Infomotions, Inc.The Lord of the Sea / Shiel, M. P. (Matthew Phipps), 1865-1947



Author: Shiel, M. P. (Matthew Phipps), 1865-1947
Title: The Lord of the Sea
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): hogarth; frankl; loveday; harris
Contributor(s): Hare, Augustus J. C., 1834-1903 [Editor]
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Identifier: etext6993
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Title: The Lord of the Sea

Author: M. P. Shiel

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, THE LORD OF THE SEA ***




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THE LORD OF THE SEA

By M. P. SHIEL





CONTENTS

      I. THE EXODUS

     II. THE FEZ

    III. THE HUNTING-CROP

     IV. THE SWOON

      V. REID'S

     VI. "PEARSON'S WEEKLY"

    VII. THE ELM

   VIII. THE METEOR

     IX. HOGARTH'S GUNS

      X. ISAAC

     XI. WROXHAM BROAD

    XII. THE ROSE

   XIII. OUT OF THE WORLD

    XIV. THE PRIEST

     XV. MONSIGNOR

    XVI. THE ROPE

   XVII. OLD TOM'S LETTER

  XVIII. CHLOROFORM

    XIX. THE GREAT BELL

     XX. THE INFIRMARY

    XXI. IN THE DEEP

   XXII. OLD TOM

  XXIII. UNDER THE ELM

   XXIV. FRANKL SEES THE METEORITE

    XXV. CHURCH ARCHITECTURE

   XXVI. FRANKL AND O'HARA

  XXVII. THE BAG OF LIGHT

 XXVIII. THE LETTER

   XXIX. PRIORITY OF CLAIM

    XXX. MR. BEECH

   XXXI. THE HAMMERS

  XXXII. WONDER

 XXXIII. REEFS OF STEEL

  XXXIV. THE "KAISER"

   XXXV. THE CUP OF TREMBLING

  XXXVI. THE "BOODAH" AND THE BATTLESHIPS

 XXXVII. THE STRAITS

XXXVIII. THE MANIFESTO

  XXXIX. THE "BOODAH'S" LOCK-UP

     XL. THE WEDDING

    XLI. THE VISIT

   XLII. REBEKAH TELLS

  XLIII. THE LAND BILL

   XLIV. THE REGENCY

    XLV. ESTRELLA, THE PROPHETESS

   XLVI. THE ORDER IN COUNCIL

  XLVII. THE EMIGRANTS

 XLVIII. THE SEA-FORTS

   XLIX. THE DEBACLE

      L. THE DECISION

     LI. THE MODEL




I

THE EXODUS


In the Calle Las Gabias--one of those by-streets of Lisbon below St.
Catherine--there occurred one New Year a little event in the
Synagogue there worth a mention in this history of Richard, Lord of
the Sea.

It was Kol Nidre, eve of the Day of Atonement, and the little Beth-
El, sweltering in a dingy air, was transacting the long-drawn
liturgy, when, behind the curtain where the women sat, an old dame
who had been gazing upward smote her palms together, and let slip a
little scream: "The Day is coming...!"

She then fainted, and till near ten lay on her bed, lit by the Yom
Kippur candle, with open eyes, but without speech, her sere face
still beautiful, on each temple a little pyramid of plaits, with
gold-and-coral ear-rings: a holy _belle._ About ten P.M. three women
watching heard her murmur: "My child, Rebekah...!"

She was childless, and whom she meant was not known. However, soon
afterwards there was a form at the amulet-guarded door, and Estrella
sat up, saying: "Rebekah, my child..."

A young lady of twenty-two ran in and embraced her, saying: "I have
been to Paris and Madrid with my father--just arrived, so flew to
see you. We leave for London to-night".

"No: I shall keep you seven days. Tell Frankl _I_ say so. What
jewels! You have grown into a rose of glory, the eyes are profounder
and blacker, and that brow was made for high purpose. Tell me--have
you a lover?"

"No, mamma Estrella".

"Then, why the blush?"

"It is nothing at all," Miss Frankl answered: "five years ago when
at school in Bristol I thrice saw through a grating a young man with
whom I was frivolous enough to speak. Happily, I do not know what
has become of him--a wild, divine kind of creature, of whom I am
well rid, and never likely to see again".

The old lady mused. "What was he?"

"A sailor".

"Not a common sailor?"

"I fancy so, mamma".

"What name?"

"Hogarth--Richard".

"A Jew?"

"An Englishman!"

She laughed, as the old lady's eyes opened in sacred horror, and as
she whispered: "Child!"

Within three months of that night, one midnight the people of Prague
rose and massacred most of the Jewish residents; the next day the
flame broke out in Buda-Pesth; and within a week had become a
revolution.

On the twelfth morning one of two men in a City bank said to the
other: "Come, Frankl, you cannot fail a man in this crisis--I only
want 80,000 on all Westring--"

"No good to me, my lord," answered Frankl, who, though a man of only
forty--short, with broad shoulders,--already had his skin divided up
like a dry leaf; in spite of which, he was handsome, with a nose
ruled straight and long, a black beard on his breast.

But the telephone rattled and Frankl heard these words at the
receiver: "Wire to hand from Wertheimer: Austrian Abgeordneten-haus
passed a Resolution at noon virtually expelling Jewish Race...."

When Frankl turned again he had already resolved to possess Westring
Vale, and was saying to himself: "Within six months the value of
English land should be--doubled".

The bargain was soon made now: and within one week the foresight of
Frankl began to be justified.

Austria, during those days, was a nation of vengeful hearts: for the
Jews had acquired half its land, and had mortgages on the other
half: peasant, therefore, and nobleman flamed alike. And this fury
was contagious: now Germany--now France had it--Anti-Semite laws--
like the old May-Laws--but harsher still; and streaming they came,
from the Leopoldstadt, from Bukowina, from the Sixteen Provinces,
from all Galicia, from the Nicolas Colonies, from Lisbon, with
wandering foot and weary breast--the Heines, Cohens, Oppenheimers--
Sephardim, Aschkenasim. And Dover was the new Elim.

With alarm Britain saw them come! but before she could do anything,
the wave had overflowed it; and by the time it was finished there
was no desire to do anything: for within eight months such a tide of
prosperity was floating England as has hardly been known in a
country.

The reason of this was the increased number of hands--each making
more things than its owner could consume himself, and so making
every other richer.

There came, however, a change--almost suddenly--due to the new
demand for land, the "owners" determining to await still further
rises, before letting. This checked industry: for now people,
debarred from the land, had only air.

In Westring Vale, as everywhere, times were hard. It was now the
property of Baruch Frankl: for at the first failure of Lord Westring
to meet terms, Frankl had struck.

Now, one of the yeomen of Westring was a certain Richard Hogarth.




II

THE FEZ


Frankl took up residence at Westring in September, and by November
every ale-house, market, and hiring in Westring had become a scene
of discussion.

The cause was this: Frankl had sent out to his tenants a Circular
containing the words:

"...tenants to use for wear in the Vale a _fez with tassel_ as the
Livery of the Manor...the will of the Lord of the Manor...no
exception..."

But though intense, the excitement was not loud: for want was in
many a home; though after three weeks there were still six farmers
who resisted.

And it happened one day that five of these at the Martinmas "Mop,"
or hiring, were discussing the matter, when they spied the sixth
boring his way, and one exclaimed: "Yonder goes Hogarth! Let's hear
what _he's_ got to say!" and set to calling.

Hogarth twisted, and came winning his way, taller than the crowd,
with "What's up? Hullo, Clinton--not a moment to spare to-day--"

"We were a-talking about that Circular--!" cried one.

At that moment two other men joined the group: one a dark-skinned
Jew of the Moghrabim; the other a young man--an English author--on
tour. And these two heard what passed.

Hogarth stood suspended, finding no words, till one cried: "Do you
mean to put the cap on?"

He laughed a little now. "_I!_ The whip! The whip!"--he showed his
hunting-crop, and was gone.

His manner of speech was rapid, and he had a hoarse sort of voice,
almost as of sore-throat.

Of the two not farmers, one--the author--enquired as to his name,
and farm; the other man--the Moghrabim Jew-that evening recounted to
Frankl the words which he had heard.

       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

One afternoon, two weeks later, Loveday, the author, was leaning
upon a stile, talking to Margaret Hogarth; and he said: "I love you!
If you could _deign_--"

"Truth is," she said, "you are in love with my brother, Dick, and
you think it is me!"

She was a woman of twenty-five, large and buxom, though neat-
waisted, her face beautifully fresh and wholesome, and he of middle-
size, with a lazy ease of carriage, small eyes set far apart, a
blue-velvet jacket, duck trousers very dirty, held up by a belt, a
red shirt, an old cloth hat, a careless carle, greatly famed.

"But it isn't of your brother, but of _you_, that I am wanting to
speak! Tell me--"

"No--I can't. I am a frivolous old woman to be talking to you about
such things at all! But, since it is as you say, wait, perhaps I may
be able--But I must be going now--"

There was embarrassment in her now: and suddenly she walked away,
going to meet--another man.

She passed through stubble-wheat, disappeared in a pine-wood, and
came out upon the Waveney towing-path. On the towing-path came
Frankl to meet her.

He took her hand, holding his head sideward with a cajoling
fondness, wearing the flowing caftan, and a velvet cap which widened
out a-top, with puckers.

"Well, sweetheart..." he said.

"But, you know, I begged you not to use such words to me!"--from
her.

"What, and I who am such a sweetheart of yours?"--his speech very
foreign, yet slangily correct, being, in fact, _all_ slang.

"No," she said, "you spoke different at first, and that is why--But
this must be the last, unless you say out clearly now what it is you
mean--"

"Now, you are too hard. You know I am wild in love with you. And so
are you with me--"

"_I_?"--with shrinking modesty in her under-looking eyes. "Oh, no--
don't have any delusions like that about me, please! You said that
you liked me: and as I am in the habit of speaking the truth myself,
I thought that--perhaps--But my meeting you, to be frank with you,
was for the sake of my brother".

"Well, you are as candid as they make them," he said, eyeing her
with his mild eye. "But what's the matter with your brother? Hard
up?"

"He's worried about something". "He must have some harvest-money put
away?"

"He has something in Reid's Bank at Yarmouth, I believe".

"Well, shall I tell you what's the matter with him? He's _afraid_,
your brother. He has refused to wear the cap, and he thinks that I
shall be down upon him like a thousand of bricks...But suppose I
exempt him, and you and I be friends? That's fair".

"What _do_ you mean?"

"Give us _one_--"

"Believe me, you talk--!"

"Don't let your angry passions rise. I am going to have a kiss off
those handsome lips--"

Before she could stir he was in the act of the embrace; but it was
never accomplished: for he saw her colour fade, heard crackling
twigs, a step! as someone emerged from the wood ten yards away--
Richard.

The thought in Margaret's mind was this: "Father in Heaven, whatever
will he think of me here with this Jew?"

Hogarth stopped, staring at this couple; did not understand:
Margaret should have been home from "class-meeting"...only, he
observed her heaving bosom; then twisted about and went, his walk
rapid, in his hand a hunting-crop, by which, with a very sure aim,
he batted away pebbles from his path, stooping each time.




III

THE HUNTING-CROP


Along the towing-path to the farmhouse. He did not look behind: was
like a man who has received a wound, and wonders whence.

A pallor lay under his brown skin, brown almost as an Oriental's,
and he was called "the Black Hogarth"--the Hogarths being Saxon, on
the mantel in the dining-room being a very simple coat--a Bull on
Gules. But Richard was a startling exception. His hair grew away
flat and sparse from his round brow; on his cheeks three moles, jet-
black in their centre. Handsome one called his hairless face: the
nose delicate, the lips negroid in their thick pout, the left eye
red, streaked with bloodshot, the eyes' brown brightness very
beautiful and strange, with a sideward stare wild as that sideward
stare of the race-horse; and the lids had a way of lifting largely
anon.

He passed through Lagden Dip orchard into the old homestead, into
the dining-room, where cowered the old Hogarth, smoking, his hair a
mist of wool-white.

He glanced up, but said nothing; and Richard said nothing, but
walked about, his arms folded, frowning turbulently, while the
twilight deepened, and Margaret did not come.

Now he planted a chair near the old man, sat, and shouted: "Listen,
sir!"

Up went the old Hogarth's hand to push forward the inquiring ear,
while Richard, who, till now, had guarded him from all knowledge of
the Circular, snatched it from his breast-pocket, and loudly read.

As the sense entered his head, up the old man shot his palms,
shaking from them astonishment and deprecation, with nods; then,
with opening arms, and an under-look at Richard: "Well, there is
nothing to be said: the land is his...."

Hogarth leapt up and walked out; he muttered: "The land is his, but
he is mine...."

The question at the bottom of his mind had been this: "Does
_Margaret_, too, go with the land?" But he did not utter it even to
himself: went out, fingering the crop, stalking toward the spot
where he had left the man and the woman. But Margaret was then
coming through the wood; Frankl had gone up to the Hall; and Hogarth
crossed the bridge and went climbing toward the mansion.

It was a Friday evening, and up at the Hall the Sabbath had
commenced, two Sabbath-tapers shining now upon the Mezuzzah at the
dining-room door, Frankl being of the Cohanim, the priestly class--a
Jew of Jews. As he had passed in, two Moghrabim Jews had saluted him
with: "Shabbath"; and mildly he had replied: "Shabbath".

But swift upon his steps strode Hogarth: Hogarth was at the lodge-
gates--was on the drive--was in the hall.

But, since Frankl was just preparing to celebrate the _kiddush_, "He
cannot be seen now", said a man in the hall.

"He must", said Hogarth.

As he brushed past, two men raised an outcry: but Hogarth continued
his swift way, and had half traversed a _salon_ hung with a chaos of
cut-glass when from a side-door appeared the inquiring face of
Frankl in pious skull-cap.

"What is it?" he cried--"I cannot be seen--"

He recognized the man of the towing-path, and on his face grew a
look of scare, as he backed toward a study: but before he could slam
the door, Hogarth, too, was within.

"Who are you? What is it?" whined Frankl, who was both hard master
and cringing slave.

Hogarth produced the Circular: but of Margaret not a word.

"Caps-and-tassels, you?"--flicking Frankl on the cheek with a fillip
of his middle finger.

"You dare assault me! Why, I swear, I meant no harm--"

Down came the whip upon the Jew's shoulders, Frankl, as the stings
penetrated his caftan, giving out one roar, and the next instant,
seeing the two Jews at the doorway, groaned the mean whisper: "Oh,
don't make a man look small before the servants", crying out
immediately: "Help!"

Soon five or six servants were at the door, and, of these, two Arab
Jews rushed forward, one a tall fellow, the other an obese bulk with
bright black eyes, the former holding a slender blade--the knife
with which "shechita", or slaughtering, was done: and while the
corpulent Jew threw himself upon Hogarth, the other drew this knife
through the flesh of Hogarth's shoulder, at the same time happening
to cut the heavy Arab across the wrist.

Now, there was some quarrel between the two Arabs, and the injured
Arab, forgetting Hogarth, turned fiercely upon his fellow.

Hogarth, meanwhile, had not let go Frankl, nor delivered the
intended number of cuts: so he was again standing with uplifted
whip, when his eye happened to fall upon the doorway.

He saw there a sight which struck his arm paralysed: Rebekah Frankl.

Two months had she been here at Westring--and he had not known it!

There she stood peering, of a divine beauty in his eyes, like half-
mythical queens of Egypt and Babylon, blinking in a rather barbarous
superfluity of jewels: and, blinded and headlong, he was in flight.

As for Frankl, he locked that door upon himself, and remained there,
forgetting the sanctification of the Sabbath.

The Hebrew's eyes blazed like a wild beast's. The words: "As the
Lord liveth..." hissed in whispers from his lips.

He took up a pinch of old ashes, and cast it into the air.

As Shimei, the son of Gera, cursed David, so he cursed Richard
Hogarth that night--again and again--with grave rites, with
cancerous rancour.

"I will blight him, as the Lord liveth; as the Lord liveth, I will
blight him..." he said repeatedly, his draperied arms spread in
pompous imprecation.

As a beginning, he sat and wrote to Reid's Bank, requesting the
payment in gold of L14,000--to produce a stoppage of payment at the
little Bank in which were Richard's savings.

Afterwards, with mild eyes he repaired to the dining-hall, and
sanctified the Sabbath, blessing a cup of wine, dividing up two
napkined loaves, and giving to Rebekah his benediction.




IV

THE SWOON


Hogarth went moodily down the hillside to the Waveney, across the
bridge, and home, his sleeve stained with blood.

In the dining-room, he threw himself into an easy-chair in a gloom
lit only by the fireglow, in the room above mourning a little
harmonium which Margaret was playing, mixed with the sound of
Loveday's voice.

The old man said: "Richard, my boy..."

Hogarth did not answer.

"Richard, I have somewhat to say to you--are ye hearkening?"

Richard, losing blood, moaned a drowsy "Yes".

And the old Hogarth, all deaf and bedimmed, said: "I had to say it
to you, and this night let it be: Richard, you are no son of mine".

At this point Hogarth's head dropped forward: but many a time,
during long years, he remembered a dream in which he had heard those
words: "Richard, you are no son of mine..."

The old Hogarth continued to ears that did not hear:

"I have kept it from you--for I'm under a bargain with a firm of
solicitors in London; but, Dick, it doesn't strike me as I am long
for this world: a queer feeling I've had in this left side the last
hour or two; and there's that Circular--I never heard of such a
thing in all my born days. But what can we do? You'll have to wear
the cap--or be turned out. Always I've said to myself, from a young
man: 'Get hold of a bit of land someways as your own God's own': but
I never did; the days went by and by, and it all seems no longer
than an after-dinner nap in a barn on a hot harvest-day. But a bit
of land--the man who has that can make all the rest work to keep
him. And if they turn me out, I couldn't live, lad: the old house
has got into my bones, somehow. Anyhow, I think the time is come to
tell you in my own way how the thing was. No son are you of mine,
Richard. Your mother, Rachel, who was a Londoner, served me an ill
turn while we were sweethearting, hankering after another man--a Jew
millionaire he was, she being a governess in his house; but,
Richard, I couldn't give her up: I married her three months before
you were born; and not a living creature knows, except, perhaps,
one--perhaps one: a priest he was, called O'Hara. But that's how it
was. Your father was a Jew, and your mother was a Jew, and you are a
Jew, and in the under-bottom of the old grey trunk you will find a
roll of papers. Are you hearkening? And don't you be ashamed of
being a Jew, boy--_they_ are the people who've got the money; and
money buys land, Richard. Nor your father did not do so badly by
you, either: his name was Spinoza--Sir Solomon Spinoza--"

At that point Margaret, bearing a lamp, entered, followed by
Loveday, and at the sight of Richard uttered a cry.




V

REID'S


By noon Hogarth knew the news: his hundred and fifty at Reid's were
gone; and he owed for the Michaelmas quarter--twenty-one pounds
five, his only chattels of value being the thresher, not yet paid
for, half a rick, seed, manure, and "the furniture". If he could
realize enough for rent, he would lack capital for wages and
cultivation, for Reid's had been his credit-bank.

After dinner he stood long at a window, then twisted away, and
walked to Thring, where he captained in a football match, Loveday
watching his rage, his twisting waist, and then accompanying him
home: but in the dining-room they found the lord-of-the-manor's
bailiff; and Loveday, divining something embarrassing, took himself
away.

The same evening there were two appraisers in the house, and the
bailiff, on their judgment, took possession of the chattels on the
holding except some furniture, and some agricultural "fixtures". The
sale was arranged for the sixth day.

From the old Hogarth the truth could no longer be hidden...

Two days he continued quiet in the old nook by the hearth,
apparently in a kind of dotage doze; but on the third, he began to
poke about, hobbled into the dairy, peered into the churn, touched
the skimmer.

"You'll have to wear the cap", Margaret heard him mutter--"or be
turned out".

As if taking farewell, he would get up, as at a sudden thought, to
go to visit something. He kept murmuring: "I always said, Get a bit
of land as your own, but I never did; the days went by and by...."

Margaret, meantime, was busy, binding beds with sheets, making
bundles, preparing for the flitting, with a heaving breast; till, on
the fifth day, a van stood loaded with their things at the hall-
door, and she, with untidy hair, was helping heave the last trunk
upon the backboard, when the carman said: "Mrs. Mackenzie says, mum,
the things mustn't be took to the cottage, except you pay in
advance".

Now Margaret stood at a loss; but in a minute went bustling,
deciding to go to Loveday, not without twinges of reluctance: for
Loveday, with instinctive delicacy, had lately kept from the farm;
and to Margaret, whose point of view was different, the words "false
friends" had occurred.

Passing through an alley of the forest, she was met by a man--a
park-keeper of Frankl's--a German Jew, who had once handed her a
note from Frankl. And he, on seeing her, said: "Here have I a letter
for your brother".

"Who from?" she asked.

"That may I not say".

When he handed her an envelope rather stuffed with papers, she went
on her flurried way; and soon Loveday was bowing before her in his
sitting-room at Priddlestone.

"You will be surprised to see me, Mr. Loveday," said she, panting.

"A little surprised, but most awfully glad, too. Is all well?"

"Oh, far from that, I'm afraid. But I haven't got any time--and, oh
my, I don't know how to say it,--but to be frank with you--could you
lend Richard two pounds--?"

Loveday coloured to the roots of his hair.

He could not tell her: "Open that envelope in your hand", for that
would have meant that it was he who had sent the L50 it contained;
and he had now only one sixpence in Priddlestone.

"That is", she said--"if it is not an inconvenience to you--"

He could find no words. Some fifteen minutes before, having enclosed
the notes, he had descended to the bar to get mine host to find him
a messenger, and direct the envelope--for Hogarth knew his
handwriting. Mine host was not there--his wife could not write: but
she had pointed out the Jewish park-keeper sipping beer; so Loveday
had had the man upstairs, had made him write the address, and had
bribed him to deliver the envelope with a mum tongue.

"I'm afraid I've taken a great liberty--" she said, shrinking at his
silence.

Then he spoke: "Oh, liberty!--but--really--I'm quite broke myself--!"

"Then, good-afternoon to you", said she: "I am very sorry--but you
will excuse the liberty, won't you--?"

In the forest she began to cry, covering her eyes, moaning: "Why,
how could he be so _mean_? And I who loved that young man with all
my heart, God knows--!"

Her eyes searched the ground for two sovereigns. Then she happened
to look at the envelope: and instantly was interested. "Why, it is
the Jew's hand!" she thought, for the letters were angular in the
German manner, making a general similarity with Frankl's writing.

Curiosity overcame her: she opened, and saw...

"Oh, well, this is _generous_ though, after all!" she exclaimed.

And now she ran, coming out from mossy path upon wide forest-road:
and there, taking promenade, was Frankl, quite near, with
phylacteried left arm.

"Why, sweetheart..." said he.

She stopped before him. "Well, you can call me what you like for the
time being", said she, laughing rather hysterically; "for I am most
grateful to you for your generous present to my brother, Mr.
Frankl!"

She had still no suspicion of Richard's visit of chastisement to the
Hall!

"Now, what do you mean?" said Frankl.

"Why, you might guess that I know your handwriting by this time!"
she said coquettishly, and held out the notes and the envelope.

His eyes twinkled; he meditated; he had, more than ever, need of
her; and he said: "Well, you are as 'cute as they make them!"

"But instead of sending us this, which I am not at all sure that
Richard will touch, why couldn't you pay it to yourself, and not
turn us out--"

"I let business take its course: and afterwards I do my charity. But
it wasn't for your brother, you know, that I sent it--but for
_you_".

"I must be running--"

When she reached the farm, she gave the carman a secret glimpse of
the notes, while Hogarth, who was now there, went to seek the old
Hogarth, for whom a nest had been made among the furniture in the
cart.

He was found above-stairs in an empty room, searching the floor for
something.

"Come, sir", said Hogarth, and led him step by step.

But as the old man passed the threshold, he fell flat on the slabs
of the porch, striking his forehead, printing a stain there.

And the next day, the day of the sale, he still lay in the old
chamber, on the ancient bed, dead.




VI

"PEARSON'S WEEKLY"


"Rose Cottage" was without roses: but had a good-sized "garden" at
the back; and here Hogarth soon had a shed nailed together, with
bellows, anvil, sledges, rasps, setts, drifts, and so on, making a
little smithy.

He engaged a boy; and soon John Loveday would be leaning all a
forenoon at the shed door, watching the lithe ply of Hogarth's hips,
and the white-hot iron gushing flushes; while Margaret, peeping,
could see Loveday's slovenly ease of pose, his numberless
cigarettes, and hear the rhymes of the sledges chiming.

As to Loveday's L50, she had dared to say nothing to Richard, but
kept them, intending to make up the amount already spent, and give
them to Frankl. Loveday, meantime, she avoided with constant care.

So two weeks passed, till, one day, Loveday, leaning at the forge-
door, happened to say: "Are you interested in current politics? The
East Norfolk division is being contested, one of the candidates, Sir
Bennett Beaumont, is a friend of mine, and I was thinking that I
might go to the meeting to-night, if you could come--"

"I invite you to supper here instead".

"Not interested?" queried Loveday.

"Not at all. Stop--I'll show you something in which I _am_
interested".

He ran to a corner, picked up a _Pearson's Weekly_, and pointed to a
paragraph headed:

"FIVE HUNDRED-POUND NOTES!

"FIFTY TEN-POUND NOTES!!

"ONE HUNDRED FIVE-POUND NOTES!!!"

--a prize for "the most intelligent" article, explaining the cause,
or causes, of "the present distress and commercial crisis".

Loveday read it smiling.

"Ah", said he, "but who is to be the judge of 'the most intelligent'
article? Pearson must himself be of the highest intelligence to
decide".

"True", said Hogarth. "But the man who offered that prize has
indicated to the nation the thing which it should be doing. If I was
able to form an Association to enter this competition--and why not?
Stop--I will go with you--"

So that evening they walked to Beccles, and took train for Yarmouth.

The candidate to speak was a Mr. Moses Max, a Liberal Jew; the chair
to be taken by Baruch Frankl; and in the midst of a row, the stately
great men entered upon the platform and occupied it, hisses like the
escape of steam mixing with "He's a jolly good fellow". Midway down
the pit sat Loveday, and with him Hogarth, whose large stare ranged
solemnly round and down from galleries to floor.

Frankl sipped water, and rose, amid shouts of: "Circular!" "Caps-
and-tassels!"

He made a speech of which nothing was known, except the amiable
bows, for a continual noising filled the hall; and up rose Mr. Moses
Max, a stout fair Jew, whose fist struck with a regular, heavy
emphasis. After ten minutes, when he began to be heard, he was
saying:

"...Sir Bennett Beaumont! Is _he_ the sort of man you'd send to
represent you? (Cries of: "Yes!") What is he?--ask yourselves the
question: a fossilized Tory, a man who's about as much idea of
progress as a mummy--people actually say he's _got_ a collection of
mummies in his grand fashionable mansion at Aylesham, and it's only
what we should expect of him. (Cheers, and cries of: "Oh, oh!") And
what has he ever done for East Norfolk? Gentlemen, you may say as
you like about Jews--Jews this, and Jews that--and every man has a
right to his opinion in this land of glorious Saxon liberty--but no
one can deny that it's Jews who know how to make the money. (Cheers
and hisses.) They know how to make it for themselves (hisses)--and,
yes, they know how to make it for the nation! (Loud triumph of
cheers.) _That's_ the point--_that_ touches the spot! (Cries of:
"Oh, oh!") Righteousness, it is said, exalteth a nation: well, so do
Jews--"

"That is false", said a voice--Hogarth, who had stood up.

The words were the signal for a shower of cheers swept by gusts of
hisses; and immediately one region of the pit was seen to be a
scrimmage of fisticuffs, mixed with policemen, sticks, savage faces,
and bent backs; while the two galleries, craning to see, bellowed
like Bashan.

Moses Max was leaning wildly, gesticulating, with shouts; while
Loveday, who had turned pale on Hogarth's rising, touched Hogarth's
coat-tail, whereupon Hogarth, stooping to his ear, shouted: "We will
have some fun..."

"The paid agents of Beaumont!" now shouted Moses Max; "sent to
disturb our meeting! Englishmen! will you submit to this? The nation
shall hear--"

At that point Moses Max, in his gesticulation, happening to touch a
switch in the platform-rail, out glowered into darkness every light
at that end of the hall: at which thing the audience was thrown into
a state of boisterous lawlessness, a tumult reigning in the gloom
like the constant voice of Niagara, until suddenly the platform was
again lit up, and the uproar lulled.

And now again Moses Max was prone to speak, with lifted fist; but
before ever he could utter one single word, a voice was ringing
through the Assembly Rooms:

"_Where_ was Moses when the light went out?"

This again was Hogarth; and it ended Moses Max for that night.

Hogarth had not sat since he had called out "That is false": his
tall figure was recognized; and, with that electric spontaneity of
crowds, he was straightway the leader of the meeting, men darting
from their seats with waving hats, sticks, arms, and vociferous
mouth, the chairman half standing, with a shivering finger directed
upon Hogarth, shrieking to the police: but too late--Hogarth had
brushed past Loveday's knees--was dashing for the crowded platform-
steps--was picking his way, stumbling, darting up them.

Crumpled in his hand was a _Pearson's Weekly_.

Now he is to the front--near Frankl.

"Friends! I have ventured to take the place of our friend, Moses,
here--no ill-will to him--for with respect to the question before
us, whether we elect Beaumont or Max, I care, I confess, little. I'm
rather an Anti-Jew myself (hissing and cheers), but it strikes me
that the Jews are the least of our trouble. To a man who said to me
that the cause of all our evil days is the inability of England to
feed these few million Jews I'd answer: "I don't know how you can be
so silly!" Why, the whole human race, friends, can find room on the
Isle of Wight--the earth laughs at the insignificant drawings upon
her made by the small infantry called Man. Then, why do we suffer,
friends? We _do_ suffer, I suppose? I was once at Paris, and at a
place called 'the Morgue' I saw exposed young men with wounded
temples, and girls with dead mouths twisted, and innocent old women
drowned; and there must be a biggish cry, you know, rising each
night from the universal earth, accusing some hoary fault in the way
men live together! What is the fault? If you ask _me_, I answer that
I am only a common smith: _I_ don't know: but I know this about the
fault, that it is something simple, commonplace, yet deep-seated, or
we should all see it; but it is hidden from us by its very
ordinariness, like the sun which men seldom look at. It _must_ be
so. And shall we never find the time to think of it? Or will never
some grand man, mighty as a garrison, owning eyes that know the
glances of Truth, arise to see for us? Friends! but, lacking him,
what shall we do to be saved?--for truly this 'civilization' of ours
is a blood-washed civilization, friends, a reddish Juggernaut, you
know, whose wheels cease not: so we should be prying into it,
provided we be not now too hide-bound: for that's the trouble--that
our thoughts grow to revolve in stodgy grooves of use-and-wont, and
shun to soar beyond. Look at our Parliament--a hurdy-gurdy turning
out, age after age, a sing-song of pigmy regulations, accompanied
for grum kettledrum by a musketry of suicides, and for pibroch by a
European bleating of little children. We are still a million miles
from civilization! For what is a civilized society? It can only be
one in which the people are proud and happy! The people of Africa
are happy, not proud; not civilized; the people of England have a
certain pride, not a millionth part as superb as it might be, but
are far from happy: far from civilized. The fact is, Man has never
begun to live, but still sleeps a deep sleep. Well! let us do our
best, we here! I have here a paper offering a prize to the man of us
who will go to the root of our troubles, and my idea in usurping the
place of our friend, Mr. Max, was to ask you to form an association
with me to enter that competition. There is no reason why our
association should not be large as the nation, nor why it should not
spread to France and Turkey. For the thing presses, and to-morrow
more of the slaughtered dead will be swarming in the mortuaries of
London. Will you, then? The understanding will be this: that each
man who writes his name in a note-book which will lie at Rose
Cottage, Thring, or who sends his name, will devote sixty minutes
each day to the problem. I happen to be in a position to use a
chapel at Thring, and there I will hold a meeting--"

At this point Frankl rose: Thring was _his_, his own, own, own; and
now his eyes had in them that catlike blaze which characterized his
rages.

"Here, police! police!" he hissed low, "what's the use of police
that don't act!" And now he raised his voice to a scream: "Jews!
Shew yourselves! Don't let this man stay here...!"

About twenty Jews leapt at the challenge; at the same time Hogarth,
seeing two policemen running forward from the back, folded his arms,
and cried out: "Friends! I have not finished! Don't let me be
removed..."

Whereupon practically every man in the pit was in motion, for or
against him, the galleries two oblongs of battle.

As up the two curving stairs stormed the mob, by a sudden rush like
an ocean-current he was borne off his feet toward the side, and was
about to bring down his sharp-pointed little knuckles, when his eye
fell upon the face of a lady who had fainted.

He had had no idea that she was there!--Rebekah Frankl.

She had quietly fainted, not at the rush--but before--during
Hogarth's speech.

Hogarth managed to fight his way to a door at the platform back with
her, entered a room where some chairs were, but, seeing a stair,
could not let her go from his embrace, but descended, passed along a
passage and out into a patch of green.

She, under the dark sky, whispered: "It is you", her forehead on his
shoulder; and added: "My carriage, I think, is yonder".

Hogarth saw the carriage-lights at the field's edge, bore her
thither, laid her with care on the cushions, kissed her hand: and
this act Frankl saw--with incredulity of his own eyes. As he
approached, Hogarth walked away.

Frankl mastered his voice to say blandly in Spanish: "Well, how did
you get through, sweet child? Who was that man--? But stay: where
are those two fools?"

This meant the two familiars--the Arabs, Isaac and Mephibosheth, one
of whom had come as footman, the other as coachman--and, as he went
raging about the carriage, with stamps, his boot struck against a
body. There was enough light to reveal to his peering that it was
Mephibosheth, whom Isaac had stabbed, and fled...

Frankl lowered his ear--doubted whether he could detect a breathing;
and though scared, he being a Cohen, and the presence of death
defilement, yet he stayed, bending over Mephi several minutes,
thinking, not of him, but of Hogarth.

"It is that fool, Isaac, has done it", he thought; "and if the man
be dead--" What then? "_If_ he be dead, I've got you, Mr. Hogarth,
in the hollow of this hand...."

His fingers passed over the body: there, sticking in the breast, was
a cangiar which Isaac, in his panic, had left, and Frankl's hand
rested on the handle; if he did not consciously press the knife
home, very heavily his hand rested on it, eyes blazing, beard
shaking....

Then he drew out the knife carefully, to hide it in the carriage,
listened again close, felt sure now that death was there, and now
scuttled, as if from plague, guiltily hissing: "Putrid dog...!"

Presently he led his carriage to the station, and made a deposition
of the murder.

Asked if he had any suspicion as to the culprit, he said: "Not the
least: I left the man alone with the carriage, and who could have
had any motive for killing him beats me."




VII

THE ELM


Hogarth, meantime, had made his way to the front of the room, then
vomiting its throng, discovered Loveday, and, deciding to walk home,
they were soon on the cliffs.

And suddenly Loveday: "To-morrow will conclude my fifth week in
Westring. What, do you suppose, has made me stay?"

"I have wondered".

"I work better here...Hogarth, you inspirit me".

"Is that so?"

"It is, yes. Merely your presence is for me a freshness and an
enthusiasm: I catch in the turn of your body hints of adventurous
Columbuses, Drakes, nimble Achilles; and sibylline meanings in some
glance of yours infect my fancy with images of Moses, blind old
Homers--prophet, lawgiver, poet--"

They were passing along a stretch of sand, with some lights of
Lowestoft in sight, arm in arm; and Hogarth said: "Well, you speak
some big words. But my life, you understand, has been as simple and
small as possible. I will tell you: my father sent me to an
extraordinary school--where he got the coin I could never find out--
Lancing College at Shoreham. There I did very well--only that I was
continually _getting_ it! What was the matter with me when a boy I
can't understand: I was the devil. One summer vacation (I was
fourteen) I stole three pounds from the old man, and ran away one
Sunday night. Passed through London and soon was apprentice in a
blacksmith's shop in a Kent village called Bigham. But in six months
I had the forge at my fingers' ends, and was off: nothing could hold
me long. One day I turned up before the Recruiting Office of Marines
in Bristol--just of the right age for what they call 'second-class
boys'--and decided upon the sea--that sea there--which, from the
moment I saw it at the age of four, caused me a swelling of the
breast with which, to this day, it afflicts me. Well, I got the
birth-certificate of another boy, scraped through, was entered into
a District Ship, and finally sailed in the _St. Vincent_ to the
Pacific Station.

"However, my trial of His Majesty's ships was not a success: twice I
was in irons, once leapt into mid-ocean; nor could the battleship
hold me when she had nothing to teach me; so I did to the King what
I had done to the old man--cut and ran.

"It was at Valparaiso, and I made my way across the continent to
Buenos Ayres.

"I forget now what took me to Bristol: but there I was one day when
I happened to see--what do you think?--a girl--sixteen--I a
stripling of nineteen, or so--but she most precocious, spoke like a
woman--a grating in a wall between us. Ah, well, God is good, and
His Mercy endureth for ever. But she said it could never be--she a
Jewess: though that, by the way, is nonsense, for she is a Jewess,
and a Parisienne, and a Hindoo, and a Negress, and a Japanese, and
the man who marries her will have a harem. My friend, I have seen
her this very night!"

He was silent. Suddenly he broke out: "I came home raving! The old
man was scared out of his wits by my frenzy--I drank like ten men--
in a month was the terror of Westring. One midnight, going home
through the beech-wood--I don't know if you have noticed a hollow
elm-tree which stands to the right of the path?"

"I think I have", said Loveday.

"We shall pass near it presently; and at the moment when we approach
it, I shall feel a little thrill in my back: always it is so with
me. But I was saying: that midnight, as I passed the tree, drunk as
I was, I saw a naked black man with a long beard run out; I took to
my heels; he was after me; till I reached the bridge, when I
stopped, faced him, fired a blow into his eyes, and he vanished.

"During the week I continued to see apparitions. My groans were
heard in the farm-yard: Lord have mercy upon me! Christ have mercy
upon me! I was visited by the Methodist preacher at Thring; and
finally I found solace: I became a class-member, a leader, a local
preacher.

"For some time I have been conscious of dissatisfaction among the
people with my preaching, who say that my God 'is not a personal
God', and that my Christianity is 'rum stuff': I am therefore
meaning to give it up. But I still preach every second Thursday
night.

"It was about that time that, by accident, I found out the power of
my hand to cure headache, and things like that, and the sensation
among these villagers was enormous, I can tell you, six years ago;
now they come to be touched without the slighest sense of the
unusual. But what I have done well in was--the farming. I knew
little of agriculture--"

At this point they turned into the lane to Westring: and Loveday
went with him a little beyond Priddlestone to see the fatal elm.




VIII

THE METEOR


The next morning, after breakfast, Hogarth went down old Thring
Street, and spent a penny for a note-book to contain the signatures
of his association.

But this was no day for interest in that scheme: for under the
projecting first-floor of the paper-shop were newspaper placards
bearing such words as:

THE EARTH IN DANGER

SHALL WE PERISH TO-NIGHT?

and Hogarth was soon bending in the street over a paragraph, short--
but in _pica_.

M. Tissot, the astronomer, had, at half-past ten the previous night,
observed through the 40-inch telescope of the Nice observatory a
body which seemed a tiny planet or aerolite of abnormal size. It was
sighted at a point two degrees W. of _a_ Librae at an angle of
431/2 deg. with the horizon, and had been photographed, its elements
calculated, its spectrum taken. The ascertained diameter was 3 deg. 17",
or about 73 miles, and its substance seemed to consist of ironstone
mixed with diamond.

By noon a fresh light was thrown upon the little world, the Yerkes
observatory and Greenwich both uttering their voice, the Astronomer
Royal announcing that the so-called planet was merely a meteor--not
more than 400 yards in diameter, with a low velocity of two miles a
second; and its distance was less than a tenth of that estimated by
Tissot. The Yerkes observatory fixed the diameter at 230 yards. All,
however, agreed in the opinion that it must strike the earth between
ten and twelve that night.

These later announcements so much allayed the panic, that by one
o'clock Hogarth, on peeping into the note-book on the box before the
smithy, saw six signatures; and a young man who came about six P.M.
to sign, cried out: "Hullo! the book is filled up!" on which Hogarth
ran out, saying: "Don't run away on that account, I'll run and get--
" darting into the house to ask Margaret where a certain account-
book was.

"Didn't I throw it into the box of rubbish in the cellar at Lagden,
when we were leaving?" she asked; on which he threw off his apron,
and was off toward Lagden Dip to get it.

He had almost cleared the village when he was blocked by a crowd
before a cottage, from out of which were coming screams--a woman's;
and he ran in, found a man named Fred Bates beating his wife,
planted a blow on his chest.

The next morning the wife of Bates was found dead, greatly
disfigured about the face, whereupon Bates was arrested, and
Hogarth, as we shall see, was subpoenaed to give evidence of the
beating.

In ten minutes he was at the old farm-house of the Hogarths.

The new tenant was a Mr. Bond, a bankrupt metal-broker, who had two
hobbies--farming and astronomy; and, as Hogarth approached the yard-
gate, he saw Mr. Bond, his two daughters, his servants, grouped
round an optic tube mounted on a tripod. He asked permission to get
the account-book, got it, in a few minutes was again passing
through, and, as he went by, bowing his thanks, Mr. Bond said:
"But--have you seen the asteroid?"

"No--whereabouts?"

"Not quite visible to the naked eye yet: but come--you shall see".

He himself looked through, fixing the sight, turning the adjuster;
then with fussy suddenness: "Now, sir--"

Hogarth put an eager eye to the glass.

"You see her?" said Mr. Bond, rubbing his soft old palms; "straight
for us she comes--in a considerable hurry by this time, I can tell
you! and if she happens to break up in the air, then, pray, sir,
that a splinter of her may fall into your back yard--not too big a
one! but a nice little comfortable _piece_"--he rubbed his palms--
"for you know, no doubt, of what her substance is composed? Diamond,
sir, in extraordinary evidence! in conjunction with specular iron
ore, commonly called the red haematite, and the ferrous carbonate,
or spathic iron. You see her, sir? you see her?"

Hogarth whispered: "Yes".

There, fairest among ten thousand, sailing the high seas she came;
and longer than was modest he stopped there, gazing, then ran,
wondering at her daisy loveliness, not dreaming that between himself
and her was--a relation.

She broke up with a European display soon after eleven that night
over the North Sea.




IX

HOGARTH'S GUNS


At the moment when Hogarth was peering through the telescope, a man
was loitering before his cottage--one of the Hall's park-keepers;
and when Margaret put out her head to look for Richard's coming, the
man whistled.

In a moment a note was in her hand.

"DEAR MISS HOGARTH,

"This is to ask you to be certain sure to meet me this evening at 9
P.M. on the towpath. It isn't to-day that you are well aware of the
state of my feelings toward you: but it is not to talk sweethearting
that I wish to see you now, but about your brother, and the matter
is about as important as can be. If I were in your place, I should
destroy this letter.

"Yours, with my respects,

"BARUCH FRANKL".

Margaret tore it up, and "My goodness!" she thought, "what is anyone
to do? If I only had the money to make up those fifty pounds! May
the Holy Spirit guide me now...!"

Later in the evening she stole out, and met Frankl.

He assumed a very respectful tone.

"Miss Hogarth", said he at once, "have you heard?"

"No, sir".

"You have not been told that your brother has been to the Hall?"

"What in patience for?"

"He came--you couldn't believe--to beat me!"

"Richard! I don't understand. When?"

"Yesterday". (In reality it was four weeks before.)

"But what about?"

"Revenge! Blind, murderous revenge for turning him neck and crop out
of Lagden!"

"You _are_ in a temper! But I can't understand a word of it!"

"Well, that is what I had to tell you. He came to my house--And how
good have I been to this man! Didn't I send him the fifty pounds--?"

"Well, that _was_ kind. But I must tell you, Mr. Frankl, that
Richard knows nothing of the fifty pounds--"

"Well, then it is _your_ fault! Oh, he did not know of the fifty
pounds? Then it is your fault entirely, this rage of his against me--He
threatened to shoot me dead--thrice he threatened--soon, he
said--"

"Not Richard?"

"Yes, Richard!--your nice Richard! But what did I want you for to-
night? It was to let you see that I have it in my power to let your
brother in for three months hard--not less. But you know, my dear,
don't you, that I wouldn't do anything to give you pain? That is
why, so far, I've taken no steps. But your brother must be unarmed.
I can't have my life exposed, after his threats, and all".

"Unarmed...."

"Yes. I have it on good authority that your brother has guns. I must
have those guns put into my own hands by you..."

"But I couldn't! He would find out..."

"Then I must act, that's all. Or no--I give you another chance--tell
him of the fifty pounds I sent--that may disarm him in another way--"

He was sure that this she would not now do, yet felt relieved when
she cried out: "I couldn't! Not now! Can't you see?"

"Well, there is nothing to be done, then. I must act, that's all".

"But don't be _hard_! What can I do? Sooner or later he'd be sure to
miss them!"

"Poh! he is not always shooting, I suppose? And after a few weeks
I'd give them back. Anyway, think it over: and I'll be here on
Tuesday night next at nine to receive them. Good night--"

She looked palely after him, her feet in a net, new to her, woven of
concealments and deceit.

At eleven that night she was sitting in their diminutive parlour,--
Hogarth at a table inscribing the association's names received by
post that evening; and at last, bending low over her sewing, she
said: "Richard, is it true you have been to the Hall?"

He started! "Yes. Who told you?"

"I heard it".

He looked at her piercingly. "_Answer!_"

"I heard it", she said with a stubborn nod, quite pallid.

He turned upon her a stare of displeasure; but in that second they
heard a shouting down the village, ran to the front, and saw heaven
all like cancer and cracked window-panes, for from a central plash
of passion the shattered asteroid had shot long-lingering ribbons of
lilac light over the bowl of the sky.




X

ISAAC


On the Tuesday was the inquest on the murdered Mephibosheth; ending
in a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown.

The same night at nine Frankl had Hogarth's two guns from Margaret
on the towing-path, she now well inveigled into his net, and under
his commands.

"I want you", he said, "to meet me-here again on Thursday night, at
7.30".

"But you will tell one why, I suppose!"

"When you come you will hear. And don't let anything keep you away--
not _anything_, mind--if you take my hint".

She left him with her head hung, praying for deliverance, but
consenting.

The next (Wednesday) morning Frankl was in a high room of the Hall,
in a corner of which cowered the Arab, Isaac, and he said in his
strong bass in Arabic: "Well, Isaac, well".

A groan broke from the obese heap of grief; down each side of his
kefie streamed waves of trembling; on his square-cut beard of ritual
flecks of foam.

"Isaac, why did you kill Mephibosheth?"

Vigorously sputtered Isaac, spitting out the ill-omened words. He
said: "Your servant did not kill Mephibosheth".

"Well, there was an inquest to-day, the Court decided that you did,
and has sentenced you to be hanged by the neck like a dog".

The Arab sprang up, his thick bluish under-lip shivering.

"An eye for an eye", said Frankl solemnly: "it is written in the
Torah".

"_Mercy_ My father served your father--"

"I have remembered that: that is why I have saved you from hanging
like a dog at the hands of these _Goyim_ vermin: but, Isaac, you
must die--"

"God of--!"

"You dare raise your voice! Blood for blood--"

"_Mercy_!--I did not mean to kill--!"

"Blood for blood, you dog! Raise it, and I fell you! Raise it, and
the noose sinks into your fat swine's-throat! Can't you understand?--you
have been tracked by the avengers of blood! and you may swing lingeringly,
with a crowd of Christian boys and girls mocking round you, or you may
shoot yourself in one painless flash. Which shall it be?"

Isaac, again dropping a-heap, covered his face, without answer.

"Well", said Frankl, walking away, "I can't wait all day. The
detectives are at this moment downstairs--"

Now the Arab leapt up, and, in a movement of great dignity, with an
out-rush of both arms, rent his caftan from the top to its muslin
girdle.

"I will shoot myself", he said quietly.

Frankl took snuff.

The same night he took his secretary's typewriter, and spelled out
the following note:

"SIR,

"Permit me to ask you as an old friend of your father's if you are
aware that your sister Margaret is the lover of the lord of the
manor? Everybody seems to see it, but yourself. I have reason to
know that the very day you receive this she will be meeting him at
about 7.30 P.M. under the old elm in the beech-wood near the Hall-
park.

"ONE WHO SHALL BE NAMELESS".

Hogarth received it by post the next morning.

He had to think, as he worked, of something to say at the service
that night on the text: "God's way is in the Sea", but the glare of
forge and heated metal swam vaguely, a fog of red, about his
consciousness. And mixed with those recurring words: "the old elm",
"God's way", something with a voice shouted inside him--a name--
_Margaret!_ Anon his face flushed to a dusky turbulence, and he
hurled the sledge high to shatter the earth, like Thor.

Suddenly he had the thought that he would clean his rifle, and,
dropping a hot iron which vanished with a stifled cry into black
water, he tossed his tongs clattering, and almost ran toward the
cottage.

He had not, however, reached the back door when he heard his name
called from behind.

And now happened to him the most momentous event of his life--though
nothing could have seemed more commonplace.

It was an old fellow named Tom Bates who had called him--father to
that Fred arrested for the murder of his wife--a Yarmouth fisher and
herring-curer.

And when Hogarth twisted round, with that stare of his large and
bloodshot eye, "Here", said the old man, "take them"--holding out a
basket of herrings.

Hogarth seemed not to understand, but then said: "All those for me?"

"Every bloomin' one!" answered Bates, with the dropped jaw of
pantomime, and a far-away look of blue astonishment which he had.

"It is extremely handsome of you. Can you spare all that--?"

"Spare, _ya'as!_ They're easy enough come by, for that matter. Why,
the day's work of a fisherman gives him enough fish to live on all
the week, and he could lie around idling the other six days, if he
chose, only anybody can't live on nothing but fish ".

These words, destined to produce a horror of great darkness, and a
cup of trembling of which all the nations should drink, hardly
affected Hogarth at the time. He _did_, indeed, shoot an interested
glance at the old man, but the next moment his mind, numb that
morning, was left dark.

"Here--take them--they are yours", said Bates. "But with regard to
that God-forsaken son of mine: you'll be givin' evidence agen him,
I'm told--"

When his sleeve wiped a tear, Hogarth promised to make his evidence
mild, and was left alone.

Now his purpose of cleaning the rifle was turned: he went back to
the forge, and worked till Margaret, at one o'clock, called: "The
dinner is on the table".

At that table, for a long time, silence reigned, Margaret's eyes
fixed on his face, his on his plate.

Toward the end he said: "Are you going to chapel to-night?"

Her bosom heaved; she cleared her throat: she had to meet Frankl by
the towing-path.

"I don't think I shall..."

_Margaret!_

"Why not?"

"I have something to do".

"_What?_"

Silence.

"_What?_"

"Something"--with a stubborn nod, and pallor--"if I tell you
_something_ that should be enough".

"You will go to chapel to-night".

"That I shan't".

"Yes"

Silence.

A little before seven they left the cottage together for the chapel,
Hogarth taking his hunting-crop--from habit; he had also a little
Bible; in his jacket, tight at the slight waist, unbuttoned at the
breast, lay the anonymous letter, and a little poetry-book, neither
moon nor star lighting the night, bleak winds swooping like the
typhoon among the year's dead leaves.

The chapel was a paltry place, though in the wall to the right of
the preacher was a slab bearing the inscription:

                      ON THIS STONE
                  JOHN WESLEY PREACHED
                 IN THE VILLAGE, ON THE
                      9TH JULY 1768

And they sang a hymn; Hogarth "prayed"; read a chapter; once more
the harmonium mourned; Hogarth gave the text: "God's way is in the
sea..."

Even as he uttered it, he happened to glance toward the "mission-
pew"--a square pew rather behind the pulpit: Margaret no longer
there.

A paleness as of very death--then a dreadful wrath reddened his dark
face.

He seized his hunting-crop; and, without a word, sped bent and
thievish down the steps--and was gone.

Upon which Loveday in a middle pew, perceiving here something
sinister, like a still wind flew to a back door, before ever the
amazement of the people had given place to a flutter like leafage;
and running fast, he came up with Hogarth by a stile twenty yards
behind the chapel, touched his shoulder.

"To the devil with you...!" shouted Hogarth, running still, and
there Loveday stood.

Margaret, meantime, was hurrying toward the towing-path, while
Richard, in a direction at right angles to hers, was pelting toward
that spot terrible to him--the elm.

At the moment when he entered the deep darkness of the beeches, he
heard what sounded like a pistol-shot, rain now falling drop by
drop, and through the forest with an uplifting whoop, like batsmen,
swooped the tomboy winds.

Now, approaching the elm, again he felt that thrill which the spot
had for him, and came peering, at slower pace: no sound but the
gibbering rout of the stiff-stark beech-leaves. Some steps more, and
now he was at the mound which surrounds the tree: stood, listened:
silence, sightlessness: Margaret not there.

One more forward step: and now his foot struck a body.

As he stooped, his hand touched a revolver--which was his own;
another moment, and he saw running lanterns borne by two park-
keepers, and by their light saw the body of Isaac, who but now had
shot himself with the weapon that was in Hogarth's hand.

The park-keepers had just been urged by their master to the spot, he
having, he told them, heard a pistol-shot; and before anyone could
speak Frankl himself was there, defiled with the presence of the
dead.

He looked from Hogarth to the corpse, and from the corpse to
Hogarth, then, snatching the weapon from Hogarth's hand, exclaimed:
"Why, bless my heart, you've _murdered_ the man...."




XI

WROXHAM BROAD


In a cottage in Thring Street, marked "E. Norfolk, E. 58,
Constabulary", Hogarth passed the night, having been arrested the
moment he returned home from the elm.

A few minutes afterwards Margaret, who had found no Frankl at the
towing-path, came home to the ghastliest amazement throughout
Thring, so that sleep overcame the village only toward morning.

At 7.30 A.M. Hogarth was marched to Beccles, then after an inquest-
verdict appeared before the magistrates' court, and was committed.

One of the witnesses in the summary-jurisdiction court had been
Loveday, who had deposed that Hogarth, on leaving the chapel, was,
beyond doubt, in a passion; and mixed with the crowd was Margaret,
who, standing thickly veiled, heard that evidence. And thought she:
"Is it possible that he can be giving evidence against Richard like
that? And smiling, the mean, false thing--"

She had disappeared on the morning after the arrest: and Loveday was
now racked by disquiet, wondering how she was living, though she and
he were in the same train, unconscious of each other, when he
followed Hogarth to Norwich; and, as Margaret stepped upon the
Thorpe platform there, a Jew, who was watching the arrival of every
train, spied and shadowed her to the old Maid's Head, this intricate
city being now crowded, the Assizes all in the air, mixed with the
Saturday cattle-market.

At ten the next morning Margaret learned at the Guildhall the
address of her brother's defending solicitor, and set out to find
him, the wretchedest woman on earth now.

But as she passed by the archway in the tower of St. Peter Mancroft,
Loveday stood before her; and she started like a shying horse.

"Good morning"--she went on past him.

He took two steps after her. "Are you in a hurry? Can I come with
you?"

"It is quite near. Thank you--I'd liefer go alone".

He, a delicate being, all nerves, was repelled; lifted the old cloth
hat; but then again stepped after her, saying: "But are you angry
with me for something?"

"Why should I be? I have no right to expect anything from you, Mr.
Loveday".

"No right? You _have_, a little, I fancy!"

He said it at her ear with such a lowering of the eyelids, that it
pierced to her fond heart, and she smiled with a "H'm!" uncertain,
half turned to him; but said: "I must be getting on--"

"But it is most important that I should talk to you about
everything. Where are you staying?"

"It is some distance from here", she answered, undecided whether or
not to give her address.

"Ah--in that case--but still--will you meet me? Say here--this
evening?"

"I will see if I can".

"At seven?"

"I will see".

So they parted, she to tread that intricacy of streets round the
Market, with stoppages for enquiries, till she found the office,
where she presently sat in an inner room, veil at nose-tip, and
before her at a grate stood Hogarth's solicitor.

What, till now, for shame, she had concealed, she revealed: showing
how Richard could not possibly have taken the revolver with him to
the elm, since she, two days previously, had secretly given it to--
someone.

Mr. Carr, the solicitor, frowned, elaborating his nails.

"This is very extraordinary", he said. "Whyever did you keep us in
the dark as to all this before? And to whom was it that you gave the
revolver? and why?"

"Am I bound to tell that?"

"No, but you may be sure that the truth will be got from you. Stay--
I must ask you to excuse me now. But tomorrow morning at this hour--
will you? As for your brother, have no fears at all: he is now
absolutely safe".

Margaret went rapidly away, not knowing whither, only returning
toward late afternoon to her inn. As she entered, a letter was
handed her from Frankl.

"Dear Miss Hogarth:

"It is only due to you that I should see you at once to explain the
mystery of this affair, so as to clear your brother, and as it would
not do for me to call upon you for obvious reasons, the only thing
for us to do is to meet to-night on Mousehold Heath at 7 P.M.
without fail..."

What now was she to do? At "7 P.M." she had half promised Loveday to
meet him.

And what had her meetings with Baruch Frankl, innocent as they were,
brought upon her and hers!

Yet Frankl _must_ be kindly intentioned, she reasoned--since he had
sent them the L50; and she thought of that agony of humiliation when
she had asked Loveday for L2, and he had refused.

And he had given evidence against Richard with his down-turned
smile.

But he had said a word at her ear--and her crushed heart had leapt.
She did not know what to do, fell by her bedside and prayed to be
taught which of the two was Richard's best friend.

As she passed over the inn-threshold, she decided in favour of
Frankl: and a few minutes past seven was on Mousehold Heath.

Frankl hurried to meet her, and the hand which he held out was
rather cold; but she did not take it.

"No, Mr. Frankl", said she, "before I give my hand, it is only what
is due to me to hear how Richard's pistol, which I trusted to you,
was found where it was--"

"Well, that is only fair", answered Frankl; "that is only fair. But
I have a carriage there, let us get into it, and sit as we talk".

She could see no carriage in that dark, yet it stood only some yards
away--Frankl's own.

"I think I prefer to stand..." said she.

"As you like. But with regard to the gun, I should have thought that
you could have guessed how it was--but no, you always mistrust me
instead--the Jew. Don't you know that the dead man was a servant in
my house? Well, I left the two guns in my study, and he, wanting to
shoot himself, stole one, that's all".

"It was _he_ shot himself?"

"Why, who else? You don't suppose Richard shot him! You are as cool
as they make them".

"Well, that was how it was! But couldn't you say that at the police-
court--?"

"I am _going_ to at the big trial, of course. But I was ill, am ill
now, and here have I been running about all day on your brother's
behalf, and dead tired--and ill, and all--and you won't let me have
a rest in the carriage--"

"Well, as you put it in that way..." she said.

So they walked to a motor-brougham, sat within, and as they
commenced to talk again, the brougham moved.

"Tell me", said Frankl, "have you mentioned to anyone that you had
given the guns to me?"

"I told Richard's solicitor this morning--"

"That was horribly imprudent, without consulting me!"

"I think I have been silent long enough, don't you? I didn't mention
your name, but--"

"Oh, you didn't mention my name! That's all right, then! Look here,
do you know--?"

"Well?"

"I believe you love me in your heart. Can't help yourself".

"Oh, Mr. Frankl, do I look as if I was in the mood for that kind of
fun to-night, a poor wretch like me, steeped in misery, my God
knows".

"_I_ love _you_!"

He suddenly grasped her wrist, his eyes blazing.

"Stop--let me get out of this--" she said.

"Wait!--I give you your chance!--Listen: I am not a man whose mind
you can read right off like a book, I twist like an eel, I am deep,
I am tricky, and I never yet met the man that I didn't hoodwink.
Ninety-nine per cent of what I say is a lie; even when it is the
truth, it is a lie just the same. But at this particular moment I am
talking the God's truth: I want you! You shall be my little girl!
Chuck Richard!--chuck the swine's-flesh!--I'll take you right away--
to Paris--this very night--"

She had arisen, alarmed by his hissed fury. "But, you are stark,
staring, raving mad", she said proudly, "that is what you are".

Frankl struck the side of the brougham, it flew, and Margaret
tottered backward with an exclamation. The next moment she sent
forth a scream, the grip of Frankl on her wrist agonizing her bones.

"Where are we going?" she cried out.

"I gave you your chance!" was Frankl's fierce answer.

"Let me get out!--you must be a wretch--to take advantage--"

He put his mouth to her ear till it touched. "Your nice Richard
flogged me like a dog! I felt the cuts to the marrow of my damned
soul! Now I've got him in the hollow of this hand! Why, you helped
me! you helped me! That's good! And I've got you, too".

Blackness and swiftness bound her; a dizziness overcame her. Soon
they were by a great pool of gloomy water--Wroxham Broad--where
hern, wild duck, and the mast of the darkling boat brooded among
bulrush; and now in three minutes more the brougham was sweeping
over the lawn of a lonely building, surrounded by walls.

She, peering, saw with joy both lights and a well-dressed man and
woman; and, as the carriage stopped, she sprang out with alacrity,
Frankl with her, still grasping her wrist.

"Sir", she blurted out at once, "you will help me, I know. I am a
poor unfortunate woman--my name is Margaret Hogarth--"

"We know!" said the gentleman, and, approaching Frankl's ear, asked
in Yiddish: "How long has she had her delusion?"

"Only about a week, I think. She may be violent at first, but--"

"Come in, Miss--Hogarth", said the gentleman.

Margaret passed the threshold; the doors closed upon her...




XII

THE ROSE


On the third morning of his confinement in Norwich, Hogarth was
hurried into the hall of justice and the witness-box--in the dock
Fred Bates.

Bates had denied--with sufficient impudence, it seemed: for his wife
had been found dead, battered and burned about the face, Bates' own
hand also burned by the poker with which, _red-hot_, he was presumed
to have beaten her.

The same afternoon Bates was sentenced to death: but, having had
sunstroke in Egypt, was afterwards reprieved.

And two mornings later Hogarth heard the bar of the prisoner's dock
clang behind himself.

The speech of leading counsel for the Crown was short: a letter,
found on the prisoner, would be produced, in which some busybody had
falsely informed the prisoner that Mr. Frankl would meet his sister
under a certain elm-tree: and the prisoner, in a crisis of passion,
had hurried from the pulpit to that tree, on observing that his
sister had left the chapel (to keep a real appointment with Mr.
Frankl elsewhere). Under that tree the prisoner had encountered the
murdered man, whose Oriental dress on a dark night would give him a
resemblance to Mr. Frankl, himself a Jew. The prisoner had then shot
the deceased, mistaking him for Mr. Frankl, and had been found
holding the smoking weapon, which he admitted to be his own. It was
a painful case; but the chain of inference was not assailable.

"Not assailable" found an echo in the minds of solicitor and counsel
for Hogarth, who with growing anxiety were awaiting the coming of
Margaret with her story of the weapons. Margaret was where her name
was changed to Rachel.

Now was the regime of examining counsel for the prosecution. The
usher called: "Baruch Frankl!"

A voice in the gallery shouted: "Caps and tassels!" while Frankl, in
the witness box, bowed largely to both bench and bar. He put his
palms on the red-hot rail, caught them up, put them again, caught
up, put them; and still he bowed, while a trembling of the chin gave
to his beard a downward waving.

"Now explain to the court the reasons for the state of the
prisoner's feelings toward you".

"For one thing I had turned him out, because he could not pay his
rent; for another, his sister was inclined, my lord, to be a little
bit weak on my account--"

"A little bit _what_?" asked his lordship.

"Just a little bit weak, my lord".

"A _reciprocal_ weakness?"

"Well, my lord, you know the world--so do the gentlemen of the jury--"

"And of the Jewry!" screamed his lordship, amid laughter from the
merry wigs.

As Frankl stepped down, a name was called at which Hogarth went cold
as a ghost: "Rebekah Frankl".

And in she stepped splendent, to stand like a Nubian woman, with
that retreat of the hips, her ears torn with their load of gold, her
throat and breast ablaze, she bringing into that English court the
gaudy heat of the Orient, Baal and Astarte, orgies of Hindoo women
in temples of Parvati, the pallid passion of Bacchantes. Though not
tall, she was lofty, and her ebon eyes had that very royalty of the
stare of the bent form in the dock, whose heart throbbed quick like
paddle-wheels that thrash the sea, she his wild divinity, wild wife
of his wild youth....

At her shocking beauty the Court stood hushed.

She suggested the East: but in her speech was the energy of the
West--sharp--a bass almost like her father's.

"You recognize the prisoner?"

"Yes". She smiled.

"You were present on the day of the 11th November when the prisoner
entered your father's house, and attempted to strike him?"

"Did strike him".

"He did?"

"Yes".

"Did he seem in a passion?"

"Seemed severe".

"Severe! But was he not highly excited?"

"He did not seem so. Frowned and flogged".

"By whom was he ejected?"

"Went of his own accord".

"But--try to remember. What made him go?"

"He suddenly saw _me_, and fled".

Laughter droned through the court, in which she naively joined,
while Hogarth's eyes and hers met one instant, blazed outrageously,
and dropped....

That was all. Counsel bowed.

The day grew toward evening, and still the stuffy Court sat.

But Margaret Hogarth did not come; a defending counsel finished
examination, counsel on the other side again addressed the Court,
and again defending counsel. The judge then held the scales, the
jury trooped away, the crowd buzzed.

The light in the room seemed to brood to a denser yellow, and anon
to grow dim; the stuffed court festered; voices spoke, but low. The
King of Terrors was here.

When the jury came, the judge was called, Hogarth stood up, and the
clerk of arraigns put a question to the foreman.

The foreman said: "We find the prisoner guilty: but beg to recommend
him to the mercy of the Crown".

"On what grounds?" asked his lordship.

"On the grounds of past good conduct and strong provocation".

The judge then placed on his head a square of velvet and passed the
sentence of the Court.

During the reign of stillness that followed, while the court clock's
ticking was still loud, something which was thrown struck Hogarth on
the arm, a red rose, black at heart, that had lain on the breast of
Rebekah, who, when Hogarth looked round at her, was calmly drawing
her mass of cloak about her throat.




XIII

OUT OF THE WORLD


A week later a governor and a chaplain together entered Hogarth's
cell with news of his reprieve.

Eight months later he was being trundled in "Black Maria" to
Paddington Station amid a Babel of escaped tongues, when, sitting in
his pigeonhole, he heard the unknown voice before him cry: "Well,
Jim, we're away to the mountain's brow!"

Jim, nothing but a voice, was heard: "Worse luck! I knows Colmoor,
and I knows the Scrubs, and I knows Portland; and of the five I say--give
me Jedwood. Who's the guy in front o' you?"

"Hi, you in front there, who _are_ yer?" cried the first, pounding.

He was answered by a deep voice, which said:

"I AM WHO I AM".

"All right, keep yer 'air on, if you've any left! It's the Lawd
Chief Justice, mate! 'E says 'e's 'oo 'e are!"

"'Old on! _I_ knows who it is: it's that new-comer, 33. They say he
was once a priest--"

But now speech was swallowed up in hubbub, as the van ran battering
down a rough street near the station.

Then again Hogarth was whirled into night and space, and, toward
morning, after the bumping climb of a van, was bidden to alight on
moorland, where he spied, far off, set on a hill, a mighty palace of
Romance, all grim, aloof, which was Colmoor.

The next morning while the outdoor gangs were being searched on
parade before the exit, Hogarth saw a face which he knew; and "You,
Bates", he said, "I thought you were in Eternity!"

But no: there stood Bates, all capped and arrowed, cropped and neat,
not wearing the filthy old scarf of liberty any more.

The neighbor of Hogarth now was a stout man, with black hair, and
grey eyes.

He it was who had been--a priest: and in "Black Maria" had given
that answer: "I am who I am".




XIV

THE PRIEST


A year passed, during which John Loveday exhausted the resources of
civilization, (1)in seeking Margaret, and (2)in investigating the
innocence of Richard.

He had, however, a sprightly, adventurous nerve in the mind, and
would pull his velvet sleeves busily up--such was his little way. He
began to plot.

About the same time the ex-priest, in that far-off world of Colmoor,
said one day to Hogarth: "_You_ won't be here long!"

"You jest," Hogarth answered; "if I had the chance of escape, I
should never take it. I am here by due legal process".

"Tut, if I say that you will escape, it is not because I am a
prophet, but a man of the world, and know what happens in it".

Converse with this deep, world-wise, and fluent man had now become
to Hogarth like manna, or rather a vice, like opium: for in those
grey eyes of the cleric was hinted anon the baleful glint of the
cobra's.

That day, a Saturday, outdoor gangs were recalled early, to "clean
up" for Sunday, and out across the heath rang the great bell,
Colmoor being famous for its bell, its tone and great size, larger
than even the eight-ton "Mighty Tom" of Christ Church, for though
its thickness was only six inches, it weighed, bell and clapper, ten
tons, and was seven feet high and seven in diameter.

A busy Saturday afternoon ensued, and whatsoever Hogarth's hand
found to do he did it with his might, though his face now seemed all
eyes--brown, bloodshot, imperially large, morbidly staring.

He was giving the finishing touches of order to his wooden spoon and
salt-cellar, his tin knife, plate, and pint cup for gruel, when a
Warder Jennings peeped in with, "No. 76--you are to follow the
assistant warder at once", and Hogarth descended to an ante-room
where an official handed him a letter, which had been read and
initialed by governor and chaplain.

An event!--a letter in Colmoor, like a shark's fin on the voyages of
old sailing ships.

It was from Loveday, and concluded with a reference to Hogarth's
"poor old grandmother".

So Hogarth, who had no "grandmother", propped his forehead to ponder
that thing; and presently said: "Oh, it is a cypher".

And by noting little peculiarities in the shapes of the letters, a
double cross to a t, a q like a g, etc., he soon had "flemecops-
leftquary"--which he took to mean: "flee to me in the copse to the
left of the quarry".

He smiled with tenderness at the dear heart planning and daring so
very much for him. But in his smile was a touch of disdain also, he
not intending to "flee".




XV

MONSIGNOR


Hogarth's first thought, as getting-up bell clattered reveille
through the gallery, was of Loveday's cypher, and by the time the
warder came to ask if he would see governor or doctor, a thought of
Monsignor O'Hara had somehow mixed itself with the thought of the
cypher; when an orderly handed in the day's brown loaf, he was
thinking, "Strange that he never told me what he has done"; eating
his pint of gruel, he thought: "If I will not escape myself, I might
perhaps let another."

"What!" said O'Hara on the march out, "you still here?"

"Where should I be?" answered Hogarth, dull and sullen.

"Where palaces stand open for you, and bank-notes--have you ever
realized something very charming in the Helen pallor of a bank-note,
Hogarth? And gold-yellow, sparkling gold! Hogarth, I--_love_ gold!
It is a confession--"

"Is it that love which brought you here?" Hogarth asked with his
sideward stare.

Whereupon the priest turned a cold gaze upon him--had regarded
Hogarth as a well-bred man, or would hardly have conversed with him.

"I had a motive for asking", said Hogarth, eyeing the face of the
prelate--a man of very coarse feature; a small head, made to receive
the tonsure, with a low brow; a stern bottom lip, and long upper; a
fat neck held majestically erect; and up stuck his double chin. In
profile, the part between the sharp edge of the bottom lip and the
chin-tip was divided, down near the chin tip, by an angle and
crease; and the lower face seemed too massive for the size of the
head.

Nothing could be more exquisite than the contrast between his air of
force, authority and importance, and the knickerbockers, the coarse
cap, the canvas slop-jacket, which he wore.

Outwardly calm, he was yet very excited by that "I had a motive"; he
said to himself: "Suppose this man has some plan! He could invent
ten, if he only knew it. And suppose he would tell me it, if I make
him believe me innocent! It would be like him!"

When the eleven o'clock dinner-bell rang, and they two were again
together, O'Hara said: "Hogarth, I have for some time been intending
to give you my story. Have I in your eyes the air of a guilty man?"

"God knows," answered Hogarth, with a shrug; "you talk nicely, and
you know much".

"So much for the hollowness of friendship!"

"Don't be sentimental", said Hogarth: "I never pretended to be any
friend of yours; but I do respect your talents, do pity your misery:
and if I knew the solid facts of, as you have said, your
'innocence', I might--"

"_What_?" whispered O'Hara with a thievish, fierce glance.

"Help you".

"_In God's truth?_"

"I might".

O'Hara said: "I don't find it so cold as it was this morning. You
must have observed a certain peculiarity of moorland climates--the
same being true of the Roman Campagna, and of Irish peat-lands--that
they are colder than elsewhere in the absence of the sun, and warmer
in its presence. This afternoon--_I will tell you_--"

They had reached the great gates, and were marched to parade-ground
for the second of the four daily searches; then, after three ounces
of fat mutton and forty minutes' rest, the third search, the second
march-out.

And immediately beyond the gates O'Hara began: "In order to paint
you my life, Hogarth, I must give you at once to understand what has
been its mainspring and secret: my passion for my Church--"

He paused, while his lips moved in prayer, and he crossed himself.

"From boyhood my dream was to see my Church supreme in the warfare
of the world, I being a King's College and Maynooth man, at twenty-
three was Senior Chancellor's Medallist, and seven years later, sent
to Rome was quickly received into the Vatican household. It was
recognized that I had a future: both gifts and graces; piety; a
versatile tongue; a powerful voice; some learning; could dine, I
could look august; above all, I knew my man and could talk him over.
My great day came when, one morning, in St. Gregory the Great on
Mount Coelius, I was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor to his Eminence
the Archbishop of Westminster. Now I was on the heights. My life
during the next ten years was a life of bustling action--and was led
always with one unselfish object. No man ever spoke a greater number
of words than I, Hogarth. I have breakfasted with the Prime
Minister, lunched with a President of the Conference, and dined with
the Bishop of London: between the three meals I have written a
hundred letters and pitched into ten cabs. Such a life is very
exhilarating, in comparison, for example, with quarrying. Oh, my God
what am I fallen! Most of that time I was running over Europe: from
Madrid to Vienna, from Rouen to Rome. It happened that the
Archbishop of Paris was organizing a scheme of Church-workhouses in
France, in the absence of municipal ones, such as we have here....
Well, it was a grand thing, but was falling through for lack of
funds: so I, on my way to Rome, undertook the mission to plead the
cause before his Holiness, and succeeded to this extent that, on my
return, I had with me a casket from the good old man containing
seven diamonds, which I might either dispose of personally, or hand
over to the Paris fund. Now, it was during my stay at Rome that that
series of events, culminating in the Jewish exodus from Europe,
occurred; and on my journey home I was seized with the mighty
thought that, since many of the Jews were perishing of want, _that_
was the moment to reach their spirit through the body, and add their
race to the trophies of the Church. Was it not a thought? You
yourself, who are a Jew--"

Hogarth's eyes opened in surprise."_I_ am not a Jew ".

"No? I should have said that there was a hint of expression
somewhere--But to resume. I retained those seven diamonds, and
disposed of them".

"Honest behaviour!"

"Perfectly honest! I acquainted the Pope--he sanctioned it! And now,
I, single-handed almost, threw myself into that task. I hired, I
built, I begged, I borrowed, I formed committees, I haunted
Religious Houses, I sweated, I ran, I wept, I visited dens, I smoked
opium, I drank gin, I framed memorials, I learned Yiddish, I read
the Mishna and Gemara, I interviewed Rabbonim, I wrote tracts: I was
busy. In the midst of it, I had to visit Rome ceremoniously, to
assist at an interview between the Duke of York and his Holiness--
arrived on the Monday, and on the Wednesday, I remember, attended a
Court Ball in the suite of his Royal Highness. That night, when I
returned to the Vatican, I found all the Piazza di San Pietro
crowded. I do not know if you were free at the time when my friend,
M. Tissot, startled everybody by predicting the collision of an
asteroid with the earth? Tut, the silly being--he should have known
from the body's response to the spectroscope that its condition was
too friable to resist our atmosphere. But I never yet knew an
astronomer not imbued with sensationalism they acquire a certain
megalomania from their intercourse with space. But, at all events,
the people, dreading the destruction of everything, had crowded
toward the Vatican. The Duke of Genoa, I, and some of the College of
Cardinals, stood watching from a balcony; and very imposing, I
remember, was the moment when a glare appeared--I must stop--"

They were at the face of the rock, and the "halt" and "set to work"
parted them.

But again on the final march back at 5.15 when nightshades were
falling fast like snow, and the arm now felt the pick a load, O'Hara
began his muttering:

"I was telling you about the asteroid", he said. "Now this body, it
was given out, contained diamonds in large evidence, and the mere
thought of such a thing bursting in mid-air, and scattering itself
about was, I--I confess, a little fascinating to my mind. A man
might let his soul gloat upon such a hope till he went lunatic with
lust! I--I confess, the thought was alluring to me. Diamond, my son:
lucid--But when the body burst, and none of it came my way, I drove
it from my mind: in fact, I never heard of a trace of it having been
seen--hissed itself into gases in mid-air. Except in one instance--
one instance.

"When I reached Calais on my homeward way, stopped there a day,
awaiting the coming of Rouen, for whom I had nuncio communications,
and in the evening went to visit a cottage where I had once been a
great favourite with an old fellow called Sante-you know those
Calais fishers, with painted sabots, and ochred trousers. And
'What!' said I to Sante, 'the nets already spread at this hour?'
'Nothing to be done to-day, my Father', he answered, and explained
that he had attempted to pick up a stone before his door, and--it
had burned him: he showed it me: it had the appearance of a piece of
ferruginous rock, stuck with pieces of dirty glass; and it had
burned Sante on the midnight of the asteroid's scattering.

"Imagine my excitement: 'The asteroid', I thought, 'may add fifty
thousand Jews to the Church'. I asked Sante for the stone--Do you
blame me?"

"Go on," said Hogarth.

"That day two months I had the diamonds lying polished in a casket
in my house. My evil destiny, Hogarth, ordained that the casket was
the one given me for Paris by the Pope, the number of the new
diamonds the same--seven: and one day, about that time, the Vatican
organ, the _Osservatore Romano_, published a dreadful article,
hinting that I had applied to my own purposes seven diamonds
entrusted me for Paris: the Pope, just dead, must have left some
record of his gift. My friend, before I had heard a whisper of the
attack upon me, the casket, whose lid was mosaicked with the Papal
fanon, was secretly searched by a secretary in my house: the seven
diamonds were seen.

"Imagine the horror of what followed: I was abandoned by all--
superior and inferior; the story of the meteor was received with
sneers. The scandal reached the public papers--the public
prosecutor. And here now is the wretch, Patrick O'Hara."

The latter part of this narrative was fiction! The Pope's diamonds
O'Hara had duly handed to the Archbishop! and though there was such
a man as Sante, no asteroid had ever fallen at his door. In fact,
O'Hara was "serving time" for an assault upon a lady in a railway
compartment between Whitchurch and Salisbury.

But Hogarth spent that night in meditating the pros and cons as to
O'Hara's escaping; and, in a moment of destiny, said at last: "If he
is undeservedly doomed--" and swooned to sleep.

The very next day was foggy....

On the march out O'Hara said: "Here is something like a fog. On the
Carinthian Alps, where you have dense woolly fogs, there is a race
of goats, which--"

"Would you like to escape?" whispered Hogarth.

"_Who?_"

"You".

"Hogarth--! My God--!"

A trembling seized the priest's leathery left cheek, he at that
instant seeing a vision of the world--Andalusian wines, hued ices,
the opera-house, and great greyhounds of the sea, and a snuff which
his gross nose loved at Gorey.

"Hogarth, you are not mocking me?" chattered the priest's jaws,
hurrying like a jarred spring.

"I am quite serious. You will have to run for it though".

"_Run!_ I am not such a young man! Have pity Hogarth".

"Bah! Be a man".

The priest approached his mouth to Hogarth's ear: "_I should die of
fright!_ My heart--"

"What would it matter? I thought you had more beans".

"But have you--a plan?"

"Yes. You must run to the copse--"

"I shall be shot!"

"Probably".

"I _could_ not--"

"Then, do not".

"Tell me, boy! Tell me, Hogarth..."

"Within the copse to the left of the quarry there is almost
certainly at this moment waiting a man who, as soon as you pronounce
my name, will help you--"

"You say _almost_ certainly".

"I can't see him, O'Hara. But I should say he is there on a morning
like this".

"_What_ a risk! _What_ a risk!" went the priest with lifted eyelids
each time.

"You cannot escape from prison without risk. But I, personally,
would venture upon ten times as much, if I thought it becoming.
There is, however, another risk: that you may not strike the part of
the copse where he is. But near the 1 middle it is high--"

"Why, it is nothing but risks!" whined O'Hara with opening arms.

"You are not bound to try it. By the way--can you swim?"

"Yes--I suppose so--yes".

"Then lift yourself to it, and risk it. I should, if I were you.
Think of liberty, activity. Prick your spirit, grip at it, and
spring it".

"Do you think I shall be shot?"

"No! It does not matter! Crush your doubts, martyr yourself to your
aim, and your aim will give you the crown of martyrdom".

"Well--God reward you--I will think of it--"

"_Do_ it!"

"I will!"

"In that case, don't trust to your own eyes--_I_ will give you the
signal with my handkerchief--so: you keep your eyes fixed on me.
Then run, zigzagging. And tell Loveday for me to look after you,
and not make any more plans for me. Good-bye, O'Hara! All this is
very unselfish of me, for I lose my old talky-talky O'Hara--"

They parted at the rock, and set to work.

As minutes, half-hours passed, the condition of O'Hara became
piteous, hideous. His knees knocked together. Like death he dreaded,
like life awaited, that signal. He said to himself: "This Hogarth
will be my ruin...God deal not with me after my sins...!"

Hogarth was waiting that the warders' morning watchfulness might
yield to the influence of use and time; but near nine, when the
morning fog showed signs of thinning, he approached the water-can to
ask for a drink, O'Hara being then two yards from him, wheeling a
barrow.

As he stooped to the water, his huge stare ranged the moor, took in
the truth of it, and, after waiting ten, fifteen seconds, he upset
the can. As two officers, at the outcry, ran toward the spot,
Hogarth, his eyes fixed upon them, waited--and all at once, with a
flourish, drew his handkerchief.

O'Hara, with a heavy but impassioned run, was away...

He had not run five yards when a chorus of whistles was shrilling.

And quick, that monotony reels into a very frenzy of sensation: it
is no more the same world, the same men. Lo, in the Palace of
Continuity is an Event.

33 was off.

Five hundred pairs of eyes lit up, and the flurried warders ran in
random dismay to see to it! How if all the five hundred should do
the like, simultaneously?--a possibility underlying, through all its
breadth, the little social "system" which has produced Colmoor.

But the five hundred, exhorted, stamped at, shouted at, remained
quiet, though restive, only the wild eye showing the wild thought,
while two of the warders pursued O'Hara who had also to run the
blockade of two pickets of the civil guard.

The escaping convict, however, has this advantage: that his mind is
strung to a far higher pitch than his pursuers'; and, given a
certain ecstasy, everything can be accomplished.

So O'Hara separately dodged the two pickets, and was making bolt for
the copse before three rifles, aimed at a large vague ghost, rang
out, and did not hit. He plunged madly into the brambly bush.

Immediately a bleating like a child's trumpet was heard from its
midst; and in a few seconds, not one, but _four_, men were seen to
rush toward the river, all in convict knickerbockers, stockings,
caps, all in black overcoats: and one carried a bundle.

Beyond the river one was shot in the leg--a black sailor, who, with
two roughs, had undertaken the risk for lucre. The rest escaped.




XVI

THE ROPE


Soon after this Hogarth was taken with vomitings, his heart retching
at Colmoor. His dark cheeks jaundiced; those mobile nostrils of his
small bony nose yawned, like an exhausted horse's; his face was all
a light of eyes.

Whether or not some suspicion of his complicity with O'Hara had
occurred to the authorities, he now found himself transferred to
another "graft": from quarrying was set to trenching.

Four things are inexhaustible in the earth: the hope of a gambler;
the sea; the lip of a lover; and the capacity of Colmoor to be
trenched and quarried.

And in Hogarth's new gang was--Fred Bates.

One day, Hogarth, intent upon his work, heard a sob and, glancing,
saw that Bates had dropped his spade and buried his face in his
hands.

"What, Fred, not giving in?" He went quickly and pressed his palm on
Bates' brow, saying: "Patience! Stiffen your back: look how _I_ slip
into it!"

"Ah, Hogarth, you don't know. I am an innocent man".

"So am I."

"Yes, but _I_ was certain in my own mind to be out within anyway,
six months; _you_ wasn't. That makes a difference, don't it? That
touches the nerve, don't it? Ah!"

"And how did you expect to be out?"

"I had a brother-Bob-in the 9th Lancers in Punjab and his regiment
was ordered home just a week before I was arrested. Well, the
morning after the missus was killed, I went early--for I knew I'd
soon be arrested--to a stableman at Beccles--you know old Harris--and
I made him swear to give a letter to Bob the moment Bob put foot in
Southampton, and to nobody else. In the letter I told Bob where he
was to look for so-and-so, and how he was to prove my innocence--"

"But I don't understand a word of what you are saying", interrupted
Hogarth.

"I'll tell you. I did not kill my Kit. The burn on her face, and on
my hand, wasn't any red-hot poker. Did you ever hear such bosh? Look
here, you mind, don't you, the talk that week about the world
getting blowed up by some comet? Well, about 3 P.M. on the comet
day, as I was walking home through Lagden Dip, an old gent, the same
as took the farm over after you, he comes up to me, and he says:
'If you should happen to see anywhere in your travels', sez 'e,
laughin' and rubbin' his hands, 'a piece of hot iron after eleven
to-night, you bring it to me, and I'll put a cheque for One Thousand
Pounds there in the middle of your palm'. Well--I said it was a
Wednesday, didn't I? And Wednesday bein' the pay-day on the Eastern,
me and the missus had a drop o' beer that afternoon, and you know
'ow you come and catched me a-paying of her--dirty dog that I was
those days. But, Hogarth, you hadn't hardly gone when we made it up
between us, and the rest of that evening we was just like--well--two
bloomin', cooin' doves! kissin', blubblin', havin' drinks, and doin'
our week's shoppin' together. Well--stop, here's Black--"

They were interrupted, and for two days found no other chance.

Two days during which Hogarth received another letter from Loveday,
of which one paragraph was as follows: "The fifteen pounds which you
left in Lloyd's Bank I have managed to withdraw for you on the
authority of your aunt, Miss Sarah Hogarth", and at once he scented
a cypher, having no fifteen pounds, and no aunt.

When he had unravelled it as before, he had: "Why you failed?
Expect--Balloon--Rope".

He was astounded: and could only conclude that O'Hara had not
delivered his message.

And as the image of O'Hara had mixed itself with his thoughts of the
copse, so now the image of Fred Bates mixed itself with the balloon.

It was partly through _his_ evidence that Bates was here...!

On the third day Bates, as though he had just left off, resumed his
story:

"You know Seely's, the general shop, at Priddlestone", said he; "it
was there we always did our Wednesday-night marketin'--nobody would
believe what high old jinks those Wednesday pay-days was to us Great
Eastern blokes! By the time we reached Priddlestone, we had a quart
of four-ale down us, let alone what we'd had before, and, as the
saying is, one glass leads to another. By now we was feeling just
nicely, thank you, and instead of going to Seely's, we took a short
cut to 'The Broom', and it was going on for past eleven when we
found ourselves in--you know the beechwood between Priddlestone and
Thring--she singing all the time with her head thrown back, at the
top of her voice.

"Hogarth, it gives me the creeps to think of! Suddenly it looked as
if the whole wood was lit up: there was the sky all cut up with
streamers, I saw my Kit quite plain, then all at once there was a
whishin' and a rushin' among the trees, like steam--and I saw my Kit
drop smack. In two ticks my head was sober: but, as I ran to her, I
staggered sideways upon my left hand, and I let such a _yell_ out of
me--had put my hand upon something flamin' hot.

"The minute I bent over my old woman I knew she was a deader; and I
dropped down, and I called of her, and I shook of her, and it was
quite two hours before I come to myself properly, by which time the
affair what struck her down was gone out in darkness. Of course, the
first thing I thought of was the old gent at Lagden. 'This should
mean a cool thou', says I to myself. But I knew I should be arrested
first thing in the morning, except I told plain out what had
happened: and that, you bet, I didn't mean to do, for if once I
mentioned that there piece of iron before I had it safe off the
lord-o'-the-manor's land, I knew it 'ud be taken from me. But to
take it off before another day or two was out of the question--it
was too hot. So says I to myself: 'I'll _get_ convicted; and to-
night I'll write a letter to Bob, telling him where to find the
affair, how to get the thou, and _after_ he's got it, how to set
about gettin' the case retried '.

"Well, so said, so done. You know that old elm in the beech-wood? I
dug a grave at the foot of it, and managed to kick and roll the
affair into the grave, then I took up my Kit, carried her home, and
by the time I pegged out the letter to Bob, I saw day breakin'. So I
made paces for Beccles, knocked up old Harris, and gave him the
letter for Bob. By eight o'clock I was arrested--"

At this point the 5.15 recall-bell rang out, and there was falling
into line.

The next time that they had speech together, Hogarth said: "And were
you such a clown, Fred Bates, as to imperil your life for a paltry
thousand pounds?"

"_Paltry_ thousand pounds?" answered Bates, surprised: "Hark at
this! Didn't I peril my life ten times more in Egypt for a bob a
day? I tell you I was certain in my own mind of getting out in a few
weeks!"

"Well, what happened to prevent you?"

"Only this: Bob died on the troop-ship coming home; that's all".

"But you could write old Harris to open your letter to Bob, and act
on it, or else hand it over to your father".

"My word, but haven't I wrote? Old 'Arris is either dead and buried,
or gorn away, or somethin'. I've waited a year and nine months--good
God! and no answer yet".

"Poor Fred! I could weep blood for you. Believe in God!"

"More Devil than God about Colmoor, it strikes me".

"As though _you_ knew! Suppose I strike you blind--_now_--with a
flash of Him?"

"I don't take your meaning, sir", said Bates, with a strange heart-
bound and sense of awe.

"Do you remember 33 of the quarry-gang, Fred?"

"Yes".

Hogarth whispered: "It was _I_ who got him off".

Bates whitened to the lips. "I--I thought as much".

"There is yet another chance, which _you_, if you like, may take".

Bates saw heaven opening; but with this vague hope was left two
days.

On the third, Hogarth explained what he assumed to be the new plan
of Loveday.

"I take it", he said, "that he will pass over the moor in a balloon
trailing a rope, which will have a loop to be slipped under the
arms. I tell you, there are dangers in this scheme: you may be shot.
Are you for trying it?"

"Trying it, aye", said Bates, with fifty times the boldness of
O'Hara.

And now began for these two a painfulness of waiting days, the sleep
of both, meanwhile, being one nightmare of confused affrights,
balloons and deliriums.

Ten times they re-discussed every possibility of the scheme, Hogarth
giving messages for Loveday, heaping counsels upon Bates. Nothing
remained to be said, and still the days passed over the time-worn
hearts, till a month went by.

At last something was observed in the sky--afar to the N.W.--in the
afternoon turn, about two o'clock, a mist on the moor, but the sky
almost cloudless.

Whereupon Hogarth, who first saw the object, stepped, as if looking
for something, close to Bates, hissing: "_Goodbye!_ Keep cool--
choose well--"

Bates shovelled on steadily, as though this was a day like others;
but twice his knees gave and bent beneath him; and there was a
twitching of the livid under-lip, piteous to see.

It drew nearer, that silent needle, while Bates worked, delving,
barrowing, making little trips; plenty of time; and no one noted his
lip which pulled and twitched.

Without visible motion it came, wafted on the breaths of high
heaven: half an hour--and still it was remote, fifteen hundred feet
up. Bates and Hogarth peered to see a rope, but could none.

After fifty minutes it was actually over the moor, all now conscious
of it; but the rope was indistinguishable from the air.

Yet it was there, walking the ground, at its end a horizontal
staff....Hogarth, with wiser forethought than Loveday's, had
predicted, not a staff, but a loop.

It passed twenty yards from the quarry, Loveday no doubt imagining
that Hogarth still worked there; but the quarry was some hundred and
fifty yards from the trench.

Its course, nevertheless was toward the trench: and on walked
deliberately the fluctuating rope, the staff now travelling the
gorsey ground, now bounding like a kangaroo yards high, to come down
once more yonder.

A moment came when Hogarth, with intense hiss, was whispering to
himself: "If I were he, I should dash _now_".

But Fred Bates did not move.

Hogarth suffered agonies not less excruciating than the rack.

"Oh, whyever does he wait?" he groaned.

But now--all suddenly--it was known, it was felt, deep in five
hundred ecstatic hearts, that a convict was gone--a man overboard--a
soul in the agony--battling between life and death.

Like tempests the whistles split the air.

Where is he? Who is he? What mother bare him? It is 57! And he is
_there!_--on high--caught, to the skies.

The tumbling of four ballast bags from the balloon was marked: the
balloon darted high, wildly high; and with her, seated on the bar,
the cord between his thighs, darted high Fred Bates.

Exultant! the five hundred faces wax fire-eyed, each heart a flame
of madness. But yonder is Warder Black taking trembling, yet
careful, aim: now the report is echoing from the two Tors, the
granite-works; and that smoke no sooner thins than a whole volley of
crackling musketry is winging toward that dot under the clouds.

And it was hideous--pitiful--the quailing heart waited and was still
to see the dot dissever itself from its rod: he had been hit: was in
the middle of the vast and vacant air: and wheeling he came.

A shockingly protracted interval did that fall fill up: the five
hundred, gazing as at some wonder in heaven, did not, could not,
breathe: the outraged heart seemed to rend the breast in a shriek.
Would it _never_ end, that somersault? Wheeling he came.

In reality it occupied much less than a minute: and now he is no
more ethereal, but has grown, is grossly near, attended by the
raving winds of his travelling: is arrived. And the thump of his
coming was heard. As he touched the earth he jerked out circular....

Here was a tragedy remembered many a year at Colmoor, and always
with feelings of the deepest awe.




XVII

OLD TOM'S LETTER


The fate of Bates filled Hogarth's mind with a gloom so funereal,
that now his strength, his great patience, all but succumbed.

One evening, while his broom lay stuck out under the notch of his
cell-door in order that Warder Black might count him, he took his
tin knife, and began to scratch over the hills and valleys of his
corrugated wall some shining letters:

     VEN

He was now, after long reflection, convinced that he was the victim
of a plot of Baruch Frankl's: yet in his heart was little rancour
against Frankl, nor, when he wrote his "V E N", was he thinking
specially of Frankl--hardly knew of whom, or what. It may have been
of the system of things which had given to Frankl such vast powers
over him; but, the "N" finished, he pshawed at himself, and threw
the knife down. If something was wrong, he knew not at all how to
right it, supposing the world had been his to guide.

But a simple incident was destined to transform his mood--a letter
from old Tom Bates, the father of Fred.

And as hitherto we have seen him passive, bearing his weight of pain
with patience, after that letter we shall find him in action.

Old Bates' letter was handed him three weeks after the scratching of
his vague "VEN".

"DERE MISTER HOGARTH:

"thise fu lines is to ast you how you er getn on, and can you giv a
pore old feller ane noos ov that godfussakn sun ov mine hopn they ma
find you as they leave me at present wich i av the lumbeigo vere Bad
and no Go the doctor ses bob wot you no was in the ninth lansers he
dide comen home so ive only fred left out of the ate. I rote to im
fore munths agorne, but no anser, no doubt becos i cum to london
soon arter, so no more at present from

"Yours trule,

"TOM BATES".

The old fellow, Hogarth saw, did not know of Fred's fate: Fred, the
last of eight. He would find it hard to answer that letter.

When "beds down" was called, his head was still full of one thought:
old Tom Bates; and he could not sleep; heard the bell ring for the
change of warders; the vast silence of the prison's night; and still
his brain revolved old Tom.

The stealthy slipper of the night-warder passed and re-passed. Anon
a click of metal on metal, and the bull's-eye searched him.

Suddenly he remembered that visit to the forge at Thring, and the
present of herrings which old Tom in his guernsey, had brought.

"Here--take 'em--they're yours", old Tom had said.

He had just then, he remembered, been on the point of going into the
cottage to examine his guns, when the old man came, and stopped him--a
fatal, appointed thing, apparently. Had he actually gone, he would have
found the guns vanished, and would never have been condemned....

And what was it that the old man had said about fish, and fishermen,
and the sea?

He bent his brow to it, and finally remembered: "The day's work of a
fisherman gives him enough fish to live on all the week, and he
could lie round idling the other six days, if he chose; only anybody
can't live on nothing but fish all the time".

Was it true? Yes! He remembered facts of Yarmouth....

But since true, it was--strange.

Was the sea, then, a more productive element for men to work in than
the land? No, that was absurd: the land, in the nature of things,
was more productive.

Then, why could not _all_ men procure an easy superfluity by one
day's work, as the fisher could, if he chose to live naked in a
cave, eating fish alone? In that case the fisher could change some
of his day's-work fish for the shore people's day's-work things, and
so all have a variety as well as superabundance.

At the interest of this question, he leapt from his hammock, peering
into that thing, and his fleet feet were away, running after the
truth with that rapt abandonment that had characterized his hunting
and football. This was clear: that there was some difference between
land and sea as working-grounds for men. Shore people, like a
shoemaker, did not have for themselves enough shoes from even five,
or six, days' work on which to live in plenty for a week: and hence
would take nothing less than an enormous quantity of the fisher's
fish in exchange for a pair of shoes, making him, too, poor as
themselves. But since land work was as productive as sea work, and
far more so, it could only be that the shoemaker did not get for
himself all the shoes which he made, as the fisher got for himself
all the fish which he caught: some power took from shore people a
large part of what they made, a power which did not exist on the
sea. That much was sure.

What was this power, this inherent difference?

He could think of no inherent difference except this: that shore
workers paid rent for land--directly and indirectly--in a million
subtle ways; but fishers paid none for the sea.

So, then, if shore folk paid no rent, they would have a still
greater superfluity of shoes, etc., from one day's labour in six
than the fish-rich fisher?

So it seemed. So it _was_--as with savages. He started! But one
minute's reflection showed him that it was in the very nature of the
shore to pay rent: because one piece of land was better than
another--City land, for instance--and those working on the better
must pay for that benefit. Civilized land, therefore, was bound to
pay rent.

So that the shore people could never have the easy superfluity of
the fish-rich fisher--because land was bound to pay rent? And the
fisher must buy the shore things so dear with his easy-got fish,
toiling, he, too, all the week--because land was bound to pay rent?

The wretchedness of Man, then, was a Law?

Hogarth, confronted by a wall, groaned, and while his body was cold,
his brow rolled with sweat, he feeling himself on the brink of some
truth profound as the roots of the mountains....

"Land was bound to pay rent": he reached that point; and there
remained.

"But suppose the workers on shore paid the rent _among
themselves_....?"

At last those words: and he gave out a shout which begat mouths of
echo through the galleries of Colmoor.

"If the workers on shore paid rent among one another"--then they
would--on the whole--be in the very position of the fish-rich
workers on sea, who paid no rent at all, the nation--as a whole--
living on its country rent-free: England English, America American,
as the sea human: and our race might then begin to think, to live!

It seemed too sublime--and divine--to be true! Again, point by
point, he went over his reasoning with prying eye; and, on coming
back to the same conclusion, hugged himself, moaning. At last--he
knew.

And away now with the dullness and lowness! That blithe and hand-
clapping day! Good-bye, Colmoor! the daily massacre, the shame and
care. Men could begin--if in a baby way at first--to think, to see,
to sing, to live.

He saw, indeed, that that would hardly have been fair business if
he, for example, had paid his rent to the English Nation instead of
to Frankl, Frankl having bought Lagden with money earned. But he
thought that Frankl would hardly be slow to resign that rent, if
once he was shown....

But if Frankl _was_ slow--what then?

The oblong of ribbed glass over his flap-table showed a greyness of
morning, as he asked himself that thing.

In that case--Frankl could be argued with.

But if he still refused?

Then the question could be gone into as to whether that which is
good for forty millions, though apparently bad for Frankl, is not
_forty million times_ more just than unjust, goodness being justice;
also, as to which had the primary right to England, Frankl or the
English.

But if he still refused?

Suddenly Hogarth giggled--his first laugh in Colmoor.

_That_ could be arranged....

For him, Hogarth, the great fact was this: that he saw light. Into
that humble cell the rays of Heaven had blazed.

After standing motionless a long time, he dropped to his knees, and
"O, Thou, Thou", he said....

An hour later, when asked by an orderly if he wished to see doctor
or governor, he replied: "The Governor".




XVIII

CHLOROFORM


(Captain Bucknill, the Governor, was making his morning rounds, when
he heard that among the convicts claiming to see him was 76.)

A little man, prim, snappy, compact: an army officer, with
moustachios stuck upon him, to curve and finish him off.

"Well, what is it, 76?" said he busily at the cell door.

Hogarth struck a hand-salute--his old habit on His Majesty's ships.

"Sir, I wished to tell you that I have determined to escape from
this prison--if I can".

"Indeed, now! This is a most refreshing candour, 76!"

"I have said what I had to say", said Hogarth. "You keep a sharp eye
on me, and I, too, will keep a sharp eye".

The Governor puffed a breath of laughter, turned on his heels,
walked away, and that day spoke to three officials with regard to
Convict 76.

And during a week Hogarth lay deep, chained, in a punishment-cell.

But during its first four days he had invented three separate plans
of escape, and had determined upon the one which seemed the surest,
though longest.

When he again came up into the light, he was a marked man, under
Warder Black's constant suspicion.

Now, however, his expression was changed: he no longer belonged to
Colmoor, though he was there. Sometimes he felt like shouting at the
burden of his secret. In his impatience to proclaim it, he pined to
write to Loveday--but now his punishment had lost him that
privilege.

Meantime, the problem was to get ten good miles beyond Colmoor: a
hard one; but his brain had already accomplished a task far harder:
and the greater implied the less.

His first thought, when he had begun to plan, had been Loveday; his
second, that on no account could he permit Loveday to incur further
risk, or expense, for him; his third, that he might yet use Loveday
to any extent not involving risk or expense.

At the next weekly "School" he sat near a Thames-works hackle-maker,
who, though he could write, was no scholar, and was laboriously
spoiling a second letter-sheet, when Hogarth whispered him: "Can I
help you? I see it's to your mother. I could get her a quid from a
friend of mine".

"Well, I'm much obliged....!"

The laborious letter, after half an hour, had in it:

"If you go to 15, Cheyne Gardens, the gentleman will give you a
sovereign which he owed me for cutting down the elm in the beech-
wood at Teddington for him".

Now, Loveday lived at 15, Cheyne Gardens, and had only to see those
words "_the elm in the beechwood_," to scent a cypher from Hogarth.

He offered five pounds for that letter: but it was two weeks before
he decided upon the intended words: "Small chloroform--trenches--
rock".

There were several trenches, many rocks: yet one midnight, when a
blustering wind huddled the bracken, and the prison stood darkling,
wrapped in mystery, a lonely figure in an ulster was there; and
under each of three rocks he deposited two vials: for the formation
of only three gave the least chance of concealment.

What Hogarth's plan could be he racked his brain in vain to dream,
guessing that prisoners, on returning from the moor, must be
searched, even to the ears: Hogarth, therefore, could never use the
vial within the walls, and must mean to use it without--a
sufficiently wild proceeding. But the finding of the vials, was
sure: for the "rock" which Hogarth had had in mind was one of those
granite ones common on Colmoor, standing five feet high on a small
base; and one day he swept his hand among the gorse under it, and,
with a glad half-surprise, touched two vials.

Three days later he again swept his hand among the gorse, touched
the vials, breasted his handkerchief, laid the vials on it, and
presently contrived to tie them together with a twig.

At his feet now was a wheelbarrow full of marl, and two yards off
Warder Black, waiting for him to roll the barrow; but, inserting his
spade between a wheel and a side of the barrow, his back toward
Black, Hogarth, with a tug, bent the spade: then walked to Black.

"Look here", he said, "that spade isn't much good now...."

Black strode to look, Hogarth a little behind him: and at the
instant when the officer was a-stoop to lift the spade, Hogarth took
the vials from his breast, and laid them upright in the little
pocket of Black's tunic, near his bayonet-sheath and cartridge-box,
above the belt.

By the time the matter of the spade was settled, the great bell
rang, the gangs went marching over the old familiar level, up the
old path in the grass-mound on which the Palace stands, and so, in
lax order, like shabby French conscripts, powdered, toil-worn, into
the gates.

Then the search on parade: during which, as Black busily searched
him, Hogarth said: "Search well".

They were then led up to cells.

And the moment Hogarth's door closed upon him, he put his skilly-can
on the floor, and, with one stamp, stamped it out of shape; also he
broke his cup, and pocketed two fragments of it.

A few minutes afterwards, before cocoa, Black, trotting in heavy
haste here and there in the gallery, looked in to say: "Bath to-
night".

And Hogarth: "Warder! a word with you! sorry, I have trodden on my
can...."

Upon which Black went stooping to look, the can now standing on the
low shelf; and as he said "I shall report this", Hogarth, stooping,
with quick deftness had the vials picked from the thick pocket.

"Well, fall in", said Black to him; "better take your precious can,
and give it to a bath-room warder for the store-keeper to change".

Hogarth, as he passed out, placed the vials on the shelf over his
door, where they were secure, since cells were never searched; and,
the bathers having formed in single file, five feet between man and
man, away they moved and down--away and down--lost in space,
treading the journey of galleries, till, at the bottom, they passed
up a vaulted corridor, monastically dim, across a yard open to
starry sky, and into the door of a semi-detached, steep-roofed
building, which was the bath-house.

A row of thirty-five baths; a very long bench for undressing; in the
space between bench and baths three warders walking: such was the
bath-house: all whitewashed, galvanized iron, and rigour; but for
its old record of uneventfulness a scandal was preparing that night.

Outside the door a fourth officer paced, and a cord within rang a
little bell in one click, to tell when, the bathing over, the door
should be unlocked outside.

After giving up his can near the door to a warder, who laid it on
the bench, Hogarth undressed slowly; got off his boots; and now had
on only knickerbockers and stockings: he got off his stockings.

And the moment his bare soles touched the floor, he felt himself
once more agile on the ratlines, larky for a shore-row, handy in any
squall. Let them all come, therefore! He smiled; passed his palms
down his crib of lean ribs.

"Good gracious, why don't you hurry up there...?" an officer came
asking, stooping.

At "there" he saw stars-and-stripes, dropped upon his back: Hogarth
was away toward the door, while the bathers started with shouts,
though in no bosom arose any impulse to follow, the bath-house being
the centre of a maze of twenty unscaleable walls, prison within
prison.

But as for Hogarth, in such a dazzling flash did he dash toward the
door, that he had struck down the second officer before the outcry
of the first, and had pulled at the door-bell before the third could
cry _"Don't open!"_--a cry muffled into his maw by a cuff prompt as
thunder.

This third man, however, grasped the fugitive by the middle: and
while the overthrown two were running up, and the key without
seeking the lock, a short, venomous tussle was waged just near the
door, till Hogarth, wringing his naked body free, tossed his
antagonist by the knees to slide into the path of the two on-comers;
at the same time, catching up his battered can, and smashing it into
the face of the door-orderly, who now peeped in, he slipped through,
and was gone into a yard, small, of irregular shape, and dim, with
one wall-lantern, and but one egress (except the egress into the
prison-hall), namely a blind-alley between the laundry and carpet-
makers' building on one side, and stables on the other: blind alley,
yard, and all, being shut in by big buildings.

By the time the door-orderly opened his eyes, and one of the inside
three had rushed out, Hogarth had vanished; and these two, shrilling
whistles to reinforce the bath-room guard, pelted down the blind-
alley to effect, as they thought, a sure capture. But Hogarth was
not there.

Back they came trotting, breathless, rather at a loss. One panted:
"He must have run back into the great hall...."

The other panted: "He'd hardly do that--hiding in the yard still,
_must_ be. There's that little nook...."

The "little nook" is a three-sided space in a corner, very dark,
formed by one wall of the campanile, or bell-tower, together with a
wall of the laundry-house, and a third wall which shuts in the yard;
the entrance to it narrow, and one looking up within it seems to
stand at the bottom of a triangular well, split at one corner. It is
not far from the bathhouse, and into it Hogarth had really darted;
but when the officers came peering, no trace of him.

He had, in fact, gone up the lightning-conductor, which runs down a
bell-tower remarkably high, Colmoor having been built during the
Napoleonic wars for French prisoners at a time when the theory was
accepted that a lightning-conductor protects a space whose radius is
double the height of the conductor. The tower is a five-sided
structure with a Gothic window into which it is impossible to get
from the conductor, because a corner intervenes, and it is a feat to
swing from the conductor to the laundry-wall coping, and thence,
leaping up, to grip the window: at each of which ordeals Hogarth
hesitated, pierced with chills; to his observations from afar it had
seemed so much less stupendous; but in each case he dared, and
reached.

All this time the can was between his teeth.

Arrived on the window, his arms out groping, he felt a slanting
beam--climbed it--found it short-mounted upon a horizontal one, all
here, as he had expected, being a chaos of beams, raying every way.
Thrice he sneezed low, and felt cobwebs in his face.

And groping he went, seeking the great Bell of Colmoor, which he had
doomed, hearing sounds of the to-do, echoes that ran below, and the
vague shout of somebody, till he touched the flat top of the bell,
clamped to the swing-beam on which he sat astraddle; felt also that
along the top of the beam lay an iron bar; made sure that this was
in actual contact with the clamps of the bell: and, no longer
hesitating, set to work upon the can.

Tugging with his dog-teeth under the upper rim, he got a loose end,
and wrenched the rim off; then, tearing along the solder, got the
cylinder separated from the bottom; and, opening it out, had a sheet
of tin. And now, by the help of his fragments of cup, he set to
hack-sawing, breaking, tearing this into strips, no easy thing, in
spite of the thin-worn condition of the can: but finally had six
strips.

The edge of one strip he inserted under an end of the bar of iron on
the beam; then connected that strip with another by loops, slid
again to the window, and there lay connecting the six strips by a
smith's-trick, with skew loops, non-slipping, getting a tin string
five feet long. He then took the leap to the laundry coping, and
thence the spring to the conductor, this being all the more
ticklishly perilous because he could barely see it.

Hanging away now from the conductor by the left elbow, he reached
out the right arm across the corner to catch the tin, which stuck
toward him from the window: and he wound its end round the
conductor, electrically connecting the bell with the conductor.

And now, standing with one foot on a staple below the tin, he twice
sawed the conductor's soft metal with the fragments of cup, cutting
and tugging out three inches of it, thus isolating the conductor's
point atop from its earthing; then he tossed the piece cut out
behind the laundry-coping.

This done, he listened, cast a searching eye below, slid down the
rod.

The yard was at present silent, but as he moved to give himself up
in the prison-hall, five night-warders with bull's-eyes fell out,
still seeking him.

And as he knelt with clasped hands of supplication and bent bare
back, like a captured slave, they fell savagely upon him, and cried
one: "Well, of all the idiots...!"




XIX

THE GREAT BELL


The next morning Hogarth was not marched out, and near dinner-time
was summoned before the Governor. Here he stood in a cage of bars in
a room of "No.1" prison, devoted to prison-offences; and before him,
at a littered table, sat governor and chief warder, with the
witnesses of the outbreak near.

The case was gone into, the report made: whereupon the Governor
looked up and down the length of Hogarth, and suddenly gave vent to
a laugh.

"So, No. 76", said he, "this was the threatened escape?"

Hogarth was now all contrition and hanging head.

"I beg for mercy", he said, with a little smile.

"Oh, I am not your judge...Where were you when the officers were
looking for you in the yard?"

"I was hiding in that little nook".

"Confounded carelessness on someone's part...And what cut and
swelled your mouth?"

"I bashed into the wall in the nook" (The can had cut him!).

"You must have been mad!"

"Yes, sir".

During the next two weeks he had round his ankles a chain which,
rising in two loops, was fastened to a band round his waist; and he
was set to turn "the crank".

Finally, he was led forth to stand before the periodic Director,
who, after reading the report, turned to a volume of writing in
which was Hogarth's record: good--till lately; and the Director
addressed him with sternness, which yet was paternal: he would
sentence him to one month in a punishment cell, to two months in
chains, and to one dozen lashes.

And two days later he was led to the flogging-hall, which, as he
approached it, sent forth screams; the doctor looked at him and
consented; the Governor said: "Get it over".

Hogarth stripped to the waist, his teeth chattering: but not with
fear. On the contrary, he felt a touch of exultation.

The wrists of his outstretched arms having been bound to "the
triangle", the Governor gave the sign, the cat rose, and sang, and
fell.

Slowly up, and whistlingly down, rasping, reaping. At the seventh
shock he fainted: and thence onward had a long dream, in which he
saw Rebekah Frankl in Hindoo dress and jewellery, and she threw at
him a red rose black at heart with passion, and her body balanced in
dance, and her hands clapped at him.

During the next month he tholed the cold of that same punishment-
cell; and during the next was in his old cell, but in chains,
picking oakum. All this time, if he was aware of high winds by
night, he was in an agony, till the next day the great bell rang its
treble.

About the middle of February he was once more trenching in the open
air.

But a fear had stolen into his mind: for the string of tin was not
strong, and the winds of the last month may have dislocated it. In
any case, he might have to wait a year, two, ten....

Occasionally he would redden with suppressed and turbulent energy.

But on the 17th of March, toward evening, England was visited by a
storm long remembered, lasting three days, during which the poor
prisoners were comforted with rations of hot soup and cocoa.

On the morning of the fourth day when the gangs were once more taken
out Hogarth was hardly conscious of frigid winds or agued limbs: for
three days the great bell of Colmoor had not rung; and his ears were
open.

Of the prisoners, who, by practised instinct, get to know the moment
at which it should sound, three presently straightened up, spade in
hand, to glance at the prison: and suddenly heard--a sound.

A dull something somewhere--from the prison? unless it was some
shock of the wind...Hogarth gazed piteously into the faces near
him...No one seemed to have heard.

A few seconds, like eternities...Then he saw a warder look at his
watch; then--another! and--they glanced at the prison; and--they
approached each other; and--they laid whispering heads together.

Then--joy!--came five officers, wildly running from the prison
gates, calling, waving....

And now he knew, and smiled: the babble of that lalling tongue was
dumb.

And the very next day, when the afternoon-gangs were marching out,
they saw descending from a carriage before the Deputy Governor's
house a gentleman with a roll of diagram-paper--a bell-foundry
expert, summoned by telegraph from Cardiff.

Hogarth resolved to act that night.




XX

THE INFIRMARY


As soon as the cell-door clicked upon him, he commenced to work:
first took off his boots; then felt over the doorshelf for the
chloroform; wet his handkerchief with some of it: then inserted the
vials across the toes of his boots, which were a succession of
wrinkles, far too large; then put on the boots again.

He then lay on the floor, close to the low shelf; and, pressing the
handkerchief over his mouth and nose, breathed deep, knowing that in
four minutes, when he did not obey the order of "brooms out", his
cell would be opened.

As he sank deeper and deeper into dream, it was with a concentration
of his will upon one point--the handkerchief, which, if smelled by
anyone, would ruin all; and finally, as he drew the last gasp of
consciousness, he waved it languidly from him under the shelf; then,
with a sigh, was gone.

He had known that he must have about his body the unmistakable signs of
an abnormal condition in order to sleep a night in the infirmary--which
was what he wanted. And thither, when shakings and the bull's-eye had
sufficiently tested him, he was swung away, and the doctor's assistant
summoned.

Hogarth's pupils were hurriedly examined, his heartbeat tested; and
the freshman frowned, smelling an odour which, in another place,
might have been chloroform, but here was pharyngitis; and he
muttered, "Digitalis, perhaps...."

From a table Hogarth was swung to a bed by two of those well-behaved
convicts who act as hospital-orderlies, and there two hours later
had all his wits about him, and a racking headache.

His first thought was his boots--expecting to find them under his
stretcher, and himself in flannels; but he had them still on, and
also his work-clothes, humanity to the sick in the first stages not
being in the Colmoor code.

He spent half an hour in stealthily tearing a square foot from his
shirt-tail; then, weary and sick, went to sleep.

When, soon after 3 A.M. his eyes again opened, all was still. He lay
in a long room, rather dim, in the midst of a row of stretchers
which were shut in by bars containing locks and gates, and on the
other side of the room a row of stretchers, shut in by bars. At a
table in the middle, on which were bottles, lint, graduated glasses,
sat a warder, with outstretched legs and fallen head: near him,
standing listless, a convict hospital-orderly, who continually edged
nearer the stove; and, half-way down the room, another.

Occasionally there were calls from the sick-beds--whispered shouts--
apologetic and stealthy, as of men guiltily conscious of the luxury
of being ill; but neither night-warder nor orderlies made undue
haste to hear these summonses. There was, beside, an octagonal
clock, which ticked excessively in the stillness, as though the
whole place belonged to it.

Hogarth took off his boots under his blanket, and from them took out
the vials; then, sitting up, commenced to call the warder, at the
same time wetting the torn piece of shirt with some of the fluid.

"All right, I'm coming--shut up!" said the warder, but did not come.

So Hogarth grew loud; and the warder, presently rousing his drowsy
bulk, unlocked the gate of that compartment, as Hogarth said to
himself: "Do it handy..."

And as the warder stooped, Hogarth clapped the rag upon his mouth
and nose. A struggle followed a muffled sob, both standing upright
now, till the warder began to paw the air, sank, toppled upon the
bed, whereupon Hogarth slipped into the blanket again, and called
out in the voice of the warder: "Come here, Barrows--see if this man
is dead ".

He had now drawn the warder over him, holding up his chest with one
arm, had also poured chloroform upon the rag, and when the convict-
orderly came, Hogarth, by means of a short struggle, had him asleep,
then seized the warder's truncheon and keys, and ran out in his
stockinged feet.

At that sight, the sick, the dying, the two rows of stretchers, were
up on elbow, gazing with grins. To the second convict-orderly who
came running to meet him Hogarth hissed: "Not a word--or I brain you
with this! If I tie your feet, you won't have to answer for
anything. Come along...."

He was an old fellow, and when he realized the impending truncheon,
the menace of Hogarth's eyes, and the silence of the warder, he
permitted himself to be dragged toward Hogarth's stretcher; and his
feet were quickly knotted in his own stockings.

Now again Hogarth ran: but not many steps, when he felt himself
tapped on the back, and, glancing in a horror of alarm, saw one of
the two patients who had occupied with him his cage of bars--a wiry,
long-faced Cockney shop-boy, who had had his ankle crushed by a rock
at the quarry.

"Are you off?" he asked.

"That's _my_ business--"

"No, you don't. Part, or I give the alarm".

"What is it? Do you want to come with me?"

"That's about it".

"But--your foot's sick, you fool".

"You'll carry me in your awms, as a father beareth his children...."

"You are cool! What are you in for?"

"Murder, my son-red, grim, gory murder!"

"Guilty?"

"Guilty, ya'as. What do _you_ think?"

"Then you may go to hell".

"_'Ell_ is it? I'm _there_: and if I linger longer loo in it, you
linger, too, swelp me Gawd!"

Hogarth was nonplussed.

"But the foot..."

"Never mind the _foot_. Foot's still good for a run. Do we go
shares?"

"Come along, then".

"But you ain't 'alf up to snuff, I can see, though you are pretty
smart in your own way: I'd 'ave felt the confidence of a son in you,
if you 'adn't overlooked that wine--"

To Hogarth's dismay, he turned back to the table, put a black
bottle, half full, to his lips, and with tilts anc stoppages set to
gulp it, while eager jokes, touched with jealousy, began to jeer
from the beds.

"Lawd Gawd, that was good!" said the Cockney with upturned eyes,
"and what do I behold?--broth, ye gawds!"

Now a saucepan of cold broth was at his lips; and not till he had
drunk all did he run after Hogarth into the other arm of the ward,
where one of the keys unlocked the door at its end, and they passed
out into the infirmary exercise-hall, now dark, Hogarth dragging the
Cockney, who limped, and kept up a prattle of tipsy ribaldries.

Then, emerging upon a platform of slabs, from which the jump into
the infirmary exercise-yard is twenty feet, Hogarth leapt. The
Cockney stood hesitating on the brink.

"As sure as my name's 'Arris, you'll be the bloomin' ruin of me..."
he said aloud.

"_Sh-h-h_", went Hogarth, "one more word, and I leave or knock you
speechless".

Now at last Harris jumped, Hogarth catching him, and they ran across
the yard northerly, Harris complaining of cold, being in hospital
flannels, his feet bare, Hogarth bitterly regretting the burden of
this companion, meditating on deserting him. Accordingly, when they
had run down a passage, and were confronted by a great gate, spiked
a-top, Hogarth said: "I'll get up first", and, forcing the small end
of the truncheon into the space at the hinges, he got foot-hold from
which he caught the top hinge and scaled, a feat of which he
considered Harris incapable; and, instead of helping him up, leapt
down with a new feeling of lightness, hearing from the other side
"Dastardly treachery...!"

Again he ran through dark night wild with winds wheeling snowflakes;
and, seeing in the unpaved court in which he now was a clothes-line
supported on stakes, he seized both, to run with them to where the
court is bounded by the great outer wall: for though it is thirty
feet of sheer rock, the mere fact of stakes being found there, and
of a vanished rope, would furnish grounds for the belief that he had
scaled it: he therefore leant the stakes against it, and kept the
rope.

About to turn, he felt his back touched; and, spinning round, saw
Harris panting.

"There's a friend that sticketh closer than any bloomin' brother,
Mr. 76", Harris said. "Try that game on again, and I give myself up;
and where will _you_ be then?"

"You silly wretch!" said Hogarth: "before I am free, there'll be a
hundred difficulties and pains. Are you prepared to undergo them?
You couldn't, if you tried".

"Bear ye one another's burdens, it _is_", said Harris: "with thee by
me what need I fear? Lawd Gawd, that wine was good! it's got into my
poor 'ead, I believe. On, general; where thou leadest, I will
follow".

Hogarth looked at him, half inclined to knock him down, and half to
shelter, and save.

"All right", said he. "Can you climb?"

"Climb, yes, like a bag of monkeys".

"Come, then".

He mounted three low steps before four doors at the north end of the
infirmary buildings, where, as he had observed from the moor, a
spout runs up the wall at its east end; and up this he began to
climb.

"'Old on!" called Harris: "I can't do that lot".

"_Sh-h-h!_--you must!--come--"

Harris made three attempts before he reached the first footrest, and
there stuck, vowing in loud whispers that he would no further go,
and Hogarth had to come back, and encourage him up. Finally, they
went running southward on the leads between the infirmary roof and
its coping, and had hardly reached the south end when a whistle
shrilled, and they saw a warder run across the exercise-yard with a
lantern.

"Stoop!" whispered Hogarth.

Crouching, they stole along the south coping, and thence dropped to
a flat cistern-top, Hogarth, with a painful "_Sh-h-h_", catching
Harris as he fell, for the signs of alarm and activity every moment
increased.

Up a series of little brick steps, the base of a chimney over the
kitchen--then across another stretch of leads beneath which is the
tailor's shop--then, stealing in shadow under the beams of
overhanging eaves by a garret window, behind which was a light, and
someone moving--then a spring of three feet between two cornices--
then a running walk at a height of a hundred feet along a beading
four inches wide, holding on with the upstretched arms--then, with
course changed from south to east, along more leads--then a climb of
ten feet up a glazed main--and now they were skulking behind the
coping of the great No. 2 prison.

Now, contiguous with the back of the bath-house is a wall which runs
from No. 2 prison to the bell-tower, dividing the bath-house yard
from the bell-yard; but the top is not horizontal, being lower at
the bell-tower end, neither is it broad, and to reach it from the
prison coping a drop of seven feet is necessary: this Harris refused
to do. "Not for Joe", said he: "I've already run my 'ead into enough
perils by land and sea on your account. If this is what you've
brought me out moonlighting here for...."

Hogarth did not wait, but disappeared over the side: and Harris,
after five minutes' pleadings, followed. They then drew on the belly
to the bell-tower; and here again Harris refused the leap to the
conductor. When finally he dared, and Hogarth sought to steady him,
as he came sprawling upon the rod, both went gliding down, till
checked by a staple.

But they climbed again; Hogarth undid the half-fused string of tin
from the conductor, swung to the laundry coping, caught Harris,
leapt to the window, drew up Harris; and was ensconced far up among
the beams in thick darkness in the belfry an hour before daybreak.

At this time the great gates were open, and the moor being scoured
for the two.




XXI

IN THE DEEP


They had not been ten minutes in the tower when Harris began to
whine of the cold; whereupon Hogarth took off his slop-jacket and
waistcoat, and put them upon the Cockney.

As from two sound-escapes far down near the bell some twilight came
in, near eight Hogarth descended, working from beam to beam, to find
that on one side the bell-metal had been melted into a lumpish mass,
its rim shrivelled up, leaving an empty space under the motto
_Laudate Domino_ (mistake for _Dominum_) _omnes gentes_; and on the
opposite side ran a crack from top to rim. Sliding still lower on a
slanting beam, he could look obliquely upward into the bell's
interior, and see the clapper, a mass weighing eight hundredweight,
and so long, that quite down at the bell's rim were two hollows
where it had constantly struck. It, too, had been blasted; but the
bell-rope hung intact from a short beam at right angles to the swing
beam; and, having found this much, he searched where he had left the
bottom of his tin can, and clambered back with it into the upper
regions.

About eleven, lying along two beams, they could see the portal below
opened, and four men came in, looking unreal and small; whereupon
the leverage wheel was pulled, the swing-beam swung, the bell struck
the clapper, and throughout the tower growled grum sounds: after
which the four stood talking half an hour, and went away.

A little later--it must have been after the forty minutes' dinner-
interval--about twenty convicts entered with two warders, bearing
three ladders. When these had been fastened together and set up, and
the leverage wheel removed, they went away.

It was evidently to be slow work. Not till about four did a solitary
man mount the ladder, and take stand, far down under the bell,
gazing up a long while, with stoops, and changes of posture. Hogarth
thought that it was the bell-foundry expert whom he had seen; but
could only guess: for all here was dim and remote.

By now he had sawed the clothes-line into two pieces with the tin,
one piece eight feet, the other much longer--had intended tearing
his clothes into strips for ropes, but the clothes-line was still
better. In both ropes he made knots for hand-hold, a large knot at
one end of the short one, and he attached the string of tin to the
other end. Descending now, he tied the longer rope round the
swingbeam, let himself down to the rim of the bell, and with the
right hand pushed the tin into the hole in which the clapper swung,
reaching up, until the tin over-balanced, ran, and toppled down
beside the clapper; drawing the tin now, he brought the rope down
till it was stopped by the knot; and now, by a swing off from rope
to rope, could climb into the bell. He then reascended, taking the
longer rope, and the tin, with him.

As night fell, he judged that by the next he would succumb. Happily,
Harris, who had eaten later than he, was snoring in a nook; but
toward morning began to whine again, and sulk, and kept it up all
the day. Not a soul now entered, and as the blackness of night once
more filled the place, Harris threw up the sponge, with "Here goes
for this child....!" Hogarth flew across the space which divided
them, and a quarrel of cats ensued, both being under the influence
of the fury called "hunger-madness". It was only when Harris felt
the grip of Hogarth at his windpipe that he squealed submission,
whereupon Hogarth threw himself away; and half the night they sat,
nothing but four eyes, eyeing each other.

That night what was a revival of the great gale took place, belling
like bucks about their heads, and noising through the tower in many
a voice. This so increased their sense of desolation, that even the
heart of Hogarth fainted, they like castaways on some ocean whose
glooms no sunrise ever goldens; and now a doubt arose whether, even
if the bell were removed on the morrow, Harris would have strength
to cling on during the descent.

However, early the next day hope revived when five men entered, four
mounting among the beams to the swing-beam with tools, one at the
ladder-head shouting up orders; and Hogarth, when they had gone,
whispered Harris: "They have been unscrewing the sockets in which
the bell-beam swings".

"Let them unscrew away", said Harris, his chin shivering on his
hand.

Five more hours; during which only once did three men enter, seeming
to do nothing but talk, with upward glances.

But at three it was evident that there was considerable to-do,
though above there the row of the winds drowned all sound. A crowd,
chiefly of convicts, passed in and out; then twelve men, one after
the other, ran up the ladder, and thence climbed among the beams,
with six cables. Half went to the east, half to the west, side of
the bell; and three of the cables were fastened round the swing-beam
near one end, three near the other end; one three were then cast
over a beam higher than the swing-beam, to the north of it; the
other three cast over a beam to the south of it; and the six ends
lowered--operations which Hogarth, lying on his face, could just
see; and the twelve had hardly begun to descend, when he saw a lorry
backed into the gateway, filling half 1 the area of the tower;
whereupon over a hundred convicts were swarming over and round it.

"Now", said Hogarth; and he hurried down, tacking his way with
slides and runs among the intricate beams, tied the rope to a beam
above the swing-beam, and let himself down to the bell's rim;
reached out then, caught the knotted rope that was within the bell,
and climbed, the clapper now so rough, that hand and knee found
grip; and he spent a minute in estimating his power of holding on
with one arm, and with both, to its support-shaft.

And now he whispered Harris, and caught and half-sustained the
Cockney.

Now they could hear echoes of the tongues below; and now Harris,
clinging alternate with Hogarth, arms and legs, face to face, by
rope and shaft and clapper, whispered: "But-good Lord-look 'ere-
there are some people coming up!"

Four convicts were indeed climbing: but even directly beneath the
bell, where it was impossible to come, they would hardly have
distinguished the forms huddled in its dark cavern, and their aim
was higher, to stand ready, when the beam should lift, to swing it
diagonally across the square of beams which had supported it, so
that it might find space to descend. And soon the bell-beam stirred
at the tightening ropes: the fugitives felt themselves swinging,
rising, poised--descending.

They were dizzily aware of shouted orders, the creaking of the
toiling, slipping ropes, little jolts and stoppages, two hundred
eyes blinking up, not seeing their cringed-up limbs--unnecessary
cautious: for the nearer they descended to-ward the half-light, the
surer did the area of the lorry make their invisibility. At last
they were near; the bell lingered, swinging; babel was around them;
the Governor's voice; a cheer: the bell was on the lorry.

Someone struck the bell with a hammer, there was talk, swarmings
round it, then shoulders pushed at the lorry wheels, which squealed
and moved amid a still fussier babel drawn by four horses, and seven
yoke of cattle. The fugitives could hear the opening of the great
gate, the laborious exit, and, in a moment's pause, again the
Governor talking, it seemed far off, to the expert....

Wearily creaked the cart--beyond the moor--to a country road.

Now chattering words came from Harris: "All damned fine! I don't
deny that you know your way about--"

"Way out", said Hogarth.

"Yes, a gamesome sort of cock you are in all weathers...but what
next?"

"'Next' is to fall upon your knees and worship me, you cur".

"Thou shalt worship the Lawd thy Gawd", chattered Harris; "no
bloomin' fear! This is only a new kind of punishment cell. You've
got me in; 'ow are you going to get me out?"

Hogarth believed that the lorry was _en route_ for the railway, and
hoped to escape in the transfer of the bell; but that night lorry
and bell slept in a shed outside a village _en route_ for the sea.

At four A.M. they were again _en route_, and at intervals during the
day, opening their now feeble and sleep-infected eyes, could hear
the hoots of the two cattlemen, the sound of winds, the rowdy gait
of the crooked-legged oxen, and stoppages for drink or rest, and
anon an obstruction, with shouting and fuss. It was night before the
waggon came to rest on a jetty, the elaborate day's journey done.

The fugitives were then deep in sleep, and only awoke at the rattle
of a steam-crane in action above them, to find the bell beginning to
tilt, lift and swing; then they were on a deck; and soon afterwards
knew that it was a steamer's, when they heard the bray of her
whistle, and presently were aware of blaring winds, and billows of
the sea.

Harris was for then and there crying out, but Hogarth, now his
master, said: "To-morrow morning"; and they fell again into their
morbid slumber.

When they again awoke, uproar surrounded them, voices, a heaven-high
shouting of quenched fires and screaming steams; moreover, the bell
was leaning steeply, they two huddled together at its edge.

Harris began to bellow: but he was not heard, or not heeded....
There had been a collision.

"If you can't swim, better catch hold of me", Hogarth shouted--
"there will be--"

But the earth turned turtle, and Hogarth felt himself struck on the
shoulder, flung, and dragged down, down, into darkness.

After an upward climb and fight to slip the clutch of the ship's
suction, in the middle of a heavy sea he managed to get off his
clothes, and set to swimming, whither he did not know, a toy on
mountains of water.

Exultation raged in him--a crazy intoxication--at liberation
attained, at the sensation of warmth, at all that water and waste of
Nature.

But within ten minutes it is finished: he shivers, his false
strength changing to paltriness, the waves washing now over his
head; and now he is drowsing...drowning...




XXII

OLD TOM


He continued, however, to swim after his conscious efforts ceased:
for his body was found next morning on a strip of Cornish sand
between Gorran and Mevagissey, washed by every sheet of surf.

His rescuer, a shrimp-fisher, occupied one of three cots perched on
a ravine; and there on the evening of the second day he opened his
eyes on a settee, four children screaming in play around him; he so
far having been seen only by a reporter from Mevagissey, and the
doctor from Gorran, who, on his wide rounds, had been asked into the
cottage.

The same night Hogarth spoke to the fisher: told him that he was not
a wrecked sailor, had reasons for avoiding observation, and would
pay for shelter and silence: whereat the fisher, who was drinking
hot beer, winked, and promised; and the next day took for Hogarth a
telegram, signed "Elm Tree", to Mevagissey, asking of Loveday five
pounds.

Finally, one midnight, after two weeks of skulking, he reached
Whitechapel, where, the fact of his brown skin now giving him the
idea of orientalizing himself, at a Jew's, in a little interior
behind the counter, he bought sandals, a caftan, a black sudayree,
an old Bagdad shawl for girdle, and a greenish-yellow Bedouin head-
cloth, or kefie, which banded the forehead, draped the face like a
nun's wimple, and fell loose. For these he discarded the shrimp-
man's clothes; and now dubbed himself "Peter the Hermit".

For he meant to start-a Crusade.

At a police-station on the third day he saw a description of
himself: three moles, bloodshot eye, white teeth, pouting mouth; but
over the moles now hung the head-cloth.

For several days he lay low in a garret, considering himself,
abandoning himself to sensuality in cocoa, vast buns, tobacco:
rioting above all in the thought of the secret truth which lay in
his head.

Up to now, not a word to anyone about it; but on the seventh night
he spoke.

It was in some "Cocoa Rooms" in a "first-class room", strewn with
sawdust, where, as he sat alone, another man, bearing his jug, came
and sat; and soon he addressed Hogarth.

"Talk English?"

"I am an Englishman", answered Hogarth.

"What, in those togs? What countryman?"

"Norfolk".

"Know Manchester?"

"I was there one day".

"Difference between Manchester and London, isn't there? I am a
Manchester man, I am. All the difference in the world. This cold,
stiff, selfish city. Londoners, eh? A lot of peripatetic
tombstones!"

And so he went on; this being his whole theory of God and Man: that
Londoners are peripatetic tombstones, but Manchester-men just the
other way--seemed a mechanic, brisk-eyed, small; a man who had read;
but now, evidently, down on his luck.

"Then, why come to London?"--from Hogarth.

"Looking for work",--with a shrug--"looking for a needle in a bundle
of hay. What would you have? the whole place overrun with Jews.
England no longer belongs to the English, that's the long and short
of it".

Hogarth looked him in the face. "Did England belong to the English
before the Jews came?"

"How do you mean? Of course it did".

"Which part of it?"

"Why, all of it".

"But fix your mind upon some particular piece of England--some
street, or field, that you know--and then tell me: did that belong
to the English?"

"Belonged to some Englishman".

"But you don't mean to say that some Englishman is the English?"

"Ah, yes, I know what you are driving at", said the mechanic, with a
patronizing nod: "but the point is this: that, apart from vague
theorizing, a man did manage to make a good living before these dogs
overran the country".

"But--a _good_ living? How much did you make?--forty shillings a
week? toiling in grime six days, sleeping the seventh? I call that a
deadly living".

"Well, I _don't_, you see. Besides, I made, not forty, but forty-
_five_ shillings, under the sliding-scale".

"Yes, but no brave nation would submit one day to such petty
squalors after it was shown the way to escape them".

"There _is_ no way", said the mechanic: "there are the books, and
the talkers; but the economic laws that govern the units like you
and me are as relentless as gravitation. Don't believe anyone who
talks to you about 'ways of escape'".

"But suppose someone has a new thought?"

"There can be no new thoughts about _that_. The question has long
since been exhausted".

"Well, come "--with sudden decision--"I will tell you a thought of
my own ". And he told.

If the English people paid the rent for England to themselves--to
their government--instead of to a few Englishmen, then, by one day's
labour in six, Englishmen would be much more rich in all things than
a fisherman, by one day's labour in six, was rich in fish.

The expression which he awaited on the face before him was one of
illuminated astonishment; but, with a chill in his nerves, he saw
the workman's lips curve.

"Bah!" said the Manchester man, "that is an exploded theory!"

_Exploded!!!_

Hogarth was rather pale.

Yet he knew that it was true....Who, then, could have been
exploding the Almighty?

"Who has exploded it?"

"Been exploded again and again!" said the Manchester man; "of all
the theories of land-tenure, that is about the weakest: _I_ should
know, for I've studied them all. The fact is, no change in the
system of land-tenure will have the least effect upon the lot of the
masses; would only make things worse by unsettling the country--if
it didn't mean a civil war".

"I begin to see".

Hogarth got up, walked home meditating: and suddenly blushed.

It was known! by mechanics in cocoa-rooms!--that secret thing of
his secret cell. And it was not believed!

As for him, what was he now doing outside Colmoor? That question he
asked himself, as he sat unsandaling his feet; and he commenced to
dress himself again: but paused--would first see Loveday.

Accordingly, the next night, the two friends met at Cheyne Gardens.

And a long time they sat silent, Loveday feeding his eyes upon his
friend's face, that hard, rounded brow which seemed harder, and
frowned now, that gallant largeness of eye which seemed now wilder,
and that manly height, which seemed Mahomet's in the Oriental dress.

"But where have you been for five weeks?" asked Loveday.

"Skulking, and thinking. But about my sister...."

"Do not ask..." said Loveday.

There was a long silence.

"Did not O'Hara tell you to make no more efforts for my escape?"
asked Hogarth.

"Who is O'Hara?"

"Why, the priest who escaped, instead of me, through the copse".

"O'Hara was not the name he gave me; and no, he said nothing about
that. I got him off to America, and only saw him twice. I thought
him rather--But why didn't you escape youself?"

"I thought it improper".

"But you did finally?"

"For a reason: you remember the association which I was forming to
answer the question as to the cause of misery? Well, that question I
have answered for myself in prison".

"Really? Tell me!"

Hogarth absently took up a water-colour drawing from the table, and
turned it round and round, leaning forward on a knee, as he told how
the matter was. Meantime, he kept his eyes fixed upward upon
Loveday's face, who stood before him.

In the midst of his talk Loveday scratched the top of his head,
where the hair was rather thin, and said he, twisting round:
"Forgive me-let me ring for some brandy-and-soda--"

Hogarth stood briskly up.

"What I say, I can see, is not new to you?" said he.

"No, not new", Loveday confessed: "I believe that it is quite an
ancient theory; there are even savage tribes whose land-tenure is
not unlike what you advocate--the Basutos, for example".

"And are these Basutos richer, happier, prettier fellows than
average Englishmen?"

"Oh, beyond doubt. Don't suppose that I am gainsaying you: I am only
showing you that the theory is not new--"

"But why do you persist in calling it a _theory?_ Is the fact that
one and one make two a _theory?_"--Hogarth's brow growing every
moment redder.

"What can one call it?"

"Call it what you like! But do you believe it?"

"It is quite possibly true; and now that you say it I believe it;
but I have never seriously considered the matter"

"Why not?"

"Because--I don't know. It is out of my line".

"Your line! Yet you are a human being--"

"Well, partly, yes: say--a novelist".

"Do not jest! It is incredible to me that you have written book
after book, and knew of this divine thing, and did not cram your
books with it!"

Loveday flushed. "You misunderstand my profession; and as to this
theory of land-tenure, let me tell you: it will never be realized--
not in England. Anyway, it would mean civil war...."

Again those words! "Civil war...."

And as, for the second time, he heard them, Hogarth dashed the
picture which he held to the ground, shattering glass and frame:
which meant that, then and there, he washed his hands of the world
and its wagging; meant also his return to Colmoor.

He dashed from the room without a word; down the stairs; out into
the street.

As he ran along the King's Road, he asked a policeman the way to the
nearest police-station, then ran on through a number of smaller
streets, seeking it, till, at a corner, he stopped, once more
uncertain, the night dim and drizzling.

He was about to set off again, when, behind him, he heard: "Excuse
me, mister--could you give a poor man a penny to get a night's
lodging?"

Turning, he saw--old Tom Bates: still in the guernsey; but very
senile and broken now.

The fish-rich fisher...! he had come to this...

Hogarth had twenty-eight shillings about him, and, without
disclosing himself, put hand to pocket to give them all, just as the
old man reached up to his ear to say: "It's the lumbago; I got it
very bad; but it won't be long now. It wur a bad day for me as ever
I come to Lunnon! I'm Norfolk born, I am: and I had eight sons,
which the last was Fred, who, they say, met his death in Colmoor...."

At that word, "Fred", Hogarth started: for under the elm in the
beech-wood between Thring and Priddlestone Fred had concealed a
thing fallen from heaven, which could be sold for--a thousand
pounds.

That would keep the fisher rich during the few days that remained to
him!

But the old man could hardly go himself; if he could, would bungle:
the thing was heavy--on the lord-of-the-manor's land....

Do a kind act, Hogarth. He would see the old place, his father's
grave; and there was a girl who lived in the Hall at Westring whom
it was a thrilling thing to be near, even if one did not see....

"Here are two shillings", said he, in an assumed voice: "and if you
be at this spot, at this hour, on Thursday night coming, you shall
have more. Don't fail".

Again he ran, and took train, two hours later, for Beccles.




XXIII

UNDER THE ELM


His risk of arrest here, round about his old home, was enormous, and
he drew the Bedouin kefie well round his face, skulking from the
station to the "Fen", northward, where he got an urchin to buy him a
paper lantern in a general shop, and now trudged up to Priddlestone,
then down through meadows to the beech-wood, the night rough with
March winds.

It was not the winds, however, which made him draw close his Arab
cloak, but his approach to the elm: there, one night, he had seen a
naked black man! there had fallen the Arab Jew.

He stood twenty yards from the tree, till, with sudden resolution,
he strode, soon had the lantern ruby, and since the grave of "the
affair" had been digged with a piece of wood, for such a piece he
went seeking, having thrown off his caftan.

Instead, he found the rusted half-blade of a spade, and commenced to
dig round the roots, the lantern shine reddening a face strangely
agitated, uncertainty of finding what he sought heightening his
excitement: for the earth showed no disturbance, and since three
years had passed since that night of Bates in the wood, the object
might have been already unearthed. After an hour his back was
aching, his hands dabbled, his brow beaded, while the night-winds
blew, the light now was commoved, and now glowed a steady red; and
still he grovelled.

Presently, as he shovelled in a circle, always two feet deep, moving
the light as he moved, he saw on the top of a shovelful of marl--a
twig: barkless, black, cracked--_scorched!_

To an immoderate degree this thing agitated him--some whisper in the
back of his head--some half-thought: he began now to root furiously,
with a frowning intentness.

But suddenly he shuddered: a finger seemed to touch his shoulder
behind; and he twisted with wild eyes, caught up the light, peered,
saw no black man--nothing: but quite five minutes he stood defiant,
with clenched fists; then resumed the work, though with a constant
feeling now that he was being watched by the unseen seers.

After two new strokes he struck upon something hard, and, digging
eagerly round it, found a quart-can, full of earth. And instantly
all doubt vanished: for this must have been the beer-can carried by
Bates.

Strong curiosity now wrought in Hogarth, a zeal to lay eyes upon
that object which had careered through the heights of space to find
that beech-wood and that elm-tree; and during fifteen minutes his
little implement digged with the quick-plying movement of a distaff-
shuttle, he fighting for breath, anon casting a flying wild glance
behind, but still digging.

Now, frequently, he came upon burned objects, twigs, cinders. Even
the marl had a scorched look; and his agitation grew to ecstasy.

Something very singular had happened to his mind with regard to this
"affair" of Bates: Bates had said that it had fallen on the asteroid
night; and O'Hara had told him--falsely, indeed--that a piece of the
asteroid, fallen upon the French coast, had had diamonds; yet,
somehow, never once had his mind associated the Fred Bates "affair"
with the thought of diamonds, but only with the "thousand pounds"
which Bates had been promised by old Bond. So at the moment when he
had begun to dig, his whole thought was of "a thousand pounds"; but,
somehow, by the time his implement at last grated against something
two feet down, that word "diamonds" had grown up in his brain.

But diamonds! In the midst of his shovelling the thought flashed
through him: "The world is God's! and to whom He wills He gives
it...."

Now at last the thing lay definitely before him: he grated the spade
from end to end, scraping away the marl; and it was very rough....

The size and shape of a man's leg, and red, anyway in the red
lantern-shine--his sight dim--he moved and saw in an improbable
dream; and when he tried to lift the object and failed, for a long
time he sat on the edge of the trench, passing one palm across and
across his forehead, till the lantern-light leapt, and went out.

He sprang upright then--awake, sure: they were diamonds, those bits
of glass, big celestial ones, not of earth, in hundreds; when he
passed his hand along the meteorite he felt it leprous, octahedron,
dodecahedron, large and small: if they were truly diamonds, he
divined that their owner must be as wealthy as some nations.

About three in the morning he managed to raise the meteorite;
refilled the trench; and since it still rained, rolled the meteorite
to the hollow of the elm, put on his caftan, and with his back on
the interior of the tree, his feet on the meteorite, tumbled into a
wonderful slumber.




XXIV

FRANKL SEES THE METEORITE


He was awaked by a footstep, and, starting, saw rocking along the
forest path one Farmer Pollock, wearing now fez and tassel, and he
saw his clothes all clay, and, with a smile of fondness, saw how,
even beneath its grime, the meteor dodged and jeered, with frolic
leers, in the beams of a bright morning that seemed to him the
primal morning, a fresh wedding-morning, swarming with elves and
shell-tinted visions, imps and pixy princes, profligate Golcondas.

Going first to the spot where he had digged, to give to the surface
a natural look, he trampled the lantern into the mire, threw the tin
can far, then, taking a quantity of marl, plastered the meteorite,
to cover its roughness; then boldly left it, starting out with
consummate audacity for Thring, where everybody, police and all,
knew him well.

A singular light now in his eyes, an evil pride; and he had the step
of a Prince in Prettyland. Corresponding to an inward majesty, of
which, from youth, he had been conscious, he now felt an outward,
and had not been awake eight minutes when his brain was invaded by
plans--plans of debauchery, palaces, orgy, flying beds of ivory
arabesqued in fan-traceries of sapphire, in which Rebekah Frankl
lolled, and smiled; and on toward Thring he stepped, prince new-
crowned, yet by old heredity, high exalted above laws, government,
and the entire little muck of Man.

At one point where the path ran close to Westring-park proper, the
park on higher ground, a grass-bank seven feet high dividing them,
he saw a-top of the bank in caftan, priest-cap, and phylacteries,
taking snuff--Baruch Frankl.

Hogarth skipped up, and stood before the Jew, having drawn his face-
cloth well forward.

"What's the row?" asked Frankl.

"Could you give a poor man a job?"

"You a Jew?"

"Yes", replied Hogarth, not dreaming how truly: "London born".

"A Froom?"

"I keep the fasts".

"What you doing about here?"

"Tramping".

"Fine mess you are in".

"I slept in a hollow tree down yonder--an elm tree".

"Well, there's many a worse shake-down than that. Who are you? Ever
been about here before?"

"I was once".

"You put me in mind of an old chum of mine....Well, here's half-a-
crown for you to go on with".

"Make it a crown", said Hogarth, "and get me to clean up down there;
in a shocking state with mast and leaves".

Frankl considered. "All right, I don't mind".

"I shall want a spade, and--a barrow".

"Go down the path yonder, till you come to the stables, and tell
them".

Frankl resumed his musing stroll, and Hogarth ran for the barrow.

In twenty minutes he was again at the elm tree, and, with a scheme
in him for seeing Rebekah, heaped the barrow with refuse, pushed it
between a beck and the wood, till, wearying of this, he was about to
get the meteorite into the barrow, when he had the mad thought that
Frankl must be made to see and touch it, so set off to seek him: and
a few yards brought him face to face with Frankl.

"Well, how goes it?" asked the Jew.

"There is a weight there which I can't lift", said Hogarth. "Then
you must do the other thing. Don't lift it, and you don't get the
pay. What weight is it?"

"It is here".

Hogarth led him, led him, pointing. Frankl kicked the meteorite.

"What is it?" he asked.

"It can't be a branch", said Hogarth; "too heavy--more like a piece
of old iron".

"Well, slip into it. A strapping fellow like you ought to be able to
do that bit".

"But suppose it's valuable?"

"I make you a present of it, as you are so hard up".

Now Hogarth, by tilting the barrow, with strong effort of four
limbs, got the meteorite lodged, while Frankl, his smile lifting the
wrinkles above his thick moustache, watched the strain: then, with
arms behind, went his contemplative way.

Hogarth rolled the barrow toward Thring.




XXV

CHURCH ARCHITECTURE


It was already eleven o'clock, the sun shining in a bright sky,
under which the country round the Waveney lay broad to the hills of
mist which seemed to encompass the valley; yet, when one came to
them no hills were there, but were still beyond. When Hogarth came
out from the wood upon a footbridge, to his right a hand-sower was
sowing broadcast, with a two-handed rhythm, taking seed, as he
strode, from his scrip; and to the left ran a path between fields to
an eminence with a little church on it; straight northward some
Thring houses visible, and north-east, near the river, Lagden Dip
orchard. Only two stooping women in fields near Thring could Hogarth
see; also, still further, a gig-and-horse whose remote motion was
imperceptible; also the trudging two-handed process of the sower
nourishing the furrows. But for these, England, supposed to be
"overcrowded", seemed a land once inhabited, but abandoned.

To Hogarth the whole, so familiar, looked uplifted now, the sunlight
of a more celestial essence. Westring he would buy--though one
memorable night in Colmoor he had arrived at the knowledge that it
was not just that Westring should be anyone's; but then what one
bought with his own diamonds was surely his own--his name being
Richard.

He had passed the bridge, when, glancing to the left, he saw a fifth
person in the landscape--a man under a sycamore near the church,
gazing up, with hung jaw, at the apse window--dressed in a grey
jacket, but a clerical hat, and he had a note-book, in which he
wrote, or drew. Hogarth, whose mind was in weathercock state, rolled
the barrow to the hill, left it, went stealing fleetly up, and
gripped the man's collar, to whisper: "In the King's name I arrest
you".

The man's hand clapped his heart, as he turned a face of terror.

"There is--some mistake--My God! Are you--?"

"Yes".

"Hogarth?"

"Who else?"

"But you have killed me! My heart--"

"Serves you right. Why didn't you give your right name to Loveday?
And what are you doing here?"

"I was just examining this lovely old church, with its two south
aisles, and one north, like St. John's at Cirencester. When the
church fell in England, architecture was abolished--But as to why I
am in Norfolk at all, I am skulking: and here is as another place.
Your friend packed me off to America; but for some reasons I should
prefer Golmoor--old Colmoor, eh? I fear I am a voluptuary, my son,
fond of comfort, and old things, and pretty things. And all that I
shall have yet! Tut, O'Hara is not done with the world, nor it with
him. As to Norfolk, I once knew--a person--in this neighbourhood--"

The priest paused, regarding Hogarth with a smile, the "person"
meant being Hogarth's mother; and he said: "But you are quite the
Jew in dress: do you know now, then, that you are of the Chosen
Race?"

"Singular notion! This is a mere disguise".

"Ah. But you look quite radiant. You must have come into a fortune.
When I heard of your escape, I said to myself--"

"How did you hear?"

"Why, from Harris".

"Harris is drowned".

"Harris is now under that little roof down there--there"--the
prelate stabbed with his forefinger: "Harris is my shadow; Harris is
my master. He was picked up naked by the ship which ran down your
vessel, recognized me one day in Broadway, and threatened to give me
in charge if I did not adopt him 'as my well-beloved son'. Well,
from him I heard all, how you called fire from Heaven--it was
gallant. But aren't you afraid of capture down here in your own
country?"

"I cannot be captured".

Those stony eyeballs of O'Hara, bulging from out circular trenches
round their sockets, surveyed Hogarth, weighing, divining him, while
his bottom lip, massive as the mouth of Polynesian stone gods,
trembled.

"How do you mean?"

"I can buy King on throne, Judge on bench, Governor and Warder, the
whole machinery. Even O'Hara I could buy".

"I am for sale! Hogarth! I _smelled_ it about you, the myrrh of your
garments! And didn't I prophesy it to you years ago? What a
development! That beast, Harris, will dance for joy! Oh, there is
something very artistic to my fancy, Hogarth, in the metal gold--
brittle, bright, orpimented--"

"And diamonds?"

"Hogarth, have you diamonds?"

"Yes", said Hogarth, smiling at the effect of ecstasy upon O'Hara.

"Prismic diamond!" cried the prelate: "but how--?"

"Do you want to enter my service?"

"Do I _want_?"

"Well, I want a tutor, O'Hara; and you shall be the man. Undertake,
then, to teach me all you know in two years, and I'll give you--how
much?--twenty thousand pounds a year".

"My son", whispered O'Hara, "what a development--!"

"Good-bye. In Thring Street there is a little paper-shop. Come there
to-night at seven".

He ran down the hill: and as he went northward, pushing his barrow,
O'Hara had a lens at his eyes, saw the meteorite, and wondered.




XXVI

FRANKL AND O'HARA


Mrs. Sturgess, of the paper-shop, a clean, washed-out old lady, held
up both averting hands at her back door, as Hogarth threw back his
kefie, finger on lips; but soon, her alarm warming into welcome, she
took him to a room above, to listen to his story of escape.

"And to think", said she, "there is the very box your sister, poor
thing, left with me to keep the day she went away, which never once
have I seen her dear good face from that day to this. Anyway,
_there's_ the box--" pointing to a trunk covered with grey goat's-
hair, the trunk to which the old Hogarth had referred in telling
Richard the secret of his birth, saying to deaf ears that it
contained Richard's "papers"--a box double-bottomed, on its top the
letters "P. O.", with a cross-of-Christ under them.

"But, sir", said Mrs. Sturgess, "you must be in great danger here. I
hope"--with a titter--"I shan't be implicated--"

"Don't be afraid, Mrs. Sturgess, it will be all right, and, for
yourself, don't trouble about the paper-shop any more, but buy a
little villa near Florence, where it is warm for the cough--don't
think me crazy if I tell you that I am a very rich man. Now give me
a steak".

Mrs. Sturgess served him well that day with a pang of expectancy at her
heart! Always, she remembered, Richard Hogarth had been strange--uplifted
and apart--a man incalculable, winged, unknown, though walking the
common ways. He _might_ be a "very rich man"...

His meal over, Hogarth threw himself upon a bed, to dream another
trouble of bubbles and burden of purples; woke at four; and, with a
procured cold-chisel, hammer, and a calico bag, went to the fowl-
house where he had left the meteorite, shut himself in.

Sitting in the dust there, he set to chisel out the gems from the
porous ore, and as the chisel won the luscious plums, held them up,
glutting his gaze, scratched his name on a fragment of window-pane,
and was enchanted that the adamant rim ripped the glass like rag:
the whim, meanwhile, working in him to purchase Colmoor, to turn the
moor into a paradise, the prison into a palace; where his old cell
stood in Gallery No. III to be the bedroom of Rebekah.

To see _her_ that very night was a necessity! and when it was dark
he set out.

But that plot failed: on presenting himself at the front of the
mansion, he was sent round to the back, where he received payment,
and was dismissed; and when he again started for the front,
intending to force his way in, he decided upon something else, and
walked back to Thring.

He reached the Sturgess cottage soon after six, ate, with a candle
returned to the lean-to to resume his work, and was still intent
upon it at seven, when Mrs. Sturgess ran out to tell him that "the
gentleman had come". He said: "Show him up to my room".

The first thing which O'Hara noticed in that room was the goat-hair
trunk, with the initials and cross, the initials his own.

After some minutes he furtively turned the key, dived into a mass of
things, paused to remember the whereabouts of a spring, found it,
and, lifting the upper bottom, peered beneath; saw a bundle of
papers; and, without removing the band, ferreted among them, and was
satisfied---Hogarth's "birth-papers".

He presently went to a back window, and saw ruddy streaks between
the boarding of the shanty, while sounds of the hammer reached him.

He would go and meet Hogarth: no harm in that; but it was stealthily
that he hurried down the stair and carried himself across the yard,
grinning a grimace of self-conscious caution, to peep through a
cranny.

Hogarth's back was toward him, the iron leg lying near a box in
which was a sitting hen, on its top a candlestick, the calico bag,
and a lot of the gems: at which the priest's palm covered his awed
mouth, and with a fleet thievishness, like a cat on hot bricks, he
trotted back to the cottage.

Ten minutes later Hogarth entered, nodding: "Ah, O'Hara..."; and he
called down: "Mrs. Sturgess! pen, ink, and paper!"

When these came, he sat and wrote:

"I have escaped from prison, and come into great power. I summon you
to meet me at the elm in the beech-wood to-night at nine. I beseech
you, I entreat you. I burn to ashes. Rebekah! My flames of fire! I
am dying.

"R. H."

He enclosed, and handed it, without any address, to O'Hara.

"O'Hara", said he, "I want you to take that for me. Come--I will
show you the place. You ask in the hall to see 'the young lady': her
name does not concern you; but you can't mistake her: she is so-
pretty. Give the note to no one else, of course: it mentions my
escape, for one thing. I know you will do it well".

He conducted O'Hara, till the two towers of Westring were visible;
pointed them out; then went back, and in an hour had finished his
work on the diamonds.

O'Hara, meantime, going on his way alone, muttered: "You go fast,
Hogarth: prelates of the Church your errand boys? But there is a
little fellow called Alf Harris...if he had seen what I have seen
to-night, you would be a corpse now".

In twenty minutes he was at Westring, which he knew well, for
twenty-five years before he had lived in the Vale: but he supposed
that Lord Westring de Broom was still the inmate.

He asked to see "the young lady", persisted, and after a time
Rebekah came with eyebrows of inquiry.

The moment O'Hara saw her well, his visage acquired a ghastly ribbed
fixity. Even before this, _she_, by one flashed glance, had known
him.

But she took the envelope with easy coolness. And, instead of then
returning upon her steps, went still beyond, and whispered to two
men in the hall: "Do not let that man pass out!"

As she again returned inward past O'Hara, she remarked: "You might
wait here a little".

She travelled then, not hurrying, down the breadth of a great
apartment to a side room where her father sat, capped and writing;
and she said: "Papa, the man who assaulted me in the train is now in
the hall. As his sentence was three years, he must have escaped--"
She was gone at once, the unaddressed envelope, still unopened,
shivering a little in her hand.

Frankl leapt up, rather pale, thinking that if the man had come
_here_, he must mean mischief; but remembering that the man was a
gentleman, a priest, he took heart, and went out.

O'Hara, meantime, stood at bay, guessing his exit blocked, while the
terrors of death gat hold upon him, the flesh of his yellow jaw
shivering. But he was a man of stern mind--stern as the rocky aspect
of his face, and the moment he saw Frankl coming (he had seen him in
the Court), he started to meet him--stooped to the Jew's ear, who
shrank delicately from contact.

"There isn't any good in running me down, sir", he whispered in
sycophant haste. "I pledge you my word I came here without knowing
to whom. O do, now! I have already suffered for my crime; and if you
attempt to capture me, I do assure you, I strangle you where you
stand! Do, now! I only brought a letter--"

Frankl, half inclined to tyrannize over misery, and half afraid,
swept his hand down the beard.

"Letter?" said he: "from whom?"

"From a friend".

"Which friend?"

"A man named Hogarth".

O'Hara said it in an awful whisper, though not aware of any relation
between Hogarth and Frankl.

Whereupon an agitation waved down Frankl's beard. The news that "a
man named Hogarth" had written to his daughter would hardly have
suggested _Richard_--safe elsewhere; but, one night at Yarmouth, he
had seen Richard Hogarth inexplicably kiss his daughter's hand.

"Hogarth?" said he: "what Christian name?"

"Richard".

The agonized thought in Frankl's brain was this: "Well, what's the
good of prisons, then?"--he, too earnest a financier to read
newspaper gossip, having heard not a word of the three escapes from
Colmoor.

He said: "Well, sir, generally speaking, I'm the last to encourage
this sort of thing; but, as yours is a special case, I tell you
plain out that, personally, I don't mean a bit of harm to you. Just
step into a room here, and let us talk the matter quietly over".

He led O'Hara to his study; and there they two remained locked half
an hour, conferring head to head.




XXVII

THE BAG OF LIGHT


Rebekah, having excused herself from three ladies, her guests, alone
in her room opened her letter.

Glanced first at the "R. H.", and was not surprised. He had
"escaped", had "come into great power": that seemed natural; but he
"summoned" her to meet him, and she saw no connection between his
"great power" and his right to summon her.

She held the paper to a fire, and, as it began to burn, in a panic
of flurry extinguished the edge, and hustled it into her bosom; then
perambulated; then fell to a chair-edge with staring gaze; then,
rocking her head which she had dropped upon a little table, moaned:
"He is mad...."

"My flames of fire! Rebekah! I am dying...."

He suffered; and a pussy's wail mewed from her; but with a gasp of
anger which said "Ho!" she sprang straight, and went ranging, with a
stamping gait, through the chamber, filling it with passion. "I
_won't go_!" she went with fixed lips, as something within her
whispered: "You must".

To escape herself, she went again to see what had happened with
regard to the convict, whose face would carry to the grave the scars
of her nails.

There were no signs of any disturbance; and she asked a footman:
"Where is the man who was here?"

"With your father in the study".

That seemed a strange proceeding: she felt a touch of alarm for her
father, and, passing again by the study, peeped; could see nothing
for the key, but heard voices.

This messenger of Hogarth, she next thought, was a criminal: he
might betray...so she stole into an adjacent room, to peep by a
side door of the study, and though a key projecting toward her
barred her vision, the talkers were near this point, and she could
hear.

"The diamond block", O'Hara said, "is the same which he rolled
across the bridge this morning; to that I'll swear".

"Then it must be the very same block he showed me", Frankl said in a
whisper; "that thing was worth millions....!"

"Undoubtedly it was the same".

"Oh, but Lord", groaned the Jew in an anguish of self-deprecation,
"where were my _eyes_? where were my _wits_? I must have been
_dreaming_! No, that's hard!"

"Well--_nil desperandum_! Let us be acting, sir!"

"My own land--!"

"They are still safe enough: come--"

"He may have lost one or two--in his excitement. Thousands gone! He
may have hidden some!"

"Tut, he has hidden none", said O'Hara; "we may have all. Let us
make a move".

"But he is a strong man, this Hogarth. Why do you object to the
assistance of the police?"

"What have the police to do with such a matter? Hogarth would simply
bribe. And there are three of us--"

"Who is this Harris?"

"He is a Cockney--assassin".

Frankl took snuff, with busy pats at alternate nostrils.

"What will you tell him is in the bag?"

"Anything--rings--something prized by you for sentimental reasons.
We offer him a thousand--two thousand pounds. And he will not fail.
He strikes like lightning".

"And we share--how?"

"Come--let us not talk of that again, sir. What could be more
generous than my offer? You divide the diamonds into two heaps, and
I choose one; or I divide, you choose; and, before I leave you, you
give me a declaration that it was by your contrivance that I escaped
prison, and that the gems which I have, once yours, are duly made
over to me".

"And you collar half!" gibed the Jew with an ogle of guile; "that's
about as cool a stroke of business as I've come across. You don't
take into account that the whole is mine, if the concern fell, as
you confess, on my own land! And just ask yourself the question:
what is to prevent me handing you over this minute to the police,
and grabbing the lot? Only I'm not that sort of man--"

O'Hara drew a revolver.

"You talk to me as though I was a schoolboy, sir", said he sternly.
"Be good enough to learn to respect me. I am not less a man of the
world than you are, and quite competent to safeguard my own
interests. Supposing I was weak enough to permit you to send for the
police, the moment they had me I should tell of Hogarth in hiding;
they would go for him, and he, after bribing, may be trusted to take
wing with the stones, leaving you whistling. Or perhaps you would
care to tackle him in person? He would wheel you by the beard round
his arm like a Catherine-wheel, I do assure you. All this you see
well, and pretend not to. Do let us be honest with each other!"

"Well, I don't want to be hard", said Frankl, looking sideward and
downward, plotting behind an unwrinkled brow, intending to have
every one of the diamonds; so did O'Hara, who already had his plot.

"No, don't be hard", said O'Hara: "_I_ am not. I give you an
incalculable fortune; I take the same. Live and let live! Why should
two shrewd old fellows like you and me be like the dog which,
wanting two bones, lost the one he had? Come, now--give me your hand
on it".

"Well, I'm hanged if you are not right!" cried Frankl, looking up
with discovery: "Share and share alike, and shame the devil! That's
the kind of little man I am, frank, bluff, and stalwart--Ha! ha!
Give me your hand on it, sir!"

"Ha! ha! you are very kind. That is the only way--absolute
sincerity--" and they shook hands, hob-nobbing and fraternizing,
with laughs and little nods, like cronies.

"Stop--I'll just ring for a drop of brandy--" said Frankl.

"No! no ringing!--thanks, thanks, no brandy--"

"Well, you are as cautious as they make them. Oh, perfectly right,
you know--perfectly right"--he touched O'Hara's chest--"not a word
to say against that. I am the same kind of man myself--"

"Come; are you for making a move?"

"Agreed. Where is my hat? I suppose a man may get his hat!--ha! ha!--
I can't very well go in this cap---"

"You use mine--with the greatest pleasure. I do not need--Ah? quite
the fit, quite the fit".

"Why, so it is. Ha! ha! why, it's a curate's hat, and--
                                   _I'm a Jew_!"

"Excellent, excellent, ha! ha!"

So they made merry, and, with the bitter lip-corners of forced
merriment, went out, while Rebekah, who had caught a great deal of
that dialogue, crouched a long time there, agitated, uncertain what
to do.

That her father should coolly look on at an assassination for a
fortune was no revelation to her: she had long despised, yet, with
an inconsistency due to the tenderness of Jewish family ties, still
loved him; the notion of appealing to the police, therefore, who
might ruin Hogarth, too, did not enter her head.

She ran and wrote: "Your life and bag of gems are _at this moment_
in danger"; and sent it by a mounted messenger addressed to "The
Guest at the Paper Shop".

But in twenty minutes the messenger returned to her with it, Hogarth
having gone to the _rendezvous_ at the elm--long before the
appointed time.

When, accordingly, Frankl, O'Hara, and Harris arrived at the paper-
shop back yard, and Harris had stolen up the back stairs, he
presently, to the alarm and delight of the others, sent a whisper
from the window: "No one 'ere as I can see!"

And the search for the diamonds was short: for Hogarth had actually
left the bag containing them on the trunk, and Frankl and O'Hara
returned with it to Westring, holding it out at arm's length, one
with the right, one with the left hand, like standard-bearers.

Hogarth, meantime, was striding about the elm, and once fell to his
knees, adoring a vision, and once, at a fancied step, his teeth-
edges chattered.

Rebekah! He called, groaned, hissed that name, while his to-and-fro
ranging quickened to a trot.

And now, fancying that he heard a call "_Come !_" he stood startled,
struck into a twisting enquiry to the four winds; but could not
locate the call, ran hither and thither, saw no one.

"Come to me, little sister", he wailed tenderly, while to swallow
was a doubtful spasm for him, her name a mountain in his bosom.

When he was certain that it must be nearer ten than "nine", he set
out in the sway of a turbulent impulse to spurt for the Hall: but as
he reached the point of proximity between path and park, just there
where her father had stood that morning he saw her patiently
waiting--ever since that "_Come!_"

He flew, and was about to skip up the bank, when, with forbidding
arm, she cried: "Don't you approach me!"--and he stood checked and
abject, one foot planted on the bank, looking up, ready to dart for
her in her Oriental dress, flimsy, baggy at the girdle, her arms
bare, her fingers clasped before her, making convex the two tassels
of the girdle, from her ears depending circles of gold large enough
to hoop with, a saffron headdress, stuck backward, showing her hair
in front, falling upon a shawl which sheltered her frank recumbent
shoulders. She did not see Hogarth at all, but stood averted,
implacable, unapproachable, looking across the park, while Hogarth
occupied a long silence in gazing up to where, like a show, she
stood, illumined by the moon.

At last he sent to her the whisper, "Did you call just now? Did you
say '_Come_'?"

"What is it you want with me, Hogarth? You have '_summoned_' me: but
be very quick".

"I told you: I am wealthier than all the princes--"

"Well, let me inform you that your life is in danger here; if you
are a wise man, you will not fail to leave this neighbourhood this
night".

"But no one knows--"

"It is known, Hogarth: your friends are false, and your enemies
crafty. You will have to walk with your eyes open, my friend. What
will you do with all the money?"

"I will buy the world, because _you_ are in it".

Now she flashed upon him one glance, in which there was
astonishment, and judgment.

"You said that so like my father! Hogarth among the dealers? I
thought you would be more squeamish, and arduous, and complex".

"But if a man is famished, he is not complex, he runs to the
baker's. You can have no conception how I perish! And I cannot be
contradicted-I claim you-I have the right-I am the lord of this
lower world--"

"But you do not see the effect of your words: you disappoint me
Richard. How of what the poet sings:

  ...this is my favoured lot,
  My exaltation to afflictions high?

That is more in your line, you know, but you are dazzled, Hogarth-
fie. To _buy me_! And how would you like me afterwards, having
renounced my obligations? And how would I like _you_-I whose name is
Rebekah, who will mate with none but a wrestler, a fellow of heroic
muscle? I feel certain that you are dazzled. It is natural, I
suppose--But are all the people in the world so happy, that _you_
too, can find nothing to occupy you but the market-place, with its
buying and selling? And to buy _me_? I am _not_ for sale! How dare
you, Hogarth?"

With this she walked off; but, having a creepy instinct in her back
that he was on the point to follow, catch, and snatch her away, she
span round again, crying: "Do not follow me! Mind you! If you like,
be at the elm-tree again at half-past ten-and I will communicate
with you. Goodbye--"

Now she did not once look back; and he had not heard that fainting
"Good-bye", it had fainted so.

He found himself presently in his room at the paper-shop, and lay
biting the bed-clothes, spasm after spasm traversing his body.

Then, turning on his back, he lay with his face now toward the
trunk, and a little clock ticked ten more minutes before the fact
stole into his consciousness that the bag was not on the trunk.

For some time the disappearance was too stupendous to find room in
his brain. He got up and paced, stunned, just conscious of a feeling
of unease.

Now he was searching the room mechanically. It was not there....

And again he paced, tapping his top teeth with a finger-nail; and
now he called down the stair: "Have you seen, Mrs. Sturgess, the
calico bag you gave me to-day?"

"Why, no".

"Has anyone been in my room?"

"Why, _no_, sir! Only myself".

Again he began to pace, and suddenly the grand reality stabbed his
brain like a dagger: he was poor....

O'Hara! Where was he....?

His forehead dropped upon the mantel-board, and he leant staring
downward there, a miserable man.

But suddenly the man said quietly aloud, raising himself: "All
right: better so. O, I have not been myself--virtue has gone out of
me--!"

Presently he noticed that it was near the hour of her unexpected
_rendezvous_ under the elm....

And nearly all the way he ran--wild to see her again--until he
neared the tree, when, descrying a female form, he came stooping
with humility, but soon saw that it was a girl, her head in a shawl,
whom he did not know.

And she, coming to meet him, said: "What is your name, sir?"

"Why?"

"I am Miss Frankl's messenger".

"My name is Hogarth".

"Will you turn this way that I may see your eyes?...All right:
Miss Frankl directs me to give you these".

The girl, who had been weighted down toward the left, handed him an
envelope, and a steel box.

Never was he so bewildered! On the way home, he observed that the
box had three knobs of gold, surrounded by rays, and, inlaid in the
top, the letters "R. F."; when he tore open the envelope in his room
he found in pencil on one half-sheet:

"Turn the 10 of the right knob to the ray 5; the 5 of the middle
knob to the ray 0; the 15 of the left knob to the ray 10: and the
box will open".

No more. When he had set wildly to work, and the lid turned back,
his eyes beheld the calico bag.

Rebekah had, in fact, before setting out to the _rendezvous_ at
nine, seen her father and O'Hara return to the Hall, bearing the bag
between them; and, she, crouching at the side door, as before, had
heard them talk, arranging details. Her father had then said that
before he could write any document, he must either ring or go search
for paper: and suddenly she had heard an oath, a thud, a scuffle,
had turned the key, softly entered, seen the men struggling against
the other door, a revolver, held by the muzzle, in O'Hara's hand;
and before she had been sighted by the two desperate men, had had
the bag, lying near on an escritoire, and was gone. She had then
sent some servants to the scene, and hurried to her chamber.

Later she had heard that O'Hara had escaped through a window, and
that her father was raving below in a sort of fit: for Frankl
supposed that O'Hara had the jewels, as O'Hara that Frankl had them;
and after tending her father, she had dashed out to the
_rendezvous_, the jewels then in her room.

As for Hogarth, he did not neglect her warning: and, having left a
note for O'Hara, telling him where to find him, at Loveday's, took a
late train southwards.

By what marvel Rebekah had become possessed of the jewels he did not
even seek to fathom; but one of his uppermost feelings was shame for
having suspected O'Hara of stealing them: and for years could never
be got to believe in the bad faith of the prelate, his tutor.

Near midnight, on reaching the obscure townlet of Hadston, he there
took a bed--not to sleep.

At the tiny inn-window he made periodic arrivals, looked out
unseeing at a cart, a wall of flint and Flemish brick, and a moonlit
country, then weighed anchor, and swerved away on another voyage;
then arrived anew, looked out, saw nothing, and weighed.

He walked now in the dark of the valley of humiliation, with those
words written in flame in his brain: "This is my favoured lot--my
exaltation to afflictions high": he had allowed a woman to say them
to him, and he went "_I!_"

He, the richest of men, was, therefore, that night poorer than any
wretch, brought right down, naked, exposed to death, and he filled
that chamber with his moans: "God have mercy upon me! a vulgar rich
man...a dreadful contented clown...."

But toward morning he lay calmer, weeping like Peter, and at peace.

Being without money, he sent the next day a small stone to Loveday,
asking him to sell it; also to meet old Tom Bates on the night
appointed, and keep him till he, Hogarth, came to London.

Four days later he received the money in the name of "Mr. Beech",
but the old Bates had not kept the _rendezvous_; and a month later a
detective agency discovered that the fisher was dead.

At Hadston Hogarth remained two months, the most occupied man
anywhere, yet passing for a lounger in the townlet.

Here and now he was descended deep into himself, aspiring to
greatness, set on high designs; and, as the days passed, his
thoughts more and more took form, though sometimes, with a sudden
heart-pang, he would flinch and shrink, pierced by a consciousness
of the unwieldy thing which he was at; and he would mutter: "I
_must_ be mad". Anon he would start and cower at a distinct sound of
cannon in his ears.

Usually, during the day, he had with him an atlas, a pair of
compasses.

One day he took train, to see the sea.

Another day, happening to look into the goat-hair trunk, he saw that
account-book, containing the addresses of the signatories to his old
"association", and was overjoyed. "Quite a little army", he tenderly
said: "I won't forget them".

After two months he left Hadston for London, having in his head a
new age hatched.




XXVIII

THE LETTER


It was night when Hogarth broke into the presence of Loveday at
Cheyne Gardens with a glad face, crying: "Forgive me, my friend, for
being a boor!"

"You are forgiven", Loveday answered with his smile, hastening to
meet him: "the broken picture, you see, is in a better frame, and so
are we. What could have made us invent a quarrel about--land, of all
things!"

"Come, let us talk", said Hogarth: "not long--all about land, and
sea, too. I suppose you have nothing to tell about my sister? Never
mind--we shall find her. Come, sit and give me _all_ your
intelligence. You are not interested in land, then? You _will_ be in
ten minutes--it is interesting. Listen: all the land of the earth is
_mine_, and all the sea especially--a good thing, for, for a hundred
years Europe, especially England, has wanted a master: the anarchy
of our modern life is too terrible! it cannot arrange itself; and
now the hour has struck, though none has heard the bell".

"Hogarth! but you gabble like a mad god", cried Loveday. "I am all
in the dark--"

"I will tell you".

And he spoke, first going into his discovery at Colmoor, frowning
upon Loveday, ploughing the truth into his brow; proving how modern
misery, in its complexity, had its cause in one simple old fault,
sure as the fact that smoke ascends, or apples fall. And when he saw
conviction beam in Loveday's face, he next told what had happened at
the elm-tree, and what would happen-soon; whereat Loveday, like a
frightened child, clung to his arm, and once gasped: "Oh no--my
God!" and once felt a gory ghost raise horror in his hairs.

An hour afterwards they were bending over a sheet of paper, Hogarth
in his shirt-sleeves, writing, Loveday overlooking, suggesting, when
two men were announced, and in stepped O'Hara with bows and polished
hesitations, followed by his shadow, Harris; and, "Ah, O'Hara..."
cried Hogarth, still writing, "who is that with you?"

"A friend of mine", said Loveday, for O'Hara had introduced Harris
to him, and he had adopted Harris as a human study, horrid, but
amusing.

The moment O'Hara saw the face of Hogarth, he started, muttering:
"He has the diamonds back! God! is he a magician?"

And Harris drawled nasally: "Of course, you wouldn't know me now,
Mr. 76! Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine, it
_is_".

Hogarth was silent--had not yet decided what to do with Harris.

"This is my tenth call here, Hogarth", said O'Hara, "in the hope of
seeing you, and the streets, you know, are no small risk. You see
how I am muffled up, and this gentleman, too. By the bye, I have
selected a cargo of books for you--"

"No study for a month", said Hogarth, "but I shall want you all the
same. Just come over here and watch me write this thing. You,
Harris, sit right over there".

Harris cursed, but obeyed, while O'Hara came and bent under the
golden glow of the silk shade a brow puckered with a care of
puzzlement, as he read.

Then he fell into the work, and was soon the director of it--
invaluable! knew everything! remembered forgotten points;
explained technicalities; the proper person in each little State to
whom the document must be directed, the style of addressing him. Of
one sentence he said: "That will never do--lacks formality"; and of
another: "Tut, they will laugh at that--it is provincial and
insolent", distracted between the work and his brandy glass. At
last, about eleven, the three brains had produced a letter.

Hogarth laid claim to the sea as his private property, and warned
the nations.




XXIX

PRIORITY OF CLAIM


A gentleman--a Permanent Under-secretary--stood one noon, his back
to a fireplace in a bright-carpeted room at the Foreign Office,
letting his eyes move over some opened letters submitted to him, and
presently came upon the following document, its crest a flag,
containing in blue the letters "R. F.":

"17 LEADENHALL STR., E.G.

"To the Most Hon.,

"The Marquis of Hallam, K.G.,

"Foreign Office,

"Westminster, S.W.

"MY LORD MARQUIS:

"I have the honour hereby to make formal announcement to Your
Lordship that I am on the point of setting up in the midst of the
world a new Power, whose relations with the King's Government will,
I trust, be relations of friendliness.

"It is my desire that Your Lordship forthwith convey to the King's
Most Excellent Majesty the announcement which is the subject of this
Memorandum.

"My purposes and policy in the establishment of the new Power will
hereafter appear; and my properly accredited Ministers will, in due
course, present themselves at the Chancelleries of the world.

"Hitherto a British subject, it is my will to acquire diplomatic
recognition--as soon as such shall comport with the dignity of the
Great Powers--as an Independent Sovereign, under the title of: 'Lord
of the Sea'. (Address: 'Your Lordship's Majesty', or 'My Lord
King'.)

"The domain of my Power will be the sea: and to the sea I hereby set
up claim as far as such points of latitude as have been attained by
Man, and over all degrees of longitude. Provided only: that nothing
in this claim shall be held to infringe upon the prior claim of any
nation to a 'three-mile limit' round its coasts, nor to any national
fisheries whatsoever, nor to any claim of the Kingdom of Denmark
with respect to the Sound.

"The validity of my title to the sea must be considered to rest on
the same basis as the title of any private owner to any area of the
earth's crust: namely, Priority of Claim. If one is valid, so,
necessarily, is the other, this title to land, based on _Priority of
Claim_, being admitted in the Law of all civilized Nations.

"This my claim will come into operation on this day three years
hence.

"I have the honour to subscribe myself

"Your Lordship's

"Obdt. Servant,

"RICHARD HOGARTH ".

The Under-secretary, a pale, distinguished man, read this letter
with a little lift of one eyebrow, then let it drop from him into a
waste-paper basket.

At the German, the Turkish, capitals it met much the same reception.
Nowhere did it reach the eye of a Departmental Head. It went to
Siam, to the Prince of Monaco, to Ecuador, and was tossed to cumber
a basket, or moulder on a file.

But Hogarth, who knew that it would be instantly forgotten, had
written it so as to be able to say that he had written it.

At that time he was lodging in a top room in Bloomsbury, and had an
underground den in Leadenhall Street, on its doors the words: "R.
Beech & Co." Thither in a brougham he drove daily, lying very low,
but holding in that den interviews with all sorts and conditions of
men, and feeling his way toward operations of dimensions so immense,
that their mere project had a modifying influence upon industry.




XXX

MR. BEECH


During six weeks Hogarth lived that life of daily passage between
Keppel Street and his office, unknown to the general world, but
spreading a noise of rumour through certain circles of the business
world. All day in the den the gas-jets brawled upon him, he not for
minutes casting a glance, if a clerk brought a caller's name. And
here was no novice modesty in the tackling of affairs; as O'Hara,
who would be there, said: "You must have been _born_ in the City;
you have the airs, the very tricks, of Threadneedle Street, you--
Jew". In a day the prelate counted seven hundred and thirteen
telegrams from the Terni Cannon foundry, many a diamond dealer,
polisher, cutter, the Vulcan Shipyard of Stettin, the Clydebank,
Cramp of Philadelphia, the Russian Finance Minister, San Francisco,
Lloyd's, metal brokers, the Neva, and one night, the eve of a dash
to Amsterdam, he, with O'Hara, Loveday, and five clerks, sat
swotting till morning broke, sustained by gin and soda-water. The
priest lived with wide eyes at the easy fleetness with which Hogarth
rolled off him the greatest affairs: as when on the day after his
return from Holland he stood, his thumbs in his waistcoat armholes,
with quite the right air of serene City-king, his tallness
possessing considerable natural courtliness, and the De Beers'
Secretary sat before him, saying, "Well, Mr. Beech, I have spent the
morning with your brokers, and have felt that I must see you
personally before calling a meeting. This proposition is so
tremendous--"

"I only wish I had some time", said Hogarth, "I would invite you to
dine upon the matter; but it is really so simple--everything at
bottom is merely twice two are four. And you are not obliged to turn
over Kimberley to me: only, in that case, as I have said, I shall be
compelled to flood the market with diamonds as cheap as cat's-eyes--"

When De Beers stared, Hogarth shrugged, saying: "I suppose I must
convince you--" and, unlocking a safe, he took out an _ecrin_ which
contained three stones. De Beers appeared to see Titania peering in
their fairy painting.

"Of stones of this water and carating", said Hogarth, "we have two
hundred and eleven in the Bank of England, two hundred and thirty-
eight in other English and Continental banks, and seventy-five in
safe-deposit. The carating of these three is 111-1/2; and in the
sixties, such as this one"--he took a stone from among coppers in
his pocket--"we have three hundred odd on hand, all flawless, and an
equal number cutting. When I point out, what you know, that our mine
is as yet without the delicate plant of Kimberley, the stones being
simply picked from the blue-earth by three inexpert friends of the
firm on the spot, you will recognize that the wealth of a mine can
no further go...."

He was rid of the visitor within six minutes, and within three
weeks, by knack and organization, had gathered into his hands most
of the reins necessary to the control of the world's trade in
diamonds.

In an outer room sat O'Hara, writing, reading Theocritus, or a
little book on mediaeval embroidery, forefinger on cheek; and anon,
absolutely without motive, he would rise, creep, and peep through a
keyhole at Hogarth, then on stalking, bowing tiptoe, grinning a
rancid grimace of stealth, get back to his seat, and read--the tutor
falling over head and ears in love with his pupil: one of those
passions that end tragically.

One day, as he so sat, the bell _pinged_, the door opened, and
O'Hara jumped to find himself face to face with--Frankl, who had
come to see the new diamond king, in the firm belief that Mr. Beech
was none other than O'Hara; and, "I thought as much!" said he.

"_Sh-h-h_", went O'Hara bitterly--"for God's sake! he is _in
there_--!"

"Who is?"

"_Hogarth!_"

"Well, but--"

"Outside--in the passage--"

They stepped out; and Frankl, his eyelids red, said: "I have only
this day crawled from bed with the blow you struck my temple, or I
should have had you before this--"

"_Sh-h-h_. Your own fault, sir. _You_ played false first--"

"Played false with my own diamonds? You hand me over this day one-
half those stones, or I bring a civil action for the whole, hound
you to beggary, and drag you back to your convict-cell where you
come from".

"Don't lift your voice, I beg of you. Tut, you rave. You can't bring
a civil action against a great millionaire who doesn't care to
defend; and as for me, I do assure you, I haven't fifty pounds to-
day. _It is Hogarth who is Mr. Beech!_"

"_Who?_"--Frankl obtruded a startled ear, frowning his eyes small.

"Hogarth. He has the diamonds back!"

"Which diamonds? How did he get 'em?"

"He is--_in_--_there_: better go and ask him! He got them by black
art--by the aid of the legion of mediaeval witches which wait on
him--_God_ knows how he got them! _You_ gave them to him! _I_ gave
them to him! but he's got them--_in--there_! Better go and ask him--don't
be afraid--just for the roaring fun of it--"

"Hogarth?"

"Yes--Hogarth, Hogarth".

"Cheated the gallows? And out of prison? And rolling in my wealth,
my riches, my diamonds? Oh, no!--is that fair? A dog? Is that how
the world is run? God of Israel!"

"There is this to be said for him: that he _deserves_ to be rich--"

"Who? So you are taking his part now?"

"Tut--!"

"There is no _tut_ about it! You confess that you are nothing more
than a penniless hanger-on: well, then, I have _you_! back to
prison you go this hour---!"

O'Hara's cheek trembled; but he said: "A sufficiently vain threat,
sir: I am Hogarth's tutor: he won't let me be taken. Don't waste
your time, you impotent Jew--"

"Tutor? That's good! What you teaching him?--murder? _outrage?_ He
_ought_ to have a tutor, he! That's good! Tutor! Well, suppose I
drop a line first post to your nice _pupil_ to let him know that it
was his _tutor_ who stole his diamonds--"

At this threat O'Hara felt himself outflanked; and though his eyes
surveyed the Jew unflinchingly during a silence, inwardly he had
succumbed.

"A man in Hogarth's situation", he slowly said, "is always liable to
attack. Why should two sharp old fellows like you and me, whose
interests are identical, quarrel?"--and instantly Frankl took note
of that surrender, that weak spot, and knew that the man was his.

"Well", said he, "so true--two old gaol-birds like you and me, eh?
So true, so true. But what beats me--who runs Beech's? Hogarth is
only a young farmer: he can't operate all the big things I hear
about this Mr. Beech--"

"Tut, you do not conceive the man as he is at all", said O'Hara:
"perhaps you cannot. High finance, the first day he looked into it,
ceased to mystify him, for he goes always to the ground of things,
touches bottom, where first principles lie, and first principles are
simple as two and two. It was because he had discovered a first
principle that he escaped from Colmoor. And he is as nimble as six
twisting minnows: what you or I learned in a year he learns in an
hour, and if he does not know the usual way, not an instant does he
hesitate to invent a way. You know about Owthwaite's: how the recent
shake-out of the market threatened their collapse, like so many
others'. Owthwaite's, in fact, had already declared, when Hogarth
decided to help them over. And how? Not Bills! He filled up a call-
in of two millions and a half by the India Council, resettled loans
and short-discount business, cheapened money, and in twelve hours
his _proteges_ were off the rocks. And now I hear--"

"But why not buy a chapel, and preach about him? I hate--"

"Stop! O Lord--he is calling--"

"Here's my card; I want to see you to-night at that address at
eight".

And that night at Frankl's town-house in Hanover Square Jew and
prelate conferred, O'Hara for some time resisting, but finally again
taking sides against his saviour. He disclosed that Hogarth, beyond
doubt, kept a few diamonds in a goat-hair trunk in his room--enough
to make two ordinary fortunes, and also carried two or three, with
some hundred-pound notes on his person; and this was made the basis
of a scheme for bringing about the arrest of Hogarth, the first step
being to get from Hogarth the sum he carried about him, leaving him
in a situation where he would find himself powerless to bribe.

This Frankl undertook; and O'Hara promised to lend Harris, and some
friends of Harris.

Now, during these weeks Hogarth was living in some fear, haunted by
insecurity and a vision of Colmoor; and, remembering the theft at
Thring, with a consciousness of Frankl somewhere in him, he went not
only with diamonds on his person, but a revolver as well, and a
_punal_ of Toledo.

But three evenings after the conference in Hanover Square, he
received this letter:

"Dearest Richard:

"It is long since we have met. This is to let you know that I have
heard of your getting out, and your coming into great things, which
has made my heart rejoice. I, alas, am just the other way about. I
am staying for the next two days at Woodfield Cottage, Wylie Street,
Finchley Road, N. I understand that you are lying low, so better not
come to see me perhaps, but send me something.

"Your loving

"Margaret".

And at sight of these words such a whirlwind transacted itself in
the brain of Hogarth, that he hardly awoke to sense till he found
himself in a railway compartment, going northward. It was only then
that, reading the letter again, he started.

The handwriting was hers! he was sure. But the words...?

"I, alas, am _just the other way about_"--"better not come to me
perhaps, but _send me something_". There was a tone here not in
character. But her handwriting! This was no forgery. If she had
written _from dictation_ that might explain it.

In this uncertainty he left the train, and took cab, scenting
trouble ahead.

The difficulty was to find Wylie Street, which was a half-built
street of five cottages in a new neighbourhood of brick, and when
what was supposed to be Wylie Street was discovered, the cab had to
stop, for across it lay bricks, hods and barrows in mud. So Hogarth
alighted, and, peering, stumbled forward: no lamp; above, a
labouring half-moon riding a sky of clouds, like a poor ship riding
the bleak morning after a hurricane, her masts all gone by the
board: and Hogarth could just see that three of the five cottages
were roofless brick, the fourth unfinished, so the fifth, alone on
the other side, must be--"Woodfield"

"Woodfield" was unlighted: and the moment he ascertained this, he
felt himself the victim of a plot; but not all the whispers of
prudence could hold him now from seeing the adventure through.
Loudly he flung back the little gate, with rash precipitancy
entered: and as he sprang up the three steps to ring, he was seized.

They were five, three being big fellows, two masked.

His main sensation was gladness that none, apparently, was a
policeman; and he set hilariously to work with his knuckles. This,
however, could not save, soon he was on his back, striking his head;
but when he saw that the object was to rifle his pockets, letting
be, he managed to steal out the _punal_ from his breast, and
presently with a sudden upheaving and scattering rage, was
staggering to his legs. Before he could be stopped, he was making
for the gate, but close upon him ran one of the five--a slim man,
masked--who fired Hogarth's own pistol at his legs, but missed:
whereupon, Hogarth, with a backward twist, struck at random with the
dagger, which entered the man's breast. But at the same time a
whistle shrilled, and from an opposite cottage rushed out at last
what he dreaded--three policemen.

These had been placed there on the understanding that it was thither
that Hogarth would go, the object of the plot being to rifle his
pockets before he was officially taken; and it succeeded to the
extent that his pockets _were_ rifled: but he knocked down one
officer, and dodged the other two, reaching his taxi; and, having
previously arranged with the cabman, got off racing.

But the masked man whom he had struck down was Harris, who for weeks
lay raving in fever--an ill-fated stroke, for Harris had a memory.

As for Hogarth, he rushed home to Keppel Street, hurried down the
trunk, and was off to Cheyne Gardens.

"Well", he cried, breaking in upon Loveday, "this phase of our life
is up! Look at my clothes: I have had a fight--Frankl, I suppose. I
wanted to live a simple life for two years: but they won't let me,
you see. Ha!--then the other thing. From this night we bury our
identity under mountains of splendour. It is disgusting to me, this
life, skulking, thinking to bribe honest men. Meantime, you must
find me some room to hide in with the trunk--mustn't stay here to-
night. And to-morrow you buy me a boat to take us off from some
point of the coast--Come--"




XXXI

THE HAMMERS


Within six months Hogarth, as distinct from "Beech", had risen upon
the consciousness of Europe, say like the morning sun: and the
wearied worker, borne at evening through crowded undergrounds, might
read his name with a listless incomprehension.

He impressed the popular fancy, especially in Paris, where he was
best known, as erratic: as once when, by a stroke of financial
sleight-of-hand, he got the young Government of Russia into a tight
place, then refused them a loan, except on condition of the lease to
him of the Kremlin: and for three months squalid old Moscow was the
most cometary Court anywhere--acts savouring of a meteorite
waywardness which impressed him, more than anything, upon the
everyday world; and he won a tolerant wonder.

However, an outcry, led by the _Intransigeant_, denounced his
acquisition of the site of royal St. Cloud for his Paris residence
on the ground that he was a Jew, betrayed by his face--an accusation
which caused the buying up of hundreds of thousands of his
photographs--and on the ground that his design was to familiarize
the people with the idea of his sovereignty, and by a _coup_ to
seize the Government; at which Paris was in a ferment, and a
midnight mob traversed the _Bois_ and demolished some of his mason-
work. The next day, however, the Minister of the Interior announced
from the Tribune that Hogarth was no Jew, but an Englishman _pur
sang_; and, on the whole, Hogarth had his way: the noise died down;
and where parterres and avenues had stood on the old palace site,
there arose one of those enchanting fabrics, which, from the
Bosphorus to London, bore the name of "The Beeches".

At this time he had dependent upon him a retinue, serving him in
multifarious ways from electrical adviser to spy, and from
chancellor to recruiter, numbering many hundreds. He knew five
thousand faces by sight; in England had two armies--a small one
collecting data as to acreages, tenures, trades, scales, wages,
prices, crimes, mines, and a large one, numbering five thousand,
doing gun-practice in Westring Vale: for, England being for sale, he
had bought at thrice its market value that part of it called
Westring; and on the sea also he kept a little army of a thousand,
borne in old cruiser-hulks bought from the English Admiralty, hulks
whose crews, in rotation, changed places with drafts from the
Westring barracks.

Once he disappeared from Europe, and when he returned the President
of the Republic of Ecuador, thenceforth one of his closest friends,
was with him; whereupon, through newspapers in the pay of Beech's,
the rumour commenced to appear that the Ecuador Government was
giving orders for coast-defence on an unparalleled scale, in view of
probable hostilities with Peru.

In the midst of which activities O'Hara said to him one morning:
"You can now be called a mathematician".

"I have many admirers, and but one teacher, O'Hara", Hogarth
answered: "teach me".

O'Hara cut a secret grimace.

After the failure of the Finchley Road plot he had had another
repentance, and had set himself earnestly to the cultivation of
Hogarth's mind; but the priest's spirit was not "erect"; he had
"falls"; maintained a correspondence with the Jew, whose eye of
malice never slept; and once at Cairo, twice in Paris, Hogarth had
to use words like these: "I must tell you, O'Hara, that I have heard
of your recent behaviour. Naturally, there are those that see for
me, and I do not mean to be compromised by your low revels".

"Wretch that I am!" broke out O'Hara with smitten brow, and for half
a day was on his knees in an affliction of self-reproach. Yet the
same night he wrote a letter to Frankl containing the words: "You do
not know, _you cannot dream_, the high and slippery road which H.
has chosen for his feet: the future is _big_ with events. Wait: his
sublime path is not without pitfalls...."

Study with O'Hara was in the morning; at night, when possible, that
other study of the working world: and often then Hogarth would
withdraw from opera in the St. Cloud palace, or from some "crush",
to give an hour to the river of statistics with which he was
inundated.

Till these years he had never seen into the sea of things as it is:
his life so isolated--had not even read newspapers.

Now he saw and knew. There below him blazed some masque of beauty
and majesty, moving under a moonlight of blue-darting jets of
electric light all among colossal columns of alabaster robed in vine
and rose; or there below some Melba voice, all trembles and maze of
wobbly trebles, warbling: and the thronged hall sat tranced; but
before _him_--figures: parents killed their children for insurance-
money--keeping children in cellars till their flesh grew green,
keeping sore the stumps of children's legs; with some trades certain
comic-sounding names had got to be associated, "potter's rot",
"phossy jaw",--enormous horror; each day in England one million
people had to seek pauper-relief, many perished; of aged persons 40
per cent were permanent paupers; children were paid 2-1/2d. for
making 144 match-boxes; pretty girls (though pretty girls were
detestably rare) were allowed to work, nay _forced_ to--far harder
than any ten savages ever dreamt of working; in Glasgow 41 of every
100 families lived in one room: fathers, for weeks, did not see
their children, except asleep; girls took emetics to vomit up
cotton-dust--enormous horror, comic-opera in Hell: and below in the
"crush" the voice of the warbler, cooing, shook.

Sometimes he would mutter: "But that can't be true!" There, though,
the figures lay; and presently he would take heart, and say: "Well,
not for long now, God help me...."

Whether God helped him or not, certainly Man was helping him: ten
thousand and ten thousand hammers--from Spezzia to Belfast--in
model-office and mould-loft and rolling-mill--in foundry and yard
and roaring forge--were ringing upon metal for him, their clamorous
industry clattering over Europe and America carillons of his name.




XXXII

WONDER


Almost suddenly that noise of chiming hammers reached the general
ear.

First in the German Admiralty was wonder when a spy, engaged as a
workman at Birkenhead, sent to his Government information that the
British Government was up to something: something of a novelty so
extraordinary, that as yet he could form no conception as to its
object. That it was intended for the sea one must suppose: yet it
was evident that nothing of such odd draughtsmanship--of such
mastodon proportions--had ever yet taken the water.

He had been clever: had penetrated even the model-office, peered at
detailed draughtsman's-plans, developed from the original
specifications, as well as at orders for Krupp plates, frames, etc.;
had listened in the yard to the talk of four naval men acting as a
Board of Inspection; was able to give details of the machining of
enormous processed plates to sizes determined by templates, the
length of pan-headed rivets, the specific gravity of an average
cubic foot, the scarfing of edges, the accumulation of prepared
material. The wooden half-model, he said, was a one-ninety-sixth,
instead of the usual one-forty-eighth; yet, even so, it was 5 ft. 7-
1/2 ins. long, as much broad, and 1 ft. 3/4 in. high. This meant
that the structure would measure 180 yards square--over one-tenth of
a mile--with a depth of 34 yards. Already the far-reaching chaos of
scaffolding had run up eight yards, with stringers and frames to a
like level. There were no keel-blocks, for there was no keel--or
rather, the keel was a circular plate a yard in diameter, resting on
a single block, the shape of the structure to be a perfect square,
along the sides of which four battleships might lie like toy-boats:
the bottom, from circular keel to upward bend, having the same shape
as a battleship's seen in midship section, only with four faces
instead of two. From the knee-bend the sides ran up perpendicular;
but at the level evidently intended to be the water-line they struck
inward, so that the flat roof was smaller than the area below; the
position of this water-line giving a definite clue to the intended
displacement; and this again showing that the whole--roof, sides,
bottom, and all--would be one wall of Simmons armour--steeling and
backing--layer on layer--no less than 4ft. 9-1/4 ins. thick.

Yet this stupendous ark, or citadel--so simple was its plan--would
be turned out in less time than a second-class cruiser; and its
cost, apart from yard-modifications and groundways, small in
proportion.

This, and much else, the spy reported: but the new fact was obvious
as the sun; the British and French Intelligence Departments, too,
were soon conning it; and a week later it was established that, not
one, but at least eleven, such structures were a-building in the
world.

There went the rumour: "It is the Government of Ecuador's order...."

This was at the end of April; Hogarth, obeying some instinct which
continually drew him toward Asia, then loitering alone in Trebizond
tea-gardens and bazaars, buying a braid-bag, mule-trapping, or
silver sword of the Khurdish cavaliers; while Trinity House gave the
alarm that if ever the steel monsters, whatever their object, were
launched, "they would constitute, in the absence of proper
precautions, a serious danger by night to the world's mercantile
marine ", and while Lloyd's, the Maritime Exchanges, the
Hydrographic Offices, lived in a species of amazement, and were
already putting the steel islands into the gazetteers and manuals;
the newspapers, too, inundated with the views of the public, took
sides, maintaining, some of them, that it was the part of
Governments to ascertain the objects of the new works, others that
any tampering with their progress at this late stage might even mean
revolution, so profound was their intimacy with industry. Hogarth,
meanwhile, having come to El Khiff, the camp of the Bedouin
pilgrims, there spent some days, and then, passing between Jerusalem
and Jericho in a caravan of Moabite sheiks, went visiting the holy
places of Israel, everywhere examining the country, especially its
agriculture, with great minuteness. It was only on his return to
Jerusalem that he heard of the agitation in Europe: and at once set
off Westward from Joppa.

From his arrival at Paris toward the end of May the wildest legends,
originated by him, began to be printed, the most persistent relating
to the diamond and banking House of Beech, which, it was given out,
had discovered diamonds within the crust of a Pacific rock-island:
the new structures, ordered by them, being designed to blast the
coast-wall with dynamite guns. Cavillers pointed out that diamonds
never occur in nature in this fashion, and that, even so, it did not
need a fort made of armour five feet thick to fire off dynamite
guns; but so continuously was the thing repeated, explained, and
puffed, that when the London manager of Beech partially admitted it,
the most incredulous acquiesced; though at the very same period it
was proclaimed that the President of the Ecuador Republic, Hogarth's
friend, had admitted to the Great Powers that the forts were to his
order (as, in fact, they nominally were); and anti-climax was
reached when a naval expert, asked to do a hurried article for the
Times, made some error in calculation, and came out with the
statement that the fort-things would sink of their own weight. This
article was headed "Beech's Folly"; and even when the error was
detected, the roar of merriment retained its momentum and rolled: so
that, to the hour of the first launch, the enterprise was commonly
referred to as "Beech's Folly", and scarf-pins, ink-stands, etc., in
the shape of the forts, were sold with that superscription: "Beech's
Folly".

This, translated into French, became that horrible gallicism: _la
betise Biche_.

Gradually, however, the Ecuador-Beech rage died down the hammers,
heard for nine days through the turmoil of the world, were again
drowned in it. The scarf-pins ceased to sell. The 'buses rolled, the
Bank cashed notes, the long street roared--and all was as usual.

Only, in the valley of Westring there was drill and target-practice
and barrack-life routine, the Westring-eccentricity being associated
with the millionaire, Hogarth, the island-eccentricity with the
House of Beech: and in the popular mind Beech and Hogarth were two
notions. Islands were building in Italy, France, Germany, Russia; in
England, Scotland, Ireland; at Maine, Baltimore, Newport News: but
the Governments, lacking the machinery, and also the initiative, and
judging to-morrow by yesterday, gave no sign from their Olympus.

In June, John Loveday being then at Westring, one morning O'Hara
arrived, he, too, having left mediaeval chasubles to grind at war,
and though he no longer taught Hogarth, a relation persisted between
them; and always not far from O'Hara was to be found Harris, living
now on the pinnacle of dandy bliss, twisting a dandy stick.

It was on the last night of this visit to Westring that O'Hara at a
late hour went with stealth and hesitations along a corridor of the
Hall, and finally tapped at Loveday's door, who, detesting the
priest, and reading in bed, disgustedly dashed off his cigarette
ash, as he called: "Come in".

And a long time they spoke of things other than the real object of
O'Hara's visit, till O'Hara said: "But--may I ask you something?"

"Do".

"Well, now, you are a fellow more in the counsels of Hogarth than
another. I want to ask you right out frankly--is it a fact that
Hogarth is choosing Admirals for the islands?"

"I believe it is", answered Loveday with his long-bow smile of
amusement: "I already know, for example, that Saltoun will admiral
the _Homer_ in the Indian Ocean, Vladimir the _Ruskin_ in the
Atlantic Crescent, and the young Marquis of Erroll the _Justice_ in
the Yellow Sea".

"Those all?"

"All I know of. I believe, however, that Hogarth is in the throes of
decision as to the rest".

"I see".

There was a silence full of Loveday's smile.

"But", said O'Hara, "what I meant is this: you know what I have been
to Hogarth; without me, what could the poor fellow have done, after
all? I have taught him to think, to dance, and to dine. Now, then, I
ask you right out frankly--am _I_, my son, in the list of Admirals?"

Loveday, flushing, started upright, and sank back. "No, I don't
fancy that your name is among those entertained, O'Hara".

"We will see about that. Woe to Hogarth, and to his advisers, if he
dare slight O'Hara, my son! What! after preparing myself with
toilsome zeal for this post? and after two promises from Hogarth's
own lips--?"

"I deny the promises on Hogarth's behalf".

"Oh, you! Hogarth looks upon you as a plaything. I do assure you,
you are not taken seriously, Mr. Loveday. How should such as you
know what Hogarth promises or designs? "--his cheeks trembling.

And, Loveday, smiling again, though pale: "Well, if we admit the
promises...but--have you accurately acquainted Hogarth with your
past, sir?"

"Most decidedly, sir!"

"If you have not, I think he should know it".

"Your threats do not affect me, sir! In three days I shall be in
Petersburg with Hogarth, and shall take a pleasure in writing you
the name of the island to which I am appointed".

"In three days I also--!" He stopped: but O'Hara understood.

Now the door rushed open, and in looked Harris in under-vest and
drawers, beneath his arm a bundle of walkingsticks, which he had
been caring and telling.

And "'Ere", he drawled, "when are you coming to 'ave that bit of
cold mutton? It's past twelve o'clock as it is".

"I am coming, boy", said O'Hara, rising with brisk obedience.

"Then, come, why don't you! There were shepherds watching their
pretty little flocks by night, but to leave a man watching the cold
animal is a bit out. Come along!"--and O'Hara went.

He reached Petersburg twelve hours before Loveday, his reason for
choosing that time being his knowledge that Frankl was in
Petersburg, and with him Rebekah, Frankl being in a deal with the
new-regime Minister of Finance.

For, as O'Hara had been asking himself the agonized question: "By
what absolute _finesse_ can I, _just now_, win Hogarth?" the mere
presence of Rebekah in the same city with Hogarth drew him thither.

But the next day, when Loveday came, nothing had been done--no
chance of _tete-a-tete_ with Hogarth: and that day was O'Hara an
anxious and tremulous man, living on the tip-toe and _qui vive_ of
lynx-eyed keenness.

The same night at a masque at the Palace of Peterhof Loveday got a
chance of dialogue with Hogarth, they seated amid greenery and
coloured gleams, Hogarth groomed to the glittering glass of his
shoes, his legs stretched, arm akimbo; and presently Loveday led the
talk to things of the sea. "What an extraordinary activity! The
British Government launches the _Peleus_ next Monday at Deptford--
the first 28,000-ton war-boat; and seven cruisers on the slips. Then
the French, Austro-German, Russian--"

"Ha!--I know. They won't build long".

"Still the confidence?"

"You can only ask, my dear boy, because you do not yet see what a
thing the battleship really is--much more than half a sham. The
march of invention is from the complex to the simple: for simplicity
is strength; but to the moment when I began to construct, naval
construction had not followed this law: for from the old smooth-
bores, aimed with tackle and quoin, to the present regime of
electric wires, you have had a continual advance in complexity--
always within the same little arc of thought--till now the most
complex of things is a battleship; and if you ask me which is the
weaker, a battleship or a watch, I answer a battleship--_weak_
meaning liability to the injuries which they were built to resist.
In such a case as that of the _Maine_, sunk at Havana, one might
fancy that the task of naval constructors is to turn out a thing to
sink with a minimum of trouble; and you remember the _Camperdown_
and _Victoria_, how, playing about together, one happened to touch
the other, when down plunged that other. These ships are a
compromise between three _motifs_--speed, resisting attack, and
attacking: and the first is so antagonistic to the second, and also
to the third, that the net result is almost a Nonentity, or No-
Thing. Nothing, in fact, could be more _queer_, unfounded, than
these ships; and the future will look back upon them with pity.
Hence the simple islands, following the law: and don't think t hat
their efficacy is a thing riskier than arithmetic itself"

"Good", went Loveday. "But, Richard--captain your islands with
decent men".

"You have something on your mind: what is it?"

"It is--delicate. Have I your permission to speak?"

"Why, John, yes".

"Well then--is O'Hara to be an Admiral?"

"Old Pat? Hardly, I think. He may. But no--I don't think. Poor old
talky-talky. He has worked hard for us, John: and his fund of
experience, in one way and another, has been invaluable. Well, I
don't know: I have had the idea, but I don't suppose that, in
reality--Still, I am fond of him, John. Such a tongue, and such a
versatile brain, is he! He was my comfort for many a sombre day in
prison--"

Listening near with rancid grin behind some greenery, O'Hara kept
nodding emphatic assents of satisfaction to Hogarth's praise.

"But, stop", said Loveday: "do you know why he was in prison?"

"He was innocent".

"Of what?"

"Of stealing some diamonds entrusted him by the Pope".

"Bah! he lies. His trial was a _cause celebre_, and hence the false
name he gave me at first: the moment I heard you say 'O'Hara' I knew
the man. He had committed an assault upon a lady in a train--"

"Beast that he is", went Hogarth, while O'Hara's eyes started from
his head: "and liar, too, it seems. Ha!--he gave me the most
circumstantial story. Why didn't you tell me this before?"

"It was delicate--"

"Beast that he is. Yet how complex is character! the man's
tenderness for his Church is so charming--"

"Fiddlesticks! Look here, Richard, I am come all the way from
Westring to tell you this thing. Don't you give vast powers to that
man: it isn't decent; and I have a feeling that it will be a baleful
piece of weakness. And don't get easy, and tolerant, and fat in the
eyes, Hogarth. That is a very significant Bible-story--the
implacable disaster sent upon old Eli for no greater crime than a
_bonhomme_ indolence. And in order to arouse your wrath against this
O'Hara, I am going now, against my will, to tell you something: the
name of that lady in that train".

"Someone whom I know?"

"Yes".

"Who?"

For a moment Loveday's answer hesitated: and in that moment, O'Hara,
with lightning decision, had his mouth at Hogarth's ear: "Come with
me quick--then fall down and worship me for a month! _Someone is in
the Malachite Hall!_"

Like sudden death Hogarth's colour fled his face; in another instant
he was a blind, oblivious wight...had known that she was in
Petersburg; but not that she was at the masque.

In a moment shrubbery, lights, all life, rushed into transformation
for him: and with an excitement of the eyes, the bloodshot left
looking bloodier, he went after O'Hara, tossing back at Loveday that
fatal saying: "_To-morrow_...."

A little previously O'Hara, having got from Frankl details of
Rebekah's dress, had spotted her in primrose silk, black mask and
domino, and soon with Hogarth refound her in the crush: whereas
Hogarth went about prospecting over the crowd, with that excitement
of his red-veined eyeballs, once even entered into talk with a group
of four diplomatists, but all the time with eyeballs absent in
hankering tracking, out prowling after one morbid form, as the
stallion's prowls after his Sally.

After an hour she said in French over her shoulder: "Why follow me?"

And as he bowed compliance, she added: "Are you well?"

He said: "Yes", and bowed, and she nodded twice, smiling a little,
as they parted.

He, on the wings of exaltation, made haste to salute the Throne and
leave the palace, rushing toward solitude to brood upon that smile,
those familiar nods, and the gentle "Are you well?"--in his landau
with him O'Hara, who persecuted him even to his bedroom; and when,
after an hour, the priest at last reappeared in a corridor, the
night-lights there shone upon an exultant visage, like a climber's
who, after long clamberings, at last stamps on the Matterhorn, and
looks abroad.

When he entered his own room, he stood with a hung head, till,
sharply looking up, he ejaculated with amazed, realization and
opening arms: "Well, it's done!--I've got it!" Now he put forefinger
to nose, and cut a beastly face at himself in the mirror-wall.

The next day Hogarth rather guiltily said to Loveday: "Well, I have
promised old O'Hara the _Mahomet_ for the Straits. Don't frown--I
owe him something, and the clever beast got over me in crazy
moment".

"Quite so", Loveday coldly said: and thenceforth, the thing being
done, was mum as to the name of the lady connected with O'Hara's
crime.

He returned immediately to England, having there many occupations,
which multiplied as the islands everywhere neared completion, the
first of the launches taking place at Spezzia on the 7th of
February.

A fortnight before this event the Beech-fever had revived, the
coming launch being no secret, and the doubt whether "Beech's Folly"
might be no folly, and the question what, on the whole, Beech's
Folly might really bode, filled once more the consciousness of the
Western world. By the 1st of February a drop was recorded in many
general securities, in "governments", rentes, and consols; in Berlin
the bank-rate rose one per cent.; it was stated that specie was
accumulating in European vaults; while up leapt futures-cotton in
the Liverpool market. At last the First Lord of the Treasury, in a
speech at Manchester, gave sign of the Government's consciousness of
the new fact, saying that he could only repeat the answer given by
the First Lord of the Admiralty to the recent Deputations of the
Chamber of Shipping and of Merchant Shippers, that Britain and the
other maritime nations would know how to protect the seas from any
nuisance. He anticipated no nuisance. The structures popularly known
as "Beech's Folly" (prolonged laughter) would be provided with
lighthouses: and until they proved a nuisance on the ocean's
fairways, the Governments must permit to private enterprise that
free hand which was the characteristic of our age; moreover, a
recognized Government had avowed its association with these
structures.

Nevertheless, the fever heightened. The light-system of the
_Boodah_, now included in the usual alphabetical lists of derelicts,
was conned by thousands of mariners, while in the crowded captains',
underwriters', and committee rooms at Lloyd's discussion buzzed and
speechified in every tone of gravity. Suddenly in the F. G. and S.
clause marine insurance underwent a profound modification; and it
was then that the millionaire, Schroeder, at that time a German
clerk in the City, managed to borrow five thousand pounds, and
quickly cleared his pile by underwriting on larger F. C. and S.
terms. And again raged the sale of the islands as penny salt-
cellars, finger-basins, etc.; in broker's and sub-editor's office
the tape-machine clicked the hourly progress of preparations at
Spezzia; while every by-street was dreadful with that music-hall
chorus:

  "To Spezzia runs the Pullman train;
   The Follies soon their sense will teach;
  We've Beech, O dear, upon the brain,
   He brains upon the beach".

Meantime, the question of the drawing-room was "Are you going to
Spezzia?" and by the 7th so great a pilgrimage of tourists--experts,
idlers, cinematographers, special correspondents, ministers of
state, Yankees, officers, social stars--had flocked to the scene,
that accommodation failed in the town and surrounding hill-country,
from Le Grazie on the west, to Lerici on the east of the Gulf.

The morning dawned bright--Italian sky, tranquil Italian sea--and by
nine the harbour was alive with small-craft and Portovenere
steamboats, all gala with flags; on the land side, too, over the
hills, up the old road called Giro della Foce, and before the
villages commanding the town, spread a cloud of witnesses; while the
multitude in possession of _permessos_ for the dock-region stretched
across a hundred and sixty acres, perched on every coign, and
murmuring like the sea.

And all in the air a fluttered consciousness of the to-come, the
present nothing, an hour hence everything--like the suspense of
nature before gales, and that greatness and novelty of marriage-
mornings: for such a bride that day would rush to the brine as it
had never embraced.

There lay the hulk, all nuptial in colours, her roof looking like a
_plaza_ of Lima or La Paz at Carnival, flags in mountain-ridges
round her edges, flags in festoons, in slanting clothes-lines, in
trophy-groups, on bandroled poles, bedecking her; some scaffolding
still round her; and three running derricks, capable of wielding
guns and boilers of 140 tons, craned their shears about her. A
temporary stair under flags ran right up to a ledge above the
waterline: from which ledge little steel steps led here and there to
the roof; round the edge of roof and ledge running two balustrades,
surrounding the hulk; and over that upper portion, four times
repeated in white letters ten feet high, the name _BOODAH_ boomed
itself.

By eleven some seven hundred people stood and sat on the roof--the
_elite_ of Europe, invited to the luncheon after the launch, seeming
to the tract of on-lookers quite dainty and visionary there, like
objects mirrored in an eye. And they formed groups, of which some
chatted, and were elegant, and some spoke the gravest words uttered
for centuries.

"What, really, is the _Boodah_?" asked a Servian Minister of a
French: "is she a whim, a threat, or a tool?"

"She is too heavy for a whim", answered the French, "too dear for a
threat, and too fantastic for a tool. Time will show".

But this was no answer at all: something more to the point came from
a multitudinous tumult of sledges below--the workmen "wedging-up".

At last, soon after noon, Hogarth, with a considerable following,
was seen ascending the steps, on his arm the Queen of the Ceremony--
a little Bavarian Graefin, famous for her face: he, princely now with
that cosmopolitan polish picked up in Courts, bending above her with
laughter, making her laugh also, as they paced up. And at once the
invited, including the Board of Verification, entered the hull upon
a tour of sight-seeing, conducted by a manager of the contractors.

Already the set-up wedges had raised the _Boodah_ from her keel-
block, and left her resting on the great braced ground-ways; and now
down to the sea's brink the greasers were busy, prodigals in tallow,
while, within, the seven hundred trooped from spectacle to
spectacle, like a tourist group guided through the Louvre.

An hour, and they anew appeared on the roof, trooping toward that
balustrade that faced the sea: upon which the throngs felt the
impending of the event, and intently watched. But there seemed no
hurry, Hogarth all gay chatter, anon lowering the lids a moment, as
he looked over the water; till suddenly hundreds of glasses detected
a champagne-bottle with ribbons in the christener's hand; and the
consciousness of the moment come moved the hosts when Hogarth, even
as he chatted, disengaged a flag, and let it fall: it was a signal;
down it fluttered; and instantly, down there, bustle broke loose, as
the call "Saw-off!" went forth, and the saws set flurriedly to fret
through the timbers which bind groundways to slidingways.

"_Now?_" whispered Hogarth at the christener's ear: and, even as he
spoke, the voice of a noising arose and droned from Spezzia, its
hills, its villages, and its sea; the _Boodah_, only half-liberated,
strained in travail; crashed from her bands; slipped down the
greased gradient--plunged--and, gathering momentous way, went wading
deep, deeper--like Behemoth run mad--amid a wrath of froths and a
brawling of waters, into the sea.

There, deep-planted, she stretched: on the surface appeared a reef
of steel; and the stirred-up water slapped vapidly upon those
flanks, like waters upon the Norway wall.




XXXIII

REEFS OF STEEL


Nothing was ever so scrutinized as the movements of the _Boodah_
during the next two months.

One morning three weeks after her launch three steamers took her in
tow, with progress so slow, that at nightfall they were still
visible from land; but the next morning had vanished.

Two days later they were met on the Genoa-Leghorn _route_, six
steamers then towing the _Boodah_, their course S. by W.

Again and again it was met, that funeral of the sea: the prone,
tearing steamers, the reluctant bulk. Sometimes a captain's glass
might make out a few men lost on the roof like men on a raft,
smoking, seated, leaning over a balustrade.

Southward and westward it swam. On the seventh day there arrived at
Ajaccio from Marseilles twenty-five bluejackets; and these, in a
hired _speronare_, put to sea, and joined the _Boodah_ twenty miles
from the coast.

Thenceforth, a smoke would be seen at a point of the roof,
indicating that she, too, was steaming: for it was known that she
had a screw and a rudder; and so closely was she observed, that her
now added rate could be fixed--two to three knots a day.

She must therefore have some small engines about 4,000 H. P.: and
since their _motif_ could only be one thing, resistance to ocean
currents, this meant that the _Boodah_ was intended to rest always
in one spot: a startling conclusion.

Occasionally a Surveying Service warship would peep above the
horizon, watching her.

As she passed through the Straits, seventy-five English blue-jackets
put out from Trafalgar, and joined her.

With such reports passed the weeks. Occasionally five or six coal-
ships would be seen about the _Boodah_; her number of tug-ships
might be as low as two; sometimes nine, ten.

At night she made a fine display, and homeward-bound boats from Cape
Horn, from Pernambuco, Para, Madeira, spoke highly of her two
revolving-drum lighthouses: for these, from opposite corners of the
roof, at the rate of a revolution per minute, poured into space two
shimmering comets, like Calais and the Eddystone--rapt spinning-
dervishes of the sea that hold far converse with the dark, till
morning. And between these two ran a festoon of electric lanterns,
Japanese and Moorish, cut in ogives; and festoons of coloured moons
drooped round the balustrades, so that the blaze and complexity of
it presented to ships a spectacle of speckled mystery, fresh to the
sea.

After five weeks a hundred and seventeen blue-jackets put out from
Portsmouth in a chartered barque and joined her, she still in tow,
making now about N. by W.

But by the time this news reached Europe the eyes of Europe were no
longer given up to the _Boodah_: for _another Boodah_, called the
_Truth_, was a-tow through the North Channel from Belfast; and she
had not reached the Mull of Cantire, when a third was launched at
San Francisco, so that the interest of the islands became
complicated.

What would they do? What could they? Compared with this question,
the riddle of the Sphinx was simple, the supposition that they were
going to batter coast-walls in the S. Pacific being hardly now
tenable. The _Boodah_ finally came to rest some miles North of lat.
50 deg. and East of long. 20 deg.: and there--just on the northern rim of
the Gulf Stream where it divides, part toward Ireland, and part
toward Africa--she remained, precisely in the middle of the trade-
route between Europe and Boston, New York, Halifax: a _route_
covered for fifty miles--twenty-five north, twenty-five south--by
her 19.5-inch guns.

It is impossible to describe with how wild a heart, or thrilling a
boding, the world heard this thing: eight days later the
International Conference of Maritime Nations met at The Hague.

But nothing happened--or the opposite of what was feared: for, as
months passed, the _Boodah_, planted there in the ocean, rapidly
became the recognized gathering-point of the fashion and gaiety of
Europe, thither flocking the socially ambitious and the "arrived"
together, and to have been invited to those revels of taste and
elegance became a superiority. Gradually, as the names "Beech",
"Ecuador", ceased to be associated with the islands, the name of
Hogarth took their place; and Hogarth had engaged Wanda, sweetest of
tenors, to a year's stay in the _Boodah_, whose orchestra was the
most cultured anywhere; Roche, her _chef_, had two years previously
been put into a laboratory to devote his soul to the enlargement of
his art; and he and that tenor lived in suites of the _Boodah_ such
as most princes would consider Utopian.

Hardly anything in her interior suggested _the ship_: no hammocks
for marines, rolling-racks, sick-bay, lockers, steam-tables, wash-
rooms, she being just a palace planted in the Atlantic, her bottom
going down to a layer of comparative calm, so that hardly ever, in a
storm, when the ocean robed her sides in white, washed abroad her
slippery plateau, and drenched with spray her lighthouse tops, did
the ballroom below know shock or motion. Into her principal hall,
far down, circular, one descended by a circle of steps of marble,
round which stood a colonnade of Cuban cedar, supporting candelabra
and silks; and from atrium-pools sunk in the floor twelve twining
fountains brandished spiral sprays, the floor being of a glassy
marble, polished with snakestone, suffused with blushes at the
coloured silks and at a roof gross with rose and pomegranates,
hanging chandeliers; round the raised centre of the floor stood two
balustrades, three feet high, hung with silks, the inner circle
thirty feet across, higher than the outer, forty-five across: a
roseate room, strewn with cushions, colours, flushes; but that
raised space was empty: reserved for--a throne.

The throne, still unfinished, had been three years making in India.

And during nine months the _elite_ and joyous yachts arrived, not at
the _Boodah_ only, but at others of the twelve which, one by one,
were launched and towed to position; and a round of events
transacted themselves in the fortresses: Marie Antoinette balls,
classic concerts, theatrical functions by _troupe_ or amateur,
costume-balls, children's-balls, banquets of the gods, grave
receptions. By now there ran right across the _Boodah's_ roof, in
the form of a cross, two double colonnades of Doric pillars, at the
four ends being Roman arches: and here, some summer afternoon, the
passing ship would see a bazaar, all butterfly flutter, feminine
hues like flower-beds, cubes of coloured ice, flags, and a buzz of
gaiety, and strains of Tzigany music--rainbow-tints of Venice mixed
with the levity of the Andrassy Ut of Pesth. Sometimes a fleet of
craft would surround the islands. Besides, to each was attached a
yacht, and a trawler which continually plied for it between island
and land.

At this time Hogarth was deep in debt, and Beech's living upon
credit.

So, gradually, a good deal of the awe which the structures had
inspired passed off. On the whole, they seemed mere whimsical
castles-of-pleasure. The trains of industrious ships grew habituated
to their gaudy brightness by night, to their seething reefs, or
placid mass, by day. On foggy days the mariner was aware of the
islands wailing weird siren-sounds of warning. The islands waved
common-code signals of greeting to the passer. Trinity House sent
them the usual blanks and instruments for recording meteorological
observations. Their positions were marked in British Admiralty
Charts, in American Pilot Charts, in "Sailing Directions". The great
greyhounds, racing to Sandy Hook, raved with jest past them. The
islands began to seem a natural part of the sum of things. There
they lay, stable, rooted, trite, familiar; and the question almost
arose: "How came it that they were never there _before?_"--just that
object, of that form and colour, seemed so old and natural in that
particular spot. So the frogs hopped finally upon the log that God
sent them for sovereign.

Meantime, the more thoughtful of men did not fail to observe, and
never forgot, that no ship could possibly depart from, or arrive at
Europe, without passing within range of some one of the islands'
guns. A row of eight lay an irregular crescent (its convexity facing
Europe) from just outside the Straits of Gibraltar, where O'Hara
admiraled the _Mahomet_, to the 55th of latitude, where the _Goethe_
lay on the Quebec-Glasgow _route_: these commanding the European
trade with the States and with S. America, as well as with W. and S.
Africa, and with Australia by Cape Horn; another in the narrows of
the Gulf of Aden, commanding the world's traffic by Suez with the
East and with S. Africa; another in the middle of the narrows of the
Kattegat, commanding all Baltic trade; another, fifteen miles from
San Francisco, and another a hundred and fifty miles from Nagasaki,
on the edge of the Black Stream, commanding the Japanese-San
Francisco, the Australian-San Francisco trades, and great part of
the Japano-Russo-Chinese. These were the principal trades of the
world.

Like the despair of Samson awaking manacled and shaven, an
occasional shriek would go up from some lone thinker, who perceived
that the kingdoms of the world had lapsed into a single hand; and in
the privy cabinet the governors drank to the dregs the cup of
trembling. But their speech was bold, the matter hung long, the
peoples ignored and wrought: there was seed-time and harvest; the
newsboy brawled; the long street roared. Far yonder in the darkness
and distance of the deep the islands flashed and danced, and were
fashionable.

Richard Hogarth held back his hand.




XXXIV

THE "KAISER"


It was the habit of Hogarth, when in the _Boodah_, to rise very
early and ascend in flannels to one of the four doors opening upon
the ledge--blocks five feet thick, moved by hydraulic motors--and
sometimes Loveday would accompany these walks, they always seeing on
the plane of the sea some sail, or by a spyglass the fading light-
beam of the _Goethe_ north, of the _Solon_ south; or they watched
how the _Boodah's_ galaxy, too, waxed faint and garish as some drama
of colour evolved in the East; saw gulls hover and swing, fins
wander: and marking that simple ampleness of the plan of sea and
arch of heaven, their hearts felt enlargement.

One morning, the 3rd October, Loveday was up even before Hogarth,
having started awake from a gory nightmare, this altogether not
being a day like others: and when the two friends met on the ledge,
they walked a long time in silence.

Only after the dayspring began definitely to dabble in its chromatic
chemistries Loveday at last remarked: "Did you ever think why I took
such pains to get you to come down with me to Lord Woolacot's last
autumn two years?"

"Yes", answered Hogarth: "you wanted me to see the model farms, and
how the young ladies fed the poor, and how the tenants loved their
lord, and everyone thought himself happy. Only, I didn't see what
the pastimes of Lord Woolacot's daughters have to do with the
process of the suns, and with the woe of Oldham. Ah, Lord, it is a
job, I tell you, pulling this vile thing straight! Of course, the
eagle doesn't blink: but I am only one man, and the world, and its
stupid sins, are a tidy burden. Ha!--never mind. Look at that big
_Boodah_ of a sun how he blooms: isn't he launched and handled all
right? Let us of this desert bend the knee to him like the old
Sabaeans. There is hope"....

It was known that on that day, at half-past eleven A.M., the _Kaiser
Wilhelm der Groesste_ would pass on her second voyage within some
miles of the _Boodah_, this ship being the greatest afloat, having a
cargo-carrying deadweight of 45,000 tons, and travelling the waters
like a railway-train at 37 miles (32 knots).

So toward noon Hogarth, in a peaked cap, jacket, and white boots,
was again on the roof, a glass and book of Costonlights in his hand,
while not far off a knot of five officers in frockcoats talked, and
near one light-house, where a number of men stood, a flagstaff flew
the ensign--blue letters "R. F." on a white ground, looking Russian;
on the northern horizon two fox-tails of smoke; on the western three
diminutive sails; between the two, quite real and big, a brig
becalmed; and now the _Kaiser Wilhelm_: for that yonder could be
only she, with so fervent a growth, from the first moment of her
upward climb, did she approach. It was twenty minutes to noon, and
she was somehow a little late, that punctual strong wrestler with
space.

The officers on the _Boodah_ spoke of her in low and stealthy
voices; looked at her with queer and stealthy glances.

"'As a bird to the snare...'" muttered one.

"She comes all right, but will never go", said another.

"She will be always near us", said a third.

"Life is an earnest thing, after all", said a fourth: "there are
wrongs, it seems, which only blood can wash out: it comes to that at
last".

Now Loveday ran up, looking scared and busy, a quill behind his ear,
Hogarth now having the glass at his face, while his eyes struggled
with the reek from his cigar-end.

"Is that she?" Loveday asked him.

"Yes, poor boat".

She was nine miles away; in four minutes she was less than seven,
and now distinct:--her three staysails; her four funnels; the
stretched-out space between her raked masts; her host of cowls and
boats; her high victorious hull, silently running.

And all along her lines were lines of faces thick as dahlia-rows in
June--globe-trotters; captains of industry; children; the Wall
Street operator who plotted a stroke in Black-Sea wool, and to him
time was money--I guess; commercial travellers, all-modern,
spinning, prone, to whom the sea was an insignificant and conquered
thing; engineers; capped enthusiastic Germans, going forth to
conquer; publishers, ladies, lords, all the nondescript prosperous:
and all ran there blithe, sublime, and long drawn-out; and they
toyed with oranges, nuts; and they looked abroad to see the
_Boodah_--ship's-surgeons and officers with them--jesting, as they
munched or sucked.

But the Captain who had often seen the _Boodah_, was log-writing in
the chart-room...

As her ensign of greeting ran up her main, her clocks struck twelve,
the full noon--like an omen--come; she not then three miles from the
_Boodah_.

And simultaneously with the hoisting of that ensign, and the
striking of those clocks, the old-worn wheels of Roman Civilization
stopped dead.

The _Boodah_ ran up the signal: "_Stop!_"

Those who understood rubbed their eyes: it was like a vision at high
noon; they could not believe.

At that news the Captain, a handsome fair-bearded man, rushed like a
madman from pilot-house to bridge, and the startled passengers saw
his lighted eyes. He had some moments of indecision; then down he,
too, rang that word: "_Stop_".

The engines left off; the _Kaiser's_ speed, as from heart-failure,
gave in, died away.

By this time all the passengers knew, in a state of tremor saw
confused runnings to and fro, and face caught from face dismay; the
voyage was spoiled, the record! What, then, had happened to the
world? And now again the _Boodah_ is signalling: "_Let the Captain
come_".

The Captain's hands were shaking; he could not speak, could only
gasp to the first-officer: "By God, no; O, by God, no". Then, as
great quantities of black-grey reek, wheeling all convolved, were
now enveloping the vessel, resting on the sea, reaching away in
thinner fog even to the _Boodah_, and as, the day being calm, there
was a difficulty in reading the flags, the Captain gasped: "Take the
trumpet--ask them--But don't they pay for this...?"

So out brayed the trumpeted query, and back the inexorable trumpeted
answer: "_Let the Captain come_".

So, then, the _Kaiser_ would never reach Sandy Hook? To put out
boats!--to parley!--while the earth span with quick-panting throbs,
every second worth seven thousand pounds!

"But don't they _pay_ for it...?" so, with a painful face of care,
the Captain questioned space.

But he would be mild and patient as a lamb that day! His order went
forth: the ship forged ahead; a longboat, hurriedly lowered to
starboard, was manned for the first-officer to put off in her, while
every heart of the passengers thumped, every face an ecstasy of
emotions.

Then a wretched, long interval...

The ship's-officers were received on the _Boodah_ in a deck-room
containing a number of boats with castored keels, capable of being
quickly launched down an incline, where Mr. F. Quilter-Beckett, the
Admiral, with some lieutenants, awaited them at a bureau on which
lay documents, while in the background stood Hogarth and Loveday,
and, "Gentlemen, this is a most damned wild piece of madness!" broke
out wrathfully the first-officer, as he dashed up wild-eyed to the
level: "in consideration of the guns you have in this thing--"

"But your Captain?" asked Quilter-Beckett, a courtly man, with a
dark-curling beard, a star on his breast.

"The Captain won't come!" whined the officer in perfect English: "I
suppose you realize the terrible consequences of this stoppage,
gentlemen?"

"But you are wasting time, sir. You represent your Captain?"

"Of course, I represent--!"

"Then just cast your eye over this"--that so slighted letter, sent
years before by Hogarth to Foreign Offices, claiming the sea as his
private manor.

The officer read it half through with flurried closeness; then,
"Well, but what is all this?" he broke out: "is it a piece of
comedy, or what, gentlemen?"

"It is serious; and the last clause comes into operation to-day:
only such ships being held authorized to pass on the sea as pay to
the first-reached sea-fort on any voyage a tax, or sea-rent, of 4s.
per ton on their registered tonnage, with an additional stamp-tax of
33s. 4d. for receipt, and a stamp-tax of L1 16s. 8d. for clearance.
You will see at a glance the clauses of the law, if you cast your
eyes over this schedule--"

"Law!" the other broke in: "you talk of _Law_! But doesn't the sea,
then, belong by right to all men--?"

"Not more than the land. Ask yourself: why should it? But I do hope
you won't argue: your time must be so precious".

Out shrilled the _Kaiser Wilhelm's_ whistle of recall.

"I must go!" said the officer with a worried hand-toss: "I must go.
If you give me those documents, I will show them to the Captain--but
he is not the sort of man--this is mere piracy, after all! But, good
God, gentlemen, if you only dare touch that ship, I shouldn't put
myself in your place this day week for all--"

He snatched the papers, dashed, and his men, in a passion of haste,
lay to the oars, the _Kaiser_ only four hundred yards from the
_Boodah_; and the officer, shaking aloft the documents, pitched up
the stair, the centre of five hundred pairs of scared eyes, while
the captain bored his way to him.

Two minutes of intense low speech, crowded with gestures: and
suddenly the Captain's face, till now haggard, reddened; out went
his shaken fist; with eyes blazing like lunacy, up he flew to the
bridge; and now he is bending down with howling throat: "Passengers
to their berths!"

Simultaneously, above the engine-room stair a bell jangled; round
swung the pointer to "_Full Ahead_"; and ere the decks were cleared
of their bustle the _Kaiser_, like a back-kicking hen, scratched up
under her poop a spreading pool of spume, which tossed spasmodic
spray-showers and spoutings: and she stirred, stretched like a
street, churned the sea, and, wheeling to reveal her receding stern,
was away.

By which time Hogarth was standing at a cubical cabin of steel on
the roof, with him Loveday and Quilter-Beckett, his brow puckered
with wrinkles, the sun troubling his eyes.

"I suppose the _chef_ is warned?"--he threw away his cigar.

"Oh, yes, my Lord King", Quilter-Beckett answered.

And Loveday: "She sweats like a thoroughbred"--haggard, but assuming
calm: "few things could be more profusely expeditious".

"Ah, make phrases, John," murmured Hogarth...."Well, but hadn't you
better be getting out the boats?"

Upon which Quilter-Beckett stepped into the little erection, touched
a button, and in a minute the water round the southern side was
swarming with twenty-three boats whose blue-jackets began to row
toward the _Kaiser_.

And presently, "It's no use waiting", said Hogarth, looking in upon
Quilter-Beckett: "I should mine and shell her at the same moment, if
I were you; tell them to get it in well amidships".

Now a few seconds, full of expectation, passed, the _Kaiser Wilhelm_
already two miles away: till suddenly space opened its throat in a
gulf to bay gruff and hollow like hell-gate dogs; and, almost at the
same moment, close by the _Kaiser_ a column of water hopped with one
humph of venom two hundred feet on high: when this dropped back
broad-showering with it came showering a rain of wreckage; and
instantly a shriek of lamentation floated over the sea, mixed with
another shriek of steam.

For the moment the ship, enveloped in vapours, could not be seen;
but in two minutes glimpses of her hull appeared, shewing the bluff
bulge of her starboard bottom: for she leaned steeply to port with a
forward crank, her two starboard screws, now free, spinning asleep
like humming-tops. A six-inch shell, beautifully aimed, had
shattered her engines, killing two stokers, and a torpedo-mine had
knocked a hole nine feet across in her port beam.

But as the _Boodah's_ boats, meanwhile, had been racing toward her,
and as her own port boats were quickly out, all were got off; in
fact, she floated so long, that her ship's papers with L270,000 in
specie, and a few hundred-weight of mailbags were saved, and even
after the boats reached the _Boodah_ she still stretched there
motionless, until, with a sudden flurry, she determined to plunge.

Soon afterwards Hogarth had the Captain in his suite, to tell him
that he did not wish any intelligence of the event to reach the
world for four days, during which passengers and crew would be his
guests, and then be sent on to America, his object, he said, being
to impress the loss of the _Kaiser_ upon the consciousness of all,
by making all anxious as to her fate.

So that night her passengers danced till late, for there was no
resisting the hospitality of Hogarth, or the witchery of those
vistas and arcades, grand hall and lost grot, _salons_ and
conservatories, there in the dark of the ocean, or such an
enchantment of music, and fabulousness of table; the host, too,
pleaded prettily for himself; and now they pardoned, and now they
pouted, but always they banqueted, kissed, lost themselves in
visions, were charmed, and danced.




XXXV

THE CUP OF TREMBLING


It was by the merest chance that Baruch Frankl and his daughter were
not on the _Kaiser_: for Frankl was the half-nephew of Mrs. Charles
P. Stickney, a New York Jewess, and as the marriage of Miss Stickney
with Lord Alfred Cowern was only fifteen days off, Frankl had made
arrangements to accompany the bridegroom across, but had been
detained by stress of business; happily for him--for Lord Alfred,
the bridegroom, was a dancing prisoner in the _Boodah_.

Early, then, on the third morning thence, Charles P. Stickney, the
bride's father, a natty little Yankee, hurried a-foot to the
Maritime Exchange: for, to his infinite surprise, the _Kaiser's_
arrival had not been in the morning's paper: so the little arch-
millionaire stepped toward Beaver Street, sure that the _Kaiser_ had
come in too late for the press.

Early as it was, he found the place as thickly a-buzz as though it
was that feverish hour between eleven and twelve.

He pushed his way to the bulletin-board, inscribed with the hours at
which ships are sighted and entered into dock: the Kaiser was not
there: and with prone outlook he went seeking an assistant
superintendent; but, sighting a fellow-operator, come, as usual, to
digest the world, from barometer-reports to coffee-quotations at
Rio, Charles P. Stickney cried to him: "Funny about the _Kaiser_!
Know anything?"

"It's the darndest thing..." mumbled the other, still star-gazing at
a blackboard prices-current of American staples: "raise Hell this
day, I guess"....

And on through the rooms Stickney shouldered: all in the air here an
odour of the sea, and of them that go down to it in ships; pilot,
captain, supercargo, purser; abstracts from logs, copies of
manifests and clearances, marks and numbers of merchandise, with
quantities, shippers, consignees; here peaked caps, and the jaw that
chewed once, and paused long, and, lo, it moved anew; Black Books,
massive volumes enshrining ancient wrecks; vast newspaper-files in
every tongue; records of changes in lightships, lights, buoys, and
beacons, from Shanghai to Cape Horn; reports, charts, atlases,
globes; the progress of the rebellion in Shantung, and the
earthquake last night in Quito; directories, and high-curved
reference-books, and storm-maps; every minute the arrival of cipher
cablegrams, breathless with the day's Amsterdam exchange on London,
or with the quantities of tea _in transitu_ via Suez or Pacific
Railway; and the drift of ocean-currents, and the latest position of
the _Jane Richardson_, derelict, and the arrival of the _Ladybird_
at Bahia; and the probabilities of wind-circulation, atmospheric
moisture, aberrations of audibility in fog; and in the middle of it
the pulse of the sun, the thundering engines and shooting shuttles
of this Loom; a tiptop briskness and bustle of action; a scramble of
wits; a _melee_ to the death; mixed with pea-jackets, and aromas of
chewed pigtail, and a rolling in the gait.

Into this roar of life that word _Kaiser_ stole: and it grew to a
chorus.

Charles P. Stickney, butting upon a tearing clerk who was holding
aloft a bulletin of icebergs and derelicts, tried to stop him: upon
which the clerk, who would not be stopped, cried with a back-looking
face of passionate haste: "London message just received--_no
intelligence of Kaiser_--"

But he had hardly disappeared, when another man from an inner room
rushed, waving something: the Navesink Highlands lookout had wired
the _Kaiser_ in sight! And while the Exchange rang with cheers,
Stickney, a colour now in his sere cheeks, went boring his way
outward.

The lookout had said it--those blue eyes that never failed there on
his watch-tower, he knowing the ships that sail the sea as the
Cyclops his sheep, in his heart so knowing them all, that as that
sea-glass detected a speck on the horizon, those sea-wise nostrils
sniffed its name: for between the _Mary Jane_ and the _Mary Anne_,
both off-shore schooners, is all the world of difference: if you
would not see it, _he_ knows. And he had wired the _Kaiser!_--so
expectant his outlook: and that day wept like a ruined man.

Swift upon his first wire a second flashed: and one of those craped
days of the tragedies of commerce followed, the boding, the loss,
flashed everywhere, pervading Europe and America.

The next morning the Exchange, all the exchanges, the Lloyds', the
bourses, were crowded from an early hour, but subdued: no news, not
a word; but still--there was certainty: for had the _Kaiser_ and her
wireless been merely disabled, she would undoubtedly by now have
been reported: she had foundered.

_Foundered!_--in the serenest weather in which ship ever crossed the
water....

But at eleven the truth came: for the brig which had lain becalmed
near the _Boodah_ at the moment of the tragedy, and now was nearer
England, had flashed the news: "many of the Kaiser's passengers
mutilated, many drowned".

Death, then, was in the pottage of Life; the air tainted with specks
of blood....

That day Man, as it were, rent his garments, sitting in ashes, and
to Heaven sent up a howl of fear, of anguish, and of hissing hate.

Those who lacked the intelligence to feel the fear, felt the hate:
every girl, the shirt-maker, the shopman, feeling himself robbed of
his very own; the Duke in the centre of his oak-lands felt it; the
burglar, the junk-dweller of the Yangtse, the pariah of the Hugli.
Lamentation and a voice in Ramah, wail on wail. For God had given
the sea to man, and it had been seized by a devil.

God had also given the shore; and it, too, had been seized: but, as
that had been before their birth, they had not observed it--in such
a numb somnambulism shambles humanity.

But the theft of the sea was new and flagrant, it, and the air,
being all that had remained: and a roar for vengeance--sharp, and
rolled in blood--rose from the throat of man.

Accordingly, when Mr. C. P. Stickney during the afternoon wired for
information to the White House, he received the reply: "Encourage
calm on 'Change. Government in touch with Europe. Great naval
activity. Await good news, seven P.M."

It was about seven P.M. that what the White House would have
considered specially good news occurred: for the _Boodah_ then
telegraphed through to O'Hara's _Mahomet_ at the Straits:

"B. 7651. Begins. After to-morrow (Monday) you begin taxation, as
per Order B., 7315, of 2nd inst. But if warships desire to pass out,
(not in), permit, till further order. Richard. Ends".

Which meant that if any Power, or Powers, desired to concentrate
force upon the attack of any island, the Lord of the Sea granted
them facilities.

The _Kaiser_ passengers had now been sent off to New York, the
_Boodah's_ halls seemed the home of desolation; and, as the night
advanced, Hogarth and Loveday walked on the roof: for they could
find no rest, the sky without moon or star, the sea making of three
sides of the _Boodah_ a roaring reef, the wind blowing cold, they
two wrapped to the nose in oilskins with sou'-westers, lashed by
rages of rain and spray.

Yonder, to the north-west, appeared a ghost, a thing, a derelict
brig, driving downhill on the billows, like a blind man gadding
aimless with a crazy down-look, the rags of her one sail drumming on
the gusts; and near, nearer, within a stone's-throw of the _Boodah_,
she swaggered wearily, drab Arab, doomed despondent Ahasuerus of the
deep, nomad on the nomad sea; and on into the gloom of the south-
west she roamed, to be again and again re-created by the rolling
light-drum, while Hogarth with a groan said: "If I were only dead! I
feel to-night like a man abandoned by the Almighty".

Loveday muttered those words so loved by Hogarth:

  "....this is my favoured lot,
  My exaltation to afflictions high"....

And Hogarth: "Do you know what is burdening me tonight? It is the
curses which the world is at this moment hurling upon me: as when
one man, thinking evilly of another, sticks needles into wax, and
needles of pain pierce the other..." a sense of evil which was
deepened the next day by an ominous little accident, when one of his
old gunpractice hulks arrived from Bombay, bearing the throne: for
as this was being conveyed into the _Boodah_ a front leg was broken.

Meantime, the world's trade went on as before: only, night and day,
its ships lay-to, to pay rent with threat and curse: in all only
thirteen ships being sunk ere sea and earth had learned the new
conditions.

And from the very first day of this taxing a deeper sense of pain
and hardship pervaded the world, the Lord of the Sea now taxing at
4s. per ton a world's tonnage of 29 millions, 7 1/2 millions in
sailing-ships, 21 1/2 millions in steamships, once in a voyage--a
little less than the revenue of Britain.

So one night he received message from O'Hara that "British
Mediterranean fleet has passed through the Straits, homeward".

It was not for nothing that the nations had allowed three weeks to
pass before avenging the Kaiser: soon enough the Cabinets had been
in intercommunication; but in the "Concert" had occurred--a hitch.

Britain had proposed the destruction of the islands in detail, the
Powers to contribute weights of metal proportionate to their
mercantile marines: as a basis for calculation she had offered her
force in Home and Mediterranean waters; and, this having been
accepted, by the 5th ships were under the pennant, and outfitting.

Now, all this time, things had been in a pretty whirl: oratory from
pulpit, platform, stump, eyes on fire, mobs that went in haste,
shrieks of newspaper passion, organized burglary, and a strange
epidemic of fires: for the modern nations lived by the sea, and it
was seized. Moreover, on the 6th, after a meeting at the Albert
Hall, organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce, our
Government--"Liberal", under Sir Moses Cohen--suffered a defeat of
thirty-four votes on a division.

And it was during the turmoil that ensued upon this that the German
Foreign Office (on the 9th) sent to the new Russian the wireless
"_Bion_"-meaning--"Let us meet to discuss the subject of-England".

That meeting took place at Konigsberg.

It was now that a fort-man--formerly a Nottingham shoemaker--landed
from the Truth's yacht at Frederikshavn, and thence wrote to the
Daily Chronicle, to say, briefly, this: That, supposing the European
navies joined to batter away with l5-inch guns and torpedoes at five
feet of steel, they might finally succeed in mining a hole in it;
but if the thick steel happened to have still bigger guns, "_and
other things_", with which, meantime, to batter back at the thin
ships, then it would be the ships, probably, which would get holes
in them: it was a question of Time. Also he said that the islands
were defended by devoted men, every one of intelligence and high
principle, who knew what they wanted, and meant to have it--their
shooting average being 97 per 100. He advised his country not to try
it, especially in view of certain political rumours which he had
picked up in the Cattegat.

This letter, although badly spelled, aroused a sensation The "high
principle" of the fort-men, indeed, met with bitter laughter; but
its hearty patriotism, simplicity, technical knowledge, were so
remarkable, that now a doubt as to the battleship arose--and with it
a gnashing of teeth. The service-clubs, the "experts", wrote this
and that; the publics poured forth letters, schemes, plots,
inventions--like the brain of the world _versus_ the brain of
Hogarth. "_Starve Him Out_", was a title in the _Contemporary:_ but
the reply was bitterly obvious. And into the midst of this racket
burst the news that the negotiations with Germany, Russia and France
were at a deadlock.

These Powers had raised this question: "In case of the capture of
the islands--what shall be done with those most powerful engines?"

Here was a riddle. For whichever nation took even one would score a
vast advantage.

If, now, Britain had had the greatness of mind to declare for the
sinking, in any case, of all the islands, the difficulty was solved,
but the new-Government brooms would score a point and gain a trick,
and they proposed the division of surviving forts in the proportion
of fighting-power contributed.

The Continent objected: Britain was "_firm_"; whereupon the French
Ambassador sent to Downing Street his withdrawal from the crusade.

And so when--on the 22nd--the fleets assembled at Portland and
Milford Haven before _rendezvous_ at the Lizard, the whole original
proposal had fallen through: for here was neither tricolour nor
saltire, only three German ships, only five Italian; the
"probability", moreover, of the capture of a sea-fort by England was
imminent: and on the evening of the mobilisation of the squadrons
feverish activity was reported from Toulon; a British Legation
_attache,_, seeing fit to stroll round the Caserne Pepiniere, beheld
in the yard an extraordinary crowd of limbers: and, pitching into a
cab, from the nearest _postes et telegraphes_ wired to London the
word: "Angleterre".

Too late: the British fleets were gone, leaving the Channel and
Western Mediterranean desert.

Now the nation awoke to a consciousness of dark skies: cloud of the
west rushing to meet a yet lurider eastern--with probability of
lightning.

The fleet could hardly return in less than five days--if it
returned! Would the hostile nations be good enough to await its
return? The lightning would be "near".

A day of fear, in which flash tracked flash: till at 11.30 P.M. the
rumour pervaded the crowd round St. Stephen's that the new Ministry
had suffered defeat: and the drifting ship was captainless.

And early the next morning a number of _Boodah_ boats, out running a
regatta, came tearing back, all fluttered; soon after which Quilter-
Beckett was hurrying into Hogarth's presence, who was at coffee, to
say: "Well, my Lord King, here they come at last--and enough of
them, I think".




XXXVI

THE "BOODAH" AND THE BATTLESHIPS


The ships had gone forth in two lines ahead at ten knots, Admiral
Sir Henry Yerburgh, K.C.B., being in the flagship Queen Mary, with
the capital-ships being nearly all of the five mosquito flotillas,
and half the Home submarine; though what was the object of the
torpedo craft (unless they were to go within 2,000 yards of the
_Boodah's_ guns) was not very evident.

At that news, Hogarth, putting on a wide-awake, and lighting a cigar
with rough perfunctory puffs, ran along a corridor to call Loveday,
whereupon the two went out to the ledge and up to the roof.

There, at the south edge, stood a marine trumpeting something at
Hogarth's yacht; and, just landing at the _Boodah_ from his gig, a
fretful Yankee skipper, register in hand with a bag of L900 sea-rent
in gold, while twenty yards yonder rode his smoking ship loaded with
grain for Rouen; and on the eastern horizon the armada, in crescent
at present, moving with fires banked at two knots, a glare hiding
them from the naked eye, but the glass revealing them like toys in
the abstract, ethereally hazy.

And now the yacht's cones shewed steam, three of her boats making
toward the _Boodah_; soon at the landing-place stood Wanda, some
interpreters, Mons. Roche (the chef), women, engineers, paymasters,
civil servants, waiters, etc.; and Hogarth, seeing them, approached,
questioned them, and, hearing that they had been ordered a day's
pleasure-trip round the _Solon_, with lifting hat shook hands all
round.

By this time some fifty officers and blue-jackets were about the
roof and ledge, some discussing, others unfixing lanterns and
festoons, with shouted directions. Leaving which, Hogarth and
Loveday descended to an office of Loveday's, and Hogarth was just
saying: "Quilter-Beckett could destroy a quarter of those warships
yonder--_now_, if he chose--without firing a gun--" when in, with
flushed face and stretched stalk, hurried Quilter-Beckett, crying:
"My Lord King, I thought you would be here--just look--!"

He held out a Sea telegraph-form-from O'Hara:

"F. 39241. Begins. Almost certainty of war: Germany, France, Russia
against England. Three corps massing between Harfleur and Rouen, two
upon Petersburg, transports at Havre. England undefended on sea.
Ministry fallen. Toulon outfitting. Donald, Admiral. Ends.

Hogarth, with an all-gone gesture, handed the telegram to Loveday.

But with lightning energy he was at a desk, scribbling:

"F. 39242. Begins. To Donald, Admiral, Mahomet. Be in half-hourly
communication with Beech's Bank, Paris and Petersburg branches. Send
hourly bulletins of news. War to be averted by every means. Let
Beech threaten. Warn Cattegat. Richard. Ends."

And "Quick, Quilter-Beckett", he cried, "send that! What is the
speed of your quickest picket--?"

"Fifteen knots--"

"Then, go yourself to the British Admiral. _Make_ him fly back: he
has years to attack me in, tell him--I'll write a dispatch--"

On which Quilter-Beckett telephoned up for a picket, took the
dispatch, and was soon away, while Hogarth watched his flight over
the Sea.

An anxious hour passed, and by then a line of ships had been sighted
to the west--the Americans at last; ten minutes later, the picket,
too, was seen returning.

"Well, now", said Hogarth, watching her, "I wonder. The ships seem
to be coming on just the same. You have no idea, John, how the mind
of people in office becomes fixed, like hardened putty in a hole: I
am sorry now I didn't go myself".

Some minutes more and Quilter-Beckett was pelting up the steps, his
face pink as prickly-heat, blurting out: "My Lord King! I have been
grossly insulted...!"

"Ha!" went Hogarth.

"I met a dispatch-boat coming to make summons of surrender, and, in
spite of my white flag, they took me prisoner! How I restrained
myself--and these people in the hollow of my hand! When I got at
last to the Admiral--it is Yerburgh on the _Queen Mary_--he
'pirated' me--but I have no time Yonder, you see, are the Americans.
British won't go back: I doubt if they believe--'under orders', and
so on. By the way, you shouldn't stay there--no longer safe--"

He was away: for the moment was near, the _Boodah_ now surrounded
with a series of floating squares hanging deep torpedo-nets against
submarines, on both horizons effusions of smoke, the ships no more
visions, but middle-sized sea-things, seeming fixed in the thick of
the sea, though steaming quickly. Hogarth watched them through a
hand-glass, while Loveday, ghastly pallid, whispered: "Come,
Richard, come", but still lingered a little, seeing them grow up--
like the infant, the lad, the hairy man--toiling at the bigness of
the sea, looking stripped, prepared for tempest They were six miles
away--five.

Mute lay the _Boodah_; and, surrounding her, perniciously moved the
ships at forty-eight revolutions a minute, hardly a cable's interval
between the host of them, they seeming no more the playthings of the
sea, but its masters, each a travelling throne of power; and as they
pared so taciturn, with baleful aspect they trained their cannon
upon the sea-fort in their midst: not a soul visible on fort or
ships.

A long while it seems to last, that noonday stillness, a noonday
breezy and oceanic, the sea sharp-edged, hard-looking, dark-blue,
tossing spray along its ridges, not rough, but restless, shewing
against the ships white foams a moment, which silently glide away.

But their Admiral is signalling: _Let her have it!_ and in some
moments more yonder to the far north the _Florida_ breaks into
quick-flashing ecstasy, like quick-winking Gorgon glances; and the
north-east catches it in a single boom; and in ten seconds more it
is as if Nature, with sudden yell, feels to her womb the birth-hour
come and rueful throes: and where ships had been appears in one
minute nothing but a ring of stagnant smoke, tugged into rays and
out-sticking clouds, flushed with glares and rouges.

And no question of missing: the _Boodah_ stationary and huge; every
shell told. But, the deluge over, that thunder-marred visage again
looked grimly forth, a face new-risen from smallpox, an apparition,
roof-houses gone, lighthouse tops, one of her great 19.5 inchers in
fragments, in her casemates seventeen dead.

But where now is the one-masted _Hercules_, which but a moment since
went trembling at the bale of her own bellowing barbettes? The
_Hercules_ is in a Nessus-shirt of flame. And whither the _Hercules_
is going, thither is the _Idaho_ going, and the _Dante_ gone, and
gone the elongated length of the _Invincible_, and twenty
destroyers, and the bow-works of the old _Powerful_, which stoops
woefully there, screws in air, as the camel of the desert kneels and
waits, while into her beam comes crashing the ram of the poopless
_Deutschland_.

Yet the _Boodah_ has not fired a gun!

But now she fires: as the broadsides drench her anew, she fires, the
hulk--all round the horizon--lowing in travail: and as there is no
question of missing on the one side, so on the other is assurance,
the _Boodah's_ broad-sides of 19.5-inchers and 9.5-inchers, ninety-
two in all, being fired by the hand of Quilter-Beckett, who sits at
a table grim with knobs, buttons, dial-faces, in a cabinet near a
saloon where Hogarth, Loveday, and five lieutenants are lunching;
and where he sits he can hear the band in an alcove rendering for
the eaters Beethoven's Ninth Symphony: hear, not heed: for two
gunners in each casemate have sighted a ship through pivoted
glasses, whose fixing, disturbing an electrical circuit, prints the
ship's distance on an indicator before the Admiral: whereupon he
touches a button--many buttons--in intense succession: the _Boodah
bawls_: and the thrust-back of her resentment becomes intolerable,
the ships just like fawns under the paws of an old lion whose grisly
jaws drip gore; the sharks that infest her will fare well of her
hand.

Of forty-three ships fixed, thirty-nine are hit, eleven founder:
wreckage so vast and swift, that the Admiral, still afloat in a
_Queen Mary_ pierced above-belt, is like a man stung by the
tarantulas of distraction: tries to signal flight--flags cannot be
seen; fires coloured pistol-lights: "Retire!"--and soon, all round,
the circle is in flight.

But hapless flight: the _Boodah_ is an octopus whose feelers reach
far, and they, within her toils, cannot escape her omnipresence. She
sends after them no guns: yet they are blown to atoms; the sea
becomes a death-trap thick with pitfalls and shipwreck; one by one
they are caught, they fly aloft like startled fowl, or they succumb,
and lean, and stoop, and sink: the sea, for mile on mile, proving a
hell of torpedoes-dirigible, automobile, mine.

For in the matter of mines the _Boodah_ had all the advantages of a
shore, and as to dirigible torpedoes more than all.

Her mines, whose weight was adjusted to the specific gravity of salt
water, sank till the pressure at ten fathoms arrested them, they,
electrically connected with the forts, reaching out twenty miles;
and the whole network, charted to an inch, was coordinated with the
range-tables.

The ordinary l8-inch Whiteheads, moreover, were replaced by a longer
design running 6,000 yards, the added length being occupied by the
flask, whose compressed air runs the engine, they not sinking on
finishing their course: so, if they missed, there they lay, a trap
of 380 pounds of gun-cotton in the course of the numerous moving
foe.

With these three forms of the same plague the _Boodah_ hunted the
fleeing ships, and drove them stumbling through complicated
miseries, amazed and thunderstruck: so that seventy-three only,
several of them half-wrecks, reached her twenty-five mile limit;
and, there, over the mines of the _Solon_, reassembled.

Amid the throng on his ruined roof Hogarth watched their flight and
the ever-coming boatloads of blue-jackets through a mist of smoke
and the after-smell of war, while under the sea wide eyes in hosts
were a-gaze at a windfall of 2,400 bodies.

About half-past four captains and commanders of the survivors were
in the ward-room of the Second-in-Command on the _Orion_--the _Queen
Mary_ gone--when he, with splendid infatuation, proposed a return to
the attack, with a change of tactics to concentration upon one side
only of the _Boodah_; but the foreigners pointed out the obvious
added dangers; and in the midst of a wrangle a dispatch-boat from
the _Solon_, eleven miles south, arrived, demanding the usual sea-
rent, by draft, if not in gold; so out, at this unlooked-for
incident, broke a new quarrel, the British for a whole hour
resisting the inexorable; till the _Solon_ Lieutenant, his eyes
moist with pleading, explained their helplessness, adding that war
between the four Powers had been declared that day at noon from the
Stock Exchange steps: and only then the Vice-Admiral, breaking into
tears, yielded to destiny.

Hogarth, meanwhile, was like a wild man, imprisoned, till his yacht
returned at dusk with her excursionists; and without delay he was on
her, and away for England.




XXXVII

THE STRAITS


In England, meantime, was nothing but dismay.

The Government, whose defeat was accidental, on being hurriedly
patched up, threw itself passionately into the work of defence,
calling up every enrolled man, while at regimental centres the
enlistment of volunteers went forward, Weedon alone turning out
7,000 rifles a day.

But on the night of the Declaration the Under-secretary announced in
the House that the Russians were moving down the Baltic, the French
toward the Straits: and the next morning dawned with the dreariness
of last mornings and days. However, soon after 1 P.M., the Lord of
the Sea landed at Bristol, his yacht being one of the swiftest
things afloat; there heard the known facts; and thence wired to
Beech's London house, to the London Foreign Office, to Cadiz and to
Frederikshavn, where he had wireless for the _Mahomet_ at the
Straits, and for the _Truth_ in the Cattegat.

His wire to the Foreign Office was as follows:

"I have come to England hoping to avert European war by fiscal
means, not knowing that the passage of ships into open water was of
first importance. Since this is so, accept my assurance, there will
be no war, except on the part of Britain, which I should much
resent. British Government, I suggest, should forthwith allay
national anxiety.

"RICHARD".

But the Foreign Office did not publish this telegram, not knowing
what to make of it--unless Hogarth were vehemently the friend of
England, while every British being regarded him not so much as the
enemy of man, as the special Anti-Christ of England. And how came he
to be in England, when he should be at the bottom of the Atlantic?
The telegram was passed through the agitated departments, but kept
dark....

So the afternoon passed without news: and tension grew to agony.

Hogarth spent the evening in his Berkeley Square house with the
Manager of Beech's, examining office-books and specimens of some new
Sea-coins, till near eleven, when, being alone, he put on a
mackintosh, shaded his face well with hat and collar-flap, and went
out into the drizzling night.

Even his Berkeley Square was peopled, and, as he strolled toward
Pall Mall, he found it ever harder to advance, till he became
jammed. Never had he seen such a crowd, all in the air a sound,
vague and general, which was like a steam of thought-made-audible;
till presently, while trying in vain to get away, he was startled by
a tumult that travelled, a rumour of woe that noised and swelled,
terrifying, the voice of the people, the voice of God: and though he
did not know its meaning, it keenly afflicted him.

The fastest of the survivors from the battle with the _Boodah_ had
wirelessed: on that commonplace bulletin at the War Office the news
stood written...

But the rumour of that despair had not yet attained its culmination,
when another rumour roared after and over it, roar upon roar, like
tempest poured through the multitudinous forest, joyance now
overtaking sorrow, and a noise of roistering overwhelming
lamentation. And all at once a great magnetic hysteria seized them
all, and the many became as one, and the bursting bosom burst: men
weeping like infants, laughing foolishly, grasping each other's
hand, and one cried "Hurrah!", and another, catching it, cried
"Hurrah!"

For the French, German, and Russian fleets, in attempting to pass
the two narrows north and south of Europe, had been stopped by the
two sea-forts there; and though they had been so eager to pass, that
they had even offered to pay sea-rent, this, too, had been refused.
They had then, at five and at five-thirty in the afternoon, offered
battle to the islands: with the result that half their weight had
been annihilated before they took to flight. So said the
bulletin....

And Hogarth in the midst of the jubilee saw the man who jammed his
left shoulder, a broker in spectacles, grip the hand of the man on
his right, a ragamuffin, to cry out: "That scoundrel Hogarth! Isn't
there good in the damned thief, after all?"

And the other: "Aye, he knows how to give it 'em 'ot, don't 'e,
after all! Thank God for that!"

Three weeks later peace was proclaimed by a procession at Temple Bar
between England, Austro-Germany, France, Russia, and the Sea.




XXXVIII

THE MANIFESTO


The last effort of Europe to resist the Sea was made on the
afternoon of the 14th of October, when the British Prime Minister
refused to conclude a treaty of peace.

"Your master is only a pirate--on a large scale", he said to a
Minister of the Sea.

That was on the 14th.

On the 15th there was a stoppage of British trade nearly all the
world over.

On the 20th England was in a state of _emeute_ resembling
revolution.

On the 28th the Treaty of Peace was signed.

Its principal conditions were: (1) The undertaking by the Sea not to
raise sea-rent on British ships without certain formalities of
notice; and (2) The undertaking by Britain not to engage in the
making of any railway or overland trade-route, or of any marine
engine of war, without the consent of the Sea. And similar treaties
were signed by the Sea with the other nations.

Then followed the rush of the Ambassadors to the _Boodah_, and the
frivolous round of Court-life revolved, _levee_, audience, dinner,
drawing-room, investiture; the Lord of the Sea descended from the
throne before the Court to pin a cross upon the humble breast of his
best shot and give him the title of Praeceps, gave fanciful honours
to emperors, received them of them--wore when throned a brow-band of
gold with only one stone, the biggest of the meteor octahedrons,
that glanced about his brow like an icicle in whose glass
gallivanted a fairy clad in rags of the rainbow.

Now the old gaieties recommenced, but more Olympian in tone, as
befitted the ruler of rulers, terrible now being the lifting of
Hogarth's brows at the least lapse in ritual; and only the chastest-
nurtured of the earth ever now stalked through gavotte or pavane in
those halls of the sea.

The world now lay at his feet. The dependence upon him of England,
of France, of that part of Austro-Germany called Germany, was
obvious: he could starve them. But over Austria proper, Russia,
Italy, his sway was no less omnipotent: for the panic cheapness of
scrip which followed the destruction of the _Kaiser_ had, of course,
been foreseen, and used by him; Beech had bought up, easily ousting
the Rothschilds from their old financial kingship: by tens of
millions the process had gone on; and still it continued
increasingly, for the wealth of Hogarth now, as compared with that
of other rich men, was like a ship to a skiff. If he threw upon the
market, the bankruptcy of several nations might follow: it was
doubtful if the United States could survive; certainly, Austria,
Russia, South America must go under.

Nor was the East less his slave: Japan a mercantile nation, China
and Turkey in his fiscal net. So, looking round the globe toward the
middle of November, he could observe scarcely a nation which he
could not, by scribbling a telegram, crush out of recognition.

It was precisely then that Richard Hogarth revealed himself.

On the 15th of November appeared his Manifesto.

This Charter, which everlastingly must remain one of the Scriptures
of our planet, simple as a baby's syllables, yet large like the arch
of Heaven, has left its mark on the human soul.

On the morning of the 16th its twenty clauses occupied in _pica_ a
page of every newspaper, and it was posted up big in the streets of
cities.

The document ran:

Richard, by the Will of God....I do hereby discern, declare, and
lay down: That:

1. What is no good cannot be owned: only goods can be owned.

2. "_Good_" is _well_, or pleasant; goods is _well_th (wealth) or
pleasures: thus, a coal-mine, being no pleasure, cannot be owned.

3. Coal _becomes_ goods after being moved, or taken. Moving does not
make it good; its nature does not make it good: moving-_plus_-Nature
makes it good, ownable. At the pit-head, already, it is a pleasure,
fewer pains being now needed to move it to a fireplace. Thus, Nature
apart from motion cannot be owned, being no good, as a cave is no
good to a caveman outside it: rain is wetting him; if he takes it,
moves in, it is good.

Animals and plants, by taking things from the planets presented to
them, by moving things, raise Nature into wealth, and own things.

4. For Jack to _own_, have a thing for Jack's _own_, Jack must by
his _own_ force have subdued Nature, must have taken the thing by
moving the thing's atoms, or moving something relatively to the
thing, or, negatively, by not evading, but accepting, the thing in
motion--a wind, tide, light-wave; else Jack must have taken
something (by as much work) to purchase the thing from its (true)
owner, or accepted it as a favour from Nature in motion, or from its
(true) owner. To say "own" is to say "take"; to say "take" is to say
"motion", i.e., the doing of work: "work done" being FD, i.e., Force
used into Distance moved-over. I cannot own the air: it is no good;
I own the air in my lungs, having taken, moved, it, done FD on it:
it is very good; and I own the air which, doing FD, moving to my
face, I do not evade, but accept, take: it is very good.

I say to Jack "take a cigar"; he loudly says "yes!", but does not
move it to his mouth, nor moves his mouth to it; instead, he moves a
pen to his mouth; this makes me laugh: he has not taken a cigar.

Jack is catching fish in a boat; Tom owns the boat: so Jack gives
fish to Tom, until Jack's FD done on the fish is equivalent to Tom's
FD done on the boat; and now Jack owns the boat. If "the law" says
that Tom still owns the boat, this makes me laugh: for how can Tom
come to own two boats' good by the FD done on one only?

Jack is ploughing the sea with a ship: just there he owns the sea,
has taken, is moving, it for his good. He does not own the sea
before, nor the sea behind, him: for the motions behind made by him
have ceased to do good.

Jack is ploughing soil: he owns the soil ploughed, has taken it, and
will own it while the motions he has made do good: so that, if Tom
who has not moved it says "I own the soil, for 'the law' declares
that I have taken it by moving a pen two inches", this makes me
laugh. Or, if Jack says "I own it for ever", this makes me laugh.
Or, if anyone says "I own both the soil and the site" (relative
position), this makes me laugh: for what can one man move to make a
relative position good? He can neither move a field toward anything
nor move much toward a field. If many men move railways that way, or
move things to rear towns round the field, this makes the site good,
moving it from outside a community to inside a community; and the
many who make it good own it.

5. The site is the field's chief good: so the plougher owes
something to those who, making it good, own it, This something is
named "rent".

6. Suppose that the plougher, or dweller-on, is an Englishman: he
owes rent to the English. And, since the site of England is made
good by movements made in America, he owes rent to the Americans.

7. This the mind readily descries to be true: it is a "truism", and
is necessarily the Fundamental Principle of Society throughout the
universe. So that, summing up, we may define: "Rent" is "right",
based on truth when paid to those by whose movements a site is made
good.

8. One might readily guess (if there were no example of it) that any
violation of a Principle so fundamental would be avenged by Nature
upon the planet which violated it.

9. Our planet is such an example: for here Two Separate Violations
of the Principle appear; each great in itself; but one small in
comparison.

10. Accordingly, for the small violation Nature has not failed to
send upon Man a small penalty; and for the great violation great
penalties.

11. The small violation consists in the claim by nations to have
taken, without having moved, sites called "countries".

12. For this Nature has sent upon man the small penalty of War.

13. To abolish War men must remove its cause.

Therefore let the site-rental of England (i.e., the excess of
English goods over what English goods would be, if no other country
existed) be handed over to a World Council; and the site-rental of
America to the same; and the World Council shall disburse such funds
for the majesty and joy of Man: and War shall terminate.

14. This way the Lord of the Sea indicates to the world, though with
its initiation he is not personally concerned.

15. Beside the small violation of the Fundamental Principle of
Society, there is a great on the earth.

16. The Great Violation consists in the claim by individuals to have
taken, without having moved, sites and soils called "estates",
"domains", "plots": for, as rent tends to rightness when paid to the
fifty millions of a nation, _fifty-millionfold_ is its wrongness
when paid to one; and as rent is right when paid to the thousand
million inhabitants of a planet, _a thousand-millionfold_ is its
wrongness when paid to one.

17. For this Great Violation of the Fundamental Principle of Society
Nature has sent upon Man great penalties: poverties, frenzies,
depravities, horrors, sorrows, lowness, dulness.

18. Lowness, dulness: for by far the greatest of these penalties is
a restraint on Man's development. Man is an animal, Man is a mind:
and since the wing of mind is Pride, Assurance, or Self-esteem, and
since the home of an animal is a Planet, and an animal without a
home is a thing without Assurance or Pride, so Man without Earth is
a mind without wing. Even so, a few, having Assurance, make what we
call "Progress", i.e., the discovering of truth--a crawling which
might become flight, had all minds but the wing of Pride to co-
operate in discovering truth. But Man lacks assurance and foothold,
founded home and domain: his sole heritage, though he is neither
fish nor fowl, being sea and air.

19. This is a great violation.

20. And with this great violation of the Fundamental Principle of
Society the Lord of the Sea is personally concerned. In the name of
Heaven and of Earth he urges upon the nations of men to amend it in
the month of the promulgation of this Manifesto: and this summons he
strengthens with a threat of his resentment.

As the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, I will see to it.

RICHARD.




XXXIX

THE "BOODAH'S" LOCK-UP


Three days after the Manifesto the marriage of Miss Stickney of New
York with Lord Alfred Cowern was to take place, this having been put
off owing to the _Kaiser_ tragedy; and so, on the day of the
Manifesto, Baruch Frankl, the Jew, was crossing to a wedding which,
even in the midst of great events, had stirred up a considerable
rumour and sensation, since the American guests were to consist of
the _coterie_ known as the "Thirty-four", all millionaires, while
"the cake" was to weigh three-quarters of a ton, each guest's grub
to cost $500, and for that breakfast the Neva had been ravished for
fish and Siamese crags for nests.

Frankl, however, was never destined to taste those five hundred
dollar mouthfuls. It happened in this way: as the _Boodah's_
searchlights, destroyed in the battle, were not yet repaired, in the
interval some lawless ships took the chance on dark nights to skulk
past with extinguished lights; now, the captain of Frankl's
chartered steamer had that bright idea (being of adventurous turn),
when night fell forty knots east of the _Boodah_, so he came to
Frankl, and broached the scheme.

"Not for Joe", was Frankl's answer: "pay the Pirate his taxes and be
done".

"It could be worked as sweet as a nut, sir!" persisted the skipper,
with a watering mind.

"Well, so long us _you_ take the risk, perhaps--but no, sir, I'd
rather not".

On which the skipper winked self-willed to himself, and, putting out
nine miles from the _Boodah_ his three lights, went dashing past.

And the attempt would have succeeded, had it not been for the fact
that the night was pitch-dark, and that _another_ ship was trying
that very venture with extinguished lights. And these two ships met,
bow to bow, with such an energy of adventurous smartness, that both
sharply sank.

The sea, however, being smooth, all hands were saved; and now, since
the boats lay forlorn on the vast, with nothing but the _Boodah's_
swarm of moons to move to, for the _Boodah_ they started, while
Frankl cast twinkling fingers to the sky, and cursed that night, as
the oars with slow wash journeyed through turgid murk toward the
very den of the devil.

When they reached the _Boodah_ they were conducted down to a police-
court, and there shivered an hour in a dreary light, till three
officials in peaked caps and frock-coats came, sat on a Bench, and,
after hearing evidence, pronounced sentence of seven months against
the captains, and one against Frankl.

These were led away by police blue-jackets, and Frankl groaned
through the night in a box as cold as the cells of Colmoor.

The next morning Quilter-Beckett, making a report in Hogarth's
_salon_, mentioned the incident, saying: "Here are the names, with
the sentences; I shall send the sailors home..." and Hogarth's eyes,
resting on the document, chanced to catch that name of Frankl.

At once he turned pale, for his first thought was: "Frankl must have
been going to the wedding, in which case _Someone Else_ may be with
him".

But her name was not there....

He rose and paced; and he said low: "No one else on either of the
ships?"

"No, my Lord King".

Then up lifted Hogarth's brow, alight with fun, and he muttered:
"All right, Caps-and-tassels".

He said aloud: "Quilter-Beckett, this Frankl I know. Did you never
hear anything about Caps-and-tassels at Westring? _He_ is Caps-and-
tassels. Now tell me, which is your biggest blue-jacket?"

"Man called Young, my Lord King".

"Then, have a suit of Young's sea-clothes put upon this Frankl, and
let him be brought before me in the Throne Room this morning after
the Audience. He was fond of liveries...."

Accordingly, by half-past eleven Frankl entered the Throne Room,
where, as soon as its rosy translucency broke upon his gaze, an
"Oh!" of admiration groaned from him, in spite of his weight of
misery, he not walking, but being lifted forward in successive
swings by his armpits--up the first steps to the outer circle of
balustrade, forward to the second steps and the inner balustrade,
within which shone the throne, and Hogarth, crowned and large in
robes, on it.

The two warders, intent upon portering Frankl, and not noticing the
cap which still covered his eyebrows, one now in sudden scare
whispered: "Off with your cap, you...!" on which Frankl snatched it
off, grasping through superabundant sleeves, he at the same moment a
fury and a dazzled man, the throne before him incredible, like a
dream which one knows to be a dream, in structure not unlike the
Peacock Throne of Akbar, its length fourteen feet, seating thirteen
persons in recesses, standing on a gold platform with three concave
steps set with rings of sapphire, and consisting of a central part
and two wings, the wings being supported on twisted legs (one had
been broken), and made of fretted ivory mosaicked with cabochon
emerald, ruby, topaz, turquoise, chrysoberyl, diamond, opal, the
large central part, with its recesses, being also of ivory, gold-
arabesqued, its mosque-shape canopy (of Hindoo enamel-work on the
outside) being supported by eleven pillars of emerald; at the top of
each pillar a dolphin (hence the name "Dolphin Throne") made of
turquoise, jasper, pearl, sardius, and at the bottom of each pillar
a _guldusta_, or bouquet, of gems; the concave ceiling one mass of
stones, representing a sea in which sailed three Dutch galleons, and
seven dolphins sported.

But all that Frankl saw of it was its opulence: for his terror lest
the warders should let him go occupied his mind.

And precisely the thing which he feared came upon him, for Hogarth
said: "Warders, retire".

And now Frankl, all unsupported, stood in unstable equilibrium, anon
stooping to his finger-tips, then straining doubtfully forward with
struggling arms from a too backward poise: for not only did the
trousers lie a twisted emptiness far below his feet, but the feet
themselves were lost in Young's boots, so he stood like Scaramouch,
a mere sack, a working of his chin wobbling down his beard, and
there was a blaze in his stare which Hogarth, unfortunately, did not
well estimate.

They faced each other, alone, save for the body-guard at the
circumference of the room.

"Was it _you_ that sent me to Colmoor?" Hogarth suddenly asked in a
low voice, stooping forward.

"_Me_!" shrieked Baruch Frankl, pointing a hanging sleeve-end to his
breast: "as Jehovah is my witness--"

"Were you about to _swear_? For ever the same?--tyrant and worm? It
_was_ you. Now tell it me right out: you have nothing to fear: for
you cannot be vain enough to imagine that I would harbour enmity
against you".

"It wasn't me, I say again, my Lord King!"--Frankl trampled a little
backward, then stooped over-poised to his finger-tips: "with what
motive? Oh, that's hard--to be accused. They have already given me a
month--my God! a month! And only because I am a Jew. But it wasn't
me--that I'll swear to God--"

Hogarth rose to his height, descended, put his hand upon Frankl's
shoulder. "Well, leave that. But--_my sister_!"

His hand felt the shoulder beneath it start like fits.

"Your sister!" Frankl screamed with a face of scare: "Why, what of
her now?"

"Frankl, you are frightened: you know, Frankl, _where she is_!"

"Me? O, my Good God, what is this! Me, poor sinner, know where your
sister is, my Lord King? Why, spare me! spare me, God of Hosts! Why,
you've only got to ask yourself the question--"

"Listen to me, Frankl", said Hogarth, bending his blazing brow low
over the Jew: "I have searched for that woman through the world, and
have not found her. All the time, mind you, I felt convinced that
you know where she is; and you may wonder why--years ago--I did not
have you seized. I will tell you why: it was because I had a sort of
instinct that God, whom I serve continually with tears and prayers,
would not fail in His day to show me her face: and to-day you are
here. Do you suppose, Frankl, that you will go away without telling
me where she is? And in order to hurry you, listen to what I say to
your warders--"

He touched a button in the balustrade, and to the warders said: "If
at any time this man should demand pencil and paper, supply them,
and take to your Admiral what he writes. To-day his food shall be
fare from your own table; to-morrow three loaves and water; from the
third day one loaf and water; till further orders".

Up shot Frankl's shivering arms, while Hogarth, training his ermines
and purples, paced away.

That was on the day following the Manifesto.




XL

THE WEDDING


By the time Frankl's three loaves had become one, that amazement
with which men received the Manifesto had commenced to give place to
more coherent impressions.

He was not a "Monster"! that was the first realization--no pirate,
nor lurid Anti-Christ, nor vainglorious Caesar! And in two days, the
first astonishment over, there arose a noise in the world: for the
Lord of the Sea had given to the nations one month only in which to
do that thing: and the peoples took passionately to meetings.

In England Land Leagues, Chambers of Agriculture, Restoration
Leagues, Nationalization Leagues, many Leagues, were organizing
furiously, stretching the right arm of oratory; deputations,
petitions in wagons, demonstrations _en bloc_, party cannonades,
racket heaven-high. Sir Moses Cohen, the Jew-Liberal Leader,
appealing to the strongest prejudice in Englishmen, spoke one night
at Newcastle of "the interference of a foreign prince in the affairs
of Britain"; used the word: "_Never!_", and on this cry secured an
enormous following: so that, within a week, he was instrumental in
forming the formidable League of Resistance--destined to prove so
tragic for Hogarth, and for England.

It was in the midst of this world-turmoil that--on the third day--
the marriage-morning of Miss Cecil Stickney dawned; and that same
evening Rebekah Frankl, convalescent from influenza, was seated over
a bedroom fire in Hanover Square, a cashmire round her shoulders,
her sickness cured by herbs, her physician then hobbling with a
stick down the stairs--Estrella of Lisbon--her back almost
horizontal now with age.

And as Rebekah mused there, two newsboys below, whose shouts pursued
each other, went proclaiming through November gloom as it were the
day of doom, crying, even in that uproar of Europe, a private event:

MARRIAGE OF

LORD ALFRED COWERN

AND MISS CECIL STICKNEY

APPALLING TRAGEDY

And soon a girl ran in, gasping: "Miss Frankl!--this is too awful--
your father--"

The news, having been flashed to Paris by Mackay-Bennett cable, now
appeared in detail after the _New York Herald's_ French edition, and
Rebekah's eyes ran wildly over details as to the "bevy of beauty",
daughters of "the Thirty-four", and the church of waiting ladies,
the carpeted path between palms and exotics, and how the ticket-
holders heard the organ tell the Cantilenet Nuptiale and Bennett's
Minuet; and then the multitudinous stir: behold the bridegroom
cometh!--the little necessary bridegroom of no importance, and then
the white entry of bride and bridal train, while the choir knelt to
sing "O Perfect Love".

Perfect love, however, was hardly the order of that day, but rather
perfect hate: for in Madison Square--the church being at the upper
end of Fifth Avenue--a mob was being harangued on the subject of
this very wedding: and when they heard and realized the thing that
was being done before their eyes they were swept as by a wind of
fire, and under its impulse set out like some swollen Rhone with a
rushing sound to pounce upon the church, full of perfect hate: and
the choir sang "O perfect love".

What happened now was described as a nightmare. The same elemental
instincts of the Stone Age which had exhibited themselves in the
$5OO-worth of food wrought in another form, but with no less
savagery, in assassins as in victims: and a massacre ensued, bride
and bridegroom passing away like bubbles, of "the Thirty-four" five
only escaping. The report ended with the words: "The ringleaders
have been arrested; quiet reigns through the city"; then a list of
the guests, with asterisks indicating those killed.

Rebekah searched for her father's name, and when she became certain
that it was not there, her lips moved in thanksgiving.

But since Frankl was not at the wedding, where, then, was Frankl?
She counted the days on her fingers: he could not have been late.

Unless there had been an accident to his ship....

Her brows knit a little; she peered into the fire: and thought of
the _Boodah_....

It was possible that when her father's steamer stopped to pay sea-
rent, Hogarth might have heard, and seized him. That notion occurred
to her.

And at once it threw her into an extraordinary fever, her bosom
swelling like elastic in her heavings to catch breath, though she
did not realize the wild thought that was working up to birth within
her. She rose and paced, furiously fast.

If he was in the hands of Hogarth?

"He is a British subject", she muttered: "Hogarth has not the
right...Oh, he has not the right...!"

She was fearfully agitated! something fighting up and up within her,
stifling her, working to burst into birth; she flung the cashmire
from her shoulders, her bosom rowing like two oarsmen. "Because we
are Jews...!" she went.

"If he _dared_ do that--!"

What then? Say! Rebekah!

"I would go to him myself--"

All at once that thought was born, and she stood shockingly naked to
her own eyes, her hands rushing to cover a face washed in shame.
"But, surely", she whispered, "I could never be so _bold_, good
Heavens? Why, Never! Never--!"

However, an hour later, with flaming eyes, she was writing a letter
to Frankl's manager.




XLI

THE VISIT


Frankl's Bank was scanning the agents' yacht-lists for her, when Sir
Moses Cohen, who was closely associated with Frankl, placed his own
three-master at her disposal; and she set out from Bristol, with her
being three Jewish ladies, Frankl's manager, and a snuffy Portuguese
rabbi who resembled a Rembrandt portrait.

It was late at night, and Hogarth, who had lately acquired a passion
for those Mathematics which touch upon Mysticism, was bent over
Quaternions and the quirks of [Proofers note: checkmark symbol] (--i)
in an alcove of his _Boodah_ suite hardly fourteen feet square, cosy,
rosy, and homely: he sitting at a sofa-head, and, lying on the sofa,
Loveday, his head on Hogarth's thigh, escaped from office and frockcoat,
in happy shirt-sleeves, between sleeping and waking.

Hogarth was interrupted by a telephone bell.

"Well?" he answered.

"My Lord King", from Quilter-Beckett, "Frankl has handed to his
warder something written: will your Lordship's Majesty see it now?"

"Yes!" Then: "John! Frankl has yielded!"

Up Loveday started with "Thank God!" while Hogarth: "When does my
yacht arrive?"

"At midnight"--from Quilter-Beckett.

"She starts back immediately for England with me and Mr. Loveday".

Now an officer entered to present an envelope, and the two looked
together over these words:

"Your Lordship's Majesty's sister, Margaret Hogarth, is at No. 11,
Market Street, Edgware Road, London. She goes under the name of
Rachel Oppenheimer, I don't know why. As God is my witness, I repent
in ashes. Won't your Lordship's Majesty have mercy on a worm of the
earth? I am an old man, getting on, and starved to madness. The ever
devoted slave, from this day forth, of my Lord King.

"BARUGH FRANKL".

Hogarth 'phoned up: "Give Frankl food now, and put him where it is
not cold...." and to Loveday he said, "Well, you see, she is there:
'No. 11, Market Street'. And under the name of--what? 'Rachel
Oppenheimer'...John Loveday, do you fathom the meaning of that?"

"No--don't bother me about meanings, but shout, like her, 'O Happy
Day!' I say, Richard, you remember that singing? how we would hear
her from the forge? All day, washing, cooking--melodious soul! There
was 'O Happy Day', and there was--By God, how charmingly holy! how
English! And, Richard, you remember--?"

Another telephone bell: Hogarth turned to hear.

"Just arrived in the yacht, _Tyre_, my Lord King", said Quilter-
Beckett's voice, "four Jewish ladies, a Jewish gentleman, and a
rabbi, who request early audience to-morrow; they lie-to, and have
sent a boat--"

"Rubbish! I shall not be here to-morrow, and even if I was--Who are
they? By the way, no sign of the yacht?"

"Not yet. They are Miss Frankl--"

"Who?"

"Miss Rebekah Frankl--"

"God", went Hogarth faintly, stabbed to the heart.

"Miss Agnes Friedrich, Mrs.--"

But the rest fell upon ears deaf as death, the teeth of Hogarth now
chattering as with cold, that haggard, gaunt yellow, which was his
pallor, overspreading his face. So long was he speechless, that
Quilter-Beckett asked: "Are you there, my Lord King?"

"Quilter-Beckett!"

"Yes, my Lord King?"

"Will you go _yourself_--for me--to them? _Make_ them sleep here,
will you? This is most urgent, I assure you. And go quick, will
you?"

That night did not the Lord of the Sea sleep: she under his roof...

Nor did he go that night to find Margaret--nor the next day, nor the
next, though Loveday chafed: for, gyrating through the giddy air of
a galaxy where Margaret was not, he forgot her.




XLII

REBEKAH TELLS


At that time Hogarth, personally, was in close relation with the
score of Embassies that inhabited the belly of the _Boodah_, these
intriguing incessantly for half-hours at his ear, and in
communication, meanwhile, with their Governments through O'Hara's
_Mahomet_: so that Hogarth had to get up early, and his mornings
sweated with audience and negotiation.

The German and Russian Emperors, with the Prince of Wales (then
virtually Regent), had hurriedly met at Vienna--presumably for the
discussion of the Manifesto; and immediately after it, the Prince,
who had the reputation of being one of the most tactful of men-of-
the-world, took a step which hinted that the Royal House, as often
before, meant to come to the rescue of the country which loved it
however the politicians might bungle: Hogarth was invited to accept
the Garter.

He accepted: and the ceremony in the _Boodah_ was witnessed, as it
were, by Europe, King-at-Arms in a new tabard, with his suite, going
to invest him, taking the Statute of the Chapter, with the Great
Seal of England, and a set of habiliments--white-silk stockings,
gold sword Spanish hat, stars, gloves. And the effect was speedy,
the other rulers, dumbfounded before, said now: "England will comply
with the Manifesto; and, if before us, the taxed sea opens to
her....Yield, moreover, we must: let us make haste!"

But to consent was one thing: the _how_ another: the mere suspicion
of the willingness of Kaiser or Tsar shook their thrones. Whereupon
Russia said to Hogarth: "Recently dispossessed, they cling dyingly
now to their lands, so I will _buy_ the land from them, and _you_
will lend me the money"; to which Hogarth virtually replied: "It is
too childish to talk of buying part of a heavenly body from a
Russian: have you no sense of humour? You may give the Russian
'nobles' some money, if that pleases you: but without my help. If
His Majesty the Tsar is more afraid of them than of me, my only way
will be to prove myself more truly terrible than they".

But high words hurl down no hundred-headed hydra: in France--fast,
faster--with dizzy vertigo--millions were forming themselves into
secret societies, while in England was One only--but stronger than
the many of France.

By the date of Rebekah's pilgrimage Hogarth had so far failed and
yielded, as almost to decide that from the _Boodah_ nothing could be
done, unless he went to the extent of ruining and starving. The
other alternative was the fixing upon one nation, becoming its
recognized ruler, and there furnishing an example both of _modus
operandi_, and of a subsequent state of happiness, which others
could not long refrain from imitating.

But this modification was still in the air; and, meanwhile, he
listened, weighed, revolved: using men, impressing, convincing,
extracting for his use the wisdom of their experience, estimating
the exact pressure of the Time, the _timbre_ of its roar.

So on the morning after Rebekah's arrival his Gold Stick became his
rack from the moment of the bow from the throne till noon: name
after name--cordons, orders, gold-lace, sashes, stars, tiaras; till
enter the four Jewesses, the bank-manager, the rabbi, Hogarth's
pallor showing up his three moles and nose-freckles, adding a glare
to his eyes, he suffering from the runaway drumming of his heart.

The ladies stoop through curtseys; the men do reverence; Hogarth
bows.

There like a Begum of Bhopal stood Rebekah, floridly reflected in
the glassy floor, sallow under the eyes, smiling at him, he at her;
and very quickly now, she once in his sight, he recovered
comparative calm, and the strength of his heart.

"Your first visit to the _Boodah_, I think?"--looking at her.

"Yes, my Lord King"--curtseying.

"Do you like her?"

"Why, yes: she is solid, and mighty, and rich. In my own, and the
name of my friends, I beg to thank your Lordship's Majesty for your
Lordship's Majesty's kind and good hospitality to us".

"Humbugging little beggar", thought Hogarth, his mind slowly
gathering tone, but rushing meanwhile into a species of frivolous
assurance after those agitations, his hands still cold.

"Well", he said, "but you have not seen her! I think I know her
fairly well, and I propose to be myself your guide, if that will
interest you--"

The Rabbi spoke with trembling voice: "It is gracious, my Lord King.
We are here, however, humbly to present an urgent petition to your
Lordship's Majesty. Baruch Frankl, at present a prisoner in the
_Boodah_, a man no longer young, and habituated to comfort--"

"Stay", interrupted Hogarth: "if you have a petition the day and
hour must be arranged by negotiation between yourself and my
Chamberlain. But surely, meantime, I may consider you my guest? Miss
Frankl and I--have met--in the world. Come, ladies--come, sirs--say
yes!"

Rebekah, standing averted, flashed a look at him, reading his heart,
and Jews and Jewesses laid heads together, whispering a little,
until the Rabbi said, bowing: "We bend to your Lordship's Majesty's
most gracious will".

"Agreed, then, sir. We might now see the _Boodah_, and if you will
luncheon with me--Mr. Chamberlain! direct Admiral Quilter-Beckett to
meet me at once in the north corridor".

He rose, master of his limbs now, descended, unrobed in an alcove,
and in a corridor above the circular stair came upon Quilter-
Beckett, who, acting as guide, Rebekah's hand now resting on
Hogarth's arm, led them about the _Boodah_, now walking, now
slipping in little trains over eighty-foot rails, rolled in one
heat, laid down the vanishing length of dim-lit corridors floored
with white tiles, their frieze of majolica, with rows of ceramics;
and they saw the armouries, piles of rifles, cutlasses, pistols;
ferneries grown by electric light; great cold-storage rooms that
struck a chill, for preserving meats, butter, fruit; the doctors'
_environ_, the dispensary, and roomy hospital; watched from a
railing the working engines that fixed the _Boodah's_ position,
Hogarth here saying: "There you have a menagerie of gnome-land:
observe those two black beetles, sedately nodding; and there is
daddy-longlegs, working his legs gymnastically; and the three pairs
of gallant grey stallions, galloping grandly neck to neck; and those
two ridiculous beings, rubbing their palms together, round and
round: each preoccupied, comically solemn, busied about its own
quaint affairs--like a varied gnomeland".

And Rebekah said in a meek tone, like the hen submitting: "Yes, I
see now you say it, my Lord King".

Up stairs and down, round semicircles, up lifts, through nooks,
corridors: saw the guns, and how by hydraulics everything was done--
the hoisting of ammunition, loading, training: guns intact, guns
wrecked by the Dreadnoughts; and shimmering kitchens, which reeked a
smell of heat, and the dairy-maids, and the line of kine, and the
row of prison-doors, and the mechanism of ventilation, fans and
blowers, the drainage-system, and the dynamos for lighting, for
supplying power to motors, for heating, and for shimmering forth
rich in the search-lights; and the central ballroom, the clothes
store, the original one-ninety-sixth model, the Ambassador-region,
the steaming laundry, and the roof, where Rebekah saw her initials
on the breeze, and the vertical pop-guns under shields for dealing
with aeroplane attack, and the cream theatre, and the paymaster's
suite, and the bunkers, the Government-offices, and the tax-
receiving rooms, the telephone system, and the lady-telegraphists--
till all were tired, though half had not been seen. They luncheoned
together; in the early afternoon there was an Investiture, and she
was there; for "five-o'clock" there was a Gounod concert in the
theatre, and she sat in his box; at night the Bulgarian Ambassador
gave a ball, and she danced a gavotte with him.

When they parted a dying wind sighed his name: "_Hogarth_..."; and
when Loveday before sleeping happened to ask: "When do we set out
for London, Richard?" Hogarth with a laugh turned upon him,
replying: "When do we set out for Arcturus and the Pleiades? Do give
one time to look round him!"

The next morning Rebekah, led forward from a semicircle of courtiers
by a backing Silver Stick, approached within four feet of the
Throne, and after the protracted humiliation of her curtsey, said
ruefully: "Our party have failed, my Lord King, to obtain audience
for our humble petition till after four days".

"Is that too long?"

"We could not wait beyond to-night. Our good Rabbi, and my father's
Manager--both must hurry back, and we others with them. This being
so, _I_ appeal to Your Lordship's Majesty ".

"A _personal_ appeal?"

"Yes"--poutingly.

"Then, I grant an audience".

"Where?"

"Here".

"Who will be here?"

"Why--you and I."

"_No_"--very low, with pressed lips.

"I am so sorry", says he: "it is the only chance I shall have; not
for long--a few minutes--I am so busy. Otherwise, you will have to
stay four days--and your poor father suffering--"

She seemed unsure now, and his hands in the uncertainty of that
moment were moist like melting ice.

"So, then, you accept", said he: "a little audience--you grant me?
Or rather, I grant you".

"When, my Lord King?"

"At three--No, what folly! At four. Will you? At four? And here?
Say at four".

He spoke leaning keenly forward; and she, with a curtsey of
acquiescence, retired.

They were near again, and yet far, in the _salle a manger_ at
luncheon, a function of a hundred guests at small tables, with more
of orchestra than of talk; and even as Hogarth and his train
entered, and the crowd rose, she saw his eyes, by some power, prowl
and find her.

Afterwards there were two hours to wait.

Such a heat of haste now possessed them both! Hogarth locked himself
from his attendants into his bed-chamber, and, tumbling a chaos of
clothes and uniforms upon the carpet, stumbled bitterly among them,
hunting for a cravat whose effect he remembered; wished at the
mirror that he had no moles and nose-freckles, or that his father
had turned him out rather less black; and anon a delicious chill
pang of mingled sugar and peppermint would gash his heart at the
thought: "_she consented!_" He broke glass, dropped his watch to
fragments, hissing "damn the thing!"; and about half-past three the
hands of Rebekah, too, in _her_ locked closet, were like the
scattering sirocco among powder-boxes brushes, jewel-cases, and
toilet-toys. What a hot haste was here! She too much blued her eyes,
and bruised the skin in wiping, intense the contest between poudre
blanche and poudre Rachel, violette and germandree, she manoeuvring
among mirrors to catch each angle of view, but with a blind
impatience; and, if she wanted something, she tripped running,
breathless: such a disease of flurry, an eruption and conflagration
of haste--for nothing; yet, all the while, with a miserable sub-
feeling of the penal creeping of time.

At four Hogarth in the Throne-room alone was now afraid that he
would not be able to utter a syllable, and wished that she would not
come; then, in a minute, began to fear that she would not, and
wondered whether he was not a deluded fool ever to have dreamed it,
he walking quick, or anon listening like a thief in that half-dark:
for few lights were shining, the hall like the after-flush of sunset
just before the dark.

At four past four he was aware of a rustling train's rush down the
steps, and now was like a man with his neck on the block, awaiting
the axe. A moment afterwards she was before him, and two moments
afterwards he was collected and hot, and a man again.

"_Dear_", he whispered at her ear, leading her by the hand to an
ottoman in a near alcove.

She, in self-defence, was repellent, breathlessly saying with
galloping haste: "No--I will not sit: you sit, and I will stand
here: do as I say, Hogarth--or I repent and go: I know you, and you
know me--or you should. Our talk must be short. You say _dear_ to
me: that is very gentle, my friend; but it was not to bandy such
words that I am here--alone--with you and your strength--Hogarth. I
come as a suppliant, to implore you--firstly for the man who is my
father--and secondly for yourself, to warn you. You are said to be
about to become the sovereign of England--"

"_I_ am?"--starting where he sat obediently before her, surprised
that she should utter the purpose then forming in his mind: "witch--
of Endor!"

"_I_ am not the witch, but an old lady in whose predictions many
Jews believe, who prophesies the return of the Jews to Palestine--
through you. Be that as it may, if it is so that you are about to
meddle with the institutions of England, oh beware, the resistence
will be terrible!"

"With respect to England I am omnipotent".

"Yes, you can starve it, but _will_ you? You won't. And listen to
your friend: there is now in London a society, enormously powerful I
believe, sworn to your destruction".

"What can they do--assassinate me?"

"Ah! who knows?"

"That would be too childish: I have sown my seed in Time, and it
will grow: two thousand little lords could hardly obliterate the
ploughing of my wrist. But you know this?"

"Richard, my father is of them".

"Ha!--I forgive him: his daughter seems to be on the other side--"

"Richard, you would not touch my hand? Ah, my friend, I warn you--!
Now--you have agitated--I have been ill--my father is of them. And
who is one of the closest associates of my father--?"

"Who?"

"The person known as Admiral Donald, whom _I_ know very well to be
Monsignor O'Hara. I think you might have been more--recondite--in
your choice of an admiral, Richard!"

"Ah?--you surprise me".

"But why? You once sent that man to me as a notebearer: certainly, a
singular selection. You must have known that he had been a convict--"

"I thought him innocent then!"

"But you know now--?"

"Yes".

"And is it not extraordinary that your ensign bears my initials,
while this man is one of your commanders?"

"I confess that I do not see the point--"

"Then you cannot know, I suppose, that it was against _me_ that his
offence was directed".

Hogarth's left lid lowered....

"But my complaint is of the present: are you not aware of the
scandal which the _Mahomet_ is now creating in the world?"

"Scandal?"

"Thrice lately whispers have reached me of unnameable iniquities
perpetrated there--Alexandria of the sixth century, Rome of the
second! I believe the rumour is widely spread in London--no woman of
the world now lands on the _Mahomet_".

"It was _you_ whom he assaulted..." Hogarth laughed and was pale at
once.

"Yes, but observe that I must go now, my friend. I have spoken of
the things which I had in my mind: there remains--my father".

"He shall go with you".

"I thank you, my Lord King; that must be in an hour: so I say,
Richard, good-bye".

"I do not suppose you can dream how dark--" he went woefully.

Of which she took no notice, but with rapid speech said: "How fair
this hall is--one supposes that the art of impressions was lost with
Solomon--like some chamber under a lake at set of sun, colour
without substance, suspended, flushed--I cannot express--"

"Sad, say".

"Ah, Richard".

"Rebekah!"

"Well, Richard, my poor friend?"

"Have pity!"

"Poor Richard!"

"I can't help it, you are all mixed up with my blood, don't go from
me. If you think it a sin--the Gentile--God will forgive the
charity. Come for ever--"

Now he sobbed once, and, as he sobbed, she was on her knees, in
pagan posture, at his knees. "Do not--" distractedly--"see, I kiss
your hand-do you doubt that I pity my love--as a mother has
compassion--?"

Now were heaving breasts, a vehement fight for breaths, wild eyes,
and a live brand in the marrow.

"You will not go! I have you! In God's name, what a mad thing--!"

"My furious king--you kiss--" the short-winded _melee_ of whispers
now suffocated in a passion of inarticulate breaths; but at that
moment one of Rebekah's chaperons, wandering out of time and place,
stood at the alcove entrance, and they, smitten into two, sprang
straight, awaked from trance, Rebekah with half a sob and half a
laugh.

And two hours later Hogarth, from the roof, saw the Jewish yacht
disappear to the East, on board being the four--and Frankl.

As he descended, he threw up his head with: "Ha!--O'Hara";
announced his immediate departure with only a secretary and two
lords-in-waiting, left a mystical note for Loveday, saying that he
had decided to go alone in quest of Margaret, and went almost
secretly, only the salute informing the _Boodah_ as he steamed away.
In reality he was in haste to face O'Hara, and the yacht's bows
turned, not eastward, but southward, under forced draught, to arrive
at the _Mahomet_ in early afternoon. As her flags indicated the Lord
of the Sea absent, there was no salute, and, landing in a panama and
jacket, in the Collector's Office he gave the sign of mum, and, led
only by a blue-jacket, went spying the depths of the _Mahomet_.

In many parts, noticing a singular odour, "What is it I smell?" he
asked.

"Incense, my Lord King", the man answered.

On the fourth floor he entered the loveliest _bijou_ chapel, the
coenaculum gold-plated, altar flower-piled, frescoed roof,
"stations" in oils, where a lonesome Moorish youth slothfully swung
and swung a thurible ruby-studded: but in vestments of no _enfant de
choeur_--of an ancient Phrygian.

Another descent and Hogarth reached a region of laugh and harping:
whereupon, dismissing his guide, he tracked the music into a nook so
rare, that he stood amazed--a Court of Love, or Mahommedan Heaven,
or grot of Omar--anything old, lovely, and devil-sacred--the air
chokingly odorous, near a fountain some brazen demon--Moloch or
Baal--buried in roses, over everything roses, bounty of flowers, a
very harvest-home of Chloris, Flora in revel; and smooth youths
bearing cups for some twenty others, all garlanded, besides those on
the marble stage; and on the stage itself a scene of dancing girls,
Sevillian, Neapolitan, Algerian, mixed with masked Satyrs, which
made Hogarth pale, while at a Herod's-table buried under fruits,
wines, flowers and gold, reclined Pat O'Hara, tonsured now, crowned
with ivy and violets, gowned in a violet toga; while under a
pendulum whose swings left whiffs of incense behind lay Harris
insensible.

As Hogarth descended into it, harp and dance ceased; some leapt to
their feet: but O'Hara sat still, gazing in a dead silence through
glairy eyes, while Hogarth, looking about, spied an electric button
in a couch, touched it, and soon a man in uniform stood at a door
above.

"Who are you?" asked Hogarth.

"John Souttar, head-telegraphist, may it please your Lordship's
Majesty".

"Make haste: tell the First Lieutenant and the Chief Constable that
the Lord of the Sea is here".

By now all the revellers were on their feet; no sound: only, the
clicking pendulum voyaged, landed an incense-whiff, and voyaged,
like traders.

Then the Lieutenant appeared, mottled and panting, and immediately
the Constable.

"Ah, Royds", said Hogarth: "is it practicable to flood this room
quickly with a hose?"

"I--should think so, my Lord King".

"See to it. First set guards at the exits".

He turned to the other: "Mr. Chief Constable, I give all present,
except, of course, your Admiral, into custody, on a charge of
misdemeanour on the high seas. The General Prosecutor will, in due
course, forward the indictment to your Summary Court. Have your men
here with handcuffs".

Again silence, till, in four minutes, two men appeared on the steps,
ball-nozzle in hand; upon which Hogarth said to O'Hara: "Follow me",
and as the two passed up, O'Hara tottery, care hanging on that
ponderous nether-lip, Hogarth whispered the hose-bearers: "Drown the
room well--man and woman--do not spare".

To O'Hara he said: "Lead to your suite", and, descending, they
presently stood in a bed-temple, the bed surrounded with mirrors,
and at the other end of the apartment an altar--pyx, six
unflickering candles, and flowers, with rail and reredos, and maxims
of St. Theresa.

Hogarth said: "Sleep two hours", and went out, turning the key.

But in half an hour O'Hara had started awake, sober, and, clapping
his palms over his face, burst into tears.

That Hogarth might be capable of impeachment before a Court of
Admirals, followed by death on the block, he feared; and he rolled,
groaning, tugging his tonsure-fringe, which, on the forehead, lay a
thin grey forelock, thinking: "Guilty wretch that I am! putrid,
unwholesome, hopeless, I have befouled the holiest: how richly do I
deserve to die!"; and even as he groaned and smote, his secret mind
weighed up the chances of Hogarth's action.

He rose, listened, rushed to the door, found it locked, tossed up
despairing hands, and tottered to the altar, at which he knelt, all
sighs, and dying fish-eyes, and sideward-languishing face, and weary
woe. Ah! how great the mountain of his iniquity: if he might be but
once more spared, his evil remainder of days he would bury in some
Carmelite retreat, with fastings and prayers; but no--he had too
much tempted the Eternal patience, the sword was out against him.
Yet he implored, he implored with groans: with half an eye,
meanwhile, on the door; and, having with regard to Hogarth a piece
of secret knowledge which he guarded deep for some possible
emergency and use (the fact of Hogarth's Jewish birth), as he
prayed, his brain with complete detachment worked out the question
whether he might now reveal this with advantage.

Hogarth found him kneeling, said "Get up", and O'Hara stood, leaning
upon the rail, too faint to stand unpropped, Hogarth contemplating
him, tapping the toes.

"Well, sir! I know all: your whole past".

"Red as crimson--!" went O'Hara faintly, with tossed hands.

"Red enough, Admiral. You are a bad old man: merit death".

"Ah, God knows it, my Lord King! I do assure you, I am a leprous
wretch: and I welcome death--I pray you, I pray Heaven, for it--"

"You should have it, if you were a better, or a younger, man: but I
will not stain the Empire of which you were chosen to be a stay, and
are the shame, with the blood of such as you. You are beneath
judgment: and that clemency which is our scutcheon I extend to you.
Live, therefore, and repent, O'Hara. I, however, you understand, now
turn from you for ever. And I discharge you like a menial, sir. See
to it that within six months you have your affairs regulated, and
send in your resignation to the Government".

He turned and went; and, as he disappeared, O'Hara straightened,
coolly went "H'm!", and took snuff. He lived, he lived: while there
is life there is fun.

Fumbling about, searching for nothing, all relieved and rescued, yet
stunned, he suddenly exclaimed: "What a noble fellow is my son
Hogarth!", and knelt again.

Hogarth in the same hour was away for England; and on the fourth
evening thence, the street-lamps just lit, stood before No. 11
Market Street, Edgware Road, come for Margaret; his carriage waiting
at a corner forty yards away; and though within the last hour he had
realized vividly that his voyage to the _Mahomet_ had given Frankl
time to remove her, or accomplish any devilish device in his power
with respect to her, he was now all prospect and expectancy.

The house was three-storied, mean, unlighted, with an "area"; from a
neighbouring window a woman screaming down to some playing children;
and under her a shop sending out that fishy fume which "drove
Asmodeus back to hell".

He rapped, received no answer, rapped again without reply, then
stepped down and back, looking up: and suddenly, faintly, but
distinctly, he heard her voice, high up--_singing_.

  "O what a pretty place,
   And what a graceful city,
  Where the striplings are so gay,
   And the ladies are so pretty ".

It was she! He ran and banged at the door: no reply.

Back again he stepped; and now a window on the top floor went up,
and she, putting out her head, twice beckoned him--listlessly, it
seemed, then drew in; and instantly--again--he heard her sing.

As once more he ran to the door, he discovered now that it was open,
darted into darkness, up uncarpeted stairs, making for that upper
room, vague light through grimy stair-windows guiding his
impassioned dash; and on the third floor entered a room with two
doors, beyond one of which was the room he sought: but that door was
locked.

At it he pushed, fumbled, called: "Margaret!" No reply. And suddenly
he heard her singing, not before, but behind him.

  "Happy day! Happy day!
  When Jesus washed my sins away "...

When he flew to the other door, and now found it, too, locked,
gradually in that gloom all colour faded from his face; and the
voice sang on: "Happy day! happy day"....




XLIII

THE LAND BILL


The Manifesto's "month of grace" was passing, yet nothing had been
done, second-rate Powers awaiting the Great, while the Great,
appalled by the bigness of the demand, fussed and intrigued,
consulted, fermented and proposed: but did nothing.

But at last, on the 3rd of December, the First Lord of the Treasury
laid a Bill on the table of our Commons--at the end of an Autumn-
session!

On the 3rd: and on the 1st the Lord of the Sea had been captured
near Edgware Road, the probability being that this Bill was brought
forward with a knowledge of that capture.

It consisted of three clauses and two schedules--called The Land
Purchase Bill; and it had only to be published to produce the
stormiest agitation ever known.

The Opposition was the Jew-Liberal-Labour party; and when the Labour
Congress (met at Manchester) denounced the measure, there occurred a
"split", a Liberal-Labour cave, the whole body of Jews, numbering
87, retiring to the Government ranks.

The Bill proposed the "purchase" of Britain from its "owners" by the
British, the price fixed being 27 times the annual value, to be paid
in settled annuities for entailed estates, and in consols for
unentailed.

So, then, the Government would buy London alone for 1400 millions
and Britain for 8000 millions--a bad lookout for England.

And the authors of the Bill chose a moment when Hogarth was living
on bread and poisoned water in Market Street.

It rapidly passed to Committee, and then to the Lords.

But on that night a terrifying rumour for the first time pervaded
England: that the Lord of the Sea, having come to London at the
beginning of the month, was missing, and that his person had been
claimed from our Government by the Sea under menaces.

In fact, when a week, two weeks, had passed, and not a whisper from
Hogarth, apprehension had turned into certainty in the breasts of
Quilter-Beckett, Loveday, and all: and at a hurried Council called
in the _Boodah_ on the 19th, when the date of Hogarth's landing at
Southampton was determined, and his small train-in-waiting, his
coachman, re-examined for the twentieth time, one certainty emerged:
Frankl had had time to reach England before him; and the arrest of
Frankl was demanded.

Now England in consternation almost forgot the Land Bill; Scotland
Yard ransacked Market Street: not a trace of Hogarth; it dissected
the country for Frankl: but Frankl was now in the _Mahomet_, safely
conferring with O'Hara.

The popular tempest first directed itself against the League of
Resistance: and at an attack upon its Offices in Victoria Street
during the afternoon of the 21st Viscount Reid (the Secretary), and
a girl, were killed by missiles; petitions signed by the nation
raining meanwhile upon the Prince of Wales: for, apart from the
wreck which threatened, Hogarth's popularity was at present
considerable with the masses, whose instincts suspected those above
them of knowing more of his disappearance than appeared.

On the night of the 22nd, when things had an air of revolution,
fifty-three men met in a house in Adair Street, W. (This runs
parallel to Market Street, the backs of the two house-rows facing.)

These were the warders of Hogarth: and the object of that night's
meeting was to determine whether he should die, and when, and how;
the Land Bill now awaiting the Royal Assent; and on the morrow
British high-sea trade to be ruthlessly stopped, failing news of
Hogarth.

The room was double, with an arch in the partition, through which
ran a rough-board table surrounded with velvet arm-chairs; the floor
richly carpeted, though paper peeled from the walls; down the table
a procession of silver candlesticks and typewritten notice-papers
and agenda; the windows boarded--a second floor; and in a room near,
Hogarth, shackled hand and foot, he having been borne through a
subterranean way, made for the purpose, from the cellar in Market
Street to this Adair Street.

From eight o'clock men began to let themselves in at the two doors
in both streets, and continued to arrive till nine, when a marquis
at the table-head rose to speak, the others leaning back with
downcast eyes, nearly all pale.

The point before them was plainly put by the speaker on the
Question: viz., whether they had more to fear from the life, or from
the death, of the Lord of the Sea.

"By a strange Providence", he said, "this man is in our hands: and
we have the right to become his executioners. My Lords and
Gentlemen, the awful decision rests with you to-night".

Then, one after another, they rose, they spoke: no two views
identical; till at ten it was voted that the question be put, voting
papers went round, and presently the ballot-result was announced
amid a momentous stillness.

Twenty-eight had voted for the death, twenty-five against.

But in that minute a key was heard in the room door, and in rushed
two flushed men: Frankl and O'Hara, just arrived in London from the
sea; and Frankl burst into speech:

"I hope this is all right, my lords, my coming like this, and
bringing into your very midst a gentleman who is not one of us. When
I tell you that he is Admiral Donald of the _Mahomet_, turned away
like a servant, how does that make your lordships feel? A house
divided against itself can't stand; and this gentleman has a scheme
in his pocket--he will read it to your lordships--which will crack
up the Empire of the Sea like an egg-shell! So I do hope, my lords,
that you have not decided anything hasty about putting away Richard
Hogarth: for unless he is liberated this night, it means sure and
certain stoppage of everything tomorrow: and _that_ means my ruin,
and many another's beside--"

Now the Master called him to order, and addressed himself to O'Hara,
who, in admiral's uniform and stars, all stately bows, grave smiles,
in ten minutes had given guarantees, was a member, and in thirty had
read a memorandum of a scheme of betrayal which everyone saw to be
feasible.

Then the vote of death was annulled; and when the meeting broke up
Hogarth was being lifted with bandaged eyes through the subterranean
way to Market Street, where four men deposited him near the house-
door, undid his ropes, said to him "You are free", and there he
remained twenty minutes without motion, deadly sick, then rose, and,
on finding the door, went wildly with dragged feet, tottered into a
cab, and leant brow on hand.

As he entered the porch of his Berkeley Square house, Loveday rushed
out to his knees with adoring eyes, having hardly hoped to see again
that face of Hogarth, while Hogarth patted the bowed head, saying:
"Do get me a meal, and let me hear what has been going on....Oh, I
am weary ".

And during the meal he heard all: of the Land Bill, the turmoil.

"Well, my God!" he exclaimed, "is there no drop of generous blood at
all among those people? Never again do I trust them to make their
own arrangements I When does this precious Bill have the Royal
Assent?"

"To-morrow, it is supposed".

"Really!"--he started: "and whereabouts is the Prince of Wales?"

"At Windsor to-night".

"Order the motor quick. I'll go".

He was soon off, and Loveday, listening to the dark story of
Margaret's appearing and singing, and vanishing, accompanied him
under a frosty moon, snow lying on village-street and hedge; but,
travelling hard, they arrived shortly after one upon a Prince who, a
wakeful man that night, sat conferring with Private Secretary and
Attorney-General, he having assented to the introduction of the Land
Bill, then been alarmed by the storm, and now was confronted with
the responsibility of either giving His Majesty's assent, and
earning execration, or refusing it, and taking a step unheard-of
since William III.

In that state of embarrassment he was, when the Lord of the Sea was
announced, and "It is with heartiest pleasure that I offer to your
Lordship's Majesty my congratulations on this re-appearance", he
said, greatly and gladly surprised, without at all seeming so.

And the two conferred till three, when a secretary, at Hogarth's
dictation, wrote a document and its duplicate: a contract between
Prince and King, giving pledges on each side, private, yet most
momentous; and each, having signed both copies, retained one.

The next evening the Clerk in the Lords uttered those unusual words:
"_Le Roy s'avisera_," and the country was thrown into transport by
the news of the Royal rejection of the Land Bill, processions
singing the National Anthem, bells ringing: and for a month the
mention of a Royal name in any assembly brought the people to their
feet.

Ministers, of course, resigned; and, as the Liberals refused office,
writs for a new House were made returnable for the end of January.




XLIV

THE REGENCY


During the next month England was in a general-election turmoil; at
the same time a Land Bill in the French Chamber, and one in the
Reichstag, was thrown out: whereupon a _ukase_ from the _Boodah_
announced the raising of sea-rent to 5s. on all ships over 2000 tons
after the 1st February, the month of grace over, the "screw
tightening".

Already distress in England was great, coal being at three-and-
sixpence, bread at nine pence; a cry had arisen for the Union of
Britain with the Sea; and on the 27th of January a plebiscite among
the Trade Unions resulted in an affirmative vote of five millions
out of an electorate of nine.

Now, at this time the bulletins respecting His Majesty were of a
settled depression: he lived, but languished; and it was understood
that the new Ministry's first act would be the appointment of a
Regency.

Then appeared a rumour: alterations were going forward at Buckingham
Palace on a scale of splendour new to Western mansions; the Prince
of Wales had passed three days, from the 17th to the 19th, in the
_Boodah_: and the saying went that, on the night of the rejection of
the Land Bill, a compact had taken place between the Prince and the
Sea for a three years' Regency of the latter.

Excitement ensued, the matter becoming an election test: and 180
Labour Members, with 70 Liberals were returned pledged to support a
Regency of the Sea.

A definite coalition, meantime, had been announced between the Jews
and the Conservatives.

Never was election so rolled in dust and noise, in the result the
Jews having the casting vote: and if ever race was looked at
askance, it was they now by the British.

The session having been opened by Commission, a resolution passed
Lords and Commons that the Prince of Wales be empowered to exercise
the Royal Authority; whereupon the Prince at the palace, having
heard the Address, read a reply, sufficiently startling to the
country, though well foreknown to those present: he laid stress upon
the new conditions of the world--that phlegmatic eye, which had seen
so much, lifting a moment in punctuation to dwell coldly upon his
hearers, then coldly reading again; the difficulties, he said, which
he was called upon to face on behalf of His Majesty were not lightly
to be undertaken, and his fuller answer would be contained in a
proposal which he would make in the Lords as a peer of the realm.

The next night in a crowded House he read a speech distinguished by
extraordinary dignity and severity: "My lords", he said at one
point, slapping the table, though those eyes remained royally null:
"when will your lordships learn to recognize the facts of life?"
and, having proposed His Lordship's Majesty, the Lord of the Sea, to
be Regent during His Majesty's illness, such Regency not to exceed a
period of three years, he recommended a plebiscite.

No plebiscite was taken: for within some days the sense of the
constituencies was revealed, and the Leader in the Lords received
stern hints from the Liberal Leader, which damped pride: so their
lordships abstained from Westminster, their Resolution being passed
by just a quorum.

The country wondered at the ease with which the whole went off--not
knowing that those who might have led resistance had a thought, and
a prospect, inspired by one Pat O'Hara, which comforted them.

And now a Deputation of Five took boat in the _Prince George_, to
wait upon the Lord of the Sea in the _Boodah_ Throne Room, where the
Lord President read the information that they were a Committee
appointed to attend His Lordship's Majesty with the Resolutions of
the Houses.

"We are instructed", he read, "to express the hope which the Lords
Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, entertain, that His
Lordship's Majesty, from his regard to the interests of His Majesty
the King, will be ready to undertake the weighty and important trust
proposed to be invested in His Lordship's Majesty, as soon as an Act
of Parliament shall have been passed for carrying the same into
effect".

He then read, and delivered, the Resolutions.

Hogarth replied, reading: "My Lords and Gentlemen, I receive the
communication which your two Houses have instructed you to make to
me with those sentiments of regard which I ever entertain for your
two Houses. Deeply impressed with the necessity of tranquillizing
the public mind throughout the world, I do not hesitate to accept
the office and situation proposed to me".

So the Deputation departs; five days later twelve British
battleships surround the _Boodah_, come to accompany the Lord of the
Sea to England; and at eleven on the morning of the 9th, his yacht,
borne in on the strong thunders of a royal salute, drops anchor in
Southampton Water.

He had set so gorgeous a standard of luxury to Europe, that no one
dreamed of making his entry into London an ordinary _fete_; and, as
the procession traversed the triumphal arches of Piccadilly, he,
swept to the gods in the lap of gallant sublimities, plumes, sabres,
showering hoofs, squad-troops, outriders, showed to the Prince
beside him and to the Czarowitz before him a miniature of Rebecca
Frankl.

Some streets cheered--not all much: but during the illuminated night
all London seemed to abandon itself to revelry.

The next morning Hogarth went in state to the Chapel Royal for
certificate of Communion, attended by heralds, Sergeants-at-mace,
sword-of-state, the Duke of York; and after "the service"
communicated under a canopy at the hand of the Bishop of London.

Then, on the 14th, Lords and Commons had a final conference over the
Regency Bill, when the Assistant of the Parliaments uttered the
worlds: "_Le Roy le Veult_"; and on the 15th, the swearing-in day, a
party of grenadiers with colours and fifes marched into the palace
grounds, continuously to play "God Save the King"; while yeomen and
ushers, together with servants-in-state of the Lord of the Sea,
lined the great hall and staircase, life-guardsmen lining a vista of
state-apartments ending in a Blue-velvet Room, recently decorated;
by 2.30 P.M. Privy Councillors commenced to arrive, till at 3.45
P.M. the Lord of the Sea sent Admiral Quilter-Beckett to the
President of the Council, ordering his presence; and presently was
himself seen coming up the vista, accompanied by his own household-
officers, to the Blue-velvet Room where he sat at the table-head,
the Royal personages on each hand, his own officers ranged on each
side of the entrance-arch; and now one by one entered the full-
dressed Councillors, with bows which he returned, taking seat
according to precedence--Canterbury, then the Lord Chancellor, then
York; and last came and sat a certain Mr. Forrest, Keeper of the
Records.

Hogarth then rose and said:

"My Lords: I understand that by the Act passed by your Parliament
appointing me Regent of this Empire, I am required to take certain
oaths, as prescribed by the said Act: I am now ready to take these
oaths ".

Whereupon rose the Lord Privy Seal, made a reverence, approached,
and read, while Hogarth pronounced after him:

"I sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true
allegiance to His Majesty King George. So help me, God.

"I do solemnly promise and swear that I will truly and faithfully
execute the Office of Regent of the King's Empire according to an
Act of Parliament entitled 'an Act, etc.', and that I will, etc. So
help me, God".

He then subscribed the two oaths, and after him the Privy
Councillors, the Lord President first, as witnesses. It was then
delivered to the Record Keeper, who deposited it in a box, while
Hogarth presented his Lord's-Supper certificate: whereupon the Lord
President bent the knee and kissed his hand, then the Royal
personages, then the Archbishops, advancing in order on both sides.

It was a week of Hope, the turning over of a new leaf, so the spirit
of festival reigned, and was deepened when the evening papers that
day announced that a _ukase_ of the Sea had reduced rent on British
ships by 1s. 9d. per ton, and was heightened when during that and
the following nights Hogarth dispensed three millions in feting
England: his illuminations having no resemblance to those sickly
twinklings, tremulous at their own cost, previously deemed good
enough for the jubilee-days of an empire; the people were
astonished: ample and planetary his mind, his hand right royal, and
London, bursting into light, flashed tidings of our earth to Mars.
It was incredible then that any had ever wept, or would weep again;
the bitterest foes of the Regent caught the contagion of world-gala;
Europe flocked to London; theatres were gratis; the illusion of the
comet of the final night was complete, her lurid rays sprawling 2000
feet aloft in stiff portentousness, prophesying Change, the parks
all transfigured into universes of moons, crescents, stars, jerbs,
Roman-candles, _pots de brin_, girandoles of rockets, pagodas,
marquees, each tree a net of fireflies, while from five hundred and
thirty balloons, with silent burst, snowed diverse fires.

The new reign opened with promise.




XLV

ESTRELLA, THE PROPHETESS


For three weeks a Provisional Ministry carried on the Government,
confining itself to Supply; till, on the 3rd March, the Lord Regent
succeeded in forming a Cabinet; and at 9 on the evening of the 5th
for the first time addressed himself to the country in the House of
Lords.

That night the world seemed hushed to listen, the peridom of Britain
packing the Gallery with rainbow, and the peerdom those benches and
cross-benches, red as massacre and the Scarlet Woman, where thronged
580, while to Charing Cross spread the crowd without. He, from the
Throne, addressed them, and they, startled by the revelation of a
caste chaster far than Vere de Vere, and a pride far more serenely
throned than Hohenzollern, acknowledged him high-born..."Your
lordships will not fail to perceive my will to invigorate some of
our ancient epithets: thus, the First Estate of the Realm shall,
during the present Regency, be veritably 'First', and in no case
last"; anon he blew his bugle: "Let us play the man!--easy to say,
hard to do: yet it was first said by an Englishman when the doing, I
think, was hard enough, his martyr's shroud already rapt aloft in
flame: _that_ was magnanimous, my lords, I declare! _there_ was the
British Lion"....

That same night a new Land Bill was introduced by Sir Robert
Wortley, the Prime Minister--a bill drafted, criticized, and re-
altered during two years by the legal experts of the Sea, proposing
the "purchase" of Great Britain at a price of twice the annual value
for inherited land, and seven times for land held by purchase: this
to be paid in two and seven years respectively, without interest,
lands yielding no revenue to become crown-lands from the date of the
Bill, which was called: Land Department (Creation) Bill.

It passed first reading; but the question was: would the Jews vote
for the second reading? Reluctant enough the Jewish members, but
there were rumours that the Jewish electorate were instructing their
representatives to repent and vote for.

And now spread far the League of Resistance, so did the Adair Street
Society, its secret daughter, of which Admiral Donald (O'Hara) had
now been elected Honorary Vice-Master, and whose Roll contained the
names of an extraordinary number of Territorial officers.

The Society was busy: had building four yachts, all models of the
Admiral's yacht attached to the _Mahomet_, which was called the
_Mahomet II_; every dusk companies of 25 to 40 men drilled darkly in
the back yard at Adair Street, some of them Territorial officers: in
rotation they came, they drilled, over 1000; a top room piled with
revolvers, swords, bowie-knives...

For the land-magnates laughed at the notion of submitting to the
Bill: rather, said they, "rivers of blood". The mention by Hogarth
of Ridley and Latimer they considered irrelevant; their fathers'
heroic mood was a detail: not an entail.

In secret they met. Anarchists of the reddest hue.

One night when the Bill was approaching second-reading Frankl
introduced Harris as a member; and wide-eyed stood Harris, though
still cynical, with elegant walking-stick, hat cocked, and "I sye",
he whispered, "are all these real, living lords?"

"Large as life", answered Frankl.

"Strike me dotty! The Lord said unto my lord, sit thou at my right
hand"...the reason of this introduction of Harris being a relation
which had arisen between the Army and the Lord Regent, who had been
taking a startling interest in this branch of the services, had
visited Aldershot, and held five reviews, flattering the soldier by
private notice, shifting officers. By an Order in Council of the 3rd
March, a reorganization was effected in the Army Board and
Consultative Council, of the new men the Adjutant-General being
General Sir Merrick Parr, uncle of Admiral Parr of the sea-fort
_Shakespeare_, while the Commander-in-Chief and Inspector-General
were the direct creations of the Regent, and the whole Headquarters
Staff bound to follow him through thick and thin; and that "second
reading" was near, which, if the Jews would vote against, well and
good for Adair Street, but, if not, there remained either (1) the
prompt execution of O'Hara's scheme without waiting for the four
yachts, copies of the _Mahomet II_, which were slow in building; or
(2) the knife of Harris.

But, as to (1), when three delegates from the Society had waited
upon O'Hara in the _Mahomet_ to urge immediate action, O'Hara had
replied: "No, my lords, I cannot enter into this undertaking until
preparations are complete, since the troops we send would never be
allowed to land on the forts, if they arrived in ships not
apparently our own. Your lordships cannot be more anxious than I to
rid the earth of a devouring lion like Richard Hogarth, I do assure
you; but, tut, is there nothing else meanwhile? Just let me
introduce to your lordships a little young man whom I know"--he had
summoned Harris.

But when the three delegates had gone, he had struck his brow,
exclaiming: "Wretch that I am!--that great and good fellow, the
fairest of the sons of men!...what a black depravity must be in
this heart--" he had underlooked in the mirror, and cut a face; "but
ah, Hogarth! this heart is in your net; and I loved the mother,
too"....

He had sought the altar, and that night had written piteously to
Hogarth, appealing for fresh friendship and reconsideration of his
sentence of dismissal.

So, at any rate, was Harris introduced to Adair Street, became its
chief minister, and ten days before the second-reading debate had
won, by O'Hara's recommendation, an _entree_ into the Palace as
servant to a gentleman-usher-daily-waiter: and now he made bright
the knife of the assassin, tending its edge as a gardener the tender
sprout, the knife being his _metier_ and forte, he despising the
noisy, mediate, uncertain pistol, nor could use it, his instincts
belonging to the Stone Age. But the days passed, and he could by no
means get near to Hogarth.

One night he boldly penetrated to the royal antechamber with the
knife under his waist-band, having passed the stairs-guard by a
specious official envelope. As it was late, he thought it must be
about the Regent's bedtime, having the vaguest ideas as to royal
ways and bedtimes, Hogarth being then in a consultation with three
of the Cabinet destined to last till morning. And Harris: "Can I see
the Lord Regent?" with that lifted brow of perpetual surprise and
alertness.

"You? Who are you?" asked a gentleman-in-waiting.

"That's neither 'ere nor there, if it comes to that. I'm Captain
Macnaghten's man, then".

"But what is it you want?"

"He told me to give the Regent this 'ere"--showing the envelope.

"Weally! then, give it to me".

"He said I was to give it to the Regent's self".

"Then, go to blazes quickly, will you? and let Captain Macnaghten
know fwom me that he has been dwinking".

Harris could not penetrate the ten-fold barrier; but he lay in wait;
watched from some coign every Royal exit and entrance, careful that
Hogarth never saw his face; and he cherished the knife-edge.

One night, four days before the debate, he stood by the Green Park
railings, listless, smoking, when--he started: saw a hurried figure
come out--face muffled--Hogarth!--alone.

Hogarth walked a little, entered a cab; Harris, in another, shadowed
him.

Down Piccadilly, the Hammersmith Road, into the Addison: Hogarth
alighted; Harris followed.

Now, at this time Hogarth had a spy, who presented him reports of
the doings of Rebekah Frankl--a species of literature which the
Regent found agreeable; and, as for two days Rebekah had, for some
reason, been at a villa of Addison Road, this escapade of the Lord
Regent was motived by his hope of catching there some glimpse of
her, the house being small, he having seized his first chance of
secret escape from state-affairs near midnight: and behind him, like
the shadow of death, stole the assassin.

Hogarth, going soft up to the house, leaned aside from the frontage
steps to peer; but Venetian blinds barred him from the least sight
of the interior, though he could hear sounds, strange sounds, as of
wailing; and, as the villa was in the midst of quite a spacious
ground, well grown with trees and shrubberies, he stole round to the
back, peered into an open door level with the garden, and within saw
a doorway of twilight in the midst of darkness; had hoped to see a
servant, who might talk gossip, or even contrive him sight of the
Sacred Body; had ready bribe in hand: but nobody there. So, after
some hesitation, he entered; and Harris, just then come to the
house-corner on tiptoe, discerned him go in, ran on hot bricks to
the door, and now distinctly saw Hogarth, who had passed through a
kitchen, standing on three wooden steps before a doorway which
framed a faint light in the room beyond.

On which a shivering of eagerness, quick as winking sheet-lightning,
shook Harris' right knee.

Hogarth, meantime, having seen the chamber before him empty, in his
headlong way had entered, and the guess now in Harris' mind was
this: "It's a girl: a night out"....

He hesitated, Hogarth being once within the house and lost to him,
but after some minutes dared to follow.

Hogarth, meantime, had seen that the light came from a death-taper,
with which was a vessel of water for ceremonial purification, and a
napkin, here being all the preparations for _tahara_ (washing); and
suddenly, in a near room, arose the clamorous dole of _shivah_ (the
seven mourning-days), Rachel weeping for her children, because they
are not: a Jew was dead: "shema, Yisrael...": and this explained
Rebekah's stay there, for the bereaved may not leave the house. A
peer at the bed--a covered face--pierced him with a compunction like
shame: here was _kodesh_, and he a desecrator with his earthy
passion: so he turned to beat a retreat by the way he had come--when
a faint sound that way, made by Harris; and, instead, he leapt
lightly through a window five feet above the garden.

Some moments later Harris, entering on prowling all-fours, and
seeing the bed-clothes hang immediately near, stole under; waited:
no sound save the singsong lament; and "O Gawd", thought he, cynic
even in his palest agitation, "there shall be weeping and wailing
and gnashing of teeth"....But that Hogarth had not come to wail and
gnash he felt convinced: if he heard no sound above him, that might
be because of the sounds around; so he crawled barely out, and,
kneeling, put up a most cautious groping hand, the bed being in the
darkest part of the room; someone there: and swiftly as a dolphin
twists to dart and snap, his knife was in a breast and instantly
ready to strike its expected bedfellow.

But the breast was alone, the breast of Estrella, the Prophetess,
four days dead.

Harris snatched off the face-cloth, peered upon a noble old visage,
fixed now in trance, and said: "Well, I'm--"

Now he ran, but in the kitchen stopped wild-eyed. It I might be
murder-he was not certain; at least it was out-rage, and he might be
traced: there was the cabman who had brought him--his absence from
the Palace---"Bah! it can't be proved...." But still, if he were
even arrested, and Hogarth got to hear of his presence about the
Court--that would spoil all. He listened: all that part of the house
a settled solitude, the servants themselves sitting _shivah_; and
back he ran, seized upon the little old body, not now stiff, _rigor
mortis_ having passed, saw that the sheet was unstained, and
snatched her away out to the bottom of the garden where shrubbery
and holly-hedge formed a jungle.

Now he set to dig with hissing haste; and, even as he hissed and
digged, he talked without pause, envenomed, heaping her sanctity
with insult: "Old cat you...dust to dust and ashes to ashes, it
is....What you want to do that for? under you go in the cold, cold
sod....Who arst you to put your little finger in the pie? There's
another one for you, fair in the gullet! Now take her up tenderly,
lift her with care-and down she goes"....

Such were Estrella's _kaddish_ and "House of Life"....As he had
only the knife, and the work was slow, and in the midst of it an
outcry from the house, the body missed, he stopped, listening, but
without acute fear, knowing it improbable that they could dream of
seeking in the grounds, and as a matter of fact their minds were a
mere paralysis of holy wonder; so presently he had the little body
in a two-foot grave, arranged surface and dead leaves to
naturalness, leapt a wall, and got away.

Never did act of assassin have result so momentous: for though the
predictions of Estrella had lately spread far among upper-class
Jews, it was only on the day after her burial by Harris that her
fame reached to each Jew under the sun.

It was given out that divine confirmation had been vouchsafed to her
prophecies by the snatching of her body, like Enoch's, into Heaven,
or by its burial, like Moses', by Jahvah: for when no explanation
but one is extant, the brain fastens upon that, and embraces it.

And as Estrella, who, in life, had guarded her hard sayings for the
few, had left papers revealing for her whole race what she had
dreamed, like wildfire now ran her message among the Chosen.

Now Temple and Synagogue were crowded: rabbi and pawnbroker and
_maggid,_ clothes-man and _takif,_ were infected; and there spread
the cry (for the most part meaningless): "To Zion!"

It may be that the Jewish electorate were now too agitated with the
near probability of Shiloh to interest themselves in any mundane
question: at all events, it was during that rage that the
Government-whips announced the certainty that the Jewish members
would vote against the Land Bill.

Hogarth first heard it pretty late at night from the Prime Minister;
and "Ha!-the Jews", he went: "so they have dared, these men? I never
thought that they would! May God deliver me from His ill-chosen
people--!"

"And ill-choosing, it seems, my Lord King".

"Quite so! But, Sir Robert Wortley, is it supportable this thing?"--a
brand now on his brow--"an alien race in Britain opposing thus
daringly not _my_ will only, but the plain will of the people? And
have I the air of one who will support it? Rather, I assure you,
would I govern without a Parliament! But stop--perhaps I shall be
found capable of dealing with these mischievous children of Israel.
Give me a night: and to-morrow at noon come, and hear. Of course,
this second-reading business must be postponed ".

And deep and wide, in lonely vigil, wrought the Regent's thought
that night, till morning: of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of
tendencies, histories, soils, ports, railways, possibilities, race-
genius, analogies, destinies; of Rothschild and I Solomon; of Hirsch
and Y'hudah Hanassi; of the Jewish Board of Guardians, Rab Asa, and
the Targum on the Babylonish Talmud; of the Barbary Jews, the
Samaritans, and Y'hudah Halevi; of the Colonial Bank, and the
Karaite Jews....

When at dawn he threw himself dressed into bed, he had resolved upon
a very great thing: their expulsion from England, Pole and
Hungarian, Baron and coster, and the little child at the breast, ten
millions.

His eyes had closed toward sleep when, with a start, he remembered a
prophecy uttered one evening in the _Boodah_ Throne-room, and these
words: "Richard, deal gently with my people...."

Two nights later, with a retinue, he hurriedly left England-for
Constantinople.




XLVI

THE ORDER IN COUNCIL


Three days before that setting-out, O'Hara's appeal for pardon had
come under the Regent's notice: and as he had read, his eyes--once
more--had softened, as he had thought: "It would be a great crime to
forgive him the long list; but never mind--we will see"....

And he had meant to reply, but suddenly the Jews had swept O'Hara
quite out of his mind.

He was away hardly two weeks: and when he returned, Palestine and
western Armenia were his, all his acts of this period bearing
resemblance in largeness and rage to the incredible forced-marches
of Napoleon.

If one spreads apart the first two fingers, he sees exactly the
country ordained by Hogarth for modern Israel: the first finger
Palestine, looking upon the Mediterranean; between the fingers, the
Syrian Desert; the second (longer) finger that Mesopotamia, "the
cradle of our race" between the Euphrates and the Tigris, this
opening upon the Persian Gulf, and the trade of the East.

The then population of this area was only 300,000 (Arabs, Turks,
Jews, Greeks) in the Palestine finger, omitting Russian pilgrims to
Jerusalem; while in the Mesopotamia finger--all that Hinterland of
Palestine called "Turkish Armenia"--not 320,000 Armenians had been
left by Khurdish rapine and Turkish atrocity: we may therefore say
that the whole was an uninhabited land waiting for inhabitants.

The only things needed (according to modern notions) to make it
immediately colonizable were roads and railways, and the Regent had
not returned to Dover when both were making in Palestine, the
Sultan, left thunderstruck with a chronic eye of scare by that
visit, "lending his co-operation", consoled meanwhile by a
Conversion Loan of thirteen millions out of Sea-revenue; to which
add a grant-in-aid of fifteen millions to the emigrants, and the
remark of Hogarth's Chancellor about this time becomes intelligible:
"Your Lordship's Majesty's expenditure is exceeding revenue by 50
per cent"; so that Beech's was soon realizing considerably in bonds
over Europe, and Hogarth temporarily poor--had stubbornly refused
any Parliament-grant for the Regent's personal establishment.

And suddenly from the blue fell his bolt: at that same table of the
Regent's oath-of-office assembled eighty-seven Jewish lords and
gentlemen at noon of the 24th March, the first day of the month
Nisan in the Jewish year 5699, ordered, each by himself, to the
Royal presence; and the Regent, with the gravest eyes, both palms
pressed on the table, in an embarrassment of compunction, rose and
spoke with them--Rothschild and merchant-prince, Chief Rabbi,
Manchester Chief Minister, Heads of the Alliance Israelite, Anglo-
Jewish Association, Jewish Board, Jewish philanthropists, writers;
and they could not believe themselves awake.

He began by speaking of himself, the fact of his power, with such
graciousness, that all were affected, not by the power, but by the
gentleness which wielded it: Providence had given him the disposal
of the earth, and it was for him to do his poor best--a lonesome,
sorrowful post; so that talking could never alter in anything the
main point; but it could modify details: and he had called them to
invoke their great administrative gift and expert counsel; he told
of the exodus which he designed, the home which he had prepared
them; recommended a Sanhedrim of Chief Jews to form the Provisional
Government of the new State, with the Chief Rabbi as its head under
the title of Shophet (Judge); would offer a contribution of
L 15,000,000 from his Exchequer toward an emigration and colonizing
fund, and doubtless emigration bureaus would be at once established
at principal centres; he would also hand over a Deed of Gift of this
larger Judaea as between the Sea and the Jewish people to the
Central Authority as soon as established; also, duplicates of the
text of the Treaty as between the Sea and the Ottoman Empire. What
he gave he gave, he assured them, with a free heart, without
condition; except, of course, one: that no inch of the new land
should ever "belong" to any particular Jew: for he gave, as Nature
gave the earth, not to a hundred, but to all, living and to be born,
occupiers to pay rent, not to any adventurer calling himself
landlord, but to the Central Authority, representing all. This done,
he would invoke with confidence upon their able race the blessing of
Almighty God.

In tones so mellow did he utter himself, that for many minutes
stillness reigned, every face pale.

Until a baron stood up with ashen under-lip, to say that such a
scheme, it seemed to him, must remain for ever abortive, unless
enforced by Act of Parliament--

But Hogarth checked him quick.

"No, my lord, not by Act of Parliament: the how your lordship may
leave to me. I dare say you will see it in this evening's papers".

It was by an Order in Council!

       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

"DECLARATION of the Court of Great Britain respecting the Order in
Council.

"At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 24th day of March, his
Lordship's Majesty, the Lord Regent, in Council.

"WHEREAS His Lordship's Majesty was pleased to declare in the name
and on behalf of His Majesty the King on the 23rd day of March: THAT
if at any time, after the expiration of the three months following,
any of the hereinafter mentioned trades, occupations, pursuits, or
acts, shall be carried on or done within the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland by any person being a person coming within the
sense of the term "Jew" as hereinafter defined, THEN and thereafter
such person shall be liable to the pains and penalties hereinafter
specified".

       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

No Jew might own or work land, or teach in any Cheder or school, or
be entered at any Public School or University, or sign any stamped
document, or carry on certain trades, or vote, or officiate at any
public service, and so on: parentage, not religion, constituting a
"Jew". Through Britain this piece of Russian despotism sent a wave
of quiet gladness, and an epidemic of jest broke out, in club,
factory, "Lane", and drawing-room: "You hurry up--to Jericho!"
became the workman's answer to a Jew; it was remarked that the
chimney of train and steamship would furnish a new pillar of cloud
by day, and pillar of fire by night, to go before the modern Exodus;
they were little to be pitied, for even Heaven was their mortgagor
in land, with promise to pay--the Promised Land; a syndicate would
be formed to "pool" milk and honey, and either Sharon or Salem would
become the new Get-O at any price; being a rather Peculiar People,
they would call the new Temple "the 'Ouse" (of Prey-ers), and make
contango-day coincide with Passover....But let him laugh that is of
a merry heart: as for Israel, with weary breast and hunted stare he
sandalled his foot for the final Exodus: yet not as them without
hope. Already--some days before the Order in Council--the
disappearance of Estrella's body, her daring prophecies, had led to
the embarkation of 700 Jews for Palestine; and when the Regent's
Edict gave startling confirmation of her prediction of "the Return",
in many a million hearts thrilled the certainty: "the Day of the
Lord is nigh!"

And with that their stoicism and organizing strength, they mutely
turned to follow the finger of Destiny: their _takifs_ (rich men),
hard upon the unchosen, were, as usual, liberal to their own, the
fund swelled, and a Committee left England for the accumulation of
stores and implements; at the same time two Parliament Bills were
passed in two sittings, empowering the purchase by Government of
land "owned" by Jews on Land Bill terms, and quickening the
machinery for the collection of debts due to Jews.

Whereupon, "You see", said the Chief Rabbi, "he drives us out: but
he makes us aprons--if only of fig-leaves--to cover us. Let us bow
to his rod, and thank him, and go: he is God's Minister".

So they went: the world's mercantile marine having been summoned,
sea-ports were turned into caravansaries of gabardine and ear-lock:
the Exodus began.

In the midst of which it came to the knowledge of the Regent that
the house of Frankl was making ready for departure.

And now Hogarth rebelled against Heaven: self-forgetfully he did his
best, and it returned and struck him dead: for what good, he
thought, would his life do him, she always in Asia, he in Europe?

He wrote to her, a passionate hotch-potch of command and grovelling
supplication: if she went, he would curse her; would go mad; would
blaspheme God; would throw up everything; would die.

He had promised to go down to Oxford to receive a degree, and as up
to the time of his departure she had not replied, he went half-
unconscious of himself and those about him.

Now, upon Adair Street the Expulsion had brought despair, the
second-reading now assured, the Jews' vote over, and new writs
issued; the second-reading debate was actually in progress at that
date of the Oxford visit; and though the four yachts, copies of the
_Mahomet II_, were being rapidly put together, the Bill, if at all
pressed, must get through before they could be ready; nor could the
House of Lords long delay its passage.

There remained Harris, so far ineffectual, but not therefore
hopeless: so he, spurred, went down to Oxford.

But what Harris could not do was to get near to Hogarth: his task
was, as it were, to pluck Venus from the firmament; but he mused, he
mused upon her, with musing astrologic eye, with grand patience,
fascinated by her very splendours, not without hope. When at 8 P.M.
a banquet was served to 250 guests in the Radcliffe Library, the
upper gallery being open to a crawling public to see the lions feed,
Harris, watching thence the unattainable under the blue of the
canopy--blue always in honour of the Sea--thought within himself:
"Ah, Mr. 76, you've got it all, ain't you?--for the time being. But
'ow'd you feel if I had a pistol now? Gawd! I can just see him
nicely curl and kick. Worse luck, I can't shoot a bloomin' 'ouse".

But the opportunity was so exquisite, that he resolved to try--the
exit reached, would run, get a pistol, and return; but at the door
itself a hand touched his shoulder, and, with a twist of guilty
scare, he saw--O'Hara.

"Good Gawd!" he whispered, "what you want to startle anybody like
that for? Don't you know that the wicked flea pursueth every man,
but the righteous shall escape his filthy snare?"

"What are you doing here, boy?" asked O'Hara.

"Thick-head! ain't I down 'ere after this precious Mr. 76?"--for
Hogarth, if Monarch of the Sun, would have remained for Harris only
a glorified 76, Colmoor being for him the reality of the universe,
all else mirage, such stuff as dreams are made of.

"Well", said O'Hara, "come with me: want to talk to you"--he just
come from the _Mahomet_ through Spain and France, drawn to Hogarth
as moths to a candle, his petition for pardon not yet answered; and
he assumed that Hogarth's wrath still blazed, though, in fact,
answer was only delayed by competition of greater interests, Hogarth
having forgotten O'Hara; at any rate, O'Hara, with shrinking qualms,
had come to Oxford, thinking: "I will try and get at him for one
more talk--I am not afraid of your eyes, my son: tut! I've seen the
great brow in a prison-cap. And the haughty beast still loves old
Pat at bottom, I do declare. Be bold, be bold, but not _too_
bold....Well, I will! And, if I perish, I perish, and he perishes,
too, so help me, God"....

And to Harris, walking by the towing-path, he said: "No, boy, don't
you. Not now. Tut!--those lords: they are only making you their
tool. Don't you understand? Hogarth is robbing from them the land
which they have robbed from the British people, and they naturally
wish to murder him: but what have _you_, or I, to do with that? Let
the thieves fight it out between them, while we enjoy ourselves, if
we can. Weren't we happy in the _Mahomet_, boy--we two? Didn't you
roll whole weeks drunk? That was better than Colmoor, eh, Alfie? And
didn't I have my incense, my grapes, my little Circassian, and ten
thousand pounds in yellow gold a year? Wasn't that all right? Well,
we may have it again!--not in the _Mahomet_, perhaps, but somewhere.
Do nothing--not yet: till I give the word. If you _must_ kill, get a
dog, or a horse, or an obscure old man, not the Regent of England--"

"Dirty old swine!" cried Harris, angry, "'aven't I forbid you again
and again from making game of me? You're doing it now! You just try
that on, and go up thou bald-head, it _is_!"

"But is this understood between us?"

"Old duffer! you are one thing to-day, and another thing to-morrow:
there's no knowing how to tyke you. You're such a sinful old
'ypocrite, that you play-act before yourself, I do believe. What is
it you do mean? You myke anyone sick of you; your incense and your
burnt sacrifices are an offence unto me. This Mr. 76 once put a
knife into me, and I mean to put another into him: 'ow's that?"

"Not now!"

"'Ow about your sweet friend, Frankl? I'm under contract with him,
ain't I?"

"Better put the knife into Frankl".

"Into the pair of you, it strikes me!"

"Well, if you make the least attempt upon Hogarth now, you get not
another shilling--".

"Bah! shut that--!"

But the threat won sullen consent; and when after the Banquet the
Oxford guests had driven to see the illuminations, spoiled by
boisterous Spring-winds, and when the Regent returned to his
chambers, he caught sight of O'Hara amid the throng that lined the
stair; upon which, after stepping up past, he stopped, twisted
round, to say: "You, Admiral Donald?"

"If I might speak ten minutes with your Lordship's Majesty--"

"What about?"

Those bold eyes of O'Hara dropped.

"Well", said the Regent, "I will see. Come to-morrow--about five,"
and went on up.

The next morning the Degree was conferred in the theatre, Doctor of
Common Law--"an appropriate one", the Master of Balliol remarked,
"though 'Surgeon' would perhaps be the _mot juste_"; and thus at
last Hogarth donned cap-and-tassel, though not Frankl's--a livery
which drew from Harris the reflection: "Sweet beauty!--in his
mortarboard". The nip upon the brow of the college-cap peak
resembled the nip of the Scotch prison-cap, awaking memories: but
the symbolism was different.

Meantime, the Regent's eye wandered, madness and folly in his heart,
and fear, till at four a letter came, he having left Loveday at
Buckingham Palace with instructions to open letters and send the
One.

She had written:

"What you can expect of me I am unable to conceive. Have you not
expelled me? Let us be worthy of our long friendship, and 'play the
man'....'My exaltation to afflictions high'....With prayers for
you, I say good-bye: and will remember.

"REBEKAH FRANKL".

Loveday had added: "She left London at noon for Southampton. Purchas
followed to spy. Machray's other detective waits in Palace for
instructions".

As to the dinner in Christ Church Hall, and the Ball, which were to
end the program of this last day, at four-thirty the news spread
that the Regent had been taken ill.

"Have you not expelled me?"...Was she angry? Did _she_ not know
that he meant well? Hogarth, breaking into a rage, leapt up, with,
"I swear to God that not one step does she move out of this country--!"
and rushed to a bell: a gentleman-usher came.

"What about going?"

"All will be ready in fifteen minutes, my Lord King".

"I feel bad: say ten minutes; tell the Lord Chamberlain".

"Yes. I might mention--did your Lordship's Majesty grant a ten
minutes' audience to Admiral Donald for this hour?"

"_Who_? Yes, I think--Just kick him down the stairs! Or no--say I
may see him some day".

This message, as the usher dashed through, was faithfully dropped at
O'Hara's consciousness; and O'Hara said: "Hoity-toity...!"

Bent-backed he descended to the Quadrangle, with a sense of defeat,
rebuff, contumely, rage, but quite sprightly said to Harris, waiting
beyond the Gateway: "Well, boy, how can we make a night of it? I
feel that way".

"Seen Mr. 76?"

"Tut, no. Sharpen up that knife for his throat, boy!"

And Harris exclaimed: "Another chynge! Strike me silly!--what did I
sye? Give me a new 'eart, O Lawd, it _is_--you grey-haired old
duffer. Chopping and chynging, always the syme--to your old wife
Jyne. I'd be ashamed of myself in your plyce. But sharpen up the
knife, it _is_".




XLVII

THE EMIGRANTS


Late the same night the Regent received at the Palace a telegram
about Rebekah: She had travelled alone to Southampton, where a
landau at the station had awaited her, in which she had driven to a
country-house near the Itchen named "Silverfern", two miles from
Bitterne Manor, in which lived an elderly gentleman, Mr. Abrahams,
ark-opener and scroll-bearer in the Synagogue, with his wife and two
sons. The passage of these, and of Rebekah, was booked by the
_Calabria_, Jewish emigrant-ship, to sail in four days.

Hogarth no sooner heard these tidings than he tumbled into crime:
resolved to kidnap Rebekah; to break his own law for his own behoof:
one of the basest acts of a King.

He had four days: and by the end of the second four men lay in wait
round "Silverfern", one a sea-fort sub-lieutenant, one a detective,
and two others very rough customers: a cottage having been hired by
them for the reception of Rebekah in a dell a mile higher up the
Itchen.

But something infects the world; and gravity badgers the bullet's
trajectory; and a magnetic "H" disturbs the needle; and "impossible"
roots turn up in the equation; and the finger of God is in every
pie.

Hence, though the four ravishers lay in wait, and actually effected
a seizure, the Regent did not get his girl.

None of the four had ever seen her: but as there was no young lady
except her at "Silverfern", that seemed of no importance, so she had
been only described to them as dark and pretty.

But on the night after Rebekah's arrival, there came to "Silverfern"
a new inmate: Margaret Hogarth.

_Her_ passage, too, was booked to Palestine.

For Frankl had said: "In expelling the Jews, he shall expel his own
sister. Oh, that's sweet, after all!"

At this time Frankl's interest in Land Bill and England was dead,
two interests only remaining to him: so to realize his share in the
Western world as to reach Jerusalem loaded with wealth; and also,
not less intense, to hurt Hogarth, to outwit him, to cry quits at
the last.

It was hard--Hogarth being set so high; but he invoked the help of
the Holy One (blessed be He): and was not without resource.

Why had Hogarth never had him seized, racked? What restrained the
Regent _now_? That was a question with Frankl. Hogarth might say,
even to himself, that Frankl was vermin too small to be crushed,
that he waited for his sister from God; but lately the real reason
had grown upon Frankl: it was because Hogarth _was afraid_ of him!
afraid that Frankl, if persecuted beyond measure, might blurt out
the Regent's convict past, and raise a sensation of horror through
the world not pleasant to face. Harris, O'Hara, Rebekah and Frankl
alone knew that past, and the motives for silence of the first three
were obvious; nor had Frankl whispered that secret even to his own
heart in his bed-chamber, conscious of his own guilt in the matter
of the Arab Jew's death, fearing that, if the wit and power of
Hogarth were given motive to move heaven and earth, the real facts
might not be undiscoverable: then would Frankl be ground to fine
powder by the grinders. But if he was going to Palestine, what
mattered?

Also, there was Margaret: she should go out as a Jewess.

She arrived at "Silverfern" in the charge of a Jewish clerk, and the
Abrahams received her as an afflicted orphan, committed to Frankl by
her father; she, like Rebekah, to go under their care.

Well, the evening before the departure, Mr. and Mrs. Abrahams, their
two sons, Rebekah and Margaret, all go for a stroll--about nine
o'clock, that morning one of the four ravishers having been to the
house on some pretence, seen Margaret with Mrs. Abrahams under the
porch, and noted her well, her grey tailor-gown, her brooch, her
singing; and now, as all walked out under the moon, they were
watched, the watchers, surprised at the presence of _two_ young
ladies, concluding that the smaller--Rebekah--must have arrived
later: so upon the large and shapely form of Margaret their gaze
fastened, as the party passed near their hedge of concealment,
Margaret then remarking: "My name is Rachel Oppenheimer--" and Mrs.
Abrahams with gentle chiding answering her: "No, be good: your name
is Ruth Levi".

For during two years at the Jewish Asylum at Wroxham they had tilled
into her shrieking brain, "Now, be good: your name is Rachel
Oppenheimer", and one day she had said: "My name _is_ Rachel
Oppenheimer", and had been saying it ever since.

In fact, there was a real Rachel Oppenheimer, a dependent of
Frankl's, at Yarmouth, who was rather mad, and when it had been
necessary that Margaret should be out of the way in order to secure
Hogarth's conviction, two doctors had examined this Rachel
Oppenheimer, and given the legal certificates by means of which
Frankl had put away Margaret; and she during two years of sanity in
an atmosphere of lunacy had screamed for pity, till one morning she
had shewed the stare, the unworldly rapture, and had started to sing
her old songs.

After which, Frankl, hearing of it, and touched by some awe, had got
her out, and kept her in one retreat or another.

But in all her madness was mixed some memory of his devilish heart,
and every fresh sight of him inspired her with panic, she in his
presence hanging upon his eyes, instant to obey his slightest hint:
hence her beckoning down to Hogarth from that window in Market
Street.

Now, on this last night of England the Abrahams party strolled far,
two days like Summer days having come, on hedge and tree now
tripping the shoots of Spring, the moon-haunted night of a mild
mood: so from "Silverfern" lawns they passed up a steep field
northward, down a path between village-houses, and idled within a
pine-wood by the river-side.

The moon's glow was like one luminous ghost: and buttercup, daisy,
snowdrop, primrose gathered Margaret, vagrant, flighty, light to the
winds that wafted her as fluff, and tossed them suddenly aloft, and
back they came to be tangled in her bare hair; and now she was a
tipsy bacchante, singing:

  "Will you come to the wedding?
  Will you come?
  Bring you own bread and butter,
  And your own tea and sugar,
  And we'll all pay a penny for the Rum".

"Poor Ruth!"--from Rebekah, an arm about her waist.

"There is such a huge pool which is wheeling", said Margaret, gazing
at it with surprise, "and it goes hollow in the middle: my goodness,
it does wheel! and there is a little grey duck in it ranging round
and round with it, and this little grey duck is singing like an
angel".

"Do you know where we are going to?" asked Rebekah: "to the land of
our fathers, Ruth, after all the exile in this ugly Western world;
and it is he who sends us, the fierce-willed master of men".

"My name", said Margaret, "is Rachel Oppenheimer"; and immediately,
wafted like a half-inflated balloon which leaps to descend a
thousand feet away, she sang:

  "Happy day! Happy day!
  When Jesus washed my sins away..."

Then, woe-begone, she shook her head, and let fall her abandoned
hand; and Rebekah, speaking more to herself: "Did you never hear of
Hogarth, the King, Ruth? or see him in some dream in shining white,
with a face like the face in the bush which burned and was not
consumed?"

But now Margaret laughed, crying out: "Oh, there's a man riding a
shorthorn bull that has wings; white it is: and up they fly, the
bull pawing and snorting, all among the stars. Oh, and now the man
is falling!--my goodness--"

She stood still, gazing at that thing in heaven.

"Well, what has become of the man, dear?" asked Rebekah.

"I can't make out....But I should like to marry that man".

"Ah, if wishes were fathers, we should all have babies, Ruth, to say
our _kaddish_".

"Oh, look--!" cried Margaret.

A rabbit had rushed across a path ahead, and she ran that way beyond
a bend....When Rebekah followed she had disappeared.

On Rebekah's outcry all set to search wood, path, river--she was
gone; but after five minutes a voice a long way off in the wood,
singing:

  "O what a pretty place,
  And what a graceful city...."

on which the two youths flew toward the sound, and presently the
rest, following, heard a shout, a cry, then silence, till one of the
young men came running back, his face washed in blood: he had seen
some forms, and, as he had approached, been struck on the brow, his
brother felled. When all came to where the brother lay insensible,
no sign of Margaret; nor could villagers and police, searching
through the night, find her.

She had gone without surprise with her four captors, who had carried
her to a cottage of boarded-up windows: and the same hour Hogarth
had the news.

The next morning the four received detailed instructions at the
village _poste restante_: the lady-attendant at the cottage was to
ask the prisoner if she would go to London, try to persuade her,
and, if she consented, make her sign pledge of honour (enclosed) to
go without any attempt at escape during three days.

The men were surprised: for that Margaret was deranged they had seen
at once, and supposed that the Regent must know it: what, then,
could her pledge do? Their business, however, was to obey: and when
Margaret was asked: "Will you go quietly to the Palace in London
with us?" she answered: "Yes!" and sang:

  "Here we go to London-town:
  Tri-de-laddie! Tri-de-laddie!
  See the King with his golden crown,
   Tri-de-laddie, O!"

By noon the Abrahams and Rebekah were being tugged out of harbour,
to the hand-wavings and god-speeds of seven emigrant-boats by the
quay; but it was not till five that the Regent's emissaries could
obtain a special train on the thronged lines; and not till after
seven did they arrive with Margaret at the Palace-gates.

Now, that night the Lord Regent and the Prince of Wales were
attending a banquet at the Guildhall, given in honour of sea-rent
reduction on British ships, and at the moment when Margaret arrived
Hogarth, already _en route_, thinking of Rebekah, muttered: "By now
she is here!"

But since Frankl, on getting news of the disappearance of Margaret,
had at once conjectured the hand of Hogarth, as Margaret was being
handed from the cab at the Palace-gates, she saw two terrible eyes,
and, snatching her hand free, flew screaming down the street--eyes
of Frankl, who, conjecturing that hither she would be brought, had
taken stand there half the afternoon, knowing precisely the effect
upon her of the sight of his face; and said he: "You see, you
haven't got her yet--though you _shall_ have her to your heart's
content...."

As she could only run southward or northward, he had posted two
motor-cars, one containing a clerk to south, the other Harris, to
north, so that, as she ran, one or other should catch her, hustle
her in, and dash away.

In fact, she ran north, right into the arms of Harris, her surprised
guardians still ten yards behind; and "Quick!" hissed Harris, "come
with me, or 'e'll 'ave you!" and was off with her.

Upon which Frankl drove to the Market Street house, where he found
Harris and Margaret; and again, with screams, she sought to fly,
though her first terrors gave place to a quiet subservience after
some minutes of his presence.

"Oh Lawd!" said Harris, "she started singing in the car, you know.
Sing me songs of Araby, it _is_. Enough to give anybody the sicks".

"You see this gentleman here?" said Frankl to Margaret.

"Yes", she whispered: "oh my!"

"Well, it so happens that very likely you are going to live in the
same house as him--a big Palace with all gold and silver, where the
King with his crown lives, and all. So while you are there, I want
you to be his friend as if it was myself, and do everything he tells
you, same as myself, in fact. Do you see?"

"Yes", she whispered, her large form towering above Frankl's, yet
awe of him widening her eyes.

"What's your name?" said he.

"My name is Rachel Oppenheimer", said she.

"All right: come up and dress".

She followed him up to a back room, where was a lamp, a glass, etc.,
and on an old settee evening-dress complete, shoes, roses, head-
wrap.

"Now", said Frankl, leaving her, he, too, in evening-dress, "I give
you ten minutes to rig yourself out in that lot: a second more, and
you catch it".

And in fifteen minutes they two were in a cab, _en route_ for the
Guildhall, Frankl, who had invitations for himself and daughter,
saying: "You understand? you keep your eye fixed upon me the whole
time--never mind about eating--and when I hold up my finger _so_,
you rise and give them a little song...."

It was a function intended to be memorable, the Lord Regent going in
state, attended by 150 Yeomen, King-at-Arms, six heralds and all
Heralds' College, to be met at Temple Bar by my Lord Mayor, that day
made a baronet, with his Sheriffs and Aldermen on horseback; the
Guildhall in blue velvet, the platform at the east end bearing rows
of squat gold chairs, while a canopy of deep-blue velvet, lined with
light-blue sarcenet, dropped ponderous draperies, tied back with
gold ropes, over the floor; on the canopy-front being Sword and
Sceptre, the Royal Crown of Britain, and the Diadem of the Sea; the
canopy table and the other looking like a short and a long wine-
banquet of the Magi in Ophir: present being members of the British
Royal House, Ambassadors to Britain and the Sea, the two
Archbishops, Ministers, the Speaker, Officers, Fort-Admirals, the
Regent's Household, the chief Nobility, the City personages.

Farthest from the short royal table, near the foot of the long,
where the dishes were _kosher_ for a Jewish colony, sat Frankl, and
opposite him Margaret; and that face of Frankl was pinched and worn.

He prayed continually: "May God be my Rock and my High Tower; may
the Almighty be my Shield this night...." while in two minutes
Margaret had begun to be a wonder to her neighbours--heaved sighs,
threw herself, beat plate with knife, hummed a little, yet conscious
of wrong-doing, her eyes fixed upon Frankl.

"Oh, my!" her sigh heaved mortally, head tumbling dead on shoulder.

"Are you--unwell?" asked a startled neighbour, all shirt-front, eye-
glass and delicacy.

"I see a long table with gold plates", she whined pitifully, "on
every plate an eyeball dying...."

Frankl controlled her with a glance of anger.

And in the second course after turtle, with a fainting prayer to
Jehovah, the Jew clandestinely held up a forefinger; upon which she,
after some hesitation, remembered the signal, and like a dart shot
to her feet.

Now every eye fastened upon her, from Regent's and Prince's to the
bottom, those near her, who knew her now, feeling a miserable heart-
shrinking of shame.

With sideward head she stood some seconds, smiling; and she sighed:
"My name is Rachel--"

But soon, her mood now rushing into sprightliness, she stamped, and
with an active alacrity of eye, sang:

  "Will you come to the wedding?
  Will you come?
  Bring your own bread-and-butter,
  And your own tea-and-sugar,
  And we'll all pay a penny for the Rum,
  Rum, Rum,
  We'll all pay a penny for the Rum".

The Regent had risen, while Frankl, calm now in reaction, gazed
sweetly upon his face: the vengeance of a Jew--nor was he half done
with vengeance. Certainly, Hogarth was pale: he had sought her long,
and found her _so_. "Why it is my own heart", he thought, "and they
have made her mad".

One moment a stab of shame pierced him at the reflection: "_Here!_"
but in the next his heart yearned upon her, and he rose nimbly and
naturally far beyond Lord Mayor and Prince, and the rut of the
world. After a perfectly deliberate bow, he left his place, and
walked down the length of the hall to her, amid the gaping gods,
Loveday, too, and three others, when he was half-way, following.

He had her hand, touched her temple lightly, yet compellingly,
healingly....

"Dear, don't you know me?--Richard?--_Dick?_"

No, but at sight of Loveday some kind of recognition seemed to
light, and die, in her eyes.

"Will you come, dear, and sit up yonder with me?" Hogarth asked, his
face a mask of emotion.

Wearily she shook her head; and "John", said Hogarth, "take her
home"; whereupon Loveday led her out, the Regent returning to the
canopy.

Half an hour later he found it _a propos_ of something to say to the
Prince: "That lady who sang is my sister, Your Royal Highness--seems
to have been subjected to gross cruelties, and has gone crazy".

The next morning everyone knew that she was the Regent's sister; and
a man said to a man: "There is madness in the family, then...."




XLVIII

THE SEA-FORTS


The second-reading of the Land Bill had passed by a 59 majority: and
it would now have been easy work to hurry through its remaining
stages in a couple of weeks; but the Regent had awaited the nation's
verdict in the return of the 120 to fill the Jewish seats, sure of
the result.

So the 23rd was a great night--the third-reading--the majority 115
at 8 P.M.; and the next day, which was marked by a very brilliant
levee, the Bill was before the Lords.

This stage it might easily have reached four weeks before, but had
been shelved for the election of the 120: and in those weeks the
four copies of the _Mahomet II_. had been launched.

And suddenly--bad news from Palestine: news that there, too, after
all the safeguards, the greed of a few was working to plant the old
European wrong: for, the Sanhedrim being short of funds for a
railway, a syndicate of five merchant-princes had offered to buy
from it an estate between Jerusalem and the Jordan, and when the
Chief Rabbi had pointed out that the offer was monstrous, in view of
the terms of the Sea's Deed of Gift, a fierce discussion had ensued,
a schism; and although the syndicate's offer had been rejected by
27, at the next session the defeated leader, like some warlike
Maccabaeus, had surged with his faction and a hundred Arabs into the
Mosque of Omar where the Sanhedrim met, to cast those who did not
escape by flight into prison in the Pasha's Palace. In the hands of
his clique the Government remained.

Such was the news....

It was followed in three days by a Representation to the Regent,
signed by 90,000 Jews in Palestine, the fourth name being Rebekah
Frankl's, they imploring him for their sinking ship just launched,
calling him "Father".

For though the Jews had been content to see that Europe which they
contemned parcelled out among a few, while the mass of men hovered
countryless--from this had arisen their lucre--their mental quality
was too rich in business shrewdness to tolerate in their own case
any such Bedlam: yet they stood helpless before the disaster, and
only in the Regent was hope.

On that night of the arrival of their Petition, the Prime Minister
and the Commander-in-Chief dined in the Palace, placid men at the
moment when soup began, the Regent's sky quite clear, for, though a
rumour whispered that the Lords were designedly lengthening
discussion of the Bill, this gave no one any concern.

During entremets, however, a scribbled card was passed into the hand
of the Commander-in-Chief, and, as he read, his eyebrows lifted.
Craving permission, he hurried out, had some talk with his Director
of Military Intelligence, and returned pale.

Afterwards, as they three sat on a balcony overlooking the lake,
with cigars, the Regent said: "I have thought, Sir Robert Wortley,
of sending out at once two thousand Tommies under, say, General Sir
John Clough, to the help of those poor Jews...."

Here the Commander-in-Chief cleared his throat, and in a strained
voice interfered: "That is, my Lord King, if we ourselves have not
need of every soldier of the line within the next week".

The Regent deposited his ash with peering eyes, puzzled.

"What does your Lordship mean?"

"Your Lordship's Majesty, I was summoned from dinner just now to
talk with Major-General Sir Maurice Coppleston, who reports
movements of armed men, just come to his knowledge, and now going
forward on a considerable scale, all northward. He gathers that
these can only consist of Territorials and Yeomanry Cavalry, of whom
not less than twelve battalions of rifles and three batteries of
artillery, officers and men, are now on the way to, or massed upon,
York. How widely the movement may actually extend--God knows".

Silence now: Sir Robert Wortley suddenly whitening to the lips. Then
Hogarth, in a very low voice, said: "They do not know me".

"If I may crave leave to retire at once--" from the Commander-in-
Chief; and Hogarth gave consent.

Queer things, omens, doubtings, weird clouds, gathered about Hogarth
that night. When at eleven he gave audience to Admiral Quilter-
Beckett, arrived from the _Boodah_ Quilter-Beckett said: "Strange
the fine weather here: at sea it is quite rough, the _Boodah_ well
under foam, and that old _Campania_ pitches so--"

"You have come, then, in the _Campania_?"--from Hogarth.

"Yes, my Lord King".

"And what about the yacht?"

"Oh, the yacht: in her I have sent the two hundred men to the
_Mahomet_".

"_Which_ two hundred men, Admiral?"

Quilter-Beckett stared.

"Your Lordship's Majesty has forgotten: I had instructions that you
desired some interchanges among the garrisons, and had ordered the
sending of two hundred of my men to the _Mahomet_, I to receive in
return two hundred from her".

"And you have sent your two hundred?" "Yes, my Lord King".

"Have you received the two hundred from the _Mahomet?_"

"They had not arrived when I left the _Boodah_".

"So that you left only one hundred men in the _Boodah_, with
instructions to receive two hundred others?"

"That is so, my Lord King".

There was silence.

"But suppose I tell you that I have given no such instructions: will
your heart--_leap?_"

Hogarth clapped a sudden hand of horror upon Quilter-Beckett's
shoulder.

"My God--!" Quilter-Beckett started like a gun's recoil.

"Be calm, Admiral: it may be only some mistake....From whence had
you this order?"

"From--from the _Mahomet_, in the usual course--"

"Good night, Admiral; I would be alone".

At that very hour a world-tragedy was being enacted over the dark
and turbulent ocean, and the immensest of Empires was sinking into
the sea.

Darkly, quietly, with no mighty and multitudinous tumult of man.

That midnight the night-glass of many a mystified merchantman
searched the murk for those coruscations with which the crescent of
forts had constellated the Atlantic, the mariner's sea-rent waiting
ready, with his ship's-papers, in his cash box: but no galaxy of
lights glanced that night.

To some, before this, they had appeared, but, as the ship
approached, had vanished, and it was as though the swarm of the
Pleiades had been caught from the skies before their eyes. Long
before dawn ships separated by three thousand miles had gained the
assurance that this or that sea-fort no longer rode the familiar
spot-had been rapt to the stars, had sunk, had somehow passed from
being. Before this monstrous marvel the mariner stood dumb, and it
was afterwards said that that wild night the terminals of heaven and
earth were lost, that the storm-winds were haunted, in all the air
lamentation, sobbings as for swallowed orbs, and the whisper: "It is
finished".

Two days previously a telegram from Admiral O'Hara had gone to all
the forts in European waters, commanding an interchange of 200 of
their men with men of his own fort; and each officer in command,
ignorant that the same instructions had gone to others, had
complied: so that by the next morning, the 29th April, 1600 men from
eight forts were converging in yachts upon the _Mahomet_. As the
fort garrisons, originally numbering 500, had recently been reduced
to 300, the others having been mostly drafted into the 2nd Division
of the British Royal Marines, compliance with Admiral O'Hara's order
left a garrison of 100 only at each of eight forts.

Toward five in the afternoon of that day, the 29th, 700 men, to the
bewilderment of her officers, were in the _Mahomet_ two of the
fort-yachts having arrived upon a troubled First Lieutenant who was
in command, all attempts to see the Admiral since the morning having
failed.

But near seven the Admiral summoned the Treasurer to his _bureau_
near the bottom, he being in dressing-gown and slippers, very
slovenly, seeming either drunk or sick, his mouth gaping to his
pantings, and anon his languishing eye shot dyingly to heaven.

"Well, you see how I am, Mr. Treasurer", he went, "seedy. Pain in
this temple, trouble with the respiration, and a foul breath. Poor
Admiral Donald, Mr. Treasurer, poor Admiral Donald. The fashion of
this world passeth away, sir, and the Will of God be done!
Sometimes, I pledge you my word, I almost wish that I was dead.
There are things, sir, in this world--Ah, well, God help me; I feel
very chippy. I wanted to ask you, sir, to let me see the books, and
hand me over at once all unaudited and unsettled funds in your
counting-house, though I'm not fit for affairs to-day, sir, God
knows--"

"Sir!" cried the Treasurer, a hard-browed, bald-headed man with a
fan-beard, savouring of banks and ledgers.

"Just pass them over, sir".

"Well, this is the most singular order I ever heard of!"

"Obey me promptly, sir, or, by God, I cashier you!" roared O'Hara,
his raised lids laying nude the debauchery of those jaundiced juicy
balls.

"Be it so, Admiral Donald"--the Treasurer bowed: "but on the
understanding that I formally protest against the irregularity, and
report it to the High Chancellor".

He retired, and in half an hour returned with two clerks who bore
books, himself a carpet-bag containing in cash-boxes L 850,000, paper
and gold, which he deposited on the Admiral's _bureau_, and, after
again protesting before the clerks, went away.

Not far off by now were some of the other six fort-yachts,
converging with their 200 upon the _Mahomet_, and as the Admiral had
no intention of being put into irons as a lunatic in his own fort,
at eight o'clock he stole from his apartments, dressed now, not in
uniform, but in priest's robes and a voluminous cloak, bearing in
one hand the bag, in the other a key.

Those lower depths of the _Mahomet_ were an utter solitude, lit with
rare rays; yet the Admiral journeyed through and up peering,
skulking, pausing, hurrying, and, if by chance a light caught his
face, it showed a horror of convulsive flesh, his body a mass of
trembling, like jelly.

Now, the forts had been built to fight; and (since nothing is
impossible), if they fought, they might fall into an enemy's hand:
to obviate which, there was in a little room on the third floor a
handle which opened by hydraulics a door in the fort's side on the
fifth floor below, the existence of this room being unknown save to
each Admiral and to four of his lieutenants, and its key kept in a
spot known to these. This key O'Hara now had in hand; and as he
pushed it into the lock, his jaw jabbered like a baboon's.

Night was now come; the sea rough; Spain lost to sight; the two
emptied yachts on the way back to their forts; yonder the lights of
the _Mahomet II_. lying-to; two officers in oilskins walking arm in
arm, to and fro, on the roof; and said one: "Look at those waves
there all of a sudden: they rather seem to be breaking on the wrong
side of us".

Then they resumed their talk; and to and fro they walked, arm in
arm.

Till now one with sudden hiss: "But-good Christ-just look-why, the
roof's _leaning_--!"

At that moment an outcry and runners from below, shouts, a trumpet-
call, were borne on the winds to them: for the Admiral had rushed up
to the manned parts of the fort, all hell alight in his eyeballs,
bawling out, "The boats! The _Mahomet_ is sinking!"

In spite of which many perished, the survivors afterwards declaring
that the tragedy mesmerized their nerves with a certain awe not to
be compared with the terrors felt on sinking ships, the _Mahomet_
affecting them like a being of life, like behemoth slowly dying, or
some doomed moon. She gave them, indeed, plenty of time, though when
the steel portals on two of her sides were opened, the sea washed up
the steps, making the launching very delicate feats, and near the
last the leaning was so marked, that there was difficulty in
standing; and still in patient distress she waited while the waves
like multitudinous wolves, trooped to prey upon her.

As the Admiral ran to the outer Collector's Office to embark, he was
faced by the Treasurer, revolver in hand, and "Hand me over that
bag, Admiral", he said pretty coolly, "or I blow out your brains".

O'Hara's mouth worked: he could not speak.

"Will you?" said the Treasurer: "no doubt you mean to hand it over
to the proper authorities, but I prefer to do that myself. Be quick,
you old dog!"

Whereat O'Hara, having no weapon, dropped the bag, and trotted wide-
eyed forward to the thronged scene of the launchings.

There were more than enough boats, and though on the lowest side of
the fort nothing could long be done, all had gone off, when the
fort, having settled very low, looking for some time like a brawling
cauldron and area of breaking waves coloured by her hundred lights,
went down, and was not.

Whereupon the yacht, over a hundred yards away, was caught in the
traction of her strong enthralment, and, like a planet, started into
running round a region of sea which wheeled; while seven of the
boats, rowing for life, were grasped, and dragged back, with a
hundred and nine, into the deep.

"Toll for the brave...."

As to the other boats, they arrived at Tarifa the following evening,
with 583; but the Admiral ordered the _Mahomet II_. to Cadiz, where
soon after midnight he landed, and, by negotiation with a "_Jefe_",
in an hour had a train for Madrid. As he was about to step in, the
Treasurer touched his shoulder.

"What, Admiral, off by land?"

"Yes, sir, as you know", said O'Hara, "for you have been spying my
movements for the last hour. How childish to imagine that I have
anything to fear, or want to escape! Why, I am bound for England--my
only object in the land journey being quickness. I even invite you
to come with me"

"All right, Admiral, I will....If you be tempted to murder me _en
route_, remember these"--a pair of pistols; and they set out at
about the hour when the whole crescent of tragedies was over.

At six that evening a yacht, a copy of the _Mahomet II_., had come
to the Cattegat sea-fort to land 200 men who wore the Empire's blue-
jacket, the name "Mahomet" on their caps--nothing to show that they
were not genuine Mahomet men, though some looked rather sea-sick;
but in reality they were young lords, stock-brokers, Territorial
Officers, men-about-town, park-keepers, undergraduates, secretly
armed with knife and revolver, and knowing, too, where the armoury
of the sea-fort lay.

Meantime, three other yachts, all named _Mahomet II_., were a-ply in
the Atlantic, two containing 400 men each, one 600, each of the
first two to land 200 at a fort at six, and her remaining 200 at the
next fort by eight-thirty, serving four forts, the last to land 200
at each of three forts: so that by 10.30 P.M. each of eight forts,
including the Cattegat, contained 200 enemies disguised as fort-men.

And punctually at eleven, in each, began perhaps the darkest
massacre of history--no quarter given--and when the alarm went
forth, whichever of the unarmed fort-men rushed to the dark armoury
found the door fastened against him. Of two men in bed, talking
together through an open door, one arose at the stroke of a clock
and killed the other; some perished in sleep--all very quietly
accomplished: a few shots, a few lost echoes in the vast castles, a
few daubs of blood. And in no case did a single one, either
massacred or assassin, escape alive: for, in every case, some one or
other of the fort-officers--Admiral, Lieutenant, Commander--to
prevent capture, opened the inlet to the flood in the very thick of
the doom, went down with his muteness and his bubbling, and the sea,
a secret in its bosom, rolled over the Sea.




XLIX

THE DEBACLE


All the next day, till near 9 P.M., not one syllable was definitely
known of this tremendous fact by anyone in Britain: for though,
early astir, the Regent telegraphed the _Mahomet_, all day he waited
without reply.

At eleven the Prime Minister said to him: "Things, my Lord King,
wear at this moment an aspect so threatening, that I see no escape
from civil war, even if it be brief, except by the immediate forcing
through of the Bill, and I stand ready--now--to propose you as new
peers--"

"Wait", answered the Regent: "pass to-night the Bill should, but I
think I shall effect that by myself going to the Lords, and
listening a little to the talk".

A dark day, with an under-thought always, whatever the business, of
one thing--the Sea....

About 5.30, as was his custom, he went up a stair to pass along two
corridors to the little cream suite in which lived Margaret, for
whom the doctors now promised sanity, her forehead daily seeming to
drink-in peace from the contact of his palm, after which she would
comb his hair, he lying on a sofa, or taking tea; and, "Well, dear",
he said, this last day of all, as her ladies retired to an inner
salon, "how is the head?"

"I have seen you before", she replied: "what is your name?"

"Dick Hogarth. Come to me, and let me lay my heavy head on you. The
heart of your friend bodes to-day, bodes, bodes; but is not afraid:
a tough heart, Madge. Do you like me to press my hand upon your head
like that?"

Then, weary of his moaning heart that moaned that day like choruses
of haunted winds through desolate halls, he fell to sleep even as he
mumbled to her, she, seated near his sofa, playing with his hair,
his arm around her, faint zephyrs from the window fanning his head,
waving down the valenciennes.

But now she tossed the comb away, hummed, became restless,
disengaged her shoulders, rose, strayed listlessly, with sighs, and
on finding herself in the ante-chamber, opened the door, went out
into a corridor, leant her back, eyeing the floor; and next with a
great sigh set to gazing upward, droning two notes, one _doh_, one
_soh_. All was silent. But now a sound of voices that drew her, she
moving into another longer corridor, with balusters which overlooked
a hall below, and yonder at the stair-foot were two men in
altercation, one a guard, to whom the other was saying "But I tell
you the lydy herself arst me to go to her; it's an appointment, just
like any other appointment. Do let a fellow pass!" and with mouth at
ear he added: "_It's an affair of the 'eart! 'Ere's a sov--_"

"Couldn't, my friend, couldn't", the guardsman said.

But now Harris: "Why, there she is 'erself, so 'elp-! come out to
meet me, as the Lord liveth!"--ran then toward where she looked over
to send up the hoarse whisper: "I sye--didn't you tell me yourself
to come--?"

On which she nodded amiably, smiling, touching a rose in her bosom.

"There you are! What more do you want?" he said to the guard, who
now gave him passage: and like a dart he darted, like a freed lark,
or unleashed hound, fleet on the feet, with lifted brow.

"I sye!" he whispered her, all active, brisk as a cat, ecstatic--
"where's 'e?"

"Who?"--she still at her rose, a memory straying in her that here
was a friend, whom the Terrible One had bid her obey.

"Mr.--the Regent", he whispered.

"I don't know him. What is your name? _My_ name is--"

"Oh, you muddle-headed cat! Don't you know the dark man with the
black moles--quick!"

"_Sh-h-h_--he is sleeping".

"Gawd! is he though? Come, show me! I've got a old appointment--"

She led the way: the two corridors--the door--the room, he treading
on air, brow up, eyes on fire, knife bright and ready; and eight
feet from the couch she put out her forefinger, pointing, smiling,
Hogarth's face toward them, his mouth pouting in sleep, bosom
breathing, a breeze in his hair.

From the lips of Harris, in the faintest snake-hiss, proceeded,
"Sleep, my little one-sleep, my pretty one--_sleep_--" and with a
wrist as graceful as the spring of a tigress he had the knife buried
in Hogarth's left breast.

Some instinct must have pierced Hogarth's sleep an instant before
the actual blow, for while the knife was yet in him he had Harris's
wrist; and the assassin fled writhing, so brisk a trick had cracked
his elbow.

And blanched and short-breathed sprang Hogarth, but at once
tottered, Margaret, open-mouthed, regarding him, till he suddenly
cried out "Ladies!", and before they came had hurried out, drawing
his coat over the place of blood.

In the second corridor he had to stop and lean, but then descended,
striking all whom he passed with awe at his face, till he stumbled
into his own drawing-room, and, as he fell, was caught by Sir
Francis Yeames, the Private Secretary.

The wound had passed along the outer front surface of the second rib
toward the scapula, injuring two of the branches of the axillary
artery: so whispered the Resident Medical Attendant, while the
council of doctors pronounced the condition "very grave", but not
"dangerous"--a case for "judicious pressure"; and after a long swoon
he opened his eyes; in the deeply-recessed series of windows, narrow
and round-topped, now dying the twilight; the insignificant bed lost
in a chamber of frescoes and vast darksome oils of battles and
loves. And, suddenly starting, he asked: "What's the time?"

"Seven-thirty, my Lord King", answered Sir Martin Phipps.

"Ah, I remember: I was stabbed. Who did it?"

"It can only be assumed from the evidence of a guardsman that it was
a servant in the Palace, called Harris".

"Aye, I think I saw his face. Does anyone know of the matter?"

"Very few persons so far....The police are after Harris".

Now the Regent started, understanding that the condemnation of
Harris would mean a revelation of the Colmoor-horror secret; and he
said after a minute, "John, is that you? Will you go and have the
whole thing quashed?....And now, doctor, the wound".

"The wound is not what we call 'dangerous', my Lord King: ah, but
believe me, it was a narrow shave".

"I dare say, Sir Martin: the outcomes of this particular world do
arrive by narrow shaves; but they arrive, and life is an escape. At
any rate, doctor, I shall be able to go, as arranged, to the Lords--"

The doctor smiled. "No, never that".

"I shall go".

And at once he leapt from bed, staggering headlong in the effort, to
strike his head against a window corner, while all ran, crying out,
to catch him, the doctor thinking: "Those whom the gods destroy they
first drive mad".

So far not a whisper of the stab had reached even the Prime Minister
or the Prince; but since the news of moving troops, and the
reluctance of the Lords to pass the Bill, agitated all, London came
out to watch his descent upon the Lords.

He went in precisely the spirit of a professor who steps to the
chair, smiles, and takes the class; but as he drove down Whitehall,
this thought pierced him with a keener point than the steel of
Harris: "_The Sea...!_"

He did not know that at last a thousand transmitters, from Tarifa,
from Frederikshavn, from many a ship, were thrilling the ether with
messages as to the Sea.

Nor did he know that that day Frankl had whispered to some dozen
people, with proofs and old newspapers, that convict past of the
Regent.

And from his very first entering, when the Lord Chancellor rose, and
the Regent made the bow, he was shocked by the scene of open
insolence spread before him.

Everywhere the boldest eyes regarded him; he saw smiles of scorn,
snarling visages, as, with reclining head and lowered lids, his eyes
rested on the House: a hard gaze. Unfortunately, his pallor was
perfectly obvious, and its significance, the stab being unknown, was
misunderstood.

And up rose a young lord, who stammered unprofundities just below
the region of lawn-sleeves to the right; and another with slow step,
as if to music, came up the gangway, and spoke at the table; and
another after him: and it needed sustained effort to understand what
they said; the brain, as it were, would not close upon statement
after statement so insignificant. But Hogarth would have endured
till midnight, or longer, but for a growing doubt within him: "Am I
bleeding? Shall I not certainly faint?"

And there was this other question: "To what greater daring of
insolence will these impossible speeches rise?"

Suddenly, at five minutes to ten, in the very midst of a duke's
speech, the Regent, with dizzy brain, was on his feet: there was a
few moments' gasp and breathlessness; and then--all at once--it was
as though a wind from hell swept through that House, whirling in its
vehemence Regent, lords, Gallery, Black Rod, Clerk, Usher, and all;
and every face was marble, and every eye a blaze.

The Regent cried: "Your lordships' eloquence--"

And as he said "eloquence", a voice that was a scream, a forward-
straining form, a pointing finger: "Why, my lords, that man is only
a common convict!--reprieved for murder--escaped from Colmoor. And
all his forts are sunk!"

It happened that in the midst of this outcry, the Regent fell back
afaint, the moles black, the face white.

Now, here seemed simple panic: and like a pack of dogs which rush to
mangle a mongrel, they were at him pell-mell.

See now a shocking scrimmage, a rush and crush for precedence, surge
upon surge of men jostling each other in a struggle to get near him,
sticks reaching awkwardly over heads to inflict far forceless blows,
and on his face the fists; a hundred roaring "Order!", fighting
against the tide; three hundred shrieking, "Kill him!" "Have him
done with!" "Dash out his brains!", and pressing to that job.
Sergeant-at-Arms, meanwhile, Clerk-attending-the-Table, and the
physician, had run to give the alarm; but it was by one of those
miracles of wild minutes, when turbulent sprites appear to mix
themselves in the business of men, worse--embroiling the embroiled,
that through the throng in the street rushed the word that the
Regent was being killed: and quick, before any fatal blow had been
struck, the rabble were there in that chamber, having brushed away
every barrier.

They imagined themselves come to save: in reality they came to kill--were,
in fact, too many for the area of the room, so that men succumbed fast
as by plague-stroke under trampling feet, and even after twenty minutes
when sixty-seven lay mangled the scene of horror could not be said to
be ended.

Early upon the irruption the physician, three policemen, a Reading
Clerk, and the Bishop of Durham, had managed to extricate and drag
the Regent out; and through the shouting of the outside crowd he was
driven home unconscious.




L

THE DECISION


Somewhat before this hour Admiral O'Hara had arrived at Croydon, a
lust, a morbid curiosity, now working in this man--having committed
the ineffable sin, to enjoy its fruit by hearing what Richard
Hogarth now said, in what precise way he groaned, or raved, smiled,
or wept, or stormed; for he was cruelly in love with Hogarth.

All the way had come with him the _Mahomet's_ treasurer, with his
bag of wealth--and two pistols.

So at Dieppe O'Harra had wired to Harris:

"Meet me at Croydon to-night, the 9.45 from Newhaven, as you love
life. Most important. Shall expect wire from you at the London and
Paris Hotel, Newhaven, not later than six, saying yes".

But at Newhaven he had found no answer--Harris, in fact, not having
received the telegram, having already inflicted his stab, and fled
the Palace.

Whereupon O'Hara, in an agony of doubt, had telegraphed Frankl from
Newhaven:

"For God's sake find Harris. Make him meet me at Croydon to-night in
the 9.45 from Newhaven. Do not fail".

Now, Frankl knew exactly where Harris was--hiding in the Market
Street house. And he said to himself: "All right: it's got something
to do with money, and a lot of it, too, with all this 'God's sake'.
Suppose we _both_ go to Croydon?"

Hence Frankl missed the joy of seeing the Regent mobbed: for at 9.30
he was waiting with Harris on the Croydon up-platform.

And as the train stopped, they two hurried into the compartment
where O'Hara sat alone.

"You, my friend?" said O'Hara to Frankl.

"Large as life", replied Frankl: "I and the boy have already made it
up between us for a third each: you a third, I a third, Alfie a
third: that's fair; I keep the police off the backs of the pair of
you, and you pay me a third. What's the figure?"

In one moment of silence O'Hara plotted; then his tongue yielded to
the temptation of the great words: "Eight-hundred-and-fifty
thousand, sir".

So after three minutes' talk Harris got out, and, as the train
started, sprang into a first-class compartment in which was one
other occupant.

Now, it was natural that the treasurer, carrying such a sum, should
scrutinize any stranger, but Harris disarmed suspicion: his right
arm, twisted by Hogarth, was in a sling, and he threw himself aside,
and seemed to sleep, between the peak of his cap and his muffler
hardly an inch of interval: so the treasurer, too, worn with travel,
settled into a half-drowse.

Harris, however, like many of his type, was perfectly ambidextrous,
often using the left hand by preference; and as the train passed
Bromley, he darted, plunged his knife, streaked with the Regent's
blood, into the treasurer's heart, and huddled the body under the
seat.

No stoppage till London Bridge, where, with the bag, Harris left the
train, Frankl and O'Hara trotting after his burdened haste; and,
after two changes of cabs, the three arrived at the Market Street
house.

There Harris laid the bag on the floor of an empty back room, where
through a broken window came a little light, and the three stood
looking down upon the bag, solemnly as upon a body.

Then suddenly Harris: "Come, gentlemen of the jury, let's have my
share of the dead meat: and 'ere's off out of it for this child--
only this blooming arm of mine! it's going to get me nabbed as sure
as sticks. Never mind--trot it out, Captain! and don't cheat an
innocent orphan, lest the ravens of the valley pick out the yellow
galls of some o' you".

Neither of the other two, however, seemed anxious for the division;
and after a minute's silence Frankl said: "The third of 850, I
_believe_, is 2, 8, 3; how are we going to carry away 283 thousand
without something to put it in? I vote, Pat, that we leave the bag
here, and come and divide at midnight sharp. How would that do?"

"Yes", said Harris, "I think I see old Pat leaving the lot with me--
what O! You know 'ow I'd fondle it for you, and keep it out of the
cold, cold world, till you came back, don't you, you bald-headed
priest?"

"Shut your mouth, boy. We can't take it away without something, as
Mr. Frankl very justly observes. Aren't there some safes, Frankl, in
Adair Street?"

"Right you are: and one, as I happen to know, empty. Who'll keep the
key?"

"You, if you like, my friend. I'll keep the keys of the room-doors.
And Harris will stand guard".

"The very thing", remarked Frankl.

So it was agreed. Harris took the bag; they descended to the cellar;
then, striking matches, down three marl steps to the subterranean
way made for Hogarth; and along it, forty feet, they stumbled bent,
Harris gripped by each sleeve.

Then in the Adair Street Board Room they lit a candle, and in the
room next it found the safes, the largest of which admitting the
bag, Frankl locked its door, took the key; O'Hara then locked the
room door, took the key; and at the stair-bottom locked another
door, took the key; so that Frankl could not now get at the bag
without him, nor he without Frankl, nor Harris without both.

Two then went away, while Harris, sprawling cynically on a solitary
chair down in the parlour with straight open legs, awaited the
_rendezvous_ at twelve.

He had not, however, sat very long, when the taper at his feet
glared on a face of terror at a sound of ghosts in the tomb that the
house was, and he started to his feet, prone, snatching his knife--
thinking, as always, of the Only Reality, the police. But he had not
prowled three ecstatic steps when O'Hara stood before him.

"Oh, damned fool!" he went with infinite contempt and reproach, "to
frighten anybody like that! What's it you are after now? Frighten
anybody like that...."

"_Alfie_!"--O'Hara whispered it breathfully as the hoarse sirocco,
stepping daintily like the peacock. Tell it not in Gath! If Alfie
rammed the knife into the marrow of Frankl's back at the moment when
the safe was opened, then Alfie would have, not a third, but a half;
and the thing was desirable for this reason: that a half is greater
than a third...

Harris saw that: but he seemed reluctant, meditating upon the
ground; then walking, hands in pockets.

"Why, boy, he is only an interloper", said O'Hara: "I meant the
money to be divided fairly between you and me. Why should this Jew
come in?"

"All right", said Harris: "I don't mind".

"And I know a little castle in Granada, Alfie, which we'll buy--"

"All right: you go away. It's agreed".

And O'Hara hurried away, took a cab, drove for the Palace; while
Harris, left alone, sat serious, with sprawling straight legs, and
presently muttered: "Blind me, I must be going dotty or something!
p'raps it's this arm...."

He had not thought of killing Frankl, until it had been suggested!--
some class-habit, or instinct, of honour among thieves (which,
however, his reason despised)...But five minutes after O'Hara had
gone he started alert, staring, with tight fist, and, "All right,
you two", said he, "blood it is!"

He sat again: and again, after twenty minutes, the house gave a
sound--Frankl, who had let himself in by the front door, each member
possessing a key to that.

"Well, Alf", said he, "all alone? Then, we two can have a little
chat between us little two".

And he stood and talked, while Harris sprawled and listened,
Frankl's road to his end being more circuitous than O'Hara's, more
hedged, too, with reasons, scruples, sanctions: but he reached it,
pointing out that a half is greater than a third; also that O'Hara
would be a continual witness against Harris' past, whereas he,
Frankl, left England for Asia the next morning.

Alfie pretended aversion to bloodshed, but finally consented; upon
which Frankl went away, and took cab for Scotland Yard: his idea
being to have Harris arrested red-handed in the murder of O'Hara.

The streets through which he drove wore a singular aspect--of
commotion, hurry, unrest, two dragoon-orderlies galloping past him
at the Marble Arch, in Whitehall the tramp of some line-regiment
battalion, and he said to himself: "He is going to fight it out with
them, I suppose--Satan take the lot!"

At Scotland Yard he said to the Inspector in Charge, having given
his card, that if two officers were placed at his disposition, he
might be able to lead them to the arrest of a man long "wanted", who
now premeditated another murder.

Meantime, O'Hara was in conversation with Loveday in the Regent's
library, nearer the centre of which stood a group of four with their
heads together--Prime Minister, First Lord, War Office Secretary, a
Naval Lord; further still, a spurred General, cloaked over his out-
stuck sword, writing, with a wet white brow; and, "I suppose he will
want to see you", said Loveday, "if you have anything to say. But
the doctors have first to be reckoned with: I suppose you know that
he has been stabbed and beaten".

"Stabbed! by whom?"

"By Harris".

"No! When?"

"This afternoon".

"Ah! I did not know".

"It was by your recommendation, it appears, that Harris became
Captain Macnaghten's servant", said Loveday with his smile, looking
very gaunt and bent-down.

"Tut, sir!"--from O'Hara--"you are not my judge: I am here to see
the Lord of the Sea, my King".

"Ah!--you still give him the title".

And now O'Hara, drawing his chair nearer to ask: "_How did he take
it?_" stretching back the waiting mouth to hear that thing.

"The Lord Regent? Well, at eight-thirty he went to the House of
Lords, where they beat him nearly to death on the throne, the gentle
hearts, and the doctors forbade me to speak to him of the Sea; but
his eyes seemed to question me, so I leant over, and told him".

"Yes--and whatever did he say?"

He said: "'What, old Pat?'"

O'Hara rose to stand by a hearth, black-robed to the heels and
tonsured, and at the angle of his jaw some sinews ribbed and moved:
not a syllable now from him.

"I am going in now to him", said Loveday: "if you care to wait here,
I will see"--and passing through a palace pretty busy that night
with feet and a thousand working purposes, went to sit at the sick
bed, the doctors retiring.

"How is the pain?"

"The pain", said the Regent very weakly, "is nonsense: I am not
going to be bullied by doctors, but shall do exactly as I like".

"And what is that, Richard?"

"There is a Normandy village, John, called Valee-les-Noisettes--
white houses with an extraordinary sound of forest about, one of
Poussin's landscapes, with a smithy under a chestnut precisely as in
the poem; and the blacksmith is a charming man. I dare say someone
will find me money enough to purchase a share of his smithy: and
with him I shall work, starting for him before sunrise, with my
sister".

Loveday, wondering if he was delirious, said irrelevantly: "I have
to tell you that by five A.M. there will be 15,000 additional
infantry in London, with--"

"Ah, I wish they'd lend them me to send out to those poor Jews,
John. But, for myself--I was mad when I gave that order. It won't
do! the world is addicted to its orbit, and relapses. I don't say
that it will be always so, but it is now. As against the Empire of
the Sea arises--Pat O'Hara; as against the brushing aside of these
rebels arise--Germany, Russia, the hostile world. Consider the
rancour of the nations at Britain's late advantages in sea-rent, try
to conceive the scream of jubilation that rings to the sky to-night
against her, and against me. Do you think I could _now_ start a
civil war in England? for the satisfaction of my own pride? I call
God to witness that never for my own pride have I done aught, but
that the Kingdom of God might come. I know that bitter tears will
flow at the fall of the righteous man--many calling me 'traitor' for
abandoning those ready to die for me. Yet it shall be. I never
thought to fail, to fly, John Loveday, chased by such little
fellows: but God has done it. Well, then, the smithy. You and all,
therefore, will find enough to do to-night".

Loveday lifted a face streaming with tears to say: "The man, O'Hara,
waits to see you".

"Really? Well, come, we will see him...." and in some minutes O'Hara
was there by the bedside, the eyes of the two fixed together, over
Hogarth's face five oblongs of sticking-plaster, his head bandaged,
and at a corner of O'Hara's mouth a twitching.

"Pat, did you betray me?" asked Hogarth.

O'Hara nodded: "Yes".

"Well, you may sit and tell me, and ease your poor heart".

And a long time O'Hara sat, going into the mighty crime, torturing
details, revelling in the vastness of the horror, the sickness of
the self-inflicted filth, and pangs of the self-inflicted scalpel.

"And why did you do it, my friend?"

"Because I worship you...."

"Well, perhaps I understand you, crooked soul. But what will you do
now?"

"We shall see. What will you?"

"I am going to France to live as a private person".

"Tut, you remain as simple as a child: the earth's not large enough
to contain you, you couldn't now remain a private person for three
weeks. Come, I have discrowned you: I will give you another crown,
though I shall never see you wear it. Why not go to your own
people?"

"Which people?"

"The Jews".

"Don't talk that same madness".

"My time with you is short, Raphael Spinoza"--O'Hara glanced at his
watch--"in five minutes we part, never, I do assure you, to meet
again. Listen, then, to me: you are a Jew. I knew your mother--the
most intellectual woman, I suppose, who ever drew breath, the only
one whom I have loved; and I should have known you merely from your
resemblance to her at my first glance at you in Colmoor, though I
had more precise data: the three moles, the bloodshot eye, for
didn't I baptize you? haven't I rocked you in my arms? You know St.
Hilda on the hill over Westring, which you found me examining that
morning after our escape from the prison? I was priest there, three
years, and twice I have confessed her--ah! and remember it! for when
your foster-father wanted her to turn Methodist, she wouldn't stand
that, and since she must needs be a _meshumad_ (apostate), became a
Catholic. Well, now, I once saw at Thring, and once in the _Boodah_,
an old goat-hair trunk of yours: what is become of it?"

"I have it--" Hogarth was shivering, his eyes wide, and in his
memory a strange singsong crooning of _t'hillim_, heard ages before
in some other world over a cradle.

"Did you know that that trunk has a false bottom?" asked O'Hara.

"Yes".

"Oh, you knew...And have you never seen a bundle of papers under
it?"

"Yes--I assumed them to be old farm-accounts...."

"They are all the proofs you need concerning your birth; it is _my_
trunk by the way--Ah, I must go!"

At the door he fastened upon Hogarth a last reluctant gaze to say
good-bye, but Hogarth, staring wildly afar, did not turn his eyes,
and O'Hara, with a sigh, was gone.

He drove to Adair Street, and, as he passed by a mews, Frankl,
waiting there with two detectives, saw him by a street-light, but
made no remark.

When O'Hara entered the house, he looked about for Harris, but
Harris had gone to the lodging of a woman in James Street near, to
arrange a hiding-place for the bag, passing out through the Market
Street house; and O'Hara, opening the two locked doors, entered the
safe-room, where he stood waiting, his forehead low, resting on the
steel top; and now a sob throbbed through his frame, and his lips
let out "..._so lovely...so great_...."

Count a minute's stillness: and now the man's soul and being
foundered in a storm of sorrow, and half-words borne on shivering
puffs of breath, and choking groans, broke the stillness: "My Liege!
Richard! my King!"

This died to silence; and now he roamed the room with furious steps,
and lowering brow, and an out-pushed under-lip, until, deciding, he
drew from his pocket a penknife, opened it, leant now one elbow on
the safe-top, blade in hand, considered, considered, hesitating,
then with lifted chin and the thinnest whimpering like a puppy,
pretty pitiful, cut from under his left ear to the chin.

Certainly a hurt so shallow could never have killed, for the hand
had been cherishingly restrained, and the thing was no sooner done
than the priest, seeing that he did not die, ran horror-eyed,
streaming with blood, shouting a hoarse whisper: "Help! help! help!"

But at that cry he sighed, fell back, and effectually died, his
heart pierced by the knife of Harris.

And some moments later the face of Frankl, who bore a candle, looked
in at the door.

"Is that all right, Alfie?"--in the weakest whisper.

"Come on in, and don't ask any questions", said Harris.

Frankl entered, peered upon the dead visage of the priest; then, the
detectives being now behind the parlour-door below, with handcuffs,
rose to run to summon them: but, to his horror, Harris was now
before the door; he saw in the candlelight those eyes of Alfie fixed
upon him: and he knew: before the least threat or movement by
Harris, the Jew sent to Heaven a piercing shriek, his hour come....

"...dirty-livered Jew..." striking in the breast, and, as Frankl
fell, he gave him one other in the temple, with "Down, down to hell,
and sye _I_ sent thee thither"; and to dead O'Hara near he gave one
in the cheek, with "Go up, thou bald-head, it _is_": all in two
seconds' space; and he was now about to turn anew to hack at Frankl,
when his keen ear heard a creak; and he sprang up a spinning
motionlessness--the Reality before him.

And instantly on the realization of that fact, he was submissive,
reverent, as before the very Helmet of Pallas, goddess of Blue; and
said he with sullen dejection, reverent of the Helmet, but easy with
the man: "All right: you've beat me...I suppose it's that Regent-
stabbing affair brought you: it was I did it all right".

When they went down, almost from the door a crowd gathered, pressing
close, Harris' hands and front all red from O'Hara's throat; and
when one policeman, big with the fact, whispered a gentleman: "You
may have heard, sir, that the Regent was stabbed to-day--it's been
kept precious dark, but the fact's so: this is the beauty as done
it", like loosened effluvia that news flew--but distorted, largened--
the stains were Regent's blood!--and beyond measure had the crowd
spread ere it reached the Edgware Road.

There at the corner, as the officers looked about for a cab, and one
blew a whistle, a man reached out and fiercely struck Harris on the
face, while another shouted: "Lynch the beggar!"; and now arose a
hustling, huddled impulses, and now in full vogue that grave noising
of congregations when the voice of God jogs them; while Harris,
excessively pallid, handcuffed, began to whistle; a number of other
police now seeking the crowd's centre, but with difficulty; a cab,
too, slowly making a way which closed like water round it: and when
this had nearly reached him, Harris, in his eagerness to get in,
sprang far toward it--and slipped. He never rose again: the crowd
rolled over his last howl, and in the midst of a great row as of
hounds, trampled him to a paste.

About that very time that better man whom he had stabbed, in tying
up in bed a bundle of old papers, was saying: "Yes, I will go to my
people"....

And by six A.M. he was up, in his study, dressed, looking quite
owlish with his excess of eyes, which, however, danced at the first
news of the morning--the arrival at Portsmouth of the _Boodah II_.,
which had raced like a carrier-bird since 8.30 P.M. of the 29th,
full of the news of the vanished _Mahomet_: on her being 200
marines.

After that he spoke through the telephone with various Government-
offices, early astir that morning, till the Private Secretary looked
in with the announcement that his train would be ready in ten
minutes.

His last act in the Palace was the sending to the Treasurer at
Jerusalem, for Miss Frankl, the telegram:

   "Be surprised, but believe: I am a Jew."
                  "RICHARD".

Of the Household some fifty, catching wind of what was toward,
offered, even begged, to go with him; but in general he refused, and
set out with a suite of only seven.

They reached Hastings at twenty minutes to ten, where, to the
disgust of all, the region of Central Station was found crowded;
whereupon Sir Francis Yeames held a consultation with a local
rector, and a dash was made to a private hotel near the pier.

There, looking from behind window curtains at eleven, Hogarth saw
before a paper-shop:

FLIGHT OF THE REGENT

A minute afterwards he started backward from the splintered window.

Everything was known:

LIFE-HISTORY OF THE CONVICT HOGARTH MARVELLOUS DETAILS

The street, to its two vanishing-points, was one scene of hats,
mixed with upturned faces: and it was an aggressive crowd that gave
out a sound.

Not till noon did the _Boodah II._ arrive; and then there was no
setting out--all the front windows of the house now broken, and in
the town a row like the feeding-time of lions, which uttered
"coward", "murderer", "convict", "traitor". Hogarth had been put to
bed, the two ladies were in a state of scare, Margaret anon crying
on Loveday's shoulder, declaring that "_He_" (meaning Frankl) was in
the crowd, and coming, coming, boring his way: she had seen him.

At last, near four P.M., a portion of the yard-wall at the back was
broken down by the party, Hogarth was raised and dressed, and
through the breach the party passed into another back-yard, then
made beachward, Hogarth leaning on the arm of Sir Martin Phipps; but
they had no sooner come to the Esplanade than they were surrounded,
and when, on their attaining the pier, the pier-turnstile was closed
against the mob, it was impossible to conceive whence so many
missiles came. Once Hogarth stopped, faced round, looked at them,
but now a pebble bruised his left temple, and he dropped, fainting.

Caught up by Sir Martin, Loveday, Sir Francis Yeames, and Colonel
Lord Hallett of the body-guard, he was hurried, a hanging concave
with abandoned head, to the long-waiting boat, and it was in a
scurry of escape, out of stroke, that the oarsmen rowed away.

Yonder lay the yacht with her fires banked, and was soon under
weigh.

She had started, when a harbour-master's motor-boat was observed
giving chase, in her an officer from Scotland Yard who bore a bag,
found by means of the key in Frankl's pocket in the Adair Street
safe; on its clasp the name "Mahomet", and it contained L850,000: so
that the yacht went wealthy on her way.




LI

THE MODEL


The voyage to Palestine was marked by two events: one the stoppage
at Tarifa, where the five hundred from the _Mahomet_ were, these,
when taken on board the _Boodah II._, making an armed force of 700;
and then, toward sunset of the fifth day, a steamer exchanged
signals with the _Boodah II._, enquired after the whereabouts of the
Lord of the Sea, received the reply "on board", and when she stopped
it turned out that she had on board a Jewish Petition urging upon
Spinoza to come and throw in his lot with them. And here again was
that name of Rebekah, spelled now Ribkah.

For the news of his fall--the fact that he was a Jew--had created a
mighty stirring in Israel, of wonder, of the pride of race.

By the seventh day the yacht was off the Palestine coast, and Joppa,
seated on her cliffs, appeared over a foaming roadstead. But when a
landing was effected, they were to hear that there had been a
collision on the Jerusalem-Joppa railway, the line blocked, travel
suspended; so, as the filthy town was congested, the Royal party
took refuge in a great restaurant-tent, set up by a Polish Jew in
gaberdine and fur cap, who vociferated invitation at the door. All
was mud, beggary, narrowness, chaos, picturesque woe. Yet work had
commenced: between the upper and the nether millstone a woman ground
corn at a doorway; the camel passed loaded; the dragoman went with
quicker step. In the afternoon Spinoza, wandering beyond the
outskirts of the town, saw in an orange-grove, sitting before a
roofless hut, six diligent two-handed Jews exhaustively drawing the
cord of the cobbler; further still, and saw what could only have
been a Petticoat-Lane Jew ploughing with a little cow and a camel:
and he smiled, thanking God, and taking courage--had always loved
this land.

The next morning he procured a number of clumsy waggons, with
horses, asses, camels, and provisions; and his caravan set out, to
travel all day over a plain, a "goodly land," the almond-tree in
blossom, orange and olive, everywhere lilies, the scarlet anemone,
he considering himself so familiar with the way, that he was their
only guide, though the morning was misty; and through the plain of
Sharon they wended over the worst roads in existence, until, passing
into a country of rocks, they made out afar the mountains of Judaea,
whose patches of white stone look like snow in sunshine, on the
roads streams of wayfarers, tending all eastward to Jerusalem, lines
of camels and waggons, pedestrians with wine-skins, mother and
sucking child on the solitary ass, and the Bedouin troop; but
Spinoza was all solitary among fastnesses on the third forenoon when
he muttered nervously: "I must certainly have lost the way".

Thereupon he called halt, and the caravan turned back to re-find the
road, Spinoza prying on camel-back foremost, clad now in the caftan
and white robes of the Orient.

But all day the caravan wandered out of the track in a white sea of
mist: no farmstead, nor cot, but the wild vine, and the wild fig,
and twice a telegraph-tree, still with its bark on, and the
abandoned hold of a bandit-sheik. Finally, near six P.M., Spinoza,
finding himself in a valley-bottom, sent out the order to pitch
camp: upon which the tents were fixed near a brook, waggons grouped
around, and animals picketed to grass. Spinoza, the two ladies, and
Loveday, then ate together at the door of one tent; after which he
rose and strolled away, thinking how best to handle this crab of
Israel.

He noticed that the mist was lifting a little; and suddenly, as he
strolled, he stood still, listening: for remote tones of singing or
mourning seemed to meet his ear--from the west: and in some moments
more he saw the Mount of Olives--to the west, not, as he believed
that it must be, to the east, he having, in fact, in losing his way
from the coast, passed by Jerusalem to the north; and on the other
side of the Mount of Olives, from its foot to the Brook Kedron,
spread at that moment over the Valley of Jehosophat an innumerable
multitude, covered in praying-shawls, many prostrate, many with the
keen and stressful face of supplication lifted in appeal to God,
that He would visit His people, and turn again in this latter day to
His lost and helpless flock. Every child of Israel who could
contrive it, at whatever cost, was there, since it was the
prophesied day of--"the Coming".

But a bold woman, summoning her fainting strength, bracing her
trembling knee, stepped a little up the hillside to fling high her
hand as a sign--Rebecca Frankl, celebrated now through Israel as the
elect of the sibyl Estrella; and at that signal the congregation,
gazing keenly into heaven, lifted up their voice in meek song,
singing the sibyl's "Hymn to the Messiah":

"The oceans trudge and tire their soul, desiring Thee; and night-
winds homeless roam with dole, reproaching Thee; the clouds aspire,
and find no goal, and gush for Thee, reproaching Thee."

"Thou scrawled'st 'I mean' in rocks and men, in trends and streams;
the prophets raved, to sages' ken Thou shewed'st dreams; Thou
shrouded'st dark the How and When in starry schemes, and trends and
streams."

"The jungles blare, the glebe-lands low and bleat for Thee; the
generations rage and go, agaze for Thee; creation travaileth in woe,
with groans for Thee, agaze for Thee."

"Adonai, come! with crashing rote of chariots come; or moonlight-
mild, alone, afloat, Messussah, come; with floods of lutes, or
thundering throat, but come! O, come! Messussah come."

"The Arctics hawk-up their haunted heart, and raucous, spue; and
north-winds, wawling calls, outstart, to droop anew; the clouds like
scouts updart, depart, and truceless do, and droop anew."

"How long! They breeds have waited fain what sibyls ween; Thou
scribbled'st in their secret brain 'I scheme; I mean'; the
constellations stray and strain: Break out! be seen what sibyls
ween".

"The pampas stamp and, nomad, low, reposeless, lone; raging the
generations trow, and drudge, and drown; a anguished glance this
latter woe throws to Thy Throne, reposeless, lone"...

Before them, above them, as they sang stood--a man.

Hard by a wall of that Moslem mosque, once a chapel which marked the
supposed spot of "the Ascension", he stood, in an attitude of
suspense, astonishment, his body half-twisted--Spinoza.

An instant, and he was aware of Jerusalem lying "as a city that is
compact" before him--not to the east--to the west! Yet another
instant, and he realized that the whole tract of humanity--man,
woman, child--was on its face before him.

A faintness overcame him, shame, dismay; then, his blood now rushing
to his brow, his mouth sent out the passionate shout:

"Not to _me!_ Not to _me! I am the Lord of the Sea....!_"

But when the people heard this, saw him, knew him, they remained in
adoration....

By a special ship they had sent him a petition to come; here he was
weeks sooner than ship or airship could have conveyed him: and they
took him as the answer to their supplication, the answer which
Heaven willed, in the sure and certain faith that he would cure
their ache, and the ache of the world.

An acclamation like the voice of many waters arose and rolled below
him, and on the bosom of that tumult he moved among them into the
Holy City, as darkness covered all.

       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

He took the title of Shophet, or Judge, and for sixty years ruled
over Israel.

It has been said that the initial "pull" over other nations
possessed by Israel (in respect of the sea-forts remaining in the
Gulf of Aden, Yellow Sea, Western Pacific) was the cause of his rise
as of some thrice-ardent Star of the Morning and asterisk dancing in
the dawn's dark: for the other nations, timorous of one another,
made never an attempt to build; but, for our share, we insist that
anyway Judaea was bound to become what she became--indeed, sea-rent
after the Regency collapse was decreased at the three forts, and
suddenly in the twelfth year of his judgeship Spinoza ordered its
stoppage.

By which period the University of Jerusalem had become the chief
nerve-centre of the world's research and upward effort: for in
creating a "civilized State"--"proud and happy"--Spinoza did it with
that spinning rapidity of the modernization of Japan, so that in
whatever respects it was not a question of months, it was a question
of not many years.

For, as in the soul of the Jewish people abode as before that genius
for righteousness which wrote the Bible, and as the soul of
righteousness lies even in this; Thou shalt not steal, therefore
Israel with some little pain attained to this: whereupon with
startling emphasis was brought to pass that statement:
"Righteousness exalteth a nation".

For the promise says: "I will put a new spirit within them"; and
this--very rapidly--found fulfilment.

Whereupon others fast, faster, found fulfilment, so that a stale and
bitter word was in Pall Mall, saying: "The lot of them seem to have
formed themselves into a syndicate to run the prophecies".

Again the promise has it: "I shall be with them"; and again: "They
shall be a cleansed nation"; and again: "They shall fear Him".

The transformation was rapid for the reason that it was natural,
seeing that it had been Europe only that, like a Circe, had
bewitched them into beastial shapes, "sharks", and "bulls", and
"bears", mediaeval Jews, for example, having been debarred from every
pursuit save commerce: so that Shylock was obliged to turn into a
Venetian; and, in ceasing to be a Hebrew, became more Venetian than
the Venetians, for the reason that he had more brains, ready to beat
them at any game they cared to mention; but the genuine self of
Shylock was a vine-dresser or sandal-maker, as Hillel was a wood-
chopper, David a shepherd, Amos a fig-gatherer, Saul an ass-driver,
Rabbi Ben Zakkai a sail-maker, Paul a tent-maker: so that the return
to simplicity and honesty was quickly accomplished.

And now, that done, behold a wonder: at the whirling of a wand the
swine of Circe converted back to biped man; whereupon without fail
whatsoever he does it shall astonishingly prosper: that succession
of wits, seers, savants, Heines, Einsteins, inspired mouths, pens of
iridium, brushes from the archangel's plumage, discoveries, new
Americas, elations, sensations--in therapeutics--in aero-nautics-
beyond-the-atmosphere--in the powers involved in sub-atoms--in the
powers, latent till now, involved in soul...for now each of
millions was free to think, free to manifest his own particular luck
and knack in discovery, having a country, foothold, not hovering
like Noah's dove, urging still the purposeless wing not to pitch
into nowhere: for the promise says: "Ye shall not sow and another
reap, ye shall not plant and another garner", but in a land of
gentlemen ye shall live, as it were to swellings of music, while a
noble height grows upon your smooth foreheads, and the sum-total of
the blending movements of your bodies and brains shall, as seen from
heaven, appear the minuet of a people.

Within forty years mighty works had been done: forts, irrigation of
deserts, reclamation of the Dead Sea, passionate temples clapped to
the lower clouds about the perpetual lamp, and that baroque Art of
the Orient which at the Judges progresses in Summer through the
country would draw multitudes of foreigners to gape at so great
pomp, at Corinthian cities full of grace and riches which had arisen
to crown with many crowns that plain of Mesopotamia, and where
desolate Tyre had mourned her purples, and old Tadmor in the
Wilderness (Palmyra) had sat in dirt; to gape, too, at a Jerusalem
which in twenty years had crossed the Valley of Jehosophat, and
might really then be called "the Golden", a purged Babylon, a London
burnt to ashes and rebuilt somewhere else: for the Shophet proved
true Duke and Leader, born mountaineer, climbing from pinnacle to
wild pinnacle, becking his people after him with many a meaningful
gesture skyward and suggesting smile; and Israel followed his
thrilling way, hearing always the Excelsior of his calling as it
were the voice direct of Heaven. What no merits of his could give,
the land which he had chosen gave, Mesopotamia pretty soon proving
herself a treasury of mineral riches: here is bdellium and the onyx-
stone; and where the streaming Pison, dawdling, draws his twine of
waters over that happy valley of Havilah, there is gold--hoard
stored from before the Eozoic, as misers bury for their heirs, in
mine and friable quarry, rollick rain: "and the gold of _that_ land
is good".

Here was not merely progress, but progress at increasing speed--
acceleration--finally resembling flight, as of eagle or phoenix, eye
fixed on the sun: Tyre by the fiftieth year having grown into the
biggest of ports, her quays unloading 6,700,000 tons a year, mart of
tangled masts, felucca, galiot, junk, cargoes of Tarshish and the
Isles, Levantine stuffs, spice from the Southern Sea; while
Jerusalem had grown into the recognized school of the wealthier
youth of Europe, Asia and America.

For it says: "The Kings of the earth shall bring their honour and
glory unto her"; and again: "She shall reign gloriously".

And not Israel alone reaped the fruits of his own fine weather, but
his dews fell wide. For it says: "They shall be as dew from the
Lord"; and again: "They shall fill the face of the earth with
fruit"; and again: "All nations shall call them blessed".

And so it was: for the example of Israel, his suasive charm, proved
compelling as sunshine to shoots, so that that heart of Spinoza
lived to see the spectacle of a whole world deserting the gory path
of Rome to go up into those uplands of mildness and gleefulness
whither invites the smile of that lily Galilean.

The mission of "unbelieving" Israel was to convert Christendom to
Christianity: and this he did.

We watch the Judge coming down the Mount of Olives in the midst of a
jubilant throng all involved in a noise of timbrels and instruments
of music: for his life was simple and one with the life of his
people. It is evening, all the west yonder a bewitched Kingdom
charm-embathed, wherein a barge of Venus bethronged with loves and
roses voyages on a sea of dalliance en route for the last Beatific--
the last, the seventh, Heaven--whitherward gads all a pilgrim-swarm
of enraptured spirits, all, all thitherward, Paul caught up with
clothes aflaunt, and soaring eagle, Enoch transfigured, green
hippogriff, hop of squatted frog; and thitherward trots with
blinkings, bleating, the Ram of the Golden Fleece, the flagrant
flamingos flap and go.

The Judge, hoary-headed now, in a robe of cloth-of-silver which
rippled, had but now got home from a Pilgrimage; and the time was
Simcath Torah, the Rejoicing of the Law, and the carrying of
Candles, in the month. Tishri: silver his robe and silver his hair
that hung round a brown and puckered skin, but silvery, too, his
every tooth still, and his vigour good; and, as down the Mount of
Olives he stepped, he saw Mount Sion and that Temple that he had
piled, across whose roughened frontispiece of gold glowed in a bow,
bold like the rainbow's, in characters of blazing sapphire and
chrysoprase, that inscription:

"Y'HOVAH B'KOKMAR YSAD ARETS, CONEN SHAMAIM B'THBUNAH"

and, as he saw it, lo, buoyancy caught the old man's feet: for the
cymballing and music had grown very fiercely hot, so that all the
congregation reeled in dance; and as the lasso drops round the
astonished prairie-horse and draws asprawl, so dancing caught and
drew his foot, and he danced.

And his wife Rebecca, mother of many sons, prying from a window-
lattice, writhed odd the eyebrows of the cynic, one beyond the
other: for not with foot alone he danced, but his wrung belly
laboured in that travail of Orient dancing; and she turned and
smiled to Margaret Loveday a turned-down smile, implying shrug,
implying girding, her eyelids lowered, yet indulgent of his nature's
rage.

And not with foot and abdomen alone he danced, but his two balancing
palms danced to the beat of the heat of the music's heart; and with
heel and toe he danced. And as he danced, he sang, all apant,
filling up with nonsense-sounds when the rhythm's imperative tramp
outran his improvisation; and singing he danced, and dancing sang:
with abdomen and arms he danced, and with toe and heel he danced.

And dancing he sang:

  My hands,
  be dancing to God,
  your Guide,
    And peal my pipes,
    and riot my feet,
    and writhe to His Heat,
    my tripes.
  So fair!
  With Rum-te-te-Tum
  te Tum,
    And Rum and Tum,
    and Rum-te-te-Tum,
    and Rum-te-te-Tum,
    te Tum.
  So fair!
  This freehold for seraphs free!
    That flame! those skies!
    and Blest is Her Name,
    and blest are my eyes,
    that see.


 I'll dance,
 I'll dance like a ram,
 for fun,
   I'll smack the sun,
   I'll dance at the breeze
   I'll dance till I breed
   a son.
 For Thou!
 Thou bringest Thine ends
 to pass:
   This hump so high,
   this lump and her sigh,
   Thou lead'st through the Nee-
   dle's Eye.
 'Tis well
 the saurians sprawled,
 and roared!
   'Tis well Thou art!
   and well that Thou wast,
   and well when at last
   they soared!
 And well,
 O well that Thou art
 to be
   When seraph hearts
   will laugh by this brook,
   and break for the love
   of Thee.
 Thy years
 shall still by increase
 te Tum,
   And dance and dance,
   With Rum-te-te-Tum....

so, singing, he danced, and, dancing, sang; and their sounds grew
faint; and they entered into the City of Glory, and their sounds
failed....

They took him for the Sent of Heaven, nor did the results of his
glorious reign gainsay such a notion: the good Loveday, indeed, had
the agreeable fancy that our greatest are really One, who eternally
runs the circle of incarnation after incarnation from hoary old ages
till now--the Ancient of Days, his hair white like wool, quietly
turning up anew when the time yearns, and men are near to yield to
the enemy: Proteus his name, and ever the shape he takes is strange,
unexpected, yet ever sharing the same three traits of vision, rage
and generousness--the Slayer of the Giant--Arthur come back--the
Messenger of the Covenant--the genius of our species--Jesus the Oft-
Born.




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