of modem heating, 
and crew might have found no more comfortable qnai 
the greyhounds themselves ; indeed, less so, for her (j 
were never crowded ; and, as for heat, there was a fire-] 
the main-cabin for officers, and the galley-fire serve 
ciently for the crew. 

Altogether, she was the pride of old Archibald's 
never was he happier than when he was on the pier w 
her warp in or stand out, returning from or going 
cause which she had covered times without number, 
recently she had had company; as near as the nineti< 
had been four clippers in the Van Vhroon fleet, one 
of which were always in the slips. But they had be 
or hired out now and the extra slip (there were two 
Van Vhroon establishment) had been leased to anotb 
that sent out a large number of barges on the Long 
trade. One of them lay there now, ready to be towe< 
her decks heaped up with coal and wood. Her huge 
build, stem and stern alike, her dirty, coal-covered st 
deck, were the greatest possible contrast to the sUm 



The Blow Falls 309 

tmorant, with her holystoned decks and polished brass- 
»rk shining in the sun. 

The Van Vhroon establishment, besides the long broad 
sr and the two harbor slips, consisted of a large, rambling 
K)den atractnre that rose over the pier archway and ex- 
tided half-way down toward the green water-stained piles, 
ofing half the pier. In the old days this covered space had 
nally been crowded; on one side of the iron truck-tracks 
nsignments just unshipped and waiting to be warehoused, 
I the other bales and boxes marked in packing ink for deliv- 
Y within the city or to be sent out North and South, by 
ain or boat. One side led into the warehouses, the other 
to the offices. On the lower floor of this latter was the 
iptain's room, where those officers and their mates and 
tatswains might gather over their pipes and their drinks; 
jck of this a larger room for the crews. Above, reached by 
dark and narrow flight of stairs resembling a companion- 
ly, was what old Mr. Archibald insisted on calling his 
Dunting-room.'' It had once held a dozen clerks on high- 
ools, separate cages for head-bookkeeper and cashier. Lead- 
g off this and facing the river — ^the counting-room itself was 
irk and lighted by green-shaded fixtures — ^were two smaller 
cms, one utilized for correspondence, containing a stenog- 
pher, a file clerk and Mr. Archibald's private secretary — 
ho, of later years, had been young Mr. Archibald, as the 
srks called him — ^Archie Hartogensis. 
The other room bore little resemblance to a modem busi- 
fls office. It had Turkey-red carpeting, handsome mahog- 
j furniture, pleasant fire of sea-coal reposing in a bed of 
namental iron-work, a cradle-grate, on the head of which 
ts pictured, in dull black iron, lighted brilliantly by the 
mes, a wood-cutter*s hut set in a (Jerman forest. The fire- 
ice itself was of the "Adam-and-Eve^^ variety, cunningly 
rred with fruits, flowers and fig-leaves, its mantel cut out- 
id with rounded comers; above it a long, narrow, old- 
ihioned gilt-framed mirror. On the walls were various oil- 



310 God's Man 

paintings and water-colors of departed Van Yhroons, tksi ^ 
captains and their ships. In a dark comer the glass doonol 
a high curio-closet caught an occasional fire-gleam; behind 
them were curious objects from all quarters of the globe, pwfr 
ents from the Van Vhroon mariners. 

In the exact center of the room, under a chandelier witk 
many cut-glass prisms of the ^'dew-drop'* sort, was a long 
carved table with curved bellying legs, a broad table wilk 
many drawers, its basket of papers, files, inkstands and other 
implements giving the only hint that business was conducted 
here. And, with the spars and funnels of ships passing 
beyond the windows, one had a curious feeling of being in t 
London oflSce overlooking the Thames Embankment — an effect 
increased by the sight of the Lunatic who sat at the table and 
who, in frock-coat, poke-collar and broad-banded black ascot, 
seemed to have stepped directly from the pages of Charta 
Dickens. 

You doubt he was a lunatic ? What other sort of Americtn 
would have continually overhauled his vessels before the Qof- 
emment Inspectors demanded it? If it had been a matter 
of insurance, now. . . . But the Lunatic was thinking d 
the safety of captains and crews. Who else but a lunatic 
would have retained in service nine clerks when every one 
knew the business warranted only six ? Lucky for him three 
others had died else he'd have had a dozen, as in the old daj&. 

And who but a lunatic would have held out against C(nn- 
bination Coffee ? If he had sold when he had the chance he 
might have retired with a snug little fortune — the Vin 
Vhroons had been for nearly two hundred years the first of 
the coffee firms. But, with his stupid sailing-ships and an- 
tiquated ideas of distribution, how could he compete with t 
combination that had trade-marks almost as old, had steamen* 
had retail stores all over the country that could sell at piioei 
impossible to any single firm? True, old-fashioned giooen 
with old-fashioned customers still dealt with the Lunatic, hnt 
they were dying off, grocers and customers alikei, and their 



The Blow Falls 311 

or other successors were doing business with the smart 
^rowng salesmen of Combination Coffee. The Lunatic's one 
— Iiuiiian, who made a yearly trip, was as out-of-date as his 
Ifenided cutaway and square-top derby. 

Yet, even now, for the name and the trade-mark, the kindly 

Cfombination was willing to take over his amusingly absurd 

Imsiness and pay well therefor. Would any one but a lunatic 

defuse? . . . And there were many little touches of idiocy 

^unknown to the world-at-large, such as refusing the rehabili- 

^tion offered by Captain Dannjr's great scheme. To which 

"Uie Lunatic was now referring when that astute mariner had 

put forward the offer of a private gentleman to take over the 

Cormorant, which would not only keep that bird from 

^^ting her head off*' — vide Captain Danny — ^but pay office 

expenses and return some profit. 

^ knowed you'd say I was up to my little games, so I did,'' 
iaid Danny aggrievedly, squirming under injustice in one of 
the Heppelwhite chairs. "But you've got me wrong as usual, 
Mr. Archibald^ sir, which your nephew, yoimg Mr. Archibald, 
kin testify to if youll be so kind as to call him." The head of 
the firm pressed a button. ''ITo, sir, Mr. Archibald, that was 
for you, that idea. If you don't want it, why should an old 
nilorman take the risk ? No, sir/* 

His voice was one of strenuous honesty, of rectitude mis- 
judged; and when the summoned young Archibald appeared 
and had heard the name of his friend, Arnold L'Hommedieu, 
Captain Danny looked expectantly for justice to be done him. 
Early that morning, before Archie had left the house, he 
had received a telephone message from Arnold, urging him 
not to mention his connection with the Waldemar Drug Com- 
pany. If Mr. Van Vhroon wanted to know why Mr. L'Hom- 
medieu wished to hire a clipper ship, let it be explained that 
Arnold was commissioned — secretly, of course — ^to investigate 
the threatened revolt of the Mexicans. . . . Newspapers 
were known to expend large sums on such trifiing details, and 
did they wish to toss money about, should Mr. Van. Vhroon 



312 God's Man 

object ? All of whicli Archie now retailed faithfully ibn 
asked to vouch for his friend. 

^'. • • And he's the son of Parson I/Hommedieti don 
at Havre de Grace. You ought to know him. Uncle Archi- 
bald/* he concluded. 'TTou two were such great friends ir\m 
you were down that way and you know he's the honestest mu 
in the county, ... in the whole world. And 80*s Ar- 
nold. There never was such a chap. I only wish I vere 
going with him. But you're not to let any one know. Thit 
would be a terrible thing for him, ... his newsptper 
would throw him out like thatr 

^^I'll consider it, then/' said his xmcle grnffly. ^m mij 
go, Archibald. . . . And so for once you told the tnfl, 
Daniel. I am surprised. I am indeed. I mnrt be careful 
or I shall begin to believe you and thereby lose much monej." 
Which was his way, that gruffness and that appearance of 
suspicion, of proving to the world his stem and acute busiDen 
methods. ^^I will investigate the matter and let yon know to- 



morrow. . . ." 



Captain Danny knew the battle was won. No one investi- 
gated less than old Mr. Van Yhroon ; none had a firmer belief 
in the integrity of human nature ; but to speak gmSj id in- 
vestigation was part of the duty of a business man whoie 
slogan was '^no nonsense." . . . On Captain Daniel 
exit Mr. Archibald called Ounnison, his head-clerk, and di- 
rected him to make out an average monthly Btatement, 
founded on her record for the past year, of the expense of ik 
Cormorant's upkeep, charges of loading and imloading to 
be deducted. And the ancient clerk viewed him with witiij 
rheumy eyes. 

'^You don't think of disposing of the Carmorani, Ht 
Archibald, sir ?" he reproached. *T don't think I could iboi 
it if she should go, too. I've stood the Melinda going lal 
the Osprey and the putting out of our handsome Coat into 
that filthy guano trade." . . . He spoke as though ke 
bad permitted these unreasonable outrages as an especial fner. 



I 



The Blow Falls 313 

it that it was best not to try him too f ar^ he might resign and 
tve the firm a few hundreds a year. 

**Now, you let me hear no more from you, Gunnison/^ said 
\b employer severely, *'or I will discharge you fortiiwith. 
'our length of serrice counts nothing with me. Sentiment 
in't be allowed to interfere with business, and when we have 
lerks dictating to their employers it is time for them to part. 

• • No nonsense of that sort goes in this office/' These 
lodem business men could be no harsher than that, he 
looght, chuckling; and Gunnison, properly chastened — ^in the 
tat decade he had faced thirty threats of discharge a month — 
streated meekly from his position, and said he hoped Mr. 
Lichibald would understand he had spoken only because of 
is long association with the firm. 

^'Don't presume on it again, Gunnison,'^ said old Mr. Arclii- 
aid. '^Sentiment counts for nothing here. You remain in 
ly employ only because you are useful to me. I hope you 
emember that. If I could get a man to do your work cheaper 
'd have got him long ago. If he turns up any day out you 
;o. And there'll be no use in your talking about your long 
aaociation. This chair Vm sitting on has had just as long 
n association, but Fd sell it to-morrow if I could get a better 
(He. The same with the Cormorant Let me hear no more 
nch nonsense." 

Oumison having departed, the Lunatic coughed somewhat 
mportantly as one who has incontrovertibly proved himself, 
18 usual, a master logician. While Gunnison's rheumy old 
fjes were more than usually clouded. Even if the Lunatic 
leceived himself, he deceived no one else. 

'^Discharged again, Gunnison ?*' asked Archie, grinning as 
lie old clerk came out. Gunnison sighed heavily and stared 
tt the Cormorants slim spars outside Archie's window. 

*^e didn't used to be like that, Mr. Archie, sir," he ex- 
slained apologetically. '^Hc began when he heard they'd 
made fun of his keeping old Timothy Larkins on. Timmy 
iraa a cripple^ you know. He was before your time here. Mr. 



314 God's Man 

Archibald swore he'd discharge Timmy as soon as he could 
find somebody to take his place — but be always said nobodj 
could. He'd grumble about Timmy and say his days in tbe 
office were numbered. He would have a new man in the leij 
next day. But Timmy was here until he died. . . .* 

Archie was not listening to Gunnison. All of his unck^i 
eccentricities were long familiar to him; all Gunnison's lem- 
iniscences^ too ; the old clerk was likely to forget and repeit 
the same story on the following day. To him the peculiari- 
ties of his employer were as novel each morning as the latest 
news. He passed on to re-tell his reminiscences and his re- 
cent interview to a more appreciative audience, and Archie 
continued his sightless staring and his wonder as to AmolA 
use for the Cormorant. It signified the possession of money, 
that was certain, much money. 

He was glad, for old Arnold's sake, that he had come out 
of his trance at last, had begun to use his brains to some pur- 
pose instead of mooning them away on that writing of his 
that would never bring in enough to live like a gentleman. 
And what was the use of living, else ? But Arnold had such 
queer ideas. He had had them, too, when he was younger 
(one might have imagined he was looking back from a ripe 
old age), but thank Heaven, he had met the right sort of a 
little girl, and she had shown him what was what. . . . 
Look at The Good Old Babbit, her father^ how rich he had he- 
come through putting his little brains to the proper uae. 
While Arnold, with forty times as many, had nothing to 
show. But since old Waldemar had taken him up, he miut 
have seen how silly he'd been or the Old Geezer wouldn't hiie 
such great faith in him as to let him go about hiring foil- 
rigged ships. . . . Again he wondered for what the Cot- 
morant was wanted. At all events, Arnold must have ^some 
salary" to be trusted that much. No doubt he had saved 
money. Too bad he had not realized this a few months be- 
fore. There never would be another chance like Instantas^ 



The Blow Falls 315 

eras Boiler. Now, of course, there was no great profit in buy- 
ing it — although, if it kept on, who could tell ? 

There were few moments in the day when Archie did not 
think of Instantaneous Boiler. It meant his whole future. 
Carol, poor dear girl, was tired of waiting forever ; who could 
blame her ! She wanted a home of her own, where she could 
do as she pleased ; where she would not be dragged about and 
shown off to every eligible young man. She had a right to be 
impatient with him. Look at The Good Old Rabbit ! He didnH 
take years to find the Big Thing. And there were hundreds 
of Big Things if Archie would only bestir himself instead 
of spending so much time in that stupid ofiice of his uncle's 
which would never yield suflBcient to permit marriage even 
though they lived in Harlem, out in the suburbs or in some 
other impossible place. Archie should be down in the Street 
looking out for Big Things. He had been looking, in his 
leiflore, but that was not enough; he should resign from his 
uncle's and devote his entire time to it. The Good Old Bab- 
bit would take him into his office. True, he would not pay 
him much, but he would be on the spot. Archie had con- 
tinual difficulty in making Carol understand that he was not 
an only son. And in a country without laws of entail what 
would prevent a displeased father from disinheriting his eld- 
est son? Some younger brother would be Hartogensis of 
Exmoor should he venture to flout Squire Hartogensis' wishes. 

However, he had been dabbling. The Good Old Babbit had 
given him several minor tips, cautioning him, however, not 
to invest too heavily. He had lost on one and gained on the 
other. But Carol was a luxury, as Arnold had observed — 
restaurant bills for herself and chaperon, taxi-bills, flower- 
bills, bills for hired motors to take them down on Long Island 
to various *Thateaux" and into Westchester to divers "Inns" ; 
coatliest of all, losses at bridge and huge tips to servants at 
week-end parties among richer friends. To refuse to play 
bridge was worse than not being able to turkey-trot— K)ne was 



316 God's Man 

never invited again. All these expenses of keeping Caid m 
eight had placed an extremely large minus sign wheie lui 
winnings on that one tip should have been — a minus sign tint 
took in a large share of his puny capital. • • • So ▼ha 
Instantaneous Boiler had shown ii» dazzling head on lui 
horizon Arcliie had not hesitated. ^'One'' must not hesititi 
when the Big Thing came along; ''one'' never got another 
chance if "one'' did, and if "one" did not believe this, "oueT 
insulted Carol. 

So that, on this particular momng when the second post 
brought an envelope with the name by which his Big Thing 
was known to the public, Archie thought again of old Arnold 
and what he had missed. No doubt this was to advise him 
of a ten-point rise in the public estimation of The Wonderful 
Lamp. Archie and other Aladdins had received numben of 
such notifications and had found more money to invest Hii 
poor old lunatic imcle disbelieved in such things; bat he 
should be assisted whether he willed it or not and the finn 
tided over its present difficulties. Presently, when Instantarie-' 
ous Boiler reached par, he would sell and become the benefac- 
tor of the firm. Then his underrating father, hearing of thii 
great success, would admit that such financial genius wu 
smothered in so unprogressive a firm. 

And so smiling he opened Mr. Mink's plaintive wail to the 
stockholders of Instantaneous Boiler. . . . 

II. Arxold Gives up the Fight 

It was past noon the next day before Arnold found himidf 
alone and free to set out for Clabber's, half of Captain Dannf'i 
smuggled goods in the box beside the taxi-driver. When it 
had been lugged up-stairs by grinning Boy Number One ml 
a blue-robed menial, Clabber, true to his word, but not until 
a number of cans had been sampled and approved, passed ovtf 
the money. It was in hundred-dollar bills, 

^^Tienever you get more of the sameth," he said, *^ 



THe Blow Falls 317 

know where to cometh, hey? And I pay yon as mucli as any- 
body, and take more. . . ." 

Arnold repressed with difficnlty the inclination to sound 
him concerning Captain Danny's scheme. But why raise ex- 
pectations that could not be realized ? Had he not definitely 
abandoned that iniquitous idea? He went off hurriedly, de- 
posited his money and returned to Beeckman Place to carry 
the second consignment to Apricott. 

There he found, awaiting him, a note from Captain Danny. 
It told briefly of his success in securing the Cormorant for 
the cruise — as for the probable terms, he gave them, adding 
that he would be around again at the dinner-hour. ''He won't 
find me/' thought Arnold, feeling grimly victorious. He 
voold be dining in Havre de Qrace to-night. . . • But, 
18 he tore up the note, he heard the whir of a taxi outside, and 
iliiough the hall curtains saw Hugo pay the driver, Archie 
standing by limp and despondent. 

Arnold opened the door. "Don't let your taxi go, boys," he 
vamed. *1 can't be with you more than ten minutes. Im- 
portant business. Thaf s my taxi — the other one." 

Hugo looked up : something sinister in his glance alarmed 
Arnold. 'TTou'd better let him go, then," said Hugo. "You've 
got no business as important as we've got. Here" — he ad- 
dressed Arnold's driver — ^"how much is it?" — ^and gave him a 
1)31. The two taxis backed and barked and birred away. 
*Come on. Arch," said Hugo kindly, putting an affectionate 
•nn about his friend. "Come on, old boy." The big fellow 
liad all the tenderness of a woman in his voice. 

Arnold, conscious of impending disaster, led them into a 
loom overlooking the river, his lounge and library. Outside 
the sky was dark and threatening : the tide ran high and boats 
strained at their moorings. True, it had been gloomy and 
threatening all day, but when one seeks for dismal signs, it 
is not hard to find them. 

Again Arnold had that queer helpless feeling of one who 
Dnirt combat circumstances. The face of the peninsula 



318 



God's Man 



philosopher seemed to rise up again and mock him. . . . 
He turned, his look somber, and saw Hugo lock the door; nor 
did he say anything to console the miserable Archie who had 
dropped into a chair, head on hands, elbows on knees, face 
dark and despairing. Hugo cleared his throat, lit a cigai, 
tossed it away, and took down one of Arnold's pipes. 

"Oh— go on. Arch,'' he said suddenly, "tell him." But the 
heap of misery in the chair only groaned. *'0h — hell," said 
Hugo. 'TVell — ^look here, Arnold — Archie. . . ." 

He plunged into the wretched story of Instantaneous Boiler, 
Archie punctuating it with occasional oaths, groans and de- 
sires for death. When the tale was told^ Arnold turned bm 
Archie, his look one of terror, dismay, anger^ hatred. A gdll 
— the easiest sort of a gull; so greedy for wealth he could sot 
earn, that he had been taken in by the most transparent of 
fakes. And all to gratify a silly diit of a girl, snobbish, ig- 
norant, worthless — ^far inferior to the girl whom Arnold had 
Sent away that morning and to whom, probably, she would 
consider herself vastly superior because of a purely technical 
\ irtue — and this was the price of that virtue : the ruin of him 
rho could not aflPord to buy it. . . . Worst of all, there 
was nothing to be done. The swindlers back of Instanteneom 
Boiler knew the law, knew how to circumvent it, had giwa 
their swindling that farcical legal aspect which would pre- 
vent any criminal action being taken. And Hugo had no 
money. . . . 

"You see, Arnold," he added, uneasy under Arnold's chilly 
stare. "My Gov.'s shut down. I'm in his black books. Diet 
bills against him for that damned show I backed, and iA 
published me in the papers saying he's not responsible for my 
more of my debts. Look here I" — and he drew some dippingi 
from his pockets. ''And here's his letter. I'm *to keep vithm 
my allowance' — ^'not a cent over' — and if I'm not at tiie office 
hereafter, I'll be docked for every day I stay away more ftm 
two hours I A pretty go, ain't it ? — ^why, Bobbie owes Madame 



i 



The Blow Falls 319 

Judith nearly seven thousand for hats and frocks and furs. 
bill ain't been paid for nearly two years and she's threat- 
L* to sue— that* s only one. If he'd only let me many 
%*' he groaned; "she was so careful not to run into debt 
"^ivlien she thought we were going to be married ! Wanted to 
*b^in saving for the kids. Poor old Bobs! — of course we 
wouldn't have any when we weren't regularly doubled up. 
wAnd, say, you've got no idea how she wanted a kid, marriage 
or not. But I put my foot down on that Twouldn't be fair 
^ the Ud, I said—" 

For the first time, Archie showed some animation. *^o 
liell with yott/* he interrupted violently. "Are you looking 
suicide in the face? Well, then, shut up — I am. Look here, 
Arnold, I've got to have that money. If the Dad has to sell 
properiy to make good to Uncle Archie, it's good-by to my 
ever having Exmoor. If Mr. Waldemar trusts you so much 
he lets yon go about hiring ships, you can get all the money 
you want on trust. And there won't be a chance of me not 
paying it hack. The Dad's got to die some day. And if 11 be 
a good investment. Mr. Waldemar can't get a hundred per 
cent, every day, can he? I'll pay it. I'll pay any^Atngr— only 
get it for me, Arnold, get it for me. . . . It's only five 
thousand and I'll kill myself if I don't get it — I might just 
as well. I've lost Carol — she won't wait forever. I've lost 
my mother's ten thousand. Now if I lose Exmoor, what've I 
got to live for? Just stay here and be a clerk all my life? I 
won't do it, Arnold, I'll kill myself I I will I tell you, I will I" 
*T[ can raise two or three thousand, Arnold," said Hugo. 
There's my pearls — studs and waist-coat buttons and links. 
And my sapphire — ^pin and links, and this ring with two big 
itones. And this watch cost fifteen hundred" — he took it 
oat, a thing as thin as the half of a soda-biscuit ''I'd ask 
Bobbie to let me use her junk, too, just for the time, but if s 
going to be tough enough when she hears about the Governor 
shutting down, poor old Bobs. . . ." 



320 God's Man 

''A — w/' snarled Archie. 'TVTiy don't you make her? A 
fine girl, won't help you out when you're in trouble." . . . 
Which angered even the peaceable Hugo. 

'TTell, then, how about your own girl?" he shot back tii- 
grily. ''She's got jewelry, hasn't she? — and her father's got 
money, ain't he ? Why shouldn't she help you ?" 

"I'll tell you why," said Arnold coldly. '^Because Card 
Caton would throw him down one minute after she thou^ 
there was no chance of him making good." He snapped his 
fingers and pushed Archie back in his chair. '1)on't tiy to 
act" he advised, his tone frigid. '^Carol's the last person in 
the world you'd ask and you know it You've ruined joaradf 
over her; but thafs what American men are made for. If 
they can't cheat or steal enough to make money, they aienH 
worthy of our pure American women," he added savagdji 
thinking, to tell the truth, far more of Velvet Voice thm 
CaroL ''What starts most of this graft and dishonesty? 
'Deariff wants a motor-car like Mrs. Blank's. 'Dearie* wanto 
to move into a better neighborhood. 'Dearie' must dress lika 
Mrs. Dash, must go to Europe like Mrs. Dot, must take t 
summer-place like Mrs. Dumb. 'Dearie* — damn Dearie — Hit 
whipping-post for 'Dearie/ And then they talk about the 
coarse men who do the coarse work that gets the coarse monej 
that buys their delicate refined good-breeding I Why, we're i 
joke, we American men ! . . . Now — shut np I" he warned 
Archie again. ''We don't want to hear anything from yos 
about how unworthy we men are of sweet lovely womanhooi 
It's a lie. We're their superiors, always have been, alw^i 
will be. If s men like you who give them their fool ideas^ 70a 
and the cheap novels and 'thoughtful' plays. When womei 
get real men, the^re willing enough to acknowledge it—* 

He paused for want of breath. He was violently angiy* 
Ever since he had first conceived his smuggling scheme a 
Clabber's bunk, he had felt instinctively that somehow, b 
would be forced into it. Now he looked back, it seemed Hd 
his life for the last five years had been planned toward thit 



The Blow Falls 321 

«nd. He was like a pawn in the clutch of an automatic chess- 
player. 

The whole thing had the semblance of a Qreek tragedy in 
Sta disregard for human desires. 

Ever since their expulsion from Old King's University some 
malign influence had driven each one of them into lives for- 
eign to those they had planned^ alien to their natures ; until 
Archie was now a betrayer of trust; Hugo was pointed out 
as an unenviable example of gilded youth^ advertised by his 
father as a prodigal ; Arnold, the employee of a wholesale poi- 
aoner^ himself a potential criminal. And The Jinx, in whose 
came they had interfered, had turned out a blackmailer for 
all their pains ! 

The silly waste of it! "Purpose ?'* — and his thoughts 
tamed to the peninsula philosopher again — a fine one truly. 
At this rate, the '^Purpose'' would not be satisfied until they 
were all three in the electric-chair. A mad recklessness seized 
hiBL What use to combat it, then? Have the worst over. 
Evidently, if there was such a 'Turpose,'* if the Orientals 
were right about their '^Kismet,*' it did not intend he should 
be decent. Had it not checked all his attempts in that di- 
lection? And, now, when he had deliberately rejected an 
easy road to wealth sooner than follow in the wake of Wal- 
demar's poisoning — ^rejected it knowing it might bring him, 
perhapa, all his heart desired — along came this catastrophe, 
fiiia cataclysm ! And the good and great "Purpose'' had seen 
to it that Hugo should be penniless when it came — an unprec- 
edented thing I 

Now if he still continued in his rejection, the least that 
eoold happen was Archie's suicide. Why not, if the boy lost 
everything — good name, girl, inheritance ? And Arnold would 
know he could have saved him — and at the cost of what? — 
% few silly scruples I It was nonsense to say Waldemar was 
% poisoner : if he didn't do it, some one would. People sold 
poieons and adulterated food, grafted, stole franchises, bought 



322 God's Man 

legislators, paid gunmen to repeat at elections, floated ^honf 
stocksy made politics and business filthy, and life a menaei 
to the honest man, a cruel taskmaster to the poor one — all be- 
cause somebody else would if they wouldn^t. 

Well, let them. He couldn't change it — ^the concomitMd 
to that first bit of self-deceit as he knew well enough. Bat 
why make one's self miserable? The big financiers had the \ 
right idea : they made their millions, then built libraries, ea- i 
dowed hospitals and colleges, gave great sums to science to inb 
prove conditions. That was the only way. The fools tiat 
suffered had the remedy in their own hands, but they preferred 
to be slapped on the back, to be bought drinks, given picnioi 
and free beer — ^their foolish ideas of equality encouraged. Sup- 
port an honest man who told them the truth ? — a snob who 
thought he was "better than they"? Why should he bother 
about such cattle when they didn't bother about themselyes? 

Guiltily, he knew he was repeating now every one of the 
sophistries. Arnold, now, was like the man in an icy set 
who, although upheld by a life-preserver, deliberately drowm 
rather than endure the intolerable cold— or one hanging above 
an abyss who finds the thought of death less painful than 
lacerated hands and straining muscles. Like them, Arnold 
had reached the limit of endurance. Archie might not Ul 
himself, might not; but Arnold knew such excitable, hysterial 
natures too well. And Arnold's own life was not toIeiaUe 
enough to add to it the thought that he had permitted Ui 
friend to pass out when he might have saved him. 

He raised his eyes, realizing that the gaze of Archie ad 
Hugo was fixed upon him, just as in the old days when aooi 
important question had been left to his decision. He hed 
always taken responsibility seriously, had Arnold. 

But what a different Archie from those days : eyes emitai 
and bloodshot, strained face that seemed thin for all its jdiflf 
cheeks, so drawn was it about eyes and mouth, while his hoi 
twitched abominably. And Hugo was as earnest and H 



The Blow Falls 323 

azudons, as sorrowful and as pitying^ as some gr^at St. Ber- 
nard dog viewing a frozen wayfarer too heavy for bis aid. 

**Wlien must you have the money ?" asked Arnold. Archie 
began to babble of bills due, possible extensions. . . . Ar- 
nold cut him short 'The last possible minute before any- 
X)dy knows — your uncle even — ^three months?^' he demanded 
coldly. **Come on, Archie, speak up. Can you manage with- 
5ut it for three months ? You say you handle all the cash.'* 

But Archie seemed dazed by the prospect of salvation. He 
b^an incoherent rhapsodies. He sold himself into eternal 
slavery to Arnold, ceased to be except as his appanage, cata- 
logued the incredible services he would perform for this su- 
perman friend of his. Hugo, too, stuttered out a sort of dog- 
like wondering gratitude. 

**Come,*' said Arnold impatiently. *'Can you hold out for 
ihree months, Archie? Answer me. . . . You can? 
Good.'' He imlocked the door, raised his voice and called for 
Qoinn to telephone for another taxicab: ''And put that Ap- 
ricott box on it when it comes. . . ." 

•THiile we're waiting for it," he said to the two anxious 
CDes, closing the door as he spoke, "I'll tell you why I need 
three months. And why I'm going to let you pawn your 
jewelry, Hugo. But don't be afraid : youll be able to redeem 
it and to pay your half toward getting Archie out of this trou- 
ble besides. No gamble, no speculation" — he looked coldly at 
Archie— ''no chance — ^for me. This is certain — sure. That 
II unless you let the cat out. And so, before I tell you, you'll 
kave to swear by everything sacred you won't tell anybody — 
not anybody. . . ." 

Alas for drama I — ^here was the most dramatic situation, so 
fir, in the lives of any of them ; yet the best words Arnold 
eoold summon up to impose secrecy were equally suited to 
lome boyish trifle. Nor had Archie maintained his tragic atti- 
tnde — ^his burden now rested on Arnold's shoulders, and he 
only keenly curious — ^while Arnold felt strangely elated 



324 



God's Man 



and thrilled, such is the Tinraly infitinct in all of ns. Osce 
we have stilled, or definitely disregarded, customs, oonfen- 
tions and conscience, we are, for the moment, as those dnmk 
with heady wine. • . . 

And so his eyes sparkled as he told them of the fortune that 
lay waiting in far-off Yucatan. . . . 



CHAPTER TWO 

REBELLION 

Thb Init C1.AIUS Abnold fob Its Own 

lY night, a foretaste of 
might have made advisa- 
beavy rough great-coat 
lonned before setting out 
inn. Bnt aside from any 
of warmth, Arnold was 
m excuBe to turn up that 
irm-collar; and to torn 
lat soft felt hat. Many 
lather's friendB, and his 
relatives, held to their 
ioned homes in Washing- 
ire ; their rear mdls OTer- 
looking Bapert Passage. And, 
poseiblj, policemen might wonder how one might be repntshle 
and still visit so disreputable a place. 

Hence he came into the Inn courtyard, Bknlldng and 
scowling: hesitating at the flat marble stoop, and squeaking 
oat his address to the high-collared young Hebrew; who, 
whereupon, gave himself some languidity of demeanor. 

"Mr. £. Apricott," repeated Arnold more confidently. "Mr. 
Waldemar's secretary — the Waldemar Manofacturing Com- 
pany, you know." 
'4fot me" tetorsed he of the very higb-coUUi virtaotisly. 



326 God's Man 

And began to Bmooth down the very low vest, and the Tery 
loud shirt, and to readjust the very thin tie — all faithful 
copies of Fourteenth Street window-dreesers' models for "natty 
men." "Sure you got the right place?" 

Arnold was impatiently sure. 

*TVait a minute," soothed Jacob Faithful. 

He turned to the grille, the shutter of which had been np 
ever since the hideous ringing of the shop-bell ; Mother's bead- 
like eyes imblinkingly and unfavorably regarding her satellite. 

"Never heard of no such person," he said. Desiring, how- 
ever, to extend his study of the long slender knot and broad 
flowing folds of a Spitalsfield scarf — ^revealed by the unfasten- 
ing of Arnold's coat, the high-collared young Hebrew assumed 
a benevolent but bepuzzled expression. 

"Jest spell it, will ya? Maybe ya pull it wrong!" 

*^Wbj — ^" began Arnold in high exasperation, then laughed, 
understandingly. "If s all right/' his tone the tone of one who 
has decided to allow a noisy insect to live a little longer, ^oa 
take that in to Mr. Apricott." 

He had searched for and had found his card-case, on the 
plain flat surface of which were initials in dark blue enamel. 
On these the eyes of Sir High-Collar feasted greedily. 

"No more of these here fancy monograms, hey?" he asked 
and assured himself — ^to himself. But what he said aloud 
was : "No such person I ever heard of, ain't I telling you," m^ 
chanically. 

He found what he considered an artful outlet for sartoriil 
excitement in a continuous performance with the now-despiMd 
wispy tie. To the searching eye, this was absolute proof d 
nerves. No mathematical calculation, no square and compM 
could have placed it in a position more truly central 

Arnold, noticing the oblique and almost clinical ezamim- 
tion of the blue enamel — ^but misunderstanding the motiW) 
produced, swiftly, pencil and seal combined, cigarette-bolder, 
and other golden reminders of past Ghristmasea — indictiiDg 
the initials on each, again indicating the card. 



Rebellion 327 

*'A. L. H. — ^A. L. H. . . . Arnold L'Hommedieu — 
now take it in, will you?*' 

The shutter was raised an inch or so; the beady eyes behind 
it beamed. 

**Ginmie, then/' said the walking clinic, loftily reconsider- 
ing: *^I don't Jcnow, Mis' Mybus might, though." He took the 
card and disappeared, first, however, eying wistfully a cig- 
arette-holder Arnold was shaking from a little gold box, in 
such a way as to elongate it, one like a miniature drinking- 
cup. The fitting-in and lighting served to steady Arnold's 
nerves, so that, when a head in a high collar emerged from 
the hutch, nodding solemnly, our hero made a more effective 
entrance into its interior than into the Inn itself. At their 
accustomed posts, needles flashing in the firelight — a fore- 
finger flagellating his knee — ^fawning, frowning, were the fat 
woman and her endless knitting, the blind man and his end- 
less prophecies. 

''Sit down, young man," said Mother Mybus, and studied 
him for the profit she had prophesied he was to bring some 
day. 

What a face and figure for the '^boats'' ; — ^what a "steerer" 
for the "pay-off" — or the "wire." She brought her bright 
black beads to bear on an expected weakness but f oimd none. 

Then Apricott entered pulling down his cuffs, plainly at- 
tired in some haste ; plainly puzzling over Arnold's presence — 
the yoxmg gentleman had only to write and old Mitt-and-a- 
Half would have been glad to call • . . voicing this, abat- 
ing the usual banalaties ; the while drawing together his brows 
until their apex was as pointed as the sharpest yen-hok in 
his attic. 

"You can speak out before Mother, and this is Mr. KTich- 
olas Tremkin, sir. And he's all right, too" . . . the 
''sir" slipping out, a candid concession; valuable because old 
Mitt-and-a-Half seldom made it. 

Still Arnold hesitated. 

'They're all right, ain't I telling you. Anyhow, there's 



328 God's Man 

nowhere else to talk. . . /' "Good Fellow** or not, no 
stranger entered the Attic nnimplicated. 

Arnold's mind seemed benumbed^ incapable or unwilling to 
do more than sense the color and count the nnmber of red 
ocher bricks in the Antwerp flooring, the brown and tawny 
panels of the old oak walls, the blue and white tiling of the 
Amsterdam fireplace. And to wonder at their association 
with such folks as he of the Cubist face, triangular, hard, 
sour, he whose hand of the missing fingers twitched on a black 
cheviot knee. And diagonally opposite, him of the si^tlen 
eyes and useless lenses framed in expensive tortoise-flhellr- 
whose hand of the long black premier digit wrote on a brown 
serge knee. But he wondered most about that hmnan sack 
which, uncorded, would send the Cormorant south — her of 
the fat rat face, with eyes like an ancient mouse — her very 
appearance was a misdemeanor t 

Arnold's hesitancy, however, had been due to no fear of be- 
trayal : his listeners were too greedy not to be trustworthy. It 
was another qualm, another thought of that family name to 
be jeopardized for the first time in two centuries or more. 
Allied with that of the wickedest old woman in New York. 
Was it worth while? Was he justified? 

But what was to become of Archie if he did not t How was 
he, Arnold, to win Velvet Voice ? At such times, one is shorn 
of self-deception. Arnold knew, now, that all the time, and, 
even at her own valuation, he had wanted Velvet Voice. Had 
wanted her so much that he was willing to buy her. He knew, 
too, what he was : a hypocrite like all the rest^Waldemar, flie 
Squire, yes, even Quiwers — ^wasn't he glad of an excoBe to 
get her price: somehow — anyhow? And at the cost of hia 
self-respect. . . . Archie, eh? Archie, hell — ^Arnold, i^ 
nold! ARNOLD I 

"I've got some thousands of dollars* worth of opium ont- 
side,'* he suddenly aflSrmed with startling calm. Aprioott in- 
tervened, snarling and snapping over the reddessnees that left 
unguarded so much virgin gold. Disregarding the bill Arnold 



Rebellion 329 

held out to pay the driver^ Apricott hastily quitted the room; 
returning presently, an incompetent expressman, staggering 
mider an incomparable box. But, unlike an expressman, he 
deposited it gently and approached the prying-off of its lid 
almost prayerfully. 

Meanwhile, Mother touched Nikko's knee. The blind man 
burst into weird mirth. 

''Growing, growing — always growing,'* he chuckled. 
**Slowly, but surely. Ha ! — Petra Borisovna,*' and he rubbed 
his thin fingers together, swearing the Slavonic calendar out 
of saints, and concluding with a masterpiece : 

'^ . . by St. Nicholas and the skull of Christ. He hates 
the filthy money-ewine too, an aristocrat, a leader. Leaders 
are all we need. Mobs obey aristocrats . . . have I not 
always told you officers must be noble? Animals need train- 
ers — ^but kind trainers, Petra — ^not cruel knouters. Blind 
folk have the best eyes I They see inside. . . .'* 

"Blind? — you?** she returned sharply. ''And yesterday 
beheld the Doctor's dark purple scarf? Thou wouldst lose the 
blessed Sophia her sanctity. With a hoyar^s eyeshells, glossy 
as a blackbird.'' ... 

The simile was sheer animalism, nothing more. Just as she 
had poetized greedily over sweetmeats when younger, she now 
seemed able to find similar lip-smacking qualities in any 
object of cost — and like Hugo — ^like all interminably inarticu- 
late races — Slavs certainly could sjrmbolize crudely but ec- 
statically. 

'Tiistenl"— interrupted Apricott, indicating Arnold and his 
polite but strained silence. 

"Well." . . . Arnold began. 

Revolutionists and rebel and rogue, all were equally atten- 
tive to this manifestly likable young gentleman; so attract- 
ively appareled, too. Mother's eyes glistened with malice 
and moisture, Apricott ceased burrowing in the opened box 
and began to fondle something. Nikko smiled contentedly. 
Sinot "Mr. Arnold" had accepted Apricotf a thousand-dollar 



330 God's Man 

lonus — ^we had hoped he would array himself — ^profitably— 
against the law— openly rebel, Nikko put it. 

Now that this had happened, their expectations were more 
than fulfilled. No empty boasts. *The goods!'* 

"I think you know what you talk about^ Mr. Arnold," said 
Mother slowly. *T[ think you know. But / don't know. I 
. hear much of you from Mr. Pink and Mr. Beau and that Bad 
Little Frog! they think you know too. . . . But Onff 
don't know. . . . Why you come to ignorant low peasant 
peoples, Mr. Arnold? Why not to your rich friends?" 

"Because if s against the law," returned Arnold, too heavy of 
heart to be epigrammatically satirical. '^And my rich friends 
don't do things against the law. They may change it or cheat 
it or get poorer people to take the chances. And I'm not tak- 
ing chances for the fun of it, Mrs. Mybus. I can offer jfOtf 
, half the profits for all the expenses ; without getting a lai^ 
- My inside information against your illegitimate cash. Which 
gives me my own illegitimate profits clear. I'm only going to 
invest the money you pay me for what's there. . . ." 

He indicated the box — or, rather, a sunken barge in a sea 
of excelsior, amid which squatted the connoisseur, his Cnbisti- 
cal features contorted like some good-natured ghoul— and, 
adding his own two thousand to the price expected from 
Mother, plus that of the other Musketeers, continued — ". . . t 
very dear friend's — Then the ship-captain'ff is fifteen hundred 
dollars' worth. All the rest that Senor Gk)mez has is yoniSi 
Mrs. Mybus. If that should happen to be less than I've gnap 
anteed you, here is a fair return for so much risL" 

lie tapped some sheets. 

'TVTiy, we'll divide the entire cargo evenly — between me, my 
friend and the captain. Ten thousand invested between itf 
and well sell for over a hundred thousand, not counting your 
extra profit retailing to your customers." 

"Not my customers, Mr. Arnold," disclaimed Mother 
promptly. 'Ttfr. Enoch, he has customers, though." 

'^ell, Mr. Enoch, then," said Arnold with an air of indif- 



Rebellion 331 

feienoe. ^e makes abont one hundred per cent, extra profit, 
anyhow, doesn't he P' 

"One hundred per cent.?' she screamed. ''Not half, Mr. 
Arnold. Not a quarter. What about his valuable time ? Just 
(hink of his valuable time I And his valuable rent — '* 

Apricott, having filled his pockets vrith valuable ''cans'' from 
various parts of the valuable box, now slid stealthily from the. 
room, his eyes telling Mother to keep Arnold's turned in her 
direction so that their valuable visitor might not be disturbed 
by so valuable a departure. 

"Have it your own way," said Aimold irritably. "If s no 
concern of mine, what you people do with yours. Your profits 
— K)r his — ^thaf s your own business. The point is that the 
profits are big enough even without your retail profits; big 
enough to make your paying the expenses worth your while — ^' 

He took out Captain Danny's note of that afternoon; stated 
approximately — ^hypotheses — calculations. ... 

She held up both hands frequently and emitted a squeal like 
an animal in pain. It was her established way of making bar- 
gains and she could not depart from it even when she knew 
it was useless, saw that Arnold disregarded her. 

"That will provide for emergencies— damage from possible 
storms and so forth. Then there are bonuses to the crew to 
keep quiet, insurance to pay. The actual rental will be aroimd 
a hundred a week, all expenses borne by us of course. . . . 
The insurance covers total loss. Not that the round trip is 
hound to be three months — ^that's an outside limit. You'll 
get some of your expense money back — ^a great deal of it — ^but 
I wouldn't go into the thing unless you were willing to put 
up the whole three thousand. The owner of the ship can't 
afford to wait for his money. If he could, he wouldn't be rent- 
ing it. And he happens to be too decent an old gentleman 
to go into bankruptcy because you aren't willing to do what 
anybody else would expect to do—" 

He was playing safe, was Arnold, for Archie's sake ; for al- 
though Archie had, in the first fiash of gratitude to his sa- 



332 God's Man 

vior, granted the possibility of holding off for three mmthsy 
he also admitted that some bills must be met before that time 
and could be extended only with difficnliy. 

But Mother's cheque for the expenses^ held to the credit of 
Van Yhroon and Company under the united signatures of 
Arnold and Archie^ would suj£ce for the more pressing bills 
in case of bad weather^ protracted calms, or delays in general 

Here Apricott returned from his Attic. 

'TThe Doc tried it/' quoth he. *1 hadda jest wrench the 
can away from him after his first long draw. He's offering 
double prices for a toey of it. . . ." 

Arnold, observing Mother's darkening brows, and remem- 
bering a similar look directed by Clabber to Boy Number One, 
laughed aloud. ^^No use, Mrs. Mybus," he said almost gailj. 
^'I know the value of the stuff, and I've got a fixed price on it 
I'd have sold it all to Clabber, but I wanted to be fair to my 
future partner — ^partners," he added, for he saw she would 
again insist upon Apricott's sole responsibility. . . . 
''Just take this as a sample of the truth of the rest of it Of 
course, you must take my word. But you don't need to hand 
me any money except the expenses and the payment for the 
present box. Mr. Apricott can sail on the ship and have fall 
charge of your money for investment. All I want is a chance 
to invest my own and my friend's. Together, we'U only haie 
what you'll have. And out of otirs we've got a dead loea of 
five thousand — ^more than your expenses — ^I mean what goes 
to my friend — ^the young man who invested in Instantaneoiu 
Boiler. I don't really believe I'd have gone into this at all 
if it hadn't been for him. But, since I am in it, I want some- 
thing for myself, personally. And that'll be much less ftaa 
what youll get. ... So I can't see where I'm asking for 
anything unfair — ^" 

'TVTiat of the ship-captain? Does he take his pay in bnyiog 
the stuff, himself ?" asked Apricott sharply. Arnold nodded. 

"And glad enough to do it, I should think," growled Mother, 
annoyed at the thought that one so imintelligent as to spend 



Rebellion 533 

lifetime at honest sailing-craft should receive so large a re- 
rard. For the moment, she considered Captain Danny — 
^hose name she did not know. Once the honest mariner came 
ito his profits, he might he worthy the attention of some one 
f her Horde. 

The sham and cunning of the old woman amused Arnold, 
laving cast scruples aside, he no longer permitted himself 
o hold the scales of moral judgment. Mother Mybus then, 
xmsidered aside from her occupation and vicious influence, 
nw to him only a character, and he enjoyed her resemblance 
to Waldemar, the ^'good business man" ; aU the more when she 
protested her poverty, her inability to raise the sum needed 
vithout finding a mortgage for her 'kittle stock," her lack of 
Bonnection with Apricott — ^who could raise more of the money 
ttan she could, twice as quickly too. 

'Tve put up his rent twice and still he goes on making ten 
fimes more," she said, pretending to be dolorous over it. "Hun- 
fceds of dollars to my one, that Mr. Enoch. Eh ?" And Ap- 
"icott smiled sourly. "So, as he's the man whoTl get most 
i the profit, he must sign papers with you, Mr. Arnold," she 
lid finally, Arnold's terms having been accepted only after 
e had twice taken up his hat and threatened to go to Clabber. 

**! made the best terms I could for you, Mr. Enoch," she 
Ided, simpering, ^^ut Mr. Arnold is sharper than an old 
Oman. Maybe you could have done better yourself. . . . 
lie paper and ink is on the second shelf under the blue cups," 
le added, pointing. Apricott put them before the somewhat 
lartled Arnold. Not that he gave signs of being startled: 
lat might arouse suspicion. He reflected that he had been a 
m1 to suppose that such an astute old customer as Mother, 
Iways alert for the chance to cheat, would enter into any 
zheme involving a stranger's handling of her beloved money 
rithout some assurance that her interests would be protected. 

She had been searching Arnold's face for signs of possible 
hiplicity ever since his arrival. But a paper signed with his 
ume was better than any character-reading; such a one would 



334 God's Man 

be clever enough to feign anything. The paper^ she mide op 
her mind^ must be a practical confession of a conspinej 
against the law, one that she could nse to put him into ja3 ^ : 
she caught him at any games. Of course, she coiQd not seoi 
him there without sending Apricott, too ; but who was Aprir 
cott that she should hesitate between his imprisonment anl 
revenge for the loss of her money ? 

'^Now, Mr. Arnold/' she dictated, "say that you and Ik 
Enoch make a partnership to buy Mexican opium. He ptji 
the expenses, you find the stuff, and each of you takes epil 
shares. Put that in lawyer's language, Mr. Arnold.'' 

Not without some misgivings, Arnold re-phrased tiiis « 
directed, and showed her the result ^?ou haven't daUd i^ 
Mr. Arnold," she objected, returning it — an oversight only. 
But now that she seemed concerned about it, Arnold realised 
that the date alone was damning should the paper ever tad 
its way into a law-court — for the new law especially foibide 
any such trading without a Federal license. 

"I'll date it when I sign it," he returned curtly. "And FIl 
sign it when I have the money, Mrs. Mybus." She shot him 
a keen glance, then smiled — if the contortion of her crooked 
mouth full of crooked teeth might be so termed. 

"I think you should agree to that, Mr. Enoch," she ttid, 
passing on the paper. ^^When can you have this ukhmj? 
To-morrow morning by ten o'clock ?" 

"I dare say," rejoined Apricott, sulky at the scorn in A^ 
nold's eyes and at being forced to play a part so ridiciikiadj 
transparent. 

Nikko took off his spectacles and polished them carefnllf 
with a handkerchief of red silk. He was maliciously pleteed, 
and some sort of approving noise escaped him as he blew vpoa 
the lenses. Arnold turned to look at him, shifted his gm to 
observe the malignity of Apricotf s eyes and the satisfied coi- 
ning of Mother's. Suddenly he felt sick of the whole bair 
ness. Archie had messed up his own life; why should )*t 



Rebellion 335 

Arnold, let so weak and useless a creature mess up his life, 
IDO5 the life of one worth twenty Archies ? 

Some words of Nietzsche's recurred to him. "Slave ethics — 
(he strong can never raise the weak — can only be pulled down 
by them*' — ^perhaps not the exact words, but that was what 
Qie mad philosopher had meant. Was he mad, though ? Was 
be not, rather, looking at the facts unsentimentally. How of 
Arnold's own misfortunes? The Jinx, Hugo, Hans Chasser- 
ton, all three had been weaklings. And had his attempt to 
ncoor them raised them up? As Nietzsche said, they had 
cnly dragged him down— each one a little farther down, un- 
til, only by invoking the aid of another strong man, the elder 
Waldemar, and his ''dirty politics," had he got up again. 

Now here was a fourth weakling — ^Archie. Should he take 
file chance for such a one? — ^the chance of going down per- 
manently. For what? Had a boy who had shown himself 
10 little able to manage himself any right to a large property ? 
Better let him remain poor where he could hurt only himself. 
^hie, married to Carol and in possession of Exmoor, was a 
Henace, another one to make property hateful. And the 
ttogenj of a weakling and a female snob— were they fit to 
dherit? Above all, to achieve such paltry results had he, 
Arnold I/Hommedieu, a man with the power to make the 
rorld better for having lived in it, the right to negative all 
lossible future influence by the scandal of an arrest and con- 
iction for opium-smuggling? Who would listen after he had 
leen arraigned in the dock with such outcasts from civiliza- 
iofXk aa this blind Russian fanatic, this malignant man with 
he missing fingers and this vicious old woman. 

It was then that he trembled on the verge of repudiating 
ibe scheme, of abandoning Archie to the results of his own 
lolly. Had it been written that he should be given the time 
it tiiat moment to consider his position in terms of positivist 
philosophy it is probable that the undated paper would have 
leen destroyed rather than signed ; for, so complex is the mind 



336 God's Man 

of man, that the same statistics may prove eqnallj to iti 
faction the truth of two philosophies, directly antitl; 
that the life of any man may be accepted as evidence of 
a Divine or a Diabolic theory — this being the imperfec 
the thing called metaphysics. And, at that time^ Am 
f onnd no enlightening proof to maintain his belief tl 
solar system was operated on any other principle than t 
vival of the fittest. Men had come out of their tic 
caves on that principle, and their empires and civili 
had been built and destroyed on that principle. 

But it so happened that he got no further in his otj 
along these lines. Co-ordinate the interrupting incide 
those other incidents that had brought him to the Im 
call it what you will. But in face of such incide 
weightiest mustering of facts, the most powerfully pi 
systems of logic, ... all go down like regiments 
trained soldiers before the fire of a hidden n 
gun. • • • 

Thus it happened then that as Arnold stood by 1 
window whose flowers called him to the country and 
a door opened and at the head of the three little ste] 
it Arnold saw one of those weaklings for whom he had 
endured so much — Hans Chasserton, apron about wais 
in hand, his face all silly, simpering smile and vacs 
• . . Yet, far from causing regret for his sacrifice, 
instant Arnold was on fire with rage and rebellion; s 
more he regretted nothing. If to be strong was to en 
sight of human beings brought so low through the 
and greed of their self -proclaimed masters, he, Am< 
content to be on the side of the weaklings. Betume< 
all his hatred of a social system that yielded respect 
as Quiwers ; that, despite the ugly facts of their car 
them wealth and honor. If to be strong was to ally 
with them, then let all Iiis friends be such as Arc 
him sink lower than the lowest, yet he could never r 



RebelHon 537 

vers depth; no, not even the depth of Ivan Waldemar, or 
epth of Benjamin Hartogensis. 

swept up the first forty-two rooms. I'm going to do 
lezt forty-two to-morrow/' said Hans Chasserton, cloaing 
loor and standing the broom in a comer. He hung up 
pron, then came, curiously, toward Arnold. **I know 
too,'' he said, "you took a trip with me in my trunk once, 
t you ? They won't believe it has forty-two rooms," he 
Wned, requesting verification from Arnold. 'TTou tell 
It ought to. I paid forty-two hundred dollars for it 
t was worth it, 'cause I beat old Lipton with it. But 
hiiwers took my medal and give me a bang on the head, 
rhen I woke up I didn't know nobody. But you and me 
.don't we?" 

Bs, we know," agreed Arnold dully. The boy, nodding 

iiunph, sank down on an ottoman beside Nikko's chair, 

le blind man put a protecting arm about him. 

that single action and the boy's presence, the whole 

was transfigured. No longer was Nikko to be blamed 

ing malicious, Apricott for his malignancy. Mother My- 

)r her viciousness; no more than was the boy for his 

. They were not as Nature had made them ; but as the 

Y of their conquerors had caused them to be. It was 

to be allied with the victims than with those who had 

them what they were; better to break laws that gave 

to such as Waldemar than to give them approval by 
taging himself through Waldemar's connivance. And 
38 burning and hand trembling, he snatched the paper 
[gned it, a defiant fiourish imder his name, a carefully 
»d bit of scrollwork beneath the date ; both proofs that 
iked any regret for standing committed to break those 

For he saw only their result — ^the vacant-eyed, blankly 
*ul idiot-boy; the maimed man of the mills with the 
ig fingers, and the sightless eyes of old Nikko, a prophecy 
at such laws could be did their enforcement remain long 



338 



God's Man 



in despotic hands. And as the shrewd cunning in tl 
woman's eyes was replaced by a sort of rough tenden 
she looked on the old man^ Arnold forgot his dislike f( 
She could not be thoroughly bad, for she had not for 
how to pity. Suddenly he took her hand and 8h< 
warmly. All the lawlessness in him surged up an( 
the blood rushing to his head. He extended his othei 
to Apricott and as the three stood there in the glow of tl 
a grotesque group^ two gargoyles surrounding a scul] 
marble, he laughed loudly, glorying in liis reckless reb 
'^e'll show 'em a thing or two about making monqr, 
he said. 



BND OF BOOK V 



BOOK VI 



CHAPTER ONE 

THE VIKING SHIP 
I. She Qoes 



in Kaj the Cormorant soiled; 
craiBing papers signed by ber 
Dsnal captain bat by a new 
"owner," one "E, Apricott" — to 
the sailors an eccentric "self- 
msde" millionaire; to old Hr. 
Van Vhroon yonng Mr. I/Hom- 
medieu'a valet. 

"Arnold's afraid some other 
newspaper men 'ull come aboard, 
Uncle Arch, . . . and if we 
use hifl name — or they see him 
— good night, nurse I" 
"What, sir ? . . ." 
> Hugo and I 'all go down to Havre to see him off. 
y 'nil pick him up there. His dad's got an Alco — " 
ud be has, I believe, a certain knowledge of the English 
age, sir — ^which yon do not share — and, . . ." 
t Archie was off — the same old ebullient Archie. Ar- 
was worrying. Why should he worry, too? That, at 
was what his subconscioneneBS must have aaid, for, al- 
ii snfficieDtly Ingnbrioas in Arnold's presence, be added 
d highly ezpensire articles to Carol's future Circassian 



342 God's Man 

Why not ? Harvey Quinn was to carry a plethora of gold 
and notes in a snakeskin belt about his waist— enough to 
. . . But any account of Archie's wool gatherings b ont 
of place save in a penny book of dreams. • • . 

Once out of Hell's Gate^ the clipper was not headed S. S. K 
— as for Havre de Grace, but N. N. E. — as f or . . . No- 
where. Off the Middle Ground Light she became as baie- 
masted as a barge, as listless as Sir Lackadaisical, keeper of 
said light, who, after half-a-day's debate with himself— snn- 
down approaching and those cursed lamps demanding atten- 
tion, anyhow — ^reached for his Goetz lenses to discover the 
reason for an equal amount of inactivity on the part of that 
black blotch beyond. 

But he was too late. The sailors had ceased to dot the cross- 
trees, the carpenter no longer ornamented the bowsprit And, 
bravely begilt anew, said sprit of the temporarily christened 
Hardicanute swung athwart the watcher's line of vision— 
the leggy sheep's sail overhead listless no longer, but straining 
even that poetic license, the *'. . . mutton" metaphor. 
And many heads above her and many times as big and obey- 
ing the first command of the coming Connecticut nor'easter— 
spars and blocks creaking — ^her mainyard swung free. 

How the wind hammered at her canvas, the lightkeeper 
could conjecture from the imminent peril of his own laundi? 
outside. This rescued, the sun had turned the Goetx lenses 
into burning-glasses, and he saw nothing of a certain broad- 
side maneuver — ^the approach of a tiny Alco, the tranafer 
of one Quinn (alias L'Hommedieu) by means of a starboard 
rope-ladder. . . . And the return of the tiny Alco to tte 
shore, where, after climbing the bluff to where the chalet 
stood, its crew of three passed another Goetz from hand to 
hand — and while, a veritable Viking ship off on a veritabb 
Viking venture, the Cormorant dipped her newly-gilded 
nose into boiling scum and seething spray, ... a brafs 
little speck of white slipping over the edge of the world. . . • 



The Viking Ship 343 

II. Abnold Stays 

Four months passed, Archie alternately anxious. Insouciant, 
suicidal. Bitter months for Hugo. The reason soon to be 
made clear. Weary with work and worry for Arnold; for 
since coming to the house on the bluff his writing that was 
to have given him so much had given just nothing at all. He 
had remained at Waldemar's only a few weeks after the Cor- 
morant's departure. There had been a suddenly increased 
demand for the Syndicate's gum-opium, as other supplies 
failed the secret manufacturer of the Apricott type. What 
remained had been sold, by the beginning of June, each in- 
voice at an increased price, each partner sharing unlooked-for 
profits; Arnold's several hundred more than the maximum 
Euaticipated. 

What a difference between these and his Cormorant parfc- 
Ders ! Nothing risked, nothing to fear, not even a lost repu- 
tation. Continuing their "I-am-holier,*' . . . none 
might say them nay. Yet for the very same thing he and his 
fellow smugglers would soon risk not only reputations but lib- 
erty — ^maybe life. . . . 

Waldemar, highly pleased, gave Arnold a tonus, compli- 
menting his systematic bookkeeping and prompt shipments. 

'^f Hugo had your head — or, . . . habits. . . . 
Women, my boy, are the ruin of you young fellows. . . . 
That little hussy. . . J' 

He clenched his fists. ^'Hugo's been a great disappoint- 
ment to me, Arnold.'* 

**I'm mighty glad of it if he has been," Arnold would have 
liked to say savagely, forgetting his friendship for the son in 
his deep dislike of the father, whom he had come to know too 
well. 

Few weeks passed that he had not requested Arnold to re- 
write for him in decent English some speech he was to deliver 
at a public dinner or political meeting, while, as for "com- 
mencements'' — ^no Suffolk County school, public or private, 



344 God*s Man 

seemed satisfied nnless the ^'Honnible Johnnie^ enlightened 
and encouraged its embryo citizens concerning and towiri 
honesty^ private and public^ concluding with an appeal to 
their Anglo-Saxon virtues — ^wherever native Americans 
abounded^ or with ecstatic encomiums of the immigrant laoea. 
In frenzied disgust Arnold often turned these into rhetoric lo 
florid^ so full of bombastic periods that he was sure some one 
would have sufficient humor to recognize the hand of a bnr- 
lesquer. . . . When no one did Arnold's doubts as to 
the wisdom of universal suffrage became absolute antago- 
nism. 

Waldemar had been alarmed when Arnold had suggested 
leaving his employment. He had long since realized the com- 
mercial value of the younger man's intellect. ... And 
now that Hugo had failed him^ ''an honest partner for i 
swindle'' was, as always, the hardest man on earth to find. 
. . . Hence promises of future preferment : Arnold should 
be a partner; in time a partner with Hugo. . . . 

". . . Besides the use you are to me, you're the only 
one he listens to. His poor old father that made a gentleman 
of him and a fortune for him — he don't count a-talL Not 
a-tall. You think it's right he should disgrace his poor old 
father who's worked so hard to give him a name to be prood 
of? Here . . . for instance" . . . and he displayed 
a goodly puff from an upstate paper, by a reporter lidier 
through the "Honnible Johnnie" — ^"as his loving constitoenti 
addressed him, affectionately, one and all — ^" 

Waldemar, 'The People's Man," had a special photogitji 
as such : shirt-sleeved, coat on arm, hand in that of a grimj 
laborer. More dignified journalism told the tale of the aoD 
of the Bussian hoyar, the landed proprietor who had quanded 
with his father because he would not marry a rich girl he did 
not love. 

"Poverty and Liberty," was one Sunday 'Tiead.** 

For the time, as we have said, so great was Arnold's disBb 
for Hugo's father, he forgot his friendship and was glad that 



The Viking Ship 345 

young man was disappointing the honorable gentleman. The 
caiefolly bnilt-np business in poisons would smash when it 
got into Hugo's hands — ^a very good thing for everybody con- 
eemed. So perhaps Bobbie Beulah was not an unmixed evil 
ifter all — otherwise Hugo might have developed into an un- 
wieldy unknowing elephant who destroyed not in malice but 
in ignorance. 

**TTy an* wean him away/' Waldemar had continued. 
**Wean him and I'll make it worth your while. Get him to go 
to Europe : 111 pay the bills. . . ." 

Arnold said he needed the summer. If Waldemar would 
give him until after the ^^rush" season ... for which he 
vould return, he would see. 

Waldemar had acceded, grudgingly, rather than lose him al- 
together. 

But, though he convinced with a show of firmness, Arnold 
irould not have dared an open break with Waldemar. The 
Honnible Johnnie's elaborate business system was necessary 
to the success of the smuggling scheme. When the Cormo- 
fonfs cargo was brought to the city, the distributing facilities 
of the Waldemar company would be needed to market the stuff, 
to distribute it throughout the country to the same people 
who had bought from the "Syndicate." To start a new firm 
which, suddenly, would begin to ship a suspiciously large num- 
ber of express packages — a firm unincorporated and unknown 
— was to awaken the attention of the Federal agents, who, 
hawk-like, watched the express companies, the only agents of 
distribution. The Treasury Department (the oflScial overlord 
of the Customs) maintained a set of examiners who did noth- 
ing much except pay weekly visits to express offices keeping 
their books under close surveillance. Others kept track of 
the drivers and paid them for information. Arnold needed 
the Waldemar label on his shipments, — a label with which 
even the Federals would hesitate to tamper, bearing as it did 
the name of a Congressman high in favor with the adminis- 
tration, a word from whom would mean official decapitation 



346 God's Man 

for minor officials. And why sboald thqr suspect a finn eo 
long established? 

Separate sheds had been hired for the syndicate stores and 
shipments. Although the Waldemar label had been used, (be 
work had no connection with the great Waldemar warehonaes 
on Bleecker Street^ nor had the Superintendent thereof inj 
suzerainty over Arnold's work. He had merely yisid the 
younger man's telephone requests for tracks and deliTsi; 
wagons, being so ordered by his employer. Now that the spdi- 
cate was abolished, Waldemar would have terminated Im 
tenancy, but the Christopher Street property had been leased 
for a twelfth-month so tiie sheds remained^ for all to see, the 
leasehold of "The Waldemar Drug Company,'* — ^the name in 
white letters upon black bam-like doors which, locked and 
mudsplashed, now awaited the Cormorant's cargo. 

Meanwhile, Arnold, down in the country, also awaiting it, 
was endeavoring to put upon paper, in scornful satire, the 
world as it was— or as it seemed to him to be : a place of mf 
less striving and trumpery rewards. He lived alone in the 
house on the bluff, a place not unlike a small Swiss chalet, 
built by a New York broker, now bankrupt, for the **diick* 
shooting'' season — a season again approaching, these early 
September days. For the hearts of the leaves showed led 
against the green, the bobolinks had begun their flight south- 
ward to the Carolina rice-fields, the crows were squawking 
above seas of golden corn, the bluebirds and purple martiDS 
were yielding their long-contested nests to their noisy enemiee, 
the sparrows. 

III. On the Spanish Main 

Arnold was a lover of birds. The old L'Hommedieu fam 
during his boyhood had been their favorite Mecca. And nov, 
since he had taken up residence in the Swiss chalet, he again 
gave them much of his spare time, making them attractifa 
homes in hollow-trees, on poles, in boxea Bospended bm 



i 



The Viking Ship 347 

iranches^ or tmder the low overhanging eaves of the house 
tself. . . . But, the nesting season over, he began to miss 
lie good-natnred notes of the robins : from being home bodies, 
ihey had turned to adventurous gipsies, taking up tempo- 
rary residence wherever wild-cherries or cedar-berries were 
:o be found. He seldom heard the bubbling notes of the wren, 
Oie Tosebreast, not at all ; that child of the hot sun had betaken 
itself farther south at the first chill breeze from the Connecti- 
2ut shore. There came to him only the shrill call of the bob- 
«rhite and the drumming of the ruffled grouse, birds with 
good reason for disbelief in human friendship. These, with 
the ever-present rooks and ravens, haunted every copse and 
dell and drove out even the fighting blue-jay. 

Autumn and the time for the return of the Cormorani 
were drawing near. As to the latter, there had been most 
vexatious delays. Amold^s first news of her had been at 
Charleston: a fight with a Hatteras gale had carried away 
her topsails and had blown one of her boats down on the 
wheelhouse, smashing it and the helmsman's arm. From 
Key West came news of a second delay : she had put in there 
to escape a terrific Gulf storm that raged for days from the 
Carolinas to the Keys. . . . Finally sighting the coast of 
Yucatan, she must, to disguise her destination, cruise about 
aimlessly : a Mexican destroyer on the watch for gunrunners 
and filibusters persisting in keeping her sighted until, dis- 
gusted. Captain Danny sailed off toward Honduras. This 
had cost them nearly a fortnight. When at last they reached 
the narrow creek that wound through these swamplands that 
surrounded the fields of rice and poppies owned by the Senor 
Don Guillermo Gomez of Pereira, they had gone aground in 
mud and ooze. 

Thus it was more than six weeks since sailing-time before 
they reached the lagoon of the Hacienda del Torros, towed 
by the Senor Don's little trading-tug. On making their busi- 
ness known to their host, they were disconcerted to discover 
that just before receiving Danny's telegram two months pre- 



348 God's Man 

yious, Don Ouillermo had sold a large consigimient of bii 
refined gum to border smugglers who operated far to the 
norths near El Paso. He had plenty of the raw stuff in his 
warehouses and the new crop of poppies promised well Bat 
the Cormorant must wait until all this could be conyertod 
by his Chinese into the precious Li-un. 

All in ally the return journey was not begun until early in 
August. In the letter that told of it — ^written by Quiim— 
while they were towed down the creek of the Seven Sins— 
Captain Danny was also reported as prophesying a lengtlij 
Northern trip. They must expect the sunmier eahns off the 
Gulf coast; calms during which a sailing-ehip rocked on the 
waves like a baby in its cradle^ when one could but lash the 
wheel and let the men have their liberty. Such calms en- 
dured for days, sometimes for whole weeks. . . . 

With ordinary good fortune, however, they should reach 
Long Island about the first week in September. Qoinn's 
letter advised those in the secret to take up residence in the 
Swiss chalet about that time and to keep a ''weather eye" 
oceanward, night and day. 

Thus also had Apricott written, as Arnold learned on his 
visit to town to apprise Mother Mybus of the progress of their 
plan. Both letters had been long delayed in consequence of 
the isolation of El Hacienda del Torres, from which the 
Gomez trading-tug went to the nearest town only weeBy. 
Letters must then await the next mail-steamer, the town being 
far away from any railroad. So ihat it was the twenty- 
eighth of August before Arnold and Mother Mybus had been 
notified. 

Since then Arnold wondered why he did not live in feverish 
anticipation, considering that his chance for wealth was nov 
so near at hand. But he seemed to have found far more ex- 
citement in the mere rescue of a young crow, wounded in • 
battle with two gulls and flapping feebly in the underbmsh, 
had found more interest in teaching it to talk — ^having first 
taken it to town to be etherized by his cousin. Doctor Will, for 



The Viking Ship 349 

mgue-sliiting supposed to make speech possible; had 
ire anticipation in watching the ebon bird stalk about 
ise, and wondering what next it woidd gravely mimic. 
I had not laughed so heartily in years as when, on the 
ter he received Quinn^s letter^ the crow had begun to 
Onward, Christian Soldiers. 

first few bars (all it had ever heard) appeared to have 
ilected as its favorite expression, following the example 
runken carpenter, who had repeated them in its pres- 
lany times, and in what to Arnold was interminable 
my. 

he many closely-written pages which should have made 
t one-half of his great revolutionary novel, Arnold de- 
L at night more than three-quarters of what he wrote 

the day. Yet, altogether, he was not xmhappy. As 
b passed out he became accustomed to his solitude and 
to discontinue his daily dinners at the Parsonage, 
he had spent two days without hearing any human 
mt his own and no thought of Velvet Voice had in- 

upon his abstract speculations, he had the satisfaction 
wing that he no longer needed Bertie or any other 
. to soothe his wounded pride. 

is not necessarily a tribal animal. Association with 
lows, he found, was only civilization's habit — a habit 
ves too little time for observation of countless other of 
recompenses. Alone, Arnold could realize that life 

men is but a small and perhaps unimportant portion 
in all. In his new frame of mind he found pleasure in 
mght that so little had been revealed to man, so much 
ed to be learned. As does the recluse who retires from 
rid embittered but mentally unimpaired, he began to 
tand what Balzac meant by the human comedy, to see 
)er-man as a naturalist upon an ant-hill, as a critic at 
drama too cheap for serious consideration, 
as not the consciousness of his inferiority to greater 

that stayed his pencil. He had known of that in- 



350 God's Man 

feriority too long. It was his helpless wonder as to whether 
there was any use in trying to teach human beings at alL 

As well spend weary days and sleepless nights endeayoiing 
to prevent a world of clumsy feet and careless hands from 
treading down the cities of the ants, tearing away the laby- 
rinths of the spiders. How if he began to consider the mil- 
lions of guns that carried sudden death to his beloved birds? 
To the end of time the work of nations of ants would be de- 
stroyed by the first malicious foot that came their way. Yet 
no doubt wise ants counseled against building by the ro«d- 
ways or in the open spaces; counseled, worried and wore 
themselves out for their ungrateful fellows. As for birds— 
the warning notes of the wiser ones had never prevented the 
decimation of their tribes. 

Were foolish human beings any more to be regarded than 
spiders, ants or birds in the eyes of the Almighty? Did it 
not rather depend on how successful the exceptional oneB 
were in capturing some spark of the Divine, sparks struck off 
in so many different ways if one had only the wit to know 
them ; sparks that, if captured, set death at defiance ? What 
strange secrets were held within the rise of the sun and its 
setting ? Why was it that he could not look upon such phe- 
nomena xmmoved, but must dumbly crave the permanence of 
some of this beauty? What strange stories were told by the 
cold blasts that withered the flowers, the South winds that 
resurrected them from the earth again? Were the leases 
that rustled in the wind trying to reveal the secret? Was that 
the reason their rustling filled him with such strange un- 
rest? . . . 

He would waken from such abstractions to call himself a 
fanciful fool, a zany whom solitude was threatening with 
softening of the brain. Then he would go striding off into 
the forest, head bent, brows knit, trying to force his wande^ 
ing wits to concentrate upon his grimly realistic tale of bar- 
lots and thieves — ^harlots and thieves of all sorts from Fiftii 



The Viking Sliip 351 

Avenue to Wall Street down, or up— which constituted the 
Teaming tale of *'grim, relentless, significant life/^ which he 
^wanted to write. 

Perhaps he would return to write it, doggedly and in a 

frenzy of disgust — a modified disgust compared to that which 

lie experienced when he read what he had written and hurled 

luB note-book across the room, awakening the young crow, 

^who would begin his Onward, Christian Soldiers until Ar- 

mold threw the table-cloth over the offending head. . . . 

And then, silent and supine, Arnold would stare at the stars 

and listen to the lapping of the surf, and his eyes, grown 

:f andful as his brain in the solitude and darkness, saw moving 

shapes outside. Sometimes, like Joan of Domremy, he 

seemed to hear voices in the trees. . . . Often it seemed 

he had grasped something tangible, something he understood 

quite well, but that he must learn to translate so that others 

might understand. And he was vaguely uplifted until he 

attempted an expression of it ; then it was nothing. 

He would be a trifle comforted, however, when he read the 
books of otlier men, his former idols ; the Bussian realists and 
their French imitators, the novels of *Tife.^' Each was like 
a dish delicately cooked with one ingredient missing, the one 
that should blend the flavors into an appetizing whole — or 
the house of a master architect who had gone mad and had 
forgotten to put in the staircase. . . . These details of 
unhappy men and sordid women, this was not life. Like 
red glass lit from beneath, that on the stage pretends to be a 
fire, they lacked warmth. One admired the near-perfect con- 
struction of the house, the skill of the chef, but went away 
with no desire to dwell within nor to have the dish for dinner. 
And this was what he had, boastfully, come into the 
country to do; this was to justify his rebellion against the 
law, his adoption of the tactics of those he despised, . . • 
this paltry achievement that, when done, meant nothing save 
to a crew of one-sided enthusiasts who endeavored to atone 



352 



God's Man 



for lack of life, of warmth, of influence upon bnmanity, b; 
calling the achievement ^'arf and denying that ^'art^ had ^ 
do with humanity. 

Along with other illusions went his desire for the title of 
''artist'* — a vainglorious thing not of nature nor of the Di- 
vine, but a poor human ennoblement that waa no more en- 
nobling than the accolade upon the shoulder of a brewer. An 
artist — a tender of dying fires, blowing his breath on them 
and bidding all observe how they outshone the feeble sun in 
the heavens ; and, even as the tenders turned, the fires died 
down and new ones must be built on new altars — ^the old 
despised. Art was anathema since it had become a thing of 
human rules, of dogma — ^what did they know of ''art,'* those 
great inspired ones whose works the little people explained in 
terms of mystery— of rationale — rapprochement — static and 
plastic values. . . . And then, having followed all of the 
rules, the little people had no power to give the breath of 
life. 

Art I He wanted Prometheus* fire to blaze out so the iriiok 
world would see, not feeble, flickering temple lights that 
warmed only the high priests and them not truly. . . . 



CHAPTER TWO 

THE WIRELESS MESSAGE 

Pine Tubkb Fhilosofher 

7AS on the afternoon of the 
:teenth that qniet fled the house 
the bluff, that the invasion 
the Horde began. Arnold's 
■ st knowledge of it came when, 

turning from a trip beyond 
-ecn Sands in the motor-boat, 
saw floating on the outgoing 
le something dark and indis- 
ict. He pulled a switch, re- 
rsing the engine and backing 
e boat and salvaged this flot- 
sam. It was a dead dnck, its 
: magnificent expanse of white 

breast disfigured by an ugly hole. As Arnold gripped its neck 
to bring it in a small fish was ejected from its bill. 

The incident seemed peculiarly and hatefully typical of 
the wastefulness, the savagery of life. Less than an hour 
before — for the bird's body was still warm — that fish was 
alive and disporting itself among its fellows. Then the duck 
had dived and snatched him to sudden death. But, before 
it could be swallowed, even as the duck's head came above 
the water, a shot had killed the killer. Two perfectly useless 
deaths, for the duck — the coot — for all its beauty of breast, 
was fishy, leathery and worthless for food. Its killing had 



354 God's Man 

been merely to gratify some whim — ^perhaps only as a trial 
of skill, a piece of human vanity — ^for, evidently, there hid 
been no attempt to retrieve it. Just so were human beingi 
slaughtered to no end save to give gratification to others, who, 
in their turn, died without having been advantaged ia the 
slightest. And they called that Life I 

He cast back bird and fish, and continued on his way, fay- 
ing to think again of the ant-hill, the beehive, the spide^ 
webs, to regain his view of life as the human comedy. But 
the homely incident had, for the moment, demolished such 
theories — death itself was too actual to be brushed away with 
a laugh. And death was the one thing he, nor any other 
human being, could not understand. It was not the fate of 
those two inarticulate things that moved him to a certain un- 
defined terror and dismay. It was the thought that, though 
his own life was better protected, he lived in a world of death 
rather than life. For death, unlike life, was in the hands of 
all — the careless, the stupid, the malicious, the suddenly en- 
raged. It lurked on every side, in the bushes where a sntb 
could suddenly uprear and strike, where an inexpert or a 
drunken hunter might discharge a gun, on the city pave- 
ments, where from above a stone or a bit of iron might fall 
upon any passer-by, in the streets, in the caprice of an unruly 
horse or a careless chauffeur ; on the seas, with a speed-drifen 
captain, or a sleepy officer on the bridge. . . . Every- 
where, anywhere, this Jove-like power was shared by all living 
things — even to the birds carrying the germs of disease, the 
insects heavy with dread bacteria. And there was no way to 
guard against it. Some passed unscathed on many battle- 
fields to die only after they had drunk deep of joy and sorrow. 
Others, infants never a foot from their homes, met it in fl« 
first unclean milk-can. . . . 

His mind had a surcease from such gloomy reflections when 
it dwelt for an instant on the extraordinarily large wound in 
the coot^s breast. That was caused by no shotgun, nor ef« 
a rifle. It was a revolver-shot. And it occurred to him that 



The Wireless Message 355 

people roundabout Havre de Grace did not carry revolvers, 

tiiere being a stern enforcement of the law against concealed 

^weapons since a street-duel in his boyhood when several inno- 

€9ent onlookers had been killed, among them a child. More* 

over, the Havre de Gravians were good sportsmen, who would 

soon shoot through the windows of the Parsonage as kill 

in the nesting season. Therefore, the shooting must 

been done by some visitor. . . . 

Perhaps, in his three hours* absence, some one from the 

city had arrived at the Swiss chalet. True, they did not 

expect the Cormorant; she could arrive at this time only un- 

^der the most favorable circumstances. And, as Captain 

3)aim7 had prophesied, these were unlikely in that season. 

Sat, even so, Arnold knew of Archie's fretful worry, the over- 

dne bills he was having difficulty in keeping from his uncle. 

Then there was the greedy impatience of Mother Mybus as 

evidenced in certain guarded scrawls received at the village 

3X)8t-office. Archie, however, was a native and would not be 

guilty of shooting out of season, and Mother was not likely to 

he a marksman, nor blind Nikko. So he dismissed that idea. 

But, when he had moored the cruiser in Rocky Cove, rowing 

ashore in the dingey, he heard a shot from the bluff above^ 

and as he neared the top saw two city-dressed men sitting at 

ease on his little porch. Their feet were on the rail, one was 

loading an automatic revolver. He ran at them enraged — 

and looked upon M. M. Cagey and the Phony Kid, attired in 

the very latest "nobby'* styles for men. 

^TTeVe been waitin* a couple of hours for you, me lord,*' 
said Pink, putting the revolver into a hip-pocket. "And I 
was showing the sucker here what would happen if any bright 
little guy got it into his head to try an* stop us from landing 
onr black mud from our little ship-ahoy !** He shook hands, 
as did Beau. 

Arnold was too amazed at their presence and their knowl* 
edge of the secret to notice that Pink's pronunciation had 
lastly improved and that he had begun to enunciate his words 



356 



God's Man 



instead of letting fhem rattle against tbe roof of hia moatL 
Pink had loet none of hia ambition since deprived of the edu- 
cating example of Arnold ; rather throngh hia new aasodatioD 
at the Sydenham had been goaded to concentration and self- 
control in the matter of speech and conduct. There remained 
to be remedied only his scanty vocabnlaiy. 

He did not tmst to this to answer the many questions 
smnmed up in Arnold's amazement, but handed him a thumb- 
marked envelope. This was addressed in Mother's scanty 
scrawl, one that robbed letters of all save labored outlines. A 
knowledge of etiquette not to be expected of the proprietor of 
such hieroglyphics, — ^the envelope was sealed. As Arnold 
ripped it with thumb and forefinger a whitish paper dropped 
therefrom. Pink picked it up while Arnold read the otiier 
incloBure, a note that informed him that Messrs. Frank Nolan 
and B. Markowitz were to act as Mother's representatives in 
*Tie knew what." They would explain and the inclosed mes- 
sage would do the rest. As he looked up Pink put the whitish 
slip into his hand : 



Wireless company. Twenty dollars and eighty cents 
collect. Red Reef, Delaware, from 8. 8. Imranduna. . 



"Cormorant, clipper yacht, alters course to approach 
and megaphone as follows: 'Favorable winds, should 
arrive Nantucket twentieth latest. Please forward to 
Albatross, New York J 



9 t» 



This latter was a cable address registered by Arnold ssd 
given to Captain Danny before leaving. On his visit to 
Mother Mybus a few days before Arnold had advised sending 
a messenger each morning to inquire at the eable-offioe fe 
possible telegrams. Evidently she had done so. 



The Wireless Message 357 

'TTiis Nantncket's near Boston ?' half -stated, half -inquired 
Beau as Arnold looked up again. Arnold nodded, then went 
within, wheeled out the telescope on its stand and pointed it 
to sweep the Sound in the direction of the ocean. 

*T was right as usual, Saphead,*' commented Pink, further 
excoriating Beau with some allusions to his general lack of 
comprehension and intelligence. ^Tor, as I said to the old 
dame, why in hell should he want to go to Nantucket? 

" There was a young man of Nantucket, 
Who had a head shaped like a bucket. 
Like a bucket is good. 
For his head was of wood. 
If you asked him to think, he would muck it.' 

'Thafs Beau, all right. I made that up coming down in 
the train. First I had — 



« € 



Like a bucket, again. 
He had water for brain,* 

''But I think the other's better. Some poet, hey? I used 
to make up little pomes when I was grabbing Helen Darling. 
She was one of those sentimental broads and she fell for it. 
. . . Could a poor but honest lad make any money writing 
pomes ?* 

'TTou think the Captain on'y put in that Nantucket for a 
blind steer, Mr. Arnold,'* asked Beau, disregarding him; 
"sorta throw anybody off the track if they suspicioned any- 
thing? And he's coming right here like was arranged? 
That's what Pink thinks." 

'That's what anybody thinks who's got a nut on him in- 
stead of a cold-storage tank," returned Pink rudely. "The 
Captain probably figured he took a long chance wirelessing, 
anyway. Nantucket's two days' sailing from here, I foimd 
oat," he added, addressing Arnold. 'That means he oughta 



358 God's Man 

show by the eighteenth. But he says 'twentieth, the latesV— 
BO he might be here to-night or to-morrow or any time. The 
Old One said something about signaling — ^^ 

'TTes," returned Arnold shortly. He resented the intru- 
sion of this pair into his quiet and peace and the unpleasant 
reverie that their dead coot had cost him. Pink's conversa- 
tion had amused him in the city, but it was as out of place 
here as his ignorance of the game-laws. 

Nor was the news that he brought agreeable. That sense 
of burning injustice done him by circumstances; that desire 
to rebel, to smash hypocritical laws that protected only the 
rich, had faded from Arnold. In his solitude, in his nights 
at the Parsonage, in his few dealings with the simple, homely 
folk about Havre de Grace, his rage with humanity had found 
little to feed on. He was removed from the exposition of 
demagogic ignorance and oppression, plutocratic ostentation 
and greed, the hypocrisy of respectability and religion. There 
was very little fault to find with the simple social system of 
his native heath — he could evoke his former righteous rage 
only by remembering civic indignities ; and as one does not 
willingly recall unpleasant memories, this is why he could not 
write in the fine frenzy he had planned. There had been no 
crystallization ; he could see only the segregated incidents, not 
the reason for them ; could only rage unwittingly. As the 
peninsular philosopher had said, he did not know Why. 
. . . Therefore he had taken the path of evasion, what 
another has called the Great White Logic. It did not matter; 
nothing mattered. . . . 

But, without that fine frenzy, he saw the whole affair of the 
Cormorant not as a justified rebellion, not as an equalizing 
of opportunity by disregarding the law, but as the sordid 
sneaking business it was — worthy a penniless Waldemar or 
Hartogensis, but unworthy a UHommedieu, penniless or even 
starving. And the pitiful excuse of saving Archie! For 
what ? So that a shallow, petty, overdressed girl might play 
Lady of the Manor. 



The Wireless Message 359 

'Tliooks like he burned down without any insurance/' com- 
mented Pink, as Arnold, moody and downcast, went within 
to telephone to Hugo and Archie in the city. "We're just as 
welcome here as we'd be in the street. Get down and let him 
wipe his tootsies on you. Beau, and be sure and apologize for 
not having had your clothes dry-cleaned before you had the 
nerve to want to be his door-mat. . . . For a man who 
stands to win ten grands or more as soon as we get that much 
marketed, he acts as funny as a funeral. Wonder if he'll let 
us go on living if we ask him pretty-pretty P' All of which 
was intended for Arnold's ears as he sat at his writing-table 
by the open window, waiting for the long-distance operator to 
connect him. 

He looked up and smiled, albeit with an effort. 

"The sun's coming out late to-day. Beau — ^look," said the 
irrepressible Pink, pointing. "That friendly look's just 
about an hour overdue, Sir Lionel de Launcelot. What's 
eating you, anyway? Have they stolen your best child and 
hidden it in the naughty forest? Or — curses — has Beatrix 
betrayed you?" This time Arnold's smile was less mechan- 
ical, and he was about to add to it, when he was connected 
with Beulah Eoberts' apartment. The maid answered for 
her mistress, who evidently sat near, that Mr. Waldemar was 
not expected for an hour. 

"I must speak to him this afternoon. It's very im- 
portant. . . • Tell him Havre de Grace, Number 81. 
We've got to get hold of the two of them," he added to his 
visitors, as he hung up. Then, "Stuyvesant 481 — J," when 
he again got the ear of the town operator. 

•Tf ou mean that friend of yours with the car ?" asked Pink. 
It was in Hugo's machine that the Cormorant's cargo was to 
be transferred to New York, a matter of many trips, even to 
that car, an 80-90 French tourer. 

Arnold nodded, while he asked the hall man at Hugo's 
apartment-house to connect him with that young gentleman. 
From his expression the listeners imagined he had been fortu- 



360 



God's Man 



nate^ which was confirmed by hurried directioDB giTcn almost 
immediately after. 

"You're to get Archie and be down here before dark. . . . 
(Yes, of course it's Arnold.) The car? — certainly! Well, 
we can't wait for thai this irip. Come down in the touring 
body. You've got a good top with side and back curtains, 
haven't you? . . . Well, thafll do for the first trip. ItTl 
have to do. . . . Oh, Hugo, don't be a silly goat! Of 
course, you're not to bring the chauffeur. You know aa much 
about a car as he does. Let him stay and run the hired car 
for her, if her highness can't get along with humble taxicabs. 
. . . Too bad about her. I'd hate to try to carry all the 
nickels she spent on trolley-rides before she met you. But 
I'm wasting time. You don't seem to realize how important 
this is. Never mind, thaf s enough. Bemember, you're talk- 
ing on the phone. Now go get Archie right away. Dent 
tell your father you're coming — ^no ! Yes, I heard he was 
down here for a rest. . . . Archie either. Hurry now. 
Don't argue. I'll explain when you get here. Good-iy.** He 
hung up in a rage. 

"Wish I was him," said Pink in pretended wistfulneee. 
'^hen I was broke I could go hire myself out in one of those 
side-shows where you throw three cocoanuts for a nickel at 
the nigger's head. They'd be glad to get a head like hia. 
Wouldn't have to keep repainting it all the time or anything. 
. . . ^Can he bring his chauffeur^ — oh. Mother, Mother, 
pin a rose on me, for I'm just as dev'lish as I — can— be!*' 

"I wouldn't advise you to let him hear you. He's onlj 
about six feet three and weighs two hundred and ten," said 
Arnold. "And now, since you fellows are here, I suppose jon 
want something to eat. . . . It's getting late — " for, al- 
though the days were long, the sun was low in the west and 
the hour was five or more. "I always eat about six, and 
dinners don't leap out of the oven already cooked, you know- 
especially for three people." 

"Say," commented Beau, in admiration not unmixed with 



The Wireless Message 361 

a little awe. 'TTou take it cool, I'm a son-of-a-gun if you 
don't. Anybody 'ud think he'd been a burglar all his Ufe, 
hey, sucker?" 

"Just a natural-bom tendency to larceny/* agreed Pink. 
''As full of it as a Fifth Avenue church vestry. And, speak- 
ing of churches, I'm as empty as one. That is, the 
average New York church; they're turning most of 'em into 
garages and moving-picture shows, except on the Avenue, 
where all the Captain Kidds of Wall Street try to kid the 
Almighty, too — ^Kidd — kid — pretty good — ^what?" 

''Stop trifling with suicide, sucker," said Beau wearily. 

"You gotta hand it to me — I'm full of pomes and wit to- 
day," continued Pink vivaciously. "Guess it's the country 
air. I feel as good as a cat that's just cleaned up the ice-box. 
. . . Say, Duke, I dropped in among those Fifth Avenue 
burglars once, just to see if I couldn't cop a little of their 
classy work — sort of on the up-and-up, you know, showing I'm 
as ambitious a little fellow as ever sung a hymn. I wanted 
to see how the guys who, when they got in the heavenly line- 
up on Judgment Day, will have to answer to every crime in- 
cluding arson and mayhem, try to get away with that pious 
stuff, too. And, sure enough, I don't set there ten minutes — 
I come late — ^but what a hoary-headed old pirate prods me in 
the stomach with one of those boxes that's got a handle like 
a roulette-rake, and as I look up who do I see but Mr. J. B. 
Bamsbotham, Esquire. 

"Only the day before the papers were full of how he grabbed 
that Montana mine away from two brothers that sweat ten 
years for it — forecloses, or calls a loan or something — ^and 
sells it to the Copper Trust for 'steen millions. And there 
be is trjring to collect the Lord's money, too. And then peo- 
ple wonder why thejr're closing the churches down-town?" 
Pink spat disgustedly. "Him with the poor-box. It 'ud 
give me a laugh if it didn't make me so dumed mad. 

"But," he grinned, "I give some of the others a laugh at 
that. I took out half a caser and looked him in the eye. 



362 God's Man 

^If I give you tliis four bits/ I says, 'will you promise not to 
get away with forty-nine cents of it between here and the 
altar?' Say, you oughta seen the sexton— or whatever he vas 
— ^run me out. I bet he was a copper dressed up. Sure! 
One of Ramsbotham's private bulls. He don't dare move a 
step without a brace of 'em at liis bacf 

The impudence and c}Tiicism of the young rogue reawaked 
in Arnold something missing for the last months, some- 
thing of his old indignation. He frowned, smiled, seemed 
about to say something, changed his mind and led them to 
one of the rooms he had kept in reserve for visitors. It con- 
tained four camp-beds, folded and propped against the wall, 
a pile of blankets on a closet-shelf, some sha^^ng mirrors hung 
near the windows, a clothes-press, a washstand ; most of which 
had been donated by liis mother from the excess at the Par- 
sonage. 

"The bathroom's next door," said Arnold, "and these beda 
aren't uncomfortable. I see you brought dressing- 
bags. . . ." 

"Yes," grumbled Beau, "and some job it was lugging them 
'cross lots from the town. We didn't want anybody to know 
where we were aiming for, so we couldn't hire a team or any- 
thing. I didn't see tlie use of it ; it was the sucker's idear— * 

"You poor simp," returned Pink, who was shedding his 
city clothes in favor of khaki riding-trousers and a flannel 
shirt. "Don't you realize you've got a chance to be a regular 
hero like you read about ? Do you want to spoil it all with 
your comic Forty-second Street clothes, you jay?" He had 
added to his new attire a pair of English puttees that were 
turning his slim legs into a pair of olive-tinted cylinders. 
"Suppose we got nailed by the Customs people or those BeT^ 
nue oflTiccrs in their jim-dandy uniforms? What would the 
public think of a desperate smuggler in a Dunlop cady and ft 
wing collar and a loud vest and light cloth-top patent leath- 
ers ? Wliy, you'd crab the whole business. Nobody has wj 
sympathy for that kind of lice. . . /^ 



The Witeless Message 363 

He smoothed down the Byronic collar of his flannel shirt 
and knotted the attached cord so that its tassels became a 
substitute for a necktie. A soft hat of Italian make pulled 
down over his brows, he surveyed his mirrored likeness with 
approval. 

"There's a gink that looks like he might be something be- 
sides a ribbon clerk/^ he said educatively. He was so thor- 
oughly in earnest about it that Arnold smothered his laugh- 
ter and went off to prepare their meal. Presently they joined 
him. Beauts attire now a replica of Pink's, except for the put- 
tees. Beau wore canvas leggings. Arnold set them paring 
potatoes and shelling peas; he himself ground the coffee and 
prepared the meat. ... It was not until they sat down 
to dinner that he asked the question uppermost in his mind. 

"Aren't you at Sydenham's any more — and little Miss 
Soniar 

'*You are wondering how we happen to be cut in on this 
deal, ain't that it ?" returned Pink. "Tell him, Beau." And 
he attacked the steak and lyonnaise potatoes, filling his mouth 
to incapacitate him for narration. Beau was too glad of the 
chance to take stage center to note the trick that was to de- 
fraud him of a large portion of his dinner. 

"You might know the coppers wouldn't let us stay square, 
Mr. Arnold," he complained, putting down knife and fork. 
"There we were getting forty a week apiece, only Sonny got 
fifty. And private lessons to these society dames and Broad- 
way frails were just starting to get us some important dough. 
It looked too good to last and I told Pink so — " 

'TTou mean I told you so," murmured Pink out of a full 
mouth. "Don't try to convince anybody you're one of the 
wise ones. Because your map tips you off. . . ." And 
he went on eating. 

"Well, maybe you told me, too," granted Beau indulgently. 
"Anjrway, we wasn't surprised when the pavement flew up 
and hit us in the face, 'cause we were looking for it. One 
day a big burly in a Tux is standing around givin' the joint 



364 God's Man 

the once-over, and I made him for a State's Evidence loose 
that's got a bunch of good fellows jammed into the song- 
factory up the river. So I sends a waiter for the manager—" 

"He means / sent for him," interposed Pink, incensed. *1f 
that's the way you're going to tell it — ^" 

*^ell, you sent for him, then," agreed Bean, and galloped 
on : " *That guy over there is a gun — a crook,* I said to the 
manager. *And you better git him out of here before he puts 
a diamond tarara in his pocket or steals an automobile,' we 
says. . . . 'Why, that's the new house-detective,' says the 
manager. *Mr. Pettigrew sent him here' — ^" 

"This Pettigrew," interpolated Pink, gulping coffee, 'is 
tlie society man wliose backing the joint because he's stuck on 
the star turkey-trotter — ^a pretty little piece of goods she is, 
too, but stuck on another guy, though Pettigrew don't know it, 
being a fresh-water oyster that emits pearls at every gasp. 
And being that kind of a simp, he's likewise in one of these 
White Slave Investigating Committees, and it appears this 
stool-pigeon in the dinner-coat — only Harlem stews say Tni- 
edo,' ell, Sir Launcelot ? — has been makin' soft money swear- 
ing to White-Slave charges against all the madams tiiat ever 
staked him to the eats in the back-kitchen. Thaf s how he 
got in with Pettigrew and got this house-detective job. And 
from what the manager says Pettigrew thinks he's got wings 
under the Moe Levy padding in his shoulders — ^" 

"Say — you finish it," said Beau irritably. 

"No," said Pink, with a magnanimous gesture, "go ahead, 
my boy," and started on the cheese. 

"Well, this Gammage — ^that's the stool's name — ^it ain't 
very long before he gets wise to us tipping him off. Anyhow, 
whenever we happened to be near him in a crowd Pink would 
cop his souper. That's how they came to call him Tink,' 
copping Pinkerton bulls' watches on the race-track and send- 
ing 'em to the managers to show 'em how TTie Eye thit 
Never Sleeps' took forty winks now and then. Well, when i 
crowd of waiters were around at closing time we'd say to him: 



The Wireless Message 365 

Oh, Mr. Detective^ some ornery thief stole your watch, but 
ire got it back for you, bo we did. Why don't you complain 
x> the police about those sassy devils? . . ! And of 
xmrae that made him sore. So one day, when some dame 
lost her ring, he swears he saw us turn the trick. Then he 
gets some harness coppers to identify us as thieves — all but 
Somiy, who he's kinda stuck on. And that gets us fired by 
this Pettigrew guy, who reads us a lecture along with it, and 
won't listen to nothing against Oammage. We pretty near 
got in the hoose-gow over it 'cause we couldn't kick back the 
hock-rock. But Pettigrew's too soft-hearted a gink to let us 
do time, so he squares the squeal by buying her a new one. 
... Of course, we laid for Gammage," he added virtu- 
ously. . . . 

''And, of course, we gave him the walloping of his life. I 
bent this cannon of mine into a 'Z' on the front of his face 
md straightened it out on the back of his head. He won't 
•mile in a hurry," said Pink, with a vicious grin. "Not until 
file dentist puts in four front tusks, he won't. . . . And 
of course there was nothing to it then but to tear down to 
the old dame and head off the rap from headquarters. We 
knew what was coming from a guy like Gammage — assault 
^th intent to kill and a couple of cannon planted on us by 
the coppers who made the arrest so's to be sure we'd get a two- 
Tears' bit under that new concealed weapons law. . . . 
Sreat thing for coppers that law is. If they want to settle 
lomebody, all they got to do is drop a cannon in his kick. It's 
>etter than dropping watches, 'cause you might have an alibi 
ibout where you was when the watch was stolen. But a gun — 
kingo ! You're gone." 

All doubts as to the justification of the Cormorant ven- 
rore fled Arnold. "And so I suppose you ^planned a little 
Jurglary or forged a little check or slew a little baby for the 
x>ral round its neck' since you met so much encouragement 
n your attempt to be honest," he invited. lie was surprised 
o have his question met by a silence of some duration, which 



366 God's Man 

from the volatile Beau and the voluble Pink was unprece- 
dented. 

Presently Pink arose and walked to the open window to 
stare at the sunlit waters rolling like molten metal under the 
great round ball of Japanese red and dashing up showers of 
sparks on the pebbles of the beach below. Beau seemed in- 
terested in the glowing tip of his cigarette and the nail of hii 
forefinger. 

"I suppose old Nikko^s got the right idea/' said Pink pro- 
ently, apparently addressing the pale horns of a tiny crescsit 
that was riding the northern cloud-banks at a furious gall(^ 
to arrive in time to bid the red ball au revoir. *Tes, I sup- 
pose old Nikko^s right with that talk of his about rebellion. I 
used to kid him a lot about it at first. Thought he was nnts. 
I was saying that to Beau only the other day, wasn't I, son?* 
It was the first time Arnold had seen the two betray any ten- 
derness toward each other. Beau nodded in a way to suggest 
that if he were nearer he would put a hand on Pink's shoulder. 
"Yes, sir, I said to Beau that it about looked like we griftere 
had a damn good right to nick a front or peel a poke so long 
as Wall Street and Washington were picking everybody's 
pockets. Not that we care so long as they leave something 
for somebody else. But they don't. And when they come 
to us and say, *Now, be good boys and work hard all day, snd 
we'll let you go on working hard all your life so when yon die 
you can go to Heaven and be rewarded' — ^when they pull thit. 
stuflE it gets my goat If I'd been honest all my life I mi^t 
be married to some little woman with wrinkles from doing her 
own washing and ironing and minding the house and sitting 
up nights to cut down my clothes so the kid 'uU have some- 
thing to go to school in. And after sitting in the shop all dij 
and almost all night, selling goods and making cigars, whtt 
would I be at fifty ? Just fixed so the landlord can nm me 
out 'cause my rent ain't been paid for three months, and so 
the butcher could get an attachment on my stock. . . • 
Thaf s what happened to my old man after ihiriy-five jesn 



The Wireless Message 367 

€)f honest work. I'm supporting him now, have been for 
years. He thinks I am a jewelry salesman. And I've got 
"two kid brothers learning a trade they couldn't aflford to learn 
if I was honest. And another in college, studying civil-en- 
gineering, and my sister, 'stead of going into some sweatshop 
and losing her looks, or into some store and losing her sweet 
little ways, or into some chorus and losing her virtue — ^well, 
I give her an education and she grabbed a good guy for her- 
self — son of a big wholesale baker and general manager. Yes, 
air. Sis is married two years now and got one grand little kid. 
Named after me, whadda you know about that? — Frank 
Nolan Middenkoff — German, her fellow's father is. . . . 
Now I suppose somebody's going to tell me I oughta gone 
and been an A. D. T. kid or a bundle-boy in a department- 
store, and now I'd be driving a wagon like a gentleman and 
getting twelve per, and the other kids — gee ! — I hate to think 
what 'ud happened to them! I got sotne advantages being 
the eldest and in the eighth grade at school before we bust 
up — ^burst, damn it, burst, burst, burst: kick me. Beau, will 
you, boy ?" 

And Beau, gravely arose and kicked him, not violently nor 
wildly but judicially and accurately. "That T)ursf is the 
worse," he confided to Arnold, who was amused at this climax 
to his sociology. "I slip up on 'burst' every time. And if s 
got to stop. . . . Anyway, as I said to Beau, if those 
pirates who're running things expect us fellows to harness 
up like horses for no pay except a stall to sleep in and about 
half the hay we need to work on, they've got the wrong dope." 

*'And the worst of it, the stall ain't even clean, let alone 
big," confirmed Beau. "And the hay's the lousiest the law 
allows. . . . You ought to seen my home, Mr. Arnold. 
X^ink had more'n me. My mother cooked in the bedroom, and 
Me didn't get a bath more'n once a month 'cause there never 
'Was enough heat to give you hot water — and before you got 
into the tub, you had to throw about a million water-roaches 
tmt of it. I was glad to go to school in winter 'cause it was 



368 God's Man 

warm — ^that^e why those East-side schools are so crowded- 
no place like home — ^thank God! And people say: THij 
donH they go live in the country.* Listen: they never hiTc 
two dollars ahead, let alone enough to pay car fare and keep 
*em while they git a job. And suppose you're a certain kind 
of worker and there's no work for that kind of worker in the 
coimtry? A hired man on a farm — a green hand— d'jou 
think he* 8 going to be allowed to have a*wife and child? . . . 
Ain't I heard my old man and my mother talk about the 
countiy for hours? Gee I" . . . His look expressed un- 
utterable disgust. 

*'You give half of 'em a chance to live in the country and 
they'll go so fast ifll make your head swim. But they blov 
over from Europe in those cattleships at a sawbuck a head 
sometimes and with jest about enough to land. And ifs 
to the employers' interests to give 'em a job quick and keep 
'em in the city so the price for unskilled labor won't go up. 
Look at the Swedes and Germans. They've got immigrant 
organizations and bureaus back of them. They don't stop in 
Kew York — ^they go on out to Wisconsin and the Middle 
West, where farm jobs are waitin' for 'em-— or little faring 
or truck-gardens. . • . People ain't so crazy to stick in 
the town of the Big Noise — ^which is sure a False Alarm. Ifs 
like Monte Carlo. They go there to make money and 
don't." . . . 

Arnold listened while Pink took up the attack again; lis- 
tened, head in hand, while the two youths in the khaki m% 
presenting the strange anomaly of being in earnest, told of 
the adventures of their strictly honest parents in their at- 
tempts to find food and shelter for their families — whidi bad 
resulted in giving both boys a hearty distaste for honest tofl 
and a sorrowful contempt for their forebears^ lack of intelli- 
gence in continuing in ways that promised so little of eiflier 
profit or pleasure — a promise faithfully folfiUed. . . . 

And, as he listened, he saw the tragedy of America mmO 
in all its pitiful comedy — ^for comedy is only the dwarf d 



The Wireless Message 



369 



tragedy, and these little people who hoped so mnch were 
dwarfs— dwarfs in mind — ^that they conld go on hoping 
against such odds. And being dwarfs, the stupid giants — 
giants only because the others were dwarf s—coxdd slay them. 
Then the sun went down and the moon came up : the song- 
birds sang and the crickets chirped : all the million members 
of the insect orchestra tuned up their tiny instruments and 
made a long sweet song. And the wind and the trees 
joined in and the surf on the beach contributed its minor 
chord. And while a world of radiant darkness sang to the 
sheen of the moon and the shine of the stars, that other world, 
that dark-lighted world, quarreled and killed — ^killed be- 
cause it knew no better, no better than when a Voice on Cal- 
vary had cried to His Father to forgive them for they know 
not what they do. 



CHAPTER THREE 

DENOUNCED 

I. Odtside the Pals 

ACK in that same lighted toiH 
the person both loathed and loTcd 
as "Petty" — as Arnold could bem 
personal witoeBS after earasdn^ 
ping at Clabber'a — came ont d 
MisB Bobbie Beulah'e apartmod 
in Devonshire ManEions, a gris 
on hia face and a crafty look ' 
his eyes. He hailed b hanso 
taking it by the honr Then In 
found that Mr. Eugene i/LeSm 
of Police Headqnarters was lut 
hclding court in hia favorite 1* 
tel; visiting in tnm every othff 
hotel restaurant, each ca.i6 and cabaret of any importance, in 
Manhattan's Montmartre. ■ . . 

Mr. Eoy Sehmucke, from having been 'Tetty** to bo nUBJ 
female admirers, was "Petty Schmueke" even to the manly 
loungers who hailed him jovially on his entrance to each bu 
and caf6 on this night that he searcl'.ed for the eloBive UcEio. 
The nickname should have been enough to damn him. 

As he passed from Curate's Kestaurant on this ni^ d 
September sixteenth, a policeman in uniform, new to the atj, 
who had overheard one of Master Petty's sidewalk 
tions that afternoon, pointed bim out in aa excited 



Denounced 371 

s^ the traffic officer at the corner, suggesting that they recom- 
:»end to Ileadquarters that this dangerous olTendcr be kept 
^nder surveillance. 

The sophisticated son of the city regarded the guileless son 
cif the soil in scornful amaze. "Ain^t you wise to that kind of 
tt gink yet?'* he asked, almost sadly. *'Don't you know nine- 
fenths of these so-called 'guns* and 'grifts' couldn't steal any- 
"•hing from a chloroformed cat? Ever hear of a gambler's 
mce in his sleeve — 'ace in the hole/ they call it. Well, that 
jgoes double for a fellow like the one you just saw. Find the 
skirt, kid, find the skirt." . . . 

It is not difficult to explain the hold of such a young reptile 
<m the women of the class of Miss Beulah Boberts — ^though it 
may seem so in the case of other women, her superiors as well 
m inferiors — ^for the activities of the Petties take in the "Ave- 
nne** as well as the 'Tjane." It is a fact familiar to all sci- 
tntists, and all who deal in feminine psychology, that the 
morals of women, the average woman of any class, granted a 
Kmi-normal prenatal condition — are known to be only what 
; flieir menfolk make them : the reflection of their fathers' mor- 
ib or those of their husbands. If the first is sufficiently edi- 
-^jring, the second ordinarily so, high-mindedness is produced, 
let the father inspire contempt, and the husband's hand must 
be firm on the helm : otherwise unless anchored by early chil- 
dren she drifts with the first winds of environment and oppor- 
tunity. 

Thus Miss Beulah Boberts. The crimes of womanhood are 
mostly committed between the time when maid merges into 
potential mother and the birth of the first child. The grati- 
Hoation of the aroused maternal instinct being denied them 
because of poverty or policy, the Bobbies grope blindly for a 
Kubstitute. The pain of the gnawing instincts of motherhood 
iQiist be smothered, the pillows piled higher at each muffled 
Tipy of the thing they are murdering. Woman is an extremist : 
C she drinks, she usually drinks too much; doctors will tell 
^oa that men may take drugs in moderate quantities for a 



372 God's Man 

lifetime^ bnt never a woman. She veers between total 
tion and sensational indulgence. 

But there is the natural anodyne of fierce affectioi 
no drug or drink^ nor any other sensation may equal 
heady intoxication of physical passion the man becon 
lover and child. But Hugo had, at best^ won only '. 
gratitude : and as his passion for her increased by dai 
imiiy — ^his mind having no other occupation since his 
becoming a scientist had been shattered — ^her calm fri 
of the days when there was no physical bond betwei 
must take refuge in pretense lest she lose the luxury 
learned to love. Now pretense if continued for any 1( 
time develops irritation in which soon inheres dislil 
love '^pardons alP' and does not require pretense is ite 
est claim to duration. 

Had Bobbie loved Hugo, when he embraced her a 
opportune moment, she would not have feared to pi 
away, knowing instinctively that in another mood si 
make up for this seeming coldness. Growing to disli 
she could do no more than endure his caresses at a 
since all times were equally distasteful Tet, like mosi 
who are slaves of habit and custom, rather the loss 
freedom than of her luxuries: therefore the discover 

• 

dislike for Hugo made her clutch for an anchor — and 
she understood that flesh of her flesh would so satisfy ] 
for something to love that she could endure beini 
Marriage or no, let her have a child. But poor Hugo 
chivalrous to gratify himself at what convention daii 
her ignominy and the child's shame: he had read tc 
sentimental novels, seen too many pathetic plays. . . 
then, she began to dream of a man she could love, to 
him everywhere — although she was unconscioiis of eii 
desire or of her search. 

Nor had she ever imagined that this Paiiy Princ 
met, would be unable, least of all unwilling, to give bei 
as well as love. Had Boy Schmiicke been so unwis 



Denounced 373 

^resent lumself as a prospective lover, how scornfully would 
he have sent him about his business. But he and his kind 
new their little book — and how little it was ! 

At first he had been merely the companion, the confidant, 
he nnobtrusive escort to places where Hugo considered she 
bould not go ; all the while making himself more and more a 
Nurt of her daily life, breaking the monotony of its boredom, 
p)ing to her primed with the latest gossip. Like an actor in 
the wings re-reading his part, he rehearsed the cynical jests 
be would tell her, the scornful scandal : particularly endear- 
ing himself because he was never amorous, never seized the 
chance of propinquity to force unwelcome endearments. . . . 

Curious to see how far this repression could be trusted, for 
ahe never doubted it was repression, she began to receive him 
in tempting deshabille, would pretend the taxi had jolted her 
igainst him, would give him an occasional chance to scent the 
''perfume of her presence'' (four dollars a bottle) . . . 
and, rough homage once rendered, she could bewail that he has 
''q)oiled everything,'' that "all men are alike after all," can 
Bourn aloud the lost paradise of their friendship. 

Should the indifference continue in face of all assaults, she 
lotgets everything else in the horrible suspicion that her for- 
iQer success may have been but luck. 

So many and so strenuous do her efforts to subdue him then 
koome, that there begins an interest resembling infatuation 
lo closely that experts can not distinguish between them. Her 
tdnd is 80 centered on ways and means to bring him to book, 
iiat there is room for no other thought. He occupies her 
Utirely. She is forging a two-edged sword. 

Bobbie was already miserable at the thought of her in- 
IBciency. Her self-conceit had sustained too stunning a 
low. She was humble in his presence, willing to make con- 
Bssions to keep him away from superior attractions. Then, 
od then only, the male scalp-hunter evinced a condescending 
iterest in her; finally admitted after her tearful tragic ques- 
oniBg that there was no hated and haughty rival; but that 



374 God's Man 

he cared for her as much (he meant as little) as he cam 
other women. But he is slow to love any one — he admi 
freely. He is suspicious by nature. A woman must do 
than say she loves him : she must prove it — ^thus, by his 
ahnost feminine intuition, turning on her the very gun 
sex has used on his from time immemoriaL . . . Ai 
this and other mendacities, too numerous to catalogue^ 
ceeded in fanning her self-love into a fiery flame, the 
counterpart of furious affection. 

She thought only of how she might hold this worn 
creature whom so many superior women desired. Sh< 
no reason why they should not. Such a man knows ins 
ively how to supply in himself those things she most ci 
permitting her for example, to fondle him just as she ^ 
that child she has so long desired : immediately after b 
ing harsh of word, ready of blow, counterfeiting that j 
tive manliness that thrills such women with an ages-old 

Then again, being idle themselves, the Petties have no 
to prevent them from being available as constant compai 
And, caring nothing for women, they proscribe no vice, n 
sipation. Men who love may forbid many things for f( 
the future ; but young untrained women, acting on im 
see only that they have been denied a delectable or thi 
experience, and despise nothing quite so much as the i 
able excuse that the deprivation "is for their own good.*' 

It is always an ungrateful task to attempt to explai 
unexplained. To the ready-made moralists who toki 
class women as good or bad Miss Beulah Boberts must 
been naturally vicious or she could not have becom 
fatuated with a naturally vicious man. Then Hugo 
have been naturally vicious to love a naturally vicious wo 
and Arnold must have been naturally vicious to have i 
urally vicious friend. 

And so the whole fabric of this history goes to pieces, 
not one of them was naturally vicious, not even the in\ 
able Mr. Schmucke himself. . . . 



Denounced 375 

IL Dbtectivb MgKiss Has a Caller 

c in that dark lighted worlds then, while Arnold lis- 
n the radiant darkness, Mr. Boy Schmucke ran to earth 
3 McElisSy Detective Lieutenant assigned to the ^Ten- 
/* in the Caf6 Bochefort, one of those new establish- 
all gilt and glitter, which make favorable arrangements 
imi-celebrities of the Nightless Lane that their friends 
3 drawn from better-known resorts. Therefore, Mr. 
3 had champagne before him, the check for which would 
reniently lost. With him sat his partner, Burly Jones, 
her looked on the advent of Mr. Schmucke with any 
but as the pale-eyed auburn-haired parasite was useful 
1 in the matter of information — the Petties are allowed 
b to serve as spies — ^^'stools*' — they bade him be seated 
I the wine cost them nothing, the waiter was directed 
g a third glass and then to ^^ht it from the back of 
lair.'' 

ill strain your ear-drums some day, young fellow, and 
leyil burst, that's what'U happen to you,'* prophesied 
cKiss cheerfully. "(Jo out in the kitchen and drown 
f in the sink." The waiter, grinning, went off. ^'Well 
roung fellow," said McKiss, addressing his visitor, 
do you want? Because I ain't just stuck on being with 

public. Petty, and that's no airy persiflage. Whaf s 
ittle one? Some rough guy give you a belt in the 
d you come to swear you seen him trample on an old 

Or do you want to get your mother arrested for not 
ng regular ?" 

it's a case for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
nals," put in Mr. Jones, the burly, a heavy shouldered 
aan with arms like a gorilla, light green eyes, dogged 
to his friends. He was much averse to the use of such 
es as Petty: what he liked was to go, single-handed, 

house full of desperadoes, starting to shoot as his 
IT broke down the door. His partner shared his aver* 



374 



God's Man 



he cared for her as much (he meant as little) as he cared for 
other women. But he is slow to love any one — he admits it 
freely. He is suspicious by nature. A woman must do more 
than say she loves him : she must prove it — ^thus, by his own 
almost feminine intuition^ turning on her the very guns her 
sex has used on his from time immemorial. . . . And bf 
this and other mendacities^ too numerous to catalogue^ bqc- 
ceeded in fanning her self-love into a fiery flame, the Teiy 
counterpart of furious affection. 

She thought only of how she might hold this wonderful 
creature whom so many superior women desired. She eav 
no reason why they should not. Such a man knows instinct- 
ively how to supply in himself those things she most crtTts; 
permitting her for example, to fondle him just as she would 
that child she has so long desired : immediately after becom- 
ing harsh of word, ready of blow, counterfeiting that primi- 
tive manliness that thrills such women with an ages-old feir. 

Then again, being idle themselves, the Petties have nothing 
to prevent them from being available as constant companions. 
And, caring nothing for women, they proscribe no vice, no dis- 
sipation. Men who love may forbid many things for fear of 
the future ; but young untrained women, acting on impulse, 
see only that they have been denied a delectable or thrilling 
experience, and despise nothing quite so much as the mise^ 
able excuse that the deprivation "is for their own good.'' . . . 

It is always an ungrateful task to attempt to explain the 
unexplained. To the ready-made moralists who tolerantlj 
class women as good or bad Miss Beulah Boberts must htfe 
been naturally vicious or she could not have become in- 
fatuated with a naturally vicious man. Then Hugo must 
have been naturally vicious to love a naturally vicious women; 
and Arnold must have been naturally vicious to have a nat^ 
urally vicious friend. 

And so the whole fabric of this history goes to pieces, for 
not one of them was naturally vicious, not even the iniole^ 
able Mr. Schmucke himself. . • . 



Denounced 375 

II. Dbtectivb MoKiss Has a Caller 

Back in that dark lighted worlds then, while Arnold lis- 
ioMd in the radiant darkness, Mr. Boy Schmucke ran to earth 
Bngene McKiss, Detective Lieutenant assigned to the 'Ten- 
derloin/' in the Caf6 Bochefort, one of those new establish- 
msnis, all gilt and glitter, which make favorable arrangements 
with aemi-celebrities of the Nightless Lane that their friends 
may be drawn from better-known resorts. Therefore, Mr. 
IbEliss had champagne before him, the check for which would 
be conveniently lost. With him sat his partner. Burly Jones. 
Neither looked on the advent of Mr. Schmucke with any 
favor ; but as the pale-eyed auburn-haired parasite was useful 
to them in the matter of information — the Petties are allowed 
to exist to serve as spies — "stools** — they bade him be seated 
and, as the wine cost them nothing, the waiter was directed 
to bring a third glass and then to '^at it from the back of 
ihat chair.*' 

•TToull strain your ear-drums some day, young fellow, and 
then they'll burst, thafs whafU happen to you,** prophesied 
Mr. McKiss cheerfully. "Go out in the kitchen and drown 
yourself in the sink.** The waiter, grinning, went off. "Well 
Bow, young fellow,'* said McKiss, addressing his visitor. 
^Wbat do you want? Because I ain*t just stuck on being with 
jou in public. Petty, and that*s no airy persiflage. What*8 
new; little one? Some rough guy give you a belt in the 
eye, and you come to swear you seen him trample on an old 
Jady? Or do you want to get your mother arrested for not 
remitting regular ?*' 

"Thafs a case for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals,'* put in Mr. Jones, the burly, a heavy shouldered 
Upentleman with arms like a gorilla, light green eyes, dogged 
Idelity to his friends. He was much averse to the use of such 
creatnreB as Petty: what he liked was to go, single-handed, 
into a house full of desperadoes, starting to shoot as his 
shoulder broke down the door. His partner shared his aver* 



374 God*s Man 

he cared for her as much (he meant as little) as he cared for 
other women. But he is slow to love any one — ^he admits it 
freely. He is suspicious by nature. A woman must do more 
than say she loves him : she must prove it — thus, by his own 
almost feminine intuition, turning on her the very guns ber 
sex has used on his from time immemorial. . . . And Iij 
this and other mendacities, too numerous to catalogue, siu- 
ceeded in fanning her self-love into a fiery flame, the vezj 
counterpart of furious affection. 

She thought only of how she might hold this wonderfol 
creature whom so many superior women desired. She eav 
no reason why they should not. Such a man knows instinct^ 
ively how to supply in himself those things she most cravei; 
permitting her for example, to fondle him just as she mnild 
that child she has so long desired : immediately after heoamr 
ing harsh of word, ready of blow, counterfeiting that primi- 
tive manliness that thrills such women with an ages-old feir. 

Then again, being idle themselves, the Petties have nothuv 
to prevent them from being available as constant companiom 
And, caring nothing for women, they proscribe no vice, no di»> 
sipation. Men who love may forbid many things for fetr of 
the future ; but young untrained women, acting on impiM 
see only that they have been denied a delectable or thrilliiv 
experience, and despise nothing quite so much as the muo^ 
able excuse that the deprivation "is for their own good.'^ . . . 

It is always an ungrateful task to attempt to explain tiia 
unexplained. To the ready-made moralists who tokrant^ 
class women as good or bad Miss Beulah Boberts must htit 
been naturally vicious or she could not haye become is* 
fatuated with a naturally vicious man. Then Hugo nniflt 
have been naturally vicious to love a naturally vicious wcmn; 
and Arnold must have been naturally vicious to have a ut* 
urally vicious friend. 

And so the whole fabric of this history goes to pieces. Eor 
not one of them was naturally vicious, not even the intdo^ 
able Mr. Schmucke himself. . • • 



Denounced 375 

II. Dbtectivb MoKiss Has a Caller 

Back in that dark lighted world, then, while Arnold lis- 
tned in the radiant darkness, Mr. Boy Schmucke ran to earth 
Bngene McKiss, Detective Lieutenant assigned to the 'Ten- 
derloin/' in the Caf6 Boehefort, one of those new establish- 
aientSy all gilt and glitter, which make favorable arrangements 
witii semi-celebrities of the Nightless Lane that their friends 
may be drawn from better-known resorts. Therefore, Mr. 
Ifi^TTiRq had champagne before him, the check for which would 
be conveniently lost. With him sat his partner, Burly Jones. 
Neither looked on the advent of Mr. Schmucke with any 
Itfor; but as the pale-eyed auburn-haired parasite was useful 
te them in the matter of information — the Petties are allowed 
b exist to serve as spies — ^'^stools'' — ^they bade him be seated 
lad, as the wine cost them nothing, the waiter was directed 
1o bring a third glass and then to ^^eat it from the back of 
that chair.'' 

**You11 strain your ear-drums some day, young fellow, and 
then thejr'U burst, thafs whaf 11 happen to you," prophesied 
ilr, McKiss cheerfully. ''Go out in the kitchen and drown 
^oarself in the sink." The waiter, grinning, went off. ''Well 
I10W9 young fellow," said McKiss, addressing his visitor. 
••What do you want? Because I ain't just stuck on being with 
you. in public. Petty, and that's no airy persiflage. Whaf s 
r, little one? Some rough guy give you a belt in the 
t, and you come to swear you seen him trample on an old 
iliidy? Or do you want to get your mother arrested for not 
^remitting regular ?" 

^fThafs a case for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 

*to Animals," put in Mr. Jones, the burly, a heavy shouldered 

Igentleman with arms like a gorilla, light green eyes, dogged 

fidelity to his friends. He was much averse to the use of such 

creatores as Petty: what he liked was to go, single-handed, 

into a house full of desperadoes, starting to shoot as his 

shoulder broke down the door. His partner shared his aver* 



374 



God's Man 



he cared for her as much (he meant as little) as he cared for 
other women. But he is slow to love any one — he admits it 
freely. He is suspicious hy nature. A woman must do mon 
than say she loves him : she must prove it — thus, by his own 
almost feminine intuition^ turning on her the very gaos her 
sex has used on his from time immemoriaL . . . And by 
this and other mendacities, too numerous to catalogue, sue- 
ceeded in fanning her self-love into a fiery flame, the Teiy 
coimterpart of furious affection. 

She thought only of how she might hold this wonderM 
creature whom so many superior women desired. She sav 
no reason why they should not. Such a man knows instinct- 
ively how to supply in himself those things she most cr&fes; 
permitting her for example, to fondle him just as she would 
that child she has so long desired : immediately after becoin- 
ing harsh of word, ready of blow, counterfeiting that primi- 
tive manliness that thrills such women with an ages-old feir. 

Then again, being idle themselves, the Petties have nothing 
to prevent them from being available as constant companions. 
And, caring nothing for women, they proscribe no vice, no dis- 
sipation. Men who love may forbid many things for fear of 
the future ; but young untrained women, acting on impolse, 
see only that they have been denied a delectable or thrilling 
experience, and despise nothing quite so much as the mise^ 
able excuse that the deprivation "is for their own good.'* . . . 

It is always an ungrateful task to attempt to explain the 
unexplained. To the ready-made moralists who tolerantly 
class women as good or bad Miss Beulah Boberts must httt 
been naturally vicious or she could not have become in- 
fatuated with a naturally vicious man. Then Hugo nrait 
have been naturally vicious to love a naturally vicious womin; 
and Arnold must have been naturally vicious to have a nat- 
urally vicious friend. 

And so the whole fabric of this history goes to pieces. Ar 
not one of them was naturally vicious, not even the intolo- 
able Mr. Schmucke himself. • • • 



Denounced 375 

IL Dbtective MoEjss Has a Caller 

Back in that dark lighted worlds then^ while Arnold lis- 
tened in the radiant darkness^ Mr. Boy Schmucke ran to earth 
Bngene McEiss, Detective Lieutenant assigned to the ^Ten- 
derloin/' in the Caf6 Eochefort, one of those new establish- 
ments^ all gilt and glitter^ which make favorable arrangements 
vith semi-celebrities of the Nightless Lane that their friends 
may be drawn from better-known resorts. Therefore, Mr. 
McEliss had champagne before him, the check for which would 
be conveniently lost. With him sat his partner, Burly Jones. 

Neither looked on the advent of Mr. Schmucke with any 
2aTor ; but as the pale-eyed auburn-haired parasite was useful 
to them in the matter of information — the Petties are allowed 
to exist to serve as spies — **stools'' — ^they bade him be seated 
and, as the wine cost them nothing, the waiter was directed 
to bring a third glass and then to ^^eat it from the back of 
that chair.'' 

*Troull strain your ear-drums some day, young fellow, and 

then they'll burst, thafs what'U happen to you,'' prophesied 

ICr. McKiss cheerfully. ^^Qo out in the kitchen and drown 

Joaiaelt in the sink." The waiter, grinning, went oflE. *^ell 

BOW, young fellow," said McKiss, addressing his visitor. 

"What do you want? Because I ain't just stuck on being with 

you in public. Petty, and that's no airy persiflage. Whaf s 

Hew; little one? Some rough guy give you a belt in the 

qre, and you come to swear you seen him trample on an old 

liidy? Or do you want to get your mother arrested for not 

remitting regular ?" 

^That's a case for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals," put in Mr. Jones, the burly, a heavy shouldered 
gentleman with arms like a gorilla, light green eyes, dogged 
fidelity to his friends. He was much averse to the use of such 
creatures as Petty: what he liked was to go, single-handed, 
into a house full of desperadoes, starting to shoot as his 
shoulder broke down the door. His partner shared his aver* 



374 



God's Man 



he cared for her as much (he meant as little) as he cared for 
other women. But he is slow to love any one — he admits it 
freely. He is suspicious by nature. A woman must do more 
than say she loves him : she must prove it — thus, by his own 
almost feminine intuition^ turning on her the very guns her 
Bex has used on his from time immemorial. . . . And bf 
this and other mendacities, too numerous to catalogue, 8ll^ 
ceeded in fanning her self-love into a fiery flame^ the my 
counterpart of furious affection. 

She thought only of how she might hold this wonderfid 
creature whom so many superior women desired. She bmm 
no reason why they should not. Such a man knows instinct- 
ively how to supply in himself those things she most crara; 
permitting her for example, to fondle him just as she would 
that child she has so long desired : immediately after becom- 
ing harsh of word, ready of blow, counterfeiting that primi- 
tive manliness that thrills such women with an ages-old feir. 

Then again, being idle themselves, the Petties have nothing 
to prevent them from being available as constant companioni. 
And, caring nothing for women, they proscribe no vice, no dis- 
sipation. Men who love may forbid many things for fear of 
the future ; but young imtrained women, acting on impnlie^ 
see only that they have been denied a delectable or thrilling 
experience, and despise nothing quite so much as the miBe^ 
able excuse that the deprivation "is for their own good.'* . . . 

It is always an ungrateful task to attempt to explain the 
unexplained. To the ready-made moralists who tolerantif 
class women as good or bad Miss Beulah Boberts must haft 
been naturally vicious or she could not have become in- 
fatuated with a naturally vicious man. Then Hugo nnut 
have been naturally vicious to love a naturally vicious womin; 
and Arnold must have been naturally vicious to have a nsi- 
urally vicious friend. 

And so the whole fabric of this history goes to pieces. For 
not one of them was naturally vicious, not even the intolo- 
able Mr. Schmucke himself. • • • 



Denounced 375 

IL Dbtective MoKiss Has a Caller 

Back in that dark lighted worlds then^ while Arnold lis- 
iBDed in the radiant darkness^ Mr. Boy Schmucke ran to earth 
Bngene McKiss^ Detective Lieutenant assigned to the ^Ten- 
derloin/' in the Caf6 Bochefort, one of those new establish- 
ments^ all gilt and glitter^ which make favorable arrangements 
with ciemi-celebrities of the Nightless Lane that their friends 
may be drawn from better-known resorts. Therefore, Mr. 
McEliss had champagne before him, the check for which would 
be conveniently lost. With him sat his partner, Burly Jones. 
Neither looked on the advent of Mr. Schmucke with any 
favor; but as the pale-eyed auburn-haired parasite was useful 
to fhem in the matter of information — the Petties are allowed 
to exist to serve as spies — ^^'stools*' — they bade him be seated 
and, as the wine cost them nothing, the waiter was directed 
to bring a third glass and then to '^at it from the back of 
that chair.'' 

^TToull strain your ear-drums some day, young fellow, and 
fken theyTl burst, thafs whafll happen to you,'' prophesied 
Mr. McKiss cheerfully. ''Go out in the kitchen and drown 
yoorself in the sinL" The waiter, grinning, went off. ''Well 
BOW, young fellow," said McKiss, addressing his visitor. 
''What do you want? Because I ain't just stuck on being with 
you in public. Petty, and that's no airy persiflage. What's 
new; little one? Some rough guy give you a belt in the 
eye, and you come to swear you seen him trample on an old 
lady? Or do you want to get your mother arrested for not 
remitting regular ?" 

'TTiaf 8 a case for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals," put in Mr. Jones, the burly, a heavy shouldered 
^[entleman with arms like a gorilla, light green eyes, dogged 
Adelity to his friends. He was much averse to the use of such 
creatures as Petty: what he liked was to go, single-handed, 
into a house full of desperadoes, starting to shoot as his 
shoulder broke down the door. His partner shared his aver* 



374 



God's Man 



he cared for her as much (he meant aa little) as he cared for 
other women. But he is slow to love any one — ^he admits it 
freely. He is suspicious by nature. A woman must do more 
than say she loves him : she must prove it — ^thus^ by his own 
almost feminine intuition, turning on her the very guns her 
sex has used on his from time immemoriaL . . . And bj 
this and other mendacities, too numerous to catalogue, suc- 
ceeded in fanning her self-love into a fieiy flame, the Teiy 
counterpart of furious affection. 

She thought only of how she might hold this wonderfol 
creature whom so many superior women desired. She saw 
no reason why they should not. Such a man knows instinct- 
ively how to supply in himself those things she most craves; 
permitting her for example, to fondle him just as she wofold 
that child she has so long desired : immediately after becomr 
ing harsh of word, ready of blow, counterfeiting that primi^ 
tive manliness that thrills such women with an ages-old fear. 

Then again, being idle themselves, the Petties have nothing 
to prevent them from being available as constant companions 
And, caring nothing for women, they proscribe no vice, no dis- 
sipation. Men who love may forbid many things for fear of 
the future; but young untrained women, acting on impulse, 
see only that they have been denied a delectable or thrilling 
experience, and despise nothing quite so much aa the mi8e^ 
able excuse that the deprivation "is for their own good.'' . . . 

It is always an ungrateful task to attempt to explain the 
unexplained. To the ready-made moralists who tolerantlf 
class women as good or bad Miss Beulah Boberts must hive 
been naturally vicious or she could not have become in- 
fatuated with a naturally vicious man. Then Hugo must 
have been naturally vicious to love a naturally vicious womin; 
and Arnold must have been naturally vicious to have a nat- 
urally vicious friend. 

And so the whole fabric of this history goes to pieces. For 
not one of them was naturally vicious, not even the intoIe^ 
able Mr. Schmucke himself. . • • 



Denounced 375 

IL Dbtective MoEiss Has a Caller 

Back in that dark lighted worlds then^ while Arnold lis- 
tened in the radiant darkness, Mr. Boy Schmucke ran to earth 
Eugene McKiss, Detective Lieutenant assigned to the 'Ten- 
derloin/' in the Caf6 Eochefort, one of those new establish- 
mentSy all gilt and glitter, which make favorable arrangements 
with semi-celebrities of the Nightless Lane that their friends 
may be drawn from better-known resorts. Therefore, Mr. 
McKiss had champagne before him, the check for which would 
be conveniently lost. With him sat his partner, Burly Jones. 

Neither looked on the advent of Mr. Schmucke with any 
favor ; but as the pale-eyed auburn-haired parasite was useful 
to them in the matter of information — the Fettles are allowed 
to exist to serve as spies — ^''stools" — they bade him be seated 
and, as the wine cost them nothing, the waiter was directed 
to bring a third glass and then to ^^sA it from the back of 
that chair.** 

•TToull strain your ear-drums some day, young fellow, and 
then theyTl burst, that's whatTl happen to you," prophesied 
Mr. McKiss cheerfully. "Go out in the kitchen and drown 
yooiself in the sink.'* The waiter, grinning, went oflf. *^ell 
now, young fellow," said McKiss, addressing his visitor. 
*TPliat do you want? Because I ain't just stuck on being with 
you in public. Petty, and that's no airy persiflage. Whafs 
new^ li^le one? Some rough guy give you a belt in the 
eye, and you come to swear you seen him trample on an old 
hidy? Or do you want to get your mother arrested for not 
remitting regular ?" 

'^That's a case for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals," put in Mr. Jones, the burly, a heavy shouldered 
i;entleman with arms like a gorilla, light green eyes, dogged 
Bdelity to his friends. He was much averse to the use of such 
creatures as Petty: what he liked was to go, single-handed, 
into a house full of desperadoes, starting to shoot as his 
shoulder broke down the door. His partner shared his aver* 



376 



God's Man 



fiion and was hia match in courage if not in BtrengQi — a den- 
der^ bright-eyed^ tall young man, this McKiBS, a man wboss 
friendly smile gave him wide popularity among all daflses. 
But both men realized that they must use the weapons of their 
profession. If they did otherwise, they would be badly beaten 
on their cases. 

'TTou needn't get so fresh/' returned Petty, his little eyes 
snapping with malice ; '^cause if you do. 111 just go over ud 
see Martin O'Grady and give him what I've got. And it's no 
chicken-feed, either. It's important dough, you just believe 
me when I tell you. Yes, sir, one great chanoe to grab oor- 
selves about a hundred grands — grands, I said, grands. . . . 
You needn't smile like that, neither, Billy Jones." . . . 

^T. told you what always happened to these little hop-fiendi 
if they kept on lying on their side," said the burly one, ad- 
dressing his partner. It was half unbelief, half system. Sndi 
people as Petty could be angered into unguarded confidenoei. 

"Sure, sure," agreed Mr. McKiss pityingly. ^TTou bettor 
can that black smoke, young fellow, or itll haTe you in tlie 
funny-house. I know one guy saved up his pennies to bay an 
airship to go pick daisies in the moon. They've got him dovn 
at Kings Park now in a room with extra heavy bars bo be 
can't fly outa the window. He sees sunflowers up there now 
as big as a man's hat. . . ." 

^'Wall, if you ain^t the grocery-store comics," said Pfetty, 
sneering. "Come oflf with that small-time humor. It Cfen 
gets the hook in burlycue." . . . 

''Never mind about our humor, young fellow," retuned 
McKiss, grinning. "You go on and give ua some good exBMB 
why you should be sitting at the table with a couple of r^goltf 
guys. And you got to do better than bring Grimm's Fmrj 
Tales up to date. Whadda you been doing?— eleigfa-ridiDg' 
Stick to the long bamboo, Charley — that snow's avFful bad fcr 
the imagination. I see a cocaine-drunk the other day ixpng 
to walk right through a plate-glass window and draw a glM d 
beer outa a keg in a lithograph.^ 



if 



Denounced 377 

The exasperated Petty interrupted him by rising. ''Well, 
I gaess Mart O'Qrady 'uU listen to a chance to grab himself 
from ten to twenty thousand. Maybe he ain't as rich as you 
fellows with your fourteen-hundred a year.'* . . . 

''Oh, Un thousand — that's getting to listen like a human 
being: it was a hundred a minute ago. Sit down and spill 
it, young fellow, and look slippery because we got a date for 
a little bracelet-party at eight-thirty — a smart young fellow 
who thought he could break back into New York just because 
there was a change of Administration. Come on^ now I" 

'TL can't talk here/' said Petty sulkily. "You'll have to 
come up to my room or get a private one here. I'm not going 
to take any chances of any bunny-eared by-stander getting 
wise to my dope. It's too important. . . ." McEiss, 
eonvinced that somehow the little red-haired reptile had 
learned something of importance^ signaled the head waiter 
who led the way to one of the Bochef ort's advertised ^^cdbineis 
pariicular/* all of which opened off the balcony overhead. 
McKiss asked for vichy and milk now they were out of the 
public eye and for Mr. Jones grape-juice and lemon. Petty's 
possible wants were disregarded. 

"Well, satisfied now, young fellow?" asked the younger 
death while his senior growled. Petty opened the door com- 
mnnicating with the next room, locked it. 

''He's been to see some play," commented McKiss. "Why 
don't you listen at the keyhole first ; you've got no technique. 
Then you ought to draw your chair close, look mysteriously 
about you and begin. 'I was the only child of wealthy par- 
iiita, and accustomed to every luxury, when — ^ " 

"Oh, hell/* almost shouted Petty. "Are you going to 
Uftent Just tell me, yes or no. . . ." 

"Ill tell you one thing," snarled Jones: "I'll give you a 
poke in the puss if you pull any more cracks hke that. You're 
pretty lucky you're allowed to take up our time, Mr. Bat. 
Kow iit down and get to business. Oo on 1" 

Petty, subdued, obeyed. "I ain't sore only you're hammer- 



378 God's Man 

ing me all the time and me trying to get you some monejl* 
he whined. *^t ain't right, fellows. I never did anything 
to you : always been your friend : come to you right awiy I 
heard this — come to you first. . . . Some parties are 
smuggling in a hundred-thousand-worth of hop maybe ri^t 
noWy maybe to-morrow — as soon as a certain yacht conwi 
in. 

'TTes, sir/' he continued, encouraged by their exchange <»f 
glances. '^One hundred-thousand, at least And Fm the only 
one knows it outside the people mixed up in it. None of the 
gang. Silk-stockinged guys. I got it from my girl. Thafs 
why I don't want to mention any names. If one of those fd- j 
lows got in wrong, she'd be up against it. His father's got 
plenty of dough. He just went into this to help a friend. 
. . . But you don't need to know any names. I can tell 
you where they're going to pull this oS and then all yov^ve got j 
to do is stick around till they get it all landed and then step in 
and grab it. They won't dare put up a holler. They're ill 
good families and can't stand the notoriety. And when yon 
flash your shields and arrest 'em, they'll be only too glad to 
make their getaways. You could fix it so they could beat it 
after you arrested them. Have 'em think it was all their oim 
smartness, fooling you. Then all you'd have to do would be to 
hire a couple of trucks and drive the stufi! to town. I knov a 
hundred places where I can peddle it. And so do you I . . ." 

Their stony silence began to worry him ; his eyes waTored, 
his hands trembled, '^ou see we get the stuff and no holkr. 
They won't dare squeal on us. Don't smuggling it mean a 
five-year stretch in a Federal prison? I've looked everyUunf 
up over there." 

Above the sylvan tracery of Bryant Park, the Corintfaias 
columns of the new library supported a roof that might haie 
sheltered a temple to Aphrodite. He waved toward it **And 
believe me/' he bragged as he reviewed the thorougfaneai of 
his researches and his iniquitous ingenuity, 'Ve can't loaa 



Denounced 379 

lugita be mighty grateful to me for cutting you in with 
sidering the rotten way you treat me all the time/' 

McKiss reached for his vichy and milk, regarding it 

htfully. Mr. Jones, who, in matters requiring more wit 

nuscle, yielded the initiative, reached for his grape- juice 

•ied to regard it thoughtfully, failing of anything but a 

Pett/s confidence deserted him, nerrousness took its 

y, I didn't make a mistake and invite you to a funeral, 
^' he had meant to ask, satirically, evidence that he was 
way impressed. But before he had half the words out, 
; fingers fastened on his reedy wrist and jerked his face 
ly under the light of a shaded candle. 
) stalling, young fellow,'* McEiss said, suddenly stem 
nister. 'TTou just tell us how you found out about this, 
glers don't go spilling their insides out to girls. Come 
jh with the whole story or I'll give an extra twist to 
retty little paw. You don't think Billy and I are going 
any wild-goose chase, do you ? How did you get wise ? 



yy 



ty almost wept. "A fine way to treat a friend that comes 
L with a fortune ; a fine way. ... I won't tell you 
ames, not a name. Think I'm going to hand you a 
of easy money and a guy to blackmail on top of it? 
: I'm going to see her crabbed ? . . ." He squirmed 
wisted. 'Tiet go, 'Gene. Whadda you wanta act this 
Dr?" 

ill us how you found out," answered McKiss. ''Come 
'hen we'll Imow how much to believe and whether you've 
me spitework up your sleeve. You don't expect us to 
jTou, do you ? Come on : tell the truth or we'll take you 
and lock you up as a suspicious character and get you 
days on the Island. We^l vag you, so help me 1" He 
lim steadily, then flung him back with such violence 
is head struck the back of the chair. ''If you will come 



380 God's Man 

kidding public officials and wasting the city's time, well nub 
you pay for it/' . . . 

"Oh, all right/' he grumbled. ''One of these feUoVs got a 
girl. And — " he grinned, but immediately repented it : he hid 
had previous experience with what he odled their ''narnnr- 
mindedness*' — ^they were "just jealous*' that was all, th^ and 
their make-believe morals. 

"Well," he broke o£F sulkily, altering the original intention 
of his narrative, "I guess she likes me pretty welL • . . 
Now, he's been up against it a little, lately, in bad with the 
old man ; so when I asked her to loan me a coupla oentniieB 
th' other day, she stalled. TTou've got your junk/ I said to 
her. That sort of stuff makes me sore with a dame. 'WeD,' 
I said, 'why can't you soak some of it?' She said she oonld 
and would. But she kept putting me oflE, making first one 
excuse, then another. When I noticed she wasn't wearing 
much of the junk, I got suspicious. But when I asked ber 
'Why* she always said only chorus-girls wore expensive junk in 
the day-time." . . . 

He paused, for any attempt to gloss over his discreditable 
methods would have been a strain on one possessed of a 
genuine felicity of phrase. But these jealous humbugs ironld 
pretend to be disgusted and possibly kick him if he told the 
thing exactly as it had happened. ''Well, anyway,** he went 
on, with labored gaiety. '^I'd never been at her apartment: 
the live one was liable to bust in any time. But this afternoon, 
when she phoned me she told me he'd gone to the counttj for 
a few days. Now, I says to myself, now's the time to find oat 
about that junk. So I said I'd come over instead of her com- 
ing out. . . . When I get there I ask if she's done what 
I want. No, she hasn't, and another bimi excuse. 'And I 
know why, too,' I said and made her think I'm dead sore. 
'You don't care for me any more. Well, I'm not going to 
waste my time with a girl that don't care for me. ...'*' 

Again he suppressed a grin evoked by his superlative con- 
ning. "Of course I knew she was wild about me and wouldn't 



Denounced 381 

t 

let me go— not an inch. But I stalled. I was trying to get out 
and she hung on and hollered. ... I tried to push her 
off — of course I could have done it if I'd really wanted to — /* 

'TTou can cut out the rest of it,** interrupted McKiss^ with 
an ugly look which Petty knew from experience was the 
fore-runner of a cruel kick. Mr. Jones's eyes held something 
of the same. Petty threw away his Virginia cigarette. 

''Well, you made me tell you, didn't you?" he demanded 
of McKiss. 

*1 suppose, when she persuaded you to stay, you said you 
would if she proved she still loved you by handing over the 
jewelry for you to hock," said McKiss with a savage sneer. 
''And once you got your hands on it, it would have been good- 
by, baby, see you later maybe. Maybe not Well, she didn't 
have it to give you, I suppose ?" Petty sullenly assented. "Well, 
why?" asked McKiss. 

"He took it and hocked it himself about four months ago — 
and her stringing me all the time. Oh, she raised hell with 
him all right. And she raised ten times more hell when she 
couldn't get me that loan. He told her he'd invested the 
money so he'd get from ten to twenty times as much for it. 
She thought he meant speculated and started to pack her 
things, she was so sore. So he lost his head and told her, 
thaf s all. . • . First, a friend of his got into trouble, 
forged a note or something from the way she told it, and 
had to make good. Well, he didn't have any money for his 
friend, being in bad with his old man, so he hocked his own 
jewelry and put the money in this smuggling scheme. Then 
I guess he tibought it 'ud be pretty nice to get some soft 
money for himself. So one night while she's asleep, he takes 
her key from around her neck and swipes the junk. . • . 
And now are you satisfied ?" 

McKiss looked at Jones : neither betrayed any enthusiasm, 
but the pilot-fish knew that his whales were hooked. "He's 
been wonying himself sick. His friend's been threatening to 
shoot himself every day he don't hear the boaf s back from 



382 God's Man 

Mexico with the stuff. . . . But to-day the j got a meeeage 
from the other fellow in with it — ^he lives down near the 
place on Long Island where the stuff's to be landed. Didn't 
give any particulars but I guess the ship's in sight or some- 
thing and the stuff's going to be landed to-night. . . . 
They've hired a house right out on the Sounds and I've got 
the phone number. The maid wrote it down on the pad that 
hangs alongside Bobbie's" — ^he checked himself — ^^alongBide 
her phone. All you've got to do is to call up the Long 
Island telephone headquarters and they'll tell yon where the 
house that has that phone is — ^" 

''Why don't you start a school for detectives?'* suggested 
McEass. 'Tfof 6 of fellows who've only been on the foioe 
fifteen years or so 'ud be glad to get your valuable instructioiL 
On behalf of Mr. Jones and myself^ I beg to state we are 
most grateful for your kind assistance. Wouldn't know what 
to do without him, would we, Billy?" 

But Petty, watching anxiously, knew he had them. 'TThcre'a 
a train at nine o'clock; I looked that up, too." 

**Train to where?" demanded Jones roughly. 

Petty, his assurance recovered, put a finger to his noae. 
"Fifty-fifty?" he asked. 

''Whadda you mean, fifty-fifty, young fellow?" asked Mc- 
Kiss savagely. 

"Half for me, half for you," Petty had the temerity to reply. 
He expected no such division but he feared, did he begin hj 
suggesting thirds, that he would end with a quarter. "Well, 
split it three ways then," he said as they looked threateninglj 
at him. "But don't waste any more time. Suppose that diip 
came in to-night and they got the stuff out and started it ap 
to town as soon as they landed it. He took his big touring car 
with him, this fellow did. And if you miss the nine tnin 
thaf s the last that goes any farther than Huntington to-nigfat, 
and that's less'n half-way. You'd have to trolley to North- 
port, and spend a sawbuck on an automobile to take you fte 
rest of the way. . . . And it 'ud be dayli^t maybe befora 



Denounced 383 

jou made it — it*B over a two-hours* trip by train just to the 
Btation. Lord knows how far the house is from there. . . . 
Well, is it all right? Do I get my thirds He knew they 
would keep their word once it was passed; which was why 
they had won the confidence of the imderworld and received 
80 much outside assistance. 

'^f this is some kind of a frame-up for us, I'll get you, 
Mr. Bat, and mark you up so you'll never grab another dame," 
commented the burly one, fixing Petty with a suspicious eye. 
There was a new Police Commissioner at Headquarters and 
their detail was a plum that nine-tenths of their brother 
plain clothes men coveted. Petty shrank before Jones' men- 
acing eye, viewing the long gorilla-like arms and heavy 
clenched hands. 

^'Whj, Billy/' he protested. 'TVliadda I do that for? You 
know I'm your friend/' Jones growled something indis- 
tinguishable and resumed his staring at the sea of light below. 

''Well— all right," said McKiss finally. '^^Hiere is iir- 
Shoreham — or Port Jefferson — or Havre de Grace? — ^they're 
the only three places on the North Shore where anybody would 
try to smuggle anything — and they're all around two hours 
from Jamaica." 

"Havre de Grace," answered Petty, "and the phone num- 
ber is Havre de Grace 81. ... I suppose you could find 
out who's rented it easy enough by asking around the village. 
But it wouldn't do you any good and it might make 'em sus- 
picious, hearing somebody was asking. . . ." 

McEjss replaced his watch, an ornate affair, a present from 
a grateful thief who had erased its serial nimibers. "What 
would we want to know for P' he asked in a tired sort of way. 
**If they knew we knew we'd have to get them even if they 
escaped. As for hiring trucks and getting the stuff taken to 
town, thaf s all in your eye. If I find out you're telling the 
truth. 111 wire Billy to come down in a big car same as this 
other fellow. And 111 put off making the pinch till he comes. 
Hey, Billy ?" The burly one nodded. "Just tell 'em down to 



384 God's Man 

Headquarters I got a tip that Benny Bronn's hiding OTer in 
Jersey and so I beat it over there/' The burly one nodded 
again. '?ou be here in this private room to-morrow night 
at dinner-time, young fellow, and Billy*ll have some news for 
you. You better stick in the hotel to-morrow morning till I 
phone you, Bill. Well, so-long.'' . . . 

Pulling his soft hat half-way down to his eyes, Mr. McEiss 
rolled a cigarette from the loose ^^makings" in his pocket, lit 
it and went his way, a slim, quiet, unobtrusive, rather at- 
tractive-looking citizen. At the comer drug-store he bought 
a toothbrush, a pocket-comb, a tiny nailbrush and an orange- 
stick, for, whatever the obliquity of his ethics, his physical 
code was scrupulously correct. In the Arcade under the great 
arch of the gate to Long Island, he invested an American 
shilling in two new collars. Then, equipped for any adyen- 
ture, for he had filled his lower left coat-pocket with tobacco 
only that afternoon — ^he descended deep into the dark places 
of the earth. 

Here, in caverns hewn out of the solid rock, red and green 
lamps glowed somberly in dark subterranean passages. A hun- 
dred feet below the city's cellars, the Jamaica express chugged 
and chirred impatiently. Soon after he entered it, it plunged 
into the darkness, singing a song of steel and sparks to the 
depths of the conquered river overhead. It came upward 
into a land of lights, myriad lights, lights of stations and sig- 
nals, of towers and town-clocks, of trains and motors and 
carriages, all gleaming and glimmering, winking and wagging, 
halting and hurrying — the lights of Long Island. 

Behind, in the last car was Mr. Schmucke. He knew M^ 
Kiss, knew he could not endure a half-hour without cigar- 
ettes, therefore had known he was safe from observation so 
long as he avoided the smoking-car. In the dusky half-light 
of the Jamaica station, he stood behind an iron girder until 
the plain clothes man had taken his seat in a'^ocal" thatwould 
bear them to Havre de Qrace ; then hurried on by the bade 
platform of the rear car. . . . 



Denounced 



385 



It was not eveiy day a man got a chance to make his 
fortune. He waa going to see that '^damn dick'' didn't try 
to '^nt anything over on him." If he did^ he could look 
ont for himself. He would make some kind of a deal with 
yonng Waldemar. He'd get his. . . . 

He was about to justify his existence. All that life of evil 
had been permitted him only that he might now senre to 
briog swiftly to a head the dark brew that had long been 
upon the noseen fire. 



BND OF BOOK VI 



BOOK VII 



CHAPTER ONE 

THE NIGHT OF THE SEVENTEENTH 

I. "Onward, Chbistiak Soldiers" 

BE night of the sixteenth was a 
fine one, long remembered for its 
full moon. It wag bo light that 
one conld eee for miles around and 
count each ship at eea. It was bo 
fine it apparently Ured oat the ele- 
ments; for on the Beventeenth, 
there was no moon; and althon^ 
a heavy September gale ecudded 
the clouds along, the Island, and 
especially our part, — the North 
Shore from Huntington to the 
ocean, — ^was shrouded in impene- 
trable mystery, 
le seventeenth had been a dreary day for all concerned 
the Cormorants coming; every one having watched until 
1 : UcEiBs in the beach underbrush ; Petty, racing-glassea 
lakiog hands, shivering on Harbor Hill ; Arnold, himself, 
irto quite calm, too excited to sleep and at his bedroom 
low most of the early morning. 

rchie who, alone, had slept as one pink with spiritual per- 
on, was a perfect pest with calculations of latitude and 
itnde, average speeds, possible meteorological disturb- 
3, continual demands for listeners and verification. He 
led of bills; bills, or rain, to be met When he spoke 



390 God's Man 

of what that young gentleman he knew afl Mr. Nolan called 
*^doing the Dutch/^ — ^Archie^s favorite topic during the past 
few months, — Pink could contain himself no longer. 

^TVe can help you ; please let us/* he urged icily. "Every 
cloudy Monday, we help send a few Dutch hats to float in 
the East River; — ^hey, sucker P* Then: *^Go on up. Beau. I 
got some poison in my grip, nicest you ever ate ; couple of 
spoonfuls and, oh, joy 1 1 Go on, — sap ! Bump this guy off 
quick 1** 

Darkness began to close in. From the fringed and scanty 
strip of breakwater, — the edge of the world now, — ^faint 
streamers of white rose out of a gray bleak universe. Like 
smoky snakes they crept along the beach, twined the trees and 
eddied about Havre de Grace light. 

The watchers in the chalet felt the cold breath of the sea- 
fog; hair and eyebrows were sticky with salty moisture. 

"Old Mother Gary brewing for her chickens again.** 

Arnold was tr}dng hard to be cheerful. Soon he saw the 
great eye of the Connecticut Cyclops wink dimly; — ^those pow- 
erful reflectors I He had a sickly foreboding that, if this kept 
up, the Cormorant might come and go, signal and blaze, for 
all any one on the Cliffs could see. To confirm him, the sad 
slow voice of the great Green Sands fog-horn began to warn, 
Havre de Grace bell-buoy to chill. 

*TjOoks like a night out for some of us," Arnold said, com- 
ing inside. "So whoever*s going, Pink? — ^Better get some 
sleep, then I I've got to, that beastly motor ! Look after tbe 
dinner. Beau; — ^you'll stay. Fm oflE; forty winks.*' 

'Tiefs eat at nine: that'll hold us until morning,** sag- 
gested Hugo. 

Arnold assented; then, from the kitchen: ^Cheese; eras- 
ers ; water to boil for tea ; *case anybody's hungry now. Potted 
8tu£F in the pantry, too. . . . It*ll be eleven befon 
Danny*ll dare signal. Say we start at ten. What say?** 

'TBoat-Stuff, hey?** Pink reflected. ''Me for that poaon 
myself.'* Then sang: 



The Night of the Seventeenth 391 

^T.t youVe got to be out in the cold and wet, 

Get a dollar shell of hop. 

And you'll think you're with your pet/' 

'^Chorus!" he shouted; Beau carolled, too. 

'^Oh, the hop, the hop, — ^jqlly good guys and fancy ladies, 
Bonnd for Hades, bound for Cadiz, — any old place thaf s 
nice and hof ' — 

They disappeared singing, returning with amber mouthpiece, 
gaudily colored Turkish water-pipe hose, bowl, cylindrical 
brass cup. The latter revealed a filigreed lamp; the glass 
shade to fit this was unwrapped from tissue-paper. There 
was also a cooking-needle, a bowl-scraper, — (yen-shi-gow), 
etc 

'Traveling layout," Pink explained ; Arnold recognized the 
little white "toey." 

'^Forgot . . . and hadda stop at Blackie Burns' — ^looks 
like he handed us a lime — ^" Pink was snifSng. 

Arnold recognized the name, too : as agent of the syndicate, 
he had sold Bums twenty-five thousand fen, — crude. 

'^Ought to be good," said he shortly. "If s some of your 
governor's, — ^govemors-es." He told Hugo and Archie of the 
sale. "So we're in distinguished company as wholesale opium 
dealers — a Congressman and a Justice of the Peace." 

Only Pink observed his bitter sarcasm. Hugo looked on 
curiously, Archie with eager interest Even Arnold's young 
crow hopped down from his perch and poked his bill through 
the bars of his cage. Beau placed the various articles on a 
small silver tray from the buffet, put the tray upon a piano 
stool, — and placed the stool close to a willow lounge chair. 
This, when extended, would permit one to lie almost at 
length. Pink drew up another chair so that the stool was be- 
tween them. Then the two laid themselves down. Beau cook- 



392 God's Man 

ing; the amber mouthpiece at the end of the long hoae passing 
back and fourth between them. 

But when Arnold descended from his room^ some ho&n 
later^ he found the situation changed. The chairs had been 
abandoned^ traveling rugs from the car were piled on the flooL 
Archie's head was on Hugo's hip^ as all four reclined about 
the tiny lamp^ his eyes as wild and excited as Hugo's wen 
dull and heavy. Arnold^ standing on the stairs, saw Archie 
seize, eagerly, a proffered *^pill" which Hugo had sleepily re- 
fused. The crow slept heavily in his cage, overpowered by the 
fumes. 

Pink was the first to discover Arnold's reappearance; and 
leaping up, blushed guiltily. *The dinner's all right," he 
said, with an attempt to carry off the situation. 'Tve got 
eveiything fixed up fine, — ^the chickens only need another ten 
minutes to be brown enough to pass for Cuban patriots. And, 
believe me, I mixed a salad dressing that would make a milk- 
weed taste like head lettuce. You never tasted any caw- 
fee, did you? Well, thafs a hop-fighter's dinner you Imow,— 
piece of pie and a cup of cawfee. And my Java has made me 
the particular kid in such circles. . . . Thafs what /'re 
been doing while the other members of this dub have been 
lying on their sides — ^" 

Still ill at ease under Arnold's reproachful gaze. Pink eit 
down at the piano. Like many with uncultivated musiGtl 
gifts, — especially in his world, — ^he had, besides his showy 
talent for syncopated melodies, the ability to strike chords; 
which, although known by a tonsorial nickname, had neTe^ 
theless, a genuine appeal to the emotions. 

Pink was a past-master at these lachrymose melodies. Sen- 
timental like most of his class (although he concealed it deep 
down where he kept his respect for age and ^^square girlfl,'* 
love for home and mother, and various other unworldly af- 
fections) he now thought of the Little One, whom he hid 
been unable to persuade to "double-up," although convinced 



The Night of the Seventeenth 393 

jras wildly, though secretly, devoted to him. At Mothert 
be preceding afternoon, hadn't she proved it hy breaking 
1 before he left, clinging to him and begging him to be 
^ul, to come back, safe to her. 

bis scene recreated itself as he played and sang; and, 
gh the words offered little scope for sentiment, he man- 
somehow to imbue both voice and chords with a wist-" 
3S8 that sent chills to Hugo's spine, the usual warning of 
ture to his eyes; while Archie stared fixedly into space. 

**Come lie on your side with me, old pal. 

Come lie 'round and join in the fun; 

With the aid of *the gong,' 

We will quit the mad throng 

For the Land of the Pure Li-un. 

This magical bamboo stem, old pal. 

From worry will set you free. 

So, pal, don't be sad, 

ril make your heart glad. 

If youll lie on your side with me." 

le wrote it himself," Beau said, as proudly as if it were 
Traumerei. But, though it is easy to jeer at such primi- 
appeals, the music affected Arnold, music-scholar and 
a-lover, as much as his less enlightened companions. And 
1 Pink, forgetting why he had begun to play, wandered 
nto other airs where ihe words gave him a better senti- 
tal opportunity, Arnold's reproaches remained unuttered 
he sank down into one of the wicker chairs, head on 
l. 

"I want to go back to the orchard. 

The orchard that used to be mine : 

I want to stand deep in the woodland. 

The woodland the color of wine. 

I want to go back to the meadow, 



394 God's Man 

I want to go back to the bam; 

To the rocks and the rills. 

And the whip-whip-poor-wills, 

I want to go back to the farm" . . . 

"For (Jod's sake stop it," cried Archie, the tears streaming. 
Pink came to his feet with a start. Hugo was blinking, toa 
Arnold remembered a scene in a caf £ : a half -drunken woman 
and The Rosary. He had sneered then; the situation wu 
much the same, yet he did not sneer now. Not even when 
Archie demanded more of the opium as mental anodyne and 
trembled visibly while Beau prepared it. Just so had the 
woman trembled while the waiter went for more whisky. 

Nor did Arnold interfere, as he had first intended* In the 
rush of reverie that came with Pink's playing, he realized 
why at such a time, a soul should fiercely desire that which 
would blur and blot the memory of imkept promises to tiie 
God within us all, of broken faith and bankrupt hopes, of hell 
on earth and ill-will toward men. 

The room was silent save for the bubble-bubble of the pipe, 
the roar of the wind, the surge of the surf. Arnold looted 
at his watch : the awaited hour approached. If the Cormorani 
was to arrive that night, she was nearly due. . . . 

The young crow, awakened by Archie's passionate protest, 
surveyed the scene with one sleepy eye. Ever since the arrival 
of the first two strangers, it had been in a fit of jealous sulks, 
causing a temporary relapse into barbarism. It^ resentful 
caw had been loud but inarticulate, its back pointedly toned 
when speech was requested, if pressed its head was tacked 
under its wing. But now, only half -awake, — the music hav- 
ing intruded on its dreams, — ^the crow was stirred to unex- 
pected emulation: Onward, Christian Soldiers it cawed. 
Pink's elbow slipped to the key-board and a clangor of dia- 
sonances shocked the ragged nerves of all. The pipe fell from 
Beauts hands shattering the lamp-globe : the light went out 
Archie started up with a shriek. 



The Night of the Seventeenth 395 

The crow, gratified by this belated tribute to personaKty, 
fell into the usual error of the artist and repeated the per- 
formance. Onward, Christian Soldiers, it cawed again. The 
sUence, tremulous with shock, had held for a quivering sec- 
ond. Then a galvanized jack-in-boz that was Archie, sprang 
at the cage, tore at its door, and reached for its occupant, 
mechanical fingers fastened on its gullet. But, now, another 
also sprang and Arnold's fist caught Archie's chin and tum- 
bled him over backward. He fell, striking his head against a 
table comer. In the consequent confusion and the efforts to 
revive him,— one running for water, and another opening the 
window for air, — ^the frightened bird flew off to the freedom 
of the fog. 

Too late the panting and pursuing owner saw the loss of 
his beloved pet. The sole companion of his loneliness fled, all 
penitence fled v^th it. Looking down at his fallen friend, 
Arnold cursed him, cursed Pink, cursed Beau, cursed Hugo. 
They stared at him in frightened surprise: this raging hard- 
eyed fighting-man was not the Arnold they knew. Nor did he 
laiow himself; only that he most desired to feel his clenched 
fist against human fiesh, and that he hoped one of them would 
answer him angrily and yield a second opportunity. 

But none did : only, ^TTou've hurt him, Arnold,'' said Hugo. 

*T wish I'd hurt him a damn' sight worse," Arnold returned 
viciously. *^He got me into this filthy business; yes, he and 
yon, and your damn' father. Yesterday, I was beginning to 
feel decent again. Now I'm just what I was before I left your 
rotten city, — a crook, a beast, a brute. And it's beginning to 
show. Are you surprised ?" 

He nodded toward Pink and to Hugo while he pulled on 
his hip-boots, '^t Mr. Hop-Cook stay and look after him, 
since he was the one who gave him the stuff that did it. No. 
I'm wrong. Your father's the one, Hugo, but we haven't time 
to get him. And thafs the kind of business we're going into 
to-night. To bring in more stuff that turns men into that kind 
of hysterical loons." 



396 God's. Man 

''Ah, dry up," growled Pink. "It's not the stuff: it's the 
man. It never hurt me. Weak-minded gujrs like thit 'uve got 
no right to smoke or drink or anything." 

'* 'Weak-minded guys, eh?* " asked Arnold. He got up and, 
as he slipped his belt through the loops of his thigh-high 
boots, he sneered. " 'Weak-minded guys I* And what is th^e^ 
quarters of the world, — strong 'guys*? It never hurt you/ 
eh? How many are like you? How many can take a fev 
drinks of whisky every day without it hurting them? Not 
enough to make up for the alcoholic wards in every hospital, 
the lonely wives waiting until daybreak, the hungry children, 
the broken homes I And for one Frank Nolan, tiiere's two 
opium-wrecks living in Chinatown, three who'd sell their 
wife's wedding-rings for a pound of yen-shi, and four uniden- 
tified morphine-fiends in the morgue." 

He was very pale, his lips dry, his eyes wild. Pink watched 
him abashed and disquieted, Hugo alarmed and remorseful. 
''Let's not kid ourselves any longer, fellows," he resumed bit- 
terly. '^Gentlemen like Mr. John Waldemar go up every rung 
of the ladder with their foot on somebody's life. And we're 
going out now to put ourselves in the same class. If pu 
didn't know it before, ifs only because you never troubled 
yourselves to think. I've troubled not to tiiink. I've said all 
the things John Waldemar says, all the things you say. Pink. 
But we had our warning just now. We saw what it does to 
weaklings. Archie Hartogensis wouldn't harm a fly. We saw 
him first crying like a girl, then yelling like a madman and 
trying to wring a helpless bird's neck. We've had our warning, 
so don't blame the Almighty if we are lost in that fog and are 
never found. Warning ! Do you people believe in God ?" 

There was an embarrassed silence. "I don't know whether I 
do myself, any more," said Arnold. "But if I do, I've got to 
believe that only something supernormal arranged that terrible 
irony — 'Onward, Christian SoldiersT*' 

He shuddered and looked fearfully at the open windov. 
The sea-fog was rolling in, sepulchral swirls and whorls, ghosti 



The Night of the Seventeenth 397 

in gray winding sheets, with cold and clammy fingers to faces, 
each vanishing to take up watch within the room, invisible 
doomsmen, — or so the inchoate imagery of the moment might 
be inadequately translated. The others sat, stony still, staring 
at the window, all three fiend-ridden, unconscious mystics: 
Beau sprang up. 

'TTou don't catch me sticking around here, alone,*' he said 
fiercely. But Pink, grateful for a foe he could combat, pushed 
iiim back with the fiat of his hand. 

*T8aby,'* he jeered, then tossed him his automatic pistol: 
'*Keep off the bogies with that. Wake up the other baby and 
rehearse your act together.'' He, too, had donned oilskins, 
silken oilskins these, from Hugo's car, and with their owner 
similarly arrayed, stalked out after Arnold. The next moment 
their voices, wafted on an air languid with heavy sea-salt, 
seemed far away : in another briefer lapse, they were so faintly 
audible that had Beau done other than strain his ears, he must 
have heard only mournful fog-horn and tolling bell-buoy. 

Then the whispering began — or seemed to; a whispering 
that froze him. He sat, motionless by the open window, and, 
fearless as he had been hitherto, was too terrified even to trem- 
ble. He roused himself with an effort beside which all previous 
calls on his will-power were as willing yieldings. "Archie! 
Archie!! Archie!!! Archie!!!!" He dragged him to a 
chair, he rubbed his wrists, he chafed his ankles, calling loudly 
whenever he had the breath. Presently Archie groaned and 
never was sound sweeter to mortal. 

"Here^ — have a drink," urged Beau; but then, remember- 
ing, returned the whisky to the decanter. "No. You'd be sick. 
They don't mix, — ^hop and whisky." He found arnica and 
bandaged the bruise, soothing the excited and enraged victim 
of Arnold's wrath. Soon they had resumed their positions 
on the fioor, the window closed, the curtains drawn, more 
wood piled upon the fire so that its blaze banished Beau's tem- 
porary fear of the intangible. 

No doubt he had forgotten Arnold's accusation; or had not 



398 God*8 Man 

believed it at the time. Arnold had played on hia fetis. Bat, 
now that he had a companion again and the cold sea-fog no 
longer rolled in the window and the moaning of fog-horn and 
tolling of bell-buoy were so faint as to be almost inandible, he 
only remembered that his nerves were severely shaken and 
that the *lay-out** held balm for such infelicity. He was of 
Pink's mind^ save that, lacking Pink's plastic quality^ he was 
impervious to logic not in accord with personal experience. 
"It'* had never harmed him; therefore Archie's condition had 
been due to natural excitement. With a fortune almost in hii 
grasp, "who wouldn't be oflf his nut?" Therefore, when 
Archie sullenly demanded his share of the cookery. Pink 
yielded. A little more would act as a soporific, he argned 
again, although, of course, in no such words. 

"You'll drop oJBf t6 sleep. Best thing for you," said this 
complaisant "cook." But he was wrong. There are no ano- 
d3mes for such neurotics as Archie, only ansesihetics : nor in 
lesser quantities do they act as mental stimulants, only as 
excitants, increasing hysteria until it becomes ultimate, and 
sheer exhaustion alone brings surcease. As in a thermome- 
ter placed over the fire, the mercury must find its zenith be- 
fore its nadir, must rise highest before falling lowest, thus 
Archie, — ^mercurial enough in all sooth. And, as he lay and 
smoked, while Beau relapsed into euphoria Archie brooded 
over his wrongs; his shrill voice rising oftener than pleased 
Pink's partner. 

"Can it, can it," the latter urged. "Ain't you got a chance 
to cut in on some important dough, now? Think of our pals 
out in the cold and wet just bringing it in and all we gotta do 
is take it. Nice and warm and full of the poppy, and yoa'ra 
beefing ! You wouldn't be satisfied if a stranger handed joa 
a million. Look at all the trouble of carrying it home! 
Why—" 

^TLiisten," whispered Archie. Then suddenly, but with exag- 
gerated caution, he rose and, seizing Pink's pistol where it Iii^ 
fallen, tiptoed to the door and flung it open. ^^Who's fbenf 



The Night of the Seventeenth 399 

he challenged in his high shrill voice. ''Who^s there. I'll 
shoot if you don't answer/' Silence only. 

*T)on't be a goat, sucker/' protested Beau« 'That's a cold 
wind you're letting in and it ain't welcome. I'm in on this 
shack and I don't want no visitors like that. Shut the door." 

The wind had risen. One wondered how it coxdd rack trees 
and bang shutters and roar at large without dispersing those 
fog-banks; and at times it seemed to shriek as though their 
obduracy annoyed it, then returned to wreak its rage upon the 
trees and shutters as before. It had stilled for a moment as 
though taking on extra strength and then it was that Archie 
had imagined he heard a stealthy footfall close to the bay- 
window. Now he seized the shaded studenf s-lamp from the 
table and bore it, held aloft, to the door, but before it could 
do more than fringe with yellow the inner shadows, a mighty 
sea-gust roared over it and all was dark again. 

"Come on in," shouted Beau impatiently. "You make me 
tired, sap-head. Come on, I tell you, or I'll bend the pipe over 
your nut. Gome on, now." The chill blast had sent him shiv- 
ering to the fire. Archie reluctantly closed the door abd re- 
placed the lamp. 

"I heard somebody just outside," he asserted excitedly. "If 
I didn't, may I never see daylight again. I hope to die if 
I didn't hear somebody as plain as I hear you, somebody 
sneaking around right under that window." 

Beau expostulated in his usual idiom; then crossed to the 
door and locked it, pocketing the key. 'TTou'U do well if you 
hear it again," he chuckled. **If you think I'm going to 
be froze outa house and home, you want to go to thinking 
school and begin life all over agen. Now I gotta have a few 
more puflfs to take the chill outa my system. But no more for 
you, sucker. You'll be hearing the little whales singing in the 
ocean if I give you any more." 

But Beau, for all his wisdom, had been wrong. Archie's 
hearing was too acute to be at fault. When he heard them Mc- 
Ejss and Jones had decided that the time had come for them 



400 God's Man 

to take action. Therefore, they had wriggled out from be- 
neath the chalet, which, bnilt on piles, afforded excellent con- 
cealment, if poor shelter from the chilly air. Out they wrig- 
gled and stealthily crept away. Gaining the woods, they pro- 
ceeded, by intermittent flashes of a pocket torch, toward the 
residence of the Honnible Johnnie. 

II. "MAncHiNG As To Wab'* 

Dinner was over, but Waldemar and the Squire still sat in 
the glow of the shaded candles that decorated the Hartogen- 
sis mahogany, when, to quote Pink : '^instead of a rock and 
rope and finding the nearest river and jumping in, they're 
doing it with a bomb and taking some rich guy along to cany 
their grip'* . . . Particularly, "rich guys*' of Walde- 
mar's sort when discovered in Buch plots against the public 
peace as the Yew Tree ^^proposition*' ; — which he was now pre- 
pared to put into operation. 

As per certain papers spread out on the Hartogensis ma- 
hogany and truncating the long witch faces of a handful 
of Hartogensis candies, — ^the Squire clung to candles, 
whether for a commendable reason or as part of his 
pose ... is not weighty enough to detain us. 
Doilies, too, — Cluny lace over Japanese mats. And a 
burglar's sackful of shining Sheffield and silverware, held 
the first and held down on the second. Dinner was over 
when Jones and McKiss learned that Waldemar, while in resi- 
dence was not in presence, and started for the Squire's. 

Butler (this dignified servant, by a freak of nomenclature 
having that for surname as well as occupation) was dismissed 
about that time, too. 

*^Here /are, partner," quoth the Honnible Johnnie, and 
grinned. The Squire, frowning slightly, examined the hilf- 
sheet of scribbling. Scribbling, it seemed, but, really, it was 
the best Waldemar could do : his slight decrease in illiteracy 
had come too late for any grace of outline. 



r\ 



The Night of the Seventeenth 401 

'There's the proposition, and here's my offer on it/' Cer- 
tain sums and rates of interest, percentages representing rents 
and shares in his business, along with the ratios of probable 
increases consequent on the new investment, were set forth 
GO plainly that even an outsider could have understood that 
what was proposed was genuine. 

'TVell, partner?" Waldemar inquired softly, having con- 
sumed the contents of two pipes and several glasses. 

The Squire came out of his pleasant reverie with a start 
He had ceased to see figures on the paper, was looking on 
fairer fancies: Exmoor, his pet and pride, ornamented and 
adorned, added to in acreage and improved out of all present 
appearance. He sat up, concealing his amazement, and un- 
thinkingly combed his neat whiskers with his penciL ''It 
seems a fair offer, Waldemar," he said, striving for his usual 
judicial calm. "It seems a very fair offer. It seems — '* He 
checked himself, realizing his speech was mechanical, but 
finding no words suited to his dignity and to his acumen as a 
business man, only nodded. 

"You said your grandson 'ud be a big man in these here 
parts," chuckled Waldemar. "Well : looks like he'll be a big- 
ger one, don't it? I've got some idears about my own grand- 
son. Squire. Many a time I remember how I used to see these 
here big Russian landowners sorta snaking their whip to warn 
the maujiks to get out of the way." In his enthusiasm, he 
forgot his claim that he was the son of such a whip-snaker. 
Neither man noticed the discrepancy now. 

"Yes, sir/* he continued: "And I often think: America's 
a young country; give her time and she'll be thataway, her- 
self. In the end, if s the land. Those that own the land own 
the country. Trusts can go bust and banks can blow up, but 
you've got the only right idear. They can't take the land away 
from you. And I was thinking: — what's to prevent us two 
from owning all the land hereabouts. You show me where you 
want to spread out, and I'll spread out the other way. And 
by the time our grandsons are our age, — ^just as you say — 



402 God's Man 

we^l about own all of this here Havre de Grace. Then we can 
elect anybody we like ; jest run the whole shooting-match to 
suit ourselves. People living on your land^ getting their bread 
and butter out of you, ain^t a-going to vote agen you, is they?" 

Squire Hartogensis appeared to share his belief; but wiQi 
the mental reservation that he would have preferred the sen- 
timent to emanate from one better equipped in vocabulary. 
So precious a thought should be couched in dignity of phrase. 
He was about to remedy the deficiency of his fellow reaction- 
ary, incidentally emphasizing his own priority in the idea, 
when his butler made an annoying entrance after an equally 
annoying knock. 

'*Two men. Squire Hartogensis, sir,*' said the butler im- 
passively, ^'insist on seeing Mr. Waldemar, sir. Not my fault. 
Squire. They simply refuse to go. They say Mr. Waldemar 
will be glad to see them when he hears what they have to 
tell him. . . • Yes, they seem respectable, Mr. Waldemar. 
. . . No names, no, sir. . . . Not natives, no. Squire. 
City folk I judge. Said to show you this, Mr. Waldemar, and 
you would surely see them.'* 

He brought forward the silver card-tray, to which his white- 
gloved thumb held tightly a scrap of paper evidently torn from 
the edge of a magazine advertising page, and on which was 
written a word in Latin, The word was "Papaver," printed 
rudely in pencil, followed by a written phrase quite as ill^ble 
and mysterious to one with no previous suspicion of its mean- 
ing: "ALIAS THE POPPY.*' 

Waldemar looked up sharply. "Can you make this out, 
Butler?" he asked. Butler, the impressive, shook his head 
impressively. 

"It was not for me to attempt to decipher it> sir?" he re- 
buked; an answer and an attitude that pleased his master 
mightily. 

"Neither can I," lied the Honnible Johnnie. It was not lii« 
scholarship that made it possible for him to be mendacious, 
but for a reason of which McKiss had been well aware: the 



The Night of the Seventeenth 403 

labels pasted on his jars by his better informed chemists bore 
the name *Tapaver/' 

He glanced slyly at the Squire. ^^But I think it's some im- 
portant business from town^ — syndicate business^ partner. I 
may have to leave you and take these men over to my place. 
What time will you be ready to go up in the morning? Til 
have the car start at any time you say ?'' 

**At any time you say/* corrected the Squire. His eyes had 
never really left that sheet of figures whose cold fragments, 
like bits of a jigsaw puzzle, made such a warm ensemble : — 
a transfigured Exmoor, an Exmoor like Lord WhatVHis- 
Name or that of Sir Moses Norfolk, money-lender to the 
British nation — and others. . . . 

Waldemar named an early hour, suppressing his impatience, 
and the Squire mechanically agreed. They parted, each shak- 
ing hands with the past, equally unaware of the present that 
awaited outside, and the future that waited beyond in the 
Swiss chalet. 

III. Thb Awakening of Mb. McKiss 

At the sight of the earnest Eugene, the Honnible Johnnie 
congratulated himself on his acumen. City fellows didn't 
travel so far from home and send in such messages without 
having matters of import to discuss. He thanked Ood that, 
for all his success, he had not grown haughty like Old Man 
Bartogensis. 

''How did you know I was down here?*' he asked McKiss 
irhen he and the worthy pair were within his touring limou- 
sine, the same that had taken Arnold to his graduation as a 
^*good business man.'' 

*'Just plain accident, young fel — Congressman, I mean," re- 
burned McKiss jovially. ''Heard you'd be here to-night. Sit- 
ting around at our hotel when your house phoned for some- 
thing, and mentioned you were coming down, and that you 
udd you'd drop in to-morrow and pass the time of day. Al- 



404 God's Man 

ways making yonraelf solid with the Yoters, hej, Congrev- 
manr 

McKiss knew his man ; knew his record, business and po- 
litical ; had once visited him as the emissary of a metropoli- 
tan weekly, of no particular importance, politically, hence un- 
affiliated and selling its silence to those able to afford it, or 
unable to, socially speaking. In spite of its notorious connp- 
tion, it was influential, socially. McEoss, whose particular 
brand of honesty was to stay bought, was their ^investigation 
expert'' Unable to shake down luscious plums like ^city ad- 
vertising'' it appealed, first to Caesarean purses, then to lovers 
of sensational scandal. Either increased its advertising rates. 
. . . For instance, Mr. Waldemar, thinking of his son's 
social future and of the iniquitous activities of private Up- 
lifts, had advertised his business uselessly, unusually, expen- 
sively — ^but amicably. 

Hence the sight of McKiss was no unmixed joy; it might 
mean a further bulling of the blackmail market. The de- 
tective was not apt to force an interview unless warranted. 
It was likely, however, that McKiss came for more friendly 
reasons. Waldemar could recall nothing at the moment with 
which he could be threatened. 

Wisely, he contained himself while the car took the hilly 
roads from Hartogensis Hall to Waldemar House. One most 
speak loudly to overcome the noise of the engine, the grinding 
of the wheels, the hissing of the exhaust — only a thin partition 
separated them from the chauffeur. 

*TVe never had any idea of taking you in with this at all, 
Congressman," McKiss ventured, as they came to a level 
stretch where a whisper might be heard. '*We come down 
here all on our little lonelies. That is I come down, and this 
young fellow, friend of mine and side-kicker, come down to- 
night bringing a car. But when I heard about you at the 
hotel I said to myself : ^There's our man ! Burly thinks so, too. 
Shake hands with the Congressman, Burly, — ^Mr. Jones^ Con- 
gressman Waldemar — ^Don't you, Burly? . . .** 



The Night of the Seventeenth 405 

He waited for a reassuring noi ''Well, then/' continued 
McKiss, ''as soon as we made sure the deal was to be pulled 
ofiE to-night we come right to your house — ^your people sent us 
to the Squire's. — ^Does that Squire mean the same here as in 
the cityr 

"Meaning is he a judge ? Yes> son," agreed Waldemar, puf- 
fing at his cigar to conceal his delight at what, if he read 
the oracle aright, was happy augury. "Least," he went on, 
killing time, "what they adl a judge. But he never had any- 
thing worse than wife-beaters and chicken-stealers to do any 
judgin' on, so maybe 'tain't the same as in the city after all. 
Leastways, speaking financially, it don't offer the same in- 
ducements." 

He grinned. Mr. McEass also found something humorous 
in the existence of such graceless disfigures of the judiciary: 
the Honorable Mr. Cornigan, for instance. . . • 

The car at last quivered to a standstill under the stone 
archway of the Waldemar House porte-cochJre, and the great 
doors were flung wide by a sleepy footman semi-Orientally 
liveried. Once within McEiss observed with the curiosity that 
had yielded him an approach to an education, the stained glass 
let into the arches above the doors of the squat Gothic vesti- 
bule, studies from a Khudyakof slcazJea.* 

McEIiss stared not because they were artistic, but because 
they were horrible. 

The key-window represented the Kashoube Viezscy, a sex- 
less Vampire, seated in a coffin and gnawing at his own arm. 
All were the work of a never-to-be-sung Beardsley, a night- 
mare colorist of some "Futurist" school, who had discovered 
how to paint three dimensions. But, what was more impor- 
tant, he had persuaded Waldemar to accept these ghastly cari- 
catures. 



♦Note — Skazka is saga, practically. 



406 God's Man 

'^ . . Not as a connoisseur^ but as a Bussian, sir. The 
subject is Slavonic, typically Slavonic, Mr. Waldemar.** 

Impressed by the way people stared, the Slavonic one had 
learnt to admire this cycle of ghoulish jests for their atten- 
tion-compelling qualities. Even so uncultivated a man as s 
New York plain clothes man was captivated. Temporarily dis- 
missing his own curiosity to pander to that of his guests, he 
explained his Penates with the naif pride of ownership. 

''Bussian, sure. You\e heard of the Vampire, That's him. 
He's chewing at his own arm so's his wife and children will 
die, see? Then in the next picture they're dying and there U 
is peeking in the winder outside. . . . Laughin', the old 
devil. Some idear, hey?" 

As he turned off to give some directions to the sleepy foot- 
man, McKiss, an inherently religious young man, crosa^l him- 
self devoutly and muttered something strictly Hibernian, 
heard in his cradle-days, or soon after, from his Galway 
mother. 

"No good luck 'nil come from flyin' in the face of Provi- 
dence like that," he whispered in an awed tone, to the stolid 
Jones. McKiss feared no man, but where were the saints with- 
out demons to triumph over? 

For the first time in their acquaintance, Jones was con- 
scious that cowardice was possible to McKiss. He had un- 
doubtedly shuddered. 

"I wish I was well out of this," he added. '*I wish I hadn't 
been so bright, young fellow. I wish Waldemar was in bdl 
with his Vampires as any devil desarves to be that has pk^ 
tures like that, for a sacrilege it is and nothing else, the brass 
av him !" 

McKiss had the habit during excitement, or stress, of n- 
tuming to his early pronunciations and inflections — ^whudi 
also came direct from Galway. 

'^What I mean. Burly, the idea of these stained-glass win- 
dows is sorta stolen from the Church," he said, quieting down 
and resuming his American idioms, ^^f a a sort of r^igum 



The Night of the Seventeenth 407 

idea. And then to put a blood-sucking devil digging up graves 
on one of 'em ! — *^ 

Emotion overcame him. Jones, disgusted with his part- 
ner's puerility, left him to whisper to himself. 

In the high stone-walled library Waldemar was overseeing 
the selection of certain whiskies and liquors, the footman hav* 
ing wheeled in a portable cellaret. 

^^Pucker can get you some chicken and salad and cham- 
pagne,'' he further suggested. Hospitality, the offering of 
food and drink, especially drink, was a second nature with the 
Honnible Johnnie. For his liberality, men gave him their 
lives to order as he willed, he and his fellows, those foolish 
sheep. 

But these were birds of the night, not sheep; rather giant 
hawks, sheep devourers also. Jones was twiddling his thumbs 
and refusing refreshment, and showing no gratitude toward 
the profferer. "Send him away. Congressman," he growled. 
Waldemar nodded and Pucker went. 

"Now, Mac," said Jones, exasperated. 

Mac needed to see a doctor,— Jones was trying to be char- 
itable. "McKiss afraid ! Afraid of wAo^r 

"See here. Congressman," Jones broke in roughly. "I ain't 
a man to talk. But the fact is — ^well — I guess my pal over 
there must a hurt his head. And there's about a hundred 
thousand dollars' worth of opium gunna be landed to-night 
not two miles from here." 

The announcement coming so unexpectedly, the Honnible 
Johnnie had no time to prepare his face with a look of indif- 
ference, but gaped like any schoolboy. 

"How do you know ?" came out involuntarily. 

'^Because three people left to land it oflPn a ship out 
there" — Jones waved toward the Sound — ^"not haff'n hour 
ago. My pal, here, could put all this more delicate than me. 
Congressman. This ain't my end of the deaL But, — ^you'll 
have to excuse me sayin' so, — you'll have to decide quick. 
We're gunna make a bluff at pinching these guys and then let 



408 God's Man 

*cm get away — there's only about haff-a-dozen of 'em; then 
we'll cop the stuflf and bring it over to your snare. I come 
down in a Packthread tourer, — ^holds eight passengers — and 
we oughta be able to do it in ten or fifteen loads — meanin' by 
daybreak. Now if we do, is it fifty-fifty? 

**If you won't," he added, rising, seeing that Waldemar 
made no sign. "All we ask you to do is to forget it and well 
do what we intended to before we saw you ; cart it along the 
cliffs or out in the woods somewheres and hide it. That is, 
hide all over what we can take up to town our first trip. Then 
come back for the rest as we sell it. If s up to you. There's s 
lot of work, thataway, and a lot of risk, so when my pal, here, 
saw you 'saf temoon. . . ." 

He went back laboriously to his premise, and began again 
his many repetitions. Like most strong simple men, he con- 
ceived it an easy matter to be direct in narrative. Few laymen 
know that a complex tale told lucidly is an art-form that even 
master-craftsmen achieve only after long and arduous appren- 
ticeship. Mr. Jones became more obscure with every claose 
and correlation, finally compelling McKiss to intervene, 

"It's like this. Congressman" ... he began mechanr 
ically. If his explanation lacked Jones* obscurity, in part, it 
lacked his enthusiasm altogether. The same black dog was on 
his back, as had been on Arnold's earlier in the evening — the 
same curious apprehension weighed him down. 

Had some Eochefort Caf6 reveler suddenly spat at a crn- 
cifix or trampled on a rosary, the same apprehension would 
have come to him, and — ^the alembic of habit shattered— he 
would have examined his life and found it evil. But those 
who do physical evil have violent revulsions to spiritual good; 
the lawless folk he knew best respected religious eymbols; 
religion yielding many exquisite emotions. Agnosticism was 
much more likely to be found in the sturdier Welsh type of 
Jones ; one without suflScient sophistry to reconcile repentance 
with continued relapses. As for atheism that was part and 



The Night of the Seventeenth 409 

parcel of the ruthless type, represented by the Waldemars, the 
business buccaneer. 

No one but an atheist, McEass knew, could have that horri- 
ble stained-glass in his house. As he explained what Jones 
had failed to make clear, a violent hatred for his host welled 
up in McKiss. Yet half an hour earlier, he had chuckled over 
Waldemar's joke about a corrupt judiciary. 

Now, by the mere sight of a disgruntled artist's diablerie, 
bad been accomplished one of those modem miracles that hap- 
pen every day everywhere ; a miracle of the mind, more super- 
normal than any of the flesh, a sudden straightening of dis- 
torted vision due to a violent blow, — ^between the eyes ! 

The religion of Eugene McKiss was real enough; only its 
application had been at fault. Now, dimly apprehending, 
Eugene's sense of sin became oppressive. He was weighed 
down with it, weary-eyed, weary of soul. 

"And you don't even know who these fellows are?" asked 
Waldemar; too rapt in the narrative to observe the nar- 
rator. 

*lfs all a piece of the same dirty washing,'^ McKiss found 
himself saying, hardly less to the surprise of his own conscious 
self than to the slowly dawning rage of Jones. "You see one 
of these young fellows is supporting a girl. And she's sup- 
porting the little rat who told us. Maybe she don't know she's 
supporting him. . . ." 

Waldemar nodded. Pettjr's kind had been profitable 
"sleigh-riders" when he provided "snow" on Seventh Avenue. 

"Well, the rat's afraid to let us know the name of her par- 
ticular young fellow," McKiss continued. "He thinks we'll 
get some more easy money, blackmailing him — ^" 

Burly Jones leaped up. "See here, Mac," he shouted, his 
eyes wicked. "Blackmail! — are you crazy?" 

"The raf s reserved the blackmail privilege as part of his 
share," McKiss went on, unheeding. "If s part of our bargain 
not to try to find out any names. Anyway, we don't want to. 



410 God's Man 

If they knew we kaew, they could blackmail us! An awfulh 
dirty lot of laundry^ all around^ all right. But I started and 
I'll go through. What's the answer ?" 

"Good boy I" said Walderaar ; and, trying to laugh away this 
ugly language, guflfawed loudly. "If it is dirty, if s time it did 
some clean fellows some good ! Hey ? Of course / don't know 
anything about it, though, do I P' 

He winked. "But if I was to find a lot of valuable stuff in 
my stables to-morrow. And if a coupla friends said it was a 
present, I couldn't accept it without giving something in re- 
turn, could I ? Course they might insist on not taking more 
than half what it was worth, and the best I could do then 
would be to leave them the other half in my will.** 

His ostensible hearty habit of guffawing made McKiss hate 
him more than ever. 

Beckoning them to the main hall, Waldemar bade the tired 
Pucker be off to bed. "I'll lock up, my boy/* he said genially. 
When the footman had disappeared by a 8ervant*s hallway 
under the stairs, Waldemar opened a paneled door, disclosing 
an electric switchboard and a key-rack, and selecting two keys, 
the larger for a hasp padlock, the other for a chain, he laughed 
unrestrainedly. Waldemar's decision surprised Jones as well 
as increased the hatred of McKiss, who feared he would com- 
mit some violence if not soon rid of the sight of him. Slip- 
ping into a short walking-coat of heavy frieze, Waldemar an- 
nounced, patronizingly, he would go with them part of the 
way. 

"I've got an idea I know what house that is,** he chuckled. 
"I wonder if that's what his 'important business* was. The 
young rogue! Takin* a leaf out of somebody*8 book, eh? 
Hell be all the more valuable to somebody after this. Lots of 
good experience, but no money to make him cocky. If it*8 (he 
one I think it is, McKiss, you*re quite right about his not af- 
fording the notoriety. His father's a very respected man in 
these parts, the only one they take their hats off to. They 
don't do it to the Squire or me^ who could buy and sell him 



The Night of the Seventeenth 411 

fifty times over. . . . What did you hear while you were 
hiding under that house? Any names or anything ?*' 

McKiss answered shortly that they had not. There had 
been some kind of a fight and some piano-playing. That was 
all they could make out. Then three men had come out, wear- 
ing oilskins and fishermen's boots. They had heard them say 
enough, outside, to know they were off in a motor-boat to 
cruise around until they picked up some ship. One of them 
had asked how many trips they would have to make before 
the cargo was landed and another had replied, ^Trobably 
four.** He thought he knew one of the voices, a Tenderloin 
Voice certainly. But it had been too dark to see any one. 

And now they were going back to lie in wait for the re- 
turn of this trio. 

**But I donH advise you to come along, Congressman,** Mc- 
tiss said sourly. 'TTou walk too heavy, for one thing. YouTl 
give us away. They're suspicious enough as it is. One of the 
young fellows they left behind heard us crawling out from 
under and came to the door. And if the wind hadn't blown 
out his lamp, he mighta blown out somebody's brains. Any- 
way he was shouting he'd shoot if we didn't produce regular 
passports." 

■^uch chance him shootin' if it's who I think it is !" Wal- 
demar was all genial scorn. 

**But, of course, it mightn't be. There's five of those 
shootin'-boxes, as they call 'em, though thejr're pretty large 
boxes, along the cliffs, and all a few miles from here. What 
does it look like exactly." 

''Considering we've never been there except at night, sorry 
not to be able to oblige you," returned McEiss, exasperated. 
''We called up the phone exchange, but the directions they 
gave us wasn't worth the trouble. So we had to waste our 
time scouting around three of 'em before we found the right 
one. The others were all boarded up. Each one's on a hill, 
each one's surrounded by trees so the ducks can't see it,— or 
you either. And at night you're liable to walk right off the 



412 God's Man 

earth if you ain't careful. Specially a dark night like this. I 
wouldnH go if I were you, Mr. Waldemar; what goodll it do 

your 

"Oh, let him alone, Mac,'' said Jones irritably. 

McKiss relapsed into gloom and walked on ahead, occa- 
sionally flashing the pocket torch enclosed in his palm. The 
chalet's telephone number yielding Waldemar no further in- 
formation, he too fell silent; only the possibility of it being 
Arnold's scheme that was to be circumvented, produced, now 
and again, a ruminative chuckle. 

"I always said he'd make a good business man," reflected 
the Honnible Johnnie. And guffawed loudly. 

"I wish you wouldn't do that," urged McKiss pathetically. 
Whenever Waldemar chuckled, McKiss seemed to see the 
stained-glass Vampire grinning. He felt he would go mad if 
that infernal chuckle came again. To one suffering from a 
sense of guilt, yet pursuing his guilty way, the sighing of the 
trees, the occasional hoots of owls and wails of whip-poor- 
wills, and the fact that the fog made it well nigh impossible to 
distinguish objects a hand's breadth beyond, meant sinister 
visioning to one of a superstitious race, seeing with the eye of 
an awakened conscience. 

Jones, recognizing in his friend's voice a note to be feared, 
fell back. "Don't mind him," he whispered as he pressed 
Waldemar's arm. "He's all worked up, the crazy Harp . . ." 

The fog was thicker by the time they left the Waldemar es- 
tate for the open field, part of the little property retained by 
the Indian-negroes over Snake Hollow way, bisected by a 
foot-path leading to their village. 

McKiss, cautiously inspecting his surroundings by the aid 
of flashes from his shielded pocket-torch, announced that they 
had lost their way. 

Waldemar, more familiar with the country, proffered aasiBt- 
ance. "If it's the place I think it is," he affirmed, after a sim- 
ilar investigation, "we've come half a mile we needn't hafe." 

Under his guidance, they crawled back through his barbed 



The Night of the Seventeenth 413 

wire fence and plunged into his woods again. The tolling of 
the bell on the channel-buoy, and the mournful mooing of the 
Middle-Oround fog-horn, proved he knew whither he led 
them, proved the final undoing of McKiss' nerves. So much 
so tha^ when they sank knee-deep into a gully full of leaves 
and a flock of pheasants rose about them with shrill and dis- 
cordant screams, cold sweat stood out on his forehead. His 
heart began beating wildly. 

He was all nerves. To him the forest was alive with the 
creatures of Irish legend and Roman myth, the good spirits 
bidding him beware ^^ere it was too late,'' the demons cackling 
over his fast approaching destruction. He seemed to hear 
light footfalls on the forest floor, lighter whisperings over- 
head. He wanted to shriek, to run wildly back toward lights 
and civilization. But the courage of cowardice, the lack of 
moral courage, kept him on his predestined way. 

And then a sullen desperation settled on him, a new hy- 
pothesis presenting itself. Did he think that sudden repent^ 
ance, without penance, sufficed to wipe out the wrong he had 
done in the last five years? . . . 

Suddenly, out of nowhere, was limned for him the meeting 
of a shabby curly-haired boy and a cherry-hatted girl whose 
hard eyes softened at the sight of him ; limned in the light of 
a ghostly carbon-candle crackling and sputtering in a great 
elliptical glass-bubble, high overhead. 

Against its pole, he leaned and listened. But suddenly and 
almost with a snarl, he broke and ran most of the way 
home. • . . 

Such had McKiss been. Long afterward, some one had 
brought him news of Father Collins. The old priest had 
begged his bishop to transfer him from the city ; he had lost 
faith when his best-loved altar-boy had gone the accepted 
New York way. 

A thought shaped itself somehow, in McKiss's mind ; he was 
to begin doing penance for all the ill he had wrought since 
then. He passed from fear to desperation, from desperation 



414 God's Man 

to a sort of jBerce frenzy. Let God have it over and done witL 
Then he might begin living it down. He remembered that 
the Canton Street Parish-House wanted some one as big of 
heart as of biceps to salvage human flotsam. The offer had 
been made to one of his Catholic confreres who had retold it 
to the Central OfiSce as a rare jest. (McKiss recalled, roaring, 
too.) 

Now he was conscious of a desperate hope that perhaps 
the size of his heart might be condoned — ^not the dimin- 
ished size of it — ^it was large enough, but bloated; fattened, 
rich with unhealthy fat as any Strasburg goose — but of 
sentimental substance. McKiss would have sobbed more 
loudly than Archie at Pink's pianissimo pathos; he bad 
trained himself to sob just as he had trained himself to 
give dimes to army lassies — ^then, conscious of his recti- 
tude, he could collect the dollars of the lassies of the laiger 
army. He knew why now; but he did not know why he knew. 
Nor would any one have Imown. But the seed of all this had 
been sown when alone and camped beneath the stars, the un- 
welcome conviction had then come that he was little better 
than Schmucke. And that seed had been forced to flower to- 
night in the orchid hothouse of the emotions. Thus were the 
pseudo-art of an otherwise useless charlatan and his own 
existence justified. Petty's too. Reptile? NotatalL Unre- 
fined phosphorus that was being shaped into a pencil witii 
which to scrawl Mene, tekie upharsin — again I 

IV. The Shots in the Dark 

In the chalet, Beau had long since dropped off to deep» 
an arm thrown over his eyes to hide the steady glare of the 
little lamp on the floor. They hardly needed that pTote^ 
tion now ; the oil was low and much of the opium, spoiled by 
Archie's efforts to cook it, having fallen into the fliune, the 
wick was reduced to a sullen red cinder, which^ with the ijbg 



The Night of the Seventeenth 415 

&re, gave bo little light that even Archie's excited face, bend- 
ing over the lamp, was in shadow. 

Tet he persisted in his attempt to cook. 

In his highly excited state, he must do something. Even 
though the pupils of his eyes were narrowed to needle-points 
by over-indulgence in the drug, he imagined that more would 
bring surcease. So he continued, swearing extravagantly as 
each successive effort failed. ^'Cooking" had looked so easy in 
the experienced hands of Beau, that Archie coidd not realize 
it was a highly complicated process having to do with stages 
of heat and cold — a process that, if varied by a tenth of a de- 
gree, meant failure. 

Three hours of Arnold's absence had passed. Frequently 
Archie took out his watch and worried it, spinning it around 
on its chain, aimlessly ; squirting it out from between thumb 
and forefinger and letting it fall, dangling, much to its inner 
detriment. He would lie thus engaged, his blue eyes, glassy 
from the drug, fixed steadily on something until they saw 
nothing, his mind, the while, equally a blank. Then some 
anarchistic muscle would discover that the brain was no 
longer supreme and would declare its independence, causing 
an involuntary jerk of arm or leg, and Archie would come out 
of his mental coma and, while the brain was rallying its 
forces, seize on one of the cooking-needles and dig vigorously 
into the contents of the white China "toey." The early stages 
of the cooking, the transmutation of the brown mass into 
golden flakes and bubbles, was easily enough accomplished. 
But when he would have kneaded this residue, it fired up and 
fell into the flame, or else flaked off and fell on the tray. 
Furiously he would jab at it imtil he had bent all the yen- 
hoks. Then he must desist and make them red-hot to 
straighten them again. 

Finally a destructive idea occurred to him : he would not 
knead the stuff, but roll it, raw ; and thus he managed to affix 
to the bowl a number of rudely shaped cones, which, being 
charred and nauseous, made him cough and choke to swallow 



416 God's Man 

their smoke. Bnt^ though it made him feel ill^ bo elated was 
he with his success that he rolled half a dozen or more, until 
Nature rebelled and gagged him. When he opened his eyes, 
after fighting off this state, he saw the wick begin to wa?er, 
the flame sink rapidly until, incontinently, it was extinguished 
in a column of blue spirals very unpleasant to smell. The oil 
was out I 

Voicing shrilly his disappointment, he awakened Beau, who 
blinked at the dying blaze of the hearth-fire and sniffed. 
*Tjamp's out,'* he stated peacefully. 

*'And just when I was beginning to cook all right,*' Archie 
complained in head tones, high and querulous. ^'Just when 
I was getting to know how. Vm the unluckiest person in the 
whole world. There's nobody I ever heard of has my rotten 
luck.'' 

"You had enough long ago, sucker," yawned Beau, prepar- 
ing to sleep again and purposely omitting the information u 
to the oil's whereabouts. He was a little afraid of Arnold's 
anger should Archie be entirely incapacitated. 

"Wake me up when you hear him coming. Better clear that 
junk away." Taking his pillows, he rolled nearer the fire, for 
cover drawing down a near-by overcoat. Shortly he was snor- 
ing, but the crackling of the fire — ^Archie had thrown on more 
wood — as the wind came down the chimney, reduced his nasal 
noises to a sort of humming. Archie again aroused by the in- 
voluntary action of a leg muscle, arose and began to put the 
room to rights, but quite mechanically. When he had carried 
the lay-out to the kitchen, nausea overwhelmed him and he aat 
down, heavily and unhappily; the griping pains in his stom- 
ach, superinduced by the raw opium he had forced down, 
doubled him up in agony. Several times he essayed to inform 
Beau that he was poisoned. Each time Beau buried his &ce 
deeper in the overcoat. 

It was then that Archie's abnormally sharpened senses be* 
came aware of a second noise : a distinctly stealthy footfall 

The wind had died down into that sort of ominous cthi 



The Night of the Seventeenth 417 

len the barometer can almost be heard in its steady fall. 
ter a long lapse Archie heard the noise again. And now his 
in was stretched as tight as his teeth were clenched; his eye- 
lls bulged ; for not only did he hear, but his mind's eye visu- 
zeA. 

That something out there; that something taking long 
^ps, and raising each foot^ and gauging the extreme length 
each step, and putting down the foot gingerly; that some- 
ing he now saw as a satyr. 

If the black dog bestrode McKiss' back, it rode rampant on 
'chiefs. His was the same consciousness of evil done. His 
ort to allay it with a drug had but increased its power, that 
wer that forced him to see a ghoulish specter out there, 
nething more horrible than the stained-glass man-eater — 
3 memory of which still weighed down the soul of the ap- 
oaching McKiss. 

The steps were nearer now, a third, a fourth. As hapless 
Ik in nightmares, who try to shriek aloud but only gurgle, 
10 try to flee but find the brain can no longer control the 
dy, Archie sat, his horror-stricken gaze fastened on the 
awn window-blinds. Presently these would be pushed aside, 
d a face would grin at him. His heart told him that when 
at happened, he would die. 

If only it would hasten, would have done. But no ! those 
ig deliberate steps continued ; between each a stabbing pain 
memory — of what might have been. For Archie was the sen- 
nentalist led astray. His respect, nay reverence, for good 
d ever remained unchanged. Sinners of his sort, slaves of 
'cumstance, die shrieking for forgiveness. Such as he seek 
fuge in strong drink, in a state of soddenness, because they 
e afraid to think, afraid to face the issue ; therefore, of all 
ofligates, go most swiftly down the path that leadeth to 
struction. 

Thus, then, Archie sat, for what seemed hours — a few see- 
ds in fact — ^until the great back-log fell with its shower of 
arks. The sound awoke Beau, also, and even reached the 



418 God*s Man 

cautiously approaching Petty Sdimucke; the satyr of the 
stealthy footsteps — whose retreating patter was, in turn, car- 
ried to the startled Beau. 

*^y God I you're right. There is somebody out there; some- 
body spyin* on us. Come on, quick.^' 

The shock of a tension too suddenly released was such that 
it snapped the thin bowstring of Archie's sanity. Blood 
streamed from his lips ; he was wild with pain. His peasant 
body, ceasing to have the guidance of his patroon's brain, wa% 
for a brief space, swayed only by fierce sensations. 

Beau, taking the key from his pocket, ran to the door and 
flung it wide. 'TIands up there, whoever you are,^ he ydled. 
'^e\e got a gun. We'll shoot.'' At the very words he felt 
behind him something like the rushing of wind, and saw an 
automatic whirled high in air. 

Of such swift moments, one remembers later what, at the 
time, one merely apprehends. To Beau, Archie seemed like 
some giant; his body bulked so big that there was room for 
only one within the doorway. 

Beau stepped down; so, at least, his conceit said. Bealh 
he sprawled. Thus the first shots seemed only the echoes 61 
what was, to him, the most important happening of the 
moment. 

He sat up dazed, and turned to Archie, framed by the fire- 
lit doorway. To some, he might have seemed to sway like a 
drunken man, but not to Beau, who was a child of the Bowery 
where physique is not and gun-play is. He knew that Aidiie 
was pivoting on his heel, head and hand thrown high, his am 
a compass leg, its point the pistol. 

As this described a deadly semicircle, pink flowers of flame 
were bom. . . 

Cautiously Beau crawled across the porch. He knew it 
meant death for somebody. His blood was water. And so 
. . . Beau reached Archie and gripped him. But the shots 
had come more swiftly than he — and, now, the automatic 
snapped futilely. That Beau was unaware of this was evident 



The Night of the Seventeenth 419 

from his clenched teeth^ clenched as tight as were his arms 
about Archie's ankles. 

In a last berserk paroxysm, Archie beat down at the other 
boy's head. But the new-bom Beau was too precious to die in 
infancy, and Archie stumbled, the weapon flying far, falling 
— somewhere. Archie swinging back pendulum-like fell too, 
but there was a long wicker chair at his back to receive him. 

Here he sat, half-sprawled, his eyes unseeing, and as queru- 
lous as some tormented child's. Collapse, at last, utter, abso- 
lute. The eyes closed; interlocked, rather. His mouth fell 
vide. How weak it was, that mouth ! 

*^e's a baby. A poor little baby," sobbed the new-bom 
Beau, forgetting to pity himself in the presence of one so 
transcendently in need of protection. 

A great sigh shook Archie, a long-drawn shudder followed. 
Then, sleep ; if sleep can be so ill a thing. 

Then silence once more, out of which came toll of bell and 
sob of fog-horn. 

Footsteps again. Not stealthy now. Nor frightened. Nor 
fleeing. 

Beau stood beside the stricken Archie, dazed. A streamer 
of light fell athwart the fog-wreathed trunks of the trees out- 
side. Traveling slowly along the September sward, it passed 
fhe door, irradiating porch and fretted woodwork railing, 
pausing at its dwarfed stoop. 

Then the sound of other feet — ^irresolute — ^unwilling — ^fee- 
Uy afraid. Whispering followed, and the lighting up of the 
iriiidow blind. Then on the flickering patch of firelight on 
the floor, ... a shadow as of a giant forefinger — ^too 
thick to be a man's forefinger, at all. . . . Beau recog- 
nised it for what it was. (Anybody would, nowadays ; adver- 
tiaements of just such a finger in just such an attitude being 
numerous.) As it appeared, it disappeared, the firelit fioor, 
too; for the spotlight had been centered on the standing 
Beau, the sprawling Archie. 

Beau had thrown up both hands immediately on the menace 



420 God's Man 

of the shadow. But it needed more than shadows and spot- 
lights to disturb Archie; his arms hung limply^ finger-tips 
touching the floor. 

"He^s all in, can't you see?'' squeaked Beau. His words 
seemed to convince, for the spotlight faded out, and in swept 
a pair of shadows so big as to blot out the fixelit patch again; 
their h\iman prototypes following as swiftly. ... one of 
them tigerishly, too — finger trembling on the trigger of a 
great ugly navy revolver. 

Was that a human face ? The blood-lusting lion was as a 
king to a slave, compared to Burly Jones, baring dog-teeth, 
grinding molars. 

"Gk) to hell. Burly,'* shrieked Beau; one outflung arm pro- 
tected the helpless Archie, the other gripped Archie's chair, 
the knuckles straining out every drop of blood, every atom of 
warmth. 

"Come on," said Jones savagely. "Get out of this, you 
damned !" 

McKiss intervened. His face was drawn with pain, his 
eyes gloomy, his left arm helpless. Clotted blood streaked his 
wrist; it was black and coagulated where his sleeve was 
burned. 

"I'm sorry you're mixed up in this, young fellow," he man- 
aged to say to Beau. Jones meanwhile had handcnffed Beau; 
to whom the sight and sound of snapping handcuflEs were bit- 
ter reminders that, as usual, appearances were against him. 

"Hey," he blustered, albeit feebly. "Whaf s'matter with 
you fellows ? Crazy, ain't you ?" 

Jones paid him no attention. "Come to earth, Mac," he 
screamed, adding obliquities. 

Archie's wrists were braceleted. "Quit stalling, will pu? 
Stand up, can't you ?" 

"Give him your shoulder, Markowitz," suggested McKiaa. 

*Ttf arch, now," commanded Jones ; and with his automatic's 
muzzle in the small of Archie's back, he marched them from 
the house. 



The Night of the Seventeenth 421 

*Tm sorry about that arm of yours, Mac/' he remembered 
to say — ^ungradouflly enough. "But you'll have to lead the 
way. I can't do it dl. . . . Would you ?— is that so ?" 

He brought his heavy weapon down between Archie's shoul- 
der-blades. Archie's steel-encircled wrists had shot up above 
his head^ but at the deadening blow^ they dangled helpless as 
before. 

"Get on," Jones warned ferociously. "Make another move 
and I'll brain you." . . . 

Beau had tried to ask a question, and Jones had pushed him 
back with a flattened palm. "Get on! 1 tell you," he 
shouted. . . • 

His black company moved out into the all-embracing fog. 
A pale shaft of light marking their progress — a black com- 
pany indeed: one bandaging his arm with his handkerchief, 
knotting his necktie over it, with his teeth ; for he must hold 
the torch with his uninjured arm ; the other held two hand- 
cuffed prisoners ; and blacker than the Black Man himself, gun 
for goad, herding them like sheep for the slaughter. 

In the darkness they passed two others whose faces were 
buried deep in the sweet September wild-flowers. . . . 
Petty Schmucke had learned to lie log-like in the best of 
schools. 

The other man — not even a log could lie quieter. And when 
the "flash" fell on the hand that clutched his throat, four wavy 
parallel lines of red showed between tight-clenched fingers. 

Then the light went out and left the dead man lying there. 

V. Hartogensis Hall Again 

Soon after Waldemar had left him, the Squire had fallen 
asleep before the fire; but, scowling as he slept, had caused 
Butler to fear his wrath should he be awakened, so noise- 
lessly feeding the fire with a few logs, the servant had betaken 
himself to bed. He would not have feared a little later, for 
the scowl was of short duration; representing a minor inci- 



422 God's Man 

dent in an otherwise pleasant dream ; one of convicting an in- 
solent peasant to long imprisonment, he having abated the 
deference due one of high degree. 

All save the four candles in the candelabrum nearest the 
Squire had been extinguished ; and by now these were gutter- 
ing out into blue flame. He roused himself , surprised: he 
must have been asleep for hours. Then the booming of the 
door-knocker shook the house with echoes and reverberations, 
and, for once, the Squire regretted that he had not the usual 
door-bell in its stead. That, ringing in the pantry, wonid 
have permitted him his sleep undisturbed. But as the serr- 
ants' quarters were over the garage, he must himself answer 
the door or pretermit that awful noise. He was alone in the 
big house, Archie being in New York, Archie's brothers at 
boarding-school. 

Once more some one banged the heavy bronze lion against 
its metal frame. Again the echoes ran riot. The Sqnire 
arose, somewhat laboriously; went grumbling to the door. 
After all, it must be a matter of some grave import if people 
made such clack and clatter about it at such an hour. He 
stumbled through the darkness and opened the door. 

'^ell?^' he growled, pushing at the black button of the 
porchwa/s electric switch. The great Flemish lantern wis 
immediately irradiated, the rays from the giant bulb within it 
beating down upon the group outside. He saw the flash of 
nickel-plated handcuffs, the drawn revolver, the bloody sleeve. 
One of the prisoners had hidden his face in the hollow of his 
arm. 

*T^at's this ?" the Squire tried to growl. McKiss, his face 
twitching with pain, pushed past him. 'TVTiere's your tele- 
phone ?*' he groaned. "Quick ! — if I don*t get a doctor, Fll go 
madl'^ The instnunent was shining in the reflected light, 
standing in an alcove by the footman's seat. Catching at it, 
McKiss pushed down the hook, then saw the handle of the bell 
and cranked it. "Hello ! Give me the nearest doctor, pl( 
Be quick about it, too. It's serious." 



The Night of the Seventeenth 423 

*1f 8 pretty important, Squire/' said Burly Jones. ''We 
heard Mr. Waldemar say you were a J. P., and we didn't know 
where else to go." Throwing back a coat-lapel, he jerked his 
waistcoat backward from an armhole, showing a badge pinned 
to his braces. *'Gtet on, you I'' he said, roughly pushing the 
two prisoners forward, one of whom, the man with his face 
hidden, moaned as he stumbled over the threshold. Within, 
this man fell prone upon the cushioned window seat, face still 
hidden. 

''Come right away. Doctor — ^a shattered elbow, I'm afraid. 
Terrible agony. Happened half-an-hour ago. Pistol-shot — 
pistol-shot. Yes ! Hurry, please hurry. The Squire's house. 
Squire Hartogensis's," — McEiss hung up. ''You haven't got 
some whisky, have you. Squire. A slug of that might hold 
me till the doctor comes." 

Squire Hartogensis, dazed by his sudden wakening and the 
strange experience of the moment, pointed dumbly toward the 
open door beyond which candles sputtered. McKiss, holding 
his arm stiffly, lit another file of them, and looked about him 
fiercely. In the silence, the moaning of him upon the couch 
was plainly heard. "Shut up, will youl" threatened Jones. 
"A pair of gunmen. Squire. Yes, sir; a pair of thieving 
killers." 

McEjss had found the decanter, filled a goblet almost to the 
brim, gulped it clean again, staggered back and sat down, 
passing a hand across his eyes. "You'll have to send for 
somebody. Squire," said Jones. "Can't you get the sheriff on 
the phone ? Or had I better call up the Congressman's house 
and have his servants bring him home. May I have a drink of 
that stuff, too ? Thanks!" 

"Bring who home?" stammered the Squire. He had not 
had time to recover the dignity dear to him : the shock of this 
armed invasion had followed too suddenly upon his rude 
awakening. Jones let his automatic clank down upon the long 
carved center-table as he poured. 
k 'THr. Waldemar," he replied, drank and pointed. "These 



424 God's Man 

murderers shot him hafif an liour ago/' A louder moan broke 
from the man whose face was hidden. 'TTes, he*s dead all 
right, Squire," Jones continued. "His body^s lying a couple 
of miles from here. We couldn't bring him: had our hands 
full getting these killers here. They shot my friend, too. 
Notice his arm.'' 

The Squire sat stark and silent. Waldemar dead ! It was 
Eome time before the full extent of this calamity became clear 
to him. It was too incredible for belief. All they had planned 
to-night done with forever? No more easy profits? No, it 
was impossible. Only an hour ago talking here and now dead. 
"Yes, it's impossible," he muttered aloud. *TDead? Im- 
possible 1" 

"If you think so, you had better send somebody up there to 
that place they call Bluff Boad," Jones answered, wag- 
ging his head and shaking his finger. "He and my friend and 
I went for a stroll to talk over some business and — ^" He 
paused, alarmed by the contempt openly shown on the tor- 
ture-racked face of his companion. "Anyway, these fellows 
shot him," Jones reiterated doggedly, frowning McKiss down. 
"And we haven't got anything to do with crimes committed in 
this country — we're New York Central-OflSce men. But we 
weren't going to let these guys make any getaway while we 
were around and maybe have the killing charged to t« by these 
jays around here. So we brought 'em along to you. Well 
stick till your Sheriff comes and locks 'em up, though. And 
we'll come back for the Coroner ; or stay overnight, just as yon 
say. But if s all up to you. Squire, — ^the rest of it." 

"I don't quite understand," said Hartogensis, beginning to 
collect the scattered remnants of his self-possession. **Not 
quite," he added, resuming something of his dignity, his tone 
meant as an encouragement to Jones to express himself more 
clearly ; to endeavor to ascend somewhere near to that Parnaa- 
sian altitude of clarity where he, the Squire, dwelt habituallj, 
and from which it was diflScult for him to descend. 

"You understand the Congressman is dead, don't you?" 



The Night of the Seventeenth 425 

McEiss asked sharply, his eyes luminous with pain. Though 
the drink had thickened his speech, his agony was too acute 
for any amount of alcohol to afEect his brain. 

"Now, Mac,'* protested Jones, in great uneasiness. 'TCeep 
out o* this, now. Will you ? You ain't fit to talk nur to do 
nothin* with that arm of youm." Jones was plainly taken 
aback by his partner's attitude. As he turned away his face 
darkened with a look of positive dislike. 

''Well, Squire," he said harshly. "Why don't you phone 
for the Sheriff, or somebody. Or are you gunna handle these 
guys single-handed? One of 'em's a desperit bad boy, I tell 
you. Guess it was him that croaked the Congressman, though 
you can't git a line on neither of 'em. Won't talk. But that 
other one's too much of a big boob to shoot anybody." He in- 
dicated him of the hidden face, and scowled at the other, who, 
upright and impudent, sat in a straight-backed chair. 

"I'd like to have a cigarette, sucker," said this one calmly. 

Jones eyed him in baffled despair. "If I had you at Head- 
quarters, Mr. B. Markowitz, I'd soon take that freshness outa 
you. . . . Look here. Squire, ain't you gunna do anything ?" 

"Mr. Waldemar is shot, you say? — shot by these young 
hoodlums? And probably dead?" questioned the Squire in 
those judicial tones he most admired, the tones of one who 
weighs words, whose speech is slow and distinct so that not a 
precious syllable shall be lost to the court-stenographer and 
to an admiring posterity. "Probably dead." He nodded his 
head sagely. 

"No probably about it," McKiss broke in again. "I felt 
his heart on the way back here. He's dead, dead, dead." His 
voice rose with each syllable. "So what are you going to do? 
— what are you going to do? Are you going to let him lie 
out there ? lict him lie out there ? Or are you going to send 
somebody to get his body? Going to send somebody to — ^" 

"Oh, God,— don't I" The words followed a muffled scream 
from the man, face downward. The Squire was startled, he 
did not know just why. Beally it was because of his f amil« 



426 God's Man 

iarity with the voice; but (such creatures of habit are ire) to 
connect the sound of his son's voice with that of a manacled 
murderer was quite out of the question; besides Archie was 
in New York. Therefore, vexed at his inability to identify the 
curious sensation, he vented his irritation on the original 
cause thereof. 

*TIow dare you be insolent, sir ?' he demanded, swelling up, 
and fixing McEliss with his little puffy eyes. ^^In my grand- 
father's day, young man — '^ He got no further. An hys- 
terical laugh, mufiSed like the scream, came from the man on 
the padded window-seat. A laugh? — it was a harsh shrill 
cackle containing no more mirth than the gibbering of a 
maniac. Again that uncomfortable sensation. Again, failing 
to identify it, anger. *^y God, what does this mean?" the 
Squire said loudly and smote the oak center-table as tbongh 
his fist were his gavel. 

Matters had gone beyond his modicum of brain. There was 
something sinister about the whole of the present business. 
And he was here alone. Swayed by the psychic currents that 
swept in circles around the room — ^the superstitious fear of 
McKiss, the material fear of Jones lest his companion tell too 
much, the tragic fear of Archie — ^the Squire had a subcon- 
scious foreboding of disaster. This, translated into the con- 
sciousness of an unimaginative man, became the fear of bodily 
harm. The insane asylum at King's Park was not far dis- 
tant. The Squire controlled a shudder as he remembered one 
escaped and murderous lunatic who had been caught, yean 
ago, hiding in his shrubbery. What had happened once. 
. . . And lunatics had delusions that they were kings and 
presidents and conquerors — ^why not detectives? 

He breathed a prayer of devout gratitude as he heard the 
wheels of some light vehicle grinding down the pebbled path- 
way to the porte-cochJre. So great was his relief he forgot his 
dignity, and went to the doorway to greet the welcome stran- 
ger. It was the doctor, a tall thin, gray-haired fellow with 



The Night of the Seventeenth 427 

bright bird-like eyes and a habit of whistling under his 
breath; from which he paused now only long enough to 
return the greeting; then went on attending to his horse — 
hitching him^ covering his steaming sides with a woolen 
blanket^ accommodating him with a nose-bag full of oats. 
Then^ patting the animal's neck, the gangling doctor came up 
the wide stone steps two at a time, his lips pursed in his eter- 
nal silent whistle. 

'^Where's my man ! Well, well I Arm, eh ? Horrible pain, 
you said. Elbow smashed I Tut, tut ! Elbows don't smash so 
easily. Shot? Oh, well, a *Ao^/'' 

He looked around, eying the scene curiously ; then decided 
it was none of his business. Whipping out a case of glittering 
scalpels, he selected one and slit the bloodied sleeve with the 
precise accuracy of an expert, yet so swiftly that it seemed he 
had hardly begun before he was done. McKiss wondered why 
such an accomplished surgeon should live in a village : he was 
yet to realize that some men lived for other things than money ; 
this was the doctor's birthplace and he found it too comfort- 
able to leave — ^that was all. 

*'Heart strong?" he asked abruptly. 

*'As an ox," McKiss returned between set teeth. 

The doctor pursed his lips again and exhaled a whistled 
whisper that even in his agony the detective remembered for 
a ballad of his youth. Sweet Marie. But, somehow, far 
from being irritating, the sound of it was soothing, 
its double-quick tempo an indication of the celerity with 
which relief approached. Into a tiny measuring-glass, the 
doctor poured part of a spoonful of boiled water, dropped 
into it two one-quarter-grain tablets of morphia and a 
hundredth of a grain of atropine. Then, in doubt, he felt 
his patient's pulse ; doubly assuring himself by kneeling, put- 
ting aside McEIiss's shirt and undervest, and listening to his 
heart, which encouraged him to add another quarter grain 
and an additional hundredtL This mixture, in a shining 



428 God's Man 

syringe^ he shot beneath the skin of the uninjured arm, having 
first had McKiss stretch out at length upon the other windov- 
seat, some pillows under his head. 

'TBelax. Keep your eyes closed. 1*11 do the rest. Yon lie 
still. And don't ask questions.'' He had opened his black 
bag and was beginning to lay out other shining instnunents, 
along with bottles, medicated cotton, rolls of bandages and 
adhesive plaster. As he worked at it, whistling noiselessly tlie 
while, the Squire had crossed to the telephone and had bidden 
the Deputy-Sheriff, Hugh Legar6, hasten to him ; then had 
awakened the sleepy Pucker over at Waldemar House, repeat- 
ing mechanically the tragic information. At his every word, 
Archie in his dark corner shivered and shook convulsiTely; 
but the doctor's shocked surprise made itself evident only in 
the diminished tempo of his suppressed whistling — until be 
had it down to the muffled drums of Chopin's Dead March, 

For a moment there was silence. McKiss, grateful for the 
soft repose that had begun to permeate his being, — ^the obdu- 
rate brain-cells being conquered for the moment and bidding 
the body "Peace," — ^gave himself up to luxuriating in hia 
momentary release from torture. One could hear only the 
doctor's soft whistling and Archie's choked breathing. Bean 
sat sullen, craving a cigarette. In the realization that 
he must do without something he so much desired, his 
first horror of the imprisonment he faced smote him. 
His fear that Archie would not confess faded into a fear 
that he would. What was death, death so sudden as to 
be painless, compared with wanting cigarettes for a lifetime? 
Worse than that, for terror had beset him at the sight of the 
medico's syringe: suppose he, Beaulieu Markowi^ should 
have formed a habit for the opium? If so, in a few honrs 
(thirty, he had heard), a craving would begin compared to 
which the present craving for cigarettes was as sli^t as the 
difference between an epicure's desire for caviar and a starr- 
ing man's stem need for anything that could be eaten. But 
Beau's contempt for the police, plus the knowledge that Jones 



The Night of the Seventeenth 429 

knew almost all of his associates and would gloiy in telling 
of it, should he weaken — combined to keep up his apparent 
stoicism. ActuaHy, however, the fear that now beset him 
made him weak as water. 

The doctor's whistling came to a sudden stop, and, as 
he did not utilize his lapse for conversation, this was indeed 
a phenomenon. The reason might have been read in the 
rounding of his eyes as he listened while Jones gave to the 
Squire, to transmit to Pucker at the other end of the tele- 
phone wire, a detailed description of where the fallen Walde- 
mar would be found. Now, as the Squire hung up, the doc- 
tor wondered aloud : it seemed a necessity to convince himself. 

"The Pinckney property ? Why, yoimg L'Hommedieu's liv- 
ing there I Arnold L'Hommedieu 1 Arnold.'' And then he 
turned, fiercely, and shook Beau's shoulder. '^What have you 
done with him, you little blackguard? Have you murdered 
him, too? Have you murdered Arnold L'Hommedieu ?" 

"Never heard of no such person," returned Beau resentfully, 
all the ethics of his profession in mind; for Beau, little as 
he suspected it, was an idealist in his way — ^the way of so 
many professional lawbreakers. Let the ignorant scoff, the 
Robin Hood legend lives, in all ages, in the persons of some of 
its imitators. 

"But you were in his house T half -questioned, half -stated 
the alarmed doctor, who, married to the daughter of Doctor 
Will L'Hommedieu, had known Arnold since the yoimger 
man's childhood, had helped train his budding mind, loved 
him, as one alert mind in the midst of its duller brothers loves 
another. 

"Never heard of him, I tell you," Beau repeated in the 
same sulky manner, ^^e got lost in that damn fog — 
and the door was unlocked. Wasn't anybody there, so we went 
in to warm ourselves." 

"Thaf s a lie, and you know it," said McKias, opening his 
eyes. 'TVTio's this you say, this Arnold L'Hommedieu, Doc- 
tor ? Hired the house, did he ? He's a party to all this. Not 



430 God's Man 

the murder, I donH mean — the rest of it The smuggling—" 
But McKiss was checked in further revelations by the leaping 
up of Jones ; who, standing over his wounded companion, nov 
regarded him, sternly, threateningly, even going as far as to 
cough loudly. But the effort of speech had broken the spell of 
the morphine and had brought McKiss back to the realization 
of other things besides his pain. ^^I wouldn't say anything, 
young fellow,'' he said, disregarding Jones, addressing Beau. 
'There's been enough damage done already by me meddling. 
But it's a warning! A warning! I knew it was comin': I 
knew. And when that shot struck me and I heard the Honni- 
ble Johnnie cryin' out that be was hit, it was jest like I seen 
me mother's face in the flashes out of the gun. Yes, and then 
I hear her say, clost to me : * Tis the last chance for ye, Mi- 
chael, oh, my Michael.' She wouldn't call me Eugene like me 
father, but always by the name that was to guard me, come 
Conmiunion. And it was like she told me to lie clost to the 
groimd and I wasn't hit no more at all. Bullets kept singing 
around and hitting trees, but I knew she'd interceded for me 
and it was for me to show now it was worthy I was. Then 1 
swore to the Blessed Mother that I'd never bate an inch of 
going through for penance and to show me thankfulness, 
besides." 

For the second time in a night, his emotion had overcome 
him and he had gone back again to childhood's Oalway brogue. 
**I ain't goin' to spare myself none, Markowitz," he added, re- 
suming his Americanese. ''You needn't look at me like fliai 
I know all /'ve done, better'n you. I know I've been a rat, a 
dirty dog — ^anything you feel like calling me. And if yon go 
on up river, I'll be right there by your side a-makin' big osies 
inta little ones just like you — ^" He paused, exhausted. He 
had spoken without thought, without respect to his recently 
acquired grammar. He was as little aware of his solecisma ifl 
he had been of his reaction to the Celtic idioms of his jeria- 
years. His eyes, again luminous with pain, were aa wild as 



The Night of the Seventeenth 431 

they were bright; the drug had only duninished the size of 
the pupils without dulling them. 

**And so I've got to see your friends donH land that opium/* 
he said^ turning from the sight of his partner's brutal rage. 
'Ti I let 'em land it, I won't be keepin' to what I swore, won't 
be worthy of havin' my blessed Mother intercede for me. 
I'm a rat, all right, and I've got hell shrieking for me being so 
long coming home. But I ain't a goin' to be a rat any more, 
young fellow, not any more — ^" 

"Come, my man; you're delirious," said the doctor gently. 
"I'm all ready for you now." He had been in the dining-room 
and had returned with a silver pitcher, some of the water 
from which he put to boil over a spirit lamp in an aluminum 
basin — both collapsible, both from one of his cases. He had 
certain theories about colytics and used in his surgical work 
nothing he, himaelf, had not unwrapped from medicated gauze 
a moment before. 

As he had passed into the darkened dining-room and was 
about to strike a match to find what he wanted — ^the candles 
lit by McKiss having guttered out — ^the fire also fallen low — 
the long mahogany table had been for a moment illumined as 
if by a sudden sunbeam ; and, looking up, he saw that a long 
shaft of light had fallen through the open oriel window. It 
faded as he laid hands on the pitcher ; but now, as his water 
boiled, th3 light was explained by the birr of an approaching 
motor. McKiss, reduced by his pain to mumbling, opened his 
eyes at the sound. 'Tut, tut, now," said the doctor. "Keep 
quiet. Qot to keep quiet." He had begun to spray the 
woimded arm with cocaine. As a temporary numbness set in, 
he began to bathe away coagulated blood, cleansing the black- 
ened flesh, but pausing every minute to spray again. 

The search-lights of the approaching car had found the 
windows of Hartogensis Hall again and now the motor 
chugged and hissed outside. Besting as it did on an upward 
slant of the road, its lights illumined the drawn white blinds 



432 God's Man 

of one of the great bay-windows — bo that Archie, his face still 
hidden, lay in a pool of lambent light. Following this illumi- 
nation came a sudden thumping of the bronze lion, and when 
the Squire opened the door which continued to qiiiTer 
from the knocker^s impact, there entered a very Magog of a 
man, one Hugh Legar^, Sheriffs Deputy for Havre de Grace, 
descendant of another Hugh, a zealous Huguenot and faithful 
body squire (reputed gigantic also), who had followed the 
fortunes of the founder of Havre de Grace, the Chevalier 
UHommedieu. But, gigantic or not, he could have been no 
finer figure of a man than Sheriff Hugh, who, single-handed, 
could see to it that any ordinary half-dozen roysterers kept the 
peace. 

"How did it happen ?^^ burst perplexedly from this Colossus 
as he entered. He was followed by the two Havre de Grace 
constables, Tom Bowne and Tom Heaney, both strapping 
sizable fellows, handy with their "fives'*; though neither 
seemed of more than ordinary proportions measured along- 
side the Colossus. These two Toms stood guard, one on each 
side of the great oaken door; while Legar6 (pronounced Le- 
gree in Havre de Grace) strode toward the center-table, and 
from that point of vantage, scrutinized the strangers. "I 
say: how did it happen, Squire ?** he asked again. 

But Benjamm Hartogensis was too occupied in experiencing 
the relief LegaK's appearance induced in him ; so that Mc- 
Kiss, for all the added pain of the doctor's efforts, seized the 
opportunity to snarl out: "Smuggling; that's how. And 
there's more of 'ei^, all bringing a shipload of opium ashore. 
They're at it this vfty minute, if they haven't done it already. 
Send your men quidV» Mr. Sheriff. The doctor here knows 
where." McKiss haij spoken every word through clenched 
teeth ; now he relapsM, gritting them. Any outward exhibi- 
tion of his agony might seem immanly to the stoic Beau — ^for, 
equally with thieves, thief-takers desire their enemies shall 
believe them dauntless. 'They've got a motor-car and theyTI 






The Night of the Seventeenth 433 

have the first load half-way up the Jericho Turnpike if you 
don't hurry/' he managed to add, f aintly, then closed his eyes. 

Burly Jones had listened holding his breath, the hatred of 
a chained wild beast shining in his pale-green eyes; so much 
of it in fact that, when McKiss ceased speaking and failed 
to restrain a groan as the doctor's extractor probe brought out 
the bloody bullet, Jones failed to restrain a malicious grin — 
which directed the Sheriff's scrutiny to him. The doctor has- 
tened to prepare another injection lest his patient leap up un- 
able longer to withstand the torture. 

"Too bad they held me up on that chloroform," the doctor 
muttered. "Damn this rotten Long Island railroad service. 



9> 



"What kind of a doctor are you, anyway ?" sneered Jones. 
"Nobody but a fool would let him talk and excite himself." 

"Shall I gag him ?" returned the doctor, with some acerbity ; 
he did not like Jones' eyes, anyway. "Or will you?" His al- 
most noiseless whistling, resumed, was nearly tuneless now, 
his entire mentality being concentrated on the hardy sufferer. 

The Colossus eyed the sullen Beau, then the prostrate 
Archie, limned in the search-lights of the motor-car outside. 
A frown came to Legar^'s huge face, growing darkness to 
his eyes. The two Toms, never before called on to serve in 
any exploit more hazardous than the arrest of speeding motor- 
ists or brawling revelers, stood stiflBy erect, ready to resent 
any offensive comparisons between themselves and the metro- 
politan constabulary, hoping their frowns and compressed lips 
gave detectives and criminals alike to understand that here 
were two stem officers, perilous men. 

The Colossus continued to stare, rubbing his palm along a 
corrugated patch in his oilskin coat (the fog had turned to 
rain before he had been awakened), which disturbed pocket 
surface denoted a heavy old-fashioned Colt's revolver under- 
neath. "But what about the Honnible Johnnie?" he asked 
slowly. "Mr. Waldemar, I mean. Squire. They shot him? 



434 God's Man 

That fellow?*' He indicated Beau. "And Wmr He hesitated 
before pointing to Jones, wondering that he wore no handcofB. 

"Mer choked Jones. ''Me 1 1 Holy Jumping— Me! If 
Strange weird oaths rattled in his throat, bnt for the moment^ 
he was too enraged to articulate at all. '^Why, you big stupid 
jay I You poor ruben!! You — ^why, damn your — why- 
look here V' Bealizing his inability to do the situation onl 
justice, he choked again, displayed his badge. 'There's the 
other fellow.'* He indicated Archie. 

"Himr Legar6 gasped unbelievingly. Not only was his 
sight keener than the Squire's, but that worthy had not 
glanced in Archie's direction since the Sheriff's search-ligfaii 
had illumined the window-blinds. Had he done so, he could 
not have failed to recognize the high round shoulders, the 
tight collar forcing up two fleshy creases amid the doselj* 
clipped hair — though in truth the collar was now soUed be- 
yond belief for the immaculate Aramis of the Musketeers. 

But the Squire was now too busy to look; he was filling out 
John Doe warrants for the apprehension of "three parties, 
unknown," together with orders for their incarceration- 
pending instructions from the County Court-House— to- 
gether with that of the two prisoners then present. Knowing 
little of law and less of its procedure in criminal eases, he was 
concerned only to conceal his ignorance. Then, too, he wrote 
under the only light in the hall, and his eyes, short-sighted 
enough without his glasses (which were somewhere in his 
study), were further dinmied by its glare. 

*^e went walking — ^with the Congressman,** McKiss had 
continued, meanwhile. '? suppose these two here were left 
behind on watch. The others went out in the boat to land the 
stuff. . . . All of a sudden (you know how dark it is to- 
night), I see a door flung open about a block away and then 
this shooting began. It was all over before we unloaded our 
own cannisters. They got the Congressman with the first 
shot. I was potted next. Then the shooting stopped just as 
sudden as it began, and my pal and me scouted around and 



The Night of the Seventeenth 435 

nailed 'em. Neither one of 'em had a camion on him, and 
they won't say which one done the shootin'. I guess both of 
'em did. Well it just means life for both 'stid of the chair 
for one, thaf s all." He closed his eyes. 

**But — him!" said Legar^. "Him — ^what was he doing 
there?" He pointed to Archie. 'There must be some mis- 
take." . . . 

'TTou see it, too ?" the doctor asked quietly, but not turning 
or ceasing in his work. ^'I thought I was right. If s terrible, 
Legree. Ifs terrible 1" 

The Squire finished filling out his warrants. ''If you know 
either of these men, I'll put his name here instead of 'John 
Doe.' " 

"Put down 'B. Markowitz' for that fellow there," growled 
Jones. "These gentlemen seem to know the other one; he's 
a stranger to me." 

"Here, I can't stand this," said the Colossus, as the doctor 
broke into a fit of coughing. "Take those fellows out of here 
—quick," he added to the two Toms ; then, under pretense of 
reading the warrants under the single hall light, he planted 
his huge bulk between the Squire and the sight of the door. 
"(Jet a move on, you idiots," he yelled. "Go on. Get 'em 
out, I tell you. . . . Now, Squire. About this smug- 
gling. . . ." 

Continuing his pretense with what little ingenuity his slow 
wits could muster, the Colossus leaned over, still standing, 
planting both elbows on the table and compelling the Squire's 
gaze by sheer concentration and strength of will. "About 
this smuggling," he repeated in a firm clear voice, but alas I 
Hugh Legar6's brain lacked the bigness of his heart. Fur- 
ther duplicity failed him. 

The Squire eyed him importantly, having regained his 
usual portentous dignity by the written exercise of his official 
powers. "About that name, first, Legree," he said patroniz- 
ingly, tapping the warrant withheld. "You say you recog- 
nized the other murderer ?" He held his pen poised. 



436 God's Man 

In the silence, the Coloesns stared at him in helpless dis- 
may ; listening in vain for the opening and closing of the door 
which would render unnecessary his own witnessing of a do- 
mestic tragedy. The Squire made an impatient gesture. **Well, 
Sheriff, well, well,** he demanded fussily. Came only the 
sound of the sputtering spirit-lamp and the bubbling song of 
the boiling water in the basin. The doctor's noiseless whis- 
tling might have been heard in that silence had his lips not 
been unable to form even so slight a sound. Then the hard 
breathing of the two Toms reached the ear of the Colossus. 
His heavy fists clenched until the knuckles seemed about to 
pop forth from them like ripe gooseberries from their skiiiB. 

^'You God-damned fools,** he yelled suddenly; then tamed, 
but still his bulk was between the Squire and the door. 

^^He*s fainted dead away,** whined Heaney, siuch CSoloenl 
rage routing all remembrance of his own stem perilouB na- 
ture. 

« 

And even as he spoke, at the touch of Heanej's hand, 
Archie*s senseless body rolled from the narrow window-seat 
and tumbled heavily to the floor. The Squire, annoyed at 
Legar6*s apparent disrespect, pushed him aside, with what 
would have been pettishness in a younger man. *'What*8 tlus?" 
he demanded, additionally annoyed by the sudden shock the 
noise of Archie's fall had given him. He shook off Legari's 
hand and came forward. *^What does all this mean, I say?* 

And then he saw. For that part of the Persian rug where 
Archie had fallen was just within the radius of the Sheriffs 
search-lights. And in that patch of brightness, his face up- 
turned, his eyes blue-lidded, Squire Hartogensis saw the father 
of that grandson before whom peasants were to bend the knee 
and stand, with heads uncovered, as before a king. 

Had the Colossus not been quick, father and son would haiB 
lain there side by side. 



CHAPTER TWO 



THE HUE AND CRT 



I. AfiNOLD ReTUBKS 



T at sea, it was as dark as it 
wa8 silent Even when the lit- 
tle motor-boat throbbed and 
thumped ite way from Havre de 
Grace to within shouting dis- 
tance of the Green Sands Light, 
the fog had bo mufQed the sound 
of the whirling iron wheel that 
had the black rocks that girdled 
the lighthouse been inhabited by 
the penguins, who were said to 
have been seen there at other 
times, these solenin fowl would 
■carcely have beard the boat's approach. Now, after what 
seemed to its crew to be interminable repetitions of this voy- 
>ge, the boat lay anchored as near to the place agreed upon as 
Arnold's rough reckoning allowed. 

The tide tugging at the bell-ahaped anchor, buried deep in 
the sand twenty feet below, playing fast and loose with the 
anchor-rope, the rudder occasionally slapping against the 
stem, and a sort of soft Blushing when the boat swung broad- 
ride, then back again, — euch slight sounds as these seemed a 
pirt of the great silence, and went unheard by the boat's occa- 
pvita; and, anyhow. Fink and Hugo were fast asleep on ths 



438 God's Man 

Bodden canvas spread out in the 8tem-«heetB while Arnold, 
stretched out in the bow^ was drowsing. 

So silent was it that he was awakened by sounds that, 
though soft enough^ steadily increased on all Bides, until from 
every direction came what seemed the patter of many tiny 
feet, thousands of them, racing faster each minute. Or per- 
haps it was their cold impact on his face. Or, again, the 
steady dripping from the peak of his oilskin cap. When, 
shivering, he started up, it had been raining some time and 
had ceased to sound like footsteps from Elf -Land. This beat- 
ing down of heavy drops was more as if some giant overhead 
were throwing handsful of pebbles on the water. 

The wind had risen, too. Some other giant seemed to be 
standing, waist-high and blowing his breath, against the long 
glassy swells, now flaked and fleeced with foaoL ^^el-lo," 
said Arnold involuntarily as he pressed a black button and 
the "finder^s** long lance-like light described a circle, stabbing 
the fog. This was no longer a difficult achievement, however: 
with the rising of the wind, the spell of blackness was broken, 
and the ^'flnder'' revealed more troubled waters than thick 
vapors. 

Far distant, a faint glimmer from the Green Sands light 
broke through the gloom ; and, when Arnold snapped oS his 
own, he thought he could distinguish, dimly, a speck of radi- 
ance over Middle Ground way. Behind him Havre de Grace 
channel-tower winked a misty yellow welcome; and, as Arnold 
reached for his watch and held the dial close to his eyes, he 
made out ^'two o'clock'^ by a pale cold light from overhead. 
Gusts of wind had begun to chase the clouds over a faintly 
phosphorescent surface where the moon should have been. 

The anchor-rope gave a sudden tug, as a roving whita-cap 
came over the port side. A gust heeled the boat over and 
passed on, after trying to take Arnold's oilskin cap with it 
But it was fastened under his chin with strings; and so ibe 
wind could only lift it high enough for its owner to feel a oold 
stidi^ breath against his bare head. 



The Hue and Cry [439 

It was sufficient warning even for one not weather-wise. 
Arnold stirred the sleepers with his boot-toe. ^Tink I 'get out 
of the way/' he said. "Hugo — steer ! 1'* They scrambled up, 
each holding to a side of the boat; Hugo catching at the steer- 
ing spokes. Arnold threw over the iron wheel; it began to 
Tevolye as a spark flashed up unseen ; increasing its speed until 
it whirled; and whirling, the propeller thrashed about and the 
oil began to sing in the cylinder. 

''Which wayP' asked Hugo. 

''Have you sighted herP' Pink, giving up after several at- 
tempts to strike matches in that wind, shoved the face of his 
watch under the "finder,** the button to which he pushed. 

"Don't do that,'* said Arnold sharply. '^Do you want people 
to know we're out here at this hour? There's a storm coming 
up — ^fastl The lighthouse keepers will be awake. Sit back 
by the rudder, Hugo, and help me when I have to turn the 
boat. These waves are getting pretty bad." 

"What about the ship ?" asked Hugo, — or, rather, shouted. 
The wind's whistling had waxed, was now a-shrieking. The 
oily peaceful swells were hills and valleys of black water. 
Hugo shouted his question again. 

"Sit down, you poor nut," advised Pink. 'T)o you think 
he'd be lookin' as though he burned out 'thout any insurance 
if it hdd come? Come on back here where your solid ivory 
nut is no knock to you, and help hold this rudder straight. 
If s got me faded. . . . Wow I — ^that was a hummer 1" 

The boat had shot up to a great height, then, some cross- 
current intervening, had met only vacancy, had dropped flat 
into a churning valley below, quivering, vibrating, shipping 
gallons. But the next wave swept her up again, this time to 
race down at motor-car speed. Which brought her to Havre 
de Grace channel. Here the current, coursing out of the Har- 
bor, caught her and would have spun her aroimd; but Hugo, 
in compliance with Arnold's shout, bore down heavily on the 
rudder and held her nose straight. 

Despite his assistance, they were in some danger. The 



440 God's Man 

slorm was breaking fierce and fast and that channel was do 
spot to choose for a pleasure-cruise even on calm dajs. Nov 
every eddy was awhirl with spume and spindrift, a hundred 
cross-currents were whipping savagely one across the trail of 
another, and the outgoing tide meeting them, roared up white 
with a great lashing mane. 

A moment of suspense ! — The boat stood stock-still, her 
propeller high out of water. Another current caught her, 
whirled her up then, meeting the tide, she would have spun 
around and around until overwhelmed had not Hugo held on 
grimly, although the rudder was almost torn from his hands. 
But Arnold, seeing his chance between two great swells, tbe 
boat shot out of the channel, raced up hill and down dale 
again, and was soon swinging around a bend in the shore that 
hid the channel light. And there, almost abreast them, were 
three lanterns, ruby red and emerald green with bright orange 
between ; the three hung out to advise the Cormorant of the 
landing place should other arrangements miscarry. 

Secure from the spying of any one in the lighthouse, Arnold 
released the '^finder'' and manipulated it until the light 
showed him their rowboat, tossing up and down at her mofff- 
ings. "Ease her down. Pink. Get ready to throw off the 
switch. . . . Nowl" — and a bright green spark glowed, 
the iron wheel flopped, and two pairs of gloved hands cdhot out 
and gripped the rowboat. Its buffers rebounded against tbe 
sides of the moving motor-boat. Then : '*Hold on, boys.** It 
was a command not easily obeyed in that troubled water with- 
out wrenching of arms. But Hugo's strength, prevailei 
Pink hove one anchor down, another up. Arnold capped the 
engine with its canvas covering. The boats rocked precari- 
ously as they clambered aboard and all three put their strength 
into pushing off; for they could not row, or scull, or paddle 
among those waves, could only punt along with the butt ends 
of their oars. Finally Hugo leaped out, painter in hand and 
breast-high in water, and dragged the boat into the ahaOowt 
and underneath the boat-house arch« "Go on up to the )mm 



The Hue and Cry 441 

and get dry,** said Arnold. "I'll lock up, and fill the lanterna 
again in case we should be unfortunate enough to have the 
Cormorant blow in with this storm. But I guess we're in for 
another night on the water. So get to bed and get all the 
sleep you can. Hurry and change those wet things, Hugo.'* 

*TJnf ortunate ?* commented Hugo, stretching his big body 
and Tenting a tremendous yawn. Arnold nodded and pointed. 

'There's where the wind's coming from. Have you forgotten 
all you ever knew about storms ?" The smoky light of the lan- 
tern on the boat-house **float" revealed Arnold pointing to the 
northeast. 

'^ut I guess Danny's safe and sound in some secluded har- 
bor now. He knows better than to skirt the North Shore dur- 
ing a storm. Especially when he daren't ship a pilot. It's a 
perfect belt of rocks and shoals. Pink, from Port Jefferson to 
Montauk. . . . Oo ahead, Hugo. Don't wait for me. 
Take this pocket-light : / don't need it." 

Arnold locked the boat-house water-gate, unlocked the rear 
entrance letting them out, took up a long pole, a hook at one 
end. In the middle of their steep ascent, the path was sud- 
denly darkened, for Arnold had used that pole to fetch down 
the three lanterns swung at the boat-house peak — ^at which 
Pink cursed lustily, before remembering the little pocket- 
light. When he made ready to ascend, himself, having refilled 
and replaced the lanterns, Arnold heard Pink curse, though 
faintly, at some distance. He had stumbled again, probably. 

Because of the long occupancy of the house on the bluff, Ar- 
nold had a greater proficiency in climbing hills in general, 
this one in particular; and climbed so rapidly as almost to 
overtake the others. But nearing the top, he again heard Pink 
at his profane best; — ^no novelty to any one well acquainted 
with that young gentleman. Yet the peculiarity attendant 
upon this brought Arnold to a halt. Just what that pecu- 
liarity was Arnold could not say; perhaps there was none and 
it was only his instinct that made him stand stony and still, 
straining his ears. 



442 God's Man 

Now it seemed that some one was gargling; was endeavor- 
ing to become vocal by sheer gutturals^ was indulging in exe^ 
cise of the throat muscles, or attempting a sort of diokied 
Chinese. This soon ceased. Whispering began. 

At such a time, especially when one combines a t^mbl^ 
some conscience with a vivid imagination and imcertain 
nerves and knows these may combine to bring about delusions 
or hallucinations, anything is better than uncertainty. Arnold 
could endure a statue-like pose physically but not mentally. 

He raised a tentative foot and listened as he lowered it; it 
seemed noiseless enough. Fortunately, the rain, now descend- 
ing in torrents and driven by the wind, made inaudible any 
movements as light and certain as his. Better^ the gravel and 
loose stones would not now rattle and roll at eveiy footstep; 
the clayey soil was becoming moist red mud. 

Needing no light like the others, Arnold's approach jrent 
unheard ; though three men were above and listening almost 
as intently as he. But, having more at stake, he knew of their 
presence before they had any notion of his ; so again he stood 
silent and stony. 

Some one has stated — ^too aptly to admit of any paraphraM, 
— that when any bodily function ceases to be unconacions it 
ceases to be correct. Those three men at the head of the path 
were doing their best to prevent their breathing from befaraj* 
ing them, which only resolved itself into a series of seoondi 
when they did not breathe at all, followed by a shorter seriei 
when they breathed too hard. Having detected their presence 
through this idiosyncrasy, Arnold took care not to do likewise; 
continuing to breathe as naturally as short breaths at frequent 
intervals would allow, a sound too soft to equal the combina- 
tion of wind and rain. Yet even he paid for his consciousneas, 
and could only stand there, stupidly wondering who his prob- 
Ible enemies might be, being quite unable to use his brain for 
any purpose other than compassing an imitation of regular 
breathing. 



The Hue and Cry [443 

The next moment, however, he had no need to simulate. 
The new sound that he heard — such a sound as might result 
from a giant flounder flopping about on a muddy shore — ^made 
him forget not to breathe regularly. Followed straining and 
snapping — seams were bursting, cloth was ripping as the mus- 
dee of strong men pitted against one another swelled to the 
breaking point. Then a choked anguished yelp, was fairly 
driven out of some sufferer; the resxdt of the sudden impact of 
something very hard and something very soft 

To construct the situation for the mind's eye was not diffi- 
cult after such sounds. Had the darkness suddenly revealed 
the f acts^ Arnold could not have seen the struggle more clearly. 
One man had been on his back in the mud, — Whence the sound 
of the flopping flounder. A second man had been endeavoring 
to gag the first, while sitting on his chest, — Whence the strain- 
ing and snapping and bursting and ripping. Then the man 
in the mud had suddenly relaxed and driven an upward elbow 
into the other's abdomen, — Whence the yelp. Now, as Arnold 
listened, he heard muffled groans and fierce whispers. Then a 
heavy fall. 

Instinctively, Arnold swerved from the path; and none too 
soon. In a wild embrace, a bundle of arms and legs came roll- 
ing over and over down the steep hill. From above, some one 
relaxed his vigilance and a voice rose high and shrill. 

'TBeat it. Lord Chesterfield. Hoof it. Sir Mortimer. Ge- 
gag-gQg-gQg-'' There was no gagging this time: it was a 
plain case of throttling. Louder than the noise made by the 
fighting men below, rose the harsh notes of a stranger's voice 
— a stranger's to Arnold, at least, but well enough known to 
Pink: that of Burly Jones'. 

'TN*o use trying to be quiet now. Get down that hill, one of 
you, and help the Sheriff. You other fellows take that far 
path and head him off if he tries to go that way. I'll take the 
other side as soon as I . . ." 

There was a horrible menace in his unspoken words. Pink, 



444 God's Man 

his consdousiiess fading out, rallied for one last attempt to 
warn the as yet nncaptured Arnold. With a atrengyi Joom 
had never guessed Pink possessed^ he wriggled free. 

*^ew York coppers, Duke. Beat it. You can't hdp w. 
We're gone. We — ^^ This time he was cut short in ao silent 
and sinister a fashion, — a blow from the butt-end of a rerolTer 
was not likely to be heard in the noise made below — that 
Arnold shuddered. 

"New York coppers'' . . . Arnold, dazed, wondered 
how that might be. "New York coppers" . . . That 
meant everything was known. But how? . . . AmoU 
rocked and swayed as he stood. A man came rushing past him 
to the assistance of one of the combatants down bdow. TIm 
man who had silenced Pink was running toward the paUi thit 
led to Harbor Hill, a third man in the opposite direction. 
This was to surroimd him whom they supposed to be on the 
beach. Arnold crouched down behind some scrubby fniK 
bushes, too dazed to determine what to do. 

There was a yell of triumph below. "Sit on his feet, Tom," 
came hoarsely in a well-remembered voice. Hugh Legaril 
Arnold winced, bit his lip, clenched his teeth^ closed hit eyes. 
But he could not shut out the mental picture. Hugh Legar6 ! I 
Then Havre de Grace knew that their dearly beloved Paiion's 
eldest son was a . . . 

"If the other fellow can fight like this one. ... A 
thousand pounds of wildcats, Tom ! Sit on his feet I tell ytm. 
I've got to get my breath. ... I don't believe young 
Arnold L'Hommedieu's mixed up in this, do you? This ain't 
him, thaf s sure. And why would he be ? Let's have a look at 
this fellow. He must be a prize-fighter." 

Arnold crouched lower, hugging the ragged fane bathes, 
until he squatted close to the ground. His eyes were doaed, 
but he felt the little flash ten feet below, felt it aa if it wne a 
blow. And a second blow seemed to have been dealt \m^ 
when the Sheriff's shout of intermingled amaaement and fear 
assaulted him so harshly^ so loudly, that^ for a moment his 



The Hue and Cry 445 

Mm rang. Legar^'s emotion had not been couched in words, 
— ^it was too strong for that^ — ^it was the Bnarl of a trapped 
animaL 

Nor did he become articulate for some little time; only 
stood fltaring stupidly. Then, out of the darkness, for not 
eren sufBcient strength had remained in his great frame to 
keep the button of the pocket-light pressed, and in an almost 
unrecognizable voice so still and small was it, — ^he addressed 
TomHeaney: 

'^ere I L-l-look at him and tell me who it is. I've gone 
crazy I think, dead crazy.'' 

Arnold peered through the bushes and saw the two men, 
their giant shadows decapitated by the circumference of the 
ragged circle of light on the diameter of which Hugo lay. 
Tom Heaney was kneeling over and peering into his face. 
*T[fs Hugo Waldemar," he said presently, having been im- 
able to answer immediately because of his amazement. 

At the sound of his name, Hugo groaned and half raised 
himself. This time, he met no angry opposition. Instead, 
with clumsy tenderness, the Colossus raised him up and sup- 
ported him, Heaney still holding the light. ^^Hugol Hugo 
Waldemar," the Colossus said quite blankly. Hugo's stare 
was equally blank. 

There was more than a similarity of name and size between 
Hugh and Hugo: both had the same slow wits, the same 
tenacity of purpose. Hugh in Hugo's place would have done 
as Hugo had done : Hugo in Hugh's, would have done what 
Hugh was about to do. Despite a difference of twenty years 
in their ages the man and the boy had been better friends than 
most. The Colossus figured next to Arnold and Archie in 
Hugo's affections. As for Hugh it is doubtful if he could 
have sacrificed for any person other than his wife and mother, 
half So much as he now proposed to sacrifice for Hugo. He 
came of that sort of stock ; was of the type of the Great Dane 
or mastiff, like that paternal progenitor and namesake the 



446 God's Man 

faithfnl follower of the Cheyalier L'Hommedieu ; a tjpi 
America lost long ago in vain striving for social ''equality.^ 

^'Git back to that other fellow and see what the New Yoik- 
er's done to him to keep him quiet^^' said Legar6 to Tom 
Heaney ; and^ as Tom lingered : ^'6it^ I told yoxL I can lock 
after him/' He was breathing hard. Tom thought it best to 
go. The Colossus gulped, but managed to address Hugo 
quietly, very quietly: 

"It ain't true what these New York policemen say? — is it? 
About this opium smuggling? Say *No/ Hugo ! You've juA 
got to say 'No.' Say it, and 111 let you walk off as free is 
air — and won't tell a soul." 

He was pleading as he would never have done to save him- 
self. And when Hugo, silent and sullen, withdrew himself 
from Hugh's protecting arm, the Colossus vented another of 
his inarticulate snarls. It was not, however, directed at his 
friend, but at fate. 

''It can't he, Hugo I If s impossible, boy. You don't un- 
derstand." Then, hoarsely: "Bun off to'ards Snake Hollow. 
I'll see that Tom Heaney keeps his mouth shut. And FU teD 
the New Yorker you were too many for me. Go on, now ! Go 
on, Hugo ! I He's liable to be back any minute and then if s 
all up. Goon!!" 

It is said that men, real men, do not shed tears. Well for 
them these Colossi were not small nor even of average wt. 
Well for them their brawn and their lack of extraordinaiy 
brains brought them within the specifications of "red-blooded" 
writers for "man's men." Both were grateful for the darkness 
that precluded a sight of their faces; and Hugo, feeling for 
his friend, Hugh's huge hand met his. 

"Old pal," the younger man whispered. "Gee ! but you're 
a great old pal ! D'you think I'd do it? And get ytm in bad? 
Maybe get you in jailf Heaney tells everything he knows 
when he's drunk. ... I guess you'll have to lock me up^ 
Hugh. I'm not going to let them lock you up.' 



» 



iTHe Hue and Cry 447 

' HIb arm slipped about the colossal shoulder and squeezed it 
tight. ^nTou're the whitest man I know/^ he said. But the 
Colossns shook off his embrace impatiently, — ashamed of his 
emotion and angry at Hugo for abetting it. 

^nTou don't understand/' he said in the same hoarse whis- 
per. But whispering is not the best thing a leather-lunged 
Colossus does and Arnold heard him. '^I tell you you've got 
to go. I'm going to walk off and leave you. You do what I 
tell you : Heanejr's all right. Get on with you, Hugo." But 
the other again refused him, gruffly. 

^'Oh I you damn' fool I — ^Listen I I didn't want to tell you, 
but Pre got to. If s the only way to make you see you've got 
to go. Brace yourself. If s pretty bad news. About the 
worst, I guess. I'm sorry you make me tell it. Wasn't it 
enough for one night I had to see Archie Hartogensis lying 
on the floor in his own house and his own father making out 
a warrant for him without knowing. . . ." 

"Archie I" gasped Hugo. "His father ! They got Archie f 
Arehie I Good God I . . ." He held his breath, '^ow I 
have got to go with you, Hugh. I can't let Arch stand for the 
whole thing — ^" 

"Wait," said the Colossus sternly. 'Tyyou know what 
Archie was arrested for? — ^him and the other fellow ? Not for 
smuggling opium: we didn't find out about that till after. 
No, Hugo. . . . and here's why you'll have to keep out 
of this. Murder I Yes I . . . I ixnmo which one did it 
— ^neither one 'nil telL But they heard somebody outside 
while they were up there in the Hopkins house waiting for 
you to come back, and — and — ^well, they shot at him — and — 
and — ^" he paused. **I don't see why I've got to tell you, 
Hugo. Won't you take my word for it you've got to get 
awayt" . . . 

Silence; then, from between dry lips: '^Who was it? Who 
was it, Hugh?" 

The Colossus reached for him. ^?ou sure you can stand 



448 God*s Man 



it?^ He gripped both his shoulders, '^t's some one Teiy 
dear to you/' he said weakly. "Some one—** 

"Oh, for Qod*8 sake/* Hugo broke in fiercely — ^fiercely for 
him, the gentlest of men, **Who T* 

'TTour father,** said Hugh, so low that the wind and rain 
drowned his answer for Arnold. 

Hugo stiffened. *'My father!" he croaked. *^y father!!! 
My father.** And Arnold heard this time, and heard no more 
until the sound of his name brought him out of his daze. 

". . . It*s bad enough for Arnold L'Hommedieu to be 
mixed up in it, without you! Now, you*ll go, won*t yon, 
Hugo?** 

Silence again; then the soimd of the two men squashing 
clayey mud under their boots as they came up the hill. Ar- 
nold's eyes, accustomed, now, even to the Stygian blackness 
the storm had brought, made out the two figures close to- 
gether. Hugo did not draw away from Hugh*s support nov. 

Silence once more ; some muttering above, . . . Toices 
... a wild shouting . . . the simultaneous bang-bang 
of two revolvers. . . . Shooting and shouting continued 
apace. The SherifE and Tom Heaney were covering Hugo's 
escape. Arnold saw that the pink pufb of the revolver shots 
ascended directly upward. 

II. Abnold Esgapbs 

Under cover of this noise, Arnold ran rapidly in an oppo- 
site direction, ran through bushes and clumpa of young trees, 
not even seeking a path, but finding one as unconsciously ts 
he had realized that now was the time for him to escape. His 
instinct — subconsciousness, what you will — was entirely re- 
sponsible. That part of his brain had taken charge, hid 
noted Jones and the other Tom on the beach, tlie G>]oaMi 
and Tom Heaney running beyond the house. And tiiat put 
of him guided his footsteps, was aware of a place where he 



The Hue and Cry 449 

aight lie hidden — and, what was as importanl^ fed — ^thougii 
is pursuers searched the surrounding country. None other 
dan the hut of ancient timbers on No-Man's Land^ the resi- 
ence of the peninsula philosopher. 

Unconsciously^ be it repeated. As yet, his conscious brain 
ad not recovered from the shock administered by the Sheriff, 
t wag not that Arnold cared whether Waldemar lived or 
iedy so fiercely did he dislike the man. The horror that ani- 
mated him was the same that had caused the Colossus to insist 
n Hugo's flight Hugo's father killed by Hugo's best friend 
nd while acting as Hugo's partner in a venture^ but tor 
^hich the father would still be alive. 

Waldemar — ^the Squire — Hugo — Archie I Archie, yes ! It 
ras never Beau, — ^the pacific Beau who had often boasted that 
e abhorred weapons, that true "grif ters" needed none, only 
mateurs. Arnold remembered Archie's rage at the crow, his 
itention to throttle it. Archie, yes I Archie ! And Archie 
^as a prisoner, the prisoner of his own father. . . . Truly 
imold's conscious mind had enough to occupy it : it was nec- 
ssary that instinct protect him. 

But how had Waldemar come there? How had the New 
I'ork police become aware of the smuggling conspiracy ? What 
'ould happen to the Cormorant t To Archie? To Pink? To 
lean ? Wearily Arnold's mind refused to consider these mat- 
ers, settled down to a dull apathetic consideration of his own 
osition. 

Having reached a part of the woods far distant from the 
wiss chalet, he dropped down amid the wet leaves and lis- 
3ned for sounds of pursuit. There was none. Having lis- 
ted, he began to remember why it was he had come in that 
irection, and soon arose wearily and hastened on, for he had 
tin a long way to go. Taking his bearings, he doubled back 
>ward the bluff road, the easiest road ; but reaching the part 
f the woods skirting it, he paused and listened again. Then 
e went forward cautiously lest he be precipitated over the 
ige of the bluff; and, hearing the roar of the sea very naar. 



450 God's Man 

he threw himself down and crawled the remainder of the dii- 
tance. 

Face downward^ he peered over the edge^ endeayoring to 
survey the scene below and beyond. In the darkness and driT« 
ing rain his gaze met only yagae black tree and rock forms, he 
heard only the wind's soughing and the rain's pattering; 
that is, when sudden gusts did not shriek and whistle and 
driye the rain against his oilskins with a clatter like hail 
Down below the breakers were roaring, and such roaring as he 
could not remember haying heard. Truly, he could not, for 
under average circumstances he would have remained indoois 
when a storm like this one was raging. If before he had 
likened to heavy artillery the angry pounding of the beach, be 
was now reduced to a realization of the feebleness of human 
comparisons when Nature is at her worst or best. 

One steady roaring crash was in his ears, and even when 
thunder shook the sky, had not the accompanying lightning 
gilded great rifts in it, the added crashing would be gone al- 
most unheard in that war of winds and waves. 

As these steely silver rifts were revealed like the iUumined 
veins of some bloodless Atlas, Arnold strained his eyes. His 
two enemies on the beach half a mile beyond seemed two smtll 
black bundles rolling along in some mysterious fashion; the 
beach a white strip at the foot of the cliffs and rapidly dimin- 
ishing as the inky breakers came rolling and pitdiing ashore. 
The next flash revealed the two black bundles rolled together, 
the next showed them separate again and half-way up the 
path, like spiders on a sticky ceiling. Evidently they had 
failed to* find one of the two paths or had feared to wait to 
find one; for when Arnold saw them for the fonrth time, he 
judged from strained positions that they were hauling tbem- 
selves up by means of bushes too small for him^ at that dis- 
tance, to see. 

At their heels the breakers roared. The white atrip hid 
wholly disappeared. The black mountains, hurled up out of 



The Hye and Cry 451 

the dea, were breakiiig into spray and foam that, in the light- 
ning flashes was like millions of glittering uptossed stars. 

Well, he had nothing to fear from two of his pursuers for 
some time to come. He got to his f eet, albeit more slowly than 
usual, for, now the excitement had passed, he had begun to 
feel exhausted. Luckily his oilskin coat, hooked tight about 
hie throat, in conjunction with his fisherman's boots, had kept 
him dry. He gave weary thanks for that. Had sodden clothes 
and half-frozen feet been added to his other miseries, he 
doubted he would have found escape a sufficient inducement 
to endure the trials and perils of the journey ahead of him. 
After all, escape, or capture, it mattered very little now. He 
had lost everjrthing, even his good name, the name that had 
been kept stahiless by so many generations only for him to tar- 
nish. And his father, after sixty years of self-sacrifice. . . . 

Arnold's groan was cut short. A wild hope had thrilled 
him. . . . Why not? Hugo had his father's fortune. 
Money could do anjrthing, nowadays. Archie and Beau and 
Pink would keep silent about Hiigo, and Hugo would see that 
they went free. And silence about Hugo included silence 
about Arnold. His house? He could claim to have been 
away for the night with the peninsular philosopher. Archie 
would not be harmed any the more by saying that Arnold had 
loaned him the house for that night. Anyhow, no opium had 
been landed, no infraction of the law had been committed by 
any one save Archie; (he did not doubt it was Archie) — 
therefore why should Archie not shoulder all responsibility? 

A wave of relief swept over Arnold. He quickened his pace 
to a run. Turning a bend in the path along the bluff, he saw 
the lighthouse dead ahead. Across the channel lay the sand- 
dunes ; beyond, the philosopher's peninsula. 

Arnold teetered along the strip of road, grasping at young 
trees, bushes and overhanging boughs to steady himseU 
against the fierce blasts. Once he was hurled against a great 
pine and stood there, back to the roaring gale, getting his 



452 God*s Man 

breath; continuing with a comparatively light heart, so ef- 
fectual is contrast. 

Five hours before he had been in unquestioned possession of 
A reputation that he must now struggle hard to retain; and 
then he had been gloomy. Now, with only a fighting chance, 
he was almost gay. He forgot Hugo's tragedy and Archie'a, 
forgot the Cormorant Given the greatest danger, the greatest 
sorrow, man needs only the slightest hope to rally ; and if he 
must concentrate upon difficulties besetting the fulfilment of 
that hope, he becomes as single-minded as any woman. It was 
not that Arnold had become hardened of heart; it was (solj 
that, in the event of a tragedy that personally involves any 
person, the mind is so weakened by the shock that the prim- 
itive instincts easily overcome it — and as the greatest of these 
is self-preservation, that is the one immediately uppermost 

Besides, Arnold had little time for speculation. In that 
great gale, he could barely keep on his feet ; and in the con- 
tinual daze in which the stinging salt wind and whipping ram 
kept him, it was a miracle he did not stumble over the blnff 
and roll down, to be swept away imder one of those inky 
mountains below. And now that his path widened and began 
to slope downward toward the sea-wall on which the hot- 
house was reared, Arnold must advance with superlative cau- 
tion. Undoubtedly the keeper had been awakened by tht 
storm, and, as Arnold wished to preserve his alibi, and, b^des, 
intended to cross the channel in the lighthouse keeper's doiy» 
" — ^a desperate project, but he saw no other way — ^it behooTei 
him to avoid its owner's notice. So, whenever* the bright re- 
flectors swung aroimd in his direction, washing with ydlow a 
quarter-mile of the black countiy before him, Arnold flimg 
himself flat, face downward. 

Even in the days of his renowned ancestor, the Chevalier 
Etienne, the Harbor of Havre de Orace had the shape d a 
square case-bottle, its entrance, the neck thereof, the iqposi- 
toiy of a swiftly moving current that continued some way sot 
to sea. Here, meeting some cross-currents, it became tfaat dan* 



The Hue and Cry 453 

geroufl Bwirl we have had occasion to remark before. But 
within the bottle-neck it was not particularly perilous^ — save 
on a night like this when a mill-pond would have become a 
whirlpool 

The bottle-neck had been, originally, only twenty yards 
wide. Now that it had been strengthened by a searwall, — a 
dyke of granite and cement sunk in the water and raised above 
it to a height of twenty feet on each side, — ^the bottle-neck had 
lost-several yards. Thus Arnold's voyage, unless he was swept 
out to sea (which was unlikely as the tide was coming in) 
would be a short one. There was a probability that the boat 
would be overturned when first launched; it was a certainty 
that he would be helpless in such a sea; and would be swept 
along, the oars — ^if he attempted to use them — ^tom out of his 
hands. 

But Arnold knew that the current circled the opposite shore 
and that, during storms, even the Connecticut mail-steamer 
had some ado to prevent being beached there. It was on this 
that he based his hope of reaching the peninstda. 

The sea-wall reached its highest point on the Sound side. 
At right-angles to this, at the junction of Sound and channel, 
it began, gradually, to slope until, where the lighthouse keep- 
er's boat lay, the height was less than twenty feet. Here, 
some ingenious Treasury engineer, familiar with medieval 
architecture, had fitted an archway modeled on the water- 
gates found in the majority of castles and 'boated granges^ 
of the middle ages ; and when the water reached the topmost 
red lines on either side, indicating high-water mark, the 
arch just cleared the head of the seated boatman. On 
extraordinary occasions it had been known to carry away his 
hat; hence, in a storm like this, it was possible that there 
would be barely room enough for the boat itself to pass 
through even though Arnold lay flat in the bottom. 

He found this possibility a fact when, after much reconnoi- 
tering to reach the lower extremity of tiie sea-wall unseen^ h« 
discovered that the little dory had been dragged out of its arti- 



454 God's Man 

ficial channel and was resting slantwise against a sand-barrow. 
The light-keeper must have moved it within the last hour, for 
scarcely more than that had elapsed since Arnold had felt the 
first raindrops on his face. 

He crouched in the shelter of the boat and dared push it onlj 
when the rays of the light traveled out to sea. This meant bi 
conld be occupied only half his time : the remainder was spent 
in shivering; for now that the light had revealed the swoUen 
channel^ Arnold had begun to realize the risk he was about to 
run. No boat could live out there among those menacing hiDi 
of pale green water, amid those dangerous valleys of boiling 
white foam. Even the sheltered waters of the little channd 
angrily assaulted the shore and spat out spume and spindrift. 

"If s do it, or do worse,'' Arnold said defiantly. "If • a 
chance, anyhow. And ifs the only chance.'* 

The sound of his voice helped to convince, to confirm, him 
in his resolution. The boat, after many pushes, begun to slide 
so easily that he knew it was on the shelving shore. Then it 
gave a surprisingly sudden movement, as though it would 
wrench itself away from him. He sprang for the stem and 
lay spraddling it, then threw his weight forward and came 
down on his flattened palms in the bottom of the boat 

His weight gave the little craft an added impetus, drove it 
against the right bank of its little basin. It vibrated from the 
shock of impact with solid granite, veered around and stmck 
the opposite wall with its stem. This suddenly straightened 
its course, and threw it in the direct center. Then, caught on 
the crest of a retracting wave, the boat was driven forward, 
and so hard and high that it struck the center of the arch. 

The shock of this broke Arnold's finger-nails and drove the 
boat around broadside. Drawn forward again by the suction 
following the retreating wave, a valley of swirling water re- 
placing the hill, the boat would have passed under the arch, 
had the arch been of sufficient width. But it had been no in- 
tention of its builder that boats should pass through broad- 
aide, 80 the boaf 8 nose struck one of the archway pillan. This 



The Hue and Cry 455 

rij^ted it again^ — ^but with its Btem outward. In this posi- 
tion, it was swept out into the channel. 

Arnold was immediately made conscions of this by feeling 
that the boat had dropped from under him, had left him hang- 
ing in space; — ^a feeling familiar to occupants of an express 
elevator when it swoops down from some great height witiiout 
wiming; — ^and also to aviators caught in a sudden upward 
swoop of the wind. 

But the sickening sensation was the one that followed. 
Beaching the crest of a great green hill, the boat hung there 
for a second absolutely motionless, though it creaked and 
quivered and all its timbers groaned in unison. Then, swifter 
than the down-flight of an eagle, the boat shot into the churn- 
ing valley below. 

It seemed as if hands weighing hundred weights suddenly 
began to pound Arnold's back, knocking his head from side to 
aide ; and, when the light swung that way, he saw that he was 
heading straight for a great ghastly green cavern. The next 
instant, the boat struck, and he, hurled aside, began to spin 
around as if in a maelstrom. Then the green waters roared 
over him, but before his teeth could chatter at the terrible 
chill, a heavy blow descended on his head. 

His last conscious thought was the hope that they would 
find his body. If he was never heard of again, people would 
believe him a guilty fugitive and his father would have, be- 
sides the disgrace, the sorrow of having begotten an Ishmael 
for whom he could only pray and hope to the end. And for 
that unselfish thought, had Arnold died then, much would 
have been forgiven him. It is only at such a time that men are 
known for what they are. 

III. Arnold Despaibs 

But Arnold was not to die at the very time when the pur- 
pose for which he had served and suffered was so nearly 
achieved. The same great breaker that had crashed him down. 



456 God's Man 

now hurled him np and on the opposite shore. Another great 
breaker would have borne him back had he remained senseleBE^ 
but a chill attacked him and a violent retching, and betwe^ 
them they so racked him, tearing at his heart and longs, tfatt 
he was brought back to consciousness, the blood pouring from 
his nose and mouth. 

He heard the hissing fall of another great green mountaio, 
and, instinctively, rolled over and over until he no longer fdt 
its stinging spray on his face. Then he lay like a log. He was 
too weak even to crawl, — ^he had set his teeth and squirmed oat 
of the breakers' reach with the false strength of frenzied ter- 
ror. Even now he clutched about wildly for some protection 
and, his fingers fastening upon the needles of a scrub-pine, be 
held to them tightly regardless of the pain of their pricking. 

There was no need for this self -infliction, but so unreason- 
ing was his terror after his encounter with that great monster, 
BO conscious was he of his own helplessness, that the possibility 
of his safety seemed remote. He was tense, taut, rallyiog bis 
forces for the blow that any instant he expected to fall, {ve- 
paring to do battle again. His mind was a blank on whidi 
was scrawled over and over again: 'TDanger,** **Danger,* 
• . . scrawled vertically, horizontally, diagonally, — every- 
where, so that there was room for nothing more. ... If 
a mental shock leaves the majority of one's reasoning powers 
in abeyance, a physical shock of the same caliber suspends 
them altogether, — sometimes, in the cases of unfortunates 
such as Hans Ghasserton, permanently. 

But Arnold's was an exceptionally strong mind and, in bis 
case, the suspension was brief. The second shock failing io 
materialize, he relaxed, and relaxing realized that he was be- 
yond the breakers' reach. Still weak, however, he waited until 
his body should make the same recovery as his mind. Wbicb 
was not for long, for the chaimel light by revealing his new 
surroundings, gave him a thrill that was worth more thin tte 
accumulated strength of an hour of resting — especially now 



The Hue and Cry 457 

that he was wet and cold. He realized that he was on the op« 
posite shore. 

He sprang np without farther thought of weakness, onlj 
slapping at his drenched body. But the sea-water squashing 
in his boots sorely deterred him: the way to the peninsula 
was difficult enough over wet sand that deadened all springi- 
ness of step ; so when he stumbled over his first hillock, he sat 
down upon it, removed and poured forth gallons from the 
boots, and squeezed some extra quarts from the golf -stockings 
underneath, also from his knickerbockers and the skirts of his 
jacket. Haying lost a number of pounds thereby, he continued 
his journey at an increased pace. 

He was now on a wide tract of marsh and moor, hillocks and 
hummocks ; a vast area of sheer waste-land, the result of ages 
of sand and shells and stones thrown up by the sea; fertilized 
and colonized by the sea-birds, save where the old hut stood, 
the only human habitation between Havre de Qrace channel 
and Green Sands, seven miles away. For three miles this 
waste-land hemmed in Havre de Orace Harbor; and, had Ar- 
nold chosen to pick his way over the long stretch of salt marsh 
and sand-pits that joined the desert to the left bank of the 
Harbor, eventually he would have reached the town, passing 
his father's house on the way. 

Occasionally, therefore, he blinked misty eyes under sticky 
wet eyebrows and saw, or thought he saw, a misty blur of 
lights. One of these might be that well-remembered one on 
L'Hommedieu Church steeple, a Gothic lantern hoisted by 
steel halliards; and on stormy nights always lighted by the 
Parson himself; a beacon for harbor shipping for more than a 
century. It had been one of Arnold's great treats, as a boy, to 
be allowed to accompany his father on this exciting trip to the 
belfry. On such nights as this, the wind had an eerie whistle 
— ^which, of course, was witches riding around the bell-ringer'a 
loft on their broomsticks. And the rats scuttled headlong into 
their holes — ^f or fear of the wicked black cats which, as every- 



458 God's Man 

body knew (even rats) always rode with witches. . • . 
And the Beverend Jorian had neyer failed to bid Arnold ob- 
serve how the lantern was lit, and in what manner the hal- 
liards worked; for: ". . . this will be your duty in a few 
years, my son/' 

Arnold tried to put remembrance away from him; tnming 
his gaze toward tiiQ blackness of the tempest again. But, 
worse I Young Paul had lighted the lantern to-night: it was 
his duty now. An hour ago, while Arnold crouched in hate or 
fled in fear, Paul, in his neat cleric's garb (he had been or- 
dained curate during the summer) had ascended to the belfiy 
on his errand of ''peace and good-will toward all men." . . . 

A cry escaped him whose errand this should have been. 
Arnold stood for a moment imder that black sky,— his 
clenched hands upraised, — a tiny impotent speck in an im- 
mensity of space — sky and sea all one in that great void of the 
storm. And, as he stood there, he personified helpless hu- 
manity protesting against the remorseless cruelty of the 
Infinite. 

**Why?— why?— why? Oh, my God, why ?*' 

ITnknowingly he was voicing his anguished queation as the 
peninsula philosopher had said he would some day. 

'TThy?— Why?— What am I punished for? Is it new 
to end?'* 

A fit of terrible rage seized him. "Oh, you — up — there,* 
he shouted. 'TTou I — ^you 1 1 — ^you ! ! ! — Ah 1** He ground hi 
teeth. '"YovL—merdfiai! You I Ha! Mercifull Oh, yea f 
He burst into fierce wild laughter. 

It was a long and weary way he had yet to go. But, sot, 
he hardly knew when he stumbled, no longer felt wearioeaa. 
Those two simple pictures obsessed him : that child of kmg 
ago and that serene-faced youth who had taken that dbiU'a 
place — obsessed him, yes, and brought thoughts more painfol 
than any physical exhaustioiL And once when a fall of more 
than usual severity sprawled him headlong, momentaiilj 
bringing back the present, it only served to xemind him, bit- 



The Hue and Cry '459 

terljy that this sightless journey through the darkness and the 
stonn — ^when, try as he might to walk carefully and well, he 
could not guard against a single fall or injury — ^was symbolical 
of his life since his first unexpected tumble — ^that expulsion 
from Old Bong's University. Since then . . . Yes, it had 
been very like indeed. 

IV. Arnold Learns Why 

Dawn was close at hand before Arnold came within sight of 
the little hut. Hardly within sight, however; — as little as 
within sound, had there been any; for neither the blackness 
nor the roaring of the storm had abated. But this shore had 
been a favorite camping-ground for the Havre de Oravian 
youngsters during Arnold's boyhood, and he was too familiar 
with every curve and twist of it not to be able to steer a true 
course and at any time to determine his position with some- 
thing close to accuracy. 

But, so wrapped was he in gloom, he had struck off inland 
sooner than he had intended ; therefore was recalled not only 
by the cold chill of water about his waist but by the shock 
thereof to his stomach — ^which amounted to nausea. Becov- 
ering, he remembered that the current that was endeavoring 
to sweep him off his feet, could be caused by nothing save the 
flooding of those lowlands whose existence was responsible for 
the quasi-peninsula. Therefore he was separated from his 
destination by no more than a few yards, plus whatever extra 
width the invading waters had managed to tear away from the 
higher ground on either side. 

He had clutched out for the tall tough sea-grasses he knew 
to be there, and, even before he had ceased to consider his new 
plight, had, with their assistance, drawn himself safely ashore 
again without encountering any greater depth than at first. 

Arnold had lived through many hard winters, during which 
the maritime portion of Havre's business had been done by 
ice-boats, one of which the Connecticut mail-steamer 



460 God's Man 

in her bows and often need to complete her contracts when 
herself unable to enter the frozen Harbor. But Arnold never 
remembered having been so cold as he was now. Since ten 
o'clock he had been in the chilly air. Since two, he had en- 
countered the storm. For a period nearly as long, and in the 
same steady driving rain, he had striven across the wasteg, 
already drenched by his channel catastrophe. Now, after this 
second icy ducking, and in that unearthly chill that precedes 
the davm, his teeth jarred together with all the force of his 
jaws, his face ached, and, worse, he was nauseated. • . . 

These were good excuses for bating something of usual 
courtesy and beginning as loud a bawling as his chattering 
teeth permitted. Without a light, he felt that, before his 
blind groping for the hut brought residts, he would have ex- 
pired from the cold. 

**Holloa — ^hol-loa — hol-1-o-a I" he bawled at the top of his 
voice. ''Show— a— light I A light I! Show— a U-ightlir 
This over and over again, stumbling and running the while. 
Only for a moment, hovrever, — although it did not eeem so 
soon to him, — and then a little pointed yellow light pierced 
the darkness, wavered, stood erect, and there was the phikso- 
pher in his doorway, the skirts of a flannel dressing-gown 
flung over his shoulder like a cloak, and in his hand a small 
bronze night-light shaped like the widow's cruse, its spout 
aflame. 

Arnold exhausted his remaining strength in redoubling his 
speed, and, reaching the doorway, pushed past his host and 
into the dark room beyond, dark save for a few remaining 
embers in the fireplace. To these Arnold pointed in bitter 
disappointment, babbling almost incoherently. 

"A fire ! I thought you'd have a fire. Light one— quiet 
I'm nearly dead. Hurry I Oh, please hurry! Can't jou 

uw* * • • • 

It was as little an apology as it was an explanation; al- 
thoa^ an invasion of any other man's house in the small 



.i 



The Hue and Cry '461 

hours would haye required somefhing xaore than both. But 
the necessity of either did not occur to Arnold now any more 
than to a son returning in like stress to a forgiving father; 
and the recluse accepted the situation without commenl^ 
spoken or f aciaL Almost as on the occasion of Arnold's pre- 
vious visits he seemed wholly occupied in making his gaest 
comfortable. This time, he raked together the few embers, 
added newspapers and kindling, and drenched the lot with 
coal-oil. As the resulting flare lit up blackened bricks and 
shining hearth, he threw on heavier wood and genuine heat 
replaced that fictitious one of the first flames. 

Crossing to an ancient press he hastened to throw out 
a huge Turkish towel, following it a pair of woolen pajamas; 
then, putting aside Arnold's semi-protesting palms, the Sa- 
maritcm stripped the wet garments from the shiverer, and, 
enveloping him from shoulders to shins in the blanket-like 
towel, began to bring back the blood to the skin by a manipu- 
lation that was not unworthy those muscles peculiar to Ori- 
ental bath-attendants. So little unworthy in fact that he soon 
had his patient wincing with pain. It seemed he would never 
cease; but, when he did, and Arnold felt the soothing soft 
flannel of the pajamas caress his now feverish skin, and was 
buttoned up to his neck in a fur-lined coat and thrust into a 
capacious soft-seated basket-chair on the hearth, he stretched 
out his limbs in an ecstasy of sheer physical contentment, re- 
lazing every muscle, luxuriating in a sensation so sybaritic 
that it seemed — ^for the moment — as if exposure to all sorts of 
inclemencies and hardships was not too great a price to pay 
for turning the faculties of enjoyment to so ineffable a pitch. 

Before familiarity should dull his senses, he scented the 
aroma of coffee, and the thrill of anticipation was added. His 
host, during Arnold's brief rapture, had crossed to the flre and 
busied himself with the copper kettle from which the hiss of 
boiling water had come since the relighting of the fire. Fra- 
grant steam now arose as water and ground Mocha met 



The Hue and Cry 463 

Arnold eyed him aghast. *^ow can you know — already?^* 
le faltered. 

'TTou asked me if I wondered why you were here," his host 
; **and I said *No/ I know well enough why yotfre 
lere. You're in trouble and you think I can help you. Well, 
'' can. But will I, thafs the point ?** 

He paused, but only slightly. "I will," he went on. ''When 
Vm interested (which is seldom) I know the man who inter- 
ista me should be a force in the world if he gets the right han- 
dling. But for good or ill? Ifs my duty to discover. In 
your case it must be for good. You haven't any evil instincts. 
If ffou are in trouble, it is not because you have wanted to be 
eviL That's easy for any one to see if he has learned to read 
nrhat Nature prints on every man's face. ... So, if you 
are in trouble. 111 do my best to get you out And I have 
helped to get a good many people out of trouble in my time." 
. • • His tone was calm, conversational, no hint of boast- 
fuInesB or arrogance in it. But whoever listened must be con- 
vinced that he spoke in the security of great strength. 

Something snapped in Arnold. Tears stood in his eyes. 
His host puffed at a brier pipe and stared at the ceiling. 
Teople don't come through Ihe worst storm in years to pay a 
friendly call," he resumed lightly. '^Especially on a person 
half-a-dozen miles from anywhere. Serious trouble is obvious. 
When you feel disposed, — or able, — ^tell me about it. I think 
you'd better have a sleep first, though." 

Arnold laughed again, — a far different laugh from the last. 
''Sleep I" he said. The other knew he was answered. 

"Well, then . . ." he invited, and placed his piUows higher, 
80 that he could look directly into Arnold's eyes. And Arnold, 
faltering again, began . . . began the story of the past 
few months and ended with that of the last few hours. . . . 

When he had concluded, his listener still maintained his 
expectant attitude. But now his eyes were eager. "That is not 
all," he said. 

"Not aUr Arnold echoed bitterly. 



462 God's Man 

Some Tnillr having been heated, the componnd was eoon 
handed to Arnold in a cup like an egg-shelly on which were 
quaint Georgian figures. 

Arnold burned his lips in his greedy gulping. But what 
was that compared with retarding even for a moment the 
glow that followed? When his cup had been twice refilled-* 
old cognac added the third time — ^his host placed near him a 
carted box containing thick Oriental cigarettes, for one of 
which he held out a light ; and Arnold, after lacing the fire^ 
light with the first cloud of feathery smoke, incontinently for- 
got everything except that, for the moment, he had never 
experienced a sensation of happiness so absolute. As he closed 
his eyes, he felt in entire sympathy with the doctrines of 
Hedonism. 

'HTou needn't talk until you're all right again," said his 
benefactor, breaking his long silence to prevent the thanks he 
saw about to be spoken. He returned to his pallet-bed and 
resumed his blankets. Arnold bowed his head in grateful ac- 
knowledgment. • . . Presently, having luxuriated long 
enough, he surveyed the room through half-closed eyes, discov- 
ering beauties that he had hitherto overlooked. And beauties 
they really were, although Arnold in so rapt a state, found it 
necessary to be enthusiastic over something, and hardly needed 
real beauties to arouse his admiration. 

The physical comfort, and now the mental stimulation of 
the man's speech, had taken Arnold so far away from the cold 
and misery of the last few hours that he laughed. Bnt 
the sound of it fell heavily on his ears. He closed his eyes 
again, as if he hoped to shut out the sight of the nigfaf s 
horrors. 

The keen-eyed man on the bed noticed his suddenly altered 
demeanor and closed his own eyes; so that, should his guest 
turn, he might imagine his host had seen nothing. 

*1 suppose you wonder why I'm here ?" asked Arnold pres* 
ently, his tone sullen. 

"No," the other replied. 



The Hue and Cry 463 

Arnold eyed him aghast. 'TEow can you know — already?^* 
lie faltered. 

*'You asked me if I wondered why you were here/' his host 
replied; "and I said Tfo/ I know well enough why you're 
here. You're in trouble and you think I can help you. Well, 
I can. But will I, thaf s the point P* 

He paused, but only slightly. *T[ wilV he went on. ''When 
I'm interested (which is seldom) I know the man who inter- 
ests me should be a force in the world if he gets the right han- 
dling. But for good or ill? Ifs my duty to discover. In 
your case it must be for good. You haven't any evil instincts. 
If you are in trouble, it is not because you have wanted to be 
evil. Thaf s easy for any one to see if he has learned to read 
what Nature prints on every man's face. . . . So, if you 
are in trouble, I'll do my best to get you out. And I have 
helped to get a good many people out of trouble in my time.'' 
• . . His tone was calm, conversational, no hint of boast- 
fulness or arrogance in it. But whoever listened must be con- 
vinced that he spoke in the security of great strength. 

Something snapped in Arnold. Tears stood in his eyes. 
His host puffed at a brier pipe and stared at the ceiling. 
^Teople don't come through the worst storm in years to pay a 
friendly call," he resumed lightly. '^Especially on a person 
half-a-dozen miles from anywhere. Serious trouble is obvious. 
When you feel disposed,— or able, — ^tell me about it. I think 
you'd better have a sleep first, though." 

Arnold laughed again, — a far different laugh from the last. 
''Sleep I" he said. The other knew he was answered. 

"Well, then . . ." he invited, and placed his pillows higher, 
so that he could look directly into Arnold's eyes. And Arnold, 
faltering again, began . . . began the story of the past 
few months and ended with that of the last few hours. . . . 

When he had concluded, his listener still maintained his 
expectant attitude. But now his eyes were eager. That is not 
all," he said. 

"Not allP' Arnold echoed bitterly. 



464 God's Man 

The other shook his head. 'The most important part is 
missing; the reason whj three people like your friends—^ 
sons of the two wealthiest men hereabouts^ — and yourself— t 
man meant, by birth and brains and early education, to follow 
in his father's wajrs — ^happened to be smuggling opium? 
That's the important part of the story/* 

"I — I— can't see why/' Arnold said weakly. This man's 
odd eerie eyes chilled him. There was something about the 
fellow . • • a weird triumph — 

"Do you remember what you asked me when you were here 
before ?" the man inquired. '1 haven't forgotten. TVliy have 
two of my friends and myself been forced into shoddy shady 
lives, when we intended to be decent P I said that the answer 
was perfectly plain, but that there was no use telling you- 
then I And to prove there wasn't, I told you anyhow. . . . 
Do you remember what I saidP' 

The same disquieting voice, the same strange hidden qual- 
ity, somber, almost uncanny. 'The Purpose," Arnold said, his 
voice so still and small it did not seem to be. his own. 'The 
world's history is only the fulfilment of that Purpose. . . ." 

Arnold was almost afraid to think, so terrifying was the 
thought of realization. Like the faint graying of the eastern 
sky outside, betokening the approaching dawn, understanding 
had begun to blot out the black clouds that hung thick and 
heavy about his soul. 

"And I told you you would not remain here and write, but 
would go back to the city. I told you you had not had so 
much bitterness only to live out your life with an unanswered 
question in your eyes. And I told you that men like us were 
the Sacrifices, that our loves and even our lives must be lost 
that others might be saved. The Cross is the symbol of the 
Question, the Eesurrection of the Answer.'' 

Again, as before, his eyes blazed with strange fires. But to 
Arnold they no longer held strange secrets. " 'Only after wt 
have been Crucified can we know that all has not been lost: 
all has been gained. And then, and then only, can we teach."' 



The Hue and Cry 465 

Arnold had repeated the other's words as a child repeats a 
lesson over and over before its meaning is begun to be under- 
stood. 

**And are you ready to be crucified/' he heard the other 
thunder in Ids ears, — ^thunder it seemed although the man 
spoke quietly enough; ''so far you have only been scourged. 
To-night is your Oethsemane. You can escape, continue to 
have the world's respect Or you can hare — Calvary I 
Choose 1" 

Arnold could not answer. His throat was choked, the beat- 
ing of his heart was suspended. His eyes were blinded, too, 
for the first rays of the rising sun had shot, lance-like, through 
the open windows and his head was in a gloiy of light No 
miracle. Merely the dawn. But what are miracles? . . . 

Arnold only knew that at last there was no ''Why" any 
more. He was not in that room, but seemed to soar high above 
the earthy and in a single second he saw the whole world 
spread out beneath him. All his bitterness against mankind, 
stupid, ignorant mankind, fled. A great pity overpowered 
him, then a great love — a love beside which the love of 
woman, or wealth, or even of fame, was as a candle-light in 
the splendor of the sun. And that splendor now irradiated him 
as he sat with head upraised and eager lips, though it could add 
no light to that already in his shining eyes. And when he an- 
swered the other man, it seemed that some one else was lis- 
tening. 

"I know now,** Arnold said. *1 understand.** 

They sat silent as the sunlight grew and grew until it filled 
the whole room. "I understand," Arnold said again. "Yes. 
And only an hour ago, I meant to have Hugo make Archie 
swear that I had loaned him the house. I was even going to 
get ^ou to swear that I had spent the night here. . . ." 

"I'll do it if you still want me to," said the other in his 
strange voice. But Arnold did not seem to hear him. 

"... I was going to make all that suffering and 
misery useless ; all that so many have had to endure to bring 



466 jGod's Man 

fhingB to this pass, — when the answer to all the 'Whys' can be 
given to the world.*' 

'^It has been given before/' said the other man, without ex- 
pression. 'Tiong before your time. Millions have suffered 
and thousands have sacrificed — ^just as you will do— to teach 
the world the answer. And all have failed." 

**No," said Arnold slowly. *T!'here were always some who 
listened. That is not failure. • . ." 

A curious heaviness was on him; and, although he recalled 
the existence of certain evolutions of Nature that explained 
his meaning better than any words of his — ^for instance, the 
quadrillions and quintillions of little blind coral insects that, 
working in darkness for a millennium, give their bodies to 
build a reef — ^he could not find the energy to make even so 
simple a statement. His tongue seemed swollen^ his speech 
thick. 

Alas, for those misguided authors who would expand the 
great moments of life into hours and days ; sustaining the ex- 
altations and transfigurations of their heroes through long 
chapters and longer acts. They seem to forget that man, if 
first of the spirit, is last and not least — ^f or his earthly span— 
of the flesh. Even the greatest can not sustain the thrill of 
such moments; and, when the imprisonment of the flesh galls 
most, they summon up memories of the time, when like a long- 
imprisoned bird released from its cage to soar in the sunlight, 
they were free. 

But the bird must soon return, having been caged too long 
to survive in the great spaces. So with Arnold. His exalta- 
tion was too great for his physical endurance : his heart could 
not pump blood fast enough to keep pace with its rapid beat- 
ing, nor could such swift breathing furnish air sufiScient for 
his lungs. Had his exalted state endured too long, he mnst 
have died as he sat there, and, as many have died, from too 
great a gladness. For the body demands for each exaltation a 
corresponding depression; and luckily so^ since the couTerae 
is also true. 



The Hue and Cry 



467 



Hence Arnold's temporary loss of articulation, the thickness 
of his tongue, his leaden eyelids. Coming after a sleepless 
night, a night of weariness and stress, the great moment had 
sapped, not his remaining strength, for he had none, but 
strength as yet unborn. And so even as his thoughts struggled 
for expression he fell asleep with the warm bright sunlight in 
his eyes ; and the rise and fall of his breast was not the regular 
rise and fall of deep-chested breathing, but the shuddering in- 
tensity of scanty breath and the hammer of intermittent heart- 
throbs. But for all that, there was a smile on his lips : he was 
truly at rest — at last 1 



CHAPTER THREE 

WBECE ASHORE 

Abhold's Deoibiov Katitded 

HILE Arnold slept, one cartain 
of mist was drawn, then anotiiei 
and another. 

Suddenly one b&w the Connect- 
icut shore, hills and honses a Ber- 
ried line of blue, backgroond red 
and gold, Btm the color of a Jip- 
anese rose, aapphire Sonnd, sn 
enchanted lake of ruby wine, bsain 
bright blue crystal. 

Breath of the dawn? Sea- 
breeie ? Elixir of life, rather, if 
anything. 
Whatever it was it swept in once the curtains were dnm, 
and in the resulting trinity of sight, smell and sound, all 
things were bright and crystal clear. Not bright blue alone, 
but bright gold, bright white, and where the intennitteat ever- 
greens on the Green Sands Hills stood out, bright green, too. 
Crystal bright, of course. The end of the world was the 
sort of a place one wanted to go to this morning. The coati 
of the gulls were dazzling white, the pinions of tiie crows lus- 
trous black, purple black. 

When the peninsula philosopher opened hia door, the gnlli 
were circling so near the waves that the tips of their wings 
were rosy. A foolish young gull flaunted a very Ut fitL A 



Wreck Ashore 469 

flock of Hungry ctowb arrived. Followed a sndden flight, a 
noisy fluny, and out of a cloud of feathers, the fish flopped 
down, the gull flapped up, and squawking, circled seaward. 

During the battle, a bluejay seized upon the prize, scream- 
ing derision. 

"Poor Archie Hartogensis,'' said the man in the doorway, 
staring after the terror-stricken gull. 'TTou and your fat fish. 
Poor John Waldemar ! Poor Benjamin Hartogensis. While 
you were fighting for it, the bluejays got it, didn't they P' 

He had turned to watch the jay who, with his fat fish, had 
careened off to the farthest fastness of the peninsula; was 
BOW about to alight upon some long black object imbedded in 
the sand. As grace before meat, Master Blue-Coat again in- 
dulged his cynical sense of humor. His harsh and noisy mirth 
fieemed sufficiently expressive of a similar state of mind in his 
human prototype. 

"Ha I Ha 1 Gull, indeed 1 Well-named, well-named ! But 
how did Blackie Crow get a reputation for being wise? Hal 
Ha! Ha! Ha!'' 

So accustomed was the man to the ways of birds and smaller 
beasts, so often had he observed them, that, when the jay's 
note changed, and he further postponed his stolen break- 
fast to make an investigatory flight around that unusually 
long black object on which he had alighted, the man thought 
it worth while to reach within for his marine-glasses. 

The jay again stood guard over his fat fish, but stood it on 
one foot, the other scratching beneath his wing. "Oh, yes. A 
boat. Didn't recognize it at first upside down. Anyhow if s a 
wretched boat. Bespectable boats are made with some regard 
for the comfort of jays. And how can any jay be comfortable 
on a sharp slippery keel? Some crazy new fashion of those 
crazy humans, I suppose." Having settled the matter, he be- 
gan his belated breakfast. 

Not 80 the man. He had deciphered the letters on the long 
boaf s stem. Long-boat it was, and of the centuries-old sort 
used by sailing-ships. The man's hands dropped to his sides. 



470 God's Man 

Evidently he was oppressed by strong excitement. He turned 
toward his sleeping guest. One might have read in his side- 
long glance a debate as to the adyisability of Arnold's awak- 
ening. 

Deciding rather dubiously in the negative^ he stripped and 
went seaward for his accustomed morning-plunge. On his 
return, his unquietness continued and there were frequent 
repetitions of his oblique glance. He began to prepare bii 
morning meal, hoping its delectable odors might awaken the 
other. Not so. And the smoking-hot food untasted, the pity 
of a great heart and a great brain gave that glance such con- 
centration that it brought about the result desired. 

Arnold awoke. "Just in time for breakfast/* said his host, 
forcing a note of cheer. And, then, answering: "I'm glad 
you liked the cofifee. Here's a fresh brew." 

Both men were embarrassed. Products of Anglo-Saxon 
training, they had been taught to be ashamed of any display 
of emotion. Now that Arnold's exaltation had passed, he 
was afraid he had been theatric; and his host, knowing this, 
must yet recall the incident to his guesf s memory. Indeed, 
he could hardly wait to eat before he plunged. So awkward a 
silence must not be allowed to endure : it was destructiye. 

"You realize, of course, that you may stroll into town this 
morning and prove to people you have been here all night, and 
that no one will suspect you seriously of being connected with 
either the shooting or the smuggling? Your friend, young 
Waldemar, is very wealthy. He can use his money and his in- 
fluence to get Hartogensis off. And if he's that sort, 
— ^your friend, I mean, — ^big-hearted, loyal, — as you say,— he 
will. And there's the Squire to influence tiie 'respectable ele- 
ment.' They'll only hold the other boys as accessories. Keep 
them jailed until the trial. Witnesses really. . . . None 
of the three is likely to be malicious because his friends were 
lucky enough to escape. Neither you nor young Waldemar 
need to be implicated. You haven't committed any crime, 
anyhow. You haven't even witnessed any crime.' 



99 



Wreck Ashore 471 

'There's the Cormorant," said Arnold painfully. 'TTheyll 
be on the lookout for her, now. And — ^then, — donJt you see ? 
Ifs in my name and all — I explained that^ didn't I? When 
she arrives-*'' 

^?ou mean that as youll be arrested anyhow when the 
Cormorant comes, you might as well save your face by surren- 
dering now?" But he got no further. Arnold had dashed oflE 
the covers and now stood erect and angry. 

"Give me my clothes," he said. "You'll be sorry for that 
some day — ^" 

The other put a hand on his shoulder. ^'Sometimes people 
are carried away by their emotions. But you're quite normal 
now. And I wanted you to understand that you could go free 
if you wished to. I know you have your parents to consider, 
— and that they are very old. And then there's their pride in 
their unstained family-name. Centuries of imselfish service 
and good works. And — ^now — ^" 

Arnold was very pale ; his hands trembled ; he turned away. 
But when he faced his host again, his eyes were untroubled. 
*T believe they'll understand," he said quietly. "I've been 
such a sorrow to them already that, when my father realizes 
that all this that happened had to be, — that I had to go 
through all this for a purpose — ^why, I believe hell go down on 
his knees and thank God." 

"Wait," the other broke in, his strange eyes glowing. Ar- 
nold had a sensation of helplessness. "The Cormorant won't 
arrive. Now, or next week, or any other time. lyyou under- 
stand? Won't! Can't! She's done for !" 

He gave Arnold the glasses. ^That's a captain's boat. 
Do you think he'd lower it until he'd lost all hope of saving his 
ship ? And part owner of an uninsured cargo besides 1 But 
there she is, a hole in her bottom big enough for a door. Green 
Sands signs its name that way in a storm, my friend." 

The glasses he had thrust into Arnold's hands would have 
been shattered on the floor had. he not caught them. Arnold 
was again among the hills and valleys of hissing green. But 



472 .God's Man 

now Harvey Qniim was near by, straggling, too, Iiis &oe 
turned up to the gray awful sky. And Captain Danny's little 
turtle head was bobbing, his arms real flappers now, — and, as 
useless. . . . Atop the highest white-capped hill, a man's 
maimed hand was thrust, three fingers missing, holding aloft 
a money-bag. . . . 

Arnold, choking, threw himself face downward on the cot 
A clock marked off some silent moments. • . • Then he 
raised white set face, lax wet lips, hot dry eyes. 

'This God of ours is all they say He is,— cruel, cruel, cmd. 
The waste of it, the cruel waste. If there was any lesson, it 
was taught when Waldemar died. There waa no need for 
those others to die too — ^* 

"Taught, — to you! Yes ! But there must be a great trag- 
edy before those others will listen. Each one of those deaths 
you call needless will save a thousand lives, my friend. 

A shudder shook him. '^Exaggeration? I tell you that the 
so-called civilization that gives men like John Waldemar mil- 
lions, destroys a thousand others every day. Waste I Listen 
to me ! It took a million years, maybe, for that strange hybrid, 
— ^to perfect his body. Then it was the survival of the fittest, 
— ^that long terrible night when the only good was strength, 
the only evil, weakness. Another million, maybe, and man 
reached the perfection of the mind. . . . 

''After the night, the dawn. But first the false dawn, my 
friend. Then the sky seems clear, daylight on the wing. Bi^ 
only seems . . . 

"The perfection of the mind I That was three thousand 
years ago. Mere mentality can go no further than it did in 
the days of those old Greeks, — ^the Golden Age. . . . 
With the weapon they forged for man, he has freed himself of 
the fear of brute strength, of superstition, thrown down false 
priests and tyrant kings, conquered disease and pain. . . . 
He has even dared to fight Death and conquer, — sometimes. 
. . . He has made the earth his servant, the sea, the air. 
But for all his science and his machinery^ he la still a aUft. 



Wrecit Ashore 473 

With his hand on the door of freedom, greed and hate bar the 

W^flV. • • • 

"False dawnl Will the daylight never come? Will men 
never learn that perfection of the mind is not enough ? For it 
can not do away with greed and hate. The greed of the rich, 
— without rhyme or reason, — there is enough for all. The 
hate of the poor — how can poor men learn not to hate when 
the weak and the ignorant are murdered or brutalized by un- 
ceasing ugly toil? And for what? — ^to make vicious women 
and degenerate men. There is no need for the John Walde- 
mars to be cunning and ruthless, nor for the Benjamin Harto- 
gensises to be hypocritical and tricky; nor for the men of big- 
ger brains and greater hearts to be caught in this maelstrom 
of commerce and finance that takes all and gived nothing. It 
is whirling our civilization around and around until we are so 
dizzy and dazed that we can not see that it is also driving us 
upon the rocks as rapidly as last nighf s storm drove your 
Cormorant. 

"It was too late after she struck; it did not matter then 
whether her crew saw the reef or not. They could only look 
on helplessly while the great gale tore her apart.'* 

He bowed his head, and it seemed that he prayed silently. 
But he still continued to speak although so low that his lips 
seemed scarcely to move; and his eyes, still alight, seemed 
fixed upon something too far away for Arnold's to follow them. 

"Rocks, yes ! Greed and hate 1 And for what? John Wal- 
demar dead by his own hand as surely as if he had pulled the 
trigger. Benjamin Hartogensis crazy with grief for the dis- 
grace he made for himself. It is so plain, so plain. They 
must listen this time, they must. And they will, surely they 
will. The boy is right. It would be needlessly cruel for him 
to have suffered so much, otherwise. And all those others! 
But for him, especially, who had no desire to do evil; whose 
people have served so long, so unselfishly, and so well. And 
that was why. It needed some one such as he before they 
would believe. They can not in this case soothe their uneasjr 



474 God's Man 

Gonsciences with the apology of inherited vice. They must 
believe the real reason for once/* 

'^he real reason/' Arnold heard himself stammer. It was 
his own voice^ but it seemed the speaker was very far away. 

"The real reason is that our so-called 'civilization' is our 
Menace. And will be our Destroyer. Unless^ like Franken- 
stein^ man who created it^ destroys it. . . . This is only 
another of God's warnings. He is very tired of these hunum 
folk who will not be men. . . . And He is very tired of 
warning them^ too. IJnlesB they listen soon^ He will destroy. 

'That is why Tou had to be sacrificed. It was necessaiy 
that so-called Civilization should drag down a man meant to 
be good and force him to do evil. A man whose antecedents 
woidd defy all such petty Uttle excuses as heredity, environ- 
ment, original sin ... a man whose ancestry was stain- 
less and whose mind and body were clean and strong; a man 
who might have been a minister of the gospel; had he been 
let alone, — or a millionaire; had he desired to do things for 
himself and let the world go hang. 

''But too many of the weak and helpless and ignorant and 
hungry had been sacrificed in previous warnings, — and to 
what end? It was too easy for them to fall, too brutally easy 
for so-called Civilization to kick them while they were down. 
And to satisfy its virtuous Self it was doing the virtuoos 
thing. 

"So somebody had to be sacrificed who hadn't any of the 
mob's ugly little reasons for rebellion ? Who wasn't hungry or 
poor or envious, — ^who wasn't any of the ugly little things that 
make hate. 

"And it had to be a man who' didn't need money for him- 
self. Who didn't want money at all if he must get it in the 
ugly little 'honesf ways a virtuous civilization applauds. A 
man who believed that when he wasn't helping, he was hurt- 
ing. 

"And, above all, a man who would finally oome before th« 
Law, and stand his trial, and show that it was helping that 



Wreck Ashore '475 

brought him there, not hurting. Can't you see ? Prom the 
very first God meant it that way. That was why every time 
you helped another, you hurt yourself. That was the lesson 
that must be brought out when you were tried for offenses 
against Civilization. Instance after instance has been piled 
up to prove that the System was Guilty, not the Man. 

*^Tske each incident and see how true this is. You were 
forced out of college for helping. You were forced from your 
chosen work, — ^for helping. You were sent to jail, — ^for help- 
ing . . . and, now, you are going to jail of your own free 
will. And again, — ^for helping.** 

Arnold started. But the other's gaze was steady. 

'TTes," Arnold said slowly. *Tm going to jail of my own 
free will/' 

*To prove it was all for helping," the other resumed. 'Tor 
if you did not — if you shirked the last test — ^what good wotdd 
all the rest have been? You are going to surrender yourself, 
and you are going to make Waldemar's son surrender Atmself . 
And when you do, you are going to tell why. And, also, that 
you had only to comply with what 'Civilization' taught to win 
the world's respect and share its riches. 

'^Just as those other L'Hommedieus had only to comply, — > 
that Sir Lucas, that Chevalier Etienne, — ^to win high places. 
But, like you, both preferred to be rebels and exiles. Because 
they were God's Men. 

'That is why you need no longer be ashamed of anything 
you have done. You have neither disgraced your name, nor 
been unworthy of your ancestors. They served their fellow- 
men unselfishly, yes I But you will be remembered as one who 
suffered and sacrificed besides. And on the day when your 
foot touches the prisoner's dock, and you make answer to Civ- 
ilization's indictaent, I doubt if any one of your race will 
have had as good a right as you to be called 'God's ManV 



THB Bin>