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Title: The Iron Heel
Author: Jack London




     "At first, this Earth, a stage so gloomed with woe
       You almost sicken at the shifting of the scenes.
     And yet be patient.  Our Playwright may show
       In some fifth act what this Wild Drama means."

CONTENTS

     FORWARD
     I.     MY EAGLE
     II.    CHALLENGES
     III.   JOHNSON'S ARM
     IV.    SLAVES OF THE MACHINE
     V.     THE PHILOMATHS
     VI.    ADUMBRATIONS
     VII.   THE BISHOP'S VISION
     VIII.  THE MACHINE BREAKERS
     IX.    THE MATHEMATICS OF A DREAM
     X.     THE VORTEX
     XI.    THE GREAT ADVENTURE
     XII.   THE BISHOP
     XIII.  THE GENERAL STRIKE
     XIV.   THE BEGINNING OF THE END
     XV.    LAST DAYS
     XVI.   THE END
     XVII.  THE SCARLET LIVERY
     XVIII. IN THE SHADOW OF SONOMA
     XIX.   TRANSFORMATION
     XX.    THE LAST OLIGARCH
     XXI.   THE ROARING ABYSMAL BEAST
     XXII.  THE CHICAGO COMMUNE
     XXIII. THE PEOPLE OF THE ABYSS
     XXIV.  NIGHTMARE
     XXV.   THE TERRORISTS




THE IRON HEEL




FOREWORD


It cannot be said that the Everhard Manuscript is an important
historical document. To the historian it bristles with errors--not
errors of fact, but errors of interpretation. Looking back across the
seven centuries that have lapsed since Avis Everhard completed her
manuscript, events, and the bearings of events, that were confused and
veiled to her, are clear to us. She lacked perspective. She was too
close to the events she writes about. Nay, she was merged in the events
she has described.

Nevertheless, as a personal document, the Everhard Manuscript is of
inestimable value. But here again enter error of perspective, and
vitiation due to the bias of love. Yet we smile, indeed, and forgive
Avis Everhard for the heroic lines upon which she modelled her husband.
We know to-day that he was not so colossal, and that he loomed among the
events of his times less largely than the Manuscript would lead us to
believe.

We know that Ernest Everhard was an exceptionally strong man, but not so
exceptional as his wife thought him to be. He was, after all, but one of
a large number of heroes who, throughout the world, devoted their lives
to the Revolution; though it must be conceded that he did unusual
work, especially in his elaboration and interpretation of working-class
philosophy. "Proletarian science" and "proletarian philosophy" were his
phrases for it, and therein he shows the provincialism of his mind--a
defect, however, that was due to the times and that none in that day
could escape.

But to return to the Manuscript. Especially valuable is it in
communicating to us the FEEL of those terrible times. Nowhere do we find
more vividly portrayed the psychology of the persons that lived in
that turbulent period embraced between the years 1912 and 1932--their
mistakes and ignorance, their doubts and fears and misapprehensions,
their ethical delusions, their violent passions, their inconceivable
sordidness and selfishness. These are the things that are so hard for
us of this enlightened age to understand. History tells us that these
things were, and biology and psychology tell us why they were; but
history and biology and psychology do not make these things alive. We
accept them as facts, but we are left without sympathetic comprehension
of them.

This sympathy comes to us, however, as we peruse the Everhard
Manuscript. We enter into the minds of the actors in that long-ago
world-drama, and for the time being their mental processes are our
mental processes. Not alone do we understand Avis Everhard's love for
her hero-husband, but we feel, as he felt, in those first days, the
vague and terrible loom of the Oligarchy. The Iron Heel (well named) we
feel descending upon and crushing mankind.

And in passing we note that that historic phrase, the Iron Heel,
originated in Ernest Everhard's mind. This, we may say, is the one moot
question that this new-found document clears up. Previous to this, the
earliest-known use of the phrase occurred in the pamphlet, "Ye Slaves,"
written by George Milford and published in December, 1912. This George
Milford was an obscure agitator about whom nothing is known, save the
one additional bit of information gained from the Manuscript, which
mentions that he was shot in the Chicago Commune. Evidently he had
heard Ernest Everhard make use of the phrase in some public speech, most
probably when he was running for Congress in the fall of 1912. From the
Manuscript we learn that Everhard used the phrase at a private dinner
in the spring of 1912. This is, without discussion, the earliest-known
occasion on which the Oligarchy was so designated.

The rise of the Oligarchy will always remain a cause of secret wonder
to the historian and the philosopher. Other great historical events
have their place in social evolution. They were inevitable. Their coming
could have been predicted with the same certitude that astronomers
to-day predict the outcome of the movements of stars. Without these
other great historical events, social evolution could not have
proceeded. Primitive communism, chattel slavery, serf slavery, and wage
slavery were necessary stepping-stones in the evolution of society.
But it were ridiculous to assert that the Iron Heel was a necessary
stepping-stone. Rather, to-day, is it adjudged a step aside, or a step
backward, to the social tyrannies that made the early world a hell, but
that were as necessary as the Iron Heel was unnecessary.

Black as Feudalism was, yet the coming of it was inevitable. What else
than Feudalism could have followed upon the breakdown of that great
centralized governmental machine known as the Roman Empire? Not
so, however, with the Iron Heel. In the orderly procedure of social
evolution there was no place for it. It was not necessary, and it was
not inevitable. It must always remain the great curiosity of history--a
whim, a fantasy, an apparition, a thing unexpected and undreamed; and
it should serve as a warning to those rash political theorists of to-day
who speak with certitude of social processes.

Capitalism was adjudged by the sociologists of the time to be the
culmination of bourgeois rule, the ripened fruit of the bourgeois
revolution. And we of to-day can but applaud that judgment. Following
upon Capitalism, it was held, even by such intellectual and antagonistic
giants as Herbert Spencer, that Socialism would come. Out of the decay
of self-seeking capitalism, it was held, would arise that flower of the
ages, the Brotherhood of Man. Instead of which, appalling alike to
us who look back and to those that lived at the time, capitalism,
rotten-ripe, sent forth that monstrous offshoot, the Oligarchy.

Too late did the socialist movement of the early twentieth century
divine the coming of the Oligarchy. Even as it was divined, the
Oligarchy was there--a fact established in blood, a stupendous and awful
reality. Nor even then, as the Everhard Manuscript well shows, was any
permanence attributed to the Iron Heel. Its overthrow was a matter of
a few short years, was the judgment of the revolutionists. It is true,
they realized that the Peasant Revolt was unplanned, and that the First
Revolt was premature; but they little realized that the Second Revolt,
planned and mature, was doomed to equal futility and more terrible
punishment.

It is apparent that Avis Everhard completed the Manuscript during the
last days of preparation for the Second Revolt; hence the fact that
there is no mention of the disastrous outcome of the Second Revolt.
It is quite clear that she intended the Manuscript for immediate
publication, as soon as the Iron Heel was overthrown, so that her
husband, so recently dead, should receive full credit for all that he
had ventured and accomplished. Then came the frightful crushing of the
Second Revolt, and it is probable that in the moment of danger, ere she
fled or was captured by the Mercenaries, she hid the Manuscript in the
hollow oak at Wake Robin Lodge.

Of Avis Everhard there is no further record. Undoubtedly she was
executed by the Mercenaries; and, as is well known, no record of such
executions was kept by the Iron Heel. But little did she realize, even
then, as she hid the Manuscript and prepared to flee, how terrible had
been the breakdown of the Second Revolt. Little did she realize that
the tortuous and distorted evolution of the next three centuries would
compel a Third Revolt and a Fourth Revolt, and many Revolts, all drowned
in seas of blood, ere the world-movement of labor should come into its
own. And little did she dream that for seven long centuries the tribute
of her love to Ernest Everhard would repose undisturbed in the heart of
the ancient oak of Wake Robin Lodge.

ANTHONY MEREDITH

Ardis,

November 27, 419 B.O.M.




THE IRON HEEL



CHAPTER I

MY EAGLE


The soft summer wind stirs the redwoods, and Wild-Water ripples sweet
cadences over its mossy stones. There are butterflies in the sunshine,
and from everywhere arises the drowsy hum of bees. It is so quiet and
peaceful, and I sit here, and ponder, and am restless. It is the quiet
that makes me restless. It seems unreal. All the world is quiet, but it
is the quiet before the storm. I strain my ears, and all my senses, for
some betrayal of that impending storm. Oh, that it may not be premature!
That it may not be premature!*

     * The Second Revolt was largely the work of Ernest Everhard,
     though he cooperated, of course, with the European leaders.
     The capture and secret execution of Everhard was the great
     event of the spring of 1932 A.D.  Yet so thoroughly had he
     prepared for the revolt, that his fellow-conspirators were
     able, with little confusion or delay, to carry out his
     plans.  It was after Everhard's execution that his wife went
     to Wake Robin Lodge, a small bungalow in the Sonoma Hills of
     California.

Small wonder that I am restless. I think, and think, and I cannot
cease from thinking. I have been in the thick of life so long that I
am oppressed by the peace and quiet, and I cannot forbear from dwelling
upon that mad maelstrom of death and destruction so soon to burst forth.
In my ears are the cries of the stricken; and I can see, as I have
seen in the past,* all the marring and mangling of the sweet, beautiful
flesh, and the souls torn with violence from proud bodies and hurled to
God. Thus do we poor humans attain our ends, striving through carnage
and destruction to bring lasting peace and happiness upon the earth.

     * Without doubt she here refers to the Chicago Commune.

And then I am lonely. When I do not think of what is to come, I think of
what has been and is no more--my Eagle, beating with tireless wings the
void, soaring toward what was ever his sun, the flaming ideal of human
freedom. I cannot sit idly by and wait the great event that is his
making, though he is not here to see. He devoted all the years of his
manhood to it, and for it he gave his life. It is his handiwork. He made
it.*

     * With all respect to Avis Everhard, it must be pointed out
     that Everhard was but one of many able leaders who planned
     the Second Revolt.  And we to-day, looking back across the
     centuries, can safely say that even had he lived, the Second
     Revolt would not have been less calamitous in its outcome
     than it was.

And so it is, in this anxious time of waiting, that I shall write of
my husband. There is much light that I alone of all persons living can
throw upon his character, and so noble a character cannot be blazoned
forth too brightly. His was a great soul, and, when my love grows
unselfish, my chiefest regret is that he is not here to witness
to-morrow's dawn. We cannot fail. He has built too stoutly and too
surely for that. Woe to the Iron Heel! Soon shall it be thrust back from
off prostrate humanity. When the word goes forth, the labor hosts of all
the world shall rise. There has been nothing like it in the history of
the world. The solidarity of labor is assured, and for the first time
will there be an international revolution wide as the world is wide.*

     * The Second Revolt was truly international.  It was a
     colossal plan--too colossal to be wrought by the genius of
     one man alone. Labor, in all the oligarchies of the world,
     was prepared to rise at the signal.  Germany, Italy, France,
     and all Australasia were labor countries--socialist states.
     They were ready to lend aid to the revolution.  Gallantly
     they did; and it was for this reason, when the Second Revolt
     was crushed, that they, too, were crushed by the united
     oligarchies of the world, their socialist governments being
     replaced by oligarchical governments.

You see, I am full of what is impending. I have lived it day and night
utterly and for so long that it is ever present in my mind. For that
matter, I cannot think of my husband without thinking of it. He was the
soul of it, and how can I possibly separate the two in thought?

As I have said, there is much light that I alone can throw upon his
character. It is well known that he toiled hard for liberty and suffered
sore. How hard he toiled and how greatly he suffered, I well know; for
I have been with him during these twenty anxious years and I know his
patience, his untiring effort, his infinite devotion to the Cause for
which, only two months gone, he laid down his life.

I shall try to write simply and to tell here how Ernest Everhard entered
my life--how I first met him, how he grew until I became a part of him,
and the tremendous changes he wrought in my life. In this way may you
look at him through my eyes and learn him as I learned him--in all save
the things too secret and sweet for me to tell.

It was in February, 1912, that I first met him, when, as a guest of my
father's* at dinner, he came to our house in Berkeley. I cannot say that
my very first impression of him was favorable. He was one of many at
dinner, and in the drawing-room where we gathered and waited for all
to arrive, he made a rather incongruous appearance. It was "preacher's
night," as my father privately called it, and Ernest was certainly out
of place in the midst of the churchmen.

     * John Cunningham, Avis Everhard's father, was a professor
     at the State University at Berkeley, California.  His chosen
     field was physics, and in addition he did much original
     research and was greatly distinguished as a scientist.  His
     chief contribution to science was his studies of the
     electron and his monumental work on the "Identification of
     Matter and Energy," wherein he established, beyond cavil and
     for all time, that the ultimate unit of matter and the
     ultimate unit of force were identical.  This idea had been
     earlier advanced, but not demonstrated, by Sir Oliver Lodge
     and other students in the new field of radio-activity.

In the first place, his clothes did not fit him. He wore a ready-made
suit of dark cloth that was ill adjusted to his body. In fact, no
ready-made suit of clothes ever could fit his body. And on this night,
as always, the cloth bulged with his muscles, while the coat between
the shoulders, what of the heavy shoulder-development, was a maze of
wrinkles. His neck was the neck of a prize-fighter,* thick and strong.
So this was the social philosopher and ex-horseshoer my father had
discovered, was my thought. And he certainly looked it with those
bulging muscles and that bull-throat. Immediately I classified him--a
sort of prodigy, I thought, a Blind Tom** of the working class.

     * In that day it was the custom of men to compete for purses
     of money.  They fought with their hands.  When one was
     beaten into insensibility or killed, the survivor took the
     money.

     ** This obscure reference applies to a blind negro musician
     who took the world by storm in the latter half of the
     nineteenth century of the Christian Era.

And then, when he shook hands with me! His handshake was firm and
strong, but he looked at me boldly with his black eyes--too boldly, I
thought. You see, I was a creature of environment, and at that time had
strong class instincts. Such boldness on the part of a man of my own
class would have been almost unforgivable. I know that I could not avoid
dropping my eyes, and I was quite relieved when I passed him on and
turned to greet Bishop Morehouse--a favorite of mine, a sweet and
serious man of middle age, Christ-like in appearance and goodness, and a
scholar as well.

But this boldness that I took to be presumption was a vital clew to the
nature of Ernest Everhard. He was simple, direct, afraid of nothing, and
he refused to waste time on conventional mannerisms. "You pleased me,"
he explained long afterward; "and why should I not fill my eyes with
that which pleases me?" I have said that he was afraid of nothing. He
was a natural aristocrat--and this in spite of the fact that he was in
the camp of the non-aristocrats. He was a superman, a blond beast
such as Nietzsche* has described, and in addition he was aflame with
democracy.

     * Friederich Nietzsche, the mad philosopher of the
     nineteenth century of the Christian Era, who caught wild
     glimpses of truth, but who, before he was done, reasoned
     himself around the great circle of human thought and off
     into madness.

In the interest of meeting the other guests, and what of my unfavorable
impression, I forgot all about the working-class philosopher, though
once or twice at table I noticed him--especially the twinkle in his eye
as he listened to the talk first of one minister and then of another. He
has humor, I thought, and I almost forgave him his clothes. But the time
went by, and the dinner went by, and he never opened his mouth to speak,
while the ministers talked interminably about the working class and its
relation to the church, and what the church had done and was doing for
it. I noticed that my father was annoyed because Ernest did not talk.
Once father took advantage of a lull and asked him to say something; but
Ernest shrugged his shoulders and with an "I have nothing to say" went
on eating salted almonds.

But father was not to be denied. After a while he said:

"We have with us a member of the working class. I am sure that he can
present things from a new point of view that will be interesting and
refreshing. I refer to Mr. Everhard."

The others betrayed a well-mannered interest, and urged Ernest for
a statement of his views. Their attitude toward him was so broadly
tolerant and kindly that it was really patronizing. And I saw that
Ernest noted it and was amused. He looked slowly about him, and I saw
the glint of laughter in his eyes.

"I am not versed in the courtesies of ecclesiastical controversy," he
began, and then hesitated with modesty and indecision.

"Go on," they urged, and Dr. Hammerfield said: "We do not mind the truth
that is in any man. If it is sincere," he amended.

"Then you separate sincerity from truth?" Ernest laughed quickly.

Dr. Hammerfield gasped, and managed to answer, "The best of us may be
mistaken, young man, the best of us."

Ernest's manner changed on the instant. He became another man.

"All right, then," he answered; "and let me begin by saying that you
are all mistaken. You know nothing, and worse than nothing, about the
working class. Your sociology is as vicious and worthless as is your
method of thinking."

It was not so much what he said as how he said it. I roused at the first
sound of his voice. It was as bold as his eyes. It was a clarion-call
that thrilled me. And the whole table was aroused, shaken alive from
monotony and drowsiness.

"What is so dreadfully vicious and worthless in our method of thinking,
young man?" Dr. Hammerfield demanded, and already there was something
unpleasant in his voice and manner of utterance.

"You are metaphysicians. You can prove anything by metaphysics; and
having done so, every metaphysician can prove every other metaphysician
wrong--to his own satisfaction. You are anarchists in the realm of
thought. And you are mad cosmos-makers. Each of you dwells in a cosmos
of his own making, created out of his own fancies and desires. You do
not know the real world in which you live, and your thinking has no
place in the real world except in so far as it is phenomena of mental
aberration.

"Do you know what I was reminded of as I sat at table and listened to
you talk and talk? You reminded me for all the world of the scholastics
of the Middle Ages who gravely and learnedly debated the absorbing
question of how many angels could dance on the point of a needle.
Why, my dear sirs, you are as remote from the intellectual life of the
twentieth century as an Indian medicine-man making incantation in the
primeval forest ten thousand years ago."

As Ernest talked he seemed in a fine passion; his face glowed, his
eyes snapped and flashed, and his chin and jaw were eloquent with
aggressiveness. But it was only a way he had. It always aroused people.
His smashing, sledge-hammer manner of attack invariably made them forget
themselves. And they were forgetting themselves now. Bishop Morehouse
was leaning forward and listening intently. Exasperation and anger were
flushing the face of Dr. Hammerfield. And others were exasperated, too,
and some were smiling in an amused and superior way. As for myself, I
found it most enjoyable. I glanced at father, and I was afraid he was
going to giggle at the effect of this human bombshell he had been guilty
of launching amongst us.

"Your terms are rather vague," Dr. Hammerfield interrupted. "Just
precisely what do you mean when you call us metaphysicians?"

"I call you metaphysicians because you reason metaphysically," Ernest
went on. "Your method of reasoning is the opposite to that of science.
There is no validity to your conclusions. You can prove everything and
nothing, and no two of you can agree upon anything. Each of you goes
into his own consciousness to explain himself and the universe. As
well may you lift yourselves by your own bootstraps as to explain
consciousness by consciousness."

"I do not understand," Bishop Morehouse said. "It seems to me that all
things of the mind are metaphysical. That most exact and convincing
of all sciences, mathematics, is sheerly metaphysical. Each and every
thought-process of the scientific reasoner is metaphysical. Surely you
will agree with me?"

"As you say, you do not understand," Ernest replied. "The metaphysician
reasons deductively out of his own subjectivity. The scientist reasons
inductively from the facts of experience. The metaphysician reasons
from theory to facts, the scientist reasons from facts to theory. The
metaphysician explains the universe by himself, the scientist explains
himself by the universe."

"Thank God we are not scientists," Dr. Hammerfield murmured
complacently.

"What are you then?" Ernest demanded.

"Philosophers."

"There you go," Ernest laughed. "You have left the real and solid earth
and are up in the air with a word for a flying machine. Pray come down
to earth and tell me precisely what you do mean by philosophy."

"Philosophy is--" (Dr. Hammerfield paused and cleared his
throat)--"something that cannot be defined comprehensively except to
such minds and temperaments as are philosophical. The narrow scientist
with his nose in a test-tube cannot understand philosophy."

Ernest ignored the thrust. It was always his way to turn the point back
upon an opponent, and he did it now, with a beaming brotherliness of
face and utterance.

"Then you will undoubtedly understand the definition I shall now make
of philosophy. But before I make it, I shall challenge you to point out
error in it or to remain a silent metaphysician. Philosophy is merely
the widest science of all. Its reasoning method is the same as that of
any particular science and of all particular sciences. And by that
same method of reasoning, the inductive method, philosophy fuses all
particular sciences into one great science. As Spencer says, the data
of any particular science are partially unified knowledge. Philosophy
unifies the knowledge that is contributed by all the sciences.
Philosophy is the science of science, the master science, if you please.
How do you like my definition?"

"Very creditable, very creditable," Dr. Hammerfield muttered lamely.

But Ernest was merciless.

"Remember," he warned, "my definition is fatal to metaphysics. If you do
not now point out a flaw in my definition, you are disqualified later on
from advancing metaphysical arguments. You must go through life seeking
that flaw and remaining metaphysically silent until you have found it."

Ernest waited. The silence was painful. Dr. Hammerfield was pained. He
was also puzzled. Ernest's sledge-hammer attack disconcerted him. He
was not used to the simple and direct method of controversy. He looked
appealingly around the table, but no one answered for him. I caught
father grinning into his napkin.

"There is another way of disqualifying the metaphysicians," Ernest said,
when he had rendered Dr. Hammerfield's discomfiture complete. "Judge
them by their works. What have they done for mankind beyond the spinning
of airy fancies and the mistaking of their own shadows for gods? They
have added to the gayety of mankind, I grant; but what tangible good
have they wrought for mankind? They philosophized, if you will pardon my
misuse of the word, about the heart as the seat of the emotions, while
the scientists were formulating the circulation of the blood. They
declaimed about famine and pestilence as being scourges of God, while
the scientists were building granaries and draining cities. They
builded gods in their own shapes and out of their own desires, while
the scientists were building roads and bridges. They were describing
the earth as the centre of the universe, while the scientists were
discovering America and probing space for the stars and the laws of
the stars. In short, the metaphysicians have done nothing, absolutely
nothing, for mankind. Step by step, before the advance of science, they
have been driven back. As fast as the ascertained facts of science have
overthrown their subjective explanations of things, they have made new
subjective explanations of things, including explanations of the latest
ascertained facts. And this, I doubt not, they will go on doing to
the end of time. Gentlemen, a metaphysician is a medicine man.
The difference between you and the Eskimo who makes a fur-clad
blubber-eating god is merely a difference of several thousand years of
ascertained facts. That is all."

"Yet the thought of Aristotle ruled Europe for twelve centuries," Dr.
Ballingford announced pompously. "And Aristotle was a metaphysician."

Dr. Ballingford glanced around the table and was rewarded by nods and
smiles of approval.

"Your illustration is most unfortunate," Ernest replied. "You refer to a
very dark period in human history. In fact, we call that period the Dark
Ages. A period wherein science was raped by the metaphysicians, wherein
physics became a search for the Philosopher's Stone, wherein chemistry
became alchemy, and astronomy became astrology. Sorry the domination of
Aristotle's thought!"

Dr. Ballingford looked pained, then he brightened up and said:

"Granted this horrible picture you have drawn, yet you must confess that
metaphysics was inherently potent in so far as it drew humanity out
of this dark period and on into the illumination of the succeeding
centuries."

"Metaphysics had nothing to do with it," Ernest retorted.

"What?" Dr. Hammerfield cried. "It was not the thinking and the
speculation that led to the voyages of discovery?"

"Ah, my dear sir," Ernest smiled, "I thought you were disqualified. You
have not yet picked out the flaw in my definition of philosophy. You are
now on an unsubstantial basis. But it is the way of the metaphysicians,
and I forgive you. No, I repeat, metaphysics had nothing to do with
it. Bread and butter, silks and jewels, dollars and cents, and,
incidentally, the closing up of the overland trade-routes to India,
were the things that caused the voyages of discovery. With the fall of
Constantinople, in 1453, the Turks blocked the way of the caravans to
India. The traders of Europe had to find another route. Here was the
original cause for the voyages of discovery. Columbus sailed to find
a new route to the Indies. It is so stated in all the history books.
Incidentally, new facts were learned about the nature, size, and form of
the earth, and the Ptolemaic system went glimmering."

Dr. Hammerfield snorted.

"You do not agree with me?" Ernest queried. "Then wherein am I wrong?"

"I can only reaffirm my position," Dr. Hammerfield retorted tartly. "It
is too long a story to enter into now."

"No story is too long for the scientist," Ernest said sweetly. "That is
why the scientist gets to places. That is why he got to America."

I shall not describe the whole evening, though it is a joy to me to
recall every moment, every detail, of those first hours of my coming to
know Ernest Everhard.

Battle royal raged, and the ministers grew red-faced and excited,
especially at the moments when Ernest called them romantic philosophers,
shadow-projectors, and similar things. And always he checked them back
to facts. "The fact, man, the irrefragable fact!" he would proclaim
triumphantly, when he had brought one of them a cropper. He bristled
with facts. He tripped them up with facts, ambuscaded them with facts,
bombarded them with broadsides of facts.

"You seem to worship at the shrine of fact," Dr. Hammerfield taunted
him.

"There is no God but Fact, and Mr. Everhard is its prophet," Dr.
Ballingford paraphrased.

Ernest smilingly acquiesced.

"I'm like the man from Texas," he said. And, on being solicited, he
explained. "You see, the man from Missouri always says, 'You've got
to show me.' But the man from Texas says, 'You've got to put it in my
hand.' From which it is apparent that he is no metaphysician."

Another time, when Ernest had just said that the metaphysical
philosophers could never stand the test of truth, Dr. Hammerfield
suddenly demanded:

"What is the test of truth, young man? Will you kindly explain what has
so long puzzled wiser heads than yours?"

"Certainly," Ernest answered. His cocksureness irritated them. "The wise
heads have puzzled so sorely over truth because they went up into the
air after it. Had they remained on the solid earth, they would have
found it easily enough--ay, they would have found that they themselves
were precisely testing truth with every practical act and thought of
their lives."

"The test, the test," Dr. Hammerfield repeated impatiently. "Never mind
the preamble. Give us that which we have sought so long--the test of
truth. Give it us, and we will be as gods."

There was an impolite and sneering scepticism in his words and manner
that secretly pleased most of them at the table, though it seemed to
bother Bishop Morehouse.

"Dr. Jordan* has stated it very clearly," Ernest said. "His test of
truth is: 'Will it work? Will you trust your life to it?'"

     * A noted educator of the late nineteenth and early
     twentieth centuries of the Christian Era.  He was president
     of the Stanford University, a private benefaction of the
     times.

"Pish!" Dr. Hammerfield sneered. "You have not taken Bishop Berkeley*
into account. He has never been answered."

     * An idealistic monist who long puzzled the philosophers of
     that time with his denial of the existence of matter, but
     whose clever argument was finally demolished when the new
     empiric facts of science were philosophically generalized.

"The noblest metaphysician of them all," Ernest laughed. "But your
example is unfortunate. As Berkeley himself attested, his metaphysics
didn't work."

Dr. Hammerfield was angry, righteously angry. It was as though he had
caught Ernest in a theft or a lie.

"Young man," he trumpeted, "that statement is on a par with all you have
uttered to-night. It is a base and unwarranted assumption."

"I am quite crushed," Ernest murmured meekly. "Only I don't know what
hit me. You'll have to put it in my hand, Doctor."

"I will, I will," Dr. Hammerfield spluttered. "How do you know? You
do not know that Bishop Berkeley attested that his metaphysics did not
work. You have no proof. Young man, they have always worked."

"I take it as proof that Berkeley's metaphysics did not work, because--"
Ernest paused calmly for a moment. "Because Berkeley made an invariable
practice of going through doors instead of walls. Because he trusted his
life to solid bread and butter and roast beef. Because he shaved himself
with a razor that worked when it removed the hair from his face."

"But those are actual things!" Dr. Hammerfield cried. "Metaphysics is of
the mind."

"And they work--in the mind?" Ernest queried softly.

The other nodded.

"And even a multitude of angels can dance on the point of a needle--in
the mind," Ernest went on reflectively. "And a blubber-eating, fur-clad
god can exist and work--in the mind; and there are no proofs to the
contrary--in the mind. I suppose, Doctor, you live in the mind?"

"My mind to me a kingdom is," was the answer.

"That's another way of saying that you live up in the air. But you come
back to earth at meal-time, I am sure, or when an earthquake happens
along. Or, tell me, Doctor, do you have no apprehension in an earthquake
that that incorporeal body of yours will be hit by an immaterial brick?"

Instantly, and quite unconsciously, Dr. Hammerfield's hand shot up to
his head, where a scar disappeared under the hair. It happened that
Ernest had blundered on an apposite illustration. Dr. Hammerfield
had been nearly killed in the Great Earthquake* by a falling chimney.
Everybody broke out into roars of laughter.

     * The Great Earthquake of 1906 A.D. that destroyed San
     Francisco.

"Well?" Ernest asked, when the merriment had subsided. "Proofs to the
contrary?"

And in the silence he asked again, "Well?" Then he added, "Still well,
but not so well, that argument of yours."

But Dr. Hammerfield was temporarily crushed, and the battle raged on in
new directions. On point after point, Ernest challenged the ministers.
When they affirmed that they knew the working class, he told them
fundamental truths about the working class that they did not know, and
challenged them for disproofs. He gave them facts, always facts, checked
their excursions into the air, and brought them back to the solid earth
and its facts.

How the scene comes back to me! I can hear him now, with that war-note
in his voice, flaying them with his facts, each fact a lash that stung
and stung again. And he was merciless. He took no quarter,* and gave
none. I can never forget the flaying he gave them at the end:

     * This figure arises from the customs of the times.  When,
     among men fighting to the death in their wild-animal way, a
     beaten man threw down his weapons, it was at the option of
     the victor to slay him or spare him.

"You have repeatedly confessed to-night, by direct avowal or ignorant
statement, that you do not know the working class. But you are not to be
blamed for this. How can you know anything about the working class? You
do not live in the same locality with the working class. You herd
with the capitalist class in another locality. And why not? It is the
capitalist class that pays you, that feeds you, that puts the very
clothes on your backs that you are wearing to-night. And in return you
preach to your employers the brands of metaphysics that are especially
acceptable to them; and the especially acceptable brands are acceptable
because they do not menace the established order of society."

Here there was a stir of dissent around the table.

"Oh, I am not challenging your sincerity," Ernest continued. "You are
sincere. You preach what you believe. There lies your strength and your
value--to the capitalist class. But should you change your belief to
something that menaces the established order, your preaching would
be unacceptable to your employers, and you would be discharged. Every
little while some one or another of you is so discharged.* Am I not
right?"

     * During this period there were many ministers cast out of
     the church for preaching unacceptable doctrine.  Especially
     were they cast out when their preaching became tainted with
     socialism.

This time there was no dissent. They sat dumbly acquiescent, with the
exception of Dr. Hammerfield, who said:

"It is when their thinking is wrong that they are asked to resign."

"Which is another way of saying when their thinking is unacceptable,"
Ernest answered, and then went on. "So I say to you, go ahead and preach
and earn your pay, but for goodness' sake leave the working class alone.
You belong in the enemy's camp. You have nothing in common with the
working class. Your hands are soft with the work others have performed
for you. Your stomachs are round with the plenitude of eating." (Here
Dr. Ballingford winced, and every eye glanced at his prodigious girth.
It was said he had not seen his own feet in years.) "And your minds are
filled with doctrines that are buttresses of the established order. You
are as much mercenaries (sincere mercenaries, I grant) as were the men
of the Swiss Guard.* Be true to your salt and your hire; guard, with
your preaching, the interests of your employers; but do not come down to
the working class and serve as false leaders. You cannot honestly be in
the two camps at once. The working class has done without you. Believe
me, the working class will continue to do without you. And, furthermore,
the working class can do better without you than with you."

     * The hired foreign palace guards of Louis XVI, a king of
     France that was beheaded by his people.



CHAPTER II

CHALLENGES.


After the guests had gone, father threw himself into a chair and gave
vent to roars of Gargantuan laughter. Not since the death of my mother
had I known him to laugh so heartily.

"I'll wager Dr. Hammerfield was never up against anything like it in his
life," he laughed. "'The courtesies of ecclesiastical controversy!' Did
you notice how he began like a lamb--Everhard, I mean, and how quickly
he became a roaring lion? He has a splendidly disciplined mind. He would
have made a good scientist if his energies had been directed that way."

I need scarcely say that I was deeply interested in Ernest Everhard. It
was not alone what he had said and how he had said it, but it was the
man himself. I had never met a man like him. I suppose that was why, in
spite of my twenty-four years, I had not married. I liked him; I had to
confess it to myself. And my like for him was founded on things
beyond intellect and argument. Regardless of his bulging muscles and
prize-fighter's throat, he impressed me as an ingenuous boy. I felt
that under the guise of an intellectual swashbuckler was a delicate and
sensitive spirit. I sensed this, in ways I knew not, save that they were
my woman's intuitions.

There was something in that clarion-call of his that went to my heart.
It still rang in my ears, and I felt that I should like to hear it
again--and to see again that glint of laughter in his eyes that belied
the impassioned seriousness of his face. And there were further reaches
of vague and indeterminate feelings that stirred in me. I almost loved
him then, though I am confident, had I never seen him again, that the
vague feelings would have passed away and that I should easily have
forgotten him.

But I was not destined never to see him again. My father's new-born
interest in sociology and the dinner parties he gave would not permit.
Father was not a sociologist. His marriage with my mother had been very
happy, and in the researches of his own science, physics, he had been
very happy. But when mother died, his own work could not fill the
emptiness. At first, in a mild way, he had dabbled in philosophy; then,
becoming interested, he had drifted on into economics and sociology. He
had a strong sense of justice, and he soon became fired with a passion
to redress wrong. It was with gratitude that I hailed these signs of a
new interest in life, though I little dreamed what the outcome would
be. With the enthusiasm of a boy he plunged excitedly into these new
pursuits, regardless of whither they led him.

He had been used always to the laboratory, and so it was that he turned
the dining room into a sociological laboratory. Here came to dinner
all sorts and conditions of men,--scientists, politicians, bankers,
merchants, professors, labor leaders, socialists, and anarchists. He
stirred them to discussion, and analyzed their thoughts of life and
society.

He had met Ernest shortly prior to the "preacher's night." And after the
guests were gone, I learned how he had met him, passing down a street at
night and stopping to listen to a man on a soap-box who was addressing
a crowd of workingmen. The man on the box was Ernest. Not that he was
a mere soap-box orator. He stood high in the councils of the socialist
party, was one of the leaders, and was the acknowledged leader in the
philosophy of socialism. But he had a certain clear way of stating the
abstruse in simple language, was a born expositor and teacher, and
was not above the soap-box as a means of interpreting economics to the
workingmen.

My father stopped to listen, became interested, effected a meeting, and,
after quite an acquaintance, invited him to the ministers' dinner. It
was after the dinner that father told me what little he knew about him.
He had been born in the working class, though he was a descendant of
the old line of Everhards that for over two hundred years had lived
in America.* At ten years of age he had gone to work in the mills,
and later he served his apprenticeship and became a horseshoer. He was
self-educated, had taught himself German and French, and at that time
was earning a meagre living by translating scientific and philosophical
works for a struggling socialist publishing house in Chicago. Also, his
earnings were added to by the royalties from the small sales of his own
economic and philosophic works.

     * The distinction between being native born and foreign born
     was sharp and invidious in those days.

This much I learned of him before I went to bed, and I lay long awake,
listening in memory to the sound of his voice. I grew frightened at
my thoughts. He was so unlike the men of my own class, so alien and so
strong. His masterfulness delighted me and terrified me, for my fancies
wantonly roved until I found myself considering him as a lover, as a
husband. I had always heard that the strength of men was an irresistible
attraction to women; but he was too strong. "No! no!" I cried out. "It
is impossible, absurd!" And on the morrow I awoke to find in myself
a longing to see him again. I wanted to see him mastering men in
discussion, the war-note in his voice; to see him, in all his certitude
and strength, shattering their complacency, shaking them out of their
ruts of thinking. What if he did swashbuckle? To use his own phrase, "it
worked," it produced effects. And, besides, his swashbuckling was a fine
thing to see. It stirred one like the onset of battle.

Several days passed during which I read Ernest's books, borrowed from my
father. His written word was as his spoken word, clear and convincing.
It was its absolute simplicity that convinced even while one continued
to doubt. He had the gift of lucidity. He was the perfect expositor.
Yet, in spite of his style, there was much that I did not like. He laid
too great stress on what he called the class struggle, the antagonism
between labor and capital, the conflict of interest.

Father reported with glee Dr. Hammerfield's judgment of Ernest, which
was to the effect that he was "an insolent young puppy, made bumptious
by a little and very inadequate learning." Also, Dr. Hammerfield
declined to meet Ernest again.

But Bishop Morehouse turned out to have become interested in Ernest,
and was anxious for another meeting. "A strong young man," he said; "and
very much alive, very much alive. But he is too sure, too sure."

Ernest came one afternoon with father. The Bishop had already arrived,
and we were having tea on the veranda. Ernest's continued presence in
Berkeley, by the way, was accounted for by the fact that he was taking
special courses in biology at the university, and also that he was hard
at work on a new book entitled "Philosophy and Revolution."*

     * This book continued to be secretly printed throughout the
     three centuries of the Iron Heel.  There are several copies
     of various editions in the National Library of Ardis.

The veranda seemed suddenly to have become small when Ernest arrived.
Not that he was so very large--he stood only five feet nine inches; but
that he seemed to radiate an atmosphere of largeness. As he stopped to
meet me, he betrayed a certain slight awkwardness that was strangely at
variance with his bold-looking eyes and his firm, sure hand that clasped
for a moment in greeting. And in that moment his eyes were just as
steady and sure. There seemed a question in them this time, and as
before he looked at me over long.

"I have been reading your 'Working-class Philosophy,'" I said, and his
eyes lighted in a pleased way.

"Of course," he answered, "you took into consideration the audience to
which it was addressed."

"I did, and it is because I did that I have a quarrel with you," I
challenged.

"I, too, have a quarrel with you, Mr. Everhard," Bishop Morehouse said.

Ernest shrugged his shoulders whimsically and accepted a cup of tea.

The Bishop bowed and gave me precedence.

"You foment class hatred," I said. "I consider it wrong and criminal
to appeal to all that is narrow and brutal in the working class. Class
hatred is anti-social, and, it seems to me, anti-socialistic."

"Not guilty," he answered. "Class hatred is neither in the text nor in
the spirit of anything I have every written."

"Oh!" I cried reproachfully, and reached for his book and opened it.

He sipped his tea and smiled at me while I ran over the pages.

"Page one hundred and thirty-two," I read aloud: "'The class struggle,
therefore, presents itself in the present stage of social development
between the wage-paying and the wage-paid classes.'"

I looked at him triumphantly.

"No mention there of class hatred," he smiled back.

"But," I answered, "you say 'class struggle.'"

"A different thing from class hatred," he replied. "And, believe me,
we foment no hatred. We say that the class struggle is a law of social
development. We are not responsible for it. We do not make the class
struggle. We merely explain it, as Newton explained gravitation. We
explain the nature of the conflict of interest that produces the class
struggle."

"But there should be no conflict of interest!" I cried.

"I agree with you heartily," he answered. "That is what we socialists
are trying to bring about,--the abolition of the conflict of interest.
Pardon me. Let me read an extract." He took his book and turned back
several pages. "Page one hundred and twenty-six: 'The cycle of class
struggles which began with the dissolution of rude, tribal communism
and the rise of private property will end with the passing of private
property in the means of social existence.'"

"But I disagree with you," the Bishop interposed, his pale, ascetic face
betraying by a faint glow the intensity of his feelings. "Your premise
is wrong. There is no such thing as a conflict of interest between labor
and capital--or, rather, there ought not to be."

"Thank you," Ernest said gravely. "By that last statement you have given
me back my premise."

"But why should there be a conflict?" the Bishop demanded warmly.

Ernest shrugged his shoulders. "Because we are so made, I guess."

"But we are not so made!" cried the other.

"Are you discussing the ideal man?" Ernest asked, "--unselfish and
godlike, and so few in numbers as to be practically non-existent, or are
you discussing the common and ordinary average man?"

"The common and ordinary man," was the answer.

"Who is weak and fallible, prone to error?"

Bishop Morehouse nodded.

"And petty and selfish?"

Again he nodded.

"Watch out!" Ernest warned. "I said 'selfish.'"

"The average man IS selfish," the Bishop affirmed valiantly.

"Wants all he can get?"

"Wants all he can get--true but deplorable."

"Then I've got you." Ernest's jaw snapped like a trap. "Let me show you.
Here is a man who works on the street railways."

"He couldn't work if it weren't for capital," the Bishop interrupted.

"True, and you will grant that capital would perish if there were no
labor to earn the dividends."

The Bishop was silent.

"Won't you?" Ernest insisted.

The Bishop nodded.

"Then our statements cancel each other," Ernest said in a matter-of-fact
tone, "and we are where we were. Now to begin again. The workingmen
on the street railway furnish the labor. The stockholders furnish the
capital. By the joint effort of the workingmen and the capital, money is
earned.* They divide between them this money that is earned. Capital's
share is called 'dividends.' Labor's share is called 'wages.'"

     * In those days, groups of predatory individuals controlled
     all the means of transportation, and for the use of same
     levied toll upon the public.

"Very good," the Bishop interposed. "And there is no reason that the
division should not be amicable."

"You have already forgotten what we had agreed upon," Ernest replied.
"We agreed that the average man is selfish. He is the man that is. You
have gone up in the air and are arranging a division between the kind
of men that ought to be but are not. But to return to the earth, the
workingman, being selfish, wants all he can get in the division. The
capitalist, being selfish, wants all he can get in the division. When
there is only so much of the same thing, and when two men want all they
can get of the same thing, there is a conflict of interest between labor
and capital. And it is an irreconcilable conflict. As long as workingmen
and capitalists exist, they will continue to quarrel over the division.
If you were in San Francisco this afternoon, you'd have to walk. There
isn't a street car running."

"Another strike?"* the Bishop queried with alarm.

     * These quarrels were very common in those irrational and
     anarchic times.  Sometimes the laborers refused to work.
     Sometimes the capitalists refused to let the laborers work.
     In the violence and turbulence of such disagreements much
     property was destroyed and many lives lost.  All this is
     inconceivable to us--as inconceivable as another custom of
     that time, namely, the habit the men of the lower classes
     had of breaking the furniture when they quarrelled with
     their wives.

"Yes, they're quarrelling over the division of the earnings of the
street railways."

Bishop Morehouse became excited.

"It is wrong!" he cried. "It is so short-sighted on the part of the
workingmen. How can they hope to keep our sympathy--"

"When we are compelled to walk," Ernest said slyly.

But Bishop Morehouse ignored him and went on:

"Their outlook is too narrow. Men should be men, not brutes. There will
be violence and murder now, and sorrowing widows and orphans. Capital
and labor should be friends. They should work hand in hand and to their
mutual benefit."

"Ah, now you are up in the air again," Ernest remarked dryly. "Come back
to earth. Remember, we agreed that the average man is selfish."

"But he ought not to be!" the Bishop cried.

"And there I agree with you," was Ernest's rejoinder. "He ought not to
be selfish, but he will continue to be selfish as long as he lives in a
social system that is based on pig-ethics."

The Bishop was aghast, and my father chuckled.

"Yes, pig-ethics," Ernest went on remorselessly. "That is the meaning
of the capitalist system. And that is what your church is standing
for, what you are preaching for every time you get up in the pulpit.
Pig-ethics! There is no other name for it."

Bishop Morehouse turned appealingly to my father, but he laughed and
nodded his head.

"I'm afraid Mr. Everhard is right," he said. "LAISSEZ-FAIRE, the
let-alone policy of each for himself and devil take the hindmost. As Mr.
Everhard said the other night, the function you churchmen perform is to
maintain the established order of society, and society is established on
that foundation."

"But that is not the teaching of Christ!" cried the Bishop.

"The Church is not teaching Christ these days," Ernest put in quickly.
"That is why the workingmen will have nothing to do with the Church.
The Church condones the frightful brutality and savagery with which the
capitalist class treats the working class."

"The Church does not condone it," the Bishop objected.

"The Church does not protest against it," Ernest replied. "And in so far
as the Church does not protest, it condones, for remember the Church is
supported by the capitalist class."

"I had not looked at it in that light," the Bishop said naively. "You
must be wrong. I know that there is much that is sad and wicked in
this world. I know that the Church has lost the--what you call the
proletariat."*

     * Proletariat: Derived originally from the Latin PROLETARII,
     the name given in the census of Servius Tullius to those who
     were of value to the state only as the rearers of offspring
     (PROLES); in other words, they were of no importance either
     for wealth, or position, or exceptional ability.

"You never had the proletariat," Ernest cried. "The proletariat has
grown up outside the Church and without the Church."

"I do not follow you," the Bishop said faintly.

"Then let me explain. With the introduction of machinery and the factory
system in the latter part of the eighteenth century, the great mass of
the working people was separated from the land. The old system of labor
was broken down. The working people were driven from their villages and
herded in factory towns. The mothers and children were put to work at
the new machines. Family life ceased. The conditions were frightful. It
is a tale of blood."

"I know, I know," Bishop Morehouse interrupted with an agonized
expression on his face. "It was terrible. But it occurred a century and
a half ago."

"And there, a century and a half ago, originated the modern
proletariat," Ernest continued. "And the Church ignored it. While a
slaughter-house was made of the nation by the capitalist, the Church
was dumb. It did not protest, as to-day it does not protest. As Austin
Lewis* says, speaking of that time, those to whom the command 'Feed my
lambs' had been given, saw those lambs sold into slavery and worked to
death without a protest.** The Church was dumb, then, and before I go on
I want you either flatly to agree with me or flatly to disagree with me.
Was the Church dumb then?"

     * Candidate for Governor of California on the Socialist
     ticket in the fall election of 1906 Christian Era.  An
     Englishman by birth, a writer of many books on political
     economy and philosophy, and one of the Socialist leaders of
     the times.

     ** There is no more horrible page in history than the
     treatment of the child and women slaves in the English
     factories in the latter half of the eighteenth century of
     the Christian Era.  In such industrial hells arose some of
     the proudest fortunes of that day.

Bishop Morehouse hesitated. Like Dr. Hammerfield, he was unused to this
fierce "infighting," as Ernest called it.

"The history of the eighteenth century is written," Ernest prompted. "If
the Church was not dumb, it will be found not dumb in the books."

"I am afraid the Church was dumb," the Bishop confessed.

"And the Church is dumb to-day."

"There I disagree," said the Bishop.

Ernest paused, looked at him searchingly, and accepted the challenge.

"All right," he said. "Let us see. In Chicago there are women who toil
all the week for ninety cents. Has the Church protested?"

"This is news to me," was the answer. "Ninety cents per week! It is
horrible!"

"Has the Church protested?" Ernest insisted.

"The Church does not know." The Bishop was struggling hard.

"Yet the command to the Church was, 'Feed my lambs,'" Ernest sneered.
And then, the next moment, "Pardon my sneer, Bishop. But can you
wonder that we lose patience with you? When have you protested to your
capitalistic congregations at the working of children in the Southern
cotton mills?* Children, six and seven years of age, working every night
at twelve-hour shifts? They never see the blessed sunshine. They die
like flies. The dividends are paid out of their blood. And out of the
dividends magnificent churches are builded in New England, wherein your
kind preaches pleasant platitudes to the sleek, full-bellied recipients
of those dividends."

     * Everhard might have drawn a better illustration from the
     Southern Church's outspoken defence of chattel slavery prior
     to what is known as the "War of the Rebellion."  Several
     such illustrations, culled from the documents of the times,
     are here appended.  In 1835 A.D., the General Assembly of
     the Presbyterian Church resolved that: "slavery is
     recognized in both the Old and the New Testaments, and is
     not condemned by the authority of God."  The Charleston
     Baptist Association issued the following, in an address, in
     1835 A.D.: "The right of masters to dispose of the time of
     their slaves has been distinctly recognized by the Creator
     of all things, who is surely at liberty to vest the right of
     property over any object whomsoever He pleases."  The Rev.
     E. D. Simon, Doctor of Divinity and professor in the
     Randolph-Macon Methodist College of Virginia, wrote:
     "Extracts from Holy Writ unequivocally assert the right of
     property in slaves, together with the usual incidents to
     that right.  The right to buy and sell is clearly stated.
     Upon the whole, then, whether we consult the Jewish policy
     instituted by God himself, or the uniform opinion and
     practice of mankind in all ages, or the injunctions of the
     New Testament and the moral law, we are brought to the
     conclusion that slavery is not immoral.  Having established
     the point that the first African slaves were legally brought
     into bondage, the right to detain their children in bondage
     follows as an indispensable consequence.  Thus we see that
     the slavery that exists in America was founded in right."

     It is not at all remarkable that this same note should have
     been struck by the Church a generation or so later in
     relation to the defence of capitalistic property.  In the
     great museum at Asgard there is a book entitled "Essays in
     Application," written by Henry van Dyke.  The book was
     published in 1905 of the Christian Era. From what we can
     make out, Van Dyke must have been a churchman. The book is a
     good example of what Everhard would have called bourgeois
     thinking.  Note the similarity between the utterance of the
     Charleston Baptist Association quoted above, and the
     following utterance of Van Dyke seventy years later: "The
     Bible teaches that God owns the world.  He distributes to
     every man according to His own good pleasure, conformably to
     general laws."

"I did not know," the Bishop murmured faintly. His face was pale, and he
seemed suffering from nausea.

"Then you have not protested?"

The Bishop shook his head.

"Then the Church is dumb to-day, as it was in the eighteenth century?"

The Bishop was silent, and for once Ernest forbore to press the point.

"And do not forget, whenever a churchman does protest, that he is
discharged."

"I hardly think that is fair," was the objection.

"Will you protest?" Ernest demanded.

"Show me evils, such as you mention, in our own community, and I will
protest."

"I'll show you," Ernest said quietly. "I am at your disposal. I will
take you on a journey through hell."

"And I shall protest." The Bishop straightened himself in his chair, and
over his gentle face spread the harshness of the warrior. "The Church
shall not be dumb!"

"You will be discharged," was the warning.

"I shall prove the contrary," was the retort. "I shall prove, if
what you say is so, that the Church has erred through ignorance. And,
furthermore, I hold that whatever is horrible in industrial society is
due to the ignorance of the capitalist class. It will mend all that is
wrong as soon as it receives the message. And this message it shall be
the duty of the Church to deliver."

Ernest laughed. He laughed brutally, and I was driven to the Bishop's
defence.

"Remember," I said, "you see but one side of the shield. There is
much good in us, though you give us credit for no good at all. Bishop
Morehouse is right. The industrial wrong, terrible as you say it is,
is due to ignorance. The divisions of society have become too widely
separated."

"The wild Indian is not so brutal and savage as the capitalist class,"
he answered; and in that moment I hated him.

"You do not know us," I answered. "We are not brutal and savage."

"Prove it," he challenged.

"How can I prove it . . . to you?" I was growing angry.

He shook his head. "I do not ask you to prove it to me. I ask you to
prove it to yourself."

"I know," I said.

"You know nothing," was his rude reply.

"There, there, children," father said soothingly.

"I don't care--" I began indignantly, but Ernest interrupted.

"I understand you have money, or your father has, which is the same
thing--money invested in the Sierra Mills."

"What has that to do with it?" I cried.

"Nothing much," he began slowly, "except that the gown you wear is
stained with blood. The food you eat is a bloody stew. The blood of
little children and of strong men is dripping from your very roof-beams.
I can close my eyes, now, and hear it drip, drop, drip, drop, all about
me."

And suiting the action to the words, he closed his eyes and leaned back
in his chair. I burst into tears of mortification and hurt vanity. I had
never been so brutally treated in my life. Both the Bishop and my father
were embarrassed and perturbed. They tried to lead the conversation
away into easier channels; but Ernest opened his eyes, looked at me,
and waved them aside. His mouth was stern, and his eyes too; and in the
latter there was no glint of laughter. What he was about to say, what
terrible castigation he was going to give me, I never knew; for at that
moment a man, passing along the sidewalk, stopped and glanced in at us.
He was a large man, poorly dressed, and on his back was a great load of
rattan and bamboo stands, chairs, and screens. He looked at the house as
if debating whether or not he should come in and try to sell some of his
wares.

"That man's name is Jackson," Ernest said.

"With that strong body of his he should be at work, and not peddling,"*
I answered curtly.

     * In that day there were many thousands of these poor
     merchants called PEDLERS.  They carried their whole stock in
     trade from door to door.  It was a most wasteful expenditure
     of energy. Distribution was as confused and irrational as
     the whole general system of society.

"Notice the sleeve of his left arm," Ernest said gently.

I looked, and saw that the sleeve was empty.

"It was some of the blood from that arm that I heard dripping from your
roof-beams," Ernest said with continued gentleness. "He lost his arm in
the Sierra Mills, and like a broken-down horse you turned him out on
the highway to die. When I say 'you,' I mean the superintendent and the
officials that you and the other stockholders pay to manage the mills
for you. It was an accident. It was caused by his trying to save the
company a few dollars. The toothed drum of the picker caught his arm. He
might have let the small flint that he saw in the teeth go through. It
would have smashed out a double row of spikes. But he reached for the
flint, and his arm was picked and clawed to shreds from the finger tips
to the shoulder. It was at night. The mills were working overtime. They
paid a fat dividend that quarter. Jackson had been working many hours,
and his muscles had lost their resiliency and snap. They made his
movements a bit slow. That was why the machine caught him. He had a wife
and three children."

"And what did the company do for him?" I asked.

"Nothing. Oh, yes, they did do something. They successfully fought the
damage suit he brought when he came out of hospital. The company employs
very efficient lawyers, you know."

"You have not told the whole story," I said with conviction. "Or else
you do not know the whole story. Maybe the man was insolent."

"Insolent! Ha! ha!" His laughter was Mephistophelian. "Great God!
Insolent! And with his arm chewed off! Nevertheless he was a meek and
lowly servant, and there is no record of his having been insolent."

"But the courts," I urged. "The case would not have been decided against
him had there been no more to the affair than you have mentioned."

"Colonel Ingram is leading counsel for the company. He is a shrewd
lawyer." Ernest looked at me intently for a moment, then went on. "I'll
tell you what you do, Miss Cunningham. You investigate Jackson's case."

"I had already determined to," I said coldly.

"All right," he beamed good-naturedly, "and I'll tell you where to
find him. But I tremble for you when I think of all you are to prove by
Jackson's arm."

And so it came about that both the Bishop and I accepted Ernest's
challenges. They went away together, leaving me smarting with a sense
of injustice that had been done me and my class. The man was a beast. I
hated him, then, and consoled myself with the thought that his behavior
was what was to be expected from a man of the working class.



CHAPTER III

JACKSON'S ARM.


Little did I dream the fateful part Jackson's arm was to play in my
life. Jackson himself did not impress me when I hunted him out. I found
him in a crazy, ramshackle* house down near the bay on the edge of the
marsh. Pools of stagnant water stood around the house, their surfaces
covered with a green and putrid-looking scum, while the stench that
arose from them was intolerable.

     * An adjective descriptive of ruined and dilapidated houses
     in which great numbers of the working people found shelter
     in those days.  They invariably paid rent, and, considering
     the value of such houses, enormous rent, to the landlords.

I found Jackson the meek and lowly man he had been described. He was
making some sort of rattan-work, and he toiled on stolidly while I
talked with him. But in spite of his meekness and lowliness, I fancied I
caught the first note of a nascent bitterness in him when he said:

"They might a-given me a job as watchman,* anyway."

     * In those days thievery was incredibly prevalent.
     Everybody stole property from everybody else.  The lords of
     society stole legally or else legalized their stealing,
     while the poorer classes stole illegally.  Nothing was safe
     unless guarded.  Enormous numbers of men were employed as
     watchmen to protect property.  The houses of the well-to-do
     were a combination of safe deposit vault and fortress.  The
     appropriation of the personal belongings of others by our
     own children of to-day is looked upon as a rudimentary
     survival of the theft-characteristic that in those early
     times was universal.

I got little out of him. He struck me as stupid, and yet the deftness
with which he worked with his one hand seemed to belie his stupidity.
This suggested an idea to me.

"How did you happen to get your arm caught in the machine?" I asked.

He looked at me in a slow and pondering way, and shook his head. "I
don't know. It just happened."

"Carelessness?" I prompted.

"No," he answered, "I ain't for callin' it that. I was workin' overtime,
an' I guess I was tired out some. I worked seventeen years in them
mills, an' I've took notice that most of the accidents happens just
before whistle-blow.* I'm willin' to bet that more accidents happens
in the hour before whistle-blow than in all the rest of the day. A man
ain't so quick after workin' steady for hours. I've seen too many of 'em
cut up an' gouged an' chawed not to know."

     * The laborers were called to work and dismissed by savage,
     screaming, nerve-racking steam-whistles.

"Many of them?" I queried.

"Hundreds an' hundreds, an' children, too."

With the exception of the terrible details, Jackson's story of his
accident was the same as that I had already heard. When I asked him if
he had broken some rule of working the machinery, he shook his head.

"I chucked off the belt with my right hand," he said, "an' made a reach
for the flint with my left. I didn't stop to see if the belt was off. I
thought my right hand had done it--only it didn't. I reached quick, and
the belt wasn't all the way off. And then my arm was chewed off."

"It must have been painful," I said sympathetically.

"The crunchin' of the bones wasn't nice," was his answer.

His mind was rather hazy concerning the damage suit. Only one thing was
clear to him, and that was that he had not got any damages. He had a
feeling that the testimony of the foremen and the superintendent had
brought about the adverse decision of the court. Their testimony, as he
put it, "wasn't what it ought to have ben." And to them I resolved to
go.

One thing was plain, Jackson's situation was wretched. His wife was in
ill health, and he was unable to earn, by his rattan-work and peddling,
sufficient food for the family. He was back in his rent, and the oldest
boy, a lad of eleven, had started to work in the mills.

"They might a-given me that watchman's job," were his last words as I
went away.

By the time I had seen the lawyer who had handled Jackson's case, and
the two foremen and the superintendent at the mills who had testified, I
began to feel that there was something after all in Ernest's contention.

He was a weak and inefficient-looking man, the lawyer, and at sight of
him I did not wonder that Jackson's case had been lost. My first thought
was that it had served Jackson right for getting such a lawyer. But
the next moment two of Ernest's statements came flashing into my
consciousness: "The company employs very efficient lawyers" and "Colonel
Ingram is a shrewd lawyer." I did some rapid thinking. It dawned upon me
that of course the company could afford finer legal talent than could a
workingman like Jackson. But this was merely a minor detail. There was
some very good reason, I was sure, why Jackson's case had gone against
him.

"Why did you lose the case?" I asked.

The lawyer was perplexed and worried for a moment, and I found it in my
heart to pity the wretched little creature. Then he began to whine. I
do believe his whine was congenital. He was a man beaten at birth. He
whined about the testimony. The witnesses had given only the evidence
that helped the other side. Not one word could he get out of them that
would have helped Jackson. They knew which side their bread was buttered
on. Jackson was a fool. He had been brow-beaten and confused by Colonel
Ingram. Colonel Ingram was brilliant at cross-examination. He had made
Jackson answer damaging questions.

"How could his answers be damaging if he had the right on his side?" I
demanded.

"What's right got to do with it?" he demanded back. "You see all those
books." He moved his hand over the array of volumes on the walls of his
tiny office. "All my reading and studying of them has taught me that
law is one thing and right is another thing. Ask any lawyer. You go to
Sunday-school to learn what is right. But you go to those books to learn
. . . law."

"Do you mean to tell me that Jackson had the right on his side and yet
was beaten?" I queried tentatively. "Do you mean to tell me that there
is no justice in Judge Caldwell's court?"

The little lawyer glared at me a moment, and then the belligerence faded
out of his face.

"I hadn't a fair chance," he began whining again. "They made a fool out
of Jackson and out of me, too. What chance had I? Colonel Ingram is
a great lawyer. If he wasn't great, would he have charge of the law
business of the Sierra Mills, of the Erston Land Syndicate, of the
Berkeley Consolidated, of the Oakland, San Leandro, and Pleasanton
Electric? He's a corporation lawyer, and corporation lawyers are not
paid for being fools.* What do you think the Sierra Mills alone give him
twenty thousand dollars a year for? Because he's worth twenty thousand
dollars a year to them, that's what for. I'm not worth that much. If
I was, I wouldn't be on the outside, starving and taking cases like
Jackson's. What do you think I'd have got if I'd won Jackson's case?"

     * The function of the corporation lawyer was to serve, by
     corrupt methods, the money-grabbing propensities of the
     corporations.  It is on record that Theodore Roosevelt, at
     that time President of the United States, said in 1905 A.D.,
     in his address at Harvard Commencement: "We all know that,
     as things actually are, many of the most influential and
     most highly remunerated members of the Bar in every centre
     of wealth, make it their special task to work out bold and
     ingenious schemes by which their wealthy clients, individual
     or corporate, can evade the laws which were made to
     regulate, in the interests of the public, the uses of great
     wealth."

"You'd have robbed him, most probably," I answered.

"Of course I would," he cried angrily. "I've got to live, haven't I?"*

     * A typical illustration of the internecine strife that
     permeated all society.  Men preyed upon one another like
     ravening wolves. The big wolves ate the little wolves, and
     in the social pack Jackson was one of the least of the
     little wolves.

"He has a wife and children," I chided.

"So have I a wife and children," he retorted. "And there's not a soul in
this world except myself that cares whether they starve or not."

His face suddenly softened, and he opened his watch and showed me a
small photograph of a woman and two little girls pasted inside the case.

"There they are. Look at them. We've had a hard time, a hard time. I
had hoped to send them away to the country if I'd won Jackson's case.
They're not healthy here, but I can't afford to send them away."

When I started to leave, he dropped back into his whine.

"I hadn't the ghost of a chance. Colonel Ingram and Judge Caldwell
are pretty friendly. I'm not saying that if I'd got the right kind of
testimony out of their witnesses on cross-examination, that friendship
would have decided the case. And yet I must say that Judge Caldwell
did a whole lot to prevent my getting that very testimony. Why, Judge
Caldwell and Colonel Ingram belong to the same lodge and the same club.
They live in the same neighborhood--one I can't afford. And their wives
are always in and out of each other's houses. They're always having
whist parties and such things back and forth."

"And yet you think Jackson had the right of it?" I asked, pausing for
the moment on the threshold.

"I don't think; I know it," was his answer. "And at first I thought
he had some show, too. But I didn't tell my wife. I didn't want to
disappoint her. She had her heart set on a trip to the country hard
enough as it was."

"Why did you not call attention to the fact that Jackson was trying to
save the machinery from being injured?" I asked Peter Donnelly, one of
the foremen who had testified at the trial.

He pondered a long time before replying. Then he cast an anxious look
about him and said:

"Because I've a good wife an' three of the sweetest children ye ever
laid eyes on, that's why."

"I do not understand," I said.

"In other words, because it wouldn't a-ben healthy," he answered.

"You mean--" I began.

But he interrupted passionately.

"I mean what I said. It's long years I've worked in the mills. I began
as a little lad on the spindles. I worked up ever since. It's by hard
work I got to my present exalted position. I'm a foreman, if you please.
An' I doubt me if there's a man in the mills that'd put out a hand to
drag me from drownin'. I used to belong to the union. But I've stayed
by the company through two strikes. They called me 'scab.' There's not
a man among 'em to-day to take a drink with me if I asked him. D'ye see
the scars on me head where I was struck with flying bricks? There ain't
a child at the spindles but what would curse me name. Me only friend is
the company. It's not me duty, but me bread an' butter an' the life of
me children to stand by the mills. That's why."

"Was Jackson to blame?" I asked.

"He should a-got the damages. He was a good worker an' never made
trouble."

"Then you were not at liberty to tell the whole truth, as you had sworn
to do?"

He shook his head.

"The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" I said
solemnly.

Again his face became impassioned, and he lifted it, not to me, but to
heaven.

"I'd let me soul an' body burn in everlastin' hell for them children of
mine," was his answer.

Henry Dallas, the superintendent, was a vulpine-faced creature who
regarded me insolently and refused to talk. Not a word could I get from
him concerning the trial and his testimony. But with the other foreman I
had better luck. James Smith was a hard-faced man, and my heart sank
as I encountered him. He, too, gave me the impression that he was not a
free agent, as we talked I began to see that he was mentally superior
to the average of his kind. He agreed with Peter Donnelly that Jackson
should have got damages, and he went farther and called the action
heartless and cold-blooded that had turned the worker adrift after he
had been made helpless by the accident. Also, he explained that there
were many accidents in the mills, and that the company's policy was to
fight to the bitter end all consequent damage suits.

"It means hundreds of thousands a year to the stockholders," he said;
and as he spoke I remembered the last dividend that had been paid my
father, and the pretty gown for me and the books for him that had been
bought out of that dividend. I remembered Ernest's charge that my
gown was stained with blood, and my flesh began to crawl underneath my
garments.

"When you testified at the trial, you didn't point out that Jackson
received his accident through trying to save the machinery from damage?"
I said.

"No, I did not," was the answer, and his mouth set bitterly. "I
testified to the effect that Jackson injured himself by neglect and
carelessness, and that the company was not in any way to blame or
liable."

"Was it carelessness?" I asked.

"Call it that, or anything you want to call it. The fact is, a man gets
tired after he's been working for hours."

I was becoming interested in the man. He certainly was of a superior
kind.

"You are better educated than most workingmen," I said.

"I went through high school," he replied. "I worked my way through doing
janitor-work. I wanted to go through the university. But my father died,
and I came to work in the mills.

"I wanted to become a naturalist," he explained shyly, as though
confessing a weakness. "I love animals. But I came to work in the mills.
When I was promoted to foreman I got married, then the family came, and
. . . well, I wasn't my own boss any more."

"What do you mean by that?" I asked.

"I was explaining why I testified at the trial the way I did--why I
followed instructions."

"Whose instructions?"

"Colonel Ingram. He outlined the evidence I was to give."

"And it lost Jackson's case for him."

He nodded, and the blood began to rise darkly in his face.

"And Jackson had a wife and two children dependent on him."

"I know," he said quietly, though his face was growing darker.

"Tell me," I went on, "was it easy to make yourself over from what you
were, say in high school, to the man you must have become to do such a
thing at the trial?"

The suddenness of his outburst startled and frightened me. He ripped*
out a savage oath, and clenched his fist as though about to strike me.

     * It is interesting to note the virilities of language that
     were common speech in that day, as indicative of the life,
     'red of claw and fang,' that was then lived.  Reference is
     here made, of course, not to the oath of Smith, but to the
     verb ripped used by Avis Everhard.

"I beg your pardon," he said the next moment. "No, it was not easy. And
now I guess you can go away. You've got all you wanted out of me. But
let me tell you this before you go. It won't do you any good to repeat
anything I've said. I'll deny it, and there are no witnesses. I'll deny
every word of it; and if I have to, I'll do it under oath on the witness
stand."

After my interview with Smith I went to my father's office in
the Chemistry Building and there encountered Ernest. It was quite
unexpected, but he met me with his bold eyes and firm hand-clasp, and
with that curious blend of his awkwardness and ease. It was as though
our last stormy meeting was forgotten; but I was not in the mood to have
it forgotten.

"I have been looking up Jackson's case," I said abruptly.

He was all interested attention, and waited for me to go on, though I
could see in his eyes the certitude that my convictions had been shaken.

"He seems to have been badly treated," I confessed. "I--I--think some of
his blood is dripping from our roof-beams."

"Of course," he answered. "If Jackson and all his fellows were treated
mercifully, the dividends would not be so large."

"I shall never be able to take pleasure in pretty gowns again," I added.

I felt humble and contrite, and was aware of a sweet feeling that
Ernest was a sort of father confessor. Then, as ever after, his strength
appealed to me. It seemed to radiate a promise of peace and protection.

"Nor will you be able to take pleasure in sackcloth," he said gravely.
"There are the jute mills, you know, and the same thing goes on there.
It goes on everywhere. Our boasted civilization is based upon blood,
soaked in blood, and neither you nor I nor any of us can escape the
scarlet stain. The men you talked with--who were they?"

I told him all that had taken place.

"And not one of them was a free agent," he said. "They were all tied to
the merciless industrial machine. And the pathos of it and the tragedy
is that they are tied by their heartstrings. Their children--always
the young life that it is their instinct to protect. This instinct is
stronger than any ethic they possess. My father! He lied, he stole, he
did all sorts of dishonorable things to put bread into my mouth and into
the mouths of my brothers and sisters. He was a slave to the industrial
machine, and it stamped his life out, worked him to death."

"But you," I interjected. "You are surely a free agent."

"Not wholly," he replied. "I am not tied by my heartstrings. I am often
thankful that I have no children, and I dearly love children. Yet if I
married I should not dare to have any."

"That surely is bad doctrine," I cried.

"I know it is," he said sadly. "But it is expedient doctrine. I am a
revolutionist, and it is a perilous vocation."

I laughed incredulously.

"If I tried to enter your father's house at night to steal his dividends
from the Sierra Mills, what would he do?"

"He sleeps with a revolver on the stand by the bed," I answered. "He
would most probably shoot you."

"And if I and a few others should lead a million and a half of men*
into the houses of all the well-to-do, there would be a great deal of
shooting, wouldn't there?"

     * This reference is to the socialist vote cast in the United
     States in 1910.  The rise of this vote clearly indicates the
     swift growth of the party of revolution.  Its voting
     strength in the United States in 1888 was 2068; in 1902,
     127,713; in 1904, 435,040; in 1908, 1,108,427; and in 1910,
     1,688,211.

"Yes, but you are not doing that," I objected.

"It is precisely what I am doing. And we intend to take, not the mere
wealth in the houses, but all the sources of that wealth, all the
mines, and railroads, and factories, and banks, and stores. That is
the revolution. It is truly perilous. There will be more shooting, I am
afraid, than even I dream of. But as I was saying, no one to-day is
a free agent. We are all caught up in the wheels and cogs of the
industrial machine. You found that you were, and that the men you talked
with were. Talk with more of them. Go and see Colonel Ingram. Look
up the reporters that kept Jackson's case out of the papers, and the
editors that run the papers. You will find them all slaves of the
machine."

A little later in our conversation I asked him a simple little
question about the liability of workingmen to accidents, and received a
statistical lecture in return.

"It is all in the books," he said. "The figures have been gathered, and
it has been proved conclusively that accidents rarely occur in the
first hours of the morning work, but that they increase rapidly in the
succeeding hours as the workers grow tired and slower in both their
muscular and mental processes.

"Why, do you know that your father has three times as many chances for
safety of life and limb than has a working-man? He has. The insurance*
companies know. They will charge him four dollars and twenty cents a
year on a thousand-dollar accident policy, and for the same policy they
will charge a laborer fifteen dollars."

     * In the terrible wolf-struggle of those centuries, no man
     was permanently safe, no matter how much wealth he amassed.
     Out of fear for the welfare of their families, men devised
     the scheme of insurance.  To us, in this intelligent age,
     such a device is laughably absurd and primitive.  But in
     that age insurance was a very serious matter.  The amusing
     part of it is that the funds of the insurance companies were
     frequently plundered and wasted by the very officials who
     were intrusted with the management of them.

"And you?" I asked; and in the moment of asking I was aware of a
solicitude that was something more than slight.

"Oh, as a revolutionist, I have about eight chances to the workingman's
one of being injured or killed," he answered carelessly. "The insurance
companies charge the highly trained chemists that handle explosives
eight times what they charge the workingmen. I don't think they'd insure
me at all. Why did you ask?"

My eyes fluttered, and I could feel the blood warm in my face. It
was not that he had caught me in my solicitude, but that I had caught
myself, and in his presence.

Just then my father came in and began making preparations to depart with
me. Ernest returned some books he had borrowed, and went away first. But
just as he was going, he turned and said:

"Oh, by the way, while you are ruining your own peace of mind and I
am ruining the Bishop's, you'd better look up Mrs. Wickson and
Mrs. Pertonwaithe. Their husbands, you know, are the two principal
stockholders in the Mills. Like all the rest of humanity, those two
women are tied to the machine, but they are so tied that they sit on top
of it."



CHAPTER IV

SLAVES OF THE MACHINE


The more I thought of Jackson's arm, the more shaken I was. I was
confronted by the concrete. For the first time I was seeing life. My
university life, and study and culture, had not been real. I had learned
nothing but theories of life and society that looked all very well on
the printed page, but now I had seen life itself. Jackson's arm was a
fact of life. "The fact, man, the irrefragable fact!" of Ernest's was
ringing in my consciousness.

It seemed monstrous, impossible, that our whole society was based
upon blood. And yet there was Jackson. I could not get away from him.
Constantly my thought swung back to him as the compass to the Pole. He
had been monstrously treated. His blood had not been paid for in order
that a larger dividend might be paid. And I knew a score of happy
complacent families that had received those dividends and by that much
had profited by Jackson's blood. If one man could be so monstrously
treated and society move on its way unheeding, might not many men be so
monstrously treated? I remembered Ernest's women of Chicago who toiled
for ninety cents a week, and the child slaves of the Southern cotton
mills he had described. And I could see their wan white hands, from
which the blood had been pressed, at work upon the cloth out of which
had been made my gown. And then I thought of the Sierra Mills and the
dividends that had been paid, and I saw the blood of Jackson upon my
gown as well. Jackson I could not escape. Always my meditations led me
back to him.

Down in the depths of me I had a feeling that I stood on the edge of
a precipice. It was as though I were about to see a new and awful
revelation of life. And not I alone. My whole world was turning over.
There was my father. I could see the effect Ernest was beginning to have
on him. And then there was the Bishop. When I had last seen him he had
looked a sick man. He was at high nervous tension, and in his eyes there
was unspeakable horror. From the little I learned I knew that Ernest had
been keeping his promise of taking him through hell. But what scenes of
hell the Bishop's eyes had seen, I knew not, for he seemed too stunned
to speak about them.

Once, the feeling strong upon me that my little world and all the world
was turning over, I thought of Ernest as the cause of it; and also I
thought, "We were so happy and peaceful before he came!" And the next
moment I was aware that the thought was a treason against truth, and
Ernest rose before me transfigured, the apostle of truth, with shining
brows and the fearlessness of one of Gods own angels, battling for the
truth and the right, and battling for the succor of the poor and lonely
and oppressed. And then there arose before me another figure, the
Christ! He, too, had taken the part of the lowly and oppressed,
and against all the established power of priest and pharisee. And I
remembered his end upon the cross, and my heart contracted with a pang
as I thought of Ernest. Was he, too, destined for a cross?--he, with his
clarion call and war-noted voice, and all the fine man's vigor of him!

And in that moment I knew that I loved him, and that I was melting
with desire to comfort him. I thought of his life. A sordid, harsh, and
meagre life it must have been. And I thought of his father, who had lied
and stolen for him and been worked to death. And he himself had gone
into the mills when he was ten! All my heart seemed bursting with desire
to fold my arms around him, and to rest his head on my breast--his head
that must be weary with so many thoughts; and to give him rest--just
rest--and easement and forgetfulness for a tender space.

I met Colonel Ingram at a church reception. Him I knew well and had
known well for many years. I trapped him behind large palms and rubber
plants, though he did not know he was trapped. He met me with the
conventional gayety and gallantry. He was ever a graceful man,
diplomatic, tactful, and considerate. And as for appearance, he was
the most distinguished-looking man in our society. Beside him even the
venerable head of the university looked tawdry and small.

And yet I found Colonel Ingram situated the same as the unlettered
mechanics. He was not a free agent. He, too, was bound upon the wheel.
I shall never forget the change in him when I mentioned Jackson's case.
His smiling good nature vanished like a ghost. A sudden, frightful
expression distorted his well-bred face. I felt the same alarm that I
had felt when James Smith broke out. But Colonel Ingram did not curse.
That was the slight difference that was left between the workingman and
him. He was famed as a wit, but he had no wit now. And, unconsciously,
this way and that he glanced for avenues of escape. But he was trapped
amid the palms and rubber trees.

Oh, he was sick of the sound of Jackson's name. Why had I brought the
matter up? He did not relish my joke. It was poor taste on my part,
and very inconsiderate. Did I not know that in his profession personal
feelings did not count? He left his personal feelings at home when
he went down to the office. At the office he had only professional
feelings.

"Should Jackson have received damages?" I asked.

"Certainly," he answered. "That is, personally, I have a feeling that he
should. But that has nothing to do with the legal aspects of the case."

He was getting his scattered wits slightly in hand.

"Tell me, has right anything to do with the law?" I asked.

"You have used the wrong initial consonant," he smiled in answer.

"Might?" I queried; and he nodded his head. "And yet we are supposed to
get justice by means of the law?"

"That is the paradox of it," he countered. "We do get justice."

"You are speaking professionally now, are you not?" I asked.

Colonel Ingram blushed, actually blushed, and again he looked anxiously
about him for a way of escape. But I blocked his path and did not offer
to move.

"Tell me," I said, "when one surrenders his personal feelings to his
professional feelings, may not the action be defined as a sort of
spiritual mayhem?"

I did not get an answer. Colonel Ingram had ingloriously bolted,
overturning a palm in his flight.

Next I tried the newspapers. I wrote a quiet, restrained, dispassionate
account of Jackson's case. I made no charges against the men with whom
I had talked, nor, for that matter, did I even mention them. I gave
the actual facts of the case, the long years Jackson had worked in the
mills, his effort to save the machinery from damage and the consequent
accident, and his own present wretched and starving condition. The
three local newspapers rejected my communication, likewise did the two
weeklies.

I got hold of Percy Layton. He was a graduate of the university, had
gone in for journalism, and was then serving his apprenticeship as
reporter on the most influential of the three newspapers. He smiled when
I asked him the reason the newspapers suppressed all mention of Jackson
or his case.

"Editorial policy," he said. "We have nothing to do with that. It's up
to the editors."

"But why is it policy?" I asked.

"We're all solid with the corporations," he answered. "If you paid
advertising rates, you couldn't get any such matter into the papers. A
man who tried to smuggle it in would lose his job. You couldn't get it
in if you paid ten times the regular advertising rates."

"How about your own policy?" I questioned. "It would seem your function
is to twist truth at the command of your employers, who, in turn, obey
the behests of the corporations."

"I haven't anything to do with that." He looked uncomfortable for the
moment, then brightened as he saw his way out. "I, myself, do not write
untruthful things. I keep square all right with my own conscience. Of
course, there's lots that's repugnant in the course of the day's work.
But then, you see, that's all part of the day's work," he wound up
boyishly.

"Yet you expect to sit at an editor's desk some day and conduct a
policy."

"I'll be case-hardened by that time," was his reply.

"Since you are not yet case-hardened, tell me what you think right now
about the general editorial policy."

"I don't think," he answered quickly. "One can't kick over the ropes
if he's going to succeed in journalism. I've learned that much, at any
rate."

And he nodded his young head sagely.

"But the right?" I persisted.

"You don't understand the game. Of course it's all right, because it
comes out all right, don't you see?"

"Delightfully vague," I murmured; but my heart was aching for the youth
of him, and I felt that I must either scream or burst into tears.

I was beginning to see through the appearances of the society in which I
had always lived, and to find the frightful realities that were beneath.
There seemed a tacit conspiracy against Jackson, and I was aware of a
thrill of sympathy for the whining lawyer who had ingloriously fought
his case. But this tacit conspiracy grew large. Not alone was it aimed
against Jackson. It was aimed against every workingman who was maimed in
the mills. And if against every man in the mills, why not against every
man in all the other mills and factories? In fact, was it not true of
all the industries?

And if this was so, then society was a lie. I shrank back from my own
conclusions. It was too terrible and awful to be true. But there was
Jackson, and Jackson's arm, and the blood that stained my gown and
dripped from my own roof-beams. And there were many Jacksons--hundreds
of them in the mills alone, as Jackson himself had said. Jackson I could
not escape.

I saw Mr. Wickson and Mr. Pertonwaithe, the two men who held most of the
stock in the Sierra Mills. But I could not shake them as I had shaken
the mechanics in their employ. I discovered that they had an ethic
superior to that of the rest of society. It was what I may call the
aristocratic ethic or the master ethic.* They talked in large ways of
policy, and they identified policy and right. And to me they talked in
fatherly ways, patronizing my youth and inexperience. They were the most
hopeless of all I had encountered in my quest. They believed absolutely
that their conduct was right. There was no question about it, no
discussion. They were convinced that they were the saviours of society,
and that it was they who made happiness for the many. And they drew
pathetic pictures of what would be the sufferings of the working class
were it not for the employment that they, and they alone, by their
wisdom, provided for it.

     * Before Avis Everhard was born, John Stuart Mill, in his
     essay, ON LIBERTY, wrote: "Wherever there is an ascendant
     class, a large portion of the morality emanates from its
     class interests and its class feelings of superiority."

Fresh from these two masters, I met Ernest and related my experience. He
looked at me with a pleased expression, and said:

"Really, this is fine. You are beginning to dig truth for yourself. It
is your own empirical generalization, and it is correct. No man in the
industrial machine is a free-will agent, except the large capitalist,
and he isn't, if you'll pardon the Irishism.* You see, the masters
are quite sure that they are right in what they are doing. That is the
crowning absurdity of the whole situation. They are so tied by their
human nature that they can't do a thing unless they think it is right.
They must have a sanction for their acts.

     * Verbal contradictions, called BULLS, were long an amiable
     weakness of the ancient Irish.

"When they want to do a thing, in business of course, they must wait
till there arises in their brains, somehow, a religious, or ethical, or
scientific, or philosophic, concept that the thing is right. And then
they go ahead and do it, unwitting that one of the weaknesses of the
human mind is that the wish is parent to the thought. No matter what
they want to do, the sanction always comes. They are superficial
casuists. They are Jesuitical. They even see their way to doing wrong
that right may come of it. One of the pleasant and axiomatic fictions
they have created is that they are superior to the rest of mankind in
wisdom and efficiency. Therefrom comes their sanction to manage the
bread and butter of the rest of mankind. They have even resurrected the
theory of the divine right of kings--commercial kings in their case.*

     * The newspapers, in 1902 of that era, credited the
     president of the Anthracite Coal Trust, George F. Baer, with
     the enunciation of the following principle: "The rights and
     interests of the laboring man will be protected by the
     Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given
     the property interests of the country."

"The weakness in their position lies in that they are merely
business men. They are not philosophers. They are not biologists nor
sociologists. If they were, of course all would be well. A business man
who was also a biologist and a sociologist would know, approximately,
the right thing to do for humanity. But, outside the realm of business,
these men are stupid. They know only business. They do not know mankind
nor society, and yet they set themselves up as arbiters of the fates of
the hungry millions and all the other millions thrown in. History, some
day, will have an excruciating laugh at their expense."

I was not surprised when I had my talk out with Mrs. Wickson and Mrs.
Pertonwaithe. They were society women.* Their homes were palaces. They
had many homes scattered over the country, in the mountains, on lakes,
and by the sea. They were tended by armies of servants, and their social
activities were bewildering. They patronized the university and the
churches, and the pastors especially bowed at their knees in meek
subservience.** They were powers, these two women, what of the money
that was theirs. The power of subsidization of thought was theirs to a
remarkable degree, as I was soon to learn under Ernest's tuition.

     * SOCIETY is here used in a restricted sense, a common usage
     of the times to denote the gilded drones that did no labor,
     but only glutted themselves at the honey-vats of the
     workers.  Neither the business men nor the laborers had time
     or opportunity for SOCIETY. SOCIETY was the creation of the
     idle rich who toiled not and who in this way played.

     ** "Bring on your tainted money," was the expressed
     sentiment of the Church during this period.

They aped their husbands, and talked in the same large ways about
policy, and the duties and responsibilities of the rich. They were
swayed by the same ethic that dominated their husbands--the ethic of
their class; and they uttered glib phrases that their own ears did not
understand.

Also, they grew irritated when I told them of the deplorable condition
of Jackson's family, and when I wondered that they had made no
voluntary provision for the man. I was told that they thanked no one
for instructing them in their social duties. When I asked them flatly
to assist Jackson, they as flatly refused. The astounding thing about it
was that they refused in almost identically the same language, and this
in face of the fact that I interviewed them separately and that one did
not know that I had seen or was going to see the other. Their common
reply was that they were glad of the opportunity to make it perfectly
plain that no premium would ever be put on carelessness by them; nor
would they, by paying for accident, tempt the poor to hurt themselves in
the machinery.*

     * In the files of the OUTLOOK, a critical weekly of the
     period, in the number dated August 18, 1906, is related the
     circumstance of a workingman losing his arm, the details of
     which are quite similar to those of Jackson's case as
     related by Avis Everhard.

And they were sincere, these two women. They were drunk with conviction
of the superiority of their class and of themselves. They had a
sanction, in their own class-ethic, for every act they performed. As I
drove away from Mrs. Pertonwaithe's great house, I looked back at
it, and I remembered Ernest's expression that they were bound to the
machine, but that they were so bound that they sat on top of it.



CHAPTER V

THE PHILOMATHS


Ernest was often at the house. Nor was it my father, merely, nor
the controversial dinners, that drew him there. Even at that time I
flattered myself that I played some part in causing his visits, and it
was not long before I learned the correctness of my surmise. For never
was there such a lover as Ernest Everhard. His gaze and his hand-clasp
grew firmer and steadier, if that were possible; and the question that
had grown from the first in his eyes, grew only the more imperative.

My impression of him, the first time I saw him, had been unfavorable.
Then I had found myself attracted toward him. Next came my repulsion,
when he so savagely attacked my class and me. After that, as I saw that
he had not maligned my class, and that the harsh and bitter things he
said about it were justified, I had drawn closer to him again. He became
my oracle. For me he tore the sham from the face of society and gave
me glimpses of reality that were as unpleasant as they were undeniably
true.

As I have said, there was never such a lover as he. No girl could
live in a university town till she was twenty-four and not have love
experiences. I had been made love to by beardless sophomores and gray
professors, and by the athletes and the football giants. But not one
of them made love to me as Ernest did. His arms were around me before I
knew. His lips were on mine before I could protest or resist. Before his
earnestness conventional maiden dignity was ridiculous. He swept me off
my feet by the splendid invincible rush of him. He did not propose. He
put his arms around me and kissed me and took it for granted that
we should be married. There was no discussion about it. The only
discussion--and that arose afterward--was when we should be married.

It was unprecedented. It was unreal. Yet, in accordance with Ernest's
test of truth, it worked. I trusted my life to it. And fortunate was the
trust. Yet during those first days of our love, fear of the future
came often to me when I thought of the violence and impetuosity of his
love-making. Yet such fears were groundless. No woman was ever blessed
with a gentler, tenderer husband. This gentleness and violence on
his part was a curious blend similar to the one in his carriage of
awkwardness and ease. That slight awkwardness! He never got over it,
and it was delicious. His behavior in our drawing-room reminded me of a
careful bull in a china shop.*

     * In those days it was still the custom to fill the living
     rooms with bric-a-brac.  They had not discovered simplicity
     of living. Such rooms were museums, entailing endless labor
     to keep clean. The dust-demon was the lord of the household.
     There were a myriad devices for catching dust, and only a
     few devices for getting rid of it.

It was at this time that vanished my last doubt of the completeness of
my love for him (a subconscious doubt, at most). It was at the Philomath
Club--a wonderful night of battle, wherein Ernest bearded the masters
in their lair. Now the Philomath Club was the most select on the Pacific
Coast. It was the creation of Miss Brentwood, an enormously wealthy old
maid; and it was her husband, and family, and toy. Its members were the
wealthiest in the community, and the strongest-minded of the wealthy,
with, of course, a sprinkling of scholars to give it intellectual tone.

The Philomath had no club house. It was not that kind of a club. Once a
month its members gathered at some one of their private houses to listen
to a lecture. The lecturers were usually, though not always, hired. If a
chemist in New York made a new discovery in say radium, all his expenses
across the continent were paid, and as well he received a princely fee
for his time. The same with a returning explorer from the polar regions,
or the latest literary or artistic success. No visitors were allowed,
while it was the Philomath's policy to permit none of its discussions
to get into the papers. Thus great statesmen--and there had been such
occasions--were able fully to speak their minds.

I spread before me a wrinkled letter, written to me by Ernest twenty
years ago, and from it I copy the following:

"Your father is a member of the Philomath, so you are able to come.
Therefore come next Tuesday night. I promise you that you will have the
time of your life. In your recent encounters, you failed to shake the
masters. If you come, I'll shake them for you. I'll make them snarl like
wolves. You merely questioned their morality. When their morality is
questioned, they grow only the more complacent and superior. But I shall
menace their money-bags. That will shake them to the roots of their
primitive natures. If you can come, you will see the cave-man, in
evening dress, snarling and snapping over a bone. I promise you a great
caterwauling and an illuminating insight into the nature of the beast.

"They've invited me in order to tear me to pieces. This is the idea of
Miss Brentwood. She clumsily hinted as much when she invited me.
She's given them that kind of fun before. They delight in getting
trustful-souled gentle reformers before them. Miss Brentwood thinks I
am as mild as a kitten and as good-natured and stolid as the family cow.
I'll not deny that I helped to give her that impression. She was very
tentative at first, until she divined my harmlessness. I am to receive
a handsome fee--two hundred and fifty dollars--as befits the man who,
though a radical, once ran for governor. Also, I am to wear evening
dress. This is compulsory. I never was so apparelled in my life. I
suppose I'll have to hire one somewhere. But I'd do more than that to
get a chance at the Philomaths."

Of all places, the Club gathered that night at the Pertonwaithe house.
Extra chairs had been brought into the great drawing-room, and in
all there must have been two hundred Philomaths that sat down to hear
Ernest. They were truly lords of society. I amused myself with running
over in my mind the sum of the fortunes represented, and it ran well
into the hundreds of millions. And the possessors were not of the idle
rich. They were men of affairs who took most active parts in industrial
and political life.

We were all seated when Miss Brentwood brought Ernest in. They moved
at once to the head of the room, from where he was to speak. He was
in evening dress, and, what of his broad shoulders and kingly head, he
looked magnificent. And then there was that faint and unmistakable touch
of awkwardness in his movements. I almost think I could have loved him
for that alone. And as I looked at him I was aware of a great joy. I
felt again the pulse of his palm on mine, the touch of his lips; and
such pride was mine that I felt I must rise up and cry out to the
assembled company: "He is mine! He has held me in his arms, and I,
mere I, have filled that mind of his to the exclusion of all his
multitudinous and kingly thoughts!"

At the head of the room, Miss Brentwood introduced him to Colonel Van
Gilbert, and I knew that the latter was to preside. Colonel Van Gilbert
was a great corporation lawyer. In addition, he was immensely wealthy.
The smallest fee he would deign to notice was a hundred thousand
dollars. He was a master of law. The law was a puppet with which he
played. He moulded it like clay, twisted and distorted it like a Chinese
puzzle into any design he chose. In appearance and rhetoric he was
old-fashioned, but in imagination and knowledge and resource he was as
young as the latest statute. His first prominence had come when he broke
the Shardwell will.* His fee for this one act was five hundred thousand
dollars. From then on he had risen like a rocket. He was often called
the greatest lawyer in the country--corporation lawyer, of course; and
no classification of the three greatest lawyers in the United States
could have excluded him.

     * This breaking of wills was a peculiar feature of the
     period. With the accumulation of vast fortunes, the problem
     of disposing of these fortunes after death was a vexing one
     to the accumulators. Will-making and will-breaking became
     complementary trades, like armor-making and gun-making.  The
     shrewdest will-making lawyers were called in to make wills
     that could not be broken.  But these wills were always
     broken, and very often by the very lawyers that had drawn
     them up.  Nevertheless the delusion persisted in the wealthy
     class that an absolutely unbreakable will could be cast; and
     so, through the generations, clients and lawyers pursued the
     illusion.  It was a pursuit like unto that of the Universal
     Solvent of the mediaeval alchemists.

He arose and began, in a few well-chosen phrases that carried an
undertone of faint irony, to introduce Ernest. Colonel Van Gilbert was
subtly facetious in his introduction of the social reformer and member
of the working class, and the audience smiled. It made me angry, and
I glanced at Ernest. The sight of him made me doubly angry. He did not
seem to resent the delicate slurs. Worse than that, he did not seem to
be aware of them. There he sat, gentle, and stolid, and somnolent. He
really looked stupid. And for a moment the thought rose in my mind, What
if he were overawed by this imposing array of power and brains? Then I
smiled. He couldn't fool me. But he fooled the others, just as he had
fooled Miss Brentwood. She occupied a chair right up to the front, and
several times she turned her head toward one or another of her CONFRERES
and smiled her appreciation of the remarks.

Colonel Van Gilbert done, Ernest arose and began to speak. He began in
a low voice, haltingly and modestly, and with an air of evident
embarrassment. He spoke of his birth in the working class, and of the
sordidness and wretchedness of his environment, where flesh and spirit
were alike starved and tormented. He described his ambitions and ideals,
and his conception of the paradise wherein lived the people of the upper
classes. As he said:

"Up above me, I knew, were unselfishnesses of the spirit, clean and
noble thinking, keen intellectual living. I knew all this because I read
'Seaside Library'* novels, in which, with the exception of the villains
and adventuresses, all men and women thought beautiful thoughts, spoke a
beautiful tongue, and performed glorious deeds. In short, as I accepted
the rising of the sun, I accepted that up above me was all that was fine
and noble and gracious, all that gave decency and dignity to life, all
that made life worth living and that remunerated one for his travail and
misery."

     * A curious and amazing literature that served to make the
     working class utterly misapprehend the nature of the leisure
     class.

He went on and traced his life in the mills, the learning of the
horseshoeing trade, and his meeting with the socialists. Among them, he
said, he had found keen intellects and brilliant wits, ministers of the
Gospel who had been broken because their Christianity was too wide for
any congregation of mammon-worshippers, and professors who had been
broken on the wheel of university subservience to the ruling class. The
socialists were revolutionists, he said, struggling to overthrow the
irrational society of the present and out of the material to build the
rational society of the future. Much more he said that would take too
long to write, but I shall never forget how he described the life among
the revolutionists. All halting utterance vanished. His voice grew
strong and confident, and it glowed as he glowed, and as the thoughts
glowed that poured out from him. He said:

"Amongst the revolutionists I found, also, warm faith in the human,
ardent idealism, sweetnesses of unselfishness, renunciation, and
martyrdom--all the splendid, stinging things of the spirit. Here life
was clean, noble, and alive. I was in touch with great souls who exalted
flesh and spirit over dollars and cents, and to whom the thin wail of
the starved slum child meant more than all the pomp and circumstance of
commercial expansion and world empire. All about me were nobleness of
purpose and heroism of effort, and my days and nights were sunshine
and starshine, all fire and dew, with before my eyes, ever burning
and blazing, the Holy Grail, Christ's own Grail, the warm human,
long-suffering and maltreated but to be rescued and saved at the last."

As before I had seen him transfigured, so now he stood transfigured
before me. His brows were bright with the divine that was in him, and
brighter yet shone his eyes from the midst of the radiance that seemed
to envelop him as a mantle. But the others did not see this radiance,
and I assumed that it was due to the tears of joy and love that dimmed
my vision. At any rate, Mr. Wickson, who sat behind me, was unaffected,
for I heard him sneer aloud, "Utopian."*

     * The people of that age were phrase slaves.  The abjectness
     of their servitude is incomprehensible to us.  There was a
     magic in words greater than the conjurer's art.  So
     befuddled and chaotic were their minds that the utterance of
     a single word could negative the generalizations of a
     lifetime of serious research and thought. Such a word was
     the adjective UTOPIAN.  The mere utterance of it could damn
     any scheme, no matter how sanely conceived, of economic
     amelioration or regeneration.  Vast populations grew
     frenzied over such phrases as "an honest dollar" and "a full
     dinner pail."  The coinage of such phrases was considered
     strokes of genius.

Ernest went on to his rise in society, till at last he came in touch
with members of the upper classes, and rubbed shoulders with the men
who sat in the high places. Then came his disillusionment, and this
disillusionment he described in terms that did not flatter his audience.
He was surprised at the commonness of the clay. Life proved not to be
fine and gracious. He was appalled by the selfishness he encountered,
and what had surprised him even more than that was the absence of
intellectual life. Fresh from his revolutionists, he was shocked by the
intellectual stupidity of the master class. And then, in spite of their
magnificent churches and well-paid preachers, he had found the masters,
men and women, grossly material. It was true that they prattled sweet
little ideals and dear little moralities, but in spite of their prattle
the dominant key of the life they lived was materialistic. And they were
without real morality--for instance, that which Christ had preached but
which was no longer preached.

"I met men," he said, "who invoked the name of the Prince of Peace
in their diatribes against war, and who put rifles in the hands of
Pinkertons* with which to shoot down strikers in their own factories. I
met men incoherent with indignation at the brutality of prize-fighting,
and who, at the same time, were parties to the adulteration of food that
killed each year more babes than even red-handed Herod had killed.

     * Originally, they were private detectives; but they quickly
     became hired fighting men of the capitalists, and ultimately
     developed into the Mercenaries of the Oligarchy.

"This delicate, aristocratic-featured gentleman was a dummy director
and a tool of corporations that secretly robbed widows and orphans. This
gentleman, who collected fine editions and was a patron of literature,
paid blackmail to a heavy-jowled, black-browed boss of a municipal
machine. This editor, who published patent medicine advertisements,
called me a scoundrelly demagogue because I dared him to print in his
paper the truth about patent medicines.* This man, talking soberly and
earnestly about the beauties of idealism and the goodness of God, had
just betrayed his comrades in a business deal. This man, a pillar of the
church and heavy contributor to foreign missions, worked his shop girls
ten hours a day on a starvation wage and thereby directly encouraged
prostitution. This man, who endowed chairs in universities and erected
magnificent chapels, perjured himself in courts of law over dollars
and cents. This railroad magnate broke his word as a citizen, as a
gentleman, and as a Christian, when he granted a secret rebate, and he
granted many secret rebates. This senator was the tool and the slave,
the little puppet, of a brutal uneducated machine boss;** so was this
governor and this supreme court judge; and all three rode on railroad
passes; and, also, this sleek capitalist owned the machine, the machine
boss, and the railroads that issued the passes.

     * PATENT MEDICINES were patent lies, but, like the charms
     and indulgences of the Middle Ages, they deceived the
     people.  The only difference lay in that the patent
     medicines were more harmful and more costly.

     ** Even as late as 1912, A.D., the great mass of the people
     still persisted in the belief that they ruled the country by
     virtue of their ballots.  In reality, the country was ruled
     by what were called POLITICAL MACHINES.  At first the
     machine bosses charged the master capitalists extortionate
     tolls for legislation; but in a short time the master
     capitalists found it cheaper to own the political machines
     themselves and to hire the machine bosses.

"And so it was, instead of in paradise, that I found myself in the
arid desert of commercialism. I found nothing but stupidity, except for
business. I found none clean, noble, and alive, though I found many who
were alive--with rottenness. What I did find was monstrous selfishness
and heartlessness, and a gross, gluttonous, practised, and practical
materialism."

Much more Ernest told them of themselves and of his disillusionment.
Intellectually they had bored him; morally and spiritually they had
sickened him; so that he was glad to go back to his revolutionists, who
were clean, noble, and alive, and all that the capitalists were not.

"And now," he said, "let me tell you about that revolution."

But first I must say that his terrible diatribe had not touched them. I
looked about me at their faces and saw that they remained complacently
superior to what he had charged. And I remembered what he had told me:
that no indictment of their morality could shake them. However, I could
see that the boldness of his language had affected Miss Brentwood. She
was looking worried and apprehensive.

Ernest began by describing the army of revolution, and as he gave the
figures of its strength (the votes cast in the various countries), the
assemblage began to grow restless. Concern showed in their faces, and I
noticed a tightening of lips. At last the gage of battle had been thrown
down. He described the international organization of the socialists that
united the million and a half in the United States with the twenty-three
millions and a half in the rest of the world.

"Such an army of revolution," he said, "twenty-five millions strong, is
a thing to make rulers and ruling classes pause and consider. The cry
of this army is: 'No quarter! We want all that you possess. We will
be content with nothing less than all that you possess. We want in our
hands the reins of power and the destiny of mankind. Here are our hands.
They are strong hands. We are going to take your governments, your
palaces, and all your purpled ease away from you, and in that day
you shall work for your bread even as the peasant in the field or the
starved and runty clerk in your metropolises. Here are our hands. They
are strong hands!'"

And as he spoke he extended from his splendid shoulders his two great
arms, and the horseshoer's hands were clutching the air like eagle's
talons. He was the spirit of regnant labor as he stood there, his hands
outreaching to rend and crush his audience. I was aware of a faintly
perceptible shrinking on the part of the listeners before this figure
of revolution, concrete, potential, and menacing. That is, the women
shrank, and fear was in their faces. Not so with the men. They were
of the active rich, and not the idle, and they were fighters. A low,
throaty rumble arose, lingered on the air a moment, and ceased. It
was the forerunner of the snarl, and I was to hear it many times that
night--the token of the brute in man, the earnest of his primitive
passions. And they were unconscious that they had made this sound.
It was the growl of the pack, mouthed by the pack, and mouthed in all
unconsciousness. And in that moment, as I saw the harshness form in
their faces and saw the fight-light flashing in their eyes, I realized
that not easily would they let their lordship of the world be wrested
from them.

Ernest proceeded with his attack. He accounted for the existence of the
million and a half of revolutionists in the United States by charging
the capitalist class with having mismanaged society. He sketched the
economic condition of the cave-man and of the savage peoples of to-day,
pointing out that they possessed neither tools nor machines, and
possessed only a natural efficiency of one in producing power. Then
he traced the development of machinery and social organization so that
to-day the producing power of civilized man was a thousand times greater
than that of the savage.

"Five men," he said, "can produce bread for a thousand. One man can
produce cotton cloth for two hundred and fifty people, woollens for
three hundred, and boots and shoes for a thousand. One would conclude
from this that under a capable management of society modern civilized
man would be a great deal better off than the cave-man. But is he? Let
us see. In the United States to-day there are fifteen million* people
living in poverty; and by poverty is meant that condition in life in
which, through lack of food and adequate shelter, the mere standard of
working efficiency cannot be maintained. In the United States to-day, in
spite of all your so-called labor legislation, there are three millions
of child laborers.** In twelve years their numbers have been doubled.
And in passing I will ask you managers of society why you did not make
public the census figures of 1910? And I will answer for you, that
you were afraid. The figures of misery would have precipitated the
revolution that even now is gathering.

     * Robert Hunter, in 1906, in a book entitled "Poverty,"
     pointed out that at that time there were ten millions in the
     United States living in poverty.

     ** In the United States Census of 1900 (the last census the
     figures of which were made public), the number of child
     laborers was placed at 1,752,187.

"But to return to my indictment. If modern man's producing power is
a thousand times greater than that of the cave-man, why then, in the
United States to-day, are there fifteen million people who are not
properly sheltered and properly fed? Why then, in the United States
to-day, are there three million child laborers? It is a true indictment.
The capitalist class has mismanaged. In face of the facts that modern
man lives more wretchedly than the cave-man, and that his producing
power is a thousand times greater than that of the cave-man, no other
conclusion is possible than that the capitalist class has mismanaged,
that you have mismanaged, my masters, that you have criminally and
selfishly mismanaged. And on this count you cannot answer me here
to-night, face to face, any more than can your whole class answer the
million and a half of revolutionists in the United States. You cannot
answer. I challenge you to answer. And furthermore, I dare to say to
you now that when I have finished you will not answer. On that point
you will be tongue-tied, though you will talk wordily enough about other
things.

"You have failed in your management. You have made a shambles of
civilization. You have been blind and greedy. You have risen up (as you
to-day rise up), shamelessly, in our legislative halls, and declared
that profits were impossible without the toil of children and babes.
Don't take my word for it. It is all in the records against you. You
have lulled your conscience to sleep with prattle of sweet ideals and
dear moralities. You are fat with power and possession, drunken with
success; and you have no more hope against us than have the drones,
clustered about the honey-vats, when the worker-bees spring upon them
to end their rotund existence. You have failed in your management of
society, and your management is to be taken away from you. A million and
a half of the men of the working class say that they are going to get
the rest of the working class to join with them and take the management
away from you. This is the revolution, my masters. Stop it if you can."

For an appreciable lapse of time Ernest's voice continued to ring
through the great room. Then arose the throaty rumble I had heard
before, and a dozen men were on their feet clamoring for recognition
from Colonel Van Gilbert. I noticed Miss Brentwood's shoulders moving
convulsively, and for the moment I was angry, for I thought that she was
laughing at Ernest. And then I discovered that it was not laughter,
but hysteria. She was appalled by what she had done in bringing this
firebrand before her blessed Philomath Club.

Colonel Van Gilbert did not notice the dozen men, with passion-wrought
faces, who strove to get permission from him to speak. His own face
was passion-wrought. He sprang to his feet, waving his arms, and for a
moment could utter only incoherent sounds. Then speech poured from him.
But it was not the speech of a one-hundred-thousand-dollar lawyer, nor
was the rhetoric old-fashioned.

"Fallacy upon fallacy!" he cried. "Never in all my life have I heard so
many fallacies uttered in one short hour. And besides, young man, I must
tell you that you have said nothing new. I learned all that at college
before you were born. Jean Jacques Rousseau enunciated your socialistic
theory nearly two centuries ago. A return to the soil, forsooth!
Reversion! Our biology teaches the absurdity of it. It has been
truly said that a little learning is a dangerous thing, and you have
exemplified it to-night with your madcap theories. Fallacy upon fallacy!
I was never so nauseated in my life with overplus of fallacy. That for
your immature generalizations and childish reasonings!"

He snapped his fingers contemptuously and proceeded to sit down. There
were lip-exclamations of approval on the part of the women, and hoarser
notes of confirmation came from the men. As for the dozen men who
were clamoring for the floor, half of them began speaking at once. The
confusion and babel was indescribable. Never had Mrs. Pertonwaithe's
spacious walls beheld such a spectacle. These, then, were the cool
captains of industry and lords of society, these snarling, growling
savages in evening clothes. Truly Ernest had shaken them when he
stretched out his hands for their moneybags, his hands that had
appeared in their eyes as the hands of the fifteen hundred thousand
revolutionists.

But Ernest never lost his head in a situation. Before Colonel Van
Gilbert had succeeded in sitting down, Ernest was on his feet and had
sprung forward.

"One at a time!" he roared at them.

The sound arose from his great lungs and dominated the human tempest. By
sheer compulsion of personality he commanded silence.

"One at a time," he repeated softly. "Let me answer Colonel Van Gilbert.
After that the rest of you can come at me--but one at a time, remember.
No mass-plays here. This is not a football field.

"As for you," he went on, turning toward Colonel Van Gilbert, "you have
replied to nothing I have said. You have merely made a few excited and
dogmatic assertions about my mental caliber. That may serve you in your
business, but you can't talk to me like that. I am not a workingman,
cap in hand, asking you to increase my wages or to protect me from the
machine at which I work. You cannot be dogmatic with truth when you deal
with me. Save that for dealing with your wage-slaves. They will not dare
reply to you because you hold their bread and butter, their lives, in
your hands.

"As for this return to nature that you say you learned at college before
I was born, permit me to point out that on the face of it you cannot
have learned anything since. Socialism has no more to do with the state
of nature than has differential calculus with a Bible class. I have
called your class stupid when outside the realm of business. You, sir,
have brilliantly exemplified my statement."

This terrible castigation of her hundred-thousand-dollar lawyer was too
much for Miss Brentwood's nerves. Her hysteria became violent, and she
was helped, weeping and laughing, out of the room. It was just as well,
for there was worse to follow.

"Don't take my word for it," Ernest continued, when the interruption had
been led away. "Your own authorities with one unanimous voice will prove
you stupid. Your own hired purveyors of knowledge will tell you that you
are wrong. Go to your meekest little assistant instructor of sociology
and ask him what is the difference between Rousseau's theory of the
return to nature and the theory of socialism; ask your greatest orthodox
bourgeois political economists and sociologists; question through
the pages of every text-book written on the subject and stored on the
shelves of your subsidized libraries; and from one and all the answer
will be that there is nothing congruous between the return to nature and
socialism. On the other hand, the unanimous affirmative answer will be
that the return to nature and socialism are diametrically opposed to
each other. As I say, don't take my word for it. The record of your
stupidity is there in the books, your own books that you never read. And
so far as your stupidity is concerned, you are but the exemplar of your
class.

"You know law and business, Colonel Van Gilbert. You know how to serve
corporations and increase dividends by twisting the law. Very good.
Stick to it. You are quite a figure. You are a very good lawyer, but you
are a poor historian, you know nothing of sociology, and your biology is
contemporaneous with Pliny."

Here Colonel Van Gilbert writhed in his chair. There was perfect quiet
in the room. Everybody sat fascinated--paralyzed, I may say. Such
fearful treatment of the great Colonel Van Gilbert was unheard of,
undreamed of, impossible to believe--the great Colonel Van Gilbert
before whom judges trembled when he arose in court. But Ernest never
gave quarter to an enemy.

"This is, of course, no reflection on you," Ernest said. "Every man to
his trade. Only you stick to your trade, and I'll stick to mine. You
have specialized. When it comes to a knowledge of the law, of how
best to evade the law or make new law for the benefit of thieving
corporations, I am down in the dirt at your feet. But when it comes to
sociology--my trade--you are down in the dirt at my feet. Remember that.
Remember, also, that your law is the stuff of a day, and that you are
not versatile in the stuff of more than a day. Therefore your
dogmatic assertions and rash generalizations on things historical and
sociological are not worth the breath you waste on them."

Ernest paused for a moment and regarded him thoughtfully, noting his
face dark and twisted with anger, his panting chest, his writhing body,
and his slim white hands nervously clenching and unclenching.

"But it seems you have breath to use, and I'll give you a chance to
use it. I indicted your class. Show me that my indictment is wrong. I
pointed out to you the wretchedness of modern man--three million child
slaves in the United States, without whose labor profits would not be
possible, and fifteen million under-fed, ill-clothed, and worse-housed
people. I pointed out that modern man's producing power through social
organization and the use of machinery was a thousand times greater than
that of the cave-man. And I stated that from these two facts no other
conclusion was possible than that the capitalist class had mismanaged.
This was my indictment, and I specifically and at length challenged you
to answer it. Nay, I did more. I prophesied that you would not answer.
It remains for your breath to smash my prophecy. You called my speech
fallacy. Show the fallacy, Colonel Van Gilbert. Answer the indictment
that I and my fifteen hundred thousand comrades have brought against
your class and you."

Colonel Van Gilbert quite forgot that he was presiding, and that in
courtesy he should permit the other clamorers to speak. He was on his
feet, flinging his arms, his rhetoric, and his control to the winds,
alternately abusing Ernest for his youth and demagoguery, and
savagely attacking the working class, elaborating its inefficiency and
worthlessness.

"For a lawyer, you are the hardest man to keep to a point I ever saw,"
Ernest began his answer to the tirade. "My youth has nothing to do with
what I have enunciated. Nor has the worthlessness of the working class.
I charged the capitalist class with having mismanaged society. You have
not answered. You have made no attempt to answer. Why? Is it because you
have no answer? You are the champion of this whole audience. Every
one here, except me, is hanging on your lips for that answer. They
are hanging on your lips for that answer because they have no answer
themselves. As for me, as I said before, I know that you not only cannot
answer, but that you will not attempt an answer."

"This is intolerable!" Colonel Van Gilbert cried out. "This is insult!"

"That you should not answer is intolerable," Ernest replied gravely.
"No man can be intellectually insulted. Insult, in its very nature,
is emotional. Recover yourself. Give me an intellectual answer to my
intellectual charge that the capitalist class has mismanaged society."

Colonel Van Gilbert remained silent, a sullen, superior expression on
his face, such as will appear on the face of a man who will not bandy
words with a ruffian.

"Do not be downcast," Ernest said. "Take consolation in the fact that
no member of your class has ever yet answered that charge." He turned to
the other men who were anxious to speak. "And now it's your chance. Fire
away, and do not forget that I here challenge you to give the answer
that Colonel Van Gilbert has failed to give."

It would be impossible for me to write all that was said in the
discussion. I never realized before how many words could be spoken in
three short hours. At any rate, it was glorious. The more his opponents
grew excited, the more Ernest deliberately excited them. He had an
encyclopaedic command of the field of knowledge, and by a word or a
phrase, by delicate rapier thrusts, he punctured them. He named the
points of their illogic. This was a false syllogism, that conclusion had
no connection with the premise, while that next premise was an impostor
because it had cunningly hidden in it the conclusion that was being
attempted to be proved. This was an error, that was an assumption, and
the next was an assertion contrary to ascertained truth as printed in
all the text-books.

And so it went. Sometimes he exchanged the rapier for the club and went
smashing amongst their thoughts right and left. And always he demanded
facts and refused to discuss theories. And his facts made for them a
Waterloo. When they attacked the working class, he always retorted, "The
pot calling the kettle black; that is no answer to the charge that
your own face is dirty." And to one and all he said: "Why have you not
answered the charge that your class has mismanaged? You have talked
about other things and things concerning other things, but you have not
answered. Is it because you have no answer?"

It was at the end of the discussion that Mr. Wickson spoke. He was the
only one that was cool, and Ernest treated him with a respect he had not
accorded the others.

"No answer is necessary," Mr. Wickson said with slow deliberation. "I
have followed the whole discussion with amazement and disgust. I am
disgusted with you gentlemen, members of my class. You have behaved like
foolish little schoolboys, what with intruding ethics and the thunder
of the common politician into such a discussion. You have been
outgeneralled and outclassed. You have been very wordy, and all you have
done is buzz. You have buzzed like gnats about a bear. Gentlemen, there
stands the bear" (he pointed at Ernest), "and your buzzing has only
tickled his ears.

"Believe me, the situation is serious. That bear reached out his paws
tonight to crush us. He has said there are a million and a half of
revolutionists in the United States. That is a fact. He has said that
it is their intention to take away from us our governments, our palaces,
and all our purpled ease. That, also, is a fact. A change, a great
change, is coming in society; but, haply, it may not be the change the
bear anticipates. The bear has said that he will crush us. What if we
crush the bear?"

The throat-rumble arose in the great room, and man nodded to man
with indorsement and certitude. Their faces were set hard. They were
fighters, that was certain.

"But not by buzzing will we crush the bear," Mr. Wickson went on coldly
and dispassionately. "We will hunt the bear. We will not reply to the
bear in words. Our reply shall be couched in terms of lead. We are in
power. Nobody will deny it. By virtue of that power we shall remain in
power."

He turned suddenly upon Ernest. The moment was dramatic.

"This, then, is our answer. We have no words to waste on you. When you
reach out your vaunted strong hands for our palaces and purpled ease,
we will show you what strength is. In roar of shell and shrapnel and
in whine of machine-guns will our answer be couched.* We will grind you
revolutionists down under our heel, and we shall walk upon your faces.
The world is ours, we are its lords, and ours it shall remain. As for
the host of labor, it has been in the dirt since history began, and I
read history aright. And in the dirt it shall remain so long as I and
mine and those that come after us have the power. There is the word.
It is the king of words--Power. Not God, not Mammon, but Power. Pour it
over your tongue till it tingles with it. Power."

     * To show the tenor of thought, the following definition is
     quoted from "The Cynic's Word Book" (1906 A.D.), written by
     one Ambrose Bierce, an avowed and confirmed misanthrope of
     the period: "Grapeshot, n.  An argument which the future is
     preparing in answer to the demands of American Socialism."

"I am answered," Ernest said quietly. "It is the only answer that could
be given. Power. It is what we of the working class preach. We know,
and well we know by bitter experience, that no appeal for the right, for
justice, for humanity, can ever touch you. Your hearts are hard as
your heels with which you tread upon the faces of the poor. So we have
preached power. By the power of our ballots on election day will we take
your government away from you--"

"What if you do get a majority, a sweeping majority, on election
day?" Mr. Wickson broke in to demand. "Suppose we refuse to turn the
government over to you after you have captured it at the ballot-box?"

"That, also, have we considered," Ernest replied. "And we shall give you
an answer in terms of lead. Power you have proclaimed the king of words.
Very good. Power it shall be. And in the day that we sweep to victory at
the ballot-box, and you refuse to turn over to us the government we have
constitutionally and peacefully captured, and you demand what we are
going to do about it--in that day, I say, we shall answer you; and in
roar of shell and shrapnel and in whine of machine-guns shall our answer
be couched.

"You cannot escape us. It is true that you have read history aright. It
is true that labor has from the beginning of history been in the dirt.
And it is equally true that so long as you and yours and those that come
after you have power, that labor shall remain in the dirt. I agree with
you. I agree with all that you have said. Power will be the arbiter,
as it always has been the arbiter. It is a struggle of classes. Just as
your class dragged down the old feudal nobility, so shall it be dragged
down by my class, the working class. If you will read your biology and
your sociology as clearly as you do your history, you will see that this
end I have described is inevitable. It does not matter whether it is in
one year, ten, or a thousand--your class shall be dragged down. And it
shall be done by power. We of the labor hosts have conned that word over
till our minds are all a-tingle with it. Power. It is a kingly word."

And so ended the night with the Philomaths.



CHAPTER VI

ADUMBRATIONS


It was about this time that the warnings of coming events began to fall
about us thick and fast. Ernest had already questioned father's policy
of having socialists and labor leaders at his house, and of openly
attending socialist meetings; and father had only laughed at him for
his pains. As for myself, I was learning much from this contact with the
working-class leaders and thinkers. I was seeing the other side of
the shield. I was delighted with the unselfishness and high idealism
I encountered, though I was appalled by the vast philosophic and
scientific literature of socialism that was opened up to me. I was
learning fast, but I learned not fast enough to realize then the peril
of our position.

There were warnings, but I did not heed them. For instance, Mrs.
Pertonwaithe and Mrs. Wickson exercised tremendous social power in
the university town, and from them emanated the sentiment that I was a
too-forward and self-assertive young woman with a mischievous penchant
for officiousness and interference in other persons' affairs. This
I thought no more than natural, considering the part I had played
in investigating the case of Jackson's arm. But the effect of such
a sentiment, enunciated by two such powerful social arbiters, I
underestimated.

True, I noticed a certain aloofness on the part of my general friends,
but this I ascribed to the disapproval that was prevalent in my circles
of my intended marriage with Ernest. It was not till some time afterward
that Ernest pointed out to me clearly that this general attitude of
my class was something more than spontaneous, that behind it were the
hidden springs of an organized conduct. "You have given shelter to an
enemy of your class," he said. "And not alone shelter, for you have
given your love, yourself. This is treason to your class. Think not that
you will escape being penalized."

But it was before this that father returned one afternoon. Ernest was
with me, and we could see that father was angry--philosophically angry.
He was rarely really angry; but a certain measure of controlled anger
he allowed himself. He called it a tonic. And we could see that he was
tonic-angry when he entered the room.

"What do you think?" he demanded. "I had luncheon with Wilcox."

Wilcox was the superannuated president of the university, whose withered
mind was stored with generalizations that were young in 1870, and which
he had since failed to revise.

"I was invited," father announced. "I was sent for."

He paused, and we waited.

"Oh, it was done very nicely, I'll allow; but I was reprimanded. I! And
by that old fossil!"

"I'll wager I know what you were reprimanded for," Ernest said.

"Not in three guesses," father laughed.

"One guess will do," Ernest retorted. "And it won't be a guess. It will
be a deduction. You were reprimanded for your private life."

"The very thing!" father cried. "How did you guess?"

"I knew it was coming. I warned you before about it."

"Yes, you did," father meditated. "But I couldn't believe it. At any
rate, it is only so much more clinching evidence for my book."

"It is nothing to what will come," Ernest went on, "if you persist in
your policy of having these socialists and radicals of all sorts at your
house, myself included."

"Just what old Wilcox said. And of all unwarranted things! He said it
was in poor taste, utterly profitless, anyway, and not in harmony with
university traditions and policy. He said much more of the same vague
sort, and I couldn't pin him down to anything specific. I made it pretty
awkward for him, and he could only go on repeating himself and telling
me how much he honored me, and all the world honored me, as a scientist.
It wasn't an agreeable task for him. I could see he didn't like it."

"He was not a free agent," Ernest said. "The leg-bar* is not always worn
graciously."

     * LEG-BAR--the African slaves were so manacled; also
     criminals.  It was not until the coming of the Brotherhood
     of Man that the leg-bar passed out of use.

"Yes. I got that much out of him. He said the university needed ever
so much more money this year than the state was willing to furnish; and
that it must come from wealthy personages who could not but be offended
by the swerving of the university from its high ideal of the passionless
pursuit of passionless intelligence. When I tried to pin him down to
what my home life had to do with swerving the university from its high
ideal, he offered me a two years' vacation, on full pay, in Europe,
for recreation and research. Of course I couldn't accept it under the
circumstances."

"It would have been far better if you had," Ernest said gravely.

"It was a bribe," father protested; and Ernest nodded.

"Also, the beggar said that there was talk, tea-table gossip and so
forth, about my daughter being seen in public with so notorious a
character as you, and that it was not in keeping with university tone
and dignity. Not that he personally objected--oh, no; but that there was
talk and that I would understand."

Ernest considered this announcement for a moment, and then said, and his
face was very grave, withal there was a sombre wrath in it:

"There is more behind this than a mere university ideal. Somebody has
put pressure on President Wilcox."

"Do you think so?" father asked, and his face showed that he was
interested rather than frightened.

"I wish I could convey to you the conception that is dimly forming in my
own mind," Ernest said. "Never in the history of the world was society
in so terrific flux as it is right now. The swift changes in our
industrial system are causing equally swift changes in our religious,
political, and social structures. An unseen and fearful revolution is
taking place in the fibre and structure of society. One can only dimly
feel these things. But they are in the air, now, to-day. One can feel
the loom of them--things vast, vague, and terrible. My mind recoils from
contemplation of what they may crystallize into. You heard Wickson talk
the other night. Behind what he said were the same nameless, formless
things that I feel. He spoke out of a superconscious apprehension of
them."

"You mean . . . ?" father began, then paused.

"I mean that there is a shadow of something colossal and menacing that
even now is beginning to fall across the land. Call it the shadow of an
oligarchy, if you will; it is the nearest I dare approximate it. What
its nature may be I refuse to imagine.* But what I wanted to say was
this: You are in a perilous position--a peril that my own fear enhances
because I am not able even to measure it. Take my advice and accept the
vacation."

     * Though, like Everhard, they did not dream of the nature of
     it, there were men, even before his time, who caught
     glimpses of the shadow.  John C. Calhoun said: "A power has
     risen up in the government greater than the people
     themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful
     interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the
     cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks."  And that
     great humanist, Abraham Lincoln, said, just before his
     assassination: "I see in the near future a crisis
     approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for
     the safety of my country. . . .  Corporations have been
     enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow,
     and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong
     its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until
     the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is
     destroyed."

"But it would be cowardly," was the protest.

"Not at all. You are an old man. You have done your work in the world,
and a great work. Leave the present battle to youth and strength. We
young fellows have our work yet to do. Avis will stand by my side in
what is to come. She will be your representative in the battle-front."

"But they can't hurt me," father objected. "Thank God I am independent.
Oh, I assure you, I know the frightful persecution they can wage on
a professor who is economically dependent on his university. But I am
independent. I have not been a professor for the sake of my salary. I
can get along very comfortably on my own income, and the salary is all
they can take away from me."

"But you do not realize," Ernest answered. "If all that I fear be so,
your private income, your principal itself, can be taken from you just
as easily as your salary."

Father was silent for a few minutes. He was thinking deeply, and I could
see the lines of decision forming in his face. At last he spoke.

"I shall not take the vacation." He paused again. "I shall go on with
my book.* You may be wrong, but whether you are wrong or right, I shall
stand by my guns."

     * This book, "Economics and Education," was published in
     that year. Three copies of it are extant; two at Ardis, and
     one at Asgard.  It dealt, in elaborate detail, with one
     factor in the persistence of the established, namely, the
     capitalistic bias of the universities and common schools.
     It was a logical and crushing indictment of the whole system
     of education that developed in the minds of the students
     only such ideas as were favorable to the capitalistic
     regime, to the exclusion of all ideas that were inimical and
     subversive.  The book created a furor, and was promptly
     suppressed by the Oligarchy.

"All right," Ernest said. "You are travelling the same path that Bishop
Morehouse is, and toward a similar smash-up. You'll both be proletarians
before you're done with it."

The conversation turned upon the Bishop, and we got Ernest to explain
what he had been doing with him.

"He is soul-sick from the journey through hell I have given him. I took
him through the homes of a few of our factory workers. I showed him the
human wrecks cast aside by the industrial machine, and he listened to
their life stories. I took him through the slums of San Francisco, and
in drunkenness, prostitution, and criminality he learned a deeper cause
than innate depravity. He is very sick, and, worse than that, he has got
out of hand. He is too ethical. He has been too severely touched. And,
as usual, he is unpractical. He is up in the air with all kinds of
ethical delusions and plans for mission work among the cultured. He
feels it is his bounden duty to resurrect the ancient spirit of the
Church and to deliver its message to the masters. He is overwrought.
Sooner or later he is going to break out, and then there's going to be
a smash-up. What form it will take I can't even guess. He is a pure,
exalted soul, but he is so unpractical. He's beyond me. I can't keep
his feet on the earth. And through the air he is rushing on to his
Gethsemane. And after this his crucifixion. Such high souls are made for
crucifixion."

"And you?" I asked; and beneath my smile was the seriousness of the
anxiety of love.

"Not I," he laughed back. "I may be executed, or assassinated, but I
shall never be crucified. I am planted too solidly and stolidly upon the
earth."

"But why should you bring about the crucifixion of the Bishop?" I asked.
"You will not deny that you are the cause of it."

"Why should I leave one comfortable soul in comfort when there are
millions in travail and misery?" he demanded back.

"Then why did you advise father to accept the vacation?"

"Because I am not a pure, exalted soul," was the answer. "Because I am
solid and stolid and selfish. Because I love you and, like Ruth of
old, thy people are my people. As for the Bishop, he has no daughter.
Besides, no matter how small the good, nevertheless his little
inadequate wail will be productive of some good in the revolution, and
every little bit counts."

I could not agree with Ernest. I knew well the noble nature of
Bishop Morehouse, and I could not conceive that his voice raised for
righteousness would be no more than a little inadequate wail. But I did
not yet have the harsh facts of life at my fingers' ends as Ernest had.
He saw clearly the futility of the Bishop's great soul, as coming events
were soon to show as clearly to me.

It was shortly after this day that Ernest told me, as a good story, the
offer he had received from the government, namely, an appointment as
United States Commissioner of Labor. I was overjoyed. The salary was
comparatively large, and would make safe our marriage. And then it
surely was congenial work for Ernest, and, furthermore, my jealous pride
in him made me hail the proffered appointment as a recognition of his
abilities.

Then I noticed the twinkle in his eyes. He was laughing at me.

"You are not going to . . . to decline?" I quavered.

"It is a bribe," he said. "Behind it is the fine hand of Wickson, and
behind him the hands of greater men than he. It is an old trick, old as
the class struggle is old--stealing the captains from the army of labor.
Poor betrayed labor! If you but knew how many of its leaders have been
bought out in similar ways in the past. It is cheaper, so much cheaper,
to buy a general than to fight him and his whole army. There was--but
I'll not call any names. I'm bitter enough over it as it is. Dear heart,
I am a captain of labor. I could not sell out. If for no other reason,
the memory of my poor old father and the way he was worked to death
would prevent."

The tears were in his eyes, this great, strong hero of mine. He never
could forgive the way his father had been malformed--the sordid lies and
the petty thefts he had been compelled to, in order to put food in his
children's mouths.

"My father was a good man," Ernest once said to me. "The soul of him was
good, and yet it was twisted, and maimed, and blunted by the savagery
of his life. He was made into a broken-down beast by his masters, the
arch-beasts. He should be alive to-day, like your father. He had a
strong constitution. But he was caught in the machine and worked to
death--for profit. Think of it. For profit--his life blood transmuted
into a wine-supper, or a jewelled gewgaw, or some similar sense-orgy of
the parasitic and idle rich, his masters, the arch-beasts."



CHAPTER VII

THE BISHOP'S VISION


"The Bishop is out of hand," Ernest wrote me. "He is clear up in the
air. Tonight he is going to begin putting to rights this very miserable
world of ours. He is going to deliver his message. He has told me so,
and I cannot dissuade him. To-night he is chairman of the I.P.H.,* and
he will embody his message in his introductory remarks.

     * There is no clew to the name of the organization for which
     these initials stand.

"May I bring you to hear him? Of course, he is foredoomed to futility.
It will break your heart--it will break his; but for you it will be an
excellent object lesson. You know, dear heart, how proud I am because
you love me. And because of that I want you to know my fullest value, I
want to redeem, in your eyes, some small measure of my unworthiness.
And so it is that my pride desires that you shall know my thinking is
correct and right. My views are harsh; the futility of so noble a soul
as the Bishop will show you the compulsion for such harshness. So come
to-night. Sad though this night's happening will be, I feel that it will
but draw you more closely to me."

The I.P.H. held its convention that night in San Francisco.* This
convention had been called to consider public immorality and the remedy
for it. Bishop Morehouse presided. He was very nervous as he sat on the
platform, and I could see the high tension he was under. By his side
were Bishop Dickinson; H. H. Jones, the head of the ethical department
in the University of California; Mrs. W. W. Hurd, the great charity
organizer; Philip Ward, the equally great philanthropist; and several
lesser luminaries in the field of morality and charity. Bishop Morehouse
arose and abruptly began:

     * It took but a few minutes to cross by ferry from Berkeley
     to San Francisco.  These, and the other bay cities,
     practically composed one community.

"I was in my brougham, driving through the streets. It was night-time.
Now and then I looked through the carriage windows, and suddenly my eyes
seemed to be opened, and I saw things as they really are. At first I
covered my eyes with my hands to shut out the awful sight, and then, in
the darkness, the question came to me: What is to be done? What is to be
done? A little later the question came to me in another way: What would
the Master do? And with the question a great light seemed to fill
the place, and I saw my duty sun-clear, as Saul saw his on the way to
Damascus.

"I stopped the carriage, got out, and, after a few minutes'
conversation, persuaded two of the public women to get into the brougham
with me. If Jesus was right, then these two unfortunates were my
sisters, and the only hope of their purification was in my affection and
tenderness.

"I live in one of the loveliest localities of San Francisco. The house
in which I live cost a hundred thousand dollars, and its furnishings,
books, and works of art cost as much more. The house is a mansion.
No, it is a palace, wherein there are many servants. I never knew what
palaces were good for. I had thought they were to live in. But now I
know. I took the two women of the street to my palace, and they are
going to stay with me. I hope to fill every room in my palace with such
sisters as they."

The audience had been growing more and more restless and unsettled, and
the faces of those that sat on the platform had been betraying greater
and greater dismay and consternation. And at this point Bishop Dickinson
arose, and with an expression of disgust on his face, fled from the
platform and the hall. But Bishop Morehouse, oblivious to all, his eyes
filled with his vision, continued:

"Oh, sisters and brothers, in this act of mine I find the solution of
all my difficulties. I didn't know what broughams were made for, but now
I know. They are made to carry the weak, the sick, and the aged; they
are made to show honor to those who have lost the sense even of shame.

"I did not know what palaces were made for, but now I have found a use
for them. The palaces of the Church should be hospitals and nurseries
for those who have fallen by the wayside and are perishing."

He made a long pause, plainly overcome by the thought that was in him,
and nervous how best to express it.

"I am not fit, dear brethren, to tell you anything about morality. I
have lived in shame and hypocrisies too long to be able to help others;
but my action with those women, sisters of mine, shows me that the
better way is easy to find. To those who believe in Jesus and his gospel
there can be no other relation between man and man than the relation
of affection. Love alone is stronger than sin--stronger than death. I
therefore say to the rich among you that it is their duty to do what I
have done and am doing. Let each one of you who is prosperous take into
his house some thief and treat him as his brother, some unfortunate and
treat her as his sister, and San Francisco will need no police force
and no magistrates; the prisons will be turned into hospitals, and the
criminal will disappear with his crime.

"We must give ourselves and not our money alone. We must do as Christ
did; that is the message of the Church today. We have wandered far from
the Master's teaching. We are consumed in our own flesh-pots. We have
put mammon in the place of Christ. I have here a poem that tells the
whole story. I should like to read it to you. It was written by an
erring soul who yet saw clearly.* It must not be mistaken for an attack
upon the Catholic Church. It is an attack upon all churches, upon the
pomp and splendor of all churches that have wandered from the Master's
path and hedged themselves in from his lambs. Here it is:

     "The silver trumpets rang across the Dome;
             The people knelt upon the ground with awe;
             And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
     Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome.

     "Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam,
             And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red,
             Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head;
     In splendor and in light the Pope passed home.

     "My heart stole back across wide wastes of years
             To One who wandered by a lonely sea;
     And sought in vain for any place of rest:
     'Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest,
             I, only I, must wander wearily,
     And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with tears.'"

     * Oscar Wilde, one of the lords of language of the
     nineteenth century of the Christian Era.

The audience was agitated, but unresponsive. Yet Bishop Morehouse was
not aware of it. He held steadily on his way.

"And so I say to the rich among you, and to all the rich, that bitterly
you oppress the Master's lambs. You have hardened your hearts. You have
closed your ears to the voices that are crying in the land--the voices
of pain and sorrow that you will not hear but that some day will be
heard. And so I say--"

But at this point H. H. Jones and Philip Ward, who had already risen
from their chairs, led the Bishop off the platform, while the audience
sat breathless and shocked.

Ernest laughed harshly and savagely when he had gained the street. His
laughter jarred upon me. My heart seemed ready to burst with suppressed
tears.

"He has delivered his message," Ernest cried. "The manhood and the
deep-hidden, tender nature of their Bishop burst out, and his Christian
audience, that loved him, concluded that he was crazy! Did you see them
leading him so solicitously from the platform? There must have been
laughter in hell at the spectacle."

"Nevertheless, it will make a great impression, what the Bishop did and
said to-night," I said.

"Think so?" Ernest queried mockingly.

"It will make a sensation," I asserted. "Didn't you see the reporters
scribbling like mad while he was speaking?"

"Not a line of which will appear in to-morrow's papers."

"I can't believe it," I cried.

"Just wait and see," was the answer. "Not a line, not a thought that he
uttered. The daily press? The daily suppressage!"

"But the reporters," I objected. "I saw them."

"Not a word that he uttered will see print. You have forgotten the
editors. They draw their salaries for the policy they maintain. Their
policy is to print nothing that is a vital menace to the established.
The Bishop's utterance was a violent assault upon the established
morality. It was heresy. They led him from the platform to prevent him
from uttering more heresy. The newspapers will purge his heresy in the
oblivion of silence. The press of the United States? It is a parasitic
growth that battens on the capitalist class. Its function is to serve
the established by moulding public opinion, and right well it serves it.

"Let me prophesy. To-morrow's papers will merely mention that the Bishop
is in poor health, that he has been working too hard, and that he broke
down last night. The next mention, some days hence, will be to the
effect that he is suffering from nervous prostration and has been given
a vacation by his grateful flock. After that, one of two things will
happen: either the Bishop will see the error of his way and return from
his vacation a well man in whose eyes there are no more visions, or else
he will persist in his madness, and then you may expect to see in the
papers, couched pathetically and tenderly, the announcement of his
insanity. After that he will be left to gibber his visions to padded
walls."

"Now there you go too far!" I cried out.

"In the eyes of society it will truly be insanity," he replied. "What
honest man, who is not insane, would take lost women and thieves into
his house to dwell with him sisterly and brotherly? True, Christ died
between two thieves, but that is another story. Insanity? The mental
processes of the man with whom one disagrees, are always wrong.
Therefore the mind of the man is wrong. Where is the line between
wrong mind and insane mind? It is inconceivable that any sane man can
radically disagree with one's most sane conclusions.

"There is a good example of it in this evening's paper. Mary McKenna
lives south of Market Street. She is a poor but honest woman. She is
also patriotic. But she has erroneous ideas concerning the American flag
and the protection it is supposed to symbolize. And here's what happened
to her. Her husband had an accident and was laid up in hospital three
months. In spite of taking in washing, she got behind in her rent.
Yesterday they evicted her. But first, she hoisted an American flag, and
from under its folds she announced that by virtue of its protection they
could not turn her out on to the cold street. What was done? She was
arrested and arraigned for insanity. To-day she was examined by the
regular insanity experts. She was found insane. She was consigned to the
Napa Asylum."

"But that is far-fetched," I objected. "Suppose I should disagree with
everybody about the literary style of a book. They wouldn't send me to
an asylum for that."

"Very true," he replied. "But such divergence of opinion would
constitute no menace to society. Therein lies the difference. The
divergence of opinion on the parts of Mary McKenna and the Bishop do
menace society. What if all the poor people should refuse to pay rent
and shelter themselves under the American flag? Landlordism would go
crumbling. The Bishop's views are just as perilous to society. Ergo, to
the asylum with him."

But still I refused to believe.

"Wait and see," Ernest said, and I waited.

Next morning I sent out for all the papers. So far Ernest was right. Not
a word that Bishop Morehouse had uttered was in print. Mention was made
in one or two of the papers that he had been overcome by his feelings.
Yet the platitudes of the speakers that followed him were reported at
length.

Several days later the brief announcement was made that he had gone away
on a vacation to recover from the effects of overwork. So far so good,
but there had been no hint of insanity, nor even of nervous collapse.
Little did I dream the terrible road the Bishop was destined to
travel--the Gethsemane and crucifixion that Ernest had pondered about.



CHAPTER VIII

THE MACHINE BREAKERS


It was just before Ernest ran for Congress, on the socialist ticket,
that father gave what he privately called his "Profit and Loss" dinner.
Ernest called it the dinner of the Machine Breakers. In point of fact,
it was merely a dinner for business men--small business men, of
course. I doubt if one of them was interested in any business the total
capitalization of which exceeded a couple of hundred thousand dollars.
They were truly representative middle-class business men.

There was Owen, of Silverberg, Owen & Company--a large grocery firm with
several branch stores. We bought our groceries from them. There were
both partners of the big drug firm of Kowalt & Washburn, and Mr.
Asmunsen, the owner of a large granite quarry in Contra Costa County.
And there were many similar men, owners or part-owners in small
factories, small businesses and small industries--small capitalists, in
short.

They were shrewd-faced, interesting men, and they talked with simplicity
and clearness. Their unanimous complaint was against the corporations
and trusts. Their creed was, "Bust the Trusts." All oppression
originated in the trusts, and one and all told the same tale of woe.
They advocated government ownership of such trusts as the railroads
and telegraphs, and excessive income taxes, graduated with ferocity,
to destroy large accumulations. Likewise they advocated, as a cure for
local ills, municipal ownership of such public utilities as water, gas,
telephones, and street railways.

Especially interesting was Mr. Asmunsen's narrative of his tribulations
as a quarry owner. He confessed that he never made any profits out of
his quarry, and this, in spite of the enormous volume of business
that had been caused by the destruction of San Francisco by the big
earthquake. For six years the rebuilding of San Francisco had been going
on, and his business had quadrupled and octupled, and yet he was no
better off.

"The railroad knows my business just a little bit better than I do," he
said. "It knows my operating expenses to a cent, and it knows the terms
of my contracts. How it knows these things I can only guess. It must
have spies in my employ, and it must have access to the parties to all
my contracts. For look you, when I place a big contract, the terms
of which favor me a goodly profit, the freight rate from my quarry to
market is promptly raised. No explanation is made. The railroad gets my
profit. Under such circumstances I have never succeeded in getting the
railroad to reconsider its raise. On the other hand, when there have
been accidents, increased expenses of operating, or contracts with less
profitable terms, I have always succeeded in getting the railroad to
lower its rate. What is the result? Large or small, the railroad always
gets my profits."

"What remains to you over and above," Ernest interrupted to ask, "would
roughly be the equivalent of your salary as a manager did the railroad
own the quarry."

"The very thing," Mr. Asmunsen replied. "Only a short time ago I had my
books gone through for the past ten years. I discovered that for
those ten years my gain was just equivalent to a manager's salary. The
railroad might just as well have owned my quarry and hired me to run
it."

"But with this difference," Ernest laughed; "the railroad would have had
to assume all the risk which you so obligingly assumed for it."

"Very true," Mr. Asmunsen answered sadly.

Having let them have they say, Ernest began asking questions right and
left. He began with Mr. Owen.

"You started a branch store here in Berkeley about six months ago?"

"Yes," Mr. Owen answered.

"And since then I've noticed that three little corner groceries have
gone out of business. Was your branch store the cause of it?"

Mr. Owen affirmed with a complacent smile. "They had no chance against
us."

"Why not?"

"We had greater capital. With a large business there is always less
waste and greater efficiency."

"And your branch store absorbed the profits of the three small ones. I
see. But tell me, what became of the owners of the three stores?"

"One is driving a delivery wagon for us. I don't know what happened to
the other two."

Ernest turned abruptly on Mr. Kowalt.

"You sell a great deal at cut-rates.* What have become of the owners of
the small drug stores that you forced to the wall?"

     * A lowering of selling price to cost, and even to less than
     cost. Thus, a large company could sell at a loss for a
     longer period than a small company, and so drive the small
     company out of business.  A common device of competition.

"One of them, Mr. Haasfurther, has charge now of our prescription
department," was the answer.

"And you absorbed the profits they had been making?"

"Surely. That is what we are in business for."

"And you?" Ernest said suddenly to Mr. Asmunsen. "You are disgusted
because the railroad has absorbed your profits?"

Mr. Asmunsen nodded.

"What you want is to make profits yourself?"

Again Mr. Asmunsen nodded.

"Out of others?"

There was no answer.

"Out of others?" Ernest insisted.

"That is the way profits are made," Mr. Asmunsen replied curtly.

"Then the business game is to make profits out of others, and to prevent
others from making profits out of you. That's it, isn't it?"

Ernest had to repeat his question before Mr. Asmunsen gave an answer,
and then he said:

"Yes, that's it, except that we do not object to the others making
profits so long as they are not extortionate."

"By extortionate you mean large; yet you do not object to making large
profits yourself? . . . Surely not?"

And Mr. Asmunsen amiably confessed to the weakness. There was one other
man who was quizzed by Ernest at this juncture, a Mr. Calvin, who had
once been a great dairy-owner.

"Some time ago you were fighting the Milk Trust," Ernest said to him;
"and now you are in Grange politics.* How did it happen?"

     * Many efforts were made during this period to organize the
     perishing farmer class into a political party, the aim of
     which was destroy the trusts and corporations by drastic
     legislation.  All such attempts ended in failure.

"Oh, I haven't quit the fight," Mr. Calvin answered, and he looked
belligerent enough. "I'm fighting the Trust on the only field where it
is possible to fight--the political field. Let me show you. A few years
ago we dairymen had everything our own way."

"But you competed among yourselves?" Ernest interrupted.

"Yes, that was what kept the profits down. We did try to organize, but
independent dairymen always broke through us. Then came the Milk Trust."

"Financed by surplus capital from Standard Oil,"* Ernest said.

     * The first successful great trust--almost a generation in
     advance of the rest.

"Yes," Mr. Calvin acknowledged. "But we did not know it at the time.
Its agents approached us with a club. "Come in and be fat," was their
proposition, "or stay out and starve." Most of us came in. Those that
didn't, starved. Oh, it paid us . . . at first. Milk was raised a cent a
quart. One-quarter of this cent came to us. Three-quarters of it went to
the Trust. Then milk was raised another cent, only we didn't get any
of that cent. Our complaints were useless. The Trust was in control. We
discovered that we were pawns. Finally, the additional quarter of a cent
was denied us. Then the Trust began to squeeze us out. What could we do?
We were squeezed out. There were no dairymen, only a Milk Trust."

"But with milk two cents higher, I should think you could have
competed," Ernest suggested slyly.

"So we thought. We tried it." Mr. Calvin paused a moment. "It broke us.
The Trust could put milk upon the market more cheaply than we. It could
sell still at a slight profit when we were selling at actual loss.
I dropped fifty thousand dollars in that venture. Most of us went
bankrupt.* The dairymen were wiped out of existence."

     * Bankruptcy--a peculiar institution that enabled an
     individual, who had failed in competitive industry, to
     forego paying his debts. The effect was to ameliorate the
     too savage conditions of the fang-and-claw social struggle.

"So the Trust took your profits away from you," Ernest said, "and you've
gone into politics in order to legislate the Trust out of existence and
get the profits back?"

Mr. Calvin's face lighted up. "That is precisely what I say in my
speeches to the farmers. That's our whole idea in a nutshell."

"And yet the Trust produces milk more cheaply than could the independent
dairymen?" Ernest queried.

"Why shouldn't it, with the splendid organization and new machinery its
large capital makes possible?"

"There is no discussion," Ernest answered. "It certainly should, and,
furthermore, it does."

Mr. Calvin here launched out into a political speech in exposition of
his views. He was warmly followed by a number of the others, and the cry
of all was to destroy the trusts.

"Poor simple folk," Ernest said to me in an undertone. "They see clearly
as far as they see, but they see only to the ends of their noses."

A little later he got the floor again, and in his characteristic way
controlled it for the rest of the evening.

"I have listened carefully to all of you," he began, "and I see plainly
that you play the business game in the orthodox fashion. Life sums
itself up to you in profits. You have a firm and abiding belief that
you were created for the sole purpose of making profits. Only there is a
hitch. In the midst of your own profit-making along comes the trust
and takes your profits away from you. This is a dilemma that interferes
somehow with the aim of creation, and the only way out, as it seems to
you, is to destroy that which takes from you your profits.

"I have listened carefully, and there is only one name that will
epitomize you. I shall call you that name. You are machine-breakers. Do
you know what a machine-breaker is? Let me tell you. In the eighteenth
century, in England, men and women wove cloth on hand-looms in their own
cottages. It was a slow, clumsy, and costly way of weaving cloth,
this cottage system of manufacture. Along came the steam-engine and
labor-saving machinery. A thousand looms assembled in a large factory,
and driven by a central engine wove cloth vastly more cheaply than
could the cottage weavers on their hand-looms. Here in the factory was
combination, and before it competition faded away. The men and women who
had worked the hand-looms for themselves now went into the factories
and worked the machine-looms, not for themselves, but for the capitalist
owners. Furthermore, little children went to work on the machine-looms,
at lower wages, and displaced the men. This made hard times for the men.
Their standard of living fell. They starved. And they said it was
all the fault of the machines. Therefore, they proceeded to break the
machines. They did not succeed, and they were very stupid.

"Yet you have not learned their lesson. Here are you, a century and a
half later, trying to break machines. By your own confession the trust
machines do the work more efficiently and more cheaply than you can.
That is why you cannot compete with them. And yet you would break those
machines. You are even more stupid than the stupid workmen of England.
And while you maunder about restoring competition, the trusts go on
destroying you.

"One and all you tell the same story,--the passing away of competition
and the coming on of combination. You, Mr. Owen, destroyed competition
here in Berkeley when your branch store drove the three small groceries
out of business. Your combination was more effective. Yet you feel the
pressure of other combinations on you, the trust combinations, and you
cry out. It is because you are not a trust. If you were a grocery trust
for the whole United States, you would be singing another song. And the
song would be, 'Blessed are the trusts.' And yet again, not only is your
small combination not a trust, but you are aware yourself of its lack
of strength. You are beginning to divine your own end. You feel
yourself and your branch stores a pawn in the game. You see the powerful
interests rising and growing more powerful day by day; you feel their
mailed hands descending upon your profits and taking a pinch here and
a pinch there--the railroad trust, the oil trust, the steel trust, the
coal trust; and you know that in the end they will destroy you, take
away from you the last per cent of your little profits.

"You, sir, are a poor gamester. When you squeezed out the three small
groceries here in Berkeley by virtue of your superior combination, you
swelled out your chest, talked about efficiency and enterprise, and sent
your wife to Europe on the profits you had gained by eating up the three
small groceries. It is dog eat dog, and you ate them up. But, on the
other hand, you are being eaten up in turn by the bigger dogs, wherefore
you squeal. And what I say to you is true of all of you at this table.
You are all squealing. You are all playing the losing game, and you are
all squealing about it.

"But when you squeal you don't state the situation flatly, as I have
stated it. You don't say that you like to squeeze profits out of others,
and that you are making all the row because others are squeezing your
profits out of you. No, you are too cunning for that. You say something
else. You make small-capitalist political speeches such as Mr. Calvin
made. What did he say? Here are a few of his phrases I caught: 'Our
original principles are all right,' 'What this country requires is a
return to fundamental American methods--free opportunity for all,' 'The
spirit of liberty in which this nation was born,' 'Let us return to the
principles of our forefathers.'

"When he says 'free opportunity for all,' he means free opportunity to
squeeze profits, which freedom of opportunity is now denied him by the
great trusts. And the absurd thing about it is that you have repeated
these phrases so often that you believe them. You want opportunity
to plunder your fellow-men in your own small way, but you hypnotize
yourselves into thinking you want freedom. You are piggish and
acquisitive, but the magic of your phrases leads you to believe that you
are patriotic. Your desire for profits, which is sheer selfishness, you
metamorphose into altruistic solicitude for suffering humanity. Come
on now, right here amongst ourselves, and be honest for once. Look the
matter in the face and state it in direct terms."

There were flushed and angry faces at the table, and withal a measure
of awe. They were a little frightened at this smooth-faced young fellow,
and the swing and smash of his words, and his dreadful trait of calling
a spade a spade. Mr. Calvin promptly replied.

"And why not?" he demanded. "Why can we not return to ways of our
fathers when this republic was founded? You have spoken much truth, Mr.
Everhard, unpalatable though it has been. But here amongst ourselves let
us speak out. Let us throw off all disguise and accept the truth as Mr.
Everhard has flatly stated it. It is true that we smaller capitalists
are after profits, and that the trusts are taking our profits away from
us. It is true that we want to destroy the trusts in order that our
profits may remain to us. And why can we not do it? Why not? I say, why
not?"

"Ah, now we come to the gist of the matter," Ernest said with a pleased
expression. "I'll try to tell you why not, though the telling will be
rather hard. You see, you fellows have studied business, in a small way,
but you have not studied social evolution at all. You are in the
midst of a transition stage now in economic evolution, but you do not
understand it, and that's what causes all the confusion. Why cannot you
return? Because you can't. You can no more make water run up hill than
can you cause the tide of economic evolution to flow back in its channel
along the way it came. Joshua made the sun stand still upon Gibeon, but
you would outdo Joshua. You would make the sun go backward in the sky.
You would have time retrace its steps from noon to morning.

"In the face of labor-saving machinery, of organized production, of the
increased efficiency of combination, you would set the economic sun
back a whole generation or so to the time when there were no great
capitalists, no great machinery, no railroads--a time when a host of
little capitalists warred with each other in economic anarchy, and when
production was primitive, wasteful, unorganized, and costly. Believe me,
Joshua's task was easier, and he had Jehovah to help him. But God has
forsaken you small capitalists. The sun of the small capitalists is
setting. It will never rise again. Nor is it in your power even to make
it stand still. You are perishing, and you are doomed to perish utterly
from the face of society.

"This is the fiat of evolution. It is the word of God. Combination is
stronger than competition. Primitive man was a puny creature hiding in
the crevices of the rocks. He combined and made war upon his carnivorous
enemies. They were competitive beasts. Primitive man was a combinative
beast, and because of it he rose to primacy over all the animals. And
man has been achieving greater and greater combinations ever since. It
is combination versus competition, a thousand centuries long struggle,
in which competition has always been worsted. Whoso enlists on the side
of competition perishes."

"But the trusts themselves arose out of competition," Mr. Calvin
interrupted.

"Very true," Ernest answered. "And the trusts themselves destroyed
competition. That, by your own word, is why you are no longer in the
dairy business."

The first laughter of the evening went around the table, and even Mr.
Calvin joined in the laugh against himself.

"And now, while we are on the trusts," Ernest went on, "let us settle
a few things. I shall make certain statements, and if you disagree
with them, speak up. Silence will mean agreement. Is it not true that
a machine-loom will weave more cloth and weave more cheaply than a
hand-loom?" He paused, but nobody spoke up. "Is it not then highly
irrational to break the machine-loom and go back to the clumsy and more
costly hand-loom method of weaving?" Heads nodded in acquiescence. "Is
it not true that that known as a trust produces more efficiently and
cheaply than can a thousand competing small concerns?" Still no one
objected. "Then is it not irrational to destroy that cheap and efficient
combination?"

No one answered for a long time. Then Mr. Kowalt spoke.

"What are we to do, then?" he demanded. "To destroy the trusts is the
only way we can see to escape their domination."

Ernest was all fire and aliveness on the instant.

"I'll show you another way!" he cried. "Let us not destroy those
wonderful machines that produce efficiently and cheaply. Let us control
them. Let us profit by their efficiency and cheapness. Let us run them
for ourselves. Let us oust the present owners of the wonderful machines,
and let us own the wonderful machines ourselves. That, gentlemen, is
socialism, a greater combination than the trusts, a greater economic and
social combination than any that has as yet appeared on the planet. It
is in line with evolution. We meet combination with greater combination.
It is the winning side. Come on over with us socialists and play on the
winning side."

Here arose dissent. There was a shaking of heads, and mutterings arose.

"All right, then, you prefer to be anachronisms," Ernest laughed. "You
prefer to play atavistic roles. You are doomed to perish as all atavisms
perish. Have you ever asked what will happen to you when greater
combinations than even the present trusts arise? Have you ever
considered where you will stand when the great trusts themselves combine
into the combination of combinations--into the social, economic, and
political trust?"

He turned abruptly and irrelevantly upon Mr. Calvin.

"Tell me," Ernest said, "if this is not true. You are compelled to form
a new political party because the old parties are in the hands of the
trusts. The chief obstacle to your Grange propaganda is the trusts.
Behind every obstacle you encounter, every blow that smites you, every
defeat that you receive, is the hand of the trusts. Is this not so? Tell
me."

Mr. Calvin sat in uncomfortable silence.

"Go ahead," Ernest encouraged.

"It is true," Mr. Calvin confessed. "We captured the state legislature
of Oregon and put through splendid protective legislation, and it was
vetoed by the governor, who was a creature of the trusts. We elected a
governor of Colorado, and the legislature refused to permit him to take
office. Twice we have passed a national income tax, and each time the
supreme court smashed it as unconstitutional. The courts are in the
hands of the trusts. We, the people, do not pay our judges sufficiently.
But there will come a time--"

"When the combination of the trusts will control all legislation, when
the combination of the trusts will itself be the government," Ernest
interrupted.

"Never! never!" were the cries that arose. Everybody was excited and
belligerent.

"Tell me," Ernest demanded, "what will you do when such a time comes?"

"We will rise in our strength!" Mr. Asmunsen cried, and many voices
backed his decision.

"That will be civil war," Ernest warned them.

"So be it, civil war," was Mr. Asmunsen's answer, with the cries of all
the men at the table behind him. "We have not forgotten the deeds of our
forefathers. For our liberties we are ready to fight and die."

Ernest smiled.

"Do not forget," he said, "that we had tacitly agreed that liberty in
your case, gentlemen, means liberty to squeeze profits out of others."

The table was angry, now, fighting angry; but Ernest controlled the
tumult and made himself heard.

"One more question. When you rise in your strength, remember, the reason
for your rising will be that the government is in the hands of the
trusts. Therefore, against your strength the government will turn the
regular army, the navy, the militia, the police--in short, the whole
organized war machinery of the United States. Where will your strength
be then?"

Dismay sat on their faces, and before they could recover, Ernest struck
again.

"Do you remember, not so long ago, when our regular army was only fifty
thousand? Year by year it has been increased until to-day it is three
hundred thousand."

Again he struck.

"Nor is that all. While you diligently pursued that favorite phantom
of yours, called profits, and moralized about that favorite fetich of
yours, called competition, even greater and more direful things have
been accomplished by combination. There is the militia."

"It is our strength!" cried Mr. Kowalt. "With it we would repel the
invasion of the regular army."

"You would go into the militia yourself," was Ernest's retort, "and
be sent to Maine, or Florida, or the Philippines, or anywhere else,
to drown in blood your own comrades civil-warring for their liberties.
While from Kansas, or Wisconsin, or any other state, your own comrades
would go into the militia and come here to California to drown in blood
your own civil-warring."

Now they were really shocked, and they sat wordless, until Mr. Owen
murmured:

"We would not go into the militia. That would settle it. We would not be
so foolish."

Ernest laughed outright.

"You do not understand the combination that has been effected. You could
not help yourself. You would be drafted into the militia."

"There is such a thing as civil law," Mr. Owen insisted.

"Not when the government suspends civil law. In that day when you
speak of rising in your strength, your strength would be turned against
yourself. Into the militia you would go, willy-nilly. Habeas corpus, I
heard some one mutter just now. Instead of habeas corpus you would get
post mortems. If you refused to go into the militia, or to obey after
you were in, you would be tried by drumhead court martial and shot down
like dogs. It is the law."

"It is not the law!" Mr. Calvin asserted positively. "There is no such
law. Young man, you have dreamed all this. Why, you spoke of sending the
militia to the Philippines. That is unconstitutional. The Constitution
especially states that the militia cannot be sent out of the country."

"What's the Constitution got to do with it?" Ernest demanded. "The
courts interpret the Constitution, and the courts, as Mr. Asmunsen
agreed, are the creatures of the trusts. Besides, it is as I have said,
the law. It has been the law for years, for nine years, gentlemen."

"That we can be drafted into the militia?" Mr. Calvin asked
incredulously. "That they can shoot us by drumhead court martial if we
refuse?"

"Yes," Ernest answered, "precisely that."

"How is it that we have never heard of this law?" my father asked, and I
could see that it was likewise new to him.

"For two reasons," Ernest said. "First, there has been no need to
enforce it. If there had, you'd have heard of it soon enough. And
secondly, the law was rushed through Congress and the Senate secretly,
with practically no discussion. Of course, the newspapers made no
mention of it. But we socialists knew about it. We published it in our
papers. But you never read our papers."

"I still insist you are dreaming," Mr. Calvin said stubbornly. "The
country would never have permitted it."

"But the country did permit it," Ernest replied. "And as for my
dreaming--" he put his hand in his pocket and drew out a small
pamphlet--"tell me if this looks like dream-stuff."

He opened it and began to read:

"'Section One, be it enacted, and so forth and so forth, that the
militia shall consist of every able-bodied male citizen of the
respective states, territories, and District of Columbia, who is more
than eighteen and less than forty-five years of age.'

"'Section Seven, that any officer or enlisted man'--remember Section
One, gentlemen, you are all enlisted men--'that any enlisted man of the
militia who shall refuse or neglect to present himself to such mustering
officer upon being called forth as herein prescribed, shall be subject
to trial by court martial, and shall be punished as such court martial
shall direct.'

"'Section Eight, that courts martial, for the trial of officers or men
of the militia, shall be composed of militia officers only.'

"'Section Nine, that the militia, when called into the actual service
of the United States, shall be subject to the same rules and articles of
war as the regular troops of the United States.'

"There you are gentlemen, American citizens, and fellow-militiamen. Nine
years ago we socialists thought that law was aimed against labor. But it
would seem that it was aimed against you, too. Congressman Wiley, in the
brief discussion that was permitted, said that the bill 'provided for
a reserve force to take the mob by the throat'--you're the mob,
gentlemen--'and protect at all hazards life, liberty, and property.' And
in the time to come, when you rise in your strength, remember that you
will be rising against the property of the trusts, and the liberty of
the trusts, according to the law, to squeeze you. Your teeth are pulled,
gentlemen. Your claws are trimmed. In the day you rise in your strength,
toothless and clawless, you will be as harmless as any army of clams."

"I don't believe it!" Kowalt cried. "There is no such law. It is a
canard got up by you socialists."

"This bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on July 30,
1902," was the reply. "It was introduced by Representative Dick of
Ohio. It was rushed through. It was passed unanimously by the Senate
on January 14, 1903. And just seven days afterward was approved by the
President of the United States."*

     * Everhard was right in the essential particulars, though
     his date of the introduction of the bill is in error.  The
     bill was introduced on June 30, and not on July 30.  The
     Congressional Record is here in Ardis, and a reference to it
     shows mention of the bill on the following dates: June 30,
     December 9, 15, 16, and 17, 1902, and January 7 and 14,
     1903.  The ignorance evidenced by the business men at the
     dinner was nothing unusual.  Very few people knew of the
     existence of this law.  E.  Untermann, a revolutionist, in
     July, 1903, published a pamphlet at Girard, Kansas, on the
     "Militia Bill."  This pamphlet had a small circulation among
     workingmen; but already had the segregation of classes
     proceeded so far, that the members of the middle class never
     heard of the pamphlet at all, and so remained in ignorance
     of the law.



CHAPTER IX

THE MATHEMATICS OF A DREAM


In the midst of the consternation his revelation had produced, Ernest
began again to speak.

"You have said, a dozen of you to-night, that socialism is impossible.
You have asserted the impossible, now let me demonstrate the inevitable.
Not only is it inevitable that you small capitalists shall pass away,
but it is inevitable that the large capitalists, and the trusts also,
shall pass away. Remember, the tide of evolution never flows backward.
It flows on and on, and it flows from competition to combination, and
from little combination to large combination, and from large combination
to colossal combination, and it flows on to socialism, which is the most
colossal combination of all.

"You tell me that I dream. Very good. I'll give you the mathematics
of my dream; and here, in advance, I challenge you to show that
my mathematics are wrong. I shall develop the inevitability of
the breakdown of the capitalist system, and I shall demonstrate
mathematically why it must break down. Here goes, and bear with me if at
first I seem irrelevant.

"Let us, first of all, investigate a particular industrial process, and
whenever I state something with which you disagree, please interrupt
me. Here is a shoe factory. This factory takes leather and makes it into
shoes. Here is one hundred dollars' worth of leather. It goes through
the factory and comes out in the form of shoes, worth, let us say, two
hundred dollars. What has happened? One hundred dollars has been added
to the value of the leather. How was it added? Let us see.

"Capital and labor added this value of one hundred dollars. Capital
furnished the factory, the machines, and paid all the expenses. Labor
furnished labor. By the joint effort of capital and labor one hundred
dollars of value was added. Are you all agreed so far?"

Heads nodded around the table in affirmation.

"Labor and capital having produced this one hundred dollars, now proceed
to divide it. The statistics of this division are fractional; so let
us, for the sake of convenience, make them roughly approximate. Capital
takes fifty dollars as its share, and labor gets in wages fifty dollars
as its share. We will not enter into the squabbling over the division.*
No matter how much squabbling takes place, in one percentage or another
the division is arranged. And take notice here, that what is true of
this particular industrial process is true of all industrial processes.
Am I right?"

     * Everhard here clearly develops the cause of all the labor
     troubles of that time.  In the division of the joint-product,
     capital wanted all it could get, and labor wanted
     all it could get. This quarrel over the division was
     irreconcilable.  So long as the system of capitalistic
     production existed, labor and capital continued to quarrel
     over the division of the joint-product.  It is a ludicrous
     spectacle to us, but we must not forget that we have seven
     centuries' advantage over those that lived in that time.

Again the whole table agreed with Ernest.

"Now, suppose labor, having received its fifty dollars, wanted to buy
back shoes. It could only buy back fifty dollars' worth. That's clear,
isn't it?

"And now we shift from this particular process to the sum total of all
industrial processes in the United States, which includes the leather
itself, raw material, transportation, selling, everything. We will say,
for the sake of round figures, that the total production of wealth in
the United States is one year is four billion dollars. Then labor has
received in wages, during the same period, two billion dollars. Four
billion dollars has been produced. How much of this can labor buy
back? Two billions. There is no discussion of this, I am sure. For that
matter, my percentages are mild. Because of a thousand capitalistic
devices, labor cannot buy back even half of the total product.

"But to return. We will say labor buys back two billions. Then it stands
to reason that labor can consume only two billions. There are still two
billions to be accounted for, which labor cannot buy back and consume."

"Labor does not consume its two billions, even," Mr. Kowalt spoke up.
"If it did, it would not have any deposits in the savings banks."

"Labor's deposits in the savings banks are only a sort of reserve fund
that is consumed as fast as it accumulates. These deposits are saved
for old age, for sickness and accident, and for funeral expenses. The
savings bank deposit is simply a piece of the loaf put back on the shelf
to be eaten next day. No, labor consumes all of the total product that
its wages will buy back.

"Two billions are left to capital. After it has paid its expenses, does
it consume the remainder? Does capital consume all of its two billions?"

Ernest stopped and put the question point blank to a number of the men.
They shook their heads.

"I don't know," one of them frankly said.

"Of course you do," Ernest went on. "Stop and think a moment. If capital
consumed its share, the sum total of capital could not increase. It
would remain constant. If you will look at the economic history of
the United States, you will see that the sum total of capital has
continually increased. Therefore capital does not consume its share. Do
you remember when England owned so much of our railroad bonds? As the
years went by, we bought back those bonds. What does that mean? That
part of capital's unconsumed share bought back the bonds. What is the
meaning of the fact that to-day the capitalists of the United States own
hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of Mexican bonds, Russian
bonds, Italian bonds, Grecian bonds? The meaning is that those hundreds
and hundreds of millions were part of capital's share which capital
did not consume. Furthermore, from the very beginning of the capitalist
system, capital has never consumed all of its share.

"And now we come to the point. Four billion dollars of wealth is
produced in one year in the United States. Labor buys back and consumes
two billions. Capital does not consume the remaining two billions. There
is a large balance left over unconsumed. What is done with this balance?
What can be done with it? Labor cannot consume any of it, for labor
has already spent all its wages. Capital will not consume this balance,
because, already, according to its nature, it has consumed all it can.
And still remains the balance. What can be done with it? What is done
with it?"

"It is sold abroad," Mr. Kowalt volunteered.

"The very thing," Ernest agreed. "Because of this balance arises our
need for a foreign market. This is sold abroad. It has to be sold
abroad. There is no other way of getting rid of it. And that unconsumed
surplus, sold abroad, becomes what we call our favorable balance of
trade. Are we all agreed so far?"

"Surely it is a waste of time to elaborate these A B C's of commerce,"
Mr. Calvin said tartly. "We all understand them."

"And it is by these A B C's I have so carefully elaborated that I shall
confound you," Ernest retorted. "There's the beauty of it. And I'm going
to confound you with them right now. Here goes.

"The United States is a capitalist country that has developed its
resources. According to its capitalist system of industry, it has an
unconsumed surplus that must be got rid of, and that must be got rid
of abroad.* What is true of the United States is true of every other
capitalist country with developed resources. Every one of such countries
has an unconsumed surplus. Don't forget that they have already traded
with one another, and that these surpluses yet remain. Labor in all
these countries has spent it wages, and cannot buy any of the surpluses.
Capital in all these countries has already consumed all it is able
according to its nature. And still remain the surpluses. They cannot
dispose of these surpluses to one another. How are they going to get rid
of them?"

     * Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States a few
     years prior to this time, made the following public
     declaration: "A more liberal and extensive reciprocity in
     the purchase and sale of commodities is necessary, so that
     the overproduction of the United States can be
     satisfactorily disposed of to foreign countries."  Of
     course, this overproduction he mentions was the profits of
     the capitalist system over and beyond the consuming power of
     the capitalists.  It was at this time that Senator Mark
     Hanna said: "The production of wealth in the United States
     is one-third larger annually than its consumption."  Also a
     fellow-Senator, Chauncey Depew, said: "The American people
     produce annually two billions more wealth than they
     consume."

"Sell them to countries with undeveloped resources," Mr. Kowalt
suggested.

"The very thing. You see, my argument is so clear and simple that
in your own minds you carry it on for me. And now for the next step.
Suppose the United States disposes of its surplus to a country with
undeveloped resources like, say, Brazil. Remember this surplus is over
and above trade, which articles of trade have been consumed. What, then,
does the United States get in return from Brazil?"

"Gold," said Mr. Kowalt.

"But there is only so much gold, and not much of it, in the world,"
Ernest objected.

"Gold in the form of securities and bonds and so forth," Mr. Kowalt
amended.

"Now you've struck it," Ernest said. "From Brazil the United States, in
return for her surplus, gets bonds and securities. And what does that
mean? It means that the United States is coming to own railroads in
Brazil, factories, mines, and lands in Brazil. And what is the meaning
of that in turn?"

Mr. Kowalt pondered and shook his head.

"I'll tell you," Ernest continued. "It means that the resources of
Brazil are being developed. And now, the next point. When Brazil, under
the capitalist system, has developed her resources, she will herself
have an unconsumed surplus. Can she get rid of this surplus to the
United States? No, because the United States has herself a surplus. Can
the United States do what she previously did--get rid of her surplus to
Brazil? No, for Brazil now has a surplus, too.

"What happens? The United States and Brazil must both seek out other
countries with undeveloped resources, in order to unload the surpluses
on them. But by the very process of unloading the surpluses, the
resources of those countries are in turn developed. Soon they have
surpluses, and are seeking other countries on which to unload. Now,
gentlemen, follow me. The planet is only so large. There are only so
many countries in the world. What will happen when every country in
the world, down to the smallest and last, with a surplus in its hands,
stands confronting every other country with surpluses in their hands?"

He paused and regarded his listeners. The bepuzzlement in their faces
was delicious. Also, there was awe in their faces. Out of abstractions
Ernest had conjured a vision and made them see it. They were seeing it
then, as they sat there, and they were frightened by it.

"We started with A B C, Mr. Calvin," Ernest said slyly. "I have now
given you the rest of the alphabet. It is very simple. That is the
beauty of it. You surely have the answer forthcoming. What, then, when
every country in the world has an unconsumed surplus? Where will your
capitalist system be then?"

But Mr. Calvin shook a troubled head. He was obviously questing back
through Ernest's reasoning in search of an error.

"Let me briefly go over the ground with you again," Ernest said. "We
began with a particular industrial process, the shoe factory. We found
that the division of the joint product that took place there was similar
to the division that took place in the sum total of all industrial
processes. We found that labor could buy back with its wages only
so much of the product, and that capital did not consume all of the
remainder of the product. We found that when labor had consumed to the
full extent of its wages, and when capital had consumed all it wanted,
there was still left an unconsumed surplus. We agreed that this surplus
could only be disposed of abroad. We agreed, also, that the effect
of unloading this surplus on another country would be to develop the
resources of that country, and that in a short time that country
would have an unconsumed surplus. We extended this process to all the
countries on the planet, till every country was producing every year,
and every day, an unconsumed surplus, which it could dispose of to no
other country. And now I ask you again, what are we going to do with
those surpluses?"

Still no one answered.

"Mr. Calvin?" Ernest queried.

"It beats me," Mr. Calvin confessed.

"I never dreamed of such a thing," Mr. Asmunsen said. "And yet it does
seem clear as print."

It was the first time I had ever heard Karl Marx's* doctrine of surplus
value elaborated, and Ernest had done it so simply that I, too, sat
puzzled and dumbfounded.

     * Karl Marx--the great intellectual hero of Socialism.  A
     German Jew of the nineteenth century.  A contemporary of
     John Stuart Mill. It seems incredible to us that whole
     generations should have elapsed after the enunciation of
     Marx's economic discoveries, in which time he was sneered at
     by the world's accepted thinkers and scholars.  Because of
     his discoveries he was banished from his native country, and
     he died an exile in England.

"I'll tell you a way to get rid of the surplus," Ernest said. "Throw it
into the sea. Throw every year hundreds of millions of dollars' worth
of shoes and wheat and clothing and all the commodities of commerce into
the sea. Won't that fix it?"

"It will certainly fix it," Mr. Calvin answered. "But it is absurd for
you to talk that way."

Ernest was upon him like a flash.

"Is it a bit more absurd than what you advocate, you machine-breaker,
returning to the antediluvian ways of your forefathers? What do you
propose in order to get rid of the surplus? You would escape the problem
of the surplus by not producing any surplus. And how do you propose
to avoid producing a surplus? By returning to a primitive method of
production, so confused and disorderly and irrational, so wasteful and
costly, that it will be impossible to produce a surplus."

Mr. Calvin swallowed. The point had been driven home. He swallowed again
and cleared his throat.

"You are right," he said. "I stand convicted. It is absurd. But we've
got to do something. It is a case of life and death for us of the middle
class. We refuse to perish. We elect to be absurd and to return to the
truly crude and wasteful methods of our forefathers. We will put back
industry to its pre-trust stage. We will break the machines. And what
are you going to do about it?"

"But you can't break the machines," Ernest replied. "You cannot make the
tide of evolution flow backward. Opposed to you are two great forces,
each of which is more powerful than you of the middle class. The large
capitalists, the trusts, in short, will not let you turn back. They
don't want the machines destroyed. And greater than the trusts, and
more powerful, is labor. It will not let you destroy the machines. The
ownership of the world, along with the machines, lies between the
trusts and labor. That is the battle alignment. Neither side wants
the destruction of the machines. But each side wants to possess the
machines. In this battle the middle class has no place. The middle class
is a pygmy between two giants. Don't you see, you poor perishing middle
class, you are caught between the upper and nether millstones, and even
now has the grinding begun.

"I have demonstrated to you mathematically the inevitable breakdown of
the capitalist system. When every country stands with an unconsumed and
unsalable surplus on its hands, the capitalist system will break down
under the terrific structure of profits that it itself has reared. And
in that day there won't be any destruction of the machines. The struggle
then will be for the ownership of the machines. If labor wins, your way
will be easy. The United States, and the whole world for that matter,
will enter upon a new and tremendous era. Instead of being crushed by
the machines, life will be made fairer, and happier, and nobler by
them. You of the destroyed middle class, along with labor--there will
be nothing but labor then; so you, and all the rest of labor, will
participate in the equitable distribution of the products of the
wonderful machines. And we, all of us, will make new and more wonderful
machines. And there won't be any unconsumed surplus, because there won't
be any profits."

"But suppose the trusts win in this battle over the ownership of the
machines and the world?" Mr. Kowalt asked.

"Then," Ernest answered, "you, and labor, and all of us, will be crushed
under the iron heel of a despotism as relentless and terrible as any
despotism that has blackened the pages of the history of man. That will
be a good name for that despotism, the Iron Heel."*

     * The earliest known use of that name to designate the
     Oligarchy.

There was a long pause, and every man at the table meditated in ways
unwonted and profound.

"But this socialism of yours is a dream," Mr. Calvin said; and repeated,
"a dream."

"I'll show you something that isn't a dream, then," Ernest answered.
"And that something I shall call the Oligarchy. You call it the
Plutocracy. We both mean the same thing, the large capitalists or the
trusts. Let us see where the power lies today. And in order to do so,
let us apportion society into its class divisions.

"There are three big classes in society. First comes the Plutocracy,
which is composed of wealthy bankers, railway magnates, corporation
directors, and trust magnates. Second, is the middle class, your class,
gentlemen, which is composed of farmers, merchants, small manufacturers,
and professional men. And third and last comes my class, the
proletariat, which is composed of the wage-workers.*

     * This division of society made by Everhard is in accordance
     with that made by Lucien Sanial, one of the statistical
     authorities of that time.  His calculation of the membership
     of these divisions by occupation, from the United States
     Census of 1900, is as follows: Plutocratic class, 250,251;
     Middle class, 8,429,845; and Proletariat class, 20,393,137.

"You cannot but grant that the ownership of wealth constitutes essential
power in the United States to-day. How is this wealth owned by these
three classes? Here are the figures. The Plutocracy owns sixty-seven
billions of wealth. Of the total number of persons engaged in
occupations in the United States, only nine-tenths of one per cent are
from the Plutocracy, yet the Plutocracy owns seventy per cent of the
total wealth. The middle class owns twenty-four billions. Twenty-nine
per cent of those in occupations are from the middle class, and they own
twenty-five per cent of the total wealth. Remains the proletariat. It
owns four billions. Of all persons in occupations, seventy per cent
come from the proletariat; and the proletariat owns four per cent of the
total wealth. Where does the power lie, gentlemen?"

"From your own figures, we of the middle class are more powerful than
labor," Mr. Asmunsen remarked.

"Calling us weak does not make you stronger in the face of the strength
of the Plutocracy," Ernest retorted. "And furthermore, I'm not done with
you. There is a greater strength than wealth, and it is greater because
it cannot be taken away. Our strength, the strength of the proletariat,
is in our muscles, in our hands to cast ballots, in our fingers to pull
triggers. This strength we cannot be stripped of. It is the primitive
strength, it is the strength that is to life germane, it is the strength
that is stronger than wealth, and that wealth cannot take away.

"But your strength is detachable. It can be taken away from you. Even
now the Plutocracy is taking it away from you. In the end it will take
it all away from you. And then you will cease to be the middle class.
You will descend to us. You will become proletarians. And the beauty of
it is that you will then add to our strength. We will hail you brothers,
and we will fight shoulder to shoulder in the cause of humanity.

"You see, labor has nothing concrete of which to be despoiled. Its
share of the wealth of the country consists of clothes and household
furniture, with here and there, in very rare cases, an unencumbered
home. But you have the concrete wealth, twenty-four billions of it, and
the Plutocracy will take it away from you. Of course, there is the large
likelihood that the proletariat will take it away first. Don't you
see your position, gentlemen? The middle class is a wobbly little lamb
between a lion and a tiger. If one doesn't get you, the other will. And
if the Plutocracy gets you first, why it's only a matter of time when
the Proletariat gets the Plutocracy.

"Even your present wealth is not a true measure of your power. The
strength of your wealth at this moment is only an empty shell. That is
why you are crying out your feeble little battle-cry, 'Return to the
ways of our fathers.' You are aware of your impotency. You know that
your strength is an empty shell. And I'll show you the emptiness of it.

"What power have the farmers? Over fifty per cent are thralls by virtue
of the fact that they are merely tenants or are mortgaged. And all of
them are thralls by virtue of the fact that the trusts already own or
control (which is the same thing only better)--own and control all
the means of marketing the crops, such as cold storage, railroads,
elevators, and steamship lines. And, furthermore, the trusts control
the markets. In all this the farmers are without power. As regards their
political and governmental power, I'll take that up later, along with
the political and governmental power of the whole middle class.

"Day by day the trusts squeeze out the farmers as they squeezed out Mr.
Calvin and the rest of the dairymen. And day by day are the merchants
squeezed out in the same way. Do you remember how, in six months, the
Tobacco Trust squeezed out over four hundred cigar stores in New York
City alone? Where are the old-time owners of the coal fields? You know
today, without my telling you, that the Railroad Trust owns or controls
the entire anthracite and bituminous coal fields. Doesn't the Standard
Oil Trust* own a score of the ocean lines? And does it not also control
copper, to say nothing of running a smelter trust as a little side
enterprise? There are ten thousand cities in the United States to-night
lighted by the companies owned or controlled by Standard Oil, and in
as many cities all the electric transportation,--urban, suburban, and
interurban,--is in the hands of Standard Oil. The small capitalists who
were in these thousands of enterprises are gone. You know that. It's the
same way that you are going.

     * Standard Oil and Rockefeller--see upcoming footnote:
     "Rockefeller began as a member . . ."

"The small manufacturer is like the farmer; and small manufacturers
and farmers to-day are reduced, to all intents and purposes, to feudal
tenure. For that matter, the professional men and the artists are
at this present moment villeins in everything but name, while the
politicians are henchmen. Why do you, Mr. Calvin, work all your nights
and days to organize the farmers, along with the rest of the middle
class, into a new political party? Because the politicians of the old
parties will have nothing to do with your atavistic ideas; and with your
atavistic ideas, they will have nothing to do because they are what I
said they are, henchmen, retainers of the Plutocracy.

"I spoke of the professional men and the artists as villeins. What else
are they? One and all, the professors, the preachers, and the editors,
hold their jobs by serving the Plutocracy, and their service consists of
propagating only such ideas as are either harmless to or commendatory
of the Plutocracy. Whenever they propagate ideas that menace the
Plutocracy, they lose their jobs, in which case, if they have not
provided for the rainy day, they descend into the proletariat and either
perish or become working-class agitators. And don't forget that it is
the press, the pulpit, and the university that mould public opinion, set
the thought-pace of the nation. As for the artists, they merely pander
to the little less than ignoble tastes of the Plutocracy.

"But after all, wealth in itself is not the real power; it is the means
to power, and power is governmental. Who controls the government to-day?
The proletariat with its twenty millions engaged in occupations? Even
you laugh at the idea. Does the middle class, with its eight million
occupied members? No more than the proletariat. Who, then, controls
the government? The Plutocracy, with its paltry quarter of a million
of occupied members. But this quarter of a million does not control the
government, though it renders yeoman service. It is the brain of the
Plutocracy that controls the government, and this brain consists of
seven* small and powerful groups of men. And do not forget that these
groups are working to-day practically in unison.

     * Even as late as 1907, it was considered that eleven groups
     dominated the country, but this number was reduced by the
     amalgamation of the five railroad groups into a supreme
     combination of all the railroads.  These five groups so
     amalgamated, along with their financial and political
     allies, were (1) James J. Hill with his control of the
     Northwest; (2) the Pennsylvania railway group, Schiff
     financial manager, with big banking firms of Philadelphia
     and New York; (3) Harriman, with Frick for counsel and Odell
     as political lieutenant, controlling the central
     continental, Southwestern and Southern Pacific Coast lines
     of transportation; (4) the Gould family railway interests;
     and (5) Moore, Reid, and Leeds, known as the "Rock Island
     crowd."  These strong oligarchs arose out of the conflict of
     competition and travelled the inevitable road toward
     combination.

"Let me point out the power of but one of them, the railroad group. It
employs forty thousand lawyers to defeat the people in the courts. It
issues countless thousands of free passes to judges, bankers, editors,
ministers, university men, members of state legislatures, and of
Congress. It maintains luxurious lobbies* at every state capital, and
at the national capital; and in all the cities and towns of the land
it employs an immense army of pettifoggers and small politicians whose
business is to attend primaries, pack conventions, get on juries, bribe
judges, and in every way to work for its interests.**

     * Lobby--a peculiar institution for bribing, bulldozing, and
     corrupting the legislators who were supposed to represent
     the people's interests.

     ** A decade before this speech of Everhard's, the New York
     Board of Trade issued a report from which the following is
     quoted: "The railroads control absolutely the legislatures
     of a majority of the states of the Union; they make and
     unmake United States Senators, congressmen, and governors,
     and are practically dictators of the governmental policy of
     the United States."

"Gentlemen, I have merely sketched the power of one of the seven groups
that constitute the brain of the Plutocracy.* Your twenty-four billions
of wealth does not give you twenty-five cents' worth of governmental
power. It is an empty shell, and soon even the empty shell will be taken
away from you. The Plutocracy has all power in its hands to-day. It
to-day makes the laws, for it owns the Senate, Congress, the courts, and
the state legislatures. And not only that. Behind law must be force to
execute the law. To-day the Plutocracy makes the law, and to enforce the
law it has at its beck and call the, police, the army, the navy, and,
lastly, the militia, which is you, and me, and all of us."

     * Rockefeller began as a member of the proletariat, and
     through thrift and cunning succeeded in developing the first
     perfect trust, namely that known as Standard Oil.  We cannot
     forbear giving the following remarkable page from the
     history of the times, to show how the need for reinvestment
     of the Standard Oil surplus crushed out small capitalists
     and hastened the breakdown of the capitalist system.  David
     Graham Phillips was a radical writer of the period, and the
     quotation, by him, is taken from a copy of the Saturday
     Evening Post, dated October 4, 1902 A.D.  This is the only
     copy of this publication that has come down to us, and yet,
     from its appearance and content, we cannot but conclude that
     it was one of the popular periodicals with a large
     circulation.  The quotation here follows:

     "About ten years ago Rockefeller's income was given as
     thirty millions by an excellent authority.  He had reached
     the limit of profitable investment of profits in the oil
     industry.  Here, then, were these enormous sums in cash
     pouring in--more than $2,000,000 a month for John Davison
     Rockefeller alone.  The problem of reinvestment became more
     serious.  It became a nightmare.  The oil income was
     swelling, swelling, and the number of sound investments
     limited, even more limited than it is now.  It was through
     no special eagerness for more gains that the Rockefellers
     began to branch out from oil into other things.  They were
     forced, swept on by this inrolling tide of wealth which
     their monopoly magnet irresistibly attracted.  They
     developed a staff of investment seekers and investigators.
     It is said that the chief of this staff has a salary of
     $125,000 a year.

     "The first conspicuous excursion and incursion of the
     Rockefellers was into the railway field.  By 1895 they
     controlled one-fifth of the railway mileage of the country.
     What do they own or, through dominant ownership, control
     to-day?  They are powerful in all the great railways of New
     York, north, east, and west, except one, where their share
     is only a few millions.  They are in most of the great
     railways radiating from Chicago.  They dominate in several
     of the systems that extend to the Pacific.  It is their
     votes that make Mr. Morgan so potent, though, it may be
     added, they need his brains more than he needs their votes--
     at present, and the combination of the two constitutes in
     large measure the 'community of interest.'

     "But railways could not alone absorb rapidly enough those
     mighty floods of gold.  Presently John D. Rockefeller's
     $2,500,000 a month had increased to four, to five, to six
     millions a month, to $75,000,000 a year.  Illuminating oil
     was becoming all profit.  The reinvestments of income were
     adding their mite of many annual millions.

     "The Rockefellers went into gas and electricity when those
     industries had developed to the safe investment stage.  And
     now a large part of the American people must begin to enrich
     the Rockefellers as soon as the sun goes down, no matter
     what form of illuminant they use.  They went into farm
     mortgages.  It is said that when prosperity a few years ago
     enabled the farmers to rid themselves of their mortgages,
     John D. Rockefeller was moved almost to tears; eight
     millions which he had thought taken care of for years to
     come at a good interest were suddenly dumped upon his
     doorstep and there set up a-squawking for a new home.  This
     unexpected addition to his worriments in finding places for
     the progeny of his petroleum and their progeny and their
     progeny's progeny was too much for the equanimity of a man
     without a digestion. . . .

     "The Rockefellers went into mines--iron and coal and copper
     and lead; into other industrial companies; into street
     railways, into national, state, and municipal bonds; into
     steamships and steamboats and telegraphy; into real estate,
     into skyscrapers and residences and hotels and business
     blocks; into life insurance, into banking.  There was soon
     literally no field of industry where their millions were not
     at work. . . .

     "The Rockefeller bank--the National City Bank--is by itself
     far and away the biggest bank in the United States.  It is
     exceeded in the world only by the Bank of England and the
     Bank of France.  The deposits average more than one hundred
     millions a day; and it dominates the call loan market on
     Wall Street and the stock market. But it is not alone; it is
     the head of the Rockefeller chain of banks, which includes
     fourteen banks and trust companies in New York City, and
     banks of great strength and influence in every large money
     center in the country.

     "John D. Rockefeller owns Standard Oil stock worth between
     four and five hundred millions at the market quotations.  He
     has a hundred millions in the steel trust, almost as much in
     a single western railway system, half as much in a second,
     and so on and on and on until the mind wearies of the
     cataloguing.  His income last year was about $100,000,000--
     it is doubtful if the incomes of all the Rothschilds
     together make a greater sum.  And it is going up by leaps
     and bounds."


     Little discussion took place after this, and the dinner soon broke
     up.  All were quiet and subdued, and leave-taking was done with low
     voices.  It seemed almost that they were scared by the vision of
     the times they had seen.

     "The situation is, indeed, serious," Mr. Calvin said to Ernest.  "I
     have little quarrel with the way you have depicted it.  Only I
     disagree with you about the doom of the middle class.  We shall
     survive, and we shall overthrow the trusts."

     "And return to the ways of your fathers," Ernest finished for him.

     "Even so," Mr. Calvin answered gravely.  "I know it's a sort of
     machine-breaking, and that it is absurd.  But then life seems
     absurd to-day, what of the machinations of the Plutocracy.  And at
     any rate, our sort of machine-breaking is at least practical and
     possible, which your dream is not.  Your socialistic dream is . . .
     well, a dream.  We cannot follow you."

     "I only wish you fellows knew a little something about evolution
     and sociology," Ernest said wistfully, as they shook hands.  "We
     would be saved so much trouble if you did."



CHAPTER X

THE VORTEX


Following like thunder claps upon the Business Men's dinner, occurred
event after event of terrifying moment; and I, little I, who had lived
so placidly all my days in the quiet university town, found myself and
my personal affairs drawn into the vortex of the great world-affairs.
Whether it was my love for Ernest, or the clear sight he had given me of
the society in which I lived, that made me a revolutionist, I know not;
but a revolutionist I became, and I was plunged into a whirl of
happenings that would have been inconceivable three short months before.

The crisis in my own fortunes came simultaneously with great crises in
society. First of all, father was discharged from the university. Oh,
he was not technically discharged. His resignation was demanded, that
was all. This, in itself, did not amount to much. Father, in fact, was
delighted. He was especially delighted because his discharge had been
precipitated by the publication of his book, "Economics and Education."
It clinched his argument, he contended. What better evidence could be
advanced to prove that education was dominated by the capitalist class?

But this proof never got anywhere. Nobody knew he had been forced to
resign from the university. He was so eminent a scientist that such an
announcement, coupled with the reason for his enforced resignation,
would have created somewhat of a furor all over the world. The
newspapers showered him with praise and honor, and commended him for
having given up the drudgery of the lecture room in order to devote his
whole time to scientific research.

At first father laughed. Then he became angry--tonic angry. Then came
the suppression of his book. This suppression was performed secretly,
so secretly that at first we could not comprehend. The publication of
the book had immediately caused a bit of excitement in the country.
Father had been politely abused in the capitalist press, the tone of the
abuse being to the effect that it was a pity so great a scientist should
leave his field and invade the realm of sociology, about which he knew
nothing and wherein he had promptly become lost. This lasted for a
week, while father chuckled and said the book had touched a sore spot on
capitalism. And then, abruptly, the newspapers and the critical
magazines ceased saying anything about the book at all. Also, and with
equal suddenness, the book disappeared from the market. Not a copy was
obtainable from any bookseller. Father wrote to the publishers and was
informed that the plates had been accidentally injured. An
unsatisfactory correspondence followed. Driven finally to an
unequivocal stand, the publishers stated that they could not see their
way to putting the book into type again, but that they were willing to
relinquish their rights in it.

"And you won't find another publishing house in the country to touch
it," Ernest said. "And if I were you, I'd hunt cover right now. You've
merely got a foretaste of the Iron Heel."

But father was nothing if not a scientist. He never believed in jumping
to conclusions. A laboratory experiment was no experiment if it were
not carried through in all its details. So he patiently went the round
of the publishing houses. They gave a multitude of excuses, but not one
house would consider the book.

When father became convinced that the book had actually been suppressed,
he tried to get the fact into the newspapers; but his communications
were ignored. At a political meeting of the socialists, where many
reporters were present, father saw his chance. He arose and related the
history of the suppression of the book. He laughed next day when he
read the newspapers, and then he grew angry to a degree that eliminated
all tonic qualities. The papers made no mention of the book, but they
misreported him beautifully. They twisted his words and phrases away
from the context, and turned his subdued and controlled remarks into a
howling anarchistic speech. It was done artfully. One instance, in
particular, I remember. He had used the phrase "social revolution."
The reporter merely dropped out "social." This was sent out all over
the country in an Associated Press despatch, and from all over the
country arose a cry of alarm. Father was branded as a nihilist and an
anarchist, and in one cartoon that was copied widely he was portrayed
waving a red flag at the head of a mob of long-haired, wild-eyed men who
bore in their hands torches, knives, and dynamite bombs.

He was assailed terribly in the press, in long and abusive editorials,
for his anarchy, and hints were made of mental breakdown on his part.
This behavior, on the part of the capitalist press, was nothing new,
Ernest told us. It was the custom, he said, to send reporters to all
the socialist meetings for the express purpose of misreporting and
distorting what was said, in order to frighten the middle class away
from any possible affiliation with the proletariat. And repeatedly
Ernest warned father to cease fighting and to take to cover.

The socialist press of the country took up the fight, however, and
throughout the reading portion of the working class it was known that
the book had been suppressed. But this knowledge stopped with the
working class. Next, the "Appeal to Reason," a big socialist publishing
house, arranged with father to bring out the book. Father was jubilant,
but Ernest was alarmed.

"I tell you we are on the verge of the unknown," he insisted. "Big
things are happening secretly all around us. We can feel them. We do
not know what they are, but they are there. The whole fabric of society
is a-tremble with them. Don't ask me. I don't know myself. But out of
this flux of society something is about to crystallize. It is
crystallizing now. The suppression of the book is a precipitation. How
many books have been suppressed? We haven't the least idea. We are in
the dark. We have no way of learning. Watch out next for the
suppression of the socialist press and socialist publishing houses. I'm
afraid it's coming. We are going to be throttled."

Ernest had his hand on the pulse of events even more closely than the
rest of the socialists, and within two days the first blow was struck.
The Appeal to Reason was a weekly, and its regular circulation amongst
the proletariat was seven hundred and fifty thousand. Also, it very
frequently got out special editions of from two to five millions. These
great editions were paid for and distributed by the small army of
voluntary workers who had marshalled around the Appeal. The first blow
was aimed at these special editions, and it was a crushing one. By an
arbitrary ruling of the Post Office, these editions were decided to be
not the regular circulation of the paper, and for that reason were
denied admission to the mails.

A week later the Post Office Department ruled that the paper was
seditious, and barred it entirely from the mails. This was a fearful
blow to the socialist propaganda. The Appeal was desperate. It devised
a plan of reaching its subscribers through the express companies, but
they declined to handle it. This was the end of the Appeal. But not
quite. It prepared to go on with its book publishing. Twenty thousand
copies of father's book were in the bindery, and the presses were
turning off more. And then, without warning, a mob arose one night,
and, under a waving American flag, singing patriotic songs, set fire to
the great plant of the Appeal and totally destroyed it.

Now Girard, Kansas, was a quiet, peaceable town. There had never been
any labor troubles there. The Appeal paid union wages; and, in fact,
was the backbone of the town, giving employment to hundreds of men and
women. It was not the citizens of Girard that composed the mob. This
mob had risen up out of the earth apparently, and to all intents and
purposes, its work done, it had gone back into the earth. Ernest saw in
the affair the most sinister import.

"The Black Hundreds* are being organized in the United States," he said.
"This is the beginning. There will be more of it. The Iron Heel is
getting bold."

     * The Black Hundreds were reactionary mobs organized by the
     perishing Autocracy in the Russian Revolution.  These
     reactionary groups attacked the revolutionary groups, and
     also, at needed moments, rioted and destroyed property so as
     to afford the Autocracy the pretext of calling out the
     Cossacks.

And so perished father's book. We were to see much of the Black Hundreds
as the days went by. Week by week more of the socialist papers were
barred from the mails, and in a number of instances the Black Hundreds
destroyed the socialist presses. Of course, the newspapers of the
land lived up to the reactionary policy of the ruling class, and the
destroyed socialist press was misrepresented and vilified, while
the Black Hundreds were represented as true patriots and saviours of
society. So convincing was all this misrepresentation that even sincere
ministers in the pulpit praised the Black Hundreds while regretting the
necessity of violence.

History was making fast. The fall elections were soon to occur, and
Ernest was nominated by the socialist party to run for Congress. His
chance for election was most favorable. The street-car strike in San
Francisco had been broken. And following upon it the teamsters' strike
had been broken. These two defeats had been very disastrous to organized
labor. The whole Water Front Federation, along with its allies in the
structural trades, had backed up the teamsters, and all had smashed
down ingloriously. It had been a bloody strike. The police had broken
countless heads with their riot clubs; and the death list had been
augmented by the turning loose of a machine-gun on the strikers from the
barns of the Marsden Special Delivery Company.

In consequence, the men were sullen and vindictive. They wanted blood,
and revenge. Beaten on their chosen field, they were ripe to seek
revenge by means of political action. They still maintained their labor
organization, and this gave them strength in the political struggle that
was on. Ernest's chance for election grew stronger and stronger. Day by
day unions and more unions voted their support to the socialists, until
even Ernest laughed when the Undertakers' Assistants and the Chicken
Pickers fell into line. Labor became mulish. While it packed the
socialist meetings with mad enthusiasm, it was impervious to the wiles
of the old-party politicians. The old-party orators were usually greeted
with empty halls, though occasionally they encountered full halls where
they were so roughly handled that more than once it was necessary to
call out the police reserves.

History was making fast. The air was vibrant with things happening and
impending. The country was on the verge of hard times,* caused by a
series of prosperous years wherein the difficulty of disposing abroad
of the unconsumed surplus had become increasingly difficult. Industries
were working short time; many great factories were standing idle against
the time when the surplus should be gone; and wages were being cut right
and left.

     * Under the capitalist regime these periods of hard times
     were as inevitable as they were absurd.  Prosperity always
     brought calamity.  This, of course, was due to the excess of
     unconsumed profits that was piled up.

Also, the great machinist strike had been broken. Two hundred thousand
machinists, along with their five hundred thousand allies in the
metalworking trades, had been defeated in as bloody a strike as had ever
marred the United States. Pitched battles had been fought with the small
armies of armed strike-breakers* put in the field by the employers'
associations; the Black Hundreds, appearing in scores of wide-scattered
places, had destroyed property; and, in consequence, a hundred thousand
regular soldiers of the United States has been called out to put a
frightful end to the whole affair. A number of the labor leaders had
been executed; many others had been sentenced to prison, while thousands
of the rank and file of the strikers had been herded into bull-pens**
and abominably treated by the soldiers.

     * Strike-breakers--these were, in purpose and practice and
     everything except name, the private soldiers of the
     capitalists. They were thoroughly organized and well armed,
     and they were held in readiness to be hurled in special
     trains to any part of the country where labor went on strike
     or was locked out by the employers.  Only those curious
     times could have given rise to the amazing spectacle of one,
     Farley, a notorious commander of strike-breakers, who, in
     1906, swept across the United States in special trains from
     New York to San Francisco with an army of twenty-five
     hundred men, fully armed and equipped, to break a strike of
     the San Francisco street-car men.  Such an act was in direct
     violation of the laws of the land.  The fact that this act,
     and thousands of similar acts, went unpunished, goes to show
     how completely the judiciary was the creature of the
     Plutocracy.

     ** Bull-pen--in a miners' strike in Idaho, in the latter
     part of the nineteenth century, it happened that many of the
     strikers were confined in a bull-pen by the troops.  The
     practice and the name continued in the twentieth century.

The years of prosperity were now to be paid for. All markets were
glutted; all markets were falling; and amidst the general crumble
of prices the price of labor crumbled fastest of all. The land was
convulsed with industrial dissensions. Labor was striking here, there,
and everywhere; and where it was not striking, it was being turned out
by the capitalists. The papers were filled with tales of violence and
blood. And through it all the Black Hundreds played their part. Riot,
arson, and wanton destruction of property was their function, and well
they performed it. The whole regular army was in the field, called there
by the actions of the Black Hundreds.* All cities and towns were like
armed camps, and laborers were shot down like dogs. Out of the vast
army of the unemployed the strike-breakers were recruited; and when
the strike-breakers were worsted by the labor unions, the troops always
appeared and crushed the unions. Then there was the militia. As yet, it
was not necessary to have recourse to the secret militia law. Only the
regularly organized militia was out, and it was out everywhere. And
in this time of terror, the regular army was increased an additional
hundred thousand by the government.

     * The name only, and not the idea, was imported from Russia.
     The Black Hundreds were a development out of the secret
     agents of the capitalists, and their use arose in the labor
     struggles of the nineteenth century.  There is no discussion
     of this.  No less an authority of the times than Carroll D.
     Wright, United States Commissioner of Labor, is responsible
     for the statement.  From his book, entitled "The Battles of
     Labor," is quoted the declaration that "in some of the great
     historic strikes the employers themselves have instigated
     acts of violence;" that manufacturers have deliberately
     provoked strikes in order to get rid of surplus stock; and
     that freight cars have been burned by employers' agents
     during railroad strikes in order to increase disorder.  It
     was out of these secret agents of the employers that the
     Black Hundreds arose; and it was they, in turn, that later
     became that terrible weapon of the Oligarchy, the agents-
     provocateurs.

Never had labor received such an all-around beating. The great captains
of industry, the oligarchs, had for the first time thrown their full
weight into the breach the struggling employers' associations had made.
These associations were practically middle-class affairs, and now,
compelled by hard times and crashing markets, and aided by the great
captains of industry, they gave organized labor an awful and decisive
defeat. It was an all-powerful alliance, but it was an alliance of the
lion and the lamb, as the middle class was soon to learn.

Labor was bloody and sullen, but crushed. Yet its defeat did not put
an end to the hard times. The banks, themselves constituting one of the
most important forces of the Oligarchy, continued to call in credits.
The Wall Street* group turned the stock market into a maelstrom where
the values of all the land crumbled away almost to nothingness. And
out of all the rack and ruin rose the form of the nascent Oligarchy,
imperturbable, indifferent, and sure. Its serenity and certitude was
terrifying. Not only did it use its own vast power, but it used all the
power of the United States Treasury to carry out its plans.

     * Wall Street--so named from a street in ancient New York,
     where was situated the stock exchange, and where the
     irrational organization of society permitted underhanded
     manipulation of all the industries of the country.

The captains of industry had turned upon the middle class. The
employers' associations, that had helped the captains of industry to
tear and rend labor, were now torn and rent by their quondam allies.
Amidst the crashing of the middle men, the small business men and
manufacturers, the trusts stood firm. Nay, the trusts did more than
stand firm. They were active. They sowed wind, and wind, and ever more
wind; for they alone knew how to reap the whirlwind and make a profit
out of it. And such profits! Colossal profits! Strong enough themselves
to weather the storm that was largely their own brewing, they turned
loose and plundered the wrecks that floated about them. Values were
pitifully and inconceivably shrunken, and the trusts added hugely
to their holdings, even extending their enterprises into many new
fields--and always at the expense of the middle class.

Thus the summer of 1912 witnessed the virtual death-thrust to the middle
class. Even Ernest was astounded at the quickness with which it had been
done. He shook his head ominously and looked forward without hope to the
fall elections.

"It's no use," he said. "We are beaten. The Iron Heel is here. I had
hoped for a peaceable victory at the ballot-box. I was wrong. Wickson
was right. We shall be robbed of our few remaining liberties; the Iron
Heel will walk upon our faces; nothing remains but a bloody revolution
of the working class. Of course we will win, but I shudder to think of
it."

And from then on Ernest pinned his faith in revolution. In this he was
in advance of his party. His fellow-socialists could not agree with him.
They still insisted that victory could be gained through the elections.
It was not that they were stunned. They were too cool-headed and
courageous for that. They were merely incredulous, that was all. Ernest
could not get them seriously to fear the coming of the Oligarchy. They
were stirred by him, but they were too sure of their own strength. There
was no room in their theoretical social evolution for an oligarchy,
therefore the Oligarchy could not be.

"We'll send you to Congress and it will be all right," they told him at
one of our secret meetings.

"And when they take me out of Congress," Ernest replied coldly, "and put
me against a wall, and blow my brains out--what then?"

"Then we'll rise in our might," a dozen voices answered at once.

"Then you'll welter in your gore," was his retort. "I've heard that song
sung by the middle class, and where is it now in its might?"



CHAPTER XI

THE GREAT ADVENTURE


Mr. Wickson did not send for father. They met by chance on the
ferry-boat to San Francisco, so that the warning he gave father was not
premeditated. Had they not met accidentally, there would not have been
any warning. Not that the outcome would have been different, however.
Father came of stout old Mayflower* stock, and the blood was imperative
in him.

     * One of the first ships that carried colonies to America,
     after the discovery of the New World.  Descendants of these
     original colonists were for a while inordinately proud of
     their genealogy; but in time the blood became so widely
     diffused that it ran in the veins practically of all
     Americans.

"Ernest was right," he told me, as soon as he had returned home. "Ernest
is a very remarkable young man, and I'd rather see you his wife than the
wife of Rockefeller himself or the King of England."

"What's the matter?" I asked in alarm.

"The Oligarchy is about to tread upon our faces--yours and mine. Wickson
as much as told me so. He was very kind--for an oligarch. He offered to
reinstate me in the university. What do you think of that? He, Wickson,
a sordid money-grabber, has the power to determine whether I shall or
shall not teach in the university of the state. But he offered me even
better than that--offered to make me president of some great college of
physical sciences that is being planned--the Oligarchy must get rid of
its surplus somehow, you see.

"'Do you remember what I told that socialist lover of your daughter's?'
he said. 'I told him that we would walk upon the faces of the working
class. And so we shall. As for you, I have for you a deep respect as
a scientist; but if you throw your fortunes in with the working
class--well, watch out for your face, that is all.' And then he turned
and left me."

"It means we'll have to marry earlier than you planned," was Ernest's
comment when we told him.

I could not follow his reasoning, but I was soon to learn it. It was at
this time that the quarterly dividend of the Sierra Mills was paid--or,
rather, should have been paid, for father did not receive his. After
waiting several days, father wrote to the secretary. Promptly came
the reply that there was no record on the books of father's owning any
stock, and a polite request for more explicit information.

"I'll make it explicit enough, confound him," father declared, and
departed for the bank to get the stock in question from his safe-deposit
box.

"Ernest is a very remarkable man," he said when he got back and while
I was helping him off with his overcoat. "I repeat, my daughter, that
young man of yours is a very remarkable young man."

I had learned, whenever he praised Ernest in such fashion, to expect
disaster.

"They have already walked upon my face," father explained. "There was no
stock. The box was empty. You and Ernest will have to get married pretty
quickly."

Father insisted on laboratory methods. He brought the Sierra Mills into
court, but he could not bring the books of the Sierra Mills into court.
He did not control the courts, and the Sierra Mills did. That explained
it all. He was thoroughly beaten by the law, and the bare-faced robbery
held good.

It is almost laughable now, when I look back on it, the way father was
beaten. He met Wickson accidentally on the street in San Francisco,
and he told Wickson that he was a damned scoundrel. And then father was
arrested for attempted assault, fined in the police court, and bound
over to keep the peace. It was all so ridiculous that when he got
home he had to laugh himself. But what a furor was raised in the
local papers! There was grave talk about the bacillus of violence that
infected all men who embraced socialism; and father, with his long and
peaceful life, was instanced as a shining example of how the bacillus
of violence worked. Also, it was asserted by more than one paper that
father's mind had weakened under the strain of scientific study, and
confinement in a state asylum for the insane was suggested. Nor was this
merely talk. It was an imminent peril. But father was wise enough to see
it. He had the Bishop's experience to lesson from, and he lessoned
well. He kept quiet no matter what injustice was perpetrated on him, and
really, I think, surprised his enemies.

There was the matter of the house--our home. A mortgage was foreclosed
on it, and we had to give up possession. Of course there wasn't any
mortgage, and never had been any mortgage. The ground had been bought
outright, and the house had been paid for when it was built. And house
and lot had always been free and unencumbered. Nevertheless there was
the mortgage, properly and legally drawn up and signed, with a record
of the payments of interest through a number of years. Father made no
outcry. As he had been robbed of his money, so was he now robbed of his
home. And he had no recourse. The machinery of society was in the hands
of those who were bent on breaking him. He was a philosopher at heart,
and he was no longer even angry.

"I am doomed to be broken," he said to me; "but that is no reason that I
should not try to be shattered as little as possible. These old bones of
mine are fragile, and I've learned my lesson. God knows I don't want to
spend my last days in an insane asylum."

Which reminds me of Bishop Morehouse, whom I have neglected for many
pages. But first let me tell of my marriage. In the play of events, my
marriage sinks into insignificance, I know, so I shall barely mention
it.

"Now we shall become real proletarians," father said, when we were
driven from our home. "I have often envied that young man of yours for
his actual knowledge of the proletariat. Now I shall see and learn for
myself."

Father must have had strong in him the blood of adventure. He looked
upon our catastrophe in the light of an adventure. No anger nor
bitterness possessed him. He was too philosophic and simple to be
vindictive, and he lived too much in the world of mind to miss the
creature comforts we were giving up. So it was, when we moved to San
Francisco into four wretched rooms in the slum south of Market Street,
that he embarked upon the adventure with the joy and enthusiasm of
a child--combined with the clear sight and mental grasp of an
extraordinary intellect. He really never crystallized mentally. He had
no false sense of values. Conventional or habitual values meant nothing
to him. The only values he recognized were mathematical and scientific
facts. My father was a great man. He had the mind and the soul that only
great men have. In ways he was even greater than Ernest, than whom I
have known none greater.

Even I found some relief in our change of living. If nothing else, I
was escaping from the organized ostracism that had been our increasing
portion in the university town ever since the enmity of the nascent
Oligarchy had been incurred. And the change was to me likewise
adventure, and the greatest of all, for it was love-adventure. The
change in our fortunes had hastened my marriage, and it was as a
wife that I came to live in the four rooms on Pell Street, in the San
Francisco slum.

And this out of all remains: I made Ernest happy. I came into his stormy
life, not as a new perturbing force, but as one that made toward peace
and repose. I gave him rest. It was the guerdon of my love for him.
It was the one infallible token that I had not failed. To bring
forgetfulness, or the light of gladness, into those poor tired eyes of
his--what greater joy could have blessed me than that?

Those dear tired eyes. He toiled as few men ever toiled, and all his
lifetime he toiled for others. That was the measure of his manhood. He
was a humanist and a lover. And he, with his incarnate spirit of battle,
his gladiator body and his eagle spirit--he was as gentle and tender to
me as a poet. He was a poet. A singer in deeds. And all his life he sang
the song of man. And he did it out of sheer love of man, and for man he
gave his life and was crucified.

And all this he did with no hope of future reward. In his conception of
things there was no future life. He, who fairly burnt with immortality,
denied himself immortality--such was the paradox of him. He, so warm
in spirit, was dominated by that cold and forbidding philosophy,
materialistic monism. I used to refute him by telling him that I
measured his immortality by the wings of his soul, and that I should
have to live endless aeons in order to achieve the full measurement.
Whereat he would laugh, and his arms would leap out to me, and he would
call me his sweet metaphysician; and the tiredness would pass out of his
eyes, and into them would flood the happy love-light that was in itself
a new and sufficient advertisement of his immortality.

Also, he used to call me his dualist, and he would explain how Kant, by
means of pure reason, had abolished reason, in order to worship God. And
he drew the parallel and included me guilty of a similar act. And when I
pleaded guilty, but defended the act as highly rational, he but pressed
me closer and laughed as only one of God's own lovers could laugh. I
was wont to deny that heredity and environment could explain his own
originality and genius, any more than could the cold groping finger of
science catch and analyze and classify that elusive essence that lurked
in the constitution of life itself.

I held that space was an apparition of God, and that soul was a
projection of the character of God; and when he called me his sweet
metaphysician, I called him my immortal materialist. And so we loved and
were happy; and I forgave him his materialism because of his tremendous
work in the world, performed without thought of soul-gain thereby, and
because of his so exceeding modesty of spirit that prevented him from
having pride and regal consciousness of himself and his soul.

But he had pride. How could he have been an eagle and not have pride?
His contention was that it was finer for a finite mortal speck of life
to feel Godlike, than for a god to feel godlike; and so it was that he
exalted what he deemed his mortality. He was fond of quoting a fragment
from a certain poem. He had never seen the whole poem, and he had tried
vainly to learn its authorship. I here give the fragment, not alone
because he loved it, but because it epitomized the paradox that he was
in the spirit of him, and his conception of his spirit. For how can a
man, with thrilling, and burning, and exaltation, recite the following
and still be mere mortal earth, a bit of fugitive force, an evanescent
form? Here it is:

     "Joy upon joy and gain upon gain
     Are the destined rights of my birth,
     And I shout the praise of my endless days
     To the echoing edge of the earth.
     Though I suffer all deaths that a man can die
     To the uttermost end of time,
     I have deep-drained this, my cup of bliss,
     In every age and clime--

     "The froth of Pride, the tang of Power,
     The sweet of Womanhood!
     I drain the lees upon my knees,
     For oh, the draught is good;
     I drink to Life, I drink to Death,
     And smack my lips with song,
     For when I die, another 'I' shall pass the cup along.

     "The man you drove from Eden's grove
              Was I, my Lord, was I,
     And I shall be there when the earth and the air
              Are rent from sea to sky;
     For it is my world, my gorgeous world,
              The world of my dearest woes,
     From the first faint cry of the newborn
              To the rack of the woman's throes.

     "Packed with the pulse of an unborn race,
     Torn with a world's desire,
     The surging flood of my wild young blood
     Would quench the judgment fire.
     I am Man, Man, Man, from the tingling flesh
     To the dust of my earthly goal,
     From the nestling gloom of the pregnant womb
     To the sheen of my naked soul.
     Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh
     The whole world leaps to my will,
     And the unslaked thirst of an Eden cursed
     Shall harrow the earth for its fill.
     Almighty God, when I drain life's glass
     Of all its rainbow gleams,
     The hapless plight of eternal night
     Shall be none too long for my dreams.

     "The man you drove from Eden's grove
              Was I, my Lord, was I,
     And I shall be there when the earth and the air
              Are rent from sea to sky;
     For it is my world, my gorgeous world,
              The world of my dear delight,
     From the brightest gleam of the Arctic stream
              To the dusk of my own love-night."

Ernest always overworked. His wonderful constitution kept him up; but
even that constitution could not keep the tired look out of his eyes.
His dear, tired eyes! He never slept more than four and one-half hours
a night; yet he never found time to do all the work he wanted to do.
He never ceased from his activities as a propagandist, and was always
scheduled long in advance for lectures to workingmen's organizations.
Then there was the campaign. He did a man's full work in that alone.
With the suppression of the socialist publishing houses, his meagre
royalties ceased, and he was hard-put to make a living; for he had to
make a living in addition to all his other labor. He did a great deal
of translating for the magazines on scientific and philosophic subjects;
and, coming home late at night, worn out from the strain of the
campaign, he would plunge into his translating and toil on well into the
morning hours. And in addition to everything, there was his studying.
To the day of his death he kept up his studies, and he studied
prodigiously.

And yet he found time in which to love me and make me happy. But this
was accomplished only through my merging my life completely into his. I
learned shorthand and typewriting, and became his secretary. He insisted
that I succeeded in cutting his work in half; and so it was that I
schooled myself to understand his work. Our interests became mutual, and
we worked together and played together.

And then there were our sweet stolen moments in the midst of our
work--just a word, or caress, or flash of love-light; and our moments
were sweeter for being stolen. For we lived on the heights, where the
air was keen and sparkling, where the toil was for humanity, and where
sordidness and selfishness never entered. We loved love, and our love
was never smirched by anything less than the best. And this out of all
remains: I did not fail. I gave him rest--he who worked so hard for
others, my dear, tired-eyed mortalist.



CHAPTER XII

THE BISHOP


It was after my marriage that I chanced upon Bishop Morehouse. But I
must give the events in their proper sequence. After his outbreak at the
I. P. H. Convention, the Bishop, being a gentle soul, had yielded to
the friendly pressure brought to bear upon him, and had gone away on a
vacation. But he returned more fixed than ever in his determination
to preach the message of the Church. To the consternation of his
congregation, his first sermon was quite similar to the address he
had given before the Convention. Again he said, and at length and with
distressing detail, that the Church had wandered away from the Master's
teaching, and that Mammon had been instated in the place of Christ.

And the result was, willy-nilly, that he was led away to a private
sanitarium for mental disease, while in the newspapers appeared
pathetic accounts of his mental breakdown and of the saintliness of
his character. He was held a prisoner in the sanitarium. I called
repeatedly, but was denied access to him; and I was terribly impressed
by the tragedy of a sane, normal, saintly man being crushed by the
brutal will of society. For the Bishop was sane, and pure, and noble. As
Ernest said, all that was the matter with him was that he had incorrect
notions of biology and sociology, and because of his incorrect notions
he had not gone about it in the right way to rectify matters.

What terrified me was the Bishop's helplessness. If he persisted in the
truth as he saw it, he was doomed to an insane ward. And he could do
nothing. His money, his position, his culture, could not save him. His
views were perilous to society, and society could not conceive that such
perilous views could be the product of a sane mind. Or, at least, it
seems to me that such was society's attitude.

But the Bishop, in spite of the gentleness and purity of his spirit, was
possessed of guile. He apprehended clearly his danger. He saw himself
caught in the web, and he tried to escape from it. Denied help from his
friends, such as father and Ernest and I could have given, he was
left to battle for himself alone. And in the enforced solitude of the
sanitarium he recovered. He became again sane. His eyes ceased to see
visions; his brain was purged of the fancy that it was the duty of
society to feed the Master's lambs.

As I say, he became well, quite well, and the newspapers and the church
people hailed his return with joy. I went once to his church. The sermon
was of the same order as the ones he had preached long before his eyes
had seen visions. I was disappointed, shocked. Had society then beaten
him into submission? Was he a coward? Had he been bulldozed into
recanting? Or had the strain been too great for him, and had he meekly
surrendered to the juggernaut of the established?

I called upon him in his beautiful home. He was woefully changed. He was
thinner, and there were lines on his face which I had never seen before.
He was manifestly distressed by my coming. He plucked nervously at his
sleeve as we talked; and his eyes were restless, fluttering here, there,
and everywhere, and refusing to meet mine. His mind seemed preoccupied,
and there were strange pauses in his conversation, abrupt changes of
topic, and an inconsecutiveness that was bewildering. Could this, then,
be the firm-poised, Christ-like man I had known, with pure, limpid eyes
and a gaze steady and unfaltering as his soul? He had been man-handled;
he had been cowed into subjection. His spirit was too gentle. It had not
been mighty enough to face the organized wolf-pack of society.

I felt sad, unutterably sad. He talked ambiguously, and was so
apprehensive of what I might say that I had not the heart to catechise
him. He spoke in a far-away manner of his illness, and we talked
disjointedly about the church, the alterations in the organ, and about
petty charities; and he saw me depart with such evident relief that I
should have laughed had not my heart been so full of tears.

The poor little hero! If I had only known! He was battling like a giant,
and I did not guess it. Alone, all alone, in the midst of millions of
his fellow-men, he was fighting his fight. Torn by his horror of the
asylum and his fidelity to truth and the right, he clung steadfastly to
truth and the right; but so alone was he that he did not dare to trust
even me. He had learned his lesson well--too well.

But I was soon to know. One day the Bishop disappeared. He had told
nobody that he was going away; and as the days went by and he did not
reappear, there was much gossip to the effect that he had committed
suicide while temporarily deranged. But this idea was dispelled when it
was learned that he had sold all his possessions,--his city mansion, his
country house at Menlo Park, his paintings, and collections, and even
his cherished library. It was patent that he had made a clean and secret
sweep of everything before he disappeared.

This happened during the time when calamity had overtaken us in our own
affairs; and it was not till we were well settled in our new home that
we had opportunity really to wonder and speculate about the Bishop's
doings. And then, everything was suddenly made clear. Early one evening,
while it was yet twilight, I had run across the street and into the
butcher-shop to get some chops for Ernest's supper. We called the last
meal of the day "supper" in our new environment.

Just at the moment I came out of the butcher-shop, a man emerged from
the corner grocery that stood alongside. A queer sense familiarity made
me look again. But the man had turned and was walking rapidly away.
There was something about the slope of the shoulders and the fringe
of silver hair between coat collar and slouch hat that aroused vague
memories. Instead of crossing the street, I hurried after the man. I
quickened my pace, trying not to think the thoughts that formed unbidden
in my brain. No, it was impossible. It could not be--not in those faded
overalls, too long in the legs and frayed at the bottoms.

I paused, laughed at myself, and almost abandoned the chase. But the
haunting familiarity of those shoulders and that silver hair! Again
I hurried on. As I passed him, I shot a keen look at his face; then I
whirled around abruptly and confronted--the Bishop.

He halted with equal abruptness, and gasped. A large paper bag in his
right hand fell to the sidewalk. It burst, and about his feet and mine
bounced and rolled a flood of potatoes. He looked at me with surprise
and alarm, then he seemed to wilt away; the shoulders drooped with
dejection, and he uttered a deep sigh.

I held out my hand. He shook it, but his hand felt clammy. He cleared
his throat in embarrassment, and I could see the sweat starting out on
his forehead. It was evident that he was badly frightened.

"The potatoes," he murmured faintly. "They are precious."

Between us we picked them up and replaced them in the broken bag, which
he now held carefully in the hollow of his arm. I tried to tell him my
gladness at meeting him and that he must come right home with me.

"Father will be rejoiced to see you," I said. "We live only a stone's
throw away.

"I can't," he said, "I must be going. Good-by."

He looked apprehensively about him, as though dreading discovery, and
made an attempt to walk on.

"Tell me where you live, and I shall call later," he said, when he saw
that I walked beside him and that it was my intention to stick to him
now that he was found.

"No," I answered firmly. "You must come now."

He looked at the potatoes spilling on his arm, and at the small parcels
on his other arm.

"Really, it is impossible," he said. "Forgive me for my rudeness. If you
only knew."

He looked as if he were going to break down, but the next moment he had
himself in control.

"Besides, this food," he went on. "It is a sad case. It is terrible. She
is an old woman. I must take it to her at once. She is suffering from
want of it. I must go at once. You understand. Then I will return. I
promise you."

"Let me go with you," I volunteered. "Is it far?"

He sighed again, and surrendered.

"Only two blocks," he said. "Let us hasten."

Under the Bishop's guidance I learned something of my own neighborhood.
I had not dreamed such wretchedness and misery existed in it. Of course,
this was because I did not concern myself with charity. I had become
convinced that Ernest was right when he sneered at charity as a
poulticing of an ulcer. Remove the ulcer, was his remedy; give to the
worker his product; pension as soldiers those who grow honorably old in
their toil, and there will be no need for charity. Convinced of this,
I toiled with him at the revolution, and did not exhaust my energy in
alleviating the social ills that continuously arose from the injustice
of the system.

I followed the Bishop into a small room, ten by twelve, in a rear
tenement. And there we found a little old German woman--sixty-four years
old, the Bishop said. She was surprised at seeing me, but she nodded a
pleasant greeting and went on sewing on the pair of men's trousers in
her lap. Beside her, on the floor, was a pile of trousers. The Bishop
discovered there was neither coal nor kindling, and went out to buy
some.

I took up a pair of trousers and examined her work.

"Six cents, lady," she said, nodding her head gently while she went on
stitching. She stitched slowly, but never did she cease from stitching.
She seemed mastered by the verb "to stitch."

"For all that work?" I asked. "Is that what they pay? How long does it
take you?"

"Yes," she answered, "that is what they pay. Six cents for finishing.
Two hours' sewing on each pair."

"But the boss doesn't know that," she added quickly, betraying a fear
of getting him into trouble. "I'm slow. I've got the rheumatism in my
hands. Girls work much faster. They finish in half that time. The boss
is kind. He lets me take the work home, now that I am old and the noise
of the machine bothers my head. If it wasn't for his kindness, I'd
starve.

"Yes, those who work in the shop get eight cents. But what can you do?
There is not enough work for the young. The old have no chance. Often
one pair is all I can get. Sometimes, like to-day, I am given eight pair
to finish before night."

I asked her the hours she worked, and she said it depended on the
season.

"In the summer, when there is a rush order, I work from five in the
morning to nine at night. But in the winter it is too cold. The hands do
not early get over the stiffness. Then you must work later--till after
midnight sometimes.

"Yes, it has been a bad summer. The hard times. God must be angry.
This is the first work the boss has given me in a week. It is true, one
cannot eat much when there is no work. I am used to it. I have sewed
all my life, in the old country and here in San Francisco--thirty-three
years.

"If you are sure of the rent, it is all right. The houseman is very
kind, but he must have his rent. It is fair. He only charges three
dollars for this room. That is cheap. But it is not easy for you to find
all of three dollars every month."

She ceased talking, and, nodding her head, went on stitching.

"You have to be very careful as to how you spend your earnings," I
suggested.

She nodded emphatically.

"After the rent it's not so bad. Of course you can't buy meat. And there
is no milk for the coffee. But always there is one meal a day, and often
two."

She said this last proudly. There was a smack of success in her words.
But as she stitched on in silence, I noticed the sadness in her pleasant
eyes and the droop of her mouth. The look in her eyes became far away.
She rubbed the dimness hastily out of them; it interfered with her
stitching.

"No, it is not the hunger that makes the heart ache," she explained.
"You get used to being hungry. It is for my child that I cry. It was
the machine that killed her. It is true she worked hard, but I cannot
understand. She was strong. And she was young--only forty; and she
worked only thirty years. She began young, it is true; but my man died.
The boiler exploded down at the works. And what were we to do? She was
ten, but she was very strong. But the machine killed her. Yes, it
did. It killed her, and she was the fastest worker in the shop. I have
thought about it often, and I know. That is why I cannot work in the
shop. The machine bothers my head. Always I hear it saying, 'I did it, I
did it.' And it says that all day long. And then I think of my daughter,
and I cannot work."

The moistness was in her old eyes again, and she had to wipe it away
before she could go on stitching.

I heard the Bishop stumbling up the stairs, and I opened the door. What
a spectacle he was. On his back he carried half a sack of coal, with
kindling on top. Some of the coal dust had coated his face, and the
sweat from his exertions was running in streaks. He dropped his burden
in the corner by the stove and wiped his face on a coarse bandana
handkerchief. I could scarcely accept the verdict of my senses. The
Bishop, black as a coal-heaver, in a workingman's cheap cotton shirt
(one button was missing from the throat), and in overalls! That was the
most incongruous of all--the overalls, frayed at the bottoms, dragged
down at the heels, and held up by a narrow leather belt around the hips
such as laborers wear.

Though the Bishop was warm, the poor swollen hands of the old woman were
already cramping with the cold; and before we left her, the Bishop had
built the fire, while I had peeled the potatoes and put them on to boil.
I was to learn, as time went by, that there were many cases similar
to hers, and many worse, hidden away in the monstrous depths of the
tenements in my neighborhood.

We got back to find Ernest alarmed by my absence. After the first
surprise of greeting was over, the Bishop leaned back in his chair,
stretched out his overall-covered legs, and actually sighed a
comfortable sigh. We were the first of his old friends he had met since
his disappearance, he told us; and during the intervening weeks he must
have suffered greatly from loneliness. He told us much, though he told
us more of the joy he had experienced in doing the Master's bidding.

"For truly now," he said, "I am feeding his lambs. And I have learned
a great lesson. The soul cannot be ministered to till the stomach is
appeased. His lambs must be fed bread and butter and potatoes and
meat; after that, and only after that, are their spirits ready for more
refined nourishment."

He ate heartily of the supper I cooked. Never had he had such an
appetite at our table in the old days. We spoke of it, and he said that
he had never been so healthy in his life.

"I walk always now," he said, and a blush was on his cheek at the
thought of the time when he rode in his carriage, as though it were a
sin not lightly to be laid.

"My health is better for it," he added hastily. "And I am very
happy--indeed, most happy. At last I am a consecrated spirit."

And yet there was in his face a permanent pain, the pain of the world
that he was now taking to himself. He was seeing life in the raw, and it
was a different life from what he had known within the printed books of
his library.

"And you are responsible for all this, young man," he said directly to
Ernest.

Ernest was embarrassed and awkward.

"I--I warned you," he faltered.

"No, you misunderstand," the Bishop answered. "I speak not in reproach,
but in gratitude. I have you to thank for showing me my path. You led me
from theories about life to life itself. You pulled aside the veils from
the social shams. You were light in my darkness, but now I, too, see the
light. And I am very happy, only . . ." he hesitated painfully, and in
his eyes fear leaped large. "Only the persecution. I harm no one. Why
will they not let me alone? But it is not that. It is the nature of
the persecution. I shouldn't mind if they cut my flesh with stripes, or
burned me at the stake, or crucified me head--downward. But it is the
asylum that frightens me. Think of it! Of me--in an asylum for the
insane! It is revolting. I saw some of the cases at the sanitarium. They
were violent. My blood chills when I think of it. And to be imprisoned
for the rest of my life amid scenes of screaming madness! No! no! Not
that! Not that!"

It was pitiful. His hands shook, his whole body quivered and shrank away
from the picture he had conjured. But the next moment he was calm.

"Forgive me," he said simply. "It is my wretched nerves. And if the
Master's work leads there, so be it. Who am I to complain?"

I felt like crying aloud as I looked at him: "Great Bishop! O hero!
God's hero!"

As the evening wore on we learned more of his doings.

"I sold my house--my houses, rather," he said, "all my other possessions.
I knew I must do it secretly, else they would have taken everything away
from me. That would have been terrible. I often marvel these days at the
immense quantity of potatoes two or three hundred thousand dollars will
buy, or bread, or meat, or coal and kindling." He turned to Ernest. "You
are right, young man. Labor is dreadfully underpaid. I never did a
bit of work in my life, except to appeal aesthetically to Pharisees--I
thought I was preaching the message--and yet I was worth half a million
dollars. I never knew what half a million dollars meant until I realized
how much potatoes and bread and butter and meat it could buy. And then
I realized something more. I realized that all those potatoes and that
bread and butter and meat were mine, and that I had not worked to make
them. Then it was clear to me, some one else had worked and made them
and been robbed of them. And when I came down amongst the poor I found
those who had been robbed and who were hungry and wretched because they
had been robbed."

We drew him back to his narrative.

"The money? I have it deposited in many different banks under different
names. It can never be taken away from me, because it can never be
found. And it is so good, that money. It buys so much food. I never knew
before what money was good for."

"I wish we could get some of it for the propaganda," Ernest said
wistfully. "It would do immense good."

"Do you think so?" the Bishop said. "I do not have much faith in
politics. In fact, I am afraid I do not understand politics."

Ernest was delicate in such matters. He did not repeat his suggestion,
though he knew only too well the sore straits the Socialist Party was in
through lack of money.

"I sleep in cheap lodging houses," the Bishop went on. "But I am afraid,
and never stay long in one place. Also, I rent two rooms in workingmen's
houses in different quarters of the city. It is a great extravagance,
I know, but it is necessary. I make up for it in part by doing my own
cooking, though sometimes I get something to eat in cheap coffee-houses.
And I have made a discovery. Tamales* are very good when the air grows
chilly late at night. Only they are so expensive. But I have discovered
a place where I can get three for ten cents. They are not so good as the
others, but they are very warming.

     * A Mexican dish, referred to occasionally in the literature
     of the times.  It is supposed that it was warmly seasoned.
     No recipe of it has come down to us.

"And so I have at last found my work in the world, thanks to you, young
man. It is the Master's work." He looked at me, and his eyes twinkled.
"You caught me feeding his lambs, you know. And of course you will all
keep my secret."

He spoke carelessly enough, but there was real fear behind the speech.
He promised to call upon us again. But a week later we read in the
newspaper of the sad case of Bishop Morehouse, who had been committed to
the Napa Asylum and for whom there were still hopes held out. In vain
we tried to see him, to have his case reconsidered or investigated. Nor
could we learn anything about him except the reiterated statements that
slight hopes were still held for his recovery.

"Christ told the rich young man to sell all he had," Ernest said
bitterly. "The Bishop obeyed Christ's injunction and got locked up in a
madhouse. Times have changed since Christ's day. A rich man to-day who
gives all he has to the poor is crazy. There is no discussion. Society
has spoken."



CHAPTER XIII

THE GENERAL STRIKE


Of course Ernest was elected to Congress in the great socialist
landslide that took place in the fall of 1912. One great factor that
helped to swell the socialist vote was the destruction of Hearst.*
This the Plutocracy found an easy task. It cost Hearst eighteen million
dollars a year to run his various papers, and this sum, and more, he got
back from the middle class in payment for advertising. The source of his
financial strength lay wholly in the middle class. The trusts did not
advertise.** To destroy Hearst, all that was necessary was to take away
from him his advertising.

     * William Randolph Hearst--a young California millionaire
     who became the most powerful newspaper owner in the country.
     His newspapers were published in all the large cities, and
     they appealed to the perishing middle class and to the
     proletariat.  So large was his following that he managed to
     take possession of the empty shell of the old Democratic
     Party.  He occupied an anomalous position, preaching an
     emasculated socialism combined with a nondescript sort of
     petty bourgeois capitalism.  It was oil and water, and there
     was no hope for him, though for a short period he was a
     source of serious apprehension to the Plutocrats.

     ** The cost of advertising was amazing in those helter-
     skelter times.  Only the small capitalists competed, and
     therefore they did the advertising.  There being no
     competition where there was a trust, there was no need for
     the trusts to advertise.

The whole middle class had not yet been exterminated. The sturdy
skeleton of it remained; but it was without power. The small
manufacturers and small business men who still survived were at the
complete mercy of the Plutocracy. They had no economic nor political
souls of their own. When the fiat of the Plutocracy went forth, they
withdrew their advertisements from the Hearst papers.

Hearst made a gallant fight. He brought his papers out at a loss of
a million and a half each month. He continued to publish the
advertisements for which he no longer received pay. Again the fiat of
the Plutocracy went forth, and the small business men and manufacturers
swamped him with a flood of notices that he must discontinue running
their old advertisements. Hearst persisted. Injunctions were served
on him. Still he persisted. He received six months' imprisonment for
contempt of court in disobeying the injunctions, while he was bankrupted
by countless damage suits. He had no chance. The Plutocracy had passed
sentence on him. The courts were in the hands of the Plutocracy to
carry the sentence out. And with Hearst crashed also to destruction the
Democratic Party that he had so recently captured.

With the destruction of Hearst and the Democratic Party, there were only
two paths for his following to take. One was into the Socialist Party;
the other was into the Republican Party. Then it was that we socialists
reaped the fruit of Hearst's pseudo-socialistic preaching; for the great
Majority of his followers came over to us.

The expropriation of the farmers that took place at this time would also
have swelled our vote had it not been for the brief and futile rise of
the Grange Party. Ernest and the socialist leaders fought fiercely to
capture the farmers; but the destruction of the socialist press
and publishing houses constituted too great a handicap, while the
mouth-to-mouth propaganda had not yet been perfected. So it was that
politicians like Mr. Calvin, who were themselves farmers long since
expropriated, captured the farmers and threw their political strength
away in a vain campaign.

"The poor farmers," Ernest once laughed savagely; "the trusts have them
both coming and going."

And that was really the situation. The seven great trusts, working
together, had pooled their enormous surpluses and made a farm trust.
The railroads, controlling rates, and the bankers and stock exchange
gamesters, controlling prices, had long since bled the farmers into
indebtedness. The bankers, and all the trusts for that matter, had
likewise long since loaned colossal amounts of money to the farmers. The
farmers were in the net. All that remained to be done was the drawing in
of the net. This the farm trust proceeded to do.

The hard times of 1912 had already caused a frightful slump in the farm
markets. Prices were now deliberately pressed down to bankruptcy,
while the railroads, with extortionate rates, broke the back of the
farmer-camel. Thus the farmers were compelled to borrow more and more,
while they were prevented from paying back old loans. Then ensued the
great foreclosing of mortgages and enforced collection of notes. The
farmers simply surrendered the land to the farm trust. There was nothing
else for them to do. And having surrendered the land, the farmers next
went to work for the farm trust, becoming managers, superintendents,
foremen, and common laborers. They worked for wages. They became
villeins, in short--serfs bound to the soil by a living wage. They could
not leave their masters, for their masters composed the Plutocracy.
They could not go to the cities, for there, also, the Plutocracy was
in control. They had but one alternative,--to leave the soil and become
vagrants, in brief, to starve. And even there they were frustrated, for
stringent vagrancy laws were passed and rigidly enforced.

Of course, here and there, farmers, and even whole communities of
farmers, escaped expropriation by virtue of exceptional conditions. But
they were merely strays and did not count, and they were gathered in
anyway during the following year.*

     * The destruction of the Roman yeomanry proceeded far less
     rapidly than the destruction of the American farmers and
     small capitalists. There was momentum in the twentieth
     century, while there was practically none in ancient Rome.

     Numbers of the farmers, impelled by an insane lust for the
     soil, and willing to show what beasts they could become,
     tried to escape expropriation by withdrawing from any and
     all market-dealing.  They sold nothing.  They bought
     nothing.  Among themselves a primitive barter began to
     spring up.  Their privation and hardships were terrible, but
     they persisted.  It became quite a movement, in fact. The
     manner in which they were beaten was unique and logical and
     simple.  The Plutocracy, by virtue of its possession of the
     government, raised their taxes.  It was the weak joint in
     their armor.  Neither buying nor selling, they had no money,
     and in the end their land was sold to pay the taxes.

Thus it was that in the fall of 1912 the socialist leaders, with the
exception of Ernest, decided that the end of capitalism had come. What
of the hard times and the consequent vast army of the unemployed; what
of the destruction of the farmers and the middle class; and what of the
decisive defeat administered all along the line to the labor unions; the
socialists were really justified in believing that the end of capitalism
had come and in themselves throwing down the gauntlet to the Plutocracy.

Alas, how we underestimated the strength of the enemy! Everywhere the
socialists proclaimed their coming victory at the ballot-box, while, in
unmistakable terms, they stated the situation. The Plutocracy accepted
the challenge. It was the Plutocracy, weighing and balancing, that
defeated us by dividing our strength. It was the Plutocracy, through its
secret agents, that raised the cry that socialism was sacrilegious
and atheistic; it was the Plutocracy that whipped the churches, and
especially the Catholic Church, into line, and robbed us of a portion of
the labor vote. And it was the Plutocracy, through its secret agents
of course, that encouraged the Grange Party and even spread it to the
cities into the ranks of the dying middle class.

Nevertheless the socialist landslide occurred. But, instead of a
sweeping victory with chief executive officers and majorities in all
legislative bodies, we found ourselves in the minority. It is true, we
elected fifty Congressmen; but when they took their seats in the spring
of 1913, they found themselves without power of any sort. Yet they
were more fortunate than the Grangers, who captured a dozen state
governments, and who, in the spring, were not permitted to take
possession of the captured offices. The incumbents refused to retire,
and the courts were in the hands of the Oligarchy. But this is too far
in advance of events. I have yet to tell of the stirring times of the
winter of 1912.

The hard times at home had caused an immense decrease in consumption.
Labor, out of work, had no wages with which to buy. The result was that
the Plutocracy found a greater surplus than ever on its hands. This
surplus it was compelled to dispose of abroad, and, what of its colossal
plans, it needed money. Because of its strenuous efforts to dispose of
the surplus in the world market, the Plutocracy clashed with Germany.
Economic clashes were usually succeeded by wars, and this particular
clash was no exception. The great German war-lord prepared, and so did
the United States prepare.

The war-cloud hovered dark and ominous. The stage was set for a
world-catastrophe, for in all the world were hard times, labor troubles,
perishing middle classes, armies of unemployed, clashes of economic
interests in the world-market, and mutterings and rumblings of the
socialist revolution.*

     * For a long time these mutterings and rumblings had been
     heard. As far back as 1906 A.D., Lord Avebury, an
     Englishman, uttered the following in the House of Lords:
     "The unrest in Europe, the spread of socialism, and the
     ominous rise of Anarchism, are warnings to the governments
     and the ruling classes that the condition of the working
     classes in Europe is becoming intolerable, and that if a
     revolution is to be avoided some steps must be taken to
     increase wages, reduce the hours of labor, and lower the
     prices of the necessaries of life."  The Wall Street
     Journal, a stock gamesters' publication, in commenting upon
     Lord Avebury's speech, said: "These words were spoken by an
     aristocrat and a member of the most conservative body in all
     Europe.  That gives them all the more significance.  They
     contain more valuable political economy than is to be found
     in most of the books.  They sound a note of warning. Take
     heed, gentlemen of the war and navy departments!"

     At the same time, Sydney Brooks, writing in America, in
     Harper's Weekly, said: "You will not hear the socialists
     mentioned in Washington.  Why should you?  The politicians
     are always the last people in this country to see what is
     going on under their noses. They will jeer at me when I
     prophesy, and prophesy with the utmost confidence, that at
     the next presidential election the socialists will poll over
     a million votes."

The Oligarchy wanted the war with Germany. And it wanted the war for a
dozen reasons. In the juggling of events such a war would cause, in the
reshuffling of the international cards and the making of new treaties
and alliances, the Oligarchy had much to gain. And, furthermore, the war
would consume many national surpluses, reduce the armies of unemployed
that menaced all countries, and give the Oligarchy a breathing space
in which to perfect its plans and carry them out. Such a war would
virtually put the Oligarchy in possession of the world-market. Also,
such a war would create a large standing army that need never be
disbanded, while in the minds of the people would be substituted
the issue, "America versus Germany," in place of "Socialism versus
Oligarchy."

And truly the war would have done all these things had it not been for
the socialists. A secret meeting of the Western leaders was held in our
four tiny rooms in Pell Street. Here was first considered the stand the
socialists were to take. It was not the first time we had put our foot
down upon war,* but it was the first time we had done so in the United
States. After our secret meeting we got in touch with the national
organization, and soon our code cables were passing back and forth
across the Atlantic between us and the International Bureau.

     * It was at the very beginning of the twentieth century
     A.D., that the international organization of the socialists
     finally formulated their long-maturing policy on war.
     Epitomized their doctrine was: "Why should the workingmen of
     one country fight with the workingmen of another country for
     the benefit of their capitalist masters?"

     On May 21, 1905 A.D., when war threatened between Austria
     and Italy, the socialists of Italy, Austria, and Hungary
     held a conference at Trieste, and threatened a general
     strike of the workingmen of both countries in case war was
     declared.  This was repeated the following year, when the
     "Morocco Affair" threatened to involve France, Germany, and
     England.

The German socialists were ready to act with us. There were over five
million of them, many of them in the standing army, and, in addition,
they were on friendly terms with the labor unions. In both countries the
socialists came out in bold declaration against the war and threatened
the general strike. And in the meantime they made preparation for the
general strike. Furthermore, the revolutionary parties in all countries
gave public utterance to the socialist principle of international peace
that must be preserved at all hazards, even to the extent of revolt and
revolution at home.

The general strike was the one great victory we American socialists
won. On the 4th of December the American minister was withdrawn from
the German capital. That night a German fleet made a dash on Honolulu,
sinking three American cruisers and a revenue cutter, and bombarding
the city. Next day both Germany and the United States declared war,
and within an hour the socialists called the general strike in both
countries.

For the first time the German war-lord faced the men of his empire
who made his empire go. Without them he could not run his empire. The
novelty of the situation lay in that their revolt was passive. They
did not fight. They did nothing. And by doing nothing they tied their
war-lord's hands. He would have asked for nothing better than an
opportunity to loose his war-dogs on his rebellious proletariat. But
this was denied him. He could not loose his war-dogs. Neither could
he mobilize his army to go forth to war, nor could he punish his
recalcitrant subjects. Not a wheel moved in his empire. Not a train ran,
not a telegraphic message went over the wires, for the telegraphers and
railroad men had ceased work along with the rest of the population.

And as it was in Germany, so it was in the United States. At last
organized labor had learned its lesson. Beaten decisively on its own
chosen field, it had abandoned that field and come over to the political
field of the socialists; for the general strike was a political strike.
Besides, organized labor had been so badly beaten that it did not care.
It joined in the general strike out of sheer desperation. The workers
threw down their tools and left their tasks by the millions. Especially
notable were the machinists. Their heads were bloody, their organization
had apparently been destroyed, yet out they came, along with their
allies in the metal-working trades.

Even the common laborers and all unorganized labor ceased work. The
strike had tied everything up so that nobody could work. Besides, the
women proved to be the strongest promoters of the strike. They set their
faces against the war. They did not want their men to go forth to
die. Then, also, the idea of the general strike caught the mood of the
people. It struck their sense of humor. The idea was infectious. The
children struck in all the schools, and such teachers as came, went home
again from deserted class rooms. The general strike took the form of
a great national picnic. And the idea of the solidarity of labor, so
evidenced, appealed to the imagination of all. And, finally, there was
no danger to be incurred by the colossal frolic. When everybody was
guilty, how was anybody to be punished?

The United States was paralyzed. No one knew what was happening. There
were no newspapers, no letters, no despatches. Every community was as
completely isolated as though ten thousand miles of primeval wilderness
stretched between it and the rest of the world. For that matter, the
world had ceased to exist. And for a week this state of affairs was
maintained.

In San Francisco we did not know what was happening even across the bay
in Oakland or Berkeley. The effect on one's sensibilities was weird,
depressing. It seemed as though some great cosmic thing lay dead. The
pulse of the land had ceased to beat. Of a truth the nation had died.
There were no wagons rumbling on the streets, no factory whistles, no
hum of electricity in the air, no passing of street cars, no cries
of news-boys--nothing but persons who at rare intervals went by like
furtive ghosts, themselves oppressed and made unreal by the silence.

And during that week of silence the Oligarchy was taught its lesson. And
well it learned the lesson. The general strike was a warning. It should
never occur again. The Oligarchy would see to that.

At the end of the week, as had been prearranged, the telegraphers of
Germany and the United States returned to their posts. Through them the
socialist leaders of both countries presented their ultimatum to the
rulers. The war should be called off, or the general strike would
continue. It did not take long to come to an understanding. The war was
declared off, and the populations of both countries returned to their
tasks.

It was this renewal of peace that brought about the alliance between
Germany and the United States. In reality, this was an alliance between
the Emperor and the Oligarchy, for the purpose of meeting their common
foe, the revolutionary proletariat of both countries. And it was this
alliance that the Oligarchy afterward so treacherously broke when the
German socialists rose and drove the war-lord from his throne. It was
the very thing the Oligarchy had played for--the destruction of its
great rival in the world-market. With the German Emperor out of the way,
Germany would have no surplus to sell abroad. By the very nature of
the socialist state, the German population would consume all that it
produced. Of course, it would trade abroad certain things it produced
for things it did not produce; but this would be quite different from an
unconsumable surplus.

"I'll wager the Oligarchy finds justification," Ernest said, when its
treachery to the German Emperor became known. "As usual, the Oligarchy
will believe it has done right."

And sure enough. The Oligarchy's public defence for the act was that it
had done it for the sake of the American people whose interests it was
looking out for. It had flung its hated rival out of the world-market
and enabled us to dispose of our surplus in that market.

"And the howling folly of it is that we are so helpless that such idiots
really are managing our interests," was Ernest's comment. "They have
enabled us to sell more abroad, which means that we'll be compelled to
consume less at home."



CHAPTER XIV

THE BEGINNING OF THE END


As early as January, 1913, Ernest saw the true trend of affairs, but
he could not get his brother leaders to see the vision of the Iron
Heel that had arisen in his brain. They were too confident. Events were
rushing too rapidly to culmination. A crisis had come in world
affairs. The American Oligarchy was practically in possession of the
world-market, and scores of countries were flung out of that market with
unconsumable and unsalable surpluses on their hands. For such countries
nothing remained but reorganization. They could not continue their
method of producing surpluses. The capitalistic system, so far as they
were concerned, had hopelessly broken down.

The reorganization of these countries took the form of revolution.
It was a time of confusion and violence. Everywhere institutions and
governments were crashing. Everywhere, with the exception of two or
three countries, the erstwhile capitalist masters fought bitterly for
their possessions. But the governments were taken away from them by the
militant proletariat. At last was being realized Karl Marx's classic:
"The knell of private capitalist property sounds. The expropriators
are expropriated." And as fast as capitalistic governments crashed,
cooperative commonwealths arose in their place.

"Why does the United States lag behind?"; "Get busy, you American
revolutionists!"; "What's the matter with America?"--were the messages
sent to us by our successful comrades in other lands. But we could not
keep up. The Oligarchy stood in the way. Its bulk, like that of some
huge monster, blocked our path.

"Wait till we take office in the spring," we answered. "Then you'll
see."

Behind this lay our secret. We had won over the Grangers, and in the
spring a dozen states would pass into their hands by virtue of the
elections of the preceding fall. At once would be instituted a dozen
cooperative commonwealth states. After that, the rest would be easy.

"But what if the Grangers fail to get possession?" Ernest demanded. And
his comrades called him a calamity howler.

But this failure to get possession was not the chief danger that Ernest
had in mind. What he foresaw was the defection of the great labor unions
and the rise of the castes.

"Ghent has taught the oligarchs how to do it," Ernest said. "I'll wager
they've made a text-book out of his 'Benevolent Feudalism.'"*

     * "Our Benevolent Feudalism," a book published in 1902 A.D.,
     by W. J. Ghent.  It has always been insisted that Ghent put
     the idea of the Oligarchy into the minds of the great
     capitalists.  This belief persists throughout the literature
     of the three centuries of the Iron Heel, and even in the
     literature of the first century of the Brotherhood of Man.
     To-day we know better, but our knowledge does not overcome
     the fact that Ghent remains the most abused innocent man in
     all history.

Never shall I forget the night when, after a hot discussion with half a
dozen labor leaders, Ernest turned to me and said quietly: "That settles
it. The Iron Heel has won. The end is in sight."

This little conference in our home was unofficial; but Ernest, like the
rest of his comrades, was working for assurances from the labor leaders
that they would call out their men in the next general strike. O'Connor,
the president of the Association of Machinists, had been foremost of the
six leaders present in refusing to give such assurance.

"You have seen that you were beaten soundly at your old tactics of
strike and boycott," Ernest urged.

O'Connor and the others nodded their heads.

"And you saw what a general strike would do," Ernest went on. "We
stopped the war with Germany. Never was there so fine a display of the
solidarity and the power of labor. Labor can and will rule the world.
If you continue to stand with us, we'll put an end to the reign of
capitalism. It is your only hope. And what is more, you know it. There
is no other way out. No matter what you do under your old tactics, you
are doomed to defeat, if for no other reason because the masters control
the courts."*

     * As a sample of the decisions of the courts adverse to
     labor, the following instances are given.  In the coal-
     mining regions the employment of children was notorious.  In
     1905 A.D., labor succeeded in getting a law passed in
     Pennsylvania providing that proof of the age of the child
     and of certain educational qualifications must accompany the
     oath of the parent.  This was promptly declared
     unconstitutional by the Luzerne County Court, on the ground
     that it violated the Fourteenth Amendment in that it
     discriminated between individuals of the same class--namely,
     children above fourteen years of age and children below.
     The state court sustained the decision.  The New York Court
     of Special Sessions, in 1905 A.D., declared unconstitutional
     the law prohibiting minors and women from working in
     factories after nine o'clock at night, the ground taken
     being that such a law was "class legislation."  Again, the
     bakers of that time were terribly overworked.  The New York
     Legislature passed a law restricting work in bakeries to ten
     hours a day.  In 1906 A.D., the Supreme Court of the United
     States declared this law to be unconstitutional.  In part
     the decision read: "There is no reasonable ground for
     interfering with the liberty of persons or the right of free
     contract by determining the hours of labor in the occupation
     of a baker."

"You run ahead too fast," O'Connor answered. "You don't know all the
ways out. There is another way out. We know what we're about. We're sick
of strikes. They've got us beaten that way to a frazzle. But I don't
think we'll ever need to call our men out again."

"What is your way out?" Ernest demanded bluntly.

O'Connor laughed and shook his head. "I can tell you this much: We've
not been asleep. And we're not dreaming now."

"There's nothing to be afraid of, or ashamed of, I hope," Ernest
challenged.

"I guess we know our business best," was the retort.

"It's a dark business, from the way you hide it," Ernest said with
growing anger.

"We've paid for our experience in sweat and blood, and we've earned all
that's coming to us," was the reply. "Charity begins at home."

"If you're afraid to tell me your way out, I'll tell it to you."
Ernest's blood was up. "You're going in for grab-sharing. You've made
terms with the enemy, that's what you've done. You've sold out the cause
of labor, of all labor. You are leaving the battle-field like cowards."

"I'm not saying anything," O'Connor answered sullenly. "Only I guess we
know what's best for us a little bit better than you do."

"And you don't care a cent for what is best for the rest of labor. You
kick it into the ditch."

"I'm not saying anything," O'Connor replied, "except that I'm president
of the Machinists' Association, and it's my business to consider the
interests of the men I represent, that's all."

And then, when the labor leaders had left, Ernest, with the calmness of
defeat, outlined to me the course of events to come.

"The socialists used to foretell with joy," he said, "the coming of the
day when organized labor, defeated on the industrial field, would come
over on to the political field. Well, the Iron Heel has defeated
the labor unions on the industrial field and driven them over to the
political field; and instead of this being joyful for us, it will be
a source of grief. The Iron Heel learned its lesson. We showed it our
power in the general strike. It has taken steps to prevent another
general strike."

"But how?" I asked.

"Simply by subsidizing the great unions. They won't join in the next
general strike. Therefore it won't be a general strike."

"But the Iron Heel can't maintain so costly a programme forever," I
objected.

"Oh, it hasn't subsidized all of the unions. That's not necessary. Here
is what is going to happen. Wages are going to be advanced and hours
shortened in the railroad unions, the iron and steel workers unions,
and the engineer and machinist unions. In these unions more favorable
conditions will continue to prevail. Membership in these unions will
become like seats in Paradise."

"Still I don't see," I objected. "What is to become of the other unions?
There are far more unions outside of this combination than in it."

"The other unions will be ground out of existence--all of them. For,
don't you see, the railway men, machinists and engineers, iron and
steel workers, do all of the vitally essential work in our machine
civilization. Assured of their faithfulness, the Iron Heel can snap
its fingers at all the rest of labor. Iron, steel, coal, machinery, and
transportation constitute the backbone of the whole industrial fabric."

"But coal?" I queried. "There are nearly a million coal miners."

They are practically unskilled labor. They will not count. Their wages
will go down and their hours will increase. They will be slaves like all
the rest of us, and they will become about the most bestial of all of
us. They will be compelled to work, just as the farmers are compelled
to work now for the masters who robbed them of their land. And the same
with all the other unions outside the combination. Watch them wobble and
go to pieces, and their members become slaves driven to toil by empty
stomachs and the law of the land.

"Do you know what will happen to Farley* and his strike-breakers? I'll
tell you. Strike-breaking as an occupation will cease. There won't be
any more strikes. In place of strikes will be slave revolts. Farley and
his gang will be promoted to slave-driving. Oh, it won't be called
that; it will be called enforcing the law of the land that compels the
laborers to work. It simply prolongs the fight, this treachery of the
big unions. Heaven only knows now where and when the Revolution will
triumph."

     * James Farley--a notorious strike-breaker of the period.  A
     man more courageous than ethical, and of undeniable ability.
     He rose high under the rule of the Iron Heel and finally was
     translated into the oligarch class.  He was assassinated in
     1932 by Sarah Jenkins, whose husband, thirty years before,
     had been killed by Farley's strike-breakers.

"But with such a powerful combination as the Oligarchy and the big
unions, is there any reason to believe that the Revolution will ever
triumph?" I queried. "May not the combination endure forever?"

He shook his head. "One of our generalizations is that every system
founded upon class and caste contains within itself the germs of its own
decay. When a system is founded upon class, how can caste be prevented?
The Iron Heel will not be able to prevent it, and in the end caste will
destroy the Iron Heel. The oligarchs have already developed caste among
themselves; but wait until the favored unions develop caste. The Iron
Heel will use all its power to prevent it, but it will fail.

"In the favored unions are the flower of the American workingmen. They
are strong, efficient men. They have become members of those unions
through competition for place. Every fit workman in the United States
will be possessed by the ambition to become a member of the favored
unions. The Oligarchy will encourage such ambition and the consequent
competition. Thus will the strong men, who might else be revolutionists,
be won away and their strength used to bolster the Oligarchy.

"On the other hand, the labor castes, the members of the favored unions,
will strive to make their organizations into close corporations.
And they will succeed. Membership in the labor castes will become
hereditary. Sons will succeed fathers, and there will be no inflow of
new strength from that eternal reservoir of strength, the common people.
This will mean deterioration of the labor castes, and in the end they
will become weaker and weaker. At the same time, as an institution, they
will become temporarily all-powerful. They will be like the guards of
the palace in old Rome, and there will be palace revolutions whereby
the labor castes will seize the reins of power. And there will be
counter-palace revolutions of the oligarchs, and sometimes the one, and
sometimes the other, will be in power. And through it all the inevitable
caste-weakening will go on, so that in the end the common people will
come into their own."

This foreshadowing of a slow social evolution was made when Ernest was
first depressed by the defection of the great unions. I never agreed
with him in it, and I disagree now, as I write these lines, more
heartily than ever; for even now, though Ernest is gone, we are on the
verge of the revolt that will sweep all oligarchies away. Yet I have
here given Ernest's prophecy because it was his prophecy. In spite of
his belief in it, he worked like a giant against it, and he, more than
any man, has made possible the revolt that even now waits the signal to
burst forth.*

     * Everhard's social foresight was remarkable.  As clearly as
     in the light of past events, he saw the defection of the
     favored unions, the rise and the slow decay of the labor
     castes, and the struggle between the decaying oligarchs and
     labor castes for control of the great governmental machine.

"But if the Oligarchy persists," I asked him that evening, "what will
become of the great surpluses that will fall to its share every year?"

"The surpluses will have to be expended somehow," he answered; "and
trust the oligarchs to find a way. Magnificent roads will be built.
There will be great achievements in science, and especially in art. When
the oligarchs have completely mastered the people, they will have time
to spare for other things. They will become worshippers of beauty.
They will become art-lovers. And under their direction and generously
rewarded, will toil the artists. The result will be great art; for no
longer, as up to yesterday, will the artists pander to the bourgeois
taste of the middle class. It will be great art, I tell you, and wonder
cities will arise that will make tawdry and cheap the cities of old
time. And in these cities will the oligarchs dwell and worship beauty.*

     * We cannot but marvel at Everhard's foresight.  Before ever
     the thought of wonder cities like Ardis and Asgard entered
     the minds of the oligarchs, Everhard saw those cities and
     the inevitable necessity for their creation.

"Thus will the surplus be constantly expended while labor does the work.
The building of these great works and cities will give a starvation
ration to millions of common laborers, for the enormous bulk of the
surplus will compel an equally enormous expenditure, and the oligarchs
will build for a thousand years--ay, for ten thousand years. They will
build as the Egyptians and the Babylonians never dreamed of building;
and when the oligarchs have passed away, their great roads and their
wonder cities will remain for the brotherhood of labor to tread upon and
dwell within.*

     * And since that day of prophecy, have passed away the three
     centuries of the Iron Heel and the four centuries of the
     Brotherhood of Man, and to-day we tread the roads and dwell
     in the cities that the oligarchs built.  It is true, we are
     even now building still more wonderful wonder cities, but
     the wonder cities of the oligarchs endure, and I write these
     lines in Ardis, one of the most wonderful of them all.

"These things the oligarchs will do because they cannot help doing them.
These great works will be the form their expenditure of the surplus will
take, and in the same way that the ruling classes of Egypt of long ago
expended the surplus they robbed from the people by the building of
temples and pyramids. Under the oligarchs will flourish, not a priest
class, but an artist class. And in place of the merchant class of
bourgeoisie will be the labor castes. And beneath will be the abyss,
wherein will fester and starve and rot, and ever renew itself, the
common people, the great bulk of the population. And in the end, who
knows in what day, the common people will rise up out of the abyss; the
labor castes and the Oligarchy will crumble away; and then, at last,
after the travail of the centuries, will it be the day of the common
man. I had thought to see that day; but now I know that I shall never
see it."

He paused and looked at me, and added:

"Social evolution is exasperatingly slow, isn't it, sweetheart?"

My arms were about him, and his head was on my breast.

"Sing me to sleep," he murmured whimsically. "I have had a visioning,
and I wish to forget."



CHAPTER XV

LAST DAYS


It was near the end of January, 1913, that the changed attitude of the
Oligarchy toward the favored unions was made public. The newspapers
published information of an unprecedented rise in wages and shortening
of hours for the railroad employees, the iron and steel workers, and
the engineers and machinists. But the whole truth was not told. The
oligarchs did not dare permit the telling of the whole truth. In
reality, the wages had been raised much higher, and the privileges were
correspondingly greater. All this was secret, but secrets will out.
Members of the favored unions told their wives, and the wives gossiped,
and soon all the labor world knew what had happened.

It was merely the logical development of what in the nineteenth century
had been known as grab-sharing. In the industrial warfare of that time,
profit-sharing had been tried. That is, the capitalists had striven to
placate the workers by interesting them financially in their work.
But profit-sharing, as a system, was ridiculous and impossible.
Profit-sharing could be successful only in isolated cases in the midst
of a system of industrial strife; for if all labor and all capital
shared profits, the same conditions would obtain as did obtain when
there was no profit-sharing.

So, out of the unpractical idea of profit-sharing, arose the practical
idea of grab-sharing. "Give us more pay and charge it to the public,"
was the slogan of the strong unions.* And here and there this selfish
policy worked successfully. In charging it to the public, it was charged
to the great mass of unorganized labor and of weakly organized labor.
These workers actually paid the increased wages of their stronger
brothers who were members of unions that were labor monopolies. This
idea, as I say, was merely carried to its logical conclusion, on a large
scale, by the combination of the oligarchs and the favored unions.

     * All the railroad unions entered into this combination with
     the oligarchs, and it is of interest to note that the first
     definite application of the policy of profit-grabbing was
     made by a railroad union in the nineteenth century A.D.,
     namely, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.  P. M.
     Arthur was for twenty years Grand Chief of the Brotherhood.
     After the strike on the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1877, he
     broached a scheme to have the Locomotive Engineers make
     terms with the railroads and to "go it alone" so far as the
     rest of the labor unions were concerned.  This scheme was
     eminently successful.  It was as successful as it was
     selfish, and out of it was coined the word "arthurization,"
     to denote grab-sharing on the part of labor unions.  This
     word "arthurization" has long puzzled the etymologists, but
     its derivation, I hope, is now made clear.

As soon as the secret of the defection of the favored unions leaked
out, there were rumblings and mutterings in the labor world. Next, the
favored unions withdrew from the international organizations and broke
off all affiliations. Then came trouble and violence. The members of the
favored unions were branded as traitors, and in saloons and brothels, on
the streets and at work, and, in fact, everywhere, they were assaulted
by the comrades they had so treacherously deserted.

Countless heads were broken, and there were many killed. No member of
the favored unions was safe. They gathered together in bands in order to
go to work or to return from work. They walked always in the middle
of the street. On the sidewalk they were liable to have their skulls
crushed by bricks and cobblestones thrown from windows and house-tops.
They were permitted to carry weapons, and the authorities aided them
in every way. Their persecutors were sentenced to long terms in prison,
where they were harshly treated; while no man, not a member of the
favored unions, was permitted to carry weapons. Violation of this law
was made a high misdemeanor and punished accordingly.

Outraged labor continued to wreak vengeance on the traitors. Caste lines
formed automatically. The children of the traitors were persecuted
by the children of the workers who had been betrayed, until it was
impossible for the former to play on the streets or to attend the public
schools. Also, the wives and families of the traitors were ostracized,
while the corner groceryman who sold provisions to them was boycotted.

As a result, driven back upon themselves from every side, the traitors
and their families became clannish. Finding it impossible to dwell in
safety in the midst of the betrayed proletariat, they moved into new
localities inhabited by themselves alone. In this they were favored by
the oligarchs. Good dwellings, modern and sanitary, were built for them,
surrounded by spacious yards, and separated here and there by parks and
playgrounds. Their children attended schools especially built for
them, and in these schools manual training and applied science were
specialized upon. Thus, and unavoidably, at the very beginning, out of
this segregation arose caste. The members of the favored unions became
the aristocracy of labor. They were set apart from the rest of labor.
They were better housed, better clothed, better fed, better treated.
They were grab-sharing with a vengeance.

In the meantime, the rest of the working class was more harshly treated.
Many little privileges were taken away from it, while its wages and its
standard of living steadily sank down. Incidentally, its public schools
deteriorated, and education slowly ceased to be compulsory. The increase
in the younger generation of children who could not read nor write was
perilous.

The capture of the world-market by the United States had disrupted the
rest of the world. Institutions and governments were everywhere crashing
or transforming. Germany, Italy, France, Australia, and New Zealand were
busy forming cooperative commonwealths. The British Empire was falling
apart. England's hands were full. In India revolt was in full swing. The
cry in all Asia was, "Asia for the Asiatics!" And behind this cry was
Japan, ever urging and aiding the yellow and brown races against the
white. And while Japan dreamed of continental empire and strove to
realize the dream, she suppressed her own proletarian revolution. It
was a simple war of the castes, Coolie versus Samurai, and the coolie
socialists were executed by tens of thousands. Forty thousand were
killed in the street-fighting of Tokio and in the futile assault on
the Mikado's palace. Kobe was a shambles; the slaughter of the cotton
operatives by machine-guns became classic as the most terrific execution
ever achieved by modern war machines. Most savage of all was the
Japanese Oligarchy that arose. Japan dominated the East, and took
to herself the whole Asiatic portion of the world-market, with the
exception of India.

England managed to crush her own proletarian revolution and to hold on
to India, though she was brought to the verge of exhaustion. Also, she
was compelled to let her great colonies slip away from her. So it was
that the socialists succeeded in making Australia and New Zealand into
cooperative commonwealths. And it was for the same reason that Canada
was lost to the mother country. But Canada crushed her own socialist
revolution, being aided in this by the Iron Heel. At the same time, the
Iron Heel helped Mexico and Cuba to put down revolt. The result was that
the Iron Heel was firmly established in the New World. It had welded
into one compact political mass the whole of North America from the
Panama Canal to the Arctic Ocean.

And England, at the sacrifice of her great colonies, had succeeded only
in retaining India. But this was no more than temporary. The struggle
with Japan and the rest of Asia for India was merely delayed. England
was destined shortly to lose India, while behind that event loomed the
struggle between a united Asia and the world.

And while all the world was torn with conflict, we of the United States
were not placid and peaceful. The defection of the great unions had
prevented our proletarian revolt, but violence was everywhere. In
addition to the labor troubles, and the discontent of the farmers and of
the remnant of the middle class, a religious revival had blazed up. An
offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists sprang into sudden prominence,
proclaiming the end of the world.

"Confusion thrice confounded!" Ernest cried. "How can we hope for
solidarity with all these cross purposes and conflicts?"

And truly the religious revival assumed formidable proportions. The
people, what of their wretchedness, and of their disappointment in
all things earthly, were ripe and eager for a heaven where industrial
tyrants entered no more than camels passed through needle-eyes.
Wild-eyed itinerant preachers swarmed over the land; and despite
the prohibition of the civil authorities, and the persecution for
disobedience, the flames of religious frenzy were fanned by countless
camp-meetings.

It was the last days, they claimed, the beginning of the end of the
world. The four winds had been loosed. God had stirred the nations
to strife. It was a time of visions and miracles, while seers and
prophetesses were legion. The people ceased work by hundreds of
thousands and fled to the mountains, there to await the imminent coming
of God and the rising of the hundred and forty and four thousand to
heaven. But in the meantime God did not come, and they starved to death
in great numbers. In their desperation they ravaged the farms for food,
and the consequent tumult and anarchy in the country districts but
increased the woes of the poor expropriated farmers.

Also, the farms and warehouses were the property of the Iron Heel.
Armies of troops were put into the field, and the fanatics were herded
back at the bayonet point to their tasks in the cities. There they broke
out in ever recurring mobs and riots. Their leaders were executed for
sedition or confined in madhouses. Those who were executed went to their
deaths with all the gladness of martyrs. It was a time of madness. The
unrest spread. In the swamps and deserts and waste places, from Florida
to Alaska, the small groups of Indians that survived were dancing ghost
dances and waiting the coming of a Messiah of their own.

And through it all, with a serenity and certitude that was terrifying,
continued to rise the form of that monster of the ages, the Oligarchy.
With iron hand and iron heel it mastered the surging millions, out
of confusion brought order, out of the very chaos wrought its own
foundation and structure.

"Just wait till we get in," the Grangers said--Calvin said it to us in
our Pell Street quarters. "Look at the states we've captured. With you
socialists to back us, we'll make them sing another song when we take
office."

"The millions of the discontented and the impoverished are ours," the
socialists said. "The Grangers have come over to us, the farmers, the
middle class, and the laborers. The capitalist system will fall to
pieces. In another month we send fifty men to Congress. Two years
hence every office will be ours, from the President down to the local
dog-catcher."

To all of which Ernest would shake his head and say:

"How many rifles have you got? Do you know where you can get plenty
of lead? When it comes to powder, chemical mixtures are better than
mechanical mixtures, you take my word."



CHAPTER XVI

THE END


When it came time for Ernest and me to go to Washington, father did not
accompany us. He had become enamoured of proletarian life. He looked
upon our slum neighborhood as a great sociological laboratory, and
he had embarked upon an apparently endless orgy of investigation. He
chummed with the laborers, and was an intimate in scores of homes.
Also, he worked at odd jobs, and the work was play as well as learned
investigation, for he delighted in it and was always returning home with
copious notes and bubbling over with new adventures. He was the perfect
scientist.

There was no need for his working at all, because Ernest managed to earn
enough from his translating to take care of the three of us. But father
insisted on pursuing his favorite phantom, and a protean phantom it was,
judging from the jobs he worked at. I shall never forget the evening he
brought home his street pedler's outfit of shoe-laces and suspenders,
nor the time I went into the little corner grocery to make some purchase
and had him wait on me. After that I was not surprised when he tended
bar for a week in the saloon across the street. He worked as a night
watchman, hawked potatoes on the street, pasted labels in a cannery
warehouse, was utility man in a paper-box factory, and water-carrier
for a street railway construction gang, and even joined the Dishwashers'
Union just before it fell to pieces.

I think the Bishop's example, so far as wearing apparel was concerned,
must have fascinated father, for he wore the cheap cotton shirt of the
laborer and the overalls with the narrow strap about the hips. Yet one
habit remained to him from the old life; he always dressed for dinner,
or supper, rather.

I could be happy anywhere with Ernest; and father's happiness in our
changed circumstances rounded out my own happiness.

"When I was a boy," father said, "I was very curious. I wanted to know
why things were and how they came to pass. That was why I became a
physicist. The life in me to-day is just as curious as it was in my
boyhood, and it's the being curious that makes life worth living."

Sometimes he ventured north of Market Street into the shopping and
theatre district, where he sold papers, ran errands, and opened cabs.
There, one day, closing a cab, he encountered Mr. Wickson. In high glee
father described the incident to us that evening.

"Wickson looked at me sharply when I closed the door on him, and
muttered, 'Well, I'll be damned.' Just like that he said it, 'Well, I'll
be damned.' His face turned red and he was so confused that he forgot to
tip me. But he must have recovered himself quickly, for the cab hadn't
gone fifty feet before it turned around and came back. He leaned out of
the door.

"'Look here, Professor,' he said, 'this is too much. What can I do for
you?'

"'I closed the cab door for you,' I answered. 'According to common
custom you might give me a dime.'

"'Bother that!' he snorted. 'I mean something substantial.'

"He was certainly serious--a twinge of ossified conscience or something;
and so I considered with grave deliberation for a moment.

"His face was quite expectant when I began my answer, but you should
have seen it when I finished.

"'You might give me back my home,' I said, 'and my stock in the Sierra
Mills.'"

Father paused.

"What did he say?" I questioned eagerly.

"What could he say? He said nothing. But I said. 'I hope you are happy.'
He looked at me curiously. 'Tell me, are you happy?'" I asked.

"He ordered the cabman to drive on, and went away swearing horribly. And
he didn't give me the dime, much less the home and stock; so you see, my
dear, your father's street-arab career is beset with disappointments."

And so it was that father kept on at our Pell Street quarters, while
Ernest and I went to Washington. Except for the final consummation, the
old order had passed away, and the final consummation was nearer than
I dreamed. Contrary to our expectation, no obstacles were raised to
prevent the socialist Congressmen from taking their seats. Everything
went smoothly, and I laughed at Ernest when he looked upon the very
smoothness as something ominous.

We found our socialist comrades confident, optimistic of their strength
and of the things they would accomplish. A few Grangers who had been
elected to Congress increased our strength, and an elaborate programme
of what was to be done was prepared by the united forces. In all of
which Ernest joined loyally and energetically, though he could not
forbear, now and again, from saying, apropos of nothing in particular,
"When it comes to powder, chemical mixtures are better than mechanical
mixtures, you take my word."

The trouble arose first with the Grangers in the various states they had
captured at the last election. There were a dozen of these states, but
the Grangers who had been elected were not permitted to take office. The
incumbents refused to get out. It was very simple. They merely charged
illegality in the elections and wrapped up the whole situation in the
interminable red tape of the law. The Grangers were powerless. The
courts were in the hands of their enemies.

This was the moment of danger. If the cheated Grangers became violent,
all was lost. How we socialists worked to hold them back! There were
days and nights when Ernest never closed his eyes in sleep. The big
leaders of the Grangers saw the peril and were with us to a man. But
it was all of no avail. The Oligarchy wanted violence, and it set
its agents-provocateurs to work. Without discussion, it was the
agents-provocateurs who caused the Peasant Revolt.

In a dozen states the revolt flared up. The expropriated farmers
took forcible possession of the state governments. Of course this was
unconstitutional, and of course the United States put its soldiers into
the field. Everywhere the agents-provocateurs urged the people on. These
emissaries of the Iron Heel disguised themselves as artisans, farmers,
and farm laborers. In Sacramento, the capital of California, the
Grangers had succeeded in maintaining order. Thousands of secret agents
were rushed to the devoted city. In mobs composed wholly of themselves,
they fired and looted buildings and factories. They worked the people
up until they joined them in the pillage. Liquor in large quantities was
distributed among the slum classes further to inflame their minds. And
then, when all was ready, appeared upon the scene the soldiers of the
United States, who were, in reality, the soldiers of the Iron Heel.
Eleven thousand men, women, and children were shot down on the streets
of Sacramento or murdered in their houses. The national government took
possession of the state government, and all was over for California.

And as with California, so elsewhere. Every Granger state was ravaged
with violence and washed in blood. First, disorder was precipitated by
the secret agents and the Black Hundreds, then the troops were called
out. Rioting and mob-rule reigned throughout the rural districts. Day
and night the smoke of burning farms, warehouses, villages, and cities
filled the sky. Dynamite appeared. Railroad bridges and tunnels were
blown up and trains were wrecked. The poor farmers were shot and hanged
in great numbers. Reprisals were bitter, and many plutocrats and army
officers were murdered. Blood and vengeance were in men's hearts. The
regular troops fought the farmers as savagely as had they been Indians.
And the regular troops had cause. Twenty-eight hundred of them had been
annihilated in a tremendous series of dynamite explosions in Oregon,
and in a similar manner, a number of train loads, at different times and
places, had been destroyed. So it was that the regular troops fought for
their lives as well as did the farmers.

As for the militia, the militia law of 1903 was put into effect, and the
workers of one state were compelled, under pain of death, to shoot down
their comrade-workers in other states. Of course, the militia law did
not work smoothly at first. Many militia officers were murdered, and
many militiamen were executed by drumhead court martial. Ernest's
prophecy was strikingly fulfilled in the cases of Mr. Kowalt and Mr.
Asmunsen. Both were eligible for the militia, and both were drafted to
serve in the punitive expedition that was despatched from California
against the farmers of Missouri. Mr. Kowalt and Mr. Asmunsen refused to
serve. They were given short shrift. Drumhead court martial was their
portion, and military execution their end. They were shot with their
backs to the firing squad.

Many young men fled into the mountains to escape serving in the militia.
There they became outlaws, and it was not until more peaceful times that
they received their punishment. It was drastic. The government issued a
proclamation for all law-abiding citizens to come in from the mountains
for a period of three months. When the proclaimed date arrived, half a
million soldiers were sent into the mountainous districts everywhere.
There was no investigation, no trial. Wherever a man was encountered, he
was shot down on the spot. The troops operated on the basis that no
man not an outlaw remained in the mountains. Some bands, in strong
positions, fought gallantly, but in the end every deserter from the
militia met death.

A more immediate lesson, however, was impressed on the minds of the
people by the punishment meted out to the Kansas militia. The great
Kansas Mutiny occurred at the very beginning of military operations
against the Grangers. Six thousand of the militia mutinied. They had
been for several weeks very turbulent and sullen, and for that reason
had been kept in camp. Their open mutiny, however, was without doubt
precipitated by the agents-provocateurs.

On the night of the 22d of April they arose and murdered their officers,
only a small remnant of the latter escaping. This was beyond the scheme
of the Iron Heel, for the agents-provocateurs had done their work too
well. But everything was grist to the Iron Heel. It had prepared for the
outbreak, and the killing of so many officers gave it justification for
what followed. As by magic, forty thousand soldiers of the regular army
surrounded the malcontents. It was a trap. The wretched militiamen found
that their machine-guns had been tampered with, and that the cartridges
from the captured magazines did not fit their rifles. They hoisted the
white flag of surrender, but it was ignored. There were no survivors.
The entire six thousand were annihilated. Common shell and shrapnel were
thrown in upon them from a distance, and, when, in their desperation,
they charged the encircling lines, they were mowed down by the
machine-guns. I talked with an eye-witness, and he said that the nearest
any militiaman approached the machine-guns was a hundred and fifty
yards. The earth was carpeted with the slain, and a final charge of
cavalry, with trampling of horses' hoofs, revolvers, and sabres, crushed
the wounded into the ground.

Simultaneously with the destruction of the Grangers came the revolt
of the coal miners. It was the expiring effort of organized labor.
Three-quarters of a million of miners went out on strike. But they
were too widely scattered over the country to advantage from their own
strength. They were segregated in their own districts and beaten into
submission. This was the first great slave-drive. Pocock* won his spurs
as a slave-driver and earned the undying hatred of the proletariat.
Countless attempts were made upon his life, but he seemed to bear a
charmed existence. It was he who was responsible for the introduction
of the Russian passport system among the miners, and the denial of their
right of removal from one part of the country to another.

     * Albert Pocock, another of the notorious strike-breakers of
     earlier years, who, to the day of his death, successfully
     held all the coal-miners of the country to their task.  He
     was succeeded by his son, Lewis Pocock, and for five
     generations this remarkable line of slave-drivers handled
     the coal mines.  The elder Pocock, known as Pocock I., has
     been described as follows: "A long, lean head, semicircled
     by a fringe of brown and gray hair, with big cheek-bones and
     a heavy chin, . . . a pale face, lustreless gray eyes, a
     metallic voice, and a languid manner."  He was born of
     humble parents, and began his career as a bartender.  He
     next became a private detective for a street railway
     corporation, and by successive steps developed into a
     professional strikebreaker. Pocock V., the last of the line,
     was blown up in a pump-house by a bomb during a petty revolt
     of the miners in the Indian Territory. This occurred in 2073
     A.D.

In the meantime, the socialists held firm. While the Grangers expired in
flame and blood, and organized labor was disrupted, the socialists
held their peace and perfected their secret organization. In vain the
Grangers pleaded with us. We rightly contended that any revolt on our
part was virtually suicide for the whole Revolution. The Iron Heel, at
first dubious about dealing with the entire proletariat at one time, had
found the work easier than it had expected, and would have asked nothing
better than an uprising on our part. But we avoided the issue, in spite
of the fact that agents-provocateurs swarmed in our midst. In those
early days, the agents of the Iron Heel were clumsy in their methods.
They had much to learn and in the meantime our Fighting Groups weeded
them out. It was bitter, bloody work, but we were fighting for life and
for the Revolution, and we had to fight the enemy with its own weapons.
Yet we were fair. No agent of the Iron Heel was executed without a
trial. We may have made mistakes, but if so, very rarely. The bravest,
and the most combative and self-sacrificing of our comrades went into
the Fighting Groups. Once, after ten years had passed, Ernest made a
calculation from figures furnished by the chiefs of the Fighting Groups,
and his conclusion was that the average life of a man or woman after
becoming a member was five years. The comrades of the Fighting Groups
were heroes all, and the peculiar thing about it was that they were
opposed to the taking of life. They violated their own natures, yet they
loved liberty and knew of no sacrifice too great to make for the Cause.*

     * These Fighting groups were modelled somewhat after the
     Fighting Organization of the Russian Revolution, and,
     despite the unceasing efforts of the Iron Heel, these groups
     persisted throughout the three centuries of its existence.
     Composed of men and women actuated by lofty purpose and
     unafraid to die, the Fighting Groups exercised tremendous
     influence and tempered the savage brutality of the rulers.
     Not alone was their work confined to unseen warfare with the
     secret agents of the Oligarchy.  The oligarchs themselves
     were compelled to listen to the decrees of the Groups, and
     often, when they disobeyed, were punished by death--and
     likewise with the subordinates of the oligarchs, with the
     officers of the army and the leaders of the labor castes.

     Stern justice was meted out by these organized avengers, but
     most remarkable was their passionless and judicial
     procedure.  There were no snap judgments.  When a man was
     captured he was given fair trial and opportunity for
     defence.  Of necessity, many men were tried and condemned by
     proxy, as in the case of General Lampton. This occurred in
     2138 A.D.  Possibly the most bloodthirsty and malignant of
     all the mercenaries that ever served the Iron Heel, he was
     informed by the Fighting Groups that they had tried him,
     found him guilty, and condemned him to death--and this,
     after three warnings for him to cease from his ferocious
     treatment of the proletariat.  After his condemnation he
     surrounded himself with a myriad protective devices.  Years
     passed, and in vain the Fighting Groups strove to execute
     their decree.  Comrade after comrade, men and women, failed
     in their attempts, and were cruelly executed by the
     Oligarchy.  It was the case of General Lampton that revived
     crucifixion as a legal method of execution.  But in the end
     the condemned man found his executioner in the form of a
     slender girl of seventeen, Madeline Provence, who, to
     accomplish her purpose, served two years in his palace as a
     seamstress to the household. She died in solitary
     confinement after horrible and prolonged torture; but to-day
     she stands in imperishable bronze in the Pantheon of
     Brotherhood in the wonder city of Serles.

     We, who by personal experience know nothing of bloodshed,
     must not judge harshly the heroes of the Fighting Groups.
     They gave up their lives for humanity, no sacrifice was too
     great for them to accomplish, while inexorable necessity
     compelled them to bloody expression in an age of blood.  The
     Fighting Groups constituted the one thorn in the side of the
     Iron Heel that the Iron Heel could never remove.  Everhard
     was the father of this curious army, and its accomplishments
     and successful persistence for three hundred years bear
     witness to the wisdom with which he organized and the solid
     foundation he laid for the succeeding generations to build
     upon.  In some respects, despite his great economic and
     sociological contributions, and his work as a general leader
     in the Revolution, his organization of the Fighting Groups
     must be regarded as his greatest achievement.

The task we set ourselves was threefold. First, the weeding out from our
circles of the secret agents of the Oligarchy. Second, the organizing
of the Fighting Groups, and outside of them, of the general secret
organization of the Revolution. And third, the introduction of our own
secret agents into every branch of the Oligarchy--into the labor castes
and especially among the telegraphers and secretaries and clerks, into
the army, the agents-provocateurs, and the slave-drivers. It was slow
work, and perilous, and often were our efforts rewarded with costly
failures.

The Iron Heel had triumphed in open warfare, but we held our own in the
new warfare, strange and awful and subterranean, that we instituted.
All was unseen, much was unguessed; the blind fought the blind; and
yet through it all was order, purpose, control. We permeated the
entire organization of the Iron Heel with our agents, while our own
organization was permeated with the agents of the Iron Heel. It was
warfare dark and devious, replete with intrigue and conspiracy, plot
and counterplot. And behind all, ever menacing, was death, violent and
terrible. Men and women disappeared, our nearest and dearest comrades.
We saw them to-day. To-morrow they were gone; we never saw them again,
and we knew that they had died.

There was no trust, no confidence anywhere. The man who plotted beside
us, for all we knew, might be an agent of the Iron Heel. We mined the
organization of the Iron Heel with our secret agents, and the Iron Heel
countermined with its secret agents inside its own organization. And
it was the same with our organization. And despite the absence of
confidence and trust we were compelled to base our every effort on
confidence and trust. Often were we betrayed. Men were weak. The Iron
Heel could offer money, leisure, the joys and pleasures that waited
in the repose of the wonder cities. We could offer nothing but the
satisfaction of being faithful to a noble ideal. As for the rest, the
wages of those who were loyal were unceasing peril, torture, and death.

Men were weak, I say, and because of their weakness we were compelled to
make the only other reward that was within our power. It was the reward
of death. Out of necessity we had to punish our traitors. For every man
who betrayed us, from one to a dozen faithful avengers were loosed upon
his heels. We might fail to carry out our decrees against our enemies,
such as the Pococks, for instance; but the one thing we could not afford
to fail in was the punishment of our own traitors. Comrades turned
traitor by permission, in order to win to the wonder cities and there
execute our sentences on the real traitors. In fact, so terrible did
we make ourselves, that it became a greater peril to betray us than to
remain loyal to us.

The Revolution took on largely the character of religion. We worshipped
at the shrine of the Revolution, which was the shrine of liberty. It was
the divine flashing through us. Men and women devoted their lives to
the Cause, and new-born babes were sealed to it as of old they had been
sealed to the service of God. We were lovers of Humanity.



CHAPTER XVII

THE SCARLET LIVERY


With the destruction of the Granger states, the Grangers in Congress
disappeared. They were being tried for high treason, and their places
were taken by the creatures of the Iron Heel. The socialists were in a
pitiful minority, and they knew that their end was near. Congress and
the Senate were empty pretences, farces. Public questions were gravely
debated and passed upon according to the old forms, while in reality all
that was done was to give the stamp of constitutional procedure to the
mandates of the Oligarchy.

Ernest was in the thick of the fight when the end came. It was in the
debate on the bill to assist the unemployed. The hard times of the
preceding year had thrust great masses of the proletariat beneath the
starvation line, and the continued and wide-reaching disorder had but
sunk them deeper. Millions of people were starving, while the oligarchs
and their supporters were surfeiting on the surplus.* We called these
wretched people the people of the abyss,** and it was to alleviate their
awful suffering that the socialists had introduced the unemployed bill.
But this was not to the fancy of the Iron Heel. In its own way it was
preparing to set these millions to work, but the way was not our way,
wherefore it had issued its orders that our bill should be voted down.
Ernest and his fellows knew that their effort was futile, but they
were tired of the suspense. They wanted something to happen. They were
accomplishing nothing, and the best they hoped for was the putting of an
end to the legislative farce in which they were unwilling players.
They knew not what end would come, but they never anticipated a more
disastrous end than the one that did come.

     * The same conditions obtained in the nineteenth century
     A.D. under British rule in India.  The natives died of
     starvation by the million, while their rulers robbed them of
     the fruits of their toil and expended it on magnificent
     pageants and mumbo-jumbo fooleries. Perforce, in this
     enlightened age, we have much to blush for in the acts of
     our ancestors.  Our only consolation is philosophic.  We
     must accept the capitalistic stage in social evolution as
     about on a par with the earlier monkey stage.  The human had
     to pass through those stages in its rise from the mire and
     slime of low organic life.  It was inevitable that much of
     the mire and slime should cling and be not easily shaken
     off.

     ** The people of the abyss--this phrase was struck out by
     the genius of H. G. Wells in the late nineteenth century
     A.D.  Wells was a sociological seer, sane and normal as well
     as warm human. Many fragments of his work have come down to
     us, while two of his greatest achievements, "Anticipations"
     and "Mankind in the Making," have come down intact.  Before
     the oligarchs, and before Everhard, Wells speculated upon
     the building of the wonder cities, though in his writings
     they are referred to as "pleasure cities."

I sat in the gallery that day. We all knew that something terrible was
imminent. It was in the air, and its presence was made visible by the
armed soldiers drawn up in lines in the corridors, and by the officers
grouped in the entrances to the House itself. The Oligarchy was about
to strike. Ernest was speaking. He was describing the sufferings of
the unemployed, as if with the wild idea of in some way touching their
hearts and consciences; but the Republican and Democratic members
sneered and jeered at him, and there was uproar and confusion. Ernest
abruptly changed front.

"I know nothing that I may say can influence you," he said. "You have no
souls to be influenced. You are spineless, flaccid things. You pompously
call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican Party.
There is no Democratic Party. There are no Republicans nor Democrats in
this House. You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the
Plutocracy. You talk verbosely in antiquated terminology of your love
of liberty, and all the while you wear the scarlet livery of the Iron
Heel."

Here the shouting and the cries of "Order! order!" drowned his voice,
and he stood disdainfully till the din had somewhat subsided. He waved
his hand to include all of them, turned to his own comrades, and said:

"Listen to the bellowing of the well-fed beasts."

Pandemonium broke out again. The Speaker rapped for order and glanced
expectantly at the officers in the doorways. There were cries of
"Sedition!" and a great, rotund New York member began shouting
"Anarchist!" at Ernest. And Ernest was not pleasant to look at. Every
fighting fibre of him was quivering, and his face was the face of a
fighting animal, withal he was cool and collected.

"Remember," he said, in a voice that made itself heard above the din,
"that as you show mercy now to the proletariat, some day will that same
proletariat show mercy to you."

The cries of "Sedition!" and "Anarchist!" redoubled.

"I know that you will not vote for this bill," Ernest went on. "You have
received the command from your masters to vote against it. And yet you
call me anarchist. You, who have destroyed the government of the people,
and who shamelessly flaunt your scarlet shame in public places, call me
anarchist. I do not believe in hell-fire and brimstone; but in moments
like this I regret my unbelief. Nay, in moments like this I almost do
believe. Surely there must be a hell, for in no less place could it be
possible for you to receive punishment adequate to your crimes. So long
as you exist, there is a vital need for hell-fire in the Cosmos."

There was movement in the doorways. Ernest, the Speaker, all the members
turned to see.

"Why do you not call your soldiers in, Mr. Speaker, and bid them do
their work?" Ernest demanded. "They should carry out your plan with
expedition."

"There are other plans afoot," was the retort. "That is why the soldiers
are present."

"Our plans, I suppose," Ernest sneered. "Assassination or something
kindred."

But at the word "assassination" the uproar broke out again. Ernest could
not make himself heard, but he remained on his feet waiting for a lull.
And then it happened. From my place in the gallery I saw nothing except
the flash of the explosion. The roar of it filled my ears and I saw
Ernest reeling and falling in a swirl of smoke, and the soldiers rushing
up all the aisles. His comrades were on their feet, wild with anger,
capable of any violence. But Ernest steadied himself for a moment, and
waved his arms for silence.

"It is a plot!" his voice rang out in warning to his comrades. "Do
nothing, or you will be destroyed."

Then he slowly sank down, and the soldiers reached him. The next moment
soldiers were clearing the galleries and I saw no more.

Though he was my husband, I was not permitted to get to him. When I
announced who I was, I was promptly placed under arrest. And at the same
time were arrested all socialist Congressmen in Washington, including
the unfortunate Simpson, who lay ill with typhoid fever in his hotel.

The trial was prompt and brief. The men were foredoomed. The wonder
was that Ernest was not executed. This was a blunder on the part of
the Oligarchy, and a costly one. But the Oligarchy was too confident in
those days. It was drunk with success, and little did it dream that
that small handful of heroes had within them the power to rock it to
its foundations. To-morrow, when the Great Revolt breaks out and all
the world resounds with the tramp, tramp of the millions, the Oligarchy,
will realize, and too late, how mightily that band of heroes has grown.*

     * Avis Everhard took for granted that her narrative would be
     read in her own day, and so omits to mention the outcome of
     the trial for high treason.  Many other similar
     disconcerting omissions will be noticed in the Manuscript.
     Fifty-two socialist Congressmen were tried, and all were
     found guilty.  Strange to relate, not one received the death
     sentence.  Everhard and eleven others, among whom were
     Theodore Donnelson and Matthew Kent, received life
     imprisonment.  The remaining forty received sentences
     varying from thirty to forty-five years; while Arthur
     Simpson, referred to in the Manuscript as being ill of
     typhoid fever at the time of the explosion, received only
     fifteen years.  It is the tradition that he died of
     starvation in solitary confinement, and this harsh treatment
     is explained as having been caused by his uncompromising
     stubbornness and his fiery and tactless hatred for all men
     that served the despotism.  He died in Cabanas in Cuba,
     where three of his comrades were also confined.  The fifty-
     two socialist Congressmen were confined in military
     fortresses scattered all over the United States.  Thus, Du
     Bois and Woods were held in Porto Rico, while Everhard and
     Merryweather were placed in Alcatraz, an island in San
     Francisco Bay that had already seen long service as a
     military prison.

As a revolutionist myself, as one on the inside who knew the hopes and
fears and secret plans of the revolutionists, I am fitted to answer, as
very few are, the charge that they were guilty of exploding the bomb in
Congress. And I can say flatly, without qualification or doubt of any
sort, that the socialists, in Congress and out, had no hand in the
affair. Who threw the bomb we do not know, but the one thing we are
absolutely sure of is that we did not throw it.

On the other hand, there is evidence to show that the Iron Heel was
responsible for the act. Of course, we cannot prove this. Our conclusion
is merely presumptive. But here are such facts as we do know. It had
been reported to the Speaker of the House, by secret-service agents of
the government, that the Socialist Congressmen were about to resort to
terroristic tactics, and that they had decided upon the day when
their tactics would go into effect. This day was the very day of
the explosion. Wherefore the Capitol had been packed with troops in
anticipation. Since we knew nothing about the bomb, and since a bomb
actually was exploded, and since the authorities had prepared in advance
for the explosion, it is only fair to conclude that the Iron Heel
did know. Furthermore, we charge that the Iron Heel was guilty of the
outrage, and that the Iron Heel planned and perpetrated the outrage for
the purpose of foisting the guilt on our shoulders and so bringing about
our destruction.

From the Speaker the warning leaked out to all the creatures in
the House that wore the scarlet livery. They knew, while Ernest was
speaking, that some violent act was to be committed. And to do them
justice, they honestly believed that the act was to be committed by
the socialists. At the trial, and still with honest belief, several
testified to having seen Ernest prepare to throw the bomb, and that it
exploded prematurely. Of course they saw nothing of the sort. In the
fevered imagination of fear they thought they saw, that was all.

As Ernest said at the trial: "Does it stand to reason, if I were going
to throw a bomb, that I should elect to throw a feeble little squib like
the one that was thrown? There wasn't enough powder in it. It made a lot
of smoke, but hurt no one except me. It exploded right at my feet, and
yet it did not kill me. Believe me, when I get to throwing bombs, I'll
do damage. There'll be more than smoke in my petards."

In return it was argued by the prosecution that the weakness of the
bomb was a blunder on the part of the socialists, just as its premature
explosion, caused by Ernest's losing his nerve and dropping it, was a
blunder. And to clinch the argument, there were the several Congressmen
who testified to having seen Ernest fumble and drop the bomb.

As for ourselves, not one of us knew how the bomb was thrown. Ernest
told me that the fraction of an instant before it exploded he both heard
and saw it strike at his feet. He testified to this at the trial, but
no one believed him. Besides, the whole thing, in popular slang, was
"cooked up." The Iron Heel had made up its mind to destroy us, and there
was no withstanding it.

There is a saying that truth will out. I have come to doubt that saying.
Nineteen years have elapsed, and despite our untiring efforts, we have
failed to find the man who really did throw the bomb. Undoubtedly he was
some emissary of the Iron Heel, but he has escaped detection. We have
never got the slightest clew to his identity. And now, at this late
date, nothing remains but for the affair to take its place among the
mysteries of history.*

     * Avis Everhard would have had to live for many generations
     ere she could have seen the clearing up of this particular
     mystery.  A little less than a hundred years ago, and a
     little more than six hundred years after the death, the
     confession of Pervaise was discovered in the secret archives
     of the Vatican.  It is perhaps well to tell a little
     something about this obscure document, which, in the main,
     is of interest to the historian only.

     Pervaise was an American, of French descent, who in 1913
     A.D., was lying in the Tombs Prison, New York City, awaiting
     trial for murder.  From his confession we learn that he was
     not a criminal. He was warm-blooded, passionate, emotional.
     In an insane fit of jealousy he killed his wife--a very
     common act in those times. Pervaise was mastered by the fear
     of death, all of which is recounted at length in his
     confession.  To escape death he would have done anything,
     and the police agents prepared him by assuring him that he
     could not possibly escape conviction of murder in the first
     degree when his trial came off.  In those days, murder in
     the first degree was a capital offense.  The guilty man or
     woman was placed in a specially constructed death-chair,
     and, under the supervision of competent physicians, was
     destroyed by a current of electricity.  This was called
     electrocution, and it was very popular during that period.
     Anaesthesia, as a mode of compulsory death, was not
     introduced until later.

     This man, good at heart but with a ferocious animalism close
     at the surface of his being, lying in jail and expectant of
     nothing less than death, was prevailed upon by the agents of
     the Iron Heel to throw the bomb in the House of
     Representatives.  In his confession he states explicitly
     that he was informed that the bomb was to be a feeble thing
     and that no lives would be lost.  This is directly in line
     with the fact that the bomb was lightly charged, and that
     its explosion at Everhard's feet was not deadly.

     Pervaise was smuggled into one of the galleries ostensibly
     closed for repairs.  He was to select the moment for the
     throwing of the bomb, and he naively confesses that in his
     interest in Everhard's tirade and the general commotion
     raised thereby, he nearly forgot his mission.

     Not only was he released from prison in reward for his deed,
     but he was granted an income for life.  This he did not long
     enjoy.  In 1914 A.D., in September, he was stricken with
     rheumatism of the heart and lived for three days.  It was
     then that he sent for the Catholic priest, Father Peter
     Durban, and to him made confession. So important did it seem
     to the priest, that he had the confession taken down in
     writing and sworn to.  What happened after this we can only
     surmise.  The document was certainly important enough to
     find its way to Rome.  Powerful influences must have been
     brought to bear, hence its suppression.  For centuries no
     hint of its existence reached the world.  It was not until
     in the last century that Lorbia, the brilliant Italian
     scholar, stumbled upon it quite by chance during his
     researches in the Vatican.

     There is to-day no doubt whatever that the Iron Heel was
     responsible for the bomb that exploded in the House of
     Representatives in 1913 A.D.  Even though the Pervaise
     confession had never come to light, no reasonable doubt
     could obtain; for the act in question, that sent fifty-two
     Congressmen to prison, was on a par with countless other
     acts committed by the oligarchs, and, before them, by the
     capitalists.

     There is the classic instance of the ferocious and wanton
     judicial murder of the innocent and so-called Haymarket
     Anarchists in Chicago in the penultimate decade of the
     nineteenth century A.D. In a category by itself is the
     deliberate burning and destruction of capitalist property by
     the capitalists themselves.  For such destruction of
     property innocent men were frequently punished--"railroaded"
     in the parlance of the times.

     In the labor troubles of the first decade of the twentieth
     century A.D., between the capitalists and the Western
     Federation of Miners, similar but more bloody tactics were
     employed.  The railroad station at Independence was blown up
     by the agents of the capitalists.  Thirteen men were killed,
     and many more were wounded. And then the capitalists,
     controlling the legislative and judicial machinery of the
     state of Colorado, charged the miners with the crime and
     came very near to convicting them.  Romaines, one of the
     tools in this affair, like Pervaise, was lying in jail in
     another state, Kansas, awaiting trial, when he was
     approached by the agents of the capitalists.  But, unlike
     Pervaise the confession of Romaines was made public in his
     own time.

     Then, during this same period, there was the case of Moyer
     and Haywood, two strong, fearless leaders of labor.  One was
     president and the other was secretary of the Western
     Federation of Miners. The ex-governor of Idaho had been
     mysteriously murdered.  The crime, at the time, was openly
     charged to the mine owners by the socialists and miners.
     Nevertheless, in violation of the national and state
     constitutions, and by means of conspiracy on the parts of
     the governors of Idaho and Colorado, Moyer and Haywood were
     kidnapped, thrown into jail, and charged with the murder.
     It was this instance that provoked from Eugene V. Debs,
     national leader of the American socialists at the time, the
     following words: "The labor leaders that cannot be bribed
     nor bullied, must be ambushed and murdered.  The only crime
     of Moyer and Haywood is that they have been unswervingly
     true to the working class.  The capitalists have stolen our
     country, debauched our politics, defiled our judiciary, and
     ridden over us rough-shod, and now they propose to murder
     those who will not abjectly surrender to their brutal
     dominion.  The governors of Colorado and Idaho are but
     executing the mandates of their masters, the Plutocracy.
     The issue is the Workers versus the Plutocracy.  If they
     strike the first violent blow, we will strike the last."



CHAPTER XVIII

IN THE SHADOW OF SONOMA


Of myself, during this period, there is not much to say. For six months
I was kept in prison, though charged with no crime. I was a suspect--a
word of fear that all revolutionists were soon to come to know. But
our own nascent secret service was beginning to work. By the end of
my second month in prison, one of the jailers made himself known as
a revolutionist in touch with the organization. Several weeks later,
Joseph Parkhurst, the prison doctor who had just been appointed, proved
himself to be a member of one of the Fighting Groups.

Thus, throughout the organization of the Oligarchy, our own
organization, weblike and spidery, was insinuating itself. And so I
was kept in touch with all that was happening in the world without. And
furthermore, every one of our imprisoned leaders was in contact with
brave comrades who masqueraded in the livery of the Iron Heel. Though
Ernest lay in prison three thousand miles away, on the Pacific Coast, I
was in unbroken communication with him, and our letters passed regularly
back and forth.

The leaders, in prison and out, were able to discuss and direct the
campaign. It would have been possible, within a few months, to have
effected the escape of some of them; but since imprisonment proved
no bar to our activities, it was decided to avoid anything premature.
Fifty-two Congressmen were in prison, and fully three hundred more
of our leaders. It was planned that they should be delivered
simultaneously. If part of them escaped, the vigilance of the oligarchs
might be aroused so as to prevent the escape of the remainder. On the
other hand, it was held that a simultaneous jail-delivery all over the
land would have immense psychological influence on the proletariat. It
would show our strength and give confidence.

So it was arranged, when I was released at the end of six months, that
I was to disappear and prepare a secure hiding-place for Ernest. To
disappear was in itself no easy thing. No sooner did I get my freedom
than my footsteps began to be dogged by the spies of the Iron Heel.
It was necessary that they should be thrown off the track, and that
I should win to California. It is laughable, the way this was
accomplished.

Already the passport system, modelled on the Russian, was developing. I
dared not cross the continent in my own character. It was necessary that
I should be completely lost if ever I was to see Ernest again, for by
trailing me after he escaped, he would be caught once more. Again, I
could not disguise myself as a proletarian and travel. There remained
the disguise of a member of the Oligarchy. While the arch-oligarchs were
no more than a handful, there were myriads of lesser ones of the type,
say, of Mr. Wickson--men, worth a few millions, who were adherents of
the arch-oligarchs. The wives and daughters of these lesser oligarchs
were legion, and it was decided that I should assume the disguise of
such a one. A few years later this would have been impossible, because
the passport system was to become so perfect that no man, woman, nor
child in all the land was unregistered and unaccounted for in his or her
movements.

When the time was ripe, the spies were thrown off my track. An hour
later Avis Everhard was no more. At that time one Felice Van Verdighan,
accompanied by two maids and a lap-dog, with another maid for the
lap-dog,* entered a drawing-room on a Pullman,** and a few minutes later
was speeding west.

     * This ridiculous picture well illustrates the heartless
     conduct of the masters.  While people starved, lap-dogs were
     waited upon by maids.  This was a serious masquerade on the
     part of Avis Everhard. Life and death and the Cause were in
     the issue; therefore the picture must be accepted as a true
     picture.  It affords a striking commentary of the times.

     ** Pullman--the designation of the more luxurious railway
     cars of the period and so named from the inventor.

The three maids who accompanied me were revolutionists. Two were members
of the Fighting Groups, and the third, Grace Holbrook, entered a group
the following year, and six months later was executed by the Iron Heel.
She it was who waited upon the dog. Of the other two, Bertha Stole
disappeared twelve years later, while Anna Roylston still lives and
plays an increasingly important part in the Revolution.*

     * Despite continual and almost inconceivable hazards, Anna
     Roylston lived to the royal age of ninety-one.  As the
     Pococks defied the executioners of the Fighting Groups, so
     she defied the executioners of the Iron Heel.  She bore a
     charmed life and prospered amid dangers and alarms.  She
     herself was an executioner for the Fighting Groups, and,
     known as the Red Virgin, she became one of the inspired
     figures of the Revolution.  When she was an old woman of
     sixty-nine she shot "Bloody" Halcliffe down in the midst of
     his armed escort and got away unscathed.  In the end she
     died peaceably of old age in a secret refuge of the
     revolutionists in the Ozark mountains.

Without adventure we crossed the United States to California. When the
train stopped at Sixteenth Street Station, in Oakland, we alighted, and
there Felice Van Verdighan, with her two maids, her lap-dog, and
her lap-dog's maid, disappeared forever. The maids, guided by trusty
comrades, were led away. Other comrades took charge of me. Within half
an hour after leaving the train I was on board a small fishing boat
and out on the waters of San Francisco Bay. The winds baffled, and we
drifted aimlessly the greater part of the night. But I saw the lights of
Alcatraz where Ernest lay, and found comfort in the thought of nearness
to him. By dawn, what with the rowing of the fishermen, we made the
Marin Islands. Here we lay in hiding all day, and on the following
night, swept on by a flood tide and a fresh wind, we crossed San Pablo
Bay in two hours and ran up Petaluma Creek.

Here horses were ready and another comrade, and without delay we were
away through the starlight. To the north I could see the loom of Sonoma
Mountain, toward which we rode. We left the old town of Sonoma to the
right and rode up a canyon that lay between outlying buttresses of the
mountain. The wagon-road became a wood-road, the wood-road became a
cow-path, and the cow-path dwindled away and ceased among the upland
pastures. Straight over Sonoma Mountain we rode. It was the safest
route. There was no one to mark our passing.

Dawn caught us on the northern brow, and in the gray light we dropped
down through chaparral into redwood canyons deep and warm with the
breath of passing summer. It was old country to me that I knew and
loved, and soon I became the guide. The hiding-place was mine. I had
selected it. We let down the bars and crossed an upland meadow. Next, we
went over a low, oak-covered ridge and descended into a smaller meadow.
Again we climbed a ridge, this time riding under red-limbed madronos and
manzanitas of deeper red. The first rays of the sun streamed upon
our backs as we climbed. A flight of quail thrummed off through the
thickets. A big jackrabbit crossed our path, leaping swiftly and
silently like a deer. And then a deer, a many-pronged buck, the sun
flashing red-gold from neck and shoulders, cleared the crest of the
ridge before us and was gone.

We followed in his wake a space, then dropped down a zigzag trail that
he disdained into a group of noble redwoods that stood about a pool of
water murky with minerals from the mountain side. I knew every inch of
the way. Once a writer friend of mine had owned the ranch; but he, too,
had become a revolutionist, though more disastrously than I, for he was
already dead and gone, and none knew where nor how. He alone, in the
days he had lived, knew the secret of the hiding-place for which I was
bound. He had bought the ranch for beauty, and paid a round price for
it, much to the disgust of the local farmers. He used to tell with great
glee how they were wont to shake their heads mournfully at the price, to
accomplish ponderously a bit of mental arithmetic, and then to say, "But
you can't make six per cent on it."

But he was dead now, nor did the ranch descend to his children. Of all
men, it was now the property of Mr. Wickson, who owned the whole eastern
and northern slopes of Sonoma Mountain, running from the Spreckels
estate to the divide of Bennett Valley. Out of it he had made a
magnificent deer-park, where, over thousands of acres of sweet slopes
and glades and canyons, the deer ran almost in primitive wildness. The
people who had owned the soil had been driven away. A state home for the
feeble-minded had also been demolished to make room for the deer.

To cap it all, Wickson's hunting lodge was a quarter of a mile from my
hiding-place. This, instead of being a danger, was an added security.
We were sheltered under the very aegis of one of the minor oligarchs.
Suspicion, by the nature of the situation, was turned aside. The last
place in the world the spies of the Iron Heel would dream of looking for
me, and for Ernest when he joined me, was Wickson's deer-park.

We tied our horses among the redwoods at the pool. From a cache behind
a hollow rotting log my companion brought out a variety of things,--a
fifty-pound sack of flour, tinned foods of all sorts, cooking utensils,
blankets, a canvas tarpaulin, books and writing material, a great bundle
of letters, a five-gallon can of kerosene, an oil stove, and, last and
most important, a large coil of stout rope. So large was the supply of
things that a number of trips would be necessary to carry them to the
refuge.

But the refuge was very near. Taking the rope and leading the way, I
passed through a glade of tangled vines and bushes that ran between two
wooded knolls. The glade ended abruptly at the steep bank of a stream.
It was a little stream, rising from springs, and the hottest summer
never dried it up. On every hand were tall wooded knolls, a group of
them, with all the seeming of having been flung there from some careless
Titan's hand. There was no bed-rock in them. They rose from their bases
hundreds of feet, and they were composed of red volcanic earth, the
famous wine-soil of Sonoma. Through these the tiny stream had cut its
deep and precipitous channel.

It was quite a scramble down to the stream bed, and, once on the bed,
we went down stream perhaps for a hundred feet. And then we came to the
great hole. There was no warning of the existence of the hole, nor
was it a hole in the common sense of the word. One crawled through
tight-locked briers and branches, and found oneself on the very edge,
peering out and down through a green screen. A couple of hundred feet in
length and width, it was half of that in depth. Possibly because of
some fault that had occurred when the knolls were flung together, and
certainly helped by freakish erosion, the hole had been scooped out in
the course of centuries by the wash of water. Nowhere did the raw earth
appear. All was garmented by vegetation, from tiny maiden-hair and
gold-back ferns to mighty redwood and Douglas spruces. These great trees
even sprang out from the walls of the hole. Some leaned over at angles
as great as forty-five degrees, though the majority towered straight up
from the soft and almost perpendicular earth walls.

It was a perfect hiding-place. No one ever came there, not even the
village boys of Glen Ellen. Had this hole existed in the bed of a canyon
a mile long, or several miles long, it would have been well known. But
this was no canyon. From beginning to end the length of the stream was
no more than five hundred yards. Three hundred yards above the hole the
stream took its rise in a spring at the foot of a flat meadow. A hundred
yards below the hole the stream ran out into open country, joining the
main stream and flowing across rolling and grass-covered land.

My companion took a turn of the rope around a tree, and with me fast on
the other end lowered away. In no time I was on the bottom. And in but
a short while he had carried all the articles from the cache and lowered
them down to me. He hauled the rope up and hid it, and before he went
away called down to me a cheerful parting.

Before I go on I want to say a word for this comrade, John Carlson, a
humble figure of the Revolution, one of the countless faithful ones in
the ranks. He worked for Wickson, in the stables near the hunting lodge.
In fact, it was on Wickson's horses that we had ridden over Sonoma
Mountain. For nearly twenty years now John Carlson has been custodian
of the refuge. No thought of disloyalty, I am sure, has ever entered his
mind during all that time. To betray his trust would have been in his
mind a thing undreamed. He was phlegmatic, stolid to such a degree that
one could not but wonder how the Revolution had any meaning to him at
all. And yet love of freedom glowed sombrely and steadily in his
dim soul. In ways it was indeed good that he was not flighty and
imaginative. He never lost his head. He could obey orders, and he was
neither curious nor garrulous. Once I asked how it was that he was a
revolutionist.

"When I was a young man I was a soldier," was his answer. "It was in
Germany. There all young men must be in the army. So I was in the army.
There was another soldier there, a young man, too. His father was what
you call an agitator, and his father was in jail for lese majesty--what
you call speaking the truth about the Emperor. And the young man, the
son, talked with me much about people, and work, and the robbery of
the people by the capitalists. He made me see things in new ways, and
I became a socialist. His talk was very true and good, and I have never
forgotten. When I came to the United States I hunted up the socialists.
I became a member of a section--that was in the day of the S. L. P.
Then later, when the split came, I joined the local of the S. P. I was
working in a livery stable in San Francisco then. That was before the
Earthquake. I have paid my dues for twenty-two years. I am yet a member,
and I yet pay my dues, though it is very secret now. I will always pay
my dues, and when the cooperative commonwealth comes, I will be glad."

Left to myself, I proceeded to cook breakfast on the oil stove and to
prepare my home. Often, in the early morning, or in the evening after
dark, Carlson would steal down to the refuge and work for a couple of
hours. At first my home was the tarpaulin. Later, a small tent was put
up. And still later, when we became assured of the perfect security of
the place, a small house was erected. This house was completely hidden
from any chance eye that might peer down from the edge of the hole. The
lush vegetation of that sheltered spot make a natural shield. Also, the
house was built against the perpendicular wall; and in the wall itself,
shored by strong timbers, well drained and ventilated, we excavated two
small rooms. Oh, believe me, we had many comforts. When Biedenbach,
the German terrorist, hid with us some time later, he installed a
smoke-consuming device that enabled us to sit by crackling wood fires on
winter nights.

And here I must say a word for that gentle-souled terrorist, than whom
there is no comrade in the Revolution more fearfully misunderstood.
Comrade Biedenbach did not betray the Cause. Nor was he executed by
the comrades as is commonly supposed. This canard was circulated by
the creatures of the Oligarchy. Comrade Biedenbach was absent-minded,
forgetful. He was shot by one of our lookouts at the cave-refuge at
Carmel, through failure on his part to remember the secret signals. It
was all a sad mistake. And that he betrayed his Fighting Group is an
absolute lie. No truer, more loyal man ever labored for the Cause.*

     * Search as we may through all the material of those times
     that has come down to us, we can find no clew to the
     Biedenbach here referred to.  No mention is made of him
     anywhere save in the Everhard Manuscript.
     *

     For nineteen years now the refuge that I selected had been almost
     continuously occupied, and in all that time, with one exception, it
     has never been discovered by an outsider.  And yet it was only a
     quarter of a mile from Wickson's hunting-lodge, and a short mile
     from the village of Glen Ellen.  I was able, always, to hear the
     morning and evening trains arrive and depart, and I used to set my
     watch by the whistle at the brickyards.*

     * If the curious traveller will turn south from Glen Ellen,
     he will find himself on a boulevard that is identical with
     the old country road seven centuries ago.  A quarter of a
     mile from Glen Ellen, after the second bridge is passed, to
     the right will be noticed a barranca that runs like a scar
     across the rolling land toward a group of wooded knolls.
     The barranca is the site of the ancient right of way that in
     the time of private property in land ran across the holding
     of one Chauvet, a French pioneer of California who came from
     his native country in the fabled days of gold.  The wooded
     knolls are the same knolls referred to by Avis Everhard.

     The Great Earthquake of 2368 A.D. broke off the side of one
     of these knolls and toppled it into the hole where the
     Everhards made their refuge.  Since the finding of the
     Manuscript excavations have been made, and the house, the
     two cave rooms, and all the accumulated rubbish of long
     occupancy have been brought to light. Many valuable relics
     have been found, among which, curious to relate, is the
     smoke-consuming device of Biedenbach's mentioned in the
     narrative.  Students interested in such matters should read
     the brochure of Arnold Bentham soon to be published.

     A mile northwest from the wooded knolls brings one to the
     site of Wake Robin Lodge at the junction of Wild-Water and
     Sonoma Creeks. It may be noticed, in passing, that Wild-
     Water was originally called Graham Creek and was so named on
     the early local maps.  But the later name sticks.  It was at
     Wake Robin Lodge that Avis Everhard later lived for short
     periods, when, disguised as an agent-provocateur of the Iron
     Heel, she was enabled to play with impunity her part among
     men and events.  The official permission to occupy Wake
     Robin Lodge is still on the records, signed by no less a man
     than Wickson, the minor oligarch of the Manuscript.


CHAPTER XIX

TRANSFORMATION


"You must make yourself over again," Ernest wrote to me. "You must cease
to be. You must become another woman--and not merely in the clothes you
wear, but inside your skin under the clothes. You must make yourself
over again so that even I would not know you--your voice, your gestures,
your mannerisms, your carriage, your walk, everything."

This command I obeyed. Every day I practised for hours in burying
forever the old Avis Everhard beneath the skin of another woman whom I
may call my other self. It was only by long practice that such results
could be obtained. In the mere detail of voice intonation I practised
almost perpetually till the voice of my new self became fixed,
automatic. It was this automatic assumption of a role that was
considered imperative. One must become so adept as to deceive oneself.
It was like learning a new language, say the French. At first speech in
French is self-conscious, a matter of the will. The student thinks
in English and then transmutes into French, or reads in French but
transmutes into English before he can understand. Then later, becoming
firmly grounded, automatic, the student reads, writes, and THINKS in
French, without any recourse to English at all.

And so with our disguises. It was necessary for us to practise until our
assumed roles became real; until to be our original selves would require
a watchful and strong exercise of will. Of course, at first, much was
mere blundering experiment. We were creating a new art, and we had much
to discover. But the work was going on everywhere; masters in the
art were developing, and a fund of tricks and expedients was being
accumulated. This fund became a sort of text-book that was passed on, a
part of the curriculum, as it were, of the school of Revolution.*

     * Disguise did become a veritable art during that period.
     The revolutionists maintained schools of acting in all their
     refuges. They scorned accessories, such as wigs and beards,
     false eyebrows, and such aids of the theatrical actors.  The
     game of revolution was a game of life and death, and mere
     accessories were traps. Disguise had to be fundamental,
     intrinsic, part and parcel of one's being, second nature.
     The Red Virgin is reported to have been one of the most
     adept in the art, to which must be ascribed her long and
     successful career.

It was at this time that my father disappeared. His letters, which had
come to me regularly, ceased. He no longer appeared at our Pell Street
quarters. Our comrades sought him everywhere. Through our secret service
we ransacked every prison in the land. But he was lost as completely as
if the earth had swallowed him up, and to this day no clew to his end
has been discovered.*

     * Disappearance was one of the horrors of the time.  As a
     motif, in song and story, it constantly crops up.  It was an
     inevitable concomitant of the subterranean warfare that
     raged through those three centuries.  This phenomenon was
     almost as common in the oligarch class and the labor castes,
     as it was in the ranks of the revolutionists.  Without
     warning, without trace, men and women, and even children,
     disappeared and were seen no more, their end shrouded in
     mystery.

Six lonely months I spent in the refuge, but they were not idle months.
Our organization went on apace, and there were mountains of work always
waiting to be done. Ernest and his fellow-leaders, from their prisons,
decided what should be done; and it remained for us on the outside to
do it. There was the organization of the mouth-to-mouth propaganda;
the organization, with all its ramifications, of our spy system; the
establishment of our secret printing-presses; and the establishment of
our underground railways, which meant the knitting together of all our
myriads of places of refuge, and the formation of new refuges where
links were missing in the chains we ran over all the land.

So I say, the work was never done. At the end of six months my
loneliness was broken by the arrival of two comrades. They were young
girls, brave souls and passionate lovers of liberty: Lora Peterson, who
disappeared in 1922, and Kate Bierce, who later married Du Bois,* and
who is still with us with eyes lifted to to-morrow's sun, that heralds
in the new age.

     * Du Bois, the present librarian of Ardis, is a lineal
     descendant of this revolutionary pair.

The two girls arrived in a flurry of excitement, danger, and sudden
death. In the crew of the fishing boat that conveyed them across San
Pablo Bay was a spy. A creature of the Iron Heel, he had successfully
masqueraded as a revolutionist and penetrated deep into the secrets
of our organization. Without doubt he was on my trail, for we had long
since learned that my disappearance had been cause of deep concern to
the secret service of the Oligarchy. Luckily, as the outcome proved, he
had not divulged his discoveries to any one. He had evidently delayed
reporting, preferring to wait until he had brought things to a
successful conclusion by discovering my hiding-place and capturing me.
His information died with him. Under some pretext, after the girls had
landed at Petaluma Creek and taken to the horses, he managed to get away
from the boat.

Part way up Sonoma Mountain, John Carlson let the girls go on, leading
his horse, while he went back on foot. His suspicions had been aroused.
He captured the spy, and as to what then happened, Carlson gave us a
fair idea.

"I fixed him," was Carlson's unimaginative way of describing the affair.
"I fixed him," he repeated, while a sombre light burnt in his eyes, and
his huge, toil-distorted hands opened and closed eloquently. "He made no
noise. I hid him, and tonight I will go back and bury him deep."

During that period I used to marvel at my own metamorphosis. At times it
seemed impossible, either that I had ever lived a placid, peaceful life
in a college town, or else that I had become a revolutionist inured to
scenes of violence and death. One or the other could not be. One was
real, the other was a dream, but which was which? Was this present
life of a revolutionist, hiding in a hole, a nightmare? or was I a
revolutionist who had somewhere, somehow, dreamed that in some former
existence I have lived in Berkeley and never known of life more violent
than teas and dances, debating societies, and lectures rooms? But then I
suppose this was a common experience of all of us who had rallied under
the red banner of the brotherhood of man.

I often remembered figures from that other life, and, curiously enough,
they appeared and disappeared, now and again, in my new life. There was
Bishop Morehouse. In vain we searched for him after our organization had
developed. He had been transferred from asylum to asylum. We traced him
from the state hospital for the insane at Napa to the one in Stockton,
and from there to the one in the Santa Clara Valley called Agnews, and
there the trail ceased. There was no record of his death. In some way he
must have escaped. Little did I dream of the awful manner in which I
was to see him once again--the fleeting glimpse of him in the whirlwind
carnage of the Chicago Commune.

Jackson, who had lost his arm in the Sierra Mills and who had been the
cause of my own conversion into a revolutionist, I never saw again;
but we all knew what he did before he died. He never joined the
revolutionists. Embittered by his fate, brooding over his wrongs, he
became an anarchist--not a philosophic anarchist, but a mere animal, mad
with hate and lust for revenge. And well he revenged himself. Evading
the guards, in the nighttime while all were asleep, he blew the
Pertonwaithe palace into atoms. Not a soul escaped, not even the guards.
And in prison, while awaiting trial, he suffocated himself under his
blankets.

Dr. Hammerfield and Dr. Ballingford achieved quite different fates from
that of Jackson. They have been faithful to their salt, and they have
been correspondingly rewarded with ecclesiastical palaces wherein they
dwell at peace with the world. Both are apologists for the Oligarchy.
Both have grown very fat. "Dr. Hammerfield," as Ernest once said, "has
succeeded in modifying his metaphysics so as to give God's sanction to
the Iron Heel, and also to include much worship of beauty and to reduce
to an invisible wraith the gaseous vertebrate described by Haeckel--the
difference between Dr. Hammerfield and Dr. Ballingford being that the
latter has made the God of the oligarchs a little more gaseous and a
little less vertebrate."

Peter Donnelly, the scab foreman at the Sierra Mills whom I encountered
while investigating the case of Jackson, was a surprise to all of us. In
1918 I was present at a meeting of the 'Frisco Reds. Of all our Fighting
Groups this one was the most formidable, ferocious, and merciless. It
was really not a part of our organization. Its members were fanatics,
madmen. We dared not encourage such a spirit. On the other hand, though
they did not belong to us, we remained on friendly terms with them. It
was a matter of vital importance that brought me there that night. I,
alone in the midst of a score of men, was the only person unmasked.
After the business that brought me there was transacted, I was led
away by one of them. In a dark passage this guide struck a match, and,
holding it close to his face, slipped back his mask. For a moment I
gazed upon the passion-wrought features of Peter Donnelly. Then the
match went out.

"I just wanted you to know it was me," he said in the darkness. "D'you
remember Dallas, the superintendent?"

I nodded at recollection of the vulpine-face superintendent of the
Sierra Mills.

"Well, I got him first," Donnelly said with pride. "'Twas after that I
joined the Reds."

"But how comes it that you are here?" I queried. "Your wife and
children?"

"Dead," he answered. "That's why. No," he went on hastily, "'tis not
revenge for them. They died easily in their beds--sickness, you see,
one time and another. They tied my arms while they lived. And now that
they're gone, 'tis revenge for my blasted manhood I'm after. I was
once Peter Donnelly, the scab foreman. But to-night I'm Number 27 of the
'Frisco Reds. Come on now, and I'll get you out of this."

More I heard of him afterward. In his own way he had told the truth
when he said all were dead. But one lived, Timothy, and him his father
considered dead because he had taken service with the Iron Heel in the
Mercenaries.* A member of the 'Frisco Reds pledged himself to twelve
annual executions. The penalty for failure was death. A member who
failed to complete his number committed suicide. These executions were
not haphazard. This group of madmen met frequently and passed wholesale
judgments upon offending members and servitors of the Oligarchy. The
executions were afterward apportioned by lot.

     * In addition to the labor castes, there arose another
     caste, the military.  A standing army of professional
     soldiers was created, officered by members of the Oligarchy
     and known as the Mercenaries. This institution took the
     place of the militia, which had proved impracticable under
     the new regime.  Outside the regular secret service of the
     Iron Heel, there was further established a secret service of
     the Mercenaries, this latter forming a connecting link
     between the police and the military.

In fact, the business that brought me there the night of my visit was
such a trial. One of our own comrades, who for years had successfully
maintained himself in a clerical position in the local bureau of the
secret service of the Iron Heel, had fallen under the ban of the 'Frisco
Reds and was being tried. Of course he was not present, and of course
his judges did not know that he was one of our men. My mission had been
to testify to his identity and loyalty. It may be wondered how we came
to know of the affair at all. The explanation is simple. One of our
secret agents was a member of the 'Frisco Reds. It was necessary for us
to keep an eye on friend as well as foe, and this group of madmen was
not too unimportant to escape our surveillance.

But to return to Peter Donnelly and his son. All went well with Donnelly
until, in the following year, he found among the sheaf of executions
that fell to him the name of Timothy Donnelly. Then it was that that
clannishness, which was his to so extraordinary a degree, asserted
itself. To save his son, he betrayed his comrades. In this he was
partially blocked, but a dozen of the 'Frisco Reds were executed, and
the group was well-nigh destroyed. In retaliation, the survivors meted
out to Donnelly the death he had earned by his treason.

Nor did Timothy Donnelly long survive. The 'Frisco Reds pledged
themselves to his execution. Every effort was made by the Oligarchy to
save him. He was transferred from one part of the country to another.
Three of the Reds lost their lives in vain efforts to get him. The Group
was composed only of men. In the end they fell back on a woman, one
of our comrades, and none other than Anna Roylston. Our Inner
Circle forbade her, but she had ever a will of her own and disdained
discipline. Furthermore, she was a genius and lovable, and we could
never discipline her anyway. She is in a class by herself and not
amenable to the ordinary standards of the revolutionists.

Despite our refusal to grant permission to do the deed, she went on with
it. Now Anna Roylston was a fascinating woman. All she had to do was
to beckon a man to her. She broke the hearts of scores of our young
comrades, and scores of others she captured, and by their heart-strings
led into our organization. Yet she steadfastly refused to marry. She
dearly loved children, but she held that a child of her own would claim
her from the Cause, and that it was the Cause to which her life was
devoted.

It was an easy task for Anna Roylston to win Timothy Donnelly. Her
conscience did not trouble her, for at that very time occurred the
Nashville Massacre, when the Mercenaries, Donnelly in command, literally
murdered eight hundred weavers of that city. But she did not kill
Donnelly. She turned him over, a prisoner, to the 'Frisco Reds.
This happened only last year, and now she had been renamed. The
revolutionists everywhere are calling her the "Red Virgin."*

     * It was not until the Second Revolt was crushed, that the
     'Frisco Reds flourished again.  And for two generations the
     Group flourished.  Then an agent of the Iron Heel managed to
     become a member, penetrated all its secrets, and brought
     about its total annihilation.  This occurred in 2002 A.D.
     The members were executed one at a time, at intervals of
     three weeks, and their bodies exposed in the labor-ghetto of
     San Francisco.

Colonel Ingram and Colonel Van Gilbert are two more familiar figures
that I was later to encounter. Colonel Ingram rose high in the Oligarchy
and became Minister to Germany. He was cordially detested by the
proletariat of both countries. It was in Berlin that I met him, where,
as an accredited international spy of the Iron Heel, I was received by
him and afforded much assistance. Incidentally, I may state that in my
dual role I managed a few important things for the Revolution.

Colonel Van Gilbert became known as "Snarling" Van Gilbert. His
important part was played in drafting the new code after the Chicago
Commune. But before that, as trial judge, he had earned sentence of
death by his fiendish malignancy. I was one of those that tried him and
passed sentence upon him. Anna Roylston carried out the execution.

Still another figure arises out of the old life--Jackson's lawyer. Least
of all would I have expected again to meet this man, Joseph Hurd. It was
a strange meeting. Late at night, two years after the Chicago Commune,
Ernest and I arrived together at the Benton Harbor refuge. This was
in Michigan, across the lake from Chicago. We arrived just at the
conclusion of the trial of a spy. Sentence of death had been passed, and
he was being led away. Such was the scene as we came upon it. The next
moment the wretched man had wrenched free from his captors and flung
himself at my feet, his arms clutching me about the knees in a vicelike
grip as he prayed in a frenzy for mercy. As he turned his agonized face
up to me, I recognized him as Joseph Hurd. Of all the terrible things
I have witnessed, never have I been so unnerved as by this frantic
creature's pleading for life. He was mad for life. It was pitiable. He
refused to let go of me, despite the hands of a dozen comrades. And when
at last he was dragged shrieking away, I sank down fainting upon the
floor. It is far easier to see brave men die than to hear a coward beg
for life.*

     * The Benton Harbor refuge was a catacomb, the entrance of
     which was cunningly contrived by way of a well.  It has been
     maintained in a fair state of preservation, and the curious
     visitor may to-day tread its labyrinths to the assembly
     hall, where, without doubt, occurred the scene described by
     Avis Everhard.  Farther on are the cells where the prisoners
     were confined, and the death chamber where the executions
     took place.  Beyond is the cemetery--long, winding galleries
     hewn out of the solid rock, with recesses on either hand,
     wherein, tier above tier, lie the revolutionists just as
     they were laid away by their comrades long years agone.



CHAPTER XX

A LOST OLIGARCH


But in remembering the old life I have run ahead of my story into the
new life. The wholesale jail delivery did not occur until well along
into 1915. Complicated as it was, it was carried through without a
hitch, and as a very creditable achievement it cheered us on in our
work. From Cuba to California, out of scores of jails, military prisons,
and fortresses, in a single night, we delivered fifty-one of our
fifty-two Congressmen, and in addition over three hundred other leaders.
There was not a single instance of miscarriage. Not only did they
escape, but every one of them won to the refuges as planned. The one
comrade Congressman we did not get was Arthur Simpson, and he had
already died in Cabanas after cruel tortures.

The eighteen months that followed was perhaps the happiest of my life
with Ernest. During that time we were never apart. Later, when we went
back into the world, we were separated much. Not more impatiently do I
await the flame of to-morrow's revolt than did I that night await the
coming of Ernest. I had not seen him for so long, and the thought of a
possible hitch or error in our plans that would keep him still in his
island prison almost drove me mad. The hours passed like ages. I was
all alone. Biedenbach, and three young men who had been living in the
refuge, were out and over the mountain, heavily armed and prepared for
anything. The refuges all over the land were quite empty, I imagine, of
comrades that night.

Just as the sky paled with the first warning of dawn, I heard the
signal from above and gave the answer. In the darkness I almost embraced
Biedenbach, who came down first; but the next moment I was in Ernest's
arms. And in that moment, so complete had been my transformation, I
discovered it was only by an effort of will that I could be the old Avis
Everhard, with the old mannerisms and smiles, phrases and intonations of
voice. It was by strong effort only that I was able to maintain my
old identity; I could not allow myself to forget for an instant, so
automatically imperative had become the new personality I had created.

Once inside the little cabin, I saw Ernest's face in the light. With the
exception of the prison pallor, there was no change in him--at least,
not much. He was my same lover-husband and hero. And yet there was a
certain ascetic lengthening of the lines of his face. But he could well
stand it, for it seemed to add a certain nobility of refinement to the
riotous excess of life that had always marked his features. He might
have been a trifle graver than of yore, but the glint of laughter still
was in his eyes. He was twenty pounds lighter, but in splendid
physical condition. He had kept up exercise during the whole period of
confinement, and his muscles were like iron. In truth, he was in better
condition than when he had entered prison. Hours passed before his head
touched pillow and I had soothed him off to sleep. But there was no
sleep for me. I was too happy, and the fatigue of jail-breaking and
riding horseback had not been mine.

While Ernest slept, I changed my dress, arranged my hair differently,
and came back to my new automatic self. Then, when Biedenbach and the
other comrades awoke, with their aid I concocted a little conspiracy.
All was ready, and we were in the cave-room that served for kitchen
and dining room when Ernest opened the door and entered. At that moment
Biedenbach addressed me as Mary, and I turned and answered him. Then I
glanced at Ernest with curious interest, such as any young comrade might
betray on seeing for the first time so noted a hero of the Revolution.
But Ernest's glance took me in and questioned impatiently past and
around the room. The next moment I was being introduced to him as Mary
Holmes.

To complete the deception, an extra plate was laid, and when we sat down
to table one chair was not occupied. I could have cried with joy as I
noted Ernest's increasing uneasiness and impatience. Finally he could
stand it no longer.

"Where's my wife?" he demanded bluntly.

"She is still asleep," I answered.

It was the crucial moment. But my voice was a strange voice, and in it
he recognized nothing familiar. The meal went on. I talked a great
deal, and enthusiastically, as a hero-worshipper might talk, and it
was obvious that he was my hero. I rose to a climax of enthusiasm and
worship, and, before he could guess my intention, threw my arms around
his neck and kissed him on the lips. He held me from him at arm's length
and stared about in annoyance and perplexity. The four men greeted him
with roars of laughter, and explanations were made. At first he was
sceptical. He scrutinized me keenly and was half convinced, then shook
his head and would not believe. It was not until I became the old Avis
Everhard and whispered secrets in his ear that none knew but he and Avis
Everhard, that he accepted me as his really, truly wife.

It was later in the day that he took me in his arms, manifesting great
embarrassment and claiming polygamous emotions.

"You are my Avis," he said, "and you are also some one else. You are two
women, and therefore you are my harem. At any rate, we are safe now.
If the United States becomes too hot for us, why I have qualified for
citizenship in Turkey."*

     * At that time polygamy was still practised in Turkey.

Life became for me very happy in the refuge. It is true, we worked
hard and for long hours; but we worked together. We had each other for
eighteen precious months, and we were not lonely, for there was always
a coming and going of leaders and comrades--strange voices from the
under-world of intrigue and revolution, bringing stranger tales of
strife and war from all our battle-line. And there was much fun and
delight. We were not mere gloomy conspirators. We toiled hard and
suffered greatly, filled the gaps in our ranks and went on, and through
all the labour and the play and interplay of life and death we found
time to laugh and love. There were artists, scientists, scholars,
musicians, and poets among us; and in that hole in the ground culture
was higher and finer than in the palaces of wonder-cities of the
oligarchs. In truth, many of our comrades toiled at making beautiful
those same palaces and wonder-cities.*

     * This is not braggadocio on the part of Avis Everhard.  The
     flower of the artistic and intellectual world were
     revolutionists.  With the exception of a few of the
     musicians and singers, and of a few of the oligarchs, all
     the great creators of the period whose names have come down
     to us, were revolutionists.

Nor were we confined to the refuge itself. Often at night we rode over
the mountains for exercise, and we rode on Wickson's horses. If only he
knew how many revolutionists his horses have carried! We even went on
picnics to isolated spots we knew, where we remained all day, going
before daylight and returning after dark. Also, we used Wickson's cream
and butter,* and Ernest was not above shooting Wickson's quail and
rabbits, and, on occasion, his young bucks.

     * Even as late as that period, cream and butter were still
     crudely extracted from cow's milk.  The laboratory
     preparation of foods had not yet begun.

Indeed, it was a safe refuge. I have said that it was discovered only
once, and this brings me to the clearing up of the mystery of the
disappearance of young Wickson. Now that he is dead, I am free to speak.
There was a nook on the bottom of the great hole where the sun shone for
several hours and which was hidden from above. Here we had carried
many loads of gravel from the creek-bed, so that it was dry and warm,
a pleasant basking place; and here, one afternoon, I was drowsing, half
asleep, over a volume of Mendenhall.* I was so comfortable and secure
that even his flaming lyrics failed to stir me.

     * In all the extant literature and documents of that period,
     continual reference is made to the poems of Rudolph
     Mendenhall.  By his comrades he was called "The Flame."  He
     was undoubtedly a great genius; yet, beyond weird and
     haunting fragments of his verse, quoted in the writings of
     others, nothing of his has come down to us.  He was executed
     by the Iron Heel in 1928 A.D.

I was aroused by a clod of earth striking at my feet. Then from above,
I heard a sound of scrambling. The next moment a young man, with a
final slide down the crumbling wall, alighted at my feet. It was Philip
Wickson, though I did not know him at the time. He looked at me coolly
and uttered a low whistle of surprise.

"Well," he said; and the next moment, cap in hand, he was saying, "I beg
your pardon. I did not expect to find any one here."

I was not so cool. I was still a tyro so far as concerned knowing how to
behave in desperate circumstances. Later on, when I was an international
spy, I should have been less clumsy, I am sure. As it was, I scrambled
to my feet and cried out the danger call.

"Why did you do that?" he asked, looking at me searchingly.

It was evident that he had no suspicion of our presence when making the
descent. I recognized this with relief.

"For what purpose do you think I did it?" I countered. I was indeed
clumsy in those days.

"I don't know," he answered, shaking his head. "Unless you've got
friends about. Anyway, you've got some explanations to make. I don't
like the look of it. You are trespassing. This is my father's land,
and--"

But at that moment, Biedenbach, every polite and gentle, said from
behind him in a low voice, "Hands up, my young sir."

Young Wickson put his hands up first, then turned to confront
Biedenbach, who held a thirty-thirty automatic rifle on him. Wickson was
imperturbable.

"Oh, ho," he said, "a nest of revolutionists--and quite a hornet's nest
it would seem. Well, you won't abide here long, I can tell you."

"Maybe you'll abide here long enough to reconsider that statement,"
Biedenbach said quietly. "And in the meanwhile I must ask you to come
inside with me."

"Inside?" The young man was genuinely astonished. "Have you a catacomb
here? I have heard of such things."

"Come and see," Biedenbach answered with his adorable accent.

"But it is unlawful," was the protest.

"Yes, by your law," the terrorist replied significantly. "But by our
law, believe me, it is quite lawful. You must accustom yourself to
the fact that you are in another world than the one of oppression and
brutality in which you have lived."

"There is room for argument there," Wickson muttered.

"Then stay with us and discuss it."

The young fellow laughed and followed his captor into the house. He
was led into the inner cave-room, and one of the young comrades left to
guard him, while we discussed the situation in the kitchen.

Biedenbach, with tears in his eyes, held that Wickson must die, and was
quite relieved when we outvoted him and his horrible proposition. On the
other hand, we could not dream of allowing the young oligarch to depart.

"I'll tell you what to do," Ernest said. "We'll keep him and give him an
education."

"I bespeak the privilege, then, of enlightening him in jurisprudence,"
Biedenbach cried.

And so a decision was laughingly reached. We would keep Philip Wickson
a prisoner and educate him in our ethics and sociology. But in the
meantime there was work to be done. All trace of the young oligarch must
be obliterated. There were the marks he had left when descending the
crumbling wall of the hole. This task fell to Biedenbach, and, slung on
a rope from above, he toiled cunningly for the rest of the day till no
sign remained. Back up the canyon from the lip of the hole all marks
were likewise removed. Then, at twilight, came John Carlson, who
demanded Wickson's shoes.

The young man did not want to give up his shoes, and even offered to
fight for them, till he felt the horseshoer's strength in Ernest's
hands. Carlson afterward reported several blisters and much grievous
loss of skin due to the smallness of the shoes, but he succeeded in
doing gallant work with them. Back from the lip of the hole, where ended
the young man's obliterated trial, Carlson put on the shoes and walked
away to the left. He walked for miles, around knolls, over ridges and
through canyons, and finally covered the trail in the running water of
a creek-bed. Here he removed the shoes, and, still hiding trail for a
distance, at last put on his own shoes. A week later Wickson got back
his shoes.

That night the hounds were out, and there was little sleep in the
refuge. Next day, time and again, the baying hounds came down the
canyon, plunged off to the left on the trail Carlson had made for them,
and were lost to ear in the farther canyons high up the mountain. And
all the time our men waited in the refuge, weapons in hand--automatic
revolvers and rifles, to say nothing of half a dozen infernal machines
of Biedenbach's manufacture. A more surprised party of rescuers could
not be imagined, had they ventured down into our hiding-place.

I have now given the true disappearance of Philip Wickson, one-time
oligarch, and, later, comrade in the Revolution. For we converted him
in the end. His mind was fresh and plastic, and by nature he was very
ethical. Several months later we rode him, on one of his father's
horses, over Sonoma Mountains to Petaluma Creek and embarked him in
a small fishing-launch. By easy stages we smuggled him along our
underground railway to the Carmel refuge.

There he remained eight months, at the end of which time, for two
reasons, he was loath to leave us. One reason was that he had fallen in
love with Anna Roylston, and the other was that he had become one of
us. It was not until he became convinced of the hopelessness of his
love affair that he acceded to our wishes and went back to his father.
Ostensibly an oligarch until his death, he was in reality one of the
most valuable of our agents. Often and often has the Iron Heel been
dumbfounded by the miscarriage of its plans and operations against us.
If it but knew the number of its own members who are our agents, it
would understand. Young Wickson never wavered in his loyalty to the
Cause. In truth, his very death was incurred by his devotion to duty.
In the great storm of 1927, while attending a meeting of our leaders, he
contracted the pneumonia of which he died.*

     * The case of this young man was not unusual.  Many young
     men of the Oligarchy, impelled by sense of right conduct, or
     their imaginations captured by the glory of the Revolution,
     ethically or romantically devoted their lives to it.  In
     similar way, many sons of the Russian nobility played their
     parts in the earlier and protracted revolution in that
     country.


CHAPTER XXI

THE ROARING ABYSMAL BEAST


During the long period of our stay in the refuge, we were kept closely
in touch with what was happening in the world without, and we were
learning thoroughly the strength of the Oligarchy with which we were
at war. Out of the flux of transition the new institutions were
forming more definitely and taking on the appearance and attributes
of permanence. The oligarchs had succeeded in devising a governmental
machine, as intricate as it was vast, that worked--and this despite all
our efforts to clog and hamper.

This was a surprise to many of the revolutionists. They had not
conceived it possible. Nevertheless the work of the country went on.
The men toiled in the mines and fields--perforce they were no more than
slaves. As for the vital industries, everything prospered. The members
of the great labor castes were contented and worked on merrily. For the
first time in their lives they knew industrial peace. No more were they
worried by slack times, strike and lockout, and the union label. They
lived in more comfortable homes and in delightful cities of their
own--delightful compared with the slums and ghettos in which they had
formerly dwelt. They had better food to eat, less hours of labor, more
holidays, and a greater amount and variety of interests and pleasures.
And for their less fortunate brothers and sisters, the unfavored
laborers, the driven people of the abyss, they cared nothing. An age
of selfishness was dawning upon mankind. And yet this is not altogether
true. The labor castes were honeycombed by our agents--men whose
eyes saw, beyond the belly-need, the radiant figure of liberty and
brotherhood.

Another great institution that had taken form and was working smoothly
was the Mercenaries. This body of soldiers had been evolved out of the
old regular army and was now a million strong, to say nothing of the
colonial forces. The Mercenaries constituted a race apart. They dwelt in
cities of their own which were practically self-governed, and they
were granted many privileges. By them a large portion of the perplexing
surplus was consumed. They were losing all touch and sympathy with
the rest of the people, and, in fact, were developing their own class
morality and consciousness. And yet we had thousands of our agents among
them.*

     * The Mercenaries, in the last days of the Iron Heel, played
     an important role.  They constituted the balance of power in
     the struggles between the labor castes and the oligarchs,
     and now to one side and now to the other, threw their
     strength according to the play of intrigue and conspiracy.

The oligarchs themselves were going through a remarkable and, it must
be confessed, unexpected development. As a class, they disciplined
themselves. Every member had his work to do in the world, and this work
he was compelled to do. There were no more idle-rich young men. Their
strength was used to give united strength to the Oligarchy. They served
as leaders of troops and as lieutenants and captains of industry.
They found careers in applied science, and many of them became great
engineers. They went into the multitudinous divisions of the government,
took service in the colonial possessions, and by tens of thousands went
into the various secret services. They were, I may say, apprenticed
to education, to art, to the church, to science, to literature; and
in those fields they served the important function of moulding the
thought-processes of the nation in the direction of the perpetuity of
the Oligarchy.

They were taught, and later they in turn taught, that what they were
doing was right. They assimilated the aristocratic idea from the moment
they began, as children, to receive impressions of the world. The
aristocratic idea was woven into the making of them until it became bone
of them and flesh of them. They looked upon themselves as wild-animal
trainers, rulers of beasts. From beneath their feet rose always the
subterranean rumbles of revolt. Violent death ever stalked in their
midst; bomb and knife and bullet were looked upon as so many fangs
of the roaring abysmal beast they must dominate if humanity were
to persist. They were the saviours of humanity, and they regarded
themselves as heroic and sacrificing laborers for the highest good.

They, as a class, believed that they alone maintained civilization.
It was their belief that if ever they weakened, the great beast would
ingulf them and everything of beauty and wonder and joy and good in its
cavernous and slime-dripping maw. Without them, anarchy would reign and
humanity would drop backward into the primitive night out of which it
had so painfully emerged. The horrid picture of anarchy was held
always before their child's eyes until they, in turn, obsessed by this
cultivated fear, held the picture of anarchy before the eyes of the
children that followed them. This was the beast to be stamped upon, and
the highest duty of the aristocrat was to stamp upon it. In short,
they alone, by their unremitting toil and sacrifice, stood between
weak humanity and the all-devouring beast; and they believed it, firmly
believed it.

I cannot lay too great stress upon this high ethical righteousness of
the whole oligarch class. This has been the strength of the Iron Heel,
and too many of the comrades have been slow or loath to realize it. Many
of them have ascribed the strength of the Iron Heel to its system of
reward and punishment. This is a mistake. Heaven and hell may be the
prime factors of zeal in the religion of a fanatic; but for the great
majority of the religious, heaven and hell are incidental to right
and wrong. Love of the right, desire for the right, unhappiness with
anything less than the right--in short, right conduct, is the prime
factor of religion. And so with the Oligarchy. Prisons, banishment and
degradation, honors and palaces and wonder-cities, are all incidental.
The great driving force of the oligarchs is the belief that they are
doing right. Never mind the exceptions, and never mind the oppression
and injustice in which the Iron Heel was conceived. All is granted. The
point is that the strength of the Oligarchy today lies in its satisfied
conception of its own righteousness.*

     * Out of the ethical incoherency and inconsistency of
     capitalism, the oligarchs emerged with a new ethics,
     coherent and definite, sharp and severe as steel, the most
     absurd and unscientific and at the same time the most potent
     ever possessed by any tyrant class. The oligarchs believed
     their ethics, in spite of the fact that biology and
     evolution gave them the lie; and, because of their faith,
     for three centuries they were able to hold back the mighty
     tide of human progress--a spectacle, profound, tremendous,
     puzzling to the metaphysical moralist, and one that to the
     materialist is the cause of many doubts and
     reconsiderations.

For that matter, the strength of the Revolution, during these
frightful twenty years, has resided in nothing else than the sense
of righteousness. In no other way can be explained our sacrifices and
martyrdoms. For no other reason did Rudolph Mendenhall flame out his
soul for the Cause and sing his wild swan-song that last night of life.
For no other reason did Hurlbert die under torture, refusing to the last
to betray his comrades. For no other reason has Anna Roylston refused
blessed motherhood. For no other reason has John Carlson been the
faithful and unrewarded custodian of the Glen Ellen Refuge. It does
not matter, young or old, man or woman, high or low, genius or clod,
go where one will among the comrades of the Revolution, the motor-force
will be found to be a great and abiding desire for the right.

But I have run away from my narrative. Ernest and I well understood,
before we left the refuge, how the strength of the Iron Heel was
developing. The labor castes, the Mercenaries, and the great hordes
of secret agents and police of various sorts were all pledged to the
Oligarchy. In the main, and ignoring the loss of liberty, they were
better off than they had been. On the other hand, the great helpless
mass of the population, the people of the abyss, was sinking into a
brutish apathy of content with misery. Whenever strong proletarians
asserted their strength in the midst of the mass, they were drawn away
from the mass by the oligarchs and given better conditions by being made
members of the labor castes or of the Mercenaries. Thus discontent was
lulled and the proletariat robbed of its natural leaders.

The condition of the people of the abyss was pitiable. Common school
education, so far as they were concerned, had ceased. They lived
like beasts in great squalid labor-ghettos, festering in misery and
degradation. All their old liberties were gone. They were labor-slaves.
Choice of work was denied them. Likewise was denied them the right to
move from place to place, or the right to bear or possess arms. They
were not land serfs like the farmers. They were machine-serfs and
labor-serfs. When unusual needs arose for them, such as the building
of the great highways and air-lines, of canals, tunnels, subways, and
fortifications, levies were made on the labor-ghettos, and tens of
thousands of serfs, willy-nilly, were transported to the scene of
operations. Great armies of them are toiling now at the building of
Ardis, housed in wretched barracks where family life cannot exist, and
where decency is displaced by dull bestiality. In all truth, there in
the labor-ghettos is the roaring abysmal beast the oligarchs fear so
dreadfully--but it is the beast of their own making. In it they will not
let the ape and tiger die.

And just now the word has gone forth that new levies are being imposed
for the building of Asgard, the projected wonder-city that will far
exceed Ardis when the latter is completed.* We of the Revolution will go
on with that great work, but it will not be done by the miserable serfs.
The walls and towers and shafts of that fair city will arise to the
sound of singing, and into its beauty and wonder will be woven, not
sighs and groans, but music and laughter.

     * Ardis was completed in 1942 A.D., Asgard was not completed
     until 1984 A.D.  It was fifty-two years in the building,
     during which time a permanent army of half a million serfs
     was employed.  At times these numbers swelled to over a
     million--without any account being taken of the hundreds of
     thousands of the labor castes and the artists.

Ernest was madly impatient to be out in the world and doing, for our
ill-fated First Revolt, that had miscarried in the Chicago Commune, was
ripening fast. Yet he possessed his soul with patience, and during this
time of his torment, when Hadly, who had been brought for the purpose
from Illinois, made him over into another man* he revolved great plans
in his head for the organization of the learned proletariat, and for the
maintenance of at least the rudiments of education amongst the people of
the abyss--all this of course in the event of the First Revolt being a
failure.

     * Among the Revolutionists were many surgeons, and in
     vivisection they attained marvellous proficiency.  In Avis
     Everhard's words, they could literally make a man over.  To
     them the elimination of scars and disfigurements was a
     trivial detail.  They changed the features with such
     microscopic care that no traces were left of their
     handiwork.  The nose was a favorite organ to work upon.
     Skin-grafting and hair-transplanting were among their
     commonest devices.  The changes in expression they
     accomplished were wizard-like.  Eyes and eyebrows, lips,
     mouths, and ears, were radically altered.  By cunning
     operations on tongue, throat, larynx, and nasal cavities a
     man's whole enunciation and manner of speech could be
     changed.  Desperate times give need for desperate remedies,
     and the surgeons of the Revolution rose to the need.  Among
     other things, they could increase an adult's stature by as
     much as four or five inches and decrease it by one or two
     inches.  What they did is to-day a lost art.  We have no
     need for it.

It was not until January, 1917, that we left the refuge. All had been
arranged. We took our place at once as agents-provocateurs in the scheme
of the Iron Heel. I was supposed to be Ernest's sister. By oligarchs and
comrades on the inside who were high in authority, place had been made
for us, we were in possession of all necessary documents, and our pasts
were accounted for. With help on the inside, this was not difficult,
for in that shadow-world of secret service identity was nebulous. Like
ghosts the agents came and went, obeying commands, fulfilling duties,
following clews, making their reports often to officers they never saw
or cooperating with other agents they had never seen before and would
never see again.



CHAPTER XXII

THE CHICAGO COMMUNE


As agents-provocateurs, not alone were we able to travel a great deal,
but our very work threw us in contact with the proletariat and with our
comrades, the revolutionists. Thus we were in both camps at the same
time, ostensibly serving the Iron Heel and secretly working with all
our might for the Cause. There were many of us in the various
secret services of the Oligarchy, and despite the shakings-up and
reorganizations the secret services have undergone, they have never been
able to weed all of us out.

Ernest had largely planned the First Revolt, and the date set had been
somewhere early in the spring of 1918. In the fall of 1917 we were not
ready; much remained to be done, and when the Revolt was precipitated,
of course it was doomed to failure. The plot of necessity was
frightfully intricate, and anything premature was sure to destroy it.
This the Iron Heel foresaw and laid its schemes accordingly.

We had planned to strike our first blow at the nervous system of the
Oligarchy. The latter had remembered the general strike, and had
guarded against the defection of the telegraphers by installing wireless
stations, in the control of the Mercenaries. We, in turn, had countered
this move. When the signal was given, from every refuge, all over the
land, and from the cities, and towns, and barracks, devoted comrades
were to go forth and blow up the wireless stations. Thus at the first
shock would the Iron Heel be brought to earth and lie practically
dismembered.

At the same moment, other comrades were to blow up the bridges and
tunnels and disrupt the whole network of railroads. Still further, other
groups of comrades, at the signal, were to seize the officers of the
Mercenaries and the police, as well as all Oligarchs of unusual ability
or who held executive positions. Thus would the leaders of the enemy
be removed from the field of the local battles that would inevitably be
fought all over the land.

Many things were to occur simultaneously when the signal went forth. The
Canadian and Mexican patriots, who were far stronger than the Iron Heel
dreamed, were to duplicate our tactics. Then there were comrades (these
were the women, for the men would be busy elsewhere) who were to post
the proclamations from our secret presses. Those of us in the higher
employ of the Iron Heel were to proceed immediately to make confusion
and anarchy in all our departments. Inside the Mercenaries were
thousands of our comrades. Their work was to blow up the magazines
and to destroy the delicate mechanism of all the war machinery. In the
cities of the Mercenaries and of the labor castes similar programmes of
disruption were to be carried out.

In short, a sudden, colossal, stunning blow was to be struck. Before the
paralyzed Oligarchy could recover itself, its end would have come.
It would have meant terrible times and great loss of life, but no
revolutionist hesitates at such things. Why, we even depended much, in
our plan, on the unorganized people of the abyss. They were to be loosed
on the palaces and cities of the masters. Never mind the destruction
of life and property. Let the abysmal brute roar and the police and
Mercenaries slay. The abysmal brute would roar anyway, and the police
and Mercenaries would slay anyway. It would merely mean that various
dangers to us were harmlessly destroying one another. In the meantime we
would be doing our own work, largely unhampered, and gaining control of
all the machinery of society.

Such was our plan, every detail of which had to be worked out in secret,
and, as the day drew near, communicated to more and more comrades.
This was the danger point, the stretching of the conspiracy. But that
danger-point was never reached. Through its spy-system the Iron Heel
got wind of the Revolt and prepared to teach us another of its bloody
lessons. Chicago was the devoted city selected for the instruction, and
well were we instructed.

Chicago* was the ripest of all--Chicago which of old time was the city
of blood and which was to earn anew its name. There the revolutionary
spirit was strong. Too many bitter strikes had been curbed there in the
days of capitalism for the workers to forget and forgive. Even the
labor castes of the city were alive with revolt. Too many heads had
been broken in the early strikes. Despite their changed and favorable
conditions, their hatred for the master class had not died. This spirit
had infected the Mercenaries, of which three regiments in particular
were ready to come over to us en masse.

     * Chicago was the industrial inferno of the nineteenth
     century A.D. A curious anecdote has come down to us of John
     Burns, a great English labor leader and one time member of
     the British Cabinet. In Chicago, while on a visit to the
     United States, he was asked by a newspaper reporter for his
     opinion of that city.  "Chicago," he answered, "is a pocket
     edition of hell."  Some time later, as he was going aboard
     his steamer to sail to England, he was approached by another
     reporter, who wanted to know if he had changed his opinion
     of Chicago.  "Yes, I have," was his reply.  "My present
     opinion is that hell is a pocket edition of Chicago."

Chicago had always been the storm-centre of the conflict between
labor and capital, a city of street-battles and violent death, with a
class-conscious capitalist organization and a class-conscious workman
organization, where, in the old days, the very school-teachers were
formed into labor unions and affiliated with the hod-carriers and
brick-layers in the American Federation of Labor. And Chicago became the
storm-centre of the premature First Revolt.

The trouble was precipitated by the Iron Heel. It was cleverly done. The
whole population, including the favored labor castes, was given a course
of outrageous treatment. Promises and agreements were broken, and most
drastic punishments visited upon even petty offenders. The people of
the abyss were tormented out of their apathy. In fact, the Iron Heel was
preparing to make the abysmal beast roar. And hand in hand with this, in
all precautionary measures in Chicago, the Iron Heel was inconceivably
careless. Discipline was relaxed among the Mercenaries that remained,
while many regiments had been withdrawn and sent to various parts of the
country.

It did not take long to carry out this programme--only several weeks. We
of the Revolution caught vague rumors of the state of affairs, but had
nothing definite enough for an understanding. In fact, we thought it was
a spontaneous spirit of revolt that would require careful curbing on our
part, and never dreamed that it was deliberately manufactured--and it
had been manufactured so secretly, from the very innermost circle of
the Iron Heel, that we had got no inkling. The counter-plot was an able
achievement, and ably carried out.

I was in New York when I received the order to proceed immediately to
Chicago. The man who gave me the order was one of the oligarchs, I could
tell that by his speech, though I did not know his name nor see his
face. His instructions were too clear for me to make a mistake. Plainly
I read between the lines that our plot had been discovered, that we had
been countermined. The explosion was ready for the flash of powder, and
countless agents of the Iron Heel, including me, either on the ground
or being sent there, were to supply that flash. I flatter myself that I
maintained my composure under the keen eye of the oligarch, but my heart
was beating madly. I could almost have shrieked and flown at his throat
with my naked hands before his final, cold-blooded instructions were
given.

Once out of his presence, I calculated the time. I had just the moments
to spare, if I were lucky, to get in touch with some local leader before
catching my train. Guarding against being trailed, I made a rush of it
for the Emergency Hospital. Luck was with me, and I gained access at
once to comrade Galvin, the surgeon-in-chief. I started to gasp out my
information, but he stopped me.

"I already know," he said quietly, though his Irish eyes were flashing.
"I knew what you had come for. I got the word fifteen minutes ago, and I
have already passed it along. Everything shall be done here to keep the
comrades quiet. Chicago is to be sacrificed, but it shall be Chicago
alone."

"Have you tried to get word to Chicago?" I asked.

He shook his head. "No telegraphic communication. Chicago is shut off.
It's going to be hell there."

He paused a moment, and I saw his white hands clinch. Then he burst out:

"By God! I wish I were going to be there!"

"There is yet a chance to stop it," I said, "if nothing happens to
the train and I can get there in time. Or if some of the other
secret-service comrades who have learned the truth can get there in
time."

"You on the inside were caught napping this time," he said.

I nodded my head humbly.

"It was very secret," I answered. "Only the inner chiefs could have
known up to to-day. We haven't yet penetrated that far, so we couldn't
escape being kept in the dark. If only Ernest were here. Maybe he is in
Chicago now, and all is well."

Dr. Galvin shook his head. "The last news I heard of him was that he had
been sent to Boston or New Haven. This secret service for the enemy must
hamper him a lot, but it's better than lying in a refuge."

I started to go, and Galvin wrung my hand.

"Keep a stout heart," were his parting words. "What if the First Revolt
is lost? There will be a second, and we will be wiser then. Good-by and
good luck. I don't know whether I'll ever see you again. It's going to
be hell there, but I'd give ten years of my life for your chance to be
in it."

The Twentieth Century* left New York at six in the evening, and was
supposed to arrive at Chicago at seven next morning. But it lost time
that night. We were running behind another train. Among the travellers
in my Pullman was comrade Hartman, like myself in the secret service
of the Iron Heel. He it was who told me of the train that immediately
preceded us. It was an exact duplicate of our train, though it contained
no passengers. The idea was that the empty train should receive the
disaster were an attempt made to blow up the Twentieth Century. For that
matter there were very few people on the train--only a baker's dozen in
our car.

     * This was reputed to be the fastest train in the world
     then.  It was quite a famous train.

"There must be some big men on board," Hartman concluded. "I noticed a
private car on the rear."

Night had fallen when we made our first change of engine, and I walked
down the platform for a breath of fresh air and to see what I could see.
Through the windows of the private car I caught a glimpse of three
men whom I recognized. Hartman was right. One of the men was General
Altendorff; and the other two were Mason and Vanderbold, the brains of
the inner circle of the Oligarchy's secret service.

It was a quiet moonlight night, but I tossed restlessly and could not
sleep. At five in the morning I dressed and abandoned my bed.

I asked the maid in the dressing-room how late the train was, and she
told me two hours. She was a mulatto woman, and I noticed that her
face was haggard, with great circles under the eyes, while the eyes
themselves were wide with some haunting fear.

"What is the matter?" I asked.

"Nothing, miss; I didn't sleep well, I guess," was her reply.

I looked at her closely, and tried her with one of our signals. She
responded, and I made sure of her.

"Something terrible is going to happen in Chicago," she said. "There's
that fake* train in front of us. That and the troop-trains have made us
late."

     * False.

"Troop-trains?" I queried.

She nodded her head. "The line is thick with them. We've been passing
them all night. And they're all heading for Chicago. And bringing them
over the air-line--that means business.

"I've a lover in Chicago," she added apologetically. "He's one of us,
and he's in the Mercenaries, and I'm afraid for him."

Poor girl. Her lover was in one of the three disloyal regiments.

Hartman and I had breakfast together in the dining car, and I forced
myself to eat. The sky had clouded, and the train rushed on like a
sullen thunderbolt through the gray pall of advancing day. The very
negroes that waited on us knew that something terrible was impending.
Oppression sat heavily upon them; the lightness of their natures had
ebbed out of them; they were slack and absent-minded in their service,
and they whispered gloomily to one another in the far end of the car
next to the kitchen. Hartman was hopeless over the situation.

"What can we do?" he demanded for the twentieth time, with a helpless
shrug of the shoulders.

He pointed out of the window. "See, all is ready. You can depend upon it
that they're holding them like this, thirty or forty miles outside the
city, on every road."

He had reference to troop-trains on the side-track. The soldiers were
cooking their breakfasts over fires built on the ground beside the
track, and they looked up curiously at us as we thundered past without
slackening our terrific speed.

All was quiet as we entered Chicago. It was evident nothing had happened
yet. In the suburbs the morning papers came on board the train. There
was nothing in them, and yet there was much in them for those skilled
in reading between the lines that it was intended the ordinary reader
should read into the text. The fine hand of the Iron Heel was apparent
in every column. Glimmerings of weakness in the armor of the Oligarchy
were given. Of course, there was nothing definite. It was intended that
the reader should feel his way to these glimmerings. It was
cleverly done. As fiction, those morning papers of October 27th were
masterpieces.

The local news was missing. This in itself was a masterstroke. It
shrouded Chicago in mystery, and it suggested to the average Chicago
reader that the Oligarchy did not dare give the local news. Hints that
were untrue, of course, were given of insubordination all over the land,
crudely disguised with complacent references to punitive measures to be
taken. There were reports of numerous wireless stations that had
been blown up, with heavy rewards offered for the detection of the
perpetrators. Of course no wireless stations had been blown up. Many
similar outrages, that dovetailed with the plot of the revolutionists,
were given. The impression to be made on the minds of the Chicago
comrades was that the general Revolt was beginning, albeit with a
confusing miscarriage in many details. It was impossible for one
uninformed to escape the vague yet certain feeling that all the land was
ripe for the revolt that had already begun to break out.

It was reported that the defection of the Mercenaries in California had
become so serious that half a dozen regiments had been disbanded and
broken, and that their members with their families had been driven
from their own city and on into the labor-ghettos. And the California
Mercenaries were in reality the most faithful of all to their salt!
But how was Chicago, shut off from the rest of the world, to know? Then
there was a ragged telegram describing an outbreak of the populace in
New York City, in which the labor castes were joining, concluding with
the statement (intended to be accepted as a bluff*) that the troops had
the situation in hand.

     * A lie.

And as the oligarchs had done with the morning papers, so had they done
in a thousand other ways. These we learned afterward, as, for example,
the secret messages of the oligarchs, sent with the express purpose of
leaking to the ears of the revolutionists, that had come over the wires,
now and again, during the first part of the night.

"I guess the Iron Heel won't need our services," Hartman remarked,
putting down the paper he had been reading, when the train pulled into
the central depot. "They wasted their time sending us here. Their plans
have evidently prospered better than they expected. Hell will break
loose any second now."

He turned and looked down the train as we alighted.

"I thought so," he muttered. "They dropped that private car when the
papers came aboard."

Hartman was hopelessly depressed. I tried to cheer him up, but he
ignored my effort and suddenly began talking very hurriedly, in a
low voice, as we passed through the station. At first I could not
understand.

"I have not been sure," he was saying, "and I have told no one. I have
been working on it for weeks, and I cannot make sure. Watch out for
Knowlton. I suspect him. He knows the secrets of a score of our refuges.
He carries the lives of hundreds of us in his hands, and I think he is
a traitor. It's more a feeling on my part than anything else. But I
thought I marked a change in him a short while back. There is the danger
that he has sold us out, or is going to sell us out. I am almost sure
of it. I wouldn't whisper my suspicions to a soul, but, somehow, I don't
think I'll leave Chicago alive. Keep your eye on Knowlton. Trap him.
Find out. I don't know anything more. It is only an intuition, and so
far I have failed to find the slightest clew." We were just stepping out
upon the sidewalk. "Remember," Hartman concluded earnestly. "Keep your
eyes upon Knowlton."

And Hartman was right. Before a month went by Knowlton paid for his
treason with his life. He was formally executed by the comrades in
Milwaukee.

All was quiet on the streets--too quiet. Chicago lay dead. There was no
roar and rumble of traffic. There were not even cabs on the streets. The
surface cars and the elevated were not running. Only occasionally, on
the sidewalks, were there stray pedestrians, and these pedestrians did
not loiter. They went their ways with great haste and definiteness,
withal there was a curious indecision in their movements, as though they
expected the buildings to topple over on them or the sidewalks to sink
under their feet or fly up in the air. A few gamins, however, were
around, in their eyes a suppressed eagerness in anticipation of
wonderful and exciting things to happen.

From somewhere, far to the south, the dull sound of an explosion came to
our ears. That was all. Then quiet again, though the gamins had startled
and listened, like young deer, at the sound. The doorways to all the
buildings were closed; the shutters to the shops were up. But there
were many police and watchmen in evidence, and now and again automobile
patrols of the Mercenaries slipped swiftly past.

Hartman and I agreed that it was useless to report ourselves to the
local chiefs of the secret service. Our failure so to report would be
excused, we knew, in the light of subsequent events. So we headed for
the great labor-ghetto on the South Side in the hope of getting in
contact with some of the comrades. Too late! We knew it. But we could
not stand still and do nothing in those ghastly, silent streets. Where
was Ernest? I was wondering. What was happening in the cities of the
labor castes and Mercenaries? In the fortresses?

As if in answer, a great screaming roar went up, dim with distance,
punctuated with detonation after detonation.

"It's the fortresses," Hartman said. "God pity those three regiments!"

At a crossing we noticed, in the direction of the stockyards, a gigantic
pillar of smoke. At the next crossing several similar smoke pillars were
rising skyward in the direction of the West Side. Over the city of the
Mercenaries we saw a great captive war-balloon that burst even as we
looked at it, and fell in flaming wreckage toward the earth. There was
no clew to that tragedy of the air. We could not determine whether the
balloon had been manned by comrades or enemies. A vague sound came to
our ears, like the bubbling of a gigantic caldron a long way off, and
Hartman said it was machine-guns and automatic rifles.

And still we walked in immediate quietude. Nothing was happening where
we were. The police and the automobile patrols went by, and once half
a dozen fire-engines, returning evidently from some conflagration. A
question was called to the fireman by an officer in an automobile, and
we heard one shout in reply: "No water! They've blown up the mains!"

"We've smashed the water supply," Hartman cried excitedly to me. "If we
can do all this in a premature, isolated, abortive attempt, what can't
we do in a concerted, ripened effort all over the land?"

The automobile containing the officer who had asked the question darted
on. Suddenly there was a deafening roar. The machine, with its human
freight, lifted in an upburst of smoke, and sank down a mass of wreckage
and death.

Hartman was jubilant. "Well done! well done!" he was repeating, over
and over, in a whisper. "The proletariat gets its lesson to-day, but it
gives one, too."

Police were running for the spot. Also, another patrol machine had
halted. As for myself, I was in a daze. The suddenness of it was
stunning. How had it happened? I knew not how, and yet I had been
looking directly at it. So dazed was I for the moment that I was
scarcely aware of the fact that we were being held up by the police. I
abruptly saw that a policeman was in the act of shooting Hartman. But
Hartman was cool and was giving the proper passwords. I saw the levelled
revolver hesitate, then sink down, and heard the disgusted grunt of the
policeman. He was very angry, and was cursing the whole secret service.
It was always in the way, he was averring, while Hartman was talking
back to him and with fitting secret-service pride explaining to him the
clumsiness of the police.

The next moment I knew how it had happened. There was quite a group
about the wreck, and two men were just lifting up the wounded officer
to carry him to the other machine. A panic seized all of them, and
they scattered in every direction, running in blind terror, the wounded
officer, roughly dropped, being left behind. The cursing policeman
alongside of me also ran, and Hartman and I ran, too, we knew not why,
obsessed with the same blind terror to get away from that particular
spot.

Nothing really happened then, but everything was explained. The flying
men were sheepishly coming back, but all the while their eyes were
raised apprehensively to the many-windowed, lofty buildings that towered
like the sheer walls of a canyon on each side of the street. From one
of those countless windows the bomb had been thrown, but which window?
There had been no second bomb, only a fear of one.

Thereafter we looked with speculative comprehension at the windows.
Any of them contained possible death. Each building was a possible
ambuscade. This was warfare in that modern jungle, a great city. Every
street was a canyon, every building a mountain. We had not changed much
from primitive man, despite the war automobiles that were sliding by.

Turning a corner, we came upon a woman. She was lying on the pavement,
in a pool of blood. Hartman bent over and examined her. As for myself,
I turned deathly sick. I was to see many dead that day, but the total
carnage was not to affect me as did this first forlorn body lying
there at my feet abandoned on the pavement. "Shot in the breast," was
Hartman's report. Clasped in the hollow of her arm, as a child might be
clasped, was a bundle of printed matter. Even in death she seemed loath
to part with that which had caused her death; for when Hartman had
succeeded in withdrawing the bundle, we found that it consisted of large
printed sheets, the proclamations of the revolutionists.

"A comrade," I said.

But Hartman only cursed the Iron Heel, and we passed on. Often we
were halted by the police and patrols, but our passwords enabled us
to proceed. No more bombs fell from the windows, the last pedestrians
seemed to have vanished from the streets, and our immediate quietude
grew more profound; though the gigantic caldron continued to bubble in
the distance, dull roars of explosions came to us from all directions,
and the smoke-pillars were towering more ominously in the heavens.



CHAPTER XXIII

THE PEOPLE OF THE ABYSS


Suddenly a change came over the face of things. A tingle of excitement
ran along the air. Automobiles fled past, two, three, a dozen, and from
them warnings were shouted to us. One of the machines swerved wildly
at high speed half a block down, and the next moment, already left well
behind it, the pavement was torn into a great hole by a bursting bomb.
We saw the police disappearing down the cross-streets on the run, and
knew that something terrible was coming. We could hear the rising roar
of it.

"Our brave comrades are coming," Hartman said.

We could see the front of their column filling the street from gutter to
gutter, as the last war-automobile fled past. The machine stopped for a
moment just abreast of us. A soldier leaped from it, carrying something
carefully in his hands. This, with the same care, he deposited in the
gutter. Then he leaped back to his seat and the machine dashed on, took
the turn at the corner, and was gone from sight. Hartman ran to the
gutter and stooped over the object.

"Keep back," he warned me.

I could see he was working rapidly with his hands. When he returned to
me the sweat was heavy on his forehead.

"I disconnected it," he said, "and just in the nick of time. The soldier
was clumsy. He intended it for our comrades, but he didn't give it
enough time. It would have exploded prematurely. Now it won't explode at
all."

Everything was happening rapidly now. Across the street and half a block
down, high up in a building, I could see heads peering out. I had just
pointed them out to Hartman, when a sheet of flame and smoke ran along
that portion of the face of the building where the heads had appeared,
and the air was shaken by the explosion. In places the stone facing of
the building was torn away, exposing the iron construction beneath. The
next moment similar sheets of flame and smoke smote the front of the
building across the street opposite it. Between the explosions we could
hear the rattle of the automatic pistols and rifles. For several minutes
this mid-air battle continued, then died out. It was patent that our
comrades were in one building, that Mercenaries were in the other, and
that they were fighting across the street. But we could not tell
which was which--which building contained our comrades and which the
Mercenaries.

By this time the column on the street was almost on us. As the front of
it passed under the warring buildings, both went into action again--one
building dropping bombs into the street, being attacked from across the
street, and in return replying to that attack. Thus we learned which
building was held by our comrades, and they did good work, saving those
in the street from the bombs of the enemy.

Hartman gripped my arm and dragged me into a wide entrance.

"They're not our comrades," he shouted in my ear.

The inner doors to the entrance were locked and bolted. We could not
escape. The next moment the front of the column went by. It was not a
column, but a mob, an awful river that filled the street, the people
of the abyss, mad with drink and wrong, up at last and roaring for the
blood of their masters. I had seen the people of the abyss before, gone
through its ghettos, and thought I knew it; but I found that I was now
looking on it for the first time. Dumb apathy had vanished. It was now
dynamic--a fascinating spectacle of dread. It surged past my vision in
concrete waves of wrath, snarling and growling, carnivorous, drunk with
whiskey from pillaged warehouses, drunk with hatred, drunk with lust
for blood--men, women, and children, in rags and tatters, dim ferocious
intelligences with all the godlike blotted from their features and all
the fiendlike stamped in, apes and tigers, anaemic consumptives and
great hairy beasts of burden, wan faces from which vampire society had
sucked the juice of life, bloated forms swollen with physical grossness
and corruption, withered hags and death's-heads bearded like patriarchs,
festering youth and festering age, faces of fiends, crooked, twisted,
misshapen monsters blasted with the ravages of disease and all the
horrors of chronic innutrition--the refuse and the scum of life, a
raging, screaming, screeching, demoniacal horde.

And why not? The people of the abyss had nothing to lose but the misery
and pain of living. And to gain?--nothing, save one final, awful glut of
vengeance. And as I looked the thought came to me that in that rushing
stream of human lava were men, comrades and heroes, whose mission had
been to rouse the abysmal beast and to keep the enemy occupied in coping
with it.

And now a strange thing happened to me. A transformation came over me.
The fear of death, for myself and for others, left me. I was strangely
exalted, another being in another life. Nothing mattered. The Cause for
this one time was lost, but the Cause would be here to-morrow, the
same Cause, ever fresh and ever burning. And thereafter, in the orgy
of horror that raged through the succeeding hours, I was able to take
a calm interest. Death meant nothing, life meant nothing. I was an
interested spectator of events, and, sometimes swept on by the rush,
was myself a curious participant. For my mind had leaped to a star-cool
altitude and grasped a passionless transvaluation of values. Had it not
done this, I know that I should have died.

Half a mile of the mob had swept by when we were discovered. A woman
in fantastic rags, with cheeks cavernously hollow and with narrow black
eyes like burning gimlets, caught a glimpse of Hartman and me. She
let out a shrill shriek and bore in upon us. A section of the mob tore
itself loose and surged in after her. I can see her now, as I write
these lines, a leap in advance, her gray hair flying in thin tangled
strings, the blood dripping down her forehead from some wound in the
scalp, in her right hand a hatchet, her left hand, lean and wrinkled, a
yellow talon, gripping the air convulsively. Hartman sprang in front of
me. This was no time for explanations. We were well dressed, and that
was enough. His fist shot out, striking the woman between her burning
eyes. The impact of the blow drove her backward, but she struck the wall
of her on-coming fellows and bounced forward again, dazed and helpless,
the brandished hatchet falling feebly on Hartman's shoulder.

The next moment I knew not what was happening. I was overborne by the
crowd. The confined space was filled with shrieks and yells and curses.
Blows were falling on me. Hands were ripping and tearing at my flesh
and garments. I felt that I was being torn to pieces. I was being borne
down, suffocated. Some strong hand gripped my shoulder in the thick of
the press and was dragging fiercely at me. Between pain and pressure I
fainted. Hartman never came out of that entrance. He had shielded me and
received the first brunt of the attack. This had saved me, for the jam
had quickly become too dense for anything more than the mad gripping and
tearing of hands.

I came to in the midst of wild movement. All about me was the same
movement. I had been caught up in a monstrous flood that was sweeping me
I knew not whither. Fresh air was on my cheek and biting sweetly in my
lungs. Faint and dizzy, I was vaguely aware of a strong arm around my
body under the arms, and half-lifting me and dragging me along. Feebly
my own limbs were helping me. In front of me I could see the moving back
of a man's coat. It had been slit from top to bottom along the centre
seam, and it pulsed rhythmically, the slit opening and closing regularly
with every leap of the wearer. This phenomenon fascinated me for a time,
while my senses were coming back to me. Next I became aware of stinging
cheeks and nose, and could feel blood dripping on my face. My hat was
gone. My hair was down and flying, and from the stinging of the scalp I
managed to recollect a hand in the press of the entrance that had torn
at my hair. My chest and arms were bruised and aching in a score of
places.

My brain grew clearer, and I turned as I ran and looked at the man who
was holding me up. He it was who had dragged me out and saved me. He
noticed my movement.

"It's all right!" he shouted hoarsely. "I knew you on the instant."

I failed to recognize him, but before I could speak I trod upon
something that was alive and that squirmed under my foot. I was swept on
by those behind and could not look down and see, and yet I knew that it
was a woman who had fallen and who was being trampled into the pavement
by thousands of successive feet.

"It's all right," he repeated. "I'm Garthwaite."

He was bearded and gaunt and dirty, but I succeeded in remembering him
as the stalwart youth that had spent several months in our Glen Ellen
refuge three years before. He passed me the signals of the Iron Heel's
secret service, in token that he, too, was in its employ.

"I'll get you out of this as soon as I can get a chance," he assured me.
"But watch your footing. On your life don't stumble and go down."

All things happened abruptly on that day, and with an abruptness that
was sickening the mob checked itself. I came in violent collision with
a large woman in front of me (the man with the split coat had vanished),
while those behind collided against me. A devilish pandemonium
reigned,--shrieks, curses, and cries of death, while above all rose the
churning rattle of machine-guns and the put-a-put, put-a-put of rifles.
At first I could make out nothing. People were falling about me right
and left. The woman in front doubled up and went down, her hands on her
abdomen in a frenzied clutch. A man was quivering against my legs in a
death-struggle.

It came to me that we were at the head of the column. Half a mile of it
had disappeared--where or how I never learned. To this day I do not know
what became of that half-mile of humanity--whether it was blotted out
by some frightful bolt of war, whether it was scattered and destroyed
piecemeal, or whether it escaped. But there we were, at the head of the
column instead of in its middle, and we were being swept out of life by
a torrent of shrieking lead.

As soon as death had thinned the jam, Garthwaite, still grasping my arm,
led a rush of survivors into the wide entrance of an office building.
Here, at the rear, against the doors, we were pressed by a panting,
gasping mass of creatures. For some time we remained in this position
without a change in the situation.

"I did it beautifully," Garthwaite was lamenting to me. "Ran you right
into a trap. We had a gambler's chance in the street, but in here
there is no chance at all. It's all over but the shouting. Vive la
Revolution!"

Then, what he expected, began. The Mercenaries were killing without
quarter. At first, the surge back upon us was crushing, but as the
killing continued the pressure was eased. The dead and dying went down
and made room. Garthwaite put his mouth to my ear and shouted, but in
the frightful din I could not catch what he said. He did not wait. He
seized me and threw me down. Next he dragged a dying woman over on top
of me, and, with much squeezing and shoving, crawled in beside me and
partly over me. A mound of dead and dying began to pile up over us, and
over this mound, pawing and moaning, crept those that still survived.
But these, too, soon ceased, and a semi-silence settled down, broken by
groans and sobs and sounds of strangulation.

I should have been crushed had it not been for Garthwaite. As it was,
it seemed inconceivable that I could bear the weight I did and live. And
yet, outside of pain, the only feeling I possessed was one of curiosity.
How was it going to end? What would death be like? Thus did I receive
my red baptism in that Chicago shambles. Prior to that, death to me had
been a theory; but ever afterward death has been a simple fact that does
not matter, it is so easy.

But the Mercenaries were not content with what they had done. They
invaded the entrance, killing the wounded and searching out the unhurt
that, like ourselves, were playing dead. I remember one man they dragged
out of a heap, who pleaded abjectly until a revolver shot cut him short.
Then there was a woman who charged from a heap, snarling and shooting.
She fired six shots before they got her, though what damage she did we
could not know. We could follow these tragedies only by the sound. Every
little while flurries like this occurred, each flurry culminating in the
revolver shot that put an end to it. In the intervals we could hear
the soldiers talking and swearing as they rummaged among the carcasses,
urged on by their officers to hurry up.

At last they went to work on our heap, and we could feel the pressure
diminish as they dragged away the dead and wounded. Garthwaite began
uttering aloud the signals. At first he was not heard. Then he raised
his voice.

"Listen to that," we heard a soldier say. And next the sharp voice of an
officer. "Hold on there! Careful as you go!"

Oh, that first breath of air as we were dragged out! Garthwaite did the
talking at first, but I was compelled to undergo a brief examination to
prove service with the Iron Heel.

"Agents-provocateurs all right," was the officer's conclusion. He was
a beardless young fellow, a cadet, evidently, of some great oligarch
family.

"It's a hell of a job," Garthwaite grumbled. "I'm going to try and
resign and get into the army. You fellows have a snap."

"You've earned it," was the young officer's answer. "I've got some pull,
and I'll see if it can be managed. I can tell them how I found you."

He took Garthwaite's name and number, then turned to me.

"And you?"

"Oh, I'm going to be married," I answered lightly, "and then I'll be out
of it all."

And so we talked, while the killing of the wounded went on. It is all
a dream, now, as I look back on it; but at the time it was the most
natural thing in the world. Garthwaite and the young officer fell into
an animated conversation over the difference between so-called modern
warfare and the present street-fighting and sky-scraper fighting that
was taking place all over the city. I followed them intently, fixing up
my hair at the same time and pinning together my torn skirts. And all
the time the killing of the wounded went on. Sometimes the revolver
shots drowned the voices of Garthwaite and the officer, and they were
compelled to repeat what they had been saying.

I lived through three days of the Chicago Commune, and the vastness of
it and of the slaughter may be imagined when I say that in all that time
I saw practically nothing outside the killing of the people of the abyss
and the mid-air fighting between sky-scrapers. I really saw nothing of
the heroic work done by the comrades. I could hear the explosions of
their mines and bombs, and see the smoke of their conflagrations, and
that was all. The mid-air part of one great deed I saw, however, and
that was the balloon attacks made by our comrades on the fortresses.
That was on the second day. The three disloyal regiments had been
destroyed in the fortresses to the last man. The fortresses were crowded
with Mercenaries, the wind blew in the right direction, and up went our
balloons from one of the office buildings in the city.

Now Biedenbach, after he left Glen Ellen, had invented a most powerful
explosive--"expedite" he called it. This was the weapon the balloons
used. They were only hot-air balloons, clumsily and hastily made, but
they did the work. I saw it all from the top of an office building. The
first balloon missed the fortresses completely and disappeared into the
country; but we learned about it afterward. Burton and O'Sullivan were
in it. As they were descending they swept across a railroad directly
over a troop-train that was heading at full speed for Chicago. They
dropped their whole supply of expedite upon the locomotive. The
resulting wreck tied the line up for days. And the best of it was that,
released from the weight of expedite, the balloon shot up into the
air and did not come down for half a dozen miles, both heroes escaping
unharmed.

The second balloon was a failure. Its flight was lame. It floated too
low and was shot full of holes before it could reach the fortresses.
Herford and Guinness were in it, and they were blown to pieces along
with the field into which they fell. Biedenbach was in despair--we heard
all about it afterward--and he went up alone in the third balloon. He,
too, made a low flight, but he was in luck, for they failed seriously to
puncture his balloon. I can see it now as I did then, from the lofty top
of the building--that inflated bag drifting along the air, and that tiny
speck of a man clinging on beneath. I could not see the fortress, but
those on the roof with me said he was directly over it. I did not
see the expedite fall when he cut it loose. But I did see the balloon
suddenly leap up into the sky. An appreciable time after that the great
column of the explosion towered in the air, and after that, in turn, I
heard the roar of it. Biedenbach the gentle had destroyed a fortress.
Two other balloons followed at the same time. One was blown to pieces
in the air, the expedite exploding, and the shock of it disrupted the
second balloon, which fell prettily into the remaining fortress.
It couldn't have been better planned, though the two comrades in it
sacrificed their lives.

But to return to the people of the abyss. My experiences were confined
to them. They raged and slaughtered and destroyed all over the city
proper, and were in turn destroyed; but never once did they succeed in
reaching the city of the oligarchs over on the west side. The oligarchs
had protected themselves well. No matter what destruction was wreaked in
the heart of the city, they, and their womenkind and children, were to
escape hurt. I am told that their children played in the parks during
those terrible days and that their favorite game was an imitation of
their elders stamping upon the proletariat.

But the Mercenaries found it no easy task to cope with the people of the
abyss and at the same time fight with the comrades. Chicago was true to
her traditions, and though a generation of revolutionists was wiped out,
it took along with it pretty close to a generation of its enemies.
Of course, the Iron Heel kept the figures secret, but, at a very
conservative estimate, at least one hundred and thirty thousand
Mercenaries were slain. But the comrades had no chance. Instead of the
whole country being hand in hand in revolt, they were all alone, and the
total strength of the Oligarchy could have been directed against them
if necessary. As it was, hour after hour, day after day, in endless
train-loads, by hundreds of thousands, the Mercenaries were hurled into
Chicago.

And there were so many of the people of the abyss! Tiring of the
slaughter, a great herding movement was begun by the soldiers, the
intent of which was to drive the street mobs, like cattle, into Lake
Michigan. It was at the beginning of this movement that Garthwaite and I
had encountered the young officer. This herding movement was practically
a failure, thanks to the splendid work of the comrades. Instead of the
great host the Mercenaries had hoped to gather together, they succeeded
in driving no more than forty thousand of the wretches into the lake.
Time and again, when a mob of them was well in hand and being driven
along the streets to the water, the comrades would create a diversion,
and the mob would escape through the consequent hole torn in the
encircling net.

Garthwaite and I saw an example of this shortly after meeting with the
young officer. The mob of which we had been a part, and which had been
put in retreat, was prevented from escaping to the south and east by
strong bodies of troops. The troops we had fallen in with had held it
back on the west. The only outlet was north, and north it went toward
the lake, driven on from east and west and south by machine-gun fire and
automatics. Whether it divined that it was being driven toward the lake,
or whether it was merely a blind squirm of the monster, I do not know;
but at any rate the mob took a cross street to the west, turned down
the next street, and came back upon its track, heading south toward the
great ghetto.

Garthwaite and I at that time were trying to make our way westward to
get out of the territory of street-fighting, and we were caught right in
the thick of it again. As we came to the corner we saw the howling mob
bearing down upon us. Garthwaite seized my arm and we were just starting
to run, when he dragged me back from in front of the wheels of half a
dozen war automobiles, equipped with machine-guns, that were rushing for
the spot. Behind them came the soldiers with their automatic rifles.
By the time they took position, the mob was upon them, and it looked as
though they would be overwhelmed before they could get into action.

Here and there a soldier was discharging his rifle, but this scattered
fire had no effect in checking the mob. On it came, bellowing with brute
rage. It seemed the machine-guns could not get started. The automobiles
on which they were mounted blocked the street, compelling the soldiers
to find positions in, between, and on the sidewalks. More and more
soldiers were arriving, and in the jam we were unable to get away.
Garthwaite held me by the arm, and we pressed close against the front of
a building.

The mob was no more than twenty-five feet away when the machine-guns
opened up; but before that flaming sheet of death nothing could live.
The mob came on, but it could not advance. It piled up in a heap, a
mound, a huge and growing wave of dead and dying. Those behind urged on,
and the column, from gutter to gutter, telescoped upon itself. Wounded
creatures, men and women, were vomited over the top of that awful wave
and fell squirming down the face of it till they threshed about under
the automobiles and against the legs of the soldiers. The latter
bayoneted the struggling wretches, though one I saw who gained his feet
and flew at a soldier's throat with his teeth. Together they went down,
soldier and slave, into the welter.

The firing ceased. The work was done. The mob had been stopped in its
wild attempt to break through. Orders were being given to clear the
wheels of the war-machines. They could not advance over that wave of
dead, and the idea was to run them down the cross street. The soldiers
were dragging the bodies away from the wheels when it happened. We
learned afterward how it happened. A block distant a hundred of our
comrades had been holding a building. Across roofs and through buildings
they made their way, till they found themselves looking down upon the
close-packed soldiers. Then it was counter-massacre.

Without warning, a shower of bombs fell from the top of the building.
The automobiles were blown to fragments, along with many soldiers. We,
with the survivors, swept back in mad retreat. Half a block down another
building opened fire on us. As the soldiers had carpeted the street with
dead slaves, so, in turn, did they themselves become carpet. Garthwaite
and I bore charmed lives. As we had done before, so again we sought
shelter in an entrance. But he was not to be caught napping this time.
As the roar of the bombs died away, he began peering out.

"The mob's coming back!" he called to me. "We've got to get out of
this!"

We fled, hand in hand, down the bloody pavement, slipping and sliding,
and making for the corner. Down the cross street we could see a few
soldiers still running. Nothing was happening to them. The way was
clear. So we paused a moment and looked back. The mob came on slowly.
It was busy arming itself with the rifles of the slain and killing the
wounded. We saw the end of the young officer who had rescued us.
He painfully lifted himself on his elbow and turned loose with his
automatic pistol.

"There goes my chance of promotion," Garthwaite laughed, as a woman bore
down on the wounded man, brandishing a butcher's cleaver. "Come on. It's
the wrong direction, but we'll get out somehow."

And we fled eastward through the quiet streets, prepared at every cross
street for anything to happen. To the south a monster conflagration was
filling the sky, and we knew that the great ghetto was burning. At last
I sank down on the sidewalk. I was exhausted and could go no farther.
I was bruised and sore and aching in every limb; yet I could not escape
smiling at Garthwaite, who was rolling a cigarette and saying:

"I know I'm making a mess of rescuing you, but I can't get head nor
tail of the situation. It's all a mess. Every time we try to break out,
something happens and we're turned back. We're only a couple of blocks
now from where I got you out of that entrance. Friend and foe are all
mixed up. It's chaos. You can't tell who is in those darned buildings.
Try to find out, and you get a bomb on your head. Try to go peaceably on
your way, and you run into a mob and are killed by machine-guns, or
you run into the Mercenaries and are killed by your own comrades from a
roof. And on the top of it all the mob comes along and kills you, too."

He shook his head dolefully, lighted his cigarette, and sat down beside
me.

"And I'm that hungry," he added, "I could eat cobblestones."

The next moment he was on his feet again and out in the street prying up
a cobblestone. He came back with it and assaulted the window of a store
behind us.

"It's ground floor and no good," he explained as he helped me through
the hole he had made; "but it's the best we can do. You get a nap and
I'll reconnoitre. I'll finish this rescue all right, but I want time,
time, lots of it--and something to eat."

It was a harness store we found ourselves in, and he fixed me up a couch
of horse blankets in the private office well to the rear. To add to my
wretchedness a splitting headache was coming on, and I was only too glad
to close my eyes and try to sleep.

"I'll be back," were his parting words. "I don't hope to get an auto,
but I'll surely bring some grub,* anyway."

     * Food.

And that was the last I saw of Garthwaite for three years. Instead of
coming back, he was carried away to a hospital with a bullet through his
lungs and another through the fleshy part of his neck.



CHAPTER XXIV

NIGHTMARE


I had not closed my eyes the night before on the Twentieth Century, and
what of that and of my exhaustion I slept soundly. When I first awoke,
it was night. Garthwaite had not returned. I had lost my watch and had
no idea of the time. As I lay with my eyes closed, I heard the same
dull sound of distant explosions. The inferno was still raging. I crept
through the store to the front. The reflection from the sky of vast
conflagrations made the street almost as light as day. One could have
read the finest print with ease. From several blocks away came the
crackle of small hand-bombs and the churning of machine-guns, and from a
long way off came a long series of heavy explosions. I crept back to my
horse blankets and slept again.

When next I awoke, a sickly yellow light was filtering in on me. It was
dawn of the second day. I crept to the front of the store. A smoke pall,
shot through with lurid gleams, filled the sky. Down the opposite
side of the street tottered a wretched slave. One hand he held tightly
against his side, and behind him he left a bloody trail. His eyes roved
everywhere, and they were filled with apprehension and dread. Once he
looked straight across at me, and in his face was all the dumb pathos
of the wounded and hunted animal. He saw me, but there was no kinship
between us, and with him, at least, no sympathy of understanding; for
he cowered perceptibly and dragged himself on. He could expect no aid
in all God's world. He was a helot in the great hunt of helots that the
masters were making. All he could hope for, all he sought, was some hole
to crawl away in and hide like any animal. The sharp clang of a passing
ambulance at the corner gave him a start. Ambulances were not for such
as he. With a groan of pain he threw himself into a doorway. A minute
later he was out again and desperately hobbling on.

I went back to my horse blankets and waited an hour for Garthwaite. My
headache had not gone away. On the contrary, it was increasing. It was
by an effort of will only that I was able to open my eyes and look
at objects. And with the opening of my eyes and the looking came
intolerable torment. Also, a great pulse was beating in my brain. Weak
and reeling, I went out through the broken window and down the street,
seeking to escape, instinctively and gropingly, from the awful shambles.
And thereafter I lived nightmare. My memory of what happened in the
succeeding hours is the memory one would have of nightmare. Many events
are focussed sharply on my brain, but between these indelible pictures
I retain are intervals of unconsciousness. What occurred in those
intervals I know not, and never shall know.

I remember stumbling at the corner over the legs of a man. It was the
poor hunted wretch that had dragged himself past my hiding-place. How
distinctly do I remember his poor, pitiful, gnarled hands as he lay
there on the pavement--hands that were more hoof and claw than hands,
all twisted and distorted by the toil of all his days, with on the palms
a horny growth of callous a half inch thick. And as I picked myself
up and started on, I looked into the face of the thing and saw that it
still lived; for the eyes, dimly intelligent, were looking at me and
seeing me.

After that came a kindly blank. I knew nothing, saw nothing, merely
tottered on in my quest for safety. My next nightmare vision was a
quiet street of the dead. I came upon it abruptly, as a wanderer in the
country would come upon a flowing stream. Only this stream I gazed upon
did not flow. It was congealed in death. From pavement to pavement, and
covering the sidewalks, it lay there, spread out quite evenly, with
only here and there a lump or mound of bodies to break the surface. Poor
driven people of the abyss, hunted helots--they lay there as the rabbits
in California after a drive.* Up the street and down I looked. There was
no movement, no sound. The quiet buildings looked down upon the scene
from their many windows. And once, and once only, I saw an arm that
moved in that dead stream. I swear I saw it move, with a strange
writhing gesture of agony, and with it lifted a head, gory with nameless
horror, that gibbered at me and then lay down again and moved no more.

     * In those days, so sparsely populated was the land that
     wild animals often became pests.  In California the custom
     of rabbit-driving obtained.  On a given day all the farmers
     in a locality would assemble and sweep across the country in
     converging lines, driving the rabbits by scores of thousands
     into a prepared enclosure, where they were clubbed to death
     by men and boys.

I remember another street, with quiet buildings on either side, and the
panic that smote me into consciousness as again I saw the people of the
abyss, but this time in a stream that flowed and came on. And then I saw
there was nothing to fear. The stream moved slowly, while from it arose
groans and lamentations, cursings, babblings of senility, hysteria, and
insanity; for these were the very young and the very old, the feeble and
the sick, the helpless and the hopeless, all the wreckage of the ghetto.
The burning of the great ghetto on the South Side had driven them forth
into the inferno of the street-fighting, and whither they wended and
whatever became of them I did not know and never learned.*

     * It was long a question of debate, whether the burning of
     the South Side ghetto was accidental, or whether it was done
     by the Mercenaries; but it is definitely settled now that
     the ghetto was fired by the Mercenaries under orders from
     their chiefs.

I have faint memories of breaking a window and hiding in some shop to
escape a street mob that was pursued by soldiers. Also, a bomb burst
near me, once, in some still street, where, look as I would, up and
down, I could see no human being. But my next sharp recollection begins
with the crack of a rifle and an abrupt becoming aware that I am being
fired at by a soldier in an automobile. The shot missed, and the next
moment I was screaming and motioning the signals. My memory of riding in
the automobile is very hazy, though this ride, in turn, is broken by one
vivid picture. The crack of the rifle of the soldier sitting beside me
made me open my eyes, and I saw George Milford, whom I had known in the
Pell Street days, sinking slowly down to the sidewalk. Even as he sank
the soldier fired again, and Milford doubled in, then flung his body
out, and fell sprawling. The soldier chuckled, and the automobile sped
on.

The next I knew after that I was awakened out of a sound sleep by a man
who walked up and down close beside me. His face was drawn and strained,
and the sweat rolled down his nose from his forehead. One hand was
clutched tightly against his chest by the other hand, and blood
dripped down upon the floor as he walked. He wore the uniform of the
Mercenaries. From without, as through thick walls, came the muffled roar
of bursting bombs. I was in some building that was locked in combat with
some other building.

A surgeon came in to dress the wounded soldier, and I learned that it
was two in the afternoon. My headache was no better, and the surgeon
paused from his work long enough to give me a powerful drug that would
depress the heart and bring relief. I slept again, and the next I knew I
was on top of the building. The immediate fighting had ceased, and I
was watching the balloon attack on the fortresses. Some one had an arm
around me and I was leaning close against him. It came to me quite as a
matter of course that this was Ernest, and I found myself wondering how
he had got his hair and eyebrows so badly singed.

It was by the merest chance that we had found each other in that
terrible city. He had had no idea that I had left New York, and, coming
through the room where I lay asleep, could not at first believe that
it was I. Little more I saw of the Chicago Commune. After watching the
balloon attack, Ernest took me down into the heart of the building,
where I slept the afternoon out and the night. The third day we spent
in the building, and on the fourth, Ernest having got permission and an
automobile from the authorities, we left Chicago.

My headache was gone, but, body and soul, I was very tired. I lay back
against Ernest in the automobile, and with apathetic eyes watched the
soldiers trying to get the machine out of the city. Fighting was
still going on, but only in isolated localities. Here and there whole
districts were still in possession of the comrades, but such districts
were surrounded and guarded by heavy bodies of troops. In a hundred
segregated traps were the comrades thus held while the work of
subjugating them went on. Subjugation meant death, for no quarter was
given, and they fought heroically to the last man.*

     * Numbers of the buildings held out over a week, while one
     held out eleven days.  Each building had to be stormed like
     a fort, and the Mercenaries fought their way upward floor by
     floor.  It was deadly fighting.  Quarter was neither given
     nor taken, and in the fighting the revolutionists had the
     advantage of being above.  While the revolutionists were
     wiped out, the loss was not one-sided.  The proud Chicago
     proletariat lived up to its ancient boast.  For as many of
     itself as were killed, it killed that many of the enemy.

Whenever we approached such localities, the guards turned us back and
sent us around. Once, the only way past two strong positions of the
comrades was through a burnt section that lay between. From either side
we could hear the rattle and roar of war, while the automobile picked
its way through smoking ruins and tottering walls. Often the streets
were blocked by mountains of debris that compelled us to go around. We
were in a labyrinth of ruin, and our progress was slow.

The stockyards (ghetto, plant, and everything) were smouldering ruins.
Far off to the right a wide smoke haze dimmed the sky,--the town of
Pullman, the soldier chauffeur told us, or what had been the town of
Pullman, for it was utterly destroyed. He had driven the machine out
there, with despatches, on the afternoon of the third day. Some of the
heaviest fighting had occurred there, he said, many of the streets being
rendered impassable by the heaps of the dead.

Swinging around the shattered walls of a building, in the stockyards
district, the automobile was stopped by a wave of dead. It was for all
the world like a wave tossed up by the sea. It was patent to us what
had happened. As the mob charged past the corner, it had been swept, at
right angles and point-blank range, by the machine-guns drawn up on the
cross street. But disaster had come to the soldiers. A chance bomb must
have exploded among them, for the mob, checked until its dead and dying
formed the wave, had white-capped and flung forward its foam of living,
fighting slaves. Soldiers and slaves lay together, torn and mangled,
around and over the wreckage of the automobiles and guns.

Ernest sprang out. A familiar pair of shoulders in a cotton shirt and a
familiar fringe of white hair had caught his eye. I did not watch him,
and it was not until he was back beside me and we were speeding on that
he said:

"It was Bishop Morehouse."

Soon we were in the green country, and I took one last glance back at
the smoke-filled sky. Faint and far came the low thud of an explosion.
Then I turned my face against Ernest's breast and wept softly for the
Cause that was lost. Ernest's arm about me was eloquent with love.

"For this time lost, dear heart," he said, "but not forever. We have
learned. To-morrow the Cause will rise again, strong with wisdom and
discipline."

The automobile drew up at a railroad station. Here we would catch a
train to New York. As we waited on the platform, three trains thundered
past, bound west to Chicago. They were crowded with ragged, unskilled
laborers, people of the abyss.

"Slave-levies for the rebuilding of Chicago," Ernest said. "You see, the
Chicago slaves are all killed."



CHAPTER XXV

THE TERRORISTS


It was not until Ernest and I were back in New York, and after weeks had
elapsed, that we were able to comprehend thoroughly the full sweep of
the disaster that had befallen the Cause. The situation was bitter and
bloody. In many places, scattered over the country, slave revolts and
massacres had occurred. The roll of the martyrs increased mightily.
Countless executions took place everywhere. The mountains and waste
regions were filled with outlaws and refugees who were being hunted down
mercilessly. Our own refuges were packed with comrades who had prices on
their heads. Through information furnished by its spies, scores of our
refuges were raided by the soldiers of the Iron Heel.

Many of the comrades were disheartened, and they retaliated with
terroristic tactics. The set-back to their hopes made them despairing
and desperate. Many terrorist organizations unaffiliated with us sprang
into existence and caused us much trouble.* These misguided people
sacrificed their own lives wantonly, very often made our own plans go
astray, and retarded our organization.

     * The annals of this short-lived era of despair make bloody
     reading.  Revenge was the ruling motive, and the members of
     the terroristic organizations were careless of their own
     lives and hopeless about the future.  The Danites, taking
     their name from the avenging angels of the Mormon mythology,
     sprang up in the mountains of the Great West and spread over
     the Pacific Coast from Panama to Alaska.  The Valkyries were
     women.  They were the most terrible of all.  No woman was
     eligible for membership who had not lost near relatives at
     the hands of the Oligarchy.  They were guilty of torturing
     their prisoners to death.  Another famous organization of
     women was The Widows of War.  A companion organization to
     the Valkyries was the Berserkers.  These men placed no value
     whatever upon their own lives, and it was they who totally
     destroyed the great Mercenary city of Bellona along with its
     population of over a hundred thousand souls.  The Bedlamites
     and the Helldamites were twin slave organizations, while a
     new religious sect that did not flourish long was called The
     Wrath of God.  Among others, to show the whimsicality of
     their deadly seriousness, may be mentioned the following:
     The Bleeding Hearts, Sons of the Morning, the Morning Stars,
     The Flamingoes, The Triple Triangles, The Three Bars, The
     Rubonics, The Vindicators, The Comanches, and the
     Erebusites.

And through it all moved the Iron Heel, impassive and deliberate,
shaking up the whole fabric of the social structure in its search for
the comrades, combing out the Mercenaries, the labor castes, and all its
secret services, punishing without mercy and without malice, suffering
in silence all retaliations that were made upon it, and filling the gaps
in its fighting line as fast as they appeared. And hand in hand with
this, Ernest and the other leaders were hard at work reorganizing the
forces of the Revolution. The magnitude of the task may be understood
when it is taken into.*

     * This is the end of the Everhard Manuscript.  It breaks off
     abruptly in the middle of a sentence.  She must have
     received warning of the coming of the Mercenaries, for she
     had time safely to hide the Manuscript before she fled or
     was captured.  It is to be regretted that she did not live
     to complete her narrative, for then, undoubtedly, would have
     been cleared away the mystery that has shrouded for seven
     centuries the execution of Ernest Everhard.



THE END





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