Infomotions, Inc.A Poor Wise Man / Rinehart, Mary Roberts, 1876-1958



Author: Rinehart, Mary Roberts, 1876-1958
Title: A Poor Wise Man
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): willy cameron; cardew; cameron; willy; akers; lily; elinor; doyle; louis akers; edith; anthony cardew; anthony; lily cardew; ellen; howard; jim doyle; aunt elinor; louis; howard cardew; willy cameron's; pink; old anthony; pink denslow
Contributor(s): Butcher, S. H. (Samuel Henry), 1850-1910 [Translator]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 125,715 words (average) Grade range: 6-8 (grade school) Readability score: 73 (easy)
Identifier: etext1970
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A Poor Wise Man

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

November, 1999  [Etext #1970]
[Date last updated: March 17, 2005]


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A POOR WISE MAN

by  Mary Roberts Rinehart




CHAPTER I


The city turned its dreariest aspect toward the railway on blackened
walls, irregular and ill-paved streets, gloomy warehouses, and over
all a gray, smoke-laden atmosphere which gave it mystery and often
beauty.  Sometimes the softened towers of the great steel bridges
rose above the river mist like fairy towers suspended between Heaven
and earth.  And again the sun tipped the surrounding hills with gold,
while the city lay buried in its smoke shroud, and white ghosts of
river boats moved spectrally along.

Sometimes it was ugly, sometimes beautiful, but always the city was
powerful, significant, important.  It was a vast melting pot.  Through
its gates came alike the hopeful and the hopeless, the dreamers and
those who would destroy those dreams.  From all over the world there
came men who sought a chance to labor.  They came in groups, anxious
and dumb, carrying with them their pathetic bundles, and shepherded
by men with cunning eyes.

Raw material, for the crucible of the city, as potentially powerful
as the iron ore which entered the city by the same gate.

The city took them in, gave them sanctuary, and forgot them.  But
the shepherds with the cunning eyes remembered.

Lily Cardew, standing in the train shed one morning early in March,
watched such a line go by.  She watched it with interest.  She had
developed a new interest in people during the year she had been
away.  She had seen, in the army camp, similar shuffling lines of
men, transformed in a few hours into ranks of uniformed soldiers,
beginning already to be actuated by the same motive.  These aliens,
going by, would become citizens.  Very soon now they would appear
on the streets in new American clothes of extraordinary cut and
color, their hair cut with clippers almost to the crown, and
surmounted by derby hats always a size too small.

Lily smiled, and looked out for her mother.  She was suddenly
unaccountably glad to be back again.  She liked the smoke and the
noise, the movement, the sense of things doing.  And the sight of
her mother, small, faultlessly tailored, wearing a great bunch of
violets, and incongruous in that work-a-day atmosphere, set her
smiling again.

How familiar it all was!  And heavens, how young she looked!  The
limousine was at the curb, and a footman as immaculately turned
out as her mother stood with a folded rug over his arm.  On the
seat inside lay a purple box.  Lily had known it would be there.
They would be ostensibly from her father, because he had not been
able to meet her, but she knew quite well that Grace Cardew had
stopped at the florist's on her way downtown and bought them.

A little surge of affection for her mother warmed the girl's eyes.
The small attentions which in the Cardew household took the place
of loving demonstrations had always touched her.  As a family the
Cardews were rather loosely knitted together, but there was
something very lovable about her mother.

Grace Cardew kissed her, and then held her off and looked at her.

"Mercy, Lily!" she said, "you look as old as I do."

"Older, I hope," Lily retorted.  "What a marvel you are, Grace dear."
Now and then she called her mother "Grace."  It was by way of being
a small joke between them, but limited to their moments alone.  Once
old Anthony, her grandfather, had overheard her, and there had been
rather a row about it.

"I feel horribly old, but I didn't think I looked it."

They got into the car and Grace held out the box to her.  "From your
father, dear.  He wanted so to come, but things are dreadful at the
mill.  I suppose you've seen the papers."  Lily opened the box, and
smiled at her mother.

"Yes, I know.  But why the subterfuge about the flowers, mother dear?
Honestly, did he send them, or did you get them?  But never mind
about that; I know he's worried, and you're sweet to do it.  Have
you broken the news to grandfather that the last of the Cardews is
coming home?"

"He sent you all sorts of messages, and he'll see you at dinner."

Lily laughed out at that.

"You darling!" she said.  "You know perfectly well that I am nothing
in grandfather's young life, but the Cardew women all have what he
likes to call savoir faire.  What would they do, father and
grandfather, if you didn't go through life smoothing things for them?"

Grace looked rather stiffly ahead.  This young daughter of hers,
with her directness and her smiling ignoring of the small subterfuges
of life, rather frightened her.  The terrible honesty of youth!  All
these years of ironing the wrinkles out of life, of smoothing the
difficulties between old Anthony and Howard, and now a third
generation to contend with.  A pitilessly frank and unconsciously
cruel generation.  She turned and eyed Lily uneasily.

"You look tired," she said, "and you need attention.  I wish you had
let me send Castle to you."

But she thought that lily was even lovelier than she had remembered
her.  Lovely rather than beautiful, perhaps.  Her face was less
childish than when she had gone away; there was, in certain of her
expressions, an almost alarming maturity.  But perhaps that was
fatigue.

"I couldn't have had Castle, mother.  I didn't need anything.  I've
been very happy, really, and very busy."

"You have been very vague lately about your work."

Lily faced her mother squarely.

"I didn't think you'd much like having me do it, and I thought it
would drive grandfather crazy."

"I thought you were in a canteen."

"Not lately.  I've been looking after girls who had followed soldiers
to camps.  Some of them were going to have babies, too.  It was
rather awful.  We married quite a lot of them, however."

The curious reserve that so often exists between mother and daughter
held Grace Cardew dumb.  She nodded, but her eyes had slightly
hardened.  So this was what war had done to her.  She had had no son,
and had thanked God for it during the war, although old Anthony had
hated her all her married life for it.  But she had given her
daughter, her clear-eyed daughter, and they had shown her the dregs
of life.

Her thoughts went back over the years.  To Lily as a child, with
Mademoiselle always at her elbow, and life painted as a thing of
beauty.  Love, marriage and birth were divine accidents.  Death was
a quiet sleep, with heaven just beyond, a sleep which came only to
age, which had wearied and would rest.  Then she remembered the day
when Elinor Cardew, poor unhappy Elinor, had fled back to Anthony's
roof to have a baby, and after a few rapturous weeks for Lily the
baby had died.

"But the baby isn't old," Lily had persisted, standing in front of
her mother with angry, accusing eyes.

Grace was not an imaginative woman, but she turned it rather neatly,
as she told Howard later.

"It was such a nice baby," she said, feeling for an idea.  "I think
probably God was lonely without it, and sent an angel for it again."

"But it is still upstairs," Lily had insisted.  She had had a
curious instinct for truth, even then.  But there Grace's
imagination had failed her, and she sent for Mademoiselle.
Mademoiselle was a good Catholic, and very clear in her own mind,
but what she left in Lily's brain was a confused conviction that
every person was two persons, a body and a soul.  Death was simply
a split-up, then.  One part of you, the part that bathed every
morning and had its toe-nails cut, and went to dancing school in
a white frock and thin black silk stockings and carriage boots over
pumps, that part was buried and would only came up again at the
Resurrection.  But the other part was all the time very happy, and
mostly singing.

Lily did not like to sing.

Then there was the matter of tears.  People only cried when they
hurt themselves.  She had been told that again and again when she
threatened tears over her music lesson.  But when Aunt Elinor had
gone away she had found Mademoiselle, the deadly antagonist of
tears, weeping.  And here again Grace remembered the child's wide,
insistent eyes.

"Why?"

"She is sorry for Aunt Elinor."

"Because her baby's gone to God?  She ought to be glad, oughtn't
she?"

"Not that;" said Grace, and had brought a box of chocolates and
given her one, although they were not permitted save one after each
meal.

Then Lily had gone away to school.  How carefully the school had
been selected!  When she came back, however, there had been no more
questions, and Grace had sighed with relief.  That bad time was over,
anyhow.  But Lily was rather difficult those days.  She seemed, in
some vague way, resentful.  Her mother found her, now and then, in
a frowning, half-defiant mood.  And once, when Mademoiselle had
ventured some jesting remark about young Alston Denslow, she was
stupefied to see the girl march out of the room, her chin high, not
to be seen again for hours.

Grace's mind was sub-consciously remembering those things even when
she spoke.

"I didn't know you were having to learn about that side of life,"
she said, after a brief silence.

"That side of life is life, mother," Lily said gravely.  But Grace
did not reply to that.  It was characteristic of her to follow her
own line of thought.

"I wish you wouldn't tell your grandfather.  You know he feels
strongly about some things.  And he hasn't forgiven me yet for
letting you go."

Rather diffidently Lily put her hand on her mother's.  She gave her
rare caresses shyly, with averted eyes, and she was always more
diffident with her mother than with her father.  Such spontaneous
bursts of affection as she sometimes showed had been lavished on
Mademoiselle.  It was Mademoiselle she had hugged rapturously on
her small feast days, Mademoiselle who never demanded affection,
and so received it.

"Poor mother!" she said, "I have made it hard for you, haven't I?
Is he as bad as ever?"

She had not pinned on the violets, but sat holding them in her
hands, now and then taking a luxurious sniff.  She did not seem to
expect a reply.  Between Grace and herself it was quite understood
that old Anthony Cardew was always as bad as could be.

"There is some sort of trouble at the mill.  Your father is worried."

And this time it was Lily who did not reply.  She said,
inconsequentially:

"We're saved, and it's all over.  But sometimes I wonder if we were
worth saving.  It all seems such a mess, doesn't it?"  She glanced
out.  They were drawing up before the house, and she looked at her
mother whimsically.

"The last of the Cardews returning from the wars!" she said.  "Only
she is unfortunately a she, and she hasn't been any nearer the war
than the State of Ohio."

Her voice was gay enough, but she had a quick vision of the grim old
house had she been the son they had wanted to carry on the name,
returning from France.

The Cardews had fighting traditions.  They had fought in every war
from the Revolution on.  There had been a Cardew in Mexico in '48,
and in that upper suite of rooms to which her grandfather had
retired in wrath on his son's marriage, she remembered her sense of
awe as a child on seeing on the wall the sword he had worn in the
Civil War.  He was a small man, and the scabbard was badly worn at
the end, mute testimony to the long forced marches of his youth.
Her father had gone to Cuba in '98, and had almost died of typhoid
fever there, contracted in the marshes of Florida.

Yes, they had been a fighting family.  And now--

Her mother was determinedly gay.  There were flowers in the dark old
hall, and Grayson, the butler, evidently waiting inside the door,
greeted her with the familiarity of the old servant who had slipped
her sweets from the pantry after dinner parties in her little-girl
years.

"Welcome home, Miss Lily," he said.

Mademoiselle was lurking on the stairway, in a new lace collar over
her old black dress.  Lily recognized in the collar a great occasion,
for Mademoiselle was French and thrifty.  Suddenly a wave of warmth
and gladness flooded her.  This was home.  Dear, familiar home.  She
had come back.  She was the only young thing in the house.  She would
bring them gladness and youth.  She would try to make them happy.
Always before she had taken, but now she meant to give.

Not that she formulated such a thought.  It was an emotion, rather.
She ran up the stairs and hugged Mademoiselle wildly.

"You darling old thing!" she cried.  She lapsed into French.  "I saw
the collar at once.  And think, it is over!  It is finished.  And
all your nice French relatives are sitting on the boulevards in the
sun, and sipping their little glasses of wine, and rising and bowing
when a pretty girl passes.  Is it not so?"

"It is so, God and the saints be praised!" said Mademoiselle, huskily.

Grace Cardew followed them up the staircase.  Her French was
negligible, and she felt again, as in days gone by, shut from the
little world of two which held her daughter and governess.  Old
Anthony's doing, that.  He had never forgiven his son his plebeian
marriage, and an early conversation returned to her.  It was on Lily's
first birthday and he had made one of his rare visits to the nursery.
He had brought with him a pearl in a velvet case.

"All our women have their own pearls," he had said.  "She will have
her grandmother's also when she marries.  I shall give her one the
first year, two the second, and so on."  He had stood looking down at
the child critically.  "She's a Cardew," he said at last.  "Which
means that she will be obstinate and self-willed."  He had paused
there, but Grace had not refuted the statement.  He had grinned.
"As you know," he added.  "Is she talking yet?"

"A word or two," Grace had said, with no more warmth in her tone
than was in his.

"Very well.  Get her a French governess.  She ought to speak French
before she does English.  It is one of the accomplishments of a lady.
Get a good woman, and for heaven's sake arrange to serve her
breakfast in her room.  I don't want to have to be pleasant to any
chattering French woman at eight in the morning."

"No, you wouldn't," Grace had said.

Anthony had stamped out, but in the hall he smiled grimly.  He did
not like Howard's wife, but she was not afraid of him.  He respected
her for that.  He took good care to see that the Frenchwoman was
found, and at dinner, the only meal he took with the family, he
would now and then send for the governess and Lily to come in for
dessert.  That, of course, was later on, when the child was nearly
ten.  Then would follow a three-cornered conversation in rapid French,
Howard and Anthony and Lily, with Mademoiselle joining in timidly,
and with Grace, at the side of the table, pretending to eat and
feeling cut off, in a middle-class world of her own, at the side of
the table.  Anthony Cardew had retained the head of his table, and
he had never asked her to take his dead wife's place.

After a time Grace realized the consummate cruelty of those hours,
the fact that Lily was sent for, not only because the old man cared
to see her, but to make Grace feel the outsider that she was.  She
made desperate efforts to conquer the hated language, but her
accent was atrocious.  Anthony would correct her suavely, and Lily
would laugh in childish, unthinking mirth.  She gave it up at last.

She never told Howard about it.  He had his own difficulties with
his father, and she would not add to them.  She managed the house,
checked over the bills and sent them to the office, put up a
cheerful and courageous front, and after a time sheathed herself
in an armor of smiling indifference.  But she thanked heaven when
the time came to send Lily away to school.  The effort of
concealing the armed neutrality between Anthony and herself was
growing more wearing.  The girl was observant.  And Anthony had
been right, she was a Cardew.  She would have fought her grandfather
out on it, defied him, accused him, hated him.  And Grace wanted
peace.

Once again as she followed Lily and Mademoiselle up the stairs she
felt the barrier of language, and back of it the Cardew pride and
traditions that somehow cut her off.

But in Lily's rooms she was her sane and cheerful self again.
Inside the doorway the girl was standing, her eyes traveling over
her little domain ecstatically.

"How lovely of you not to change a thing, mother!" she said.  "I was
so afraid--I know how you hate my stuff.  But I might have known
you wouldn't.  All the time I've been away, sleeping in a dormitory,
and taking turns at the bath, I have thought of my own little place."
She wandered around, touching her familiar possessions with caressing
hands.  "I've a good notion," she declared, "to go to bed immediately,
just for the pleasure of lying in linen sheets again."  Suddenly she
turned to her mother.  "I'm afraid you'll find I've made some queer
friends, mother."

"What do you mean by 'queer'?"

"People no proper Cardew would care to know."  She smiled.  "Where's
Ellen?  I want to tell her I met somebody she knows out there, the
nicest sort of a boy."  She went to the doorway and called lustily:
"Ellen!  Ellen!"  The rustling of starched skirts answered her from
down the corridor.

"I wish you wouldn't call, dear."  Grace looked anxious.  "You know
how your grandfather--there's a bell for Ellen."

"What we need around here," said Lily, cheerfully, "is a little more
calling.  And if grandfather thinks it is unbefitting the family
dignity he can put cotton in his ears.  Come in, Ellen.  Ellen, do
you know that I met Willy Cameron in the camp?"

"Willy!" squealed Ellen.  "You met Willy?  Isn't he a fine boy, Miss
Lily?"

"He's wonderful," said Lily.  "I went to the movies with him every
Friday night."  She turned to her mother.  "You would like him,
mother.  He couldn't get into the army.  He is a little bit lame.
And--" she surveyed Grace with amused eyes, "you needn't think what
you are thinking.  He is tall and thin and not at all good-looking.
Is he, Ellen?"

"He is a very fine young man," Ellen said rather stiffly.  "He's
very highly thought of in the town I come from.  His father was a
doctor, and his buggy used to go around day, and night.  When he
found they wouldn't take him as a soldier he was like to break his
heart."

"Lame?" Grace repeated, ignoring Ellen.

"Just a little.  You forget all about it when you know him.  Don't
you, Ellen?"

But at Grace's tone Ellen had remembered.  She stiffened, and became
again a housemaid in the Anthony Cardew house, a self-effacing,
rubber-heeled, pink-uniformed lower servant.  She glanced at Mrs.
Cardew, whose eyebrows were slightly raised.

"Thank you, miss," she said.  And went out, leaving Lily rather
chilled and openly perplexed.

"Well!" she said.  Then she glanced at her mother.  "I do believe
you are a little shocked, mother, because Ellen and I have a mutual
friend in Mr. William Wallace Cameron!  Well, if you want the exact
truth, he hadn't an atom of use for me until he heard about Ellen."
She put an arm around Grace's shoulders.  "Brace up, dear," she
said, smilingly.  "Don't you cry.  I'll be a Cardew bye-and-bye."

"Did you really go to the moving pictures with him?" Grace asked,
rather unhappily.  She had never been inside a moving picture
theater.  To her they meant something a step above the corner saloon,
and a degree below the burlesque houses.  They were constituted of
bad air and unchaperoned young women accompanied by youths who
dangled cigarettes from a lower lip, all obviously of the lower
class, including the cigarette; and of other women, sometimes drab,
dragged of breast and carrying children who should have been in bed
hours before; or still others, wandering in pairs, young, painted
and predatory.  She was not imaginative, or she could not have
lived so long in Anthony Cardew's house.  She never saw, in the long
line waiting outside even the meanest of the little theaters that
had invaded the once sacred vicinity of the Cardew house, the cry of
every human heart for escape from the sordid, the lure of romance,
the call of adventure and the open road.

"I can't believe it," she added.

Lily made a little gesture of half-amused despair.

"Dearest," she said, "I did.  And I liked it.  Mother, things have
changed a lot in twenty years.  Sometimes I think that here, in this
house, you don't realize that--" she struggled for a phrase--"that
things have changed," she ended, lamely.  "The social order, and
that sort of thing.  You know.  Caste." She hesitated.  She was
young and inarticulate, and when she saw Grace's face, somewhat
frightened.  But she was not old Anthony's granddaughter for nothing.
"This idea of being a Cardew," she went on, "that's ridiculous, you
know.  I'm only half Cardew, anyhow.  The rest is you, dear, and
it's got being a Cardew beaten by quite a lot."

Mademoiselle was deftly opening the girl's dressing case, but she
paused now and turned.  It was to Grace that she spoke, however.

"They come home like that, all of them," she said.  "In France also.
But in time they see the wisdom of the old order, and return.  It
is one of the fruits of war."

Grace hardly heard her.

"Lily," she asked, "you are not in love with this Cameron person,
are you?"

But Lily's easy laugh reassured her.

"No, indeed," she said.  "I am not.  I shall probably marry beneath
me, as you would call it, but not William Wallace Cameron.  For one
thing, he wouldn't have grandfather in his family."

Some time later Mademoiselle tapped at Grace's door, and entered.
Grace was reclining on a chaise longue, towels tucked about her neck
and over her pillows, while Castle, her elderly English maid, was
applying ice in a soft cloth to her face.  Grace sat up.  The towel,
pinned around her hair like a coif, gave a placid, almost nun-like
appearance to her still lovely face.

"Well?" she demanded.  "Go out for a minute, Castle."

Mademoiselle waited until the maid had gone.

"I have spoken to Ellen," she said, her voice cautious.  "A young
man who does not care for women, a clerk in a country pharmacy.
What is that, Mrs. Cardew?"

"It would be so dreadful, Mademoiselle.  Her grandfather--"

"But not handsome," insisted Mademoiselle, "and lame!  Also, I know
the child.  She is not in love.  When that comes to her we shall
know it."

Grace lay back, relieved, but not entirely comforted.

"She is changed, isn't she, Mademoiselle?"

Mademoiselle shrugged her shoulders.

"A phase," she said.  She had got the word from old Anthony, who
regarded any mental attitude that did not conform with his own as
a condition that would pass.  "A phase, only.  Now that she is back
among familiar things, she will become again a daughter of the house."

"Then you think this talk about marrying beneath her--"

"She 'as had liberty," said Mademoiselle, who sometimes lost an
aspirate.  "It is like wine to the young.  It intoxicates.  But it,
too, passes.  In my country--"

But Grace had, for a number of years, heard a great deal of
Mademoiselle's country.  She settled herself on her pillows.

"Call Castle, please," she said.  "And--do warn her not to voice
those ideas of hers to her grandfather.  In a country pharmacy, you
say?"

"And lame, and not fond of women," corroborated Mademoiselle.  "Ca
ne pourrait pas etre mieux, n'est-ce pas?"


CHAPTER II


Shortly after the Civil War Anthony Cardew had left Pittsburgh and
spent a year in finding a location for the investment of his small
capital.  That was in the very beginning of the epoch of steel.
The iron business had already laid the foundations of its future
greatness, but steel was still in its infancy.

Anthony's father had been an iron-master in a small way, with a
monthly pay-roll of a few hundred dollars, and an abiding faith in
the future of iron.  But he had never dreamed of steel.  But
"sixty-five" saw the first steel rail rolled in America, and Anthony
Cardew began to dream.  He went to Chicago first, and from there to
Michigan, to see the first successful Bessemer converter.  When he
started east again he knew what he was to make his life work.

He was very young and his capital was small.  But he had an abiding
faith in the new industry.  Not that he dreamed then of floating
steel battleships.  But he did foresee steel in new and various uses.
Later on he was experimenting with steel cable at the very time
Roebling made it a commercial possibility, and with it the modern
suspension bridge and the elevator.  He never quite forgave Roebling.
That failure of his, the difference only of a month or so, was one
of the few disappointments of his prosperous, self-centered, orderly
life.  That, and Howard's marriage.  And, at the height of his
prosperity, the realization that Howard's middle-class wife would
never bear a son.

The city he chose was a small city then, yet it already showed signs
of approaching greatness.  On the east side, across the river, he
built his first plant, a small one, with the blast heated by passing
through cast iron pipes, with the furnaceman testing the temperature
with strips of lead and zinc, and the skip hoist a patient mule.

He had ore within easy hauling distance, and he had fuel, and he had,
as time went on, a rapidly increasing market.  Labor was cheap and
plentiful, too, and being American-born, was willing and intelligent.
Perhaps Anthony Cardew's sins of later years were due to a vast
impatience that the labor of the early seventies was no longer to be
had.

The Cardew fortune began in the seventies.  Up to that time there
was a struggle, but in the seventies Anthony did two things.  He
went to England to see the furnaces there, and brought home a wife,
a timid, tall Englishwoman of irreproachable birth, who remained
always an alien in the crude, busy new city.  And he built himself
a house, a brick house in lower East Avenue, a house rather like
his tall, quiet wife, and run on English lines.  He soon became
the leading citizen.  He was one of the committee to welcome the
Prince of Wales to the city, and from the very beginning he took
his place in the social life.

He found it very raw at times, crude and new.  He himself lived
with dignity and elegant simplicity.  He gave now and then lengthy,
ponderous dinners, making out the lists himself, and handing them
over to his timid English wife in much the manner in which he gave
the wine list and the key to the wine cellar to the butler.  And, at
the head of his table, he let other men talk and listened.  They
talked, those industrial pioneers, especially after the women had
gone.  They saw the city the center of great business and great
railroads.  They talked of its coal, its river, and the great oil
fields not far away which were then in their infancy.  All of them
dreamed a dream, saw a vision.  But not all of them lived to see
their dream come true.

Old Anthony lived to see it.

In the late eighties, his wife having been by that time decorously
interred in one of the first great mausoleums west of the mountains,
Anthony Cardew found himself already wealthy.  He owned oil wells
and coal mines.  His mines supplied his coke ovens with coal, and
his own river boats, as well as railroads in which he was a director,
carried his steel.

He labored ably and well, and not for wealth alone.  He was one of
a group of big-visioned men who saw that a nation was only as great
as its industries.  It was only in his later years that he loved
power for the sake of power, and when, having outlived his
generation, he had developed a rigidity of mind that made him view
the forced compromises of the new regime as pusillanimous.

He considered his son Howard's quiet strength weakness.  "You have
no stamina," he would say.  "You have no moral fiber.  For God's
sake, make a stand, you fellows, and stick to it."

He had not mellowed with age.  He viewed with endless bitterness
the passing of his own day and generation, and the rise to power of
younger men; with their "shilly-shallying," he would say.  He was
an aristocrat, an autocrat, and a survival.  He tied Howard's hands
in the management of the now vast mills, and then blamed him for
the results.

But he had been a great man.

He had had two children, a boy and a girl.  The girl had been the
tragedy of his middle years, and Howard had been his hope.

On the heights outside the city and overlooking the river he owned
a farm, and now and then, on Sunday afternoons in the eighties, he
drove out there, with Howard sitting beside him, a rangy boy in
his teens, in the victoria which Anthony considered the proper
vehicle for Sunday afternoons.  The farmhouse was in a hollow, but
always on those excursions Anthony, fastidiously dressed, picking
his way half-irritably through briars and cornfields, would go to
the edge of the cliffs and stand there, looking down.  Below was
the muddy river, sluggish always, but a thing of terror in spring
freshets.  And across was the east side, already a sordid place,
its steel mills belching black smoke that killed the green of the
hillsides, its furnaces dwarfed by distance and height, its rows of
unpainted wooden structures which housed the mill laborers.

Howard would go with him, but Howard dreamed no dreams.  He was a
sturdy, dependable, unimaginative boy, watching the squirrels or
flinging stones over the palisades.  Life for Howard was already
a thing determined.  He would go to college, and then he would
come back and go into the mill offices.  In time, he would take
his father's place.  He meant to do it well and honestly.  He had
but to follow.  Anthony had broken the trail, only by that time
it was no longer a trail, but a broad and easy way.

Only once or twice did Anthony Cardew give voice to his dreams.
Once he said: "I'll build a house out here some of these days.  Good
location.  Growth of the city is bound to be in this direction."

What he did not say was that to be there, on that hill, overlooking
his activities, his very own, the things he had builded with such
labor, gave him a sense of power.  "This below," he felt, with more
of pride than arrogance, "this is mine.  I have done it.  I, Anthony
Cardew."

He felt, looking down, the pride of an artist in his picture, of a
sculptor who, secure from curious eyes, draws the sheet from the
still moist clay of his modeling, and now from this angle, now from
that, studies, criticizes, and exults.

But Anthony Cardew never built his house on the cliff.  Time was to
come when great houses stood there, like vast forts, overlooking,
almost menacing, the valley beneath.  For, until the nineties,
although the city distended in all directions, huge, ugly, powerful,
infinitely rich, and while in the direction of Anthony's farm the
growth was real and rapid, it was the plain people who lined its
rapidly extending avenues with their two-story brick houses; little
homes of infinite tenderness and quiet, along tree-lined streets,
where the children played on the cobble-stones, and at night the
horse cars, and later the cable system, brought home tired clerks
and storekeepers to small havens, already growing dingy from the
smoke of the distant mills.

Anthony Cardew did not like the plain people.  Yet in the end, it
was the plain people, those who neither labored with their hands
nor lived by the labor of others--it was the plain people who
vanquished him.  Vanquished him and tried to protect him.  But
could not.  A smallish man, hard and wiry, he neither saved himself
nor saved others.  He had one fetish, power.  And one pride, his
line.  The Cardews were iron masters.  Howard would be an iron
master, and Howard's son.

But Howard never had a son.



CHAPTER III


All through her teens Lily had wondered about the mystery concerning
her Aunt Elinor.  There was an oil portrait of her in the library,
and one of the first things she had been taught was not to speak
of it.

Now and then, at intervals of years, Aunt Elinor came back.  Her
mother and father would look worried, and Aunt Elinor herself would
stay in her rooms, and seldom appeared at meals.  Never at dinner.
As a child Lily used to think she had two Aunt Elinors, one the
young girl in the gilt frame, and the other the quiet, soft-voiced
person who slipped around the upper corridors like a ghost.

But she was not to speak of either of them to her grandfather.

Lily was not born in the house on lower East Avenue.

In the late eighties Anthony built himself a home, not on the farm,
but in a new residence portion of the city.  The old common, grazing
ground of family cows, dump and general eye-sore, had become a park
by that time, still only a potentially beautiful thing, with the
trees that were to be its later glory only thin young shoots, and on
the streets that faced it the wealthy of the city built their homes,
brick houses of square solidity, flush with brick pavements, which
were carefully reddened on Saturday mornings.  Beyond the pavements
were cobble-stoned streets.  Anthony Cardew was the first man in the
city to have a rubber-tired carriage.  The story of Anthony Cardew's
new home is the story of Elinor's tragedy.  Nor did it stop there.
It carried on to the third generation, to Lily Cardew, and in the
end it involved the city itself.  Because of the ruin of one small
home all homes were threatened.  One small house, and one undying
hatred.

Yet the matter was small in itself.  An Irishman named Doyle owned
the site Anthony coveted.  After years of struggle his small grocery
had begun to put him on his feet, and now the new development of the
neighborhood added to his prosperity.  He was a dried-up, sentimental
little man, with two loves, his wife's memory and his wife's garden,
which he still tended religiously between customers; and one
ambition, his son.  With the change from common to park, and the
improvement in the neighborhood, he began to flourish, and he, too,
like Anthony, dreamed a dream.  He would make his son a gentleman,
and he would get a shop assistant and a horse and wagon.  Poverty
was still his lot, but there were good times coming.  He saved
carefully, and sent Jim Doyle away to college.

He would not sell to Anthony.  When he said he could not sell his
wife's garden, Anthony's agents reported him either mad or deeply
scheming.  They kept after him, offering much more than the land was
worth.  Doyle began by being pugnacious, but in the end he took to
brooding.

"He'll get me yet," he would mutter, standing among the white phlox
of his little back garden.  "He'll get me.  He never quits."

Anthony Cardew waited a year.  Then he had the frame building
condemned as unsafe, and Doyle gave in.  Anthony built his house.
He put a brick stable where the garden had been, and the night
watchman for the property complained that a little man, with wild
eyes, often spent half the night standing across the street, quite
still, staring over.  If Anthony gave Doyle a thought, it was that
progress and growth had their inevitable victims.  But on the first
night of Anthony's occupancy of his new house Doyle shot himself
beside the stable, where a few stalks of white phlox had survived
the building operations.

It never reached the newspapers, nor did a stable-boy's story of
hearing the dying man curse Anthony and all his works.  But
nevertheless the story of the Doyle curse on Anthony Cardew spread.
Anthony heard it, and forgot it.  But two days later he was dragged
from his carriage by young Jim Doyle, returned for the older Doyle's
funeral, and beaten insensible with the stick of his own carriage
whip.

Young Doyle did not run away.  He stood by, a defiant figure full
of hatred, watching Anthony on the cobbles, as though he wanted to
see him revive and suffer.

"I didn't do it to revenge my father," he said at the trial.  "He
was nothing to me-- I did it to show old Cardew that he couldn't
get away with it.  I'd do it again, too."

Any sentiment in his favor died at that, and he was given five years
in the penitentiary.  He was a demoralizing influence there, already
a socialist with anarchical tendencies, and with the gift of
influencing men.  A fluent, sneering youth, who lashed the guards to
fury with his unctuous, diabolical tongue.

The penitentiary had not been moved then.  It stood in the park, a
grim gray thing of stone.  Elinor Cardew, a lonely girl always, used
to stand in a window of the new house and watch the walls.  Inside
there were men who were shut away from all that greenery around them.
Men who could look up at the sky, or down at the ground, but never
out and across, as she could.

She was always hoping some of them would get away.  She hated the
sentries, rifle on shoulder, who walked their monotonous beats, back
and forward, along the top of the wall.

Anthony's house was square and substantial, with high ceilings.  It
was paneled with walnut and furnished in walnut, in those days.  Its
tables and bureaus were of walnut, with cold white marble tops.  And
in the parlor was a square walnut piano, which Elinor hated because
she had to sit there three hours each day, slipping on the top of
the horsehair-covered stool, to practice.  In cold weather her German
governess sat in the frigid room, with a shawl and mittens, waiting
until the onyx clock on the mantel-piece showed that the three hours
were over.

Elinor had never heard the story of old Michael Doyle, or of his
son Jim.  But one night--she was seventeen then, and Jim Doyle had
served three years of his sentence--sitting at dinner with her
father, she said:

"Some convicts escaped from the penitentiary today, father."

"Don't believe it," said Anthony Cardew.  "Nothing about it in the
newspapers."

"Fraulein saw the hole."

Elinor had had an Alsatian governess.  That was one reason why
Elinor's niece had a French one.

"Hole?  What do you mean by hole?"

Elinor shrank back a little.  She had not minded dining with her
father when Howard was at home, but Howard was at college.  Howard
had a way of good-naturedly ignoring his father's asperities, but
Elinor was a suppressed, shy little thing, romantic, aloof, and
filled with undesired affections.  "She said a hole," she affirmed,
diffidently.  "She says they dug a tunnel and got out.  Last night."

"Very probably," said Anthony Cardew.  And he repeated, thoughtfully,
"Very probably."

He did not hear Elinor when she quietly pushed back her chair and
said "good-night."  He was sitting at the table, tapping on the
cloth with finger-tips that were slightly cold.  That evening
Anthony Cardew had a visit from the police, and considerable fiery
talk took place in his library.  As a result there was a shake-up
in city politics, and a change in the penitentiary management, for
Anthony Cardew had a heavy hand and a bitter memory.  And a little
cloud on his horizon grew and finally settled down over his life,
turning it gray.  Jim Doyle was among those who had escaped.  For
three months Anthony was followed wherever he went by detectives,
and his house was watched at night.  But he was a brave man, and
the espionage grew hateful.  Besides, each day added to his sense
of security.  There came a time when he impatiently dismissed the
police, and took up life again as before.

Then one day he received a note, in a plain white envelope.  It
said: "There are worse things than death."  And it was signed:
"J. Doyle."

Doyle was not recaptured.  Anthony had iron gratings put on the
lower windows of his house after that, and he hired a special
watchman.  But nothing happened, and at last he began to forget.
He was building the new furnaces up the river by that time.  The
era of structural steel for tall buildings was beginning, and he
bought the rights of a process for making cement out of his furnace
slag.  He was achieving great wealth, although he did not change
his scale of living.

Now and then Fraulein braved the terrors of the library, small
neatly-written lists in her hands.  Miss Elinor needed this or that.
He would check up the lists, sign his name to them, and Elinor and
Fraulein would have a shopping excursion.  He never gave Elinor
money.

On one of the lists one day he found the word, added in Elinor's
hand: "Horse."

"Horse?" he said, scowling up at Fraulein.  "There are six horses
in the stable now."

"Miss Elinor thought--a riding horse--"

"Nonsense!"  Then he thought a moment.  There came back to him a
picture of those English gentlewomen from among whom he had
selected his wife, quiet-voiced, hard-riding, high-colored girls,
who could hunt all day and dance all night.  Elinor was a pale
little thing.  Besides, every gentlewoman should ride.

"She can't ride around here."

"Miss Elinor thought--there are bridle paths near the riding
academy."

It was odd, but at that moment Anthony Cardew had an odd sort of
vision.  He saw the little grocer lying stark and huddled among
the phlox by the stable, and the group of men that stooped over him.

"I'll think about it," was his answer.

But within a few days Elinor was the owner of a quiet mare, stabled
at the academy, and was riding each day in the tan bark ring between
its white-washed fences, while a mechanical piano gave an air of
festivity to what was otherwise rather a solemn business.

Within a week of that time the riding academy had a new instructor,
a tall, thin young man, looking older than he was, with heavy dark
hair and a manner of repressed insolence.  A man, the grooms said
among themselves, of furious temper and cold eyes.

And in less than four months Elinor Cardew ran away from home and
was married to Jim Doyle.  Anthony received two letters from a
distant city, a long, ecstatic but terrified one from his daughter,
and one line on a slip of paper from her husband.  The one line
read: "I always pay my debts."

Anthony made a new will, leaving Howard everything, and had Elinor's
rooms closed.  Fraulein went away, weeping bitterly, and time went
on.  Now and then Anthony heard indirectly from Doyle.  He taught
in a boys' school for a time, and was dismissed for his radical views.
He did brilliant editorial work on a Chicago newspaper, but now and
then he intruded his slant-eyed personal views, and in the end he
lost his position.  Then he joined the Socialist party, and was
making speeches containing radical statements that made the police
of various cities watchful.  But he managed to keep within the
letter of the law.

Howard Cardew married when Elinor had been gone less than a year.
Married the daughter of a small hotel-keeper in his college town, a
pretty, soft-voiced girl, intelligent and gentle, and because
Howard was all old Anthony had left, he took her into his home.
But for many years he did not forgive her.  He had one hope, that
she would give Howard a son to carry on the line.  Perhaps the
happiest months of Grace Cardew's married life were those before
Lily was born, when her delicate health was safeguarded in every
way by her grim father-in-law.  But Grace bore a girl child, and
very nearly died in the bearing.  Anthony Cardew would never have
a grandson.

He was deeply resentful.  The proud fabric of his own weaving would
descend in the fullness of time to a woman.  And Howard himself
--old Anthony was pitilessly hard in his judgments--Howard was not
a strong man.  A good man.  A good son, better than he deserved.
But amiable, kindly, without force.

Once the cloud had lifted, and only once.  Elinor had come home to
have a child.  She came at night, a shabby, worn young woman, with
great eyes in a chalk-white face, and Grayson had not recognized
her at first.  He got her some port from the dining-room before he
let her go into the library, and stood outside the door, his usually
impassive face working, during the interview which followed.
Probably that was Grayson's big hour, for if Anthony turned her out
he intended to go in himself, and fight for the woman he had petted
as a child.

But Anthony had not turned her out.  He took one comprehensive
glance at her thin face and distorted figure.  Then he said:

"So this is the way you come back."

"He drove me out," she said dully.  "He sent me here.  He knew I
had no place else to go.  He knew you wouldn't want me.  It's
revenge, I suppose.  I'm so tired, father."

Yes, it was revenge, surely.  To send back to him this soiled and
broken woman, bearing the mark he had put upon her--that was
deviltry, thought out and shrewdly executed.  During the next hour
Anthony Cardew suffered, and made Elinor suffer, too.  But at the
end of that time he found himself confronting a curious situation.
Elinor, ashamed, humbled, was not contrite.  It began to dawn on
Anthony that Jim Doyle's revenge was not finished.  For--Elinor
loved the man.

She both hated him and loved him.  And that leering Irish devil
knew it.

He sent for Grace, finally, and Elinor was established in the house.
Grace and little Lily's governess had themselves bathed her and put
her to bed, and Mademoiselle had smuggled out of the house the
garments Elinor had worn into it.  Grace had gone in the motor--one
of the first in the city--and had sent back all sorts of lovely
garments for Elinor to wear, and quantities of fine materials to be
made into tiny garments.  Grace was a practical woman, and she
disliked the brooding look in Elinor's eyes.

"Do you know," she said to Howard that night, "I believe she is
quite mad about him still."

"He ought to be drawn and quartered," said Howard, savagely.

Anthony Cardew gave Elinor sanctuary, but he refused to see her
again.  Except once.

"Then, if it is a boy, you want me to leave him with you?" she asked,
bending over her sewing.

"Leave him with me!  Do you mean that you intend to go back to that
blackguard?"

"He is my husband.  He isn't always cruel."

"Good God!" shouted Anthony.  "How did I ever happen to have such
a craven creature for a daughter?"

"Anyhow," said Elinor, "it will be his child, father."

"When he turned you out, like any drab of the streets!" bellowed
old Anthony.  "He never cared for you.  He married you to revenge
himself on me.  He sent you back here for the same reason.  He'll
take your child, and break its spirit and ruin its body, for the
same reason.  The man's a maniac."

But again, as on the night she came, he found himself helpless
against Elinor's quiet impassivity.  He knew that, let Jim Doyle so
much as raise a beckoning finger, and she would go to him.  He did
not realize that Elinor had inherited from her quiet mother the
dog-like quality of love in spite of cruelty.  To Howard he stormed.
He considered Elinor's infatuation indecent.  She was not a Cardew.
The Cardew women had some pride.  And Howard, his handsome figure
draped negligently against the library mantel, would puzzle over
it, too.

"I'm blessed if I understand it," he would say.

Elinor's child had been a boy, and old Anthony found some balm in
Gilead.  Jim Doyle had not raised a finger to beckon, and if he knew
of his son, he made no sign.  Anthony still ignored Elinor, but he
saw in her child the third generation of Cardews.  Lily he had never
counted.  He took steps to give the child the Cardew name, and the
fact was announced in the newspapers.  Then one day Elinor went out,
and did not come back.  It was something Anthony Cardew had not
counted on, that a woman could love a man more than her child.

"I simply had to do it, father," she wrote.  "You won't understand,
of course.  I love him, father.  Terribly.  And he loves me in his
way, even when he is unfaithful to me.  I know he has been that.
Perhaps if you had wanted me at home it would have been different.
But it kills me to leave the baby.  The only reason I can bring
myself to do it is that, the way things are, I cannot give him the
things he ought to have.  And Jim does not seem to want him.  He
has never seen him, for one thing.  Besides--I am being honest--
I don't think the atmosphere of the way we live would be good for
a boy."

There was a letter to Grace, too, a wild hysterical document,
filled with instructions for the baby's care.  A wet nurse, for one
thing.  Grace read it with tears in her eyes, but Anthony saw in it
only the ravings of a weak and unbalanced woman.

He never forgave Elinor, and once more the little grocer's curse
thwarted his ambitions.  For, deprived of its mother's milk, the
baby died.  Old Anthony sometimes wondered if that, too, had been
calculated, a part of the Doyle revenge.



CHAPTER IV


While Grace rested that afternoon of Lily's return, Lily ranged over
the house.  In twenty odd years the neighborhood had changed, and
only a handful of the old families remained.  Many of the other
large houses were prostituted to base uses.  Dingy curtains hung at
their windows, dingy because of the smoke from the great furnaces
and railroads.  The old Osgood residence, nearby, had been turned
into apartments, with bottles of milk and paper bags on its
fire-escapes, and a pharmacy on the street floor.  The Methodist
Church, following its congregation to the vicinity of old Anthony's
farm, which was now cut up into city lots, had abandoned the
building, and it had become a garage.  The penitentiary had been
moved outside the city limits, and near its old site was a small
cement-lined lake, the cheerful rendezvous in summer of bathing
children and thirsty dogs.

Lily was idle, for the first time in months.  She wandered about,
even penetrating to those upper rooms sacred to her grandfather, to
which he had retired on Howard's marriage.  How strangely
commonplace they were now, in the full light of day, and yet, when
he was in them, the doors closed and only Burton, his valet, in
attendance, how mysterious they became!

Increasingly, in later years, Lily had felt and resented the
domination of the old man.  She resented her father's acquiescence
in that domination, her mother's good-humored tolerance of it.  She
herself had accepted it, although unwillingly, but she knew, rather
vaguely, that the Lily Cardew who had gone away to the camp and the
Lily Cardew who stood that day before her grandfather's throne-like
chair under its lamp, were two entirely different people.

She was uneasy rather than defiant.  She meant to keep the peace.
She had been brought up to the theory that no price was too great
to pay for peace.  But she wondered, as she stood there, if that
were entirely true.  She remembered something Willy Cameron had
said about that very thing.

"What's wrong with your grandfather," he had said, truculently, and
waving his pipe, "is that everybody gets down and lets him walk on
them.  If everybody lets a man use them as doormats, you can't blame
him for wiping his feet on them.  Tell him that sometime, and see
what happens."

"Tell him yourself!" said Lily.

He had smiled cheerfully.  He had an engaging sort of smile.

"Maybe I will," he said.  "I am a rising young man, and my voice
may some day be heard in the land.  Sometimes I feel the elements
of greatness in me, sweet child.  You haven't happened to notice
it yourself, have you?"

He had gazed at her with solemn anxiety through the smoke of his
pipe, and had grinned when she remained silent.

Lily drew a long breath.  All that delightful fooling was over; the
hard work was over.  The nights were gone when they would wander
like children across the parade grounds, or past the bayonet school,
with its rows of tripods upholding imitation enemies made of sacks
stuffed with hay, and showing signs of mortal injury with their
greasy entrails protruding.  Gone, too, were the hours when Willy
sank into the lowest abyss of depression over his failure to be a
fighting man.

"But you are doing your best for your country," she would say.

"I'm not fighting for it, or getting smashed up for it.  I don't
want to be a hero, but I'd like to have had one good bang at them
before I quit."

Once she had found him in the hut, with his head on a table.  He
said he had a toothache.

Well, that was all over.  She was back in her grandfather's house,
and--

"He'll get me too, probably," she reflected, as she went down the
stairs, "just as he's got all the others."

Mademoiselle was in Lily's small sitting room, while Castle was
unpacking under her supervision.  The sight of her uniforms made
Lily suddenly restless.

"How you could wear these things!" cried Mademoiselle.  "You, who
have always dressed like a princess!"

"I liked them," said Lily, briefly.  "Mademoiselle, what am
I going to do with myself, now?"

"Do?" Mademoiselle smiled.  "Play, as you deserve, Cherie.  Dance,
and meet nice young men.  You are to make your debut this fall.
Then a very charming young man, and marriage."

"Oh!" said Lily, rather blankly.  "I've got to come out, have I?
I'd forgotten people did such things.  Please run along and do
something else, Castle.  I'll unpack."

"That is very bad for discipline," Mademoiselle objected when the
maid had gone.  "And it is not necessary for Mr. Anthony Cardew's
granddaughter."

"It's awfully necessary for her," Lily observed, cheerfully.  "I've
been buttoning my own shoes for some time, and I haven't developed
a spinal curvature yet."  She kissed Mademoiselle's perplexed face
lightly.  "Don't get to worrying about me," she added.  "I'll shake
down in time, and be just as useless as ever.  But I wish you'd
lend me your sewing basket."

"Why?" asked Mademoiselle, suspiciously.

"Because I am possessed with a mad desire to sew on some buttons."

A little later Lily looked up from her rather awkward but industrious
labors with a needle, and fixed her keen young eyes on Mademoiselle.

"Is there any news about Aunt Elinor?" she asked.

"She is with him," said Mademoiselle, shortly.  "They are here now,
in the city.  How he dared to come back!"

"Does mother see her?"

"No.  Certainly not."

"Why 'certainly' not?  He is Aunt Elinor's husband.  She isn't
doing anything wicked."

"A woman who would leave a home like this," said Mademoiselle, "and
a distinguished family.  Position.  Wealth.  For a brute who beats
her.  And desert her child also!"

"Does he really beat her?  I don't quite believe that, Mademoiselle."

"It is not a subject for a young girl."

"Because really," Lily went on, "there is something awfully big
about a woman who will stick to one man like that.  I am quite sure
I would bite a man who struck me, but--suppose I loved him terribly
--" her voice trailed off.  "You see, dear, I have seen a lot of
brutality lately.  An army camp isn't a Sunday school picnic.  And
I like strong men, even if they are brutal sometimes."

Mademoiselle carefully cut a thread.

"This--you were speaking to Ellen of a young man.  Is he a--what
you term brutal?"

Suddenly Lily laughed.

"You poor dear!" she said.  "And mother, too, of course!  You're
afraid I'm in love with Willy Cameron.  Don't you know that if I
were, I'd probably never even mention his name?"

"But is he brutal?" persisted Mademoiselle.

"I'll tell you about him.  He is a thin, blond young man, tall and
a bit lame.  He has curly hair, and he puts pomade on it to take the
curl out.  He is frightfully sensitive about not getting in the army,
and he is perfectly sweet and kind, and as brutal as a June breeze.
You'd better tell mother.  And you can tell her he isn't in love
with me, or I with him.  You see, I represent what he would call
the monied aristocracy of America, and he has the most fearful ideas
about us."

"An anarchist, then?" asked.  Mademoiselle, extremely comforted.

"Not at all.  He says he belongs to the plain people.  The people
in between.  He is rather oratorical about them.  He calls them the
backbone of the country."

Mademoiselle relaxed.  She had been too long in old Anthony's house
to consider very seriously the plain people.  Her world, like
Anthony Cardew's, consisted of the financial aristocracy, which
invested money in industries and drew out rich returns, while
providing employment for the many; and of the employees of the
magnates, who had recently shown strong tendencies toward upsetting
the peace of the land, and had given old Anthony one or two attacks
of irritability when it was better to go up a rear staircase if he
were coming down the main one.

"Wait a moment," said Lily, suddenly.  "I have a picture of him
somewhere."

She disappeared, and Mademoiselle heard her rummaging through the
drawers of her dressing table.  She came back with a small
photograph in her hand.

It showed a young man, in a large apron over a Red Cross uniform,
bending over a low field range with a long-handled fork in his hand.

"Frying doughnuts," Lily explained.  "I was in this hut at first,
and I mixed them and cut them, and he fried them.  We made thousands
of them.  We used to talk about opening a shop somewhere, Cardew and
Cameron.  He said my name would be fine for business.  He'd fry them
in the window, and I'd sell them.  And a coffee machine--coffee and
doughnuts, you know."

"Not--seriously?"

At the expression on Mademoiselle's face Lily laughed joyously.

"Why not?" she demanded.  "And you could be the cashier, like the
ones in France, and sit behind a high desk and count money all day.
I'd rather do that than come out," she added.

"You are going to be a good girl, Lily, aren't you?"

"If that means letting grandfather use me for a doormat, I don't
know."

"Lily!"

"He's old, and I intend to be careful.  But he doesn't own me, body
and soul.  And it may be hard to make him understand that."

Many times in the next few months Mademoiselle was to remember that
conversation, and turn it over in her shrewd, troubled mind.  Was
there anything she could have done, outside of warning old Anthony
himself?  Suppose she had gone to Mr. Howard Cardew?

"And how," said Mademoiselle, trying to smile, "do you propose to
assert this new independence of spirit?"

"I am going to see Aunt Elinor," observed Lily.  "There, that's
eleven buttons on, and I feel I've earned my dinner.  And I'm going
to ask Willy Cameron to come here to see me.  To dinner.  And as he
is sure not to have any evening clothes, for one night in their
lives the Cardew men are going to dine in mufti.  Which is military,
you dear old thing, for the everyday clothing that the plain people
eat in, without apparent suffering!"

Mademoiselle got up.  She felt that Grace should be warned at once.
And there was a look in Lily's face when she mentioned this Cameron
creature that made Mademoiselle nervous.

"I thought he lived in the country."

"Then prepare yourself for a blow," said Lily Cardew, cheerfully.
"He is here in the city, earning twenty-five dollars a week in the
Eagle Pharmacy, and serving the plain people perfectly preposterous
patent potions--which is his own alliteration, and pretty good,
I say."

Mademoiselle went out into the hall.  Over the house, always silent,
there had come a death-like hush.  In the lower hall the footman was
hanging up his master's hat and overcoat.  Anthony Cardew had come
home for dinner.



CHAPTER V


Mr. William Wallace Cameron, that evening of Lily's return, took a
walk.  From his boarding house near the Eagle Pharmacy to the Cardew
residence was a half-hour's walk.  There were a number of things he
had meant to do that evening, with a view to improving his mind, but
instead he took a walk.  He had made up a schedule for those
evenings when he was off duty, thinking it out very carefully on the
train to the city.  And the schedule ran something like this:

Monday:     8-11.  Read History.
Wednesday:  8-11.  Read Politics and Economics.
Friday:     8-9:30.  Travel.  9:30-11.  French.
Sunday:     Hear various prominent divines.

He had cut down on the travel rather severely, because travel was
with him an indulgence rather than a study.  The longest journey he
had ever taken in his life was to Washington.  That was early in
the war, when it did not seem possible that his country would not
use him, a boy who could tramp incredible miles in spite of his
lameness and who could shoot a frightened rabbit at almost any
distance, by allowing for a slight deflection to the right in the
barrel of his old rifle.

But they had refused him.

"They won't use me, mother," he had said when he got home, home
being a small neat house on a tidy street of a little country town.
"I tried every branch, but the only training I've had--well, some
smart kid said they weren't planning to serve soda water to the
army.  They didn't want cripples, you see."

"I wish you wouldn't, Willy."

He had been frightfully sorry then and had comforted her at some
length, but the fact remained.

"And you the very best they've ever had for mixing prescriptions!"
she had said at last.  "And a graduate in chemistry!"

"Well," he said, "that's that, and we won't worry about it.  There's
more than one way of killing a cat."

"What do you mean, Willy?  More than one way?"

There was no light of prophecy in William Wallace Cameron's gray
eyes, however, when he replied: "More than one way of serving my
country.  Don't you worry.  I'll find something."

So he had, and he had come out of his Red Cross work in the camp
with one or two things in his heart that had not been there before.
One was a knowledge of men.  He could not have put into words what
he felt about men.  It was something about the fundamental
simplicity of them, for one thing.  You got pretty close to them at
night sometimes, especially when the homesick ones had gone to bed,
and the phonograph was playing in a corner of the long, dim room.
There were some shame-faced tears hidden under army blankets those
nights, and Willy Cameron did some blinking on his own account.

Then, under all the blasphemy, the talk about women, the surface
sordidness of their daily lives and thoughts, there was one instinct
common to all, one love, one hidden purity.  And the keyword to
those depths was "home."

"Home," he said one day to Lily Cardew.  "Mostly it's the home
they've left, and maybe they didn't think so much of it then.  But
they do now.  And if it isn't that, it's the home they want to have
some day."  He looked at Lily.  Sometimes she smiled at things he
said, and if she had not been grave he would not have gone on.
"You know," he continued, "there's mostly a girl some place.  All
this talk about the nation, now--"  He settled himself on the edge
of the pine table where old Anthony Cardew's granddaughter had
been figuring up her week's accounts, and lighted his pipe, "the
nation's too big for us to understand.  But what is the nation,
but a bunch of homes?"

"Willy dear," said Lily Cardew, "did you take any money out of the
cigar box for anything this week?"

"Dollar sixty-five for lard," replied Willy dear.  "As I was saying,
we've got to think of this country in terms of homes.  Not palaces
like yours--"

"Good gracious!" said Lily, "I don't live in a palace.  Get my
pocket-book, will you?  I'm out three dollars somehow, and I'd rather
make it up myself than add these figures over again.  Go on and talk,
Willy.  I love hearing you."

"Not palaces like yours," repeated Mr. Cameron, "and not hovels.
But mostly self-respecting houses, the homes of the plain people.
The middle class, Miss Cardew.  My class.  The people who never say
anything, but are squeezed between capital, represented by your
grandfather, with its parasites, represented by you, and--"

"You represent the people who never say anything," observed the
slightly flushed parasite of capital, "about as adequately as I
represent the idle rich."

Yet not even old Anthony could have resented the actual relationship
between them.  Lily Cardew, working alone in her hut among hundreds
of men, was as without sex consciousness as a child.  Even then her
flaming interest was in the private soldiers.  The officers were
able to amuse themselves; they had money and opportunity.  It was
the doughboys she loved and mothered.  For them she organized her
little entertainments.  For them she played and sang in the evenings,
when the field range in the kitchen was cold, and her blistered
fingers stumbled sometimes over the keys of the jingling camp piano.

Gradually, out of the chaos of her early impressions, she began to
divide the men in the army into three parts.  There were the
American born; they took the war and their part in it as a job to
be done, with as few words as possible.  And there were the
foreigners to whom America was a religion, a dream come true, whose
flaming love for their new mother inspired them to stuttering
eloquence and awkward gestures.  And then there was a third division,
small and mostly foreign born, but with a certain percentage of
native malcontents, who hated the war and sneered among themselves
at the other dupes who believed that it was a war for freedom.  It
was a capitalists' war.  They considered the state as an instrument
of oppression, as a bungling interference with liberty and labor;
they felt that wealth inevitably brought depravity.  They committed
both open and overt acts against discipline, and found in their
arrest and imprisonment renewed grievances, additional oppression,
tyranny.  And one day a handful of them, having learned Lily's
identity, came into her hut and attempted to bait her.

"Gentlemen," said one of them, "we have here an example of one of
the idle rich, sacrificing herself to make us happy.  Now, boys, be
happy.  Are we all happy?"  He surveyed the group.  "Here, you,"
he addressed a sullen-eyed squat Hungarian.  "Smile when I tell you.
You're a slave in one of old Cardew's mills, aren't you?  Well,
aren't you grateful to him?  Here he goes and sends his
granddaughter--"

Willy Cameron had entered the room with a platter of doughnuts in
his hand, and stood watching, his face going pale.  Quite suddenly
there was a crash, and the gang leader went down in a welter of
porcelain and fried pastry.  Willy Cameron was badly beaten up, in
the end, and the beaters were court-martialed.  But something of
Lily's fine faith in humanity was gone.

"But," she said to him, visiting him one day in the base hospital,
where he was still an aching, mass of bruises, "there must be
something behind it.  They didn't hate me.  They only hated my--
well, my family."

"My dear child," said Willy Cameron, feeling very old and
experienced, and, it must be confessed, extremely happy, "of course
there's something behind it.  But the most that's behind it is a lot
of fellows who want without working what the other fellow's worked
to get."

It was about that time that Lily was exchanged into the town near
the camp, and Willy Cameron suddenly found life a stale thing, and
ashes in the mouth.  He finally decided that he had not been such a
hopeless fool as to fall in love with her, but that it would be as
well not to see her too much.

"The thing to do," he reasoned to himself, "is, first of all, not
to see her.  Or only on Friday nights, because she likes the movies,
and it would look queer to stop."  Thus Willy Cameron speciously to
himself, and deliberately ignoring the fact that some twenty-odd
officers stood ready to seize those Friday nights.  "And then to
work hard, so I'll sleep better, and not lie awake making a fool of
myself.  And when I get a bit of idiocy in the daytime, I'd better
just walk it off.  Because I've got to live with myself a long time,
probably, and I'm no love-sick Romeo."

Which excellent practical advice had cost him considerable
shoe-leather at first.  In a month or two, however, he considered
himself quite cured, and pretended to himself that he was surprised
to find it Friday again.  But when, after retreat, the band marched
back again to its quarters playing, for instance, "There's a Long,
Long Trail," there was something inside him that insisted on seeing
the years ahead as a long, long trail, and that the trail did not
lead to the lands of his dreams.

He got to know that very well indeed during the winter that followed
the armistice.  Because there was work to do he stayed and finished
up, as did Lily Cardew.  But the hut was closed and she was working
in the town, and although they kept up their Friday evenings, the
old intimacy was gone.  And one night she said:

"Isn't it amazing, when you are busy, how soon Friday night comes
along?"

And on each day of the preceding week he had wakened and said to
himself:  "This is Monday--"--or whatever it might be--"and in
four more days it will be Friday."

In February he was sent home.  Lily stayed on until the end of March.
He went back to his little village of plain people, and took up life
again as best he could.  But sometimes it seemed to him that from
behind every fire-lit window in the evenings--he was still wearing
out shoe-leather, particularly at nights--somebody with a mandolin
was wailing about the long, long trail.

His mother watched him anxiously.  He was thinner than ever, and
oddly older, and there was a hollow look about his eyes that hurt
her.

"Why don't you bring home a bottle of tonic from the store, Willy,"
she said, one evening when he had been feverishly running through
the city newspaper.  He put the paper aside hastily.

"Tonic!" he said.  "Why, I'm all right, mother.  Anyhow, I wouldn't
take any of that stuff."  He caught her eye and looked away.  "It
takes a little time to get settled again, that's all, mother."

"The Young People's Society is having an entertainment at the church
to-night, Willy."

"Well, maybe I'll go," he agreed to her unspoken suggestion.  "If
you insist on making me a society man--"

But some time later he came downstairs with a book.

"Thought I'd rather read," he explained.  "Got a book here on the
history of steel.  Talk about romances!  Let me read some of it to
you.  You sit there and close your eyes and just listen to this:
'The first Cardew furnace was built in 1868.  At that time--'"

Some time later he glanced up.  His mother was quietly sleeping, her
hands folded in her lap.  He closed the book and sat there, fighting
again his patient battle with himself.  The book on his knee seemed
to symbolize the gulf between Lily Cardew and himself.  But the real
gulf, the unbridgeable chasm, between Lily and himself, was neither
social nor financial.

"As if that counted, in America," he reflected scornfully.

No.  It was not that.  The war had temporarily broken down the old
social barriers.  Some of them would never be erected again,
although it was the tendency of civilization for men to divide
themselves, rather than to be divided, into the high, the middle
and the low.  But in his generation young Cameron knew that there
would be no uncrossable bridge between old Anthony's granddaughter
and himself, were it not for one thing.

She did not love him.  It hurt his pride to realize that she had
never thought of him in any terms but that of a pleasant comradeship.
Hardly even as a man.  Men fought, in war time.  They did not fry
doughnuts and write letters home for the illiterate.  Any one of
those boys in the ranks was a better man than he was.  All this
talk about a man's soul being greater than his body, that was rot.
A man was as good as the weakest part of him, and no more.

His sensitive face in the lamplight was etched with lines of tragedy.
He put the book on the table, and suddenly flinging his arms across
it, dropped his head on them.  The slight movement wakened his
mother.

"Why, Willy!" she said.

After a moment he looked up.  "I was almost asleep," he explained,
more to protect her than himself.  "I--I wish that fool Nelson kid
would break his mandolin--or his neck," he said irritably.  He
kissed her and went upstairs.  From across the quiet street there
came thin, plaintive, occasionally inaccurate, the strains of the
long, long trail.

There was the blood of Covenanters in Willy Cameron's mother, a high
courage of sacrifice, and an exceedingly shrewd brain.  She lay
awake that night, carefully planning, and when everything was
arranged in orderly fashion in her mind, she lighted her lamp and
carried it to the door of Willy's room.  He lay diagonally across
his golden-oak bed, for he was very long, and sleep had rubbed away
the tragic lines about his mouth.  She closed his door and went
back to her bed.

"I've seen too much of it," she reflected, without bitterness.  She
stared around the room.  "Too much of it," she repeated.  And
crawled heavily back into bed, a determined little figure, rather
chilled.

The next morning she expressed a desire to spend a few months with
her brother in California.

"I coughed all last winter, after I had the flu," she explained,
"and James has been wanting me this long time.  I don't want to
leave you, that's all, Willy.  If you were in the city it would be
different."

He was frankly bewildered and a little hurt, to tell the truth.  He
no more suspected her of design than of crime.

"Of course you are going," he said, heartily.  "It's the very thing.
But I like the way you desert your little son!"

"I've been thinking about that, too," she said, pouring his coffee.
"I--if you were in the city, now, there would always be something
to do."

He shot her a suspicious glance, but her face was without evidence
of guile.

"What would I do in the city?"

"They use chemists in the mills, don't they?"

"A fat chance I'd have for that sort of job," he scoffed.  "No city
for me, mother."

But she knew.  She read his hesitation accurately, the incredulous
pause of the bird whose cage door is suddenly opened.  He would go.

"I'd think about it, anyhow, Willy."

But for a long time after he had gone she sat quietly rocking in her
rocking chair in the bay window of the sitting room.  It was a
familiar attitude of hers, homely, middle-class, and in a way
symbolic.  Had old Anthony Cardew ever visualized so imaginative a
thing as a Nemesis, he would probably have summoned a vision of a
huddled figure in his stable-yard, dying, and cursing him as he
died.  Had Jim Doyle, cunningly plotting the overthrow of law and
order, been able in his arrogance to conceive of such a thing, it
might have been Anthony Cardew he saw.  Neither of them, for a
moment, dreamed of it as an elderly Scotch Covenanter, a plain little
womanly figure, rocking in a cane-seated rocking chair, and making
the great sacrifice of her life.

All of which simply explains how, on a March Wednesday evening of
the great year of peace after much tribulation, Mr. William Wallace
Cameron, now a clerk at the Eagle Pharmacy, after an hour of
Politics, and no Economics at all, happened to be taking a walk
toward the Cardew house.  Such pilgrimages has love taken for many
years, small uncertain ramblings where the fancy leads the feet and
far outstrips them, and where heart-hunger hides under various flimsy
pretexts; a fine night, a paper to be bought, a dog to be exercised.

Not that Willy Cameron made any excuses to himself.  He had a sort
of idea that if he saw the magnificence that housed her, it would
through her sheer remoteness kill the misery in him.  But he
regarded himself with a sort of humorous pity, and having picked up
a stray dog, he addressed it now and then.

"Even a cat can look at a king," he said once.  And again, following
some vague train of thought, on a crowded street: "The People's
voice is a queer thing.  'It is, and it is not, the voice of God.'
The people's voice, old man.  Only the ones that count haven't got
a voice."

There were, he felt, two Lily Cardews.  One lived in an army camp,
and wore plain clothes, and got a bath by means of calculation and
persistency, and went to the movies on Friday nights, and was quite
apt to eat peanuts at those times, carefully putting the shells in
her pocket.

And another one lived inside this great pile of brick,--he was
standing across from it, by the park railing, by that time--where
motor cars drew up, and a footman with an umbrella against a light
rain ushered to their limousines draped women and men in evening
clothes, their strong blacks and whites revealed in the light of
the street door.  And this Lily Cardew lived in state, bowed to by
flunkeys in livery, dressed and undressed--his Scotch sense of
decorum resented this--by serving women.  This Lily Cardew would
wear frivolous ball-gowns, such things as he saw in the shop
windows, considered money only as a thing of exchange, and had
traveled all over Europe a number of times.

He took his station against the park railings and reflected that it
was a good thing he had come, after all.  Because it was the first
Lily whom he loved, and she was gone, with the camp and the rest,
including war.  What had he in common with those lighted windows,
with their heavy laces and draperies?

"Nothing at all, old man," he said cheerfully to the dog, "nothing
at all."

But although the ache was gone when he turned homeward, the dog
still at his heels, he felt strangely lonely without it.  He
considered that very definitely he had put love out of his life.
Hereafter he would travel the trail alone.  Or accompanied only by
History, Politics, Economics, and various divines on Sunday evenings.



CHAPTER VI


"Well, grandfather," said Lily Cardew, "the last of the Cardews is
home from the wars."

"So I presume," observed old Anthony.  "Owing, however, to your
mother's determination to shroud this room in impenetrable gloom,
I can only presume.  I cannot see you."

His tone was less unpleasant than his words, however.  He was in one
of the rare moods of what passed with him for geniality.  For one
thing, he had won at the club that afternoon, where every day from
four to six he played bridge with his own little group, reactionaries
like himself, men who viewed the difficulties of the younger
employers of labor with amused contempt.  For another, he and Howard
had had a difference of opinion, and he had, for a wonder, made
Howard angry.

"Well, Lily," he inquired, "how does it seem to be at home?"

Lily eyed him almost warily.  He was sometimes most dangerous in
these moods.

"I'm not sure, grandfather."

"Not sure about what?"

"Well, I am glad to see everybody, of course.  But what am I to do
with myself?"

"Tut." He had an air of benignantly forgiving her.  "You'll find
plenty.  What did you do before you went away?"

"That was different, grandfather."

"I'm blessed," said old Anthony, truculently, "if I understand what
has come over this country, anyhow.  What is different?  We've had
a war.  We've had other wars, and we didn't think it necessary to
change the Constitution after them.  But everything that was right
before this war is wrong after it.  Lot of young idiots coming back
and refusing to settle down.  Set of young Bolshevists!"

He had always managed to arouse a controversial spirit in the girl.

"Maybe, if it isn't right now, it wasn't right before."  Having
said it, Lily immediately believed it.  She felt suddenly fired with
an intense dislike of anything that her grandfather advocated.

"Meaning what?" He fixed her with cold but attentive eyes.

"Oh--conditions," she said vaguely.  She was not at all sure what
she meant.  And old Anthony realized it, and gave a sardonic chuckle.

"I advise you to get a few arguments from your father, Lily.  He is
full of them.  If he had his way I'd have a board of my workmen
running my mills, while I played golf in Florida."

Dinner was a relatively pleasant meal.  In her gradual rehabilitation
of the house Grace had finally succeeded in doing over the dining
room.  Over the old walnut paneling she had hung loose folds of faded
blue Italian velvet, with old silver candle sconces at irregular
intervals along the walls.  The great table and high-backed chairs
were likewise Italian, and the old-fashioned white marble fireplace
had been given an over-mantel, also white, enclosing an old tapestry.
For warmth of color there were always flowers, and that night there
were red roses.

Lily liked the luxury of it.  She liked the immaculate dinner dress
of the two men; she liked her mother's beautiful neck and arms; she
liked the quiet service once more; she even liked herself, moderately,
in a light frock and slippers.  But she watched it all with a new
interest and a certain detachment.  She felt strange and aloof, not
entirely one of them.  She felt very keenly that no one of them was
vitally interested in this wonder-year of hers.  They asked her
perfunctory questions, but Grace's watchful eyes were on the service,
Anthony was engrossed with his food, and her father--

Her father was changed.  He looked older and care-worn.  For the
first time she began to wonder about her father.  What was he,
really, under that calm, fastidiously dressed, handsome exterior?
Did he mind the little man with the sardonic smile and the swift
unpleasant humor, whose glance reduced the men who served into
terrified menials?  Her big, blond father, with his rather slow
speech, his honest eyes, his slight hesitation before he grasped
some of the finer nuances of his father's wit.  No, he was not
brilliant, but he was real, real and kindly.  Perhaps he was strong,
too.  He looked strong.

With the same pitiless judgment she watched her mother.  Either
Grace was very big, or very indifferent to the sting of old Anthony's
tongue.  Sometimes women suffered much in silence, because they loved
greatly.  Like Aunt Elinor.  Aunt Elinor had loved her husband more
than she had loved her child.  Quite calmly Lily decided that, as
between her husband and herself, her mother loved her husband.
Perhaps that was as it should be, but it added to her sense of
aloofness.  And she wondered, too, about these great loves that
seemed to feed on sacrifice.

Anthony, who had a most unpleasant faculty of remembering things,
suddenly bent forward and observed to her, across the table:

"I should be interested to know, since you regard present conditions
as wrong, and, I inferred, wrong because of my mishandling of them,
just what you would propose to do to right them."

"But I didn't say they were wrong, did I?"

"Don't answer a question with a question.  It's a feminine form of
evasion, because you have no answer and no remedy.  Yet, heaven
save the country, women are going to vote!"  He pushed his plate
away and glanced at Grace.  "Is that the new chef's work?"

"Yes.  Isn't it right?"

"Right?  The food is impossible."

"He came from the club."

"Send him back," ordered Anthony.  And when Grace observed that it
was difficult to get servants, he broke into a cold fury.  What had
come over the world, anyhow?  Time was when a gentleman's servants
stayed with the family until they became pensioners, and their
children took their places. Now--!

Grace said nothing.  Her eyes sought Howard's, and seemed to find
some comfort there.  And Lily, sorry for her mother, said the first
thing that came into her head.

"The old days of caste are gone, grandfather.  And service, in your
sense of the word, went with them."

"Really?" he eyed her.  "Who said that?  Because I daresay it is not
original."

"A man I knew at camp."

"What man?"

"His name was Willy Cameron."

"Willy Cameron!  Was this--er--person qualified to speak?  Does
he know anything about what he chooses to call caste?"

"He thinks a lot about things."

"A little less thinking and more working wouldn't hurt the country
any," observed old Anthony.  He bent forward.  "As my granddaughter,
and the last of the Cardews," he said, "I have a certain interest in
the sources of your political opinions.  They will probably, like
your father's, differ from mine.  You may not know that your father
has not only opinions, but ambitions."  She saw Grace stiffen, and
Howard's warning glance at her.  But she saw, too, the look in her
mother's eyes, infinitely loving and compassionate.  "Dear little
mother," she thought, "he is her baby, really.  Not I."

She felt a vague stirring of what married love at its best must be
for a woman, its strange complex of passion and maternity.  She
wondered if it would ever come to her.  She rather thought not.  But
she was also conscious of a new attitude among the three at the
table, her mother's tense watchfulness, her father's slightly squared
shoulders, and across from her her grandfather, fingering the stem
of his wineglass and faintly smiling.

"It's time somebody went into city politics for some purpose other
than graft," said Howard.  "I am going to run for mayor, Lily.  I
probably won't get it."

"You can see," said old Anthony, "why I am interested in your views,
or perhaps I should say, in Willy Cameron's.  Does your father's
passion for uplift, for instance, extend to you?"

"Why won't you be elected, father?"

"Partly because my name is Cardew."

Old Anthony chuckled.

"What!" he exclaimed, "after the bath-house and gymnasium you have
built at the mill?  And the laundries for the women--which I
believe they do not use.  Surely, Howard, you would not accuse the
dear people of ingratitude?"

"They are beginning to use them, sir." Howard, in his forties, still
addressed his father as "Sir!"

"Then you admit your defeat beforehand."

"You are rather a formidable antagonist."

"Antagonist!" Anthony repeated in mock protest.  "I am a quiet
onlooker at the game.  I am amused, naturally.  You must understand,"
he said to Lily, "that this is a matter of a principle with your
father.  He believes that he should serve.  My whole contention is
that the people don't want to be served.  They want to be bossed.
They like it; it's all they know.  And they're suspicious of a man
who puts his hand into his own pocket instead of into theirs."

He smiled and sipped his wine.

"Good wine, this," he observed.  "I'm buying all I can lay my hands
on, against the approaching drought."

Lily's old distrust of her grandfather revived.  Why did people
sharpen like that with age?  Age should be mellow, like old wine.
And--what was she going to do with herself?  Already the atmosphere
of the house began to depress and worry her; she felt a new, almost
violent impatience with it.  It was so unnecessary.

She went to the pipe organ which filled the space behind the
staircase, and played a little, but she had never been very
proficient, and her own awkwardness annoyed her.  In the dining room
she could hear the men talking, Howard quietly, his father in short
staccato barks.  She left the organ and wandered into her mother's
morning room, behind the drawing room, where Grace sat with the
coffee tray before her.

"I'm afraid I'm going to be terribly on your hands, mother," she
said, "I don't know what to do with myself, so how can you know
what to do with me?"

"It is going to be rather stupid for you at first, of course," Grace
said.  "Lent, and then so many of the men are not at home.  Would
you like to go South?"

"Why, I've just come home!"

"We can have some luncheons, of course.  Just informal ones.  And
there will be small dinners.  You'll have to get some clothes.  I
saw Suzette yesterday.  She has some adorable things."

"I'd love them.  Mother, why doesn't he want father to go into
politics?"

Grace hesitated.

"He doesn't like change, for one thing.  But I don't know anything
about politics.  Suzette says--"

"Will he try to keep him from being elected?"

"He won't support him.  Of course I hardly think he would oppose
him.  I really don't understand about those things."

"You mean you don't understand him.  Well, I do, mother.  He has
run everything, including father, for so long--"

"Lily!"

"I must, mother.  Why, out at the camp--"  She checked herself.
"All the papers say the city is badly governed, and that he is
responsible.  And now he is going to fight his own son!  The more I
think about it, the more I understand about Aunt Elinor.  Mother,
where do they live?"

Grace looked apprehensively toward the door.  "You are not allowed
to visit her."

"You do."

"That's different.  And I only go once or twice a year."

"Just because she married a poor man, a man whose father--"

"Not at all.  That is all dead and buried.  He is a very dangerous
man.  He is running a Socialist newspaper, and now he is inciting
the mill men to strike.  He is preaching terrible things.  I haven't
been there for months."

"What do you mean by terrible things, mother?"

"Your father says it amounts to a revolution.  I believe he calls
it a general strike.  I don't really know much about it."

Lily pondered that.

"Socialism isn't revolution, mother, is it?  But even then--is all
this because grandfather drove his father to--"

"I wish you wouldn't, Lily.  Of course it is not that.  I daresay
he believes what he preaches.  He ought to be put into jail.  Why
the country lets such men go around, preaching sedition, I don't
understand."

Lily remembered something else Willy Cameron had said, and promptly
repeated it.

"We had a muzzled press during the war," she said, "and now we've
got free speech.  And one's as bad as the other.  She must love him
terribly, mother," she added.

But Grace harked back to Suzette, and the last of the Cardews harked
with her.  Later on people dropped in, and Lily made a real attempt
to get back into her old groove, but that night, when she went
upstairs to her bedroom, with its bright fire, its bed neatly turned
down, her dressing gown and slippers laid out, the shaded lamps
shining on the gold and ivory of her dressing table, she was
conscious of a sudden homesickness.  Homesickness for her bare
little room in the camp barracks, for other young lives, noisy,
chattering, often rather silly, occasionally unpleasant, but young.
Radiantly, vitally young.  The great house, with its stillness and
decorum, oppressed her.  There was no youth in it, save hers.

She went to her window and looked out.  Years ago, like Elinor, she
had watched the penitentiary walls from that window, with their
endlessly pacing sentries, and had grieved for those men who might
look up at the sky, or down at the earth, but never out and across,
to see the spring trees, for instance, or the children playing on
the grass.  She remembered the story about Jim Doyle's escape, too.
He had dug a perilous way to freedom.  Vaguely she wondered if he
were not again digging a perilous way to freedom.

Men seemed always to be wanting freedom, only they had so many
different ideas of what freedom was.  At the camp it had meant
breaking bounds, balking the Military Police, doing forbidden things
generally.  Was that, after all, what freedom meant, to do the
forbidden thing?  Those people in Russia, for instance, who stole
and burned and appropriated women, in the name of freedom.  Were
law and order, then, irreconcilable with freedom?

After she had undressed she rang her bell, and Castle answered it.

"Please find out if Ellen has gone to bed," she said.  "If she has
not, I would like to talk to her."

The maid looked slightly surprised.

"If it's your hair, Miss Lily, Mrs. Cardew has asked me to look
after you until she has engaged a maid for you."

"Not my hair," said Lily, cheerfully.  "I rather like doing it
myself.  I just want to talk to Ellen."

It was a bewildered and rather scandalized Castle who conveyed the
message to Ellen.



CHAPTER VII


"I wish you'd stop whistling that thing," said Miss Boyd, irritably.
"It makes me low in my mind."

"Sorry," said Willy Cameron.  "I do it because I'm low in my mind."

"What are you low about?"  Miss Boyd had turned toward the rear of
the counter, where a mirror was pasted to a card above a box of
chewing gum, and was carefully adjusting her hair net.  "Lady friend
turned you down?"

Willy Cameron glanced at her.

"I'm low because I haven't got a lady friend, Miss Boyd."  He held
up a sheet of prescription paper and squinted at it.  "Also because
the medical profession writes with its feet, apparently.  I've done
everything to this but dip it in acid.  I've had it pinned to the
wall, and tried glancing at it as I went past.  Sometimes you can
surprise them that way.  But it does no good.  I'm going to take it
home and dream on it, like bride's cake."

"They're awful, aren't they?"

"When I get into the Legislature," said Willy Cameron, "I'm going
to have a bill passed compelling doctors to use typewriters.  Take
this now.  Read upside down, its horse liniment.  Read right side
up, it's poison.  And it's for internal use."

"What d'you mean you haven't got a lady friend?"

"The exact and cruel truth."  He smiled at her, and had Miss Boyd
been more discerning she might have seen that the smile was slightly
forced.  Also that his eyes were somewhat sunken in his head.  Which
might, of course, have been due to too much political economy and
history, and the eminent divines on Sunday evenings.  Miss Boyd,
however, was not discerning, and moreover, she was summoning her
courage to a certain point.

"Why don't you ask me to go to the movies some night?" she said.
"I like the movies, and I get sick of going alone."

"My dear child," observed Willy Cameron, "if that young man in the
sack suit who comes in to see you every day were three inches shorter
and twenty pounds lighter, I'd ask you this minute."

"Oh, him!" said Miss Boyd, with a self-conscious smile.  "I'm
through with him.  He's a Bolshevik!"

"He has the Bolshevist possessive eye," agreed Willy Cameron,
readily.  "Does he know you are through with him?  Because that's
important, too.  You may know it, and I may know it, but if he
doesn't know it--"

"Why don't you say right out you don't want to take me?"  Willy
Cameron's chivalrous soul was suddenly shocked.  To his horror he
saw tears in Miss Boyd's eyes.

"I'm just a plain idiot, Miss Edith," he said.  "I was only fooling.
It will mean a lot to me to have a nice girl go with me to the
movies, or anywhere else.  We'll make it to-night, if that suits you,
and I'll take a look through the neighborhood at noon and see what's
worth while."

The Eagle Pharmacy was a small one in a quiet neighborhood.  During
the entire day, and for three evenings a week, Mr. William Wallace
Cameron ran it almost single-handed, having only the preoccupied
assistance of Miss Boyd in the candy and fancy goods.  At the noon
and dinner hours, and four evenings a week, he was relieved by the
owner, Mr. Davis, a tired little man with large projecting ears and
worried, child-like eyes, who was nursing an invalid wife at home.
A pathetic little man, carrying home with unbounded faith day after
day bottles of liquid foods and beef capsules, and making wistful
comments on them when he returned.

"She couldn't seem to keep that last stuff down, Mr. Cameron," he
would say.  "I'll try something else."

And he would stand before his shelves, eyes upturned, searching,
eliminating, choosing.

Miss Boyd attended to the general merchandise, sold stationery and
perfumes, candy and fancy soaps, and in the intervals surveyed the
world that lay beyond the plate glass windows with shrewd,
sophisticated young eyes.

"That new doctor across the street is getting busier," she would
say.  Or, "The people in 42 have got a Ford.  They haven't got room
for a garage, either.  Probably have to leave it out at nights."

Her sophistication was kindly in the main.  She combined it with an
easy tolerance of weakness, and an invincible and cheery romanticism,
as Willy Cameron discovered the night they first went to a moving
picture theater together.  She frankly wept and joyously laughed,
and now and then, delighted at catching some film subtlety and
fearful that he would miss it, she would nudge him with her elbow.

"What d'you think of that?" she would say.  "D'you get it?  He thinks
he's getting her--Alice Joyce, you know--on the telephone, and it's
a private wire to the gang."  She was rather quiet after that
particular speech.  Then she added: "I know a place that's got a
secret telephone."  But he was absorbed in the picture, and made no
comment on that.  She seemed rather relieved.

Once or twice she placed an excited hand on his knee.  He was very
uncomfortable until she removed it, because he had a helpless sort
of impression that she was not quite so unconscious of it as she
appeared.  Time had been, and not so long ago, when he might have
reciprocated her little advance in the spirit in which it was
offered, might have taken the hand and held it, out of the sheer
joy of youth and proximity.  But there was nothing of the philanderer
in the Willy Cameron who sat beside Edith Boyd that night in body,
while in spirit he was in another state, walking with his slight limp
over crisp snow and sodden mud, but through magic lands, to the
little moving picture theater at the camp.

Would he ever see her again?  Ever again?  And if he did, what good
would it be?  He roused himself when they started toward her home.
The girl was chattering happily.  She adored Douglas Fairbanks.  She
knew a girl who had written for his picture but who didn't get one.
She wouldn't do a thing like that.  "Did they really say things when
they moved their lips?"

"I think they do," said Willy Cameron.  "When that chap was talking
over the telephone I could tell what he was saying by-- Look here,
what did you mean when you said you knew of a place that has a secret
telephone?"

"I was only talking."

"No house has any business with a secret telephone," he said
virtuously.

"Oh, forget it.  I say a lot of things I don't mean."  He was a
little puzzled and rather curious, but not at all disturbed.

"Well, how did you get to know about it?"

"I tell you I was only talking."

He let it drop at that.  The street crowds held and interested him.
He liked to speculate about them; what life meant to them, in work
and love and play; to what they were going on such hurrying feet.
A country boy, the haste of the city impressed him.

"Why do they hurry so?" he demanded, almost irritably.

"Hurrying home, most of them, because they've got to get up in the
morning and go to work."

"Do you ever wonder about the homes they are hurrying to?"

"Me?  I don't wonder.  I know.  Most of them have to move fast to
keep up with the rent."

"I don't mean houses," he explained, patiently.  "I mean-- A house
isn't a home."

"You bet it isn't."

"It's the families I'm talking about.  In a small town you know all
about people, who they live with, and all that."  He was laboriously
talking down to her.  "But here--"

He saw that she was not interested.  Something he had said started
an unpleasant train of thought in her mind.  She was walking faster,
and frowning slightly.  To cheer her he said:

"I am keeping an eye out for the large young man in the sack suit,
you know.  If he jumps me, just yell for the police, will you?
Because I'll probably not be able to."

"I wish you'd let me forget him."

"I will.  The question is, will he?"  But he saw that the subject
was unpleasant.

"We'll have to do this again.  It's been mighty nice of you to come."

"You'll have to ask me, the next time."

"I certainly will.  But I think I'd better let your family look me
over first, just so they'll know that I don't customarily steal
the silver spoons when I'm asked out to dinner.  Or anything like
that."

"We're just--folks."

"So am I, awfully--folks!  And pretty lonely folks at that.
Something like that pup that has adopted me, only worse.  He's got
me, but I haven't anybody."

"You'll not be lonely long." She glanced up at him.

"That's cheering.  Why?"

"Well, you are the sort that makes friends," she said, rather
vaguely.  "That crowd that drops into the shop on the evenings
you're there--they're crazy about you.  They like to hear you talk."

"Great Scott!  I suppose I've been orating all over the place!"

"No, but you've got ideas.  You give them something to think about
when they go home.  I wish I had a mind like yours."

He was so astonished that he stopped dead on the pavement.  "My
Scottish blood," he said despondently.  "A Scot is always a reformer
and a preacher, in his heart.  I used to orate to my mother, but she
liked it.  She is a Scot, too.  Besides, it put her to sleep.  But
I thought I'd outgrown it."

"You don't make speeches.  I didn't mean that."

But he was very crestfallen during the remainder of the way, and
rather silent.  He wondered, that night before he went to bed, if he
had been didactic to Lily Cardew.  He had aired his opinions to her
at length, he knew.  He groaned as he took off his coat in his cold
little room at the boarding house which lodged and fed him, both
indifferently, for the sum of twelve dollars per week.

Jinx, the little hybrid dog, occupied the seat of his one comfortable
chair.  He eyed the animal somberly.

"Hereafter, old man," he said, "when I feel a spell of oratory coming
on, you will have to be the audience."  He took his dressing gown
from a nail behind the door, and commenced to put it on.  Then he
took it off again and wrapped the dog in it.

"I can read in bed, which you can't," he observed.  "Only, I can't
help thinking, with all this town to pick from, you might have chosen
a fellow with two dressing gowns and two chairs."

      *           *           *           *           *

He was extremely quiet all the next day.  Miss Boyd could hear him,
behind the partition with its "Please Keep Out" sign, fussing with
bottles and occasionally whistling to himself.  Once it was the "Long,
Long Trail," and a moment later he appeared in his doorway, grinning.

"Sorry," he said.  "I've got in the habit of thinking to the fool
thing.  Won't do it again."

"You must be thinking hard."

"I am," he replied, grimly, and disappeared.  She could hear the
slight unevenness of his steps as he moved about, but there was no
more whistling.  Edith Boyd leaned both elbows on the top of a
showcase and fell into a profound and troubled thought.  Mostly her
thoughts were of Willy Cameron, but some of them were for herself.
Up dreary and sordid by-paths her mind wandered; she was facing ugly
facts for the first time, and a little shudder of disgust shook her.
He wanted to meet her family.  He was a gentleman and he wanted to
meet her family.  Well, he could meet them all right, and maybe he
would understand then that she had never had a chance.  In all her
young life no man had ever proposed letting her family look him over.
Hardly ever had they visited her at home, and when they did they
seemed always glad to get away.  She had met them on street corners,
and slipped back alone, fearful of every creak of the old staircase,
and her mother's querulous voice calling to her:

"Edie, where've you been all this time?"  And she had lied.  How
she had lied!

"I'm through with all that," she resolved.  "It wasn't any fun
anyhow.  I'm sick of hating myself."


Some time later Willy Cameron heard the telephone ring, and taking
pad and pencil started forward.  But Miss Boyd was at the telephone,
conducting a personal conversation.

"No....  No, I think not....  Look here, Lou, I've said no twice."

There was a rather lengthy silence while she listened.  Then:
"You might as well have it straight, Lou.  I'm through.... No, I'm
not sick.  I'm just through.... I wouldn't.... What's the use?"

Willy Cameron, retreating into his lair, was unhappily conscious
that the girl was on the verge of tears.  He puzzled over the
situation for some time.  His immediate instinct was to help any
troubled creature, and it had dawned on him that this composed
young lady who manicured her nails out of a pasteboard box during
the slack portion of every day was troubled.  In his abstraction
he commenced again his melancholy refrain, and a moment later she
appeared in the doorway:

"Oh, for mercy's sake, stop," she said.  She was very pale.

"Look here, Miss Edith, you come in here and tell me what's wrong.
Here's a chair.  Now sit down and talk it out.  It helps a lot to
get things off your chest."

"There's nothing the matter with me.  And if the boss comes in
here and finds me--"

Quite suddenly she put her head down on the back of the chair and
began to cry.  He was frightfully distressed.  He poured some
aromatic ammonia into a medicine glass and picking up her limp hand,
closed her fingers around it.

"Drink that," he ordered.

She shook her head.

"I'm not sick," she said.  "I'm only a fool."

"If that fellow said anything over the telephone--!"

She looked up drearily.

"It wasn't him.  He doesn't matter.  It's just--I got to hating
myself."  She stood up and carefully dabbed her eyes.  "Heavens, I
must be a sight.  Now don't you get to thinking things, Mr. Cameron.
Girls can't go out and fight off a temper, or get full and sleep it
off.  So they cry."

Some time later he glanced out at her.  She was standing before the
little mirror above the chewing gum, carefully rubbing her cheeks
with a small red pad.  After that she reached into the show case,
got out a lip pencil and touched her lips.

"You're pretty enough without all that, Miss Edith."

"You mind your own business," she retorted acidly.



CHAPTER VIII


Lily had known Alston Denslow most of her life.  The children of
that group of families which formed the monied aristocracy of the
city knew only their own small circle.  They met at dancing classes,
where governesses and occasionally mothers sat around the walls,
while the little girls, in handmade white frocks of exquisite
simplicity, their shining hair drawn back and held by ribbon bows,
made their prim little dip at the door before entering, and the
boys, in white Eton collars and gleaming pumps, bowed from the
waist and then dived for the masculine corner of the long room.

No little girl ever intruded on that corner, although now and then
a brave spirit among the boys would wander, with assumed
unconsciousness but ears rather pink, to the opposite corner where
the little girls were grouped like white butterflies milling in the
sun.

The pianist struck a chord, and the children lined up, the girls on
one side, the boys on the other, a long line, with Mrs. Van Buren
in the center.  Another chord, rather a long one.  Mrs. Van Buren
curtsied to the girls.  The line dipped, wavered, recovered itself.
Mrs. Van Buren turned.  Another chord.  The boys bent, rather too
much, from the waist, while Mrs. Van Buren swept another deep
curtsey.  The music now, very definite as to time.  Glide and short
step to the right.  Glide and short step to the left.  Dancing
school had commenced.  Outside were long lines of motors waiting.
The governesses chatted, and sometimes embroidered.  Mademoiselle
tatted.

Alton Denslow was generally known as Pink, but the origin of the
name was shrouded in mystery.  As "Pink" he had learned to waltz
at the dancing class, at a time when he was more attentive to the
step than to the music that accompanied it.  As Pink Denslow he
had played on a scrub team at Harvard, and got two broken ribs for
his trouble, and as Pink he now paid intermittent visits to the
Denslow Bank, between the hunting season in October and polo at
eastern fields and in California.  At twenty-three he was still the
boy of the dancing class, very careful at parties to ask his hostess
to dance, and not noticeably upset when she did, having arranged to
be cut in on at the end of the second round.

Pink could not remember when he had not been in love with Lily
Cardew.  There had been other girls, of course, times when Lily
seemed far away from Cambridge, and some other fair charmer was
near.  But he had always known there was only Lily.  Once or twice
he would have become engaged, had it not been for that.  He was a
blond boy, squarely built, good-looking without being handsome, and
on rainy Sundays when there was no golf he went quite cheerfully to
St.  Peter's with his mother, and watched a pretty girl in the choir.

He wished at those times that he could sing.

A pleasant cumberer of the earth, he had wrapped his talents in a
napkin and buried them by the wayside, and promptly forgotten where
they were.  He was to find them later on, however, not particularly
rusty, and he increased them rather considerably before he got
through.

It was this pleasant cumberer of the earth, then, who on the morning
after Lily's return, stopped his car before the Cardew house and got
out.  Immediately following his descent he turned, took a square
white box from the car, ascended the steps, settled his neck in his
collar and his tie around it, and rang the bell.

The second man, hastily buttoned into his coat and with a faint odor
of silver polish about him, opened the door.  Pink gave him his hat,
but retained the box firmly.

"Mrs. Cardew and Miss Cardew at home?" he asked.  "Yes?  Then you
might tell Grayson I'm here to luncheon--unless the family is
lunching out."

"Yes, sir," said the footman.  "No, sir, they are lunching at home."

Pink sauntered into the library.  He was not so easy as his manner
indicated.  One never knew about Lily.  Sometimes she was in a mood
when she seemed to think a man funny, and not to be taken seriously.
And when she was serious, which was the way he liked her--he rather
lacked humor--she was never serious about him or herself.  It had
been religion once, he remembered.  She had wanted to know if he
believed in the thirty-nine articles, and because he had seen them
in the back of the prayer-book, where they certainly would not be if
there was not authority for them, he had said he did.

"Well, I don't," said Lily.  And there had been rather a bad
half-hour, because he had felt that he had to stick to his
thirty-nine guns, whatever they were.  He had finished on a rather
desperate note of appeal.

"See here, Lily," he had said.  "Why do you bother your head about
such things, anyhow?"

"Because I've got a head, and I want to use it."

"Life's too short."

"Eternity's pretty long.  Do you believe in eternity?"  And there
they were, off again, and of course old Anthony had come in after
that, and had wanted to know about his Aunt Marcia, and otherwise
had shown every indication of taking root on the hearth rug.

Pink was afraid of Anthony.  He felt like a stammering fool when
Anthony was around.  That was why he had invited himself to luncheon.
Old Anthony lunched at his club.

When he heard Lily coming down the stairs, Pink's honest heart beat
somewhat faster.  A good many times in France, but particularly on
the ship coming back, he had thought about this meeting.  In France
a fellow had a lot of distractions, and Lily had seemed as dear as
ever, but extremely remote.  But once turned toward home, and she
had filled the entire western horizon.  The other men had seen
sunsets there, and sometimes a ship, or a school of porpoises.  But
Pink had seen only Lily.

She came in.  The dear old girl!  The beautiful, wonderful, dear
old girl!  The--

"Pink!"

"H--hello, Lily."

"Why, Pink--you're a man!"

"What'd you think I'd be?  A girl?"

"You've grown."

"Oh, now see here, Lily.  I quit growing years ago."

"And to think you are back all right.  I was so worried, Pink."

He flushed at that.

"Needn't have worried," he said, rather thickly.  "Didn't get to the
front until just before the end.  My show was made a labor division
in the south of France.  If you laugh, I'll take my flowers and go
home."

"Why, Pink dear, I wouldn't laugh for anything.  And it was the man
behind the lines who--"

"Won the war," he finished for her, rather grimly.  "All right, Lily.
We've heard it before.  Anyhow, it's all done and over, and--I
brought gardenias and violets.  You used to like 'em."

"It was dear of you to remember."

"Couldn't help remembering.  No credit to me.  I--you were always in
my mind."

She was busily unwrapping the box.

"Always," he repeated, unsteadily.

"What gorgeous things!" she buried her face in them.

"Did you hear what I said, Lily?"

"Yes, and it's sweet of you.  Now sit down and tell me about things.
I've got a lot to tell you, too."

He had a sort of quiet obstinacy, however, and he did not sit down.
When she had done so he stood in front of her, looking down at her.

"You've been in a camp.  I know that.  I heard it over there.  Anne
Devereaux wrote me.  It worried me because--we had girls in the
camps over there, and every one of them had a string of suitors a
mile long."

"Well, I didn't," said Lily, spiritedly.  Then she laughed.  He had
been afraid she would laugh.  "Oh, Pink, how dear and funny and
masculine you are!  I have a perfectly uncontrollable desire to kiss
you."

Which she did, to his amazement and consternation.  Nothing she
could have done would more effectually have shown him the
hopelessness of his situation than that sisterly impulse.

"Good Lord," he gasped, "Grayson's in the hall."

"If he comes in I shall probably do it again.  Pink, you darling
child, you are still the little boy at Mrs. Van Buren's and if you
would only purse your lips and count one--two--three--Are you
staying to luncheon?"

He was suffering terribly.  Also he felt strangely empty inside,
because something that he had carried around with him for a long
time seemed to have suddenly moved out and left a vacancy.

"Thanks.  I think not, Lily; I've got a lot to do to-day."

She sat very still.  She had had to do it, had had to show him,
somehow, that she loved him without loving him as he wanted her to.
She had acted on impulse, on an impulse born of intention, but she
had hurt him.  It was in every line of his rigid body and set face.

"You're not angry, Pink dear?"

"There's nothing to be angry about," he said, stolidly.  "Things have
been going on, with me, and staying where they've always been, with
you.  That's all.  I'm not very keen, you know, and I used to think
--Your people like me.  I mean, they wouldn't--"

"Everybody likes you, Pink."

"Well, I'll trot along." He moved a step, hesitated.  "Is there
anybody else, Lily?"

"Nobody."

"You won't mind if I hang around a bit, then?  You can always send
me off when you are sick of me.  Which you couldn't if you were fool
enough to marry me."

"Whoever does marry you, dear, will be a lucky woman."

In the end he stayed to luncheon, and managed to eat a very fair one.
But he had little lapses into silence, and Grace Cardew drew her own
shrewd conclusions.

"He's such a nice boy, Lily," she said, after he had gone.  "And
your grandfather would like it.  In a way I think he expects it."

"I'm not going to marry to please him, mother."

"But you are fond of Alston."

"I want to marry a man, mother.  Pink is a boy.  He will always be a
boy.  He doesn't think; he just feels.  He is fine and loyal and
honest, but I would loathe him in a month."

"I wish," said Grace Cardew unhappily, "I wish you had never gone to
that camp."

All afternoon Lily and Grace shopped.  Lily was fitted into shining
evening gowns, into bright little afternoon frocks, into Paris wraps.
The Cardew name was whispered through the shops, and great piles of
exotic things were brought in for Grace's critical eye.  Lily's own
attitude was joyously carefree.  Long lines of models walked by,
draped in furs, in satins and velvet and chiffon, tall girls, most
of them, with hair carefully dressed, faces delicately tinted and
that curious forward thrust at the waist and slight advancement of
one shoulder that gave them an air of languorous indifference.

"The only way I could get that twist," Lily confided to her mother,
"would be to stand that way and be done up in plaster of paris.  It
is the most abandoned thing I ever saw."

Grace was shocked, and said so.

Sometimes, during the few hours since her arrival, Lily had wondered
if her year's experiences had coarsened her.  There were so many
times when her mother raised her eyebrows.  She knew that she had
changed, that the granddaughter of old Anthony Cardew who had come
back from the war was not the girl who had gone away.  She had gone
away amazingly ignorant; what little she had known of life she had
learned away at school.  But even there she had not realized the
possibility of wickedness and vice in the world.  One of the girls
had run away with a music master who was married, and her name was
forbidden to be mentioned.  That was wickedness, like blasphemy,
and a crime against the Holy Ghost.

She had never heard of prostitution.  Near the camp there was a
district with a bad name, and the girls of her organization were
forbidden to so much as walk in that direction.  It took her a long
time to understand, and she suffered horribly when she did.  There
were depths of wickedness, then, and of abasement like that in the
world.  It was a bad world, a cruel, sordid world.  She did not want
to live in it.

She had had to reorganize all her ideas of life after that.  At
first she was flamingly indignant.  God had made His world clean and
beautiful, and covered it with flowers and trees that grew, cleanly
begotten, from the earth.  Why had He not stopped there?  Why had He
soiled it with passion and lust?

It was a little Red Cross nurse who helped her, finally.

"Very well," she said.  "I see what you mean.  But trees and flowers
are not God's most beautiful gift to the world."

"I think they are."

"No.  It is love."

"I am not talking about love," said Lily, flushing.

"Oh, yes, you are.  You have never loved, have you?  You are talking
of one of the many things that go to make up love, and out of that
one phase of love comes the most wonderful thing in the world.  He
gives us the child."

And again:

"All bodies are not whole, and not all souls.  It is wrong to judge
life by its exceptions, or love by its perversions, Lily."

It had been the little nurse finally who cured her, for she secured
Lily's removal to that shady house on a by-street, where the
tragedies of unwise love and youth sought sanctuary.  There were
prayers there, morning and evening.  They knelt, those girls, in
front of their little wooden chairs, and by far the great majority
of them quite simply laid their burdens before God, and with an
equal simplicity, felt that He would help them out.

"We have erred, and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep.  We have
followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts.  We
have offended against Thy holy laws.... Restore Thou those who are
penitent, according to Thy promises.... And grant, Oh most merciful
Father, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous and sober life."

After a time Lily learned something that helped her.  The soul was
greater and stronger than the body and than the mind.  The body
failed.  It sinned, but that did not touch the unassailable purity
and simplicity of the soul.  The soul, which lived on, was always
clean.  For that reason there was no hell.

Lily rose and buttoned her coat.  Grace was fastening her sables,
and making a delayed decision in satins.

"Mother, I've been thinking it over.  I am going to see Aunt Elinor."

Grace waited until the saleswoman had moved away.

"I don't like it, Lily."

"I was thinking, while we were ordering all that stuff.  She is a
Cardew, mother.  She ought to be having that sort of thing.  And
just because grandfather hates her husband, she hasn't anything."

"That is rather silly, dear.  They are not in want.  I believe he is
quite flourishing."

"She is father's sister.  And she is a good woman.  We treat her
like a leper."

Grace was weakening.  "If you take the car, your grandfather may
hear of it."

"I'll take a taxi."

Grace followed her with uneasy eyes.  For years she paid a price
for peace, and not a small price.  She had placed her pride on the
domestic altar, and had counted it a worthy sacrifice for Howard's
sake.  And she had succeeded.  She knew Anthony Cardew had never
forgiven her and would never like her, but he gave her, now and
then, the tribute of a grudging admiration.

And now Lily had come home, a new and different Lily, with her
father's lovableness and his father's obstinacy.  Already Grace saw
in the girl the beginning of a passionate protest against things as
they were.  Perhaps, had Grace given to Lily the great love of her
life, instead of to Howard, she might have understood her less
clearly.  As it was, she shivered slightly as she got into the
limousine.



CHAPTER IX


Lily Cardew inspected curiously the east side neighborhood through
which the taxi was passing.  She knew vaguely that she was in the
vicinity of one of the Cardew mills, but she had never visited any
of the Cardew plants.  She had never been permitted to do so.
Perhaps the neighborhood would have impressed her more had she not
seen, in the camp, that life can be stripped sometimes to its
essentials, and still have lost very little.  But the dinginess
depressed her.  Smoke was in the atmosphere, like a heavy fog.  Soot
lay on the window-sills, and mingled with street dust to form little
black whirlpools in the wind.  Even the white river steamers,
guiding their heavy laden coal barges with the current, were gray
with soft coal smoke.  The foam of the river falling in broken
cataracts from their stern wheels was oddly white in contrast.

Everywhere she began to see her own name.  "Cardew" was on the ore
hopper cars that were moving slowly along a railroad spur.  One of
the steamers bore "Anthony Cardew" in tall black letters on its side.
There was a narrow street called "Cardew Way."

Aunt Elinor lived on Cardew Way.  She wondered if Aunt Elinor found
that curious, as she did.  Did she resent these ever-present
reminders of her lost family?  Did she have any bitterness because
the very grayness of her skies was making her hard old father richer
and more powerful?

Yet there was comfort, stability and a certain dignity about Aunt
Elinor's house when she reached it.  It stood in the district, but
not of it, withdrawn from the street in a small open space which
gave indication of being a flower garden in summer.  There were two
large gaunt trees on either side of a brick walk, and that walk had
been swept to the last degree of neatness.  The steps were freshly
scoured, and a small brass door-plate, like a doctor's sign, was as
bright as rubbing could make it.  "James Doyle," she read.

Suddenly she was glad she had come.  The little brick house looked
anything but tragic, with its shining windows, its white curtains
and its evenly drawn shades.  Through the windows on the right came
a flickering light, warm and rosy.  There must be a coal fire there.
She loved a coal fire.

She had braced herself to meet Aunt Elinor at the door, but an
elderly woman opened it.

"Mrs. Doyle is in," she said; "just step inside."

She did not ask Lily's name, but left her in the dark little hall
and creaked up the stairs.  Lily hesitated.  Then, feeling that Aunt
Elinor might not like to find her so unceremoniously received, she
pushed open a door which was only partly closed, and made a step
into the room.  Only then did she see that it was occupied.  A man
sat by the fire, reading.  He was holding his book low, to get the
light from the fire, and he turned slowly to glance at Lily.  He
had clearly expected some one else.  Elinor, probably.

"I beg your pardon," Lily said.  "I am calling on Mrs. Doyle, and
when I saw the firelight--"

He stood up then, a tall, thin man, with close-cropped gray mustache
and heavy gray hair above a high, bulging forehead.  She had never
seen Jim Doyle, but Mademoiselle had once said that he had pointed
ears, like a satyr.  She had immediately recanted, on finding Lily
searching in a book for a picture of a satyr.  This man had ears
pointed at the top.  Lily was too startled then to analyze his face,
but later on she was to know well the high, intellectual forehead,
the keen sunken eyes, the full but firmly held mouth and pointed,
satyr-like ears of that brilliant Irishman, cynic and arch scoundrel,
Jim Doyle.

He was inspecting her intently.

"Please come in," he said.  "Did the maid take your name?"

"No.  I am Lily Cardew."

"I see." He stood quite still, eyeing her.  "You are Anthony's
granddaughter?"

"Yes."

"Just a moment."  He went out, closing the door behind him, and she
heard him going quickly up the stairs.  A door closed above, and a
weight settled down on the girl's heart.  He was not going to let
her see Aunt Elinor.  She was frightened, but she was angry, too.
She would not run away.  She would wait until he came down, and if
he was insolent, well, she could be haughty.  She moved to the fire
and stood there, slightly flushed, but very straight.

She heard him coming down again almost immediately.  He was outside
the door.  But he did not come in at once.  She had a sudden
impression that he was standing there, his hand on the knob,
outlining what he meant to say to her when he showed the door to a
hated Cardew.  Afterwards she came to know how right that impression
was.  He was never spontaneous.  He was a man who debated everything,
calculated everything beforehand.

When he came in it was slowly, and with his head bent, as though he
still debated within himself.  Then:

"I think I have a right to ask what Anthony Cardew's granddaughter
is doing in my house."

"Your wife's niece has come to call on her, Mr. Doyle."

"Are you quite sure that is all?"

"I assure you that is all," Lily said haughtily.  "It had not
occurred to me that you would be here."

"I dare say.  Still, strangely enough, I do spend a certain amount
of time in my home."

Lily picked up her muff.

"If you have forbidden her to come down, I shall go."

"Wait," he said slowly.  "I haven't forbidden her to see you.  I
asked her to wait.  I wanted a few moments.  You see, it is not
often that I have a Cardew in my house, and I am a selfish man."

She hated him.  She loathed his cold eyes, his long, slim white
hands.  She hated him until he fascinated her.

"Sit down, and I will call Mrs. Doyle."

He went out again, but this time it was the elderly maid who went
up the stairs.  Doyle himself came back, and stood before her on
the hearth rug.  He was slightly smiling, and the look of uncertainty
was gone.

"Now that you've seen me, I'm not absolutely poisonous, am I, Miss
Lily?  You don't mind my calling you that, do you?  You are my niece.
You have been taught to hate me, of course."

"Yes," said Lily, coldly.

"By Jove, the truth from a Cardew!"  Then: "That's an old habit of
mine, damning the Cardews.  I'll have to try to get over it, if they
are going to reestablish family relations."  He was laughing at her,
Lily knew, and she flushed somewhat.

"I wouldn't make too great an effort, then," she said.

He smiled again, this time not unpleasantly, and suddenly he threw
into his rich Irish voice an unexpected softness.  No one knew better
than Jim Doyle the uses of the human voice.

"You mustn't mind me, Miss Lily.  I have no reason to love your
family, but I am very happy that you came here to-day.  My wife has
missed her people.  If you'll run in like this now and then it will
do her worlds of good.  And if my being here is going to keep you
away I can clear out."

She rather liked him for that speech.  He was totally unlike what
she had been led to expect, and she felt a sort of resentment toward
her family for misleading her.  He was a gentleman, on the surface
at least.  He had not been over-cordial at first, but then who could
have expected cordiality under the circumstances?  In Lily's defense
it should be said that the vicissitudes of Elinor's life with Doyle
had been kept from her always.  She had but two facts to go on: he
had beaten her grandfather as a young man, for a cause, and he held
views as to labor which conflicted with those of her family.

Months later, when she learned all the truth, it was too late.

"Of course you're being here won't keep me away, if you care to have
me come."

He was all dignity and charm then.  They needed youth in that quiet
place.  They ought all to be able to forget the past, which was
done with, anyhow.  He showed the first genuine interest she had
found in her work at the camp, and before his unexpected geniality
the girl opened like a flower.

And all the time he was watching her with calculating eyes.  He was
a gambler with life, and he rather suspected that he had just drawn
a valuable card.

"Thank you," he said gravely, when she had finished.  "You have done
a lot to bridge the gulf that lies--I am sure you have noticed it
--between the people who saw service in this war and those who
stayed at home."

Suddenly Lily saw that the gulf between her family and herself was
just that, which was what he had intended.

When Elinor came in they were absorbed in conversation, Lily flushed
and eager, and her husband smiling, urbane, and genial.

To Lily, Elinor Doyle had been for years a figure of mystery.  She
had not seen her for many years, and she had, remembered a thin,
girlish figure, tragic-eyed, which eternally stood by a window in
her room, looking out.  But here was a matronly woman, her face
framed with soft, dark hair, with eyes like her father's, with
Howard Cardew's ease of manner, too, but with a strange passivity,
either of repression or of fires early burned out and never renewed.

Lily was vaguely disappointed.  Aunt Elinor, in soft gray silk,
matronly, assured, unenthusiastically pleased to see her; Doyle
himself, cheerful and suave; the neat servant; the fire lit,
comfortable room,--there was no drama in all that, no hint of
mystery or tragedy.  All the hatred at home for an impulsive assault
of years ago, and--this!

"Lily, dear!" Elinor said, and kissed her.  "Why, Lily, you are a
woman!"

"I am twenty, Aunt Elinor."

"Yes, of course.  I keep forgetting.  I live so quietly here that
the days go by faster than I know."  She put Lily back in her chair,
and glanced at her husband.

"Is Louis coming to dinner, Jim?"

"Yes."

"I suppose you cannot stay, Lily?"

"I ought to tell you, Aunt Elinor.  Only mother knows that I am here."

Aunt Elinor smiled her quiet smile.

"I understand, dear.  How are they all?"

"Grandfather is very well.  Father looks tired.  There is some trouble
at the mill, I think."

Elinor glanced at Doyle, but he said nothing.

"And your mother?"

"She is well."

Lily was commencing to have an odd conviction, which was that her
Aunt Elinor was less glad to have her there than was Jim Doyle.
He seemed inclined to make up for Elinor's lack of enthusiasm by
his own.  He built up a larger fire, and moved her chair near it.

"Weather's raw," he said.  "Sure you are comfortable now?  And why
not have dinner here?  We have an interesting man coming, and we
don't often have the chance to offer our guests a charming young
lady."

"Lily only came home yesterday, Jim," Elinor observed.  "Her own
people will want to see something of her.  Besides, they do no
know she is here."

Lily felt slightly chilled.  For years she had espoused her Aunt
Elinor's cause; in the early days she had painfully hemstitched a
small handkerchief each fall and had sent it, with much secrecy, to
Aunt Elinor's varying addresses at Christmas.  She had felt a
childish resentment of Elinor Doyle's martyrdom.  And now--

"Her father and grandfather are dining out to-night."  Had Lily
looked up she would have seen Doyle's eyes fixed on his wife,
ugly and menacing.

"Dining out?" Lily glanced at him in surprise.

"There is a dinner to-night, for the--"  He checked himself "The
steel manufacturers are having a meeting," he finished.  "I believe
to discuss me, among other things.  Amazing the amount of
discussion my simple opinions bring about."

Elinor Doyle, unseen, made a little gesture of despair and surrender.

"I hope you will stay, Lily," she said.  "You can telephone, if you
like.  I don't see you often, and there is so much I want to ask
you."

In the end Lily agreed.  She would find out from Grayson if the men
were really dining out, and if they were Grayson would notify her
mother that she was staying.  She did not quite know herself why
she had accepted, unless it was because she was bored and restless
at home.  Perhaps, too, the lure of doing a forbidden thing
influenced her sub-consciously, the thought that her grandfather
would detest it.  She had not forgiven him for the night before.

Jim Doyle left her in the back hall at the telephone, and returned
to the sitting room, dosing the door behind him.  His face was set
and angry.

"I thought I told you to be pleasant."

"I tried, Jim.  You must remember I hardly know her."  She got up
and placed her hand on his arm, but he shook it off.  "I don't
understand, Jim, and I wish you wouldn't.  What good is it?"

"I've told you what I want.  I want that girl to come here, and to
like coming here.  That's plain, isn't it?  But if you're going to
sit with a frozen face-- She'll be useful.  Useful as hell to a
preacher."

"I can't use my family that way."

"You and your family!  Now listen, Elinor.  This isn't a matter o
the Cardews and me.  It may be nothing, but it may be a big thing.
I hardly know yet--"  His voice trailed off; he stood with his head
bent, lost in those eternal calculations with which Elinor Doyle
was so familiar.

The doorbell rang, and was immediately followed by the opening and
closing of the front door.

From her station at the telephone Lily Cardew saw a man come in,
little more than a huge black shadow, which placed a hat on the
stand and then, striking a match, lighted the gas overhead.  In the
illumination he stood before the mirror, smoothing back his shining
black hair.  Then he saw her, stared and retreated into the sitting
room.

"Got company, I see."

"My niece, Lily Cardew," said Doyle, dryly.

The gentleman seemed highly amused.  Evidently he considered Lily's
presence in the house in the nature of a huge joke.  He was
conveying this by pantomime, in deference to the open door, when
Doyle nodded toward Elinor.

"It's customary to greet your hostess, Louis."

"Easiest thing I do," boasted the new arrival cheerily.  "'Lo, Mrs.
Doyle.  Is our niece going to dine with us?"

"I don't know yet, Mr. Akers," she said, without warmth.  Louis
Akers knew quite well that Elinor did not like him, and the thought
amused him, the more so since as a rule women liked him rather too
well.  Deep in his heart he respected Jim Doyle's wife, and
sometimes feared her.  He respected her because she had behind her
traditions of birth and wealth, things he professed to despise but
secretly envied.  He feared her because he trusted no woman, and
she knew too much.

She loved Jim Doyle, but he had watched her, and he knew that
sometimes she hated Doyle also.  He knew that could be, because
there had been women he had both loved and hated himself.

Elinor had gone out, and Akers sat down.

"Well," he said, in a lowered tone.  "I've written it."

Doyle closed the door, and stood again with his head lowered,
considering.

"You'd better look over it," continued Lou.  "I don't want to be
jailed.  You're better at skating over thin ice than I am.  And
I've been thinking over the Prohibition matter, Jim.  In a sense
you're right.  It will make them sullen and angry.  But they won't
go the limit without booze.  I'd advise cache-ing a lot of it
somewhere, to be administered when needed."

Doyle returned to his old place on the hearth-rug, still thoughtful.
He had paid no attention to Aker's views on Prohibition, nor to the
paper laid upon the desk in the center of the room.

"Do you know that that girl in the hall will be worth forty million
dollars some day?"

"Some money," said Akers, calmly.  "Which reminds me, Jim, that
I've got to have a raise.  And pretty soon."

"You get plenty, if you'd leave women alone."

"Tell them to leave me alone, then," said Akers, stretching out his
long legs.  "All right.  We'll talk about that, after dinner.  What
about this forty millions?"

Doyle looked at him quickly.  Akers' speech about women had
crystallized the vague plans which Lily's arrival had suddenly given
rise to.  He gave the young man a careful scrutiny, from his handsome
head to his feet, and smiled.  It had occurred to him that the
Cardew family would loathe a man of Louis Akers' type with an entire
and whole-hearted loathing.

"You might try to make her have a pleasant evening," he suggested
dryly.  "And, to do that, it might be as well to remember a number
of things, one of which is that she is accustomed to the society of
gentlemen."

"All right, old dear," said Akers, without resentment.

"She hates her grandfather like poison," Doyle went on.  "She doesn't
know it, but she does.  A little education, and it is just possible--"

"Get Olga.  I'm no kindergarten teacher."

"You haven't seen her in the light yet."

Louis Akers smiled and carefully settled his tie.

Like Doyle, Akers loved the game of life, and he liked playing for
high stakes.  He had joined forces with Doyle because the game was
dangerous and exciting, rather than because of any real conviction.
Doyle had a fanatic faith, with all his calculation, but Louis
Akers had only calculation and ambition.  A practicing attorney in
the city, a specialist in union law openly, a Red in secret, he
played his triple game shrewdly and with zest.

Doyle turned to go, then stopped and came back.  "I was forgetting
something," he said, slowly.  "What possessed you to take that Boyd
girl to the Searing Building the other night?"

"Who told you that?"

"Woslosky saw you coming out."

"I had left something there," Akers said sullenly.  "That's the
truth, whether you believe it or not.  I wasn't there two minutes."

"You're a fool, Louis," Doyle said coldly.  "You'll play that game
once too often.  What happens to you is your own concern, but what
may happen to me is mine.  And I'll take mighty good care it doesn't
happen."

Doyle was all unction and hospitality when he met Lily in the hall.
At dinner he was brilliant, witty, the gracious host.  Akers played
up to him.  At the foot of the table Elinor sat, outwardly passive,
inwardly puzzled, and watched Lily.  She knew the contrast the girl
must be drawing, between the bright little meal, with its simple
service and clever talk, and those dreary formal dinners at home
when old Anthony sometimes never spoke at all, or again used his
caustic tongue like a scourge.  Elinor did not hate her father; he
was simply no longer her father.  As for Howard, she had had a
childish affection for him, but he had gone away early to school,
and she hardly knew him.  But she did not want his child here,
drinking in as she was, without clearly understanding what they
meant, Doyle's theories of unrest and revolution.

"You will find that I am an idealist, in a way," he was saying.
"That is, if you come often.  I hope you will, by the way.  I am
perpetually dissatisfied with things as they are, and wanting them
changed.  With the single exception of my wife"--he bowed to
Elinor, "and this little party, which is delightful."

"Are you a Socialist?" Lily demanded, in her direct way.

"Well, you might call it that.  I go a bit further."

"Don't talk politics, Jim," Elinor hastily interposed.  He caught
her eye and grinned.

"I'm not talking politics, my dear." He turned to Lily, smiling.

"For one thing, I don't believe that any one should have a lot of
money, so that a taxicab could remain ticking away fabulous sums
while a charming young lady dines at her leisure."  He smiled again.

"Will it be a lot?" Lily asked.  "I thought I'd better keep him,
because--"  She hesitated.

"Because this neighborhood is unlikely to have a cab stand?  You
were entirely right.  But I can see that you won't like my
idealistic community.  You see, in it everybody will have enough,
and nobody will have too much."

"Don't take him too seriously, Miss Cardew," said Akers, bending
forward.  "You and I know that there isn't such a thing as too much."

Elinor changed the subject; as a girl she had drawn rather well,
and she had retained her interest in that form of art.  There was
an exhibition in town of colored drawings.  Lily should see them.
But Jim Doyle countered her move.

"I forgot to mention," he said, "that in this ideal world we were
discussing the arts will flourish.  Not at once, of course,
because the artists will be fighting--"

"Fighting?"

"Per aspera ad astra," put in Louis Akers.  "You cannot change a
world in a day, without revolution--"

"But you don't believe that revolution is ever worth while, do you?"

"If it would drive starvation and wretchedness from the world, yes."

Lily found Louis Akers interesting.  Certainly he was very handsome.
And after all, why should there be misery and hunger in the world?
There must be enough for all.  It was hardly fair, for instance,
that she should have so much, and others scarcely anything.  Only
it was like thinking about religion; you didn't get anywhere with it.
You wanted to be good, and tried to be.  And you wanted to love God,
only He seemed so far away, mostly.  And even that was confusing,
because you prayed to God to be forgiven for wickedness, but it was
to His Son our Lord one went for help in trouble.

One could be sorry for the poor, and even give away all one had, but
that would only help a few.  It would have to be that every one who
had too much would give up all but what he needed.

Lily tried to put that into words.

"Exactly," said Jim Doyle.  "Only in my new world we realize that
there would be a few craven spirits who might not willingly give up
what they have.  In that case it would be taken from them."

"And that is what you call revolution?"

"Precisely."

"But that's not revolution.  It is a sort of justice, isn't it?"

"You think very straight, young lady," said Jim Doyle.

He had a fascinating theory of individualism, too; no man should
impose his will and no community its laws, on the individual.  Laws
were for slaves.  Ethics were better than laws, to control.

"Although," he added, urbanely, "I daresay it might be difficult to
convert Mr. Anthony Cardew to such a belief."

While Louis Akers saw Lily to her taxicab that night Doyle stood
in the hall, waiting.  He was very content with his evening's work.

"Well?" he said, when Akers returned.

"Merry as a marriage bell.  I'm to show her the Brunelleschi
drawings to-morrow."

Slightly flushed, he smoothed his hair in front of the mirror over
the stand.

"She's a nice child," he said.  In his eyes was the look of the
hunting animal that scents food.



CHAPTER X


Lily did not sleep very well that night.  She was repentant, for
one thing, for her mother's evening alone, and for the anxiety in
her face when she arrived.

"I've been so worried," she said, "I was afraid your grandfather
would get back before you did."

"I'm sorry, mother dear.  I know it was selfish.  But I've had a
wonderful evening."

"Wonderful?"

"All sorts of talk," Lily said, and hesitated.  After all, her
mother would not understand, and it would only make her uneasy.
"I suppose it is rank hearsay to say it, but I like Mr. Doyle."

"I detest him."

"But you don't know him, do you?"

"I know he is stirring up all sorts of trouble for us.  Lily, I
want you to promise not to go back there."

There was a little silence.  A small feeling of rebellion was
rising in the girl's heart.

"I don't see why.  She is my own aunt."

"Will you promise?"

"Please don't ask me, mother.  I--oh, don't you understand?  It
is interesting there, that's all.  It isn't wrong to go.  And the
moment you forbid it you make me want to go back."

"Were there any other people there to dinner?"  Grace asked, with
sudden suspicion.

"Only one man.  A lawyer named Akers."

The name meant nothing to Grace Cardew.

"A young man?"

"Not very young.  In his thirties, I should think," Lily hesitated
again.  She had meant to tell her mother of the engagement for the
next day, but Grace's attitude made it difficult.  To be absolutely
forbidden to meet Louis Akers at the gallery, and to be able to
give no reason beyond the fact that she had met him at the Doyle
house, seemed absurd.

"A gentleman?"

"I hardly know," Lily said frankly.  "In your sense of the word,
perhaps not, mother.  But he is very clever."

Grace Cardew sighed and picked up her book.  She never retired until
Howard came in.  And Lily went upstairs, uneasy and a little defiant.
She must live her own life, somehow; have her own friends; think her
own thoughts.  The quiet tyranny of the family was again closing down
on her.  It would squeeze her dry, in the end, as it had her mother
and Aunt Elinor.

She stood for a time by her window, looking out at the city.  Behind
her was her warm, luxurious room, her deep, soft bed.  Yet all
through the city there were those who did not sleep warm and soft.
Close by, perhaps, in that deteriorated neighborhood, there were
children that very night going to bed hungry.

Because things had always been like that, should they always be so?
Wasn't Mr. Doyle right, after all?  Only he went very far.  You
couldn't, for instance, take from a man the thing he had earned.
What about the people who did not try to earn?

She rather thought she would be clearer about it if she talked to
Willy Cameron.

She went to bed at last, a troubled young thing in a soft white
night-gown, passionately in revolt against the injustice which gave
to her so much and to others so little.  And against that quiet
domestic tyranny which was forcing her to her first deceit.

Yet the visit to the gallery was innocuous enough.  Louis Akers
met her there, and carefully made the rounds with her.  Then he
suggested tea, and chose a quiet tea-room, and a corner.

"I'll tell you something, now it's over," he said, his bold eyes
fixed on hers.  "I loathe galleries and pictures.  I wanted to see
you again.  That's all.  You see, I am starting in by being honest
with you."

She was rather uncomfortable.

"Why don't you like pictures?"

"Because they are only imitations of life.  I like life."  He pushed
his teacup away.  "I don't want tea either.  Tea was an excuse,
too."  He smiled at her.  "Perhaps you don't like honesty," he said.
"If you don't you won't care for me."

She was too inexperienced to recognize the gulf between frankness
and effrontery, but he made her vaguely uneasy.  He knew so many
things, and yet he was so obviously not quite a gentleman, in her
family's sense of the word.  He had a curious effect on her, too,
one that she resented.  He made her insistently conscious of her
sex.

And of his.  His very deference had something of restraint about it.
She thought, trying to drink her tea quietly, that he might be very
terrible if he loved any one.  There was a sort of repressed
fierceness behind his suavity.

But he interested her, and he was undeniably handsome, not in her
father's way but with high-colored, almost dramatic good looks.
There could be no doubt, too, that he was interested in her.  He
rarely took his eyes off hers.  Afterwards she was to know well
that bold possessive look of his.

It was just before they left that he said:

"I am going to see you again, you know.  May I come in some
afternoon?"

Lily had been foreseeing that for some moments, and she raised
frank eyes to his.

"I am afraid not," she said.  "You see, you are a friend of Mr.
Doyle's, and you must know that my people and Aunt Elinor's husband
are on bad terms."

"What has that got to do with you and me?"  Then he laughed.  "Might
be unpleasant, I suppose.  But you go to the Doyles'."

She was very earnest.

"My mother knows, but my grandfather wouldn't permit it if he knew."

"And you put up with that sort of thing?"  He leaned closer to her.
"You are not a baby, you know.  But I will say you are a good sport
to do it, anyhow."

"I'm not very comfortable about it."

"Bosh," he said, abruptly.  "You go there as often as you can.
Elinor Doyle's a lonely woman, and Jim is all right.  You pick your
own friends, my child, and live your own life.  Every human being
has that right."

He helped her into a taxi at the door of the tea shop, giving her
rather more assistance than she required, and then standing
bare-headed in the March wind until the car had moved away.  Lily,
sitting back in her corner, was both repelled and thrilled.  He was
totally unlike the men she knew, those carefully repressed,
conventional clean-cut boys, like Pink Denslow.  He was raw,
vigorous and possibly brutal.  She did not quite like him, but she
found herself thinking about him a great deal.

The old life was reaching out its friendly, idle hands toward her.
The next day Grace gave a luncheon for her at the house, a gay
little affair of color, chatter and movement.  But Lily found
herself with little to say.  Her year away had separated her from
the small community of interest that bound the others together, and
she wondered, listening to them in her sitting room later, what
they would all talk about when they had exchanged their bits of
gossip, their news of this man and that.  It would all be said so
soon.  And what then?

Here they were, and here they would always be, their own small
circle, carefully guarded.  They belonged together, they and the
men who likewise belonged.  Now and then there would be changes.
A new man, of irreproachable family connections would come to live
in the city, and cause a small flurry.  Then in time he would be
appropriated.  Or a girl would come to visit, and by the same
system of appropriation would come back later, permanently.  Always
the same faces, the same small talk.  Orchids or violets at
luncheons, white or rose or blue or yellow frocks at dinners and
dances.  Golf at the country club.  Travel, in the Cardew private
car, cut off from fellow travelers who might prove interesting.
Winter at Palm Beach, and a bit of a thrill at seeing moving picture
stars and theatrical celebrities playing on the sand.  One never
had a chance to meet them.

And, in quiet intervals, this still house, and grandfather shut
away in his upstairs room, but holding the threads of all their
lives as a spider clutches the diverging filaments of its web.

"Get in on this, Lily," said a clear young voice.  "We're talking
about the most interesting men we met in our war work.  You ought
to have known a lot of them."

"I knew a lot of men.  They were not so very interesting.  There
was a little nurse--"

"Men, Lily dear."

"There was one awfully nice boy.  He wasn't a soldier,  but he was
very kind to the men.  They adored him."

"Did he fall in love with your?"

"Not a particle."

"Why wasn't he a soldier?"

"He is a little bit lame.  But he is awfully nice."

"But what is extraordinary about him, then?"

"Not a thing, except his niceness."

But they were surfeited with nice young men.  They wanted something
dramatic, and Willy Cameron was essentially undramatic.  Besides, it
was quite plain that, with unconscious cruelty, his physical
handicap made him unacceptable to them.

"Don't be ridiculous, Lily.  You're hiding some one behind this
kind person.  You must have met somebody worth while."

"Not in the camp.  I know a perfectly nice Socialist, but he was not
in the army.  Not a Socialist, really.  Much worse.  He believes in
having a revolution."

That stirred them somewhat.  She saw their interested faces turned
toward her.

"With a bomb under his coat, of course, Lily."

"He didn't bulge."

"Good-looking?"

"Well, rather."

"How old is he, Lily?" one of them asked, suspiciously.

"Almost fifty, I should say."

"Good heavens!"

Their interest died.  She could have revived it, she knew, if she
mentioned Louis Akers; he would have answered to their prime requisite
in an interesting man.  He was both handsome and young.  But she felt
curiously disinclined to mention him.

The party broke up.  By ones and twos luxuriously dressed little
figures went down the great staircase, where Grayson stood in the
hall and the footman on the doorstep signaled to the waiting cars.
Mademoiselle, watching from a point of vantage in the upper hall,
felt a sense of comfort and well-being after they had all gone.
This was as it should be.  Lily would take up life again where she
had left it off, and all would be well.

It was now the sixth day, and she had not yet carried out that
absurd idea of asking Ellen's friend to dinner.

Lily was, however, at that exact moment in process of carrying it
out.

"Telephone for you, Mr. Cameron."

"Thanks.  Coming," sang out Willy Cameron.

Edith Boyd sauntered toward his doorway.

"It's a lady."

"Woman," corrected Willy Cameron.  "The word 'lady' is now obsolete,
since your sex has entered the economic world."  He put on his coat.

"I said 'lady' and that's what I mean," said Edith.  "'May I speak
to Mr. Cameron?'" she mimicked.  "Regular Newport accent."

Suddenly Willy Cameron went rather pale.  If it should be Lily Cardew
--but then of course it wouldn't be.  She had been home for six days,
and if she had meant to call--

"Hello," he said.

It was Lily.  Something that had been like a band around his heart
suddenly loosened, to fasten about his throat.  His voice sounded
strangled and strange.

"Why, yes," he said, in the unfamiliar voice.  "I'd like to come,
of course."

Edith Boyd watched and listened, with a slightly strained look in
her eyes.

"To dinner?  But--I don't think I'd better come to dinner."

"Why not, Willy?"

Mr. William Wallace Cameron glanced around.  There was no one about
save Miss Boyd, who was polishing the nails of one hand on the palm
of the other.

"May I come in a business suit?"

"Why, of course.  Why not?"

"I didn't know," said Willy Cameron.  "I didn't know what your people
would think.  That's all.  To-morrow at eight, then.  Thanks."

He hung up the receiver and walked to the door, where he stood
looking out and seeing nothing.  She had not forgotten.  He was going
to see her.  Instead of standing across the street by the park fence,
waiting for a glimpse of her which never came, he was to sit in the
room with her.  There would be--eight from eleven was three--three
hours of her.

What a wonderful day it was!  Spring was surely near.  He would like
to be able to go and pick up Jinx, and then take a long walk through
the park.  He needed movement.  He needed to walk off his excitement
or he felt that he might burst with it.

"Eight o'clock!" said Edith.  "I wish you joy, waiting until eight
for supper."

He had to come back a long, long way to her.

"'May I come in a business suit?'" she mimicked him.  "My evening
clothes have not arrived yet.  My valet's bringing them up to town
to-morrow."

Even through the radiant happiness that surrounded him like a mist,
he caught the bitterness under her raillery.  It puzzled him.

"It's a young lady I knew at camp.  I was in an army camp, you know."

"Is her name a secret?"

"Why, no.  It is Cardew.  Miss Lily Cardew."

"I believe you--not."

"But it is," he said, genuinely concerned.  "Why in the world should
I give you a wrong name?"

Her eyes were fixed on his face.

"No.  You wouldn't.  But it makes me laugh, because--well, it was
crazy, anyhow."

"What was crazy?"

"Something I had in my mind.  Just forget it.  I'll tell you what
will happen, Mr. Cameron.  You'll stay here about six weeks.  Then
you'll get a job at the Cardew Mills.  They use chemists there, and
you will be--"

She lifted her finger-tips and blew along them delicately.

"Gone--like that," she finished.

Sometimes Willy Cameron wondered about Miss Boyd.  The large young
man, for instance, whose name he had learned was Louis Akers, did
not come any more.  Not since that telephone conversation.  But he
had been distinctly a grade above that competent young person,
Edith Boyd, if there were such grades these days; fluent and
prosperous-looking, and probably able to offer a girl a good home.
But she had thrown him over.  He had heard her doing it, and when he
had once ventured to ask her about Akers she had cut him off curtly.

"I was sick to death of him.  That's all," she had said.

But on the night of Lily's invitation he was to hear more of Louis
Akers.

It was his evening in the shop.  One day he came on at seven-thirty
in the morning and was off at six, and the next he came at ten and
stayed until eleven at night.  The evening business was oddly
increasing.  Men wandered in, bought a tube of shaving cream or a
tooth-brush, and sat or stood around for an hour or so; clerks whose
families had gone to the movies, bachelors who found their lodging
houses dreary, a young doctor or two, coming in after evening office
hours to leave a prescription, and remaining to talk and listen.
Thus they satisfied their gregarious instinct while within easy call
of home.

The wealthy had their clubs.  The workmen of the city had their
balls and sometimes their saloons.  But in between was that vast,
unorganized male element which was neither, and had neither.  To
them the neighborhood pharmacy, open in the evening, warm and bright,
gave them a rendezvous.  They gathered there in thousands, the
country over.  During the war they fought their daily battles there,
with newspaper maps.  After the war the League of Nations, local
politics, a bit of neighborhood scandal, washed down with soft drinks
from the soda fountain, furnished the evening's entertainment.

The Eagle Pharmacy had always been the neighborhood club, but with
the advent of Willy Cameron it was attaining a new popularity.  The
roundsman on the beat dropped in, the political boss of the ward,
named Hendricks, Doctor Smalley, the young physician who lived across
the street, and others.  Back of the store proper was a room, with
the prescription desk at one side and reserve stock on shelves around
the other three.  Here were a table and a half dozen old chairs, a
war map, still showing with colored pins the last positions before
the great allied advance, and an ancient hat-rack, which had held
from time immemorial an umbrella with three broken ribs and a pair
of arctics of unknown ownership.

"Going to watch this boy," Hendricks confided to Doctor Smalley a
night or two after Lily's return, meeting him outside.  "He sure
can talk."

Doctor Smalley grinned.

"He can read my writing, too, which is more than I can do myself.
What do you mean, watch him?"

But  whatever his purposes Mr. Hendricks kept them to himself.  A
big, burly man, with a fund of practical good sense a keen
knowledge of men, he had gained a small but loyal following.  He
was a retired master plumber, with a small income from careful
investments, and he had a curious, almost fanatic love for the city.

"I was born here," he would say, boastfully.  "And I've seen it grow
from fifty thousand to what it's got now.  Some folks say it's dirty,
but it's home to me, all right."

But on the evening of Lily's invitation the drug store forum found
Willy Cameron extremely silent.  He had been going over his
weaknesses, for the thought of Lily always made him humble, and one
of them was that he got carried away by things and talked too much.
He did not intend to do that the next night, at the Cardew's.

"Something's scared him off," said Mr. Hendricks to Doctor Smalley,
after a half hour of almost taciturnity, while Willy Cameron smoked
his pipe and listened.  "Watch him rise to this, though." And aloud:

"Why don't you fellows drop the League of Nations, which none of you
knows a damn about anyhow, and get to the thing that's coming in
this country?"

"I'll bite," said Mr. Clarey, who sold life insurance in the daytime
and sometimes utilized his evenings in a similar manner.  "What's
coming to this country?"

"Revolution."

The crowd laughed.

"All right," said Mr. Hendricks.  "Laugh while you can.  I saw the
Chief of Police to-day, and he's got a line of conversation that
makes a man feel like taking his savings out of the bank and burying
them in the back yard."

Willy Cameron took his pipe out of his mouth, but remained dumb.

Mr. Hendricks nudged Doctor Smalley, who rose manfully to the
occasion.  "What does he say?"

"Says the Russians have got a lot of paid agents here.  Not all
Russians either.  Some of our Americans are in it.  It's to begin
with a general strike."

"In this town?"

"All over the country.  But this is a good field for them.  The
crust's pretty thin here, and where that's the case there is likely
to be earthquakes and eruptions.  The Chief says they're bringing
in a bunch of gunmen, wobblies and Bolshevists from every industrial
town on the map.  Did you get that, Cameron?  Gunmen!"

"Any of you men here dissatisfied with this form of government?"
inquired Willy, rather truculently.

"Not so you could notice it," said Mr. Clarey.  "And once the
Republican party gets in--"

"Then there will never be a revolution."

"Why?"

"That's why," said Willy Cameron.  "Of course you are worthless now.
You aren't organized.  You don't know how many you are or how strong
you are.  You can't talk.  You sit back and listen until you believe
that this country is only capital and labor.  You get squeezed in
between them.  You see labor getting more money than you, and howling
for still more.  You see both capital and labor raising prices until
you can't live on what you get.  There are a hundred times as many
of you as represent capital and labor combined, and all you do is
loaf here and growl about things being wrong.  Why don't you do
something?  You ought to be running this country, but you aren't.
You're lazy.  You don't even vote.  You leave running the country
to men like Mr. Hendricks here."

Mr. Hendricks was cheerfully unirritated.

"All right, son," he said, "I do my bit and like it.  Go on.  Don't
stop to insult me.  You can do that any time."

"I've been buying a seditious weekly since I came," said Willy
Cameron.  "It's preaching a revolution, all right.  I'd like to see
its foreign language copies.  They'll never overthrow the government,
but they may try.  Why don't you fellows combine to fight them?  Why
don't you learn how strong you are?  Nine-tenths of the country,
and milling like sheep with a wolf around!"

Mr. Hendricks winked at the doctor.

"What'd I tell you?" whispered Hendricks.  "Got them, hasn't he?  If
he'd suggest arming them with pop bottles and attacking that gang of
anarchists at the cobbler's down the street, they'd do it this minute."

"All right, son," he offered.  "We'll combine.  Anything you say
goes.  And we'll get the Jim Doyle-Woslosky-Louis Akers outfit first.
I know a first-class brick wall--"

"Akers?" said Willy Cameron.  "Do you know him?"

"I do," said Hendricks.  "But that needn't prejudice you against me
any.  He's a bad actor, and as smooth as butter.  D'you know what
their plan is?  They expect to take the city.  This city!  The--"
Mr. Hendrick's voice was lost in fury.

"Talk!" said the roundsman.  "Where'd the police be, I'm asking?"

"The police," said Mr. Hendricks, evidently quoting, "are as filled
with sedition as a whale with corset bones.  Also the army.  Also the
state constabulary."

"The hell they are," said the roundsman aggressively.  But Willy
Cameron was staring through the smoke from his pipe at the crowd.

"They might do it, for a while," he said thoughtfully.  "There's a
tremendous foreign population in the mill towns around, isn't there?
Does anybody in the crowd own a revolver?  Or know how to use it
if he has one."

"I've got one," said the insurance agent.  "Don't know how it would
work.  Found my wife nailing oilcloth with it the other day."

"Very well.  If we're a representative group, they wouldn't need a
battery of eight-inch guns, would they?"

A little silence fell on the group.  Around them the city went about
its business; the roar of the day had softened to muffled night
sounds, as though one said: "The city sleeps.  Be still."  The red
glare of the mills was the fire on the hearth.  The hills were its
four protecting walls.  And the night mist covered it like a blanket.

"Here's one representative of the plain people," said Mr. Hendricks,
"who is going home to get some sleep.  And tomorrow I'll buy me a
gun, and if I can keep the children out of the yard I'll learn to
use it."

For a long time after he went home that night Willy Cameron paced
the floor of his upper room, paced it until an irate boarder below
hammered on his chandelier.  Jinx followed him, moving sedately
back and forth, now and then glancing up with idolatrous eyes.
Willy Cameron's mind was active and not particularly coordinate.
The Cardews and Lily; Edith Boyd and Louis Akers; the plain people;
an army marching to the city to loot and burn and rape, and another
army meeting it, saying: "You shall not pass"; Abraham Lincoln,
Russia, Lily.

His last thought, of course, was of Lily Cardew.  He had neglected
to cover Jinx, and at last the dog leaped on the bed and snuggled
close to him.  He threw an end of the blanket over him and lay
there, staring into the darkness.  He was frightfully lonely.  At
last he fell asleep, and the March wind, coming in through the open
window, overturned a paper leaning against his collar box, on
which he had carefully written:

                     Have suit pressed.
                     Buy new tie.
                     Shirts from laundry.



CHAPTER XI


Going home that night Mr. Hendricks met Edith Boyd, and accompanied
her for a block or two.  At his corner he stopped.

"How's your mother, Edith?"

It was Mr. Hendricks' business to know his ward thoroughly.

"About the same.  She isn't really sick, Mr. Hendricks.  She's just
low spirited, but that's enough.  I hate to go home."

Hendricks hesitated.

"Still, home's a pretty good place," he said.  "Especially for a
pretty girl."  There was unmistakable meaning in his tone, and she
threw up her head.

"I've got to get some pleasure out of life, Mr. Hendricks."

"Sure you have," he agreed affably.  "But playing around with Louis
Akers is like playing with a hand-grenade, Edith."  She said nothing.
"I'd cut him out, little girl.  He's poor stuff.  Mind, I'm not
saying he's a fool, but he's a bad actor.  Now if I was a pretty
girl, and there was a nice fellow around like this Cameron, I'd be
likely to think he was all right.  He's got brains."  Mr. Hendricks
had a great admiration for brains.

"I'm sick of men."

He turned at her tone and eyed her sharply.

"Well, don't judge them all by Akers.  This is my corner.  Good-night.
Not afraid to go on by yourself, are you?"

"If I ever was I've had a good many chances to get over it."

He turned the corner, but stopped and called after her.

"Tell Dan I'll be in to see him soon, Edith.  Haven't seen him since
he came back from France."

"All right."

She went on, her steps lagging.  She hated going home.  When she
reached the little house she did not go in at once.  The March night
was not cold, and she sat the step, hoping to see her mother's light
go out in the second-story front windows.  But it continued to burn
steadily, and at last, with a gesture of despair, she rose and
unlocked the door.

Almost at once she heard footsteps above, and a peevish voice.

"That you, Edie?"

"Yes."

"D'you mind bringing up the chloroform liniment and rubbing my back?"

"I'll bring it, mother."

She found it on the wainscoting in the untidy kitchen.  She could
hear the faint scurrying of water beetles over the oilcloth-covered
floor, and then silence.  She fancied myriads of tiny, watchful eyes
on her, and something crunched under her foot.  She felt like
screaming.  That new clerk at the store was always talking about
homes.  What did he know of squalid city houses, with their insects
and rats, their damp, moldy cellars, their hateful plumbing?  A
thought struck her.  She lighted the gas and stared around.  It was
as she had expected.  The dishes had not been washed.  They were
piled in the sink, and a soiled dish-towel had been thrown over them.

She lowered the gas and went upstairs.  The hardness had, somehow,
gone out of her when she thought of Willy Cameron.

"Back bad again, is it?" she asked.

"It's always bad.  But I've got a pain in my left shoulder and down
my arm that's driving me crazy.  I couldn't wash the dishes."

"Never mind the dishes.  I'm not tired.  Now crawl into bed and let
me rub you."

Mrs. Boyd complied.  She was a small, thin woman in her early fifties,
who had set out to conquer life and had been conquered by it.  The
hopeless drab of her days stretched behind her, broken only by the
incident of her widowhood, and stretched ahead hopelessly.  She had
accepted Dan's going to France resignedly, with neither protest nor
undue anxiety.  She had never been very close to Dan, although she
loved him more than she did Edith.  She was the sort of woman who
has no fundamental knowledge of men.  They had to be fed and mended
for, and they had strange physical wants that made a great deal of
trouble in the world.  But mostly they ate and slept and went to work
in the morning, and came home at night smelling of sweat and beer.

There had been one little rift in the gray fog of her daily life,
however.  And through it she had seen Edith well married, with
perhaps a girl to do the house work, and a room where Edith's mother
could fold her hands and sit in the long silences without thought
that were her sanctuary against life.

"Is that the place, mother?"

"Yes."  Edith's unwonted solicitude gave her courage.

"Edie, I want to ask you something."

"Well?" But the girl stiffened.

"Lou hasn't been round, lately."

"That's all over, mother."

"You mean you've quarreled?  Oh, Edie, and me planning you'd have a
nice home and everything."

"He never meant to marry me, if that's what you mean."

Mrs. Boyd turned on her back impatiently.

"You could have had him.  He was crazy about you.  Trouble is with
you, you think you've got a fellow hard and fast, and you begin
acting up.  Then, first thing you know--"

Some of that strange new tolerance persisted in the girl.  "Listen,
mother," she said.  "I give you my word, Lou'd run a mile if he
thought any girl wanted to marry him.  I know him better than you
do.  If any one ever does rope him in, he'll stick about three
months, and then beat it."

"I don't know why we have to have men, anyhow.  Put out the gas,
Edie.  No, don't open the window.  The night air makes me cough."

Edith started downstairs and set to work in the kitchen.  Something
would have to be done about the house.  Dan was taking to staying
out at nights, because the untidy rooms repelled him.  And there was
the question of food.  Her mother had never learned to cook, and
recently more and more of the food had been something warmed out of
a tin.  If only they could keep a girl, one who would scrub and wash
dishes.  There was a room on the third floor, an attic, full now of
her mother's untidy harborings of years, that might be used for a
servant.  Or she could move up there, and they could get a roomer.
The rent would pay a woman to come in now and then to clean up.

She had played with that thought before, and the roomer she had had
in mind was Willy Cameron.  But the knowledge that he knew the
Cardews had somehow changed all that.  She couldn't picture him
going from this sordid house to the Cardew mansion, and worse still,
returning to it afterwards.  She saw him there, at the Cardews,
surrounded by bowing flunkies--a picture of wealth gained from the
movies--and by women who moved indolently, trailing through long
vistas of ball room and conservatory in low gowns without sleeves,
and draped with ropes of pearls.  Women who smoked cigarettes after
dinner and played bridge for money.

She hated the Cardews.

On her way to her room she paused at her mother's door.

"Asleep yet, mother?"

"No.  Feel like I'm not going to sleep at all."

"Mother," she said, with a desperate catch in her voice, "we've got
to change things around here.  It isn't fair to Dan, for one thing.
We've got to get a girl to do the work.  And to do that we'll have
to rent a room."

She heard the thin figure twist impatiently.

"I've never yet been reduced to taking roomers, and I'm not going
to let the neighbors begin looking down on me now."

"Now, listen, mother--"

"Go on away, Edie."

"But suppose we could get a young man, a gentleman, who would be out
all but three evenings a week.  I don't know, but Mr. Cameron at the
store isn't satisfied where he is.  He's got a dog, and they haven't
any yard.  We've got a yard."

"I won't be bothered with any dog," said the querulous voice, from
the darkness.

With a gesture of despair the girl turned away.  What was the use,
anyhow?  Let them go on, then, her mother and Dan.  Only let them
let her go on, too.  She had tried her best to change herself, the
house, the whole rotten mess.  But they wouldn't let her.

Her mood of disgust continued the next morning.  When, at eleven
o'clock, Louis Akers sauntered in for the first time in days, she
looked at him somberly but without disdain.  Lou or somebody else,
what did it matter?  So long as something took her for a little
while away from the sordidness of home, its stale odors, its
untidiness, its querulous inmates.

"What's got into you lately, Edith?" he inquired, lowering his voice.
"You used to be the best little pal ever.  Now the other day, when
I called up--"

"Had the headache," she said laconically.  "Well?"

"Want to play around this evening?"

She hesitated.  Then she remembered where Willy Cameron would be
that night, and her face hardened.  Had any one told Edith that she
was beginning to care for the lame young man in the rear room, with
his exaggerated chivalry toward women, his belief in home, and his
sentimental whistling, she would have laughed.  But he gave her
something that the other men she knew robbed her of, a sort of
self-respect.  It was perhaps not so much that she cared for him,
as that he enabled her to care more for herself.

But he was going to dinner with Lily Cardew.

"I might, depending on what you've got to offer."

"I've got a car now, Edith.  I'm not joking.  There was a lot of
outside work, and the organization came over.  I've been after it
for six months.  We can have a ride, and supper somewhere.  How's
the young man with the wooden leg?"

"If you want to know I'll call him out and let him tell you."

"Quick, aren't you?"  He smiled down at where she stood, firmly
entrenched behind a show case.  "Well, don't fall in love with him.
That's all.  I'm a bad man when I'm jealous."

He sauntered out, leaving Edith gazing thoughtfully after him.   He
did not know, nor would have cared had he known, that her acceptance
of his invitation was a complex of disgust of home, of the call of
youth, and of the fact that Willy Cameron was dining at the Cardews
that night.



CHAPTER XII


Howard Cardew was in his dressing room, sitting before the fire.
His man had put out his dinner clothes and retired, and Howard was
sifting before the fire rather listlessly.

In Grace's room, adjoining, he could hear movements and low voices.
Before Lily's return, now and then when he was tired Grace and he
had dined by the fire in her boudoir.  It had been very restful.
He was still in love with his wife, although, as in most marriages,
there was one who gave more than the other.  In this case it was
Grace who gave, and Howard who received.  But he loved her.  He
never thought of other women.  Only his father had never let him
forget her weaknesses.

Sometimes he was afraid that he was looking at Grace with his
father's eyes, rather than his own.

He had put up a hard fight with his father.  Not about Grace.  That
was over and done with, although it had been bad while it lasted.
But his real struggle had been to preserve himself, to keep his
faiths and his ideals, and even his personality.  In the inessentials
he had yielded easily, and so bought peace.  Or perhaps a truce, of
a sort.  But for the essentials he was standing with a sort of
dogged conviction that if he lowered his flag it would precipitate a
crisis.  He was not brilliant, but he was intelligent, progressive
and kindly.  He knew that his father considered him both stupid and
obstinate.

There was going to be a strike.  The quarrel now was between
Anthony's curt "Let them strike," and his own conviction that a
strike at this time might lead to even worse things.  The men's
demands were exorbitant.  No business, no matter how big, could
concede them and live.  But Howard was debating another phase of
the situation.

Not all the mills would go down.  A careful canvass of some of the
other independent concerns had shown the men eighty, ninety, even
one hundred per cent, loyal.  Those were the smaller plants, where
there had always been a reciprocal good feeling between the owners
and the men; there the men knew the owners, and the owners knew the
men, who had been with them for years.

But the Cardew Mills would go down.  There had been no liaison
between the Cardews and the workmen.  The very magnitude of the
business forbade that.  And for many years, too, the Cardews had
shown a gross callousness to the welfare of the laborers.  Long
ago he had urged on his father the progressive attitude of other
steel men, but Anthony had jeered, and when Howard had forced the
issue and gained concessions, it was too late.  The old grievances
remained in too many minds.  To hate the Cardews bad become a habit.
Their past sins would damn them now.  The strike was wrong, a
wicked thing.  It was without reason and without aim.  The men were
knocking a hole in the boat that floated them.  But--

There was a tap at his door, and he called "Come in." From her
babyhood Lily had had her own peculiar method of signaling that she
stood without, a delicate rapid tattoo of finger nails on the panel.
He watched smilingly for her entrance.

"Well!" she said.  "Thank goodness you haven't started to dress.  I
tried to get here earlier, but my hair wouldn't go up, I want to
make a good impression to-night."

"Is there a dinner on?  I didn't know it."

"Not a dinner.  A young man.  I came to see what you are going to
wear."

"Really!  Well, I haven't a great variety.  The ordinary dinner
dress of a gentleman doesn't lend itself to any extraordinary
ornamentation.  If you like, I'll pin on that medal from the Iron
and Steel--Who's coming, Lily?"

"Grayson says grandfather's dining out."

"I believe so."

"What a piece of luck!  I mean--you know what he'd say if I asked
him not to dress for dinner."

"Am I to gather that you are asking me?"

"You wouldn't mind, would you?  He hasn't any evening clothes."

"Look here, Lily," said her father, sitting upright.  "Who is coming
here to-night?  And why should he upset the habits of the entire
family?"

"Willy Cameron.  You know, father.  And he has the queerest ideas
about us.  Honestly.  And I want him to like us, and it's such a
good chance, with grandfather out."

He ignored that.

"How about our liking him?"

"Oh, you'll like him.  Everybody does.  You will try to make a good
impression, won't you, father?"

He got up, and resting his hands on her shoulders, smiled down into
her upturned face.  "I will," he said.  "But I think I should tell
you that your anxiety arouses deep and black suspicions in my mind.
Am I to understand that you have fixed your young affections on
this Willy Cameron, and that you want your family to help you in
your dark designs?"

Lily laughed.

"I love him," she said.  "I really do.  I could listen to him for
hours.  But people don't want to marry Willy Cameron.  They just
love him."

There was born in Howard's mind a vision of a nice pink and white
young man, quite sexless, whom people loved but did not dream of
marrying.

"I see," he said slowly.  "Like a puppy."

"Not at all like a puppy."

"I'm afraid I'm not subtle, my dear.  Well, ring for Adams, and
--you think he wouldn't care for the medal?"

"I think he'd love it.  He'd probably think some king gave it to
you.  I'm sure he believes that you and grandfather habitually
hobnob with kings."  She turned to go out.  "He doesn't approve
of kings."

"You are making me extremely uneasy," was her father's shot.  "I
only hope I acquit myself well."

"Hurry, then.  He is sure to be exactly on the hour."  Howard was
still smiling slightly to himself when, a half-hour later, he
descended the staircase.  But he had some difficulty first in
reconciling his preconceived idea of Willy with the tall young man,
with the faint unevenness of step, who responded to his greeting so
calmly and so easily.  "We are always glad to see any of Lily's
friends."

"It is very good of you to let me come, sir."

Why, the girl was blind.  This was a man, a fine, up-standing fellow,
with a clean-cut, sensitive face, and honest, almost beautiful eyes.
How did women judge men, anyhow?

And, try as he would, Howard Cardew could find no fault with Willy
Cameron that night.  He tried him out on a number of things.  In
religion, for instance, he was orthodox, although he felt that the
church had not come up fully during the war.

"Religion isn't a matter only of churches any more," said Mr.
Cameron.  "It has to go out into the streets, I think, sir.
It's a-well, Christ left the tabernacle, you remember."

That was all right.  Howard felt that himself sometimes.  He was a
vestryman at Saint Peter's, and although he felt very devout during
the service, especially during the offertory, when the music filled
the fine old building, he was often conscious that he shed his
spirituality at the door, when he glanced at the sky to see what
were the prospects for an afternoon's golf.

In politics Willy Cameron was less satisfactory.

"I haven't decided, yet," he said.  "I voted for Mr. Wilson in 1916,
but although I suppose parties are necessary, I don't like to feel
that I am party-bound.  Anyhow, the old party lines are gone.  I
rather look--"

He stopped.  That terrible speech of Edith Boyd's still rankled.

"Go on, Willy," said Lily.  "I told them they'd love to you talk."

"That's really all, sir," said Willy Cameron, unhappily.  "I am a
Scot, and to start a Scot on reform is fatal."

"Ah, you believe in reform?"

"We are not doing very well as we are, sir."

"I should like extremely to know how you feel about things," said
Howard, gravely.

"Only this: So long as one party is, or is considered, the
representative of capital, the vested interests, and the other of
labor, the great mass of the people who are neither the one nor
the other cannot be adequately represented."

"And the solution?"

"Perhaps a new party.  Or better still, a liberalizing of the
Republican."

"Before long," said Lily suddenly, "there will be no state.  There
will be enough for everybody, and nobody will have too much."

Howard smiled at her indulgently.

"How do you expect to accomplish this ideal condition?"

"That's the difficulty about it," said Lily, thoughtfully.  "It
means a revolution.  It would be peaceful, though.  The thing to do
is to convince people that it is simple justice, and then they will
divide what they have."

"Why, Lily!" Grace's voice was anxious.  "That's Socialism."

But Howard only smiled tolerantly, and changed the subject.  Every
one had these attacks of idealism in youth.  They were the
exaggerated altruism of adolescence; a part of its dreams and
aspirations.  He changed the subject.

"I like the boy," he said to Grace, later, over the cribbage board
in the morning room.  "He has character, and a queer sort of
magnetism.  It mightn't be a bad thing--"

Grace was counting.

"I forgot to tell you; I think she refused Pink Denslow the other
day."

"I rather gathered, from the way she spoke of young Cameron, that
she isn't interested there either."

"Not a bit," said Grace, complacently.  "You needn't worry about him."

Howard smiled.  He was often conscious that after all the years of
their common life, his wife's mind and his traveled along parallel
lines that never met.

Willy Cameron was extremely happy.  He had brought his pipe along,
although without much hope, but the moment they were settled by the
library fire Lily had suggested it.

"You know you can't talk unless you have it in your hand to wave
around," she said.  "And I want to know such a lot of things.  Where
you live, and all that."

"I live in a boarding house.  More house than board, really.  And
the work's all right.  I'm going to study metallurgy some day.
There are night courses at the college, only I haven't many nights."

He had lighted his pipe, and kept his eyes on it mostly, or on the
fire.  He was afraid to look at Lily, because there was something
he could not keep out of his eyes, but must keep from her.  It had
been both better and worse than he had anticipated, seeing her in
her home.  Lily herself had not changed.  She was her wonderful self,
in spite of her frock and her surroundings.  But the house, her
people, with their ease of wealth and position, Grace's slight
condescension, the elaborate simplicity of dining, the
matter-of-course-ness of the service.  It was not that Lily was
above him.  That was ridiculous.  But she was far removed from him.

"There is something wrong with you, Willy," she said unexpectedly.
"You are not happy, or you are not well.  Which is it?  You are
awfully thin, for one thing."

"I'm all right," he said, evading her eyes.

"Are you lonely?  I don't mean now, of course."

"Well, I've got a dog.  That helps.  He's a helpless sort of mutt.
I carry his meat home from the shop in my pocket, and I feel like
a butcher's wagon, sometimes.  But he's taken a queer sort of
liking to me, and he is something to talk to."

"Why didn't you bring him along?"

Dogs were forbidden in the Cardew house, by old Anthony's order, as
were pipes, especially old and beloved ones, but Lily was entirely
reckless.

"He did follow me.  He's probably sitting on the doorstep now.  I
tried to send him back, but he's an obstinate little beast."

Lily got up.

"I am going to bring him in," she said.  "And if you'll ring that
bell we'll get him some dinner."

"I'll get him, while you ring."

Half an hour later Anthony Cardew entered his house.  He had spent
a miserable evening.  Some young whipper snapper who employed a
handful of men had undertaken to show him where he, Anthony Cardew,
was a clog in the wheel of progress.  Not in so many words, but he
had said: "Tempora mutantur, Mr. Cardew.  And the wise employer
meets those changes half-way."

"You young fools want to go all the way."

"Not at all.  We'll meet them half-way, and stop."

"Bah!" said Anthony Cardew, and had left the club in a temper.  The
club was going to the dogs, along with the rest of the world.  There
was only a handful of straight-thinking men like himself left in it.
Lot of young cravens, letting their men dominate them and intimidate
them.

So he slammed into his house, threw off his coat and hat, and--
sniffed.  A pungent, acrid odor was floating through a partly closed
door.  Anthony Cardew flung open the door and entered.

Before the fire, on a deep velvet couch, sat his granddaughter.
Beside her was a thin young man in a gray suit, and the thin young
man was waving an old pipe about, and saying:

"Tempora mutantur, Lily.  The wise employer--"

"I am afraid, sir," said Anthony, in a terrible voice, "that you are
not acquainted with the rules of my house.  I object to pipes.  There
are cigars in the humidor behind you."

"Very sorry, Mr. Cardew," Willy Cameron explained.  "I didn't know.
I'll put it away, sir."

But Anthony was not listening.  His eyes had traveled from an empty
platter on the hearth-rug to a deep chair where Jinx, both warm and
fed at the same time, and extremely distended with meat, lay
sleeping.  Anthony put out a hand and pressed the bell beside him.

"I want you to meet Mr. Cameron, grandfather."  Lily was rather pale,
but she had the Cardew poise.  "He was in the camp when I was."

Grayson entered on that, however, and Anthony pointed to Jinx.

"Put that dog out," he said, and left the room, his figure rigid
and uncompromising.

"Grayson," Lily said, white to the lips, "that dog is to remain
here.  He's perfectly quiet.  And, will you find Ellen and ask her
to come here?"

"Haven't I made enough trouble?" asked Willy Cameron, unhappily.
"I can see her again, you know."

"She's crazy to see you, Willy.  And besides--"

Grayson had gone, after a moment's hesitation.

"Don't you see?" she said.  "The others have always submitted.  I
did, too.  But I can't keep it up, Willy.  I can't live here and
let him treat me like that.  Or my friends.  I know what will happen.
I'll run away, like Aunt Elinor."

"You must not do that, Lily." He was very grave.

"Why not?  They think she is unhappy.  She isn't.  She ran away and
married a man she cared about.  I may call you up some day and ask
you to marry me!" she added, less tensely.  "You would be an
awfully good husband, you know."

She looked up at him, still angry, but rather amused with this new
conceit.

"Don't!"

She was startled by the look on his face.

"You see," he said painfully, "what only amuses you in that idea
is--well, it doesn't amuse me, Lily."

"I only meant--" she was very uncomfortable.  "You are so real and
dependable and kind, and I--"

"I know what you mean.  Like Jinx, there.  I'm sorry!  I didn't mean
that.  But you must not talk about marrying me unless you mean it.
You see, I happen to care."

"Willy!"

"It won't hurt you to know, although I hadn't meant to tell you.
And of course, you know, I am not asking you to marry me.  Only I'd
like you to feel that you can count on me, always.  The one person
a woman can count on is the man who loves her."

And after a little silence:

"You see, I know you are not in love with me.  I cared from the
beginning, but I always knew that."

"I wish I did." She was rather close to tears.  She had not felt at
all like that with Pink.  But, although she knew he was suffering,
his quietness deceived her.  She had the theory of youth about love,
that it was a violent thing, tempestuous and passionate.  She
thought that love demanded, not knowing that love gives first, and
then asks.  She could not know how he felt about his love for her,
that it lay in a sort of cathedral shrine in his heart.  There were
holy days when saints left their niches and were shown in city
streets, but until that holy day came they remained in the church.

"You will remember that, won't you?"

"I'll remember, Willy."

"I won't be a nuisance, you know.  I've never had any hope, so I
won't make you unhappy.  And don't be unhappy about me, Lily.  I
would rather love you, even knowing I can't have you, than be
loved by anybody else."

Perhaps, had he shown more hurt, he would have made it seem more
real to her.  But he was frightfully anxious not to cause her pain.

"I'm really very happy, loving you," he added, and smiled down at
her reassuringly.  But he had for all that a wild primitive impulse
which almost overcame him for a moment, to pick her up in his arms
and carry her out the door and away with him.  Somewhere, anywhere.
Away from that grim old house, and that despotic little man, to
liberty and happiness and--William Wallace Cameron.

Ellen came in, divided between uneasiness and delight, and inquired
painstakingly about his mother, and his uncle in California, and
the Presbyterian minister.  But she was uncomfortable and uneasy
and refused to sit down, and Willy watched her furtively slipping
out again with a slight frown.  It was not right, somehow, this
dividing of the world into classes, those who served and those who
were served.  But he had an idea that it was those below who made
the distinction, nowadays.  It was the masses who insisted on
isolating the classes.  They made kings, perhaps that they might
some day reach up and pull them off their thrones.  At the top of
the stairs Ellen found Mademoiselle, who fixed her with cold eyes.

"What were you doing down there," she demanded.

"Miss Lily sent for me, to see that young man I told you about."

"How dare you go down?  And into the library?"

"I've just told you," said Ellen, her face setting.  "She sent for
me."

"Why didn't you say you were in bed?"

"I'm no liar, Mademoiselle.  Besides, I guess it's no crime to see
a boy I've known all his life, and his mother and me like sisters."

"You are a fool," said Mademoiselle, and turning clumped back in
her bedroom slippers to her room.

Ellen went up to her room.  Heretofore she had given her allegiance
to Mademoiselle and Mrs. Cardew, and in a more remote fashion, to
Howard.  But Ellen, crying angry tears in her small white bed that
night, sensed a new division in the family, with Mademoiselle and
Anthony and Howard and Grace on one side, and Lily standing alone,
fighting valiantly for the right to live her own life, to receive
her own friends, and the friends of her friends, even though one
of these latter might be a servant in her own house.

Yet Ellen, with the true snobbishness of the servants' hall,
disapproved of Lily's course while she admired it.

"But they're all against her," Ellen reflected.  "The poor thing!
And just because of Willy Cameron.  Well, I'll stand by her, if
they throw me out for it."

In her romantic head there formed strange, delightful visions.
Lily eloping with Willy Cameron, assisted by herself.  Lily in the
little Cameron house, astounding the neighborhood with her clothes
and her charm, and being sponsored by Ellen.  The excitement of the
village, and the visits to Ellen to learn what to wear for a first
call, and were cards necessary?

Into Ellen's not very hard-working but monotonous life had comes
its first dream of romance.



CHAPTER XIII


For three weeks Lily did not see Louis Akers, nor did she go back
to the house on Cardew Way.  She hated doing clandestine or forbidden
things, and she was, too, determined to add nothing to the tenseness
she began to realize existed at home.  She went through her days,
struggling to fit herself again into the old environment, reading
to her mother, lending herself with assumed enthusiasm to such small
gayeties as Lent permitted, and doing penance in a dozen ways for
that stolen afternoon with Louis Akers.

She had been forbidden to see him again.  It had come about by
Grace's confession to Howard as to Lily's visit to the Doyles.  He
had not objected to that.

"Unless Doyle talks his rubbish to her," he said.  "She said
something the other night that didn't sound like her.  Was any one
else there?"

"An attorney named Akers," she said.

And at that Howard had scowled.

"She'd better keep away altogether," he observed, curtly.  "She
oughtn't to meet men like that."

"Shall I tell her?"

"I'll tell her," he said.  And tell her he did, not too tactfully,
and man-like shielding her by not telling her his reasons.

"He's not the sort of man I want you to know," he finished.  "That
ought to be sufficient.  Have you seen him since?"

Lily flushed, but she did not like to lie.

"I had tea with him one afternoon.  I often have tea with men,
father.  You know that."

"You knew I wouldn't approve, or you would have mentioned it."

Because he felt that he had been rather ruthless with her, he stopped
in at the jeweler's the next morning and sent her a tiny jeweled
watch.  Lily was touched and repentant.  She made up her mind not to
see Louis Akers again, and found a certain relief in the decision.
She was conscious that he had a peculiar attraction for her, a purely
emotional appeal.  He made her feel alive.  Even when she disapproved
of him, she was conscious of him.  She put him resolutely out of her
mind, to have him reappear in her dreams, not as a lover, but as some
one dominant and insistent, commanding her to do absurd,
inconsequential things.

Now and then she saw Willy Cameron, and they had gone back,
apparently, to the old friendly relationship.  They walked together,
and once they went to the moving pictures, to Grace's horror.  But
there were no peanuts to eat, and instead of the jingling camp piano
there was an orchestra, and it was all strangely different.  Even
Willy Cameron was different.  He was very silent, and on the way
home he did not once speak of the plain people.

Louis Akers had both written and telephoned her, but she made
excuses, and did not see him, and the last time he had hung up the
receiver abruptly.  She felt an odd mixture of relief and regret.

Then, about the middle of April, she saw him again.

Spring was well on by that time.  Before the Doyle house on Cardew
Way the two horse-chestnuts were showing great red-brown buds, ready
to fall into leaf with the first warm day, and Elinor, assisted by
Jennie, the elderly maid, was finishing her spring house-cleaning.
The Cardew mansion showed window-boxes at each window, filled by the
florist with spring flowers, to be replaced later by summer ones.
A potted primrose sat behind the plate glass of the Eagle Pharmacy,
among packets of flower seeds and spring tonics, its leaves
occasionally nibbled by the pharmacy cat, out of some atavistic
craving survived through long generations of city streets.

The children's playground near the Lily furnace was ready; Howard
Cardew himself had overseen the locations of the swings and
chute-the-chutes.  And at Friendship an army of workers was
sprinkling and tamping the turf of the polo field.  After two years
of war, there was to be polo again that spring and early summer.
The Cherry Hill Hunt team was still intact, although some of the
visiting outfits had been badly shot to pieces by the war.  But
the war was over.  It lay behind, a nightmare to be forgotten as
soon as possible.  It had left its train of misery and debt, but
--spring had come.

On a pleasant Monday, Lily motored out to the field with Pink
Denslow.  It had touched her that he still wanted her, and it had
offered an escape from her own worries.  She was fighting a sense
of failure that day.  It seemed impossible to reconcile the warring
elements at home.  Old Anthony and his son were quarreling over the
strike, and Anthony was jibing constantly at Howard over the
playground.  It was not so much her grandfather's irritability that
depressed her as his tyranny over the household, and his attitude
toward her mother roused her to bitter resentment.

The night before she had left the table after one of his scourging
speeches, only to have what amounted to a scene with her mother
afterward.

"But I cannot sit by while he insults you, mother."

"It is just his way.  I don't mind, really.  Oh, Lily, don't destroy
what I have built up so carefully.  It hurts your father so."

"Sometimes," Lily said slowly, "he makes me think Aunt Elinor's
husband was right.  He believes a lot of things--"

"What things?" Grace had asked, suspiciously.

Lily hesitated.

"Well, a sort of Socialism, for one thing, only it isn't exactly
that.  It's individualism, really, or I think so; the sort of thing
that this house stifles."  Grace was too horrified for speech.
"I don't want to hurt you, mother, but don't you see?  He tyrannizes
over all of us, and it's bad for our souls.  Why should he bellow
at the servants?  Or talk to you the way he did to-night?"  She
smiled faintly.  "We're all drowning, and I want to swim, that's all.
Mr. Doyle--"

"You are talking nonsense," said Grace sharply.  "You have got a lot
of ideas from that wretched house, and now you think they are your
own.  Lily, I warn you, if you insist on going back to the Doyles I
shall take you abroad."

Lily turned and walked out of the room, and there was something
suggestive of old Anthony in the pitch of her shoulders.  Her anger
did not last long, but her uneasiness persisted.  Already she knew
that she was older in many ways than Grace; she had matured in the
past year more than her mother in twenty, and she felt rather like
a woman obeying the mandates of a child.

But on that pleasant Monday she was determined to be happy.

"Old world begins to look pretty, doesn't it?" said Pink, breaking
in on her thoughts.

"Lovely."

"It's not a bad place to live in, after all," said Pink, trying to
cheer his own rather unhappy humor.  "There is always spring to
expect, when we get low in winter.  And there are horses and dogs,
and--and blossoms on the trees, and all that."  What he meant was,
"If there isn't love."

"You are perfectly satisfied with things just as they are, aren't
you?" Lily asked, half enviously.

"Well, I'd change some things."  He stopped.  He wasn't going to
go round sighing like a furnace.  "But it's a pretty good sort of
place.  I'm for it."

"Have you sent your ponies out?"

"Only two.  I want to show you one I bought from the Government
almost for nothing.  Remount man piped me off.  Light in flesh,
rather, but fast.  Handy, light mouth--all he needs is a bit of
training."

They had been in the open country for some time, but now they were
approaching the Cardew's Friendship plant.  The furnaces had covered
the fields with a thin deposit of reddish ore dust.  Such blighted
grass as grew had already lost its fresh green, and the trees showed
stunted blossoms.  The one oasis of freshness was the polo field
itself, carefully irrigated by underground pipes.  The field, with
its stables and grandstand, had been the gift of Anthony Cardew,
thereby promoting much discussion with his son.  For Howard had
wanted the land for certain purposes of his own, to build a clubhouse
for the men at the plant, with a baseball field.  Finding his father
obdurate in that, he had urged that the field be thrown open to the
men and their families, save immediately preceding and during the
polo season.  But he had failed there, too.  Anthony Cardew had
insisted, and with some reason, that to use the grounds for band
concerts and baseball games, for picnics and playgrounds, would ruin
the turf for its legitimate purpose.

Howard had subsequently found other land, and out of his own private
means had carried out his plans, but the location was less desirable.
And he knew what his father refused to believe, that the polo ground,
taking up space badly needed for other purposes, was a continual
grievance.

Suddenly Pink stared ahead.

"I say," he said, "have they changed the rule about that sort of
thing?"

He pointed to the field.  A diamond had been roughly outlined on it
with bags of sand, and a ball-game was in progress, boys playing,
but a long line of men watching from the side lines.

"I don't know, but it doesn't hurt anything."

"Ruins the turf, that's all."  He stopped the car and got out.
"Look at this sign.  It says 'ball-playing or any trespassing
forbidden on these grounds.' I'll clear them off."

"I wouldn't, Pink.  They may be ugly."

But he only smiled at her reassuringly, and went off.  She watched
him go with many misgivings, his sturdy young figure, his careful
dress, his air of the young aristocrat, easy, domineering,
unconsciously insolent.  They would resent him, she knew, those men
and boys.  And after all, why should they not use the field?  There
was injustice in that sign.

Yet her liking and real sympathy were with Pink.

"Pink!" she called, "Come back here.  Let them alone."

He turned toward her a face slightly flushed with indignation and
set with purpose.

"Sorry.  Can't do it, Lily.  This sort of thing's got to be stopped."

She felt, rather hopelessly, that he was wrong, but that he was
right, too.  The grounds were private property.  She sat back and
watched.

Pink was angry.  She could hear his voice, see his gestures.  He was
shooing them off like a lot of chickens, and they were laughing.
The game had stopped, and the side lines were pressing forward.
There was a moment's debate, with raised voices, a sullen muttering
from the crowd, and the line closing into a circle.  The last thing
she saw before it closed was a man lunging at Pink, and his
counter-feint.  Then some one was down.  If it was Pink he was not
out, for there was fighting still going on.  The laborers working
on the grounds were running.

Lily stood up in the car, pale and sickened.  She was only vaguely
conscious of a car that suddenly left the road, and dashed
recklessly across the priceless turf, but she did see, and recognize,
Louis Akers as he leaped from it and flinging men this way and that
disappeared into the storm center.  She could hear his voice, too,
loud and angry, and see the quick dispersal of the crowd.  Some of
the men, foreigners, passed quite near to her, and eyed her either
sullenly or with mocking smiles.  She was quite oblivious of them.
She got out and ran with shaking knees across to where Pink lay on
the grass, his profile white and sharply chiseled, with two or three
men bending over him.

Pink was dead.  Those brutes had killed him.  Pink.

He was not dead.  He was moving his arms.

Louis Akers straightened when he saw her and took off his hat.

"Nothing to worry about, Miss Cardew," he said.  "But what sort of
idiocy--!  Hello, old man, all right now?"

Pink sat up, then rose stiffly and awkwardly.  He had a cut over one
eye, and he felt for his handkerchief.

"Fouled me," he said.  "Filthy lot, anyhow.  Wonder they didn't walk
on me when I was down."  He turned to the grounds-keeper, who had
come up.  "You ought to know better than to let those fellows cut up
this turf," he said angrily.  "What're you here for anyhow?"

But he was suddenly very sick.  He looked at Lily, his face drawn and
blanched.

"Got me right," he muttered.  "I--"

"Get into my car," said Akers, not too amiably.  "I'll drive you to
the stables.  I'll be back, Miss Cardew."

Lily went back to the car and sat down.  She was shocked and startled,
but she was strangely excited.  The crowd had beaten Pink, but it
had obeyed Louis Akers like a master.  He was a man.  He was a strong
man.  He must be built of iron.  Mentally she saw him again, driving
recklessly over the turf, throwing the men to right and left, hoarse
with anger, tall, dominant, powerful.

It was more important that a man be a man than that he be a gentleman.

After a little he drove back across the field, sending the car
forward again at reckless speed.  Some vision of her grandfather,
watching the machine careening over the still soft and spongy turf
and leaving deep tracks behind it, made her smile.  Akers leaped
out.

"No need to worry about our young friend," he said cheerfully.  "He
is alternately being very sick at his stomach and cursing the poor
working man.  But I think I'd better drive you back.  He'll be poor
company, I'll say that."

He looked at her, his bold eyes challenging, belying the amiable
gentleness of his smile.

"I'd better let him know."

"I told him.  He isn't strong for me.  Always hate the fellow who
saves you, you know.  But he didn't object."

Lily moved into his car obediently.  She felt a strange inclination
to do what this man wanted.  Rather, it was an inability to oppose
him.  He went on, big, strong, and imperious.  And he carried one
along.  It was easy and queer.  But she did, unconsciously, what
she had never done with Pink or any other man; she sat as far away
from him on the wide seat as she could.

He noticed that, and smiled ahead, over the wheel.  He had been
infuriated over her avoidance of him, but if she was afraid of him--

"Bully engine in this car.  Never have to change a gear."

"You certainly made a road through the field."

"They'll fix that, all right.  Are you warm enough?"

"Yes, thank you."

"You have been treating me very badly, you know, Miss Cardew."

"I have been frightfully busy."

"That's not true, and you know it.  You've been forbidden to see
me, haven't you?"

"I have been forbidden to go back to Cardew Way."

"They don't know about me, then?"

"There isn't very much to know, is there?"

"I wish you wouldn't fence with me," he said impatiently.  "I told
you once I was frank.  I want you to answer one question.  If this
thing rested with you, would you see me again?"

"I think I would, Mr. Akers," she said honestly.

Had she ever known a man like the one beside her, she would not
have given him that opportunity.  He glanced sharply around, and
then suddenly stopped the car and turned toward her.

"I'm crazy about you, and you know it," he said.  And roughly,
violently, he caught her to him and kissed her again and again.  Her
arms were pinned to her sides, and she was helpless.  After a brief
struggle to free herself she merely shut her eyes and waited for
him to stop.

"I'm mad about you," he whispered.

Then he freed her.  Lily wanted to feel angry, but she felt only
humiliated and rather soiled.  There were men like that, then, men
who gave way to violent impulses, who lost control of themselves
and had to apologize afterwards.  She hated him, but she was sorry
for him, too.  He would have to be so humble.  She was staring ahead,
white and waiting for his explanation, when he released the brake
and started the car forward slowly.

"Well?" he said, with a faint smile.

"You will have to apologize for that, Mr. Akers."

"I'm damned if I will.  That man back there, Denslow--he's the sort
who would kiss a girl and then crawl about it afterwards.  I won't.
I'm not sorry.  A strong man can digest his own sins.  I kissed you
because I wanted to.  It wasn't an impulse.  I meant to when we
started.  And you're only doing the conventional thing and pretending
to be angry.  You're not angry.  Good God, girl, be yourself once in
a while."

"I'm afraid I don't understand you." Her voice was haughty.  "And I
must ask you to stop the car and let me get out."

"I'll do nothing of the sort, of course.  Now get this straight,
Miss Cardew.  I haven't done you any harm.  I may have a brutal way
of showing that I'm crazy about you, but it's my way.  I'm a man,
and I'm no hand kisser."

And when she said nothing:

"You think I'm unrestrained, and I am, in a way.  But if I did what
I really want to do, I'd not take you home at all.  I'd steal you.
You've done something to me, God knows what."

"Then I can only say I'm sorry," Lily said slowly.

She felt strangely helpless and rather maternal.  With all his
strength this sort of man needed to be protected from himself.  She
felt no answering thrill whatever to his passion, but as though,
having told her he loved her, he had placed a considerable
responsibility in her hands.

"I'll be good now," he said.  "Mind, I'm not sorry.  But I don't
want to worry you."

He made no further overtures to her during the ride, but he was
neither sulky nor sheepish.  He feigned an anxiety as to the
threatened strike, and related at great length and with extreme
cleverness of invention his own efforts to prevent it.

"I've a good bit of influence with the A.F.L.," he said.  "Doyle's
in bad with them, but I'm still solid.  But it's coming, sure as
shooting.  And they'll win, too."

He knew women well, and he saw that she was forgiving him.  But she
would not forget.  He had a cynical doctrine, to the effect that a
woman's first kiss of passion left an ineradicable mark on her, and
he was quite certain that Lily had never been so kissed before.

Driving through the park he turned to her:

"Please forgive me," he said, his mellow voice contrite and
supplicating.  "You've been so fine about it that you make me
ashamed."

"I would like to feel that it wouldn't happen again: That's all."

"That means you intend to see me again.  But never is a long word.
I'm afraid to promise.  You go to my head, Lily Cardew."  They were
halted by the traffic, and it gave him a chance to say something he
had been ingeniously formulating in his mind.  "I've known lots of
girls.  I'm no saint.  But you are different.  You're a good woman.
You could do anything you wanted with me, if you cared to."

And because she was young and lovely, and because he was always the
slave of youth and beauty, he meant what he said.  It was a lie, but
he was lying to himself also, and his voice held unmistakable
sincerity.  But even then he was watching her, weighing the effect
of his words on her.  He saw that she was touched.

He was very well pleased with himself on his way home.  He left the
car at the public garage, and walked, whistling blithely, to his
small bachelor apartment.  He was a self-indulgent man, and his
rooms were comfortable to the point of luxury.  In the sitting room
was a desk, as clean and orderly as Doyle's was untidy.  Having put
on his dressing gown he went to it, and with a sheet of paper before
him sat for some time thinking.

He found his work irksome at times.  True, it had its interest.  He
was the liaison between organized labor, which was conservative in
the main, and the radical element, both in and out of the
organization.  He played a double game, and his work was always the
same, to fan the discontent latently smoldering in every man's soul
into a flame.  And to do this he had not Doyle's fanaticism.
Personally, Louis Akers found the world a pretty good place.  He
hated the rich because they had more than he had, but he scorned
the poor because they had less.  And he liked the feeling of power
he had when, on the platform, men swayed to his words like wheat to
a wind.

Personal ambition was his fetish, as power was Anthony Cardew's.
Sometimes he walked past the exclusive city clubs, and he dreamed of
a time when he, too, would have the entree to them.  But time was
passing.  He was thirty-three years old when Jim Doyle crossed his
path, and the clubs were as far away as ever.  It was Doyle who
found the weak place in his armor, and who taught him that when one
could not rise it was possible to pull others down.

But it was Woslosky, the Americanized Pole; who had put the thing
in a more appealing form.

"Our friend Doyle to the contrary," he said cynically, "we cannot
hope to contend against the inevitable.  The few will always govern
the many, in the end.  It will be the old cycle, autocracy, anarchy,
and then democracy; but out of this last comes always the one man
who crowns himself or is crowned.  One of the people.  You, or
myself, it may be."

The Pole had smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

Akers did not go to work immediately.  He sat for some time, a
cigarette in his hand, his eyes slightly narrowed.  He believed that
he could marry Lily Cardew.  It would take time and all his skill,
but he believed he could do it.  His mind wandered to Lily herself,
her youth and charm, her soft red mouth, the feel of her warm young
body in his arms.  He brought himself up sharply.  Where would such
a marriage take him?

He pondered the question pro and con.  On the one hand the Cardews,
on the other, Doyle and a revolutionary movement.  A revolution
would be interesting and exciting, and there was strong in him the
desire to pull down.  But revolution was troublesome.  It was violent
and bloody.  Even if it succeeded it would be years before the
country would be stabilized.  This other, now--

He sat low in his chair, his long legs stretched out in his favorite
position, and dreamed.  He would not play the fool like Doyle.  He
would conciliate the family.  In the end he would be put up at the
clubs; he might even play polo.  His thoughts wandered to Pink
Denslow at the polo grounds, and he grinned.

"Young fool!" he reflected.  "If I can't beat his time--"  He
ordered dinner to be sent up, and mixed himself a cocktail, using
the utmost care in its preparation.  Drinking it, he eyed himself
complacently in the small mirror over the mantel.  Yes, life was
not bad.  It was damned interesting.  It was a game.  No, it was
a race where a man could so hedge his bets that he stood to gain,
whoever won.

When there was a knock at the door he did not turn.  "Come in,"
he said.

But it was not the waiter.  It was Edith Boyd.  He saw her through
the mirror, and so addressed her.

"Hello, sweetie," he said.  Then he turned.  "You oughtn't to come
here, Edith.  I've told you about that."

"I had to see you, Lou."

"Well, take a good look, then," he said.  Her coming fitted in well
with the complacence of his mood.  Yes, life was good, so long as
it held power, and drink, and women.

He stooped to kiss her, but although she accepted the caress, she
did not return it.

"Not mad at me, Miss Boyd, are you?"

"No.  Lou, I'm frightened!"



CHAPTER XIV


On clear Sundays Anthony Cardew played golf all day.  He kept his
religious observances for bad weather, but at such times as he
attended service he did it with the decorum and dignity of a Cardew,
who bowed to his God but to nothing else.  He made the responses
properly and with a certain unction, and sat during the sermon with
a vigilant eye on the choir boys, who wriggled.  Now and then,
however, the eye wandered to the great stained glass window which
was a memorial to his wife.  It said beneath: "In memoriam, Lilian
Lethbridge Cardew."

He thought there was too much yellow in John the Baptist.  On the
Sunday afternoon following her ride into the city with Louis Akers,
Lily found herself alone.  Anthony was golfing and Grace and Howard
had motored out of town for luncheon.  In a small office near the
rear of the hall the second man dozed, waiting for the doorbell.
There would be people in for tea later, as always on Sunday
afternoons; girls and men, walking through the park or motoring up
in smart cars, the men a trifle bored because they were not golfing
or riding, the girls chattering about the small inessentials which
somehow they made so important.

Lily was wretchedly unhappy.  For one thing, she had begun to feel
that Mademoiselle was exercising over her a sort of gentle espionage,
and she thought her grandfather was behind it.  Out of sheer
rebellion she had gone again to the house on Cardew Way, to find
Elinor out and Jim Doyle writing at his desk.  He had received her
cordially, and had talked to her as an equal.  His deferential
attitude had soothed her wounded pride, and she had told him
something--very little--of the situation at home.

"Then you are still forbidden to come here?"

"Yes.  As if what happened years ago matters now, Mr. Doyle."

He eyed her.

"Don't let them break your spirit, Lily," he had said.  "Success
can make people very hard.  I don't know myself what success would
do to me.  Plenty, probably."  He smiled.  "It isn't the past your
people won't forgive me, Lily.  It's my failure to succeed in what
they call success."

"It isn't that," she had said hastily.  "It is--they say you are
inflammatory.  Of course they don't understand.  I have tried to
tell them, but--"

"There are fires that purify," he had said, smilingly.

She had gone home, discontented with her family's lack of vision,
and with herself.

She was in a curious frame of mind.  The thought of Louis Akers
repelled her, but she thought of him constantly.  She analyzed him
clearly enough; he was not fine and not sensitive.  He was not even
kind.  Indeed, she felt that he could be both cruel and ruthless.
And if she was the first good woman he had ever known, then he
must have had a hateful past.

The thought that he had kissed her turned her hot with anger and
shame at such times, but the thought recurred.

Had she had occupation perhaps she might have been saved, but she
had nothing to do.  The house went on with its disciplined service;
Lent had made its small demands as to church services, and was over.
The weather was bad, and the golf links still soggy with the spring
rains.  Her wardrobe was long ago replenished, and that small
interest gone.

And somehow there had opened a breach between herself and the little
intimate group that had been hers before the war.  She wondered
sometimes what they would think of Louis Akers.  They would admire
him, at first, for his opulent good looks, but very soon they would
recognize what she knew so well--the gulf between him and the men
of their own world, so hard a distinction to divine, yet so real for
all that.  They would know instinctively that under his veneer of
good manners was something coarse and crude, as she did, and they
would politely snub him.  She had no name and no knowledge for the
urge in the man that she vaguely recognized and resented.  But she
had a full knowledge of the obsession he was becoming in her mind.

"If I could see him here," she reflected, more than once, "I'd get
over thinking about him.  It's because they forbid me to see him.
It's sheer contrariness."

But it was not, and she knew it.  She had never heard of his theory
about the mark on a woman.

She was hating herself very vigorously on that Sunday afternoon.
Mademoiselle and she had lunched alone in Lily's sitting-room, and
Mademoiselle had dozed off in her chair afterwards, a novel on her
knee.  Lily was wandering about downstairs when the telephone rang,
and she had a quick conviction that it was Louis Akers.  It was
only Willy Cameron, however, asking her if she cared to go for a
walk.

"I've promised Jinx one all day," he explained, "and we might as
well combine, if you are not busy."

She smiled at that.

"I'd love it," she said.  "In the park?"

"Wait a moment." Then: "Yes, Jinx says the park is right."

His wholesome nonsense was good for her.  She drew a long breath.

"You are precisely the person I need to-day," she said.  "And come
soon, because I shall have to be back at five."

When he came he was very neat indeed, and most scrupulous as to his
heels being polished.  He was also slightly breathless.

"Had to sew a button on my coat," he explained.  "Then I found I'd
sewed in one of my fingers and had to start all over again."

Lily was conscious of a change in him.  He looked older, she thought,
and thinner.  His smile, when it came, was as boyish as ever, but
he did not smile so much, and seen in full daylight he was shabby.
He seemed totally unconscious of his clothes, however.

"What do you do with yourself, Willy?" she asked.  "I mean when you
are free?"

"Read and study.  I want to take up metallurgy pretty soon.  There's
a night course at the college."

"We use metallurgists in the mill.  When you are ready I know father
would be glad to have you."

He flushed at that.

"Thanks," he said.  "I'd rather get in, wherever I go, by what I
know, and not who I know."

She felt considerably snubbed, but she knew his curious pride.  After
a time, while he threw a stick into the park lake and Jinx retrieved
it, he said:

"What do you do with yourself these days, Lily?"

"Nothing.  I've forgotten how to work, I'm afraid.  And I'm not very
happy, Willy.  I ought to be, but I'm just--not."

"You've learned what it is to be useful," he observed gravely, "and
now it hardly seems worth while just to live, and nothing else.  Is
that it?"

"I suppose."

"Isn't there anything you can do?"

"They won't let me work, and I hate to study."

There was a silence.  Willy Cameron sat on the bench, bent and
staring ahead.  Jinx brought the stick, and, receiving no attention,
insinuated a dripping body between his knees.  He patted the dog's
head absently.

"I have been thinking about the night I went to dinner at your house,"
he said at last.  "I had no business to say what I said then.  I've
got a miserable habit of saying just what comes into my mind, and
I've been afraid, ever since, that it would end in your not wanting
to see me again.  Just try to forget it happened, won't you?"

"I knew it was an impulse, but it made me very proud, Willy."

"All right," he said quietly.  "And that's that.  Now about your
grandfather.  I've had him on my mind, too.  He is an old man, and
sometimes they are peculiar.  I am only sorry I upset him.  And you
are to forget that, too."

In spite of herself she laughed, rather helplessly.

"Is there anything I am to remember?"

He smiled too, and straightened himself, like a man who has got
something off his chest.

"Certainly there is, Miss Cardew.  Me.  Myself.  I want you to know
that I'm around, ready to fetch and carry like Jinx here, and about
as necessary, I suppose.  We are a good bit alike, Jinx and I.  We're
satisfied with a bone, and we give a lot of affection.  You won't
mind a bone now and then?"

His cheerful tone reassured the girl.  There was no real hurt, then.

"That's nice of you, you know."

"Well," he said slowly, "you know there are men who prefer a dream
to reality.  Perhaps I'm like that.  Anyhow, that's enough about me.
Do you know that there is a strike coming?"

"Yes.  I ought to tell you, Willy.  I think the men are right."

He stared at her incredulously.

"Right?" he said.  "Why, my dear child, most of them want to strike
about as much as I want delirium tremens.  I've talked to them, and
I know."

"A slave may be satisfied if he has never known freedom."

"Oh, fudge," said Willy Cameron, rudely.  "Where do you get all that?
You're quoting; aren't you?  The strike, any strike, is an
acknowledgment of weakness.  It is a resort to the physical because
the collective mentality of labor isn't as strong as the other side.
Or labor thinks it isn't, which amounts to the same thing.  And
there is a fine line between the fellow who fights for a principle
and the one who knocks people down to show how strong he is."

"This is a fight for a principle, Willy."

"Fine little Cardew you are!" he scoffed.  "Don't make any mistake.
There have been fights by labor for a principle, and the principle
won, as good always wins over evil.  But this is different.  It's
a direct play by men who don't realize what they are doing, into the
hands of a lot of--well, we'll call them anarchists.  It's
Germany's way of winning the war.  By indirection."

"If by anarchists you mean men like my uncle--"

"I do," he said grimly.  "That's a family accident and you can't
help it.  But I do mean Doyle.  Doyle and a Pole named Woslosky,
and a scoundrel of an attorney here in town, named Akers, among others."

"Mr. Akers is a friend of mine, Willy."

He stared at her.

"If they have been teaching you their dirty doctrines, Lily," he said
at last, "I can only tell you this.  They can disguise it in all the
fine terms they want.  It is treason, and they are traitors.  I know.
I've had a talk with the Chief of Police."

"I don't believe it."

"How well do you know Louis Akers?"

"Not very well."  But there were spots of vivid color flaming in her
cheeks.  He drew a long breath.

"I can't retract it," he said.  "I didn't know, of course.  Shall we
start back?"

They were very silent as they walked.  Willy Cameron was pained and
anxious.  He knew Akers' type rather than the man himself, but he
knew the type well.  Every village had one, the sleek handsome animal
who attracted girls by sheer impudence and good humor, who made
passionate, pagan love promiscuously, and put the responsibility for
the misery they caused on the Creator because He had made them as
they were.

He was agonized by another train of thought.  For him Lily had always
been something fine, beautiful, infinitely remote.  There were other
girls, girls like Edith Boyd, who were touched, some more, some less,
with the soil of life.  Even when they kept clean they saw it all
about them, and looked on it with shrewd, sophisticated eyes.  But
Lily was--Lily.  The very thought of Louis Akers looking at her as
he had seen him look at Edith Boyd made him cold with rage.

"Do you mind if I say something?"

"That sounds disagreeable.  Is it?"

"Maybe, but I'm going to anyhow, Lily.  I don't like to think of you
seeing Akers.  I don't know anything against him, and I suppose if I
did I wouldn't tell you.  But he is not your sort."

An impulse of honesty prevailed with her.

"I know that as well as you do.  I know him better than you do.  But,
he stands for something, at least," she added rather hotly.  "None
of the other men I know stand for anything very much.  Even you,
Willy."

"I stand for the preservation of my country," he said gravely.  "I
mean, I represent a lot of people who--well, who don't believe that
change always means progress, and who do intend that the changes
Doyle and Akers and that lot want they won't get.  I don't believe
--if you say you want what they want--that you know what you are
talking about."

"Perhaps I am more intelligent than you think I am."

He was, of course, utterly wretched, impressed by the futility of
arguing with her.

"Do your people know that you are seeing Louis Akers!"

"You are being rather solicitous, aren't you?"

"I am being rather anxious.  I wouldn't dare, of course, if we
hadn't been such friends.  But Akers is wrong, wrong every way, and
I have to tell you that, even if it means that you will never see
me again.  He takes a credulous girl--"

"Thank you!"

"And talks bunk to her and possibly makes love to her--"

"Haven't we had enough of Mr. Akers?" Lily asked coldly.  "If you
cannot speak of anything else, please don't talk."

The result of which was a frozen silence until they reached the
house.

"Good-by," she said primly.  "It was very nice of you to call me up.
Good-by, Jinx."  She went up the steps, leaving him bare-headed and
rather haggard, looking after her.

He took the dog and went out into the country on foot, tramping
through the mud without noticing it, and now and then making little
despairing gestures.  He was helpless.  He had cut himself off from
her like a fool.  Akers.  Akers and Edith Boyd.  Other women.
Akers and other women.  And now Lily.  Good God, Lily!

Jinx was tired.  He begged to be carried, planting two muddy feet
on his master's shabby trouser leg, and pleading with low whines.
Willy Cameron stooped and, gathering up the little animal, tucked
him under his arm.  When it commenced to rain he put him under his
coat and plunged his head through the mud and wet toward home.

Lily had entered the house in a white fury, but a moment later she
was remorseful.  For one thing, her own anger bewildered her.  After
all, he had meant well, and it was like him to be honest, even if
it cost him something he valued.

She ran to the door and looked around for him, but he had
disappeared.  She went in again, remorseful and unhappy.  What had
come over her to treat him like that?  He had looked almost stricken.

"Mr. Akers is calling, Miss Cardew," said the footman.  "He is in
the drawing-room."

Lily went in slowly.

Louis Akers had been waiting for some time.  He had lounged into the
drawing-room, with an ease assumed for the servant's benefit, and
had immediately lighted a cigarette.  That done, and the servant
departed, he had carefully appraised his surroundings.  He liked
the stiff formality of the room.  He liked the servant in his dark
maroon livery.  He liked the silence and decorum.  Most of all, he
liked himself in these surroundings.  He wandered around, touching
a bowl here, a vase there, eyeing carefully the ancient altar cloth
that lay on a table, the old needle-work tapestry on the chairs.

He saw himself fitted into this environment, a part of it; coming
down the staircase, followed by his wife, and getting into his
waiting limousine; sitting at the head of his table, while the
important men of the city listened to what he had to say.  It would
come, as sure as God made little fishes.  And Doyle was a fool.  He,
Louis Akers, would marry Lily Cardew and block that other game.  But
he would let the Cardews know who it was who had blocked it and saved
their skins.  They'd have to receive him after that; they would
cringe to him.

Then, unexpectedly, he had one of the shocks of his life.  He had
gone to the window and through it he saw Lily and Willy Cameron
outside.  He clutched at the curtain and cursed under his breath,
apprehensively.  But Willy Cameron did not come in; Akers watched
him up the street with calculating, slightly narrowed eyes.  The
fact that Lily Cardew knew the clerk at the Eagle Pharmacy was an
unexpected complication.  His surprise was lost in anxiety.  But
Lily, entering the room a moment later, rather pale and unsmiling,
found him facing the door, his manner easy, his head well up, and
drawn to his full and rather overwhelming height.  She found her
poise entirely gone, and it was he who spoke first.

"I know," he said.  "You didn't ask me, but I came anyhow."

She held out her hand rather primly.

"It is very good of you to come."

"Good!  I couldn't stay away."

He took her outstretched hand, smiling down at her, and suddenly
made an attempt to draw her to him.

"You know that, don't you?"

"Please!"

He let her go at once.  He had not played his little game so long
without learning its fine points.  There were times to woo a woman
with a strong arm, and there were other times that required other
methods.

"Right-o," he said, "I'm sorry.  I've been thinking about you so
much that I daresay I have got farther in our friendship than I
should.  Do you know that you haven't been out of my mind since
that ride we had together?"

"Really?  Would you like some tea?"

"Thanks, yes.  Do you dislike my telling you that?"

She rang the bell, and then stood Lacing him.

"I don't mind, no.  But I am trying very hard to forget that ride,
and I don't want to talk about it."

"When a beautiful thing comes into a man's life he likes to
remember it."

"How can you call it beautiful?"

"Isn't it rather fine when two people, a man and a woman, suddenly
find a tremendous attraction that draws them together, in spite of
the fact that everything else is conspiring to keep them apart?"

"I don't know," she said uncertainly.  "It just seemed all wrong,
somehow."

"An honest impulse is never wrong."

"I don't want to discuss it, Mr. Akers.  It is over."

While he was away from her, her attraction for him loomed less than
the things she promised, of power and gratified ambition.  But he
found her, with her gentle aloofness, exceedingly appealing, and
with the tact of the man who understands women he adapted himself
to her humor.

"You are making me very unhappy; Miss Lily," he said.  "If you'll
only promise to let me see you now and then, I'll promise to be as
mild as dish-water.  Will you promise?"

She was still struggling, still remembering Willy Cameron, still
trying to remember all the things that Louis Akers was not.

"I think I ought not to see you at all."

"Then," he said slowly, "you are going to cut me off from the one
decent influence in my life."

She was still revolving that in her mind when tea came.  Akers,
having shot his bolt, watched with interest the preparation for the
little ceremony, the old Georgian teaspoons, the Crown Derby cups,
the bell-shaped Queen Anne teapot, beautifully chased, the old
pierced sugar basin.  Almost his gaze was proprietary.  And he
watched Lily, her casual handling of those priceless treasures, her
taking for granted of service and beauty, her acceptance of quality
because she had never known anything else, watched her with
possessive eyes.

When the servant had gone, he said:

"You are being very nice to me, in view of the fact that you did not
ask me to come.  And also remembering that your family does not
happen to care about me."

"They are not at home."

"I knew that, or I should not have come.  I don't want to make
trouble for you, child."  His voice was infinitely caressing.  "As
it happens, I know your grandfather's Sunday habits, and I met your
father and mother on the road going out of town at noon.  I knew
they had not come back."

"How do you know that?"

He smiled down at her.  "I have ways of knowing quite a lot of
things.  Especially when they are as vital to me as this few
minutes alone with you."

He bent toward her, as he sat behind the tea table.

"You know how vital this is to me, don't you?" he said.  "You're
not going to cut me off, are you?"

He stood over her, big, compelling, dominant, and put his hand
under her chin.

"I am insane about you," he whispered, and waited.

Slowly, irresistibly, she lifted her face to his kiss.



CHAPTER XV


On the first day of May, William Wallace Cameron moved his trunk,
the framed photograph of his mother, eleven books, an alarm clock
and Jinx to the Boyd house.  He went for two reasons.  First, after
his initial call at the dreary little house, he began to realize
that something had to be done in the Boyd family.  The second
reason was his dog.

He began to realize that something had to be done in the Boyd family
as soon as he had met Mrs. Boyd.

"I don't know what's come over the children," Mrs. Boyd said,
fretfully.  She sat rocking persistently in the dreary little parlor.
Her chair inched steadily along the dull carpet, and once or twice
she brought up just as she was about to make a gradual exit from the
room.  "They act so queer lately."

She hitched the chair into place again.  Edith had gone out.  It was
her idea of an evening call to serve cakes and coffee, and a strong
and acrid odor was seeping through the doorway.  "There's Dan come
home from the war, and when he gets back from the mill he just sits
and stares ahead of him.  He won't even talk about the war, although
he's got a lot to tell."

"It takes some time for the men who were over to get settled down
again, you know."

"Well, there's Edith," continued the querulous voice.  "You'd think
the cat had got her tongue, too.  I tell you, Mr. Cameron, there are
meals here when if I didn't talk there wouldn't be a word spoken."

Mr. Cameron looked up.  It had occurred to him lately, not precisely
that a cat had got away with Edith's tongue, but that something
undeniably had got away with her cheerfulness.  There were entire
days in the store when she neglected to manicure her nails, and
stood looking out past the fading primrose in the window to the
street.  But there were no longer any shrewd comments on the
passers-by.

"Of course, the house isn't very cheerful," sighed Mrs. Boyd.  "I'm
a sick woman, Mr. Cameron.  My back hurts most of the time.  It just
aches and aches."

"I know," said Mr. Cameron.  "My mother has that, sometimes.  If you
like I'll mix you up some liniment, and Miss Edith can bring it to
you."

"Thanks.  I've tried most everything.  Edith wants to rent a room,
so we can keep a hired girl, but it's hard to get a girl.  They want
all the money on earth, and they eat something awful.  That's a nice
friendly dog of yours, Mr. Cameron."

It was perhaps Jinx who decided Willy Cameron.  Jinx was at that
moment occupying the only upholstered chair, but he had developed a
strong liking for the frail little lady with the querulous voice and
the shabby black dress.  He had, indeed, insisted shortly after his
entrance on leaping into her lap, and had thus sat for some time,
completely eclipsing his hostess.

"Just let him sit," Mrs. Boyd said placidly.  "I like a dog.  And he
can't hurt this skirt I've got on.  It's on its last legs."

With which bit of unconscious humor Willy Cameron had sat down.
Something warm and kindly glowed in his heart.  He felt that dogs
have a curious instinct for knowing what lies concealed in the human
heart, and that Jinx had discovered something worth while in Edith's
mother.

It was later in the evening, however, that he said, over Edith's
bakery cakes and her atrocious coffee:

"If you really mean that about a roomer, I know of one."  He glanced
at Edith.  "Very neat.  Careful with matches.  Hard to get up in the
morning, but interesting, highly intelligent, and a clever talker.
That's his one fault.  When he is interested in a thing he spouts all
over the place."

"Really?" said Mrs. Boyd.  "Well, talk would be a change here.  He
sounds kind of pleasant.  Who is he?"

"This paragon of beauty and intellect sits before you," said Willy
Cameron.

"You'll have to excuse me.  I didn't recognize you by the description,"
said Mrs. Boyd, unconsciously.  "Well, I don't know.  I'd like to have
this dog around."

Even Edith laughed at that.  She had been very silent all evening,
sitting most of the time with her hands in her lap, and her eyes on
Willy Cameron.  Rather like Jinx's eyes they were, steady, unblinking,
loyal, and with something else in common with Jinx which Willy Cameron
never suspected.

"I wouldn't come, if I were you," she said, unexpectedly.

"Why, Edie, you've been thinking of asking him right along."

"We don't know how to keep a house," she persisted, to him.  "We
can't even cook--you know that's rotten coffee.  I'll show you the
room, if you like, but I won't feel hurt if you don't take it, I'll
be worried if you do."

Mrs. Boyd watched them perplexedly as they went out, the tall young
man with his uneven step, and Edith, who had changed so greatly in
the last few weeks, and blew hot one minute and cold the next.  Now
that she had seen Willy Cameron, Mrs. Boyd wanted him to come.  He
would bring new life into the little house.  He was cheerful.  He
was not glum like Dan or discontented like Edie.  And the dog--She
got up slowly and walked over to the chair where Jinx sat, eyes
watchfully on the door.

"Nice Jinx," she said, and stroked his head with a thin and stringy
hand.  "Nice doggie."

She took a cake from the plate and fed it to him, bit by bit.  She
felt happier than she had for a long time, since her children were
babies and needed her.

"I meant it," said Edith, on the stairs.  "You stay away.  We're a
poor lot, and we're unlucky, too.  Don't get mixed up with us."

"Maybe I'm going to bring you luck."

"The best luck for me would be to fall down these stairs and break
my neck."

He looked at her anxiously, and any doubts he might have had, born
of the dreariness, the odors of stale food and of the musty cellar
below, of the shabby room she proceeded to show him, died in an
impulse to somehow, some way, lift this small group of people out
of the slough of despondency which seemed to be engulfing them all.

"Why, what's the matter with the room?" he said.  "Just wait until
I've got busy in it!  I'm a paper hanger and a painter, and--"

"You're a dear, too," said Edith.

So on the first of May he moved in, and for some evenings Political
Economy and History and Travel and the rest gave way to anxious
cuttings and fittings of wall paper, and a pungent odor of paint.
The old house took on new life and activity, the latter sometimes
pernicious, as when Willy Cameron fell down the cellar stairs with
a pail of paint in his hand, or Dan, digging up some bricks in the
back yard for a border the seeds of which were already sprouting
in a flat box in the kitchen, ran a pickaxe into his foot.

Some changes were immediate, such as the white-washing of the cellar
and the unpainted fence in the yard, where Willy Cameron visualized,
later on, great draperies of morning glories.  He papered the parlor,
and coaxed Mrs. Boyd to wash the curtains, although she protested
that, with the mill smoke, it was useless labor.

But there were some changes that he knew only time would effect.
Sometimes he went to his bed worn out both physically and spiritually,
as though the burden of lifting three life-sodden souls was too much.
Not that he thought of that, however.  What he did know was that the
food was poor.  No servant had been found, and years of lack of system
had left Mrs. Boyd's mind confused and erratic.  She would spend hours
concocting expensive desserts, while the vegetables boiled dry and
scorched and meat turned to leather, only to bring pridefully to the
table some flavorless mixture garnished according to a picture in the
cook book, and totally unedible.

She would have ambitious cleaning days, too, starting late and leaving
off with beds unmade to prepare the evening meal.  Dan, home from the
mill and newly adopting Willy Cameron's system of cleaning up for
supper, would turn sullen then, and leave the moment the meal was over.

"Hell of a way to live," he said once.  "I'd get married, but how can
a fellow know whether a girl will make a home for him or give him this?
And then there would be babies, too."

The relations between Dan and Edith were not particularly cordial.
Willy Cameron found their bickering understandable enough, but he
was puzzled, sometimes, to find that Dan was surreptitiously watching
his sister.  Edith was conscious of it, too, and one evening she
broke into irritated speech.

"I wish you'd quit staring at me, Dan Boyd."

"I was wondering what has come over you," said Dan, ungraciously.
"You used to be a nice kid.  Now you're an angel one minute and a
devil the next."

Willy spoke to him that night when they were setting out rows of
seedlings, under the supervision of Jinx.

"I wouldn't worry her, Dan," he said; "it is the spring, probably.
It gets into people, you know.  I'm that way myself.  I'd give a
lot to be in the country just now."

Dan glanced at him quickly, but whatever he may have had in his mind,
he said nothing just then.  However, later on he volunteered:

"She's got something on her mind.  I know her.  But I won't have her
talking back to mother."

A week or so after Willy Cameron had moved, Mr. Hendricks rang the
bell of the Boyd house, and then, after his amiable custom, walked in.

"Oh, Cameron!" he bawled.

"Upstairs," came Willy Cameron's voice, somewhat thickened with
carpet tacks.  So Mr. Hendricks climbed part of the way, when he
found his head on a level with that of the young gentleman he sought,
who was nailing a rent in the carpet.

"Don't stop," said Mr. Hendricks.  "Merely friendly call.  And for
heaven's sake don't swallow a tack, son.  I'm going to need you."

"Whaffor?" inquired Willy Cameron, through his nose.

"Don't know yet.  Make speeches, probably.  If Howard Cardew, or
any Cardew, thinks he's going to be mayor of this town, he's got to
think again."

"I don't give a tinker's dam who's mayor of this town, so long as
he gives it honest government."

"That's right," said Mr. Hendricks approvingly.  "Old Cardew's been
running it for years, and you could put all the honest government
he's given us in a hollow tooth.  If you'll stop that hammering,
I'd like to make a proposition to you."

Willy Cameron took an admiring squint at his handiwork.

"Sorry to refuse you, Mr. Hendricks, but I don't want to be mayor."

Mr. Hendricks chuckled, as Willy Cameron led the way to his room.
He wandered around the room while Cameron opened a window and slid
the dog off his second chair.

"Great snakes!" he said.  "Spargo's Bolshevism!  Political Economy,
History of--.  What are you planning to be? President?"

"I haven't decided yet.  It's a hard job, and mighty thankless.  But
I won't be your mayor, even for you."

Mr. Hendricks sat down.

"All right," he said.  "Of course if you'd wanted it!"  He took two
large cigars from the row in his breast pocket and held one out, but
Willy Cameron refused it and got his pipe.

"Well?" he said.

Mr. Hendrick's face became serious and very thoughtful.  "I don't
know that I have ever made it clear to you, Cameron," he said, "but
I've got a peculiar feeling for this city.  I like it, the way some
people like their families.  It's--well, it's home to me, for one
thing.  I like to go out in the evenings and walk around, and I say
to myself: 'This is my town.'  And we, it and me, are sending stuff
all over the world.  I like to think that somewhere, maybe in China,
they are riding on our rails and fighting with guns made from our
steel.  Maybe you don't understand that."

"I think I do."

"Well, that's the way I feel about it, anyhow.  And this Bolshevist
stuff gets under my skin.  I've got a home and a family here.  I
started in to work when I was thirteen, and all I've got I've made
and saved right here.  It isn't much, but it's mine."

Willy Cameron was lighting his pipe.  He nodded.  Mr. Hendricks bent
forward and pointed a finger at him.

"And to govern this city, who do you think the labor element is going
to put up and probably elect?  We're an industrial city, son, with a
big labor vote, and if it stands together--they're being swindled
into putting up as an honest candidate one of the dirtiest radicals
in the country.  That man Akers."

He got up and closed the door.

"I don't want Edith to hear me," he said.  "He's a friend of hers.
But he's a bad actor, son.  He's wrong with women, for one thing,
and when I think that all he's got to oppose him is Howard Cardew--"
Mr. Hendricks got up, and took a nervous turn about the room.

"Maybe you know that Cardew has a daughter?"

"Yes."

"Well, I hear a good many things, one way and another, and my wife
likes a bit of gossip.  She knows them both by sight, and she ran
into them one day in the tea room of the Saint Elmo, sitting in a
corner, and the girl had her back to the room.  I don't like the
look of that, Cameron."

Willy Cameron got up and closed the window.  He stood there, with
his back to the light, for a full minute.  Then:

"I think there must be some mistake about that, Mr. Hendricks.  I
have met her.  She isn't the sort of girl who would do clandestine
things."

Mr. Hendricks looked up quickly.  He had made it his business to
study men, and there was something in Willy Cameron's voice that
caught his attention, and turned his shrewd mind to speculation.

"Maybe," he conceded.  "Of course, anything a Cardew does is likely
to be magnified in this town.  If she's as keen as the men in her
family, she'll get wise to him pretty soon."  Willy Cameron came back
then, but Mr. Hendricks kept his eyes on the tip of his cigar.

"We've got to lick Cardew," he said, "but I'm cursed if I want to
do it with Akers."

When there was no comment, he looked up.  Yes, the boy had had a
blow.  Mr. Hendricks was sorry.  If that was the way the wind blew
it was hopeless.  It was more than that; it was tragic.

"Sorry I said anything, Cameron.  Didn't know you knew her."

"That's all right.  Of course I don't like to think she is being
talked about."

"The Cardews are always being talked about.  You couldn't drop her
a hint, I suppose?"

"She knows what I think about Louis Akers."

He made a violent effort and pulled himself together.  "So it is
Akers and Howard Cardew, and one's a knave and one's a poor bet."

"Right," said Mr. Hendricks.  "And one's Bolshevist, if I know
anything, and the other is capital, and has about as much chance
as a rich man to get through the eye of a needle."

Which was slightly mixed, owing to a repressed excitement now
making itself evident in Mr. Hendricks's voice.

"Why not run an independent candidate?" Willy Cameron asked quietly.
"I've been shouting about the plain people.  Why shouldn't they
elect a mayor?  There is a lot of them."

"That's the talk," said Mr. Hendricks, letting his excitement have
full sway.  "They could.  They could run this town and run it right,
if they'd take the trouble.  Now look here, son, I don't usually
talk about myself, but--I'm honest.  I don't say I wouldn't get
off a street-car without paying my fare if the conductor didn't lift
it!  But I'm honest.  I don't lie.  I keep my word.  And I live
clean--which you can't say for Lou Akers.  Why shouldn't I run on
an independent ticket?  I mightn't be elected, but I'd make a
damned good try."

He stood up, and Willy Cameron rose also and held out his hand.

"I don't know that my opinion is of any value, Mr. Hendricks.  But
I hope you get it, and I think you have a good chance.  If I can do
anything--"

"Do anything!  What do you suppose I came here for?  You're going
to elect me.  You're going to make speeches and kiss babies, and
tell the ordinary folks they're worth something after all.  You got
me started on this thing, and now you've got to help me out."

The future maker of mayors here stepped back in his amazement, and
Jinx emitted a piercing howl.  When peace was restored the F.M. of M.
had got his breath, and he said:

"I couldn't remember my own name before an audience, Mr. Hendricks."

"You're fluent enough in that back room of yours."

"That's different."

"The people we're going after don't want oratory.  They want good,
straight talk, and a fellow behind it who doesn't believe the
country's headed straight for perdition.  We've had enough calamity
bowlers.  You've got the way out.  The plain people.  The hope of
the nation.  And, by God, you love your country, and not for what
you can get out of it.  That's a thing a fellow's got to have inside
him.  He can't pretend it and get it over."

In the end the F.M. of M. capitulated.

It was late when Mr. Hendricks left.  He went away with all the
old envelopes in his pockets covered with memoranda.

"Just wait a minute, son," he would say.  "I've got to make some
speeches myself.  Repeat that, now.  'Sins of omission are as great,
even greater than sins of commission.  The lethargic citizen
throws open the gates to revolution.'  How do you spell 'lethargic'?"

But it was not Hendricks and his campaign that kept the F.M. of M.
awake until dawn.  He sat in front of his soft coal fire, and when
it died to gray-white ash he still sat there, unconscious of the
chill of the spring night.  Mostly he thought of Lily, and of Louis
Akers, big and handsome, of his insolent eyes and his self-indulgent
mouth.  Into that curious whirlpool that is the mind came now and
then other visions: His mother asleep in her chair; the men in the
War Department who had turned him down; a girl at home who had
loved him, and made him feel desperately unhappy because he could
not love her in return.  Was love always like that?  If it was what
He intended, why was it so often without reciprocation?

He took to walking about the room, according to his old habit, and
obediently Jinx followed him.

It was four by his alarm clock when Edith knocked at his door.  She
was in a wrapper flung over her nightgown, and with her hair flying
loose she looked childish and very small.

"I wish you would go to bed," she said, rather petulantly.  "Are you
sick, or anything?"

"I was thinking, Edith.  I'm sorry.  I'll go at once.  Why aren't
you asleep?"

"I don't sleep much lately."  Their voices were cautious.  "I never
go to sleep until you're settled down, anyhow."

"Why not?  Am I noisy?"

"It's not that."

She went away, a drooping, listless figure that climbed the stairs
slowly and left him in the doorway, puzzled and uncomfortable.

At six that morning Dan, tip-toeing downstairs to warm his left-over
coffee and get his own breakfast, heard a voice from Willy Cameron's
room, and opened the door.  Willy Cameron was sitting up in bed with
his eyes closed and his arms extended, and was concluding a speech
to a dream audience in deep and oratorical tones.

"By God, it is time the plain people know their power."

Dan grinned, and, his ideas of humor being rather primitive, he
edged his way into the room and filled the orator's sponge with
icy water from the pitcher.

"All right, old top," he said, "but it is also time the plain
people got up."

Then he flung the sponge and departed with extreme expedition.



CHAPTER XVI


It was not until a week had passed after Louis Akers' visit to the
house that Lily's family learned of it.

Lily's state of mind during that week had been an unhappy one.  She
magnified the incident until her nerves were on edge, and Grace,
finding her alternating between almost demonstrative affection and
strange aloofness, was bewildered and hurt.  Mademoiselle watched
her secretly, shook her head, and set herself to work to find out
what was wrong.  It was, in the end, Mademoiselle who precipitated
the crisis.

Lily had not intended to make a secret of the visit, but as time
went on she found it increasingly difficult to tell about it.  She
should, she knew, have spoken at once, and it would be hard to
explain why she had delayed.

She meant to go to her father with it.  It was he who had forbidden
her to see Akers, for one thing.  And she felt nearer to her father
than to her mother, always.  Since her return she had developed an
almost passionate admiration for Howard, founded perhaps on her
grandfather's attitude toward him.  She was strongly partizan, and
she watched her father, day after day, fighting his eternal battles
with Anthony, sometimes winning, often losing, but standing for a
principle like a rock while the seas of old Anthony's wrath washed
over and often engulfed him.

She was rather wistful those days, struggling with her own
perplexities, and blindly reaching out for a hand to help her.  But
she could not bring herself to confession.  She would wander into
her father's dressing-room before she went to bed, and, sitting on
the arm of his deep chair, would try indirectly to get him to solve
the problems that were troubling her.  But he was inarticulate and
rather shy with her.  He had difficulty, sometimes, after her long
absence at school and camp, in realizing her as the little girl who
had once begged for his neckties to make into doll frocks.

Once she said:

"Could you love a person you didn't entirely respect, father?"

"Love is founded on respect, Lily."

She pondered that.  She felt that he was wrong.

"But it does happen, doesn't it?" she had persisted.

He had been accustomed to her searchings for interesting abstractions
for years.  She used to talk about religion in the same way.  So he
smiled and said:

"There is a sort of infatuation that is based on something quite
different."

"On what?"

But he had rather floundered there.  He could not discuss physical
attraction with her.

"We're getting rather deep for eleven o'clock at night, aren't we?"

After a short silence:

"Do you mind speaking about Aunt Elinor, father?"

"No, dear.  Although it is rather a painful subject."

"But if she is happy, why is it painful?"

"Well, because Doyle is the sort of man he is."

"You mean--because he is unfaithful to her?  Or was?"

He was very uncomfortable.

"That is one reason for it, of course.  There are others."

"But if he is faithful to her now, father?  Don't you think, whatever
a man has been, if he really cares for a woman it makes him over?"

"Sometimes, not always."  The subject was painful to him.  He did
not want his daughter to know the sordid things of life.  But he
added, gallantly: "Of course a good woman can do almost anything she
wants with a man, if he cares for her."

She lay awake almost all night, thinking that over.

On the Sunday following Louis Akers' call Mademoiselle learned of
it, by the devious route of the servants' hall, and she went to Lily
at once, yearning and anxious, and in her best lace collar.  She
needed courage, and to be dressed in her best gave her moral strength.

"It is not," she said, "that they wish to curtail your liberty, Lily.
But to have that man come here, when he knows he is not wanted, to
force himself on you--"

"I need not have seen him.  I wanted to see him."

Mademoiselle waved her hands despairingly.

"If they find it out!" she wailed.

"They will.  I intend to tell them."

But Mademoiselle made her error there.  She was fearful of Grace's
attitude unless she forewarned her, and Grace, frightened,
immediately made it a matter of a family conclave.  She had not
intended to include Anthony, but he came in on an excited speech
from Howard, and heard it all.

The result was that instead of Lily going to them with her
confession, she was summoned, to find her family a unit for once
and combined against her.  She was not to see Louis Akers again, or
the Doyles.

They demanded a promise, but she refused.  Yet even then, standing
before them, forced to a defiance she did not feel, she was puzzled
as well as angry.  They were wrong, and yet in some strange way
they were right, too.  She was Cardew enough to get their point of
view.  But she was Cardew enough, too, to defy them.

She did it rather gently.

"You must understand," she said, her hands folded in front of her,
"that it is not so much that I care to see the people you are talking
about.  It is that I feel I have the right to choose my own friends."

"Friends!" sneered old Anthony.  "A third-rate lawyer, a--"

"That is not the point, grandfather.  I went away to school when I
was a little girl.  I have been away for five years.  You cannot
seem to realize that I am a woman now, not a child.  You bring me
in here like a bad child."

In the end old Anthony had slammed out of the room.  There were
arguments after that, tears on Grace's part, persuasion on Howard's;
but Lily had frozen against what she considered their tyranny, and
Howard found in her a sort of passive resistance, that drove him
frantic.

"Very well," he said finally.  "You have the arrogance of youth,
and its cruelty, Lily.  And you are making us all suffer without
reason."

"Don't you think I might say that too, father?"

"Are you in love with this man?"

"I have only seen him four times.  If you would give me some reasons
for all this fuss--"

"There are things I cannot explain to you.  You wouldn't understand."

"About his moral character?"

Howard was rather shocked.  He hesitated:

"Yes."

"Will you tell me what they are?"

"Good heavens, no!" he exploded.  "The man's a radical, too.  That
in itself ought to be enough."

"You can't condemn a man for his political opinions."

"Political opinions!"

"Besides," she said, looking at him with her direct gaze, "isn't
there some reason in what the radicals believe, father?  Maybe it
is a dream that can't come true, but it is rather a fine dream,
isn't it?"

It was then that Howard followed his father's example, and flung
out of the room.

After that Lily went, very deliberately and without secrecy, to the
house on Cardew Way.  She found a welcome there, not so marked on
her Aunt Elinor's part as on Doyle's, but a welcome.  She found
approval, too, where at home she had only suspicion and a solicitude
based on anxiety.  She found a clever little circle there, and
sometimes a cultured one; underpaid, disgruntled, but brilliant
professors from the college, a journalist or two, a city councilman,
even prosperous merchants, and now and then strange bearded
foreigners who were passing through the city and who talked
brilliantly of the vision of Lenine and the future of Russia.

She learned that the true League of Nations was not a political
alliance, but a union of all the leveled peoples of the world.
She had no curiosity as to how this leveling was to be brought
about.  All she knew was that these brilliant dreamers made her
welcome, and that instead of the dinner chat at home, small
personalities, old Anthony's comments on his food, her father's
heavy silence, here was world talk, vast in its scope, idealistic,
intoxicating.

Almost always Louis Akers was there; it pleased her to see how the
other men listened to him, deferred to his views, laughed at his wit.
She did not know the care exercised in selecting the groups she was
to meet, the restraints imposed on them.  And she could not know
that from her visits the Doyle establishment was gaining a prestige
totally new to it, an almost respectability.

Because of those small open forums, sometimes noted in the papers,
those innocuous gatherings, it was possible to hold in that very
room other meetings, not open and not innocuous, where practical
plans took the place of discontented yearnings, and where the talk
was more often of fighting than of brotherhood.

She was, by the first of May, frankly infatuated with Louis Akers,
yet with a curious knowledge that what she felt was infatuation only.
She would lie wide-eyed at night and rehearse painfully the
weaknesses she saw so clearly in him.  But the next time she saw him
she would yield to his arms, passively but without protest.  She did
not like his caresses, but the memory of them thrilled her.

She was following the first uncurbed impulse of her life.  Guarded
and more or less isolated from other youth, she had always lived a
strong inner life, purely mental, largely interrogative.  She had
had strong childish impulses, sometimes of pure affection,
occasionally of sheer contrariness, but always her impulses had
been curbed.

"Do be a little lady," Mademoiselle would say.

She had got, somehow, to feel that impulse was wrong.  It ranked
with disobedience.  It partook of the nature of sin.  People who
did wicked things did them on impulse, and were sorry ever after;
but then it was too late.

As she grew older, she added something to that.  Impulses of the
mind led to impulses of the body, and impulse was wrong.  Passion
was an impulse of the body.  Therefore it was sin.  It was the one
sin one could not talk about, so one was never quite clear about
it.  However, one thing seemed beyond dispute; it was predominatingly
a masculine wickedness.  Good women were beyond and above it, its
victims sometimes, like those girls at the camp, or its toys, like
the sodden creatures in the segregated district who hung, smiling
their tragic smiles, around their doorways in the late afternoons.

But good women were not like that.  If they were, then they were
not good.  They did not lie awake remembering the savage clasp of a
man's arms, knowing all the time that this was not love, but
something quite different.  Or if it was love, that it was painful
and certainly not beautiful.

Sometimes she thought about Willy Cameron.  He had had very exalted
ideas about love.  He used to be rather oratorical about it.

"It's the fundamental principle of the universe," he would say,
waving his pipe wildly.  "But it means suffering, dear child.  It
feeds on martyrdom and fattens on sacrifice.  And as the h.c. of l.
doesn't affect either commodity, it lives forever."

"What does it do, Willy, if it hasn't any martyrdom and sacrifice
to feed on?  Do you mean to say that when it is returned and
everybody is happy, it dies?"

"Practically," he had said.  "It then becomes domestic contentment,
and expresses itself in the shape of butcher's bills and roast
chicken on Sundays."

But that had been in the old care-free days, before Willy had
thought he loved her, and before she had met Louis.

She made a desperate effort one day to talk to her mother.  She
wanted, somehow, to be set right in her own eyes.  But Grace could
not meet her even half way; she did not know anything about
different sorts of love, but she did know that love was beautiful,
if you met the right man and married him.  But it had to be some
one who was your sort, because in the end marriage was only a sort
of glorified companionship.

The moral in that, so obviously pointed at Louis Akers, invalidated
the rest of it for Lily.

She was in a state of constant emotional excitement by that time,
and it was only a night or two after that she quarreled with her
grandfather.  There had been a dinner party, a heavy, pompous affair,
largely attended, for although spring was well advanced, the usual
May hegira to the country or the coast had not yet commenced.
Industrial conditions in and around the city were too disturbed for
the large employers to get away, and following Lent there had been
a sort of sporadic gayety, covering a vast uneasiness.  There was
to be no polo after all.

Lily, doing her best to make the dinner a success, found herself
contrasting it with the gatherings at the Doyle house, and found it
very dull.  These men, with their rigidity of mind, invited because
they held her grandfather's opinions, or because they kept their
own convictions to themselves, seemed to her of a bygone time.  She
did not see in them a safe counterpoise to a people which in its
reaction from the old order, was ready to swing to anything that
was new.  She saw only a dozen or so elderly gentlemen, immaculate
and prosperous, peering through their glasses after a world which
had passed them by.

They were very grave that night.  The situation was serious.  The
talk turned inevitably to the approaching strike, and from that to
a possible attempt on the part of the radical element toward
violence.  The older men pooh-poohed that, but the younger ones were
uncertain.  Isolated riotings, yes.  But a coordinated attempt
against the city, no.  Labour was greedy, but it was law-abiding.
Ah, but it was being fired by incendiary literature.  Then what were
the police doing?  They were doing everything.  They were doing
nothing.  The governor was secretly a radical.  Nonsense.  The
governor was saying little, but was waiting and watching.  A general
strike was only another word for revolution.  No.  It would be
attempted, perhaps, but only to demonstrate the solidarity of labor.

After a time Lily made a discovery.  She found that even into that
carefully selected gathering had crept a surprising spirit, based
on the necessity for concession; a few men who shared her father's
convictions, and went even further.  One or two, even, who,
cautiously for fear of old Anthony's ears, voiced a belief that
before long invested money would be given a fixed return, all
surplus profits to be divided among the workers, the owners and
the government.

"What about the lean years?" some one asked.

The government's share of all business was to form a contingent fund
for such emergencies, it seemed.

Lily listened attentively.  Was it because they feared that if they
did not voluntarily divide their profits they would be taken from
them?  Enough for all, and to none too much.  Was that what they
feared?  Or was it a sense of justice, belated but real?

She remembered something Jim Doyle had said:

"Labor has learned its weakness alone, its strength united.  But
capital has not learned that lesson.  It will not take a loss for a
principle.  It will not unite.  It is suspicious and jealous, so it
fights its individual battles alone, and loses in the end."

But then to offset that there was something Willy Cameron had said
one day, frying doughnuts for her with one hand, and waving the fork
about with the other.

"Don't forget this, oh representative of the plutocracy," he had
said.  "Capital has its side, and a darned good one, too.  It's got
a sense of responsibility to the country, which labor may have
individually but hasn't got collectively."

These men at the table were grave, burdened with responsibility.
Her father.  Even her grandfather.  It was no longer a question of
profit.  It was a question of keeping the country going.  They
were like men forced to travel, and breasting a strong head wind.
There were some there who would turn, in time, and travel with
the gale.  But there were others like her grandfather, obstinate
and secretly frightened, who would refuse.  Who would, to change
the figure, sit like misers over their treasure, an eye on the
window of life for thieves.

She went upstairs, perplexed and thoughtful.  Some time
later she heard the family ascending, the click of her mother's
high heels on the polished wood of the staircase, her father's
sturdy tread, and a moment or two later her grandfather's slow,
rather weary step.  Suddenly she felt sorry for him, for his age,
for his false gods of power and pride, for the disappointment
she was to him.  She flung open her door impulsively and
confronted him.

"I just wanted to say good-night, grandfather," she said
breathlessly.  "And that I am sorry."

"Sorry for what?"

"Sorry--" she hesitated.  "Because we see things so differently."

Lily was almost certain that she caught a flash of tenderness in his
eyes, and certainly his voice had softened.

"You looked very pretty to-night," he said.  But he passed on, and
she had again the sense of rebuff with which he met all her small
overtures at that time.  However, he turned at the foot of the
upper flight.

"I would like to talk to you, Lily.  Will you come upstairs?"

She had been summoned before to those mysterious upper rooms of his,
where entrance was always by request, and generally such requests
presaged trouble.  But she followed him light-heartedly enough then.
His rare compliment had pleased and touched her.

The lamp beside his high-backed, almost throne-like chair was
lighted, and in the dressing-room beyond his valet was moving about,
preparing for the night.  Anthony dismissed the man, and sat down
under the lamp.

"You heard the discussion downstairs, to-night, Lily.  Personally
I anticipate no trouble, but if there is any it may be directed at
this house."  He smiled grimly.  "I cannot rely on my personal
popularity to protect me, I fear.  Your mother obstinately refuses
to leave your father, but I have decided to send you to your
grand-aunt Caroline."

"Aunt Caroline!  She doesn't care for me, grandfather.  She never
has."

"That is hardly pertinent, is it?  The situation is this: She intends
to open the Newport house early in June, and at my request she will
bring you out there.  Next fall we will do something here; I haven't
decided just what."

There was a sudden wild surge of revolt in Lily.  She hated Newport.
Grand-aunt Caroline was a terrible person.  She was like Anthony,
domineering and cruel, and with even less control over her tongue.

"I need not point out the advantages of the plan," said Anthony
suavely.  "There may be trouble here, although I doubt it.  But in
any event you will have to come out, and this seems an excellent way."

"Is it a good thing to spend a lot of money now, grandfather, when
there is so much discontent?"

Old Anthony had a small jagged vein down the center of his forehead,
and in anger or his rare excitements it stood out like a scar.  Lily
saw it now, but his voice was quiet enough.

"I consider it vitally important to the country to continue its
social life as before the war."

"You mean, to show we are not frightened?"

"Frightened!  Good God, nobody's frightened.  It will take more
than a handful of demagogues to upset this government.  Which brings
me to a subject you insist on reopening, by your conduct.  I have
reason to believe that you are still going to that man's house."

He never called Doyle by name if he could avoid it.

"I have been there several times."

"After you were forbidden?"

His tone roused every particle of antagonism in her.  She flushed.

"Perhaps because I was forbidden," she said, slowly.  "Hasn't it
occurred to you that I may consider your attitude very unjust?"

If she looked for an outburst from him it did not come.  He stood
for a moment, deep in thought.

"You understand that this Doyle once tried to assassinate me?"

"I know that he tried to beat you, grandfather.  I am sorry, but
that was long ago.  And there was a reason for it, wasn't there?"

"I see," he said, slowly.  "What you are conveying to me, not too
delicately, is that you have definitely allied yourself with my
enemies.  That, here in my own house, you intend to defy me.  That,
regardless of my wishes or commands, while eating my food, you
purpose to traffic with a man who has sworn to get me, sooner or
later.  Am I correct?"

"I have only said that I see no reason why I should not visit
Aunt Elinor."

"And that you intend to.  Do I understand also that you refuse to
go to Newport?"

"I daresay I shall have to go, if you send me.  I don't want to go."

"Very well.  I am glad we have had this little talk.  It makes my
own course quite plain.  Good-night."

He opened the door for her and she went out and down the stairs.
She felt very calm, and as though something irrevocable had happened.
With her anger at her grandfather there was mixed a sort of pity for
him, because she knew that nothing he could do would change the
fundamental situation.  Even if he locked her up, and that was
possible, he would know that he had not really changed things, or
her.  She felt surprisingly strong.  All these years that she had
feared him, and yet when it came to a direct issue, he was helpless!
What had he but his wicked tongue, and what did that matter to deaf
ears?

She found her maid gone, and Mademoiselle waiting to help her
undress.  Mademoiselle often did that.  It made her feel still
essential in Lily's life.

"A long seance!" she said.  "Your mother told me to-night.  It is
Newport?"

"He wants me to go.  Unhook me, Mademoiselle, and then run off and
go to bed.  You ought not to wait up like this."

"Newport!" said Mademoiselle, deftly slipping off the white and
silver that was Lily's gown.  "It will be wonderful, dear.  And you
will be a great success.  You are very beautiful."

"I am not going to Newport, Mademoiselle."

Mademoiselle broke into rapid expostulation, in French.  Every girl
wanted to make her debut at Newport.  Here it was all industry,
money, dirt.  Men who slaved in offices daily.  At Newport was
gathered the real leisure class of America, those who knew how to
play, who lived.  But Lily, taking off her birthday pearls before
the mirror of her dressing table, only shook her head.

"I'm not going," she said.  "I might as well tell you, for you'll
hear about it later.  I have quarreled with him, very badly.  I
think he intends to lock me up."

"C'est impossible!" cried Mademoiselle.

But a glance at Lily's set face in the mirror told her it was true.

She went away very soon, sadly troubled.  There were bad times
coming.  The old peaceful quiet days were gone, for age and
obstinacy had met youth and the arrogance of youth, and it was to
be battle.



CHAPTER XVII


But there was a truce for a time.  Lily came and went without
interference, and without comment.  Nothing more was said about
Newport.  She motored on bright days to the country club, lunched
and played golf or tennis, rode along the country lanes with Pink
Denslow, accepted such invitations as came her way cheerfully
enough but without enthusiasm, and was very gentle to her mother.
But Mademoiselle found her tense and restless, as though she were
waiting.

And there were times when she disappeared for an hour or two in
the afternoons, proffering no excuses, and came back flushed, and
perhaps a little frightened.  On the evenings that followed those
small excursions she was particularly gentle to her mother.
Mademoiselle watched and waited for the blow she feared was about
to fall.  She felt sure that the girl was seeing Louis Akers, and
that she would ultimately marry him.  In her despair she fell back
on Willy Cameron and persuaded Grace to invite him to dinner.  It
was meant to be a surprise for Lily, but she had telephoned at
seven o'clock that she was dining at the Doyles'.

It was that evening that Willy Cameron learned that Mr. Hendricks
had been right about Lily.  He and Grace dined alone, for Howard
was away at a political conference, and Anthony had dined at his
club.  And in the morning room after dinner Grace found herself
giving him her confidence.

"I have no right to burden you with our troubles, Mr. Cameron,"
Grace said, "but she is so fond of you, and she has great respect
for your judgment.  If you could only talk to her about the anxiety
she is causing.  These Doyles, or rather Mr. Doyle--the wife is
Mr. Cardew's sister--are putting all sorts of ideas into her head.
And she has met a man there, a Mr. Akers, and--I'm afraid she
thinks she is in love with him, Mr. Cameron."

He met her eyes gravely.

"Have you tried not forbidding her to go to the Doyles?"

"I have forbidden her nothing.  It is her grandfather."

"Then it seems to be Mr. Cardew who needs to be talked to, doesn't
it?" he said.  "I wouldn't worry too much, Mrs. Cardew.  And don't
hold too tight a rein."

He was very down-hearted when he left.  Grace's last words placed
a heavy burden on him.

"I simply feel," she said, "that you can do more with her than we
can, and that if something isn't done she will ruin her life.  She
is too fine and wonderful to have her do that."

To picture Lily as willfully going her own gait at that period
would be most unfair.  She was suffering cruelly; the impulse that
led her to meet Louis Akers against her family's wishes was
irresistible, but there was a new angle to her visits to the Doyle
house.  She was going there now, not so much because she wished to
go, as because she began to feel that her Aunt Elinor needed her.

There was something mysterious about her Aunt Elinor, mysterious
and very sad.  Even her smile had pathos in it, and she was smiling
less and less.  She sat in those bright little gatherings, in them
but not of them, unbrilliant and very quiet.  Sometimes she gave
Lily the sense that like Lily herself she was waiting.  Waiting for
what?

Lily had a queer feeling too, once or twice, that Elinor was afraid.
But again, afraid of what?  Sometimes she wondered if Elinor Doyle
was afraid of her husband; certainly there were times, when they were
alone, when he dropped his unctuous mask and held Elinor up to
smiling contempt.

"You can see what a clever wife I have," he said once.  "Sometimes I
wonder, Elinor, how you have lived with me so long and absorbed so
little of what really counts."

"Perhaps the difficulty," Elinor had said quietly, "is because we
differ as to what really counts."

Lily brought Elinor something she needed, of youth and irresponsible
chatter, and in the end the girl found the older woman depending on
her.  To cut her off from that small solace was unthinkable.  And
then too she formed Elinor's sole link with her former world, a
world of dinners and receptions, of clothes and horses and men who
habitually dressed for dinner, of the wealth and panoply of life.
A world in which her interest strangely persisted.

"What did you wear at the country club dance last night?" she would
ask.

"A rose-colored chiffon over yellow.  It gives the oddest effect,
like an Ophelia rose."

Or:

"At the Mainwarings?  George or Albert?"

"The Alberts."

"Did they ever have any children?"

One day she told her about not going to Newport, and was surprised
to see Elinor troubled.

"Why won't you go?  It is a wonderful house."

"I don't care to go away, Aunt Nellie." She called her that sometimes.

Elinor had knitted silently for a little.  Then:

"Do you mind if I say something to you?"

"Say anything you like, of course."

"I just--Lily, don't see too much of Louis Akers.  Don't let him
carry you off your feet.  He is good-looking, but if you marry him,
you will be terribly unhappy."

"That isn't enough to say, Aunt Nellie," she said gravely.  "You
must have a reason."

Elinor hesitated.

"I don't like him.  He is a man of very impure life."

"That's because he has never known any good women."   Lily rose
valiantly to his defense, but the words hurt her.  "Suppose a good
woman came into his life?  Couldn't she change him?"


 "I don't know," Elinor said helplessly.  "But there is something
else.  It will cut you off from your family."

"You did that.  You couldn't stand it, either.  You know what it's
like."



"There must be some other way.  That is no reason for marriage."

"But--suppose I care for him?" Lily said, shyly.

"You wouldn't live with him a year.  There are different ways of
caring, Lily.  There is such a thing as being carried away by a man's
violent devotion, but it isn't the violent love that lasts."

Lily considered that carefully, and she felt that there was some
truth in it.  When Louis Akers came to take her home that night he
found her unresponsive and thoughtful.

"Mrs. Doyle's been talking to you," he said at last.  "She hates me,
you know."

"Why should she hate you?"

"Because, with all her vicissitudes, she's still a snob," he said
roughly.  "My family was nothing, so I'm nothing."

"She wants me to be happy, Louis."

"And she thinks you won't be with me."

"I am not at all sure that I would be."  She made an effort then to
throw off the strange bond that held her to him.  "I should like to
have three months, Louis, to get a--well, a sort of perspective.
I can't think clearly when you're around, and--"

"And I'm always around?  Thanks."  But she had alarmed him.  "You're
hurting me awfully, little girl," he said, in a different tone.  "I
can't live without seeing you, and you know it.  You're all I have
in life.  You have everything, wealth, friends, position.  You could
play for three months and never miss me.  But you are all I have."

In the end she capitulated

Jim Doyle was very content those days.  There had been a time when
Jim Doyle was the honest advocate of labor, a flaming partizan of
those who worked with their hands.  But he had traveled a long road
since then, from dreamer to conspirator.  Once he had planned to
build up; now he plotted to tear down.

His weekly paper had enormous power.  To the workers he had begun to
preach class consciousness, and the doctrine of being true to their
class.  From class consciousness to class hatred was but a step.
Ostensibly he stood for a vast equality, world wide and beneficent;
actually he preached an inflammable doctrine of an earth where the
last shall be first.  He advocated the overthrow of all centralized
government, and considered the wages system robbery.  Under it
workers were slaves, and employers of workers slave-masters.  It was
with such phrases that he had for months been consistently inflaming
the inflammable foreign element in and around the city, and not the
foreign element only.  A certain percentage of American-born workmen
fell before the hammer-like blows of his words, repeated and driven
home each week.

He had no scruples, and preached none.  He preached only revolt, and
in that revolt defiance of all existing laws.  He had no religion;
Christ to him was a pitiful weakling, a historic victim of the same
system that still crucified those who fought the established order.
In his new world there would be no churches and no laws.  He
advocated bloodshed, arson, sabotage of all sorts, as a means to an
end.

Fanatic he was, but practical fanatic, and the more dangerous for
that.  He had viewed the failure of the plan to capture a city in
the northwest in February with irritation, but without discouragement.
They had acted prematurely there and without sufficient secrecy.
That was all.  The plan in itself was right.  And he had watched the
scant reports of the uprising in the newspapers with amusement and
scorn.  The very steps taken to suppress the facts showed the
uneasiness of the authorities and left the nation with a feeling
of false security.

The people were always like that.  Twice in a hundred years France
had experienced the commune.  Each time she had been warned, and
each time she had waited too long.  Ever so often in the life of
every nation came these periodic outbursts of discontent, economic
in their origin, and ran their course like diseases, contagious,
violent and deadly.

The commune always followed long and costly wars.  The people would
dance, but they revolted at paying the piper.

The plan in Seattle had been well enough conceived; the city light
plant was to have been taken over during the early evening of
February 6, and at ten o'clock that night the city was to have gone
dark.  But the reign of terrorization that was to follow had
revolted Jim Osborne, one of their leaders, and from his hotel
bedroom he had notified the authorities.  Word had gone out to "get"
Osborne.

If it had not been for Osborne, and the conservative element behind
him, a flame would have been kindled at Seattle that would have
burnt across the nation.

Doyle watched Gompers cynically..  He considered his advocacy of
patriotic cooperation between labor and the Government during the
war the skillful attitude of an opportunist.  Gompers could do
better with public opinion behind him than without it.  He was an
opportunist, riding the wave which would carry him farthest.
Playing both ends against the middle, and the middle, himself.  He
saw Gompers, watching the release of tension that followed the
armistice and seeing the great child he had fathered, grown now
and conscious of its power,--watching it, fully aware that it had
become stronger than he.

Gompers, according to Doyle, had ceased to be a leader and become
a follower, into strange and difficult paths.

The war had made labor's day.  No public move was made without
consulting organized labor, and a certain element in it had grown
drunk with power.  To this element Doyle appealed.  It was Doyle
who wrote the carefully prepared incendiary speeches, which were
learned verbatim by his agents for delivery.  For Doyle knew one
thing, and knew it well.  Labor, thinking along new lines, must
think along the same lines.  Be taught the same doctrines.  Be
pushed in one direction.

There were, then, two Doyles, one the poseur, flaunting his
outrageous doctrines with a sardonic grin, gathering about him a
small circle of the intelligentsia, and too openly heterodox to be
dangerous.  And the other, secretly plotting against the city, wary,
cautious, practical and deadly, waiting to overthrow the established
order and substitute for it chaos.  It was only incidental to him
that old Anthony should go with the rest.

But he found a saturnine pleasure in being old Anthony's Nemesis.
He meant to be that.  He steadily widened the breach between Lily
and her family, and he watched the progress of her affair with
Louis Akers with relish.  He had not sought this particular form
of revenge, but Fate had thrust it into his hands, and he meant to
be worthy of the opportunity.

He was in no hurry.  He had extraordinary patience, and he rather
liked sitting back and watching the slow development of his plans.
It was like chess; it was deliberate and inevitable.  One made a
move, and then sat back waiting and watching while the other side
countered it, or fell, with slow agonizing, into the trap.

A few days after Lily had had her talk with Elinor, Doyle found a
way to widen the gulf between Lily and her grandfather.  Elinor
seldom left the house, and Lily had done some shopping for her.
The two women were in Elinor's bedroom, opening small parcels,
when he knocked and came in.

"I don't like to disturb the serenity of this happy family group,"
he said, "but I am inclined to think that a certain gentleman,
standing not far from a certain young lady's taxicab, belongs to a
certain department of our great city government.  And from his
unflattering lack of interest in me, that he--"

Elinor half rose, terrified.

"Not the police, Jim?"

"Sit down," he said, in a tone Lily had never heard him use before.
And to Lily, more gently: "I am not altogether surprised.  As a
matter of fact, I have known it for some time.  Your esteemed
grandfather seems to take a deep interest in your movements these
days."

"Do you mean that I am being followed?"

"I'm afraid so.  You see, you are a very important person, and if
you will venture in the slums which surround the Cardew Mills, you
should be protected.  At any time, for instance, Aunt Elinor and
I may despoil you of those pearls you wear so casually, and--"

"Don't talk like that, Jim," Elinor protested.  She was very pale.
"Are you sure he is watching Lily?"

He gave her an ugly look.

"Who else?" he inquired suavely.

Lily sat still, frozen with anger.  So this was her grandfather's
method of dealing with her.  He could not lock her up, but he would
know, day by day, and hour by hour, what she was doing.  She could
see him reading carefully his wicked little notes on her day.
Perhaps he was watching her mail, too.  Then when he had secured a
hateful total he would go to her father, and together they would
send her away somewhere.  Away from Louis Akers.  If he was
watching her mail too he would know that Louis was in love with her.
They would rake up all the things that belonged in the past he was
done with, and recite them to her.  As though they mattered now!

She went to the window and looked out.  Yes, she had seen the
detective before.  He must have been hanging around for days, his
face unconsciously impressing itself upon her.  When she turned:

"Louis is coming to dinner, isn't he?"

"Yes."

"If you don't mind, Aunt Nellie, I think I'll dine out with him
somewhere.  I want to talk to him alone."

"But the detective--"

"If my grandfather uses low and detestable means to spy on me, Aunt
Nellie, he deserves what he gets, doesn't he?"

When Louis Akers came at half-past six, he found that she had been
crying, but she greeted him calmly enough, with her head held high.
Elinor, watching her, thought she was very like old Anthony himself
just then.



CHAPTER XVIII


Willy Cameron came home from a night class in metallurgy the evening
after the day Lily had made her declaration of independence, and let
himself in with his night key.  There was a light in the little
parlor, and Mrs. Boyd's fragile silhouette against the window shade.

He was not surprised at that.  She had developed a maternal affection
for him stronger than any she showed for either Edith or Dan.  She
revealed it in rather touching ways, too, keeping accounts when he
accused her of gross extravagance, for she spent Dan's swollen wages
wastefully; making him coffee late at night, and forcing him to
drink it, although it kept him awake for hours; and never going to
bed until he was safely closeted in his room at the top of the
stairs.

He came in as early as possible, therefore, for he had had Doctor
Smalley in to see her, and the result had been unsatisfactory.

"Heart's bad," said the doctor, when they had retired to Willy's
room.  "Leaks like a sieve.  And there may be an aneurism.  Looks
like it, anyhow."

"What is there to do?" Willy asked, feeling helpless and extremely
shocked.  "We might send her somewhere."

"Nothing to do.  Don't send her away; she'd die of loneliness.  Keep
her quiet and keep her happy.  Don't let her worry.  She only has a
short time, I should say, and you can't lengthen it.  It could be
shortened, of course, if she had a shock, or anything like that."

"Shall I tell the family?"

"What's the use?" asked Doctor Smalley, philosophically.  "If they
fuss over her she'll suspect something."

As he went down the stairs he looked about him.  The hall was fresh
with new paper and white paint, and in the yard at the rear, visible
through an open door, the border of annuals was putting out its
first blossoms.

"Nice little place you've got here," he observed.  "I think I see
the fine hand of Miss Edith, eh?"

"Yes," said Willy Cameron, gravely.

He had made renewed efforts to get a servant after that, but the
invalid herself balked him.  When he found an applicant Mrs. Boyd
would sit, very much the grande dame, and question her, although
she always ended by sending her away.

"She looked like the sort that would be running out at nights," she
would say.  Or: "She wouldn't take telling, and I know the way you
like your things, Willy.  I could see by looking at her that she
couldn't cook at all."

She cherished the delusion that he was improving and gaining flesh
under her ministrations, and there was a sort of jealousy in her
care for him.  She wanted to yield to no one the right to sit
proudly behind one of her heavy, tasteless pies, and say:

"Now I made this for you, Willy, because I know country boys like
pies.  Just see if that crust isn't nice."

"You don't mean to say you made it!"

"I certainly did."  And to please her he would clear his plate.
He rather ran to digestive tablets those days, and Edith, surprising
him with one at the kitchen sink one evening, accused him roundly
of hypocrisy.

"I don't know why you stay anyhow," she said, staring into the yard
where Jinx was burying a bone in the heliotrope bed.  "The food's
awful.  I'm used to it, but you're not."

"You don't eat anything, Edith."

"I'm not hungry.  Willy, I wish you'd go away.  What right we got
to tie you up with us, anyhow?  We're a poor lot.  You're not
comfortable and you know it.  D'you know where she is now?"

"She" in the vernacular of the house, was always Mrs. Boyd.

"She forgot to make your bed, and she's doing it now."

He ran up the stairs, and forcibly putting Mrs. Boyd in a chair,
made up his own bed, awkwardly and with an eye on her chest, which
rose and fell alarmingly.  It was after that that he warned Edith.

"She's not strong," he said.  "She needs care and--well, to be
happy.  That's up to the three of us.  For one thing, she must not
have a shock.  I'm going to warn Dan against exploding paper bags;
she goes white every time."

Dan was at a meeting, and Willy dried the supper dishes for Edith.
She was silent and morose.  Finally she said:

"She's not very strong for me, Willy.  You needn't look so shocked.
She loves Dan and you, but not me.  I don't mind, you know.  She
doesn't know it, but I do."

"She is very proud of you."

"That's different.  You're right, though.  Pride's her middle name.
It nearly killed her at first to take a roomer, because she is
always thinking of what the neighbors will say.  That's why she
hates me sometimes."

"I wish you wouldn't talk that way."

"But it's true.  That fool Hodge woman at the corner came here one
day last winter and filled her up with a lot of talk about me, and
she's been queer to me ever since."

"You are a very good daughter."

She eyed him furtively.  If only he wouldn't always believe in her!
It was almost worse than to have him know the truth.  But he went
along with his head in the clouds; all women were good and all men
meant well.  Sometimes it worked out; Dan, for instance.  Dan was
trying to live up to him.  But it was too late for her.  Forever
too late.

It was Willy Cameron's night off, and they went, the three of them,
to the movies that evening.  To Mrs. Boyd the movies was the acme
of dissipation.  She would, if warned in advance, spend the entire
day with her hair in curlers, and once there she feasted her starved
romantic soul to repletion.  But that night the building was
stifling, and without any warning Edith suddenly got up and walked
toward the door.  There was something odd about her walk and Willy
followed her, but she turned on him almost fiercely outside.

"I wish you'd let me alone," she said, and then swayed a little.
But she did not faint.

"I'm going home," she said.  "You stay with her.  And for heaven's
sake don't stare at me like that.  I'm all right."

Nevertheless he had taken her home, Edith obstinately silent and
sullen, and Willy anxious and perplexed.  At the door she said:

"Now go back to her, and tell her I just got sick of the picture.
It was the smells in that rotten place.  They'd turn a pig's stomach."

"I wish you'd see a doctor."

She looked at him with suspicious eyes.  "If you run Smalley in on
me I'll leave home."

"Will you go to bed?"

"I'll go to bed, all right."

He had found things rather more difficult after that.  Two women,
both ill and refusing to acknowledge it, and the prospect of Dan's
being called out by the union.  Try as he would, he could not
introduce any habit of thrift into the family.  Dan's money came
and went, and on Saturday nights there was not only nothing left,
but often a deficit.  Dan, skillfully worked upon outside, began
to develop a grievance, also, and on his rare evenings at home or
at the table he would voice his wrongs.

"It's just hand to mouth all the time," he would grumble.  "A fellow
working for the Cardews never gets ahead.  What chance has he got,
anyhow?  It takes all he can get to live."

Willy Cameron began to see that the trouble was not with Dan, but
with his women folks.  And Dan was one of thousands.  His wages went
for food, too much food, food spoiled in cooking.  There were men,
with able women behind them, making less than Dan and saving money.

"Keep some of it out and bank it," he suggested, but Dan sneered.

"And have a store bill a mile long!  You know mother as well as I
do.  She means well, but she's a fool with money."

He counted his hours from the time he entered the mill until he left
it, but he revealed once that there were long idle periods when the
heating was going on, when he and the other men of the furnace crew
sat and waited, doing nothing.

"But I'm there, all right," he said.  "I'm not playing golf or
riding in my automobile.  I'm on the job."

"Well," said Willy Cameron, "I'm on the job about eleven hours a
day, and I wear out more shoe leather than trouser seats at that.
But it doesn't seem to hurt me."

"It's a question of principle," said Dan doggedly.  "I've got no
personal kick, y'understand.  Only I'm not getting anywhere, and
something's got to be done about it."

So, on the evening of the day after Lily had made her declaration
of independence, Willy Cameron made his way rather heavily toward
the Boyd house.  He was very tired.  He had made one or two
speeches for Hendricks already, before local ward organizations,
and he was working hard at his night class in metallurgy.  He had
had a letter from his mother, too, and he thought he read
homesickness between the lines.  He was not at all sure where his
duty lay, yet to quit now, to leave Mr. Hendricks and the Boyds
flat, seemed impossible.

He had tried to see Lily, too, and failed.  She had been very gentle
over the telephone, but, attuned as he was to every inflection of
her voice, he had thought there was unhappiness in it.  Almost
despair.  But she had pleaded a week of engagements.

"I'm sorry," she had said.  "I'll call you up next week some time
I have a lot of things I want to talk over with you."

But he knew she was avoiding him.

And he knew that he ought to see her.  Through Mr. Hendricks he
had learned something more about Jim Doyle, the real Doyle and not
the poseur, and he felt she should know the nature of the
accusations against him.  Lily mixed up with a band of traitors,
Lily of the white flame of patriotism, was unthinkable.  She must
not go to the house on Cardew Way.  A man's loyalty was like a
woman's virtue; it could not be questionable.  There was no middle
ground.

He heard voices as he entered the house, and to his amazement found
Ellen in the parlor.  She was sitting very stiff on the edge of her
chair, her hat slightly crooked and a suit-case and brown paper
bundle at her feet.

Mrs. Boyd was busily entertaining her.

"I make it a point to hold my head high," she was saying.  "I guess
there was a lot of talk when I took a boarder, but--Is that you,
Willy?"

"Why, Miss Ellen!" he said.  "And looking as though headed for a
journey!"

Ellen's face did not relax.  She had been sitting there for an hour,
letting Mrs. Boyd's prattle pour over her like a rain, and thinking
meanwhile her own bitter thoughts.

"I am, Willy.  Only I didn't wait for my money and the bank's closed,
and I came to borrow ten dollars, if you have it."

That told him she was in trouble, but Mrs. Boyd, amiably hospitable
and reveling in a fresh audience, showed no sign of departing.

"She says she's been living at the Cardews," she put in, rocking
valiantly.  "I guess most any place would seem tame after that.  I
do hear, Miss Hart, that Mrs. Howard Cardew only wears her clothes
once and then gives them away."

She hitched the chair away from the fireplace, where it showed every
indication of going up the chimney.

"I call that downright wasteful," she offered.

Willy glanced at his watch, which had been his father's, and bore
the inscription: "James Duncan Cameron, 1876" inside the case.

"Eleven o'clock," he said sternly.  "And me promising the doctor
I'd have you in bed at ten sharp every night!  Now off with you."

"But, Willy--"

"--or I shall have to carry you," he threatened.  It was an old
joke between them, and she rose, smiling, her thin face illuminated
with the sense of being looked after.

"He's that domineering," she said to Ellen, "that I can't call my
soul my own."

"Good-night," Ellen said briefly.

Willy stood at the foot of the stairs and watched her going up.  He
knew she liked him to do that, that she would expect to find him
there when she reached the top and looked down, panting slightly.

"Good-night," he called.  "Both windows open.  I shall go outside
to see."

Then he went back to Ellen, still standing primly over her Lares and
Penates.

"Now tell me about it," he said.

"I've left them.  There has been a terrible fuss, and when Miss Lily
left to-night, I did too."

"She left her home?"

She nodded.

"It's awful, Willy.  I don't know all of it, but they've been having
her followed, or her grandfather did.  I think there's a man in it.
Followed!  And her a good girl!  Her grandfather's been treating her
like a dog for weeks.  We all noticed it.  And to-night there was
a quarrel, with all of them at her like a pack of dogs, and her
governess crying in the hall.  I just went up and packed my things."

"Where did she go?"

"I don't know.  I got her a taxicab, and she only took one bag.  I
went right off to the housekeeper and told her I wouldn't stay, and
they could send my money after me."

"Did you notice the number of the taxicab?"

"I never thought of it."

He saw it all with terrible distinctness, The man was Akers, of
course.  Then, if she had left her home rather than give him up,
she was really in love with him.  He had too much common sense to
believe for a moment that she had fled to Louis Akers' protection,
however.  That was the last thing she would do.  She would have
gone to a hotel, or to the Doyle house.

"She shouldn't have left home, Ellen."

"They drove her out, I tell you," Ellen cried, irritably.  "At least
that's what it amounted to.  There are things no high-minded girl
will stand.  Can you lend me some money, Willy?"

He felt in his pocket, producing a handful of loose money.

"Of course you can have all I've got," he said.  "But you must not
go to-night, Miss Ellen.  It's too late.  I'll give you my room and
go in with Dan Boyd."

And he prevailed over her protests, in the end.  It was not until
he saw her settled there, hiding her sense of strangeness under an
impassive mask, that he went downstairs again and took his hat
from its hook.

Lily must go back home, he knew.  It was unthinkable that she should
break with her family, and go to the Doyles.  He had too little
self-consciousness to question the propriety of his own interference,
too much love for her to care whether she resented that interference.
And he was filled with a vast anger at Jim Doyle.  He saw in all
this, somehow, Doyle's work; how it would play into Doyle's plans to
have Anthony Cardew's granddaughter a member of his household.  He
would take her away from there if he had to carry her.

He was a long time in getting to the mill district, and a longer
time still in finding Cardew Way.  At an all-night pharmacy he
learned which was the house, and his determined movements took on
a sort of uncertainty.  It was very late.  Ellen had waited for
him for some time.  If Lily were in that sinister darkened house
across the street, the family had probably retired.  And for the
first time, too, he began to doubt if Doyle would let him see her.
Lily herself might even refuse to see him.

Nevertheless, the urgency to get her away from there, if she were
there, prevailed at last, and a strip of light in an upper window,
as from an imperfectly fitting blind, assured him that some one
was still awake in the house.

He went across the street and opening the gate, strode up the walk.
Almost immediately he was confronted by the figure of a man who had
been concealed by the trunk of one of the trees.  He lounged
forward, huge, menacing, yet not entirely hostile.

"Who is it?" demanded the figure blocking his way.

"I want to see Mr. Doyle."

"What about?"

"I'll tell him that," said Willy Cameron.

"What's your name?"

"That's my business, too," said Mr. Cameron, with disarming
pleasantness.

"Damn private about your business, aren't you?" jeered the sentry,
still in cautious tones.  "Well, you can write it down on a piece
of paper and mail it to him.  He's busy now."

"All I want to do," persisted Mr. William Wallace Cameron, growing
slightly giddy with repressed fury, "is to ring that doorbell and
ask him a question.  I'm going to do it, too."

There was rather an interesting moment then, because the figure
lunged at Mr. Cameron, and Mr. Cameron, stooping low and swiftly,
as well as to one side, and at the same instant becoming a fighting
Scot, which means a cool-eyed madman, got in one or two rather neat
effects with his fists.  The first took the shadow just below his
breast-bone, and the left caught him at that angle of the jaw where
a small cause sometimes produces a large effect.  The figure sat
down on the brick walk and grunted, and Mr. Cameron, judging that
he had about ten seconds' leeway, felt in the dazed person's right
hand pocket for the revolver he knew would be there, and secured it.
The sitting figure made puffing, feeble attempts to prevent him, but
there was no real struggle.

Mr. Cameron himself was feeling extremely triumphant and as strong
as a lion.  He was rather sorry no one had seen the affair, but
that of course was sub-conscious.  And he was more cheerful than he
had been for some days.  He had been up against so many purely
intangible obstacles lately that it was a relief to find one he
could use his fists on.

"Now I'll have a few words with you, my desperate friend," he said.
"I've got your gun, and I am hell with a revolver, because I've
never fired one, and there's a sort of homicidal beginner's luck
about the thing.  If you move or speak, I'll shoot it into you
first and when it's empty I'll choke it down your throat and
strangle you to death."

After which ferocious speech he strolled up the path, revolver in
hand, and rang the doorbell.  He put the weapon in his pocket then,
but he kept his hand upon it.  He had read somewhere that a revolver
was quite useable from a pocket.  There was no immediate answer to
the bell, and he turned and surveyed the man under the tree, faintly
distinguishable in the blackness.  It had occurred to him that the
number of guns a man may carry is only limited to his pockets, which
are about fifteen.

There were heavy, deliberate footsteps inside, and the door was
flung open.  No glare of light followed it, however.  There was a
man there, alarmingly tall, who seemed to stare at him, and then
beyond him into the yard.

"Well?"

"Are you Mr. Doyle?"

"I am."

"My name is Cameron, Mr. Doyle.  I have had a small difference with
your watch-dog, but he finally let me by."

"I'm afraid I don't understand.  I have no dog."

"The sentry you keep posted, then."  Mr. Cameron disliked fencing.

"Ah!" said Mr. Doyle, urbanely.  "You have happened on one of my
good friends, I see.  I have many enemies, Mr. Cameron--was that
the name?  And my friends sometimes like to keep an eye on me.  It
is rather touching."

He was smiling, Mr. Cameron knew, and his anger rose afresh.

"Very touching," said Mr. Cameron, "but if he bothers me going out
you may be short one friend.  Mr. Doyle, Miss Lily Cardew left her
home to-night.  I want to know if she is here."

"Are you sent by her family?"

"I have asked you if she is here."

Jim Doyle apparently deliberated.

"My niece is here, although just why you should interest yourself--"

"May I see her?"

"I regret to say she has retired."

"I think she would see me."

A door opened into the hall, throwing a shaft of light on the wall
across and letting out the sounds of voices.

"Shut that door," said Doyle, wheeling sharply.  It was closed at
once.  "Now," he said, turning to his visitor, "I'll tell you this.
My niece is here."  He emphasized the "my."  "She has come to me for
refuge, and I intend to give it to her.  You won't see her to-night,
and if you come from her people you can tell them she came here of
her own free will, and that if she stays it will be because she wants
to.  Joe!" he called into the darkness.

"Yes," came a sullen voice, after a moment's hesitation.

"Show this gentleman out."

All at once Willy Cameron was staring at a closed door, on the inner
side of which a bolt was being slipped.  He felt absurd and futile,
and not at all like a lion.  With the revolver in his hand, he went
down the steps.

"Don't bother about the gate, Joe," he said.  "I like to open my
own gates.  And--don't try any tricks, Joe.  Get back to your
kennel."

Fearful mutterings followed that, but the shadow retired, and he
made an undisturbed exit to the street.  Once on the street-car,
the entire episode became unreal and theatrical, with only the drag
of Joe's revolver in his coat pocket to prove its reality.

It was after midnight when, shoes in hand, he crept up the stairs
to Dan's room, and careful not to disturb him, slipped into his
side of the double bed.  He did not sleep at all.  He lay there,
facing the fact that Lily had delivered herself voluntarily into
the hands of the enemy of her house, and not only of her house, an
enemy of the country.  That conference that night was a sinister one.
Brought to book about it, Doyle might claim it as a labor meeting.
Organizers planning a strike might--did indeed--hold secret
conferences, but they did not post armed guards.  They opened
business offices, and brought in the press men, and shouted their
grievances for the world to hear.

This was different.  This was anarchy.  And in every city it was
going on, this rallying of the malcontents, the idlers, the
envious and the dangerous, to the red flag.  Organized labor
gathered together the workmen, but men like Doyle were organizing
the riff-raff of the country.  They secured a small percentage of
idealists and pseudo-intellectuals, and taught them a so-called
internationalism which under the name of brotherhood was nothing
but a raid on private property, a scheme of pillage and arson.
They allied with themselves imported laborers from Europe, men
with everything to gain and nothing to lose, and by magnifying
real grievances and inflaming them with imaginary ones, were
building out of this material the rank and file of an anarchist
army.

And against it, what?

On toward morning he remembered something, and sat bolt upright in
bed.  Edith had once said something about knowing of a secret
telephone.  She had known Louis Akers very well.  He might have
told her what she knew, or have shown her, in some braggart moment.
A certain type of man was unable to keep a secret from a woman.
But that would imply--For the first time he wondered what Edith's
relations with Louis Akers might have been.



CHAPTER XIX


The surface peace of the house on Cardew Way, the even tenor of her
days there, the feeling she had of sanctuary did not offset Lily's
clear knowledge that she had done a cruel and an impulsive thing.
Even her grandfather, whose anger had driven her away, she remembered
now as a feeble old man, fighting his losing battle in a changing
world, and yet with a sort of mistaken heroism hoisting his colors
to the end.

She had determined, that first night in Elinor's immaculate guest
room, to go back the next day.  They had been right at home, by all
the tenets to which they adhered so religiously.  She had broken
the unwritten law not to break bread with an enemy of her house.
She had done what they had expressly forbidden, done it over and over.

"On top of all this," old Anthony had said, after reading the tale
of her delinquencies from some notes in his hand, "you dined last
night openly at the Saint Elmo Hotel with this same Louis Akers, a
man openly my enemy, and openly of impure life."

"I do not believe he is your enemy."

"He is one of the band of anarchists who have repeatedly threatened
to kill me."

"Oh, Lily, Lily!" said her mother.

But it was to her father, standing grave and still, that Lily replied.

"I don't believe that, father.  He is not a murderer.  If you would
let him come here--"

"Never in this house," said old Anthony, savagely crushing notes in
his hand.  "He will come here over my dead body."

"You have no right to condemn a man unheard."

"Unheard!  I tell you I know all about him.  The man is an
anarchist, a rake, a--dog."

"Just a moment, father," Howard had put in, quietly.  "Lily, do you
care for this man?  I mean by that, do you want to marry him?"

"He has asked me.  I have not given him any answer yet.  I don't
want to marry a man my family will not receive.  It wouldn't be
fair to him."

Which speech drove old Anthony into a frenzy, and led him to a
bitterness of language that turned Lily cold and obstinate.  She
heard him through, with her father vainly trying to break in and
save the situation; then she said, coldly:

"I am sorry you feel that way about it," and turned and left the
room.

She had made no plan, of course.  She hated doing theatrical things.
But shut in her bedroom with the doors locked, Anthony's furious
words came back, his threats, his bitter sneers.  She felt strangely
alone, too.  In all the great house she had no one to support her.
Mademoiselle, her father and mother, even the servants, were tacitly
aligned with the opposition.  Except Ellen.  She had felt lately
that Ellen, in her humble way, had espoused her cause.

She had sent for Ellen.

In spite of the warmth of her greeting, Lily had felt a reserve in
Aunt Elinor's welcome.  It was as though she was determinedly making
the best of a bad situation.

"I had to do it, Aunt Elinor," she said, when they had gone upstairs.
There was a labor conference, Doyle had explained, being held below.

"I know," said Elinor.  "I understand.  I'll pin back the curtains
so you can open your windows.  The night air is so smoky here."

"I am afraid mother will grieve terribly."

"I think she will," said Elinor, with her quiet gravity.  "You are
all she has."

"She has father.  She cares more for him than for anything in the
world."

"Would you like some ice-water, dear?"

Some time later Lily roused from the light sleep of emotional
exhaustion.  She had thought she heard Willy Cameron's voice.  But
that was absurd, of course, and she lay back to toss uneasily for
hours.  Out of all her thinking there emerged at last her real self,
so long overlaid with her infatuation.  She would go home again,
and make what amends she could.  They were wrong about Louis Akers,
but they were right, too.

Lying there, as the dawn slowly turned her windows to gray, she saw
him with a new clarity.  She had a swift vision of what life with
him would mean.  Intervals of passionate loving, of boyish dependence
on her, and then--a new face.  Never again was she to see him with
such clearness.  He was incapable of loyalty to a woman, even though
he loved her.  He was born to be a wanderer in love, an experimenter
in passion.  She even recognized in him an incurable sensuous
curiosity about women, that would be quite remote from his love for
her.  He would see nothing wrong in his infidelities, so long as
she did not know and did not suffer.  And he would come back to her
from them, watchful for suspicion, relieved when he did not find it,
and bringing her small gifts which would be actually burnt offerings
to his own soul.

She made up her mind to give him up.  She would go home in the
morning, make her peace with them all, and never see Louis Akers
again.

She slept after that, and at ten o'clock Elinor wakened her with
the word that her father was downstairs.  Elinor was very pale.  It
had been a shock to her to see her brother in her home after all
the years, and a still greater one when he had put his arm around
her and kissed her.

"I am so sorry, Howard," she had said.  The sight of him had set
her lips trembling.  He patted her shoulder.

"Poor Elinor," he said.  "Poor old girl!  We're a queer lot, aren't
we?"

"All but you."

"An obstinate, do-and-be-damned lot," he said slowly.  "I'd like to
see my little girl, Nellie.  We can't have another break in the
family."

He held Lily in much the same way when she came down, an arm around
her, his big shoulders thrown back as though he would guard her
against the world.  But he was very uneasy and depressed, at that.
He had come on a difficult errand, and because he had no finesse he
blundered badly.  It was some time before she gathered the full
meaning of what he was saying.

"Aunt Cornelia's!" she exclaimed.

"Or, if you and your mother want to go to Europe," he put in hastily,
seeing her puzzled face, "I think I can arrange about passports."

"Does that mean he won't have me back, father?"

"Lily, dear," he said, hoarse with anxiety, "we simply have to
remember that he is a very old man, and that his mind is not elastic.
He is feeling very bitter now, but he will get over it."

"And I am to travel around waiting to be forgiven!  I was ready to
go back, but--he won't have me.  Is that it?"

"Only just for the present."  He threw out his hands.  "I have tried
everything.  I suppose, in a way, I could insist, make a point of it,
but there are other things to be considered.  His age, for one thing,
and then--the strike.  If he takes an arbitrary stand against me, no
concession, no argument with the men, it makes it very difficult, in
many ways."

"I see.  It is wicked that any one man should have such power.  The
city, the mills, his family--it's wicked."  But she was conscious of
no deep anger against Anthony now.  She merely saw that between them,
they, she and her grandfather, had dug a gulf that could not be
passed.  And in Howard's efforts she saw the temporizing that her
impatient youth resented.

"I am afraid it is a final break, father," she said.  "And if he
shuts me out I must live my own life.  But I am not going to run
away to Aunt Cornelia or Europe.  I shall stay here."

He had to be content with that.  After all, his own sister--but
he wished it were not Jim Doyle's house.  Not that he regarded
Lily's shift toward what he termed Bolshevism very seriously; all
youth had a slant toward socialism, and outgrew it.  But he went
away sorely troubled, after a few words with Elinor Doyle alone.

"You don't look unhappy, Nellie."

"Things have been much better the last few years."

"Is he kind to you?"

"Not always, Howard.  He doesn't drink now, so that is over.  And
I think there are no other women.  But when things go wrong I suffer,
of course."  She stared past him toward the open window.

"Why don't you leave him?"

"I couldn't go home, Howard.  You know what it would be.  Worse
than Lily.  And I'm too old to start out by myself.  My habits are
formed, and besides, I--"   She checked herself.

"I could take a house somewhere for both of you, Lily and yourself,"
he said eagerly; "that would be a wonderful way out for everybody."

She shook her head.

"We'll manage all right," she said.  "I'll make Lily comfortable
and as happy as I can."

He felt that he had to make his own case clear, or he might have
noticed with what care she was choosing her words.  His father's
age, his unconscious dependence on Grace, his certainty to retire
soon from the arbitrary stand he had taken.  Elinor hardly heard
him.  Months afterwards he was to remember the distant look in
her eyes, a sort of half-frightened determination, but he was
self-engrossed just then.

"I can't persuade you?" he finished.

"No.  But it is good of you to think of it."

"You know what the actual trouble was last night?  It was not her
coming here."

"I know, Howard."

"Don't let her marry him, Nellie!  Better than any one, you ought
to know what that would mean."

"I knew too, Howard, but I did it."

In the end he went away not greatly comforted, to fight his own
battles, to meet committees from the union, and having met them, to
find himself facing the fact that, driven by some strange urge he
could not understand, the leaders wished a strike.  There were times
when he wondered what would happen if he should suddenly yield
every point, make every concession.  They would only make further
demands, he felt.  They seemed determined to put him out of business.
If only he could have dealt with the men directly, instead of with
their paid representatives, he felt that he would get somewhere.
But always, interposed between himself and his workmen, was this
barrier of their own erecting.

It was like representative government.  It did not always represent.
It, too, was founded on representation in good faith; but there was
not always good faith.  The union system was wrong.  It was like
politics.  The few handled the many.  The union, with its
all-powerful leaders, was only another form of autocracy.  It was
Prussian.  Yet the ideal behind the union was sound enough.

He had no quarrel with the union.  He puzzled it out, traveling
unaccustomed mental paths.  The country was founded on liberty.  All
men were created free and equal.  Free, yes, but equal?  Was not
equality a long way ahead along a thorny road?  Men were not equal
in the effort they made, nor did equal efforts bring equal result.
If there was class antagonism behind all this unrest, would there
not always be those who rose by dint of ceaseless effort?  Equality
of opportunity, yes.  Equality of effort and result, no.

To destroy the chance of gain was to put a premium on inertia; to
kill ambition; to reduce the high without raising the low.

At noon on the same day Willy Cameron went back to the house on
Cardew Way, to find Lily composed and resigned, instead of the
militant figure he had expected.  He asked her to go home, and she
told him then that she had no longer a home to go to.

"I meant to go, Willy," she finished.  "I meant to go this morning.
But you see how things are."

He had stood for a long time, looking at nothing very hard.  "I
see," he said finally.  "Of course your grandfather will be sorry
in a day or two, but he may not swallow his pride very soon."

That rather hurt her.

"What about my pride?" she asked.

"You can afford to be magnanimous with all your life before you."
Then he faced her.  "Besides, Lily, you're wrong.  Dead wrong.
You've hurt three people, and all you've got out of it has been
your own way."

"There is such a thing as liberty."

"I don't know about that.  And a good many crimes have been committed
in its name."  Even in his unhappiness he was controversial.  "We are
never really free, so long as we love people, and they love us.
Well--"  He picked up his old felt hat and absently turned down the
brim; it was raining.  "I'll have to get back.  I've overstayed my
lunch hour as it is."

"You haven't had any luncheon?"

"I wasn't hungry," he had said, and had gone away, his coat collar
turned up against the shower.  Lily had had a presentiment that he
was taking himself out of her life, that he had given her up as a
bad job.  She felt depressed and lonely, and not quite so sure of
herself as she had been; rather, although she did not put it that
way, as though something fine had passed her way, like Pippa singing,
and had then gone on.

She settled down as well as she could to her new life, making no
plans, however, and always with the stricken feeling that she had
gained her own point at the cost of much suffering.  She telephoned
to her mother daily, broken little conversations with long pauses
while Grace steadied her voice.  Once her mother hung up the
receiver hastily, and Lily guessed that her grandfather had come in.
She felt very bitter toward him.

But she found the small oneage interesting, in a quiet way; to make
her own bed and mend her stockings--Grace had sent her a trunkful
of clothing; and on the elderly maid's afternoon out, to help
Elinor with the supper.  She seldom went out, but Louis Akers came
daily, and on the sixth day of her stay she promised to marry him.

She had not meant to do it, but it was difficult to refuse him.
She had let him think she would do it ultimately, for one thing.
And, however clearly she might analyze him in his absences, his
strange attraction reasserted itself when he was near.  But her
acceptance of him was almost stoical.

"But not soon, Louis," she said, holding him off.  "And--I ought
to tell you--I don't think we will be happy together."

"Why not?"

"Because--" she found it hard to put into words--"because love
with you is a sort of selfish thing, I think."

"I'll lie down now and let you tramp on me," he said exultantly, and
held out his arms.  But even as she moved toward him she voiced her
inner perplexity.

"I never seem to be able to see myself married to you."

"Then the sooner the better, so you can."

"You won't like being married, you know."

"That's all you know about it, Lily.  I'm mad about you.  I'm mad
for you."

There was a new air of maturity about Lily those days, and sometimes
a sort of aloofness that both maddened him and increased his desire
to possess her.  She went into his arms, but when he held her closest
she sometimes seemed farthest away.

"I want you now."

"I want to be engaged a long time, Louis.  We have so much to learn
about each other."

He thought that rather childish.  But whatever had been his motive
in the beginning, he was desperately in love with her by that time,
and because of that he frightened her sometimes.  He was less sure
of himself, too, even after she had accepted him, and to prove his
continued dominance over her he would bully her.

"Come here," he would say, from the hearth rug, or by the window.

"Certainly not."

"Come here."

Sometimes she went, to be smothered in his hot embrace; sometimes
she did not.

But her infatuation persisted, although there were times when his
inordinate vitality and his caresses gave her a sense of physical
weariness, times when sheer contact revolted her.  He seemed always
to want to touch her.  Fastidiously reared, taught a sort of
aloofness from childhood, Lily found herself wondering if all men
in love were like that, always having to be held off.



CHAPTER XX


Ellen was staying at the Boyd house.  She went downstairs the morning
after her arrival, and found the bread--bakery bread--toasted and
growing cold on the table, while a slice of ham, ready to be cooked,
was not yet on the fire, and Mrs. Boyd had run out to buy some milk.

Dan had already gone, and his half-empty cup of black coffee was on
the kitchen table.  Ellen sniffed it and raised her eyebrows.

She rolled up her sleeves, put the toast in the oven and the ham in
the frying pan, with much the same grimness with which she had sat
the night before listening to Mrs. Boyd's monologue.  If this was
the way they looked after Willy Cameron, no wonder he was thin and
pale.  She threw out the coffee, which she suspected had been made
by the time-saving method of pouring water on last night's grounds,
and made a fresh pot of it.  After that she inspected the tea towels,
and getting a tin dishpan, set them to boil in it on the top of the
range.

"Enough to give him typhoid," she reflected.

Ellen disapproved of her surroundings; she disapproved of any woman
who did not boil her tea towels.  And when Edith came down carefully
dressed and undeniably rouged she formed a disapproving opinion of
that young lady, which was that she was trying to land Willy Cameron,
and that he would be better dead than landed.

She met Edith's stare of surprise with one of thinly veiled hostility.

"Hello!" said Edith.  "When did you blow in, and where from?"

"I came to see Mr. Cameron last night, and he made me stay."

"A friend of Willy's!  Well, I guess you needn't pay for your
breakfast by cooking it.  Mother's probably run out for something
--she never has anything in the house--and is talking somewhere.
I'll take that fork."

But Ellen proceeded to turn the ham.

"I'll do it," she said.  "You might spoil your hands."

But Edith showed no offense.

"All right," she acceded indifferently.  "If you're going to eat it
you'd better cook it.  We're rotten housekeepers here."

"I should think, if you're going to keep boarders, somebody would
learn to cook.  Mr. Cameron's mother is the best housekeeper in town,
and he was raised on good food and plenty of it."

Her tone was truculent.  Ellen's world, the world of short hours and
easy service, of the decorum of the Cardew servants' hall, of luxury
and dignity and good pay, had suddenly gone to pieces about her.
She was feeling very bitter, especially toward a certain chauffeur
who had prophesied the end of all service.  He had made the statement
that before long all people would be equal.  There would be no above
and below-stairs, no servants' hall.

"They'll drive their own cars, then, damn them," he had said once,
"if they can get any to drive.  And answer their own bells, if
they've got any to ring.  And get up and cook their own breakfasts."

"Which you won't have any to cook," Grayson had said irritably, from
the head of the long table.  "Just a word, my man.  That sort of
talk is forbidden here.  One word more and I go to Mr. Cardew."

The chauffeur had not sulked, however.  "All right, Mr. Grayson," he
said affably.  "But I can go on thinking, I daresay.  And some of
these days you'll be wishing you'd climbed on the band wagon before
it's too late."

Ellen, turning the ham carefully, was conscious that her revolt had
been only partially on Lily's account.  It was not so much Lily's
plight as the abuse of power, although she did not put it that way,
that had driven her out.  Ellen then had carried out her own small
revolution, and where had it put her?  She had lost a good home, and
what could she do?  All she knew was service.

Edith poured herself a cup of coffee, and taking a piece of toast
from the oven, stood nibbling it.  The crumbs fell on the not
over-clean floor.

"Why don't you go into the dining-room to eat?" Ellen demanded.

"Got out of the wrong side of the bed, didn't you?" Edith asked.
"Willy's bed, I suppose.  I'm not hungry, and I always eat breakfast
like this.  I wish he would hurry.  We'll be late."

Ellen stared.  It was her first knowledge that this girl, this
painted hussy, worked in Willy's pharmacy, and her suspicions
increased.  She had a quick vision, as she had once had of Lily,
of Edith in the Cameron house; Edith reading or embroidering on the
front porch while Willy's mother slaved for her; Edith on the same
porch in the evening, with all the boys in town around her.  She
knew the type, the sort that set an entire village by the ears and
in the end left home and husband and ran away with a traveling
salesman.

Ellen had already got Willy married and divorced when Mrs. Boyd
came in.  She carried the milk pail, but her lips were blue and she
sat down in a chair and held her hand to her heart.

"I'm that short of breath!" she gasped.  "I declare I could hardly
get back."

"I'll give you some coffee, right off."

When Willy Cameron had finished his breakfast she followed him into
the parlor.  His pallor was not lost on her, or his sunken eyes.
He looked badly fed, shabby, and harassed, and he bore the marks of
his sleepless night on his face.  "Are you going to stay here?" she
demanded.

"Why, yes, Miss Ellen."

"Your mother would break her heart if she knew the way you're living."

"I'm very comfortable.  We've tried to get a ser--"  He changed
color at that.  In the simple life of the village at home a woman
whose only training was the town standard of good housekeeping might
go into service in the city and not lose caste.  But she was never
thought of as a servant.  "--help," he substituted.  "But we can't
get any one, and Mrs. Boyd is delicate.  It is heart trouble."

"Does that girl work where you do?"

"Yes.  Why?"

"Is she engaged to you?  She calls you Willy."  He smiled into her
eyes.

"Not a bit of it, or thinking of it."

"How do you know what she's thinking?  It's all over her.  It's
Willy this and Willy that--and men are such fools."

There flashed into his mind certain things that he had tried to
forget; Edith at his doorway, with that odd look in her eyes; Edith
never going to sleep until he had gone to bed; and recently, certain
things she had said, that he had passed over lightly and somewhat
uncomfortably.

"That's ridiculous, Miss Ellen.  But even if it were true, which it
isn't, don't you think it would be rather nice of her?"  He smiled.

"I do not.  I heard you going out last night, Willy.  Did you find
her?"

"She is at the Doyles'.  I didn't see her."

"That'll finish it," Ellen prophesied, somberly.  She glanced around
the parlor, at the dust on the furniture, at the unwashed baseboard,
at the unwound clock on the mantel shelf.

"If you're going to stay here I will," she announced abruptly.  "I
owe that much to your mother.  I've got some money.  I'll take what
they'd pay some foreigner who'd throw out enough to keep another
family."  Then, seeing hesitation in his eyes: "That woman's sick,
and you've got to be looked after.  I could do all the work, if
that--if the girl would help in the evenings."

He demurred at first.  She would find it hard.  They had no luxuries,
and she was accustomed to luxury.  There was no room for her.  But
in the end he called Edith and Mrs. Boyd, and was rather touched to
find Edith offering to share her upper bedroom.

"It's a hole," she said, "cold in winter and hot as blazes in summer.
But there's room for a cot, and I guess we can let each other alone."

"I wish you'd let me move up there, Edith," he said for perhaps the
twentieth time since he had found out where she slept, "and you would
take my room."

"No chance," she said cheerfully.  "Mother would raise the devil if
you tried it."  She glanced at Ellen's face.  "If that word shocks
you, you're due for a few shocks, you know."

"The way you talk is your business, not mine," said Ellen austerely.

When they finally departed on a half-run Ellen was established as a
fixture in the Boyd house, and was already piling all the cooking
utensils into a wash boiler and with grim efficiency was searching
for lye with which to clean them.

Two weeks later, the end of June, the strike occurred.  It was not,
in spite of predictions, a general walk-out.  Some of the mills,
particularly the smaller plants, did not go down at all, and with
reduced forces kept on, but the chain of Cardew Mills was closed.
There was occasional rioting by the foreign element in outlying
districts, but the state constabulary handled it easily.

Dan was out of work, and the loss of his pay was a serious matter
in the little house.  He had managed to lay by a hundred dollars,
and Willy Cameron had banked it for him, but there was a real
problem to be faced.  On the night of the day the Cardew Mills went
down Willy called a meeting of the household after supper, around
the dining room table.  He had been in to see Mr. Hendricks, who
had been laid up with bronchitis, and Mr. Hendricks had predicted
a long strike.

"The irresistible force and the immovable body, son," he said.
"They'll stay set this time.  And unless I miss my guess that is
playing Doyle's hand for him, all right.  His chance will come when
the men have used up their savings and are growing bitter.  Every
strike plays into the hands of the enemy, son, and they know it.
The moment production ceases prices go up, and soon all the money
in the world won't pay them wages enough to live on."

He had a store of homely common sense, and a gift of putting things
into few words.  Willy Cameron, going back to the little house that
evening, remembered the last thing he had said.

"The only way to solve this problem of living," he said, "is to see
how much we can work, and not how little.  Germany's working ten
hours a day, and producing.  We're talking about six, and loafing
and fighting while we talk."

So Willy went home and called his meeting, and knowing Mrs. Boyd's
regard for figures, set down and added or subtracted, he placed a
pad and pencil on the table before him.  It was an odd group: Dan
sullen, resenting the strike and the causes that had led to it;
Ellen, austere and competent; Mrs. Boyd with a lace fichu pinned
around her neck, now that she had achieved the dignity of hired
help, and Edith.  Edith silent, morose and fixing now and then
rather haggard eyes on Willy Cameron's unruly hair.  She seldom met
his eyes.

"First of all," said Willy, "we'll take our weekly assets.  Of
course Dan will get something temporarily, but we'll leave that out
for the present."

The weekly assets turned out to be his salary and Edith's.

"Why, Willy," said Mrs. Boyd, "you can't turn all your money over
to us."

"You are all the family I have just now.  Why not?  Anyhow, I'll
have to keep out lunch money and carfare, and so will Edith.  Now
as to expenses."

Ellen had made a great reduction in expenses, but food was high.
And there was gas and coal, and Dan's small insurance, and the rent.
There was absolutely no margin, and a sort of silence fell.

"What about your tuition at night school?" Edith asked suddenly.

"Spring term ended this week."

"But you said there was a summer one."

"Well, I'll tell you about that," Willy said, feeling for words.
"I'm going to be busy helping Mr. Hendricks in his campaign.  Then
next fall--well, I'll either go back or Hendricks will make me
chief of police, or something."  He smiled around the table.  "I
ought to get some sort of graft out of it."

"Mother!" Edith protested.  "He mustn't sacrifice himself for us.
What are we to him anyhow?  A lot of stones hung around his neck.
That's all."

It was after Willy had declared that this was his home now, and he
had a right to help keep it going, and after Ellen had observed that
she had some money laid by and would not take any wages during the
strike, that the meeting threatened to become emotional.  Mrs. Boyd
shed a few tears, and as she never by any chance carried a
handkerchief, let them flow over her fichu.  And Dan shook Willy's
hand and Ellen's, and said that if he'd had his way he'd be working,
and not sitting round like a stiff letting other people work for him.
But Edith got up and went out into the little back garden, and did
not come back until the meeting was both actually and morally broken
up.  When she heard Dan go out, and Ellen and Mrs. Boyd go upstairs,
chatting in a new amiability brought about by trouble and sacrifice,
she put on her hat and left the house.

Ellen, rousing on her cot in Edith's upper room, heard her come in
some time later, and undress and get into bed.  Her old suspicion of
the girl revived, and she sat upright.

"Where I come from girls don't stay out alone until all hours," she
said.

"Oh, let me alone."

Ellen fell asleep, and in her sleep she dreamed that Mrs. Boyd had
taken sick and was moaning.  The moaning was terrible; it filled
the little house.  Ellen wakened suddenly.  It was not moaning; it
was strange, heavy breathing, strangling; and it came from Edith's
bed.

"Are you sick?" she called, and getting up, her knees hardly holding
her, she lighted the gas at its unshaded bracket on the wall and ran
to the other bed.

Edith was lying there, her mouth open, her lips bleached and twisted.
Her stertorous breathing filled the room, and over all was the odor
of carbolic acid.

"Edith, for God's sake!"

The girl was only partially conscious.  Ellen ran down the stairs
and into Willy's room.

"Get up," she cried, shaking him.  "That girl's killed herself."

"Lily!"

"No, Edith.  Carbolic acid."

Even then he remembered her mother.

"Don't let her hear anything, It will kill her," he said, and ran
up the stairs.  Almost immediately he was down again, searching for
alcohol; he found a small quantity and poured that down the swollen
throat.  He roused Dan then, and sent him running madly for Doctor
Smalley, with a warning to bring him past Mrs. Boyd's door quietly,
and to bring an intubation set with him in case her throat should
close.  Then, on one of his innumerable journeys up and down the
stairs he encountered Mrs. Boyd herself, in her nightgown, and
terrified.

"What's the matter, Willy?" she asked.  "Is it a fire?"

"Edith is sick.  I don't want you to go up.  It may be contagious.
It's her throat."

And from that Mrs. Boyd deduced diphtheria; she sat on the stairs
in her nightgown, a shaken helpless figure, asking countless
questions of those that hurried past.  But they reassured her, and
after a time she went downstairs and made a pot of coffee.  Ensconced
with it in the lower hall, and milk bottle in hand, she waylaid them
with it as they hurried up and down.

Upstairs the battle went on.  There were times when the paralyzed
muscles almost stopped lifting the chest walls, when each breath was
a new miracle.  Her throat was closing fast, too, and at eight
o'clock came a brisk young surgeon, and with Willy Cameron's
assistance, an operation was performed.  After that, and for days,
Edith breathed through a tube in her neck.

The fiction of diphtheria was kept up, and Mrs. Boyd, having a
childlike faith in medical men, betrayed no anxiety after the first
hour or two.  She saw nothing incongruous in Ellen going down
through the house while she herself was kept out of that upper
room where Edith lay, conscious now but sullen, disfigured, silent.
She was happy, too, to have her old domain hers again, while Ellen
nursed; to make again her flavorless desserts, her mounds of
rubberlike gelatine, her pies.  She brewed broths daily, and when
Edith could swallow she sent up the results of hours of cooking
which Ellen cooled, skimmed the crust of grease from the top, and
heated again over the gas flame.

She never guessed the conspiracy against her.

Between Ellen and Edith there was no real liking.  Ellen did her
duty, and more; got up at night; was gentle with rather heavy
hands; bathed the girl and brushed and braided her long hair.  But
there were hours during that simulated quarantine when a brooding
silence held in the sick-room, and when Ellen, turning suddenly,
would find Edith's eyes on her, full of angry distrust.  At those
times Ellen was glad that Edith could not speak.

For at the end of a few days Ellen knew, and Edith knew she knew.

Edith could not speak.  She wrote her wants with a stub of pencil,
or made signs.  One day she motioned toward a mirror and Ellen
took it to her.

"You needn't be frightened," she said.  "When those scabs come off
the doctor says you'll hardly be marked at all."

But Edith only glanced at herself, and threw the mirror aside.

Another time she wrote: "Willy?"

"He's all right.  They've got a girl at the store to take your
place, but I guess you can go back if you want to."  Then, seeing
the hunger in the girl's eyes: "He's out a good bit these nights.
He's making speeches for that Mr. Hendricks.  As if he could be
elected against Mr. Cardew!"

The confinement told on Ellen.  She would sit for hours, wondering
what had become of Lily.  Had she gone back home?  Was she seeing
that other man?  Perhaps her valiant loyalty to Lily faded somewhat
during those days, because she began to guess Willy Cameron's secret.
If a girl had no eyes in her head, and couldn't see that Willy
Cameron was the finest gentleman who ever stepped in shoe leather,
that girl had something wrong about her.

Then, sometimes, she wondered how Edith's condition was going to be
kept from her mother.  She had measured Mrs. Boyd's pride by that
time, her almost terrible respectability.  She rather hoped that the
sick woman would die some night, easily and painlessly in her sleep,
because death was easier than some things.  She liked Mrs. Boyd; she
felt a slightly contemptuous but real affection for her.

Then one night Edith heard Willy's voice below, and indicated that
she wanted to see him.  He came in, stooping under the sheet which
Mrs. Boyd had heard belonged in the doorway of diphtheria, and stood
looking down at her.  His heart ached.  He sat down on the bed
beside her and stroked her hand.

"Poor little girl," he said.  "We've got to make things very happy
for her, to make up for all this!"

But Edith freed her hand, and reaching out for paper and pencil stub,
wrote something and gave it to Ellen.

Ellen read it.

"Tell him."

"I don't want to, Edith.  You wait and do it yourself."

But Edith made an insistent gesture, and Ellen, flushed and wretched,
had to tell.  He made no sign, but sat stroking Edith's hand, only
he stared rather fixedly at the wall, conscious that the girl's
eyes were watching him for a single gesture of surprise or anger.  He
felt no anger, only a great perplexity and sadness, an older-brother
grief.

"I'm sorry, little sister," he said, and did the kindest thing he
could think of, bent over and kissed her on the forehead.  "Of course
I know how you feel, but it is a big thing to bear a child, isn't it?
It is the only miracle we have these days."

"A child with no father," said Ellen, stonily.

"Even then," he persisted, "it's a big thing.  We would have this one
come under happier circumstances if we could, but we will welcome and
take care of it, anyhow.  A child's a child, and mighty valuable.
And," he added--"I appreciate your wanting me to know, Edith."

He stayed a little while after that, but he read aloud, choosing a
humorous story and laughing very hard at all the proper places.  In
the end he brought a faint smile to Edith's blistered lips, and a
small lift to the cloud that hung over her now, day and night.

He made a speech that night, and into it he put all of his aching,
anxious soul; Edith and Dan and Lily were behind it.  Akers and
Doyle.  It was at a meeting in the hall over the city market, and
the audience a new men's non-partisan association.

"Sometimes," he said, "I am asked what it is that we want, we men
who are standing behind Hendricks as an independent candidate."  He
was supposed to bring Mr. Hendricks' name in as often as possible.
"I answer that we want honest government, law and order, an end to
this conviction that the country is owned by the unions and the
capitalists, a fair deal for the plain people, which is you and I,
my friends.  But I answer still further, we want one thing more, a
greater thing, and that thing we shall have.  All through this great
country to-night are groups of men hoping and planning for an
incredible thing.  They are not great in numbers; they are, however,
organized, competent, intelligent and deadly.  They plow the land
with discord to sow the seeds of sedition.  And the thing they want
is civil war.

"And against them, what?  The people like you and me; the men with
homes they love; the men with little businesses they have fought
and labored to secure; the clerks; the preachers; the doctors, the
honest laborers, the God-fearing rich.  I tell you, we are the
people, and it is time we knew our power.

"And this is the thing we want, we the people; the greater thing,
the thing we shall have; that this government, this country which
we love, which has three times been saved at such cost of blood,
shall survive."

It was after that speech that he met Pink Denslow for the first time.
A square, solidly built young man edged his way through the crowd,
and shook hands with him.

"Name's Denslow," said Pink.  "Liked what you said.  Have you time
to run over to my club with me and have a high-ball and a talk?"

"I've got all the rest of the night."

"Right-o!" said Pink, who had brought back a phrase or two from the
British.

It was not until they were in the car that Pink said:

"I think you're a friend of Miss Cardew's, aren't you?"

"I know Miss Cardew," said Willy Cameron, guardedly.  And they were
both rather silent for a time.

That night proved to be a significant one for them both, as it
happened.  They struck up a curious sort of friendship, based on a
humble admiration on Pink's part, and with Willy Cameron on sheer
hunger for the society of his kind.  He had been suffering a real
mental starvation.  He had been constantly giving out and getting
nothing in return.

Pink developed a habit of dropping into the pharmacy when he happened
to be nearby.  He was rather wistfully envious of that year in the
camp, when Lily Cardew and Cameron had been together, and at first
it was the bond of Lily that sent him to the shop.  In the beginning
the shop irritated him, because it seemed an incongruous background
for the fiery young orator.  But later on he joined the small open
forum in the back room, and perhaps for the first time in his idle
years he began to think.  He had made the sacrifice of his luxurious
young life to go to war, had slept in mud and risked his body and
been hungry and cold and often frightfully homesick.  And now it
appeared that a lot of madmen were going to try to undo all that he
had helped to do.  He was surprised and highly indignant.  Even a
handful of agitators, it seemed, could do incredible harm.

One night he and Willy Cameron slipped into a meeting of a Russian
Society, wearing old clothes, which with Willy was not difficult,
and shuffling up dirty stairs without molestation.  They came away
thoughtful.

"Looks like it's more than talk," Pink said, after a time.

"They're not dangerous," Willy Cameron said.  "That's talk.  But it
shows a state of mind.  The real incendiaries don't show their hand
like that."

"You think it's real, then?"

"Some boils don't come to a head.  But most do."

It was after a mob of foreigners had tried to capture the town of
Donesson, near Pittsburgh, and had been turned back by a hastily
armed body of its citizens, doctors, lawyers and shop-keepers, that
a nebulous plan began to form in Willy Cameron's active mind.

If one could unite the plain people politically, or against a foreign
war, why could they not be united against an enemy at home?  The
South had had a similar problem, and the result was the Ku Klux Klan.

The Chief of Police was convinced that a plan was being formulated
to repeat the Seattle experiment against the city.  The Mayor was
dubious.  He was not a strong man; he had a conviction that because
a thing never had happened it never could happen.

"The mob has done it before," urged the Chief of Police one day.
"They took Paris, and it was damned disagreeable."

The Mayor was a trifle weak in history.

"Maybe they did," he agreed.  "But this is different.  This is
America."

He was rather uneasy after that.  It had occurred to him that the
Chief might have referred to Paris, Illinois.

Now and then Pink coaxed Willy Cameron to his club, and for those
rare occasions he provided always a little group of men like
themselves, young, eager, loyal, and struggling with the new
problems of the day.  In this environment Willy Cameron received
as well as gave.

Most of the men had been in the army, and he found in them an eager
anxiety to face the coming situation and combat it.  In the end the
nucleus of the new Vigilance Committee was formed there.

Not immediately.  The idea was of slow growth even with its
originator, and it only reached the point of speech when Mr.
Hendricks stopped in one day at the pharmacy and brought a bundle
which he slapped down on the prescription desk.

"Read that dynamite," he said, his face flushed and lowering.  "A
man I know got it translated for me.  Read it and then tell me
whether I'm an alarmist and a plain fool, or if it means trouble
around here."

There was no question in Willy Cameron's mind as to which it meant.

Louis Akers had by that time announced his candidacy for Mayor, and
organized labor was behind him to an alarming extent.  When Willy
Cameron went with Pink to the club that afternoon, he found Akers
under discussion, and he heard some facts about that gentleman's
private life which left him silent and morose.  Pink knew nothing
of Lily's friendship with Akers.  Indeed, Pink did not know that
Lily was in the city, and Willy Cameron had not undeceived him.  It
had pleased Anthony Cardew to announce in the press that Lily was
making a round of visits, and the secret was not his to divulge.
But the question which was always in his mind rose again.  What did
she see in the man?  How could she have thrown away her home and her
family for a fellow who was so obviously what Pink would have called
"a wrong one"?

He roused, however, at a question.

"He may," he said; "with three candidates we're splitting the vote
three ways, and it's hard to predict.  Mr. Cardew can't be elected,
but he weakens Hendricks.  One thing's sure.  Where's my pipe?"
Silence while Mr. Cameron searched for his pipe, and took his own
time to divulge the sure thing.  "If Hendricks is elected he'll
clear out the entire bunch of anarchists.  The present man's afraid.
But if Akers can hypnotize labor into voting for him, and he gets
it, it will be up to the city to protect itself, for he won't.
He'll let them hold their infamous meetings and spread their damnable
doctrine, and--you know what they've tried to do in other places."
He explained what he had in mind then, finding them expectant and
eager.  There ought to be some sort of citizen organization, to
supplement the state and city forces.  Nothing spectacular; indeed,
the least said about it the better.  He harked back then to his idea
of the plain people, with homes to protect.

"That needn't keep you fellows out," he said, with his whimsical
smile.  "But the rank and file will have to constitute the big end.
We don't want a lot of busybodies, pussy-footing around with guns
and looking for trouble.  We had enough of that during the war.  We
would want some men who would answer a riot call if they were needed.
That's all."

He had some of the translations Hendricks had brought him in his
pocket, and they circulated around the group.

"Do you think they mean to attack the city?"

"That looks like it, doesn't it?  And they are getting that sort of
stuff all the time.  There are a hundred thousand of them in this
end of the state."

"Would you make it a secret organization?"

"Yes.  I like doing things in the open myself, but you've got to
fight a rat in his hole, if he won't come out."

"Would you hold office?" Pink asked.

Willy Cameron smiled.

"I'm a good bit like the boy who dug post holes in the daytime and
took in washing at night to support the family.  But I'll work, if
that's what you mean."

"We'd better have a constitution and all that, don't you think?"
Pink asked.  "We can draw up a tentative one, and then fix it up at
the first meeting.  This is going to be a big thing.  It'll go
like a fire."

But Willy Cameron overruled that.

"We don't need that sort of stuff," he said, "and if we begin that
we might as well put it in the newspapers.  We want men who can
keep their mouths shut, and who will sign some sort of a card
agreeing to stand by the government and to preserve law and order.
Then an office and a filing case, and their addresses, so we can
get at them in a hurry if we need them.  Get me a piece of paper,
somebody."

Then and there, in twenty words, Willy Cameron wrote the now
historic oath of the new Vigilance Committee, on the back of an old
envelope.  It was a promise, an agreement rather than an oath.
There was a little hush as the paper passed from hand to hand.  Not
a man there but felt a certain solemnity in the occasion.  To
preserve the Union and the flag, to fight all sedition, to love
their country and support it; the very simplicity of the words was
impressive.  And the mere putting of it into visible form
crystallized their hitherto vague anxieties, pointed to a real
enemy and a real danger.  Yet, as Willy Cameron pointed out, they
might never be needed.

"Our job," he said, "is only as a last resort.  Only for real
trouble.  Until the state troops can get here, for instance, and
if the constabulary is greatly outnumbered.  It's their work up
to a certain point.  We'll fight if they need us.  That's all."

It was very surprising to him to find the enterprise financed
immediately.  Pink offered an office in the bank building.  Some
one agreed to pay a clerk who should belong to the committee.  It
was practical, businesslike, and--done.  And, although he had
protested, he found himself made the head of the organization.

"--without title and without pay," he stipulated.  "If you wish
a title on me, I'll resign."

He went home that night very exalted and very humble.


CHAPTER XXI


For a time Lily remained hidden in the house on Cardew Way, walking
out after nightfall with Louis occasionally, but shrinkingly keeping
to quiet back streets.  She had a horror of meeting some one she
knew, of explanations and of gossip.  But after a time the desire
to see her mother became overwhelming.  She took to making little
flying visits home at an hour when her grandfather was certain to
be away, going in a taxicab, and reaching the house somewhat
breathless and excited.  She was driven by an impulse toward the
old familiar things; she was homesick for them all, for her mother,
for Mademoiselle, for her own rooms, for her little toilet table,
for her bed and her reading lamp.  For the old house itself.

She was still an alien where she was.  Elinor Doyle was a perpetual
enigma to her; now and then she thought she had penetrated behind
the gentle mask that was Elinor's face, only to find beyond it
something inscrutable.  There was a dead line in Elinor's life
across which Lily never stepped.  Whatever Elinor's battles were,
she fought them alone, and Lily had begun to realize that there
were battles.

The atmosphere of the little house had changed.  Sometimes, after
she had gone to bed, she heard Doyle's voice from the room across
the hall, raised angrily.  He was nervous and impatient; at times
he dropped the unctuousness of his manner toward her, and she found
herself looking into a pair of cold blue eyes which terrified her.

The brilliant little dinners had entirely ceased, with her coming.
A sort of early summer lethargy had apparently settled on the house.
Doyle wrote for hours, shut in the room with the desk; the group of
intellectuals, as he had dubbed them, had dispersed on summer
vacations.  But she discovered that there were other conferences
being held in the house, generally late at night.

She learned to know the nights when those meetings were to occur.
On those evenings Elinor always made an early move toward bed, and
Lily would repair to her hot low-ceiled room, to sit in the
darkness by the window and think long, painful thoughts.

That was how she learned of the conferences.  She had no curiosity
about them at first.  They had something to do with the strike, she
considered, and with that her interest died.  Strikes were a symptom,
and ultimately, through great thinkers like Mr. Doyle, they would
discover the cure for the disease that caused them.  She was quite
content to wait for that time.

Then, one night, she went downstairs for a glass of ice water, and
found the lower floor dark, and subdued voices coming from the study.
The kitchen door was standing open, and she closed and locked it,
placing the key, as was Elinor's custom, in a table drawer.  The
door was partly glass, and Elinor had a fear of the glass being
broken and thus the key turned in the lock by some intruder.

On toward morning there came a violent hammering at her bedroom
door, and Doyle's voice outside, a savage voice that she scarcely
recognized.  When she had thrown on her dressing gown and opened
the door he had instantly caught her by the shoulder, and she bore
the imprints of his fingers for days.

"Did you lock the kitchen door?" he demanded, his tones thick with
fury.

"Yes.  Why not?"  She tried to shake off his hand, but failed.

"None of your business why not," he said, and gave her an angry
shake.  "Hereafter, when you find that door open, you leave it that
way.  That's all."

"Take your hands off me!"  She was rather like her grandfather at
that moment, and his lost caution came back.  He freed her at once
 and laughed a little.

"Sorry!" he said.  "I get a bit emphatic at times.  But there are
times when a locked door becomes a mighty serious matter."

The next day he removed the key from the door, and substituted a
bolt.  Elinor made no protest.

Another night Elinor was taken ill, and Lilly had been forced to
knock at the study door and call Doyle.  She had an instant's
impression of the room crowded with strange figures.  The heavy
odors of sweating bodies, of tobacco, and of stale beer came through
the half-open door and revolted her.  And Doyle had refused to go
upstairs.

She began to feel that she could not remain there very long.  The
atmosphere was variable.  It was either cynical or sinister, and
she hated them both.  She had a curious feeling, too, that Doyle
both wanted her there and did not want her, and that he was changing
his attitude toward her Aunt Elinor.  Sometimes she saw him watching
Elinor from under half-closed eyelids.

But she could not fill her days with anxieties and suspicions, and
she turned to Louis Akers as a flower to the open day.  He at least
was what he appeared to be.  There was nothing mysterious about him.

He came in daily, big, dominant and demonstrative, filling the house
with his presence, and demanding her in a loud, urgent voice.  Hardly
had the door slammed before he would call:

"Lily!  Where are you?"

Sometimes he lifted her off her feet and held her to him.

"You little whiffet!" he would say.  "I could crush you to death in
my arms."

Had his wooing all been violent she might have tired sooner, because
those phases of his passion for her tired her.  But there were times
when he put her into a chair and sat on the floor at her feet, his
handsome face uplifted to hers in a sort of humble adoration, his
arms across her knees.  It was not altogether studied.  He was a
born wooer, but he had his hours of humility, of vague aspirations.
His insistent body was always greater than his soul, but now and
then, when he was physically weary, he had a spiritual moment.

"I love you, little girl," he would say.

It was in one of those moments that she extracted a promise from
him.  He had been, from his position on the floor, telling her
about the campaign.

"I don't like your running against my father, Louis."

"He couldn't have got it, anyhow.  And he doesn't want it.  I do,
honey.  I need it in my business.  When the election's over you're
going to marry me."

She ignored that.

"I don't like the men who come here, Louis.  I wish they were not
friends of yours."

"Friends of mine!  That bunch?"

"You are always with them."

"I draw a salary for being with them, honey."

"But what do you draw a salary for?"  He was immediately on the
alert, but her eyes were candid and unsuspicious.  "They are
strikers, aren't they?"

"Yes."

"Is it legal business?"

"Partly that."

"Louis, is there going to be a general strike?"

"There may be some bad times coming, honey."  He bent his head and
kissed her hands, lying motionless in her lap.  "I wish you would
marry me soon.  I want you.  I want to keep you safe."

She drew her hands away.

"Safe from what, Louis?"

He sat back and looked up into her face.

"You must remember, dear, that for all your theories, which are
very sweet, this is a man's world, and men have rather brutal
methods of settling their differences."

"And you advocate brutality?"

"Well, the war was brutal, wasn't it?  And you were in a white heat
supporting it, weren't you?  How about another war,"--he chose his
words carefully--"just as reasonable and just?  You've heard Doyle.
You know what I mean."

"Not now!"

He was amazed at her horror, a horror that made her recoil from him
and push his hands away when he tried to touch her.  He got up
angrily and stood looking down at her, his hands in his pockets.

"What the devil did you think all this talk meant?" he demanded.
"You've heard enough of it."

"Does Aunt Elinor know?"

"Of course."

"And she approves?"

"I don't know and I don't care."  Suddenly, with one of the quick
changes she knew so well, he caught her hands and drawing her to her
feet, put his arms around her.  "All I know is that I love you, and
if you say the word I'll cut the whole business."

"You would?"

He amended his offer somewhat.

"Marry me, honey," he begged.  "Marry me now.  Do you think I'll
let anything in God's world come between us?  Marry me, and I'll do
more than leave them."  He was whispering to her, stroking her hair.
"I'll cut the whole outfit.  And on the day I go into your house as
your husband I'll tell your people some things they want to know.
That's a promise."

"What will they do to you?"

"Your people?"

"The others."

He drew himself to his full height, and laughed.

"They'll try to do plenty, old girl," he said, "but I'm not afraid of
them, and they know it.  Marry me, Lily," he urged.  "Marry me now.
And we'll beat them out, you and I."

He gave her a sense of power, over him and over evil.  She felt
suddenly an enormous responsibility, that of a human soul waiting to
be uplifted and led aright.

"You can save me, honey," he whispered, and kneeling suddenly, he
kissed the toe of her small shoe.

He was strong.  But he was weak too.  He needed her.  "I'll do it,
Louis," she said.  "You--you will be good to me, won't you?"

"I'm crazy about you."

The mood of exaltation upheld her through the night, and into the
next day.  Elinor eyed her curiously, and with some anxiety.  It
was a long time since she had been a girl, going about star-eyed
with power over a man, but she remembered that lost time well.

At noon Louis came in for a hasty luncheon, and before he left he
drew Lily into the little study and slipped a solitaire diamond on
her engagement finger.  To Lily the moment was almost a holy one,
but he seemed more interested in the quality of the stone and its
appearance on her hand than in its symbolism.

"Got you cinched now, honey.  Do you like it?"

"It makes me feel that I don't belong to myself any longer."

"Well, you've passed into good hands," he said, and laughed his
great, vibrant laugh.  "Costing me money already, you mite!"

A little of her exaltation died then.  But perhaps men were like
that, shyly covering the things they felt deepest.

She was rather surprised when he suggested keeping the engagement
a secret.

"Except the Doyles, of course," he said.  "I am not taking any
chances on losing you, child."

"Not mother?"

"Not unless you want to be kidnaped and taken home.  It's only a
matter of a day or two, anyhow."

"I want more time than that.  A month, anyhow."

And he found her curiously obstinate and determined.  She did not
quite know herself why she demanded delay, except that she shrank
from delivering herself into hands that were so tender and might
be so cruel.  It was instinctive, purely.

"A month," she said, and stuck to it.

He was rather sulky when he went away, and he had told her the exact
amount he had paid for her ring.

Having forced him to agree to the delay, she found her mood of
exaltation returning.  As always, it was when he was not with he
 that she saw him most clearly, and she saw his real need for her.
She had a sense of peace, too, now that at last something was
decided.  Her future, for better or worse, would no longer be that
helpless waiting which had been hers for so long.  And out of her
happiness came a desire to do kind things, to pat children on the
head, to give alms to beggars, and--to see Willy Cameron.

She came downstairs that afternoon, dressed for the street.

"I am going out for a little while, Aunt Nellie," she said, "and
when I come back I want to tell you something."

"Perhaps.  I can guess."

"Perhaps you can."

She was singing to herself as she went out the door.

Elinor went back heavy-hearted to her knitting.  It was very
difficult always to sit by and wait.  Never to raise a hand.  Just
to wait and watch.  And pray.

Lily was rather surprised, when she reached the Eagle Pharmacy, to
find Pink Denslow coming out.  It gave her a little pang, too; he
looked so clean and sane and normal, so much a part of her old life.
And it hurt her, too, to see him flush with pleasure at the meeting.

"Why, Lily!" he said, and stood there, gazing at her, hat in hand,
the sun on his gleaming, carefully brushed hair.  He was quite
inarticulate with happiness.  "I--when did you get back?"

"I have not been away, Pink.  I left home--it's a long story.  I
am staying with my aunt, Mrs. Doyle."

"Mrs. Doyle?  You are staying there?"

"Why not?  My father's sister."

His young face took on a certain sternness.

"If you knew what I suspect about Doyle, Lily, you wouldn't let the
same roof cover you."  But he added, rather wistfully, "I wish I
might see you sometimes."

Lily's head had gone up a trifle.  Why did her old world always try
to put her in the wrong?  She had had to seek sanctuary, and the
Doyle house had been the only sanctuary she knew.

"Since you feel as you do, I'm afraid that's impossible.  Mr.
Doyle's roof is the only roof I have."

"You have a home," he said, sturdily.

"Not now.  I left, and my grandfather won't have me back.  You
mustn't blame him, Pink.  We quarreled and I left.  I was as much
responsible as he was."

For a moment after she turned and disappeared inside the pharmacy
door he stood there, then he put on his hat and strode down the
street, unhappy and perplexed.  If only she had needed him, if she
had not looked so self-possessed and so ever so faintly defiant,
as though she dared him to pity her, he would have known what to
do.  All he needed was to be needed.  His open face was full of
trouble.  It was unthinkable that Lily should be in that center of
anarchy; more unthinkable that Doyle might have filled her up with
all sorts of wild ideas.  Women were queer; they liked theories.  A
man could have a theory of life and play with it and boast about
it, but never dream of living up to it.  But give one to a woman,
and she chewed on it like a dog on a bone.  If those Bolshevists
had got hold of Lily--!

The encounter had hurt Lily, too.  The fine edge of her exaltation
was gone, and it did not return during her brief talk with Willy
Cameron.  He looked much older and very thin; there were lines
around his eyes she had never seen before, and she hated seeing
him in his present surroundings.  But she liked him for his very
unconsciousness of those surroundings.  One always had to take
Willy Cameron as he was.

"Do you like it, Willy?" she asked.  It had dawned on her, with a
sort of panic, that there was really very little to talk about.  All
that they had had in common lay far in the past.

"Well, it's my daily bread, and with bread costing what it does, I
cling to it like a limpet to a rock."

"But I thought you were studying, so you could do something else."

"I had to give up the night school.  But I'll get back to it
sometime."

She was lost again.  She glanced around the little shop, where once
Edith Boyd had manicured her nails behind the counter, and where
now a middle-aged woman stood with listless eyes looking out over
the street.

"You still have Jinx, I suppose?"

"Yes.  I--"

Lily glanced up as he stopped.  She had drawn off her gloves, and
his eyes had fallen on her engagement ring.  To Lily there had
always been a feeling of unreality about his declaration of love
for her.  He had been so restrained, so careful to ask nothing in
exchange, so without expectation of return, that she had put it out
of her mind as an impulse.  She had not dreamed that he could still
care, after these months of silence.  But he had gone quite white.

"I am going to be married, Willy," she said, in a low tone.  It is
doubtful if he could have spoken, just then.  And as if to add a
finishing touch of burlesque to the meeting, a small boy with a
swollen jaw came in just then and demanded something to "make it
stop hurting."

He welcomed the interruption, she saw.  He was very professional
instantly, and so absorbed for a moment in relieving the child's
pain that he could ignore his own.

"Let's see it," he said in a businesslike, slightly strained voice.
"Better have it out, old chap.  But I'll give you something just
to ease it up a bit."

Which he proceeded to do.  When he came back to Lily he was quite
calm and self-possessed.  As he had never thought of dramatizing
himself, nor thought of himself at all, it did not occur to him
that drama requires setting, that tragedy required black velvet
rather than tooth-brushes, and that a small boy with an aching
tooth was a comedy relief badly introduced.

All he knew was that he had somehow achieved a moment in which to
steady himself, and to find that a man can suffer horribly and
still smile.  He did that, very gravely, when he came back to Lily.

"Can you tell me about it?"

"There is not very much to tell.  It is Louis Akers."

The middle-aged clerk had disappeared.

"Of course you have thought over what that means, Lily."

"He wants me to marry him.  He wants it very much, Willy.  And--I
know you don't like him, but he has changed.  Women always think
they have changed men, I know.  But he is very different."

"I am sure of that," he said, steadily.

There was something childish about her, he thought.  Childish and
infinitely touching.  He remembered a night at the camp, when some
of the troops had departed for over-seas, and he had found her alone
and crying in her hut.  "I just can't let them go," she had sobbed.
"I just can't.  Some of them will never come back."

Wasn't there something of that spirit in her now, the feeling that
she could not let Akers go, lest worse befall him?  He did not know.
All he knew was that she was more like the Lily Cardew he had known
then than she had been since her return.  And that he worshiped her.

But there was anger in him, too.  Anger at Anthony Cardew.  Anger at
the Doyles.  And a smoldering, bitter anger at Louis Akers, that he
should take the dregs of his life and offer them to her as new wine.
That he should dare to link his scheming, plotting days to this girl,
so wise and yet so ignorant, so clear-eyed and yet so blind.

"Do they know at home?"

"I am going to tell mother to-day."

"Lily," he said, slowly, "there is one thing you ought to do.  Go
home, make your peace there, and get all this on the right footing.
Then have him there.  You have never seen him in that environment,
yet that is the world he will have to live in, if you marry him.
See how he fits there."

"What has that got to do with it?"

"Think a minute.  Am I quite the same to you here, as I was in the
camp?"

He saw her honest answer in her eyes.



CHAPTER XXII


The new movement was growing rapidly, and with a surprising
catholicity of range.  Already it included lawyers and doctors,
chauffeurs, butchers, clergymen, clerks of all sorts, truck
gardeners from the surrounding county, railroad employees, and
some of the strikers from the mills, men who had obeyed their
union order to quit work, but had obeyed it unwillingly; men who
resented bitterly the invasion of the ranks of labor by the lawless
element which was fomenting trouble.

Dan had joined.

On the day that Lily received her engagement ring from Louis Akers,
one of the cards of the new Vigilance Committee was being inspected
with cynical amusement by two clerks in a certain suite of offices
in the Searing Building.  They studied it with interest, while the
man who had brought it stood by.

"Where'd you pick it up, Cusick?"

"One of our men brought it into the store.  Said you might want to
see it."

The three men bent over it.

The Myers Housecleaning Company had a suite of three rooms.  During
the day two stenographers, both men, sat before machines and made a
pretense of business at such times as the door opened, or when an
occasional client, seeing the name, came in to inquire for rates.
At such times the clerks were politely regretful.  The firm's
contracts were all they could handle for months ahead.

There was a constant ebb and flow of men in the office, presumably
professional cleaners.  They came and went, or sat along the walls,
waiting.  A large percentage were foreigners but the clerks proved
to be accomplished linguists.  They talked, with more or less
fluency, with Croats, Serbs, Poles and Slavs.

There was a supply room off the office, a room filled with pails
and brushes, soap and ladders.  But there was a great safe also,
and its compartments were filled with pamphlets in many tongues,
a supply constantly depleted and yet never diminishing.  Workmen,
carrying out the pails of honest labor, carried them loaded down
with the literature it was their only business to circulate.

Thus, openly, and yet with infinite caution, was spread the doctrine
of no God; of no government, and of no church; of the confiscation
of private property; of strikes and unrest; of revolution, rape,
arson and pillage.

And around this social cancer the city worked and played.  Its
theatres were crowded, its expensive shops, its hotels.  Two classes
of people were spending money prodigally; women with shawls over
their heads, women who in all their peasant lives had never owned a
hat, drove in automobiles to order their winter supply of coal, and
vast amounts of liquors were being bought by the foreign element
against the approaching prohibition law, and stored in untidy
cellars.

On the other hand, the social life of the city was gay with reaction
from war.  The newspapers were filled with the summer plans of the
wealthy, and with predictions of lavish entertaining in the fall.
Among the list of debutantes Lily's name always appeared.

And, in between the upper and the nether millstone, were being
ground the professional and salaried men with families, the women
clerks, the vast army who asked nothing but the right to work and
live.  They went through their days doggedly, with little anxious
lines around their eyes, suffering a thousand small deprivations,
bewildered, tortured with apprehension of to-morrow, and yet
patiently believing that, as things could not be worse, they must
soon commence to improve.

"It's bound to clear up soon," said Joe Wilkinson over the back
fence one night late in June, to Willy Cameron.  Joe supported a
large family of younger brothers and sisters in the house next
door, and was employed in a department store.  "I figure it this
way--both sides need each other, don't they?  Something like
marriage, you know.  It'll all be over in six months.  Only I'm
thanking heaven just now it's summer, because our kids are hell
on shoes."

"I hope so," said Willy Cameron.  "What are you doing over there,
anyhow?"

"Wait and see," said Joe, cryptically.  "If you think you're going
to be the only Central Park in this vicinity you've got to think
again."  He hesitated and glanced around, but the small Wilkinsons
were searching for worms in the overturned garden mold.  "How's
Edith?" he asked.

"She's all right, Joe."

"Seeing anybody yet?"

"Not yet.  In a day or so she'll be downstairs."

"You might tell her I've been asking about her."

There was something in Joel's voice that caught Willy Cameron's
attention.  He thought about Joe a great deal that night.  Joe was
another one who must never know about Edith's trouble.  The boy
had little enough, and if he had built a dream about Edith Boyd he
must keep his dream.  He was rather discouraged that night, was
Willy Cameron, and he began to think that dreams were the best
things in life.  They were a sort of sanctuary to which one fled
to escape realities.  Perhaps no reality was ever as beautiful as
one's dream of it.

Lily had passed very definitely out of his life.  Sometimes during
his rare leisure he walked to Cardew Way through the warm night,
and past the Doyle house, but he never saw her, and because it did
not occur to him that she might want to see him he never made an
attempt to call.  Always after those futile excursions he was
inclined to long silences, and only Jinx could have told how many
hours he sat in his room at night, in the second-hand easy chair he
had bought, pipe in hand and eyes on nothing in particular, lost in
a dream world where the fields bore a strong resemblance to the
parade ground of an army camp, and through which field he and Lily
wandered like children, hand in hand.

But he had many things to think of.  So grave were the immediate
problems, of food and rent, of Mrs. Boyd and Edith, that a little
of his fine frenzy as to the lurking danger of revolution departed
from him.  The meetings in the back room at the pharmacy took on
a political bearing, and Hendricks was generally the central figure.
The ward felt that Mr. Hendricks was already elected, and called
him "Mr. Mayor."  At the same time the steel strike pursued a course
of comparative calm.  At Friendship and at Baxter there had been
rioting, and a fatality or two, but the state constabulary had the
situation well in hand.  On a Sunday morning Willy Cameron went out
to Baxter on the trolley, and came home greatly comforted.  The
cool-eyed efficiency of the state police reassured him.  He compared
them, disciplined, steady, calm with the calmness of their dangerous
calling, with the rabble of foreigners who shuffled along the
sidewalks, and he felt that his anxiety had been rather absurd.

He was still making speeches, and now and then his name was mentioned
in the newspapers.  Mrs. Boyd, now mostly confined to her room, spent
much time in searching for these notices, and then in painfully
cutting them out and pasting them in a book.  On those days when
there was nothing about him she felt thwarted, and was liable to
sharp remarks on newspapers in general, and on those of the city in
particular.

Then, just as he began to feel that the strike would pass off like
other strikes, and that Doyle and his crowd, having plowed the field
for sedition, would find it planted with healthier grain, he had a
talk with Edith.

She came downstairs for the first time one Wednesday evening early
in July, the scars on her face now only faint red blotches, and
he placed her, a blanket over her knees, in the small parlor.  Dan
had brought her down and had made a real effort to be kind, but his
suspicion of the situation made it difficult for him to dissemble,
and soon he went out.  Ellen was on the doorstep, and through the
open window came the shrieks of numerous little Wilkinsons wearing
out expensive shoe-leather on the brick pavement.

They sat in the dusk together, Edith very quiet, Willy Cameron
talking with a sort of determined optimism.  After a time he
realized that she was not even listening.

"I wish you'd close the window," she said at last.  "Those crazy
Wilkinson kids make such a racket.  I want to tell you something."

"All right."  He closed the window and stood looking down at her.
"Are you sure you want me to hear it?" he asked gravely.

"Yes.  It is not about myself.  I've been reading the newspapers
while I've been shut away up there, Willy.  It kept me from
thinking.  And if things are as bad as they say I'd better tell
you, even if I get into trouble doing it.  I will, probably.
Murder's nothing to them."

"Who are 'them'?"

"You get the police to search the Myers Housecleaning Company, in
the Searing Building."

"Don't you think you'd better tell me more than that?  The police
will want something definite to go on."

She hesitated.

"I don't know very much.  I met somebody there, once or twice, at
night.  And I know there's a telephone hidden in the drawer of
the desk in the back room.  I swore not to tell, but that doesn't
matter now.  Tell them to examine the safe, too.  I don't know
what's in it.  Dynamite, maybe."

"What makes you think the company is wrong?  A hidden telephone
isn't much to go on."

"When a fellow's had a drink or two, he's likely to talk," she said
briefly, and before that sordid picture Willy Cameron was silent.
After a time he said:

"You won't tell me the name of the man you met there?"

"No.  Don't ask me, Willy.  That's between him and me."  He got up
and took a restless turn or two about the little rooms.  Edith's
problem had begun to obsess him.  Not for long would it be possible
to keep her condition from Mrs. Boyd.  He was desperately at a loss
for some course to pursue.

"Have you ever thought," he said at last, "that this man, whoever
he is, ought to marry you?"

Edith's face set like a flint.

"I don't want to marry him," she said.  "I wouldn't marry him if he
was the last man on earth."

He knew very little of Edith's past.  In his own mind he had fixed
on Louis Akers, but he could not be sure.

"I won't tell you his name, either," Edith added, shrewishly.  Then
her voice softened.  "I will tell you this, Willy," she said
wistfully.  "I was a good girl until I knew him.  I'm not saying
that to let myself out.  It's the truth."

"You're a good girl now," he said gravely.

Some time after he got his hat and came in to tell her he was
going out.

"I'll tell what you've told me to Mr. Hendricks," he said.  "And
we may go on and have a talk with the Chief of Police.  If you are
right it may be important."

After that for an hour or two Edith sat alone, save when Ellen now
and then looked in to see if she was comfortable.

Edith's mind was chaotic.  She had spoken on impulse, a good impulse
at that.  But suppose they trapped Louis Akers in the Searing
Building?

Ellen went now and then to the Cardew house, and brought back with
her the news of the family.  At first she had sternly refused to
talk about the Cardews to Edith, but the days in the sick room had
been long and monotonous, and Edith's jealousy of Lily had taken
the form, when she could talk, of incessant questions.

So Edith knew that Louis Akers had been the cause of Lily's leaving
home, and called her a poor thing in her heart.  Quite lately she
had heard that if Lily was not already engaged she probably would
be, soon.  Now her motives were mixed, and her emotions confused.
She had wanted to tell Willy Cameron what she knew, but she wanted
Lily to marry Louis Akers.  She wanted that terribly.  Then Lily
would be out of the way, and--Willy was not like Dan; he did not
seem to think her forever lost.  He had always been thoughtful, but
lately he had been very tender with her.  Men did strange things
sometimes.  He might be willing to forget, after a long time.  She
could board the child out somewhere, if it lived.  Sometimes they
didn't live.

But if they arrested Louis, Lily Cardew would fling him aside like
an old shoe.

She closed her eyes.  That opened a vista of possibilities she
would not face.

She stopped in her mother's room on her slow progress upstairs,
moved to sudden pity for the frail life now wearing to its close.
If that were life she did not want it, with its drab days and
futile effort, its incessant deprivations, its hands, gnarled with
work that got nowhere, its greatest blessing sleep and forgetfulness.

She wondered why her mother did not want to die, to get away.

"I'll soon be able to look after you a bit, mother," she said from
the doorway.  "How's the pain down your arm?"

"Bring me the mucilage, Edie," requested Mrs. Boyd.  She was propped
up in bed and surrounded by newspapers.  "I've found Willy's name
again.  I've got fourteen now.  Where's the scissors?"

Eternity was such a long time.  Did she know?  Could she know, and
still sit among her pillows, snipping?

"I wonder," said Mrs. Boyd, "did anybody feed Jinx?  That Ellen is
so saving that she grudges him a bone."

"He looks all right," said Edith, and went on up to bed.  Maybe the
Lord did that for people, when they reached a certain point.  Maybe
He took away the fear of death, by showing after years of it that
life was not so valuable after all.  She remembered her own facing
of eternity, and her dread of what lay beyond.  She had prayed first,
because she wanted to have some place on the other side.  She had
prayed to be received young and whole and without child.  And her
mother--

Then she had a flash of intuition.  There was something greater
than life, and that was love.  Her mother was upheld by love.  That
was what the eternal cutting and pasting meant.  She was lavishing
all the love of her starved days on Willy Cameron; she was facing
death, because his hand was close by to hold to.

For just a moment, sitting on the edge of her bed, Edith Boyd saw
what love might be, and might do.  She held out both hands in the
darkness, but no strong and friendly clasp caught them close.  If
she could only have him to cling to, to steady her wavering feet
along the gray path that stretched ahead, years and years of it.
Youth.  Middle age.  Old age.

"I'd only drag him down," she muttered bitterly.

Willy Cameron, meanwhile, had gone to Mr. Hendricks with Edith's
story, and together late that evening they saw the Chief of Police
at his house.  Both Willy Cameron and Mr. Hendricks advocated
putting a watch on the offices of the Myers Housecleaning Company
and thus ultimately getting the heads of the organization.  But
the Chief was unwilling to delay.

"Every day means more of their infernal propaganda," he said, "and
if this girl's telling a straight story, the thing to do is to get
the outfit now.  Those clerks, for instance--we'll get some
information out of them.  That sort always squeals.  They're a
cheap lot."

"Going to ball it up, of course," Mr. Hendricks said disgustedly,
on the way home.  "Won't wait, because if Akers gets in he's out,
and he wants to make a big strike first.  I'll drop in to-morrow
evening and tell you what's happened."

He came into the pharmacy the next evening, with a bundle of
red-bound pamphlets under his arm, and a look of disgust on his
face.

"What did I tell you, Cameron?" he demanded, breathing heavily.
"Yes, they got them all right.  Got a safe full of stuff so
inflammable that, since I've read some of it, I'm ready to blow up
myself.  It's worse than that first lot I showed you.  They got
the two clerks, and a half-dozen foreigners, too.  And that's all
they got."

"They won't talk?"

"Talk?  Sure they'll talk.  They say they're employed by the Myers
Housecleaning Company, that they never saw the inside of the vault,
and they're squealing louder than two pigs under a gate about false
arrest.  They'll have to let them go, son.  Here.  You can do most
everything.  Can you read Croatian?  No?  Well, here's something
in English to cut your wisdom teeth on.  Overthrowing the government
is where these fellows start."

It was intelligent, that propaganda.  Willy Cameron thought he saw
behind it Jim Doyle and other men like Doyle, men who knew the
discontents of the world, and would fatten by them; men who,
secretly envious of the upper classes and unable to attain to them,
would pull all men to their own level, or lower.  Men who cloaked
their own jealousies with the garb of idealism.  Intelligent it was,
dangerous, and imminent.

The pamphlets spoke of "the day."  It was a Prussian phrase.  The
revolution was Prussian.  And like the Germans, they offered loot
as a reward.  They appealed to the ugliest passions in the world,
to lust and greed and idleness.

At a signal the mass was to arise, overthrow its masters and rule
itself.

Mr. Hendricks stood in the doorway of the pharmacy and stared out
at the city he loved.

"Just how far does that sort of stuff go, Cameron?" he asked.
"Will our people take it up?  Is the American nation going crazy?"

"Not a bit of it," said Willy Cameron stoutly. "They're about as
able to overthrow the government as you are to shove over the Saint
Elmo Hotel."

"I could do that, with a bomb."

"No, you couldn't.  But you could make a fairly sizeable hole in
it.  It's the hole we don't want."

Mr. Hendricks went away, vaguely comforted.



CHAPTER XXIII


To old Anthony the early summer had been full of humiliations, which
he carried with an increased arrogance of bearing that alienated
even his own special group at his club.

"Confound the man," said Judge Peterson, holding forth on the golf
links one Sunday morning while Anthony Cardew, hectic with rage,
searched for a lost ball and refused to drop another.  "He'll hold
us up all morning, for that ball, just as he tries to hold up all
progress."  He lowered his voice.  "What's happened to the
granddaughter, anyhow?"

Senator Lovell lighted a cigarette.

"Turned Bolshevist," he said, briefly.

The Judge gazed at him.

"That's a pretty serious indictment, isn't it?"

"Well, that's what I hear.  She's living in Jim Doyle's house.  I
guess that's the answer.  Hey, Cardew!  D'you want these young cubs
behind us to play through, or are you going to show some sense and
come on?"

Howard, fighting his father tooth and nail, was compelled to a
reluctant admiration of his courage.  But there was no cordiality
between them.  They were in accord again, as to the strike,
although from different angles.  Both of them knew that they were
fighting for very life; both of them felt that the strikers'
demands meant the end of industry, meant that the man who risked
money in a business would eventually cease to control that business,
although if losses came it would be he, and not the workmen, who
bore them.  Howard had gone as far as he could in concessions, and
the result was only the demand for more.  The Cardews, father and
son, stood now together, their backs against a wall, and fought
doggedly.

But only anxiety held them together.

His father was now backing Howard's campaign for the mayoralty,
but he was rather late with his support, and in private he retained
his cynical attitude.  He had not come over at all until he learned
that Louis Akers was an opposition candidate.  At that his wrath
knew no bounds and the next day he presented a large check to the
campaign committee.

Mr. Hendricks, hearing of it, was moved to a dry chuckle.

"Can't you hear him?" he demanded.  "He'd stalk into headquarters
as important as an office boy who's been sent to the bank for money,
and he'd slam down his check and say just two words."

"Which would be?" inquired Willy Cameron.

"'Buy 'em'," quoted Mr. Hendricks.  "The old boy doesn't know that
things have changed since the 80's.  This city has changed, my lad.
It's voting now the way it thinks, right or wrong.  That's why these
foreign language papers can play the devil with us.  The only
knowledge the poor wretches have got of us is what they're given to
read.  And most of it stinks of sedition.  Queer thing, this
thinking.  A fellow can think himself into murder."

The strike was going along quietly enough.  There had been rioting
through the country, but not of any great significance.  It was in
reality a sort of trench warfare, with each side dug in and waiting
for the other to show himself in the open.  The representatives of
the press, gathered in the various steel cities, with automobiles
arranged for to take them quickly to any disturbance that might
develop, found themselves with little news for the telegraph, and
time hung heavy on their hands.

On an evening in July, Howard found Grace dressing for dinner, and
realized with a shock that she was looking thin and much older.  He
kissed her and then held her off and looked at her.

"You've got to keep your courage up, dear," he said.  "I don't think
it will be long now."

"Have you seen her?"

"No.  But something has happened.  Don't look like that, Grace.  It's
not--"

"She hasn't married that man?"

"No.  Not that.  It only touches her indirectly.  But she can't stay
there.  Even Elinor--" he checked himself.  "I'll tell you after
dinner."

Dinner was very silent, although Anthony delivered himself of one
speech rather at length.

"So far as I can make out, Howard," he said, "this man Hendricks is
getting pretty strong.  He has a young fellow talking for him who
gets over pretty well.  It's my judgment that Hendricks had better
be bought off.  He goes around shouting that he's a plain man,
after the support of the plain people.  Although I'm damned if I
know what he means by that."

Anthony Cardew was no longer comfortable in his own house.  He
placed the blame for it on Lily, and spent as many evenings away
from home as possible.  He considered that life was using him rather
badly.  Tied to the city in summer by a strike, his granddaughter
openly gone over to his enemy, his own son, so long his tool and
his creature, merely staying in his house to handle him, an income
tax law that sent him to his lawyers with new protests almost daily!
A man was no longer master even in his own home.  His employees
would not work for him, his family disobeyed him, his government
held him up and shook him.  In the good old days--

"I'm going out," he said, as he rose from the table.  "Grace, that
chef is worse than the last.  You'd better send him off."

"I can't get any one else.  I have tried for weeks.  There are no
servants anywhere."

"Try New York."

"I have tried--it is useless."

No cooks, either.  No servants.  Even Anthony recognized that, with
the exception of Grayson, the servants in his house were vaguely
hostile to the family.  They gave grudging service, worked short
hours, and, the only class of labor to which the high cost of food
was a negligible matter, demanded wages he considered immoral.

"I don't know what the world's coming to," he snarled.  "Well, I'm
off.  Thank God, there are still clubs for a man to go to."

"I want to have a talk with you, father."

"I don't want to talk."

"You needn't.  I want you to listen, and I want Grace to hear, too."

In the end he went unwillingly into the library, and when Grayson
had brought liqueurs and coffee and had gone, Howard drew the card
from his pocket.

"I met young Denslow to-day," he said.  "He came in to see me.  As
a matter of fact, I signed a card he had brought along, and I brought
one for you, sir.  Shall I read it?"

"You evidently intend to."

Howard read the card slowly.  Its very simplicity was impressive, as
impressive as it had been when Willy Cameron scrawled the words on
the back of an old envelope.  Anthony listened.

"Just what does that mean?"

"That the men behind this movement believe that there is going to
be a general strike, with an endeavor to turn it into a revolution.
Perhaps only local, but these things have a tendency to spread.
Denslow had some literature which referred to an attempt to take
over the city.  They have other information, too, all pointing the
same way."

"Strikers?"

"Foreign strikers, with the worst of the native born.  Their plans
are fairly comprehensive; they mean to dynamite the water works,
shut down the gas and electric plants, and cut off all food supplies.
Then when they have starved and terrorized us into submission, we'll
accept their terms."

"What terms?"

"Well, the rule of the mob, I suppose.  They intend to take over
the banks, for one thing."

"I don't believe it.  It's incredible."

"They meant to do it in Seattle."

"And didn't.  Don't forget that."

"They may have learned some things from Seattle," Howard said
quietly.

"We have the state troops."

"What about a half dozen similar movements in the state at the same
time?  Or rioting in other places, carefully planned to draw the
troops and constabulary away?"

In the end old Anthony was impressed, if not entirely convinced.
But he had no faith in the plain people, and said so.  "They'll see
property destroyed and never lift a hand," he said.  "Didn't I
stand by in Pittsburgh during the railroad riots, and watch them
smile while the yards burned?  Because the railroads meant capital
to them, and they hate capital."

"Precisely," said Howard, "but after twenty-four hours they were
fighting like demons to restore law and order.  It is"--he fingered
the card--"to save that twenty-four hours that this organization is
being formed.  It is secret.  Did I tell you that?  And the idea
originated with the young man you spoke about as supporting Hendricks
--you met him here once, a friend of Lily's.  His name is Cameron
--William Wallace Cameron."

Old Anthony remained silent, but the small jagged vein on his
forehead swelled with anger.  After a time:

"I suppose Doyle is behind this?" he asked.  "It sounds like him."

"That is the supposition.  But they have nothing on him yet; he is
too shrewd for that.  And that leads to something else.  Lily cannot
continue to stay there."

"I didn't send her there."

"Actually, no.  In effect--but we needn't go into that now.  The
situation is very serious.  I can imagine that nothing could fit
better into his plans than to have her there.  She gives him a
cachet of respectability.  Do you want that?"

"She is probably one of them now.  God knows how much of his rotten
doctrine she has absorbed."

Howard flushed, but he kept his temper.

"His theories, possibly.  His practice, no.  She certainly has no
idea ... it has come to this, father.  She must have a home
somewhere, and if it cannot be here, Grace and I must make one
for her elsewhere."

Probably Anthony Cardew had never respected Howard more than at that
moment, or liked him less.

"Both you and Grace are free to make a home where you please."

"We prefer it here, but you must see yourself that things cannot go
on as they are.  We have waited for you to see that, all three of
us, and now this new situation makes it imperative to take some
action."

"I won't have that fellow Akers coming here."

"He would hardly come, under the circumstances.  Besides, her
friendship with him is only a part of her revolt.  If she comes
home it will be with the understanding that she does not see him
again."

"Revolt?" said old Anthony, raising his eyebrows.

"That is what it actually was.  She found her liberty interfered with,
and she staged her own small rebellion.  It was very human, I think."

"It was very Cardew," said old Anthony, and smiled faintly.  He had,
to tell the truth, developed a grudging admiration for his
granddaughter in the past two months.  He saw in her many of his own
qualities, good and bad.  And, more than he cared to own, he had
missed her and the young life she had brought into the quiet house.
Most important of all, she was the last of the Cardews.  Although
his capitulation when it came was curt, he was happier than he had
been for weeks.

"Bring her home," he said, "but tell her about Akers.  If she says
that is off, I'll forget the rest."

On her way to her room that night Grace Cardew encountered
Mademoiselle, a pale, unhappy Mademoiselle, who seemed to spend her
time mostly in Lily's empty rooms or wandering about corridors.
Whenever the three members of the family were together she would
retire to her own quarters, and there feverishly with her rosary
would pray for a softening of hearts.  She did not comprehend these
Americans, who were so kind to those beneath them and so hard to
each other.

"I wanted to see you, Mademoiselle," Grace said, not very steadily.
"I have good news for you."

Mademoiselle began to tremble.  "She is coming?  Lily is coming?"

"Yes.  Will you have some fresh flowers put in her rooms in the
morning?"

Suddenly Mademoiselle forgot her years of repression, and flinging
her arms around Grace's neck she kissed her.  Grace held her for a
moment, patting her shoulder gently.

"We must try to make her very happy, Mademoiselle.  I think things
will be different now."

Mademoiselle stood back and wiped her eyes.

"But she must be different, too," she said.  "She is sweet and good,
but she is strong of will, too.  The will to do, to achieve, that
is one thing, and very good.  But the will to go one's own way,
that is another."

"The young are always headstrong, Mademoiselle."

But, alone later on, her rosary on her knee, Mademoiselle wondered.
If youth were the indictment against Lily, was she not still young?
It took years, or suffering, or sometimes both, to break the will
of youth and chasten its spirit.  God grant Lily might not have
suffering.

It was Grace's plan to say nothing to Lily, but to go for her herself,
and thus save her the humiliation of coming back alone.  All morning
housemaids were busy in Lily's rooms.  Rugs were shaken, floors waxed
and rubbed, the silver frames and vases in her sitting room polished
to refulgence.  And all morning Mademoiselle scolded and ran
suspicious fingers into corners, and arranged and re-arranged great
boxes of flowers.

Long before the time she had ordered the car Grace was downstairs,
dressed for the street, and clad in cool shining silk, was pacing
the shaded hall.  There was a vague air of expectation about the
old house.  In a room off the pantry the second man was polishing
the buttons of his livery, using a pasteboard card with a hole in
it to save the fabric beneath.  Grayson pottered about in the
drawing room, alert for the parlor maid's sins of omission.

The telephone in the library rang, and Grayson answered it, while
Grace stood in the doorway.

"A message from Miss Lily," he said.  "Mrs. Doyle has telephoned
that Miss Lily is on her way here."

Grace was vaguely disappointed.  She had wanted to go to Lily with
her good news, to bring her home bag and baggage, to lead her into
the house and to say, in effect, that this was home, her home.  She
had felt that they, and not Lily, should take the first step.

She went upstairs, and taking off her hat, smoothed her
soft dark hair.  She did not want Lily to see how she had
worried; she eyed herself carefully for lines.  Then she went
down, to more waiting, and for the first time, to a little doubt.

Yet when Lily came all was as it should have been.  There was no
doubt about her close embrace of her mother, her happiness at
seeing her.  She did not remove her gloves, however, and after
she had put Grace in a chair and perched herself on the arm of it,
there was a little pause.  Each was preparing to tell something,
each hesitated.  Because Grace's task was the easier it was she
who spoke first.

"I was about to start over when you telephoned, dear," she said.
"I--we want you to come home to us again."

There was a queer, strained silence.

"Who wants me?" Lily asked, unsteadily.

"All of us.  Your grandfather, too.  He expects to find you here
to-night.  I can explain to your Aunt Elinor over the telephone,
and we can send for your clothes."

Suddenly Lily got up and walked the length of the room.  When she
came back her eyes were filled with tears, and her left hand was
bare.

"It nearly kills me to hurt you," she said, "but--what about this?"

She held out her hand.

Grace seemed frozen in her chair.  At the sight of her mother's
face Lily flung herself on her knees beside the chair.

"Mother, mother," she said, "you must know how I love you.  Love
you both.  Don't look like that.  I can't bear it."

Grace turned away her face.

"You don't love us.  You can't.  Not if you are going to marry that
man."

"Mother," Lily begged, desperately, "let me come home.  Let me bring
him here.  I'll wait, if you'll only do that.  He is different; I
know all that you want to say about his past.  He has never had a
real chance in all his life.  He won't belong at first, but--he's
a man, mother, a strong man.  And it's awfully important.  He can
do so much, if he only will.  And he says he will, if I marry him."

"I don't understand you," Grace said coldly.  "What can a man like
that do, but wreck all our lives?"

Resentment was rising fast in Lily, but she kept it down.  "I'll
tell you about that later," she said, and slowly got to her feet.
"Is that all, mother?  You won't see him?  I can't bring him here?
Isn't there any compromise?  Won't you meet me half-way?"

"When you say half-way, you mean all the way, Lily."

"I wanted you so," Lily said, drearily, "I need you so just now.  I
am going to be married, and I have no one to go to.  Aunt Elinor
doesn't understand, either.  Every way I look I find--I suppose I
can't come back at all, then."

"Your grandfather's condition was that you never see this Louis
Akers again."

Lily's resentment left her.  Anger was a thing for small matters,
trivial affairs.  This that was happening, an irrevocable break with
her family, was as far beyond anger as it was beyond tears.  She
wondered dully if any man were worth all this.  Perhaps she knew,
sub-consciously, that Louis Akers was not.  All her exaltation was
gone, and in its stead was a sort of dogged determination to see
the thing through now, at any cost; to re-make Louis into the man
he could be, to build her own house of life, and having built it,
to live in it as best she could.

"That is a condition I cannot fulfill, mother.  I am engaged to him."

"Then you love him more than you do any of us, or all of us."

"I don't know.  It is different," she said vaguely.

She kissed her mother very tenderly when she went away, but there
was a feeling of finality in them both.  Mademoiselle, waiting at
the top of the stairs, heard the door close and could not believe
her ears.  Grace went upstairs, her face a blank before the servants,
and shut herself in her room.  And in Lily's boudoir the roses
spread a heavy, funereal sweetness over the empty room.



CHAPTER XXIV


The strike had been carried on with comparatively little disorder.
In some cities there had been rioting, but half-hearted and easily
controlled.  Almost without exception it was the foreign and
unassimilated element that broke the peace.  Alien women spat on
the state police, and flung stones at them.  Here and there property
was destroyed.  A few bomb outrages filled the newspapers with great
scare-heads, and sent troops and a small army of secret service men
here and there.

In the American Federation of Labor a stocky little man grimly fought
to oppose the Radical element, which was slowly gaining ground, and
at the same time to retain his leadership.  The great steel companies,
united at last by a common danger and a common fate if they yielded,
stood doggedly and courageously together, waiting for a return of
sanity to the world.  The world seemed to have gone mad.  Everywhere
in the country production was reduced by the cessation of labor,
and as a result the cost of living was mounting.

And every strike lost in the end.  Labor had yet to learn that to
cease to labor may express a grievance, but that in itself it
righted no wrongs.  Rather, it turned that great weapon, public
opinion, without which no movement may succeed, against it.  And
that to stand behind the country in war was not enough.  It must
stand behind the country in peace.

It had to learn, too, that a chain is only as strong as its weakest
link.  The weak link in the labor chain was its Radical element.
Rioters were arrested with union cards in their pockets.  In vain
the unions protested their lack of sympathy with the unruly element.
The vast respectable family of union labor found itself accused of
the sins of the minority, and lost standing thereby.

At Friendship the unruly element was very strong.  For a time it
held its meetings in a hall.  When that was closed it resorted to
the open air.

On the fifteenth of July it held an incendiary meeting on the
unused polo field, and the next day awakened to the sound of hammers,
and to find a high wooden fence, reenforced with barbed wire, being
built around the field, with the state police on guard over the
carpenters.  In a few days the fence was finished, only to be partly
demolished the next night, secretly and noiselessly.  But no further
attempts were made to hold meetings there.  It was rumored that
meetings were being secretly held in the woods near the town, but
the rendezvous was not located.

On the restored fence around the polo grounds a Red flag was found
one morning, and two nights later the guard at the padlocked gate
was shot through the heart, from ambush.

Then, about the first of August, out of a clear sky, sporadic
riotings began to occur.  They seemed to originate without cause,
and to end as suddenly as they began.  Usually they were in the
outlying districts, but one or two took place in the city itself.
The rioters were not all foreign strikers from the mills.  They
were garment workers, hotel waiters, a rabble of the discontented
from all trades.  The riots were to no end, apparently.  They began
with a chance word, fought their furious way for an hour or so,
and ended, leaving a trail of broken heads and torn clothing
behind them.

On toward the end of July one such disturbance grew to considerable
size.  The police were badly outnumbered, and a surprising majority
of the rioters were armed, with revolvers, with wooden bludgeons,
lengths of pipe and short, wicked iron bars.  Things were rather
desperate until the police found themselves suddenly and mysteriously
reenforced by a cool-headed number of citizens, led by a tall thin
man who limped slightly, and who disposed his heterogeneous support
with a few words and considerable skill.

The same thin young man, stopping later in an alley way to
investigate an arm badly bruised by an iron bar, overheard a
conversation between two roundsmen, met under a lamppost after the
battle, for comfort and a little conversation.

"Can you beat that, Henry?" said one.  "Where the hell'd they come
from?"

"Search me," said Henry.  "D'you see the skinny fellow?  Limped,
too.  D'you notice that?  Probably hurt in France.  But he hasn't
forgotten how to fight, I'll tell the world."

The outbreaks puzzled the leaders of the Vigilance Committee.
Willy Cameron was inclined to regard them as without direction or
intention, purely as manifestations of hate, and as such contrary
to the plans of their leaders.  And Mr. Hendricks, nursing a black
eye at home after the recent outburst, sized up the situation
shrewdly.

"You can boil a kettle too hard," he said, "and then the lid pops
off.  Doyle and that outfit of his have been burning the fire a
little high, that's all.  They'll quit now, because they want to
get us off guard later.  You and your committee can take a vacation,
unless you can set them to electioneering for me.  They've had
enough for a while, the devils.  They'll wait now for Akers to get
in and make things easy for them.  Mind my words, boy.  That's the
game."

And the game it seemed to be.  Small violations of order still
occurred, but no big ones.  To the headquarters in the Denslow
Bank came an increasing volume of information, to be duly docketed
and filed.  Some of it was valueless.  Now and then there came in
something worth following up.  Thus one night Pink and a picked
band, following a vague clew, went in automobiles to the state
borderline, and held up and captured two trucks loaded with whiskey
and destined for Friendship and Baxter.  He reported to Willy
Cameron late that night.

"Smashed it all up and spilled it in the road," he said.  "Hurt
like sin to do it, though.  Felt like the fellow who shot the last
passenger pigeon."

But if the situation in the city was that of armed neutrality, in
the Boyd house things were rapidly approaching a climax, and that
through Dan.  He was on edge, constantly to be placated and watched.
The strike was on his nerves; he felt his position keenly, resented
Willy Cameron supporting the family, and had developed a curious
jealousy of his mother's affection for him.

Toward Edith his suspicions had now become certainty, and an open
break came on an evening when she said that she felt able to go to
work again.  They were at the table, and Ellen was moving to and
from the kitchen, carrying in the meal.  Her utmost thrift could
not make it other than scanty, and finally Dan pushed his plate
away.

"Going back to work, are you?" he sneered.  "And how long do you
think you'll be able to work?"

"You keep quiet," Edith flared at him.  "I'm going to work.  That's
all you need to know.  I can't sit here and let a man who doesn't
belong to us provide every bite we eat, if you can."  Willy Cameron
got up and closed the door, for Mrs. Boyd an uncanny ability to
hear much that went on below.

"Now," he said when he came back, "we might as well have this out.
Dan has a right to be told, Edith, and he can help us plan
something."  He turned to Dan.  "It must be kept from your mother,
Dan."

"Plan something!" Dan snarled.  "I know what to plan, all right.
I'll find the--" he broke into foul, furious language, but suddenly
Willy Cameron rose, and there was something threatening in his eyes.

"I know who it is," Dan said, more quietly, "and he's got to marry
her, or I'll kill him."

"You know, do you?  Well, you don't," Edith said, "and I won't
marry him anyhow."

"You will marry him.  Do you think I'm going to see mother disgraced,
sick as she is, and let you get away with it?  Where does Akers
live?  You know, don't you?  You've been there, haven't you?"

All Edith's caution was forgotten in her shame and anger.

"Yes, I know," she said, hysterically, "but I won't tell you.  And
I won't marry him.  I hate him.  If you go to him he'll beat you to
death."  Suddenly the horrible picture of Dan in Akers' brutal hands
overwhelmed her.  "Dan, you won't go?" she begged.  "He'll kill you."

"A lot you'd care," he said, coldly.  "As if we didn't have enough
already!  As if you couldn't have married Joe Wilkinson, next door,
and been a decent woman.  And instead, you're a--"

"Be quiet, Dan," Willy Cameron interrupted him.  "That sort of talk
doesn't help any.  Edith is right.  If you go to Akers there will be
a fight.  And that's no way to protect her."

"God!" Dan muttered.  "With all the men in the world, to choose that
rotten anarchist!"

It was sordid, terribly tragic, the three of them sitting there in
the badly lighted little room around the disordered table, with
Ellen grimly listening in the doorway, and the odors of cooking
still heavy in the air.  Edith sat there, her hands on the table,
staring ahead, and recounted her wrongs.  She had never had a chance.
Home had always been a place to get away from.  Nobody had cared
what became of her.  And hadn't she tried to get out of the way?
Only they all did their best to make her live.  She wished she had
died.

Dan, huddled low in his chair, his legs sprawling, stared at
nothing with hopeless eyes.

Afterwards Willy Cameron could remember nothing of the scene in
detail.  He remembered its setting, but of all the argument and
quarreling only one thing stood out distinctly, and that was
Edith's acceptance of Dan's accusation.  It was Akers, then.
And Lily Cardew was going to marry him.  Was in love with him.

"Does he know how things are?" he asked.

She nodded.  "Yes."

"Does he offer to do anything?"

"Him?  He does not.  And don't you go to him and try to get him to
marry me.  I tell you I'd die first."

He left them there, sitting in the half light, and going out into
the hall picked up his hat.  Mrs. Boyd heard him and called to him,
and before he went out he ran upstairs to her room.  It seemed to
him, as he bent over her, that her lips were bluer than ever, her
breath a little shallower and more difficult.  Her untouched supper
tray was beside her.

"I wasn't hungry," she explained.  "Seems to me, Willy, if you'd
let me go downstairs so I could get some of my own cooking I'd eat
better.  Ellen's all right, but I kind o' crave sweet stuff, and
she don't like making desserts."

"You'll be down before long," he assured her.  "And making me pies.
Remember those pies you used to bake?"

"You always were a great one for my pies," she said, complacently.

He kissed her when he left.  He had always marveled at the strange
lack of demonstrativeness in the household, and he knew that she
valued his small tendernesses.

"Now remember," he said, "light out at ten o'clock, and no going
downstairs in the middle of the night because you smell smoke.
When you do, it's my pipe."

"I don't think you hardly ever go to bed, Willy."

"Me?  Get too much sleep.  I'm getting fat with it."

The stale little joke was never stale with her.  He left her smiling,
and went down the stairs and out into the street.

He had no plan in his mind except to see Louis Akers, and to find
out from him if he could what truth there was in Edith Boyd's
accusation.  He believed Edith, but he must have absolute certainty
before he did anything.  Girls in trouble sometimes shielded men.
If he could get the facts from Louis Akers--but he had no idea of
what he would do then.  He couldn't very well tell Lily, but her
people might do something.  Or Mrs. Doyle.

He knew Lily well enough to know that she would far rather die than
marry Akers, under the circumstances.  That her failure to marry
Louis Akers would mean anything as to his own relationship with her
he never even considered.  All that had been settled long ago, when
she said she did not love him.

At the Benedict he found that his man had not come home, and for an
hour or two he walked the streets.  The city seemed less majestic
to him than usual; its quiet by-streets were lined with homes, it
is true, but those very streets hid also vice and degradation, and
ugly passions.  They sheltered, but also they concealed.

At eleven o'clock he went back to the Benedict, and was told that
Mr. Akers had come in.

It was Akers himself who opened the door.  Because the night was
hot he had shed coat and shirt, and his fine torso, bare to the
shoulders and at the neck, gleamed in the electric light.  Willy
Cameron had not seen him since those spring days when he had made
his casual, bold-eyed visits to Edith at the pharmacy, and he had
a swift insight into the power this man must have over women.  He
himself was tall; but Akers was taller, fully muscled, his head
strongly set on a neck like a column.  But he surmised that the
man was soft, out of condition.  And he had lost the first
elasticity of youth.

Akers' expression had changed from one of annoyance to watchfulness
when he opened the door.

"Well!" he said.  "Making a late call, aren't you?"

"What I had to say wouldn't wait."

Akers had, rather unwillingly, thrown the door wide, and he went in.
The room was very hot, for a small fire, littered as to its edges
with papers, burned in the grate.  Although he knew that Akers had
guessed the meaning of his visit at once and was on guard, there
was a moment or two when each sparred for an opening.

"Sit down.  Have a cigarette?"

"No, thanks." He remained standing.

"Or a high-ball?  I still have some fairly good whiskey."

"No.  I came to ask you a question, Mr. Akers."

"Well, answering questions is one of the best little things I do."

"You know about Edith Boyd's condition.  She says you are responsible.
Is that true?"

Louis Akers was not unprepared.  Sooner or later he had known that
Edith would tell.  But what he had not counted on was that she would
tell any one who knew Lily.  He had felt that her leaving the
pharmacy had eliminated that chance.  "What do you mean, her
condition?"

"You know.  She says she has told you."

"You're pretty thick with her yourself, aren't you?"

"I happen to live at the Boyd house."

He was keeping himself well under control, but Akers saw his hand
clench, and resorted to other tactics.  He was not angry himself,
but he was wary now; he considered that life was unnecessarily
complicated, and that he had a distinct grievance.

"I have asked you a question, Mr. Akers."

"You don't expect me to answer it, do you?"

"I do."

"If you have come here to talk to me about marrying her--"

"She won't marry you," Willy Cameron said steadily.  "That's not
the point I want your own acknowledgment of responsibility, that's
all."

Akers was puzzled, suspicious, and yet relieved.  He lighted a
cigarette and over the match stared at the other man's quiet face.

"No!" he said suddenly.  "I'm damned if I'll take the responsibility.
She knew her way around long before I ever saw her.  Ask her.  She
can't lie about it.  I can produce other men to prove what I say.
I played around with her, but I don't know whose child that is, and
I don't believe she does."

"I think you are lying."

"All right.  But I can produce the goods."

Willy Cameron went very pale.  His hands were clenched again, and
Akers eyed him warily.

"None of that," he cautioned.  "I don't know what interest you've
got in this, and I don't give a God-damn.  But you'd better not
try any funny business with me."

Willy Cameron smiled.  Much the sort of smile he had worn during
the rioting.

"I don't like to soil my hands on you," he said, "but I don't mind
telling you that any man who ruins a girl's life and then tries to
get out of it by defaming her, is a skunk."

Akers lunged at him.

Some time later Mr. William Wallace Cameron descended to the street.
He wore his coat collar turned up to conceal the absence of certain
articles of wearing apparel which he had mysteriously lost.  And
he wore, too, a somewhat distorted, grim and entirely complacent
smile.



CHAPTER XXV


The city had taken the rioting with a weary philosophy.  It was
tired of fighting.  For two years it had labored at high tension for
the European war.  It had paid taxes and bought bonds, for the war.
It had saved and skimped and denied itself, for the war.  And for
the war it had made steel, steel for cannon and for tanks, for ships
and for railroads.  It had labored hard and well, and now all it
wanted was to be allowed to get back to normal things.  It wanted
peace.

It said, in effect: "I have both fought and labored, sacrificed and
endured.  Give me now my rest of nights, after a day's work.  Give
me marriage and children.  Give me contentment.  Give me the things
I have loved long since, and lost awhile."

And because the city craved peace, it was hard to rouse it to its
danger.  It was war-weary, and its weariness was not of apathy, but
of exhaustion.  It was not yet ready for new activity.

Then, the same night that had seen Willy Cameron's encounter with
Akers, it was roused from its lethargy.  A series of bomb outrages
shook the downtown district.  The Denslow Bank was the first to go.
Willy Cameron, inspecting a cut lip in his mirror, heard a dull
explosion, and ran down to the street.  There he was joined by Joe
Wilkinson, in trousers over his night shirt, and as they looked, a
dull red glare showed against the sky.  Joe went back for more
clothing, but Willy Cameron ran down the street.  At the first
corner he heard a second explosion, further away and to the east,
but apparently no fire followed it.  That, he learned later, was
the City Club, founded by Anthony Cardew years before.

The Denslow Bank was burning.  The facade had been shattered and
from the interior already poured a steady flow of flame and smoke.
He stood among the crowd, while the engines throbbed and the great
fire hose lay along the streets, and watched the little upper
room where the precious records of the Committee were burning
brightly.  The front wall gone, the small office stood open to the
world, a bright and shameless thing, flaunting its nakedness to
the crowd below.

He wondered why Providence should so play into the hands of the
enemy.

After a time he happened on Pink Denslow, wandering alone on the
outskirts of the crowd.

"Just about kill the governor, this," said Pink, heavily.  "Don't
suppose the watchmen got out, either.  Not that they'd care," he
added, savagely.

"How about the vaults?  I suppose they are fireproof?"

"Yes.  Do you realize that every record we've got has gone?  D'you
suppose those fellows knew about them?"

Willy Cameron had been asking himself the same question.

"Trouble is," Pink went on, "you don't know who to trust.  They're
not all foreigners.  Let's get away from here; it makes me sick."

They wandered through the night together, almost unconsciously in
the direction of the City Club, but within a block of it they
realized that something was wrong.  A hospital ambulance dashed by,
its gong ringing wildly, and a fire engine, not pumping, stood at
the curb.

"Come on," Pink said suddenly.  "There were two explosions.  It's
just possible--"

The club was more sinister than the burning bank; it was a mass of
grim wreckage, black and gaping, with now and then the sound of
settling masonry, and already dotted with the moving flash-lights
of men who searched.

To Pink this catastrophe was infinitely greater than that of the
bank.  Men he knew had lived there.  There were old club servants
who were like family retainers; one or two employees were
ex-service men for whom he had found employment.  He stood there,
with Willy Cameron's hand on his arm, with a new maturity and a
vast suffering in his face.

"Before God," he said solemnly, "I swear never to rest until the
fellows behind this are tried, condemned and hanged.  You've heard
it, Cameron."

The death list for that night numbered thirteen, the two watchmen
at the bank and eleven men at the club, two of them members.  Willy
Cameron, going home at dawn, exhausted and covered with plaster dust,
bought an extra and learned that a third bomb, less powerful, had
wrecked the mayor's house.  It had been placed under the sleeping
porch, and but for the accident of a sick baby the entire family
would have been wiped out.

Even his high courage began to waver.  His records were gone; that
was all to do over again.  But what seemed to him the impasse was
this fighting in the dark.  An unseen enemy, always.  And an enemy
which combined with skill a total lack of any rules of warfare,
which killed here, there and everywhere, as though for the sheer
joy of killing.  It struck at the high but killed the low.  And
it had only begun.

CHAPTER XXVI


Dominant family traits have a way of skipping one generation and
appearing in the next.  Lily Cardew at that stage of her life had
a considerable amount of old Anthony's obstinacy and determination,
although it was softened by a long line of Cardew women behind her,
women who had loved, and suffered dominance because they loved.
Her very infatuation for Louis Akers, like Elinor's for Doyle, was
possibly an inheritance from her fore-mothers, who had been wont
to overlook the evil in a man for the strength in him.  Only Lily
mistook physical strength for moral fibre, insolence and effrontery
for courage.

In both her virtues and her faults, however, irrespective of
heredity, Lily represented very fully the girl of her position and
period.  With no traditions to follow, setting her course by no
compass, taught to think but not how to think, resentful of tyranny
but unused to freedom, she moved ahead along the path she had
elected to follow, blindly and obstinately, yet unhappy and
suffering.

Her infatuation for Louis Akers had come to a new phase of its
rapid development.  She had reached that point where a woman
realizes that the man she loves is, not a god of strength and
wisdom, but a great child who needs her.  It is at that point that
one of two things happens: the weak woman abandons him, and follows
her dream elsewhere.  The woman of character, her maternal instinct
roused, marries him, bears him children, is both wife and mother
to him, and finds in their united weaknesses such strength as she
can.

In her youth and self-sufficiency Lily stood ready to give, rather
than to receive.  She felt now that he needed her more than she
needed him.  There was something unconsciously patronizing those
days in her attitude toward him, and if he recognized it he did not
resent it.  Women had always been "easy" for him.  Her very
aloofness, her faint condescension, her air of a young grande dame,
were a part of her attraction for him.

Love sees clearly, and seeing, loves on.  But infatuation is blind;
when it gains sight, it dies.  Already Lily was seeing him with the
critical eyes of youth, his loud voice, his over-fastidious dress,
his occasional grossnesses.  To offset these she placed vast
importance on his promise to leave his old associates when she
married him.

The time was very close now.  She could not hold him off much longer,
and she began to feel, too, that she must soon leave the house on
Cardew Way.  Doyle's attitude to her was increasingly suspicious
and ungracious.  She knew that he had no knowledge of Louis's
promise, but he began to feel that she was working against him, and
showed it.

And in Louis Akers too she began to discern an inclination not to
pull out until after the election.  He was ambitious, and again and
again he urged that he would be more useful for the purpose in her
mind if he were elected first.

That issue came to a climax the day she had seen her mother and
learned the terms on which she might return home.  She was alarmed
by his noisy anger at the situation.

"Do sit down, Louis, and be quiet," she said.  "You have known their
attitude all along, haven't you?"

"I'll show them," he said, thickly.  "Damned snobs!"  He glanced at
her then uneasily, and her expression put him on his guard.  "I
didn't mean that, little girl.  Honestly I didn't.  I don't care for
myself.  It's you."

"You must understand that they think they are acting for my good.
And I am not sure," she added, her clear eyes on him, "that they are
not right.  You frighten me sometimes, Louis."

But a little later he broke out again.  If he wasn't good enough to
enter their house, he'd show them something.  The election would
show them something.  They couldn't refuse to receive the mayor of
the city.  She saw then that he was bent on remaining with Doyle
until after the election.

Lily sat back, listening and thinking.  Sometimes she thought that
he did not love her at all.  He always said he wanted her, but that
was different.

"I think you love yourself more than you love me, Louis," she said,
when he had exhausted himself.  "I don't believe you know what love
is."

That brought him to his knees, his arms around her, kissing her
hands, begging her not to give him up, and once again her curious
sense of responsibility for him triumphed.

"You will marry me soon, dear, won't you?" he implored her.  But she
thought of Willy Cameron, oddly enough, even while his arms were
around her; of the difference in the two men.  Louis, big, crouching,
suppliant and insistent; Willy Cameron, grave, reserved and steady,
taking what she now knew was the blow of her engagement like a
gentleman and a soldier.

They represented, although she did not know it, the two divisions
of men in love, the men who offer much and give little, the others
who, out of a deep humility, offer little and give everything they
have.

In the end, nothing was settled.  After he had gone Lily, went up
to Elinor's room.  She had found in Elinor lately a sort of nervous
tension that puzzled her, and that tension almost snapped when Lily
told her of her visit home, and of her determination to marry Louis
within the next few days.  Elinor had dropped her sewing and
clenched her hands in her lap.

"Not soon, Lily!" she said.  "Oh, not soon.  Wait a little--wait
two months."

"Two months?" Lily said wonderingly.  "Why two months?"

"Because, at the end of two months, nothing would make you marry
him," Elinor said, almost violently.  "I have sat by and waited,
because I thought you would surely see your mistake.  But now--Lily,
do you envy me my life?"

"No," Lily said truthfully; "but you love him."

Elinor sat, her eyes downcast and brooding.

"You are different," she said finally.  "You will break, where I
have only bent."

But she said no more about a delay.  She had been passive too long
to be able to take any strong initiative now.  And all her moral and
physical courage she was saving for a great emergency.

Cardew Way was far from the center of town, and Lily knew nothing of
the bomb outrages of that night.

When she went down to breakfast the next morning she found Jim Doyle
pacing the floor of the dining room in a frenzy of rage, a newspaper
clenched in his hand.  By the window stood Elinor, very pale and
with slightly reddened eyes.  They had not heard her, and Doyle
continued a furious harangue.

"The fools!" he said.  "Damn such material as I have to work with!
This isn't the time, and they know it.  I've warned them over and
over.  The fools!"

Elinor saw her then, and made a gesture of warning.  But it was too
late.  Lily had a certain quality of directness, and it did not
occur to her to dissemble.

"Is anything wrong?" she asked, and went at once to Elinor.  She
had once or twice before this stood between them for Elinor's
protection.

"Everything is as happy as a May morning," Doyle sneered.  "Your
Aunt Elinor has an unpleasant habit of weeping for joy."

Lily stiffened, but Elinor touched her arm.

"Sit down and eat your breakfast, Lily," she said, and left the room.

Doyle stood staring at Lily angrily.  He did not know how much she
had heard, how much she knew.  At the moment he did not care.  He
had a reckless impulse to tell her the truth, but his habitual
caution prevailed.  He forced a cold smile.

"Don't bother your pretty head about politics," he said.

Lily was equally cold.  Her dislike of him had been growing for
weeks, coupled to a new and strange distrust.

"Politics?  You seem to take your politics very hard."

"I do," he said urbanely.  "Particularly when I am fighting my wife's
family.  May I pour you some coffee?"

And pour it he did, eyeing her furtively the while, and brought it
to her.

"May I give you a word of advice, Lily?" he said.  "Don't treat your
husband to tears at breakfast--unless you want to see him romping
off to some other woman."

"If he cared to do that I shouldn't want him anyhow."

"You're a self-sufficient child, aren't you?  Well, the best of us
do it, sometimes."

He had successfully changed the trend of her thoughts, and he went
out, carrying the newspaper with him.

Nevertheless, he began to feel that her presence in the house was a
menace.  With all her theories he knew that a word of the truth
would send her flying, breathless with outrage, out of his door.
He could quite plainly visualize that home-coming of hers.  The
instant steps that would be taken against him, old Anthony on the
wire appealing to the governor, Howard closeted with the Chief of
Police, an instant closing of the net.  And he was not ready for
the clash.

No.  She must stay.  If only Elinor would play the game, instead of
puling and mouthing!  In the room across the hall where his desk
stood he paced the floor, first angrily, then thoughtfully, his
head bent.  He saw, and not far away now, himself seated in the
city hall, holding the city in the hollow of his hand.  From that
his dreams ranged far.  He saw himself the head, not of the nation
--there would be no nation, as such--but of the country.  The very
incidents of the night before, blundering as they were, showed him
the ease with which the new force could be applied.

He was drunk with power.



CHAPTER XXVII


Lily had an unexpected visitor that afternoon, in the person of
Pink Denslow.  She had assumed some of Elinor's cares for the day,
for Elinor herself had not been visible since breakfast.  It
soothed the girl to attend to small duties, and she was washing
and wiping Elinor's small stock of fine china when the bell rang.

"Mr. Denslow is calling," said Jennie.  "I didn't know if you'd
see him, so I said I didn't know if you were in."

Lily's surprise at Pink's visit was increased when she saw him.  He
was covered with plaster dust, even to the brim of his hat, and
his hands were scratched and rough.

"Pink!" she said.  "Why, what is the matter?"

For the first time he was conscious of his appearance, and for the
first time in his life perhaps, entirely indifferent to it.

"I've been digging in the ruins," he said.  "Is that man Doyle in
the house?"

Her color faded.  Suddenly she noticed a certain wildness about
Pink's eyes, and the hard strained look of his mouth.

"What ruins, Pink?" she managed to ask.

"All the ruins," he said.  "You know, don't you?  The bank, our
bank, and the club?"

It seemed to her afterwards that she knew before he told her, saw
it all, a dreadful picture which had somehow superimposed upon it
a vision of Jim Doyle with the morning paper, and the thing that
this was not the time for.

"That's all," he finished.  "Eleven at the club, two of them my
own fellows.  In France, you know.  I found one of them myself,
this morning."  He stared past her, over her head.  "Killed for
nothing, the way the Germans terrorized Belgium.  Haven't you seen
the papers?"

"No, they wouldn't let you see them, of course.  Lily, I want you
to leave here.  If you don't, if you stay now, you're one of them,
whether you believe what they preach or not.  Don't you see that?"

She was not listening.  Her faith was dying hard, and the mental
shock had brought her dizziness and a faint nausea.  He stood
watching her, and when she glanced up at him it seemed to her that
Pink was hard.  Hard and suspicious, and the suspicion was for her.
It was incredible.

"Do you believe what they preach?" he demanded.  "I've got to know,
Lily.  I've suffered the tortures of the damned all night."

"I didn't know it meant this."

"Do you?" he repeated.

"No.  You ought to know me better than that.  But I don't believe
that it started here, Pink.  He was very angry this morning, and
he wouldn't let me see the paper."

"He's behind it all right," Pink said grimly.  "Maybe he didn't
plant the bombs, but his infernal influence did it, just the same.
Do you mean to say you've lived here all this time and don't know
he is plotting a revolution?  What if he didn't authorize these
things last night?  He is only waiting, to place a hundred bombs
instead of three.  A thousand, perhaps."

"Oh, no!"

"We've got their own statements.  Department of Justice found them.
The fools, to think they can overthrow the government!  Can you
imagine men planning to capture this city and hold it?"

"It wouldn't be possible, Pink?"

"It isn't possible now, but they'll make a try at it."

There was a short pause, with Lily struggling to understand.  Pink's
set face relaxed somewhat.  All that night he had been fighting for
his belief in her.

"I never dreamed of it, Pink.  I suppose all the talk I've heard
meant that, but I never--are you sure?  About Jim Doyle, I mean."

"We know he is behind it.  We haven't got the goods on him yet, but
we know.  Cameron knows.  You ask him and he'll tell you."

"Willy Cameron?"

"Yes.  He's had some vision, while the rest of us--!  He's got a
lot of us working now, Lily.  We are on the right trail, too, although
we lost some records last night that put us back a couple of months.
We'll get them, all right.  We'll smash their little revolution into
a cocked hat."  It occurred to him, then, that this house was a poor
place for such a confidence.  "I'll tell you about it later.  Get
your things now, and let me take you home."

But Lily's problem was too complex for Pink's simple remedy.  She
was stricken with sudden conviction; the very mention of Willy
Cameron gave Pink's statements authority.  But to go like that, to
leave Elinor in that house, with all that it implied, was impossible.
And there was her own private problem to dispose of.

"I'll go this afternoon, Pink.  I'll promise you that.  But I can't
go with you now.  I can't.  You'll have to take my word, that's all.
And you must believe I didn't know."

"Of course you didn't know," he said, sturdily.  "But I hate like
thunder to go and leave you here."  He picked up his hat, reluctantly.
"If I can do anything--"

Lily's mind was working more clearly now.  This was the thing Louis
Akers had been concerned with, then, a revolution against his
country.  But it was the thing, too, that he had promised to abandon.
He was not a killer.  She knew him well, and he was not a killer.
He had got to a certain point, and then the thing had sickened him.
Even without her he would never have gone through with it.  But it
would be necessary now to get his information quickly.  Very quickly.

"Suppose," she said, hesitatingly, "suppose I tell you that I think
I am going to be able to help you before long?"

"Help?  I want you safe.  This is not work for women."

"But suppose I can bring you a very valuable ally?" she persisted.
"Some one who knows all about certain plans, and has changed his
views about them?"

"One of them?"

"He has been."

"Is he selling his information?"

"In a way, yes," said Lily, slowly.

"Ware the fellow who sells information," Pink said.  "But we'll be
glad to have it.  We need it, God knows.  And--you'll leave?"

"I couldn't stay, could I?"

He kissed her hand when he went away, doing it awkwardly and
self-consciously, but withal reverently.  She wondered, rather
dully, why she could not love Pink.  A woman would be so safe with
him, so sure.

She had not even then gathered the full force of what he had told
her.  But little by little things came back to her; the man on guard
in the garden; the incident of the locked kitchen door; Jim Doyle
once talking angrily over a telephone in his study, although no
telephone, so far as she knew, was installed in the room; his
recent mysterious absences, and the increasing visits of the hateful
Woslosky.

She went back to Louis.  This was what he had meant.  He had known
all along, and plotted with them; even if his stomach had turned
now, he had been a party to this infamy.  Even then she did not hate
him; she saw him, misled as she had been by Doyle's high-sounding
phrases, lured on by one of those wild dreams of empire to which
men were sometimes given.  She did not love him any more; she was
sorry for him.

She saw her position with the utmost clearness.  To go home was to
abandon him, to lose him for those who needed what he could give,
to send him back to the enemy.  She had told Pink she could secure
an ally for a price, and she was the price.  There was not an ounce
of melodrama in her, as she stood facing the situation.  She
considered, quite simply, that she had assumed an obligation which
she must carry out.  Perhaps her pride was dictating to her also.
To go crawling home, bowed to the dust, to admit that life had
beaten her, to face old Anthony's sneers and her mother's pity
--that was hard for any Cardew.

She remembered Elinor's home-comings of years ago, the strained
air of the household, the whispering servants, and Elinor herself
shut away, or making her rare, almost furtive visits downstairs
when her father was out of the house.

No, she could not face that.

Her own willfulness had brought her to this pass; she faced that
uncompromisingly.  She would marry Louis, and hold him to his
promise, and so perhaps out of all this misery some good would
come.  But at the thought of marriage she found herself trembling
violently.  With no love and no real respect to build on, with an
intuitive knowledge of the man's primitive violences, the
reluctance toward marriage with him which she had always felt
crystallized into something very close to dread.

But a few minutes later she went upstairs, quite steady again, and
fully determined.  At Elinor's door she tapped lightly, and she
heard movements within.  Then Elinor opened the door wide.  She
had been lying on her bed, and automatically after closing the
door she began to smooth it.  Lily felt a wave of intense pity
for her.

"I wish you would go away from here, Aunt Elinor," she said.

Elinor glanced up, without surprise.

"Where could I go?"

"If you left him definitely, you could go home."

Elinor shook her head, dumbly, and her passivity drove Lily suddenly
to desperation.

"You know what is going on," she said, her voice strained.  "You
don't believe it is right; you know it is wicked.  Clothe it in all
the fine language in the world, Aunt Elinor, and it is still wicked.
If you stay here you condone it.  I won't.  I am going away."

"I wish you had never come, Lily."

"It's too late for that," Lily said, stonily.  "But it is not too
late for you to get away."

"I shall stay," Elinor said, with an air of finality.  But Lily
made one more effort.

"He is killing you."

"No, he is killing himself."  Suddenly Elinor flared into a
passionate outburst.  "Don't you think I know where all this is
leading?  Do you believe for a moment that I think all this can
lead to anything but death?  It is a madness, Lily; they are all
mad, these men.  Don't you know that I have talked and argued
and prayed, against it?"

"Then come away.  You have done all you could, and you have failed,
haven't you?"

"It is not time for me to go," Elinor said.  And Lily, puzzled and
baffled, found herself again looking into Elinor's quiet, inscrutable
eyes.

Elinor had taken it for granted that the girl was going home, and
together they packed almost in silence.  Once Elinor looked up
from folding a garment, and said:

"You said you had not understood before, but that now you do.  What
did you mean?"

"Pink Denslow was here."

"What does he know?"

"Do you think I ought to tell you, Aunt Elinor?  It isn't that I
don't trust you.  You must believe that, but don't you see that so
long as you stay here--he said that to me--you are one of them."

Elinor resumed her folding.

"Yes, I suppose I am one of them," she said quietly.  "And you are
right.  You must not tell me anything.  Pink is Henry Denslow's son,
I suppose."

"Yes."

"Do they--still live in the old house?"

"Yes."

Elinor continued her methodical work.



CHAPTER XXVIII


Willy Cameron was free that evening.  Although he had not slept at
all the night before, he felt singularly awake and active.  The
Committee had made temporary quarters of his small back room at the
pharmacy, and there had sat in rather depressed conclave during a
part of the afternoon.  Pink Denslow had come in late, and had
remained, silent and haggard, through the debate.

There was nothing to do but to start again in an attempt to get
files and card indexes.  Greater secrecy was to be preserved and
enjoined, the location of the office to be known only to a small
inner circle, and careful policing of it and of the building which
housed it to be established.  As a further safeguard, two duplicate
files would be kept in other places.  The Committee groaned over
its own underestimate of the knowledge of the radicals.

The two buildings chosen for destruction were, respectively, the
bank building where their file was kept, and the club, where
nine-tenths of the officers of the Committee were members.  The
significance of the double outrage was unquestionable.

When the meeting broke up Pink remained behind.  He found it rather
difficult to broach the matter in his mind.  It was always hard for
him to talk about Lily Cardew, and lately he had had a growing
conviction that Willy Cameron found it equally difficult.  He
wondered if Cameron, too, was in love with Lily.  There had been
a queer look in his face on those rare occasions when Pink had
mentioned her, a sort of exaltation, and an odd difficulty
afterwards in getting back to the subject in hand.

Pink had developed an enormous affection and admiration for Willy
Cameron, a strange, loyal, half wistful, totally unselfish devotion.
It had steadied him, when the loss of Lily might have made him
reckless, and had taken the form in recent weeks of finding
innumerable business opportunities, which Willy Cameron cheerfully
refused to take.

"I'll stay here until this other thing is settled," was Willy's
invariable answer.  "I have a certain amount of time here, and the
fellows can drop in to see me without causing suspicion.  In an
office it would be different.  And besides, I can't throw Mr.
Davis down.  His wife is in bad shape."

So, that afternoon, Pink waited until the Committee had dispersed,
and then said, with some difficulty:

"I saw her, Cameron.  She has promised to leave."

"To-day?"

"This afternoon.  I wanted to take her away, but she had some things
to do."

"Then she hadn't known before?"

"No.  She thought it was just talk.  And they'd kept the papers from
her.  She hadn't heard about last night.  Well, that's all.  I
thought you'd want to know."

Pink started out, but Willy Cameron called him back.

"Have any of your people any influence with the Cardews?"

"No one has any influence with the Cardews, if you mean the Cardew
men.  Why?"

"Because Cardew has got to get out of the mayoralty campaign.
That's all."

"That's a-plenty," said Pink, grinning.  "Why don't you go and tell
him so?"

"I'm thinking of it.  He hasn't a chance in the world, but he'll
defeat Hendricks by splitting the vote, and let the other side in.
And you know what that means."

"I know it," Pink observed, "but Mr. Cardew doesn't, and he won't
after you've told him.  They've put a lot of money in, and once a
Cardew has invested in a thing he holds on like death.  Especially
the old man.  Wouldn't wonder he was the fellow who pounded the
daylights out of Akers last night," he added.

Willy Cameron, having carefully filled his pipe, closed the door
into the shop, and opened a window.

"Akers?" he inquired.

"Noon edition has it," Pink said.  "Claims to have been attacked in
his rooms by two masked men.  Probably wouldn't have told it, but
the doctor talked.  Looks as though he could wallop six masked men,
doesn't he?"

"Yes," said Willy Cameron, reflectively.  "Yes; he does, rather."

He felt more hopeful than he had for days.  Lily on her way home,
clear once more of the poisonous atmosphere of Doyle and his
associates; Akers temporarily out of the way, perhaps for long
enough to let the normal influences of her home life show him to
her in a real perspective; and a rather unholy but very human joy
that he had given Akers a part of what was coming to him--all
united to cheer him.  He saw Lily going home, and a great wave
of tenderness flooded him.  If only they would be tactful and
careful, if only they would be understanding and kind.  If they
would only be normal and every-day, and accept her as though she
had never been away.  These people were so hedged about with
conventions and restrictions, they put so much emphasis on the
letter and so little on the spirit.  If only--God, if only
they wouldn't patronize her!

His mother would have known how to receive her.  He felt, that
afternoon, a real homesickness for his mother.  He saw her, ample
and comfortable and sane, so busy with the comforts of the body
that she seemed to ignore the soul, and yet bringing healing
with her every matter-of-fact movement.

If only Lily could have gone back to her, instead of to that great
house, full of curious eyes and whispering voices.

He saw Mr. Hendricks that evening on his way home to supper.  Mr.
Hendricks had lost flesh and some of his buoyancy, but he was
persistently optimistic.

"Up to last night I'd have said we were done, son," he observed.
"But this bomb business has settled them.  The labor vote'll split
on it, sure as whooping cough."

"They've bought a half-page in all the morning papers, disclaiming
all responsibility and calling on all citizens to help them in
protecting private property."

"Have they, now," said Hendricks, with grudging admiration.  "Can
you beat that?  Where do they get the money, anyhow?  If I lost my
watch these days I'd have to do some high-finance before I'd be
able to advertise for it."

"All right, see Cardew," were his parting words.  "But he doesn't
want this election any more than I want my right leg.  He'll stick.
You can talk, Cameron, I'll say it.  But you can't pry him off
with kind words, any more than you can a porous plaster."

Behind Mr. Hendricks' colloquialisms there was something sturdy
and fine.  His very vernacular made him popular; his honesty was
beyond suspicion.  If he belonged to the old school in politics,
he had most of its virtues and few of its vices.  He would take
care of his friends, undoubtedly, but he was careful in his choice
of friends.  He would make the city a good place to live in.
Like Willy Cameron, he saw it, not a center of trade so much as
a vast settlement of homes.  Business supported the city in his
mind, not the city business.

Nevertheless the situation was serious, and it was with a sense of
a desperate remedy for a desperate disease that Willy Cameron, after
a careful toilet, rang the bell of the Cardew house that night.  He
had no hope of seeing Lily, but the mere thought that they were
under one roof gave him a sense of nearness and of comfort in her
safety.

Dinner was recently over, and he found both the Cardews, father and
son, in the library smoking.  He had arrived at a bad moment, for
the bomb outrage, coming on top of Lily's refusal to come home
under the given conditions, had roused Anthony to a cold rage, and
left Howard with a feeling of helplessness.

Anthony Cardew nodded to him grimly, but Howard shook hands and
offered him a chair.

"I heard you speak some time ago, Mr. Cameron," he said.  "You made
me wish I could have had your support."

"I came to talk about that.  I am sorry to have to come in the
evening, but I am not free at any other time."

"When we go into politics," said old Anthony in his jibing voice,
"the ordinary amenities have to go.  When you are elected, Howard,
I shall live somewhere else."

Willy Cameron smiled.

"I don't think you will be put to that inconvenience, Mr. Cardew."

"What's that?" Old Anthony's voice was incredulous.  Here, in his
own house, this whipper-snapper--

"I am sure Mr. Howard Cardew realizes he cannot be elected."

The small ragged vein on Anthony's forehead was the storm signal
for the family.  Howard glanced at him, and said urbanely:

"Will you have a cigar, Mr. Cameron?  Or a liqueur?"

"Nothing, thank you.  If I can have a few minutes' talk with you--"

"If you mean that as a request for me to go out, I will remind you
that I am heavily interested in this matter myself," said old Anthony.
"I have put in a great deal of money.  If you people are going to
drop out, I want to hear it.  You've played the devil with us already,
with your independent candidate who can't talk English."

Willy Cameron kept his temper.

"No," he said, slowly.  "It wasn't a question of Mr. Hendricks
withdrawing.  It was a question of Mr. Cardew getting out."

Sheer astonishment held old Anthony speechless.

"It's like this," Willy Cameron said.  "Your son knows it.  Even if
we drop out he won't get it.  Justly or unjustly--and I mean that
--nobody with the name of Cardew can be elected to any high office
in this city.  There's no reflection on anybody in my saying that.
I am telling you a fact."

Howard had listened attentively and without anger.  "For a long
time, Mr. Cameron," he said, "I have been urging men of--of
position in the city, to go into politics.  We have needed to get
away from the professional politician.  I went in, without much
hope of election, to--well, you can say to blaze a trail.  It is
not being elected that counts with me, so much as to show my
willingness to serve."

Old Anthony recovered his voice.

"The Cardews made this town, sir," he barked.  "Willingness to
serve, piffle!  We need a business man to run the city, and by
God, we'll get it!"

"You'll get an anarchist," said Willy Cameron, slightly flushed.

"If you want my opinion, young man, this is a trick, a political
trick.  And how do we know that your Vigilance Committee isn't a
trick, too?  You try to tell us that there is an organized movement
here to do heaven knows what, and by sheer terror you build up a
machine which appeals to the public imagination.  You don't say
anything about votes, but you see that they vote for your man.
Isn't that true?"

"Yes.  If they can keep an anarchist out of office.  Akers is an
anarchist.  He calls himself something else, but that's what it
amounts to.  And those bombs last night were not imaginary."

The introduction of Louis Akers' name had a sobering effect on
Anthony Cardew.  After all, more than anything else, he wanted
Akers defeated.  The discussion slowly lost its acrimony, and
ended, oddly enough, in Willy Cameron and Anthony Cardew virtually
uniting against Howard.  What Willy Cameron told about Jim Doyle
fed the old man's hatred of his daughter's husband, and there was
something very convincing about Cameron himself.  Something of
fearlessness and honesty that began, slowly, to dispose Anthony in
his favor.

It was Howard who held out.

"If I quit now it will look as though I didn't want to take a
licking," he said, quietly obstinate.  "Grant your point, that I'm
defeated.  All right, I'll be defeated--but I won't quit."

And Anthony Cardew, confronted by that very quality of obstinacy
which had been his own weapon for so many years, retired in high
dudgeon to his upper rooms.  He was living in a strange new world,
a reasonable soul on an unreasonable earth, an earth where a man's
last sanctuary, his club, was blown up about him, and a man's
family apparently lived only to thwart him.

With Anthony gone, Howard dropped the discussion with the air of
a man who has made a final stand.

"What you have said about Mr. Doyle interests me greatly," he
observed, "because--you probably do not know this--my sister
married him some years ago.  It was a most unhappy affair."

"I do know it.  For that reason I am glad that Miss Lily has come
home."

"Has come home?  She has not come home, Mr. Cameron.  There was a
condition we felt forced to make, and she refused to agree to it.
Perhaps we were wrong.  I--"

Willy Cameron got up.

"Was that to-day?" he asked.

"No."

"But she was coming home to-day.  She was to leave there this
afternoon."

"How do you know that?"

"Denslow saw her there this afternoon.  She agreed to leave at
once.  He had told her of the bombs, and of other things.  She
hadn't understood before, and she was horrified.  It is just
possible Doyle wouldn't let her go."

"But--that's ridiculous.  She can't be a prisoner in my sister's
house."

"Will you telephone and find out if she is there?"  Howard went
to the telephone at once.  It seemed to Willy Cameron that he stood
there for uncounted years, and as though, through all that eternity
of waiting, he knew what the answer would be.  And that he knew,
too, what that answer meant, where she had gone, what she had done.
If only she had come to him.  If only she had come to him.  He would
have saved her from herself.  He--

"She is not there," Howard Cardew said, in a voice from which all
life had gone.  "She left this afternoon, at four o'clock.  Of
course she has friends.  Or she may have gone to a hotel.  We had
managed to make it practically impossible for her to come home."

Willy Cameron glanced at his watch.  He had discounted the worst
before it came, and unlike the older man, was ready for action.  It
was he who took hold of the situation.

"Order a car, Mr. Cardew, and go to the hotels," he said.  "And if
you will drop me downtown--I'll tell you where--I'll follow up
something that has just occurred to me."



CHAPTER XXIX


In one way Howard had been correct in his surmise.  It had been Lily's
idea to go to a hotel until she had made some definite plan.  She
would telephone Louis then, and the rest--she did not think beyond
that.  She called a taxi and took a small bag with her, but in the
taxicab she suddenly realized that she could not go to any of the
hotels she knew.  She would be recognized at once.

She wanted a little time to herself, time to think.  And before it
was discovered that she had left Cardew Way she must see Louis, and
judge again if he intended to act in good faith.  While he was with
her, reiterating his promises, she believed him, but when he was
gone, she always felt, a curious doubt.

She thought then of finding a quiet room somewhere, and stopping the
cab, bought a newspaper.  It was when she was searching for the
"rooms for rent" column that she saw he had been attacked and
slightly injured.

They had got him.  He had said that if they ever suspected him of
playing them false they would get him, and now they had done so.
That removed the last doubt of his good faith from her mind.  She
felt indignation and dismay, and a sort of aching consciousness that
always she brought only trouble to the people who cared for her;
she felt that she was going through her life, leaving only
unhappiness behind her.

He had suffered, and for her.

She told the chauffeur to go to the Benedict Apartments, and sitting
back read the notice again.  He had been attacked by two masked men
and badly bruised, after putting up a terrific resistance.  They
would wear masks, of course.  They loved the theatrical.  Their
very flag was theatrical.  And he had made a hard fight That was
like him, too; he was a fighter.

She was a Cardew, and she loved strength.  There were other men,
men like Willy Cameron, for instance, who were lovable in many ways,
but they were not fighters.  They sat back, and let life beat them,
and they took the hurt bravely and stoically.  But they never got
life by the throat and shook it until it gave up what they wanted.

She had never been in a bachelors' apartment house before, and she
was both frightened and self-conscious.  The girl at the desk eyed
her curiously while she telephoned her message, and watched her as
she moved toward the elevator.  "Ever seen her before?" she said
to the hall boy.

"No.  She's a new one."

"Face's kind of familiar to me," said the telephone girl,
reflectively.  "Looks worried, doesn't she?  Two masked men!  Huh!
All Sam took up there last night was a thin fellow with a limp."

The hall boy grinned.

"Then his limp didn't bother him any.  Sam says y'ought to seen
that place."

In the meantime, outside the door of Akers' apartment, Lily's fine
courage almost left her.  Had it not been for the eyes of the
elevator man, fixed on her while he lounged in his gateway, she
might have gone away, even then.  But she stood there, committed
to a course of action, and rang.

Louis himself admitted her, an oddly battered Louis, in a dressing
gown and slippers; an oddly watchful Louis, too, waiting, after the
manner of men of his kind the world over, to see which way the cat
would jump.  He had had a bad day, and his nerves were on edge.
All day he had sat there, unable to go out, and had wondered just
when Cameron would see her and tell her about Edith Boyd.  For,
just as Willy Cameron rushed him for the first time, there had
been something from between clenched teeth about marrying another
girl, under the given circumstances.  Only that had not been the
sort of language in which it was delivered.

"I just saw about it in the newspaper," Lily said.  "How dreadful,
Louis."

He straightened himself and drew a deep breath.  The game was
still his, if he played it right.

"Bad enough, dear," he said, "but I gave them some trouble,
too." He pushed a chair toward her.  "It was like you to come.
But I don't like your seeing me all mussed up, little girl."

He made a move then to kiss her, but she drew back.

"Please!" she said.  "Not here.  And I can't sit down.  I can't
stay.  I only came because I wanted to tell you something and I
didn't want to telephone it.  Louis, Jim Doyle knew about those
bombs last night.  He didn't want it to happen before the election,
but--that doesn't alter the fact, does it?"

"How do you know he knew?"

"I do know.  That's all.  And I have left Aunt Elinor's."

"No!"

"I couldn't stay, could I?"  She looked up at him, the little
wistful glance that Willy always found so infinitely touching, like
the appeal of a willful but lovable child, that has somehow got
into trouble.  "And I can't go home, Louis, unless I--"

"Unless you give me up," he finished for her.  "Well?"

She hesitated.  She hated making terms with him, and yet somehow
she must make terms.

"Well?" he repeated.  "Are you going to throw me over?"

Apparently merely putting the thought into words crystallized all
his fears of the past hours; seeing her there, too, had intensified
his want of her.  She stood there, where he had so often dreamed
of seeing her, but still holding him off with the aloofness that
both chilled and inflamed him, and with a question in her eyes.
He held out his arms, but she drew back.

"Do you mean what you have said, Louis, about leaving them, if I
marry you, and doing all you can to stop them?"

"You know I mean it."

"Then--I'll not go home."

"You are going to marry me?  Now?"

"Whenever you say."

Suddenly she was trembling violently, and her lips felt dry and
stiff.  He pushed her into a chair, and knelt down beside her.

"You poor little kid," he said, softly.

Through his brain were racing a hundred thoughts; Lily his, in his
arms, in spite of that white-faced drug clerk with the cold eyes;
himself in the Cardew house, one of them, beating old Anthony Cardew
at his own cynical game; and persistently held back and often rising
again to the surface, Woslosky and Doyle and the others, killers that
they were, pursuing him with their vengeance over the world.  They
would have to be counted in; they were his price, as he, had he
known it, was Lily's.

"My wife!" he said.  "My wife."

She stiffened in his arms.

"I must go, Louis," she said.  "I can't stay here.  I felt very
queer downstairs.  They all stared so."

There was a clock on the mantel shelf, and he looked at it.  It was
a quarter before five.

"One thing is sure, Lily," he said.  "You can't wander about alone,
and you are right--you can't stay here.  They probably recognized
you downstairs.  You are pretty well known."

For the first time it occurred to her that she had compromised
herself, and that the net, of her own making, was closing fast about
her.

"I wish I hadn't come."

"Why?  We can fix that all right in a jiffy."

But when he suggested an immediate marriage she made a final
struggle.  In a few days, even to-morrow, but not just then.  He
listened, impatiently, his eyes on the clock.  Beside it in the
mirror he saw his own marred face, and it added to his anger.  In
the end he took control of the situation; went into his bedroom,
changed into a coat, and came out again, ready for the street.  He
telephoned down for a taxicab, and then confronted her, his face
grim.

"I've let you run things pretty much to suit yourself, Lily," he
said.  "Now I'm in charge.  It won't be to-morrow or next week or
next month.  It will be now.  You're here.  You've given them a
chance to talk downstairs.  You've nowhere to go, and you're
going to marry me at once."

In the cab he explained more fully.  They would get a license, and
then go to one of the hotels.  There they could be married, in
their own suite.

"All regularly and in order, honey," he said, and kissed her hand.
She had hardly heard.  She was staring ahead, not thinking, not
listening, not seeing, fighting down a growing fear of the man
before her, of his sheer physical proximity, of his increasing
exuberance.

"I'm mad about you, girl," he said.  "Mad.  And now you are going
to be mine, until death do us part."

She shivered and drew away, and he laughed a little.  Girls were
like that, at such times.  They always took a step back for every
two steps forward.  He let her hand go, and took a careful survey
of his face in the mirror of the cab.  The swelling had gone down,
but that bruise below his eye would last for days.  He cursed
under his breath.


It was after nine o'clock when one of the Cardew cars stopped not
far from the Benedict Apartments, and Willy Cameron got out.

He was quite certain that Louis Akers would know where Lily was,
and he anticipated the interview with a sort of grim humor.  There
might be another fight; certainly Akers would try to get back at
him for the night before.  But he set his jaw.  He would learn
where Lily was if he had to choke the knowledge out of that leering
devil's thick white throat.  His arrival in the foyer of the
Benedict Apartments caused more than a ripple of excitement.

"Well, look who's here!" muttered the telephone girl, and watched
his approach, with its faint limp, over the top of her desk.
Behind, from his cage, the elevator man was staring with avid
interest.

"I suppose Mr. Akers is in?" said Willy Cameron, politely.  The girl
smiled up at him.

"I'll say he ought to be, after last night!  What're you going to
do now?  Kill him?"

In spite of his anxiety there was a faint twinkle in Willy Cameron's
eyes.

"No," he said slowly.  "No.  I think not.  I want to talk to him."

"Sam," called the telephone girl, "take this gentleman up to
forty-three."

"Forty-three's out."  Sam partly shut the elevator door; he had seen
Forty-three's rooms the night before, and he had the discretion of
his race.  "Went out with a lady at quarter to five."

Willy Cameron took a step or two toward the cage.

"You don't happen to be lying, I suppose?"

"No, sir!" said Sam.  "I'll take you up to look, if you like.  And
about an hour ago he sent a boy here with a note, to get some of
his clothes.  The young lady at the desk was out at the movies at
the time."

"I was getting my supper, Sam."

Willy Cameron had gone very white.

"Did the boy say where he was taking the things?"

"To the Saint Elmo Hotel, sir."

On the street again Willy Cameron took himself fiercely in hand.
There were a half-dozen reasons why Akers might go to the Saint
Elmo.  He might, for one thing, have thought that he, Cameron,
would go back to the Benedict.  He might be hiding from Dan, or
from reporters.  But there had been, apparently, no attempt to
keep his new quarters secret.  If Lily was at the Saint Elmo--

He found a taxicab, and as it drew up at the curb before the
hotel he saw the Cardew car moving away.  It gave him his first
real breath for twenty minutes.  Lily was not there.

But Louis Akers was.  He got his room number from a clerk and
went up, still determinedly holding on to himself.  Afterwards he
had no clear recollection of any interval between the Benedict
and the moment he found himself standing outside a door on an
upper floor of the Saint Elmo.  From that time on it was as clear
as crystal, his own sudden calm, the overturning of a chair inside,
a man's voice, slightly raised, which he recognized, and then the
thin crash of a wineglass dropped or thrown to the floor.

He opened the door and went in.

In the center of the sitting room a table was set, and on it the
remains of a dinner for two.  Akers was standing by the table,
his chair overturned behind him, a splintered glass at his feet,
staring angrily at the window.  Even then Willy Cameron saw that
he had had too much to drink, and that he was in an ugly mood.
He was in dinner clothes, but with his bruised face and scowling
brows he looked a sinister imitation of a gentleman.

By the window, her back to the room, was Lily.

Neither of them glanced at the door.  Evidently the waiter had been
moving in and out, and Akers considered him as little as he would a
dog.

"Come and sit down," he said angrily.  "I've quit drinking, I tell
you.  Good God, just because I've had a little wine--and I had the
hell of a time getting it--you won't eat and won't talk.  Come here."

"I'm not hungry."

"Come here."

"Stay where you are, Lily," said Willy Cameron, from inside the
closed door.  "Or perhaps you'd better get your wraps.  I came to
take you home."

Akers had wheeled at the voice, and now stood staring incredulously.
First anger, and then a grin of triumph, showed in his face.  Drink
had made him not so much drunk as reckless.  He had lost last night,
but to-day he had won.

"Hello, Cameron," he said.

Willy Cameron ignored him.

"Will you come?" he said to Lily.

"I can't, Willy."

"Listen, Lily dear," he said gravely.  "Your father is searching the
city for you.  Do you know what that means?  Don't you see that you
must go home at once?  You can't dine here in a private suite, like
this, and not expose yourself to all sorts of talk."

"Go on," said Akers, leering.  "I like to hear you."

"Especially," continued Willy Cameron, "with a man like this."

Akers took a step toward him, but he was not too sure of himself,
and he knew now that the other man had a swing to his right arm
like the driving rod of a locomotive.  He retreated again to the
table, and his hand closed over a knife there.

"Louis!" Lily said sharply.

He picked up the knife and smiled at her, his eyes cunning.  "Not
going to kill him, my dear," he said.  "Merely to give him a hint
that I'm not as easy as I was last night."

That was a slip, and he knew it.  Lily had left the window and come
forward, a stricken slip of a girl, and he turned to her angrily.

"Go into the other room and close the door," he ordered.  "When I've
thrown this fellow out, you can come back."

But Lily's eyes were fixed on Willy Cameron's face.

"It was you last night?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Because," Willy Cameron said steadily, "he had got a girl into
trouble, and then insulted her.  I wouldn't tell you, but you've got
to know the truth before it's too late."

Lily threw out both hands dizzily, as though catching for support.
But she steadied herself.  Neither man moved.

"It is too late, Willy," she said.  "I have just married him."



CHAPTER XXX


At midnight Howard Cardew reached home again, a tired and broken
man.  Grace had been lying awake in her bedroom, puzzled by his
unexplained absence, and brooding, as she now did continually,
over Lily's absence.

At half past eleven she heard Anthony Cardew come in and go upstairs,
and for some time after that she heard him steadily pacing back and
forth overhead.  Sometimes Grace felt sorry for Anthony.  He had
made himself at such cost, and now when he was old, he had everything
and yet nothing.

They had never understood women, these Cardews.  Howard was gentle
with them where Anthony was hard, but he did not understand, either.
She herself, of other blood, got along by making few demands, but
the Cardew women were as insistent in their demands as the men.
Elinor, Lily--She formed a sudden resolution, and getting up,
dressed feverishly.  She had no plan in her mind, nothing but a
desperate resolution to put Lily's case before her grandfather,
and to beg that she be brought home without conditions.

She was frightened as she went up the stairs.  Never before had she
permitted things to come to an issue between herself and Anthony.
But now it must be done.  She knocked at the door.

Anthony Cardew opened it.  The room was dark, save for one lamp
burning dimly on a great mahogany table, and Anthony's erect figure
was little more than a blur of black and white.

"I heard you walking about," she said breathlessly.  "May I come in
and talk to you?"

"Come in," he said, with a sort of grave heaviness.  "Shall I light
the other lamps?"

"Please don't."

"Will you sit down?  No?  Do you mind if I do?  I am very tired.
I suppose it is about Lily?"

"Yes.  I can't stand it any longer.  I can't."

Sitting under the lamp she saw that he looked very old and very
weary.  A tired little old man, almost a broken one.

"She won't come back?"

"Not under the conditions.  But she must come back, father.  To let
her stay on there, in that house, after last night--"

She had never called him "father" before.  It seemed to touch him.

"You're a good woman, Grace," he said, still heavily.  "We Cardews
all marry good women, but we don't know how to treat them.  Even
Howard--"  His voice trailed off.  "No, she can't stay there," he
said, after a pause.

"But--I must tell you--she refuses to give up that man."

"You are a woman, Grace.  You ought to know something about girls.
Does she actually care for him, or is it because he offers the
liberty she thinks we fail to give her?  Or"--he smiled faintly--
"is it Cardew pig-headedness?"

Grace made a little gesture of despair.

"I don't know.  She wanted to come home.  She begged--it was
dreadful."  Grace hesitated.  "Even that couldn't be as bad as this,
father," she said.  "We have all lived our own lives, you and Howard
and myself, and now we won't let her do it."

"And a pretty mess we have made of them!"  His tone was grim.  "No,
I can't say that we offer her any felicitous examples.  But the
fellow's plan is transparent enough.  He is ambitious.  He sees
himself installed here, one of us.  Mark my words, Grace, he may
love the child, but his real actuating motive is that.  He's a
Radical, because since he can't climb up, he'll pull down.  But once
let him get his foot on the Cardew ladder, and he'll climb, over
her, over all of us."

He sat after that, his head dropped on his chest, his hands resting
on the arms of his chair, in a brooding reverie.  Grace waited.

"Better bring her home," he said finally.  "Tell her I surrender.
I want her here.  Let her bring that fellow here, too, if she has
to see him.  But for God's sake, Grace," he added, with a flash of
his old fire, "show her some real men, too."

Suddenly Grace bent over and kissed him.  He put up his hand, and
patted her on the shoulder.

"A good woman, Grace," he said, "and a good daughter to me.  I'm
sorry.  I'll try to do better."

As Grace straightened she heard the door close below, and Howard's
voice.  Almost immediately she heard him coming up the staircase,
and going out into the hall she called softly to him.

"Where are you?" he asked, looking up.  "Is father there?"

"Yes."

"I want you both to come down to the library, Grace."

She heard him turn and go slowly down the stairs.  His voice had
been strained and unnatural.  As she turned she found Anthony behind
her.

"Something has happened!"

"I rather think so," said old Anthony, slowly.

They went together down the stairs.

In the library Lily was standing, facing the door, a quiet figure,
listening and waiting.  Howard had dropped into a chair and was
staring ahead.  And beyond the circle of lights was a shadowy figure,
vaguely familiar, tall, thin, and watchful.  Willy Cameron.



CHAPTER XXXI


The discovery that Lily had left his house threw Jim Doyle into a
frenzy.  The very manner of her going filled him with dark
suspicion.  Either she had heard more that morning than he had
thought, or--In his cunning mind for weeks there had been growing
a smoldering suspicion of his wife.  She was too quiet, too
acquiescent.  In the beginning, when Woslosky had brought the
scheme to him, and had promised it financial support from Europe,
he had taken a cruel and savage delight in outlining it to her,
in seeing her cringe and go pale.

He had not feared her then.  She had borne with so much, endured,
tolerated, accepted, that he had not realized that she might have
a breaking point.

The plan had appealed to his cynical soul from the first.  It was
the apotheosis of cynicism, this reducing of a world to its lowest
level.  And it had amused him to see his wife, a gentlewoman born,
bewildered before the chaos he depicted.

"But--it is German!" she had said.

"I bow before intelligence.  It is German.  Also it is Russian.
Also it is of all nations.  All this talk now, of a League of
Nations, a few dull diplomats acting as God over the peoples of
the earth!"  His eyes blazed.  "While the true league, of the
workers of the world, is already in effect!"

But he watched her after that, not that he was afraid of her, but
because her re-action as a woman was important.  He feared women
in the movement.  It had its disciples, fervent and eloquent, paid
and unpaid women agitators, but he did not trust them.  They were
invariably women without home ties, women with nothing to protect,
women with everything to gain and nothing to lose.  The woman in
the home was a natural anti-radical.  Not the police, not even the
army, but the woman in the home was the deadly enemy of the great
plan.

He began to hate Elinor, not so much for herself, as for the women
she represented.  She became the embodiment of possible failure.
She stood in his path, passively resistant, stubbornly brave.

She was not a clever woman, and she was slow in gathering the full
significance of a nation-wide general strike, that with an end of
all production the non-producing world would be beaten to its knees.
And then she waited for a world movement, forgetting that a flame
must start somewhere and then spread.  But she listened and learned.
There was a great deal of talk about class and mass.  She learned
that the mass, for instance, was hungry for a change.  It would
welcome any change.  Woslosky had been in Russia when the Kerensky
regime was overthrown, and had seen that strange three days when
the submerged part of the city filled the streets, singing, smiling,
endlessly walking, exalted and without guile.

No problems troubled them.  They had ceased to labor, and that was
enough.

Had it not been for its leaders, the mass would have risen like a
tide, and ebbed again.

Elinor had struggled to understand.  This was not Socialism.  Jim
had been a Socialist for years.  He had believed that the gradual
elevation of the few, the gradual subjection of the many, would go
on until the majority would drag the few down to their own level.
But this new dream was something immediate.  At her table she began
to hear talk of substituting for that slow process a militant
minority.  She was a long time, months, in discovering that Jim
Doyle was one of the leaders of that militant minority, and that
the methods of it were unspeakably criminal.

Then had begun Elinor Doyle's long battle, at first to hold him back,
and that failing, the fight between her duty to her husband and that
to her country.  He had been her one occupation and obsession too
long to be easily abandoned, but she was sturdily national, too.  In
the end she made her decision.  She lived in his house, mended his
clothing, served his food, met his accomplices, and--watched.

She hated herself for it.  Every fine fiber of her revolted.  But
as time went on, and she learned the full wickedness of the thing,
her days became one long waiting.  She saw one move after another
succeed, strike after strike slowing production, and thus increasing
the cost of living.  She saw the growing discontent and muttering,
the vicious circle of labor striking for more money, and by its own
ceasing of activity making the very increases they asked inadequate.
And behind it all she saw the ceaseless working, the endless sowing,
of a grim-faced band of conspirators.

She was obliged to wait.  A few men talking in secret meetings, a
hidden propaganda of crime and disorder--there was nothing to
strike at.  And Elinor, while not clever, had the Cardew shrewdness.
She saw that, like the crisis in a fever, the thing would have to
come, be met, and defeated.

She had no hope that the government would take hold.  Government
was aloof, haughty, and secure in its own strength.  Just now, too,
it was objective, not subjective.  It was like a horse set to win
a race, and unconscious of the fly on its withers.  But the fly
was a gadfly.

Elinor knew Doyle was beginning to suspect her.  Sometimes she
thought he would kill her, if he discovered what she meant to do.
She did not greatly care.  She waited for some inkling of the day
set for the uprising in the city, and saved out of her small
house allowance by innumerable economies and subterfuges.  When
she found out the time she would go to the Governor of the State.
He seemed to be a strong man, and she would present him facts.
Facts and names.  Then he must act--and quickly.

Cut off from her own world, and with no roots thrown out in the
new, she had no friends, no one to confide in or of whom to ask
assistance.  And she was afraid to go to Howard.  He would
precipitate things.  The leaders would escape, and a new group
would take their places.  Such a group, she knew, stood ready
for that very emergency.

On the afternoon of Lily's departure she heard Doyle come in.
He had not recovered from his morning's anger, and she heard his
voice, raised in some violent reproof to Jennie.  He came up the
stairs, his head sagged forward, his every step deliberate, heavy,
ominous.  He had an evening paper in his hand, and he gave it to
her with his finger pointing to a paragraph.

"You might show that to the last of the Cardews," he sneered.

It was the paragraph about Louis Akers.  Elinor read it.  "Who were
the masked men?" she asked.  "Do you know?"

"I wish to God I did.  I'd--Makes him a laughing stock, of course.
And just now, when--Where's Lily?"

Elinor put down the paper.

"She is not here.  She went home this afternoon."

He stared at her, angrily incredulous.

"Home?"

"This afternoon."

She passed him and went out into the hall.  But he followed her and
caught her by the arm as she reached the top of the staircase.

"What made her go home?"

"I don't know, Jim."

"She didn't say?"

"Don't hold me like that.  No."

She tried to free her arm, but he held her, his face angry and
suspicious.

"You are lying to me," he snarled.  "She gave you a reason.  What
was it?"

Elinor was frightened, but she had not lost her head.  She was
thinking rapidly.

"She had a visitor this afternoon, a young man.  He must have told
her something about last night.  She came up and told me she was
going."

"You know he told her something, don't you?"

"Yes." Elinor had cowered against the wall.  "Jim, don't look like
that.  You frighten me.  I couldn't keep her here.  I--"

"What did he tell her?"

"He accused you."

He was eyeing her coldly, calculatingly.  All his suspicions of the
past weeks suddenly crystallized.  "And you let her go, after that,"
he said slowly.  "You were glad to have her go.  You didn't deny what
she said.  You let her run back home, with what she had guessed and
what you told her to-day.  You--"

He struck her then.  The blow was as remorseless as his voice, as
deliberate.  She fell down the staircase headlong, and lay there,
not moving.

The elderly maid came running from the kitchen, and found him
half-way down the stairs, his eyes still calculating, but his body
shaking.

"She fell," he said, still staring down.  But the servant faced him,
her eyes full of hate.

"You devil!" she said.  "If she's dead, I'll see you hang for it."

But Elinor was not dead.  Doctor Smalley, making rounds in a nearby
hospital and answering the emergency call, found her lying on her
bed, fully conscious and in great pain, while her husband bent over
her in seeming agony of mind.  She had broken her leg.  He sent
Doyle out during the setting.  It was a principle of his to keep
agonized husbands out of the room.



CHAPTER XXXII


Life had beaten Lily Cardew.  She went about the house, pathetically
reminiscent of Elinor Doyle in those days when she had sought
sanctuary there; but where Elinor had seen those days only as
interludes in her stormy life, Lily was finding a strange new peace.
She was very tender, very thoughtful, insistently cheerful, as though
determined that her own ill-fortune should not affect the rest of the
household.

But to Lily this peace was not an interlude, but an end.  Life for
her was over.  Her bright dreams were gone, her future settled.
Without so putting it, even to herself, she dedicated herself to
service, to small kindnesses, and little thoughtful acts.  She was,
daily and hourly, making reparation to them all for what she had
cost them, in hope.

That was the thing that had gone out of life.  Hope.  Her loathing
of Louis Akers was gone.  She did not hate him.  Rather she felt
toward him a sort of numbed indifference.  She wished never to see
him again, but the revolt that had followed her knowledge of the
conditions under which he had married her was gone.  She tried to
understand his viewpoint, to make allowances for his lack of some
fundamental creed to live by.  But as the days went on, with that
healthy tendency of the mind to bury pain, she found him, from a
figure that bulked so large as to shut out all the horizon of her
life, receding more and more.

But always he would shut off certain things.  Love, and marriage,
and of course the hope of happiness.  Happiness was a thing one
earned, and she had not earned it.

After the scene at the Saint Elmo, when he had refused to let her
go, and when Willy Cameron had at last locked him in the bedroom
of the suite and had taken her away, there had followed a complete
silence.  She had waited for some move or his part, perhaps an
announcement of the marriage in the newspapers, but nothing had
appeared.  He had commenced a whirlwind campaign for the mayoralty
and was receiving a substantial support from labor.

The months at the house on Cardew Way seemed more and more
dream-like, and that quality of remoteness was accentuated by the
fact that she had not been able to talk to Elinor.  She had
telephoned more than once during the week, but a new maid had
answered.  Mrs. Doyle was out.  Mrs. Doyle was unable to come to
the telephone.  The girl was a foreigner, with something of
Woslosky's burr in her voice.

Lily had not left the house since her return.  During that family
conclave which had followed her arrival, a stricken thing of few
words and long anxious pauses, her grandfather had suggested that.
He had been curiously mild with her, her grandfather.  He had
made no friendly overtures, but he had neither jibed nor sneered.

"It's done," he had said briefly.  "The thing now is to keep her
out of his clutches."  He had turned to her.  "I wouldn't leave
the house for few days, Lily."

It was then that Willy Cameron had gone.  Afterwards she thought
that he must have been waiting, patiently protective, to see how
the old man received her.

Her inability to reach Elinor began to dismay her, at last.  There
was something sinister about it, and finally Howard himself went
to the Doyle house.  Lily had come back on Thursday, and on the
following Tuesday he made his call, timing it so that Doyle would
probably be away from home.  But he came back baffled.

"She was not at home," he said.  "I had to take the servant's word
for it, but I think the girl was lying."

"She may be ill.  She almost never goes out."

"What possible object could they have in concealing her illness?"
Howard said impatiently.

But he was very uneasy, and what Lily had told him since her return
only increased his anxiety.  The house was a hotbed of conspiracy,
and for her own reasons Elinor was remaining there.  It was no
place for a sister of his.  But Elinor for years had only touched
the outer fringes of his life, and his days were crowded with other
things; the increasing arrogance of the strikers, the utter
uselessness of trying to make terms with them, his own determination
to continue to fight his futile political campaign.  He put her out
of his mind.

Then, at the end of another week, a curious thing happened.  Anthony
and Lily were in the library.  Old Anthony without a club was Old
Anthony lost, and he had developed a habit, at first rather
embarrassing to the others, of spending much of his time downstairs.
He was no sinner turned saint.  He still let the lash of his tongue
play over the household, but his old zest in it seemed gone.  He made,
too, small tentative overtures to Lily, intended to be friendly, but
actually absurdly self-conscious.  Grace, watching him, often felt
him rather touching.  It was obvious to her that he blamed himself,
rather than Lily, for what had happened.

On this occasion he had asked Lily to read to him.

"And leave out the politics," he had said, "I get enough of that
wherever I go."

As she read she felt him watching her, and in the middle of a
paragraph he suddenly said:

"What's become of Cameron?"

"He must be very busy.  He is supporting Mr. Hendricks, you know."

"Supporting him!  He's carrying him on his back," grunted Anthony.
"What is it, Grayson?"

"A lady--a woman--calling on Miss Cardew."

Lily rose, but Anthony motioned her back.

"Did she give any name?"

"She said to say it was Jennie, sir."

"Jennie!  It must be Aunt Elinor's Jennie!"

"Send her in," said Anthony, and stood waiting Lily noticed his face
twitching; it occurred to her then that this strange old man might
still love his daughter, after all the years, and all his cruelty.

It was the elderly servant from the Doyle house who came in, a tall
gaunt woman, looking oddly unfamiliar to Lily in a hat.

"Why, Jennie!" she said.  And then: "Is anything wrong?"

"There is and there isn't," Jennie said, somberly.  "I just wanted
to tell you, and I don't care if he kills me for it.  It was him
that threw her downstairs.  I heard him hit her."

Old Anthony stiffened.

"He threw Aunt Elinor downstairs?"

"That's how she broke her leg."

Sheer amazement made Lily inarticulate.

"But they said--we didn't know--do you mean that she has been
there all this time, hurt?"

"I mean just that," said Jennie, stolidly.  "I helped set it, with
him pretending to be all worked up, for the doctor to see.  He got
rid of me all right.  He's got one of his spies there now, a
Bolshevik like himself.  You can ask the neighbors."

Howard was out, and when the woman had gone Anthony ordered his
car.  Lily, frightened by the look on his face, made only one
protest.

"You mustn't go alone," she said.  "Let me go, too.  Or take
Grayson--anybody."

But he went alone; in the hall he picked up his hat and stick, and
drew on his gloves.

"What is the house number?"

Lily told him and he went out, moving deliberately, like a man who
has made up his mind to follow a certain course, but to keep himself
well in hand.



CHAPTER XXXIII


Acting on Willy Cameron's suggestion, Dan Boyd retained his
membership in the union and frequented the meetings.  He learned
various things, that the strike vote had been padded, for instance,
and that the Radicals had taken advantage of the absence of some
of the conservative leaders to secure such support as they had
received.  He found the better class of workmen dissatisfied and
unhappy.  Some of them, men who loved their tools, had resented
the order to put them down where they were and walk out, and this
resentment, childish as it seemed, was an expression of their
general dissatisfaction with the autocracy they had themselves
built up.

Finally Dan's persistent attendance and meek acquiescence, added to
his war record, brought him reward.  He was elected member of a
conference to take to the Central Labor Council the suggestion for
a general strike.  It was arranged that the delegates take the
floor one after the other, and hold it for as long as possible.
Then they were to ask the President of the Council to put the
question.

The arguments were carefully prepared.  The general strike was to
be urged as the one salvation of the labor movement.  It would prove
the solidarity of labor.  And, at the Council meeting a few days
later, the rank and file were impressed by the arguments.  Dan,
gnawing his nails and listening, watched anxiously.  The idea was
favorably received, and the delegates went back to their local unions,
to urge, coerce and threaten.

Not once, during the meeting, had there been any suggestion of
violence, but violence was in the air, nevertheless.  The quantity
of revolutionary literature increased greatly during the following
ten days, and now it was no longer furtively distributed.  It was
sold or given away at all meetings; it flooded the various
headquarters with its skillful compound of lies and truth.  The
leaders notified of the situation, pretended that it was harmless
raving, a natural and safe outlet for suppressed discontents.

Dan gathered up an armful of it and took it home.  On a Sunday
following, there was a mass meeting at the Colosseum, and a business
agent of one of the unions made an impassioned speech.  He recited
old and new grievances, said that the government had failed to live
up to its promises, that the government boards were always unjust
to the workers, and ended with a statement of the steel makers'
profits.  Dan turned impatiently to a man beside him.

"Why doesn't he say how much of that profit the government gets?"
he demanded.

But the man only eyed him suspiciously.

Dan fell silent.  He knew it was wrong, but he had no gift of
tongue.  It was at that meeting that for the first time he heard
used the word "revolution."



CHAPTER XXXIV


Old Anthony's excursion to his daughter's house had not prospered.
During the drive to Cardew Way he sat forward on the edge of the
seat of his limousine, his mouth twitching with impatience and
anger, his stick tightly clutched in his hand.  Almost before the
machine stopped he was out on the pavement, scanning the house
with hostile eyes.

The building was dark.  Paul, the chauffeur, watching curiously,
for the household knew that Anthony Cardew had sworn never to
darken his daughter's door, saw his erect, militant figure enter
the gate and lose itself in the shadow of the house.  There
followed a short interval of nothing in particular, and then a
tall man appeared in the rectangle of light which was the open
door.

Jim Doyle was astounded when he saw his visitor.  Astounded and
alarmed.  But he recovered himself quickly, and smiled.

"This is something I never expected to see," he said, "Mr. Anthony
Cardew on my doorstep."

"I don't give a damn what you expected to see," said Mr. Anthony
Cardew.  "I want to see my daughter."

"Your daughter?  You have said for a good many years that you have
no daughter."

"Stand aside, sir.  I didn't come here to quibble."

"But I love to quibble," sneered Doyle.  "However, if you insist--
I might as well tell you, I haven't the remotest intention of
letting you in."

"I'll ask you a question," said old Anthony.  "Is it true that my
daughter has been hurt?"

"My wife is indisposed.  I presume we are speaking of the same
person."

"You infernal scoundrel," shouted Anthony, and raising his cane,
brought it down with a crack on Doyle's head.  The chauffeur was
half-way up the walk by that time, and broke into a run.  He saw
Doyle, against the light, reel, recover and raise his fist, but
he did not bring it down.

"Stop that!" yelled the chauffeur, and came on like a charging steer.
When he reached the steps old Anthony was hanging his stick over his
left forearm, and Doyle was inside the door, trying to close it.
This was difficult, however, because Anthony had quietly put his
foot over the sill.

"I am going to see my daughter, Paul," said Anthony Cardew.  "Can
you open the door?"

"Open it!" Paul observed truculently.  "Watch me!"

He threw himself against the door, but it gave suddenly, and sent
him sprawling inside at Doyle's feet.  He was up in an instant,
squared to fight, but he only met Jim Doyle's mocking smile.  Doyle
stood, arms folded, and watched Anthony Cardew enter his house.
Whatever he feared he covered with the cynical mask that was his
face.

He made no move, offered no speech.

"Is she upstairs?"

"She is asleep.  Do you intend to disturb her?"

"I do," said old Anthony grimly.  "I'll go first, Paul.  You follow
me, but I'd advise you to come up backwards."

Suddenly Doyle laughed.

"What!" he said, "Mr. Anthony Cardew paying his first visit to my
humble home, and anticipating violence!  You underestimate the
honor you are doing me."

He stood like a mocking devil at the foot of the staircase until
the two men had reached the top.  Then he followed them.  The mask
had dropped from his face, and anger and watchfulness showed in it.
If she talked, he would kill her.  But she knew that.  She was not
a fool.

Elinor lay in the bed, listening.  She had recognized her father's
voice, and her first impulse was one of almost unbearable relief.
They had found her.  They had come to take her away.  For she knew
now that she was a prisoner; even without the broken leg she would
have been a prisoner.  The girl downstairs was one of them, and her
jailer.  A jailer who fed her, and gave her grudgingly the attention
she required, but that was all.

Just when Doyle had begun to suspect her she did not know, but on
the night after her injury he had taken pains to verify his
suspicions.  He had found first her little store of money, and that
had angered him.  In the end he had broken open a locked trinket
box and found a notebook in which for months she had kept her
careful records.  Here and there, scattered among house accounts,
were the names of the radical members of The Central Labor Council,
and other names, spoken before her and carefully remembered.  He
had read them out to her as he came to them, suffering as she was,
and she had expected death then.  But he had not killed her.  He
had sent Jennie away and brought in this Russian girl, a mad-eyed
fanatic named Olga, and from that time on he visited her once daily.
In his anger and triumph over her he devised the most cunning of
all punishments; he told her of the movement's progress, of its
ingeniously contrived devilments in store, of its inevitable
success.  What buildings and homes were to be bombed, the Cardew
house first among them; what leading citizens were to be held as
hostages, with all that that implied; and again the Cardews headed
the list.

When Doctor Smalley came he or the Russian were always present,
solicitous and attentive.  She got out of her bed one day, and
dragging her splinted leg got to her desk, in the hope of writing
a note and finding some opportunity of giving it to the doctor.
Only to discover that they had taken away her pen, pencils and
paper.

She had been found there by Olga, but the girl had made no comment.
Olga had helped her back into bed without a word, but from that
time on had spent most of her day on the upper floor.  Not until
Doyle came in would she go downstairs to prepare his food.

Elinor lay in her bed and listened to her father coming up the
stairs.  She knew, before he reached the top, that Doyle would never
let her be taken away.  He would kill her first.  He might kill
Anthony Cardew.  She had a sickening sense of tragedy coming up the
staircase, tragedy which took the form of her father's familiar
deliberate step.  Perhaps had she known of the chauffeur's presence
she might have chanced it, for every fiber of her tired body was
crying for release.  But she saw only her father, alone in that house
with Doyle and the smoldering Russian.

The key turned in the lock.

Anthony Cardew stood in the doorway, looking at her.  With her
long hair in braids, she seemed young, almost girlish.  She looked
like the little girl who had gone to dancing school in short white
frocks and long black silk stockings, so many years ago.

"I've just learned about it, Elinor," he said.  He moved to the
bed and stood beside it, looking down, but he did not touch her.
"Are you able to be taken away from here?"

She knew that Doyle was outside, listening, and she hardened her
heart for the part she had to play.  It was difficult; she was so
infinitely moved by her father's coming, and in the dim light he,
too, looked like himself of years ago.

"Taken away?  Where?" she asked.

"You don't want to stay here, do you?" he demanded bluntly.

"This is my home, father."

"Good God, home!  Do you mean to tell me that, with all you must
know about this man, you still want to stay with him?"

"I have no other home."

"I am offering you one."

Old Anthony was bewildered and angry.  Elinor put out a hand to
touch him, but he drew back.

"After he has thrown you downstairs and injured you--"

"How did you hear that?"

"The servant you had here came to see me to-night, Elinor.  She said
that that blackguard outside there had struck you and you fell down
the stairs.  If you tell me that's the truth I'll break every bone
in his body."

Sheer terror for Anthony made her breathless.

"But it isn't true," she said wildly.  "You mustn't think that.  I
fell.  I slipped and fell."

"Then," said Anthony, speaking slowly, "you are not a prisoner here?"

"A prisoner?  I'd be a prisoner anywhere, father.  I can't walk."

"That door was locked."

She was fighting valiantly for him.

"I can't walk, father.  I don't require a locked door to keep me in."

He was too confused and puzzled to notice the evasion.

"Do you mean to say that you won't let me have you taken home?  You
are still going to stay with this man?  You know what he is, don't
you?"

"I know what you think he is."  She tried to smile, and he looked
away from her quickly and stared around the room, seeing nothing,
however.  Suddenly he turned and walked to the door; but he stopped
there, his hand on the knob, and us face twitching.

"Once more, Elinor," he said, "I ask you if you will let me take
you back with me.  This is the last time.  I have come, after a good
many years of bad feeling, to make my peace with you and to offer
you a home.  Will you come?"

"No."

Her courage almost failed her.  She lay back, her eyes closed and
her face colorless.  The word itself was little more than a whisper.

Her father opened the door and went out.  She heard him going down
the stairs, heard other footsteps that followed him, and listened
in an agony of fear that Doyle would drop him in the hall below.
But nothing happened.  The outside door closed, and after a moment
she opened her eyes.  Doyle was standing by the bed.

"So," he said, "you intend to give me the pleasure of your society
for some time, do you?"

She said nothing.  She was past any physical fear for herself.

"You liar!" he said softly.  "Do you think I don't understand why
you want to remain here?  You are cleverer than I thought you were,
but you are not as clever as I am.  You'd have done better to have
let him take you away."

"You would have killed him first."

"Perhaps I would." He lighted a cigarette.  "But it is a pleasant
thought to play with, and I shall miss it when the thing is fait
accompli.  I see Olga has left you without ice water.  Shall I
bring you some?"

He was still smiling faintly when he brought up the pitcher,
some time later, and placed it on the stand beside the bed.



CHAPTER XXXV


In the Boyd house things went on much as before, but with a new
heaviness.  Ellen, watching keenly, knew why the little house was
so cheerless and somber.  It had been Willy Cameron who had brought
to it its gayer moments, Willy determinedly cheerful, slamming
doors and whistling; Willy racing up the stairs with something hot
for Mrs. Boyd's tray; Willy at the table, making them forget the
frugality of the meals with campaign anecdotes; Willy, lamenting
the lack of a chance to fish, and subsequently eliciting a rare
smile from Edith by being discovered angling in the kitchen sink
with a piece of twine on the end of his umbrella.

Rather forced, some of it, but eminently good for all of them.  And
then suddenly it ceased.  He made an effort, but there was no
spontaneity in him.  He came in quietly, never whistled, and ate very
little.  He began to look almost gaunt, too, and Edith, watching
him with jealous, loving eyes, gave voice at last to the thought
that was in her mind.

"I wish you'd go away," she said, "and let us fight this thing out
ourselves.  Dan would have to get something to do, then, for one
thing."

"But I don't want to go away, Edith."

"Then you're a fool," she observed, bitterly.  "You can't help me
any, and there's no use hanging mother around your neck."

"She won't be around any one's neck very long, Edith dear."

"After that, will you go away?"

"Not if you still want me."

"Want you!"

Dan was out, and Ellen had gone up for the invalid's tray.  They were
alone together, standing in the kitchen doorway.

Suddenly Edith, beside him, ran her hand through his arm.

"If I had been a different sort of girl, Willy, do you think--could
you ever have cared for me?"

"I never thought about you that way," he said, simply.  "I do care
for you.  You know that."

She dropped her hand.

"You are in love with Lily Cardew.  That's why you don't--I've
known it all along, Willy.  I used to think you'd get over it, never
seeing her and all that.  But you don't, do you?"  She looked up at
him.  "The real thing lasts, I suppose.  It will with me.  I wish to
heaven it wouldn't."

He was most uncomfortable, but he drew her hand within his arm again
and held it there.

"Don't get to thinking that you care anything about me," he said.
"There's not as much love in the world as there ought to be, and
we all need to hold hands, but--don't fancy anything like that."

"I wanted to tell you.  If I hadn't known about her I wouldn't have
told you, but--you said it when you said there's not as much love
as there ought to be.  I'm gone, but I guess my caring for you
hasn't hurt me any.  It's the only reason I'm alive to-day."

She freed her hand, and stood staring out over the little autumn
garden.  There was such brooding trouble in her face that he watched
her anxiously.

"I think mother suspects," she said at last.

"I hope not, Edith."

"I think she does.  She watches me all the time, and she asked to
see Dan to-night.  Only he didn't come home."

"You must deny it, Edith," he said, almost fiercely.  "She must not
know, ever.  That is one thing we can save her, and must save her."

But, going upstairs as usual before he went out, he realized that
Edith was right, and that matters had reached a crisis.  The sick
woman had eaten nothing, and her eyes were sunken and anxious.
There was an unspoken question in them, too, as she turned them on
him.  Most significant of all, the little album was not beside her,
nor the usual litter of newspapers on the bed.

"I wish you weren't going out, Willy," she said querulously.  "I want
to talk to you about something."

"Can't we discuss it in the morning?"

"I won't sleep till I get it off my mind, Willy."  But he could not
face that situation then.  He needed time, for one thing.  Surely
there must be some way out, some way to send this frail little
woman dreamless to her last sleep, life could not be so cruel that
death would seem kind.

He spoke at three different meetings that night, for the election
was close at hand.  Pink Denslow took him about in his car, and
stood waiting for him at the back of the crowd.  In the intervals
between hall and hall Pink found Willy Cameron very silent and very
grave, but he could not know that the young man beside him was
trying to solve a difficult question.  Which was: did two wrongs
ever make a right?

At the end of the last meeting Willy Cameron decided to walk home.

"I have some things to think over.  Pink," he said.  "Thanks for
the car.  It saves a lot of time."

Pink sat at the wheel, carefully scrutinizing Willy.  It struck
him then that Cameron looked fagged and unhappy.

"Nothing I can do, I suppose?"

"Thanks, no."

Pink knew nothing of Lily's marriage, nor of the events that had
followed it.  To his uninquiring mind all was as it should be with
her; she was at home again, although strangely quiet and very sweet,
and her small world was at peace with her.  It was all right with
her, he considered, although all wrong with him.  Except that she
was strangely subdued, which rather worried him.  It was not
possible, for instance, to rouse her to one of their old red-hot
discussions on religion, or marriage, or love.

"I saw Lily Cardew this afternoon, Cameron."

"Is she all right?" asked Willy Cameron, in a carefully casual tone.

"I don't know."  Pink's honest voice showed perplexity.  "She looks
all right, and the family's eating out of her hand..  But she's
changed somehow.  She asked for you."

"Thanks.  Well, good-night, old man."

Willy Cameron was facing the decision of his life that night, as he
walked home.  Lily was gone, out of his reach and out of his life.
But then she had never been within either.  She was only something
wonderful and far away, like a star to which men looked and sometimes
prayed.  Some day she would be free again, and then in time she would
marry.  Some one like Pink, her own sort, and find happiness.

But he knew that he would always love her, to the end of his days,
and even beyond, in that heaven in which he so simply believed.
All the things that puzzled him would be straightened out there,
and perhaps a man who had loved a woman and lost her here would
find her there, and walk hand in hand with her, through the bright
days of Paradise.

Not that that satisfied him.  He was a very earthly lover, with the
hungry arms of youth.  He yearned unspeakably for her.  He would
have died for her as easily as he would have lived for her, but he
could do neither.

That was one side of him.  The other, having put her away in that
warm corner of his heart which was hers always, was busy with the
practical problem of the Boyds.  He saw only one way out, and that
way he had been seeing with increasing clearness for several days.
Edith's candor that night, and Mrs. Boyd's suspicions, clearly
pointed to it.  There was one way by which to save Edith and her
child, and to save the dying woman the agony of full knowledge.

Edith was sitting on the doorstep, alone.  He sat down on the step
below her, rather silent, still busy with his problem.  Although
the night was warm, the girl shivered.

"She's not asleep.  She's waiting for me to go up, Willy.  She means
to call me in and ask me."

"Then I'd better say what I have to say quickly.  Edith, will you
marry me?"

She drew off and looked at him.

"I'd better explain what I mean," he said, speaking with some
difficulty.  "I mean--go through the ceremony with me.  I don't
mean actual marriage.  That wouldn't be fair to either of us,
because you know that I care for some one else."

"But you mean a real marriage?"

"Of course.  Your child has the right to a name, dear.  And, if
you don't mind telling a lie to save our souls, and for her peace
of mind, we can say that it took place some time ago."

She gazed at him dazedly.  Then something like suspicion came into
her face.

"Is it because of what I told you to-night?"

"I had thought of it before.  That helped, of course."

It seemed so surprisingly simple, put into words, and the light on
the girl's face was his answer.  A few words, so easily spoken, and
two lives were saved.  No, three, for Edith's child must be considered.

"You are like God," said Edith, in a low voice.  "Like God."  And
fell to soft weeping.  She was unutterably happy and relieved.  She
sat there, not daring to touch him, and looked out into the quiet
street.  Before her she saw all the things that she had thought
were gone; honor, a place in the world again, the right to look
into her mother's eyes; she saw marriage and happy, golden days.
He did not love her, but he would be hers, and perhaps in His own
good time the Manager of all destinies would make him love her.
She would try so hard to deserve that.

Mrs. Boyd was asleep when at last Edith went up the staircase, and
Ellen, lying sleepless on her cot in the hot attic room, heard the
girl softly humming to herself as she undressed, and marveled.



CHAPTER XXXVI


When Lily had been at home for some time, and Louis Akers had made
no attempt to see her, or to announce the marriage, the vigilance
of the household began to relax.  Howard Cardew had already
consulted the family lawyer about an annulment, and that gentleman
had sent a letter to Akers, which had received no reply.

Then one afternoon Grayson, whose instructions had been absolute
as to admitting Akers to the house, opened the door to Mrs. Denslow,
who was calling, and found behind that lady Louis Akers himself.
He made an effort to close the door behind the lady, but Akers was
too quick for him, and a scene at the moment was impossible.

He ushered Mrs. Denslow into the drawing room, and coming out,
closed the doors.

"My instructions, sir, are to say to you that the ladies are not at
home."

But Akers held out his hat and gloves with so ugly a look that
Grayson took them.

"I have come to see my wife," he said.  "Tell her that, and that if
she doesn't see me here I'll go upstairs and find her."

When Grayson still hesitated he made a move toward the staircase,
and the elderly servant, astounded at the speech and the movement,
put down the hat and faced him.

"I do not recognize any one in the household by that name, sir."

"You don't, don't you?  Very well.  Tell Miss Cardew I am here, and
that either she will come down or I'll go up.  I'll wait in the
library."

He watched Grayson start up the stairs, and then went into the
library.  He was very carefully dressed, and momentarily exultant
over the success of his ruse, but he was uneasy, too, and wary,
and inclined to regard the house as a possible trap.  He had made
a gambler's venture, risking everything on the cards he held, and
without much confidence in them.  His vanity declined to believe
that his old power over Lily was gone, but he had held a purely
physical dominance over so many women that he knew both his
strength and his limitations.

What he could not understand, what had kept him awake so many nights
since he had seen her, was her recoil from him on Willy Cameron's
announcement.  She had known he had led the life of his sort; he
had never played the plaster saint to her.  And she had accepted
her knowledge of his connection with the Red movement, on his mere
promise to reform.  But this other, this accident, and she had
turned from him with a horror that made him furious to remember.
These silly star-eyed virgins, who accepted careful abstractions
and then turned sick at life itself, a man was a fool to put himself
in their hands.

Mademoiselle was with Lily in her boudoir when Grayson came up, a
thin, tired-faced, suddenly old Mademoiselle, much given those days
to early masses, during which she prayed for eternal life for the
man who had ruined Lily's life, and that soon.  To Mademoiselle
marriage was a final thing and divorce a wickedness against God
and His establishment on earth.

Lily, rather like Willy Cameron, was finding on her spirit at that
time a burden similar to his, of keeping up the morale of the
household.

Grayson came in and closed the door behind him.  Anger and anxiety
were in his worn old face, and Lily got up quickly.  "What is it,
Grayson?"

"I'm sorry, Miss Lily.  He was in the vestibule behind Mrs. Denslow,
and I couldn't keep him out.  I think he had waited for some one to
call, knowing I couldn't make a scene."

Mademoiselle turned to Lily.

"You must not see him," she said in rapid French.  "Remain here, and
I shall telephone for your father.  Lock your door.  He may come up.
He will do anything, that man."

"I am going down," Lily said quietly.  "I owe him that.  You need not
be frightened.  And don't tell mother; it will only worry her and do
no good."

Her heart was beating fast as she went down the stairs.  From the
drawing room came the voices of Grace and Mrs. Denslow, chatting
amiably.  The second man was carrying in tea, the old silver service
gleaming.  Over all the lower floor was an air of peace and comfort,
the passionless atmosphere of daily life running in old and easy
grooves.

When Lily entered the library she closed the door behind her.  She
had, on turning, a swift picture of Grayson, taking up his stand
in the hall, and it gave her a sense of comfort.  She knew he would
remain there, impassively waiting, so long as Akers was in the house.

Then she faced the man standing by the center table.  He made no
move toward her, did not even speak at once.  It left on her the
burden of the opening, of setting the key of what was to come.
She was steady enough now.

"Perhaps it is as well that you came, Louis," she said.  "I suppose
we must talk it over some time."

"Yes," he agreed, his eyes on her.  "We must.  I have married a
wife, and I want her, Lily."

"You know that is impossible."

"Because of something that happened before I knew you?  I never made
any pretensions about my life before we met.  But I did promise to
go straight if you'd have me, and I have.  I've lived up to my
bargain.  What about you?"

"It was not a part of my bargain to marry you while you--I have
thought and thought, Louis.  There is only one thing to be done.
You will have to divorce me, and marry her."

"Marry her?  A girl of the streets, who chooses to say that I am
the father of her child!  It's the oldest trick in the word.
Besides--"  He played his best card--"she won't marry me.  Ask
Cameron, who chose to make himself so damned busy about my affairs.
He's in love with her.  Ask him."

In spite of herself Lily winced.  Out of the wreckage of the past
few weeks one thing had seemed to remain, something to hold to,
solid and dependable and fine, and that had been Willy Cameron.
She had found, in these last days, something infinitely comforting
in the thought that he cared for her.  It was because he had cared
that he had saved her from herself.  But, if this were true--

"I am not going back to you, Louis.  I think you know that.  No
amount of talking about things can change that."

"Why don't you face life and try to understand it?" he demanded,
brutally.  "Men are like that.  Women are like that--sometimes.
You can't measure human passions with a tape line.  That's what
you good women try to do, and you make life a merry little hell."
He made an effort, and softened his voice.  "I'll be true to you,
Lily, if you'll come back."

"No," she said, "you would mean to be, but you would not.  You
have no foundation to build on."

"Meaning that I am not a gentleman."

"Not that.  I know you, that's all.  I understand so much that I
didn't before.  What you call love is only something different.
When that was gone there would be the same thing again.  You would
be sorry, but I would be lost."

Her coolness disconcerted him.  Two small triangular bits of color
showed in his face.  He had been prepared for tears, even for a
refusal to return, but this clear-eyed appraisal of himself, and
the accuracy of it, confused him.  He took refuge in the only method
he knew; he threw himself on her pity; he made violent, passionate
love to her, but her only expression was one of distaste.  When at
last he caught her to him she perforce submitted, a frozen thing
that told him, more than any words, how completely he had lost her.
He threw her away from him, then, baffled and angry.

"You little devil!" he said.  "You cold little devil!"

"I don't love you.  That's all.  I think now that I never did."

"You pretended damned well."

"Don't you think you'd better go?"  Lily said wearily.  "I don't
like to hurt you.  I am to blame for a great deal.  But there is no
use going on, is there?  I'll give you your freedom as soon as I
can.  You will want that, of course."

"My freedom!  Do you think I am going to let you go like that?  I'll
fight you and your family in every court in the country before I give
you up.  You can't bring Edith Boyd up against me, either.   If she
does that I'll bring up other witnesses, other men, and she knows it."

Lily was very pale, but still calm.  She made a movement toward the
bell, but he caught her hand before she could ring it.

"I'll get your Willy Cameron, too," he said, his face distorted
with anger.  "I'll get him good.  You've done a bad thing for your
friends and your family to-day, Lily.  I'll go the limit on getting
back at them.  I've got the power, and by God, I'll use it."

He flung out into the hall, and toward the door.  There he
encountered Grayson, who reminded him of his hat and gloves, or he
would have gone without them.

Grayson, going into the library a moment later, found Lily standing
there, staring ahead and trembling violently.  He brought her a cup
of tea, and stood by, his old face working, while she drank it.


CHAPTER XXXVII


The strike had apparently settled down to the ordinary run of strikes.
The newspaper men from New York were gradually recalled, as the mill
towns became orderly, and no further acts of violence took place.
Here and there mills that had gone down fired their furnaces again
and went back to work, many with depleted shifts, however.

But the strikers had lost, and knew it.  Howard Cardew, facing the
situation with his customary honesty, saw in the gradual return of
the men to work only the urgency of providing for their families,
and realized that it was not peace that was coming, but an armed
neutrality.  The Cardew Mills were still down, but by winter he was
confident they would be open again.  To what purpose?  To more
wrangling and bickering, more strikes?  Where was the middle ground?
He was willing to give the men a percentage of the profits they made.
He did not want great wealth, only an honest return for his invested
capital.  But he wanted to manage his own business.  It was his risk.

The coal miners were going out.  The Cardews owned coal mines.  The
miners wanted to work a minimum day for a maximum wage, but the
country must have coal.  Shorter hours meant more men for the mines,
and they would have to be imported.  But labor resented the
importation of foreign workers.

Again, what was the answer?

Still, he was grateful for peace.  The strike dragged on, with only
occasional acts of violence.  From the hill above Baxter a sniper
daily fired with a long range rifle at the toluol tank in the center
of one of the mills, and had so far escaped capture, as the tank had
escaped damage.  But he knew well enough that a long strike was
playing into the hands of the Reds.  It was impossible to sow the
seeds of revolution so long as a man's dinner-pail was full, his rent
paid, and his family contented.  But a long strike, with bank
accounts becoming exhausted and credit curtailed, would pave the way
for revolution.

Old Anthony had had a drastic remedy for strikes.

"Let all the storekeepers, the country over, refuse credit to the
strikers, and we'd have an end to this mess," he said.

"We'd have an end to the storekeepers, too," Howard had replied,
grimly.

One good thing had come out of the bomb outrages.  They had had a
salutary effect on the honest labor element.  These had no sympathy
with such methods and said so.  But a certain element, both native
and foreign born, secretly gloated and waited.

One thing surprised and irritated Howard.  Public sentiment was not
so much with the strikers, as against the mill owners.  The strike
worked a hardship to the stores and small businesses dependent on
the great mills; they forgot the years when the Cardews had brought
them prosperity, had indeed made them possible, and they felt now
only bitter resentment at the loss of trade.  In his anger Howard
saw them as parasites, fattening on the conceptions and strength of
those who had made the city.  They were men who built nothing,
originated nothing.  Men who hated the ladder by which they had
climbed, who cared little how shaky its foundation, so long as it
stood.

In September, lured by a false security, the governor ordered the
demobilization of the state troops, save for two companies.  The
men at the Baxter and Friendship plants, owned by the Cardews, had
voted to remain out, but their leaders appeared to have them well
in hand, and no trouble was anticipated.  The agents of the
Department of Justice, however, were still suspicious.  The
foreigners had plenty of money.  Given as they were to hoarding
their savings in their homes, the local banks were unable to say
if they were drawing on their reserves or were being financed
from the outside.

Shortly before the mayoralty election trouble broke out in the
western end of the state, and in the north, in the steel towns.
There were ugly riotings, bombs were sent through the mails, the
old tactics of night shootings and destruction of property began.
In the threatening chaos Baxter and Friendship, and the city
nearby, stood out by contrast for their very orderliness.  The
state constabulary remained in diminished numbers, a still
magnificent body of men but far too few for any real emergency,
and the Federal agents, suspicious but puzzled, were removed to
more turbulent fields.

The men constituting the Vigilance Committee began to feel a sense
of futility, almost of absurdity.  They had armed and enrolled
themselves--against what?  The growth of the organization slowed
down, but it already numbered thousands of members.  Only its
leaders retained their faith in its ultimate necessity, and they
owed perhaps more than they realized to Willy Cameron's own
conviction.

It was owing to him that the city was divided into a series of
zones, so that notification of an emergency could be made rapidly
by telephone and messenger.  Owing to him, too, was a new central
office, with some one on duty day and night.  Rather ironically,
the new quarters were the dismantled rooms of the Myers
Housecleaning Company.

On the day after his proposal to Edith, Willy Cameron received an
unexpected holiday.  Mrs. Davis, the invalid wife of the owner of
the Eagle Pharmacy, died and the store was closed.  He had seen
Edith for only a few moments that morning, but it was understood
then that the marriage would take place either that day or the next.

He had been physically so weary the night before that he had slept,
but the morning found him with a heaviness of spirit that he could
not throw off.  The exaltation of the night before was gone, and
all that remained was a dogged sense of a duty to be done.
Although he smiled at Edith, his face remained with her all through
the morning.

"I'll make it up to him," she thought, humbly.  "I'll make it up to
him somehow."

Then, with Ellen out doing her morning marketing, she heard the
feeble thump of a cane overhead which was her mother's signal.  She
was determined not to see her mother again until she could say that
she was married, but the thumping continued, and was followed by
the crash of a broken glass.

"She's trying to get up!" Edith thought, panicky.  "If she gets up
it will kill her."

She stood at the foot of the stairs, scarcely breathing, and listened.
There was a dreadful silence above.  She stole up, finally, to where
she could see her mother.  Mrs. Boyd was still in her bed, but lying
with open eyes, unmoving.

"Mother," she called, and ran in.  "Mother."

Mrs. Boyd glanced at her.

"I thought that glass would bring you," she said sharply, but with
difficulty.  "I want you to stand over there and let me look at you."

Edith dropped on her knees beside the bed, and caught her mother's
hand.

"Don't!  Don't talk like that, mother," she begged.  "I know what
you mean.  It's all right, mother.  Honestly it is.  I--I'm married,
mother."

"You wouldn't lie to me, Edith?"

"No.  I'm telling you.  I've been married a long time.  You--don't
you worry, mother.  You just lie there and quit worrying.  It's all
right."

There was a sudden light in the sick woman's eyes, an eager light
that flared up and died away again.

"Who to?" she asked.  "If it's some corner loafer, Edie--"  Edith
had gained new courage and new facility.  Anything was right that
drove the tortured look from her mother's eyes.

"You can ask him when he comes home this evening."

"Edie!  Not Willy?"

"You've guessed it," said Edith, and burying her face in the bed
clothing, said a little prayer, to be forgiven for the lie and for
all that she had done, to be more worthy thereafter, and in the end
to earn the love of the man who was like God to her.

There are lies and lies.  Now and then the Great Recorder must put
one on the credit side of the balance, one that has saved intolerable
suffering, or has made well and happy a sick soul.

Mrs. Boyd lay back and closed her eyes.

"I haven't been so tickled since the day you were born," she said.

She put out a thin hand and laid it on the girl's bowed head.  When
Edith moved, a little later, her mother was asleep, with a new look
of peace on her face.

It was necessary before Ellen saw her mother to tell her what she
had done.  She shrank from doing it.  It was one thing for Willy to
have done it, to have told her the plan, but Edith was secretly
afraid of Ellen.  And Ellen's reception of the news justified her
fears.

"And you'd take him that way!" she said, scornfully.  "You'd hide
behind him, besides spoiling his life for him!  It sounds like him
to offer, and it's like you to accept."

"It's to save mother," said Edith, meekly.

"It's to save yourself.  You can't fool me.  And if you think I'm
going to sit by and let him do it, you can think again."

"It's as good as done," Edith flashed.  "I've told mother."

"That you're going to be, or that you are?"

"That we are married."

"All right," Ellen said triumphantly.  "She's quiet and peaceful
now, isn't she?  You don't have to get married now, do you?  You
take my advice, and let it go at that."

It was then that Edith realized what she had done.  He would still
marry her, of course, but behind all his anxiety to save her had
been the real actuating motive of his desire to relieve her mother's
mind.  That was done now.  Then, could she let him sacrifice himself
for her?

She could.  She could and she would.  She set her small mouth firmly,
and confronted the future; she saw herself, without his strength to
support her, going down and down.  She remembered those drabs of the
street on whom she had turned such cynical eyes in her virtuous youth,
and she saw herself one of that lost sisterhood, sodden, hectic,
hopeless.

When Willy Cameron left the pharmacy that day it was almost noon.
He went to the house of mourning first, and found Mr. Davis in a
chair in a closed room, a tired little man in a new black necktie
around a not over-clean collar, his occupation of years gone,
confronting a new and terrible leisure that he did not know how to
use.

"You know how it is, Willy," he said, blinking his reddened eyelids.
"You kind of wish sometimes that you had somebody to help you bear
your burden, and then it's taken away, but you're kind of bent over
and used to it.  And you'd give your neck and all to have it back."

Willy Cameron pondered that on his way up the street.

There was one great longing in him, to see Lily again.  In a few
hours now he would have taken a wife, and whatever travesty of
marriage resulted, he would have to keep away from Lily.  He meant
to play square with Edith.

He wondered if it would hurt Lily to see him, remind her of things
she must be trying to forget.  He decided in the end that it would
hurt her, so he did not go.  But he walked, on his way to see Pink
Denslow at the temporary bank, through a corner of the park near
the house, and took a sort of formal and heart-breaking farewell of
her.

Time had been when life had seemed only a long, long trail, with
Lily at the end of it somewhere, like water to the thirsty traveler,
or home to the wanderer; like a camp fire at night.  But now, life
seemed to him a broad highway, infinitely crowded, down which he
must move, surrounded yet alone.

But at least he could walk in the middle of the road, in the
sunlight.  It was the weaklings who were crowded to the side.  He
threw up his head.

It had never occurred to him that he was in any, danger, either
from Louis Akers or from the unseen enemy he was fighting.  He had
a curious lack of physical fear.  But once or twice that day, as he
went about, he happened to notice a small man, foreign in appearance
and shabbily dressed.  He saw him first when he came out of the
marriage license office, and again when he entered the bank.

He had decided to tell Pink of his approaching marriage and to ask
him to be present.  He meant to tell him the facts.  The intimacy
between them was now very close, and he felt that Pink would
understand.  He neither wanted nor expected approval, but he did
want honesty between them.  He had based his life on honesty.

Yet the thing was curiously hard to lead up to.  It would be hard
to set before any outsider the conditions at the Boyd house, or his
own sense of obligation to help.  Put into everyday English the
whole scheme sounded visionary and mock-heroic.

In the end he did not tell Pink at all, for Pink came in with
excitement written large all over him.

"I sent for you," he said, "because I think we've got something at
last.  One of our fellows has just been in, that storekeeper I told
you about from Friendship, Cusick.  He says he has found out where
they're meeting, back in the hills.  He's made a map of it.  Look,
here's the town, and here's the big hill.  Well, behind it, about
a mile and a half, there's a German outfit, a family, with a farm.
They're using the barn, according to this chap."

"The barn wouldn't hold very many of them."

"That's the point.  It's the leaders.  The family has an alibi.
It goes in to the movies in the town on meeting nights.  The place
has been searched twice, but he says they have a system of patrols
that gives them warning.  The hills are heavily wooded there, and
he thinks they have rigged up telephones in the trees."

There was a short silence.  Willy Cameron studied the rug.

"I had to swear to keep it to ourselves," Pink said at last.
"Cusick won't let the Federal agents in on it.  They've raided him
for liquor twice, and he's sick as a poisoned pup."

"How about the county detectives?"

"You know them.  They'll go in and fight like hell when the time
comes, but they're likely to gum the game where there's any finesse
required.  We'd better find out for ourselves first."

Willy Cameron smiled.

"What you mean is, that it's too good a thing to throw to the other
fellow.  Well, I'm on, if you want me.  But I'm no detective."

Pink had come armed for such surrender.  He produced a road map of
the county and spread it on the desk.

"Here's the main road to Friendship," he said, "and here's the road
they use.  But there's another way, back of the hills.  Cusick said
it was a dirt lane, but dry.  It's about forty miles by it to a point
a mile or so behind the farm.  He says he doesn't think they use
that road.  It's too far around."

"All right," said Willy Cameron.  "We use that road, and get to the
farm, and what then?  Surrender?"

"Not on your life.  We hide in the barn.  That's all."

"That's enough.  They'll search the place, automatically.  You're
talking suicide, you know."

But his mind was working rapidly.  He was a country boy, and he
knew barns.  There would be other outbuildings, too, probably a
number of them.  The Germans always had plenty of them.  And the
information was too detailed to be put aside lightly.

"When does he think they will meet again?"

"That's the point," Pink said eagerly.  "The family has been all
over the town this morning.  It is going on a picnic, and he says
those picnics of theirs last half the night.  What he got from the
noise they were making was that they were raising dust again, and
something's on for to-night."

"They'll leave somebody there.  Their stock has to be looked after."

"This fellow says they drop everything and go.  The whole outfit.
They're as busy raising an alibi as the other lot is raising the
devil."

But Willy Cameron was a Scot, and hard-headed.

"It looks too simple, Pink," he said reflectively.  He sat for some
time, filling and lighting his pipe, and considering as he did so.
He was older than Pink; not much, but he felt extremely mature and
very responsible.

"What do we know about Cusick?" he asked, finally.

"One of the best men we've got.  They've fired his place once, and
he's keen to get them."

"You're anxious to go?"

"I'm going," said Pink, cheerfully.

"Then I'd better go along and look after you.  But I tell you how I
see it.  After I've done that I'll go as far as you like.  Either
there is nothing to it and we're fools for our pains, or there's a
lot to it, and in that case we are a pair of double-distilled
lunatics to go there alone."

Pink laughed joyously.

Life had been very dull for him since his return from France.  He
had done considerable suffering and more thinking than was usual
with him, but he had had no action.  But behind his boyish zest
there was something more, something he hid as he did the fact that
he sometimes said his prayers; a deep and holy thing, that always
gave him a lump in his throat at Retreat, when the flag came slowly
down and the long lines of men stood at attention.  Something he
was half ashamed and half proud of, love of his country.

      *           *           *           *           *

At the same time another conversation was going on in the rear room
of a small printing shop in the heart of the city.  It went on to
the accompaniment of the rhythmic throb of the presses, and while
two printers, in their shirt sleeves, kept guard both at the front
and rear entrances.

Doyle sat with his back to the light, and seated across from him,
smoking a cheap cigar, was the storekeeper from Friendship, Cusick.
In a corner on the table, scowling, sat Louis Akers.

"I don't know why you're so damned suspicious, Jim," he was saying.
"Cusick says the stall about the Federal agents went all right."

"Like a house a-fire," said Cusick, complacently.

"I think, Akers," Doyle observed, eyeing his subordinate, "that you
are letting your desire to get this Cameron fellow run away with
your judgment.  If we get him and Denslow, there are a hundred ready
to take their places."

"Cameron is the brains of the outfit," Akers said sulkily.

"How do you know Cameron will go?"

Akers rose lazily and stretched himself.

"I've got a hunch.  That's all."

A girl came in from the composing room, a bundle of proofs in her
hand.  With one hand Akers took the sheets from her; with the other
he settled his tie.  He smiled down at her.



CHAPTER XXXVIII


Ellen was greatly disturbed.  At three o'clock that afternoon she
found Edith and announced her intention of going out.

"I guess you can get the supper for once," she said ungraciously.

Edith looked up at her with wistful eyes.

"I wish you didn't hate me so, Ellen."

"I don't hate you." Ellen was slightly mollified.  "But when I see
you trying to put your burdens on other people--"

Edith got up then and rather timidly put her arms around Ellen's
neck.

"I love him so, Ellen," she whispered, "and I'll try so hard to
make him happy."

Unexpected tears came into Ellen's eyes.  She stroked the girl's
fair hair.

"Never mind," she said.  "The Good Man's got a way of fixing things
to suit Himself.  And I guess He knows best.  We do what it's
foreordained we do, after all."

Mrs. Boyd was sleeping.  Edith went back to her sewing.  She had
depended all her life on her mother's needle, and now that that
had failed her she was hastily putting some clothing into repair.
In the kitchen near the stove the suit she meant to be married
in was hung to dry, after pressing.  She was quietly happy.

Willy Cameron found her there.  He told her of Mrs. Davis' death,
and then placed the license on the table at her side.

"I think it would be better to-morrow, Edith," he said.  He glanced
down at the needle in her unaccustomed fingers; she seemed very
appealing, with her new task and the new light in her eyes.  After
all, it was worth while, even if it cost a lifetime, to take a
soul out of purgatory.

"I had to tell mother, Willy."

"That's all right Did it cheer her any?"

"Wonderfully.  She's asleep now."

He went up to his room, and for some time she heard him moving about.
Then she heard the scraping of his chair as he drew it to his desk,
and vaguely wondered.  When he came down he had a sealed envelope
in his hand.

"I am going out, Edith," he said.  "I shall be late getting back,
and--I am going to ask you to do something for me."

She loved doing things for him.  She flushed slightly.

"If I am not back here by two o'clock to-night," he said, "I want
you to open that letter and read it.  Then go to the nearest
telephone, and call up the number I've written down.  Ask for the
man whose name is given, and read him the message."

"Willy!" she gasped.  "You are doing something dangerous!"

"What I really expect," he said, smiling down at her, "is to be
back, feeling more or less of a fool, by eleven o'clock.  I'm
providing against an emergency that will almost surely never
happen, and I am depending on the most trustworthy person I know."

Very soon after that he went away.  She sat for some time after
he had gone, fingering the blank white envelope and wondering, a
little frightened but very proud of his trust.

Dan came in and went up the stairs.  That reminded her of the
dinner, and she sat down in the kitchen with a pan of potatoes
on her knee.  As she pared them she sang.  She was still singing
when Ellen came back.

Something had happened to Ellen.  She stood in the kitchen, her hat
still on, drawing her cotton gloves through her fingers and staring
at Edith without seeing her.

"You're not sick, are you, Ellen?"

Ellen put down her gloves and slowly took off her hat, still with
the absorbed eyes of a sleep-walker.

"I'm not sick," she said at last.  "I've had bad news."

"Sit down and I'll make you a cup of tea.  Then maybe you'll feel
like talking about it."

"I don't want any tea.  Do you know that that man Akers has married
Lily Cardew?"

"Married her!"

"The devil out of hell that he is."  Ellen's voice was terrible.
"And all the time knowing that you-- She's at home, the poor child,
and Mademoiselle just sat and cried when she told me.  It's a
secret," she added, fiercely.  "You keep your mouth shut about it.
She never lived with him.  She left him right off.  I wouldn't know
it now but the servants were talking about the house being forbidden
to him, and I went straight to Mademoiselle.  I said: 'You keep him
away from Miss Lily, because I know something about him.'  It was
when I told her that she said they were married."

She went out and up the stairs, moving slowly and heavily.  Edith
sat still, the pan on her knee, and thought.  Did Willy know?  Was
that why he was willing to marry her?  She was swept with bitter
jealousy, and added to that came suspicion.  Something very near
the truth flashed into her mind and stayed there.  In her
bitterness she saw Willy telling Lily of Akers and herself, and
taking her away, or having her taken.  It must have been something
like that, or why had she left him?

But her anger slowly subsided; in the end she began to feel that
the new situation rendered her own position more secure, even
justified her own approaching marriage.  Since Lily was gone, why
should she not marry Willy Cameron?  If what Ellen had said was
true she knew him well enough to know that he would deliberately
strangle his love for Lily.  If it were true, and if he knew it.

She moved about the kitchen, making up the fire, working
automatically in that methodless way that always set Ellen's teeth
on edge, and thinking.  But subconsciously she was listening, too.
She had heard Dan go into his mother's room and close the door.
She was bracing herself against his coming down.

Dan was difficult those days, irritable and exacting.  Moody, too,
and much away from home.  He hated idleness at its best, and the
strike was idleness at its worst.  Behind the movement toward the
general strike, too, he felt there was some hidden and sinister
influence at work, an influence that was determined to turn what
had commenced as a labor movement into a class uprising.

That very afternoon, for the first time, he had heard whispered the
phrase: "when the town goes dark."  There was a diabolical
suggestion in it that sent him home with his fists clenched.

He did not go to his mother's room at once.  Instead, he drew a
chair to his window and sat there staring out on the little street.
When the town went dark, what about all the little streets like
this one?

After an hour or so of ominous quiet Edith heard him go into his
mother's room.  Her hands trembled as she closed her door.

She heard him coming down at last, and suddenly remembering the
license, hid it in a drawer.  She knew that he would destroy it if
he saw it.  And Dan's face justified the move.  He came in and
stood glowering at her, his hands in his pockets.

"What made you tell that lie to mother?" he demanded,

"She was worried, Dan.  And it will be true to-morrow.  You--Dan,
you didn't tell her it was a lie, did you?"

"I should have, but I didn't.  What do you mean, it will be true
to-morrow?"

"We are going to be married to-morrow."

"I'll lock you up first," he said, angrily.  "I've been expecting
something like that.  I've watched you, and I've seen you watching
him.  You'll not do it, do you hear?  D'you think I'd let you get
away with that?  Isn't it enough that he's got to support us,
without your coaxing him to marry you?"

She made no reply, but went on with a perfunctory laying of the
table.  Her mouth had gone very dry.

"The poor fish," Dan snarled.  "I thought he had some sense.
Letting himself in for a nice life, isn't he?  We're not his kind,
and you know it.  He knows more in a minute than you'll know all
your days.  In about three months he'll hate the very sight of you,
and then where'll you be?"

When she made no reply, he called to the dog and went out into the
yard.  She saw him there, brooding and sullen, and she knew that
he had not finished.  He would say no more to her, but he would
wait and have it out with Willy himself.

Supper was silent.  No one ate much, and Ellen, coming down with
the tray, reported Mrs. Boyd as very tired, and wanting to settle
down early.

"She looks bad to me," she said to Edith.  "I think the doctor
ought to see her."

"I'll go and send him."

Edith was glad to get out of the house.  She had avoided the
streets lately, but as it was the supper hour the pavements were
empty.  Only Joe Wilkinson, bare-headed, stood in the next doorway,
and smiled and flushed slightly when he saw her.

"How's your mother?" he asked.

"She's not so well.  I'm going to get the doctor."

"Do you mind if I get my hat and walk there with you?"

"I'm going somewhere else from there, Joe."

"Well, I'll walk a block or two, anyhow."

She waited impatiently.  She liked Joe, but she did not want him
then.  She wanted to think and plan alone and in the open air,
away from the little house with its odors and its querulous
thumping cane upstairs; away from Ellen's grim face and Dan's
angry one.

He came out almost immediately, followed by a string of little
Wilkinsons, clamoring to go along.

"Do you mind?" he asked her.  "They can trail along behind.  The
poor kids don't get out much."

"Bring them along, of course," she said, somewhat resignedly.  And
with a flash of her old spirit: "I might have brought Jinx, too.
Then we'd have had a real procession."

They moved down the street, with five little Wilkinsons trailing
along behind, and Edith was uncomfortably aware that Joe's eyes
were upon her.

"You don't look well," he said at last.  "You're wearing yourself
out taking care of your mother, Edith."

"I don't do much for her."

"You'd say that, of course.  You're very unselfish."

"Am I?"  She laughed a little, but the words touched her.  "Don't
think I'm better than I am, Joe."

"You're the most wonderful girl in the world.  I guess you know how
I feel about that."

"Don't Joe!"

But at that moment a very little Wilkinson fell headlong and burst
into loud, despairing wails.  Joe set her on her feet, brushed her
down with a fatherly hand, and on her refusal to walk further picked
her up and carried her.  The obvious impossibility of going on with
what he had been saying made him smile sheepishly.

"Can you beat it?" he said helplessly, "these darn kids--!"  But
he held the child close.

At the next corner he turned toward home.  Edith stopped and watched
his valiant young back, his small train of followers.  He was going
to be very sad when he knew, poor Joe, with his vicarious fatherhood,
his cluttered, noisy, anxious life.

Life was queer.  Queer and cruel.

From the doctor's office, the waiting room lined with patient figures,
she went on.  She had a very definite plan in mind, but it took all
her courage to carry it through.  Outside the Benedict Apartments she
hesitated, but she went in finally, upheld by sheer determination.

The chair at the telephone desk was empty, but Sam remembered her.

"He's out, miss," he said.  "He's out most all the time now, with
the election coming on."

"What time does he usually get in?"

"Sometimes early, sometimes late," said Sam, watching her.
Everything pertaining to Louis Akers was of supreme interest those
days to the Benedict employees.  The beating he had received, the
coming election, the mysterious young woman who had come but once,
and the black days that had followed his return from the St. Elmo
--out of such patchwork they were building a small drama of their
own.  Sam was trying to fit in Edith's visit with the rest.

The Benedict was neither more moral nor less than its kind.  An
unwritten law kept respectable women away, but the management showed
no inclination to interfere where there was no noise or disorder.
Employees were supposed to see that no feminine visitors remained
after midnight, that was all.

"You might go up and wait for him," Sam suggested.  "That is, if
it's important."

"It's very important."

He threw open the gate of the elevator hospitably.

At half past ten that night Louis Akers went back to his rooms.  The
telephone girl watched him sharply as he entered.

"There's a lady waiting for you, Mr. Akers."

He swung toward her eagerly.

"A lady?  Did she give any name?"

"No.  Sam let her in and took her up.  He said he thought you
wouldn't mind.  She'd been here before."

The thought of Edith never entered Akers' head.  It was Lily, Lily
miraculously come back to him.  Lily, his wife.

Going up in the elevator he hastily formulated a plan of action.
He would not be too ready to forgive; she had cost him too much.
But in the end he would take her in his arms and hold her close.
Lily!  Lily!

It was the bitterness of his disappointment that made him brutal.
Wicked and unscrupulous as he was with men, with women he was as
gentle as he was cruel.  He put them from him relentlessly and
kissed them good-by.  It was his boast that any one of them would
come back to him if he wanted her.

Edith, listening for his step, was startled at the change in his
face when he saw her.

"You!" he said thickly.  "What are you doing here?"

"I've been waiting all evening.  I want to ask you something."

 He flung his hat into a chair and faced her.

"Well?"

"Is it true that you are married to Lily Cardew?"

"If I am, what are you going to do about it?"  His eyes were wary,
but his color was coming back.  He was breathing more easily.

"I only heard it to-day.  I must know, Lou.  It's awfully important."

"What did you hear?" He was watching her closely.

"I heard you were married, but that she had left you."

It seemed to him incredible that she had come there to taunt him,
she who was responsible for the shipwreck of his marriage.  That
she could come there and face him, and not expect him to kill her
where she stood.

He pulled himself together.

"It's true enough."  He swore under his breath.  "She didn't leave
me.  She was taken away.  And I'll get her back if I-- You little
fool, I ought to kill you.  If you wanted a cheap revenge, you've got it."

"I don't want revenge, Lou."

He caught her by the arm.

"Then what brought you here?"

"I wanted to be sure Lily Cardew was married."

"Well, she is.  What about it?"

"That's all."

"That's not all.  What about it?"

She looked up at him gravely.

"Because, if she is, I am going to marry Mr. Cameron tomorrow."  At
the sight of his astounded face she went on hastily: "He knows, Lou,
and he offered anyhow."

"And what," he said slowly, "has my wife to do with that?"

"I wanted to be fair to him.  And I think he is--I think he used
to be terribly in love with her."

Quite apart from his increasing fear of Willy Cameron and his
Committee, there had been in Akers for some time a latent jealousy
of him.  In a flash he saw the room at the Saint Elmo, and a
cold-eyed man inside the doorway.  The humiliation of that scene
had never left him, of his own maudlin inadequacy, of hearing from
beyond a closed and locked door, the closing of another door behind
Lily and the man who had taken her away from him.  A mad anger and
jealousy made him suddenly reckless.

"So," he said, "he is terribly in love with my wife, and he intends
to marry you.  That's--interesting.  Because, my sweet child, he's
got a damn poor chance of marrying you, or anybody."

"Lou!"

"Listen," he said deliberately.  "Men who stick their heads into the
lion's jaws are apt to lose them.  Our young friend Cameron has done
that.  I'll change the figure.  When a man tries to stop a great
machine by putting his impudent fingers into the cog wheels, the
man's a fool.  He may lose his hand, or he may lose his life."

Fortunately for Edith he moved on that speech to the side table, and
mixed himself a highball.  It gave her a moment to summon her
scattered wits, to decide on a plan of action.  Her early training
on the streets, her recent months of deceit, helped her now.  If he
had expected any outburst from her it did not come.

"If you mean that he is in danger, I don't believe it."

"All right, old girl.  I've told you."

But the whiskey restored his equilibrium again.

"That is," he added slowly, "I've warned you.  You'd better warn
him.  He's doing his best to get into trouble."

She knew him well, saw the craftiness come back into his eyes, and
met it with equal strategy.

"I'll tell him," she said, moving toward the door.  "You haven't
scared me for a minute and you won't scare him.  You and your
machine!"

She dared not seem to hurry.

"You're a boaster," she said, with the door open.  "You always
were.  And you'll never lay a hand on him.  You're like all bullies;
you're a coward!"

She was through the doorway by that time, and in terror for fear,
having told her so much, he would try to detain her.  She saw the
idea come into his face, too, just as she slipped outside.  He made
a move toward her.

"I think--" he began.

She slammed the door and ran down the hallway toward the stairs.
She heard him open the door and come out into the hall, but she was
well in advance and running like a deer.

"Edith!" he called.

She stumbled on the second flight of stairs and fell a half-dozen
steps, but she picked herself up and ran on.  At the bottom of the
lower flight she stopped and listened, but he had gone back.  She
heard the slam of his door as he closed it.

But the insistent need of haste drove her on, headlong.  She shot
through the lobby, past the staring telephone girl, and into the
street, and there settled down into steady running, her elbows
close to her sides, trying to remember to breathe slowly and evenly.
She must get home somehow, get the envelope and follow the
directions inside.  Her thoughts raced with her.  It was almost
eleven o'clock and Willy had been gone for hours.  She tried to
pray, but the words did not come.



CHAPTER XXXIX


At something after seven o'clock that night Willy Cameron and Pink
Denslow reached that point on the Mayville Road which had been
designated by the storekeeper, Cusick.  They left the car there,
hidden in a grove, and struck off across country to the west.  Willy
Cameron had been thoughtful for some time, and as they climbed a
low hill, going with extreme caution, he said:

"I'm still skeptical about Cusick, Pink.  Do you think he's
straight?"

"One of the best men we've got," Pink replied, confidently.  "He's
put us on to several things."

"He's foreign born, isn't he?"

"That's his value.  They don't suspect him for a minute."

"But--what does he get out of it?"

"Good citizen," said Pink, with promptness.  "You've got to remember,
Cameron, that a lot of these fellows are better Americans than we
are.  They're like religious converts, stronger than the ones born
in the fold.  They're Americans because they want to be.  Anyhow,
you ought to be strong for him, Cameron.  He said to tell you, but
no one else."

"I'll tell you how strong I am for him later," Willy Cameron said,
grimly.  "Just at this minute I'm waiting to be shown."

They advanced with infinite caution, for the evening was still light.
Going slowly, it was well after eight and fairly dark before they
came within sight of the farm buildings in the valley below.  Long
unpainted, they were barely discernable in the shadows of the hills.
The land around had been carefully cleared, and both men were
dismayed at the difficulty of access without being seen.

"Doesn't look very good, does it?" Pink observed.  "I will say this,
for seclusion and keeping away unwanted visitors, it has it all
over any dug-out I ever saw in France."

"Listen!" Willy Cameron said, tensely.

They stood on the alert, but only the evening sounds of country
and forest rewarded them.

"What was it?" Pink inquired, after perhaps two minutes of waiting.

"Plain scare on my part, probably.  I don't so much mind this little
excursion, Pink, as I hate the idea that a certain gentleman named
Cusick may have a chance to come to our funerals and laugh himself
to death."

When real darkness had fallen, they had reached the lower fringe
of the woods.  Pink had the fault of the city dweller, however, of
being unable to step lightly in the dark, and their progress had
been less silent than it should have been.  In spite of his handicap,
Willy Cameron made his way with the instinctive knowledge of the
country bred boy, treading like a cat.

"Pretty poor," Pink said in a discouraged whisper, after a twig had
burst under his foot with a report like the shot of a pistol.  "You
travel like a spook, while I--"

"Listen, Pink.  I'm going in alone to look around.  Stop muttering
and listen to me.  It's poor strategy not to have a reserve
somewhere, isn't it?"

"I'm a poor prune at the best," Pink said stubbornly, "but I am not
going to let you go into that place alone.  You can rave all you
want."

"Very well.  Then we'll both stay here.  You are about as quiet as
a horse going through a corn patch."

After some moments Pink spoke again.

"If you insist on stealing the whole show," he said, sulkily, "what
am I to do?  Run to town for help, if you need it?"

"I'm not going to round up the outfit, if there is one.  I haven't
lost my mind.  I'll see what is going on, or about to go on.  Then
I'll come back."

"Here?"

Cameron considered.

"Better meet at the machine," he decided, after a glance at the sky.
"In half an hour you won't be able to see your hand in front of you.
Wait here for a half-hour or so, and then start back, and for
heaven's sake don't shoot at anything you see moving.  As a matter
of fact, I might as well have your revolver.  I won't need it, but
it may avoid any accidental shooting by a youth I both love and
admire!"

"If I hear any shooting, I'll come in," Pink said, still sulky.

"Come in and welcome," said Willy Cameron, and Pink knew he was
smiling.

He took the revolver and slipped away into the darkness, leaving
Pink both melancholy and disturbed.  Unaccustomed to night in the
woods, he found his nerves twitching at every sound.  In the war
there had been a definite enemy, definitely placed.  Even when
he had gone into that vile strip between the trenches, there had
been a general direction for the inimical.  Here--

He moved carefully, and stood with his back against a tree.

Not a sound came from the farm buildings.  Willy Cameron's progress,
too, was noiseless.  With no way to tell the lapse of time, and
gauging it by his war experience, when an hour had apparently
passed by, he knew that Cameron had been gone about ten minutes.

Time dragged on.  A cow, unmilked, lowed plaintively once or twice.
A September night breeze set the dying leaves on the trees to
rustling, and stirred the dried ones about his feet.  Pink's mind,
gradually reassured, turned to other things.  He thought of Lily
Cardew, for one.  Like Willy Cameron, he knew he would always love
her, but unlike Willy, the first pain of her loss was gone.  He
was glad that time was over.  He was glad that she was at home
again, safe from those-- Some one was moving near him, passing
within twenty feet.  Whoever it was was stepping cautiously but
blunderingly.  It was not Cameron, then.  He was a footfall only,
not even an outline.  Before Pink could decide on a line of action,
the sound was lost.

Every sense acute, he waited.  He had decided that if the incident
were repeated, he would make an effort to get the fellow from
behind, but there was no return.  The wind had died again, and
there was no longer even the rustling of the leaves to break the
utter stillness.

Suddenly he saw a red flash near the barn, and an instant later
heard the report of a pistol.  Came immediately after that a brief
fusillade of shots, a pause, then two or three scattering ones.

With the first shot Pink started running.  He was vaguely conscious
of other steps near him, running also, but he could see nothing.
His whole mind was set on finding Willy Cameron.  Alone he had not
a chance, but two of them together could put up a fight.  He pelted
along, stumbling, recovering, stumbling again.

Another shot was fired.  They hadn't got him yet, or they wouldn't
be shooting.  He raised his voice in a great call.

"Cameron!  Here!  Cameron!"

He ran into a low fence then, and it threw him.  He had hardly got
to his knees before the other running figure had hurled itself on
him, and struck him with the butt of a revolver.  He dropped flat
and lay still.

      *           *           *           *           *

For weeks Woslosky had known of the growing strength of the
Vigilance Committee, and that it was arming steadily.

It threatened absolutely the success of his plans.  Even the
election of Akers and the changes he would make in the city police;
even the ruse of other strikes and machine-made riotings to call
away the state troops,--none of these, or all of them, would be
effectual against an organized body of citizens, duly called to
the emergency.

And such an organization was already effected.  Within a week, when
the first card reached his hands, it had grown to respectable
proportions.  Woslosky went to Doyle, and they made their
counter-moves quickly.  No more violence.  A seemingly real but
deceptive orderliness.  They were dealing with inflammatory material,
however, and now and then it got out of hand.  Unlike Doyle the
calculating, who made each move slowly and watched its results with
infinite zest, the Pole chafed under delay.

"We can't hold them much longer," he complained, bitterly.  "This
thing of holding them off until after the election--and until
Akers takes office--it's got too many ifs in it."

"It was haste lost Seattle," said Doyle, as unmoved as Woslosky
was excited.

Woslosky did not like Louis Akers.  What was more important, he
distrusted him.  When he heard of his engagement to Lily Cardew
he warned Doyle about him.

"He's in this thing for what he can get out of it," he said.  "He'll
go as far as he can, with safety, to be accepted by the Cardews."

"Exactly," was Doyle's dry comment, "with safety, you said.  Well,
he knows you and he knows me, and he'll he straight because he's
afraid not to be."

"When there's a woman in it!" said the Pole, skeptically.

But Doyle only smiled.  He had known many women and loved none of
them, and he was temperamentally unable to understand the type
of man who saw the world through a woman's eyes and in them.

So Woslosky was compelled to watch the growth of Willy Cameron's
organization, and to hold in check the violent passions he had
himself roused, and to wait, gnawing his nails with inaction and
his heart with rage.  But these certain things he discovered:

That the organization's growth was coincident with a new interest
in local politics, as though some vital force had wakened the
plain people to a sense of responsibility.

That a drug clerk named Cameron was the founder and moving spirit
of the league, and that he was, using Hendricks' candidacy as a
means, rousing the city to a burning patriotic activity that Mr.
Woslosky regarded as extremely pernicious.

And that this same Willy Cameron had apparently a knowledge of
certain plans, which was rather worse than pernicious.  Mr.
Woslosky's name for it was damnable.

For instance, there were the lists of the various city stores and
their estimated contents, missing from Mr. Woslosky's own
inconspicuous trunk in a storage house.  On that had been based
the plan for feeding the revolution, by the simple expedient of
exchanging by organized pillage the contents of the city stores
for food stuffs from the farmers in outlying districts.

Revolution, according to Mr. Woslosky, could only be starved out.
He had no anxiety as to troops which would be sent against them,
because he had a cynical belief that a man's country was less to
him than various other things, including his stomach.  He believed
that all armies were riddled with sedition and fundamentally
opposed to law.

Copies of other important matters, too, were missing.  Lists of
officials for the revolutionary city government and of deputies to
take the places of the disbanded police, plans for manning, by the
radicals, the city light, water and power plants; a schedule of
public eating houses to take the place of the restaurants.

Woslosky began to find this drug clerk with the ridiculous given
name getting on his nerves.  He considered him a dangerous enemy
to progress, that particular form of progress which Mr. Woslosky
advocated, and he suspected him of a lack of ethics regarding
trunks in storage.  Mr. Woslosky had the old-world idea that the
best government was a despotism tempered by assassination.  He
thought considerably about Willy Cameron.

But the plan concerning the farm house was, in the end, devised by
Louis Akers.  Woslosky was skeptical.  It was true that Cameron
might stick his head into the lion's jaws, but precautions had been
known to be taken at such times to prevent their closing.  However,
the Pole was desperate.

He took six picked men with him that afternoon to the farm, and
made a strategic survey of the situation.  The house was closed
and locked, but he was not concerned with the house.  Cusick had
told Denslow the meetings were held late at night in the barn,
and to the barn Woslosky repaired, sawed-off shotgun under his
coat and cigarette in mouth, and inspected it with his evil smile.
Two men, young and reckless, might easily plan to conceal
themselves under the hay in the loft, and--

Woslosky put down his gun and went down into the cow barn below,
whistling softly to himself.  He began to enjoy the prospect.  He
gathered some eggs from the feed boxes, carrying them in his hat,
and breaking the lock of the kitchen door he and his outfit looted
the closet there and had an early supper, being careful to
extinguish the fire afterwards.

Not until dusk was falling did he post his men, three outside among
the outbuildings, one as a sentry near the woods, and two in the
barn itself.  He himself took up his station inside the barn door,
sitting on the floor with his gun across his knees.  Looking out
from there, he saw the sharp flash of a hastily extinguished match,
and snarled with anger.  He had forbidden smoking.

"I've got to go out," he said cautiously.  "Don't you fools shoot
me when I come back."

He slipped out into what was by that time complete blackness.

Some five minutes later he came back, still noiselessly, and treading
like a cat.  He could only locate the barn door by feeling for it,
and above the light scraping of his fingers he could hear, inside,
cautious footsteps over the board floor.  He scowled again.  Damn
this country quiet, anyhow!  But he had found the doorway, and was
feeling his way through when he found himself caught and violently
thrown.  The fall and the surprise stunned him.  He lay still for
an infuriated helpless second, with a knee on his chest and both
arms tightly held, to hear one of his own men above him saying:

"Got him, all right.  Woslosky, you've got the rope, haven't you?"

"You fool!" snarled Woslosky from the floor, "let me up.  You've
half killed me.  Didn't I tell you I was going out?"

He scrambled to his feet, and to an astounded silence.

"But you came in a couple of minutes ago.  Somebody came in.  You
heard him, Cusick, didn't you?"

Woslosky whirled and closed and fastened the barn doors, and almost
with the same movement drew a searchlight and flashed it over the
place.  It was apparently empty.

The Pole burst into blasphemous anger, punctuated with sharp
questions.  Both men had heard the cautious entrance they had
taken for his own, both men had remained silent and unsuspicious,
and both were positive whoever had come in had not gone out again.

He stationed one man at the door, and commenced a merciless search.
The summer's hay filled one end, but it was closely packed below
and offered no refuge.  Armed with the shotgun, and with the flash
in his pocket, Woslosky climbed the ladder to the loft, going
softly.  He listened at the top, and then searched it with the
light, holding it far to the left for a possible bullet.  The loft
was empty.  He climbed into it and walked over it, gun in one hand
and flash in the other, searching for some buried figure.  But there
was nothing.  The loft was fragrant with the newly dried hay, sweet
and empty.  Woslosky descended the ladder again, the flash
extinguished, and stood again on the barn floor, considering.
Cusick was a man without imagination, and he had sworn that some
one had come in.  Then--

Suddenly there was a whirr of wings outside and above, excited
flutterings first, and then a general flight of the pigeons who
roosted on the roof.  Woslosky listened and slowly smiled.

"We've got him, boys," he said, without excitement.  "Outside, and
call the others.  He's on the roof."

Cusick whistled shrilly, and as the Pole ran out he met the others
coming pell-mell toward him.  He flung a guard of all five of them
around the barn, and himself walked off a hundred feet or so and
gazed upward.  The very outline of the ridge pole was
indistinguishable, and he swore softly.  In the hope of drawing an
answering flash he fired, but without result.  The explosion echoed
and reechoed, died away.

He called to Cusick, and had him try the same experiment, following
the line of the gutter as nearly as possible in the darkness, on
that side, and emptying his revolver.  Still silence.

Woslosky began to doubt.  The pigeons might have seen his flashlight,
might have heard his own stealthy movements.  He was intensely
irritated.  The shooting, if the alarm had been false, had ruined
everything.  He saw, as in a vision, Doyle's sneering face when he
told him.  Beside him Cusick was reloading his revolver in the
darkness.

Then, out of the night, came a call from the direction of the woods,
and unintelligible at that distance.

"What's that?" Cusick said hoarsely.

Woslosky made no reply.  He was listening.  Some one was approaching,
now running, now stopping as though confused.  Woslosky held his gun
ready, and waited.  Then, from a distance, he heard his name called.

He stepped inside the door of the barn and showed the light for a
moment.  Soon after the sentry floundered in, breathless and excited.

"I got one of them," he gasped.  "Hit him with my gun.  He's lying
back by the stone fence."

"Did you call out, or did he?"

"He did.  That's how I knew it wasn't one of our fellows.  He called
Cameron, so he's the other one."

Woslosky drew a deep breath.  Then it was Cameron on the roof.  It
was Cameron they wanted.

"He'll sleep for an hour or two, if he ever wakes up,"  Pink's
assailant boasted.  But Woslosky was taking no chances that night.
He sent two men after Pink, and began to pace the floor thoughtfully.
If he could have waited for daylight it would have been simple
enough, but he did not know how much time he had.  He did not
underestimate young Cameron's intelligence, and it had occurred to
him that that young Scot might cannily have provided against his
failure to return.  Then, too, the state constabulary had an
uncomfortable habit of riding lonely back roads at night, and shots
could be heard a long distance off.

He had never surveyed the barn roof closely, but he knew that it
was steeply pitched.  Cameron, then, was probably braced somewhere
in the gutter.  The departure of the two men had left him
short-handed, and he waited impatiently for their return.  With a
ladder, provided it could be quietly placed, a man could shoot from
a corner along two sides of the roof.  With two ladders, at diagonal
corners, they could get him.  But a careful search discovered no
ladders on the place.

He went out, and standing close against the wall for protection,
called up.

"We know you're there, Cameron," he said.  "If you come down we
won't hurt you.  If you don't, we'll get you, and you know it."

But he received no reply.

Soon after that the two men carried in Pink Denslow, and laid him
on the floor of the barn.  Then Woslosky tried again, more reckless
this time with anger.  He stood out somewhat from the wall and
called:

"One more chance, Cameron, or we'll put a bullet through your friend
here.  Come down, or we'll--"

Something struck him heavily and he fell, with a bullet in the
shoulder.  He struggled to his feet and gained the shelter of the
wall, his face twisted with pain.

"All right," he said, "if that's the way you feel about it!"

He regained the barn and had his arm supported in an extemporized
sling.  Then he ordered Pink to be tied, and fighting down his pain
considered the situation.  Cameron was on the roof, and armed.  Even
if he had no extra shells he still had five shots in reserve, and he
would not waste any of them.  Whoever tried to scale the walls would
be done in at once; whoever attempted to follow him to the roof by
way of the loft would be shot instantly.  And his own condition
demanded haste; the bullet, striking from above, had broken his arm.
Every movement was torture.

He thought of setting fire to the barn.  Then Cameron would have
the choice of two things, to surrender or to be killed.  He might
get some of them first, however.  Well, that was a part of the game.

He delivered a final ultimatum from the shelter of the doorway.

"I've just thought of something, Cameron," he called.  "We're going
to fire the barn.  Your young friend is here, tied, and we'll leave
him here.  Do you get that?  Either throw down that gun of yours,
and come down, or I'm inclined to think you'll be up against it.
I'll give you a minute or so to think it over."

At half-past eleven o'clock that night the first of four automobiles
drove into Friendship.  It was driven by a hatless young man in a
raincoat over a suit of silk pajamas, and it contained four County
detectives and the city Chief of Police.  Behind it, but well
outdistanced, came the other cars, some of them driven by leading
citizens in a state of considerable deshabille.

At a cross street in Friendship the lead car drew up, and flashlights
were turned on a road map in the rear of the car.  There was some
argument over the proper road, and a member of the state constabulary,
riding up to investigate, showed a strong inclination to place them
under arrest.

It took a moment to put him right.

"Wish I could go along," he said, wistfully.  "The place you want is
back there.  I can't leave the town, but I'll steer you out.  You'll
probably run into some of our fellows back there."

He rode on ahead, his big black horse restive in the light from the
lamps behind him.  At the end of a lane he stopped.

"Straight ahead up there," he said.  "You'll find--"

He broke off and stared ahead to where a dull red glare, reflected
on the low hanging clouds, had appeared over the crest of the hill.

"Something doing up there," he called suddenly.  "Let's go."

He jerked his revolver free, dug his heels into the flanks of his
horse, and was off on a dead run.  Half way up the hill the car
passed him, the black going hard, and its rider's face, under the
rim of his uniform hat, a stern profile.  His reins lay loose on
the animal's neck, and he was examining his gun.

The road mounted to a summit, and dipped again.  They were in a
long valley, and the burning barn was clearly outlined at the far
end of it.  One side was already flaming, and tongues of fire
leaped out through the roof.  The men in the car were standing now,
doors open, ready to leap, while the car lurched and swayed over
the uneven road.  Behind them they heard the clatter of the oncoming
horse.

As they drew nearer they could see three watching figures against
the burning building, and as they turned into the lane which led to
the barnyard a shot rang out and one of the figures dropped and lay
still.  There was a cry of warning from somewhere, and before the
detectives could leap from the car, the group had scattered, running
wildly.  The state policeman threw his horse back on its hunches, and
fired without apparently taking aim at one of the running shadows.
The man threw up his arms and fell.  The state policeman galloped
toward him, dismounted and bent over him.

Firing as they ran, detectives leaped out of the car and gave chase,
and so it was that the young gentleman in bedroom slippers and
pajamas, standing in his car and shielding his eyes against the
glare, saw a curious thing.

First of all, the roof blazed up brightly, and he perceived a human
figure, hanging by its hands from the eaves and preparing to drop.
The young gentleman in pajamas was feeling rather out of things by
that time, so he made a hasty exit from his car toward the barn,
losing a slipper as he did so, and yelling in a slightly hysterical
manner.  It thus happened that he and the dropping figure reached
the same spot at almost the same moment, one result of which was that
the young gentleman in pajamas found himself struck a violent blow
with a doubled-up fist, and at the same moment his bare right foot
was tramped on with extreme thoroughness.

The young gentleman in pajamas reeled back dizzily and gave tongue,
while standing on one foot.  The person he addressed was the state
constable, and his instructions were to get the fugitive and kill
him.  But the fugitive here did a very strange thing.  Through
the handkerchief which it was now seen he wore tied over his mouth,
he told the running policeman to go to perdition, and then with
seeming suicidal intent rushed into the burning barn.  From it he
emerged a moment later, dragging a figure bound hand and foot,
blackened with smoke, and with its clothing smoldering in a dozen
places; a figure which alternately coughed and swore in a strangled
whisper, but which found breath for a loud whoop almost immediately
after, on its being immersed, as it promptly was, in a nearby
horse-trough.

Very soon after that the other cars arrived.  They drew up and men
emerged from them, variously clothed and even more variously armed,
but all they saw was the ruined embers of the barn, and in the glow
five figures.  Of the five one lay, face up to the sky, as though
the prostrate body followed with its eyes the unkillable traitor
soul of one Cusick, lately storekeeper at Friendship.  Woslosky,
wounded for the second time, lay on an automobile rug on the ground,
conscious but sullenly silent.  On the driving seat of an automobile
sat a young gentleman with an overcoat over a pair of silk pajamas,
carefully inspecting the toes of his right foot by the light of a
match, while another young gentleman with a white handkerchief
around his head was sitting on the running board of the same car,
dripping water and rather dazedly staring at the ruins.

And beside him stood a gaunt figure, blackened of face, minus
eyebrows and charred of hair, and considerably torn as to clothing.
A figure which seemed disinclined to talk, and which gave its
explanations in short, staccato sentences.  Having done which, it
relapsed into uncompromising silence again.

Some time later the detectives returned.  They had made no further
captures, for the refugees had known the country, and once outside
the light from the burning barn search was useless.  The Chief of
Police approached Willy Cameron and stood before him, eyeing him
severely.

"The next time you try to raid an anarchist meeting, Cameron," he
said, "you'd better honor me with your confidence.  You've probably
learned a lesson from all this."

Willy Cameron glanced at him, and for the first time that night,
smiled.

"I have," he said; "I'll never trust a pigeon again."  The Chief
thought him slightly unhinged by the night's experience.



CHAPTER XL


Edith Boyd's child was prematurely born at the Memorial Hospital
early the next morning.  It lived only a few moments, but Edith's
mother never knew either of its birth or of its death.

When Willy Cameron reached the house at two o'clock that night he
found Dan in the lower hall, a new Dan, grave and composed but
very pale.

"Mother's gone, Willy," he said quietly.  "I don't think she knew
anything about it.  Ellen heard her breathing hard and went in, but
she wasn't conscious."  He sat down on the horse-hair covered chair
by the stand.  "I don't know anything about these things," he
observed, still with that strange new composure.  "What do you do
now?"

"Don't worry about that, Dan, just now.  There's nothing to do
until morning."

He looked about him.  The presence of death gave a new dignity to
the little house.  Through the open door he could see in the
parlor Mrs. Boyd's rocking chair, in which she had traveled so
many conversational miles.  Even the chair had gained dignity; that
which it had once enthroned had now penetrated the ultimate mystery.

He was shaken and very weary.  His mind worked slowly and torpidly,
so that even grief came with an effort.  He was grieved; he knew
that.  Some one who had loved him and depended on him was gone;
some one who loved life had lost it.  He ran his hand over his
singed hair.

"Where is Edith?"

Dan's voice hardened.

"She's out somewhere.  It's like her, isn't it?"

Willy Cameron roused himself.

"Out?" he said incredulously.  "Don't you know where she is?"

"No.  And I don't care."

Willy Cameron was fully alert now, and staring down at Dan.

"I'll tell you something, Dan.  She probably saved my life to-night.
I'll tell you how later.  And if she is still out there is
something wrong."

"She used to stay out to all hours.  She hasn't done it lately, but
I thought--"

Dan got up and reached for his hat.

"Where'll I start to look for her?"

But Willy Cameron had no suggestion to make.  He was trying to
think straight, but it was not easy.  He knew that for some reason
Edith had not waited until midnight to open the envelope.  She had
telephoned her message clearly, he had learned, but with great
excitement, saying that there was a plot against his life, and
giving the farmhouse and the message he had left in full; and she
had not rung off until she knew that a posse would start at once.
And that had been before eleven o'clock.

Three hours.  He looked at his watch.  Either she had been hurt or
was a prisoner, or--he came close to the truth then.  He glanced
at Dan, standing hat in hand.

"We'll try the hospitals first, Dan," he said.  "And the best way
to do that is by telephone.  I don't like Ellen being left alone
here, so you'd better let me do that."

Dan acquiesced unwillingly.  He resumed his seat in the hail, and
Willy Cameron went upstairs.  Ellen was moving softly about, setting
in order the little upper room.  The windows were opened, and
through them came the soft night wind, giving a semblance of life
and movement under it to the sheet that covered the quiet figure on
the bed.

Willy Cameron stood by it and looked down, with a great wave of
thankfulness in his heart.  She had been saved much, and if from
some new angle she was seeing them now it would be with the vision
of eternity, and its understanding.  She would see how sometimes
the soul must lose here to gain beyond.  She would see the world
filled with its Ediths, and she would know that they too were a
part of the great plan, and that the breaking of the body sometimes
freed the soul.

He was shy of the forms of religion, but he voiced a small
inarticulate prayer, standing beside the bed while Ellen
straightened the few toilet articles on the dresser, that she might
have rest, and then a long and placid happiness.  And love, he
added.  There would be no Heaven without love.

Ellen was looking at him in the mirror.

"Your hair looks queer, Willy," she said.  "And I declare your
clothes are a sight."  She turned, sternly.  "Where have you been?"

"It's a long story, Ellen.  Don't bother about it now.  I'm worried
about Edith."

Ellen's lips closed in a grim line.

"The less said about her the better.  She came back in a terrible
state about something or other, ran in and up to your room, and out
again.  I tried to tell her her mother wasn't so well, but she
looked as if she didn't hear me."

It was four o'clock in the morning when Willy Cameron located Edith.
He had gone to the pharmacy and let himself in, intending to
telephone, but the card on the door, edged with black, gave him a
curious sense of being surrounded that night by death, and he stood
for a moment, unwilling to begin for fear of some further tragedy.
In that moment, what with reaction from excitement and weariness, he
had a feeling of futility, of struggling to no end.  One fought on,
and in the last analysis it was useless.

"So soon passeth it away, and we are gone."

He saw Mr. Davis, sitting alone in his house; he saw Ellen moving
about that quiet upper room; he saw Cusick lying on the ground
beside the smoldering heap that had been the barn, and staring up
with eyes that saw only the vast infinity that was the sky.  All
the struggling and the fighting, and it came to that.

He picked up the telephone book at last, and finding the hospital
list in the directory began his monotonous calling of numbers, and
still the revolt was in his mind.  Even life lay through the gates
of death; daily and hourly women everywhere laid down their lives
that some new soul be born.  But the revulsion came with that, a
return to something nearer the normal.  Daily and hourly women
lived, having brought to pass the miracle of life.

At half-past four he located Edith at the Memorial, and learned
that her child had been born dead, but that she was doing well.  He
was suddenly exhausted; he sat down on a stool before the counter,
and with his arms across it and his head on them, fell almost
instantly asleep.  When he waked it was almost seven and the
intermittent sounds of early morning came through the closed doors,
as though the city stirred but had not wakened.

He went to the door and opened it, looking out.  He had been wrong
before.  Death was a beginning and not an end; it was the morning
of the spirit.  Tired bodies lay down to sleep and their souls
wakened to the morning, rested; the first fruits of them that slept.

From the chimneys of the houses nearby small spirals of smoke began
to ascend, definite promise of food and morning cheer behind the
closed doors, where the milk bottles stood like small white sentinels
and the morning paper was bent over the knob.  Morning in the city,
with children searching for lost stockings and buttoning little
battered shoes; with women hurrying about, from stove to closet, from
table to stove; with all burdens a little lighter and all thoughts a
little kinder.  Morning.



CHAPTER XLI


In her bed in the maternity ward Edith at first lay through the
days, watching the other women with their babies, and wondering over
the strange instinct that made them hover, like queer mis-shaped
ministering angels, over the tiny quivering bundles.  Some of them
were like herself, or herself as she might have been, bearing their
children out of wedlock.  Yet they faced their indefinite futures
impassively, content in relief from pain, in the child in their
arms, in present peace and security.  She could not understand.

She herself felt no sense of loss.  Having never held her child in
her arms she did not feel them empty.

She had not been told of her mother's death; men were not admitted
to the ward, but early on that first morning, when she lay there,
hardly conscious but in an ecstasy of relief from pain, Ellen had
come.  A tired Ellen with circles around her eyes, and a bag of
oranges in her arms.

"How do you feel?" she had asked, sitting down self-consciously
beside the bed.  The ward had its eyes on her.

"I'm weak, but I'm all right.  Last night was awful, Ellen."

She had roused herself with an effort.  Ellen reminded her of
something, something that had to do with Willy Cameron.  Then she
remembered, and tried to raise herself in the bed.

"Willy!" she gasped.  "Did he come home?  Is he all right?"

"He's all right.  It was him that found you were here.  You lie
back now; the nurse is looking."

Edith lay down and closed her eyes, and the ecstasy of relief and
peace gave to her pale face an almost spiritual look.  Ellen saw it,
and patted her arm with a roughened hand.

"You poor thing!" she said.  "I've been as mean to you as I knew
how to be.  I'm going to be different, Edith.  I'm just a cross old
maid, and I guess I didn't understand."

"You've been all right," Edith said.

Ellen kissed her when she went away.

So for three days Edith lay and rested.  She felt that God had been
very good to her, and she began to think of God as having given her
another chance.  This time He had let her off, but He had given her
a warning.  He had said, in effect, that if she lived straight and
thought straight from now on He would forget this thing she had done.
But if she did not--

Then what about Willy Cameron?  Did He mean her to hold him to that
now?  Willy did not love her.  Perhaps he would grow to love her,
but she was seeing things more clearly than she had before, and one
of the things she saw was that Willy Cameron was a one-woman man, and
that she was not the woman.

"But I love him so," she would cry to herself.

The ward moved in its orderly routine around her.  The babies were
carried out, bathed and brought back, their nuzzling mouths open for
the waiting mother-breast.  The nurses moved about, efficient,
kindly, whimsically maternal.  Women went out when their hour came,
swollen of feature and figure, and were wheeled back later on,
etherealized, purified as by fire, and later on were given their
babies.  Their faces were queer then, frightened and proud at first,
and later watchful and tenderly brooding.

For three days Edith's struggle went on.  She had her strong hours
and her weak ones.  There were moments when, exhausted and yet
exalted, she determined to give him up altogether, to live the
fiction of the marriage until her mother's death, and then to give
up the house and never see him again.  If she gave him up she must
never see him again.  At those times she prayed not to love him any
longer, and sometimes, for a little while after that, she would
have peace.  It was almost as though she did not love him.

But there were the other times, when she lay there and pictured them
married, and dreamed a dream of bringing him to her feet.  He had
offered a marriage that was not a marriage, but he was a man, and
human.  He did not want her now, but in the end he would want her;
young as she was she knew already the strength of a woman's physical
hold on a man.

Late on the afternoon of the third day Ellen came again, a
swollen-eyed Ellen, dressed in black with black cotton gloves, and a
black veil around her hat.  Ellen wore her mourning with the dogged
sense of duty of her class, and would as soon have gone to the
burying ground in her kitchen apron as without black.  She stood in
the doorway of the ward, hesitating, and Edith saw her and knew.

Her first thought was not of her mother at all.  She saw only that
the God who had saved her had made her decision for her, and that
now she would never marry Willy Cameron.  All this time He had let
her dream and struggle.  She felt very bitter.

Ellen came and sat down beside her.

"She's gone.  Edith," she said; "we didn't tell you before, but you
have to know sometime.  We buried her this afternoon."

Suddenly Edith forgot Willy Cameron, and God, and Dan, and the years
ahead.  She was a little girl again, and her mother was saying:

"Brush your teeth and say your prayers, Edie.  And tomorrow's Saturday.
So you don't need to get up until you're good and ready."

She lay there.  She saw her mother growing older and more frail, the
house more untidy, and her mother's bright spirit fading to the drab
of her surroundings.  She saw herself, slipping in late at night,
listening always for that uneasy  querulous voice.  And then she saw
those recent months, when her mother had bloomed with happiness; she
saw her struggling with her beloved desserts, cheerfully unconscious
of any failure in them; she saw her, living like a lady, as she had
said, with every anxiety kept from her.  There had been times when
her thin face had been almost illuminated with her new content and
satisfaction.

Suddenly grief and remorse overwhelmed her.

"Mother!" she said, huskily.  And lay there, crying quietly, with
Ellen holding her hand.  All that was hard and rebellious in Edith
Boyd was swept away in that rush of grief, and in its place there
came a new courage and resolution.  She would meet the future
alone, meet it and overcome it.  But not alone, either; there was
always--

It was a Sunday afternoon, and the nurse had picked up the worn
ward Bible and was reading from it, aloud.  In their rocking chairs
in a semi-circle around her were the women, some with sleeping
babies in their arms, others with tense, expectant faces.

"Let not your heart be troubled," read the nurse, in a grave young
voice.  "Ye believe in God.  Believe also in Me.  In my Father's
house--"

There was always God.

Edith Boyd saw her mother in the Father's house, pottering about
some small celestial duty, and eagerly seeking and receiving
approval.  She saw her, in some celestial rocking chair, her tired
hands folded, slowly rocking and resting.  And perhaps, as she sat
there, she held Edith's child on her knee, like the mothers in the
group around the nurse.  Held it and understood at last.



CHAPTER XLII


It was at this time that Doyle showed his hand, with his customary
fearlessness.  He made a series of incendiary speeches, the general
theme being that the hour was close at hand for putting the fear
of God into the exploiting classes for all time to come.  His
impassioned oratory, coming at the psychological moment, when the
long strike had brought its train of debt and evictions, made a
profound impression.  Had he asked for a general strike vote then,
he would have secured it.

As it was, it was some time before all the unions had voted for it.
And the day was not set.  Doyle was holding off, and for a reason.
Day by day he saw a growth of the theory of Bolshevism among the
so-called intellectual groups of the country.  Almost every
university had its radicals, men who saw emerging from Russia the
beginning of a new earth.  Every class now had its Bolshevists.
They found a ready market for their propaganda, intelligent and
insidious as it was, among a certain liberal element of the nation,
disgruntled with the autocracy imposed upon them by the war.

The reaction from that autocracy was a swinging to the other
extreme, and, as if to work into the hands of the revolutionary
party, living costs remained at the maximum.  The cry of the
revolutionists, to all enough and to none too much, found a response
not only in the anxious minds of honest workmen, but among an
underpaid intelligentsia.  Neither political party offered any
relief; the old lines no longer held, and new lines of cleavage had
come.  Progressive Republicans and Democrats had united against
reactionary members of both parties.  There were no great leaders,
no men of the hour.

The old vicious cycle of empires threatened to repeat itself, the
old story of the many led by the few.  Always it had come, autocracy,
the too great power of one man; then anarchy, the overthrow of that
power by the angry mob.  Out of that anarchy the gradual
restoration of order by the people themselves, into democracy.  And
then in time again, by that steady gravitation of the strong up and
the weak down, some one man who emerged from the mass and crowned
himself, or was crowned.  And there was autocracy again, and again
the vicious circle.

But such movements had always been, in the last analysis, the work
of the few.  It had always been the militant minority which ruled.
Always the great mass of the people had submitted.  They had fought,
one way or the other when the time came, but without any deep
conviction behind them.  They wanted peace, the right to labor.
They warred, to find peace.  Small concern was it, to the peasant
plowing his field, whether one man ruled over him or a dozen.  He
wanted neither place nor power.

It came to this, then, Willy Cameron argued to himself.  This new
world conflict was a struggle between the contented and the
discontented.  In Europe, discontent might conquer, but in America,
never.  There were too many who owned a field or had the chance to
labor.  There were too many ways legitimately to aspire.  Those who
wanted something for nothing were but a handful to those who wanted
to give that they might receive.

      *           *           *           *           *

Three days before the election, Willy Cameron received a note from
Lily, sent by hand.

"Father wants to see you to-night," she wrote, "and mother suggests
that as you are busy, you try to come to dinner.  We are dining
alone.  Do come, Willy.  I think it is most important."

He took the letter home with him and placed it in a locked drawer
of his desk, along with a hard and shrunken doughnut, tied with a
bow of Christmas ribbon, which had once helped to adorn the
Christmas tree they had trimmed together.  There were other things
in the drawer; a postcard photograph, rather blurred, of Lily in
the doorway of her little hut, smiling; and the cigar box which had
been her cash register at the camp.

He stood for some time looking down at the post card; it did not
seem possible that in the few months since those wonderful days,
life could have been so cruel to them both.  Lily married, and he
himself--

Ellen came up when he was tying his tie.  She stood behind him,
watching him in the mirror.

"I don't know what you've done to your hair, Willy," she said; "it
certainly looks queer."

"It usually looks queer, so why worry, heart of my heart?"  But he
turned and put an arm around her shoulders.  "What would the world
be without women like you, Ellen?" he said gravely.

"I haven't done anything but my duty," Ellen said, in her prim voice.
"Listen, Willy.  I saw Edith again to-day, and she told me to do
something."

"To go home and take a rest?  That's what you need."

"No.  She wants me to tear up that marriage license."

He said nothing for a moment.  "I'll have to see her first."

"She said it wouldn't be any good, Willy.  She's made up her mind."
She watched him anxiously.  "You're not going to be foolish, are
you?  She says there's no need now, and she's right."

"Somebody will have to look after her."

"Dan can do that.  He's changed, since she went."  Ellen glanced
toward Mrs. Boyd's empty room.  "You've done enough, Willy.  You've
seen them through, all of them.  I--isn't it time you began to
think about yourself?"

He was putting on his coat, and she picked a bit of thread from it,
with nervous fingers.

"Where are you going to-night, Willy?"

"To the Cardews.  Mr. Cardew has sent for me."

She looked up at him.

"Willy, I want to tell you something.  The Cardews won't let that
marriage stand, and you know it.  I think she cares for you.  Don't
look at me like that.  I do."

"That's because you are fond of me," he said, smiling down at her.
"I'm not the sort of man girls care about, Ellen.  Let's face that.
The General Manager said when he planned me, 'Here's going to be a
fellow who is to have everything in the world, health, intelligence,
wit and the beauty of an Adonis, but he has to lack something, so
we'll make it that'."

But Ellen, glancing up swiftly, saw that although his tone was
light, there was pain in his eyes.

He reflected on Edith's decision as he walked through the park
toward the Cardew house.  It had not surprised him, and yet he knew
it had cost her an effort.  How great an effort, man-like, he would
never understand, but something of what she had gone through he
realized.  He wondered vaguely whether, had there never been a
Lily Cardew in his life, he could ever have cared for Edith.
Perhaps.  Not the Edith of the early days, that was certain.  But
this new Edith, with her gentleness and meekness, her clear,
suffering eyes, her strange new humility.

She had sent him a message of warning about Akers, and from it he
had reconstructed much of the events of the night she had taken sick.

"Tell him to watch Louis Akers," she had said.  "I don't know how
near Willy was to trouble the other night, Ellen, but they're going
to try to get him."

Ellen had repeated the message, watching him narrowly, but he had
only laughed.

"Who are they?" she had persisted.

"I'll tell you all about it some day," he had said.  But he had told
Dan the whole story, and, although he did not know it, Dan had from
that time on been his self-constituted bodyguard.  During his
campaign speeches Dan was always near, his right hand on a revolver
in his coat pocket, and for hours at a time he stood outside the
pharmacy, favoring every seeker for drugs or soap or perfume with a
scowling inspection.  When he could not do it, he enlisted Joe
Wilkinson in the evenings, and sometimes the two of them, armed,
policed the meeting halls.

As a matter of fact, Joe Wilkinson was following him that night.
On his way to the Cardews Willy Cameron, suddenly remembering the
uncanny ability of Jinx to escape and trail him, remaining
meanwhile at a safe distance in the rear, turned suddenly and saw
Joe, walking sturdily along in rubber-soled shoes, and obsessed
with his high calling of personal detective.

Joe, discovered, grinned sheepishly.

"Thought that looked like your back," he said.  "Nice evening for
a walk, isn't it?"

"Let me look at you, Joe," said Willy Cameron.  "You look strange
to me.  Ah, now I have it.  You look like a comet without a tail.
Where's the family?"

"Making taffy.  How--is Edith?"

"Doing nicely." He avoided the boy's eyes.

"I guess I'd better tell you.  Dan's told me about her.  I--" Joe
hesitated.  Then: "She never seemed like that sort of a girl," he
finished, bitterly.

"She isn't that sort of girl, Joe."

"She did it.  How could a fellow know she wouldn't do it again?"

"She has had a pretty sad sort of lesson."

Joe, his real business forgotten, walked on with eyes down and
shoulders drooping.

"I might as well finish with it," he said, "now I've started.  I've
always been crazy about her.  Of course now--I haven't slept for
two nights."

"I think it's rather like this, Joe," Willy Cameron said, after a
pause.  "We are not one person, really.  We are all two or three
people, and all different.  We are bad and good, depending on which
of us is the strongest at the time, and now and then we pay so much
for the bad we do that we bury that part.  That's what has happened
to Edith.  Unless, of course," he added, "we go on convincing her
that she is still the thing she doesn't want to be."

"I'd like to kill the man," Joe said.  But after a little, as they
neared the edge of the park, he looked up.

"You mean, go on as if nothing had happened?"

"Precisely," said Willy Cameron, "as though nothing had happened."



CHAPTER XLIII


The atmosphere of the Cardew house was subtly changed and very
friendly.  Willy Cameron found himself received as an old friend,
with no tendency to forget the service he had rendered, or that, in
their darkest hour, he had been one of them.

To his surprise Pink Denslow was there, and he saw at once that
Pink had been telling them of the night at the farm house.  Pink
was himself again, save for a small shaved place at the back of his
head, covered with plaster.

"I've told them, Cameron," he said.  "If I could only tell it
generally I'd be the most popular man in the city, at dinners."

"Pair of young fools," old Anthony muttered, with his sardonic smile.
But in his hand-clasp, as in Howard's, there was warmth and a sort of
envy, envy of youth and the adventurous spirit of youth.

Lily was very quiet.  The story had meant more to her than to the
others.  She had more nearly understood Pink's reference to the
sealed envelope Willy Cameron had left, and the help sent by Edith
Boyd.  She connected that with Louis Akers, and from that to Akers'
threat against Cameron was only a step.  She was frightened and
somewhat resentful, that this other girl should have saved him
from a revenge that she knew was directed at herself.  That she,
who had brought this thing about, had sat quietly at home while
another woman, a woman who loved him, had saved him.

She was puzzled at her own state of mind.

Dinner was almost gay.  Perhaps the gayety was somewhat forced,
with Pink keeping his eyes from Lily's face, and Howard Cardew
relapsing now and then into abstracted silence.  Because of the
men who served, the conversation was carefully general.  It was
only in the library later, the men gathered together over their
cigars, that the real reason for Willy Cameron's summons was
disclosed.

Howard Cardew was about to withdraw from the contest.  "I'm late
in coming to this decision," he said.  "Perhaps too late.  But
after a careful canvas of the situation, I find you are right,
Cameron.  Unless I withdraw, Akers"--he found a difficulty in
speaking the name--"will be elected.  At least it looks that way."

"And if he is," old Anthony put in, "he'll turn all the devils of
hell loose on us."

It was late; very late.  The Cardews stood ready to flood the papers
with announcements of Howard's withdrawal, and urging his supporters
to vote for Hendricks, but the time was short.  Howard had asked his
campaign managers to meet there that night, and also Hendricks and
one or two of his men, but personally he felt doubtful.

And, as it happened, the meeting developed more enthusiasm than
optimism.  Cardew's withdrawal would be made the most of by the
opposition.  They would play it up as the end of the old regime, the
beginning of new and better things.

Before midnight the conference broke up, to catch the morning
editions.  Willy Cameron, detained behind the others, saw Lily in
the drawing-room alone as he passed the door, and hesitated.

"I have been waiting for you, Willy," she said.

But when he went in she seemed to have nothing to say.  She sat in
a low chair, in a soft dark dress which emphasized her paleness.  To
Willy Cameron she had never seemed more beautiful, or more remote.

"Do you remember how you used to whistle 'The Long, Long Trail,'
Willy?" she said at last.  "All evening I have been sitting here
thinking what a long trail we have both traveled since then."

"A long, hard trail," he assented.

"Only you have gone up, Willy.  And I have gone down, into the
valley.  I wish"--she smiled faintly--"I wish you would look down
from your peak now and then.  You never come to see me."

"I didn't know you wanted me," he said bluntly.

"Why shouldn't I want to see you?"

"I couldn't help reminding you of things."

"But I never forget them, anyhow.  Sometimes I almost go mad,
remembering.  It isn't quite as selfish as it sounds.  I've hurt
them all so.  Willy, do you mind telling me about the girl who
opened that letter and sent you help?"

"About Edith Boyd?  I'd like to tell you, Lily.  Her mother is
dead, and she lost her child.  She is in the Memorial Hospital."

"Then she has no one but you?"

"She has a brother."

"Tell me about her sending help that night.  She really saved your
life, didn't she?"

While he was telling her she sat staring straight ahead, her
fingers interlaced in her lap.  She was telling herself that all
this could not possibly matter to her, that she had cut herself off,
finally and forever, from the man before her; that she did not even
deserve his friendship.

Quite suddenly she knew that she did not want his friendship.  She
wanted to see again in his face the look that had been there the
night he had told her, very simply, that he loved her.  And it would
never be there; it was not there now.  She had killed his love.  All
the light in his face was for some one else, another girl, a girl
more unfortunate but less wicked than herself.

When he stopped she was silent.  Then:

"I wonder if you know how much you have told me that you did not
intend to tell?"

"That I didn't intend to tell?  I have made no reservations, Lily."

"Are you sure?  Or don't you realize it yourself?"

"Realize what?" He was greatly puzzled.

"I think, Willy," she said, quietly, "that you care a great deal
more for Edith Boyd than you think you do."

He looked at her in stupefaction.  How could she say that?  How
could she fail to know better than that?  And he did not see the
hurt behind her careful smile.

"You are wrong about that.  I--" He made a little gesture of
despair.  He could not tell her now that he loved her.  That was
all over.

"She is in love with you."

He felt absurd and helpless.  He could not deny that, yet how
could she sit there, cool and faintly smiling, and not know that
as she sat there so she sat enshrined in his heart.  She was his
saint, to kneel and pray to; and she was his woman, the one woman
of his life.  More woman than saint, he knew, and even for that he
loved her.  But he did not know the barbarous cruelty of the loving
woman.

"I don't know what to say to you, Lily," he said, at last.  "She
--it is possible that she thinks she cares, but under the
circumstances--"

"Ellen told Mademoiselle you were going to marry her.  That's true,
isn't it?"

"Yes."

"You always said that marriage without love was wicked, Willy."

"Her child had a right to a name.  And there were other things.  I
can't very well explain them to you.  Her mother was ill.  Can't you
understand, Lily?  I don't want to throw any heroics."  In his
excitement he had lapsed into boyish vernacular.  "Here was a plain
problem, and a simple way to solve it.  But it is off now, anyhow;
things cleared up without that."

She got up and held out her hand.

"It was like you to try to save her," she said.

"Does this mean I am to go?"

"I am very tired, Willy."

He had a mad impulse to take her in his arms, and holding her close
to rest her there.  She looked so tired.  For fear he might do it
he held his arms rigidly at his sides.

"You haven't asked me about him," she said unexpectedly.

"I thought you would not care to talk about him.  That's over and
done, Lily.  I want to forget about it, myself."

She looked up at him, and had he had Louis Akers' intuitive
knowledge of women he would have understood then.

"I am never going back to him, Willy.  You know that, don't you?"

"I hoped it, of course."

"I know now that I never loved him."

But the hurt of her marriage was still too fresh in him for speech.
He could not discuss Louis Akers with her.

"No," he said, after a moment, "I don't think you ever did.  I'll
come in some evening, if I may, Lily.  I must not keep you up now."

How old he looked, for him!  How far removed from those busy,
cheerful days at the camp!  And there were new lines of repression
in his face; from the nostrils to the corners of his mouth.  Above
his ears his hair showed a faint cast of gray.

"You have been having rather a hard time, Willy, haven't you'?"
she said, suddenly.

"I have been busy, of course."

"And worried?"

"Sometimes.  But things are clearing up now."

She was studying him with the newly opened eyes of love.  What was
it he showed that the other men she knew lacked?  Sensitiveness?
Kindness?  But her father was both sensitive and kind.  So was Pink,
in less degree.  In the end she answered her own question, and
aloud.

"I think it is patience," she said.  And to his unspoken question:
"You are very patient, aren't you?"

"I never thought about it.  For heaven's sake don't turn my mind
in on myself, Lily.  I'll be running around in circles like a pup
chasing his tail."

He made a movement to leave, but she seemed oddly reluctant to let
him go.

"Do you know that father says you have more influence than any
other man in the city?"

"That's more kind than truthful."

"And--I think he and grandfather are planning to try to get you,
when the mills reopen.  Father suggested it, but grandfather says
you'd have the presidency of the company in six months, and he'd be
sharpening your lead pencils."

Suddenly Willy Cameron laughed, and the tension was broken.

"If he did it with his tongue they'd be pretty sharp," he said.

For just a moment, before he left, they were back to where they
had been months ago, enjoying together their small jokes and their
small mishaps.  The present fell away, with its hovering tragedy,
and they were boy and girl together.  Exaltation and sacrifice were
a part of their love, as of all real and lasting passion, but there
was always between them also that soundest bond of all, liking and
comradeship.

"I love her.  I like her.  I adore her," was the cry in Willy
Cameron's heart when he started home that night.



CHAPTER XLIV


Elinor Doyle was up and about her room.  She walked slowly and with
difficulty, using crutches, and she spent most of the time at her
window, watching and waiting.  From Lily there came, at frequent
intervals, notes, flowers and small delicacies.  The flowers and
food Olga brought to her, but the notes she never saw.  She knew
they came.  She could see the car stop at the curb, and the
chauffeur, his shoulders squared and his face watchful, carrying a
white envelope up the walk, but there it ended.

She felt more helpless than ever.  The doctor came less often, but
the vigilance was never relaxed, and she had, too, less and less
hope of being able to give any warning.  Doyle was seldom at home,
and when he was he had ceased to give her his taunting information.
She was quite sure now of his relations with the Russian girl, and
her uncertainty as to her course was gone.  She was no longer his
wife.  He held another woman in his rare embraces, a traitor like
himself.  It was sordid.  He was sordid.

Woslosky had developed blood poisoning, and was at the point of
death, with a stolid policeman on guard at his bedside.  She knew
that from the newspapers she occasionally saw.  And she connected
Doyle unerringly with the tragedy at the farm behind Friendship.
She recognized, too, since that failure, a change in his manner to
her.  She saw that he now both hated her and feared her, and that
she had become only a burden and a menace to him.  He might decide
to do away with her, to kill her.  He would not do it himself; he
never did his own dirty work, but the Russian girl--Olga was in
love with Jim Doyle.  Elinor knew that, as she knew many things,
by a sort of intuition.  She watched them in the room together,
and she knew that to Doyle the girl was an incident, the vehicle
of his occasional passion, a strumpet and a tool.  He did not
even like her; she saw him looking at her sometimes with a sort
of amused contempt.  But Olga's somber eyes followed him as he
moved, lit with passion and sometimes with anger, but always they
followed him.

She was afraid of Olga.  She did not care particularly about death,
but it must not come before she had learned enough to be able to
send out a warning.  She thought if it came it might be by poison
in the food that was sent up, but she had to eat to live.  She took
to eating only one thing on her tray, and she thought she detected
in the girl an understanding and a veiled derision.

By Doyle's increasing sullenness she knew things were not going
well with him, and she found a certain courage in that, but she
knew him too well to believe that he would give up easily.  And
she drew certain deductions from the newspapers she studied so
tirelessly.  She saw the announcement of the unusual number of
hunting licenses issued, for one thing, and she knew the cover that
such licenses furnished armed men patrolling the country.  The
state permitted the sale of fire-arms without restriction.  Other
states did the same, or demanded only the formality of a signature,
never verified.

Would they never wake to the situation?

She watched the election closely.  She knew that if Akers were
elected the general strike and the chaos to follow would be held
back until he had taken office and made the necessary changes in
the city administration, but that if he went down to defeat the
Council would turn loose its impatient hordes at once.

She waited for election day with burning anxiety.  When it came
it so happened that she was left alone all day in the house.  Early
in the morning Olga brought her a tray and told her she was going
out.  She was changed, the Russian; she had dropped the mask of
sodden servility and stood before her, erect, cunningly intelligent
and oddly powerful.

"I am going to be away all day, Mrs. Doyle," she said, in her
excellent English.  "I have work to do."

"Work?" said Elinor.  "Isn't there work to do here?"

"I am not a house-worker.  I came to help Mr. Doyle.  To-day I
shall make speeches."

Elinor was playing the game carefully.  "But--can you make
speeches?" she asked.

"Me?  That is my work, here, in Russia, everywhere.  In Russia it
is the women who speak, the men who do what the women tell them to
do.  Here some day it will be the same."

Always afterwards Elinor remembered the five minutes that followed,
for Olga, standing before her, suddenly burst into impassioned
oratory.  She cited the wrongs of the poor under the old regime.
She painted in glowing colors the new.  She was excited, hectic,
powerful.  Elinor in her chair, an aristocrat to the finger-tips,
was frightened, interested, thrilled.

Long after Olga had gone she sat there, wondering at the real
conviction, the intensity of passion, of hate and of revenge that
actuated this newest tool of Doyle's.  Doyle and his associates
might be actuated by self-interest, but the real danger in the
movement lay not with the Doyles of the world, but with these
fanatic liberators.  They preached to the poor a new religion, not
of creed or of Church, but of freedom.  Freedom without laws of
God or of man, freedom of love, of lust, of time, of all
responsibility.  And the poor, weighted with laws and cares,
longed to throw off their burdens.

Perhaps it was not the doctrine itself that was wrong.  It was its
imposition by force on a world not yet ready for it that was
wrong; its imposition by violence.  It might come, but not this
way.  Not, God preventing, this way.

There was a polling place across the street, in the basement of a
school house.  The vote was heavy and all day men lounged on the
pavements, smoking and talking.  Once she saw Olga in the crowd,
and later on Louis Akers drove up in an open automobile, handsome,
apparently confident, and greeted with cheers.  But Elinor,
knowing him well, gained nothing from his face.

Late that night she heard Doyle come in and move about the lower
floor.  She knew every emphasis of his walk, and when in the room
underneath she heard him settle down to steady, deliberate pacing,
she knew that he was facing some new situation, and, after his
custom, thinking it out alone.

At midnight he came up the stairs and unlocked her door.  He
entered, closing the door behind him, and stood looking at her.
His face was so strange that she wondered if he had decided to do
away with her.

"To-morrow," he said, in an inflectionless voice, "you will be
moved by automobile to a farm I have selected in the country.  You
will take only such small luggage as the car can carry."

"Is Olga going with me?"

"No.  Olga is needed here."

"I suppose I am to understand from this that Louis has been defeated
and there is no longer any reason for delay in your plans."

"You can understand what you like."

"Am I to know where I am going?"

"You will find that out when you get there.  I will tell you this:
It is a lonely place, without a telephone.  You'll be cut off from
your family, I am afraid."

She gazed at him.  It seemed unbelievable to her that she had once
lain in this man's arms.

"Why don't you kill me, Jim?  I know you've thought about it."

"Yes, I've thought of it.  But killing is a confession of fear, my
dear.  I am not afraid of you."

"I think you are.  You are afraid now to tell me when you are going
to try to put this wild plan into execution."

He smiled at her with mocking eyes.

"Yes," he agreed again.  "I am afraid.  You have a sort of
diabolical ingenuity, not intelligence so much as cunning.  But
because I always do the thing I'm afraid to do, I'll tell you.
Of course, if you succeed in passing it on--"  He shrugged his
shoulders.  "Very well, then.  With your usual logic of deduction,
you have guessed correctly.  Louis Akers has been defeated.  Your
family--and how strangely you are a Cardew!--lost its courage at
the last moment, and a gentleman named Hendricks is now setting
up imitation beer and cheap cigars to his friends."

Behind his mocking voice she knew the real fury of the man, kept
carefully in control by his iron will.

"As you have also correctly surmised," he went on, "there is now
nothing to be gained by any delay.  A very few days, three or four,
and--"  His voice grew hard and terrible--"the first stone in the
foundation of this capitalistic government will go.  Inevitable law,
inevitable retribution--"  His voice trailed off.  He turned like
a man asleep and went toward the door.  There he stopped and faced
her.

"I've told you," he said darkly.  "I am not afraid of you.  You can
no more stop this thing than you can stop living by ceasing to
breathe.  It has come."

She heard him in his room for some time after that, and she surmised
from the way he moved, from closet to bed and back again, that he
was packing a bag.  At two o'clock she heard Olga coming in; the
girl was singing in Russian, and Elinor had a sickening conviction
that she had been drinking.  She heard Doyle send her off to bed,
his voice angry and disgusted, and resume his packing, and ten
minutes later she heard a car draw up on the street, and knew that
he was off, to begin the mobilization of his heterogeneous forces.

Ever since she had been able to leave her bed Elinor had been
formulating a plan of escape.  Once the door had been left unlocked,
but her clothing had been removed from the room, and then, too, she
had not learned the thing she was waiting for.  Now she had clothing,
a dark dressing gown and slippers, and she had the information.  But
the door was securely locked.

She had often thought of the window, In the day time it frightened
her to look down, although it fascinated her, too.  But at night it
seemed much simpler.  The void below was concealed in the darkness,
a soft darkness that hid the hard, inhospitable earth.  A darkness
one could fall into and onto.

She was not a brave woman.  She had moral rather than physical
courage.  It was easier for her to face Doyle in a black mood than
the gulf below the window-sill, but she knew now that she must get
away, if she were to go at all.  She got out of bed, and using her
crutches carefully moved to the sill, trying to accustom herself
to the thought of going over the edge.  The plaster cast on her
leg was a real handicap.  She must get it over first.  How heavy
it was, and unwieldy!

She found her scissors, and, stripping the bed, sat down to cut
and tear the bedding into strips.  Prisoners escaped that way; she
had read about such things.  But the knots took up an amazing
amount of length.  It was four o'clock in the morning when she had
a serviceable rope, and she knew it was too short.  In the end she
tore down the window curtains and added them, working desperately
against time.

She began to suspect, too, that Olga was not sleeping.  She smelled
faintly the odor of the long Russian cigarettes the girl smoked.
She put out her light and worked in the darkness, a strange figure
of adventure, this middle-aged woman with her smooth hair and
lined face, sitting in her cambric nightgown with her crutches on
the floor beside her.

She secured the end of the rope to the foot of her metal bed,
pushing the bed painfully and cautiously, inch by inch, to the
window.  And in so doing she knocked over the call-bell on the
stand, and almost immediately she heard Olga moving about.

The girl was coming unsteadily toward the door.  If she opened
it--

"I don't want anything, Olga," she called, "I knocked the bell
over accidentally."

Olga hesitated, muttered, moved away again.  Elinor was covered
with a cold sweat.

She began to think of the window as a refuge.  Surely nothing
outside could be so terrible as this house itself.  The black
aperture seemed friendly; it beckoned to her with friendly hands.

She dropped her crutches.  They fell with two soft thuds on the
earth below and it seemed to her that they were a long time in
falling.  She listened after that, but Olga made no sign.  Then
slowly and painfully she worked her injured leg over the sill,
and sat there looking down and breathing with difficulty.  Then
she freed her dressing gown around her, and slid over the edge.



CHAPTER XLV


Election night found various groups in various places.  In the back
room of the Eagle Pharmacy was gathered once again the neighborhood
forum, a wildly excited forum, which ever and anon pounded Mr.
Hendricks on the back, and drank round after round of soda water
and pop.  Doctor Smalley, coming in rather late found them all there,
calling Mr. Hendricks "Mr. Mayor" or "Your Honor," reciting election
anecdotes, and prophesying the end of the Reds.  Only Willy Cameron,
sitting on a table near the window, was silent.

Mr. Hendricks, called upon for a speech, rose with his soda water
glass in his hand.

"I've got a toast for you, boys," he said.  "You've been talking
all evening about my winning this election.  Well, I've been elected,
but I didn't win it.  It was the plain people of this town who
elected me, and they did it because my young friend on the table
yonder told them to."  He raised his glass.  "Cameron!" he said.

"Cameron!  Cameron!" shouted the crowd.  "Speech!  Cameron!"

But Willy shook his head.

"I haven't any voice left," he said, "and you've heard me say all
I know a dozen times.  The plain truth is that Mr. Hendricks got
the election because he was the best man, and enough people knew
it.  That's all."

To Mr. Hendricks the night was one of splendid solemnity.  He felt
at once very strong and very weak, very proud and very humble.  He
would do his best, and if honesty meant anything, the people would
have it, but he knew that honesty was not enough.  The city needed
a strong man; he hoped that the Good Man who made cities as He
made men, both evil and good, would lend him a hand with things.
As prayer in his mind was indissolubly connected with church, he
made up his mind to go to church the next Sunday and get matters
straightened out.

At the same time another group was meeting at the Benedict.

Louis Akers had gone home early.  By five o'clock he knew that the
chances were against him, but he felt a real lethargy as to the
outcome.  He had fought, and fought hard, but it was only the
surface mind of him that struggled.  Only the surface mind of him
hated, and had ambitions, dreamed revenge.  Underneath that surface
mind was a sore that ate like a cancer, and that sore was his
desertion by Lily Cardew.  For once in his life he suffered, who
had always inflicted pain.

At six o'clock Doyle had called him on the telephone and told him
that Woslosky was dead, but the death of the Pole had been
discounted in advance, and already his place had been filled by a
Russian agent, who had taken the first syllable of his name and
called himself Ross.  Louis Akers heard the news apathetically,
and went back to his chair again.

By eight o'clock he knew that he had lost the election, but that,
too, seemed relatively unimportant.  He was not thinking coherently,
but certain vague ideas floated through his mind.  There was a law
of compensation in the universe: it was all rot to believe that
one was paid or punished in the hereafter for what one did.  Hell
was real, but it was on earth and its place was in a man's mind.
He couldn't get away from it, because each man carried his own
hell around with him.  It was all stored up there; nothing he had
done was left out, and the more he put into it the more he got
out, when the time came.

This was his time.

Ross and Doyle, with one or two others, found him there at nine
o'clock, an untasted meal on the table, and the ends of innumerable
cigarettes on the hearth.  In the conference that followed he
took but little part.  The Russian urged immediate action, and
Doyle by a saturnine silence tacitly agreed with him.  But Louis
only half heard them.  His mind was busy with that matter of hell.
Only once he looked up.  Ross was making use of the phrase:
"Militant minority."

"Militant minority!" he said scornfully, "you overwork that idea,
Ross.  What we've got here now is a militant majority, and that's
what elected Hendricks.  You're licked before you begin.  And my
advice is, don't begin."

But they laughed at him.

"You act like a whipped dog," Doyle said, "crawling under the
doorstep for fear somebody else with a strap comes along."

"They're organized against us.  We could have put it over six
months ago.  Not now."

"Then you'd better get out," Doyle said, shortly.

"I'm thinking of it."

But Doyle had no real fear of him.  He was sulky.  Well, let him
sulk.

Akers relapsed into silence.  His interest in the conspiracy had
always been purely self-interest; he had never had Woslosky's
passion, or Doyle's cold fanaticism.  They had carried him off
his feet with their promises, but how much were they worth?  They
had failed to elect him.  Every bit of brains, cunning and
resource in their organization had been behind him, and they had
failed.

This matter of hell, now?  Suppose one put by something on the
other account?  Suppose one turned square?  Wouldn't that earn
something?  Suppose that one went to the Cardews and put all his
cards on the table, asking nothing in return?  Suppose one gave
up the by-paths of life, and love in a hedgerow, and did the
other thing?  Wouldn't that earn something?

He roused himself and took a perfunctory part in the conversation,
but his mind obstinately returned to itself.  He knew every
rendezvous of the Red element in the country; he knew where their
literature was printed; he knew the storehouses of arms and
ammunition, and the plans for carrying on the city government by
the strikers after the reign of terrorization which was to subdue
the citizens.

Suppose he turned informer?  Could he set a price, and that price
Lily?  But he discarded that.  He was not selling now, he was
earning.  He would set himself right first, and--provided the
government got the leaders before those leaders got him, as they
would surely try to do--he would have earned something, surely.

Lily had come to him once when he called.  She might come again,
when he had earned her.

Doyle sat back in his chair and watched him.  He saw that he had
gone to pieces under defeat, and men did strange things at those
times.  With uncanny shrewdness he gauged Akers' reaction; his
loss of confidence and, he surmised, his loyalty.  He would follow
his own interest now, and if he thought that it lay in turning
informer, he might try it.  But it would take courage.

When the conference broke up Doyle was sure of where his man stood.
He was not worried.  They did not need Akers any longer.  He had
been a presentable tool, a lay figure to give the organization
front, and they had over-rated him, at that.  He had failed them.
Doyle, watching him contemptuously, realized in him his own
fallacious judgment, and hated Akers for proving him wrong.

Outside the building Doyle drew the Russian aside, and spoke to
him.  Ross started, then grinned.

"You're wrong," he said.  "He won't try it.  But of course he may,
and we'll see that he doesn't get away with it."

From that time on Louis Akers was under espionage.



CHAPTER XLVI


DOCTOR Smalley was by way of achieving a practice.  During his
morning and evening office hours he had less and less time to read
the papers and the current magazines in his little back office,
or to compare the month's earnings, visit by visit, with the same
month of the previous year.

He took to making his hospital rounds early in the morning, rather
to the outrage of various head nurses, who did not like the staff
to come a-visiting until every counterpane was drawn stiff and
smooth, every bed corner a geometrical angle, every patient washed
and combed and temperatured, and in the exact center of the bed.

Interns were different.  They were like husbands.  They came and
went, seeing things at their worst as well as at their best, but
mostly at their worst.  Like husbands, too, they developed a sort
of philosophy as to the early morning, and would only make
occasional remarks, such as:

"Cyclone struck you this morning, or anything?"

Doctor Smalley, being a bachelor, was entirely blind to the early
morning deficiencies of his wards.  Besides, he was young and had
had a cold shower and two eggs and various other things, and he
saw the world at eight A.M. as a good place.  He would get into his
little car, whistling, and driving through the market square he
would sometimes stop and buy a bag of apples for the children's
ward, or a bunch of fall flowers.  Thus armed, it was impossible
for the most austere of head nurses to hate him.

"We're not straightened up yet, doctor," they would say.

"Looks all right to me," he would reply cheerfully, and cast an
eager eye over the ward.  To him they were all his children, large
and small, and if he did not exactly carry healing in his wings,
having no wings, he brought them courage and a breath of fresh
morning air, slightly tinged with bay rum, and the feeling that
this was a new day.  A new page, on which to write such wonderful
things (in the order book) as: "Jennie may get up this afternoon."
Or: "Lizzie Smith, small piece of beef steak."

On the morning after the election Doctor Smalley rose unusually
early, and did five minutes of dumb bells, breathing very deep
before his window, having started the cold water in the tub first.
At the end of that time he padded in his bare feet to the top of
the stairs and called in a huge, deep-breathing voice:

"Ten minutes."

These two cryptic words seeming to be perfectly understood below,
followed the sound of a body plunging into water, a prolonged
"Wow!" from the bathroom, and noisy hurried splashing.  Dressing
was a rapid process, due to a method learned during college days,
which consists of wearing as little as possible, and arranging it
at night so that two thrusts (trousers and under-drawers), one
enveloping gesture (shirt and under-shirt), and a gymnastic effort
of standing first on one leg and then on the other (socks and shoes),
made a fairly completed toilet.

While putting on his collar and tie the doctor stood again by the
window, and lustily called the garage across the narrow street.

"Jim!" he yelled.  "Annabelle breakfasted yet?"

Annabelle was his shabby little car.

Annabelle had breakfasted, on gasoline, oil and water.  The doctor
finished tying his tie, singing lustily, and went to the door.
At the door he stopped singing, put on a carefully professional
air, restrained an impulse to slide down the stairrail, and
descended with the dignity of a man with a growing practice and
a possible patient in the waiting-room.

At half-past seven he was on his way to the hospital.  He stopped
at the market and bought three dozen oranges out of a ten-dollar
bill he had won on the election, and almost bought a live rabbit
because it looked so dreary in its slatted box.  He restrained
himself, because his housekeeper had a weakness for stewed rabbit,
and turned into Cardew Way.  He passed the Doyle house slowly,
inspecting it as he went, because he had a patient there, and
because he had felt that there was something mysterious about the
household, quite aside from the saturnine Doyle himself.  He
knew all about Doyle, of course; all, that is, that there was to
know, but he was a newcomer to the city, and he did not know that
Doyle's wife was a Cardew.  Sometimes he had felt that he was under
a sort of espionage all the time he was in the house.  But that
was ridiculous, wasn't it?  Because they could not know that he
was on the Vigilance Committee.

There was something curious about one of the windows.  He slowed
Annabelle and gazed at it.  That was strange; there was a sort of
white rope hanging from Mrs. Doyle's window.

He stopped Annabelle and stared.  Then he drew up to the curb and
got out of the car.  He was rather uneasy when he opened the gate
and started up the walk, but there was no movement of life in the
house.  At the foot of the steps he saw something, and almost
stopped breathing.  Behind a clump of winter-bare shrubbery was
what looked like a dark huddle of clothing.

It was incredible.

He parted the branches and saw Elinor Doyle lying there, conscious
and white with pain.  Perhaps never in his life was Doctor Smalley
to be so rewarded as with the look in her eyes when she saw him.

"Why, Mrs. Doyle!" was all he could think to say.

"I have broken my other leg, doctor," she said, "the rope gave way."

"You come down that rope?"

"I tried to.  I was a prisoner.  Don't take me back to the house,
doctor.  Don't take me back!"

"Of course I'll not take you back," he said, soothingly.  "I'll
carry you out to my car.  It may hurt, but try to be quiet.  Can
you get your arms around my neck?"

She managed that, and he raised her slowly, but the pain must have
been frightful, for a moment later he felt her arms relax and knew
that she had fainted.  He got to the car somehow, kicked the oranges
into the gutter, and placed her, collapsed, on the seat.  It was
only then that he dared to look behind him, but the house, like the
street, was without signs of life.  As he turned the next corner,
however, he saw Doyle getting off a streetcar, and probably never
before had Annabelle made such speed as she did for the next six
blocks.

Hours later Elinor Cardew wakened in a quiet room with gray walls,
and with the sickening sweet odor of ether over everything.  Instead
of Olga a quiet nurse sat by her bed, and standing by a window, in
low-voiced conversation, were two men.  One she knew, the doctor.
The other, a tall young man with a slight limp as he came toward
her, she had never seen before.  A friendly young man, thin, and
grave of voice, who put a hand over hers and said:

"You are not to worry about anything, Mrs. Doyle.  You understand
me, don't you?  Everything is all right.  I am going now to get
your people."

"My husband?"

"Your own people," he said.  "I have already telephoned to your
brother.  And the leg's fixed.  Everything's as right as rain."

Elinor closed her eyes.  She felt no pain and no curiosity.  Only
there was something she had to do, and do quickly.  What was it?
But she could not remember, because she felt very sleepy and
relaxed, and as though everything was indeed as right as rain.

It was evening when she looked up again, and the room was dark.
The doctor had gone, and the grave young man was still in the
room.  There was another figure there, tall and straight, and
at first she thought it was Jim Doyle.

"Jim!" she said.  And then: "You must go away, Jim.  I warn you.
I am going to tell all I know."

But the figure turned, and it was Howard Cardew, a tense and
strained Howard Cardew, who loomed amazingly tall and angry,
but not with her.

"I'm sorry, Nellie dear," he said, bending over her.  "If we'd
only known--can you talk now?"

Her mind was suddenly very clear.

"I must.  There is very little time."

"I want to tell you something first, Nellie.  I think we have
located the Russian woman, but we haven't got Doyle."

Howard was not very subtle, but Willy Cameron saw her face and
understood.  It was strange beyond belief, he felt, this loyalty
of women to their men, even after love had gone; this feeling that,
having once lain in a man's arms, they have taken a vow of
protection over that man.  It was not so much that they were his
as that he was theirs.  Jim Doyle had made her a prisoner, had
treated her brutally, was a traitor to her and to his country,
but--he had been hers.  She was glad that he had got away.



CHAPTER XLVII


It was dark when Howard Cardew and Willy Cameron left the hospital.
Elinor's information had been detailed and exact.  Under cover of
the general strike the radical element intended to take over the
city.  On the evening of the first day of the strike, armed groups
from the revolutionary party would proceed first to the municipal
light plant, and, having driven out any employees who remained at
their posts, or such volunteers as had replaced them, would plunge
the city into darkness.

Elinor was convinced that following this would come various bomb
outrages, perhaps a great number of them, but of this she had no
detailed information.  What she did know, however, was the dependence
that Doyle and the other leaders were placing in the foreign element
in the nearby mill towns and from one or two mining districts in
the county.

Around the city, in the mill towns, there were more than forty
thousand foreign laborers.  Subtract from that the loyal aliens,
but add a certain percentage of the native-born element, members
of seditious societies and followers of the red flag, and the Reds
had a potential army of dangerous size.

As an actual fighting force they were much less impressive.  Only
a small percentage, she knew and told them, were adequately armed.
There were a few machine guns, and some long-range rifles, but by
far the greater number had only revolvers.  The remainder had
extemporized weapons, bars of iron, pieces of pipe, farm implements,
lances of wood  tipped with iron and beaten out on home forges.

They were a rabble, not an army, without organization and with few
leaders.  Their fighting was certain to be as individualistic as
their doctrines.  They had two elements in their favor only,
numbers and surprise.

To oppose them, if the worst came, there were perhaps five thousand
armed men, including the city and county police, the state
constabulary, and the citizens who had signed the cards of the
Vigilance Committee.  The local post of the American Legion stood
ready for instant service, and a few national guard troops still
remained in the vicinity.  "What they expect," she said, looking
up from her pillows with tragic eyes, "is that the police and the
troops will join them.  You don't think they will, do you?"

They reassured her, and after a time she slept again.  When she
wakened, at midnight, the room was empty save for a nurse reading
under a night lamp behind a screen.  Elinor was not in pain.  She
lay there, listening to the night sounds of the hospital, the
watchman shuffling along the corridor in slippers, the closing of
a window, the wail of a newborn infant far away.

There was a shuffling of feet in the street below, the sound of
many men, not marching but grimly walking, bent on some unknown
errand.  The nurse opened the window and looked out.

"That's queer!" she said.  "About thirty men, and not saying a word.
They walk like soldiers, but they're not in uniform."

Elinor pondered that, but it was not for some days that she knew
that Pink Denslow and a picked number of volunteers from the
American Legion had that night, quite silently and unemotionally,
broken into the printing office where Doyle and Akers had met
Cusick, and had, not so silently but still unemotionally, destroyed
the presses and about a ton of inflammatory pamphlets.



CHAPTER XLVIII


There was a little city, and few men within it; And there came a
great king against it, and besieged it, And built great bulwarks
against it; Now there was found in it a Poor Wise Man, And he by
his wisdom delivered the city. --Ecclesiastes IX :14, 15.

The general strike occurred two days later, at mid-day.  During the
interval a joint committee representing the workers, the employers
and the public had held a protracted sitting, but without result,
and by one o'clock the city was in the throes of a complete tie-up.
Laundry and delivery wagons were abandoned where they stood.  Some
of the street cars had been returned to the barns, but others stood
in the street where the crews had deserted them.

There was no disorder, however, and the city took its difficulties
with a quiet patience and a certain sense of humor.  Bulletins
similar to the ones used in Seattle began to appear.

"Strikers, the world is the workers' for the taking, and the workers
are the vast majority in society.  Your interests are paramount to
those of a small, useless band of parasites who exploit you to their
advantage.  You have nothing to lose but your chains and you have a
world to gain.  The world for the workers."

There was one ray of light in the darkness, however.  The municipal
employees had refused to strike, and only by force would the city go
dark that night.  It was a blow to the conspirators.  In the strange
psychology of the mob, darkness was an essential to violence, and
by three o'clock that afternoon the light plant and city water supply
had been secured against attack by effectual policing.  The power
plant for the car lines was likewise protected, and at five o'clock
a line of street cars, stalled on Amanda Street, began to show signs
of life.

The first car was boarded by a half dozen youngish men, unobtrusively
ready for trouble, and headed by a tall youth who limped slightly
and wore an extremely anxious expression.  He went forward and
commenced a series of experiments with levers and brake, in which
process incidentally he liberated a quantity of sand onto the rails.
A moment later the car lurched forward, and then stopped with a jerk.

Willy Cameron looked behind him and grinned.  The entire guard was
piled in an ignoble mass on the floor.

By six o'clock volunteer crews were running a number of cars, and
had been subjected to nothing worse than abuse.  Strikers lined the
streets and watched them, but the grim faces of the guards kept
them back.  They jeered from the curbs, but except for the flinging
of an occasional stone they made no inimical move.

By eight o'clock it was clear that the tie-up would be only partial.
Volunteers from all walks of life were in line at the temporary
headquarters of the Vigilance Committee and were being detailed, for
police duty, to bring in the trains with the morning milk, to move
street cars and trucks.  The water plant and the reservoirs were
protected.  Willy Cameron, abandoning his car after the homeward
rush of the evening, found a line before the Committee Building
which extended for blocks down the street.

Troops had been sent for, but it took time to mobilize and move them.
It would be morning before they arrived.  And the governor, over the
long distance wire to the mayor, was inclined to be querulous.

"We'll send them, of course," he said.  "But if the strikers are
keeping quiet--I don't know what the country's coming to.  We're
holding a conference here now.  There's rioting breaking out all
over the state."

      *           *           *           *           *

There was a conference held in the Mayor's office that night:
Cameron and Cardew and one or two others of the Vigilance Committee,
two agents of the government secret service, the captains of the
companies of state troops and constabulary, the Chief of Police,
the Mayor himself, and some representatives of the conservative
element of organized labor.  Quiet men, these last, uneasy and
anxious, as ignorant as the others of which way the black cat, the
symbol of sabotage and destruction, would jump.  The majority of
their men would stand for order, they declared, but there were some
who would go over.  They urged, to offset that reflection on their
organization that the proletariat of the city might go over, too.

But, by midnight, it seemed as though the situation was solving
itself.  In the segregated district there had been a small riot,
and another along the river front, disturbances quickly ended by
the police and the volunteer deputies.  The city had not gone dark.
The bombs had not exploded.  Word came in that by back roads and
devious paths the most rabid of the agitators were leaving town.
And before two o'clock Howard Cardew and some of the others went
home to bed.

At three o'clock the Cardew doorbell rang, and Howard, not asleep,
flung on his dressing gown and went out into the hall.  Lily was
in her doorway, intent and anxious.

"Don't answer it, father," she begged.  "You don't know what it
may be."

Howard smiled, but went back and got his revolver.  The visitor
was Willy Cameron.

"I don't like to waken you," he said, "but word has come in of
suspicious movements at Baxter and Friendship, and one or two other
places.  It looks like concerted action of some sort."

"What sort of concerted action?"

"They still have one card to play.  The foreign element outside
hasn't been heard from.  It looks as though the fellows who left
town to-night have been getting busy up the river."

"They wouldn't be such fools as to come to the city."

"They've been made a lot of promises.  They may be out of hand,
you know."

While Howard was hastily dressing, Willy Cameron waited below.  He
caught a glimpse of himself in the big mirror and looked away.  His
face was drawn and haggard, his eyes hollow and his collar a wilted
string.  He was dusty and shabby, too, and to Lily, coming down
the staircase, he looked almost ill.

Lily was in a soft negligee garment, her bare feet thrust into
slippers, but she was too anxious to be self-conscious.

"Willy," she said, "there is trouble after all?"

"Not in the city.  Things are not so quiet up the river."

She placed a hand on his arm.

"Are you and father going up the river?"

He explained, after a momentary hesitation.  "It may crystallize
into something, or it may not," he finished.

"You think it will, don't you?"

"It will be nothing more, at the worst, than rioting."

"But you may be hurt!"

"I may have one chance to fight for my country," he said, rather
grimly.  "Don't begrudge me that."  But he added: "I'll not be hurt.
The thing will blow up as soon as it starts."

"You don't really believe that, do you?"

"I know they'll never get into the city."

But as he moved away she called him back, more breathlessly than
ever, and quite white.

"I don't want you to go without knowing-- Willy, do you remember
once that you said you cared for me?"

"I remember."  He stared straight ahead.

"Are you--all over that?"

"You know better than that, don't you?"

"But I've done so many things," she said, wistfully.  "You ought
to hate me."  And when he said nothing, for the simple reason that
he could not speak: "I've ruined us both, haven't I?"

Suddenly he caught up her hand and, bending over it, held it to
his lips.

"Always," he said, huskily, "I love you, Lily.  I shall always love
you."



CHAPTER XLIX


Howard went back to the municipal building, driving furiously
through the empty streets.  The news was ominous.  Small bodies of
men, avoiding the highways, were focusing at different points in
the open country.  The state police had been fired at from ambush,
and two of them had been killed.  They had ridden into and dispersed
various gatherings in the darkness, but only to have them re-form in
other places.  The enemy was still shadowy, elusive; it was
apparently saving its ammunition.  It did little shooting, but
reports of the firing of farmhouses and of buildings in small,
unprotected towns began to come in rapidly.

In a short time the messages began to be more significant, indicating
that the groups were coalescing and that a revolutionary army, with
the city its objective, was coming down the river, evidently making
for the bridge at Chester Street.

"They've lighted a fire they can't put out," was Howard's comment.
His mouth was very dry and his face twitching, for he saw, behind
the frail barrier of the Chester Street bridge, the quiet houses of
the city, the sleeping children.  He saw Grace and Lily, and Elinor.
He was among the first to reach the river front.

All through the dawn volunteers labored at the bridge head.  Members
of the Vigilance Committee, policemen and firemen, doctors, lawyers,
clerks, shop-keepers, they looted the river wharves with willing,
unskillful hands.  They turned coal wagons on their sides, carried
packing cases and boxes, and, under the direction of men who wore the
Legion button, built skillfully and well.  Willy Cameron toiled with
the others.  He lifted and pulled and struggled, and in the midst of
his labor he had again that old dream of the city.  The city was a
vast number of units, and those units were homes.  Behind each of
those men there was, somewhere, in some quiet neighborhood, a home.
It was for their homes they were fighting, for the right of children
to play in peaceful streets, for the right to go back at night to
the rest they had earned by honest labor, for the right of the
hearth, of lamp-light and sunlight, of love, of happiness.

Then, in the flare of a gasoline torch, he came face to face with
Louis Akers.  The two men confronted each other, silently, with
hostility.  Neither moved aside, but it was Akers who spoke first.

"Always busy, Cameron," he said.  "What'd the world do without
you, anyhow?"

"Aren't you on the wrong side of this barricade?"

"Smart as ever," Akers observed, watching him intently.  "As it
happens, I'm here because I want to be, and because I can't get
where I ought to be."

For a furious moment Willy Cameron thought he was referring to his
wife, but there was something strange in Akers' tone.

"I could be useful to you fellows," he was saying, "but it seems
you don't want help.  I've been trying to see the Mayor all night."

"What do you want to see him about?"

"I'll tell him that."

Willy Cameron hesitated.

"I think it's a trick, Akers."

"All right.  Then go to the devil!"

He turned away sullenly, leaving Willy Cameron still undecided.  It
would be like the man as he knew him, this turning informer when he
saw the strength of the defense, and Cameron had a flash of
intuition, too, that Akers might see, in this new role, some possible
chance to win back with Lily Cardew.  He saw how the man's cheap soul
might dramatize itself.

"Akers!" he called.

Akers stopped, but he did not turn.

"I've got a car here.  If you mean what you say, and it's straight,
I'll take you."

"Where's the car?"

On their way to it, threading in and out among the toiling crowd,
Willy Cameron had a chance to observe the change in the other man,
his drooping shoulders and the almost lassitude of his walk.  He
went ahead, charging the mass and going through it by sheer bulk
and weight, his hands in his coat pockets, his soft hat pulled
low over his face.  Neither of them noticed that one of the former
clerks of the Myers Housecleaning Company followed close behind,
or that, holding to a tire, he rode on the rear of the Cardew
automobile as it made its way into the center of the city.

In the car Akers spoke only once.

"Where is Howard Cardew?" he asked.

"With the Mayor, probably.  I left him there."

It seemed to him that Akers found the answer satisfactory.  He sat
back in the deep seat, and lighted a cigarette.

The Municipal Building was under guard.  Willy Cameron went up the
steps and spoke to the sentry there.  It was while his back was
turned that the sharp crack of a revolver rang out, and he whirled,
in time to see Louis Akers fall forward on his face and lie still.

      *           *           *           *           *

The shadowy groups through the countryside had commenced to coalesce.
Groups of twenty became a rabble of five hundred.  The five hundred
grew, and joined other five hundreds.  From Baxter alone over two
thousand rioters, mostly foreigners, started out, and by daylight
the main body of the enemy reached the outskirts of the city, a long,
irregular line of laughing, jostling, shouting men, constantly
renewed at the rear until the procession covered miles of roadway.
They were of all races and all types; individually they were, many
of them, like boys playing truant from school, not quite certain of
themselves, smiling and yet uneasy, not entirely wicked in intent.
But they were shepherded by men with cunning eyes, men who knew
well that a mob is greater than the sum of its parts, more wicked
than the individuals who compose it, more cruel, more courageous.

As it marched it laughed.  It was like a lion at play, ready to
leap at the first scratch that brought blood.

Where the street car line met the Friendship Road the advance was
met by the Chief of Police, on horseback and followed by a guard of
mounted men, and ordered back.  The van hesitated, but it was urged
ahead, pushed on by the irresistible force behind it, and it came
on no longer singing, but slowly, inevitably, sullenly protesting
and muttering.  Its good nature was gone.

As the Chief turned his horse was shot under him.  He took another
horse from one of his guard, and they retired, moving slowly and
with drawn revolvers.  There was no further shooting at that time,
nothing but the irresistible advance.  The police could no more
have held the armed rabble than they could have held the invading
hordes in Belgium.  At the end of the street the Chief stopped and
looked back.  They had passed over his dead horse as though it
were not there.

In the mill district, which they had now reached, they received
reenforcements, justifying the judgment of the conference that to
have erected their barricades there would have been to expose the
city's defenders to attack from the rear.  And the mill district
suffered comparatively little.  It was the business portion of the
city toward which they turned their covetous eyes, the great stores,
the hotels and restaurants, the homes of the wealthy.

Pleased by the lack of opposition the mob grew more cheerful.  The
lion played.  They pressed forward, wanton and jeering, firing
now and then at random, breaking windows as they passed, looting
small shops which they stripped like locusts.  Their pockets
bulging, and the taste of pillage forecasting what was to come,
they moved onward more rapidly, shooting at upper windows or into
the air, laughing, yelling, cursing, talking.  From the barricades,
long before the miles-long column came into view, could be heard
the ominous far-off muttering of the mob.

It was when they found the bridge barricaded on the far side,
however, that the lion bared its teeth and snarled.  Temporarily
checked by the play of machine guns which swept the bridge and
kept it clear for a time, they commenced wild, wasteful firing,
from the bridge-head and from along the Cardew wharves.  Their
leaders were prepared, and sent snipers into the bridge towers,
but the machine guns continued to fire.

That the struggle would be on the bridge Doyle and his Council
had anticipated from the reports of the night before.  They were
prepared to take a heavy loss on the bridges, but they had not
prepared for the thing that defeated them; that as the mob is
braver than the individual, so also it is more cowardly.

Pushed forward from the rear and unable to retreat through the
dense mass behind that was every moment growing denser, a few
hundreds found themselves facing the steady machine-gun fire
from behind the barricades, and unable either to advance or to
retire.  Thus trapped, they turned on their own forces behind
them, and tried to fight their way to safety, but the inexorable
pressure kept on, and the defenders, watching and powerless, saw
men fling themselves from the bridges and disappear in the water
below, rather than advance into the machine-gun zone.  The guns
were not firing into the rioters, but before them, to hold them
back, and into that leaden stream there were no brave spirits
to hurl themselves.

The trapped men turned on their own and battled for escape.  With
the same violence which had been directed toward the city they now
fought each other, and the bridge slowly cleared.  But the mob did
not disperse.

It spread out on the bank across, a howling, frustrated, futile
mass, disorganized and demoralized, which fired its useless guns
across the river, which seethed and tossed and struggled, and
spent itself in its own wild fury.  And all the time cool-eyed men,
on the wharves across, watched and waited for the time to attack.

"They're sick at their stomachs now," said an old army sergeant,
watching, to Willy Cameron.  "The dirty devils!  They'll be starting
their filthy work over there soon, and that's the zero hour."

Willy Cameron nodded.  He had seen one young Russian boy with a
child-like face venture forward alone into the fire zone and drop.
He still lay there, on the bridge.  And all of Willy Cameron was in
revolt.  What had he been told, that boy, that had made him ready
to pour out his young life like wine?  There were others like him
in that milling multitude on the river bank across, young men who
had come to America with a dream in their hearts, and America had
done this to them.  Or had she?  She had taken them in, but they
were not her own, and now, since she would not take them, they
would take her.  Was that it?  Was it that America had made them
her servants, but not her children?  He did not know.

      *           *           *           *           *

Robbed of the city proper, the mob turned on the mill district it
had invaded.  Its dream of lust and greed was over, but it could
still destroy.

Like a battle charge, as indeed it was, the mounted city and state
police crossed the bridge.  It was followed by the state troops on
foot, by city policemen in orderly files, and then by the armed
citizens.  The bridge vibrated to the step of marching men, going
out to fight for their homes.  The real battle was fought there,
around the Cardew mills, a battle where the loyalists were greatly
outnumbered, and where the rioters fought, according to their
teaching, with every trick they could devise.  Posted in upper
windows they fired down from comparative safety; ambulances crossed
and re-crossed the bridges.  The streets were filled with rioting
men, striking out murderously with bars and spikes.  Fires flamed
up and burned themselves out.  In one place, eight blocks of
mill-workers' houses, with their furnishings, went in a quarter
of an hour.

Willy Cameron was fighting like a demon.  Long ago his reserve of
ammunition had given out, and he was fighting with the butt end of
his revolver.  Around him had rallied some of the men he knew best,
Pink and Mr. Hendricks, Doctor Smalley, Dan and Joe Wilkinson, and
they stayed together as, street by street, the revolutionists were
driven back.  There were dead and wounded everywhere, injured men
who had crawled into the shelter of doorways and sat or lay there,
nursing their wounds.

Suddenly, to his amazement, Willy saw old Anthony Cardew.  He had
somehow achieved an upper window of the mill office building, and
he was showing himself fearlessly, a rifle in his hands; in his
face was a great anger, but there was more than that.  Willy Cameron,
thinking it over later, decided that it was perplexity.  He could
not understand.

He never did understand.  For other eyes also had seen old Anthony
Cardew.  Willy Cameron, breasting the mob and fighting madly toward
the door of the building, with Pink behind him, heard a cheer and
an angry roar, and, looking up, saw that the old man had disappeared.
They found him there later on, the rifle beside him, his small and
valiant figure looking, with eyes no longer defiant, toward the
Heaven which puts, for its own strange purpose, both evil and good
into the same heart.

By eleven o'clock the revolution was over.  Sodden groups of men,
thoroughly cowed and frightened, were on their way by back roads to
the places they had left a few hours before.  They had no longer
dreams of empire.  Behind them they could see, on the horizon, the
city itself, the smoke from its chimneys, the spires of its churches.
Both, homes and churches, they had meant to destroy, but behind both
there was the indestructible.  They had failed.

They turned, looked back, and went on.

      *           *           *           *           *

On the crest of a hill-top overlooking the city a man was standing,
looking down to where the softened towers of the great steel bridges
rose above the river mist like fairy towers.  Below him lay the city,
powerful, significant, important.

The man saw the city only as a vast crucible, into which he had
flung his all, and out of which had come only defeat and failure.
But the city was not a crucible.  The melting pot of a nation is not
a thing of cities, but of the human soul.

The city was not a melting pot.  It was a sanctuary.  The man stood
silent and morose, his chin dropped on his chest, and stared down.

Beside and somewhat behind him stood a woman, a somber, passionate
figure, waiting passively.  His eyes traveled from the city to her,
and rested on her, contemptuous, thwarted, cynical.

"You fool," he said, "I hate you, and you know it."

But she only smiled faintly.  "We'd better get away now, Jim," she
said.

He got into the car.




CHAPTER L


Late that afternoon Joe Wilkinson and Dan came slowly up the street,
toward the Boyd house.  The light of battle was still in Dan's eyes,
his clothes were torn and his collar missing, and he walked with
the fine swagger of the conqueror.

"Y'ask me," he said, "and I'll tell the world this thing's done for.
It was just as well to let them give it a try, and find out it won't
work."

Joe said nothing.  He was white and very tired, and a little sick.

"If you don't mind I'll go in your place and wash up," he remarked,
as they neared the house.  "I'll scare the kids to death if they
see me like this."

Edith was in the parlor.  She had sat there almost all day, in an
agony of fear.  At four o'clock the smallest Wilkinson had hammered
at the front door, and on being admitted had made a shameless demand.

"Bed and thugar," she had said, looking up with an ingratiating
smile.

"You little beggar!"

"Bed and thugar."

Edith had got the bread and sugar, and, having lured the baby into
the parlor, had held her while she ate, receiving now and then an
exceedingly sticky kiss in payment.  After a little the child's head
began to droop, and Edith drew the small head down onto her breast.
She sat there, rocking gently, while the chair slowly traveled,
according to its wont, about the room.

The child brought her comfort.  She began to understand those grave
rocking figures in the hospital ward, women who sat, with eyes that
seemed to look into distant places, with a child's head on their
breasts.

After all, that was life for a woman.  Love was only a part of the
scheme of life, a means to an end.  And that end was the child.

For the first time she wished that her child had lived.

She felt no bitterness now, and no anger.  He was dead.  It was hard
to think of him as dead, who had been so vitally alive.  She was
sorry he had had to die, but death was like love and children, it
was a part of some general scheme of things.  Suppose this had been
his child she was holding?  Would she so easily have forgiven him?
She did not know.

Then she thought of Willy Cameron.  The bitterness had strangely
gone out of that, too.  Perhaps, vaguely, she began to realize that
only young love gives itself passionately and desperately, when
there is no hope of a return, and that the agonies of youth,
although terrible enough, pass with youth itself.

She felt very old.

Joe found her there, the chair displaying its usual tendency to
climb the chimney flue, and stood in the doorway, looking at her
with haunted, hungry eyes.  There was a sort of despair in Joe those
days, and now he was tired and shaken from the battle.

"I'll take her home in a minute," he said, still with the strange
eyes.

He came into the room, and suddenly he was kneeling beside the chair,
his head buried against the baby's warm, round body.  His bent
shoulders shook, and Edith, still with the maternal impulse strong
within her, put her hand on his bowed head.

"Don't, Joe!"

He looked up.

"I loved you so, Edith!"

"Don't you love me now?"

"God knows I do.  I can't get over it.  I can't.  I've tried, Edith."

He sat back on the floor and looked at her.

"I can't," he repeated.  "And when I saw you like that just now,
with the kid in your arms--I used to think that maybe you and I--"

"I know, Joe.  No decent man would want me now."

She was still strangely composed, peaceful, almost detached.

"That!" he said, astonished.  "I don't mean that, Edith.  I've had
my fight about that, and got it over.  That's done with.  I mean--"
he got up and straightened himself.  "You don't care about me."

"But I do care for you.  Perhaps not quite the way you care, Joe, but
I've been through such a lot.  I can't seem to feel anything terribly.
I just want peace."

"I could give you that," he said eagerly.

Edith smiled.  Peace, in that noisy house next door, with children
and kittens and puppies everywhere!  And yet it would be peace,
after all, a peace of the soul, the peace of a good man's love.
After a time, too, there might come another peace, the peace of
those tired women in the ward, rocking.

"If you want me, I'll marry you," she said, very simply.  "I'll be
a good wife, Joe.  And I want children.  I want the right to have
them."

He never noticed that the kiss she gave him, over the sleeping baby,
was slightly tinged with granulated sugar.



CHAPTER LI


OLD Anthony's body had been brought home, and lay in state in his
great bed.  There had been a bad hour; death seems so strangely to
erase faults and leave virtues.  Something strong and vital had gone
from the house, and the servants moved about with cautious, noiseless
steps.  In Grace's boudoir, Howard was sitting, his arms around his
wife, telling her the story of the day.  At dawn he had notified
her by telephone of Akers' murder.

"Shall I tell Lily?" she had asked, trembling.

"Do you want to wait until I get back?"

"I don't know how she will take it, Howard.  I wish you could be
here, anyhow."

But then had come the battle and his father's death, and in the end
it was Willy Cameron who told her.  He had brought back all that was
mortal of Anthony Cardew, and, having seen the melancholy procession
up the stairs, had stood in the hall, hating to intrude but hoping
to be useful.  Howard found him there, a strange, disheveled figure,
bearing the scars of battle, and held out his hand.

"It's hard to thank you, Cameron," he said; "you seem to be always
about when we need help.  And"--he paused--"we seem to have needed
it considerably lately."

Willy Cameron flushed.

"I feel rather like a meddler, sir."

"Better go up and wash," Howard said.  "I'll go up with you."

It happened, therefore, that it was in Howard Cardew's opulent
dressing-room that Howard first spoke to Willy Cameron of Akers'
death, pacing the floor as he did so.

"I haven't told her, Cameron."  He was anxious and puzzled.  "She'll
have to be told soon, of course.  I don't know anything about women.
I don't know how she'll take it."

"She has a great deal of courage.  It will be a shock, but not a
grief.  But I have been thinking--" Willy Cameron hesitated.  "She
must not feel any remorse," he went on.  "She must not feel that she
contributed to it in any way.  If you can make that clear to her--"

"Are you sure she did not?"

"It isn't facts that matter now.  We can't help those.  And no one
can tell what actually led to his change of heart.  It is what she
is to think the rest of her life."

Howard nodded.

"I wish you would tell her," he said.  "I'm a blundering fool when
it comes to her.  I suppose I care too much."

He caught rather an odd look in Willy Cameron's face at that, and
pondered over it later.

"I will tell her, if you wish."

And Howard drew a deep breath of relief.  It was shortly after that
he broached another matter, rather diffidently.

"I don't know whether you realize it or not, Cameron," he said, "but
this thing to-day might have been a different story if it had not
been for you.  And--don't think I'm putting this on a reward basis.
It's nothing of the sort--but I would like to feel that you were
working with me.  I'd hate like thunder to have you working against
me," he added.

"I am only trained for one thing."

"We use chemists in the mills."

But the discussion ended there.  Both men knew that it would be
taken up later, at some more opportune time, and in the meantime
both had one thought, Lily.

So it happened that Lily heard the news of Louis Akers' death from
Willy Cameron.  She stood, straight and erect, and heard him through,
watching him with eyes sunken by her night's vigil and by the strain
of the day.  But it seemed to her that he was speaking of some one
she had known long ago, in some infinitely remote past.

"I am sorry," she said, when he finished.  "I didn't want him to die.
You know that, don't you?  I never wished him--Willy, I say I am
sorry, but I don't really feel anything.  It's dreadful."

Before he could catch her she had fallen to the floor, fainting for
the first time in her healthy young life.

      *           *           *           *           *

An hour later Mademoiselle went down to the library door.  She found
Willy Cameron pacing the floor, a pipe clenched in his teeth, and a
look of wild despair in his eyes.

Mademoiselle took a long breath.  She had changed her view-point
somewhat since the spring.  After all, what mattered was happiness.
Wealth and worldly ambition were well enough, but they brought one,
in the end, to the thing which waited for all in some quiet upstairs
room, with the shades drawn and the heavy odors of hot-house flowers
over everything.

"She is all right, quite, Mr. Cameron," she said.  "It was but a
crisis of the nerves, and to be expected.  And now she demands to
see you."

Grayson, standing in the hall, had a swift vision of a tall figure,
which issued with extreme rapidity from the library door, and went
up the stairs, much like a horse taking a series of hurdles.  But
the figure lost momentum suddenly at the top, hesitated, and
apparently moved forward on tiptoe.  Grayson went into the library
and sniffed at the unmistakable odor of a pipe.  Then, having opened
a window, he went and stood before a great portrait of old Anthony
Cardew.  Tears stood in the old man's eyes, but there was a faint
smile on his lips.  He saw the endless procession of life.  First,
love.  Then, out of love, life.  Then death.  Grayson was old, but
he had lived to see young love in the Cardew house.  Out of love,
life.  He addressed a little speech to the picture.

"Wherever you are, sir," he said, "you needn't worry any more.  The
line will carry on, sir.  The line will carry on."

Upstairs in the little boudoir Willy Cameron knelt beside the couch,
and gathered Lily close in his arms.


CHAPTER LII


Thanksgiving of the year of our Lord 1919 saw many changes.  It saw,
slowly emerging from the chaos of war, new nations, like children,
taking their first feeble steps.  It saw a socialism which, born at
full term might have thrived, prematurely and forcibly delivered,
and making a valiant but losing fight for life.  It saw that war is
never good, but always evil; that war takes everything and gives
nothing, save that sometimes a man may lose the whole world and gain
his own soul.

It saw old Anthony Cardew gone to his fathers, into the vast
democracy of heaven, and Louis Akers passed through the Traitors'
Gate of eternity to be judged and perhaps reprieved.  For a man is
many men, good and bad, and the Judge of the Tower of Heaven is a
just Judge.

It saw Jim Doyle a fugitive, Woslosky dead, and the Russian, Ross,
bland, cunning and eternally plotting, in New England under another
name.  And Mr. Hendricks ordering a new suit for the day of taking
office.  And Doctor Smalley tying a bunch of chrysanthemums on
Annabelle, against a football game, and taking a pretty nurse to
see it.

It saw Ellen roasting a turkey, and a strange young man in the Eagle
Pharmacy, a young man who did not smoke a pipe, and allowed no
visitors in the back room.  And it saw Willy Cameron in the
laboratory of the reopened Cardew Mills, dealing in tons instead of
grains and drams, and learning to touch any piece of metal in the
mill with a moistened fore-finger before he sat down upon it.

      *           *           *           *           *

But it saw more than that.

On the evening of Thanksgiving Day there was an air of repressed
excitement about the Cardew house.  Mademoiselle, in a new silk
dress, ran about the lower floor, followed by an agitated Grayson
with a cloth, for Mademoiselle was shifting ceaselessly and with
trembling hands vases of flowers, and spilling water at each shift.
At six o'clock had arrived a large square white box, which the
footman had carried to the rear and there exhibited, allowing a
palpitating cook, scullery maid and divers other excitable and
emotional women to peep within.

After which he tied it up again and carried it upstairs.

At seven o'clock Elinor Cardew, lovely in black satin, was carried
down the stairs and placed in a position which commanded both the
hall and the drawing-room.  For some strange reason it was essential
that she should see both.

At seven-thirty came in a rush:

(a)--Mr. Alston Denslow, in evening clothes and gardenia, and
feeling in his right waist-coat pocket nervously every few minutes.

(b)--An excited woman of middle age, in a black silk dress still
faintly bearing the creases of five days in a trunk, and accompanied
by a mongrel dog, both being taken upstairs by Grayson, Mademoiselle,
Pink, and Howard Cardew.  ("He said Jinx was to come," she explained
breathlessly to her bodyguard.  "I never knew such a boy!")

(c)--Mr. Davis, in a frock coat and white lawn tie, and taken
upstairs by Grayson, who mistook him for the bishop.

(d)--Aunt Caroline, in her diamond dog collar and purple velvet,
and determined to make the best of things.

(e)--The real bishop this time, and his assistant, followed by a
valet with a suitcase, containing the proper habiliments for a
prince of the church while functioning.  (A military term, since
the Bishop had been in the army.)

(f)--A few unimportant important people, very curious, and the
women uncertain about the proper garb for a festive occasion in a
house of mourning.

(g)--Set of silver table vases, belated.

(h)--Mr. and Mrs. Hendricks, Mayor and Mayoress-elect.  Extremely
dignified.

(i)--An overfull taxicab, containing inside it Ellen, Edith, Dan
and Joe.  The overflow, consisting of a tall young man, displaying
repressed excitement and new evening clothes, with gardenia, sat
on the seat outside beside the chauffeur and repeated to himself a
sort of chant accompanied by furious searchings of his pockets.
"Money.  Checkbook.  Tickets.  Trunk checks," was the burden of
his song.

(j)--Doctor Smalley and Annabelle.  He left Annabelle outside.

      *           *           *           *           *

The city moved on about its business.  In thousands of homes the
lights shone down on little family groups, infinitely tender little
groups.  The workers of the city were there, the doors shut, the
fires burning.  To each man the thing he had earned, not the thing
that he took.  To all men the right to labor, to love, and to rest.
To children, the right to play.  To women, the hearth, and the peace
of the hearth.  To lovers, love, and marriage, and home.

The city moved on about its business, and its business was homes.

      *           *           *           *           *

At the great organ behind the staircase the organist sat.  In stiff
rows near him were the Cardew servants, marshaled by Grayson and
in their best.

Grayson stood, very rigid, and waited.  And as he waited he kept
his eyes on the portrait of old Anthony, in the drawing-room beyond.
There was a fixed, rapt look in Grayson's eyes, and there was
reassurance.   It was as though he would say to the portrait: "It
has all come out very well, you see, sir.  It always works out
somehow.  We worry and fret, we old ones, but the young come along,
and somehow or other they manage, sir."

What he actually said was to tell a house maid to stop sniveling.

Over the house was the strange hush of waiting.  It had waited
before this, for birth and for death, but never before--

The Bishop was waiting also, and he too had his eyes fixed on old
Anthony's portrait, a straight, level-eyed gaze, as of man to man,
as of prince of the church to prince of industry.  The Bishop's eyes
said: "All shall be done properly and in order, and as befits the
Cardews, Anthony."

The Bishop was as successful in his line as Anthony Cardew had been
in his.  He cleared his throat.

The organist sat at the great organ behind the staircase, waiting.
He was playing very softly, with his eyes turned up.  He had played
the same music many times before, and always he felt very solemn,
as one who makes history.  He sighed.  Sometimes it seemed to him
that he was only an accompaniment to life, to which others sang
and prayed, were christened, confirmed and married.  But what was
the song without the music?  He wished the scullery maid would stop
crying.

Grayson touched him on the arm.

"All ready, sir," he said.

*****

Willy Cameron stood at the foot of the staircase, looking up.





End of Project Gutenberg Etext A Poor Wise Man, by Mary Roberts Rinehart


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