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Title:      It Can't Happen Here (1935)
Author:     Sinclair Lewis
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A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook

Title:      It Can't Happen Here (1935)
Author:     Sinclair Lewis


The handsome dining room of the Hotel Wessex, with its gilded
plaster shields and the mural depicting the Green Mountains, had
been reserved for the Ladies' Night Dinner of the Fort Beulah
Rotary Club.

Here in Vermont the affair was not so picturesque as it might have
been on the Western prairies.  Oh, it had its points: there was a
skit in which Medary Cole (grist mill & feed store) and Louis
Rotenstern (custom tailoring--pressing & cleaning) announced that
they were those historic Vermonters, Brigham Young and Joseph
Smith, and with their jokes about imaginary plural wives they got
in ever so many funny digs at the ladies present.  But the occasion
was essentially serious.  All of America was serious now, after the
seven years of depression since 1929.  It was just long enough
after the Great War of 1914-18 for the young people who had been
born in 1917 to be ready to go to college . . . or to another war,
almost any old war that might be handy.

The features of this night among the Rotarians were nothing funny,
at least not obviously funny, for they were the patriotic addresses
of Brigadier General Herbert Y. Edgeways, U.S.A. (ret.), who dealt
angrily with the topic "Peace through Defense--Millions for Arms
but Not One Cent for Tribute," and of Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch--
she who was no more renowned for her gallant anti-suffrage
campaigning way back in 1919 than she was for having, during the
Great War, kept the American soldiers entirely out of French cafés
by the clever trick of sending them ten thousand sets of dominoes.

Nor could any social-minded patriot sneeze at her recent somewhat
unappreciated effort to maintain the purity of the American Home by
barring from the motion-picture industry all persons, actors or
directors or cameramen, who had: (a) ever been divorced; (b) been
born in any foreign country--except Great Britain, since Mrs.
Gimmitch thought very highly of Queen Mary, or (c) declined to take
an oath to revere the Flag, the Constitution, the Bible, and all
other peculiarly American institutions.

The Annual Ladies' Dinner was a most respectable gathering--the
flower of Fort Beulah.  Most of the ladies and more than half of
the gentlemen wore evening clothes, and it was rumored that before
the feast the inner circle had had cocktails, privily served in
Room 289 of the hotel.  The tables, arranged on three sides of a
hollow square, were bright with candles, cut-glass dishes of candy
and slightly tough almonds, figurines of Mickey Mouse, brass Rotary
wheels, and small silk American flags stuck in gilded hard-boiled
eggs.  On the wall was a banner lettered "Service Before Self," and
the menu--the celery, cream of tomato soup, broiled haddock,
chicken croquettes, peas, and tutti-frutti ice-cream--was up to the
highest standards of the Hotel Wessex.

They were all listening, agape.  General Edgeways was completing
his manly yet mystical rhapsody on nationalism:

". . . for these U-nited States, a-lone among the great powers,
have no desire for foreign conquest.  Our highest ambition is to be
darned well let alone!  Our only gen-uine relationship to Europe is
in our arduous task of having to try and educate the crass and
ignorant masses that Europe has wished onto us up to something like
a semblance of American culture and good manners.  But, as I
explained to you, we must be prepared to defend our shores against
all the alien gangs of international racketeers that call
themselves 'governments,' and that with such feverish envy are
always eyeing our inexhaustible mines, our towering forests, our
titanic and luxurious cities, our fair and far-flung fields.

"For the first time in all history, a great nation must go on
arming itself more and more, not for conquest--not for jealousy--
not for war--but for PEACE!  Pray God it may never be necessary,
but if foreign nations don't sharply heed our warning, there will,
as when the proverbial dragon's teeth were sowed, spring up an
armed and fearless warrior upon every square foot of these United
States, so arduously cultivated and defended by our pioneer
fathers, whose sword-girded images we must be . . . or we shall

The applause was cyclonic.  "Professor" Emil Staubmeyer, the
superintendent of schools, popped up to scream, "Three cheers for
the General--hip, hip, hooray!"

All the audience made their faces to shine upon the General and Mr.
Staubmeyer--all save a couple of crank pacifist women, and one
Doremus Jessup, editor of the Fort Beulah Daily Informer, locally
considered "a pretty smart fella but kind of a cynic," who
whispered to his friend the Reverend Mr. Falck, "Our pioneer
fathers did rather of a skimpy job in arduously cultivating some of
the square feet in Arizona!"

The culminating glory of the dinner was the address of Mrs.
Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch, known throughout the country as "the
Unkies' Girl," because during the Great War she had advocated
calling our boys in the A.E.F. "the Unkies."  She hadn't merely
given them dominoes; indeed her first notion had been far more
imaginative.  She wanted to send to every soldier at the Front a
canary in a cage.  Think what it would have meant to them in the
way of companionship and inducing memories of home and mother!  A
dear little canary!  And who knows--maybe you could train 'em to
hunt cooties!

Seething with the notion, she got herself clear into the office of
the Quartermaster General, but that stuffy machine-minded official
refused her (or, really, refused the poor lads, so lonely there in
the mud), muttering in a cowardly way some foolishness about lack
of transport for canaries.  It is said that her eyes flashed real
fire, and that she faced the Jack-in-office like Joan of Arc with
eyeglasses while she "gave him a piece of her mind that HE never

In those good days women really had a chance.  They were encouraged
to send their menfolks, or anybody else's menfolks, off to war.
Mrs. Gimmitch addressed every soldier she met--and she saw to it
that she met any of them who ventured within two blocks of her--as
"My own dear boy."  It is fabled that she thus saluted a colonel of
marines who had come up from the ranks and who answered, "We own
dear boys are certainly getting a lot of mothers these days.
Personally, I'd rather have a few more mistresses."  And the fable
continues that she did not stop her remarks on the occasion, except
to cough, for one hour and seventeen minutes, by the Colonel's
wrist watch.

But her social services were not all confined to prehistoric eras.
It was as recently as 1935 that she had taken up purifying the
films, and before that she had first advocated and then fought
Prohibition.  She had also (since the vote had been forced on her)
been a Republican Committee-woman in 1932, and sent to President
Hoover daily a lengthy telegram of advice.

And, though herself unfortunately childless, she was esteemed as a
lecturer and writer about Child Culture, and she was the author of
a volume of nursery lyrics, including the immortal couplet:

     All of the Roundies are resting in rows,
     With roundy-roundies around their toes.

But always, 1917 or 1936, she was a raging member of the Daughters
of the American Revolution.

The D.A.R. (reflected the cynic, Doremus Jessup, that evening) is a
somewhat confusing organization--as confusing as Theosophy,
Relativity, or the Hindu Vanishing Boy Trick, all three of which it
resembles.  It is composed of females who spend one half their
waking hours boasting of being descended from the seditious
American colonists of 1776, and the other and more ardent half in
attacking all contemporaries who believe in precisely the
principles for which those ancestors struggled.

The D.A.R. (reflected Doremus) has become as sacrosanct, as beyond
criticism, as even the Catholic Church or the Salvation Army.  And
there is this to be said: it has provided hearty and innocent
laughter for the judicious, since it has contrived to be just as
ridiculous as the unhappily defunct Kuklux Klan, without any need
of wearing, like the K.K.K., high dunces' caps and public

So, whether Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch was called in to inspire
military morale, or to persuade Lithuanian choral societies to
begin their program with "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean," always
she was a D.A.R., and you could tell it as you listened to her with
the Fort Beulah Rotarians on this happy May evening.

She was short, plump, and pert of nose.  Her luxuriant gray hair
(she was sixty now, just the age of the sarcastic editor, Doremus
Jessup) could be seen below her youthful, floppy Leghorn hat; she
wore a silk print dress with an enormous string of crystal beads,
and pinned above her ripe bosom was an orchid among lilies of the
valley.  She was full of friendliness toward all the men present:
she wriggled at them, she cuddled at them, as in a voice full of
flute sounds and chocolate sauce she poured out her oration on "How
You Boys Can Help Us Girls."

Women, she pointed out, had done nothing with the vote.  If the
United States had only listened to her back in 1919 she could have
saved them all this trouble.  No.  Certainly not.  No votes.  In
fact, Woman must resume her place in the Home and:  "As that great
author and scientist, Mr. Arthur Brisbane, has pointed out, what
every woman ought to do is to have six children."

At this second there was a shocking, an appalling interruption.

One Lorinda Pike, widow of a notorious Unitarian preacher, was the
manager of a country super-boarding-house that called itself "The
Beulah Valley Tavern."  She was a deceptively Madonna-like,
youngish woman, with calm eyes, smooth chestnut hair parted in the
middle, and a soft voice often colored with laughter.  But on a
public platform her voice became brassy, her eyes filled with
embarrassing fury.  She was the village scold, the village crank.
She was constantly poking into things that were none of her
business, and at town meetings she criticized every substantial
interest in the whole county: the electric company's rates, the
salaries of the schoolteachers, the Ministerial Association's high-
minded censorship of books for the public library.  Now, at this
moment when everything should have been all Service and Sunshine,
Mrs. Lorinda Pike cracked the spell by jeering:

"Three cheers for Brisbane!  But what if a poor gal can't hook a
man?  Have her six kids out of wedlock?"

Then the good old war horse, Gimmitch, veteran of a hundred
campaigns against subversive Reds, trained to ridicule out of
existence the cant of Socialist hecklers and turn the laugh against
them, swung into gallant action:

"My dear good woman, if a gal, as you call it, has any real charm
and womanliness, she won't have to 'hook' a man--she'll find 'em
lined up ten deep on her doorstep!"  (Laughter and applause.)

The lady hoodlum had merely stirred Mrs. Gimmitch into noble
passion.  She did not cuddle at them now.  She tore into it:

"I tell you, my friends, the trouble with this whole country is
that so many are SELFISH!  Here's a hundred and twenty million
people, with ninety-five per cent of 'em only thinking of SELF,
instead of turning to and helping the responsible business men to
bring back prosperity!  All these corrupt and self-seeking labor
unions!  Money grubbers!  Thinking only of how much wages they
can extort out of their unfortunate employer, with all the
responsibilities he has to bear!

"What this country needs is Discipline!  Peace is a great dream,
but maybe sometimes it's only a pipe dream!  I'm not so sure--now
this will shock you, but I want you to listen to one woman who will
tell you the unadulterated hard truth instead of a lot of
sentimental taffy, and I'm not sure but that we need to be in a
real war again, in order to learn Discipline!  We don't want all
this highbrow intellectuality, all this book-learning.  That's good
enough in its way, but isn't it, after all, just a nice toy for
grownups?  No, what we all of us must have, if this great land is
going to go on maintaining its high position among the Congress of
Nations, is Discipline--Will Power--Character!"

She turned prettily then toward General Edgeways and laughed:

"You've been telling us about how to secure peace, but come on,
now, General--just among us Rotarians and Rotary Anns--'fess up!
With your great experience, don't you honest, cross-your-heart,
think that perhaps--just maybe--when a country has gone money-mad,
like all our labor unions and workmen, with their propaganda to
hoist income taxes, so that the thrifty and industrious have to pay
for the shiftless ne'er-do-weels, then maybe, to save their lazy
souls and get some iron into them, a war might be a good thing?
Come on, now, tell your real middle name, Mong General!"

Dramatically she sat down, and the sound of clapping filled the
room like a cloud of downy feathers.  The crowd bellowed, "Come on,
General!  Stand up!" and "She's called your bluff--what you got?"
or just a tolerant, "Attaboy, Gen!"

The General was short and globular, and his red face was smooth as
a baby's bottom and adorned with white-gold-framed spectacles.  But
he had the military snort and a virile chuckle.

"Well, sir!" he guffawed, on his feet, shaking a chummy forefinger
at Mrs. Gimmitch, "since you folks are bound and determined to drag
the secrets out of a poor soldier, I better confess that while I do
abhor war, yet there are worse things.  Ah, my friends, far worse!
A state of so-called peace, in which labor organizations are
riddled, as by plague germs, with insane notions out of anarchistic
Red Russia!  A state in which college professors, newspapermen, and
notorious authors are secretly promulgating these same seditious
attacks on the grand old Constitution!  A state in which, as a
result of being fed with these mental drugs, the People are flabby,
cowardly, grasping, and lacking in the fierce pride of the warrior!
No, such a state is far worse than war at its most monstrous!

"I guess maybe some of the things I said in my former speech were
kind of a little bit obvious and what we used to call 'old hat'
when my brigade was quartered in England.  About the United States
only wanting peace, and freedom from all foreign entanglements.
No!  What I'd really like us to do would be to come out and tell
the whole world:  'Now you boys never mind about the moral side of
this.  We have power, and power is its own excuse!'

"I don't altogether admire everything Germany and Italy have done,
but you've got to hand it to 'em, they've been honest enough and
realistic enough to say to the other nations, 'Just tend to your
own business, will you?  We've got strength and will, and for
whomever has those divine qualities it's not only a right, it's a
DUTY, to use 'em!'  Nobody in God's world ever loved a weakling--
including that weakling himself!

"And I've got good news for you!  This gospel of clean and
aggressive strength is spreading everywhere in this country among
the finest type of youth.  Why today, in 1936, there's less than 7
per cent of collegiate institutions that do not have military-
training units under discipline as rigorous as the Nazis, and where
once it was forced upon them by the authorities, now it is the
strong young men and women who themselves demand the RIGHT to be
trained in warlike virtues and skill--for, mark you, the girls,
with their instruction in nursing and the manufacture of gas masks
and the like, are becoming every whit as zealous as their brothers.
And all the really THINKING type of professors are right with 'em!

"Why, here, as recently as three years ago, a sickeningly big
percentage of students were blatant pacifists, wanting to knife
their own native land in the dark.  But now, when the shameless
fools and the advocates of Communism try to hold pacifist meetings--
why, my friends, in the past five months, since January first, no
less than seventy-six such exhibitionistic orgies have been raided
by their fellow students, and no less than fifty-nine disloyal Red
students have received their just deserts by being beaten up so
severely that never again will they raise in this free country the
bloodstained banner of anarchism!  That, my friends, is NEWS!"

As the General sat down, amid ecstasies of applause, the village
trouble maker, Mrs. Lorinda Pike, leaped up and again interrupted
the love feast:

"Look here, Mr. Edgeways, if you think you can get away with this
sadistic nonsense without--"

She got no farther.  Francis Tasbrough, the quarry owner, the most
substantial industrialist in Fort Beulah, stood grandly up, quieted
Lorinda with an outstretched arm, and rumbled in his Jerusalem-the-
Golden basso, "A moment please, my dear lady!  All of us here
locally have got used to your political principles.  But as
chairman, it is my unfortunate duty to remind you that General
Edgeways and Mrs. Gimmitch have been invited by the club to address
us, whereas you, if you will excuse my saying so, are not even
related to any Rotarian but merely here as the guest of the
Reverend Falck, than whom there is no one whom we more honor.  So,
if you will be so good--Ah, I thank you, madame!"

Lorinda Pike had slumped into her chair with her fuse still
burning.  Mr. Francis Tasbrough (it rhymed with "low") did not
slump; he sat like the Archbishop of Canterbury on the archiepiscopal

And Doremus Jessup popped up to soothe them all, being an intimate
of Lorinda, and having, since milkiest boyhood, chummed with and
detested Francis Tasbrough.

This Doremus Jessup, publisher of the Daily Informer, for all that
he was a competent business man and a writer of editorials not
without wit and good New England earthiness, was yet considered the
prime eccentric of Fort Beulah.  He was on the school board, the
library board, and he introduced people like Oswald Garrison
Villard, Norman Thomas, and Admiral Byrd when they came to town

Jessup was a littlish man, skinny, smiling, well tanned, with a
small gray mustache, a small and well-trimmed gray beard--in a
community where to sport a beard was to confess one's self a
farmer, a Civil War veteran, or a Seventh Day Adventist.  Doremus's
detractors said that he maintained the beard just to be "highbrow"
and "different," to try to appear "artistic."  Possibly they were
right.  Anyway, he skipped up now and murmured:

"Well, all the birdies in their nest agree.  My friend, Mrs. Pike,
ought to know that freedom of speech becomes mere license when it
goes so far as to criticize the Army, differ with the D.A.R., and
advocate the rights of the Mob.  So, Lorinda, I think you ought to
apologize to the General, to whom we should be grateful for
explaining to us what the ruling classes of the country really
want.  Come on now, my friend--jump up and make your excuses."

He was looking down on Lorinda with sternness, yet Medary Cole,
president of Rotary, wondered if Doremus wasn't "kidding" them.  He
had been known to.  Yes--no--he must be wrong, for Mrs. Lorinda
Pike was (without rising) caroling, "Oh yes!  I do apologize,
General!  Thank you for your revelatory speech!"

The General raised his plump hand (with a Masonic ring as well as a
West Point ring on the sausage-shaped fingers); he bowed like
Galahad or a head-waiter; he shouted with parade-ground maleness:
"Not at all, not at all, madame!  We old campaigners never mind a
healthy scrap.  Glad when anybody's enough interested in our fool
ideas to go and get sore at us, huh, huh, huh!"

And everybody laughed and sweetness reigned.  The program wound up
with Louis Rotenstern's singing of a group of patriotic ditties:
"Marching through Georgia" and "Tenting on the Old Campground" and
"Dixie" and "Old Black Joe" and "I'm Only a Poor Cowboy and I Know
I Done Wrong."

Louis Rotenstern was by all of Fort Beulah classed as a "good
fellow," a caste just below that of "real, old-fashioned
gentleman."  Doremus Jessup liked to go fishing with him, and
partridge-hunting; and he considered that no Fifth Avenue tailor
could do anything tastier in the way of a seersucker outfit.  But
Louis was a jingo.  He explained, and rather often, that it was not
he nor his father who had been born in the ghetto in Prussian
Poland, but his grandfather (whose name, Doremus suspected, had
been something less stylish and Nordic than Rotenstern).  Louis's
pocket heroes were Calvin Coolidge, Leonard Wood, Dwight L. Moody,
and Admiral Dewey (and Dewey was a born Vermonter, rejoiced Louis,
who himself had been born in Flatbush, Long Island).

He was not only 100 per cent American; he exacted 40 per cent of
chauvinistic interest on top of the principal.  He was on every
occasion heard to say, "We ought to keep all these foreigners out
of the country, and what I mean, the Kikes just as much as the Wops
and Hunkies and Chinks."  Louis was altogether convinced that if
the ignorant politicians would keep their dirty hands off banking
and the stock exchange and hours of labor for salesmen in
department stores, then everyone in the country would profit, as
beneficiaries of increased business, and all of them (including the
retail clerks) be rich as Aga Khan.

So Louis put into his melodies not only his burning voice of a
Bydgoszcz cantor but all his nationalistic fervor, so that every
one joined in the choruses, particularly Mrs. Adelaide Tarr
Gimmitch, with her celebrated train-caller's contralto.

The dinner broke up in cataract-like sounds of happy adieux, and
Doremus Jessup muttered to his goodwife Emma, a solid, kindly,
worried soul, who liked knitting, solitaire, and the novels of
Kathleen Norris:  "Was I terrible, butting in that way?"

"Oh, no, Dormouse, you did just right.  I AM fond of Lorinda Pike,
but why DOES she have to show off and parade all her silly
Socialist ideas?"

"You old Tory!" said Doremus.  "Don't you want to invite the
Siamese elephant, the Gimmitch, to drop in and have a drink?"

"I do not!" said Emma Jessup.

And in the end, as the Rotarians shuffled and dealt themselves and
their innumerable motorcars, it was Frank Tasbrough who invited the
choicer males, including Doremus, home for an after-party.


As he took his wife home and drove up Pleasant Hill to Tasbrough's,
Doremus Jessup meditated upon the epidemic patriotism of General
Edgeways.  But he broke it off to let himself be absorbed in the
hills, as it had been his habit for the fifty-three years, out of
his sixty years of life, that he had spent in Fort Beulah, Vermont.

Legally a city, Fort Beulah was a comfortable village of old red
brick, old granite workshops, and houses of white clapboards or
gray shingles, with a few smug little modern bungalows, yellow or
seal brown.  There was but little manufacturing: a small woolen
mill, a sash-and-door factory, a pump works.  The granite which was
its chief produce came from quarries four miles away; in Fort
Beulah itself were only the offices . . . all the money . . . the
meager shacks of most of the quarry workers.  It was a town of
perhaps ten thousand souls, inhabiting about twenty thousand
bodies--the proportion of soul-possession may be too high.

There was but one (comparative) skyscraper in town: the six-story
Tasbrough Building, with the offices of the Tasbrough & Scarlett
Granite Quarries; the offices of Doremus's son-in-law, Fowler
Greenhill, M.D., and his partner, old Dr. Olmsted, of Lawyer Mungo
Kitterick, of Harry Kindermann, agent for maple syrup and dairying
supplies, and of thirty or forty other village samurai.

It was a downy town, a drowsy town, a town of security and
tradition, which still believed in Thanksgiving, Fourth of July,
Memorial Day, and to which May Day was not an occasion for labor
parades but for distributing small baskets of flowers.

It was a May night--late in May of 1936--with a three-quarter moon.
Doremus's house was a mile from the business-center of Fort Beulah,
on Pleasant Hill, which was a spur thrust like a reaching hand out
from the dark rearing mass of Mount Terror.  Upland meadows, moon-
glistening, he could see, among the wildernesses of spruce and
maple and poplar on the ridges far above him; and below, as his car
climbed, was Ethan Creek flowing through the meadows.  Deep woods--
rearing mountain bulwarks--the air like spring-water--serene
clapboarded houses that remembered the War of 1812 and the boyhoods
of those errant Vermonters, Stephen A. Douglas, the "Little Giant,"
and Hiram Powers and Thaddeus Stevens and Brigham Young and
President Chester Alan Arthur.

"No--Powers and Arthur--they were weak sisters," pondered Doremus.
"But Douglas and Thad Stevens and Brigham, the old stallion--I
wonder if we're breeding up any paladins like those stout, grouchy
old devils?--if we're producing 'em anywhere in New England?--
anywhere in America?--anywhere in the world?  They had guts.
Independence.  Did what they wanted to and thought what they liked,
and everybody could go to hell.  The youngsters today--Oh, the
aviators have plenty of nerve.  The physicists, these twenty-five-
year-old Ph. D.'s that violate the inviolable atom, they're
pioneers.  But most of the wishy-washy young people today--Going
seventy miles an hour but not going anywhere--not enough
imagination to WANT to go anywhere!  Getting their music by turning
a dial.  Getting their phrases from the comic strips instead of
from Shakespeare and the Bible and Veblen and Old Bill Sumner.
Pap-fed flabs!  Like this smug pup Malcolm Tasbrough, hanging
around Sissy!  Aah!

"Wouldn't it be hell if that stuffed shirt, Edgeways, and that
political Mae West, Gimmitch, were right, and we need all these
military monkeyshines and maybe a fool war (to conquer some sticky-
hot country we don't want on a bet!) to put some starch and git
into these marionettes we call our children?  Aah!

"But rats--These hills!  Castle walls.  And this air.  They can
keep their Cotswolds and Harz Mountains and Rockies!  D. Jessup--
topographical patriot.  And I AM a--"

"Dormouse, would you mind driving on the right-hand side of the
road--on curves, anyway?" said his wife peaceably.

An upland hollow and mist beneath the moon--a veil of mist over
apple blossoms and the heavy bloom of an ancient lilac bush beside
the ruin of a farmhouse burned these sixty years and more.

Mr. Francis Tasbrough was the president, general manager, and chief
owner of the Tasbrough & Scarlett Granite Quarries, at West Beulah,
four miles from "the Fort."  He was rich, persuasive, and he had
constant labor troubles.  He lived in a new Georgian brick house on
Pleasant Hill, a little beyond Doremus Jessup's, and in that house
he maintained a private barroom luxurious as that of a motor
company's advertising manager at Grosse Point.  It was no more the
traditional New England than was the Catholic part of Boston; and
Frank himself boasted that, though his family had for six
generations lived in New England, he was no tight Yankee but in his
Efficiency, his Salesmanship, the complete Pan-American Business

He was a tall man, Tasbrough, with a yellow mustache and a
monotonously emphatic voice.  He was fifty-four, six years younger
than Doremus Jessup, and when he had been four, Doremus had
protected him from the results of his singularly unpopular habit of
hitting the other small boys over the head with things--all kinds
of things--sticks and toy wagons and lunch boxes and dry cow flops.

Assembled in his private barroom tonight, after the Rotarian
Dinner, were Frank himself, Doremus Jessup, Medary Cole, the
miller, Superintendent of Schools Emil Staubmeyer, R. C. Crowley--
Roscoe Conkling Crowley, the weightiest banker in Fort Beulah--and,
rather surprisingly, Tasbrough's pastor, the Episcopal minister,
the Rev. Mr. Falck, his old hands as delicate as porcelain, his
wilderness of hair silk-soft and white, his unfleshly face
betokening the Good Life.  Mr. Falck came from a solid Knickerbocker
family, and he had studied in Edinburgh and Oxford along with the
General Theological Seminary of New York; and in all of the Beulah
Valley there was, aside from Doremus, no one who more contentedly
hid away in the shelter of the hills.

The barroom had been professionally interior-decorated by a young
New York gentleman with the habit of standing with the back of his
right hand against his hip.  It had a stainless-steel bar, framed
illustrations from La Vie Parisienne, silvered metal tables, and
chromium-plated aluminum chairs with scarlet leather cushions.

All of them except Tasbrough, Medary Cole (a social climber to whom
the favors of Frank Tasbrough were as honey and fresh ripened
figs), and "Professor" Emil Staubmeyer were uncomfortable in this
parrot-cage elegance, but none of them, including Mr. Falck, seemed
to dislike Frank's soda and excellent Scotch or the sardine

"And I wonder if Thad Stevens would of liked this, either?"
considered Doremus.  "He'd of snarled.  Old cornered catamount.
But probably not at the whisky!"

"Doremus," demanded Tasbrough, "why don't you take a tumble to
yourself?  All these years you've had a lot of fun criticizing--
always being agin the government--kidding everybody--posing as such
a Liberal that you'll stand for all these subversive elements.
Time for you to quit playing tag with crazy ideas and come in and
join the family.  These are serious times--maybe twenty-eight
million on relief, and beginning to get ugly--thinking they've got
a vested right now to be supported.

"And the Jew Communists and Jew financiers plotting together to
control the country.  I can understand how, as a younger fellow,
you could pump up a little sympathy for the unions and even for the
Jews--though, as you know, I'll never get over being sore at you
for taking the side of the strikers when those thugs were trying to
ruin my whole business--burn down my polishing and cutting shops--
why, you were even friendly with that alien murderer Karl Pascal,
who started the whole strike--maybe I didn't enjoy firing HIM when
it was all over!

"But anyway, these labor racketeers are getting together now, with
Communist leaders, and determined to run the country--to tell men
like ME how to run our business!--and just like General Edgeways
said, they'll refuse to serve their country if we should happen to
get dragged into some war.  Yessir, a mighty serious hour, and it's
time for you to cut the cackle and join the really responsible

Said Doremus, "Hm.  Yes, I agree it's a serious time.  With all the
discontent there is in the country to wash him into office, Senator
Windrip has got an excellent chance to be elected President, next
November, and if he is, probably his gang of buzzards will get us
into some war, just to grease their insane vanity and show the
world that we're the huskiest nation going.  And then I, the
Liberal, and you, the Plutocrat, the bogus Tory, will be led out
and shot at 3 A.M.  Serious?  Huh!"

"Rats!  You're exaggerating!" said R. C. Crowley.

Doremus went on:  "If Bishop Prang, our Savonarola in a Cadillac
16, swings his radio audience and his League of Forgotten Men to
Buzz Windrip, Buzz will win.  People will think they're electing
him to create more economic security.  Then watch the Terror!  God
knows there's been enough indication that we CAN have tyranny in
America--the fix of the Southern share-croppers, the working
conditions of the miners and garment-makers, and our keeping Mooney
in prison so many years.  But wait till Windrip shows us how to say
it with machine guns!  Democracy--here and in Britain and France,
it hasn't been so universal a sniveling slavery as Naziism in
Germany, such an imagination-hating, pharisaic materialism as
Russia--even if it has produced industrialists like you, Frank, and
bankers like you, R. C., and given you altogether too much power
and money.  On the whole, with scandalous exceptions, Democracy's
given the ordinary worker more dignity than he ever had.  That may
be menaced now by Windrip--all the Windrips.  All right!  Maybe
we'll have to fight paternal dictatorship with a little sound
patricide--fight machine guns with machine guns.  Wait till Buzz
takes charge of us.  A real Fascist dictatorship!"

"Nonsense!  Nonsense!" snorted Tasbrough.  "That couldn't happen
here in America, not possibly!  We're a country of freemen."

"The answer to that," suggested Doremus Jessup, "if Mr. Falck will
forgive me, is 'the hell it can't!'  Why, there's no country in the
world that can get more hysterical--yes, or more obsequious!--than
America.  Look how Huey Long became absolute monarch over
Louisiana, and how the Right Honorable Mr. Senator Berzelius
Windrip owns HIS State.  Listen to Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin
on the radio--divine oracles, to millions.  Remember how casually
most Americans have accepted Tammany grafting and Chicago gangs and
the crookedness of so many of President Harding's appointees?
Could Hitler's bunch, or Windrip's, be worse?  Remember the Kuklux
Klan?  Remember our war hysteria, when we called sauerkraut
'Liberty cabbage' and somebody actually proposed calling German
measles 'Liberty measles'?  And wartime censorship of honest
papers?  Bad as Russia!  Remember our kissing the--well, the feet
of Billy Sunday, the million-dollar evangelist, and of Aimée
McPherson, who swam from the Pacific Ocean clear into the Arizona
desert and got away with it?  Remember Voliva and Mother Eddy? . . .
Remember our Red scares and our Catholic scares, when all well-
informed people knew that the O.G.P.U. were hiding out in
Oskaloosa, and the Republicans campaigning against Al Smith
told the Carolina mountaineers that if Al won the Pope would
illegitimatize their children?  Remember Tom Heflin and Tom Dixon?
Remember when the hick legislators in certain states, in obedience
to William Jennings Bryan, who learned his biology from his pious
old grandma, set up shop as scientific experts and made the
whole world laugh itself sick by forbidding the teaching of
evolution? . . .  Remember the Kentucky night-riders?  Remember how
trainloads of people have gone to enjoy lynchings?  Not happen
here?  Prohibition--shooting down people just because they MIGHT be
transporting liquor--no, that couldn't happen in AMERICA!  Why,
where in all history has there ever been a people so ripe for a
dictatorship as ours!  We're ready to start on a Children's
Crusade--only of adults--right now, and the Right Reverend Abbots
Windrip and Prang are all ready to lead it!"

"Well, what if they are?" protested R. C. Crowley.  "It might not
be so bad.  I don't like all these irresponsible attacks on us
bankers all the time.  Of course, Senator Windrip has to pretend
publicly to bawl the banks out, but once he gets into power he'll
give the banks their proper influence in the administration and
take our expert financial advice.  Yes.  Why are you so afraid of
the word 'Fascism,' Doremus?  Just a word--just a word!  And might
not be so bad, with all the lazy bums we got panhandling relief
nowadays, and living on my income tax and yours--not so worse to
have a real Strong Man, like Hitler or Mussolini--like Napoleon or
Bismarck in the good old days--and have 'em really RUN the country
and make it efficient and prosperous again.  'Nother words, have a
doctor who won't take any back-chat, but really boss the patient
and make him get well whether he likes it or not!"

"Yes!" said Emil Staubmeyer.  "Didn't Hitler save Germany from the
Red Plague of Marxism?  I got cousins there.  I KNOW!"

"Hm," said Doremus, as often Doremus did say it.  "Cure the evils
of Democracy by the evils of Fascism!  Funny therapeutics.  I've
heard of their curing syphilis by giving the patient malaria, but
I've never heard of their curing malaria by giving the patient

"Think that's nice language to use in the presence of the Reverend
Falck?" raged Tasbrough.

Mr. Falck piped up, "I think it's quite nice language, and an
interesting suggestion, Brother Jessup!"

"Besides," said Tasbrough, "this chewing the rag is all nonsense,
anyway.  As Crowley says, might be a good thing to have a strong
man in the saddle, but--it just can't happen here in America."

And it seemed to Doremus that the softly moving lips of the
Reverend Mr. Falck were framing, "The hell it can't!"


Doremus jessup, editor and proprietor of the Daily Informer, the
Bible of the conservative Vermont farmers up and down the Beulah
Valley, was born in Fort Beulah in 1876, only son of an impecunious
Universalist pastor, the Reverend Loren Jessup.  His mother was no
less than a Bass, of Massachusetts.  The Reverend Loren, a bookish
man and fond of flowers, merry but not noticeably witty, used to
chant "Alas, alas, that a Bass of Mass should marry a minister
prone to gas," and he would insist that she was all wrong
ichthyologically--she should have been a cod, not a bass.  There
was in the parsonage little meat but plenty of books, not all
theological by any means, so that before he was twelve Doremus knew
the profane writings of Scott, Dickens, Thackeray, Jane Austen,
Tennyson, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Tolstoy, Balzac.  He graduated
from Isaiah College--once a bold Unitarian venture but by 1894 an
inter-denominational outfit with nebulous trinitarian yearnings, a
small and rustic stable of learning, in North Beulah, thirteen
miles from "the Fort."

But Isaiah College has come up in the world today--excepting
educationally--for in 1931 it held the Dartmouth football team down
to 64 to 6.

During college, Doremus wrote a great deal of bad poetry and became
an incurable book addict, but he was a fair track athlete.
Naturally, he corresponded for papers in Boston and Springfield,
and after graduation he was a reporter in Rutland and Worcester,
with one glorious year in Boston, whose grimy beauty and shards of
the past were to him what London would be to a young Yorkshireman.
He was excited by concerts, art galleries, and bookshops; thrice a
week he had a twenty-five-cent seat in the upper balcony of some
theater; and for two months he roomed with a fellow reporter who
had actually had a short story in The Century and who could talk
about authors and technique like the very dickens.  But Doremus was
not particularly beefy or enduring, and the noise, the traffic, the
bustle of assignments, exhausted him, and in 1901, three years
after his graduation from college, when his widowed father died and
left him $2980.00 and his library, Doremus went home to Fort Beulah
and bought a quarter interest in the Informer, then a weekly.

By 1936 it was a daily, and he owned all of it . . . with a
perceptible mortgage.

He was an equable and sympathetic boss; an imaginative news
detective; he was, even in this ironbound Republican state,
independent in politics; and in his editorials against graft and
injustice, though they were not fanatically chronic, he could slash
like a dog whip.

He was a third cousin of Calvin Coolidge, who had considered him
sound domestically but loose politically.  Doremus considered
himself just the opposite.

He had married his wife, Emma, out of Fort Beulah.  She was the
daughter of a wagon manufacturer, a placid, prettyish, broad-
shouldered girl with whom he had gone to high school.

Now, in 1936, of their three children, Philip (Dartmouth, and
Harvard Law School) was married and ambitiously practicing law in
Worcester; Mary was the wife of Fowler Greenhill, M.D., of Fort
Beulah, a gay and hustling medico, a choleric and red-headed young
man, who was a wonder-worker in typhoid, acute appendicitis,
obstetrics, compound fractures, and diets for anemic children.
Fowler and Mary had one son, Doremus's only grandchild, the bonny
David, who at eight was a timid, inventive, affectionate child with
such mourning hound-dog eyes and such red-gold hair that his
picture might well have been hung at a National Academy show or
even been reproduced on the cover of a Women's Magazine with
2,500,000 circulation.  The Greenhills' neighbors inevitably said
of the boy, "My, Davy's got such an imagination, hasn't he!  I
guess he'll be a Writer, just like his Grampa!"

Third of Doremus's children was the gay, the pert, the dancing
Cecilia, known as "Sissy," aged eighteen, where her brother Philip
was thirty-two and Mary, Mrs. Greenhill, turned thirty.  She
rejoiced the heart of Doremus by consenting to stay home while she
was finishing high school, though she talked vigorously of going
off to study architecture and "simply make MILLIONS, my dear," by
planning and erecting miraculous small homes.

Mrs. Jessup was lavishly (and quite erroneously) certain that her
Philip was the spit and image of the Prince of Wales; Philip's
wife, Merilla (the fair daughter of Worcester, Massachusetts),
curiously like the Princess Marina; that Mary would by any stranger
be taken for Katharine Hepburn; that Sissy was a dryad and David a
medieval page; and that Doremus (though she knew him better than
she did those changelings, her children) amazingly resembled that
naval hero, Winfield Scott Schley, as he looked in 1898.

She was a loyal woman, Emma Jessup, warmly generous, a cordon bleu
at making lemon-meringue pie, a parochial Tory, an orthodox
Episcopalian, and completely innocent of any humor.  Doremus was
perpetually tickled by her kind solemnity, and it was to be chalked
down to him as a singular act of grace that he refrained from
pretending that he had become a working Communist and was thinking
of leaving for Moscow immediately.

Doremus looked depressed, looked old, when he lifted himself, as
from an invalid's chair, out of the Chrysler, in his hideous garage
of cement and galvanized iron.  (But it was a proud two-car garage;
besides the four-year-old Chrysler, they had a new Ford convertible
coupe, which Doremus hoped to drive some day when Sissy wasn't
using it.)

He cursed competently as, on the cement walk from the garage to the
kitchen, he barked his shins on the lawn-mower, left there by his
hired man, one Oscar Ledue, known always as "Shad," a large and
red-faced, a sulky and surly Irish-Canuck peasant.  Shad always did
things like leaving lawnmowers about to snap at the shins of decent
people.  He was entirely incompetent and vicious.  He never edged-
up the flower beds, he kept his stinking old cap on his head when
he brought in logs for the fireplace, he did not scythe the
dandelions in the meadow till they had gone to seed, he delighted
in failing to tell cook that the peas were now ripe, and he was
given to shooting cats, stray dogs, chipmunks, and honey-voiced
blackbirds.  At least twice a day, Doremus resolved to fire him,
but--Perhaps he was telling himself the truth when he insisted that
it was amusing to try to civilize this prize bull.

Doremus trotted into the kitchen, decided that he did not want
some cold chicken and a glass of milk from the ice-box, nor even a
wedge of the celebrated cocoanut layer cake made by their cook-
general, Mrs. Candy, and mounted to his "study," on the third, the
attic floor.

His house was an ample, white, clapboarded structure of the vintage
of 1880, a square bulk with a mansard roof and, in front, a long
porch with insignificant square white pillars.  Doremus declared
that the house was ugly, "but ugly in a nice way."

His study, up there, was his one perfect refuge from annoyances and
bustle.  It was the only room in the house that Mrs. Candy (quiet,
grimly competent, thoroughly literate, once a Vermont country
schoolteacher) was never allowed to clean.  It was an endearing
mess of novels, copies of the Congressional Record, of the New
Yorker, Time, Nation, New Republic, New Masses, and Speculum
(cloistral organ of the Medieval Society), treatises on taxation
and monetary systems, road maps, volumes on exploration in
Abyssinia and the Antarctic, chewed stubs of pencils, a shaky
portable typewriter, fishing tackle, rumpled carbon paper, two
comfortable old leather chairs, a Windsor chair at his desk, the
complete works of Thomas Jefferson, his chief hero, a microscope
and a collection of Vermont butterflies, Indian arrowheads,
exiguous volumes of Vermont village poetry printed in local
newspaper offices, the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon,
Science and Health, Selections from the Mahabharata, the poetry of
Sandburg, Frost, Masters, Jeffers, Ogden Nash, Edgar Guest, Omar
Khayyam, and Milton, a shotgun and a .22 repeating rifle, an Isaiah
College banner, faded, the complete Oxford Dictionary, five
fountain pens of which two would work, a vase from Crete dating
from 327 B.C.--very ugly--the World Almanac for year before last,
with the cover suggesting that it had been chewed by a dog, odd
pairs of horn-rimmed spectacles and of rimless eyeglasses, none of
which now suited his eyes, a fine, reputedly Tudor oak cabinet from
Devonshire, portraits of Ethan Allen and Thaddeus Stevens, rubber
wading-boots, senile red morocco slippers, a poster issued by the
Vermont Mercury at Woodstock, on September 2, 1840, announcing a
glorious Whig victory, twenty-four boxes of safety matches one
by one stolen from the kitchen, assorted yellow scratch pads,
seven books on Russia and Bolshevism--extraordinarily pro or
extraordinarily con--a signed photograph of Theodore Roosevelt, six
cigarette cartons, all half empty (according to the tradition of
journalistic eccentrics, Doremus should have smoked a Good Old
Pipe, but he detested the slimy ooze of nicotine-soaked spittle), a
rag carpet on the floor, a withered sprig of holly with a silver
Christmas ribbon, a case of seven unused genuine Sheffield razors,
dictionaries in French, German, Italian and Spanish--the first of
which languages he really could read--a canary in a Bavarian gilded
wicker cage, a worn linen-bound copy of Old Hearthside Songs for
Home and Picnic whose selections he was wont to croon, holding the
book on his knee, and an old cast-iron Franklin stove.  Everything,
indeed, that was proper for a hermit and improper for impious
domestic hands.

Before switching on the light he squinted through a dormer window
at the bulk of mountains cutting the welter of stars.  In the
center were the last lights of Fort Beulah, far below, and on the
left, unseen, the soft meadows, the old farmhouses, the great dairy
barns of the Ethan Mowing.  It was a kind country, cool and clear
as a shaft of light and, he meditated, he loved it more every quiet
year of his freedom from city towers and city clamor.

One of the few times when Mrs. Candy, their housekeeper, was
permitted to enter his hermit's cell was to leave there, on the
long table, his mail.  He picked it up and started to read briskly,
standing by the table.  (Time to go to bed!  Too much chatter and
bellyaching, this evening!  Good Lord!  Past midnight!)  He sighed
then, and sat in his Windsor chair, leaning his elbows on the table
and studiously reading the first letter over again.

It was from Victor Loveland, one of the younger, more
international-minded teachers in Doremus's old school, Isaiah


("Hm.  'Dr. Jessup.'  Not me, m' lad.  The only honorary degree
I'll ever get'll be Master in Veterinary Surgery or Laureate in

A very dangerous situation has arisen here at Isaiah and those of
us who are trying to advocate something like integrity and
modernity are seriously worried--not, probably, that we need to be
long, as we shall probably all get fired.  Where two years ago most
of our students just laughed at any idea of military drilling, they
have gone warlike in a big way, with undergrads drilling with
rifles, machine guns, and cute little blueprints of tanks and
planes all over the place.  Two of them, voluntarily, are going
down to Rutland every week to take training in flying, avowedly to
get ready for wartime aviation.  When I cautiously ask them what
the dickens war they are preparing for they just scratch and
indicate they don't care much, so long as they can get a chance to
show what virile proud gents they are.

Well, we've got used to that.  But just this afternoon--the
newspapers haven't got this yet--the Board of Trustees, including
Mr. Francis Tasbrough and our president, Dr. Owen Peaseley, met and
voted a resolution that--now listen to this, will you, Dr. Jessup--
"Any member of the faculty or student body of Isaiah who shall in
any way, publicly or privately, in print, writing, or by the spoken
word, adversely criticize military training at or by Isaiah
College, or in any other institution of learning in the United
States, or by the state militias, federal forces, or other
officially recognized military organizations in this country, shall
be liable to immediate dismissal from this college, and any student
who shall, with full and proper proof, bring to the attention of
the President or any Trustee of the college such malign criticism
by any person whatever connected in any way with the institution
shall receive extra credits in his course in military training,
such credits to apply to the number of credits necessary for

What can we do with such fast exploding Fascism?


And Loveland, teacher of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit (two lone
students) had never till now meddled in any politics of more recent
date than A.D. 180.

"So Frank was there at Trustees' meeting, and didn't dare tell me,"
Doremus sighed.  "Encouraging them to become spies.  Gestapo.  Oh,
my dear Frank, this a serious time!  You, my good bonehead, for
once you said it!  President Owen J. Peaseley, the bagged-faced,
pious, racketeering, damned hedge-schoolmaster!  But what can I do?
Oh--write another editorial viewing-with-alarm, I suppose!"

He plumped into a deep chair and sat fidgeting, like a bright-eyed,
apprehensive little bird.

On the door was a tearing sound, imperious, demanding.

He opened to admit Foolish, the family dog.  Foolish was a reliable
combination of English setter, Airedale, cocker spaniel, wistful
doe, and rearing hyena.  He gave one abrupt snort of welcome and
nuzzled his brown satin head against Doremus's knee.  His bark
awakened the canary, under the absurd old blue sweater that covered
its cage, and it automatically caroled that it was noon, summer
noon, among the pear trees in the green Harz hills, none of which
was true.  But the bird's trilling, the dependable presence of
Foolish, comforted Doremus, made military drill and belching
politicians seem unimportant, and in security he dropped asleep in
the worn brown leather chair.


All this June week, Doremus was waiting for 2 P.M. on Saturday, the
divinely appointed hour of the weekly prophetic broadcast by Bishop
Paul Peter Prang.

Now, six weeks before the 1936 national conventions, it was
probable that neither Franklin Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Senator
Vandenberg, Ogden Mills, General Hugh Johnson, Colonel Frank Knox,
nor Senator Borah would be nominated for President by either party,
and that the Republican standard-bearer--meaning the one man who
never has to lug a large, bothersome, and somewhat ridiculous
standard--would be that loyal yet strangely honest old-line
Senator, Walt Trowbridge, a man with a touch of Lincoln in him,
dashes of Will Rogers and George W. Norris, a suspected trace of
Jim Farley, but all the rest plain, bulky, placidly defiant Walt

Few men doubted that the Democratic candidate would be that sky-
rocket, Senator Berzelius Windrip--that is to say, Windrip as the
mask and bellowing voice, with his satanic secretary, Lee Sarason,
as the brain behind.

Senator Windrip's father was a small-town Western druggist, equally
ambitious and unsuccessful, and had named him Berzelius after the
Swedish chemist.  Usually he was known as "Buzz."  He had worked
his way through a Southern Baptist college, of approximately the
same academic standing as a Jersey City business college, and
through a Chicago law school, and settled down to practice in his
native state and to enliven local politics.  He was a tireless
traveler, a boisterous and humorous speaker, an inspired guesser at
what political doctrines the people would like, a warm handshaker,
and willing to lend money.  He drank Coca-Cola with the Methodists,
beer with the Lutherans, California white wine with the Jewish
village merchants--and, when they were safe from observation,
white-mule corn whisky with all of them.

Within twenty years he was as absolute a ruler of his state as ever
a sultan was of Turkey.

He was never governor; he had shrewdly seen that his reputation for
research among planters-punch recipes, varieties of poker, and the
psychology of girl stenographers might cause his defeat by the
church people, so he had contented himself with coaxing to the
gubernatorial shearing a trained baa-lamb of a country schoolmaster
whom he had gayly led on a wide blue ribbon.  The state was certain
that he had "given it a good administration," and they knew that it
was Buzz Windrip who was responsible, not the Governor.

Windrip caused the building of impressive highroads and of
consolidated country schools; he made the state buy tractors and
combines and lend them to the farmers at cost.  He was certain that
some day America would have vast business dealings with the
Russians and, though he detested all Slavs, he made the State
University put in the first course in the Russian language that had
been known in all that part of the West.  His most original
invention was quadrupling the state militia and rewarding the best
soldiers in it with training in agriculture, aviation, and radio
and automobile engineering.

The militiamen considered him their general and their god, and when
the state attorney general announced that he was going to have
Windrip indicted for having grafted $200,000 of tax money, the
militia rose to Buzz Windrip's orders as though they were his
private army and, occupying the legislative chambers and all the
state offices, and covering the streets leading to the Capitol with
machine guns, they herded Buzz's enemies out of town.

He took the United States Senatorship as though it were his
manorial right, and for six years, his only rival as the most
bouncing and feverish man in the Senate had been the late Huey Long
of Louisiana.

He preached the comforting gospel of so redistributing wealth that
every person in the country would have several thousand dollars a
year (monthly Buzz changed his prediction as to how many thousand),
while all the rich men were nevertheless to be allowed enough to
get along, on a maximum of $500,000 a year.  So everybody was happy
in the prospect of Windrip's becoming president.

The Reverend Dr. Egerton Schlemil, dean of St. Agnes Cathedral, San
Antonio, Texas, stated (once in a sermon, once in the slightly
variant mimeographed press handout on the sermon, and seven times
in interviews) that Buzz's coming into power would be "like the
Heaven-blest fall of revivifying rain upon a parched and thirsty
land."  Dr. Schlemil did not say anything about what happened when
the blest rain came and kept falling steadily for four years.

No one, even among the Washington correspondents, seemed to know
precisely how much of a part in Senator Windrip's career was taken
by his secretary, Lee Sarason.  When Windrip had first seized power
in his state, Sarason had been managing editor of the most widely
circulated paper in all that part of the country.  Sarason's
genesis was and remained a mystery.

It was said that he had been born in Georgia, in Minnesota, on the
East Side of New York, in Syria; that he was pure Yankee, Jewish,
Charleston Huguenot.  It was known that he had been a singularly
reckless lieutenant of machine-gunners as a youngster during the
Great War, and that he had stayed over, ambling about Europe, for
three or four years; that he had worked on the Paris edition of the
New York Herald; nibbled at painting and at Black Magic in Florence
and Munich; had a few sociological months at the London School of
Economics; associated with decidedly curious people in arty Berlin
night restaurants.  Returned home, Sarason had become decidedly the
"hard-boiled reporter" of the shirt-sleeved tradition, who asserted
that he would rather be called a prostitute than anything so
sissified as "journalist."  But it was suspected that nevertheless
he still retained the ability to read.

He had been variously a Socialist and an anarchist.  Even in 1936
there were rich people who asserted that Sarason was "too radical,"
but actually he had lost his trust (if any) in the masses during
the hoggish nationalism after the war; and he believed now only in
resolute control by a small oligarchy.  In this he was a Hitler, a

Sarason was lanky and drooping, with thin flaxen hair, and thick
lips in a bony face.  His eyes were sparks at the bottoms of two
dark wells.  In his long hands there was bloodless strength.  He
used to surprise persons who were about to shake hands with him by
suddenly bending their fingers back till they almost broke.  Most
people didn't much like it.  As a newspaperman he was an expert of
the highest grade.  He could smell out a husband-murder, the
grafting of a politician--that is to say, of a politician belonging
to a gang opposed by his paper--the torture of animals or children,
and this last sort of story he liked to write himself, rather than
hand it to a reporter, and when he did write it, you saw the moldy
cellar, heard the whip, felt the slimy blood.

Compared with Lee Sarason as a newspaperman, little Doremus Jessup
of Fort Beulah was like a village parson compared with the twenty-
thousand-dollar minister of a twenty-story New York institutional
tabernacle with radio affiliations.

Senator Windrip had made Sarason, officially, his secretary, but he
was known to be much more--bodyguard, ghost-writer, press-agent,
economic adviser; and in Washington, Lee Sarason became the man
most consulted and least liked by newspaper correspondents in the
whole Senate Office Building.

Windrip was a young forty-eight in 1936; Sarason an aged and
sagging-cheeked forty-one.

Though he probably based it on notes dictated by Windrip--himself
no fool in the matter of fictional imagination--Sarason had
certainly done the actual writing of Windrip's lone book, the Bible
of his followers, part biography, part economic program, and part
plain exhibitionistic boasting, called Zero Hour--Over the Top.

It was a salty book and contained more suggestions for remolding
the world than the three volumes of Karl Marx and all the novels of
H. G. Wells put together.

Perhaps the most familiar, most quoted paragraph of Zero Hour,
beloved by the provincial press because of its simple earthiness
(as written by an initiate in Rosicrucian lore, named Sarason) was:

"When I was a little shaver back in the corn fields, we kids used
to just wear one-strap suspenders on our pants, and we called them
the Galluses on our Britches, but they held them up and saved our
modesty just as much as if we had put on a high-toned Limey accent
and talked about Braces and Trousers.  That's how the whole world
of what they call 'scientific economics' is like.  The Marxians
think that by writing of Galluses as Braces, they've got something
that knocks the stuffings out of the old-fashioned ideas of
Washington and Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.  Well and all, I
sure believe in using every new economic discovery, like they have
been worked out in the so-called Fascist countries, like Italy and
Germany and Hungary and Poland--yes, by thunder, and even in Japan--
we probably will have to lick those Little Yellow Men some day, to
keep them from pinching our vested and rightful interests in China,
but don't let that keep us from grabbing off any smart ideas that
those cute little beggars have worked out!

"I want to stand up on my hind legs and not just admit but frankly
holler right out that we've got to change our system a lot, maybe
even change the whole Constitution (but change it legally, and not
by violence) to bring it up from the horseback-and-corduroy-road
epoch to the automobile-and-cement-highway period of today.  The
Executive has got to have a freer hand and be able to move quick in
an emergency, and not be tied down by a lot of dumb shyster-lawyer
congressmen taking months to shoot off their mouths in debates.
BUT--and it's a But as big as Deacon Checkerboard's hay-barn back
home--these new economic changes are only a means to an End, and
that End is and must be, fundamentally, the same principles of
Liberty, Equality, and Justice that were advocated by the Founding
Fathers of this great land back in 1776!"

The most confusing thing about the whole campaign of 1936 was the
relationship of the two leading parties.  Old-Guard Republicans
complained that their proud party was begging for office, hat in
hand; veteran Democrats that their traditional Covered Wagons were
jammed with college professors, city slickers, and yachtsmen.

The rival to Senator Windrip in public reverence was a political
titan who seemed to have no itch for office--the Reverend Paul
Peter Prang, of Persepolis, Indiana, Bishop of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, a man perhaps ten years older than Windrip.  His
weekly radio address, at 2 P.M. every Saturday, was to millions the
very oracle of God.  So supernatural was this voice from the air
that for it men delayed their golf, and women even postponed their
Saturday afternoon contract bridge.

It was Father Charles Coughlin, of Detroit, who had first thought
out the device of freeing himself from any censorship of his
political sermons on the Mount by "buying his own time on the air"--
it being only in the twentieth century that mankind has been able
to buy Time as it buys soap and gasoline.  This invention was
almost equal, in its effect on all American life and thought, to
Henry Ford's early conception of selling cars cheap to millions of
people, instead of selling a few as luxuries.

But to the pioneer Father Coughlin, Bishop Paul Peter Prang was as
the Ford V-8 to the Model A.

Prang was more sentimental than Coughlin; he shouted more; he
agonized more; he reviled more enemies by name, and rather
scandalously; he told more funny stories, and ever so many more
tragic stories about the repentant deathbeds of bankers, atheists,
and Communists.  His voice was more nasally native, and he was pure
Middle West, with a New England Protestant Scotch-English ancestry,
where Coughlin was always a little suspect, in the Sears-Roebuck
regions, as a Roman Catholic with an agreeable Irish accent.

No man in history has ever had such an audience as Bishop Prang,
nor so much apparent power.  When he demanded that his auditors
telegraph their congressmen to vote on a bill as he, Prang, ex
cathedra and alone, without any college of cardinals, had been
inspired to believe they ought to vote, then fifty thousand people
would telephone, or drive through back-hill mud, to the nearest
telegraph office and in His name give their commands to the
government.  Thus, by the magic of electricity, Prang made the
position of any king in history look a little absurd and tinseled.

To millions of League members he sent mimeographed letters with
facsimile signature, and with the salutation so craftily typed in
that they rejoiced in a personal greeting from the Founder.

Doremus Jessup, up in the provincial hills, could never quite
figure out just what political gospel it was that Bishop Prang
thundered from his Sinai which, with its microphone and typed
revelations timed to the split-second, was so much more snappy and
efficient than the original Sinai.  In detail, he preached
nationalization of the banks, mines, waterpower, and transportation;
limitation of incomes; increased wages, strengthening of the labor
unions, more fluid distribution of consumer goods.  But everybody
was nibbling at those noble doctrines now, from Virginia Senators to
Minnesota Farmer-Laborites, with no one being so credulous as to
expect any of them to be carried out.

There was a theory around some place that Prang was only the humble
voice of his vast organization, "The League of Forgotten Men."  It
was universally believed to have (though no firm of chartered
accountants had yet examined its rolls) twenty-seven million
members, along with proper assortments of national officers and
state officers, and town officers and hordes of committees with
stately names like "National Committee on the Compilation of
Statistics on Unemployment and Normal Employability in the Soy-Bean
Industry."  Hither and yon, Bishop Prang, not as the still small
voice of God but in lofty person, addressed audiences of twenty
thousand persons at a time, in the larger cities all over the
country, speaking in huge halls meant for prize-fighting, in cinema
palaces, in armories, in baseball parks, in circus tents, while
after the meetings his brisk assistants accepted membership
applications and dues for the League of Forgotten Men.  When his
timid detractors hinted that this was all very romantic, very jolly
and picturesque, but not particularly dignified, and Bishop Prang
answered, "My Master delighted to speak in whatever vulgar assembly
would listen to Him," no one dared answer him, "But you aren't your
Master--not yet."

With all the flourish of the League and its mass meetings, there
had never been a pretense that any tenet of the League, any
pressure on Congress and the President to pass any particular bill,
originated with anybody save Prang himself, with no collaboration
from the committees or officers of the League.  All that the Prang
who so often crooned about the Humility and Modesty of the Saviour
wanted was for one hundred and thirty million people to obey him,
their Priest-King, implicitly in everything concerning their
private morals, their public asseverations, how they might earn
their livings, and what relationships they might have to other

"And that," Doremus Jessup grumbled, relishing the shocked piety of
his wife Emma, "makes Brother Prang a worse tyrant than Caligula--a
worse Fascist than Napoleon.  Mind you, I don't REALLY believe all
these rumors about Prang's grafting on membership dues and the sale
of pamphlets and donations to pay for the radio.  It's much worse
than that.  I'm afraid he's an honest fanatic!  That's why he's
such a real Fascist menace--he's so confoundedly humanitarian, in
fact so Noble, that a majority of people are willing to let him
boss everything, and with a country this size, that's quite a job--
quite a job, my beloved--even for a Methodist Bishop who gets
enough gifts so that he can actually 'buy Time'!"

All the while, Walt Trowbridge, possible Republican candidate for
President, suffering from the deficiency of being honest and
disinclined to promise that he could work miracles, was insisting
that we live in the United States of America and not on a golden
highway to Utopia.

There was nothing exhilarating in such realism, so all this rainy
week in June, with the apple blossoms and the lilacs fading,
Doremus Jessup was awaiting the next encyclical of Pope Paul Peter


I know the Press only too well.  Almost all editors hide away in
spider-dens, men without thought of Family or Public Interest or
the humble delights of jaunts out-of-doors, plotting how they can
put over their lies, and advance their own positions and fill their
greedy pocketbooks by calumniating Statesmen who have given their
all for the common good and who are vulnerable because they stand
out in the fierce Light that beats around the Throne.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

The June morning shone, the last petals of the wild-cherry blossoms
lay dew-covered on the grass, robins were about their brisk
business on the lawn.  Doremus, by nature a late-lier and pilferer
of naps after he had been called at eight, was stirred to spring up
and stretch his arms out fully five or six times in Swedish
exercises, in front of his window, looking out across the Beulah
River Valley to dark masses of pine on the mountain slopes three
miles away.

Doremus and Emma had had each their own bedroom, these fifteen
years, not altogether to her pleasure.  He asserted that he
couldn't share a bedroom with any person living, because he was a
night-mutterer, and liked to make a really good, uprearing, pillow-
slapping job of turning over in bed without feeling that he was
disturbing someone.

It was Saturday, the day of the Prang revelation, but on this
crystal morning, after days of rain, he did not think of Prang at
all, but of the fact that Philip, his son, with wife, had popped up
from Worcester for the week-end, and that the whole crew of them,
along with Lorinda Pike and Buck Titus, were going to have a "real,
old-fashioned, family picnic."

They had all demanded it, even the fashionable Sissy, a woman who,
at eighteen, had much concern with tennis-teas, golf, and
mysterious, appallingly rapid motor trips with Malcolm Tasbrough
(just graduating from high school), or with the Episcopal parson's
grandson, Julian Falck (freshman in Amherst).  Doremus had scolded
that he COULDN'T go to any blame picnic; it was his JOB, as editor,
to stay home and listen to Bishop Prang's broadcast at two; but
they had laughed at him and rumpled his hair and miscalled him
until he had promised. . . .  They didn't know it, but he had slyly
borrowed a portable radio from his friend, the local R. C. priest,
Father Stephen Perefixe, and he was going to hear Prang whether or

He was glad they were going to have Lorinda Pike--he was fond of
that sardonic saint--and Buck Titus, who was perhaps his closest

James Buck Titus, who was fifty but looked thirty-eight, straight,
broad-shouldered, slim-waisted, long-mustached, swarthy--Buck was
the Dan'l Boone type of Old American, or, perhaps, an Indian-
fighting cavalry captain, out of Charles King.  He had graduated
from Williams, with ten weeks in England and ten years in Montana,
divided between cattle-raising, prospecting, and a horse-breeding
ranch.  His father, a richish railroad contractor, had left him the
great farm near West Beulah, and Buck had come back home to grow
apples, to breed Morgan stallions, and to read Voltaire, Anatole
France, Nietzsche, and Dostoyefsky.  He served in the war, as a
private; detested his officers, refused a commission, and liked the
Germans at Cologne.  He was a useful polo player, but regarded
riding to the hounds as childish.  In politics, he did not so much
yearn over the wrongs of Labor as feel scornful of the tight-fisted
exploiters who denned in office and stinking factory.  He was as
near to the English country squire as one may find in America.  He
was a bachelor, with a big mid-Victorian house, well kept by a
friendly Negro couple; a tidy place in which he sometimes
entertained ladies who were not quite so tidy.  He called himself
an "agnostic" instead of an "atheist" only because he detested the
street-bawling, tract-peddling evangelicism of the professional
atheists.  He was cynical, he rarely smiled, and he was
unwaveringly loyal to all the Jessups.  His coming to the picnic
made Doremus as blithe as his grandson David.

"Perhaps, even under Fascism, the 'Church clock will stand at ten
to three, and there will be honey still for tea,'" Doremus hoped,
as he put on his rather dandified country tweeds.

The only stain on the preparations for the picnic was the
grouchiness of the hired man, Shad Ledue.  When he was asked to
turn the ice-cream freezer he growled, "Why the heck don't you
folks get an electric freezer?  He grumbled, most audibly, at the
weight of the picnic baskets, and when he was asked to clean up the
basement during their absence, he retorted only with a glare of
silent fury.

"You ought to get rid of that fellow, Ledue," urged Doremus's son
Philip, the lawyer.

"Oh, I don't know," considered Doremus.  "Probably just
shiftlessness on my part.  But I tell myself I'm doing a social
experiment--trying to train him to be as gracious as the average
Neanderthal man.  Or perhaps I'm scared of him--he's the kind of
vindictive peasant that sets fire to barns. . . .  Did you know
that he actually reads, Phil?"


"Yep.  Mostly movie magazines, with nekked ladies and Wild Western
stories, but he also reads the papers.  Told me he greatly admired
Buzz Windrip; says Windrip will certainly be President, and then
everybody--by which, I'm afraid, Shad means only himself--will have
five thousand a year.  Buzz certainly has a bunch of philanthropists
for followers."

"Now listen, Dad.  You don't understand Senator Windrip.  Oh, he's
something of a demagogue--he shoots off his mouth a lot about how
he'll jack up the income tax and grab the banks, but he won't--
that's just molasses for the cockroaches.  What he will do, and
maybe only he CAN do it, is to protect us from the murdering,
thieving, lying Bolsheviks that would--why, they'd like to stick
all of us that are going on this picnic, all the decent clean
people that are accustomed to privacy, into hall bedrooms, and make
us cook our cabbage soup on a Primus stuck on a bed!  Yes, or maybe
'liquidate' us entirely!  No sir, Berzelius Windrip is the fellow
to balk the dirty sneaking Jew spies that pose as American

"The face is the face of my reasonably competent son, Philip, but
the voice is the voice of the Jew-baiter, Julius Streicher," sighed

The picnic ground was among a Stonehenge of gray and lichen-painted
rocks, fronting a birch grove high up on Mount Terror, on the
upland farm of Doremus's cousin, Henry Veeder, a solid, reticent
Vermonter of the old days.  They looked through a distant mountain
gap to the faint mercury of Lake Champlain and, across it, the
bulwark of the Adirondacks.

Davy Greenhill and his hero, Buck Titus, wrestled in the hardy
pasture grass.  Philip and Dr. Fowler Greenhill, Doremus's son-in-
law (Phil plump and half bald at thirty-two; Fowler belligerently
red-headed and red-mustached) argued about the merits of the
autogiro.  Doremus lay with his head against a rock, his cap over
his eyes, gazing down into the paradise of Beulah Valley--he could
not have sworn to it, but he rather thought he saw an angel
floating in the radiant upper air above the valley.  The women,
Emma and Mary Greenhill, Sissy and Philip's wife and Lorinda Pike,
were setting out the picnic lunch--a pot of beans with crisp salt
pork, fried chicken, potatoes warmed-over with croutons, tea
biscuits, crab-apple jelly, salad, raisin pie--on a red-and-white
tablecloth spread on a flat rock.

But for the parked motorcars, the scene might have been New England
in 1885, and you could see the women in chip hats and tight-
bodiced, high-necked frocks with bustles; the men in straw boaters
with dangling ribbons and adorned with side-whiskers--Doremus's
beard not clipped, but flowing like a bridal veil.  When Dr.
Greenhill fetched down Cousin Henry Veeder, a bulky yet shy enough
pre-Ford farmer in clean, faded overalls, then was Time again
unbought, secure, serene.

And the conversation had a comfortable triviality, an affectionate
Victorian dullness.  However Doremus might fret about "conditions,"
however skittishly Sissy might long for the presence of her beaux,
Julian Falck and Malcolm Tasbrough, there was nothing modern and
neurotic, nothing savoring of Freud, Adler, Marx, Bertrand Russell,
or any other divinity of the 1930's, when Mother Emma chattered to
Mary and Merilla about her rose bushes that had "winter-killed,"
and the new young maples that the field mice had gnawed, and the
difficulty of getting Shad Ledue to bring in enough fireplace wood,
and how Shad gorged pork chops and fried potatoes and pie at lunch,
which he ate at the Jessups'.

And the View.  The women talked about the View as honeymooners once
talked at Niagara Falls.

David and Buck Titus were playing ship, now, on a rearing rock--it
was the bridge, and David was Captain Popeye, with Buck his bosun;
and even Dr. Greenhill, that impetuous crusader who was constantly
infuriating the county board of health by reporting the slovenly
state of the poor farm and the stench in the county jail, was lazy
in the sun and with the greatest of concentration kept an
unfortunate little ant running back and forth on a twig.  His wife
Mary--the golfer, the runner-up in state tennis tournaments, the
giver of smart but not too bibulous cocktail parties at the country
club, the wearer of smart brown tweeds with a green scarf--seemed
to have dropped gracefully back into the domesticity of her mother,
and to consider as a very weighty thing a recipe for celery-and-
roquefort sandwiches on toasted soda crackers.  She was the
handsome Older Jessup Girl again, back in the white house with the
mansard roof.

And Foolish, lying on his back with his four paws idiotically
flopping, was the most pastorally old-fashioned of them all.

The only serious flare of conversation was when Buck Titus snarled
to Doremus:  "Certainly a lot of Messiahs pottin' at you from the
bushes these days--Buzz Windrip and Bishop Prang and Father
Coughlin and Dr. Townsend (though he seems to have gone back to
Nazareth) and Upton Sinclair and Rev. Frank Buchman and Bernarr
Macfadden and Willum Randolph Hearst and Governor Talmadge and
Floyd Olson and--Say, I swear the best Messiah in the whole show is
this darky, Father Divine.  He doesn't just promise he's going to
feed the Under-privileged ten years from now--he hands out the
fried drumsticks and gizzard right along with the Salvation.  How
about HIM for President?"

Out of nowhere appeared Julian Falck.

This young man, freshman in Amherst the past year, grandson of the
Episcopal rector and living with the old man because his parents
were dead, was in the eyes of Doremus the most nearly tolerable of
Sissy's suitors.  He was Swede-blond and wiry, with a neat, small
face and canny eyes.  He called Doremus "sir," and he had, unlike
most of the radio-and-motor-hypnotized eighteen-year-olds in the
Fort, read a book, and voluntarily--read Thomas Wolfe and William
Rollins, John Strachey and Stuart Chase and Ortega.  Whether Sissy
preferred him to Malcolm Tasbrough, her father did not know.
Malcolm was taller and thicker than Julian, and he drove his own
streamline De Soto, while Julian could only borrow his grandfather's
shocking old flivver.

Sissy and Julian bickered amiably about Alice Aylot's skill in
backgammon, and Foolish scratched himself in the sun.

But Doremus was not being pastoral.  He was being anxious and
scientific.  While the others jeered, "When does Dad take his
audition?" and "What's he learning to be--a crooner or a hockey-
announcer?" Doremus was adjusting the doubtful portable radio.
Once he thought he was going to be with them in the Home Sweet Home
atmosphere, for he tuned in on a program of old songs, and all of
them, including Cousin Henry Veeder, who had a hidden passion for
fiddlers and barn dances and parlor organs, hummed "Gaily the
Troubadour" and "Maid of Athens" and "Darling Nelly Gray."  But
when the announcer informed them that these ditties were being
sponsored by Toily Oily, the Natural Home Cathartic, and that they
were being rendered by a sextette of young males horribly called
"The Smoothies," Doremus abruptly shut them off.

"Why, what's the matter, Dad?" cried Sissy.

"'Smoothies'!  God!  This country deserves what it's going to get!"
snapped Doremus.  "Maybe we need a Buzz Windrip!"

The moment, then--it should have been announced by cathedral
chimes--of the weekly address of Bishop Paul Peter Prang.

Coming from an airless closet, smelling of sacerdotal woolen union
suits, in Persepolis, Indiana, it leapt to the farthest stars; it
circled the world at 186,000 miles a second--a million miles while
you stopped to scratch.  It crashed into the cabin of a whaler on a
dark polar sea; into an office, paneled with linen-fold oak looted
from a Nottinghamshire castle, on the sixty-seventh story of a
building on Wall Street; into the foreign office in Tokio; into the
rocky hollow below the shining birches upon Mount Terror, in

Bishop Prang spoke, as he usually did, with a grave kindliness, a
virile resonance, which made his self, magically coming to them on
the unseen aerial pathway, at once dominating and touched with
charm; and whatever his purposes might be, his words were on the
side of the Angels:

"My friends of the radio audience, I shall have but six more weekly
petitions to make you before the national conventions, which will
decide the fate of this distraught nation, and the time has come
now to act--to act!  Enough of words!  Let me put together certain
separated phrases out of the sixth chapter of Jeremiah, which seem
to have been prophetically written for this hour of desperate
crisis in America:

"'Oh ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves together to flee
out of the midst of Jerusalem. . . .  Prepare ye war . . . arise
and let us go up at noon.  Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for
the shadows of the evening are stretched out.  Arise, and let us go
by night and let us destroy her palaces. . . .  I am full of the
fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding it in; I will pour it out
upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men
together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the
aged with him that is full of days. . . .  I will stretch out my
hand upon the inhabitants of this land, saith the Lord.  For from
the least of them even unto the greatest, every one is given to
covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one
dealeth falsely . . . saying Peace, Peace, when there is no Peace!'

"So spake the Book, of old. . . .  But it was spoken also to
America, of 1936!

"There is no Peace!  For more than a year now, the League of
Forgotten Men has warned the politicians, the whole government,
that we are sick unto death of being the Dispossessed--and that,
at last, we are more than fifty million strong; no whimpering
horde, but with the will, the voices, the VOTES to enforce our
sovereignty!  We have in no uncertain way informed every politician
that we demand--that we DEMAND--certain measures, and that we will
brook no delay.  Again and again we have demanded that both the
control of credit and the power to issue money be unqualifiedly
taken away from the private banks; that the soldiers not only
receive the bonus they with their blood and anguish so richly
earned in '17 and '18, but that the amount agreed upon be now
doubled; that all swollen incomes be severely limited and
inheritances cut to such small sums as may support the heirs only
in youth and in old age; that labor and farmers' unions be not
merely recognized as instruments for joint bargaining but be made,
like the syndicates in Italy, official parts of the government,
representing the toilers; and that International Jewish Finance
and, equally, International Jewish Communism and Anarchism and
Atheism be, with all the stern solemnity and rigid inflexibility
this great nation can show, barred from all activity.  Those of you
who have listened to me before will understand that I--or rather
that the League of Forgotten Men--has no quarrel with individual
Jews; that we are proud to have Rabbis among our directors; but
those subversive international organizations which, unfortunately,
are so largely Jewish, must be driven with whips and scorpions from
off the face of the earth.

"These demands we have made, and how long now, O Lord, how long,
have the politicians and the smirking representatives of Big
Business pretended to listen, to obey?  'Yes--yes--my masters of
the League of Forgotten Men--yes, we understand--just give us

"There is no more time!  Their time is over and all their unholy

"The conservative Senators--the United States Chamber of Commerce--
the giant bankers--the monarchs of steel and motors and electricity
and coal--the brokers and the holding-companies--they are all of
them like the Bourbon kings, of whom it was said that 'they forgot
nothing and they learned nothing.'

"But they died upon the guillotine!

"Perhaps we can be more merciful to our Bourbons.  Perhaps--
PERHAPS--we can save them from the guillotine--the gallows--the
swift firing-squad.  Perhaps we shall, in our new régime, under our
new Constitution, with our 'New Deal' that really WILL be a New
Deal and not an arrogant experiment--perhaps we shall merely make
these big bugs of finance and politics sit on hard chairs, in dingy
offices, toiling unending hours with pen and typewriter as so many
white-collar slaves for so many years have toiled for THEM!

"It is, as Senator Berzelius Windrip puts it, 'the zero hour,' now,
this second.  We have stopped bombarding the heedless ears of these
false masters.  We're 'going over the top.'  At last, after months
and months of taking counsel together, the directors of the League
of Forgotten Men, and I myself, announce that in the coming
Democratic national convention we shall, without one smallest

"Listen!  Listen!  History being made!" Doremus cried at his
heedless family.

"--use the tremendous strength of the millions of League members to
secure the Democratic presidential nomination for SENATOR--
BERZELIUS--WINDRIP--which means, flatly, that he will be elected--
and that we of the League shall elect him--as President of these
United States!

"His program and that of the League do not in all details agree.
But he has implicitly pledged himself to take our advice, and, at
least until election, we shall back him, absolutely--with our
money, with our loyalty, with our votes . . . with our prayers.
And may the Lord guide him and us across the desert of iniquitous
politics and swinishly grasping finance into the golden glory of
the Promised Land!  God bless you!"

Mrs. Jessup said cheerily, "Why, Dormouse, that bishop isn't a
Fascist at all--he's a regular Red Radical.  But does this
announcement of his mean anything, really?"

Oh, well, Doremus reflected, he had lived with Emma for thirty-four
years, and not oftener than once or twice a year had he wanted to
murder her.  Blandly he said, "Why, nothing much except that in a
couple of years now, on the ground of protecting us, the Buzz
Windrip dictatorship will be regimenting everything, from where we
may pray to what detective stories we may read."

"Sure he will!  Sometimes I'm tempted to turn Communist!  Funny--me
with my fat-headed old Hudson-River-Valley Dutch ancestors!"
marveled Julian Falck.

"Fine idea!  Out of the frying pan of Windrip and Hitler into the
fire of the New York Daily Worker and Stalin and automatics!  And
the Five-Year Plan--I suppose they'd tell me that it's been decided
by the Commissar that each of my mares is to bear six colts a year
now!" snorted Buck Titus; while Dr. Fowler Greenhill jeered:

"Aw, shoot, Dad--and you too, Julian, you young paranoiac--you're
monomaniacs!  Dictatorship?  Better come into the office and let me
examine your heads!  Why, America's the only free nation on earth.
Besides!  Country's too big for a revolution.  No, no!  Couldn't
happen here!"


I'd rather follow a wild-eyed anarchist like Em Goldman, if they'd
bring more johnnycake and beans and spuds into the humble cabin of
the Common Man, than a twenty-four-carat, college-graduate, ex-
cabinet-member statesman that was just interested in our turning
out more limousines.  Call me a socialist or any blame thing you
want to, as long as you grab hold of the other end of the cross-cut
saw with me and help slash the big logs of Poverty and Intolerance
to pieces.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

His family--at least his wife and the cook, Mrs. Candy, and Sissy
and Mary, Mrs. Fowler Greenhill--believed that Doremus was of
fickle health; that any cold would surely turn into pneumonia; that
he must wear his rubbers, and eat his porridge, and smoke fewer
cigarettes, and never "overdo."  He raged at them; he knew that
though he did get staggeringly tired after a crisis in the office,
a night's sleep made him a little dynamo again, and he could "turn
out copy" faster than his spryest young reporter.

He concealed his dissipations from them like any small boy from his
elders; lied unscrupulously about how many cigarettes he smoked;
kept concealed a flask of Bourbon from which he regularly had one
nip, only one, before he padded to bed; and when he had promised to
go to sleep early, he turned off his light till he was sure that
Emma was slumbering, then turned it on and happily read till two,
curled under the well-loved hand-woven blankets from a loom up on
Mount Terror; his legs twitching like a dreaming setter's what time
the Chief Inspector of the C.I.D., alone and unarmed, walked into
the counterfeiters' hideout.  And once a month or so he sneaked
down to the kitchen at three in the morning and made himself coffee
and washed up everything so that Emma and Mrs. Candy would never
know. . . .  He thought they never knew!

These small deceptions gave him the ripest satisfaction in a life
otherwise devoted to public service, to trying to make Shad Ledue
edge-up the flower beds, to feverishly writing editorials that
would excite 3 per cent of his readers from breakfast time till
noon and by 6 P.M. be eternally forgotten.

Sometimes when Emma came to loaf beside him in bed on a Sunday
morning and put her comfortable arm about his thin shoulder-blades,
she was sick with the realization that he was growing older and
more frail.  His shoulders, she thought, were pathetic as those of
an anemic baby. . . .  That sadness of hers Doremus never guessed.

Even just before the paper went to press, even when Shad Ledue took
off two hours and charged an item of two dollars to have the
lawnmower sharpened, instead of filing it himself, even when Sissy
and her gang played the piano downstairs till two on nights when he
did not want to lie awake, Doremus was never irritable--except,
usually, between arising and the first life-saving cup of coffee.

The wise Emma was happy when he was snappish before breakfast.  It
meant that he was energetic and popping with satisfactory ideas.

After Bishop Prang had presented the crown to Senator Windrip, as
the summer hobbled nervously toward the national political
conventions, Emma was disturbed.  For Doremus was silent before
breakfast, and he had rheumy eyes, as though he was worried, as
though he had slept badly.  Never was he cranky.  She missed
hearing him croaking, "Isn't that confounded idiot, Mrs. Candy,
EVER going to bring in the coffee?  I suppose she's sitting there
reading her Testament!  And will you be so kind as to tell me, my
good woman, why Sissy NEVER gets up for breakfast, even after the
rare nights when she goes to bed at 1 A.M.?  And--and will you look
out at that walk!  Covered with dead blossoms.  That swine Shad
hasn't swept it for a week.  I swear, I AM going to fire him, and
right away, this morning!"

Emma would have been happy to hear these familiar animal sounds,
and to cluck in answer, "Oh, why, that's terrible!  I'll go tell
Mrs. Candy to hustle in the coffee right away!"

But he sat unspeaking, pale, opening his Daily Informer as though
he were afraid to see what news had come in since he had left the
office at ten.

When Doremus, back in the 1920's, had advocated the recognition of
Russia, Fort Beulah had fretted that he was turning out-and-out

He, who understood himself abnormally well, knew that far from
being a left-wing radical, he was at most a mild, rather indolent
and somewhat sentimental Liberal, who disliked pomposity, the heavy
humor of public men, and the itch for notoriety which made popular
preachers and eloquent educators and amateur play-producers and
rich lady reformers and rich lady sportswomen and almost every
brand of rich lady come preeningly in to see newspaper editors,
with photographs under their arms, and on their faces the simper of
fake humility.  But for all cruelty and intolerance, and for the
contempt of the fortunate for the unfortunate, he had not mere
dislike but testy hatred.

He had alarmed all his fellow editors in northern New England by
asserting the innocence of Tom Mooney, questioning the guilt of
Sacco and Vanzetti, condemning our intrusion in Haiti and
Nicaragua, advocating an increased income tax, writing, in the 1932
campaign, a friendly account of the Socialist candidate, Norman
Thomas (and afterwards, to tell the truth, voting for Franklin
Roosevelt), and stirring up a little local and ineffective hell
regarding the serfdom of the Southern sharecroppers and the
California fruit-pickers.  He even suggested editorially that when
Russia had her factories and railroads and giant farms really
going--say, in 1945--she might conceivably be the pleasantest
country in the world for the (mythical!) Average Man.  When he
wrote that editorial, after a lunch at which he had been irritated
by the smug croaking of Frank Tasbrough and R. C. Crowley, he
really did get into trouble.  He got named Bolshevik, and in two
days his paper lost a hundred and fifty out of its five thousand

Yet he was as little of a Bolshevik as Herbert Hoover.

He was, and he knew it, a small-town bourgeois Intellectual.
Russia forbade everything that made his toil worth enduring:
privacy, the right to think and to criticize as he freakishly
pleased.  To have his mind policed by peasants in uniform--rather
than that he would live in an Alaska cabin, with beans and a
hundred books and a new pair of pants every three years.

Once, on a motor trip with Emma, he stopped in at a summer camp of
Communists.  Most of them were City College Jews or neat Bronx
dentists, spectacled, and smooth-shaven except for foppish small
mustaches.  They were hot to welcome these New England peasants and
to explain the Marxian gospel (on which, however, they furiously
differed).  Over macaroni and cheese in an unpainted dining shack,
they longed for the black bread of Moscow.  Later, Doremus chuckled
to find how much they resembled the Y.M.C.A. campers twenty miles
down the highway--equally Puritanical, hortatory, and futile, and
equally given to silly games with rubber balls.

Once only had he been dangerously active.  He had supported the
strike for union recognition against the quarry company of Francis
Tasbrough.  Men whom Doremus had known for years, solid cits like
Superintendent of Schools Emil Staubmeyer, and Charley Betts of the
furniture store, had muttered about "riding him out of town on a
rail."  Tasbrough reviled him--even now, eight years later.  After
all this, the strike had been lost, and the strike-leader, an
avowed Communist named Karl Pascal, had gone to prison for
"inciting to violence."  When Pascal, best of mechanics, came out,
he went to work in a littered little Fort Beulah garage owned by a
friendly, loquacious, belligerent Polish Socialist named John

All day long Pascal and Pollikop yelpingly raided each other's
trenches in the battle between Social Democracy and Communism, and
Doremus often dropped in to stir them up.  That was hard for
Tasbrough, Staubmeyer, Banker Crowley, and Lawyer Kitterick to

If Doremus had not come from three generations of debt-paying
Vermonters, he would by now have been a penniless wandering
printer . . . and possibly less detached about the Sorrows of the

The conservative Emma complained:  "How you can tease people this
way, pretending you really LIKE greasy mechanics like this Pascal
(and I suspect you even have a sneaking fondness for Shad Ledue!)
when you could just associate with decent, prosperous people like
Frank--it's beyond me!  What they must THINK of you, sometimes!
They don't understand that you're really not a Socialist one bit,
but really a nice, kind-hearted, responsible man.  Oh, I ought to
smack you, Dormouse!"

Not that he liked being called "Dormouse."  But then, no one did so
except Emma and, in rare slips of the tongue, Buck Titus.  So it
was endurable.


When I am protestingly dragged from my study and the family
hearthside into the public meetings that I so much detest, I try to
make my speech as simple and direct as those of the Child Jesus
talking to the Doctors in the Temple.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

Thunder in the mountains, clouds marching down the Beulah Valley,
unnatural darkness covering the world like black fog, and lightning
that picked out ugly scarps of the hills as though they were rocks
thrown up in an explosion.

To such fury of the enraged heavens, Doremus awakened on that
morning of late July.

As abruptly as one who, in the death cell, startles out of sleep to
the realization, "Today they'll hang me!" he sat up, bewildered, as
he reflected that today Senator Berzelius Windrip would probably be
nominated for President.

The Republican convention was over, with Walt Trowbridge as
presidential candidate.  The Democratic convention, meeting in
Cleveland, with a good deal of gin, strawberry soda, and sweat, had
finished the committee reports, the kind words said for the Flag,
the assurances to the ghost of Jefferson that he would be delighted
by what, if Chairman Jim Farley consented, would be done here this
week.  They had come to the nominations--Senator Windrip had been
nominated by Colonel Dewey Haik, Congressman, and power in the
American Legion.  Gratifying applause and hasty elimination had
greeted such Favorite Sons of the several states as Al Smith,
Carter Glass, William McAdoo, and Cordell Hull.  Now, on the
twelfth ballot, there were four contestants left, and they, in
order of votes, were Senator Windrip, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt, Senator Robinson of Arkansas, and Secretary of Labor
Frances Perkins.

Great and dramatic shenanigans had happened, and Doremus Jessup's
imagination had seen them all clearly as they were reported by the
hysterical radio and by bulletins from the A.P. that fell redhot
and smoking upon his desk at the Informer office.

In honor of Senator Robinson, the University of Arkansas brass band
marched in behind a leader riding in an old horse-drawn buggy
which was plastered with great placards proclaiming "Save the
Constitution" and "Robinson for Sanity."  The name of Miss Perkins
had been cheered for two hours, while the delegates marched with
their state banners, and President Roosevelt's name had been
cheered for three--cheered affectionately and quite homicidally,
since every delegate knew that Mr. Roosevelt and Miss Perkins were
far too lacking in circus tinsel and general clownishness to
succeed at this critical hour of the nation's hysteria, when the
electorate wanted a ringmaster-revolutionist like Senator Windrip.

Windrip's own demonstration, scientifically worked up beforehand by
his secretary-press-agent-private-philosopher, Lee Sarason, yielded
nothing to others'.  For Sarason had read his Chesterton well
enough to know that there is only one thing bigger than a very big
thing, and that is a thing so very small that it can be seen and

When Colonel Dewey Haik put Buzz's name in nomination, the Colonel
wound up by shouting, "One thing more!  Listen!  It is the special
request of Senator Windrip that you do NOT waste the time of this
history-making assembly by any cheering of his name--any cheering
whatever.  We of the League of Forgotten Men (yes--and Women!)
don't want empty acclaim, but a solemn consideration of the
desperate and immediate needs of 60 per cent of the population of
the United States.  No cheers--but may Providence guide us in the
most solemn thinking we have ever done!"

As he finished, down the center aisle came a private procession.
But this was no parade of thousands.  There were only thirty-one
persons in it, and the only banners were three flags and two large

Leading it, in old blue uniforms, were two G.A.R. veterans, and
between, arm-in-arm with them, a Confederate in gray.  They were
such very little old men, all over ninety, leaning one on another
and glancing timidly about in the hope that no one would laugh at

The Confederate carried a Virginia regimental banner, torn as by
shrapnel; and one of the Union veterans lifted high a slashed flag
of the First Minnesota.

The dutiful applause which the convention had given to the
demonstrations of other candidates had been but rain-patter
compared with the tempest which greeted the three shaky, shuffling
old men.  On the platform the band played, inaudibly, "Dixie," then
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again," and, standing on his
chair midway of the auditorium, as a plain member of his state
delegation, Buzz Windrip bowed--bowed--bowed and tried to smile,
while tears started from his eyes and he sobbed helplessly, and the
audience began to sob with him.

Following the old men were twelve Legionnaires, wounded in 1918--
stumbling on wooden legs, dragging themselves between crutches; one
in a wheel chair, yet so young-looking and gay; and one with a
black mask before what should have been a face.  Of these, one
carried an enormous flag, and another a placard demanding:  "Our
Starving Families Must Have the Bonus--We Want Only Justice--We
Want Buzz for President."

And leading them, not wounded, but upright and strong and resolute,
was Major General Hermann Meinecke, United States Army.  Not in all
the memory of the older reporters had a soldier on active service
ever appeared as a public political agitator.  The press whispered
one to another, "That general'll get canned, unless Buzz is
elected--then he'd probably be made Duke of Hoboken."

Following the soldiers were ten men and women, their toes through
their shoes, and wearing rags that were the more pitiful because
they had been washed and rewashed till they had lost all color.
With them tottered four pallid children, their teeth rotted out,
between them just managing to hold up a placard declaring, "We Are
on Relief.  We Want to Become Human Beings Again.  We Want Buzz!"

Twenty feet behind came one lone tall man.  The delegates had been
craning around to see what would follow the relief victims.  When
they did see, they rose, they bellowed, they clapped.  For the lone
man--Few of the crowd had seen him in the flesh; all of them had
seen him a hundred times in press pictures, photographed among
litters of books in his study--photographed in conference with
President Roosevelt and Secretary Ickes--photographed shaking hands
with Senator Windrip--photographed before a microphone, his
shrieking mouth a dark open trap and his lean right arm thrown up
in hysterical emphasis; all of them had heard his voice on the
radio till they knew it as they knew the voices of their own
brothers; all of them recognized, coming through the wide main
entrance, at the end of the Windrip parade, the apostle of the
Forgotten Men, Bishop Paul Peter Prang.

Then the convention cheered Buzz Windrip for four unbroken hours.

In the detailed descriptions of the convention which the news
bureaus sent following the feverish first bulletins, one energetic
Birmingham reporter pretty well proved that the Southern battle
flag carried by the Confederate veteran had been lent by the museum
in Richmond and the Northern flag by a distinguished meat-packer of
Chicago who was the grandson of a Civil War general.

Lee Sarason never told anyone save Buzz Windrip that both flags had
been manufactured on Hester Street, New York, in 1929, for the
patriotic drama, Morgan's Riding, and that both came from a
theatrical warehouse.

Before the cheering, as the Windrip parade neared the platform,
they were greeted by Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch, the celebrated
author, lecturer, and composer, who--suddenly conjured onto the
platform as if whisked out of the air--sang to the tune of "Yankee
Doodle" words which she herself had written:

      Berzelius Windrip went to Wash.,
      A riding on a hobby--
      To throw Big Business out, by Gosh,
      And be the People's Lobby!


         Buzz and buzz and keep it up,
         Our cares and needs he's toting,
         You are a most ungrateful pup,
         Unless for Buzz you're voting!

      The League of the Forgotten Men
      Don't like to be forgotten,
      They went to Washington and then
      They sang, "There's something rotten!"

That joyous battle song was sung on the radio by nineteen different
prima donnas before midnight, by some sixteen million less vocal
Americans within forty-eight hours, and by at least ninety million
friends and scoffers in the struggle that was to come.  All through
the campaign, Buzz Windrip was able to get lots of jolly humor out
of puns on going to Wash., and to wash.  Walt Trowbridge, he
jeered, wasn't going to either of them!

Yet Lee Sarason knew that in addition to this comic masterpiece,
the cause of Windrip required an anthem more elevated in thought
and spirit, befitting the seriousness of crusading Americans.

Long after the convention's cheering for Windrip had ended and the
delegates were again at their proper business of saving the nation
and cutting one another's throats, Sarason had Mrs. Gimmitch sing a
more inspirational hymn, with words by Sarason himself, in
collaboration with a quite remarkable surgeon, one Dr. Hector

This Dr. Macgoblin, soon to become a national monument, was as
accomplished in syndicated medical journalism, in the reviewing of
books about education and psychoanalysis, in preparing glosses upon
the philosophies of Hegel, Professor Guenther, Houston Stewart
Chamberlain, and Lothrop Stoddard, in the rendition of Mozart on
the violin, in semi-professional boxing, and in the composition of
epic poetry, as he was in the practice of medicine.

Dr. Macgoblin!  What a man!

The Sarason-Macgoblin ode, entitled "Bring Out the Old-time
Musket," became to Buzz Windrip's band of liberators what
"Giovanezza" was to the Italians, "The Horst Wessel Song" to the
Nazis, "The International" to all Marxians.  Along with the
convention, the radio millions heard Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch's
contralto, rich as peat, chanting:


     Dear Lord, we have sinned, we have slumbered,
     And our flag lies stained in the dust,
     And the souls of the Past are calling, calling,
     "Arise from your sloth--you must!"
     Lead us, O soul of Lincoln,
     Inspire us, spirit of Lee,
     To rule all the world for righteousness,
       To fight for the right,
       To awe with our might,
     As we did in 'sixty-three.


        See, youth with desire hot glowing,
        See, maiden, with fearless eye,
          Leading our ranks
          Thunder the tanks,
        Aeroplanes cloud the sky.
     Bring out the old-time musket,
     Rouse up the old-time fire!
     See, all the world is crumbling,
     Dreadful and dark and dire.
     America!  Rise and conquer
     The world to our heart's desire!

"Great showmanship.  P. T. Barnum or Flo Ziegfeld never put on a
better," mused Doremus, as he studied the A.P. flimsies, as he
listened to the radio he had had temporarily installed in his
office.  And, much later:  "When Buzz gets in, he won't be having
any parade of wounded soldiers.  That'll be bad Fascist psychology.
All those poor devils he'll hide away in institutions, and just
bring out the lively young human slaughter cattle in uniforms.

The thunderstorm, which had mercifully lulled, burst again in
wrathful menace.

All afternoon the convention balloted, over and over, with no
change in the order of votes for the presidential candidate.
Toward six, Miss Perkins's manager threw her votes to Roosevelt,
who gained then on Senator Windrip.  They seemed to have settled
down to an all-night struggle, and at ten in the evening Doremus
wearily left the office.  He did not, tonight, want the sympathetic
and extremely feminized atmosphere of his home, and he dropped in
at the rectory of his friend Father Perefixe.  There he found a
satisfyingly unfeminized, untalcumized group.  The Reverend Mr.
Falck was there.  Swart, sturdy young Perefixe and silvery old
Falck often worked together, were fond of each other, and agreed
upon the advantages of clerical celibacy and almost every other
doctrine except the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome.  With them
were Buck Titus, Louis Rotenstern, Dr. Fowler Greenhill, and Banker
Crowley, a financier who liked to cultivate an appearance of free
intellectual discussion, though only after the hours devoted to
refusing credit to desperate farmers and storekeepers.

And not to be forgotten was Foolish the dog, who that thunderous
morning had suspected his master's worry, followed him to the
office, and all day long had growled at Haik and Sarason and Mrs.
Gimmitch on the radio and showed an earnest conviction that he
ought to chew up all flimsies reporting the convention.

Better than his own glacial white-paneled drawing room with its
portraits of dead Vermont worthies, Doremus liked Father Perefixe's
little study, and its combination of churchliness, of freedom from
Commerce (at least ordinary Commerce), as displayed in a crucifix
and a plaster statuette of the Virgin and a shrieking red-and-green
Italian picture of the Pope, with practical affairs, as shown in
the oak roll-top desk and steel filing-cabinet and well-worn
portable typewriter.  It was a pious hermit's cave with the
advantages of leather chairs and excellent rye highballs.

The night passed as the eight of them (for Foolish too had his
tipple of milk) all sipped and listened; the night passed as the
convention balloted, furiously, unavailingly . . . that congress
six hundred miles away, six hundred miles of befogged night, yet
with every speech, every derisive yelp, coming into the priest's
cabinet in the same second in which they were heard in the hall at

Father Perefixe's housekeeper (who was sixty-five years old to his
thirty-nine, to the disappointment of all the scandal-loving local
Protestants) came in with scrambled eggs, cold beer.

"When my dear wife was still among us, she used to send me to bed
at midnight," sighed Dr. Falck.

"My wife does now!" said Doremus.

"So does mine--and her a New York girl!" said Louis Rotenstern.

"Father Steve, here, and I are the only guys with a sensible way of
living," crowed Buck Titus.  "Celibates.  We can go to bed with our
pants on, or not go to bed at all," and Father Perefixe murmured,
"But it's curious, Buck, what people find to boast of--you that
you're free of God's tyranny and also that you can go to bed in
your pants--Mr. Falck and Dr. Greenhill and I that God is so
lenient with us that some nights He lets us off from sick-calls and
we can go to bed with 'em off!  And Louis because--Listen!  Listen!
Sounds like business!"

Colonel Dewey Haik, Buzz's proposer, was announcing that Senator
Windrip felt it would be only modest of him to go to his hotel now,
but he had left a letter which he, Haik, would read.  And he did
read it, inexorably.

Windrip stated that, just in case anyone did not completely
understand his platform, he wanted to make it all ringingly clear.

Summarized, the letter explained that he was all against the banks
but all for the bankers--except the Jewish bankers, who were to be
driven out of finance entirely; that he had thoroughly tested (but
unspecified) plans to make all wages very high and the prices of
everything produced by these same highly paid workers very low;
that he was 100 per cent for Labor, but 100 per cent against all
strikes; and that he was in favor of the United States so arming
itself, so preparing to produce its own coffee, sugar, perfumes,
tweeds, and nickel instead of importing them, that it could defy
the World . . . and maybe, if that World was so impertinent as to
defy America in turn, Buzz hinted, he might have to take it over
and run it properly.

Each moment the brassy importunities of the radio seemed to Doremus
the more offensive, while the hillside slept in the heavy summer
night, and he thought about the mazurka of the fireflies, the
rhythm of crickets like the rhythm of the revolving earth itself,
the voluptuous breezes that bore away the stink of cigars and sweat
and whisky breaths and mint chewing-gum that seemed to come to them
from the convention over the sound waves, along with the oratory.

It was after dawn, and Father Perefixe (unclerically stripped to
shirt-sleeves and slippers) had just brought them in a grateful
tray of onion soup, with a gob of Hamburg steak for Foolish, when
the opposition to Buzz collapsed and hastily, on the next ballot,
Senator Berzelius Windrip was nominated as Democratic Candidate for
President of the United States.

Doremus, Buck Titus, Perefixe, and Falck were for a time too gloomy
for speech--so possibly was the dog Foolish, as well, for at the
turning off of the radio he tail-thumped in only the most tentative

R. C. Crowley gloated, "Well, all my life I've voted Republican,
but here's a man that--Well, I'm going to vote for Windrip!"

Father Perefixe said tartly, "And I've voted Democratic ever since
I came from Canada and got naturalized, but this time I'm going to
vote Republican.  What about you fellows?"

Rotenstern was silent.  He did not like Windrip's reference to
Jews.  The ones he knew best--no, they were Americans!  Lincoln was
his tribal god too, he vowed.

"Me?  I'll vote for Walt Trowbridge, of course," growled Buck.

"So will I," said Doremus.  "No!  I won't either!  Trowbridge won't
have a chance.  I think I'll indulge in the luxury of being
independent, for once, and vote Prohibition or the Battle-Creek
bran-and-spinach ticket, or anything that makes some sense!"

It was after seven that morning when Doremus came home, and,
remarkably enough, Shad Ledue, who was supposed to go to work at
seven, was at work at seven.  Normally he never left his bachelor
shack in Lower Town till ten to eight, but this morning he was on
the job, chopping kindling.  (Oh yes, reflected Doremus--that
probably explained it.  Kindling-chopping, if practised early
enough, would wake up everyone in the house.)

Shad was tall and hulking; his shirt was sweat-stained; and as
usual he needed a shave.  Foolish growled at him.  Doremus
suspected that at some time he had been kicking Foolish.  He wanted
to honor Shad for the sweaty shirt, the honest toil, and all the
rugged virtues, but even as a Liberal American Humanitarian,
Doremus found it hard always to keep up the Longfellow's-Village-
Blacksmith-cum-Marx attitude consistently and not sometimes
backslide into a belief that there must be SOME crooks and swine
among the toilers as, notoriously, there were so shockingly many
among persons with more than $3500 a year.

"Well--been sitting up listening to the radio," purred Doremus.
"Did you know the Democrats have nominated Senator Windrip?"

"That so?" Shad growled.

"Yes.  Just now.  How you planning to vote?"

"Well now, I'll tell you, Mr. Jessup."  Shad struck an attitude,
leaning on his ax.  Sometimes he could be quite pleasant and
condescending, even to this little man who was so ignorant about
coon-hunting and the games of craps and poker.

"I'm going to vote for Buzz Windrip.  He's going to fix it so
everybody will get four thousand bucks, immediate, and I'm going to
start a chicken farm.  I can make a bunch of money out of chickens!
I'll show some of these guys that think they're so rich!"

"But, Shad, you didn't have so much luck with chickens when you
tried to raise 'em in the shed back there.  You, uh, I'm afraid you
sort of let their water freeze up on 'em in winter, and they all
died, you remember."

"Oh, them?  So what!  Heck!  There was too few of 'em.  I'm not
going to waste MY time foolin' with just a couple dozen chickens!
When I get five-six thousand of 'em to make it worth my while, THEN
I'll show you!  You bet."  And, most patronizingly:  "Buzz Windrip
is O.K."

"I'm glad he has your imprimatur."

"Huh?" said Shad, and scowled.

But as Doremus plodded up on the back porch he heard from Shad a
faint derisive:

"O.K., Chief!"


I don't pretend to be a very educated man, except maybe educated in
the heart, and in being able to feel for the sorrows and fear of
every ornery fellow human being.  Still and all, I've read the
Bible through, from kiver to kiver, like my wife's folks say down
in Arkansas, some eleven times; I've read all the law books they've
printed; and as to contemporaries, I don't guess I've missed much
of all the grand literature produced by Bruce Barton, Edgar Guest,
Arthur Brisbane, Elizabeth Dilling, Walter Pitkin, and William
Dudley Pelley.

This last gentleman I honor not only for his rattling good yarns,
and his serious work in investigating life beyond the grave and
absolutely proving that only a blind fool could fail to believe in
Personal Immortality, but, finally, for his public-spirited and
self-sacrificing work in founding the Silver Shirts.  These true
knights, even if they did not attain quite all the success they
deserved, were one of our most noble and Galahad-like attempts to
combat the sneaking, snaky, sinister, surreptitious, seditious
plots of the Red Radicals and other sour brands of Bolsheviks that
incessantly threaten the American standards of Liberty, High Wages,
and Universal Security.

These fellows have Messages, and we haven't got time for anything
in literature except a straight, hard-hitting, heart-throbbing

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

During the very first week of his campaign, Senator Windrip
clarified his philosophy by issuing his distinguished proclamation:
"The Fifteen Points of Victory for the Forgotten Men."  The fifteen
planks, in his own words (or maybe in Lee Sarason's words, or Dewey
Haik's words), were these:

(1) All finance in the country, including banking, insurance,
stocks and bonds and mortgages, shall be under the absolute control
of a Federal Central Bank, owned by the government and conducted by
a Board appointed by the President, which Board shall, without need
of recourse to Congress for legislative authorization, be empowered
to make all regulations governing finance.  Thereafter, as soon
as may be practicable, this said Board shall consider the 
nationalization and government-ownership, for the Profit of the
Whole People, of all mines, oilfields, water power, public
utilities, transportation, and communication.

(2) The President shall appoint a commission, equally divided
between manual workers, employers, and representatives of the
Public, to determine which Labor Unions are qualified to represent
the Workers; and report to the Executive, for legal action, all
pretended labor organizations, whether "Company Unions," or "Red
Unions," controlled by Communists and the so-called "Third
International."  The duly recognized Unions shall be constituted
Bureaus of the Government, with power of decision in all labor
disputes.  Later, the same investigation and official recognition
shall be extended to farm organizations.  In this elevation of the
position of the Worker, it shall be emphasized that the League of
Forgotten Men is the chief bulwark against the menace of
destructive and un-American Radicalism.

(3) In contradistinction to the doctrines of Red Radicals, with
their felonious expropriation of the arduously acquired possessions
which insure to aged persons their security, this League and Party
will guarantee Private Initiative and the Right to Private Property
for all time.

(4) Believing that only under God Almighty, to Whom we render all
homage, do we Americans hold our vast Power, we shall guarantee to
all persons absolute freedom of religious worship, provided,
however, that no atheist, agnostic, believer in Black Magic, nor
any Jew who shall refuse to swear allegiance to the New Testament,
nor any person of any faith who refuses to take the Pledge to the
Flag, shall be permitted to hold any public office or to practice
as a teacher, professor, lawyer, judge, or as a physician, except
in the category of Obstetrics.

(5) Annual net income per person shall be limited to $500,000.  No
accumulated fortune may at any one time exceed $3,000,000 per
person.  No one person shall, during his entire lifetime, be
permitted to retain an inheritance or various inheritances in total
exceeding $2,000,000.  All incomes or estates in excess of the sums
named shall be seized by the Federal Government for use in Relief
and in Administrative expenses.

(6) Profit shall be taken out of War by seizing all dividends over
and above 6 per cent that shall be received from the manufacture,
distribution, or sale, during Wartime, of all arms, munitions,
aircraft, ships, tanks, and all other things directly applicable to
warfare, as well as from food, textiles, and all other supplies
furnished to the American or to any allied army.

(7) Our armaments and the size of our military and naval
establishments shall be consistently enlarged until they shall
equal, but--since this country has no desire for foreign conquest
of any kind--not surpass, in every branch of the forces of defense,
the martial strength of any other single country or empire in the
world.  Upon inauguration, this League and Party shall make this
its first obligation, together with the issuance of a firm
proclamation to all nations of the world that our armed forces are
to be maintained solely for the purpose of insuring world peace and

(8) Congress shall have the sole right to issue money and
immediately upon our inauguration it shall at least double the
present supply of money, in order to facilitate the fluidity of

(9) We cannot too strongly condemn the un-Christian attitude of
certain otherwise progressive nations in their discriminations
against the Jews, who have been among the strongest supporters of
the League, and who will continue to prosper and to be recognized
as fully Americanized, though only so long as they continue to
support our ideals.

(10) All Negroes shall be prohibited from voting, holding public
office, practicing law, medicine, or teaching in any class above
the grade of grammar school, and they shall be taxed 100 per cent
of all sums in excess of $10,000 per family per year which they may
earn or in any other manner receive.  In order, however, to give
the most sympathetic aid possible to all Negroes who comprehend
their proper and valuable place in society, all such colored
persons, male or female, as can prove that they have devoted not
less than forty-five years to such suitable tasks as domestic
service, agricultural labor, and common labor in industries, shall
at the age of sixty-five be permitted to appear before a special
Board, composed entirely of white persons, and upon proof that
while employed they have never been idle except through sickness,
they shall be recommended for pensions not to exceed the sum of
$500.00 per person per year, nor to exceed $700.00 per family.
Negroes shall, by definition, be persons with at least one
sixteenth colored blood.

(11) Far from opposing such high-minded and economically sound
methods of the relief of poverty, unemployment, and old age as the
EPIC plan of the Hon. Upton Sinclair, the "Share the Wealth" and
"Every Man a King" proposals of the late Hon. Huey Long to assure
every family $5000 a year, the Townsend plan, the Utopian plan,
Technocracy, and all competent schemes of unemployment insurance, a
Commission shall immediately be appointed by the New Administration
to study, reconcile, and recommend for immediate adoption the best
features in these several plans for Social Security, and the Hon.
Messrs. Sinclair, Townsend, Eugene Reed, and Howard Scott are
herewith invited to in every way advise and collaborate with that

(12) All women now employed shall, as rapidly as possible, except
in such peculiarly feminine spheres of activity as nursing and
beauty parlors, be assisted to return to their incomparably sacred
duties as home-makers and as mothers of strong, honorable future
Citizens of the Commonwealth.

(13) Any person advocating Communism, Socialism, or Anarchism,
advocating refusal to enlist in case of war, or advocating alliance
with Russia in any war whatsoever, shall be subject to trial for
high treason, with a minimum penalty of twenty years at hard labor
in prison, and a maximum of death on the gallows, or other form of
execution which the judges may find convenient.

(14) All bonuses promised to former soldiers of any war in which
America has ever engaged shall be immediately paid in full, in
cash, and in all cases of veterans with incomes of less than
$5,000.00 a year, the formerly promised sums shall be doubled.

(15) Congress shall, immediately upon our inauguration, initiate
amendments to the Constitution providing (a), that the President
shall have the authority to institute and execute all necessary
measures for the conduct of the government during this critical
epoch; (b), that Congress shall serve only in an advisory capacity,
calling to the attention of the President and his aides and Cabinet
any needed legislation, but not acting upon same until authorized
by the President so to act; and (c), that the Supreme Court shall
immediately have removed from its jurisdiction the power to negate,
by ruling them to be unconstitutional or by any other judicial
action, any or all acts of the President, his duly appointed aides,
or Congress.

Addendum:  It shall be strictly understood that, as the League of
Forgotten Men and the Democratic Party, as now constituted, have no
purpose nor desire to carry out any measure that shall not
unqualifiedly meet with the desire of the majority of voters in
these United States, the League and Party regard none of the above
fifteen points as obligatory and unmodifiable except No. 15, and
upon the others they will act or refrain from acting in accordance
with the general desire of the Public, who shall under the new
régime be again granted an individual freedom of which they have
been deprived by the harsh and restrictive economic measures of
former administrations, both Republican and Democratic.

"But what does it mean?" marveled Mrs. Jessup, when her husband had
read the platform to her.  "It's so inconsistent.  Sounds like a
combination of Norman Thomas and Calvin Coolidge.  I don't seem to
understand it.  I wonder if Mr. Windrip understands it himself?"

"Sure.  You bet he does.  It mustn't be supposed that because
Windrip gets that intellectual dressmaker Sarason to prettify his
ideas up for him he doesn't recognize 'em and clasp 'em to his
bosom when they're dolled up in two-dollar words.  I'll tell you
just what it all means:  Articles One and Five mean that if the
financiers and transportation kings and so on don't come through
heavily with support for Buzz they may be threatened with bigger
income taxes and some control of their businesses.  But they are
coming through, I hear, handsomely--they're paying for Buzz's radio
and his parades.  Two, that by controlling their unions directly,
Buzz's gang can kidnap all Labor into slavery.  Three backs up the
security for Big Capital and Four brings the preachers into line as
scared and unpaid press-agents for Buzz.

"Six doesn't mean anything at all--munition firms with vertical
trusts will be able to wangle one 6 per cent on manufacture, one on
transportation, and one on sales--at least.  Seven means we'll get
ready to follow all the European nations in trying to hog the whole
world.  Eight means that by inflation, big industrial companies
will be able to buy their outstanding bonds back at a cent on the
dollar, and Nine that all Jews who don't cough up plenty of money
for the robber baron will be punished, even including the Jews who
haven't much to cough up.  Ten, that all well-paying jobs and
businesses held by Negroes will be grabbed by the Poor White Trash
among Buzz's worshipers--and that instead of being denounced
they'll be universally praised as patriotic protectors of Racial
Purity.  Eleven, that Buzz'll be able to pass the buck for not
creating any real relief for poverty.  Twelve, that women will
later lose the vote and the right to higher education and be foxed
out of all decent jobs and urged to rear soldiers to be killed in
foreign wars.  Thirteen, that anybody who opposes Buzz in any way
at all can be called a Communist and scragged for it.  Why, under
this clause, Hoover and Al Smith and Ogden Mills--yes, and you and
me--will all be Communists.

"Fourteen, that Buzz thinks enough of the support of the veterans'
vote to be willing to pay high for it--in other people's money.
And Fifteen--well, that's the one lone clause that really does mean
something; and it means that Windrip and Lee Sarason and Bishop
Prang and I guess maybe this Colonel Dewey Haik and this Dr. Hector
Macgoblin--you know, this doctor that helps write the high-minded
hymns for Buzz--they've realized that this country has gone so
flabby that any gang daring enough and unscrupulous enough, and
smart enough not to SEEM illegal, can grab hold of the entire
government and have all the power and applause and salutes, all the
money and palaces and willin' women they want.

"They're only a handful, but just think how small Lenin's gang was
at first, and Mussolini's, and Hitler's, and Kemal Pasha's, and
Napoleon's!  You'll see all the liberal preachers and modernist
educators and discontented newspapermen and farm agitators--maybe
they'll worry at first, but they'll get caught up in the web of
propaganda, like we all were in the Great War, and they'll all be
convinced that, even if our Buzzy maybe HAS got a few faults, he's
on the side of the plain people, and against all the tight old
political machines, and they'll rouse the country for him as the
Great Liberator (and meanwhile Big Business will just wink and sit
tight!) and then, by God, this crook--oh, I don't know whether he's
more of a crook or an hysterical religious fanatic--along with
Sarason and Haik and Prang and Macgoblin--these five men will be
able to set up a régime that'll remind you of Henry Morgan the
pirate capturing a merchant ship."

"But will Americans stand for it long?" whimpered Emma.  "Oh, no,
not people like us--the descendants of the pioneers!"

"Dunno.  I'm going to try help see that they don't. . . .  Of
course you understand that you and I and Sissy and Fowler and Mary
will probably be shot if I do try to do anything. . . .  Hm!  I
sound brave enough now, but probably I'll be scared to death when I
hear Buzz's private troops go marching by!"

"Oh, you will be careful, won't you?" begged Emma.  "Oh.  Before I
forget it.  How many times must I tell you, Dormouse, not to give
Foolish chicken bones--they'll stick in his poor throat and choke
him to death.  And you just NEVER remember to take the keys out of
the car when you put it in the garage at night!  I'm perfectly SURE
Shad Ledue or somebody will steal it one of these nights!"

Father Stephen Perefixe, when he read the Fifteen Points, was
considerably angrier than Doremus.

He snorted, "What?  Negroes, Jews, women--they all banned and they
leave us Catholics out, this time?  Hitler didn't neglect us.  HE'S
persecuted us.  Must be that Charley Coughlin.  He's made us too

Sissy, who was eager to go to a school of architecture and become a
creator of new styles in houses of glass and steel; Lorinda Pike,
who had plans for a Carlsbad-Vichy-Saratoga in Vermont; Mrs. Candy,
who aspired to a home bakery of her own when she should be too old
for domestic labor--they were all of them angrier than either
Doremus or Father Perefixe.

Sissy sounded not like a flirtatious girl but like a battling woman
as she snarled, "So the League of Forgotten Men is going to make us
a League of Forgotten Women!  Send us back to washing diapers and
leaching out ashes for soap!  Let us read Louisa May Alcott and
Barne--except on the Sabbath, of course!  Let us sleep in humble
gratitude with men--"

"SISSY!" wailed her mother.

"--like Shad Ledue!  Well, Dad, you can sit right down and write
Busy Berzelius for me that I'm going to England on the next boat!"

Mrs. Candy stopped drying the water glasses (with the soft
dishtowels which she scrupulously washed out daily) long enough to
croak, "What nasty men!  I do hope they get shot soon," which for
Mrs. Candy was a startlingly long and humanitarian statement.

"Yes.  Nasty enough.  But what I've got to keep remembering is that
Windrip is only the lightest cork on the whirlpool.  He didn't plot
all this thing.  With all the justified discontent there is against
the smart politicians and the Plush Horses of Plutocracy--oh, if it
hadn't been one Windrip, it'd been another. . . .  We had it
coming, we Respectables. . . .  But that isn't going to make us
like it!" thought Doremus.


Those who have never been on the inside in the Councils of State
can never realize that with really high-class Statesmen, their
chief quality is not political canniness, but a big, rich,
overflowing Love for all sorts and conditions of people and for the
whole land.  That Love and that Patriotism have been my sole
guiding principles in Politics.  My one ambition is to get all
Americans to realize that they are, and must continue to be, the
greatest Race on the face of this old Earth, and second, to realize
that whatever apparent Differences there may be among us, in
wealth, knowledge, skill, ancestry or strength--though, of course,
all this does not apply to people who are RACIALLY different from
us--we are all brothers, bound together in the great and wonderful
bond of National Unity, for which we should all be very glad.  And
I think we ought to for this be willing to sacrifice any individual
gains at all.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

Berzelius Windrip, of whom in late summer and early autumn of 1936
there were so many published photographs--showing him popping into
cars and out of aeroplanes, dedicating bridges, eating corn pone
and side-meat with Southerners and clam chowder and bran with
Northerners, addressing the American Legion, the Liberty League,
the Y.M.H.A., the Young People's Socialist League, the Elks, the
Bartenders' and Waiters' Union, the Anti-Saloon League, the Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Afghanistan--showing him
kissing lady centenarians and shaking hands with ladies called
Madame, but never the opposite--showing him in Savile Row riding-
clothes on Long Island and in overalls and a khaki shirt in the
Ozarks--this Buzz Windrip was almost a dwarf, yet with an enormous
head, a bloodhound head, of huge ears, pendulous cheeks, mournful
eyes.  He had a luminous, ungrudging smile which (declared the
Washington correspondents) he turned on and off deliberately, like
an electric light, but which could make his ugliness more
attractive than the simpers of any pretty man.

His hair was so coarse and black and straight, and worn so long in
the back, that it hinted of Indian blood.  In the Senate he
preferred clothes that suggested the competent insurance salesman,
but when farmer constituents were in Washington he appeared in an
historic ten-gallon hat with a mussy gray "cutaway" which somehow
you erroneously remembered as a black "Prince Albert."

In that costume, he looked like a sawed-off museum model of a
medicine-show "doctor," and indeed it was rumored that during one
law-school vacation Buzz Windrip had played the banjo and done card
tricks and handed down medicine bottles and managed the shell game
for no less scientific an expedition than Old Dr. Alagash's
Traveling Laboratory, which specialized in the Choctaw Cancer Cure,
the Chinook Consumption Soother, and the Oriental Remedy for Piles
and Rheumatism Prepared from a World-old Secret Formula by the
Gipsy Princess, Queen Peshawara.  The company, ardently assisted by
Buzz, killed off quite a number of persons who, but for their
confidence in Dr. Alagash's bottles of water, coloring matter,
tobacco juice, and raw corn whisky, might have gone early enough to
doctors.  But since then, Windrip had redeemed himself, no doubt,
by ascending from the vulgar fraud of selling bogus medicine,
standing in front of a megaphone, to the dignity of selling bogus
economics, standing on an indoor platform under mercury-vapor
lights in front of a microphone.

He was in stature but a small man, yet remember that so were
Napoleon, Lord Beaverbrook, Stephen A. Douglas, Frederick the
Great, and the Dr. Goebbels who is privily known throughout Germany
as "Wotan's Mickey Mouse."

Doremus Jessup, so inconspicuous an observer, watching Senator
Windrip from so humble a Boeotia, could not explain his power of
bewitching large audiences.  The Senator was vulgar, almost
illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his "ideas"
almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling
salesman for church furniture, and his yet more celebrated humor
the sly cynicism of a country store.

Certainly there was nothing exhilarating in the actual words of his
speeches, nor anything convincing in his philosophy.  His political
platforms were only wings of a windmill.  Seven years before his
present credo--derived from Lee Sarason, Hitler, Gottfried Feder,
Rocco, and probably the revue Of Thee I Sing--little Buzz, back
home, had advocated nothing more revolutionary than better beef
stew in the county poor-farms, and plenty of graft for loyal
machine politicians, with jobs for their brothers-in-law, nephews,
law partners, and creditors.

Doremus had never heard Windrip during one of his orgasms of
oratory, but he had been told by political reporters that under the
spell you thought Windrip was Plato, but that on the way home you
could not remember anything he had said.

There were two things, they told Doremus, that distinguished this
prairie Demosthenes.  He was an actor of genius.  There was no more
overwhelming actor on the stage, in the motion pictures, nor even
in the pulpit.  He would whirl arms, bang tables, glare from mad
eyes, vomit Biblical wrath from a gaping mouth; but he would also
coo like a nursing mother, beseech like an aching lover, and in
between tricks would coldly and almost contemptuously jab his
crowds with figures and facts--figures and facts that were
inescapable even when, as often happened, they were entirely

But below this surface stagecraft was his uncommon natural ability
to be authentically excited by and with his audience, and they by
and with him.  He could dramatize his assertion that he was neither
a Nazi nor a Fascist but a Democrat--a homespun Jeffersonian-
Lincolnian-Clevelandian-Wilsonian Democrat--and (sans scenery and
costume) make you see him veritably defending the Capitol against
barbarian hordes, the while he innocently presented as his own
warm-hearted Democratic inventions, every anti-libertarian, anti-
Semitic madness of Europe.

Aside from his dramatic glory, Buzz Windrip was a Professional
Common Man.

Oh, he was common enough.  He had every prejudice and aspiration of
every American Common Man.  He believed in the desirability and
therefore the sanctity of thick buckwheat cakes with adulterated
maple syrup, in rubber trays for the ice cubes in his electric
refrigerator, in the especial nobility of dogs, all dogs, in the
oracles of S. Parkes Cadman, in being chummy with all waitresses at
all junction lunch rooms, and in Henry Ford (when he became
President, he exulted, maybe he could get Mr. Ford to come to
supper at the White House), and the superiority of anyone who
possessed a million dollars.  He regarded spats, walking sticks,
caviar, titles, tea-drinking, poetry not daily syndicated in
newspapers and all foreigners, possibly excepting the British, as

But he was the Common Man twenty-times-magnified by his oratory, so
that while the other Commoners could understand his every purpose,
which was exactly the same as their own, they saw him towering
among them, and they raised hands to him in worship.

In the greatest of all native American arts (next to the talkies,
and those Spirituals in which Negroes express their desire to go to
heaven, to St. Louis, or almost any place distant from the romantic
old plantations), namely, in the art of Publicity, Lee Sarason was
in no way inferior even to such acknowledged masters as Edward
Bernays, the late Theodore Roosevelt, Jack Dempsey, and Upton

Sarason had, as it was scientifically called, been "building up"
Senator Windrip for seven years before his nomination as President.
Where other Senators were encouraged by their secretaries and wives
(no potential dictator ought ever to have a visible wife, and none
ever has had, except Napoleon) to expand from village back-slapping
to noble, rotund, Ciceronian gestures, Sarason had encouraged
Windrip to keep up in the Great World all of the clownishness which
(along with considerable legal shrewdness and the endurance to make
ten speeches a day) had endeared him to his simple-hearted
constituents in his native state.

Windrip danced a hornpipe before an alarmed academic audience when
he got his first honorary degree; he kissed Miss Flandreau at the
South Dakota beauty contest; he entertained the Senate, or at least
the Senate galleries, with detailed accounts of how to catch
catfish--from the bait-digging to the ultimate effects of the jug
of corn whisky; he challenged the venerable Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court to a duel with sling-shots.

Though she was not visible, Windrip did have a wife--Sarason had
none, nor was likely to; and Walt Trowbridge was a widower.  Buzz's
lady stayed back home, raising spinach and chickens and telling the
neighbors that she expected to go to Washington NEXT year, the
while Windrip was informing the press that his "Frau" was so
edifyingly devoted to their two small children and to Bible study
that she simply could not be coaxed to come East.

But when it came to assembling a political machine, Windrip had no
need of counsel from Lee Sarason.

Where Buzz was, there were the vultures also.  His hotel suite, in
the capital city of his home state, in Washington, in New York, or
in Kansas City, was like--well, Frank Sullivan once suggested that
it resembled the office of a tabloid newspaper upon the impossible
occasion of Bishop Cannon's setting fire to St. Patrick's
Cathedral, kidnaping the Dionne quintuplets, and eloping with Greta
Garbo in a stolen tank.

In the "parlor" of any of these suites, Buzz Windrip sat in the
middle of the room, a telephone on the floor beside him, and for
hours he shrieked at the instrument, "Hello--yuh--speaking," or at
the door, "Come in--come in!" and "Sit down 'n' take a load off
your feet!"  All day, all night till dawn, he would be bellowing,
"Tell him he can take his bill and go climb a tree," or "Why
certainly, old man--tickled to death to support it--utility
corporations cer'nly been getting a raw deal," and "You tell the
Governor I want Kippy elected sheriff and I want the indictment
against him quashed and I want it damn quick!"  Usually, squatted
there cross-legged, he would be wearing a smart belted camel's-hair
coat with an atrocious checked cap.

In a fury, as he was at least every quarter hour, he would leap up,
peel off the overcoat (showing either a white boiled shirt and
clerical black bow, or a canary-yellow silk shirt with a scarlet
tie), fling it on the floor, and put it on again with slow dignity,
while he bellowed his anger like Jeremiah cursing Jerusalem, or
like a sick cow mourning its kidnaped young.

There came to him stockbrokers, labor leaders, distillers, anti-
vivisectionists, vegetarians, disbarred shyster lawyers,
missionaries to China, lobbyists for oil and electricity, advocates
of war and of war against war.  "Gaw!  Every guy in the country
with a bad case of the gimmes comes to see me!" he growled to
Sarason.  He promised to further their causes, to get an
appointment to West Point for the nephew who had just lost his job
in the creamery.  He promised fellow politicians to support their
bills if they would support his.  He gave interviews upon
subsistence farming, backless bathing suits, and the secret
strategy of the Ethiopian army.  He grinned and knee-patted and
back-slapped; and few of his visitors, once they had talked with
him, failed to look upon him as their Little Father and to support
him forever. . . .  The few who did fail, most of them newspapermen,
disliked the smell of him more than before they had met him. . . .
Even they, by the unusual spiritedness and color of their attacks
upon him, kept his name alive in every column. . . .  By the time he
had been a Senator for one year, his machine was as complete and
smooth-running--and as hidden away from ordinary passengers--as the
engines of a liner.

On the beds in any of his suites there would, at the same time,
repose three top-hats, two clerical hats, a green object with a
feather, a brown derby, a taxi-driver's cap, and nine ordinary,
Christian brown felts.

Once, within twenty-seven minutes, he talked on the telephone from
Chicago to Palo Alto, Washington, Buenos Aires, Wilmette, and
Oklahoma City.  Once, in half a day, he received sixteen calls from
clergymen asking him to condemn the dirty burlesque show, and seven
from theatrical promoters and real-estate owners asking him to
praise it.  He called the clergymen "Doctor" or "Brother" or both;
he called the promoters "Buddy" and "Pal"; he gave equally ringing
promises to both; and for both he loyally did nothing whatever.

Normally, he would not have thought of cultivating foreign
alliances, though he never doubted that some day, as President, he
would be leader of the world orchestra.  Lee Sarason insisted that
Buzz look into a few international fundamentals, such as the
relationship of sterling to the lira, the proper way in which to
address a baronet, the chances of the Archduke Otto, the London
oyster bars and the brothels near the Boulevard de Sebastopol best
to recommend to junketing Representatives.

But the actual cultivation of foreign diplomats resident in
Washington he left to Sarason, who entertained them on terrapin and
canvasback duck with black-currant jelly, in his apartment that was
considerably more tapestried than Buzz's own ostentatiously simple
Washington quarters. . . .  However, in Sarason's place, a room
with a large silk-hung Empire double bed was reserved for Buzz.

It was Sarason who had persuaded Windrip to let him write Zero
Hour, based on Windrip's own dictated notes, and who had beguiled
millions into reading--and even thousands into buying--that Bible
of Economic Justice; Sarason who had perceived there was now such a
spate of private political weeklies and monthlies that it was a
distinction not to publish one; Sarason who had the inspiration for
Buzz's emergency radio address at 3 A.M. upon the occasion of the
Supreme Court's throttling the N.R.A., in May, 1935. . . .  Though
not many adherents, including Buzz himself, were quite certain as
to whether he was pleased or disappointed; though not many actually
heard the broadcast itself, everyone in the country except sheep-
herders and Professor Albert Einstein heard about it and was

Yet it was Buzz who all by himself thought of first offending the
Duke of York by refusing to appear at the Embassy dinner for him in
December, 1935, thus gaining, in all farm kitchens and parsonages
and barrooms, a splendid reputation for Homespun Democracy; and of
later mollifying His Highness by calling on him with a touching
little home bouquet of geraniums (from the hothouse of the Japanese
ambassador), which endeared him, if not necessarily to Royalty yet
certainly to the D.A.R., the English-Speaking Union, and all
motherly hearts who thought the pudgy little bunch of geraniums too
sweet for anything.

By the newspapermen Buzz was credited with having insisted on the
nomination of Perley Beecroft for vice-president at the Democratic
convention, after Doremus Jessup had frenetically ceased listening.
Beecroft was a Southern tobacco-planter and storekeeper, an ex-
Governor of his state, married to an ex-schoolteacher from Maine
who was sufficiently scented with salt spray and potato blossoms to
win any Yankee.  But it was not his geographical superiority which
made Mr. Beecroft the perfect running mate for Buzz Windrip but
that he was malaria-yellowed and laxly mustached, where Buzz's
horsey face was ruddy and smooth; while Beecroft's oratory had a
vacuity, a profundity of slowly enunciated nonsense, which beguiled
such solemn deacons as were irritated by Buzz's cataract of slang.

Nor could Sarason ever have convinced the wealthy that the more
Buzz denounced them and promised to distribute their millions to
the poor, the more they could trust his "common sense" and finance
his campaign.  But with a hint, a grin, a wink, a handshake, Buzz
could convince them, and their contributions came in by the hundred
thousand, often disguised as assessments on imaginary business

It had been the peculiar genius of Berzelius Windrip not to wait
until he should be nominated for this office or that to begin
shanghaiing his band of buccaneers.  He had been coaxing in
supporters ever since the day when, at the age of four, he had
captivated a neighborhood comrade by giving him an ammonia pistol
which later he thriftily stole back from the comrade's pocket.
Buzz might not have learned, perhaps could not have learned, much
from sociologists Charles Beard and John Dewey, but they could have
learned a great deal from Buzz.

And it was Buzz's, not Sarason's, master stroke that, as warmly as
he advocated everyone's getting rich by just voting to be rich, he
denounced all "Fascism" and "Nazi-ism," so that most of the
Republicans who were afraid of Democratic Fascism, and all the
Democrats who were afraid of Republican Fascism, were ready to vote
for him.


While I hate befogging my pages with scientific technicalities and
even neologies, I feel constrained to say here that the most
elementary perusal of the Economy of Abundance would convince any
intelligent student that the Cassandras who miscall the much-needed
increase in the fluidity of our currential circulation "Inflation,"
erroneously basing their parallel upon the inflationary misfortunes
of certain European nations in the era 1919-1923, fallaciously and
perhaps inexcusably fail to comprehend the different monetary
status in America inherent in our vastly greater reservoir of
Natural Resources.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

Most of the mortgaged farmers.

Most of the white-collar workers who had been unemployed these
three years and four and five.

Most of the people on relief rolls who wanted more relief.

Most of the suburbanites who could not meet the installment
payments on the electric washing machine.

Such large sections of the American Legion as believed that only
Senator Windrip would secure for them, and perhaps increase, the

Such popular Myrtle Boulevard or Elm Avenue preachers as, spurred
by the examples of Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin, believed they
could get useful publicity out of supporting a slightly queer
program that promised prosperity without anyone's having to work
for it.

The remnants of the Kuklux Klan, and such leaders of the American
Federation of Labor as felt they had been inadequately courted and
bepromised by the old-line politicians, and the non-unionized
common laborers who felt they had been inadequately courted by the
same A.F. of L.

Back-street and over-the-garage lawyers who had never yet wangled
governmental jobs.

The Lost Legion of the Anti-Saloon League--since it was known that,
though he drank a lot, Senator Windrip also praised teetotalism a
lot, while his rival, Walt Trowbridge, though he drank but little,
said nothing at all in support of the Messiahs of Prohibition.
These messiahs had not found professional morality profitable of
late, with the Rockefellers and Wanamakers no longer praying with
them nor paying.

Besides these necessitous petitioners, a goodish number of burghers
who, while they were millionaires, yet maintained that their
prosperity had been sorely checked by the fiendishness of the
bankers in limiting their credit.

These were the supporters who looked to Berzelius Windrip to play
the divine raven and feed them handsomely when he should become
President, and from such came most of the fervid elocutionists who
campaigned for him through September and October.

Pushing in among this mob of camp followers who identified
political virtue with money for their rent came a flying squad who
suffered not from hunger but from congested idealism: Intellectuals
and Reformers and even Rugged Individualists, who saw in Windrip,
for all his clownish swindlerism, a free vigor which promised a
rejuvenation of the crippled and senile capitalistic system.

Upton Sinclair wrote about Buzz and spoke for him just as in 1917,
unyielding pacifist though he was, Mr. Sinclair had advocated
America's whole-hearted prosecution of the Great War, foreseeing
that it would unquestionably exterminate German militarism and thus
forever end all wars.  Most of the Morgan partners, though they may
have shuddered a little at association with Upton Sinclair, saw
that, however much income they themselves might have to sacrifice,
only Windrip could start the Business Recovery; while Bishop
Manning of New York City pointed out that Windrip always spoke
reverently of the church and its shepherds, whereas Walt Trowbridge
went horseback-riding every Sabbath morning and had never been
known to telegraph any female relative on Mother's Day.

On the other hand, the Saturday Evening Post enraged the small
shopkeepers by calling Wmdrip a demagogue, and the New York Times,
once Independent Democrat, was anti-Windrip.  But most of the
religious periodicals announced that with a saint like Bishop Prang
for backer, Windrip must have been called of God.

Even Europe joined in.

With the most modest friendliness, explaining that they wished not
to intrude on American domestic politics but only to express
personal admiration for that great Western advocate of peace and
prosperity, Berzelius Windrip, there came representatives of
certain foreign powers, lecturing throughout the land: General
Balbo, so popular here because of his leadership of the flight from
Italy to Chicago in 1933; a scholar who, though he now lived in
Germany and was an inspiration to all patriotic leaders of German
Recovery, yet had graduated from Harvard University and had been
the most popular piano-player in his class--namely, Dr. Ernst
(Putzi) Hanfstängl; and Great Britain's lion of diplomacy, the
Gladstone of the 1930's, the handsome and gracious Lord Lossiemouth
who, as Prime Minister, had been known as the Rt. Hon. Ramsay
MacDonald, P.C.

All three of them were expensively entertained by the wives of
manufacturers, and they persuaded many millionaires who, in the
refinement of wealth, had considered Buzz vulgar, that actually he
was the world's one hope of efficient international commerce.

Father Coughlin took one look at all the candidates and indignantly
retired to his cell.

Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch, who would surely have written to the
friends she had made at the Rotary Club Dinner in Fort Beulah if
she could only have remembered the name of the town, was a
considerable figure in the campaign.  She explained to women voters
how kind it was of Senator Windrip to let them go on voting, so
far; and she sang "Berzelius Windrip's gone to Wash." an average of
eleven times a day.

Buzz himself, Bishop Prang, Senator Porkwood (the fearless Liberal
and friend of labor and the farmers), and Colonel Osceola Luthorne,
the editor, though their prime task was reaching millions by radio,
also, in a forty-day tram trip, traveled over 27,000 miles, through
every state in the Union, on the scarlet-and-silver, ebony-paneled,
silk-upholstered, streamlined, Diesel-engined, rubber-padded, air-
conditioned, aluminum Forgotten Men Special.

It had a private bar that was forgotten by none save the Bishop.

The train fares were the generous gift of the combined railways.

Over six hundred speeches were discharged, ranging from eight-
minute hallos delivered to the crowds gathered at stations, to two-
hour fulminations in auditoriums and fairgrounds.  Buzz was present
at every speech, usually starring, but sometimes so hoarse that he
could only wave his hand and croak, "Howdy, folks!" while he was
spelled by Prang, Porkwood, Colonel Luthorne, or such volunteers
from his regiment of secretaries, doctoral consulting specialists
in history and economics, cooks, bartenders, and barbers, as could
be lured away from playing craps with the accompanying reporters,
photographers, sound-recorders, and broadcasters.  Tieffer of the
United Press has estimated that Buzz thus appeared personally
before more than two million persons.

Meanwhile, almost daily hurtling by aeroplane between Washington
and Buzz's home, Lee Sarason supervised dozens of telephone girls
and scores of girl stenographers, who answered thousands of daily
telephone calls and letters and telegrams and cables--and boxes
containing poisoned candy. . . .  Buzz himself had made the rule
that all these girls must be pretty, reasonable, thoroughly
skilled, and related to people with political influence.

For Sarason it must be said that in this bedlam of "public
relations" he never once used CONTACT as a transitive verb.

The Hon. Perley Beecroft, vice-presidential candidate, specialized
on the conventions of fraternal orders, religious denominations,
insurance agents, and traveling men.

Colonel Dewey Haik, who had nominated Buzz at Cleveland, had an
assignment unique in campaigning--one of Sarason's slickest
inventions.  Haik spoke for Windrip not in the most frequented,
most obvious places, but at places so unusual that his appearance
there made news--and Sarason and Haik saw to it that there were
nimble chroniclers present to get that news.  Flying in his own
plane, covering a thousand miles a day, he spoke to nine astonished
miners whom he caught in a copper mine a mile below the surface--
while thirty-nine photographers snapped the nine; he spoke from a
motorboat to a stilled fishing fleet during a fog in Gloucester
harbor; he spoke from the steps of the Sub-Treasury at noon on Wall
Street; he spoke to the aviators and ground crew at Shushan
Airport, New Orleans--and even the flyers were ribald only for the
first five minutes, till he had described Buzz Windrip's gallant
but ludicrous efforts to learn to fly; he spoke to state policemen,
to stamp-collectors, players of chess in secret clubs, and
steeplejacks at work; he spoke in breweries, hospitals, magazine
offices, cathedrals, crossroad churches forty-by-thirty, prisons,
lunatic asylums, night clubs--till the art editors began to send
photographers the memo:  "For Pete's sake, no more fotos Kunnel
Haik spieling in sporting houses and hoose-gow."

Yet went on using the pictures.

For Colonel Dewey Haik was a figure as sharp-lighted, almost, as
Buzz Windrip himself.  Son of a decayed Tennessee family, with one
Confederate general grandfather and one a Dewey of Vermont, he had
picked cotton, become a youthful telegraph operator, worked his way
through the University of Arkansas and the University of Missouri
law school, settled as a lawyer in a Wyoming village and then in
Oregon, and during the war (he was in 1936 but forty-four years
old) served in France as captain of infantry, with credit.
Returned to America, he had been elected to Congress, and become a
colonel in the militia.  He studied military history; he learned to
fly, to box, to fence; he was a ramrod-like figure yet had a fairly
amiable smile; he was liked equally by disciplinary army officers
of high rank, and by such roughnecks as Mr. Shad Ledue, the Caliban
of Doremus Jessup.

Haik brought to Buzz's fold the very picaroons who had most
snickered at Bishop Prang's solemnity.

All this while, Hector Macgoblin, the cultured doctor and burly
boxing fan, co-author with Sarason of the campaign anthem, "Bring
Out the Old-time Musket," was specializing in the inspiration of
college professors, associations of high-school teachers,
professional baseball teams, training-camps of pugilists, medical
meetings, summer schools in which well-known authors taught the art
of writing to earnest aspirants who could never learn to write,
golf tournaments, and all such cultural congresses.

But the pugilistic Dr. Macgoblin came nearer to danger than any
other campaigner.  During a meeting in Alabama, where he had
satisfactorily proved that no Negro with less than 25 per cent
"white blood" can ever rise to the cultural level of a patent-
medicine salesman, the meeting was raided, the costly residence
section of the whites was raided, by a band of colored people
headed by a Negro who had been a corporal on the Western Front in
1918.  Macgoblin and the town were saved by the eloquence of a
colored clergyman.

Truly, as Bishop Prang said, the apostles of Senator Windrip were
now preaching his Message unto all manner of men, even unto the

But what Doremus Jessup said, to Buck Titus and Father Perefixe,

"This is Revolution in terms of Rotary."


When I was a kid, one time I had an old-maid teacher that used to
tell me, "Buzz, you're the thickest-headed dunce in school."  But I
noticed that she told me this a whole lot oftener than she used to
tell the other kids how smart they were, and I came to be the most
talked-about scholar in the whole township.  The United States
Senate isn't so different, and I want to thank a lot of stuffed
shirts for their remarks about Yours Truly.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

But there were certain of the Heathen who did not heed those
heralds Prang and Windrip and Haik and Dr. Macgoblin.

Walt Trowbridge conducted his campaign as placidly as though he
were certain to win.  He did not spare himself, but he did not moan
over the Forgotten Men (he'd been one himself, as a youngster, and
didn't think it was so bad!) nor become hysterical at a private bar
in a scarlet-and-silver special tram.  Quietly, steadfastly,
speaking on the radio and in a few great halls, he explained that
he did advocate an enormously improved distribution of wealth, but
that it must be achieved by steady digging and not by dynamite that
would destroy more than it excavated.  He wasn't particularly
thrilling.  Economics rarely are, except when they have been
dramatized by a Bishop, staged and lighted by a Sarason, and
passionately played by a Buzz Windrip with rapier and blue satin

For the campaign the Communists had brightly brought out their
sacrificial candidates--in fact, all seven of the current Communist
parties had.  Since, if they all stuck together, they might entice
900,000 votes, they had avoided such bourgeois grossness by
enthusiastic schisms, and their creeds now included:  THE Party,
the Majority Party, the Leftist Party, the Trotzky Party, the
Christian Communist Party, the Workers' Party, and, less baldly
named, something called the American Nationalist Patriotic
Cooperative Fabian Post-Marxian Communist Party--it sounded like
the names of royalty but was otherwise dissimilar.

But these radical excursions were not very significant compared
with the new Jeffersonian Party, suddenly fathered by Franklin D.

Forty-eight hours after the nomination of Windrip at Cleveland,
President Roosevelt had issued his defiance.

Senator Windrip, he asserted, had been chosen "not by the brains
and hearts of genuine Democrats but by their temporarily crazed
emotions."  He would no more support Windrip because he claimed to
be a Democrat than he would support Jimmy Walker.

Yet, he said, he could not vote for the Republican Party, the
"party of intrenched special privilege," however much, in the past
three years, he had appreciated the loyalty, the honesty, the
intelligence of Senator Walt Trowbridge.

Roosevelt made it clear that his Jeffersonian or True Democratic
faction was not a "third party" in the sense that it was to be
permanent.  It was to vanish as soon as honest and coolly thinking
men got control again of the old organization.  Buzz Windrip
aroused mirth by dubbing it the "Bull Mouse Party," but President
Roosevelt was joined by almost all the liberal members of Congress,
Democratic or Republican, who had not followed Walt Trowbridge; by
Norman Thomas and the Socialists who had not turned Communist; by
Governors Floyd Olson and Olin Johnston; and by Mayor La Guardia.

The conspicuous fault of the Jeffersonian Party, like the personal
fault of Senator Trowbridge, was that it represented integrity and
reason, in a year when the electorate hungered for frisky emotions,
for the peppery sensations associated, usually, not with monetary
systems and taxation rates but with baptism by immersion in the
creek, young love under the elms, straight whisky, angelic
orchestras heard soaring down from the full moon, fear of death
when an automobile teeters above a canyon, thirst in a desert and
quenching it with spring water--all the primitive sensations which
they thought they found in the screaming of Buzz Windrip.

Far from the hot-lighted ballrooms where all these crimson-tuniced
bandmasters shrillsquabbled as to which should lead for the moment
the tremendous spiritual jazz, far off in the cool hills a little
man named Doremus Jessup, who wasn't even a bass drummer but only a
citizen editor, wondered in confusion what he should do to be

He wanted to follow Roosevelt and the Jeffersonian Party--partly
for admiration of the man; partly for the pleasure of shocking the
ingrown Republicanism of Vermont.  But he could not believe that
the Jeffersonians would have a chance; he did believe that, for all
the mothball odor of many of his associates, Walt Trowbridge was a
valiant and competent man; and night and day Doremus bounced up and
down Beulah Valley campaigning for Trowbridge.

Out of his very confusion there came into his writing a desperate
sureness which surprised accustomed readers of the Informer.  For
once he was not amused and tolerant.  Though he never said anything
worse of the Jeffersonian Party than that it was ahead of its
times, in both editorials and news stories he went after Buzz
Windrip and his gang with whips, turpentine, and scandal.

In person, he was into and out of shops and houses all morning
long, arguing with voters, getting miniature interviews.

He had expected that traditionally Republican Vermont would give
him too drearily easy a task in preaching Trowbridge.  What he
found was a dismaying preference for the theoretically Democratic
Buzz Windrip.  And that preference, Doremus perceived, wasn't even
a pathetic trust in Windrip's promises of Utopian bliss for
everyone in general.  It was a trust in increased cash for the
voter himself, and for his family, very much in particular.

Most of them had, among all the factors in the campaign, noticed
only what they regarded as Windrip's humor, and three planks in his
platform: Five, which promised to increase taxes on the rich;
Ten, which condemned the Negroes--since nothing so elevates a
dispossessed farmer or a factory worker on relief as to have some
race, any race, on which he can look down; and, especially, Eleven,
which announced, or seemed to announce, that the average toiler
would immediately receive $5000 a year.  (And ever-so-many railway-
station debaters explained that it would really be $10,000.  Why,
they were going to have every cent offered by Dr. Townsend, plus
everything planned by the late Huey Long, Upton Sinclair, and the
Utopians, all put together!)

So beatifically did hundreds of old people in Beulah Valley believe
this that they smilingly trotted into Raymond Pridewell's hardware
store, to order new kitchen stoves and aluminum sauce pans and
complete bathroom furnishings, to be paid for on the day after
inauguration.  Mr. Pridewell, a cobwebbed old Henry Cabot Lodge
Republican, lost half his trade by chasing out these happy heirs to
fabulous estates, but they went on dreaming, and Doremus, nagging
at them, discovered that mere figures are defenseless against a
dream . . . even a dream of new Plymouths and unlimited cans of
sausages and motion-picture cameras and the prospect of never
having to arise till 7:30 A.M.

Thus answered Alfred Tizra, "Snake" Tizra, friend to Doremus's
handyman, Shad Ledue.  Snake was a steel-tough truck-driver and
taxi-owner who had served sentences for assault and for
transporting bootleg liquor.  He had once made a living catching
rattlesnakes and copperheads in southern New England.  Under
President Windrip, Snake jeeringly assured Doremus, he would have
enough money to start a chain of roadhouses in all the dry
communities in Vermont.

Ed Howland, one of the lesser Fort Beulah grocers, and Charley
Betts, furniture and undertaking, while they were dead against
anyone getting groceries, furniture, or even undertaking on Windrip
credit, were all for the population's having credit on other wares.

Aras Dilley, a squatter dairy farmer living with a toothless wife
and seven slattern children in a tilted and unscrubbed cabin way up
on Mount Terror, snarled at Doremus--who had often taken food
baskets and boxes of shotgun shells and masses of cigarettes to
Aras--"Well, want to tell you, when Mr. Windrip gets in, we farmers
are going to fix our own prices on our crops, and not you smart
city fellows!"

Doremus could not blame him.  While Buck Titus, at fifty, looked
thirty-odd, Aras, at thirty-four, looked fifty.

Lorinda Pike's singularly unpleasant partner in the Beulah Valley
Tavern, one Mr. Nipper, whom she hoped soon to lose, combined
boasting how rich he was with gloating how much more he was going
to get under Windrip.  "Professor" Staubmeyer quoted nice things
Windrip had said about higher pay for teachers.  Louis Rotenstern,
to prove that his heart, at least, was not Jewish, became more
lyric than any of them.  And even Frank Tasbrough of the quarries,
Medary Cole of the grist mill and real-estate holdings, R. C.
Crowley of the bank, who presumably were not tickled by projects of
higher income taxes, smiled pussy-cattishly and hinted that Windrip
was a "lot sounder fellow" than people knew.

But no one in Fort Beulah was a more active crusader for Buzz
Windrip than Shad Ledue.

Doremus had known that Shad possessed talent for argument and for
display; that he had once persuaded old Mr. Pridewell to trust him
for a .22 rifle, value twenty-three dollars; that, removed from the
sphere of coal bins and grass-stained overalls, he had once sung
"Rollicky Bill the Sailor" at a smoker of the Ancient and
Independent Order of Rams; and that he had enough memory to be able
to quote, as his own profound opinions, the editorials in the
Hearst newspapers.  Yet even knowing all this equipment for a
political career, an equipment not much short of Buzz Windrip's,
Doremus was surprised to find Shad soap-boxing for Windrip among
the quarry-workers, then actually as chairman of a rally in
Oddfellows' Hall.  Shad spoke little, but with brutal taunting of
the believers in Trowbridge and Roosevelt.

At meetings where he did not speak, Shad was an incomparable
bouncer, and in that valued capacity he was summoned to Windrip
rallies as far away as Burlington.  It was he who, in a militia
uniform, handsomely riding a large white plow-horse, led the final
Windrip parade in Rutland . . . and substantial men of affairs,
even dry-goods jobbers, fondly called him "Shad."

Doremus was amazed, felt a little apologetic over his failure to
have appreciated this new-found paragon, as he sat in American
Legion Hall and heard Shad bellowing:  "I don't pretend to be
anything but a plain working-stiff, but there's forty million
workers like me, and we know that Senator Windrip is the first
statesman in years that thinks of what guys like us need before he
thinks one doggone thing about politics.  Come on, you bozos!  The
swell folks tell you to not be selfish!  Walt Trowbridge tells you
to not be selfish!  Well, BE selfish, and vote for the one man
that's willing to GIVE you something--give YOU something!--and not
just grab off every cent and every hour of work that he can get!"

Doremus groaned inwardly, "Oh, my Shad!  And you're doing most of
this on my time!"

Sissy Jessup sat on the running board of her coupe (hers by
squatter's right), with Julian Falck, up from Amherst for the week-
end, and Malcolm Tasbrough wedged in on either side of her.

"Oh nuts, let's quit talking politics.  Windrip's going to be
elected, so why waste time yodeling when we could drive down to the
river and have a swim," complained Malcolm.

"He's not going to win without our putting up a tough scrap against
him.  I'm going to talk to the high-school alumni this evening--
about how they got to tell their parents to vote for either
Trowbridge or Roosevelt," snapped Julian Falck.

"Haa, haa, haa!  And of course the parents will be tickled to death
to do whatever you tell 'em, Yulian!  You college men certainly are
the goods!  Besides--Want to be serious about this fool business?"
Malcolm had the insolent self-assurance of beef, slick black hair,
and a large car of his own; he was the perfect leader of Black
Shirts, and he looked contemptuously on Julian who, though a year
older, was pale and thinnish.  "Matter of fact, it'll be a good
thing to have Buzz.  He'll put a damn quick stop to all this
radicalism--all this free speech and libel of our most fundamental

"Boston American; last Tuesday; page eight," murmured Sissy.

"--and no wonder you're scared of him, Yulian!  He sure will drag
some of your favorite Amherst anarchist profs off to the hoosegow,
and maybe you too, Comrade!"

The two young men looked at each other with slow fury.  Sissy
quieted them by raging, "Freavensake!  Will you two heels quit
scrapping? . . .  Oh, my dears, this beastly election!  Beastly!
Seems as if it's breaking up every town, every home. . . .  My poor
Dad!  Doremus is just about all in!"


I shall not be content till this country can produce every single
thing we need, even coffee, cocoa, and rubber, and so keep all our
dollars at home.  If we can do this and at the same time work up
tourist traffic so that foreigners will come from every part of the
world to see such remarkable wonders as the Grand Canyon, Glacier
and Yellowstone etc. parks, the fine hotels of Chicago, & etc.,
thus leaving their money here, we shall have such a balance of
trade as will go far to carry out my often-criticized yet
completely sound idea of from $3000 to $5000 per year for every
single family--that is, I mean every real American family.  Such an
aspiring Vision is what we want, and not all this nonsense of
wasting our time at Geneva and talky-talk at Lugano, wherever that

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

Election day would fall on Tuesday, November third, and on Sunday
evening of the first, Senator Windrip played the finale of his
campaign at a mass meeting in Madison Square Garden, in New York.
The Garden would hold, with seats and standing room, about 19,000,
and a week before the meeting every ticket had been sold--at from
fifty cents to five dollars, and then by speculators resold and
resold, at from one dollar to twenty.

Doremus had been able to get one single ticket from an acquaintance
on one of the Hearst dailies--which, alone among the New York
papers, were supporting Windrip--and on the afternoon of November
first he traveled the three hundred miles to New York for his first
visit in three years.

It had been cold in Vermont, with early snow, but the white drifts
lay to the earth so quietly, in unstained air, that the world
seemed a silver-painted carnival, left to silence.  Even on a
moonless night, a pale radiance came from the snow, from the earth
itself, and the stars were drops of quicksilver.

But, following the redcap carrying his shabby Gladstone bag,
Doremus came out of the Grand Central, at six o'clock, into a gray
trickle of cold dishwater from heaven's kitchen sink.  The renowned
towers which he expected to see on Forty-second Street were dead in
their mummy cloths of ragged fog.  And as to the mob that, with
cruel disinterest, galloped past him, a new and heedless smear of
faces every second, the man from Fort Beulah could think only that
New York must be holding its county fair in this clammy drizzle, or
else that there was a big fire somewhere.

He had sensibly planned to save money by using the subway--the
substantial village burgher is so poor in the city of the
Babylonian gardens!--and he even remembered that there were still
to be found in Manhattan five-cent trolley cars, in which a rustic
might divert himself by looking at sailors and poets and shawled
women from the steppes of Kazakstan.  To the redcap he had piped
with what he conceived to be traveled urbanity, "Guess 'll take a
trolley--jus' few blocks."  But deafened and dizzied and elbow-
jabbed by the crowd, soaked and depressed, he took refuge in a
taxi, then wished he hadn't, as he saw the slippery rubber-colored
pavement, and as his taxi got wedged among other cars stinking of
carbon-monoxide and frenziedly tooting for release from the jam--a
huddle of robot sheep bleating their terror with mechanical lungs
of a hundred horsepower.

He painfully hesitated before going out again from his small hotel
in the West Forties, and when he did, when he muddily crept among
the shrill shopgirls, the weary chorus girls, the hard cigar-
clamping gamblers, and the pretty young men on Broadway, he felt
himself, with the rubbers and umbrella which Emma had forced upon
him, a very Caspar Milquetoast.

He most noticed a number of stray imitation soldiers, without side-
arms or rifles, but in a uniform like that of an American
cavalryman in 1870: slant-topped blue forage caps, dark blue
tunics, light blue trousers, with yellow stripes at the seam,
tucked into leggings of black rubberoid for what appeared to be the
privates, and boots of sleek black leather for officers.  Each of
them had on the right side of his collar the letters "M.M." and on
the left, a five-pointed star.  There were so many of them; they
swaggered so brazenly, shouldering civilians out of the way; and
upon insignificances like Doremus they looked with frigid

He suddenly understood.

These young condottieri were the "Minute Men": the private troops
of Berzelius Windrip, about which Doremus had been publishing
uneasy news reports.  He was thrilled and a little dismayed to see
them now--the printed words made brutal flesh.

Three weeks ago Windrip had announced that Colonel Dewey Haik had
founded, just for the campaign, a nationwide league of Windrip
marching-clubs, to be called the Minute Men.  It was probable that
they had been in formation for months, since already they had three
or four hundred thousand members.  Doremus was afraid the M.M.'s
might become a permanent organization, more menacing than the
Kuklux Klan.

Their uniform suggested the pioneer America of Cold Harbor and of
the Indian fighters under Miles and Custer.  Their emblem, their
swastika (here Doremus saw the cunning and mysticism of Lee
Sarason), was a five-pointed star, because the star on the American
flag was five-pointed, whereas the stars of both the Soviet banner
and the Jews--the seal of Solomon--were six-pointed.

The fact that the Soviet star, actually, was also five-pointed, no
one noticed, during these excited days of regeneration.  Anyway, it
was a nice idea to have this star simultaneously challenge the Jews
and the Bolsheviks--the M.M.'s had good intentions, even if their
symbolism did slip a little.

Yet the craftiest thing about the M.M.'s was that they wore no
colored shirts, but only plain white when on parade, and light
khaki when on outpost duty, so that Buzz Windrip could thunder, and
frequently, "Black shirts?  Brown shirts?  Red shirts?  Yes, and
maybe cow-brindle shirts!  All these degenerate European uniforms
of tyranny!  No sir!  The Minute Men are not Fascist or Communist
or anything at all but plain Democratic--the knight-champions of
the rights of the Forgotten Men--the shock troops of Freedom!"

Doremus dined on Chinese food, his invariable self-indulgence when
he was in a large city without Emma, who stated that chow mein was
nothing but fried excelsior with flour-paste gravy.  He forgot the
leering M.M. troopers a little; he was happy in glancing at the
gilded wood-carvings, at the octagonal lanterns painted with doll-
like Chinese peasants crossing arched bridges, at a quartette of
guests, two male and two female, who looked like Public Enemies and
who all through dinner quarreled with restrained viciousness.

When he headed toward Madison Square Garden and the culminating
Windrip rally, he was plunged into a maelstrom.  A whole nation
seemed querulously to be headed the same way.  He could not get a
taxicab, and walking through the dreary storm some fourteen blocks
to Madison Square Garden he was aware of the murderous temper of
the crowd.

Eighth Avenue, lined with cheapjack shops, was packed with drab,
discouraged people who yet, tonight, were tipsy with the hashish of
hope.  They filled the sidewalks, nearly filled the pavement, while
irritable motors squeezed tediously through them, and angry
policemen were pushed and whirled about and, if they tried to be
haughty, got jeered at by lively shopgirls.

Through the welter, before Doremus's eyes, jabbed a flying wedge of
Minute Men, led by what he was later to recognize as a cornet of
M.M.'s.  They were not on duty, and they were not belligerent; they
were cheering, and singing "Berzelius Windrip went to Wash.,"
reminding Doremus of a slightly drunken knot of students from an
inferior college after a football victory.  He was to remember them
so afterward, months afterward, when the enemies of the M.M.'s all
through the country derisively called them "Mickey Mouses" and

An old man, shabbily neat, stood blocking them and yelled, "To hell
with Buzz!  Three cheers for F.D.R.!"

The M.M.'s burst into hoodlum wrath.  The cornet in command, a
bruiser uglier even than Shad Ledue, hit the old man on the jaw,
and he sloped down, sickeningly.  Then, from nowhere, facing the
cornet, there was a chief petty officer of the navy, big, smiling,
reckless.  The C.P.O. bellowed, in a voice tuned to hurricanes,
"Swell bunch o' tin soldiers!  Nine o' yuh to one grandpappy!  Just
about even--"

The cornet socked him; he laid out the cornet with one foul to the
belly; instantly the other eight M.M.'s were on the C.P.O., like
sparrows after a hawk, and he crashed, his face, suddenly veal-
white, laced with rivulets of blood.  The eight kicked him in the
head with their thick marching-shoes.  They were still kicking him
when Doremus wriggled away, very sick, altogether helpless.

He had not turned away quickly enough to avoid seeing an M.M.
trooper, girlish-faced, crimson-lipped, fawn-eyed, throw himself on
the fallen cornet and, whimpering, stroke that roustabout's roast-
beef cheeks with shy gardenia-petal fingers.

There were many arguments, a few private fist fights, and one more
battle, before Doremus reached the auditorium.

A block from it some thirty M.M.'s, headed by a battalion-leader--
something between a captain and a major--started raiding a street
meeting of Communists.  A Jewish girl in khaki, her bare head
soaked with rain, was beseeching from the elevation of a
wheelbarrow, "Fellow travelers!  Don't just chew the rag and
'sympathize'!  Join us!  Now!  It's life and death!"  Twenty feet
from the Communists, a middle-aged man who looked like a social
worker was explaining the Jeffersonian Party, recalling the record
of President Roosevelt, and reviling the Communists next door as
word-drunk un-American cranks.  Half his audience were people who
might be competent voters; half of them--like half of any group on
this evening of tragic fiesta--were cigarette-sniping boys in hand-

The thirty M.M.'s cheerfully smashed into the Communists.  The
battalion leader reached up, slapped the girl speaker, dragged her
down from the wheelbarrow.  His followers casually waded in with
fists and blackjacks.  Doremus, more nauseated, feeling more
helpless than ever, heard the smack of a blackjack on the temple of
a scrawny Jewish intellectual.

Amazingly, then, the voice of the rival Jeffersonian leader
spiraled up into a scream:  "Come on, YOU!  Going to let those
hellhounds attack our Communist friends--friends NOW, by God!"
With which the mild bookworm leaped into the air, came down
squarely upon a fat Mickey Mouse, capsized him, seized his
blackjack, took time to kick another M.M.'s shins before arising
from the wreck, sprang up, and waded into the raiders as, Doremus
guessed, he would have waded into a table of statistics on the
proportion of butter fat in loose milk in 97.7 per cent of shops on
Avenue B.

Till then, only half-a-dozen Communist Party members had been
facing the M.M.'s, their backs to a garage wall.  Fifty of their
own, fifty Jeffersonians besides, now joined them, and with bricks
and umbrellas and deadly volumes of sociology they drove off the
enraged M.M.'s--partisans of Bela Kun side by side with the
partisans of Professor John Dewey--until a riot squad of policemen
battered their way in to protect the M.M.'s by arresting the girl
Communist speaker and the Jeffersonian.

Doremus had often "headed up" sports stories about "Madison Square
Garden Prize Fights," but he did know that the place had nothing to
do with Madison Square, from which it was a day's journey by bus,
that it was decidedly not a garden, that the fighters there did not
fight for "prizes" but for fixed partnership shares in the
business, and that a good many of them did not fight at all.

The mammoth building, as in exhaustion Doremus crawled up to it,
was entirely ringed with M.M.'s, elbow to elbow, all carrying heavy
canes, and at every entrance, along every aisle, the M.M.'s were
rigidly in line, with their officers galloping about, whispering
orders, and bearing uneasy rumors like scared calves in a dipping-

These past weeks hungry miners, dispossessed farmers, Carolina mill
hands had greeted Senator Windrip with a flutter of worn hands
beneath gasoline torches.  Now he was to face, not the unemployed,
for they could not afford fifty-cent tickets, but the small, scared
side-street traders of New York, who considered themselves
altogether superior to clodhoppers and mine-creepers, yet were as
desperate as they.  The swelling mass that Doremus saw, proud in
seats or standing chin-to-nape in the aisles, in a reek of dampened
clothes, was not romantic; they were people concerned with the
tailor's goose, the tray of potato salad, the card of hooks-and-
eyes, the leech-like mortgage on the owner-driven taxi, with, at
home, the baby's diapers, the dull safety-razor blade, the awful
rise in the cost of rump steak and kosher chicken.  And a few, and
very proud, civil-service clerks and letter carriers and
superintendents of small apartment houses, curiously fashionable in
seventeen-dollar ready-made suits and feebly stitched foulard ties,
who boasted, "I don't know why all these bums go on relief.  I may
not be such a wiz, but let me tell you, even since 1929, I've never

Manhattan peasants.  Kind people, industrious people, generous to
their aged, eager to find any desperate cure for the sickness of
worry over losing the job.

Most facile material for any rabble-rouser.

The historic rally opened with extreme dullness.  A regimental band
played the Tales from Hoffman barcarole with no apparent
significance and not much more liveliness.  The Reverend Dr.
Hendrik Van Lollop of St. Apologue's Lutheran Church offered
prayer, but one felt that probably it had not been accepted.
Senator Porkwood provided a dissertation on Senator Windrip which
was composed in equal parts of apostolic adoration of Buzz and of
the uh-uh-uh's with which Hon. Porkwood always interspersed his

And Windrip wasn't yet even in sight.

Colonel Dewey Haik, nominator of Buzz at the Cleveland convention,
was considerably better.  He told three jokes, and an anecdote
about a faithful carrier pigeon in the Great War which had seemed
to understand, really better than many of the human soldiers, just
why it was that the Americans were over there fighting for France
against Germany.  The connection of this ornithological hero with
the virtues of Senator Windrip did not seem evident, but, after
having sat under Senator Porkwood, the audience enjoyed the note of
military gallantry.

Doremus felt that Colonel Haik was not merely rambling but pounding
on toward something definite.  His voice became more insistent.  He
began to talk about Windrip: "my friend--the one man who dares
beard the monetary lion--the man who in his great and simple heart
cherishes the woe of every common man as once did the brooding
tenderness of Abraham Lincoln."  Then, wildly waving toward a side
entrance, he shrieked, "And here he comes!  My friends--Buzz

The band hammered out "The Campbells Are Coming."  A squadron of
Minute Men, smart as Horse Guards, carrying long lances with
starred pennants, clicked into the gigantic bowl of the auditorium,
and after them, shabby in an old blue-serge suit, nervously
twisting a sweat-stained slouch hat, stooped and tired, limped
Berzelius Windrip.  The audience leaped up, thrusting one another
aside to have a look at the deliverer, cheering like artillery at

Windrip started prosaically enough.  You felt rather sorry for him,
so awkwardly did he lumber up the steps to the platform, across to
the center of the stage.  He stopped; stared owlishly.  Then he
quacked monotonously:

"The first time I ever came to New York I was a greenhorn--no,
don't laugh, mebbe I still am!  But I had already been elected a
United States Senator, and back home, the way they'd serenaded me,
I thought I was some punkins.  I thought my name was just about as
familiar to everybody as Al Capone's or Camel Cigarettes or
Castoria--Babies Cry For It.  But I come to New York on my way to
Washington, and say, I sat in my hotel lobby here for three days,
and the only fellow ever spoke to me was the hotel detective!  And
when he did come up and address me, I was tickled to death--I
thought he was going to tell me the whole burg was pleased by my
condescending to visit 'em.  But all he wanted to know was, was I a
guest of the hotel and did I have any right to be holding down a
lobby chair permanently that way!  And tonight, friends, I'm pretty
near as scared of Old Gotham as I was then!"

The laughter, the hand-clapping, were fair enough, but the proud
electors were disappointed by his drawl, his weary humility.

Doremus quivered hopefully, "Maybe he isn't going to get elected!"

Windrip outlined his too-familiar platform--Doremus was interested
only in observing that Windrip misquoted his own figures regarding
the limitation of fortunes, in Point Five.

He slid into a rhapsody of general ideas--a mishmash of polite
regards to Justice, Freedom, Equality, Order, Prosperity,
Patriotism, and any number of other noble but slippery abstractions.

Doremus thought he was being bored, until he discovered that, at
some moment which he had not noticed, he had become absorbed and

Something in the intensity with which Windrip looked at his
audience, looked at all of them, his glance slowly taking them in
from the highest-perched seat to the nearest, convinced them that
he was talking to each individual, directly and solely; that he
wanted to take each of them into his heart; that he was telling
them the truths, the imperious and dangerous facts, that had been
hidden from them.

"They say I want money--power!  Say, I've turned down offers from
law firms right here in New York of three times the money I'll get
as President!  And power--why, the President is the servant of
every citizen in the country, and not just of the considerate
folks, but also of every crank that comes pestering him by telegram
and phone and letter.  And yet, it's true, it's absolutely true I
do want power, great, big, imperial power--but not for myself--no--
for YOU!--the power of your permission to smash the Jew financiers
who've enslaved you, who're working you to death to pay the
interest on their bonds; the grasping bankers--and not all of 'em
Jews by a darn sight!--the crooked labor-leaders just as much as
the crooked bosses, and, most of all, the sneaking spies of Moscow
that want you to lick the boots of their self-appointed tyrants
that rule not by love and loyalty, like I want to, but by the
horrible power of the whip, the dark cell, the automatic pistol!"

He pictured, then, a Paradise of democracy in which, with the old
political machines destroyed, every humblest worker would be king
and ruler, dominating representatives elected from among his own
kind of people, and these representatives not growing indifferent,
as hitherto they had done, once they were far off in Washington,
but kept alert to the public interest by the supervision of a
strengthened Executive.

It sounded almost reasonable, for a while.

The supreme actor, Buzz Windrip, was passionate yet never
grotesquely wild.  He did not gesture too extravagantly; only, like
Gene Debs of old, he reached out a bony forefinger which seemed to
jab into each of them and hook out each heart.  It was his mad
eyes, big staring tragic eyes, that startled them, and his voice,
now thundering, now humbly pleading, that soothed them.

He was so obviously an honest and merciful leader; a man of sorrows
and acquaint with woe.

Doremus marveled, "I'll be hanged!  Why, he's a darn good sort when
you come to meet him!  And warm-hearted.  He makes me feel as if
I'd been having a good evening with Buck and Steve Perefixe.  What
if Buzz is right?  What if--in spite of all the demagogic pap that,
I suppose, he has got to feed out to the boobs--he's right in
claiming that it's only he, and not Trowbridge or Roosevelt, that
can break the hold of the absentee owners?  And these Minute Men,
his followers--oh, they were pretty nasty, what I saw out on the
street, but still, most of 'em are mighty nice, clean-cut young
fellows.  Seeing Buzz and then listening to what he actually says
does kind of surprise you--kind of make you think!"

But what Mr. Windrip actually HAD said, Doremus could not remember
an hour later, when he had come out of the trance.

He was so convinced then that Windrip would win that, on Tuesday
evening, he did not remain at the Informer office until the returns
were all in.  But if he did not stay for the evidences of the
election, they came to him.

Past his house, after midnight, through muddy snow tramped a
triumphant and reasonably drunken parade, carrying torches and
bellowing to the air of "Yankee Doodle" new words revealed just
that week by Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch:

     "The snakes disloyal to our Buzz
      We're riding on a rail,
      They'll wish to God they never was,
      When we get them in jail!


        "Buzz and buzz and keep it up
         To victory he's floated.
         You were a most ungrateful pup,
         Unless for Buzz you voted.

     "Every M.M. gets a whip
      To use upon some traitor,
      And every Antibuzz we skip
      Today, we'll tend to later."

"Antibuzz," a word credited to Mrs. Gimmitch but more probably
invented by Dr. Hector Macgoblin, was to be extensively used by
lady patriots as a term expressing such vicious disloyalty to the
State as might call for the firing squad.  Yet, like Mrs.
Gimmitch's splendid synthesis "Unkies," for soldiers of the A.E.F.,
it never really caught on.

Among the winter-coated paraders Doremus and Sissy thought they
could make out Shad Ledue, Aras Dilley, that philoprogenitive
squatter from Mount Terror, Charley Betts, the furniture dealer,
and Tony Mogliani, the fruit-seller, most ardent expounder of
Italian Fascism in central Vermont.

And, though he could not be sure of it in the dimness behind the
torches, Doremus rather thought that the lone large motorcar
following the procession was that of his neighbor, Francis

Next morning, at the Informer office, Doremus did not learn of so
very much damage wrought by the triumphant Nordics--they had merely
upset a couple of privies, torn down and burned the tailor-shop
sign of Louis Rotenstern, and somewhat badly beaten Clifford
Little, the jeweler, a slight, curly-headed young man whom Shad
Ledue despised because he organized theatricals and played the
organ in Mr. Falck's church.

That night Doremus found, on his front porch, a notice in red chalk
upon butcher's paper:

You will get yrs Dorey sweethart unles you get rite down on yr
belly and crawl in front of the MM and the League and the Chief and

A friend

It was the first time that Doremus had heard of "the Chief," a
sound American variant of "the Leader" or "the Head of the
Government," as a popular title for Mr. Windrip.  It was soon to be
made official.

Doremus burned the red warning without telling his family.  But he
often woke to remember it, not very laughingly.


And when I get ready to retire I'm going to build me an up-to-date
bungalow in some lovely resort, not in Como or any other of the
proverbial Grecian isles you may be sure, but in somewheres like
Florida, California, Santa Fe, & etc., and devote myself just to
reading the classics, like Longfellow, James Whitcomb Riley, Lord
Macaulay, Henry Van Dyke, Elbert Hubbard, Plato, Hiawatha, & etc.
Some of my friends laugh at me for it, but I have always cultivated
a taste for the finest in literature.  I got it from my Mother as I
did everything that some people have been so good as to admire in

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

Certain though Doremus had been of Windrip's election, the event
was like the long-dreaded passing of a friend.

"All right.  Hell with this country, if it's like that.  All these
years I've worked--and I never did want to be on all these
committees and boards and charity drives!--and don't THEY look
silly now!  What I always wanted to do was to sneak off to an ivory
tower--or anyway, celluloid, imitation ivory--and read everything
I've been too busy to read."

Thus Doremus, in late November.

And he did actually attempt it, and for a few days reveled in it,
avoiding everyone save his family and Lorinda, Buck Titus, and
Father Perefixe.  Mostly, though, he found that he did not relish
the "classics" he had so far missed, but those familiar to his
youth: Ivanhoe, Huckleberry Finn, Midsummer Night's Dream, The
Tempest, L'Allegro, The Way of All Flesh (not quite so youthful,
there), Moby Dick, The Earthly Paradise, St. Agnes' Eve, The Idylls
of the King, most of Swinburne, Pride and Prejudice, Religio
Medici, Vanity Fair.

Probably he was not so very different from President-Elect Windrip
in his rather uncritical reverence toward any book he had heard of
before he was thirty. . . .  No American whose fathers have lived
in the country for over two generations is so utterly different
from any other American.

In one thing, Doremus's literary escapism failed him thoroughly.
He tried to relearn Latin, but he could not now, uncajoled by a
master, believe that "Mensa, mensae, mensae, mensam, mensa"--all
that idiotic A table, of a table, to a table, toward a table, at in
by or on a table--could bear him again as once it had to the honey-
sweet tranquillity of Vergil and the Sabine Farm.

Then he saw that in everything his quest failed him.

The reading was good enough, toothsome, satisfying, except that he
felt guilty at having sneaked away to an Ivory Tower at all.  Too
many years he had made a habit of social duty.  He wanted to be
"in" things, and he was daily more irritable as Windrip began, even
before his inauguration, to dictate to the country.

Buzz's party, with the desertions to the Jeffersonians, had less
than a majority in Congress.  "Inside dope" came to Doremus from
Washington that Windrip was trying to buy, to flatter, to blackmail
opposing Congressmen.  A President-Elect has unhallowed power, if
he so wishes, and Windrip--no doubt with promises of abnormal
favors in the way of patronage--won over a few.  Five Jeffersonian
Congressmen had their elections challenged.  One sensationally
disappeared, and smoking after his galloping heels there was a
devilish fume of embezzlements.  And with each such triumph of
Windrip, all the well-meaning, cloistered Doremuses of the country
were the more anxious.

All through the "Depression," ever since 1929, Doremus had felt the
insecurity, the confusion, the sense of futility in trying to do
anything more permanent than shaving or eating breakfast, that was
general to the country.  He could no longer plan, for himself or
for his dependants, as the citizens of this once unsettled country
had planned since 1620.

Why, their whole lives had been predicated on the privilege of
planning.  Depressions had been only cyclic storms, certain to end
in sunshine; Capitalism and parliamentary government were eternal,
and eternally being improved by the honest votes of Good Citizens.

Doremus's grandfather, Calvin, Civil War veteran and ill-paid,
illiberal Congregational minister, had yet planned, "My son, Loren,
shall have a theological education, and I think we shall be able to
build a fine new house in fifteen or twenty years."  That had given
him a reason for working, and a goal.

His father, Loren, had vowed, "Even if I have to economize on books
a little, and perhaps give up this extravagance of eating meat four
times a week--very bad for the digestion, anyway--my son, Doremus,
shall have a college education, and when, as he desires, he becomes
a publicist, I think perhaps I shall be able to help him for a year
or two.  And then I hope--oh, in a mere five or six years more--to
buy that complete Dickens with all the illustrations--oh, an
extravagance, but a thing to leave to my grandchildren to treasure

But Doremus Jessup could not plan, "I'll have Sissy go to Smith
before she studies architecture," or "If Julian Falck and Sissy get
married and stick here in the Fort, I'll give 'em the southwest lot
and some day, maybe fifteen years from now, the whole place will be
filled with nice kids again!"  No.  Fifteen years from now, he
sighed, Sissy might be hustling hash for the sort of workers who
called the waiter's art "hustling hash"; and Julian might be in a
concentration camp--Fascist OR Communist!

The Horatio Alger tradition, from rags to Rockefellers, was clean
gone out of the America it had dominated.

It seemed faintly silly to hope, to try to prophesy, to give up
sleep on a good mattress for toil on a typewriter, and as for
saving money--idiotic!

And for a newspaper editor--for one who must know, at least as well
as the Encyclopædia, everything about local and foreign history,
geography, economics, politics, literature, and methods of playing
football--it was maddening that it seemed impossible now to know
anything surely.

"He don't know what it's all about" had in a year or two changed
from a colloquial sneer to a sound general statement regarding
almost any economist.  Once, modestly enough, Doremus had assumed
that he had a decent knowledge of finance, taxation, the gold
standard, agricultural exports, and he had smilingly pontificated
everywhere that Liberal Capitalism would pastorally lead into State
Socialism, with governmental ownership of mines and railroads and
water-power so settling all inequalities of income that every lion
of a structural steel worker would be willing to lie down with any
lamb of a contractor, and all the jails and tuberculosis sanatoria
would be clean empty.

Now he knew that he knew nothing fundamental and, like a lone monk
stricken with a conviction of sin, he mourned, "If I only knew
more! . . .  Yes, and if I could only remember statistics!"

The coming and the going of the N.R.A., the F.E.R.A., the P.W.A.,
and all the rest, had convinced Doremus that there were four sets
of people who did not clearly understand anything whatever about
how the government must be conducted: all the authorities in
Washington; all of the citizenry who talked or wrote profusely
about politics; the bewildered untouchables who said nothing; and
Doremus Jessup.

"But," said he, "now, after Buzz's inauguration, everything is
going to be completely simple and comprehensible again--the country
is going to be run as his private domain!"

Julian Falck, now sophomore in Amherst, had come home for Christmas
vacation, and he dropped in at the Informer office to beg from
Doremus a ride home before dinner.

He called Doremus "sir" and did not seem to think he was a comic
fossil.  Doremus liked it.

On the way they stopped for gasoline at the garage of John
Pollikop, the seething Social Democrat, and were waited upon by
Karl Pascal--sometime donkey-engine-man at Tasbrough's quarry,
sometime strike leader, sometime political prisoner in the county
jail on a thin charge of inciting to riot, and ever since then, a
model of Communistic piety.

Pascal was a thin man, but sinewy; his gaunt and humorous face of a
good mechanic was so grease-darkened that the skin above and below
his eyes seemed white as a fish-belly, and, in turn, that pallid
rim made his eyes, alert dark gipsy eyes, seem the larger. . . .  A
panther chained to a coal cart.

"Well, what you going to do after this election?" said Doremus.
"Oh!  That's a fool question!  I guess none of us chronic kickers
want to say much about what we plan to do after January, when Buzz
gets his hands on us.  Lie low, eh?"

"I'm going to lie the lowest lie that I ever did.  You bet!  But
maybe there'll be a few Communist cells around here now, when
Fascism begins to get into people's hair.  Never did have much
success with my propaganda before, but now, you watch!" exulted

"You don't seem so depressed by the election," marveled Doremus,
while Julian offered, "No--you seem quite cheerful about it!"

"Depressed?  Why good Lord, Mr. Jessup, I thought you knew your
revolutionary tactics better than that, way you supported us in the
quarry strike--even if you ARE the perfect type of small capitalist
bourgeois!  Depressed?  Why, can't you see, if the Communists had
paid for it they couldn't have had anything more elegant for our
purposes than the election of a pro-plutocrat, itching militarist
dictator like Buzz Windrip!  Look!  He'll get everybody plenty
dissatisfied.  But they can't do anything, barehanded against the
armed troops.  Then he'll whoop it up for a war, and so millions of
people will have arms and food rations in their hands--all ready
for the revolution!  Hurray for Buzz and John Prang the Baptist!"

"Karl, it's funny about you.  I honestly believe you believe in
Communism!" marveled young Julian.  "Don't you?"

"Why don't you go and ask your friend Father Perefixe if he
believes in the Virgin?"

"But you seem to like America, and you don't seem so fanatical,
Karl.  I remember when I was a kid of about ten and you--I suppose
you were about twenty-five or -six then--you used to slide with us
and whoop like hell, and you made me a ski-stick."

"Sure I like America.  Came here when I was two years old--I was
born in Germany--my folks weren't Heinies, though--my dad was
French and my mother a Hunkie from Serbia.  (Guess that makes me a
hundred per cent American, all right!)  I think we've got the Old
Country beat, lots of ways.  Why, say, Julian, over there I'd have
to call you 'Mein Herr' or 'Your Excellency,' or some fool thing,
and you'd call me, 'I say-uh, Pascal!' and Mr. Jessup here, my
Lord, he'd be 'Commendatore' or 'Herr Doktor'!  No, I like it here.
There's symptoms of possible future democracy.  But--but--what
burns me up--it isn't that old soap-boxer's chestnut about how one
tenth of 1 per cent of the population at the top have an aggregate
income equal to 42 per cent at the bottom.  Figures like that are
too astronomical.  Don't mean a thing in the world to a fellow with
his eyes--and nose--down in a transmission box--fellow that doesn't
see the stars except after 9 P.M. on odd Wednesdays.  But what
burns me up is the fact that even before this Depression, in what
you folks called prosperous times, 7 per cent of all the families
in the country earned $500 a year or less--remember, those weren't
the unemployed, on relief; those were the guys that had the honor
of still doing honest labor.

"Five hundred dollars a year is ten dollars a week--and that means
one dirty little room for a family of four people!  It means $5.00
a week for all their food--eighteen cents per day per person for
food!--and even the lousiest prisons allow more than that.  And the
magnificent remainder of $2.50 a week, that means nine cents per
day per person for clothes, insurance, carfares, doctors' bills,
dentists' bills, and for God's sake, amusements--amusements!--and
all the rest of the nine cents a day they can fritter away on their
Fords and autogiros and, when they feel fagged, skipping across the
pond on the Normandie!  Seven per cent of all the fortunate
American families where the old man HAS got a job!"

Julian was silent; then whispered, "You know--fellow gets
discussing economics in college--theoretically sympathetic--but to
see your own kids living on eighteen cents a day for grub--I guess
that would make a man pretty extremist!"

Doremus fretted, "But what percentage of forced labor in your
Russian lumber camps and Siberian prison mines are getting more
than that?"

"Haaa!  That's all baloney!  That's the old standard come-back at
every Communist--just like once, twenty years ago, the muttonheads
used to think they'd crushed any Socialist when they snickered 'If
all the money was divided up, inside five years the hustlers would
have all of it again.'  Prob'ly there's some standard coup de grace
like that in Russia, to crush anybody that defends America.
Besides!"  Karl Pascal glowed with nationalistic fervor.  "We
Americans aren't like those dumb Russki peasants!  We'll do a whole
lot better when WE get Communism!"

And on that, his employer, the expansive John Pollikop, a woolly
Scotch terrier of a man, returned to the garage.  John was an
excellent friend of Doremus; had, indeed, been his bootlegger all
through Prohibition, personally running in his whisky from Canada.
He had been known, even in that singularly scrupulous profession,
as one of its most trustworthy practitioners.  Now he flowered into
mid-European dialectics:

"Evenin', Mist' Jessup, evenin', Julian!  Karl fill up y' tank for
you?  You want t' watch that guy--he's likely to hold out a gallon
on you.  He's one of these crazy dogs of Communists--they all
believe in Violence instead of Evolution and Legality.  Them--why
say, if they hadn't been so crooked, if they'd joined me and Norman
Thomas and the other INTELLIGENT Socialists in a United Front with
Roosevelt and the Jeffersonians, why say, we'd of licked the pants
off Buzzard Windrip!  Windrip and his plans!"

("Buzzard" Windrip.  That was good, Doremus reflected.  He'd be
able to use it in the Informer!)

Pascal protested, "Not that Buzzard's personal plans and ambitions
have got much to do with it.  Altogether too easy to explain
everything just blaming it on Windrip.  Why don't you READ your
Marx, John, instead of always gassing about him?  Why, Windrip's
just something nasty that's been vomited up.  Plenty others still
left fermenting in the stomach--quack economists with every sort of
economic ptomain!  No, Buzz isn't important--it's the sickness that
made us throw him up that we've got to attend to--the sickness of
more than 30 per cent permanently unemployed, and growing larger.
Got to cure it!"

"Can you crazy Tovarishes cure it?" snapped Pollikop, and, "Do you
think Communism will cure it?" skeptically wondered Doremus, and,
more politely, "Do you really think Karl Marx had the dope?"
worried Julian, all three at once.

"You bet your life we can!" said Pascal vaingloriously.

As Doremus, driving away, looked back at them, Pascal and Pollikop
were removing a flat tire together and quarreling bitterly, quite

Doremus's attic study had been to him a refuge from the tender
solicitudes of Emma and Mrs. Candy and his daughters, and all the
impulsive hand-shaking strangers who wanted the local editor to
start off their campaigns for the sale of life insurance or gas-
saving carburetors, for the Salvation Army or the Red Cross or the
Orphans' Home or the Anti-cancer Crusade, or the assorted magazines
which would enable to go through college young men who at all cost
should be kept out of college.

It was a refuge now from the considerably less tender solicitudes
of supporters of the President-Elect.  On the pretense of work,
Doremus took to sneaking up there in mid-evening; and he sat not in
an easy chair but stiffly, at his desk, making crosses and five-
pointed stars and six-pointed stars and fancy delete signs on
sheets of yellow copy paper, while he sorely meditated.

Thus, this evening, after the demands of Karl Pascal and John

"'The Revolt against Civilization!'

"But there's the worst trouble of this whole cursed business of
analysis.  When I get to defending Democracy against Communism and
Fascism and what-not, I sound just like the Lothrop Stoddards--why,
I sound almost like a Hearst editorial on how some college has got
to kick out a Dangerous Red instructor in order to preserve our
Democracy for the ideals of Jefferson and Washington!  Yet somehow,
singing the same words, I have a notion my tune is entirely
different from Hearst's.  I DON'T think we've done very well with
all the plowland and forest and minerals and husky human stock
we've had.  What makes me sick about Hearst and the D.A.R. is that
if THEY are against Communism, I have to be for it, and I don't
want to be!

"Wastage of resources, so they're about gone--that's been the
American share in the revolt against Civilization.

"We CAN go back to the Dark Ages!  The crust of learning and good
manners and tolerance is so thin!  It would just take a few
thousand big shells and gas bombs to wipe out all the eager young
men, and all the libraries and historical archives and patent
offices, all the laboratories and art galleries, all the castles
and Periclean temples and Gothic cathedrals, all the cooperative
stores and motor factories--every storehouse of learning.
No inherent reason why Sissy's grandchildren--if anybody's
grandchildren will survive at all--shouldn't be living in caves and
heaving rocks at catamounts.

"And what's the solution of preventing this debacle?  Plenty of
'em!  The Communists have a patent Solution they know will work.
So have the Fascists, and the rigid American Constitutionalists--
who CALL themselves advocates of Democracy, without any notion what
the word ought to mean; and the Monarchists--who are certain that
if we could just resurrect the Kaiser and the Czar and King
Alfonso, everybody would be loyal and happy again, and the banks
would simply force credit on small businessmen at 2 per cent.  And
all the preachers--they tell you that they alone have the inspired

"Well, gentlemen, I have listened to all your Solutions, and I now
inform you that I, and I alone, except perhaps for Walt Trowbridge
and the ghost of Pareto, have the perfect, the inevitable, the only
Solution, and that is:  There is no Solution!  There will never be
a state of society anything like perfect!

"There never will be a time when there won't be a large proportion
of people who feel poor no matter how much they have, and envy
their neighbors who know how to wear cheap clothes showily, and
envy neighbors who can dance or make love or digest better."

Doremus suspected that, with the most scientific state, it would be
impossible for iron deposits always to find themselves at exactly
the rate decided upon two years before by the National Technocratic
Minerals Commission, no matter how elevated and fraternal and
Utopian the principles of the commissioners.

His Solution, Doremus pointed out, was the only one that did not
flee before the thought that a thousand years from now human beings
would probably continue to die of cancer and earthquake and such
clownish mishaps as slipping in bathtubs.  It presumed that mankind
would continue to be burdened with eyes that grow weak, feet that
grow tired, noses that itch, intestines vulnerable to bacilli, and
generative organs that are nervous until the age of virtue and
senility.  It seemed to him unidealistically probable, for all the
"contemporary furniture" of the 1930's, that most people would
continue, at least for a few hundred years, to sit in chairs, eat
from dishes upon tables, read books--no matter how many cunning
phonographic substitutes might be invented, wear shoes or sandals,
sleep in beds, write with some sort of pens, and in general spend
twenty or twenty-two hours a day much as they had spent them in
1930, in 1630.  He suspected that tornadoes, floods, droughts,
lightning, and mosquitoes would remain, along with the homicidal
tendency known in the best of citizens when their sweethearts go
dancing off with other men.

And, most fatally and abysmally, his Solution guessed that men of
superior cunning, of slyer foxiness, whether they might be called
Comrades, Brethren, Commissars, Kings, Patriots, Little Brothers of
the Poor, or any other rosy name, would continue to have more
influence than slower-witted men, however worthy.

All the warring Solutions--except his, Doremus chuckled--were
ferociously propagated by the Fanatics, the "Nuts."

He recalled an article in which Neil Carothers asserted that the
"rabble-rousers" of America in the mid-'thirties had a long and
dishonorable ancestry of prophets who had felt called upon to stir
up the masses to save the world, and save it in the prophets' own
way, and do it right now, and most violently: Peter the Hermit, the
ragged, mad, and stinking monk who, to rescue the (unidentified)
tomb of the Savior from undefined "outrages by the pagans," led out
on the Crusades some hundreds of thousands of European peasants, to
die on the way of starvation, after burning, raping, and murdering
fellow peasants in foreign villages all along the road.

There was John Ball who "in 1381 was a share-the-wealth advocate;
he preached equality of wealth, the abolition of class distinctions,
and what would now be called communism," and whose follower, Wat
Tyler, looted London, with the final gratifying result that
afterward Labor was by the frightened government more oppressed than
ever.  And nearly three hundred years later, Cromwell's methods of
expounding the sweet winsomeness of Purity and Liberty were
shooting, slashing, clubbing, starving, and burning people, and
after him the workers paid for the spree of bloody righteousness
with blood.

Brooding about it, fishing in the muddy slew of recollection which
most Americans have in place of a clear pool of history, Doremus
was able to add other names of well-meaning rabble-rousers:

Murat and Danton and Robespierre, who helped shift the control of
France from the moldy aristocrats to the stuffy, centime-pinching
shopkeepers.  Lenin and Trotzky who gave to the illiterate Russian
peasants the privileges of punching a time clock and of being as
learned, gay, and dignified as the factory hands in Detroit; and
Lenin's man, Borodin, who extended this boon to China.  And that
William Randolph Hearst who in 1898 was the Lenin of Cuba and
switched the mastery of the golden isle from the cruel Spaniards to
the peaceful, unarmed, brotherly-loving Cuban politicians of today.

The American Moses, Dowie, and his theocracy at Zion City,
Illinois, where the only results of the direct leadership of God--
as directed and encouraged by Mr. Dowie and by his even more
spirited successor, Mr. Voliva--were that the holy denizens were
deprived of oysters and cigarettes and cursing, and died without
the aid of doctors instead of with it, and that the stretch of road
through Zion City incessantly caused the breakage of springs on the
cars of citizens from Evanston, Wilmette, and Winnetka, which may
or not have been a desirable Good Deed.

Cecil Rhodes, his vision of making South Africa a British paradise,
and the actuality of making it a graveyard for British soldiers.

All the Utopias--Brook Farm, Robert Owen's sanctuary of chatter,
Upton Sinclair's Helicon Hall--and their regulation end in scandal,
feuds, poverty, griminess, disillusion.

All the leaders of Prohibition, so certain that their cause was
world-regenerating that for it they were willing to shoot down

It seemed to Doremus that the only rabble-rouser to build
permanently had been Brigham Young, with his bearded Mormon
captains, who not only turned the Utah desert into an Eden but made
it pay and kept it up.

Pondered Doremus:  Blessed be they who are not Patriots and
Idealists, and who do not feel they must dash right in and Do
Something About It, something so immediately important that all
doubters must be liquidated--tortured--slaughtered!  Good old
murder, that since the slaying of Abel by Cain has always been the
new device by which all oligarchies and dictators have, for all
future ages to come, removed opposition!

In this acid mood Doremus doubted the efficacy of all revolutions;
dared even a little to doubt our two American revolutions--against
England in 1776, and the Civil War.

For a New England editor to contemplate even the smallest criticism
of these wars was what it would have been for a Southern Baptist
fundamentalist preacher to question Immortality, the Inspiration of
the Bible, and the ethical value of shouting Hallelujah.  Yet had
it, Doremus queried nervously, been necessary to have four years of
inconceivably murderous Civil War, followed by twenty years of
commercial oppression of the South, in order to preserve the Union,
free the slaves, and establish the equality of Industry with
Agriculture?  Had it been just to the Negroes themselves to
throw them so suddenly, with so little preparation, into full
citizenship, that the Southern states, in what they considered
self-defense, disqualified them at the polls and lynched them and
lashed them?  Could they not, as Lincoln at first desired and
planned, have been freed without the vote, then gradually and
competently educated, under federal guardianship, so that by 1890
they might, without too much enmity, have been able to enter fully
into all the activities of the land?

A generation and a half (Doremus meditated) of the sturdiest and
most gallant killed or crippled in the Civil War or, perhaps worst
of all, becoming garrulous professional heroes and satellites of
the politicians who in return for their solid vote made all lazy
jobs safe for the G.A.R.  The most valorous, it was they who
suffered the most, for while the John D. Rockefellers, the J. P.
Morgans, the Vanderbilts, Astors, Goulds, and all their nimble
financial comrades of the South, did not enlist, but stayed in the
warm, dry counting-house, drawing the fortune of the country into
their webs, it was Jeb Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, Nathaniel Lyon,
Pat Cleburne, and the knightly James B. McPherson who were
killed . . . and with them Abraham Lincoln.

So, with the hundreds of thousands who should have been the
progenitors of new American generations drained away, we could show
the world, which from 1780 to 1860 had so admired men like
Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, the Adamses, Webster,
only such salvages as McKinley, Benjamin Harrison, William Jennings
Bryan, Harding . . . and Senator Berzelius Windrip and his rivals.

Slavery had been a cancer, and in that day was known no remedy save
bloody cutting.  There had been no X-rays of wisdom and tolerance.
Yet to sentimentalize this cutting, to justify and rejoice in it,
was an altogether evil thing, a national superstition that was
later to lead to other Unavoidable Wars--wars to free Cubans, to
free Filipinos who didn't want our brand of freedom, to End All

Let us, thought Doremus, not throb again to the bugles of the Civil
War, nor find diverting the gallantry of Sherman's dashing Yankee
boys in burning the houses of lone women, nor particularly admire
the calmness of General Lee as he watched thousands writhe in the

He even wondered if, necessarily, it had been such a desirable
thing for the Thirteen Colonies to have cut themselves off from
Great Britain.  Had the United States remained in the British
Empire, possibly there would have evolved a confederation that
could have enforced World Peace, instead of talking about it.  Boys
and girls from Western ranches and Southern plantations and
Northern maple groves might have added Oxford and York Minster and
Devonshire villages to their own domain.  Englishmen, and even
virtuous Englishwomen, might have learned that persons who lack the
accent of a Kentish rectory or of a Yorkshire textile village may
yet in many ways be literate; and that astonishing numbers of
persons in the world cannot be persuaded that their chief aim in
life ought to be to increase British exports on behalf of the
stock-holdings of the Better Classes.

It is commonly asserted, Doremus remembered, that without complete
political independence the United States could not have developed
its own peculiar virtues.  Yet it was not apparent to him that
America was any more individual than Canada or Australia; that
Pittsburgh and Kansas City were to be preferred before Montreal and
Melbourne, Sydney and Vancouver.

No questioning of the eventual wisdom of the "radicals" who had
first advocated these two American revolutions, Doremus warned
himself, should be allowed to give any comfort to that eternal
enemy: the conservative manipulators of privilege who damn as
"dangerous agitators" any man who menaces their fortunes; who jump
in their chairs at the sting of a gnat like Debs, and blandly
swallow a camel like Windrip.

Between the rabble-rousers--chiefly to be detected by desire for
their own personal power and notoriety--and the un-self-seeking
fighters against tyranny, between William Walker or Danton, and
John Howard or William Lloyd Garrison, Doremus saw, there was the
difference between a noisy gang of thieves and an honest man
noisily defending himself against thieves.  He had been brought up
to revere the Abolitionists: Lovejoy, Garrison, Wendell Phillips,
Harriet Beecher Stowe--though his father had considered John Brown
insane and a menace, and had thrown sly mud at the marble statues
of Henry Ward Beecher, the apostle in the fancy vest.  And Doremus
could not do otherwise than revere the Abolitionists now, though he
wondered a little if Stephen Douglas and Thaddeus Stephens and
Lincoln, more cautious and less romantic men, might not have done
the job better.

"Is it just possible," he sighed, "that the most vigorous and
boldest idealists have been the worst enemies of human progress
instead of its greatest creators?  Possible that plain men with the
humble trait of minding their own business will rank higher in the
heavenly hierarchy than all the plumed souls who have shoved their
way in among the masses and insisted on saving them?"


I joined the Christian, or as some call it, the Campbellite Church
as a mere boy, not yet dry behind the ears.  But I wished then and
I wish now that it were possible for me to belong to the whole
glorious brotherhood; to be one in Communion at the same time with
the brave Presbyterians that fight the pusillanimous, mendacious,
destructive, tom-fool Higher Critics, so-called; and with the
Methodists who so strongly oppose war yet in war-time can always be
counted upon for Patriotism to the limit; and with the splendidly
tolerant Baptists, the earnest Seventh-Day Adventists, and I guess
I could even say a kind word for the Unitarians, as that great
executive William Howard Taft belonged to them, also his wife.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

Officially, Doremus belonged to the Universalist Church, his wife
and children to the Episcopal--a natural American transition.  He
had been reared to admire Hosea Ballou, the Universalist St.
Augustine who, from his tiny parsonage in Barnard, Vermont, had
proclaimed his faith that even the wickedest would have, after
earthly death, another chance of salvation.  But now, Doremus could
scarce enter the Fort Beulah Universalist Church.  It had too many
memories of his father, the pastor, and it was depressing to see
how the old-time congregations, in which two hundred thick beards
would wag in the grained pine benches every Sunday morning, and
their womenfolks and children line up beside the patriarchs, had
dwindled to aged widows and farmers and a few schoolteachers.

But in this time of seeking, Doremus did venture there.  The church
was a squat and gloomy building of granite, not particularly
enlivened by the arches of colored slate above the windows, yet as
a boy Doremus had thought it and its sawed-off tower the superior
of Chartres.  He had loved it as in Isaiah College he had loved the
Library which, for all its appearance of being a crouching red-
brick toad, had meant to him freedom for spiritual discovery--still
cavern of a reading room where for hours one could forget the world
and never be nagged away to supper.

He found, on his one attendance at the Universalist church, a
scattering of thirty disciples, being addressed by a "supply," a
theological student from Boston, monotonously shouting his well-
meant, frightened, and slightly plagiaristic eloquence in regard to
the sickness of Abijah, the son of Jeroboam.  Doremus looked at the
church walls, painted a hard and glistening green, unornamented, to
avoid all the sinful trappings of papistry, while he listened to
the preacher's hesitant droning:

"Now, uh, now what so many of us fail to realize is how, uh, how
sin, how any sin that we, uh, we ourselves may commit, any sin
reflects not on ourselves but on those that we, uh, that we hold
near and dear--"

He would have given anything, Doremus yearned, for a sermon which,
however irrational, would passionately lift him to renewed courage,
which would bathe him in consolation these beleagured months.  But
with a shock of anger he saw that that was exactly what he had been
condemning just a few days ago: the irrational dramatic power of
the crusading leader, clerical or political.

Very well then--sadly.  He'd just have to get along without the
spiritual consolation of the church that he had known in college

No, first he'd try the ritual of his friend Mr. Falck--the Padre,
Buck Titus sometimes called him.

In the cozy Anglicanism of St. Crispin's P. E. Church, with its
imitation English memorial brasses and imitation Celtic font and
brass-eagle reading desk and dusty-smelling maroon carpet, Doremus
listened to Mr. Falck:  "Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he
may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power and
commandment to his Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his
people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their sins--"

Doremus glanced at the placidly pious façade of his wife, Emma.
The lovely, familiar old ritual seemed meaningless to him now, with
no more pertinence to a life menaced by Buzz Windrip and his Minute
Men, no more comfort for having lost his old deep pride in being an
American, than a stage revival of an equally lovely and familiar
Elizabethan play.  He looked about nervously.  However exalted Mr.
Falck himself might be, most of the congregation were Yorkshire
pudding.  The Anglican Church was, to them, not the aspiring
humility of Newman nor the humanity of Bishop Brown (both of whom
left it!) but the sign and proof of prosperity--an ecclesiastical
version of owning a twelve-cylinder Cadillac--or even more, of
knowing that one's grandfather owned his own surrey and a
respectable old family horse.

The whole place smelled to Doremus of stale muffins.  Mrs. R. C.
Crowley was wearing white gloves and on her bust--for a Mrs.
Crowley, even in 1936, did not yet have breasts--was a tight
bouquet of tuberoses.  Francis Tasbrough had a morning coat and
striped trousers and on the lilac-colored pew cushion beside him
was (unique in Fort Beulah) a silk top-hat.  And even the wife of
Doremus's bosom, or at least of his breakfast coffee, the good
Emma, had a pedantic expression of superior goodness which
irritated him.

"Whole outfit stifles me!" he snapped.  "Rather be at a yelling,
jumping Holy Roller orgy--no--that's Buzz Windrip's kind of jungle
hysterics.  I want a church, if there can possibly be one, that's
advanced beyond the jungle and beyond the chaplains of King Henry
the Eighth.  I know why, even though she's painfully conscientious,
Lorinda never goes to church."

Lorinda Pike, on that sleety December afternoon, was darning a tea
cloth in the lounge of her Beulah Valley Tavern, five miles up the
river from the Fort.  It wasn't, of course, a tavern: it was a
super-boarding-house as regards its twelve guest bedrooms, and a
slightly too arty tearoom in its dining facilities.  Despite his
long affection for Lorinda, Doremus was always annoyed by the
Singhalese brass finger bowls, the North Carolina table mats, and
the Italian ash trays displayed for sale on wabbly card tables in
the dining room.  But he had to admit that the tea was excellent,
the scones light, the Stilton sound, Lorinda's private rum punches
admirable, and that Lorinda herself was intelligent yet adorable--
particularly when, as on this gray afternoon, she was bothered
neither by other guests nor by the presence of that worm, her
partner, Mr. Nipper, whose pleasing notion it was that because he
had invested a few thousand in the Tavern he should have none of
the work or responsibility and half the profits.

Doremus thrust his way in, patting off the snow, puffing to recover
from the shakiness caused by skidding all the way from Fort Beulah.
Lorinda nodded carelessly, dropped another stick on the fireplace,
and went back to her darning with nothing more intimate than
"Hullo.  Nasty out."


But as they sat on either side the hearth their eyes had no need of
smiling for a bridge between them.

Lorinda reflected, "Well, my darling, it's going to be pretty bad.
I guess Windrip & Co. will put the woman's struggle right back in
the sixteen-hundreds, with Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomians."

"Sure.  Back to the kitchen."

"Even if you haven't got one!"

"Any worse than us men?  Notice that Windrip never MENTIONED free
speech and the freedom of the press in his articles of faith?  Oh,
he'd 've come out for 'em strong and hearty if he'd even thought of

"That's so.  Tea, darling?"

"No.  Linda, damn it, I feel like taking the family and sneaking
off to Canada BEFORE I get nabbed--right after Buzz's inauguration."

"No.  You mustn't.  We've got to keep all the newspapermen that'll
go on fighting him, and not go sniffling up to the garbage pail.
Besides!  What would I do without you?"  For the first time Lorinda
sounded importunate.

"You'll be a lot less suspect if I'm not around.  But I guess
you're right.  I can't go till they put the skids under me.  Then
I'll have to vanish.  I'm too old to stand jail."

"Not too old to make love, I hope!  That WOULD be hard on a girl!"

"Nobody ever is, except the kind that used to be too young to make
love!  Anyway, I'll stay--for a while."

He had, suddenly, from Lorinda, the resoluteness he had sought in
church.  He would go on trying to sweep back the ocean, just for
his own satisfaction.  It meant, however, that his hermitage in the
Ivory Tower was closed with slightly ludicrous speed.  But he felt
strong again, and happy.  His brooding was interrupted by Lorinda's

"How's Emma taking the political situation?"

"Doesn't know there is one!  Hears me croaking, and she heard Walt
Trowbridge's warning on the radio, last evening--did you listen
in?--and she says, 'Oh my, how dreadful!' and then forgets all
about it and worries about the saucepan that got burnt!  She's
lucky!  Oh well, she probably calms me down and keeps me from
becoming a COMPLETE neurote!  Probably that's why I'm so darned
everlastingly fond of her.  And yet I'm chump enough to wish you
and I were together--uh--recognizedly together, all the time--and
could fight together to keep some little light burning in this
coming new glacial epoch.  I do.  All the time.  I think that, at
this moment, all things considered, I should like to kiss you."

"Is that so unusual a celebration?"

"Yes.  Always.  Always it's the first time again!  Look, Linda, do
you ever stop to think how curious it is, that with--everything
between us--like that night in the hotel at Montreal--we neither
one of us seem to feel any guilt, any embarrassment--can sit and
gossip like this?"

"No, dear. . . .  Darling! . . .  It doesn't seem a bit curious.
It was all so natural.  So good!"

"And yet we're reasonably responsible people--"

"Of course.  That's why nobody suspects us, not even Emma.  Thank
God she doesn't, Doremus!  I wouldn't hurt her for anything, not
even for your kind-hearted favors!"


"Oh, you might be suspected, all by yourself.  It's known that you
sometimes drink likker and play poker and tell 'hot ones.'  But
who'd ever suspect that the local female crank, the suffragist, the
pacifist, the anti-censorshipist, the friend of Jane Addams and
Mother Bloor, could be a libertine!  Highbrows!  Bloodless
reformers!  Oh, and I've known so many women agitators, all dressed
in Carrie Nation hatchets and modest sheets of statistics, that
have been ten times as passionate, intolerably passionate, as any
cream-faced plump little Kept Wife in chiffon step-ins!"

For a moment their embracing eyes were not merely friendly and
accustomed and careless.

He fretted, "Oh I think of you all the time and want you and yet I
think of Emma too--and I don't even have the fine novelistic
egotism of feeling guilty and intolerably caught in complexities.
Yes, it does all seem so natural, Dear Linda!"

He stalked restlessly to the casement window, looking back at her
every second step.  It was dusk now, and the roads smoking.  He
stared out inattentively--then very attentively indeed.

"That's curious.  Curiouser and curiouser.  Standing back behind
that big bush, lilac bush I guess it is, across the road, there's a
fellow watching this place.  I can see him in the headlights
whenever a car comes along.  And I think it's my hired man, Oscar
Ledue--Shad."  He started to draw the cheerful red-and-white

"No!  No!  Don't draw them!  He'll get suspicious."

"That's right.  Funny, his watching there--if it IS him.  He's
supposed to be at my house right now, looking after the furnace--
winters, he only works for me couple of hours a day, works in the
sash factory, rest of the time, but he ought to--A little light
blackmail, I suppose.  Well, he can publish everything he saw
today, wherever he wants to!"

"Only what he saw today?"

"Anything!  Any day!  I'm awfully proud--old dish rag like me,
twenty years older than you!--to be your lover!"

And he was proud, yet all the while he was remembering the warning
in red chalk that he had found on his front porch after the
election.  Before he had time to become very complicated about it,
the door vociferously banged open, and his daughter, Sissy, sailed

"Wot-oh, wot-oh, wot-oh!  Toodle-oo!  Good-morning, Jeeves!
Mawnin', Miss Lindy.  How's all de folks on de ole plantation
everywhere I roam?  Hello, Dad.  No, it isn't cocktails--least,
just one very small cocktail--it's youthful spirits!  My God, but
it's cold!  Tea, Linda, my good woman--tea!"

They had tea.  A thoroughly domestic circle.

"Race you home, Dad," said Sissy, when they were ready to go.

"Yes--no--wait a second!  Lorinda: lend me a flashlight."

As he marched out of the door, marched belligerently across the
road, in Doremus seethed all the agitated anger he had been
concealing from Sissy.  And part hidden behind bushes, leaning on
his motorcycle, he did find Shad Ledue.

Shad was startled; for once he looked less contemptuously masterful
than a Fifth Avenue traffic policeman, as Doremus snapped, "What
you doing there?" and he stumbled in answering:  "Oh I just--
something happened to my motor-bike."

"So!  You ought to be home tending the furnace, Shad."

"Well, I guess I got my machine fixed now.  I'll hike along."

"No.  My daughter is to drive me home, so you can put your
motorcycle in the back of my car and drive it back."  (Somehow, he
had to talk privately to Sissy, though he was not in the least
certain what it was he had to say.)

"Her?  Rats!  Sissy can't drive for sour apples!  Crazy's a loon!"

"Ledue!  Miss Sissy is a highly competent driver.  At least she
satisfies me, and if you really feel she doesn't quite satisfy YOUR

"Her driving don't make a damn bit of difference to me one way or
th' other!  G'-night!"

Recrossing the road, Doremus rebuked himself, "That was childish of
me.  Trying to talk to him like a gent!  But how I would enjoy
murdering him!"

He informed Sissy, at the door, "Shad happened to come along--
motorcycle in bad shape--let him take my Chrysler--I'll drive with

"Fine!  Only six boys have had their hair turn gray, driving with
me, this week."

"And I--I meant to say, I think I'd better do the driving.  It's
pretty slippery tonight."

"Wouldn't that destroy you!  Why, my dear idiot parent, I'm the
best driver in--"

"You can't drive for sour apples!  Crazy, that's all!  Get in!  I'm
driving, d'you hear?  Night, Lorinda."

"All right, dearest Father," said Sissy with an impishness which
reduced his knees to feebleness.

He assured himself, though, that this flip manner of Sissy,
characteristic of even the provincial boys and girls who had been
nursed on gasoline, was only an imitation of the nicer New York
harlots and would not last more than another year or two.  Perhaps
this rattle-tongued generation needed a Buzz Windrip Revolution and
all its pain.

"Beautiful, I know it's swell to drive carefully, but do you have
to emulate the prudent snail?" said Sissy.

"Snails don't skid."

"No, they get run over.  Rather skid!"

"So your father's a fossil!"

"Oh, I wouldn't--"

"Well, maybe he is, at that.  There's advantages.  Anyway: I wonder
if there isn't a lot of bunk about Age being so cautious and
conservative, and Youth always being so adventurous and bold and
original?  Look at the young Nazis and how they enjoy beating up
the Communists.  Look at almost any college class--the students
disapproving of the instructor because he's iconoclastic and
ridicules the sacred home-town ideas.  Just this afternoon, I was
thinking, driving out here--"

"Listen, Dad, do you go to Lindy's often?"

"Why--why, not especially.  Why?"

"Why don't you--What are you two so scared of?  You two wild-haired
reformers--you and Lindy belong together.  Why don't you--you know--
kind of be lovers?"

"Good God Almighty!  Cecilia!  I've never heard a DECENT girl talk
that way in all my life!"

"Tst!  Tst!  Haven't you?  Dear, dear!  So sorry!"

"Well, my Lord--At least you've got to admit that it's slightly
unusual for an apparently loyal daughter to suggest her father's
deceiving her mother!  Especially a fine lovely mother like yours!"

"Is it?  Well, maybe.  Unusual to suggest it--aloud.  But I wonder
if lots of young females don't sometimes kind of THINK it, just the
same, when they see the Venerable Parent going stale!"


"Hey, watch that telephone pole!"

"Hang it, I didn't go anywheres near it!  Now you look here, Sissy:
you simply must not be so froward--or forward, whichever it is; I
always get those two words balled up.  This is serious business.
I've never heard of such a preposterous suggestion as Linda--
Lorinda and I being lovers.  My dear child, you simply CAN'T be
flip about such final things as that!"

"Oh, CAN'T I!  Oh, sorry, Dad.  I just mean--About Mother Emma.
Course I wouldn't have anybody hurt her, not even Lindy and you.
But, why, bless you, Venerable, she'd never even dream of such a
thing.  You could have your nice pie and she'd never miss one
single slice.  Mother's mental grooves aren't, uh, well, they
aren't so very sex-conditioned, if that's how you say it--more sort
of along the new-vacuum-cleaner complex, if you know what I mean--
page Freud!  Oh, she's swell, but not so analytical and--"

"Are those your ethics, then?"

"Huh?  Well for cat's sake, why not?  Have a swell time that'll get
you full of beans again and yet not hurt anybody's feelings?  Why,
say, that's the entire second chapter in my book on ethics!"

"Sissy!  Have you, by any chance, any vaguest notion of what you're
talking about, or think you're talking about?  Of course--and
perhaps we ought to be ashamed of our cowardly negligence--but I,
and I don't suppose your mother, have taught you so very much about
'sex' and--"

"Thank heaven!  You spared me the dear little flower and its simply
shocking affair with that tough tomcat of a tiger lily in the next
bed--excuse me--I mean in the next plot.  I'm so glad you did.
Pete's sake!  I'd certainly hate to blush every time I looked at a

"Sissy!  Child!  Please!  You mustn't be so beastly CUTE!  These
are all weighty things--"

Penitently:  "I know, Dad.  I'm sorry.  It's just--if you only knew
how wretched I feel when I see you so wretched and so quiet and
everything.  This horrible Windrip, League of Forgodsakers business
has got you down, hasn't it!  If you're going to fight 'em, you've
got to get some pep back into you--you've got to take off the lace
mitts and put on the brass knuckles--and I got kind of a hunch
Lorinda might do that for you, and only her.  Heh!  Her pretending
to be so high-minded!  (Remember that old wheeze Buck Titus used to
love so--'If you're saving the fallen women, save me one'?  Oh, not
so good.  I guess we'll take that line right out of the sketch!)
But anyway, our Lindy has a pretty moist and hungry eye--"

"Impossible!  Impossible!  By the way, Sissy!  What do you know
about all of this?  Are you a virgin?"

"Dad!  Is that your idea of a question to--Oh, I guess I was asking
for it.  And the answer is:  Yes.  So far.  But not promising one
single thing about the future.  Let me tell you right now, if
conditions in this country do get as bad as you've been claiming
they will, and Julian Falck is threatened with having to go to war
or go to prison or some rotten thing like that, I'm most certainly
not going to let any maidenly modesty interfere between me and him,
and you might just as well be prepared for that!"

"It IS Julian then, not Malcolm?"

"Oh, I think so.  Malcolm gives me a pain in the neck.  He's
getting all ready to take his proper place as a colonel or
something with Windrip's wooden soldiers.  And I am so fond of
Julian!  Even if he is the doggonedest, most impractical soul--like
his grandfather--or you!  He's a sweet thing.  We sat up purring
pretty nothings till about two, last night, I guess."

"Sissy!  But you haven't--Oh, my little girl!  Julian is probably
decent enough--not a bad sort--but you--You haven't let Julian take
any familiarities with you?"

"Dear quaint old word!  As if anything could be so awfully much
more familiar than a good, capable, 10,000 h.p. kiss!  But darling,
just so you won't worry--no.  The few times, late nights, in our
sitting room, when I've slept with Julian--well, we've SLEPT!"

"I'm glad, but--Your apparent--probably only apparent--information
on a variety of delicate subjects slightly embarrasses me."

"Now you listen to me!  And this is something you ought to be
telling me, not me you, Mr. Jessup!  Looks as if this country, and
most of the world--I AM being serious, now, Dad; plenty serious,
God help us all!--it looks as if we're headed right back into
barbarism.  It's war!  There's not going to be much time for
coyness and modesty, any more than there is for a base-hospital
nurse when they bring in the wounded.  Nice young ladies--they're
OUT!  It's Lorinda and me that you men are going to want to have
around, isn't it--isn't it--now isn't it?"

"Maybe--perhaps," Doremus sighed, depressed at seeing a little more
of his familiar world slide from under his feet as the flood rose.

They were coming into the Jessup driveway.  Shad Ledue was just
leaving the garage.

"Skip in the house, quick, will you!" said Doremus to his girl.

"Sure.  But do be careful, hon!"  She no longer sounded like his
little daughter, to be protected, adorned with pale blue ribbons,
slyly laughed at when she tried to show off in grown-up ways.  She
was suddenly a dependable comrade, like Lorinda.

Doremus slipped resolutely out of his car and said calmly:



"D'you take the car keys into the kitchen?"

"Huh?  No.  I guess I left 'em in the car."

"I've told you a hundred times they belong inside."

"Yuh?  Well, how'd you like MISS CECILIA'S driving?  Have a good
visit with old Mrs. Pike?"

He was derisive now, beyond concealment.

"Ledue, I rather think you're fired--right now!"

"Well!  Just feature that!  O.K., Chief!  I was just going to tell
you that we're forming a second chapter of the League of Forgotten
Men in the Fort, and I'm to be the secretary.  They don't pay much--
only about twice what you pay me--pretty tight-fisted--but it'll
mean something in politics.  Good-night!"

Afterward, Doremus was sorry to remember that, for all his
longshoreman clumsiness, Shad had learned a precise script in his
red Vermont schoolhouse, and enough mastery of figures so that
probably he would be able to keep this rather bogus secretaryship.
Too bad!

When, as League secretary, a fortnight later, Shad wrote to him
demanding a donation of two hundred dollars to the League, and
Doremus refused, the Informer began to lose circulation within
twenty-four hours.


Usually I'm pretty mild, in fact many of my friends are kind enough
to call it "Folksy," when I'm writing or speechifying.  My ambition
is to "live by the side of the road and be a friend to man."  But I
hope that none of the gentlemen who have honored me with their
enmity think for one single moment that when I run into a gross
enough public evil or a persistent enough detractor, I can't get up
on my hind legs and make a sound like a two-tailed grizzly in
April.  So right at the start of this account of my ten-year fight
with them, as private citizen, State Senator, and U. S. Senator,
let me say that the Sangfrey River Light, Power, and Fuel
Corporation are--and I invite a suit for libel--the meanest,
lowest, cowardliest gang of yellow-livered, back-slapping,
hypocritical gun-toters, bomb-throwers, ballot-stealers, ledger-
fakers, givers of bribes, suborners of perjury, scab-hirers, and
general lowdown crooks, liars, and swindlers that ever tried to do
an honest servant of the People out of an election--not but what I
have always succeeded in licking them, so that my indignation at
these homicidal kleptomaniacs is not personal but entirely on
behalf of the general public.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

On Wednesday, January 6, 1937, just a fortnight before his
inauguration, President-Elect Windrip announced his appointments of
cabinet members and of diplomats.

Secretary of State: his former secretary and press-agent, Lee
Sarason, who also took the position of High Marshal, or Commander-
in-Chief, of the Minute Men, which organization was to be
established permanently, as an innocent marching club.

Secretary of the Treasury: one Webster R. Skittle, president of the
prosperous Fur & Hide National Bank of St. Louis--Mr. Skittle had
once been indicted on a charge of defrauding the government on his
income tax, but he had been acquitted, more or less, and during the
campaign, he was said to have taken a convincing way of showing his
faith in Buzz Windrip as the Savior of the Forgotten Men.

Secretary of War: Colonel Osceola Luthorne, formerly editor of the
Topeka (Kans.) Argus, and the Fancy Goods and Novelties Gazette;
more recently high in real estate.  His title came from his
position on the honorary staff of the Governor of Tennessee.  He
had long been a friend and fellow campaigner of Windrip.

It was a universal regret that Bishop Paul Peter Prang should have
refused the appointment as Secretary of War, with a letter in which
he called Windrip "My dear Friend and Collaborator" and asserted
that he had actually meant it when he had said he desired no
office.  Later, it was a similar regret when Father Coughlin
refused the Ambassadorship to Mexico, with no letter at all but
only a telegram cryptically stating, "Just six months too late."

A new cabinet position, that of Secretary of Education and Public
Relations, was created.  Not for months would Congress investigate
the legality of such a creation, but meantime the new post was
brilliantly held by Hector Macgoblin, M.D., Ph.D., Hon. Litt.D.

Senator Porkwood graced the position of Attorney General, and all
the other offices were acceptably filled by men who, though they
had roundly supported Windrip's almost socialistic projects for the
distribution of excessive fortunes, were yet known to be thoroughly
sensible men, and no fanatics.

It was said, though Doremus Jessup could never prove it, that
Windrip learned from Lee Sarason the Spanish custom of getting
rid of embarrassing friends and enemies by appointing them to
posts abroad, preferably quite far abroad.  Anyway, as Ambassador
to Brazil, Windrip appointed Herbert Hoover, who not very 
enthusiastically accepted; as Ambassador to Germany, Senator Borah;
as Governor of the Philippines, Senator Robert La Follette, who
refused; and as Ambassadors to the Court of St. James's, France,
and Russia, none other than Upton Sinclair, Milo Reno, and Senator
Bilbo of Mississippi.

These three had a fine time.  Mr. Sinclair pleased the British by
taking so friendly an interest in their politics that he openly
campaigned for the Independent Labor Party and issued a lively
brochure called "I, Upton Sinclair, Prove That Prime-Minister
Walter Elliot, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, and First Lord of
the Admiralty Nancy Astor Are All Liars and Have Refused to Accept
My Freely Offered Advice."  Mr. Sinclair also aroused considerable
interest in British domestic circles by advocating an act of
Parliament forbidding the wearing of evening clothes and all
hunting of foxes except with shotguns; and on the occasion of his
official reception at Buckingham Palace, he warmly invited King
George and Queen Mary to come and live in California.

Mr. Milo Reno, insurance salesman and former president of the
National Farm Holiday Association, whom all the French royalists
compared to his great predecessor, Benjamin Franklin, for
forthrightness, became the greatest social favorite in the
international circles of Paris, the Basses-Pyrénées, and the
Riviera, and was once photographed playing tennis at Antibes with
the Duc de Tropez, Lord Rothermere, and Dr. Rudolph Hess.

Senator Bilbo had, possibly, the best time of all.

Stalin asked his advice, as based on his ripe experience in the
Gleichshaltung of Mississippi, about the cultural organization of
the somewhat backward natives of Tadjikistan, and so valuable did
it prove that Excellency Bilbo was invited to review the Moscow
military celebration, the following November seventh, in the
same stand with the very highest class of representatives of
the classless state.  It was a triumph for His Excellency.
Generalissimo Voroshilov fainted after 200,000 Soviet troops, 7000
tanks, and 9000 aeroplanes had passed by; Stalin had to be carried
home after reviewing 317,000; but Ambassador Bilbo was there in the
stand when the very last of the 626,000 soldiers had gone by, all
of them saluting him under the quite erroneous impression that he
was the Chinese Ambassador; and he was still tirelessly returning
their salutes, fourteen to the minute, and softly singing with them
the "International."

He was less of a hit later, however, when to the unsmiling Anglo-
American Association of Exiles to Soviet Russia from Imperialism,
he sang to the tune of the "International" what he regarded as
amusing private words of his own:

     "Arise, ye prisoners of starvation,
        From Russia make your getaway.
      They all are rich in Bilbo's nation.
        God bless the U. S. A.!"

Mrs. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch, after her spirited campaign for Mr.
Windrip, was publicly angry that she was offered no position higher
than a post in the customs office in Nome, Alaska, though this was
offered to her very urgently indeed.  She had demanded that there
be created, especially for her, the cabinet position of
Secretaryess of Domestic Science, Child Welfare, and Anti-Vice.
She threatened to turn Jeffersonian, Republican, or Communistic,
but in April she was heard of in Hollywood, writing the scenario
for a giant picture to be called, They Did It in Greece.

As an insult and boy-from-home joke, the President-Elect appointed
Franklin D. Roosevelt minister to Liberia.  Mr. Roosevelt's
opponents laughed very much, and opposition newspapers did cartoons
of him sitting unhappily in a grass hut with a sign on which
"N.R.A." had been crossed out and "U.S.A."  substituted.  But Mr.
Roosevelt declined with so amiable a smile that the joke seemed
rather to have slipped.

The followers of President Windrip trumpeted that it was
significant that he should be the first president inaugurated not
on March fourth, but on January twentieth, according to the
provision of the new Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution.  It
was a sign straight from Heaven (though, actually, Heaven had not
been the author of the amendment, but Senator George W. Norris of
Nebraska), and proved that Windrip was starting a new paradise on

The inauguration was turbulent.  President Roosevelt declined to be
present--he politely suggested that he was about half ill unto
death, but that same noon he was seen in a New York shop, buying
books on gardening and looking abnormally cheerful.

More than a thousand reporters, photographers, and radio men
covered the inauguration.  Twenty-seven constituents of Senator
Porkwood, of all sexes, had to sleep on the floor of the Senator's
office, and a hall-bedroom in the suburb of Bladensburg rented for
thirty dollars for two nights.  The presidents of Brazil, the
Argentine, and Chile flew to the inauguration in a Pan-American
aeroplane, and Japan sent seven hundred students on a special train
from Seattle.

A motor company in Detroit had presented to Windrip a limousine
with armor plate, bulletproof glass, a hidden nickel-steel safe for
papers, a concealed private bar, and upholstery made from the
Troissant tapestries of 1670.  But Buzz chose to drive from his
home to the Capitol in his old Hupmobile sedan, and his driver was
a youngster from his home town whose notion of a uniform for state
occasions was a blue-serge suit, red tie, and derby hat.  Windrip
himself did wear a topper, but he saw to it that Lee Sarason saw to
it that the one hundred and thirty million plain citizens learned,
by radio, even while the inaugural parade was going on, that he had
borrowed the topper for this one sole occasion from a New York
Republican Representative who had ancestors.

But following Windrip was an un-Jacksonian escort of soldiers: the
American Legion and, immensely grander than the others, the Minute
Men, wearing trench helmets of polished silver and led by Colonel
Dewey Haik in scarlet tunic and yellow riding-breeches and helmet
with golden plumes.

Solemnly, for once looking a little awed, a little like a small-
town boy on Broadway, Windrip took the oath, administered by the
Chief Justice (who disliked him very much indeed) and, edging even
closer to the microphone, squawked, "My fellow citizens, as the
President of the United States of America, I want to inform you
that the REAL New Deal has started right this minute, and we're all
going to enjoy the manifold liberties to which our history entitles
us--and have a whale of a good time doing it!  I thank you!"

That was his first act as President.  His second was to take up
residence in the White House, where he sat down in the East Room in
his stocking feet and shouted at Lee Sarason, "This is what I've
been planning to do now for six years!  I bet this is what Lincoln
used to do!  Now let 'em assassinate me!"

His third, in his role as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, was to
order that the Minute Men be recognized as an unpaid but official
auxiliary of the Regular Army, subject only to their own officers,
to Buzz, and to High Marshal Sarason; and that rifles, bayonets,
automatic pistols, and machine guns be instantly issued to them by
government arsenals.  That was at 4 P.M.  Since 3 P.M., all over
the country, bands of M.M.'s had been sitting gloating over pistols
and guns, twitching with desire to seize them.

Fourth coup was a special message, next morning, to Congress (in
session since January fourth, the third having been a Sunday),
demanding the instant passage of a bill embodying Point Fifteen of
his election platform--that he should have complete control of
legislation and execution, and the Supreme Court be rendered
incapable of blocking anything that it might amuse him to do.

By Joint Resolution, with less than half an hour of debate, both
houses of Congress rejected that demand before 3 P.M., on January
twenty-first.  Before six, the President had proclaimed that a
state of martial law existed during the "present crisis," and more
than a hundred Congressmen had been arrested by Minute Men, on
direct orders from the President.  The Congressmen who were
hotheaded enough to resist were cynically charged with "inciting to
riot"; they who went quietly were not charged at all.  It was
blandly explained to the agitated press by Lee Sarason that these
latter quiet lads had been so threatened by "irresponsible and
seditious elements" that they were merely being safeguarded.
Sarason did not use the phrase "protective arrest," which might
have suggested things.

To the veteran reporters it was strange to see the titular
Secretary of State, theoretically a person of such dignity and
consequence that he could deal with the representatives of foreign
powers, acting as press-agent and yes-man for even the President.

There were riots, instantly, all over Washington, all over America.

The recalcitrant Congressmen had been penned in the District Jail.
Toward it, in the winter evening, marched a mob that was noisily
mutinous toward the Windrip for whom so many of them had voted.
Among the mob buzzed hundreds of Negroes, armed with knives and old
pistols, for one of the kidnaped Congressmen was a Negro from
Georgia, the first colored Georgian to hold high office since
carpetbagger days.

Surrounding the jail, behind machine guns, the rebels found a few
Regulars, many police, and a horde of Minute Men, but at these last
they jeered, calling them "Minnie Mouses" and "tin soldiers" and
"mama's boys."  The M.M.'s looked nervously at their officers and
at the Regulars who were making so professional a pretense of not
being scared.  The mob heaved bottles and dead fish.  Half-a-dozen
policemen with guns and night sticks, trying to push back the van
of the mob, were buried under a human surf and came up grotesquely
battered and ununiformed--those who ever did come up again.  There
were two shots; and one Minute Man slumped to the jail steps,
another stood ludicrously holding a wrist that spurted blood.

The Minute Men--why, they said to themselves, they'd never meant to
be soldiers anyway--just wanted to have some fun marching!  They
began to sneak into the edges of the mob, hiding their uniform
caps.  That instant, from a powerful loudspeaker in a lower window
of the jail brayed the voice of President Berzelius Windrip:

"I am addressing my own boys, the Minute Men, everywhere in
America!  To you and you only I look for help to make America a
proud, rich land again.  You have been scorned.  They thought you
were the 'lower classes.'  They wouldn't give you jobs.  They told
you to sneak off like bums and get relief.  They ordered you into
lousy C.C.C. camps.  They said you were no good, because you were
poor.  _I_ tell you that you are, ever since yesterday noon, the
highest lords of the land--the aristocracy--the makers of the new
America of freedom and justice.  Boys!  I need you!  Help me--help
me to help you!  Stand fast!  Anybody tries to block you--give the
swine the point of your bayonet!"

A machine-gunner M.M., who had listened reverently, let loose.  The
mob began to drop, and into the backs of the wounded as they went
staggering away the M.M. infantry, running, poked their bayonets.
Such a juicy squash it made, and the fugitives looked so amazed, so
funny, as they tumbled in grotesque heaps!

The M.M.'s hadn't, in dreary hours of bayonet drill, known this
would be such sport.  They'd have more of it now--and hadn't the
President of the United States himself told each of them,
personally, that he needed their aid?

When the remnants of Congress ventured to the Capitol, they found
it seeded with M.M.'s, while a regiment of Regulars, under Major
General Meinecke, paraded the grounds.

The Speaker of the House, and the Hon. Mr. Perley Beecroft, Vice-
President of the United States and Presiding Officer of the Senate,
had the power to declare that quorums were present.  (If a lot of
members chose to dally in the district jail, enjoying themselves
instead of attending Congress, whose fault was that?)  Both houses
passed a resolution declaring Point Fifteen temporarily in effect,
during the "crisis"--the legality of the passage was doubtful, but
just who was to contest it, even though the members of the Supreme
Court had not been placed under protective arrest . . . merely
confined each to his own house by a squad of Minute Men!

Bishop Paul Peter Prang had (his friends said afterward) been
dismayed by Windrip's stroke of state.  Surely, he complained, Mr.
Windrip hadn't quite remembered to include Christian Amity in the
program he had taken from the League of Forgotten Men.  Though Mr.
Prang had contentedly given up broadcasting ever since the victory
of Justice and Fraternity in the person of Berzelius Windrip, he
wanted to caution the public again, but when he telephoned to his
familiar station, WLFM in Chicago, the manager informed him that
"just temporarily, all access to the air was forbidden," except as
it was especially licensed by the offices of Lee Sarason.  (Oh,
that was only one of sixteen jobs that Lee and his six hundred new
assistants had taken on in the past week.)

Rather timorously, Bishop Prang motored from his home in
Persepolis, Indiana, to the Indianapolis airport and took a night
plane for Washington, to reprove, perhaps even playfully to spank,
his naughty disciple, Buzz.

He had little trouble in being admitted to see the President.  In
fact, he was, the press feverishly reported, at the White House for
six hours, though whether he was with the President all that time
they could not discover.  At three in the afternoon Prang was seen
to leave by a private entrance to the executive offices and take a
taxi.  They noted that he was pale and staggering.

In front of his hotel he was elbowed by a mob who in curiously
unmenacing and mechanical tones yelped, "Lynch um--downutha enemies
Windrip!"  A dozen M.M.'s pierced the crowd and surrounded the
Bishop.  The Ensign commanding them bellowed to the crowd, so that
all might hear, "You cowards leave the Bishop alone!  Bishop, come
with us, and we'll see you're safe!"

Millions heard on their radios that evening the official
announcement that, to ward off mysterious plotters, probably
Bolsheviks, Bishop Prang had been safely shielded in the district
jail.  And with it a personal statement from President Windrip that
he was filled with joy at having been able to "rescue from the foul
agitators my friend and mentor, Bishop P. P. Prang, than whom there
is no man living who I so admire and respect."

There was, as yet, no absolute censorship of the press; only a
confused imprisonment of journalists who offended the government or
local officers of the M.M.'s; and the papers chronically opposed to
Windrip carried by no means flattering hints that Bishop Prang had
rebuked the President and been plain jailed, with no nonsense about
a "rescue."  These mutters reached Persepolis.

Not all the Persepolitans ached with love for the Bishop or
considered him a modern St. Francis gathering up the little fowls
of the fields in his handsome LaSalle car.  There were neighbors
who hinted that he was a window-peeping snooper after bootleggers
and obliging grass widows.  But proud of him, their best
advertisement, they certainly were, and the Persepolis Chamber of
Commerce had caused to be erected at the Eastern gateway to Main
Street the sign:  "Home of Bishop Prang, Radio's Greatest Star."

So as one man Persepolis telegraphed to Washington, demanding
Prang's release, but a messenger in the Executive Offices who was a
Persepolis boy (he was, it is true, a colored man, but suddenly he
became a favorite son, lovingly remembered by old schoolmates)
tipped off the Mayor that the telegrams were among the hundredweight
of messages that were daily hauled away from the White House

Then a quarter of the citizenry of Persepolis mounted a special
train to "march" on Washington.  It was one of those small
incidents which the opposition press could use as a bomb under
Windrip, and the train was accompanied by a score of high-ranking
reporters from Chicago and, later, from Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and
New York.

While the train was on its way--and it was curious what delays and
sidetrackings it encountered--a company of Minute Men at
Logansport, Indiana, rebelled against having to arrest a group of
Catholic nuns who were accused of having taught treasonably.  High
Marshal Sarason felt that there must be a Lesson, early and
impressive.  A battalion of M.M.'s, sent from Chicago in fast
trucks, arrested the mutinous company, and shot every third man.

When the Persepolitans reached Washington, they were tearfully
informed, by a brigadier of M.M.'s who met them at the Union
Station, that poor Bishop Prang had been so shocked by the treason
of his fellow Indianans that he had gone melancholy mad and they
had tragically been compelled to shut him up in St. Elizabeth's
government insane asylum.

No one willing to carry news about him ever saw Bishop Prang again.

The Brigadier brought greetings to the Persepolitans from the
President himself, and an invitation to stay at the Willard, at
government expense.  Only a dozen accepted; the rest took the first
train back, not amiably; and from then on there was one town in
America in which no M.M. ever dared to appear in his ducky forage
cap and dark-blue tunic.

The Chief of Staff of the Regular Army had been deposed; in his
place was Major General Emmanuel Coon.  Doremus and his like were
disappointed by General Coon's acceptance, for they had always been
informed, even by the Nation, that Emmanuel Coon, though a
professional army officer who did enjoy a fight, preferred that
that fight be on the side of the Lord; that he was generous,
literate, just, and a man of honor--and honor was the one quality
that Buzz Windrip wasn't even expected to understand.  Rumor said
that Coon (as "Nordic" a Kentuckian as ever existed, a descendant
of men who had fought beside Kit Carson and Commodore Perry) was
particularly impatient with the puerility of anti-Semitism, and
that nothing so pleased him as, when he heard new acquaintances
being superior about the Jews, to snarl, "Did you by any chance
happen to notice that my name is Emmanuel Coon and that Coon might
be a corruption of some name rather familiar on the East Side of
New York?"

"Oh well, I suppose even General Coon feels, 'Orders are Orders,'"
sighed Doremus.

President Windrip's first extended proclamation to the country was
a pretty piece of literature and of tenderness.  He explained that
powerful and secret enemies of American principles--one rather
gathered that they were a combination of Wall Street and Soviet
Russia--upon discovering, to their fury, that he, Berzelius, was
going to be President, had planned their last charge.  Everything
would be tranquil in a few months, but meantime there was a Crisis,
during which the country must "bear with him."

He recalled the military dictatorship of Lincoln and Stanton during
the Civil War, when civilian suspects were arrested without
warrant.  He hinted how delightful everything was going to be--
right away now--just a moment--just a moment's patience--when he
had things in hand; and he wound up with a comparison of the Crisis
to the urgency of a fireman rescuing a pretty girl from a
"conflagration," and carrying her down a ladder, for her own sake,
whether she liked it or not, and no matter how appealingly she
might kick her pretty ankles.

The whole country laughed.

"Great card, that Buzz, but mighty competent guy," said the

"I should worry whether Bish Prang or any other nut is in the
boobyhatch, long as I get my five thousand bucks a year, like
Windrip promised," said Shad Ledue to Charley Betts, the furniture

It had all happened within the eight days following Windrip's


I have no desire to be President.  I would much rather do my humble
best as a supporter of Bishop Prang, Ted Bilbo, Gene Talmadge or
any other broad-gauged but peppy Liberal.  My only longing is to

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

Like many bachelors given to vigorous hunting and riding, Buck
Titus was a fastidious housekeeper, and his mid-Victorian farmhouse
fussily neat.  It was also pleasantly bare: the living room a
monastic hall of heavy oak chairs, tables free of dainty covers,
numerous and rather solemn books of history and exploration, with
the conventional "sets," and a tremendous fireplace of rough stone.
And the ash trays were solid pottery and pewter, able to cope with
a whole evening of cigarette-smoking.  The whisky stood honestly on
the oak buffet, with siphons, and with cracked ice always ready in
a thermos jug.

It would, however, have been too much to expect Buck Titus not to
have red-and-black imitation English hunting-prints.

This hermitage, always grateful to Doremus, was sanctuary now, and
only with Buck could he adequately damn Windrip & Co. and people
like Francis Tasbrough, who in February was still saying, "Yes,
things do look kind of hectic down there in Washington, but that's
just because there's so many of these bullheaded politicians that
still think they can buck Windrip.  Besides, anyway, things like
that couldn't ever happen here in New England."

And, indeed, as Doremus went on his lawful occasions past the red-
brick Georgian houses, the slender spires of old white churches
facing the Green, as he heard the lazy irony of familiar greetings
from his acquaintances, men as enduring as their Vermont hills, it
seemed to him that the madness in the capital was as alien and
distant and unimportant as an earthquake in Tibet.

Constantly, in the Informer, he criticized the government but not
too acidly.

The hysteria can't last; be patient, and wait and see, he counseled
his readers.

It was not that he was afraid of the authorities.  He simply did
not believe that this comic tyranny could endure.  IT CAN'T HAPPEN
HERE, said even Doremus--even now.

The one thing that most perplexed him was that there could be a
dictator seemingly so different from the fervent Hitlers and
gesticulating Fascists and the Cæsars with laurels round bald
domes; a dictator with something of the earthy American sense of
humor of a Mark Twain, a George Ade, a Will Rogers, an Artemus
Ward.  Windrip could be ever so funny about solemn jaw-drooping
opponents, and about the best method of training what he called "a
Siamese flea hound."  Did that, puzzled Doremus, make him less or
more dangerous?

Then he remembered the most cruel-mad of all pirates, Sir Henry
Morgan, who had thought it ever so funny to sew a victim up in wet
rawhide and watch it shrink in the sun.

From the perseverance with which they bickered, you could tell that
Buck Titus and Lorinda were much fonder of each other than they
would admit.  Being a person who read little and therefore took
what he did read seriously, Buck was distressed by the normally
studious Lorinda's vacation liking for novels about distressed
princesses, and when she airily insisted that they were better
guides to conduct than Anthony Trollope or Thomas Hardy, Buck
roared at her and, in the feebleness of baited strength, nervously
filled pipes and knocked them out against the stone mantel.  But he
approved of the relationship between Doremus and Lorinda, which
only he (and Shad Ledue!) had guessed, and over Doremus, ten years
his senior, this shaggy-headed woodsman fussed like a thwarted

To both Doremus and Lorinda, Buck's overgrown shack became their
refuge.  And they needed it, late in February, five weeks or
thereabouts after Windrip's election.

Despite strikes and riots all over the country, bloodily put down
by the Minute Men, Windrip's power in Washington was maintained.
The most liberal four members of the Supreme Court resigned and
were replaced by surprisingly unknown lawyers who called President
Windrip by his first name.  A number of Congressmen were still
being "protected" in the District of Columbia jail; others had seen
the blinding light forever shed by the goddess Reason and happily
returned to the Capitol.  The Minute Men were increasingly loyal--
they were still unpaid volunteers, but provided with "expense
accounts" considerably larger than the pay of the regular troops.
Never in American history had the adherents of a President been so
well satisfied; they were not only appointed to whatever political
jobs there were but to ever so many that really were not; and with
such annoyances as Congressional Investigations hushed, the
official awarders of contracts were on the merriest of terms with
all contractors. . . .  One veteran lobbyist for steel corporations
complained that there was no more sport in his hunting--you were
not only allowed but expected to shoot all government purchasing-
agents sitting.

None of the changes was so publicized as the Presidential mandate
abruptly ending the separate existence of the different states, and
dividing the whole country into eight "provinces"--thus, asserted
Windrip, economizing by reducing the number of governors and all
other state officers and, asserted Windrip's enemies, better
enabling him to concentrate his private army and hold the country.

The new "Northeastern Province" included all of New York State
north of a line through Ossining, and all of New England except a
strip of Connecticut shore as far east as New Haven.  This was,
Doremus admitted, a natural and homogeneous division, and even more
natural seemed the urban and industrial "Metropolitan Province,"
which included Greater New York, Westchester County up to Ossining,
Long Island, the strip of Connecticut dependent on New York City,
New Jersey, northern Delaware, and Pennsylvania as far as Reading
and Scranton.

Each province was divided into numbered districts, each district
into lettered counties, each county into townships and cities, and
only in these last did the old names, with their traditional
appeal, remain to endanger President Windrip by memories of
honorable local history.  And it was gossiped that, next, the
government would change even the town names--that they were already
thinking fondly of calling New York "Berzelian" and San Francisco
"San Sarason."  Probably that gossip was false.

The Northeastern Province's six districts were:  1, Upper New York
State west of and including Syracuse; 2, New York east of it; 3,
Vermont and New Hampshire; 4, Maine; 5, Massachusetts; 6, Rhode
Island and the unraped portion of Connecticut.

District 3, Doremus Jessup's district, was divided into the four
"counties" of southern and northern Vermont, and southern and
northern New Hampshire, with Hanover for capital--the District
Commissioner merely chased the Dartmouth students out and took over
the college buildings for his offices, to the considerable approval
of Amherst, Williams, and Yale.

So Doremus was living, now, in Northeastern Province, District 3,
County B, township of Beulah, and over him for his admiration and
rejoicing were a provincial commissioner, a district commissioner,
a county commissioner, an assistant county commissioner in charge
of Beulah Township, and all their appertaining M.M. guards and
emergency military judges.

Citizens who had lived in any one state for more than ten years
seemed to resent more hotly the loss of that state's identity than
they did the castration of the Congress and Supreme Court of the
United States--indeed, they resented it almost as much as the fact
that, while late January, February, and most of March went by, they
still were not receiving their governmental gifts of $5000 (or
perhaps it would beautifully be $10,000) apiece; had indeed
received nothing more than cheery bulletins from Washington to the
effect that the "Capital Levy Board," or C.L.B. was holding

Virginians whose grandfathers had fought beside Lee shouted that
they'd be damned if they'd give up the hallowed state name and form
just one arbitrary section of an administrative unit containing
eleven Southern states; San Franciscans who had considered Los
Angelinos even worse than denizens of Miami now wailed with agony
when California was sundered and the northern portion lumped in
with Oregon, Nevada, and others as the "Mountain and Pacific
Province," while southern California was, without her permission,
assigned to the Southwestern Province, along with Arizona, New
Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Hawaii.  As some hint of Buzz
Windrip's vision for the future, it was interesting to read that
this Southwestern Province was also to be permitted to claim "all
portions of Mexico which the United States may from time to time
find it necessary to take over, as a protection against the
notorious treachery of Mexico and the Jewish plots there hatched."

"Lee Sarason is even more generous than Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg
in protecting the future of other countries," sighed Doremus.

As Provincial Commissioner of the Northeastern Province, comprising
Upper New York State and New England, was appointed Colonel Dewey
Haik, that soldier-lawyer-politician-aviator who was the chilliest-
blooded and most arrogant of all the satellites of Windrip yet had
so captivated miners and fishermen during the campaign.  He was a
strong-flying eagle who liked his meat bloody.  As District
Commissioner of District 3--Vermont and New Hampshire--appeared, to
Doremus's mingled derision and fury, none other than John Sullivan
Reek, that stuffiest of stuffed-shirts, that most gaseous gas bag,
that most amenable machine politician of Northern New England; a
Republican ex-governor who had, in the alembic of Windrip's
patriotism, rosily turned Leaguer.

No one had ever troubled to be obsequious to the Hon. J. S. Reek,
even when he had been Governor.  The weediest back-country
Representative had called him "Johnny," in the gubernatorial
mansion (twelve rooms and a leaky roof); and the youngest reporter
had bawled, "Well, what bull you handing out today, Ex?"

It was this Commissioner Reek who summoned all the editors in his
district to meet him at his new viceregal lodge in Dartmouth
Library and receive the precious privileged information as to how
much President Windrip and his subordinate commissioners admired
the gentlemen of the press.

Before he left for the press conference in Hanover, Doremus
received from Sissy a "poem"--at least she called it that--which
Buck Titus, Lorinda Pike, Julian Falck, and she had painfully
composed, late at night, in Buck's fortified manor house:

     Be meek with Reek,
     Go fake with Haik.
     One rhymes with sneak,
     And t' other with snake.
     Haik, with his beak,
     Is on the make,
     But Sullivan Reek--
         Oh God!

"Well, anyway, Windrip's put everybody to work.  And he's driven
all these unsightly billboards off the highways--much better for
the tourist trade," said all the old editors, even those who
wondered if the President wasn't perhaps the least bit arbitrary.

As he drove to Hanover, Doremus saw hundreds of huge billboards by
the road.  But they bore only Windrip propaganda and underneath,
"with the compliments of a loyal firm" and--very large--"Montgomery
Cigarettes" or "Jonquil Foot Soap."  On the short walk from a
parking-space to the former Dartmouth campus, three several men
muttered to him, "Give us a nickel for cuppa coffee, Boss--a
Minnie Mouse has got my job and the Mouses won't take me--they say
I'm too old."  But that may have been propaganda from Moscow.

On the long porch of the Hanover Inn, officers of the Minute Men
were reclining in deck chairs, their spurred boots (in all the M.M.
organization there was no cavalry) up on the railing.

Doremus passed a science building in front of which was a pile of
broken laboratory glassware, and in one stripped laboratory he
could see a small squad of M.M.'s drilling.

District Commissioner John Sullivan Reek affectionately received
the editors in a classroom. . . .  Old men, used to being revered
as prophets, sitting anxiously in trifling chairs, facing a fat man
in the uniform of an M.M. commander, who smoked an unmilitary cigar
as his pulpy hand waved greeting.

Reek took not more than an hour to relate what would have taken the
most intelligent man five or six hours--that is, five minutes of
speech and the rest of the five hours to recover from the nausea
caused by having to utter such shameless rot. . . .  President
Windrip, Secretary of State Sarason, Provincial Commissioner Haik,
and himself, John Sullivan Reek, they were all being misrepresented
by the Republicans, the Jeffersonians, the Communists, England, the
Nazis, and probably the jute and herring industries; and what the
government wanted was for any reporter to call on any member of
this Administration, and especially on Commissioner Reek, at any
time--except perhaps between 3 and 7 A.M.--and "get the real low-

Excellency Reek announced, then:  "And now, gentlemen, I am giving
myself the privilege of introducing you to all four of the County
Commissioners, who were just chosen yesterday.  Probably each of
you will know personally the commissioner from your own county, but
I want you to intimately and cooperatively know all four, because,
whomever they may be, they join with me in my unquenchable
admiration of the press."

The four County Commissioners, as one by one they shambled into the
room and were introduced, seemed to Doremus an oddish lot:  A moth-
eaten lawyer known more for his quotations from Shakespeare and
Robert W. Service than for his shrewdness before a jury.  He was
luminously bald except for a prickle of faded rusty hair, but you
felt that, if he had his rights, he would have the floating locks
of a tragedian of 1890.

A battling clergyman famed for raiding roadhouses.

A rather shy workman, an authentic proletarian, who seemed
surprised to find himself there.  (He was replaced, a month later,
by a popular osteopath with an interest in politics and

The fourth dignitary to come in and affectionately bow to the
editors, a bulky man, formidable-looking in his uniform as a
battalion leader of Minute Men, introduced as the Commissioner for
northern Vermont, Doremus Jessup's county, was Mr. Oscar Ledue,
formerly known as "Shad."

Mr. Reek called him "Captain" Ledue.  Doremus remembered that
Shad's only military service, prior to Windrip's election, had been
as an A.E.F. private who had never got beyond a training-camp in
America and whose fiercest experience in battle had been licking a
corporal when in liquor.

"Mr. Jessup," bubbled the Hon. Mr. Reek, "I imagine you must have
met Captain Ledue--comes from your charming city."

"Uh-uh-ur," said Doremus.

"Sure," said Captain Ledue.  "I've met old Jessup, all right, all
right!  He don't know what it's all about.  He don't know the first
thing about the economics of our social Revolution.  He's a Cho-
vinis.  But he isn't such a bad old coot, and I'll let him ride as
long as he behaves himself!"

"Splendid!" said the Hon. Mr. Reek.


Like beefsteak and potatoes stick to your ribs even if you're
working your head off, so the words of the Good Book stick by you
in perplexity and tribulation.  If I ever held a high position over
my people, I hope that my ministers would be quoting, from II
Kings, 18; 31 & 32:  "Come out to me, and then eat ye every man of
his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one
the waters of his cistern, until I come and take you away to a land
of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive
oil and honey, that ye may live and not die."

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

Despite the claims of Montpelier, the former capital of Vermont,
and of Burlington, largest town in the state, Captain Shad Ledue
fixed on Fort Beulah as executive center of County B, which was
made out of nine former counties of northern Vermont.  Doremus
never decided whether this was, as Lorinda Pike asserted, because
Shad was in partnership with Banker R. C. Crowley in the profits
derived from the purchase of quite useless old dwellings as part of
his headquarters, or for the even sounder purpose of showing
himself off, in battalion leader's uniform with the letters "C.C."
beneath the five-pointed star on his collar, to the pals with whom
he had once played pool and drunk applejack, and to the "snobs"
whose lawns he once had mowed.

Besides the condemned dwellings, Shad took over all of the former
Scotland County courthouse and established his private office in
the judge's chambers, merely chucking out the law books and
replacing them with piles of magazines devoted to the movies and
the detection of crime, hanging up portraits of Windrip, Sarason,
Haik, and Reek, installing two deep chairs upholstered in poison-
green plush (ordered from the store of the loyal Charley Betts but,
to Betts's fury, charged to the government, to be paid for if and
when) and doubling the number of judicial cuspidors.

In the top center drawer of his desk Shad kept a photograph from a
nudist camp, a flask of Benedictine, a .44 revolver, and a dog

County commissioners were allowed from one to a dozen assistant
commissioners, depending on the population.  Doremus Jessup was
alarmed when he discovered that Shad had had the shrewdness to
choose as assistants men of some education and pretense to manners,
with "Professor" Emil Staubmeyer as Assistant County Commissioner
in charge of the Township of Beulah, which included the villages of
Fort Beulah, West and North Beulah, Beulah Center, Trianon, Hosea,
and Keezmet.

As Shad had, without benefit of bayonets, become a captain, so Mr.
Staubmeyer (author of Hitler and Other Poems of Passion--
unpublished) automatically became a doctor.

Perhaps, thought Doremus, he would understand Windrip & Co. better
through seeing them faintly reflected in Shad and Staubmeyer than
he would have in the confusing glare of Washington; and understand
thus that a Buzz Windrip--a Bismarck--a Cæsar--a Pericles was like
all the rest of itching, indigesting, aspiring humanity except that
each of these heroes had a higher degree of ambition and more
willingness to kill.

By June, the enrollment of the Minute Men had increased to 562,000,
and the force was now able to accept as new members only such
trusty patriots and pugilists as it preferred.  The War Department
was frankly allowing them not just "expense money" but payment
ranging from ten dollars a week for "inspectors" with a few hours
of weekly duty in drilling, to $9700 a year for "brigadiers" on
full time, and $16,000 for the High Marshal, Lee Sarason . . .
fortunately without interfering with the salaries from his other
onerous duties.

The M.M. ranks were: inspector, more or less corresponding to
private; squad leader, or corporal; cornet, or sergeant; ensign, or
lieutenant; battalion leader, a combination of captain, major, and
lieutenant colonel; commander, or colonel; brigadier, or general;
high marshal, or commanding general.  Cynics suggested that these
honorable titles derived more from the Salvation Army than the
fighting forces, but be that cheap sneer justified or no, the fact
remains that an M.M. helot had ever so much more pride in being
called an "inspector," an awing designation in all police circles,
than in being a "private."

Since all members of the National Guard were not only allowed but
encouraged to become members of the Minute Men also, since all
veterans of the Great War were given special privileges, and since
"Colonel" Osceola Luthorne, the Secretary of War, was generous
about lending regular army officers to Secretary of State Sarason
for use as drill masters in the M.M.'s, there was a surprising
proportion of trained men for so newly born an army.

Lee Sarason had proven to President Windrip by statistics from the
Great War that college education, and even the study of the horrors
of other conflicts, did not weaken the masculinity of the students,
but actually made them more patriotic, flag-waving, and skillful in
the direction of slaughter than the average youth, and nearly every
college in the country was to have, this coming autumn, its own
battalion of M.M.'s, with drill counting as credit toward
graduation.  The collegians were to be schooled as officers.
Another splendid source of M.M. officers were the gymnasiums and
the classes in Business Administration of the Y.M.C.A.

Most of the rank and file, however, were young farmers delighted by
the chance to go to town and to drive automobiles as fast as they
wanted to; young factory employees who preferred uniforms and the
authority to kick elderly citizens above overalls and stooping over
machines; and rather a large number of former criminals, ex-
bootleggers, ex-burglars, ex-labor racketeers, who, for their skill
with guns and leather life-preservers, and for their assurances
that the majesty of the Five-Pointed Star had completely reformed
them, were forgiven their earlier blunders in ethics and were
warmly accepted in the M.M. Storm Troops.

It was said that one of the least of these erring children was the
first patriot to name President Windrip "the Chief," meaning
Führer, or Imperial Wizard of the K.K.K., or Il Duce, or Imperial
Potentate of the Mystic Shrine, or Commodore, or University Coach,
or anything else supremely noble and good-hearted.  So, on the
glorious anniversary of July 4, 1937, more than five hundred
thousand young uniformed vigilantes, scattered in towns from Guam
to Bar Harbor, from Point Barrow to Key West, stood at parade rest
and sang, like the choiring seraphim:

     "Buzz and buzz and hail the Chief,
        And his five-pointed sta-ar,
      The U.S. ne'er can come to grief
        With us prepared for wa-ar."

Certain critical spirits felt that this version of the chorus of
"Buzz and Buzz," now the official M.M. anthem, showed, in a certain
roughness, the lack of Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch's fastidious hand.
But nothing could be done about it.  She was said to be in China,
organizing chain letters.  And even while that uneasiness was over
the M.M., upon the very next day came the blow.

Someone on High Marshal Sarason's staff noticed that the U.S.S.R.'s
emblem was not a six-pointed star, but a five-pointed one, even
like America's, so that we were not insulting the Soviets at all.

Consternation was universal.  From Sarason's office came sulphurous
rebuke to the unknown idiot who had first made the mistake
(generally he was believed to be Lee Sarason) and the command that
a new emblem be suggested by every member of the M.M. Day and night
for three days, M.M. barracks were hectic with telegrams, telephone
calls, letters, placards, and thousands of young men sat with
pencils and rulers earnestly drawing tens of thousands of
substitutes for the five-pointed star: circles in triangles,
triangles in circles, pentagons, hexagons, alphas and omegas,
eagles, aeroplanes, arrows, bombs bursting in air, bombs bursting
in bushes, billy-goats, rhinoceri, and the Yosemite Valley.  It was
circulated that a young ensign on High Marshal Sarason's staff had,
in agony over the error, committed suicide.  Everybody thought that
this hara-kiri was a fine idea and showed sensibility on the part
of the better M.M.'s; and they went on thinking so even after it
proved that the Ensign had merely got drunk at the Buzz Backgammon
Club and talked about suicide.

In the end, despite his uncounted competitors, it was the great
mystic, Lee Sarason himself, who found the perfect new emblem--a
ship's steering wheel.

It symbolized, he pointed out, not only the Ship of State but also
the wheels of American industry, the wheels and the steering wheel
of motorcars, the wheel diagram which Father Coughlin had suggested
two years before as symbolizing the program of the National Union
for Social Justice, and, particularly, the wheel emblem of the
Rotary Club.

Sarason's proclamation also pointed out that it would not be too
far-fetched to declare that, with a little drafting treatment, the
arms of the Swastika could be seen as unquestionably related to the
circle, and how about the K.K.K. of the Kuklux Klan?  Three K's
made a triangle, didn't they? and everybody knew that a triangle
was related to a circle.

So it was that in September, at the demonstrations on Loyalty Day
(which replaced Labor Day), the same wide-flung seraphim sang:

     "Buzz and buzz and hail the Chief,
        And th' mystic steering whee-el,
      The U.S. ne'er can come to grief
        While we defend its we-al."

In mid-August, President Windrip announced that, since all its aims
were being accomplished, the League of Forgotten Men (founded by
one Rev. Mr. Prang, who was mentioned in the proclamation only as a
person in past history) was now terminated.  So were all the older
parties, Democratic, Republican, Farmer-Labor, or what not.  There
was to be only one:  The American Corporate State and Patriotic
Party--no! added the President, with something of his former good-
humor: "there are two parties, the Corporate and those who don't
belong to any party at all, and so, to use a common phrase, are
just out of luck!"

The idea of the Corporate or Corporative State, Secretary Sarason
had more or less taken from Italy.  All occupations were divided
into six classes: agriculture, industry, commerce, transportation
and communication, banking and insurance and investment, and a
grab-bag class including the arts, sciences, and teaching.  The
American Federation of Labor, the Railway Brotherhoods, and all
other labor organizations, along with the Federal Department of
Labor, were supplanted by local Syndicates composed of individual
workers, above which were Provincial Confederations, all under
governmental guidance.  Parallel to them in each occupation were
Syndicates and Confederations of employers.  Finally, the six
Confederations of workers and the six Confederations of employers
were combined in six joint federal Corporations, which elected the
twenty-four members of the National Council of Corporations, which
initiated or supervised all legislation relating to labor or

There was a permanent chairman of this National Council, with a
deciding vote and the power of regulating all debate as he saw fit,
but he was not elected--he was appointed by the President; and the
first to hold the office (without interfering with his other
duties) was Secretary of State Lee Sarason.  Just to safeguard the
liberties of Labor, this chairman had the right to dismiss any
unreasonable member of the National Council.

All strikes and lockouts were forbidden under federal penalties, so
that workmen listened to reasonable government representatives and
not to unscrupulous agitators.

Windrip's partisans called themselves the Corporatists, or,
familiarly, the "Corpos," which nickname was generally used.

By ill-natured people the Corpos were called "the Corpses."  But
they were not at all corpse-like.  That description would more
correctly, and increasingly, have applied to their enemies.

Though the Corpos continued to promise a gift of at least $5000 to
every family, "as soon as funding of the required bond issue shall
be completed," the actual management of the poor, particularly of
the more surly and dissatisfied poor, was undertaken by the Minute

It could now be published to the world, and decidedly it was
published, that unemployment had, under the benign reign of
President Berzelius Windrip, almost disappeared.  Almost all
workless men were assembled in enormous labor camps, under M.M.
officers.  Their wives and children accompanied them and took care
of the cooking, cleaning, and repair of clothes.  The men did not
merely work on state projects; they were also hired out at the
reasonable rate of one dollar a day to private employers.  Of
course, so selfish is human nature even in Utopia, this did cause
most employers to discharge the men to whom they had been paying
more than a dollar a day, but that took care of itself, because
these overpaid malcontents in their turn were forced into the labor

Out of their dollar a day, the workers in the camps had to pay from
seventy to ninety cents a day for board and lodging.

There was a certain discontentment among people who had once owned
motorcars and bathrooms and eaten meat twice daily, at having to
walk ten or twenty miles a day, bathe once a week, along with fifty
others, in a long trough, get meat only twice a week--when they got
it--and sleep in bunks, a hundred in a room.  Yet there was less
rebellion than a mere rationalist like Walt Trowbridge, Windrip's
ludicrously defeated rival, would have expected, for every evening
the loudspeaker brought to the workers the precious voices of
Windrip and Sarason, Vice-President Beecroft, Secretary of War
Luthorne, Secretary of Education and Propaganda Macgoblin, General
Coon, or some other genius, and these Olympians, talking to the
dirtiest and tiredest mudsills as warm friend to friend, told them
that they were the honored foundation stones of a New Civilization,
the advance guards of the conquest of the whole world.

They took it, too, like Napoleon's soldiers.  And they had the Jews
and the Negroes to look down on, more and more.  The M.M.'s saw to
that.  Every man is a king so long as he has someone to look down

Each week the government said less about the findings of the board
of inquiry which was to decide how the $5000 per person could be
wangled.  It became easier to answer malcontents with a cuff from a
Minute Man than by repetitious statements from Washington.

But most of the planks in Windrip's platform really were carried
out--according to a sane interpretation of them.  For example,

In America of this period, inflation did not even compare with the
German inflation of the 1920's, but it was sufficient.  The wage in
the labor camps had to be raised from a dollar a day to three, with
which the workers were receiving an equivalent of sixty cents a day
in 1914 values.  Everybody delightfully profited, except the very
poor, the common workmen, the skilled workmen, the small business
men, the professional men, and old couples living on annuities or
their savings--these last did really suffer a little, as their
incomes were cut in three.  The workers, with apparently tripled
wages, saw the cost of everything in the shops much more than

Agriculture, which was most of all to have profited from inflation,
on the theory that the mercurial crop-prices would rise faster than
anything else, actually suffered the most of all, because, after a
first flurry of foreign buying, importers of American products
found it impossible to deal in so skittish a market, and American
food exports--such of them as were left--ceased completely.

It was Big Business, that ancient dragon which Bishop Prang and
Senator Windrip had gone forth to slay, that had the interesting

With the value of the dollar changing daily, the elaborate systems
of cost-marking and credit of Big Business were so confused that
presidents and sales-managers sat in their offices after midnight,
with wet towels.  But they got some comfort, because with the
depreciated dollar they were able to recall all bonded indebtedness
and, paying it off at the old face values, get rid of it at thirty
cents on the hundred.  With this, and the currency so wavering that
employees did not know just what they ought to get in wages, and
labor unions eliminated, the larger industrialists came through the
inflation with perhaps double the wealth, in real values, that they
had had in 1936.

And two other planks in Windrip's encyclical vigorously respected
were those eliminating the Negroes and patronizing the Jews.

The former race took it the less agreeably.  There were horrible
instances in which whole Southern counties with a majority of Negro
population were overrun by the blacks and all property seized.
True, their leaders alleged that this followed massacres of Negroes
by Minute Men.  But as Dr. Macgoblin, Secretary of Culture, so well
said, this whole subject was unpleasant and therefore not helpful
to discuss.

All over the country, the true spirit of Windrip's Plank Nine,
regarding the Jews, was faithfully carried out.  It was understood
that the Jews were no longer to be barred from fashionable hotels,
as in the hideous earlier day of race prejudice, but merely to be
charged double rates.  It was understood that Jews were never to be
discouraged from trading but were merely to pay higher graft to
commissioners and inspectors and to accept without debate all
regulations, wage rates, and price lists decided upon by the
stainless Anglo-Saxons of the various merchants' associations.  And
that all Jews of all conditions were frequently to sound their
ecstasy in having found in America a sanctuary, after their
deplorable experiences among the prejudices of Europe.

In Fort Beulah, Louis Rotenstern, since he had always been the
first to stand up for the older official national anthems, "The
Star-Spangled Banner" or "Dixie," and now for "Buzz and Buzz,"
since he had of old been considered almost an authentic friend by
Francis Tasbrough and R. C. Crowley, and since he had often good-
naturedly pressed the unrecognized Shad Ledue's Sunday pants
without charge, was permitted to retain his tailor shop, though it
was understood that he was to charge members of the M.M. prices
that were only nominal, or quarter nominal.

But one Harry Kindermann, a Jew who had profiteered enough as agent
for maple-sugar and dairy machinery so that in 1936 he had been
paying the last installment on his new bungalow and on his Buick,
had always been what Shad Ledue called "a fresh Kike."  He had
laughed at the flag, the Church, and even Rotary.  Now he found the
manufacturers canceling his agencies, without explanation.

By the middle of 1937 he was selling frankfurters by the road, and
his wife, who had been so proud of the piano and the old American
pine cupboard in their bungalow, was dead, from pneumonia caught in
the one-room tar-paper shack into which they had moved.

At the time of Windrip's election, there had been more than 80,000
relief administrators employed by the federal and local governments
in America.  With the labor camps absorbing most people on relief,
this army of social workers, both amateurs and long-trained
professional uplifters, was stranded.

The Minute Men controlling the labor camps were generous:
they offered the charitarians the same dollar a day that the
proletarians received, with special low rates for board and
lodging.  But the cleverer social workers received a much better
offer: to help list every family and every unmarried person in the
country, with his or her finances, professional ability, military
training and, most important and most tactfully to be ascertained,
his or her secret opinion of the M.M.'s and of the Corpos in

A good many of the social workers indignantly said that this was
asking them to be spies, stool pigeons for the American Oh Gay Pay
Oo.  These were, on various unimportant charges, sent to jail or,
later, to concentration camps--which were also jails, but the
private jails of the M.M.'s, unshackled by any old-fashioned,
nonsensical prison regulations.

In the confusion of the summer and early autumn of 1937, local M.M.
officers had a splendid time making their own laws, and such
congenital traitors and bellyachers as Jewish doctors, Jewish
musicians, Negro journalists, socialistic college professors, young
men who preferred reading or chemical research to manly service
with the M.M.'s, women who complained when their men had been taken
away by the M.M.'s and had disappeared, were increasingly beaten in
the streets, or arrested on charges that would not have been very
familiar to pre-Corpo jurists.

And, increasingly, the bourgeois counter revolutionists began to
escape to Canada; just as once, by the "underground railroad" the
Negro slaves had escaped into that free Northern air.

In Canada, as well as in Mexico, Bermuda, Jamaica, Cuba, and
Europe, these lying Red propagandists began to publish the vilest
little magazines, accusing the Corpos of murderous terrorism--
allegations that a band of six M.M.'s had beaten an aged rabbi and
robbed him; that the editor of a small labor paper in Paterson had
been tied to his printing press and left there while the M.M.'s
burned the plant; that the pretty daughter of an ex-Farmer-Labor
politician in Iowa had been raped by giggling young men in masks.

To end this cowardly flight of the lying counter revolutionists
(many of whom, once accepted as reputable preachers and lawyers and
doctors and writers and ex-congressmen and ex-army officers, were
able to give a wickedly false impression of Corpoism and the M.M.'s
to the world outside America) the government quadrupled the guards
who were halting suspects at every harbor and at even the minutest
trails crossing the border; and in one quick raid, it poured M.M.
storm troopers into all airports, private or public, and all
aeroplane factories, and thus, they hoped, closed the air lanes to
skulking traitors.

As one of the most poisonous counter revolutionists in the country,
Ex-Senator Walt Trowbridge, Windrip's rival in the election of
1936, was watched night and day by a rotation of twelve M.M.
guards.  But there seemed to be small danger that this opponent,
who, after all, was a crank but not an intransigent maniac, would
make himself ridiculous by fighting against the great Power which
(per Bishop Prang) Heaven had been pleased to send for the healing
of distressed America.

Trowbridge remained prosaically on a ranch he owned in South
Dakota, and the government agent commanding the M.M.'s (a skilled
man, trained in breaking strikes) reported that on his tapped
telephone wire and in his steamed-open letters, Trowbridge
communicated nothing more seditious than reports on growing
alfalfa.  He had with him no one but ranch hands and, in the house,
an innocent aged couple.

Washington hoped that Trowbridge was beginning to see the light.
Maybe they would make him Ambassador to Britain, vice Sinclair.

On the Fourth of July, when the M.M's gave their glorious but
unfortunate tribute to the Chief and the Five-pointed Star,
Trowbridge gratified his cow-punchers by holding an unusually
pyrotechnic celebration.  All evening skyrockets flared up, and
round the home pasture glowed pots of Roman fire.  Far from cold-
shouldering the M.M. guards, Trowbridge warmly invited them to help
set off rockets and join the gang in beer and sausages.  The lonely
soldier boys off there on the prairie--they were so happy shooting

An aeroplane with a Canadian license, a large plane, flying without
lights, sped toward the rocket-lighted area and, with engine shut
off, so that the guards could not tell whether it had flown on,
circled the pasture outlined by the Roman fire and swiftly landed.

The guards had felt sleepy after the last bottle of beer.  Three of
them were napping on the short, rough grass.

They were rather disconcertingly surrounded by men in masking
flying-helmets, men carrying automatic pistols, who handcuffed the
guards that were still awake, picked up the others, and stored all
twelve of them in the barred baggage compartment of the plane.

The raiders' leader, a military-looking man, said to Walt
Trowbridge, "Ready, sir?"

"Yep.  Just take those four boxes, will you, please, Colonel?"

The boxes contained photostats of letters and documents.

Unregally clad in overalls and a huge straw hat, Senator Trowbridge
entered the pilots' compartment.  High and swift and alone, the
plane flew toward the premature Northern Lights.

Next morning, still in overalls, Trowbridge breakfasted at the Fort
Garry Hotel with the Mayor of Winnipeg.

A fortnight later, in Toronto, he began the republication of his
weekly, A Lance for Democracy, and on the cover of the first number
were reproductions of four letters indicating that before he became
President, Berzelius Windrip had profited through personal gifts
from financiers to an amount of over $1,000,000.  To Doremus
Jessup, to some thousands of Doremus Jessups, were smuggled copies
of the Lance, though possession of it was punishable (perhaps not
legally, but certainly effectively) by death.

But it was not till the winter, so carefully did his secret agents
have to work in America, that Trowbridge had in full operation the
organization called by its operatives the "New Underground," the
"N.U.," which aided thousands of counter revolutionists to escape
into Canada.


In the little towns, ah, there is the abiding peace that I love,
and that can never be disturbed by even the noisiest Smart Alecks
from these haughty megalopolises like Washington, New York, & etc.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

Doremus's policy of "wait and see," like most Fabian policies, had
grown shaky.  It seemed particularly shaky in June, 1937, when he
drove to North Beulah for the fortieth graduation anniversary of
his class in Isaiah College.

As the custom was, the returned alumni wore comic costumes.  His
class had sailor suits, but they walked about, bald-headed and
lugubrious, in these well-meant garments of joy, and there was a
look of instability even in the eyes of the three members who were
ardent Corpos (being local Corpo commissioners).

After the first hour Doremus saw little of his classmates.  He had
looked up his familiar correspondent, Victor Loveland, teacher in
the classical department who, a year ago, had informed him of
President Owen J. Peaseley's ban on criticism of military training.

At its best, Loveland's jerry-built imitation of an Anne Hathaway
cottage had been no palace--Isaiah assistant professors did not
customarily rent palaces.  Now, with the pretentiously smart living
room heaped with burlap-covered chairs and rolled rugs and boxes of
books, it looked like a junkshop.  Amid the wreckage sat Loveland,
his wife, his three children, and one Dr. Arnold King, experimenter
in chemistry.

"What's all this?" said Doremus.

"I've been fired.  As too 'radical,'" growled Loveland.

"Yes!  And his most vicious attack has been on Glicknow's treatment
of the use of the aorist in Hesiod!" wailed his wife.

"Well, I deserve it--for not having been vicious about anything
since A.D. 300!  Only thing I'm ashamed of is that they're not
firing me for having taught my students that the Corpos have taken
most of their ideas from Tiberius, or maybe for having decently
tried to assassinate District Commissioner Reek!" said Loveland.

"Where you going?" inquired Doremus.

"That's just it!  We don't know!  Oh, first to my dad's house--
which is a six-room packing-box in Burlington--Dad's got diabetes.
But teaching--President Peaseley kept putting off signing my new
contract and just informed me ten days ago that I'm through--much
too late to get a job for next year.  Myself, I don't care a damn!
Really I don't!  I'm glad to have been made to admit that as a
college prof I haven't been, as I so liked to convince myself, any
Erasmus Junior, inspiring noble young souls to dream of chaste
classic beauty--save the mark!--but just a plain hired man, another
counter-jumper in the Marked-down Classics Goods Department, with
students for bored customers, and as subject to being hired and
fired as any janitor.  Do you remember that in Imperial Rome, the
teachers, even the tutors of the nobility, were slaves--allowed a
lot of leeway, I suppose, in their theories about the anthropology
of Crete, but just as likely to be strangled as the other slaves!
I'm not kicking--"

Dr. King, the chemist, interrupted with a whoop:  "Sure you're
kicking!  Why the hell not?  With three kids?  Why NOT kick!  Now
me, I'm lucky!  I'm half Jew--one of these sneaking, cunning Jews
that Buzz Windrip and his boyfriend Hitler tell you about; so
cunning I suspected what was going on months ago and so--I've also
just been fired, Mr. Jessup--I arranged for a job with the
Universal Electric Corporation. . . .  They don't mind Jews there,
as long as they sing at their work and find boondoggles worth a
million a year to the company--at thirty-five hundred a year
salary!  A fond farewell to all my grubby studes!  Though--" and
Doremus thought he was, at heart, sadder than Loveland--"I do kind
of hate to give up my research.  Oh, hell with 'em!"

The version of Owen J. Peaseley, M.A. (Oberlin), LL.D. (Conn.
State), president of Isaiah College, was quite different.

"Why no, Mr. Jessup!  We believe absolutely in freedom of speech
and thought, here at old Isaiah.  The fact is that we are letting
Loveland go only because the Classics Department is overstaffed--so
little demand for Greek and Sanskrit and so on, you know, with all
this modern interest in quantitative bio-physics and aeroplane-
repairing and so on.  But as to Dr. King--um--I'm afraid we did a
little feel that he was riding for a fall, boasting about being a
Jew and all, you know, and--But can't we talk of pleasanter
subjects?  You have probably learned that Secretary of Culture
Macgoblin has now completed his plan for the appointment of a
director of education in each province and district?--and that
Professor Almeric Trout of Aumbry University is slated for Director
in our Northeastern Province?  Well, I have something very
gratifying to add.  Dr. Trout--and what a profound scholar, what an
eloquent orator he is!--did you know that in Teutonic 'Almeric'
means 'noble prince'?--and he's been so kind as to designate me as
Director of Education for the Vermont-New Hampshire District!
Isn't that thrilling!  I wanted you to be one of the first to hear
it, Mr. Jessup, because of course one of the chief jobs of the
Director will be to work with and through the newspaper editors in
the great task of spreading correct Corporate ideals and combating
false theories--yes, oh yes."

It seemed as though a large number of people were zealous to work
with and through the editors these days, thought Doremus.

He noticed that President Peaseley resembled a dummy made of faded
gray flannel of a quality intended for petticoats in an orphan

The Minute Men's organization was less favored in the staid
villages than in the industrial centers, but all through the summer
it was known that a company of M.M.'s had been formed in Fort
Beulah and were drilling in the Armory under National Guard
officers and County Commissioner Ledue, who was seen sitting up
nights in his luxurious new room in Mrs. Ingot's boarding-house,
reading a manual of arms.  But Doremus declined to go look at them,
and when his rustic but ambitious reporter, "Doc" (otherwise Otis)
Itchitt, came in throbbing about the M.M.'s and wanted to run an
illustrated account in the Saturday Informer, Doremus sniffed.

It was not till their first public parade, in August, that Doremus
saw them, and not gladly.

The whole countryside had turned out; he could hear them laughing
and shuffling beneath his office window; but he stubbornly stuck to
editing an article on fertilizers for cherry orchards.  (And he
loved parades, childishly!)  Not even the sound of a band pounding
out "Boola, Boola" drew him to the window.  Then he was plucked up
by Dan Wilgus, the veteran job compositor and head of the Informer
chapel, a man tall as a house and possessed of such a sweeping
black mustache as had not otherwise been seen since the passing of
the old-time bartender.  "You got to take a look, Boss; great
show!" implored Dan.

Through the Chester-Arthur, red-brick prissiness of President
Street, Doremus saw marching a surprisingly well-drilled company of
young men in the uniforms of Civil War cavalrymen, and just as they
were opposite the Informer office, the town band rollicked into
"Marching through Georgia."  The young men smiled, they stepped
more quickly, and held up their banner with the steering wheel and
M.M. upon it.

When he was ten, Doremus had seen in this self-same street a
Memorial Day parade of the G.A.R.  The veterans were an average of
under fifty then, and some of them only thirty-five; they had swung
ahead lightly and gayly--and to the tune of "Marching through
Georgia."  So now in 1937 he was looking down again on the veterans
of Gettysburg and Missionary Ridge.  Oh--he could see them all--
Uncle Tom Veeder, who had made him the willow whistles; old Mr.
Crowley with his cornflower eyes; Jack Greenhill who played
leapfrog with the kids and who was to die in Ethan Creek--They
found him with thick hair dripping.  Doremus thrilled to the M.M.
flags, the music, the valiant young men, even while he hated all
they marched for, and hated the Shad Ledue whom he incredulously
recognized in the brawny horseman at the head of the procession.

He understood now why the young men marched to war.  But "Oh yeh--
you THINK so!" he could hear Shad sneering through the music.

The unwieldy humor characteristic of American politicians persisted
even through the eruption.  Doremus read about and sardonically
"played up" in the Informer a minstrel show given at the National
Convention of Boosters' Clubs at Atlantic City, late in August.  As
end-men and interlocutor appeared no less distinguished persons
than Secretary of the Treasury Webster R. Skittle, Secretary of War
Luthorne, and Secretary of Education and Public Relations, Dr.
Macgoblin.  It was good, old-time Elks Club humor, uncorroded by
any of the notions of dignity and of international obligations
which, despite his great services, that queer stick Lee Sarason was
suspected of trying to introduce.  Why (marveled the Boosters) the
Big Boys were so democratic that they even kidded themselves and
the Corpos, that's how unassuming they were!

"Who was this lady I seen you going down the street with?" demanded
the plump Mr. Secretary Skittle (disguised as a colored wench in
polka-dotted cotton) of Mr. Secretary Luthorne (in black-face and
large red gloves).

"That wasn't no lady, that was Walt Trowbridge's paper."

"Ah don't think Ah cognosticates youse, Mist' Bones."

"Why--you know--'A Nance for Plutocracy.'"

Clean fun, not too confusingly subtle, drawing the people (several
millions listened on the radio to the Boosters' Club show) closer
to their great-hearted masters.

But the high point of the show was Dr. Macgoblin's daring to tease
his own faction by singing:

     Buzz and booze and biz, what fun!
     This job gets drearier and drearier,
     When I get out of Washington,
     I'm going to Siberia!

It seemed to Doremus that he was hearing a great deal about the
Secretary of Education.  Then, in late September, he heard
something not quite pleasant about Dr. Macgoblin.  The story, as he
got it, ran thus:

Hector Macgoblin, that great surgeon-boxer-poet-sailor, had always
contrived to have plenty of enemies, but after the beginning of his
investigation of schools, to purge them of any teachers he did not
happen to like, he made so unusually many that he was accompanied
by bodyguards.  At this time in September, he was in New York,
finding quantities of "subversive elements" in Columbia University--
against the protests of President Nicholas Murray Butler, who
insisted that he had already cleaned out all willful and dangerous
thinkers, especially the pacifists in the medical school--and
Macgoblin's bodyguards were two former instructors in philosophy
who in their respective universities had been admired even by their
deans for everything except the fact that they would get drunk and
quarrelsome.  One of them, in that state, always took off one shoe
and hit people over the head with the heel, if they argued in
defense of Jung.

With these two in uniforms as M.M. battalion leaders--his own was
that of a brigadier--after a day usefully spent in kicking out of
Columbia all teachers who had voted for Trowbridge, Dr. Macgoblin
started off with his brace of bodyguards to try out a wager that he
could take a drink at every bar on Fifty-second Street and still
not pass out.

He had done well when, at ten-thirty, being then affectionate and
philanthropic, he decided that it would be a splendid idea to
telephone his revered former teacher in Leland Stanford, the
biologist Dr. Willy Schmidt, once of Vienna, now in Rockefeller
Institute.  Macgoblin was indignant when someone at Dr. Schmidt's
apartment informed him that the doctor was out.  Furiously:  "Out?
Out?  What d'you mean he's out?  Old goat like that got no right to
be out!  At midnight!  Where is he?  This is the Police Department
speaking!  Where is he?"

Dr. Schmidt was spending the evening with that gentle scholar,
Rabbi Dr. Vincent de Verez.

Macgoblin and his learned gorillas went to call on De Verez.  On
the way nothing of note happened except that when Macgoblin
discussed the fare with the taxi-driver, he felt impelled to knock
him out.  The three, and they were in the happiest, most boyish of
spirits, burst joyfully into Dr. de Verez's primeval house in the
Sixties.  The entrance hall was shabby enough, with a humble show
of the good rabbi's umbrellas and storm rubbers, and had the
invaders seen the bedrooms they would have found them Trappist
cells.  But the long living room, front- and back-parlor thrown
together, was half museum, half lounge.  Just because he himself
liked such things and resented a stranger's possessing them,
Macgoblin looked sniffily at a Beluchi prayer rug, a Jacobean court
cupboard, a small case of incunabula and of Arabic manuscripts in
silver upon scarlet parchment.

"Swell joint!  Hello, Doc!  How's the Dutchman?  How's the antibody
research going?  These are Doc Nemo and Doc, uh, Doc Whoozis, the
famous glue lifters.  Great frenzh mine.  Introduce us to your Jew

Now it is more than possible that Rabbi de Verez had never heard of
Secretary of Education Macgoblin.

The houseman who had let in the intruders and who nervously hovered
at the living-room door--he is the sole authority for most of the
story--said that Macgoblin staggered, slid on a rug, almost fell,
then giggled foolishly as he sat down, waving his plug-ugly friends
to chairs and demanding, "Hey, Rabbi, how about some whisky?  Lil
Scotch and soda.  I know you Geonim never lap up anything but snow-
cooled nectar handed out by a maiden with a dulcimer, singing of
Mount Abora, or maybe just a little shot of Christian children's
sacrificial blood--ha, ha, just a joke, Rabbi; I know these
'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' are all the bunk, but awful handy
in propaganda, just the same and--But I mean, for plain Goyim like
us, a little real hootch!  HEAR ME?"

Dr. Schmidt started to protest.  The Rabbi, who had been carding
his white beard, silenced him and, with a wave of his fragile old
hand, signaled the waiting houseman, who reluctantly brought in
whisky and siphons.

The three coordinators of culture almost filled their glasses
before they poured in the soda.

"Look here, De Verez, why don't you kikes take a tumble to
yourselves and get out, beat it, exeunt bearing corpses, and start
a real Zion, say in South America?"

The Rabbi looked bewildered at the attack.  Dr. Schmidt snorted,
"Dr. Macgoblin--once a promising pupil of mine--is Secretary of
Education and a lot of t'ings--I don't know vot!--at Washington.

"Oh!"  The Rabbi sighed.  "I have heard of that cult, but my people
have learned to ignore persecution.  We have been so impudent as to
adopt the tactics of your Early Christian Martyrs!  Even if we were
invited to your Corporate feast--which, I understand, we most
warmly are not!--I am afraid we should not be able to attend.  You
see, we believe in only one Dictator, God, and I am afraid we
cannot see Mr. Windrip as a rival to Jehovah!"

"Aah, that's all baloney!" murmured one of the learned gunmen, and
Macgoblin shouted, "Oh, can the two-dollar words!  There's just one
thing where we agree with the dirty, Kike-loving Communists--that's
in chucking the whole bunch of divinities, Jehovah and all the rest
of 'em, that've been on relief so long!"

The Rabbi was unable even to answer, but little Dr. Schmidt (he had
a doughnut mustache, a beer belly, and black button boots with
soles half-an-inch thick) said, "Macgoblin, I suppose I may talk
frank wit' an old student, there not being any reporters or
loutspeakers arount.  Do you know why you are drinking like a pig?
Because you are ashamt!  Ashamt that you, once a promising
researcher, should have solt out to freebooters with brains like
decayed liver and--"

"That'll do from you, Prof!"

"Say, we oughtta tie those seditious sons of hounds up and beat the
daylight out of 'em!" whimpered one of the watchdogs.

Macgoblin shrieked, "You highbrows--you stinking intellectuals!
You, you Kike, with your lush-luzurious library, while Common
People been starving--would be now if the Chief hadn't saved 'em!
Your c'lection books--stolen from the pennies of your poor, dumb,
foot-kissing congregation of pushcart peddlers!"

The Rabbi sat bespelled, fingering his beard, but Dr. Schmidt
leaped up, crying, "You three scoundrels were not invited here!
You pushed your way in!  Get out!  Go!  Get out!"

One of the accompanying dogs demanded of Macgoblin, "Going to stand
for these two Yiddles insulting us--insulting the whole by God
Corpo state and the M.M. uniform?  Kill 'em!"

Now, to his already abundant priming, Macgoblin had added two huge
whiskies since he had come.  He yanked out his automatic pistol,
fired twice.  Dr. Schmidt toppled.  Rabbi De Verez slid down in his
chair, his temple throbbing out blood.  The houseman trembled at
the door, and one of the guards shot at him, then chased him down
the street, firing, and whooping with the humor of the joke.  This
learned guard was killed instantly, at a street crossing, by a
traffic policeman.

Macgoblin and the other guard were arrested and brought before the
Commissioner of the Metropolitan District, the great Corpo viceroy,
whose power was that of three or four state governors put together.

Dr. de Verez, though he was not yet dead, was too sunken to
testify.  But the Commissioner thought that in a case so closely
touching the federal government, it would not be seemly to postpone
the trial.

Against the terrified evidence of the Rabbi's Russian-Polish
houseman were the earnest (and by now sober) accounts of the
federal Secretary of Education, and of his surviving aide, formerly
Assistant Professor of Philosophy in Pelouse University.  It was
proven that not only De Verez but also Dr. Schmidt was a Jew--
which, incidentally, he 100 per cent was not.  It was almost proven
that this sinister pair had been coaxing innocent Corpos into De
Verez's house and performing upon them what a scared little Jewish
stool pigeon called "ritual murders."  Macgoblin and friend were
acquitted on grounds of self-defense and handsomely complimented by
the Commissioner--and later in telegrams from President Windrip and
Secretary of State Sarason--for having defended the Commonwealth
against human vampires and one of the most horrifying plots known
in history.

The policeman who had shot the other guard wasn't, so scrupulous
was Corpo justice, heavily punished--merely sent out to a dreary
beat in the Bronx.  So everybody was happy.

But Doremus Jessup, on receiving a letter from a New York reporter
who had talked privately with the surviving guard, was not so
happy.  He was not in a very gracious temper, anyway.  County
Commissioner Shad Ledue, on grounds of humanitarianism, had made
him discharge his delivery boys and employ M.M.'s to distribute (or
cheerfully chuck into the river) the Informer.

"Last straw--plenty last," he raged.

He had read about Rabbi de Verez and seen pictures of him.  He had
once heard Dr. Willy Schmidt speak, when the State Medical
Association had met at Fort Beulah, and afterward had sat near him
at dinner.  If they were murderous Jews, then he was a murderous
Jew too, he swore, and it was time to do something for His Own

That evening--it was late in September, 1937--he did not go home to
dinner at all but, with a paper container of coffee and a slab of
pie untouched before him, he stooped at his desk in the Informer
office, writing an editorial which, when he had finished it, he
marked:  "Must. 12-pt bold face--box top front p."

The beginning of the editorial, to appear the following morning

Believing that the inefficiency and crimes of the Corpo
administration were due to the difficulties attending a new form of
government, we have waited patiently for their end.  We apologize
to our readers for that patience.

It is easy to see now, in the revolting crime of a drunken cabinet
member against two innocent and valuable old men like Dr. Schmidt
and the Rev. Dr. de Verez, that we may expect nothing but murderous
extirpation of all honest opponents of the tyranny of Windrip and
his Corpo gang.

Not that all of them are as vicious as Macgoblin.  Some are merely
incompetent--like our friends Ledue, Reek, and Haik.  But their
ludicrous incapability permits the homicidal cruelty of their
chieftains to go on without check.

Buzzard Windrip, the "Chief," and his pirate gang--

A smallish, neat, gray-bearded man, furiously rattling an aged
typewriter, typing with his two forefingers.

Dan Wilgus, head of the composing room, looked and barked like an
old sergeant and, like an old sergeant, was only theoretically meek
to his superior officer.  He was shaking when he brought in this
copy and, almost rubbing Doremus's nose in it, protested, "Say,
boss, you don't honest t' God think we're going to set this up, do

"I certainly do!"

"Well, I don't!  Rattlesnake poison!  It's all right YOUR getting
thrown in the hoosegow and probably shot at dawn, if you like that
kind of sport, but we've held a meeting of the chapel, and we all
say, damned if we'll risk our necks too!"

"All right, you yellow pup!  All right, Dan, I'll set it myself!"

"Aw, don't!  Gosh, I don't want to have to go to your funeral after
the M.M.'s get through with you, and say, 'Don't he look

"After working for me for twenty years, Dan!  Traitor!"

"Look here!  I'm no Enoch Arden or--oh, what the hell was his
name?--Ethan Frome or Benedict Arnold or whatever it was!--and more
'n once I've licked some galoot that was standing around a saloon
telling the world you were the lousiest highbrow editor in Vermont,
and at that, I guess maybe he was telling the truth, but same time--"
Dan's effort to be humorous and coaxing broke, and he wailed,
"God, boss, please don't!"

"I know, Dan.  Prob'ly our friend Shad Ledue will be annoyed.  But
I can't go on standing things like slaughtering old De Verez any
more and--Here!  Gimme that copy!"

While compositors, pressmen, and the young devil stood alternately
fretting and snickering at his clumsiness, Doremus ranged up before
a type case, in his left hand the first composing-stick he had held
in ten years, and looked doubtfully at the case.  It was like a
labyrinth to him.  "Forgot how it's arranged.  Can't find anything
except the e-box!" he complained.

"Hell!  I'll do it!  All you pussyfooters get the hell out of this!
You don't know one doggone thing about who set this up!" Dan Wilgus
roared, and the other printers vanished!--as far as the toilet

In the editorial office, Doremus showed proofs of his indiscretion
to Doc Itchitt, that enterprising though awkward reporter, and to
Julian Falck, who was off now to Amherst but who had been working
for the Informer all summer, combining unprintable articles on Adam
Smith with extremely printable accounts of golf and dances at the
country club.

"Gee, I hope you will have the nerve to go on and print it--and
same time, I hope you don't!  They'll get you!" worried Julian.

"Naw!  Gwan and print it!  They won't dare to do a thing!  They may
get funny in New York and Washington, but you're too strong in the
Beulah Valley for Ledue and Staubmeyer to dare lift a hand!" brayed
Doc Itchitt, while Doremus considered, "I wonder if this smart
young journalistic Judas wouldn't like to see me in trouble and get
hold of the Informer and turn it Corpo?"

He did not stay at the office till the paper with his editorial had
gone to press.  He went home early, and showed the proof to Emma
and Sissy.  While they were reading it, with yelps of disapproval,
Julian Falck slipped in.

Emma protested, "Oh, you can't--you mustn't do it!  What will
become of us all?  Honestly, Dormouse, I'm not scared for myself,
but what would I do if they beat you or put you in prison or
something?  It would just break my heart to think of you in a cell!
And without any clean underclothes!  It isn't too late to stop it,
is it?"

"No.  As a matter of fact the paper doesn't go to bed till
eleven. . . .  Sissy, what do you think?"

"I don't know what to think!  Oh damn!"

"Why Sis-sy," from Emma, quite mechanically.

"It used to be, you did what was right and got a nice stick of
candy for it," said Sissy.  "Now, it seems as if whatever's right
is wrong.  Julian--funny-face--what do you think of Pop's kicking
Shad in his sweet hairy ears?"

"Why, Sis--"

Julian blurted, "I think it'd be fierce if somebody didn't try to
stop these fellows.  I wish I could do it.  But how could I?"

"You've probably answered the whole business," said Doremus.  "If a
man is going to assume the right to tell several thousand readers
what's what--most agreeable, hitherto--he's got a kind of you might
say priestly obligation to tell the truth.  'O cursed spite.'
Well!  I think I'll drop into the office again.  Home about
midnight.  Don't sit up, anybody--and Sissy, and you, Julian, that
particularly goes for you two night prowlers!  As for me and my
house, we will serve the Lord--and in Vermont, that means going to

"And alone!" murmured Sissy.


As Doremus trotted out, Foolish, who had sat adoring him, jumped
up, hoping for a run.

Somehow, more than all of Emma's imploring, the dog's familiar
devotion made Doremus feel what it might be to go to prison.

He had lied.  He did not return to the office.  He drove up the
valley to the Tavern and to Lorinda Pike.

But on the way he stopped in at the home of his son-in-law,
bustling young Dr. Fowler Greenhill; not to show him the proof but
to have--perhaps in prison?--another memory of the domestic life in
which he had been rich.  He stepped quietly into the front hall of
the Greenhill house--a jaunty imitation of Mount Vernon; very
prosperous and secure, gay with the brass-knobbed walnut furniture
and painted Russian boxes which Mary Greenhill affected.  Doremus
could hear David (but surely it was past his bedtime?--what time
DID nine-year-old kids go to bed these degenerate days?) excitedly
chattering with his father, and his father's partner, old Dr.
Marcus Olmsted, who was almost retired but who kept up the
obstetrics and eye-and-ear work for the firm.

Doremus peeped into the living room, with its bright curtains of
yellow linen.  David's mother was writing letters, a crisp,
fashionable figure at a maple desk complete with yellow quill pen,
engraved notepaper, and silver-backed blotter.  Fowler and David
were lounging on the two wide arms of Dr. Olmsted's chair.

"So you don't think you'll be a doctor, like your dad and me?" Dr.
Olmsted was quizzing.

David's soft hair fluttered as he bobbed his head in the agitation
of being taken seriously by grown-ups.

"Oh--oh--oh yes, I would like to.  Oh, I think it'd be slick to be
a doctor.  But I want to be a newspaper, like Granddad.  That'd be
a wow!  You said it!"

("Da-vid!  Where you ever pick up such language!")

"You see, Uncle-Doctor, a doctor, oh gee, he has to stay up all
night, but an editor, he just sits in his office and takes it easy
and never has to worry about nothing!"

That moment, Fowler Greenhill saw his father-in-law making monkey
faces at him from the door and admonished David, "Now, not always!
Editors have to work pretty hard sometimes--just think of when
there's train wrecks and floods and everything!  I'll tell you.
Did you know I have magic power?"

"What's 'magic power,' Daddy?"

"I'll show you.  I'll summon your granddad here from misty deeps--"

("But will he come?" grunted Dr. Olmsted.)

"--and have him tell you all the troubles an editor has.  Just make
him come flying through the air!"

"Aw, gee, you couldn't do THAT, Dad!"

"Oh, can't I!"  Fowler stood solemnly, the overhead lights making
soft his harsh red hair, and he windmilled his arms, hooting,
"Presto--vesto--adsit--Granddad Jes-sup--voilà!"

And there, coming through the doorway, sure enough WAS Granddad

Doremus remained only ten minutes, saying to himself, "Anyway,
nothing bad can happen here, in this solid household."  When Fowler
saw him to the door, Doremus sighed to him, "Wish Davy were right--
just had to sit in the office and not worry.  But I suppose some
day I'll have a run-in with the Corpos."

"I hope not.  Nasty bunch.  What do you think, Dad?  That swine
Shad Ledue told me yesterday they wanted me to join the M.M.'s as
medical officer.  Fat chance!  I told him so."

"Watch out for Shad, Fowler.  He's vindictive.  Made us rewire our
whole building."

"I'm not scared of Captain General Ledue or fifty like him!  Hope
he calls me in for a bellyache some day!  I'll give him a good
sedative--potassium of cyanide.  Maybe I'll some day have the
pleasure of seeing that gent in his coffin.  That's the advantage
the doctor has, you know!  G'-night, Dad!  Sleep tight!"

A good many tourists were still coming up from New York to view the
colored autumn of Vermont, and when Doremus arrived at the Beulah
Valley Tavern he had irritably to wait while Lorinda dug out extra
towels and looked up tram schedules and was polite to old ladies
who complained that there was too much--or not enough--sound from
the Beulah River Falls at night.  He could not talk to her apart
until after ten.  There was, meanwhile, a curious exalted luxury in
watching each lost minute threaten him with the approach of the
final press time, as he sat in the tea room, imperturbably
scratching through the leaves of the latest Fortune.

Lorinda led him, at ten-fifteen, into her little office--just a
roll-top desk, a desk chair, one straight chair, and a table piled
with heaps of defunct hotel-magazines.  It was spinsterishly neat
yet smelled still of the cigar smoke and old letter files of
proprietors long since gone.

"Let's hurry, Dor.  I'm having a little dust-up with that snipe
Nipper."  She plumped down at the desk.

"Linda, read this proof.  For tomorrow's paper. . . .  No.  Wait.
Stand up."


He himself took the desk chair and pulled her down on his knees.
"Oh, YOU!" she snorted, but she nuzzled her cheek against his
shoulder and murmured contentedly.

"Read this, Linda.  For tomorrow's paper.  I think I'm going to
publish it, all right--got to decide finally before eleven--but
ought I to?  I was sure when I left the office, but Emma was

"Oh, EMMA!  Sit still.  Let me see it."  She read quickly.  She
always did.  At the end she said emotionlessly, "Yes.  You must run
it.  Doremus!  They've actually come to us here--the Corpos--it's
like reading about typhus in China and suddenly finding it in your
own house!"

She rubbed his shoulder with her cheek again, and raged, "Think of
it!  That Shad Ledue--and I taught him for a year in district
school, though I was only two years older than he was--and what a
nasty bully he was, too!  He came to me a few days ago, and he had
the nerve to propose that if I would give lower rates to the
M.M.'s--he sort of hinted it would be nice of me to serve M.M.
officers free--they would close their eyes to my selling liquor
here, without a license or anything!  Why, he had the inconceivable
nerve to tell me, and CONDESCENDINGLY! my dear--that he and his
fine friends would be willing to hang out here a lot!  Even
Staubmeyer--oh, our 'professor' is blossoming out as quite a
sporting character!  And when I chased Ledue out, with a flea in
his ear--Well, just this morning I got a notice that I have to
appear in the county court tomorrow--some complaint from my
endearing partner, Mr. Nipper--seems he isn't satisfied with the
division of our work here--and honestly, my darling, he never does
one blame thing but sit around and bore my best customers to death
by telling what a swell hotel he used to have in Florida.  And
Nipper has taken his things out of here and moved into town.  I'm
afraid I'll have an unpleasant time, trying to keep from telling
him what I think of him, in court."

"Good Lord!  Look, sweet, have you got a lawyer for it?"

"Lawyer?  Heavens no!  Just a misunderstanding--on little Nipper's

"You'd better.  The Corpos are using the courts for all sorts of
graft and for accusations of sedition.  Get Mungo Kitterick, my

"He's dumb.  Ice water in his veins."

"I know, but he's a tidier-up, like so many lawyers.  Likes to see
everything all neat in pigeonholes.  He may not care a damn for
justice, but he'll be awfully pained by any irregularities.  Please
get him, Lindy, because they've got Effingham Swan presiding at
court tomorrow."


"Swan--the Military Judge for District Three--that's a new Corpo
office.  Kind of circuit judge with court-martial powers.  This
Effingham Swan--I had Doc Itchitt interview him today, when he
arrived--he's the perfect gentleman-Fascist--Oswald Mosley style.
Good family--whatever that means.  Harvard graduate.  Columbia Law
School, year at Oxford.  But went into finance in Boston.
Investment banker.  Major or something during the war.  Plays polo
and sailed in a yacht race to Bermuda.  Itchitt says he's a big
brute, with manners smoother than a butterscotch sundae and more
language than a bishop."

"But I'll be glad to have a GENTLEMAN to explain things to, instead
of Shad."

"A gentleman's blackjack hurts just as much as a mucker's!"

"Oh, YOU!" with irritated tenderness, running her forefinger along
the line of his jaw.

Outside, a footstep.

She sprang up, sat down primly in the straight chair.  The
footsteps went by.  She mused:

"All this trouble and the Corpos--They're going to do something to
you and me.  We'll become so roused up that--either we'll be
desperate and really cling to each other and everybody else in the
world can go to the devil or, what I'm afraid is more likely, we'll
get so deep into rebellion against Windrip, we'll feel so terribly
that we're standing for something, that we'll want to give up
everything else for it, even give up you and me.  So that no one
can ever find out and criticize.  We'll have to be beyond

"No!  I won't listen.  We will fight, but how can we ever get so
involved--detached people like us--"

"You ARE going to publish that editorial tomorrow?"


"It's not too late to kill it?"

He looked at the clock over her desk--so ludicrously like a grade-
school clock that it ought to have been flanked with portraits of
George and Martha.  "Well, yes, it is too late--almost eleven.
Couldn't get to the office till 'way past."

"You're sure you won't worry about it when you go to bed tonight?
Dear, I so don't want you to worry!  You're sure you don't want to
telephone and kill the editorial?"

"Sure.  Absolute!"

"I'm glad!  Me, I'd rather be shot than go sneaking around,
crippled with fear.  Bless you!"

She kissed him and hurried off to another hour or two of work,
while he drove home, whistling vaingloriously.

But he did not sleep well, in his big black-walnut bed.  He
startled to the night noises of an old frame house--the easing
walls, the step of bodiless assassins creeping across the wooden
floors all night long.


An honest propagandist for any Cause, that is, one who honestly
studies and figures out the most effective way of putting over his
Message, will learn fairly early that it is not fair to ordinary
folks--it just confuses them--to try to make them swallow all the
true facts that would be suitable to a higher class of people.  And
one seemingly small but almighty important point he learns, if he
does much speechifying, is that you can win over folks to your
point of view much better in the evening, when they are tired out
from work and not so likely to resist you, than at any other time
of day.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

The Fort Beulah Informer had its own three-story-and basement
building, on President Street between Elm and Maple, opposite the
side entrance of the Hotel Wessex.  On the top story was the
composing room; on the second, the editorial and photographic
departments and the bookkeeper; in the basement, the presses; and
on the first or street floor, the circulation and advertising
departments, and the front office, open to the pavement, where the
public came to pay subscriptions and insert want-ads.  The private
room of the editor, Doremus Jessup, looked out on President Street
through one not too dirty window.  It was larger but little more
showy than Lorinda Pike's office at the Tavern, but on the wall it
did have historic treasures in the way of a water-stained
surveyor's-map of Fort Beulah Township in 1891, a contemporary
oleograph portrait of President McKinley, complete with eagles,
flags, cannon, and the Ohio state flower, the scarlet carnation, a
group photograph of the New England Editorial Association (in which
Doremus was the third blur in a derby hat in the fourth row), and
an entirely bogus copy of a newspaper announcing Lincoln's death.
It was reasonably tidy--in the patent letter file, otherwise empty,
there were only 2 1/2 pairs of winter mittens, and an 18-gauge
shotgun shell.

Doremus was, by habit, extremely fond of his office.  It was the
only place aside from his study at home that was thoroughly his
own.  He would have hated to leave it or to share it with anyone--
possibly excepting Buck and Lorinda--and every morning he came to
it expectantly, from the ground floor, up the wide brown stairs,
through the good smell of printer's ink.

He stood at the window of this room before eight, the morning when
his editorial appeared, looking down at the people going to work in
shops and warehouses.  A few of them were in Minute Men uniforms.
More and more even the part-time M.M.'s wore their uniforms when on
civilian duties.  There was a bustle among them.  He saw them
unfold copies of the Informer; he saw them look up, point up, at
his window.  Heads close, they irritably discussed the front page
of the paper.  R. C. Crowley went by, early as ever on his way to
open the bank, and stopped to speak to a clerk from Ed Howland's
grocery, both of them shaking their heads.  Old Dr. Olmsted,
Fowler's partner, and Louis Rotenstern halted on a corner.  Doremus
knew they were both friends of his, but they were dubious, perhaps
frightened, as they looked at an Informer.

The passing of people became a gathering, the gathering a crowd,
the crowd a mob, glaring up at his office, beginning to clamor.
There were dozens of people there unknown to him: respectable
farmers in town for shopping, unrespectables in town for a drink,
laborers from the nearest work camp, and all of them eddying around
M.M. uniforms.  Probably many of them cared nothing about insults
to the Corpo state, but had only the unprejudiced, impersonal
pleasure in violence natural to most people.

Their mutter became louder, less human, more like the snap of
burning rafters.  Their glances joined in one.  He was, frankly,

He was half conscious of big Dan Wilgus, the head compositor,
beside him, hand on his shoulder, but saying nothing, and of Doc
Itchitt cackling, "My--my gracious--hope they don't--God, I hope
they don't come up here!"

The mob acted then, swift and together, on no more of an incitement
than an unknown M.M.'s shout:  "Ought to burn the place, lynch the
whole bunch of traitors!"  They were running across the street,
into the front office.  He could hear a sound of smashing, and his
fright was gone in protective fury.  He galloped down the wide
stairs, and from five steps above the front office looked on the
mob, equipped with axes and brush hooks grabbed from in front of
Pridewell's near-by hardware store, slashing at the counter facing
the front door, breaking the glass case of souvenir postcards and
stationery samples, and with obscene hands reaching across the
counter to rip the blouse of the girl clerk.

Doremus cried, "Get out of this, all you bums!"

They were coming toward him, claws hideously opening and closing,
but he did not await that coming.  He clumped down the stairs, step
by step, trembling not from fear but from insane anger.  One large
burgher seized his arm, began to bend it.  The pain was atrocious.
At that moment (Doremus almost smiled, so grotesquely was it like
the nick-of-time rescue by the landing party of Marines) into the
front office Commissioner Shad Ledue marched, at the head of twenty
M.M.'s with unsheathed bayonets, and, lumpishly climbing up on the
shattered counter, bellowed:

"That'll do from you guys!  Lam out of this, the whole damn bunch
of you!"

Doremus's assailant had dropped his arm.  Was he actually, wondered
Doremus, to be warmly indebted to Commissioner Ledue, to Shad
Ledue?  Such a powerful, dependable fellow--the dirty swine!

Shad roared on:  "We're not going to bust up this place.  Jessup
sure deserves lynching, but we got orders from Hanover--the Corpos
are going to take over this plant and use it.  Beat it, you!"

A wild woman from the mountains--in another existence she had
knitted at the guillotine--had thrust through to the counter and
was howling up at Shad, "They're traitors!  Hang 'em!  We'll hang
YOU, if you stop us!  I want my five thousand dollars!"

Shad casually stooped down from the counter and slapped her.
Doremus felt his muscles tense with the effort to get at Shad, to
revenge the good lady who, after all, had as much right as Shad to
slaughter him, but he relaxed, impatiently gave up all desire for
mock heroism.  The bayonets of the M.M.'s who were clearing out the
crowd were reality, not to be attacked by hysteria.

Shad, from the counter, was blatting in a voice like a sawmill,
"Snap into it, Jessup!  Take him along, men."

And Doremus, with no volition whatever, was marching through
President Street, up Elm Street, and toward the courthouse and
county jail, surrounded by four armed Minute Men.  The strangest
thing about it, he reflected was that a man could go off thus, on
an uncharted journey which might take years, without fussing over
plans and tickets, without baggage, without even an extra clean
handkerchief, without letting Emma know where he was going, without
letting Lorinda--oh, Lorinda could take care of herself.  But Emma
would worry.

He realized that the guard beside him, with the chevrons of a squad
leader, or corporal, was Aras Dilley, the slatternly farmer from up
on Mount Terror whom he had often helped . . . or thought he had

"Ah, Aras!" said he.

"Huh!" said Aras.

"Come on!  Shut up and keep moving!" said the M.M. behind Doremus,
and prodded him with the bayonet.

It did not, actually, hurt much, but Doremus spat with fury.  So
long now he had unconsciously assumed that his dignity, his body,
were sacred.  Ribald Death might touch him, but no more vulgar

Not till they had almost reached the courthouse could he realize
that people were looking at him--at Doremus Jessup!--as a prisoner
being taken to jail.  He tried to be proud of being a political
prisoner.  He couldn't.  Jail was jail.

The county lockup was at the back of the courthouse, now the center
of Ledue's headquarters.  Doremus had never been in that or any
other jail except as a reporter, pityingly interviewing the
curious, inferior sort of people who did mysteriously get
themselves arrested.

To go into that shameful back door--he who had always stalked into
the front entrance of the courthouse, the editor, saluted by clerk
and sheriff and judge!

Shad was not in sight.  Silently Doremus's four guards conducted
him through a steel door, down a corridor, to a small cell reeking
of chloride of lime and, still unspeaking, they left him there.
The cell had a cot with a damp straw mattress and damper straw
pillow, a stool, a wash basin with one tap for cold water, a pot,
two hooks for clothes, a small barred window, and nothing else
whatever except a jaunty sign ornamented with embossed forget-me-
nots and a text from Deuteronomy, "He shall be free at home one

"I hope so!" said Doremus, not very cordially.

It was before nine in the morning.  He remained in that cell,
without speech, without food, with only tap water caught in his
doubled palm and with one cigarette an hour, until after midnight,
and in the unaccustomed stillness he saw how in prison men could
eventually go mad.

"Don't whine, though.  You here a few hours, and plenty of poor
devils in solitary for years and years, put there by tyrants worse
than Windrip . . . yes, and sometimes put there by nice, good,
social-minded judges that I've played bridge with!"

But the reasonableness of the thought didn't particularly cheer

He could hear a distant babble from the bull pen, where the drunks
and vagrants, and the petty offenders among the M.M.'s, were
crowded in enviable comradeship, but the sound was only a
background for the corroding stillness.

He sank into a twitching numbness.  He felt that he was choking,
and gasped desperately.  Only now and then did he think clearly--
then only of the shame of imprisonment or, even more emphatically,
of how hard the wooden stool was on his ill-upholstered rump, and
how much pleasanter it was, even so, than the cot, whose mattress
had the quality of crushed worms.

Once he felt that he saw the way clearly:

"The tyranny of this dictatorship isn't primarily the fault of Big
Business, nor of the demagogues who do their dirty work.  It's the
fault of Doremus Jessup!  Of all the conscientious, respectable,
lazy-minded Doremus Jessups who have let the demagogues wriggle in,
without fierce enough protest.

"A few months ago I thought the slaughter of the Civil War, and the
agitation of the violent Abolitionists who helped bring it on, were
evil.  But possibly they HAD to be violent, because easy-going
citizens like me couldn't be stirred up otherwise.  If our
grandfathers had had the alertness and courage to see the evils of
slavery and of a government conducted by gentlemen for gentlemen
only, there wouldn't have been any need of agitators and war and

"It's my sort, the Responsible Citizens who've felt ourselves
superior because we've been well-to-do and what we thought was
'educated,' who brought on the Civil War, the French Revolution,
and now the Fascist Dictatorship.  It's I who murdered Rabbi de
Verez.  It's I who persecuted the Jews and the Negroes.  I can
blame no Aras Dilley, no Shad Ledue, no Buzz Windrip, but only my
own timid soul and drowsy mind.  Forgive, O Lord!

"Is it too late?"

Once again, as darkness was coming into his cell like the
inescapable ooze of a flood, he thought furiously:

"And about Lorinda.  Now that I've been kicked into reality--got to
be one thing or the other: Emma (who's my bread) or Lorinda (my
wine) but I can't have both.

"Oh, damn!  What twaddle!  Why can't a man have both bread and wine
and not prefer one before the other?

"Unless, maybe, we're all coming into a day of battles when the
fighting will be too hot to let a man stop for anything save
bread . . . and maybe, even, too hot to let him stop for that!"

The waiting--the waiting in the smothering cell--the relentless
waiting while the filthy window glass turned from afternoon to a
bleak darkness.

What was happening out there?  What had happened to Emma, to
Lorinda, to the Informer office, to Dan Wilgus, to Buck and Sissy
and Mary and David?

Why, it was today that Lorinda was to answer the action against her
by Nipper!  Today!  (Surely all that must have been done with a
year ago!)  What had happened?  Had Military Judge Effingham Swan
treated her as she deserved?

But Doremus slipped again from this living agitation into the
trance of waiting--waiting; and, catnapping on the hideously
uncomfortable little stool, he was dazed when at some unholily late
hour (it was just after midnight) he was aroused by the presence of
armed M.M.'s outside his barred cell door, and by the hill-billy
drawl of Squad Leader Aras Dilley:

"Well, guess y' better git up now, better git up!  Jedge wants to
see you--jedge says he wants to see you.  Heh!  Guess y' didn't
ever think I'd be a squad leader, DID yuh, Mist' Jessup!"

Doremus was escorted through angling corridors to the familiar side
entrance of the courtroom--the entrance where once he had seen Thad
Dilley, Aras's degenerate cousin, shamble in to receive sentence
for clubbing his wife to death. . . .  He could not keep from
feeling that Thad and he were kin, now.

He was kept waiting--waiting!--for a quarter hour outside the
closed courtroom door.  He had time to consider the three guards
commanded by Squad Leader Aras.  He happened to know that one of
them had served a sentence at Windsor for robbery with assault; and
one, a surly young farmer, had been rather doubtfully acquitted on
a charge of barn-burning in revenge against a neighbor.

He leaned against the slightly dirty gray plaster wall of the

"Stand straight there, you!  What the hell do you think this is?
And keeping us up late like this!" said the rejuvenated, the
redeemed Aras, waggling his bayonet and shining with desire to use
it on the bourjui.

Doremus stood straight.

He stood very straight, he stood rigid, beneath a portrait of
Horace Greeley.

Till now, Doremus had liked to think of that most famous of radical
editors, who had been a printer in Vermont from 1825 to 1828, as
his colleague and comrade.  Now he felt colleague only to the
revolutionary Karl Pascals.

His legs, not too young, were trembling; his calves ached.  Was he
going to faint?  What was happening in there, in the courtroom?

To save himself from the disgrace of collapsing, he studied Aras
Dilley.  Though his uniform was fairly new, Aras had managed to
deal with it as his family and he had dealt with their house on
Mount Terror--once a sturdy Vermont cottage with shining white
clapboards, now mud-smeared and rotting.  His cap was crushed in,
his breeches spotted, his leggings gaping, and one tunic button
hung by a thread.

"I wouldn't particularly want to be dictator over an Aras, but I
most particularly do not want him and his like to be dictators over
me, whether they call them Fascists or Corpos or Communists or
Monarchists or Free Democratic Electors or anything else!  If that
makes me a reactionary kulak, all right!  I don't believe I ever
really liked the shiftless brethren, for all my lying hand-shaking.
Do you think the Lord calls on us to love the cowbirds as much as
the swallows?  I don't!  Oh, I know; Aras has had a hard time:
mortgage and seven kids.  But Cousin Henry Veeder and Dan Wilgus--
yes, and Pete Vutong, the Canuck, that lives right across the road
from Aras and has just exactly the same kind of land--they were all
born poor, and they've lived decently enough.  They can wash their
ears and their door sills, at least.  I'm cursed if I'm going to
give up the American-Wesleyan doctrine of Free Will and of Will to
Accomplishment entirely, even if it does get me read out of the
Liberal Communion!"

Aras had peeped into the courtroom, and he stood giggling.

Then Lorinda came out--after midnight!

Her partner, the wart Nipper, was following her, looking sheepishly

"Linda!  Linda!" called Doremus, his hands out, ignoring the
snickers of the curious guards, trying to move toward her.  Aras
pushed him back and at Lorinda sneered, "Go on--move on, there!"
and she moved.  She seemed twisted and rusty as Doremus would have
thought her bright steeliness could never have been.

Aras cackled, "Haa, haa, haa!  Your friend, Sister Pike--"

"My wife's friend!"

"All right, boss.  Have it your way!  Your wife's friend, Sister
Pike, got hers for trying to be fresh with Judge Swan!  She's been
kicked out of her partnership with Mr. Nipper--he's going to manage
that Tavern of theirn, and Sister Pike goes back to pot-walloping
in the kitchen, like she'd ought to!--like maybe some of your
womenfolks, that think they're so almighty stylish and independent,
will be having to, pretty soon!"

Again Doremus had sense enough to regard the bayonets; and a mighty
voice from inside the courtroom trumpeted:  "Next case!  D. Jessup!"

On the judges' bench were Shad Ledue in uniform as an M.M.
battalion leader, ex-superintendent Emil Staubmeyer presenting the
rôle of ensign, and a third man, tall, rather handsome, rather too
face-massaged, with the letters "M.J." on the collar of his uniform
as commander, or pseudo-colonel.  He was perhaps fifteen years
younger than Doremus.

This, Doremus knew, must be Military Judge Effingham Swan, sometime
of Boston.

The Minute Men marched him in front of the bench and retired, with
only two of them, a milky-faced farm boy and a former gas-station
attendant, remaining on guard inside the double doors of the side
entrance . . . the entrance for criminals.

Commander Swan loafed to his feet and, as though he were greeting
his oldest friend, cooed at Doremus, "My dear fellow, so sorry to
have to trouble you.  Just a routine query, you know.  Do sit down.
Gentlemen, in the case of Mr. Doremus, surely we need not go
through the farce of formal inquiry.  Let's all sit about that damn
big silly table down there--place where they always stick the
innocent defendants and the guilty attorneys, y' know--get down
from this high altar--little too mystical for the taste of a vulgar
bucket-shop gambler like myself.  After you, Professor; after you,
my dear Captain."  And, to the guards, "Just wait outside in the
hall, will you?  Close the doors."

Staubmeyer and Shad looking, despite Effingham Swan's frivolity, as
portentous as their uniforms could make them, clumped down to the
table.  Swan followed them airily, and to Doremus, still standing,
he gave his tortoise-shell cigarette case, caroling, "Do have a
smoke, Mr. Doremus.  Must we all be so painfully formal?"

Doremus reluctantly took a cigarette, reluctantly sat down as Swan
waved him to a chair--with something not quite so airy and affable
in the sharpness of the gesture.

"My name is Jessup, Commander.  Doremus is my first name."

"Ah, I see.  It could be.  Quite so.  Very New England.  Doremus."
Swan was leaning back in his wooden armchair, powerful trim hands
behind his neck.  "I'll tell you, my dear fellow.  One's memory is
so wretched, you know.  I'll just call you 'Doremus,' sans Mister.
Then, d' you see, it might apply to either the first (or Christian,
as I believe one's wretched people in Back Bay insist on calling
it)--either the Christian or the surname.  Then we shall feel all
friendly and secure.  Now, Doremus, my dear fellow, I begged my
friends in the M.M.--I do trust they were not too importunate, as
these parochial units sometimes do seem to be--but I ordered them
to invite you here, really, just to get your advice as a
journalist.  Does it seem to you that most of the peasants here are
coming to their senses and ready to accept the Corpo fait

Doremus grumbled, "But I understood I was dragged here--and if you
want to know, your squad was all of what you call 'importunate'!--
because of an editorial I wrote about President Windrip."

"Oh, was that you, Doremus?  You see?--I was right--one does have
such a wretched memory!  I do seem now to remember some minor
incident of the sort--you know--mentioned in the agenda.  Do have
another cigarette, my dear fellow."

"Swan!  I don't care much for this cat-and-mouse game--at least,
not while I'm the mouse.  What are your charges against me?"

"Charges?  Oh, my only aunt!  Just trifling things--criminal libel
and conveying secret information to alien forces and high treason
and homicidal incitement to violence--you know, the usual boresome
line.  And all so easily got rid of, my Doremus, if you'd just be
persuaded--you see how quite pitifully eager I am to be friendly
with you, and to have the inestimable aid of your experience here--
if you'd just decide that it might be the part of discretion--so
suitable, y' know, to your venerable years--"

"Damn it, I'm not venerable, nor anything like it.  Only sixty.
Sixty-one, I should say."

"Matter of ratio, my dear fellow.  I'm forty-seven m'self, and I
have no doubt the young pups already call ME venerable!  But as I
was saying, Doremus--"

(Why was it he winced with fury every time Swan called him that?)

"--with your position as one of the Council of Elders, and with
your responsibilities to your family--it would be TOO sick-making
if anything happened to THEM, y' know!--you just can't afford to be
too brash!  And all we desire is for you to play along with us in
your paper--I would adore the chance of explaining some of the
Corpos' and the Chief's still unrevealed plans to you.  You'd see
such a new light!"

Shad grunted, "Him?  Jessup couldn't see a new light if it was on
the end of his nose!"

"A moment, my dear Captain. . . .  And also, Doremus, of course we
shall urge you to help us by giving us a complete list of every
person in this vicinity that you know of who is secretly opposed to
the Administration."

"Spying?  Me?"


"If I'm accused of--I insist on having my lawyer, Mungo Kitterick,
and on being tried, not all this bear-baiting--"

"Quaint name.  Mungo Kitterick!  Oh, my only aunt!  Why does it
give me so absurd a picture of an explorer with a Greek grammar in
his hand?  You don't quite understand, my Doremus.  Habeas corpus--
due processes of law--too, too bad!--all those ancient sanctities,
dating, no doubt, from Magna Charta, been suspended--oh, but just
temporarily, y' know--state of crisis--unfortunate necessity
martial law--"

"Damn it, Swan--"

"Commander, my dear fellow--ridiculous matter of military
discipline, y' know--SUCH rot!"

"You know mighty well and good it isn't temporary!  It's permanent--
that is, as long as the Corpos last."

"It could be!"

"Swan--Commander--you get that 'it could be' and 'my aunt' from the
Reggie Fortune stories, don't you?"

"Now there IS a fellow detective-story fanatic!  But how too

"And that's Evelyn Waugh!  You're quite a literary man for so
famous a yachtsman and horseman, Commander."

"Horsemun, yachtsmun, LIT-er-ary man!  Am I, Doremus, even in my
sanctum sanctorum, having, as the lesser breeds would say, the
pants kidded off me?  Oh, my Doremus, that couldn't be!  And just
when one is so feeble, after having been so, shall I say
excoriated, by your so amiable friend, Mrs. Lorinda Pike?  No, no!
How too unbefitting the majesty of the law!"

Shad interrupted again, "Yeh, we had a swell time with your girl-
friend, Jessup.  But I already had the dope about you and her

Doremus sprang up, his chair crashing backward on the floor.  He
was reaching for Shad's throat across the table.  Effingham Swan
was on him, pushing him back into another chair.  Doremus hiccuped
with fury.  Shad had not even troubled to rise, and he was going on

"Yuh, you two'll have quite some trouble if you try to pull any spy
stuff on the Corpos.  My, my, Doremus, ain't we had fun, Lindy and
you, playing footie-footie these last couple years!  Didn't nobody
know about it, did they!  But what YOU didn't know was Lindy--and
don't it beat hell a long-nosed, skinny old maid like her can have
so much pep!--and she's been cheating on you right along, sleeping
with every doggone man boarder she's had at the Tavern, and of
course with her little squirt of a partner, Nipper!"

Swan's great hand--hand of an ape with a manicure--held Doremus in
his chair.  Shad snickered.  Emil Staubmeyer, who had been sitting
with fingertips together, laughed amiably.  Swan patted Doremus's

He was less sunken by the insult to Lorinda than by the feeling of
helpless loneliness.  It was so late; the night so quiet.  He would
have been glad if even the M.M. guards had come in from the hall.
Their rustic innocence, however barnyardishly brutal, would have
been comforting after the easy viciousness of the three judges.

Swan was placidly resuming:  "But I suppose we really must get down
to business--however agreeable, my dear clever literary detective,
it would be to discuss Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers and
Norman Klein.  Perhaps we can some day, when the Chief puts us both
in the same prison!  There's really, my dear Doremus, no need of
your troubling your legal gentleman, Mr. Monkey Kitteridge.  I am
quite authorized to conduct this trial--for quaintly enough,
Doremus, it IS a trial, despite the delightful St. Botolph's
atmosphere!  And as to testimony, I already have all I need, both
in the good Miss Lorinda's inadvertent admissions, in the actual
text of your editorial criticizing the Chief, and in the quite
thorough reports of Captain Ledue and Dr. Staubmeyer.  One really
ought to take you out and shoot you--and one is quite empowered to
do so, oh quite!--but one has one's faults--one is really too
merciful.  And perhaps we can find a better use for you than as
fertilizer--you are, you know, rather too much on the skinny side
to make adequate fertilizer.

"You are to be released on parole, to assist and coach Dr.
Staubmeyer who, by orders from Commissioner Reek, at Hanover, has
just been made editor of the Informer, but who doubtless lacks
certain points of technical training.  You will help him--oh,
gladly, I am sure!--until he learns.  Then we'll see what we'll do
with you! . . .  You will write editorials, with all your
accustomed brilliance--oh, I assure you, people constantly stop on
Boston Common to discuss your masterpieces; have done for years!
But you'll write only as Dr. Staubmeyer tells you.  UNDERSTAND?
Oh.  Today--since 'tis already past the witching hour--you will
write an abject apology for your diatribe--oh yes, very much on the
abject side!  You know--you veteran journalists do these things so
neatly--just admit you were a cockeyed liar and that sort of thing--
bright and bantering--YOU know!  And next Monday you will, like
most of the other ditchwater-dull hick papers, begin the serial
publication of the Chief's Zero Hour.  You'll enjoy that!"

Clatter and shouts at the door.  Protests from the unseen guards.
Dr. Fowler Greenhill pounding in, stopping with arms akimbo,
shouting as he strode down to the table, "What do you three comic
judges think you're doing?"

"And who may our impetuous friend be?  He annoys me, rather," Swan
asked of Shad.

"Doc Fowler--Jessup's son-in-law.  And a bad actor!  Why, couple
days ago I offered him charge of medical inspection for all the
M.M.'s in the county, and he said--this red-headed smart aleck
here!--he said you and me and Commissioner Reek and Doc Staubmeyer
and all of us were a bunch of hoboes that 'd be digging ditches in
a labor camp if we hadn't stole some officers' uniforms!"

"Ah, did he indeed?" purred Swan.

Fowler protested:  "He's a liar.  I never mentioned you.  I don't
even know who you are."

"My name, good sir, is Commander Effingham Swan, M.J.!"

"Well, M. J., that still doesn't enlighten me.  Never heard of

Shad interrupted, "How the hell did you get past the guards,
Fowley?"  (He who had never dared call that long-reaching, swift-
moving redhead anything more familiar than "Doc.")

"Oh, all your Minnie Mouses know me.  I've treated most of your
brightest gunmen for unmentionable diseases.  I just told them at
the door that I was wanted in here professionally."

Swan was at his silkiest:  "Oh, and how we DID want you, my dear
fellow--though we didn't know it until this moment.  So you are one
of these brave rustic Æsculapiuses?"

"I am!  And if you were in the war--which I should doubt, from your
pansy way of talking--you may be interested to know that I am also
a member of the American Legion--quit Harvard and joined up in 1918
and went back afterwards to finish.  And I want to warn you three
half-baked Hitlers--"

"Ah!  But my dear friend!  A mil-i-tary man!  How too TOO!  Then we
shall have to treat you as a responsible person--responsible for
your idiocies--not just as the uncouth clodhopper that you appear!"

Fowler was leaning both fists on the table.  "Now I've had enough!
I'm going to push in your booful face--"

Shad had his fists up, was rounding the table, but Swan snapped,
"No!  Let him finish!  He may enjoy digging his own grave.  You
know--people do have such quaint variant notions about sports.
Some laddies actually like to go fishing--all those slimy scales
and the shocking odor!  By the way, Doctor, before it's too late, I
would like to leave with you the thought for the day that I was
also in the war to end wars--a major.  But go on.  I do so want to
listen to you yet a little."

"Cut the cackle, will you, M. J.?  I've just come here to tell you
that I've had enough--everybody's had enough--of your kidnaping Mr.
Jessup--the most honest and useful man in the whole Beulah Valley!
Typical low-down sneaking kidnapers!  If you think your phony
Rhodes-Scholar accent keeps you from being just another cowardly,
murdering Public Enemy, in your toy-soldier uniform--"

Swan held up his hand in his most genteel Back Bay manner.  "A
moment, Doctor, if you will be so good?"  And to Shad:  "I should
think we'd heard enough from the Comrade, wouldn't you,
Commissioner?  Just take the bastard out and shoot him."

"O.K.!  Swell!"  Shad chuckled; and, to the guards at the half-open
door, "Get the corporal of the guard and a squad--six men--loaded
rifles--make it snappy, see?"

The guard were not far down the corridor, and their rifles were
already loaded.  It was in less than a minute that Aras Dilley was
saluting from the door, and Shad was shouting, "Come here!  Grab
this dirty crook!"  He pointed at Fowler.  "Take him along

They did, for all of Fowler's struggling.  Aras Dilley jabbed
Fowler's right wrist with a bayonet.  It spilled blood down on his
hand, so scrubbed for surgery, and like blood his red hair tumbled
over his forehead.

Shad marched out with them, pulling his automatic pistol from its
holster and looking at it happily.

Doremus was held, his mouth was clapped shut, by two guards as he
tried to reach Fowler.  Emil Staubmeyer seemed a little scared, but
Effingham Swan, suave and amused, leaned his elbows on the table
and tapped his teeth with a pencil.

From the courtyard, the sound of a rifle volley, a terrifying wail,
one single emphatic shot, and nothing after.


The real trouble with the Jews is that they are cruel.  Anybody
with a knowledge of history knows how they tortured poor debtors in
secret catacombs, all through the Middle Ages.  Whereas the Nordic
is distinguished by his gentleness and his kind-heartedness to
friends, children, dogs, and people of inferior races.

Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.

The review in Dewey Haik's provincial court of Judge Swan's
sentence on Greenhill was influenced by County Commissioner Ledue's
testimony that after the execution he found in Greenhill's house a
cache of the most seditious documents: copies of Trowbridge's Lance
for Democracy, books by Marx and Trotzky, Communistic pamphlets
urging citizens to assassinate the Chief.

Mary, Mrs. Greenhill, insisted that her husband had never read such
things; that, if anything, he had been too indifferent to politics.
Naturally, her word could not be taken against that of Commissioner
Ledue, Assistant Commissioner Staubmeyer (known everywhere as a
scholar and man of probity), and Military Judge Effingham Swan.  It
was necessary to punish Mrs. Greenhill--or, rather, to give a
strong warning to other Mrs. Greenhills--by seizing all the
property and money Greenhill had left her.

Anyway, Mary did not fight very vigorously.  Perhaps she realized
her guilt.  In two days she turned from the crispest, smartest,
most swift-spoken woman in Fort Beulah into a silent hag, dragging
about in shabby and unkempt black.  Her son and she went to live
with her father, Doremus Jessup.

Some said that Jessup should have fought for her and her property.
But he was not legally permitted to do so.  He was on parole,
subject, at the will of the properly constituted authorities, to a
penitentiary sentence.

So Mary returned to the house and the overfurnished bedroom she had
left as a bride.  She could not, she said, endure its memories.
She took the attic room that had never been quite "finished off."
She sat up there all day, all evening, and her parents never heard
a sound.  But within a week her David was playing about the yard
most joyfully . . . playing that he was an M.M. officer.

The whole house seemed dead, and all that were in it seemed
frightened, nervous, forever waiting for something unknown--all
save David and, perhaps, Mrs. Candy, bustling in her kitchen.

Meals had been notoriously cheerful at the Jessups'; Doremus
chattered to an audience of Mrs. Candy and Sissy, flustering Emma
with the most outrageous assertions--that he was planning to go to
Greenland; that President Windrip had taken to riding down
Pennsylvania Avenue on an elephant; and Mrs. Candy was as
unscrupulous as all good cooks in trying to render them speechlessly
drowsy after dinner and to encourage the stealthy expansion of
Doremus's already rotund little belly, with her mince pie, her
apple pie with enough shortening to make the eyes pop out in sweet
anguish, the fat corn fritters and candied potatoes with the
broiled chicken, the clam chowder made with cream.

Now, there was little talk among the adults at table and, though
Mary was not showily "brave," but colorless as a glass of water,
they were nervously watching her.  Everything they spoke of seemed
to point toward the murder and the Corpos; if you said, "It's quite
a warm fall," you felt that the table was thinking, "So the M.M.'s
can go on marching for a long time yet before snow flies," and then
you choked and asked sharply for the gravy.  Always Mary was there,
a stone statue chilling the warm and commonplace people packed in
beside her.

So it came about that David dominated the table talk, for the first
delightful time in his nine years of experiment with life, and
David liked that very much indeed, and his grandfather liked it not
nearly so well.

He chattered, like an entire palm-ful of monkeys, about Foolish,
about his new playmates (children of Medary Cole, the miller),
about the apparent fact that crocodiles are rarely found in the
Beulah River, and the more moving fact that the Rotenstern young
had driven with their father clear to Albany.

Now Doremus was fond of children; approved of them; felt with an
earnestness uncommon to parents and grandparents that they were
human beings and as likely as the next one to become editors.  But
he hadn't enough sap of the Christmas holly in his veins to enjoy
listening without cessation to the bright prattle of children.  Few
males have, outside of Louisa May Alcott.  He thought (though he
wasn't very dogmatic about it) that the talk of a Washington
correspondent about politics was likely to be more interesting than
Davy's remarks on cornflakes and garter snakes, so he went on
loving the boy and wishing he would shut up.  And escaped as soon
as possible from Mary's gloom and Emma's suffocating thoughtfulness,
wherein you felt, every time Emma begged, "Oh, you MUST take just a
LITTLE more of the nice chestnut dressing, Mary dearie," that you
really ought to burst into tears.

Doremus suspected that Emma was, essentially, more appalled by his
having gone to jail than by the murder of her son-in-law.  Jessups
simply didn't go to jail.  People who went to jail were BAD, just
as barn-burners and men accused of that fascinatingly obscure
amusement, a "statutory offense," were bad; and as for bad people,
you might try to be forgiving and tender, but you didn't sit down
to meals with them.  It was all so irregular, and most upsetting to
the household routine!

So Emma loved him and worried about him till he wanted to go
fishing and actually did go so far as to get out his flies.

But Lorinda had said to him, with eyes brilliant and unworried,
"And I thought you were just a cud-chewing Liberal that didn't mind
being milked!  I am so proud of you!  You've encouraged me to fight
against--Listen, the minute I heard about your imprisonment I
chased Nipper out of my kitchen with a bread knife! . . .  Well,
anyway, I thought about doing it!"

The office was deader than his home.  The worst of it was that it
wasn't so very bad--that, he saw, he could slip into serving the
Corpo state with, eventually, no more sense of shame than was felt
by old colleagues of his who in pre-Corpo days had written
advertisements for fraudulent mouth washes or tasteless cigarettes,
or written for supposedly reputable magazines mechanical stories
about young love.  In a waking nightmare after his imprisonment,
Doremus had pictured Staubmeyer and Ledue in the Informer office
standing over him with whips, demanding that he turn out sickening
praise for the Corpos, yelling at him until he rose and killed and
was killed.  Actually, Shad stayed away from the office, and
Doremus's master, Staubmeyer, was ever so friendly and modest and
rather nauseatingly full of praise for his craftsmanship.
Staubmeyer seemed satisfied when, instead of the "apology" demanded
by Swan, Doremus stated that "Henceforth this paper will cease all
criticisms of the present government."

Doremus received from District Commissioner Reek a jolly telegram
thanking him for "gallantly deciding turn your great talent service
people and correcting errors doubtless made by us in effort set up
new more realistic state."  Ur! said Doremus and did not chuck the
message at the clothes-basket waste-basket, but carefully walked
over and rammed it down amid the trash.

He was able, by remaining with the Informer in her prostitute days,
to keep Staubmeyer from discharging Dan Wilgus, who was sniffy to
the new boss and unnaturally respectful now to Doremus.  And he
invented what he called the "Yow-yow editorial."  This was a dirty
device of stating as strongly as he could an indictment of
Corpoism, then answering it as feebly as he could, as with a
whining "Yow-yow-yow--that's what YOU say!"  Neither Staubmeyer nor
Shad caught him at it, but Doremus hoped fearfully that the shrewd
Effingham Swan would never see the Yow-yows.

So week on week he got along not too badly--and there was not one
minute when he did not hate this filthy slavery, when he did not
have to force himself to stay there, when he did not snarl at
himself, "Then why DO you stay?"

His answers to that challenge came glibly and conventionally
enough:  "He was too old to start in life again.  And he had a wife
and family to support"--Emma, Sissy, and now Mary and David.

All these years he had heard responsible men who weren't being
quite honest--radio announcers who soft-soaped speakers who were
fools and wares that were trash, and who canaryishly chirped "Thank
you, Major Blister" when they would rather have kicked Major
Blister, preachers who did not believe the decayed doctrines they
dealt out, doctors who did not dare tell lady invalids that they
were sex-hungry exhibitionists, merchants who peddled brass for
gold--heard all of them complacently excuse themselves by
explaining that they were too old to change and that they had "a
wife and family to support."

Why not let the wife and family die of starvation or get out and
hustle for themselves, if by no other means the world could have
the chance of being freed from the most boresome, most dull, and
foulest disease of having always to be a little dishonest?

So he raged--and went on grinding out a paper dull and a little
dishonest--but not forever.  Otherwise the history of Doremus
Jessup would be too drearily common to be worth recording.

Again and again, figuring it out on rough sheets of copy paper
(adorned also with concentric circles, squares, whorls, and the
most improbable fish), he estimated that even without selling the
Informer or his house, as under Corpo espionage he certainly could
not if he fled to Canada, he could cash in about $20,000.  Say
enough to give him an income of a thousand a year--twenty dollars a
week, provided he could smuggle the money out of the country, which
the Corpos were daily making more difficult.

Well, Emma and Sissy and Mary and he COULD live on that, in a four-
room cottage, and perhaps Sissy and Mary could find work.

But as for himself--

It was all very well to talk about men like Thomas Mann and Lion
Feuchtwanger and Romain Rolland, who in exile remained writers
whose every word was in demand, about Professors Einstein or
Salvemini, or, under Corpoism, about the recently exiled or self-
exiled Americans, Walt Trowbridge, Mike Gold, William Allen White,
John Dos Passos, H. L. Mencken, Rexford Tugwell, Oswald Villard.
Nowhere in the world, except possibly in Greenland or Germany,
would such stars be unable to find work and soothing respect.  But
what was an ordinary newspaper hack, especially if he was over
forty-five, to do in a strange land--and more especially if he had
a wife named Emma (or Carolina or Nancy or Griselda or anything
else) who didn't at all fancy going and living in a sod hut on
behalf of honesty and freedom?

So debated Doremus, like some hundreds of thousands of other
craftsmen, teachers, lawyers, what-not, in some dozens of countries
under a dictatorship, who were aware enough to resent the tyranny,
conscientious enough not to take its bribes cynically, yet not so
abnormally courageous as to go willingly to exile or dungeon or
chopping-block--particularly when they "had wives and families to

Doremus hinted once to Emil Staubmeyer that Emil was "getting onto
the ropes so well" that he thought of getting out, of quitting
newspaper work for good.

The hitherto friendly Mr. Staubmeyer said sharply, "What'd you do?
Sneak off to Canada and join the propagandists against the Chief?
Nothing doing!  You'll stay right here and help me--help us!"  And
that afternoon Commissioner Shad Ledue shouldered in and grumbled,
"Dr. Staubmeyer tells me you're doing pretty fairly good work,
Jessup, but I want to warn you to keep it up.  Remember that Judge
Swan only let you out on parole . . . to me!  You can do fine if
you just set your mind to it!"

"If you just set your mind to it!"  The one time when the
boy Doremus had hated his father had been when he used that 
condescending phrase.

He saw that, for all the apparent prosaic calm of day after day on
the paper, he was equally in danger of slipping into acceptance of
his serfdom and of whips and bars if he didn't slip.  And he
continued to be just as sick each time he wrote:  "The crowd of
fifty thousand people who greeted President Windrip in the
university stadium at Iowa City was an impressive sign of the
constantly growing interest of all Americans in political affairs,"
and Staubmeyer changed it to:  "The vast and enthusiastic crowd of
seventy thousand loyal admirers who wildly applauded and listened
to the stirring address of the Chief in the handsome university
stadium in beautiful Iowa City, Iowa, is an impressive yet quite
typical sign of the growing devotion of all true Americans to
political study under the inspiration of the Corpo government."

Perhaps his worst irritations were that Staubmeyer had pushed a
desk and his sleek, sweaty person into Doremus's private office,
once sacred to his solitary grouches, and that Doc Itchitt,
hitherto his worshiping disciple, seemed always to be secretly
laughing at him.

Under a tyranny, most friends are a liability.  One quarter of them
turn "reasonable" and become your enemies, one quarter are afraid
to stop and speak and one quarter are killed and you die with them.
But the blessed final quarter keep you alive.

When he was with Lorinda, gone was all the pleasant toying and
sympathetic talk with which they had relieved boredom.  She was
fierce now, and vibrant.  She drew him close enough to her, but
instantly she would be thinking of him only as a comrade in plots
to kill off the Corpos.  (And it was pretty much a real killing-off
that she meant; there wasn't left to view any great amount of her
plausible pacifism.)

She was busy with good and perilous works.  Partner Nipper had not
been able to keep her in the Tavern kitchen; she had so
systematized the work that she had many days and evenings free, and
she had started a cooking-class for farm girls and young farm wives
who, caught between the provincial and the industrial generations,
had learned neither good rural cooking with a wood fire, nor yet
how to deal with canned goods and electric grills--and who most
certainly had not learned how to combine so as to compel the tight-
fisted little locally owned power-and-light companies to furnish
electricity at tolerable rates.

"Heavensake, keep this quiet, but I'm getting acquainted with these
country gals--getting ready for the day when we begin to organize
against the Corpos.  I depend on them, not the well-to-do women
that used to want suffrage but that can't endure the thought of
revolution," Lorinda whispered to him.  "We've got to DO

"All right, Lorinda B. Anthony," he sighed.

And Karl Pascal stuck.

At Pollikop's garage, when he first saw Doremus after the jailing,
he said, "God, I was sorry to hear about their pinching you, Mr.
Jessup!  But say, aren't you ready to join us Communists now?"  (He
looked about anxiously as he said it.)

"I thought there weren't any more Bolos."

"Oh, we're supposed to be wiped out.  But I guess you'll notice a
few mysterious strikes starting now and then, even though there
CAN'T be any more strikes!  Why aren't you joining us?  There's
where you belong, c-comrade!"

"Look here, Karl: you've always said the difference between the
Socialists and the Communists was that you believed in complete
ownership of all means of production, not just utilities; and that
you admitted the violent class war and the Socialists didn't.
That's poppycock!  The real difference is that you Communists serve
Russia.  It's your Holy Land.  Well--Russia has all my prayers,
right after the prayers for my family and for the Chief, but what
I'm interested in civilizing and protecting against its enemies
isn't Russia but America.  Is that so banal to say?  Well, it
wouldn't be banal for a Russian comrade to observe that he was for
Russia!  And America needs our propaganda more every day.  Another
thing: I'm a middle-class intellectual.  I'd never call myself any
such a damn silly thing, but since you Reds coined it, I'll have to
accept it.  That's my class, and that's what I'm interested in.
The proletarians are probably noble fellows, but I certainly do not
think that the interests of the middle-class intellectuals and the
proletarians are the same.  They want bread.  We want--well, all
right, say it, we want cake!  And when you get a proletarian
ambitious enough to want cake, too--why, in America, he becomes a
middle-class intellectual just as fast as he can--IF he can!"

"Look here, when you think of 3 per cent of the people owning 90
per cent of the wealth--"

"I don't think of it!  It does NOT follow that because a good many
of the intellectuals belong to the 97 per cent of the broke--that
plenty of actors and teachers and nurses and musicians don't get
any better paid than stage hands or electricians, therefore their
interests are the same.  It isn't what you earn but how you spend
it that fixes your class--whether you prefer bigger funeral
services or more books.  I'm tired of apologizing for not having a
dirty neck!"

"Honestly, Mr. Jessup, that's damn nonsense, and you know it!"

"Is it?  Well, it's my American covered-wagon damn nonsense, and
not the propaganda-aeroplane damn nonsense of Marx and Moscow!"

"Oh, you'll join us yet."

"Listen, Comrade Karl, Windrip and Hitler will join Stalin long
before the descendants of Dan'l Webster.  You see, we don't like
murder as a way of argument--that's what really marks the Liberal!"

About HIS future Father Perefixe was brief:  "I'm going back to
Canada where I belong--away to the freedom of the King.  Hate to
give up, Doremus, but I'm no Thomas à Becket, but just a plain,
scared, fat little clark!"

The surprise among old acquaintances was Medary Cole, the miller.

A little younger than Francis Tasbrough and R. C. Crowley, less
intensely aristocratic than those noblemen, since only one
generation separated him from a chin-whiskered Yankee farmer and
not two, as with them, he had been their satellite at the Country
Club and, as to solid virtue, been president of the Rotary Club.
He had always considered Doremus a man who, without such excuse as
being a Jew or a Hunky or poor, was yet flippant about the
sanctities of Main Street and Wall Street.  They were neighbors, as
Cole's "Cape Cod cottage" was just below Pleasant Hill, but they
had not by habit been droppers-in.

Now, when Cole came bringing David home, or calling for his
daughter Angela, David's new mate, toward supper time of a chilly
fall evening, he stopped gratefully for a hot rum punch, and asked
Doremus whether he really thought inflation was "such a good

He burst out, one evening, "Jessup, there isn't another person in
this town I'd dare say this to, not even my wife, but I'm getting
awful sick of having these Minnie Mouses dictate where I have to
buy my gunnysacks and what I can pay my men.  I won't pretend I
ever cared much for labor unions.  But in those days, at least the
union members did get some of the swag.  Now it goes to support the
M.M.'s.  We pay them and pay them big to bully us.  It don't look
so reasonable as it did in 1936.  But, golly, don't tell anybody I
said that!"

And Cole went off shaking his head, bewildered--he who had
ecstatically voted for Mr. Windrip.

On a day in late October, suddenly striking in every city and
village and back-hill hide-out, the Corpos ended all crime in
America forever, so titanic a feat that it was mentioned in the
London Times.  Seventy thousand selected Minute Men, working in
combination with town and state police officers, all under the
chiefs of the government secret service, arrested every known or
faintly suspected criminal in the country.  They were tried under
court-martial procedure; one in ten was shot immediately, four
in ten were given prison sentences, three in ten released as
innocent . . . and two in ten taken into the M.M.'s as inspectors.

There were protests that at least six in ten had been innocent, but
this was adequately answered by Windrip's courageous statement:
"The way to stop crime is to stop it!"

The next day, Medary Cole crowed at Doremus, "Sometimes I've felt
like criticizing certain features of Corpo policy, but did you see
what the Chief did to the gangsters and racketeers?  Wonderful!
I've told you right along what this country's needed is a firm hand
like Windrip's.  No shilly-shallying about that fellow!  He saw
that the way to stop crime was to just go out and stop it!"

Then was revealed the New American Education, which, as Sarason so
justly said, was to be ever so much newer than the New Educations
of Germany, Italy, Poland, or even Turkey.

The authorities abruptly closed some scores of the smaller, more
independent colleges such as Williams, Bowdoin, Oberlin,
Georgetown, Antioch, Carleton, Lewis Institute, Commonwealth,
Princeton, Swarthmore, Kenyon, all vastly different one from
another but alike in not yet having entirely become machines.  Few
of the state universities were closed; they were merely to be
absorbed by central Corpo universities, one in each of the eight
provinces.  But the government began with only two.  In the
Metropolitan District, Windrip University took over the Rockefeller
Center and Empire State buildings, with most of Central Park for
playground (excluding the general public from it entirely, for the
rest was an M.M. drill ground).  The second was Macgoblin
University, in Chicago and vicinity, using the buildings of Chicago
and Northwestern universities, and Jackson Park.  President
Hutchins of Chicago was rather unpleasant about the whole thing and
declined to stay on as an assistant professor, so the authorities
had politely to exile him.

Tattle-mongers suggested that the naming of the Chicago plant after
Macgoblin instead of Sarason suggested a beginning coolness between
Sarason and Windrip, but the two leaders were able to quash such
canards by appearing together at the great reception given to
Bishop Cannon by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and being
photographed shaking hands.

Each of the two pioneer universities started with an enrollment of
fifty thousand, making ridiculous the pre-Corpo schools, none of
which, in 1935, had had more than thirty thousand students.  The
enrollment was probably helped by the fact that anyone could enter
upon presenting a certificate showing that he had completed two
years in a high school or business college, and a recommendation
from a Corpo commissioner.

Dr. Macgoblin pointed out that this founding of entirely new
universities showed the enormous cultural superiority of the Corpo
state to the Nazis, Bolsheviks, and Fascists.  Where these amateurs
in re-civilization had merely kicked out all treacherous so-called
"intellectual" teachers who mulishly declined to teach physics,
cookery, and geography according to the principles and facts laid
down by the political bureaus, and the Nazis had merely added the
sound measure of discharging Jews who dared attempt to teach
medicine, the Americans were the first to start new and completely
orthodox institutions, free from the very first of any taint of

All Corpo universities were to have the same curriculum, entirely
practical and modern, free of all snobbish tradition.

Entirely omitted were Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Biblical
study, archaeology, philology; all history before 1500--except for
one course which showed that, through the centuries, the key to
civilization had been the defense of Anglo-Saxon purity against
barbarians.  Philosophy and its history, psychology, economics,
anthropology were retained, but, to avoid the superstitious errors
in ordinary textbooks, they were to be conned only in new books
prepared by able young scholars under the direction of Dr.

Students were encouraged to read, speak, and try to write modern
languages, but they were not to waste their time on the so-called
"literature"; reprints from recent newspapers were used instead of
antiquated fiction and sentimental poetry.  As regards English,
some study of literature was permitted, to supply quotations for
political speeches, but the chief courses were in advertising,
party journalism, and business correspondence, and no authors
before 1800 might be mentioned, except Shakespeare and Milton.

In the realm of so-called "pure science," it was realized that only
too much and too confusing research had already been done, but no
pre-Corpo university had ever shown such a wealth of courses in
mining engineering, lakeshore-cottage architecture, modern
foremanship and production methods, exhibition gymnastics, the
higher accountancy, therapeutics of athlete's foot, canning and
fruit dehydration, kindergarten training, organization of chess,
checkers, and bridge tournaments, cultivation of will power, band
music for mass meetings, schnauzer-breeding, stainless-steel
formulæ, cement-road construction, and all other really useful
subjects for the formation of the new-world mind and character.
And no scholastic institution, even West Point, had ever so richly
recognized sport as not a subsidiary but a primary department of
scholarship.  All the more familiar games were earnestly taught,
and to them were added the most absorbing speed contests in
infantry drill, aviation, bombing, and operation of tanks, armored
cars, and machine guns.  All of these carried academic credits,
though students were urged not to elect sports for more than one
third of their credits.

What really showed the difference from old-fogy inefficiency was
that with the educational speed-up of the Corpo universities, any
bright lad could graduate in two years.

As he read the prospectuses for these Olympian, these Ringling-
Barnum and Bailey universities, Doremus remembered that Victor
Loveland, who a year ago had taught Greek in a little college
called Isaiah, was now grinding out reading and arithmetic in a
Corpo labor camp in Maine.  Oh well, Isaiah itself had been closed,
and its former president, Dr. Owen J. Peaseley, District Director
of Education, was to be right-hand man to Professor Almeric Trout
when they founded the University of the Northeastern Province,
which was to supplant Harvard, Radcliffe, Boston University, and
Brown.  He was already working on the university yell, and for that
"project" had sent out letters to 167 of the more prominent poets
in America, asking for suggestions.


It was not only the November sleet, setting up a forbidding curtain
before the mountains, turning the roadways into slipperiness on
which a car would swing around and crash into poles, that kept
Doremus stubbornly at home that morning, sitting on his shoulder
blades before the fireplace.  It was the feeling that there was no
point in going to the office; no chance even of a picturesque
fight.  But he was not contented before the fire.  He could find no
authentic news even in the papers from Boston or New York, in both
of which the morning papers had been combined by the government
into one sheet, rich in comic strips, in syndicated gossip from
Hollywood, and, indeed, lacking only any news.

He cursed, threw down the New York Daily Corporate, and tried to
read a new novel about a lady whose husband was indelicate in bed
and who was too absorbed by the novels he wrote about lady
novelists whose husbands were too absorbed by the novels they wrote
about lady novelists to appreciate the fine sensibilities of lady
novelists who wrote about gentleman novelists--Anyway, he chucked
the book after the newspaper.  The lady's woes didn't seem very
important now, in a burning world.

He could hear Emma in the kitchen discussing with Mrs. Candy the
best way of making a chicken pie.  They talked without relief;
really, they were not so much talking as thinking aloud.  Doremus
admitted that the nice making of a chicken pie was a thing of
consequence, but the blur of voices irritated him.  Then Sissy
slammed into the room, and Sissy should an hour ago have been at
high school, where she was a senior--to graduate next year and
possibly go to some new and horrible provincial university.

"What ho!  What are you doing home?  Why aren't you in school?"

"Oh.  THAT."  She squatted on the padded fender seat, chin in
hands, looking up at him, not seeing him.  "I don't know 's I'll
ever go there any more.  You have to repeat a new oath every
morning:  'I pledge myself to serve the Corporate State, the Chief,
all Commissioners, the Mystic Wheel, and the troops of the Republic
in every thought and deed.'  Now I ask you!  Is THAT tripe!"

"How you going to get into the university?"

"Huh!  Smile at Prof Staubmeyer--if it doesn't gag me!"

"Oh, well--Well--"  He could not think of anything meatier to say.

The doorbell, a shuffling in the hall as of snowy feet, and Julian
Falck came sheepishly in.

Sissy snapped, "Well, I'll be--What are you doing home?  Why aren't
you in Amherst?"

"Oh.  THAT."  He squatted beside her.  He absently held her hand,
and she did not seem to notice it, either.  "Amherst's got hers.
Corpos closing it today.  I got tipped off last Saturday and beat
it.  (They have a cute way of rounding up the students when they
close a college and arresting a few of 'em, just to cheer up the
profs.)"  To Doremus:  "Well, sir, I think you'll have to find a
place for me on the Informer, wiping presses.  Could you?"

"Afraid not, boy.  Give anything if I could.  But I'm a prisoner
there.  God!  Just having to say that makes me appreciate what a
rotten position I have!"

"Oh, I'm sorry, sir.  I understand, of course.  Well, I don't just
know what I am going to do.  Remember back in '33 and '34 and '35
how many good eggs there were--and some of them medics and law
graduates and trained engineers and so on--that simply couldn't get
a job?  Well, it's worse now.  I looked over Amherst, and had a try
at Springfield, and I've been here in town two days--I'd hoped to
have something before I saw you, Sis--why, I even asked Mrs. Pike
if she didn't need somebody to wash dishes at the Tavern, but so
far there isn't a thing.  'Young gentleman, two years in college,
ninety-nine-point-three pure and thorough knowledge Thirty-nine
Articles, able drive car, teach tennis and contract, amiable
disposition, desires position--digging ditches.'"

"You WILL get something!  I'll see you do, my poppet!" insisted
Sissy.  She was less modernistic and cold with Julian now than
Doremus had thought her.

"Thanks, Sis, but honest to God--I hope I'm not whining, but looks
like I'd either have to enlist in the lousy M.M.'s, or go to a
labor camp.  I can't stay home and sponge on Granddad.  The poor
old Reverend hasn't got enough to keep a pussycat in face powder."

"Lookit!  Lookit!"  Sissy clinched with Julian and bussed him,
unabashed.  "I've got an idea--a new stunt.  You know, one of these
'New Careers for Youth' things.  Listen!  Last summer there was a
friend of Lindy Pike's staying with her and she was an interior
decorator from Buffalo, and she said they have a hell of a--"


"--time getting real, genuine, old hand-hewn beams that everybody
wants so much now in these phony-Old-English suburban living rooms.
Well, look!  Round here there's ten million old barns with hand-
adzed beams just falling down--farmers probably be glad to have you
haul 'em off.  I kind of thought about it for myself--being an
architect, you know--and John Pollikop said he'd sell me a swell,
dirty-looking old five-ton truck for four hundred bucks--in pre-
inflation REAL money, I mean--and on time.  Let's you and me try a
load of assorted fancy beams."

"Swell!" said Julian.

"Well--" said Doremus.

"Come on!"  Sissy leaped up.  "Let's go ask Lindy what she thinks.
She's the only one in this family that's got any business sense."

"I don't seem to hanker much after going out there in this weather--
nasty roads," Doremus puffed.

"Nonsense, Doremus!  With Julian driving?  He's a poor speller and
his back-hand is fierce, but as a driver, he's better than I am!
Why, it's a pleasure to skid with him!  Come on!  Hey, Mother!
We'll be back in nour or two."

If Emma ever got beyond her distant, "Why, I thought you were in
school, already," none of the three musketeers heard it.  They were
bundling up and crawling out into the sleet.

Lorinda Pike was in the Tavern kitchen, in a calico print with
rolled sleeves, dipping doughnuts into deep fat--a picture right
out of the romantic days (which Buzz Windrip was trying to restore)
when a female who had brought up eleven children and been midwife
to dozens of cows was regarded as too fragile to vote.  She was
ruddy-faced from the stove, but she cocked a lively eye at them,
and her greeting was "Have a doughnut?  Good!"  She led them from
the kitchen with its attendant and eavesdropping horde of a Canuck
kitchenmaid and two cats, and they sat in the beautiful butler's-
pantry, with its shelved rows of Italian majolica plates and cups
and saucers--entirely unsuitable to Vermont, attesting a certain
artiness in Lorinda, yet by their cleanness and order revealing her
as a sound worker.  Sissy sketched her plan--behind the statistics
there was an agreeable picture of herself and Julian, gipsies in
khaki, on the seat of a gipsy truck, peddling silvery old pine

"Nope.  Not a chance," said Lorinda regretfully.  "The expensive
suburban-villa business--oh, it isn't gone: there's a surprising
number of middlemen and professional men who are doing quite well
out of having their wealth taken away and distributed to the
masses.  But all the building is in the hands of contractors who
are in politics--good old Windrip is so consistently American that
he's kept up all our traditional graft, even if he has thrown out
all our traditional independence.  They wouldn't leave you one cent

"She's probably right," said Doremus.

"Be the first time I ever was, then!" sniffed Lorinda.  "Why, I was
so simple that I thought women voters knew men too well to fall for
noble words on the radio!"

They sat in the sedan, outside the Tavern; Julian and Sissy in
front, Doremus in the back seat, dignified and miserable in mummy

"That's that," said Sissy.  "Swell period for young dreamers the
Dictator's brought in.  You can march to military bands--or you can
sit home--or you can go to prison.  Primavera di Bellezza!"

"Yes. . . .  Well, I'll find something to do. . . .  Sissy, are you
going to marry me--soon as I get a job?"

(It was incredible, thought Doremus, how these latter-day
unsentimental sentimentalists could ignore him. . . .  Like

"Before, if you want to.  Though marriage seems to me absolute rot
now, Julian.  They can't go and let us see that every doggone one
of our old institutions is a rotten fake, the way Church and State
and everything has laid down to the Corpos, and still expect us to
think they're so hot!  But for unformed minds like your grandfather
and Doremus, I suppose we'll have to pretend to believe that the
preachers who stand for Big Chief Windrip are still so sanctified
that they can sell God's license to love!"


"(Oh.  I forgot you were there, Dad!)  But anyway, we're not going
to have any kids.  Oh, I like children!  I'd like to have a dozen
of the little devils around.  But if people have gone so soft and
turned the world over to stuffed shirts and dictators, they needn't
expect any decent woman to bring children into such an insane
asylum!  Why, the more you really DO love children, the more you'll
want 'em not to be born, now!"

Julian boasted, in a manner quite as lover-like and naïve as that
of any suitor a hundred years ago, "Yes.  But just the same, we'll
be having children."

"Hell!  I suppose so!" said the golden girl.

It was the unconsidered Doremus who found a job for Julian.

Old Dr. Marcus Olmsted was trying to steel himself to carry on the
work of his sometime partner, Fowler Greenhill.  He was not strong
enough for much winter driving, and so hotly now did he hate the
murderers of his friend that he would not take on any youngster who
was in the M.M.'s or who had half acknowledged their authority by
going to a labor camp.  So Julian was chosen to drive him, night
and day, and presently to help him by giving anesthetic, bandaging
hurt legs; and the Julian who had within one week "decided that he
wanted to be" an aviator, a music critic, an air-conditioning
engineer, an archæologist excavating in Yucatan, was dead-set on
medicine and replaced for Doremus his dead doctor son-in-law.  And
Doremus heard Julian and Sissy boasting and squabbling and
squeaking in the half-lighted parlor and from them--from them and
from David and Lorinda and Buck Titus--got resolution enough to go
on in the Informer office without choking Staubmeyer to death.


December tenth was the birthday of Berzelius Windrip, though in his
earlier days as a politician, before he fruitfully realized that
lies sometimes get printed and unjustly remembered against you, he
had been wont to tell the world that his birthday was on December
twenty-fifth, like one whom he admitted to be an even greater
leader, and to shout, with real tears in his eyes, that his
complete name was Berzelius Noel Weinacht Windrip.

His birthday in 1937 he commemorated by the historical "Order of
Regulation," which stated that though the Corporate government had
proved both its stability and its good-will, there were still
certain stupid or vicious "elements" who, in their foul envy of
Corpo success, wanted to destroy everything that was good.  The
kind-hearted government was fed-up, and the country was informed
that, from this day on, any person who by word or act sought to
harm or discredit the State, would be executed or interned.
Inasmuch as the prisons were already too full, both for these
slanderous criminals and for the persons whom the kind-hearted
State had to guard by "protective arrest," there were immediately
to be opened, all over the country, concentration camps.

Doremus guessed that the reason for the concentration camps was not
only the provision of extra room for victims but, even more, the
provision of places where the livelier young M.M.'s could amuse
themselves without interference from old-time professional
policemen and prison-keepers, most of whom regarded their charges
not as enemies, to be tortured, but just as cattle, to be kept

On the eleventh, a concentration camp was enthusiastically opened,
with band music, paper flowers, and speeches by District
Commissioner Reek and Shad Ledue, at Trianon, nine miles north of
Fort Beulah, in what had been a modern experimental school for
girls.  (The girls and their teachers, no sound material for
Corpoism anyway, were simply sent about their business.)

And on that day and every day afterward, Doremus got from
journalist friends all over the country secret news of Corpo
terrorism and of the first bloody rebellions against the Corpos.

In Arkansas, a group of ninety-six former sharecroppers, who had
always bellyached about their misfortunes yet seemed not a bit
happier in well-run, hygienic labor camps with free weekly band
concerts, attacked the superintendent's office at one camp and
killed the superintendent and five assistants.  They were rounded
up by an M.M. regiment from Little Rock, stood up in a winter-
ragged cornfield, told to run, and shot in the back with machine
guns as they comically staggered away.

In San Francisco, dock-workers tried to start an absolutely illegal
strike, and their leaders, known to be Communists, were so
treasonable in their speeches against the government that an M.M.
commander had three of them tied up to a bale of rattan, which was
soaked with oil and set afire.  The Commander gave warning to all
such malcontents by shooting off the criminals' fingers and ears
while they were burning, and so skilled a marksman was he, so much
credit to the efficient M.M. training, that he did not kill one
single man while thus trimming them up.  He afterward went in
search of Tom Mooney (released by the Supreme Court of the United
States, early in 1936), but that notorious anti-Corpo agitator had
had the fear of God put into him properly, and had escaped on a
schooner for Tahiti.

In Pawtucket, a man who ought to have been free from the rotten
seditious notions of such so-called labor-leaders, in fact a man
who was a fashionable dentist and director in a bank, absurdly
resented the attentions which half-a-dozen uniformed M.M.'s--they
were all on leave, and merely full of youthful spirits, anyway--
bestowed upon his wife at a café and, in the confusion, shot and
killed three of them.  Ordinarily, since it was none of the
public's business anyway, the M.M.'s did not give out details of
their disciplining of rebels, but in this case, where the fool of a
dentist had shown himself to be a homicidal maniac, the local M.M.
commander permitted the papers to print the fact that the dentist
had been given sixty-nine lashes with a flexible steel rod, then,
when he came to, left to think over his murderous idiocy in a cell
in which there was two feet of water in the bottom--but, rather
ironically, none to drink.  Unfortunately, the fellow died before
having the opportunity to seek religious consolation.

In Scranton, the Catholic pastor of a working-class church was
kidnaped and beaten.

In central Kansas, a man named George W. Smith pointlessly gathered
a couple of hundred farmers armed with shotguns and sporting rifles
and an absurdly few automatic-pistols, and led them in burning an
M.M. barracks.  M.M. tanks were called out, and the hick would-be
rebels were not, this time, used as warnings, but were overcome
with mustard gas, then disposed of with hand grenades, which was an
altogether intelligent move, since there was nothing of the
scoundrels left for sentimental relatives to bury and make
propaganda over.

But in New York City the case was the opposite--instead of being
thus surprised, the M.M.'s rounded up all suspected Communists in
the former boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, and all persons who
were reported to have been seen consorting with such Communists,
and interned the lot of them in the nineteen concentration camps on
Long Island. . . .  Most of them wailed that they were not
Communists at all.

For the first time in America, except during the Civil War and the
World War, people were afraid to say whatever came to their
tongues.  On the streets, on trains, at theaters, men looked about
to see who might be listening before they dared so much as say
there was a drought in the West, for someone might suppose they
were blaming the drought on the Chief!  They were particularly
skittish about waiters, who were supposed to listen from the ambush
which every waiter carries about with him anyway, and to report to
the M.M.'s.  People who could not resist talking politics spoke of
Windrip as "Colonel Robinson" or "Dr. Brown" and of Sarason as
"Judge Jones" or "my cousin Kaspar," and you would hear gossips
hissing "Shhh!" at the seemingly innocent statement, "My cousin
doesn't seem to be as keen on playing bridge with the Doctor as he
used to--I'll bet sometime they'll quit playing."

Every moment everyone felt fear, nameless and omnipresent.  They
were as jumpy as men in a plague district.  Any sudden sound, any
unexplained footstep, any unfamiliar script on an envelope, made
them startle; and for months they never felt secure enough to let
themselves go, in complete sleep.  And with the coming of fear went
out their pride.

Daily--common now as weather reports--were the rumors of people who
had suddenly been carried off "under protective arrest," and daily
more of them were celebrities.  At first the M.M.'s had, outside of
the one stroke against Congress, dared to arrest only the unknown
and defenseless.  Now, incredulously--for these leaders had seemed
invulnerable, above the ordinary law--you heard of judges, army
officers, ex-state governors, bankers who had not played in with
the Corpos, Jewish lawyers who had been ambassadors, being carted
off to the common stink and mud of the cells.

To the journalist Doremus and his family it was not least
interesting that among these imprisoned celebrities were so many
journalists: Raymond Moley, Frank Simonds, Frank Kent, Heywood
Broun, Mark Sullivan, Earl Browder, Franklin P. Adams, George
Seldes, Frazier Hunt, Garet Garrett, Granville Hicks, Edwin James,
Robert Morss Lovett--men who differed grotesquely except in their
common dislike of being little disciples of Sarason and Macgoblin.

Few writers for Hearst were arrested, however.

The plague came nearer to Doremus when unrenowned editors in Lowell
and Providence and Albany, who had done nothing more than fail to
be enthusiastic about the Corpos, were taken away for "questioning,"
and not released for weeks--months.

It came much nearer at the time of the book-burning.

All over the country, books that might threaten the Pax Romana of
the Corporate State were gleefully being burned by the more
scholarly Minute Men.  This form of safeguarding the State--so
modern that it had scarce been known prior to A.D. 1300--was
instituted by Secretary of Culture Macgoblin, but in each province
the crusaders were allowed to have the fun of picking out their own
paper-and-ink traitors.  In the Northeastern Province, Judge
Effingham Swan and Dr. Owen J. Peaseley were appointed censors by
Commissioner Dewey Haik, and their index was lyrically praised all
through the country.

For Swan saw that it was not such obvious anarchists and soreheads
as Darrow, Steffens, Norman Thomas, who were the real danger; like
rattlesnakes, their noisiness betrayed their venom.  The real
enemies were men whose sanctification by death had appallingly
permitted them to sneak even into respectable school libraries--men
so perverse that they had been traitors to the Corpo State years
and years before there had been any Corpo State; and Swan (with
Peaseley chirping agreement) barred from all sale or possession the
books of Thoreau, Emerson, Whittier, Whitman, Mark Twain, Howells,
and The New Freedom, by Woodrow Wilson, for though in later life
Wilson became a sound manipulative politician, he had earlier been
troubled with itching ideals.

It goes without saying that Swan denounced all such atheistic
foreigners, dead or alive, as Wells, Marx, Shaw, the Mann brothers,
Tolstoy, and P. G. Wodehouse with his unscrupulous propaganda
against the aristocratic tradition.  (Who could tell?  Perhaps,
some day, in a corporate empire, he might be Sir Effingham Swan,

And in one item Swan showed blinding genius--he had the foresight
to see the peril of that cynical volume, The Collected Sayings of
Will Rogers.

Of the book-burnings in Syracuse and Schenectady and Hartford,
Doremus had heard, but they seemed improbable as ghost stories.

The Jessup family were at dinner, just after seven, when on the
porch they heard the tramping they had half expected, altogether
dreaded.  Mrs. Candy--even the icicle, Mrs. Candy, held her breast
in agitation before she stalked out to open the door.  Even David
sat at table, spoon suspended in air.

Shad's voice, "In the name of the Chief!"  Harsh feet in the hall,
and Shad waddling into the dining room, cap on, hand on pistol, but
grinning, and with leering geniality bawling, "H' are yuh, folks!
Search for bad books.  Orders of the District Commissioner.  Come
on, Jessup!"  He looked at the fireplace to which he had once
brought so many armfuls of wood, and snickered.

"If you'll just sit down in the other room--"

"I will like hell 'just sit down in the other room'!  We're burning
the books tonight!  Snap to it, Jessup!"  Shad looked at the
exasperated Emma; he looked at Sissy; he winked with heavy
deliberation and chuckled, "H' are you, Mis' Jessup.  Hello, Sis.
How's the kid?"

But at Mary Greenhill he did not look, nor she at him.

In the hall, Doremus found Shad's entourage, four sheepish M.M.'s
and a more sheepish Emil Staubmeyer, who whimpered, "Just orders--
you know--just orders."

Doremus safely said nothing; led them up to his study.

Now a week before he had removed every publication that any sane
Corpo could consider radical: his Das Kapital and Veblen and all
the Russian novels and even Sumner's Folkways and Freud's
Civilization and Its Discontents; Thoreau and the other hoary
scoundrels banned by Swan; old files of the Nation and New Republic
and such copies as he had been able to get of Walt Trowbridge's
Lance for Democracy; had removed them and hidden them inside an old
horsehair sofa in the upper hall.

"I told you there was nothing," said Staubmeyer, after the search.
"Let's go."

Said Shad, "Huh!  I know this house, Ensign.  I used to work here--
had the privilege of putting up those storm windows you can see
there, and of getting bawled out right here in this room.  You
won't remember those times, Doc--when I used to mow your lawn, too,
and you used to be so snotty!"  Staubmeyer blushed.  "You bet.  I
know my way around, and there's a lot of fool books downstairs in
the sittin' room."

Indeed in that apartment variously called the drawing room, the
living room, the sittin' room, the Parlor and once, even, by a
spinster who thought editors were romantic, the studio, there were
two or three hundred volumes, mostly in "standard sets."  Shad
glumly stared at them, the while he rubbed the faded Brussels
carpet with his spurs.  He was worried.  He HAD to find something

He pointed at Doremus's dearest treasure, the thirty-four-volume
extra-illustrated edition of Dickens which had been his father's,
and his father's only insane extravagance.  Shad demanded of
Staubmeyer, "That guy Dickens--didn't he do a lot of complaining
about conditions--about schools and the police and everything?"

Staubmeyer protested, "Yes, but Shad--but, Captain Ledue, that was
a hundred years ago--"

"Makes no difference.  Dead skunk stinks worse 'n a live one."

Doremus cried, "Yes, but not for a hundred years!  Besides--"

The M.M.'s, obeying Shad's gesture, were already yanking the
volumes of Dickens from the shelves, dropping them on the floor,
covers cracking.  Doremus seized an M.M.'s arm; from the door Sissy
shrieked.  Shad lumbered up to him, enormous red fist at Doremus's
nose, growling, "Want to get the daylights beaten out of you
now . . . instead of later?"

Doremus and Sissy, side by side on a couch, watched the books
thrown in a heap.  He grasped her hand, muttering to her, "Hush--
hush!"  Oh, Sissy was a pretty girl, and young, but a pretty girl
schoolteacher had been attacked, her clothes stripped off, and been
left in the snow just south of town, two nights ago.

Doremus could not have stayed away from the book-burning.  It was
like seeing for the last time the face of a dead friend.

Kindling, excelsior, and spruce logs had been heaped on the thin
snow on the Green.  (Tomorrow there would be a fine patch burned in
the hundred-year-old sward.)  Round the pyre danced M.M.'s
schoolboys, students from the rather ratty business college on Elm
Street, and unknown farm lads, seizing books from the pile guarded
by the broadly cheerful Shad and skimming them into the flames.
Doremus saw his Martin Chuzzlewit fly into air and land on the
burning lid of an ancient commode.  It lay there open to a Phiz
drawing of Sairey Gamp, which withered instantly.  As a small boy
he had always laughed over that drawing.

He saw the old rector, Mr. Falck, squeezing his hands together.
When Doremus touched his shoulder, Mr. Falck mourned, "They took
away my Urn Burial, my Imitatio Christi.  I don't know why, I don't
know why!  And they're burning them there!"

Who owned them, Doremus did not know, nor why they had been seized,
but he saw Alice in Wonderland and Omar Khayyám and Shelley and The
Man Who Was Thursday and A Farewell to Arms all burning together,
to the greater glory of the Dictator and the greater enlightenment
of his people.

The fire was almost over when Karl Pascal pushed up to Shad Ledue
and shouted, "I hear you stinkers--I've been out driving a guy, and
I hear you raided my room and took off my books while I was away!"

"You bet we did, Comrade!"

"And you're burning them--burning my--"

"Oh no, Comrade!  Not burning 'em.  Worth too blame much, Comrade."
Shad laughed very much.  "They're at the police station.  We've
just been waiting for you.  It was awful nice to find all your
little Communist books.  Here!  TAKE HIM ALONG!"

So Karl Pascal was the first prisoner to go from Fort Beulah to the
Trianon Concentration Camp--no; that's wrong; the second.  The
first, so inconspicuous that one almost forgets him, was an
ordinary fellow, an electrician who had never so much as spoken of
politics.  Brayden, his name was.  A Minute Man who stood well with
Shad and Staubmeyer wanted Brayden's job.  Brayden went to
concentration camp.  Brayden was flogged when he declared, under
Shad's questioning, that he knew nothing about any plots against
the Chief.  Brayden died, alone in a dark cell, before January.

An English globe-trotter who gave up two weeks of December to a
thorough study of "conditions" in America, wrote to his London
paper, and later said on the wireless for the B.B.C.:  "After a
thorough glance at America I find that, far from there being any
discontent with the Corpo administration among the people, they
have never been so happy and so resolutely set on making a Brave
New World.  I asked a very prominent Hebrew banker about the
assertions that his people were being oppressed, and he assured me,
'When we hear about such silly rumors, we are highly amused.'"


Doremus was nervous.  The Minute Men had come, not with Shad but
with Emil and a strange battalion-leader from Hanover, to examine
the private letters in his study.  They were polite enough, but
alarmingly thorough.  Then he knew, from the disorder in his desk
at the Informer, that someone had gone over his papers there.  Emil
avoided him at the office.  Doremus was called to Shad's office and
gruffly questioned about correspondence which some denouncer had
reported his having with the agents of Walt Trowbridge.

So Doremus was nervous.  So Doremus was certain that his time for
going to concentration camp was coming.  He glanced back at every
stranger who seemed to be following him on the street.  The
fruitman, Tony Mogliani, flowery advocate of Windrip, of Mussolini,
and of tobacco quid as a cure for cuts and burns, asked him too
many questions about his plans for the time when he should "get
through on the paper"; and once a tramp tried to quiz Mrs. Candy,
meantime peering at the pantry shelves, perhaps to see if there was
any sign of their being understocked, as if for closing the house
and fleeing. . . .  But perhaps the tramp really was a tramp.

In the office, in mid-afternoon, Doremus had a telephone call from
that scholar-farmer, Buck Titus:

"Going to be home this evening, about nine?  Good!  Got to see you.
Important!  Say, see if you can have all your family and Linda Pike
and young Falck there, too, will you?  Got an idea.  Important!"

As important ideas, just now, usually concerned being imprisoned,
Doremus and his women waited jumpily.  Lorinda came in twittering,
for the sight of Emma always did make her twitter a little, and in
Lorinda there was no relief.  Julian came in shyly, and there was
no relief in Julian.  Mrs. Candy brought in unsolicited tea with a
dash of rum, and in her was some relief, but it was all a dullness
of fidgety waiting till Buck slammed in, ten minutes late and very

"Sorkeepwaiting but I've been telephoning.  Here's some news you
won't have even in the office yet, Dormouse.  The forest fire's
getting nearer.  This afternoon they arrested the editor of the
Rutland Herald--no charge laid against him yet--no publicity--I got
it from a commission merchant I deal with in Rutland.  You're next,
Doremus.  I reckon they've just been laying off you till Staubmeyer
picked your brains.  Or maybe Ledue has some nice idea about
torturing you by keeping you waiting.  Anyway, you've got to get
out.  And tomorrow!  To Canada!  To stay!  By automobile.  No can
do by plane any more--Canadian government's stopped that.  You and
Emma and Mary and Dave and Sis and the whole damn shooting-match--
and maybe Foolish and Mrs. Candy and the canary!"

"Couldn't possibly!  Take me weeks to realize on what investments
I've got.  Guess I could raise twenty thousand, but it'd take

"Sign 'em over to me, if you trust me--and you better!  I can cash
in everything better than you can--stand in with the Corpos better--
been selling 'em horses and they think I'm the kind of loud-
mouthed walking gent that will join 'em!  I've got fifteen hundred
Canadian dollars for you right here in my pocket, for a starter."

"We'd never get across the border.  The M.M.'s are watching every
inch, just looking for suspects like me."

"I've got a Canadian driver's license, and Canadian registration
plates ready to put on my car--we'll take mine--less suspicious.  I
can look like a real farmer--that's because I am one, I guess--I'm
going to drive you all, by the way.  I got the plates smuggled in
underneath the bottles in a case of ale!  So we're all set, and
we'll start tomorrow night, if the weather isn't too clear--hope
there'll be snow."

"But Buck!  Good Lord!  I'm not going to flee.  I'm not guilty of
anything.  I haven't anything to flee for!"

"Just your life, my boy, just your life!"

"I'm not afraid of 'em."

"Oh yes you are!"

"Oh--well--if you look at it that way, probably I am!  But I'm not
going to let a bunch of lunatics and gunmen drive me out of the
country that I and my ancestors made!"

Emma choked with the effort to think of something convincing; Mary
seemed without tears to be weeping; Sissy squeaked; Julian and
Lorinda started to speak and interrupted each other; and it was the
uninvited Mrs. Candy who, from the doorway, led off:  "Now isn't
that like a man!  Stubborn as mules.  All of 'em.  Every one.  And
show-offs, the whole lot of 'em.  Course you just wouldn't stop and
think how your womenfolks will feel if you get took off and shot!
You just stand in front of the locomotive and claim that because
you were on the section gang that built the track, you got more
right there than the engine has, and then when it's gone over you
and gone away, you expect us all to think what a hero you were!
Well, maybe SOME call it being a hero, but--"

"Well, confound it all, all of you picking on me and trying to get
me all mixed up and not carry out my duty to the State as I see it--"

"You're over sixty, Doremus.  Maybe a lot of us can do our duty
better now from Canada than we can here--like Walt Trowbridge,"
besought Lorinda.  Emma looked at her friend Lorinda with no
particular affection.

"But to let the Corpos steal the country and nobody protest!  No!"

"That's the kind of argument that sent a few million out to die, to
make the world safe for democracy and a cinch for Fascism!" scoffed

"Dad!  Come with us.  Because we can't go without you.  And I'm
getting scared here."  Sissy sounded scared, too; Sissy the
unconquerable.  "This afternoon Shad stopped me on the street and
wanted me to go out with him.  He tickled my chin, the little
darling!  But honestly, the way he smirked, as if he was so sure of
me--I got scared!"

"I'll get a shotgun and--" "Why, I'll kill the dirty--" "Wait'll I
get my hands on--" cried Doremus, Julian, and Buck, all together,
and glared at one another, then looked sheepish as Foolish barked
at the racket, and Mrs. Candy, leaning like a frozen codfish
against the door jamb, snorted, "Some more locomotive-batters!"

Doremus laughed.  For one only time in his life he showed genius,
for he consented:  "All right.  We'll go.  But just imagine that
I'm a man of strong will power and I'm taking all night to be
convinced.  We'll start tomorrow night."  What he did not say was
that he planned, the moment he had his family safe in Canada, with
money in the bank and perhaps a job to amuse Sissy, to run away
from them and come back to his proper fight.  He would at least
kill Shad before he got killed himself.

It was only a week before Christmas, a holiday always greeted with
good cheer and quantities of colored ribbons in the Jessup
household; and that wild day of preparing for flight had a queer
Christmas joyfulness.  To dodge suspicion, Doremus spent most of
the time at the office, and a hundred times it seemed that
Staubmeyer was glancing at him with just the ruler-threatening
hidden ire he had used on whisperers and like young criminals in
school.  But he took off two hours at lunch time, and he went home
early in the afternoon, and his long depression was gone in the
prospect of Canada and freedom, in an excited inspection of clothes
that was like preparation for a fishing trip.  They worked
upstairs, behind drawn blinds, feeling like spies in an E. Phillips
Oppenheim story, beleagured in the dark and stone-floored ducal
bedroom of an ancient inn just beyond Grasse.  Downstairs, Mrs.
Candy was pretentiously busy looking normal--after their flight,
she and the canary were to remain and she was to be surprised when
the M.M.'s reported that the Jessups seemed to have escaped.

Doremus had drawn five hundred from each of the local banks, late
that afternoon, telling them that he was thinking of taking an
option on an apple orchard.  He was too well-trained a domestic
animal to be raucously amused, but he could not help observing that
while he himself was taking on the flight to Egypt only all the
money he could get hold of, plus cigarettes, six handkerchiefs, two
extra pairs of socks, a comb, a toothbrush, and the first volume of
Spengler's Decline of the West--decidedly it was not his favorite
book, but one he had been trying to make himself read for years, on
train journeys--while, in fact, he took nothing that he could not
stuff into his overcoat pockets, Sissy apparently had need of all
her newest lingerie and of a large framed picture of Julian, Emma
of a kodak album showing the three children from the ages of one to
twenty, David of his new model aeroplane, and Mary of her still,
dark hatred that was heavier to carry than many chests.

Julian and Lorinda were there to help them; Julian off in corners
with Sissy.

With Lorinda, Doremus had but one free moment . . . in the old-
fashioned guest-bathroom.

"Linda.  Oh, Lord!"

"We'll come through!  In Canada you'll have time to catch your
breath.  Join Trowbridge!"

"Yes, but to leave you--I'd hoped somehow, by some miracle, you and
I could have maybe a month together, say in Monterey or Venice or
the Yellowstone.  I hate it when life doesn't seem to stick
together and get somewhere and have some plan and meaning."

"It's had meaning!  No dictator can completely smother us now!

"Good-bye, my Linda!"

Not even now did he alarm her by confessing that he planned to come
back, into danger.

Embracing beside an aged tin-lined bathtub with woodwork painted a
dreary brown, in a room which smelled slightly of gas from an old
hot-water heater--embracing in sunset-colored mist upon a mountain

Darkness, edged wind, wickedly deliberate snow, and in it Buck
Titus boisterously cheerful in his veteran Nash, looking as farmer-
like as he could, in sealskin cap with rubbed bare patches and an
atrocious dogskin overcoat.  Doremus thought of him again as a
Captain Charles King cavalryman chasing the Sioux across blizzard-
blinded prairies.

They packed alarmingly into the car; Mary beside Buck, the driver;
in the back, Doremus between Emma and Sissy; on the floor, David
and Foolish and the toy aeroplane indistinguishably curled up
together beneath a robe.  Trunk rack and front fenders were heaped
with tarpaulin-covered suitcases.

"Lord, I wish I were going!" moaned Julian.  "Look!  Sis!  Grand
spy-story idea!  But I mean seriously:  Send souvenir postcards to
my granddad--views of churches and so on--just sign 'em 'Jane'--and
whatever you say about the church, I'll know you really mean it
about you and--Oh, damn all mystery!  I want YOU, Sissy!"

Mrs. Candy whisked a bundle in among the already intolerable mess
of baggage which promised to descend on Doremus's knees and David's
head, and she snapped, "Well, if you folks MUST go flyin' around
the country--It's a cocoanut layer cake."  Savagely:  "Soon's you
get around the corner, throw the fool thing in the ditch if you
want to!"  She fled sobbing into the kitchen, where Lorinda stood
in the lighted doorway, silent, her trembling hands out to them.

The car was already lurching in the snow before they had sneaked
through Fort Beulah by shadowy back-streets and started streaking

Sissy sang out cheerily, "Well, Christmas in Canada!  Skittles and
beer and lots of holly!"

"Oh, do they have Santa Claus in Canada?" came David's voice,
wondering, childish, slightly muffled by lap robe and the furry
ears of Foolish.

"Of COURSE they do, dearie!" Emma reassured him and, to the grown-
ups, "Now wasn't that the cutest thing!"

To Doremus, Sissy whispered, "Darn well ought to be cute.  Took me
ten minutes to teach him to say it, this afternoon!  Hold my hand.
I hope Buck knows how to drive!"

Buck Titus knew every back-road from Fort Beulah to the border,
preferably in filthy weather, like tonight.  Beyond Trianon he
pulled the car up deep-rutted roads, on which you would have to
back if you were to pass anyone.  Up grades on which the car
knocked and panted, into lonely hills, by a zigzag of roads, they
jerked toward Canada.  Wet snow sheathed the windshield, then
froze, and Buck had to drive with his head thrust out through the
open window, and the blast came in and circled round their stiff

Doremus could see nothing save the back of Buck's twisted, taut
neck, and the icy windshield, most of the time.  Just now and then
a light far below the level of the road indicated that they were
sliding along a shelf road, and if they skidded off, they would
keep going a hundred feet, two hundred feet, downward--probably
turning over and over.  Once they did skid, and while they panted
in an eternity of four seconds, Buck yanked the car up a bank
beside the road, down to the left again, and finally straight--
speeding on as if nothing had happened, while Doremus felt feeble
in the knees.

For a long while he kept going rigid with fear, but he sank into
misery, too cold and deaf to feel anything except a slow desire to
vomit as the car lurched.  Probably he slept--at least, he
awakened, and awakened to a sensation of pushing the car anxiously
up hill, as she bucked and stuttered in the effort to make a
slippery rise.  Suppose the engine died--suppose the brakes would
not hold and they slid back downhill, reeling, bursting off the
road and down--A great many suppositions tortured him, hour by

Then he tried being awake and bright and helpful.  He noticed that
the ice-lined windshield, illuminated from the light on the snow
ahead, was a sheet of diamonds.  He noticed it, but he couldn't get
himself to think much of diamonds, even in sheets.

He tried conversation.

"Cheer up.  Breakfast at dawn--across the border!" he tried on

"Breakfast!" she said bitterly.

And they crunched on, in that moving coffin with only the sheet of
diamonds and Buck's silhouette alive in all the world.

After unnumbered hours the car reared and tumbled and reared again.
The motor raced; its sound rose to an intolerable roaring; yet the
car seemed not to be moving.  The motor stopped abruptly.  Buck
cursed, popped his head back into the car like a turtle, and the
starter ground long and whiningly.  The motor again roared, again
stopped.  They could hear stiff branches rattling, hear Foolish
moaning in sleep.  The car was a storm-menaced cabin in the
wilderness.  The silence seemed waiting, as they were waiting.

"Strouble?" said Doremus.

"Stuck.  No traction.  Hit a drift of wet snow--drainage from a
busted culvert, I sh' think.  Hell!  Have to get out and take a

Outside the car, as Doremus crept down from the slippery running-
board, it was cold in a vicious wind.  He was so stiff he could
scarcely stand.

As people do, feeling important and advisory, Doremus looked at the
drift with an electric torch, and Sissy looked at the drift with
the torch, and Buck impatiently took the torch away from them and
looked twice.

"Get some--" and "Brush would help," said Sissy and Buck together,
while Doremus rubbed his chilly ears.

They three trotted back and forth with fragments of brush, laying
it in front of the wheels, while Mary politely asked from within,
"Can I help?" and no one seemed particularly to have answered her.

The headlights picked out an abandoned shack beside the road; an
unpainted gray pine cabin with broken window glass and no door.
Emma, sighing her way out of the car and stepping through the lumpy
snow as delicately as a pacer at a horse show, said humbly, "That
little house there--maybe I could go in and make some hot coffee on
the alcohol stove--didn't have room for a thermos.  Hot coffee,

To Doremus she sounded, just now, not at all like a wife, but as
sensible as Mrs. Candy.

When the car did kick its way up on the pathway of twigs and stand
panting safely beyond the drift, they had, in the sheltered shack,
coffee with slabs of Mrs. Candy's voluptuous cocoanut cake.
Doremus pondered, "This is a nice place.  I like this place.  It
doesn't bounce or skid.  I don't want to leave this place."

He did.  The secure immobility of the shack was behind them, dark
miles behind, and they were again pitching and rolling and being
sick and inescapably chilly.  David was alternately crying and
going back to sleep.  Foolish woke up to cough inquiringly and
returned to his dream of rabbiting.  And Doremus was sleeping, his
head swaying like a masthead in long rollers, his shoulder against
Emma's, his hand warm about Sissy's, and his soul in nameless

He roused to a half-dawn filmy with snow.  The car was standing in
what seemed to be a crossroads hamlet, and Buck was examining a map
by the light of the electric torch.

"Got anywhere yet?" Doremus whispered.

"Just a few miles to the border."

"Anybody stopped us?"

"Nope.  Oh, we'll make it, all right, o' man."

Out of East Berkshire, Buck took not the main road to the border
but an old wood lane so little used that the ruts were twin snakes.
Though Doremus said nothing, the others felt his intensity, his
anxiety that was like listening for an enemy in the dark.  David
sat up, the blue motor robe about him.  Foolish started, snorted,
looked offended but, catching the spirit of the moment,
comfortingly laid a paw on Doremus's knee and insisted on shaking
hands, over and over, as gravely as a Venetian senator or an

They dropped into the dimness of a tree-walled hollow.  A
searchlight darted, and rested hotly on them, so dazzling them
that Buck almost ran off the road.

"Confound it," he said gently.  No one else said anything.

He crawled up to the light, which was mounted on a platform in
front of a small shelter hut.  Two Minute Men stood out in the
road, dripping with radiance from the car.  They were young and
rural, but they had efficient repeating rifles.

"Where you headed for?" demanded the elder, good-naturedly enough.

"Montreal, where we live."  Buck showed his Canadian license. . . .
Gasoline motor and electric light, yet Doremus saw the frontier
guard as a sentry in 1864, studying a pass by lantern light, beside
a farm wagon in which hid General Joe Johnston's spies disguised as
plantation hands.

"I guess it's all right.  Seems in order.  But we've had some
trouble with refugees.  You'll have to wait till the Battalion-
Leader comes--maybe 'long about noon."

"But good Lord, Inspector, we can't do that!  My mother's awful
sick, in Montreal."

"Yuh, I've heard that one before!  And maybe it's true, this time.
But afraid you'll have to wait for the Bat.  You folks can come in
and set by the fire, if you want to."

"But we've got to--"

"You heard what I said!"  The M.M.'s were fingering their rifles.

"All right.  But tell you what we'll do.  We'll go back to East
Berkshire and get some breakfast and a wash and come back here.
Noon, you said?"

"Okay!  And say, Brother, it does seem kind of funny, your taking
this back road, when there's a first-rate highway.  S' long.  Be
good. . . .  Just don't try it again!  The Bat might be here next
time--and he ain't a farmer like you or me!"

The refugees, as they drove away, had an uncomfortable feeling that
the guards were laughing at them.

Three border posts they tried, and at three posts they were turned

"Well?" said Buck.

"Yes.  I guess so.  Back home.  My turn to drive," said Doremus

The humiliation of retreat was the worse in that none of the guards
had troubled to do more than laugh at them.  They were trapped too
tightly for the trappers to worry.  Doremus's only clear emotion
as, tails between their legs, they back-tracked to Shad Ledue's
sneer and to Mrs. Candy's "Well, I NEVER!" was regret that he had
not shot one guard, at least, and he raged:

"Now I know why men like John Brown became crazy killers!"


He could not decide whether Emil Staubmeyer, and through him Shad
Ledue, knew that he had tried to escape.  Did Staubmeyer really
look more knowing, or did he just imagine it?  What the deuce had
Emil meant when he said, "I hear the roads aren't so good up north--
not so good!"  Whether they knew or not, it was grinding that he
should have to shiver lest an illiterate roustabout like Shad Ledue
find out that he desired to go to Canada, while a ruler-slapper
like Staubmeyer, a Squeers with certificates in "pedagogy," should
now be able to cuff grown men instead of urchins and should be
editor of the Informer!  Doremus's Informer!  Staubmeyer!  THAT
human blackboard!

Daily Doremus found it more cramping, more instantly stirring to
fury, to write anything mentioning Windrip.  His private office--
the cheerfully rattling linotype room--the shouting pressroom with
its smell of ink that to him hitherto had been like the smell of
grease paint to an actor--they were hateful now, and choking.  Not
even Lorinda's faith, not even Sissy's jibes and Buck's stories,
could rouse him to hope.

He rejoiced the more, therefore, when his son Philip telephoned him
from Worcester:  "Be home Sunday?  Merilla's in New York, gadding,
and I'm all alone here.  Thought I'd just drive up for the day and
see how things are in your neck of the woods."

"Come on!  Splendid!  So long since we've seen you.  I'll have your
mother start a pot of beans right away!"

Doremus was happy.  Not for some time did his cursed two-way-
mindedness come to weaken his joy, as he wondered whether it wasn't
just a myth held over from boyhood that Philip really cared so much
for Emma's beans and brown bread; and wondered just why it was that
Up-to-Date Americans like Philip always used the long-distance
telephone rather than undergo the dreadful toil of dictating a
letter a day or two earlier.  It didn't really seem so efficient,
the old-fashioned village editor reflected, to spend seventy-five
cents on a telephone call in order to save five cents' worth of

"Oh hush!  Anyway, I'll be delighted to see the boy!  I'll bet
there isn't a smarter young lawyer in Worcester.  There's one
member of the family that's a real success!"

He was a little shocked when Philip came, like a one-man
procession, into the living room, late on Saturday afternoon.  He
had been forgetting how bald this upstanding young advocate was
growing even at thirty-four.  And it seemed to him that Philip was
a little heavy and senatorial in speech and a bit too cordial.

"By Jove, Dad, you don't know how good it is to be back in the old
digs.  Mother and the girls upstairs?  By Jove, sir, that was a
horrible business, the killing of poor Fowler.  Horrible!  I was
simply horrified.  There must have been a mistake somewhere,
because Judge Swan has a wonderful reputation for scrupulousness."

"There was no mistake.  Swan is a fiend.  Literally!"  Doremus
sounded less paternal than when he had first bounded up to shake
hands with the beloved prodigal.

"Really?  We must talk it over.  I'll see if there can't be a
stricter investigation.  Swan?  Really!  We'll certainly go into
the whole business.  But first I must just skip upstairs and give
Mammy a good smack, and Mary and Little Sis."

And that was the last time that Philip mentioned Effingham Swan or
any "stricter investigation" of the acts thereof.  All afternoon he
was relentlessly filial and fraternal, and he smiled like an
automobile salesman when Sissy griped at him, "What's the idea of
all the tender hand-dusting, Philco?"

Doremus and he were not alone till nearly midnight.

They sat upstairs in the sacred study.  Philip lighted one of
Doremus's excellent cigars as though he were a cinema actor playing
the role of a man lighting an excellent cigar, and breathed

"Well, sir, this is an excellent cigar!  It certainly is

"Why not?"

"Oh, I just mean--I was just appreciating it--"

"What is it, Phil?  There's something on your mind.  Shoot!  Not
rowing with Merilla, are you?"

"Certainly not!  Most certainly not!  Oh, I don't approve of
everything Merry does--she's a little extravagant--but she's got a
heart of gold, and let me tell you, Pater, there isn't a young
society woman in Worcester that makes a nicer impression on
everybody, especially at nice dinner parties."

"Well then?  Let's have it, Phil.  Something serious?"

"Ye-es, I'm afraid there is.  Look, Dad. . . .  Oh, do sit down and
be comfortable! . . .  I've been awfully perturbed to hear that
you've, uh, that you're in slightly bad odor with some of the

"You mean the Corpos?"

"Naturally!  Who else?"

"Maybe I don't recognize 'em as authorities."

"Oh, listen, Pater, please don't joke tonight!  I'm serious.  As a
matter fact, I hear you're more than just 'slightly' in wrong with

"And who may your informant be?"

"Oh, just letters--old school friends.  Now you AREN'T really pro-
Corpo, ARE you?"

"How did you ever guess?"

"Well, I've been--I didn't vote for Windrip, personally, but I
begin to see where I was wrong.  I can see now that he has not only
great personal magnetism, but real constructive power--real sure-
enough statesmanship.  Some say it's Lee Sarason's doing, but don't
you believe it for a minute.  Look at all Buzz did back in his home
state, before he ever teamed up with Sarason!  And some say Windrip
is crude.  Well, so were Lincoln and Jackson.  Now what I think of

"The only thing you ought to think of Windrip is that his gangsters
murdered your fine brother-in-law!  And plenty of other men just as
good.  Do you condone such murders?"

"No!  Certainly not!  How can you suggest such a thing, Dad!  No
one abhors violence more than I do.  Still, you can't make an
omelet without breaking eggs--"

"Hell and damnation!"

"Why, Pater!"

"Don't call me 'Pater'!  If I ever hear that 'can't make an omelet'
phrase again, I'll start doing a little murder myself!  It's used
to justify every atrocity under every despotism, Fascist or Nazi or
Communist or American labor war.  Omelet!  Eggs!  By God, sir,
men's souls and blood are not eggshells for tyrants to break!"

"Oh, sorry, sir.  I guess maybe the phrase is a little shopworn!  I
just mean to say--I'm just trying to figure this situation out

"'Realistically'!  That's another buttered bun to excuse murder!"

"But honestly, you know--horrible things do happen, thanks to the
imperfection of human nature, but you can forgive the means if the
end is a rejuvenated nation that--"

"I can do nothing of the kind!  I can never forgive evil and lying
and cruel means, and still less can I forgive fanatics that use
that for an excuse!  If I may imitate Romain Rolland, a country
that tolerates evil means--evil manners, standards of ethics--for a
generation, will be so poisoned that it never will have any good
end.  I'm just curious, but do you know how perfectly you're
quoting every Bolshevik apologist that sneers at decency and
kindness and truthfulness in daily dealings as 'bourgeois
morality'?  I hadn't understood that you'd gone quite so Marxo-

"I!  Marxian!  Good God!"  Doremus was pleased to see that he had
stirred his son out of his if-your-honor-please smugness.  "Why,
one of the things I most admire about the Corpos is that, as I
know, absolutely--I have reliable information from Washington--they
have saved us from a simply ghastly invasion by red agents of
Moscow--Communists pretending to be decent labor-leaders!"

"Not really!"  (Had the fool forgotten that his father was a
newspaperman and not likely to be impressed by "reliable
information from Washington"?)

"Really!  And to be realistic--sorry, sir, if you don't like the
word, but to be--to be--"

"In fact, to be realistic!"

"Well, yes, then!"

(Doremus recalled such tempers in Philip from years ago.  Had he
been wise, after all, to restrain himself from the domestic
pleasure of licking the brat?)

"The whole point is that Windrip, or anyway the Corpos, are here to
STAY, Pater, and we've got to base our future actions not on some
desired Utopia but on what we really and truly have.  And think of
what they've actually done!  Just, for example, how they've removed
the advertising billboards from the highways, and ended
unemployment, and their simply stupendous feat in getting rid of
all crime!"

"Good God!"

"Pardon me--what y' say, Dad?"

"Nothing!  Nothing!  Go on!"

"But I begin to see now that the Corpo gains haven't been just
material but spiritual."


"Really!  They've revitalized the whole country.  Formerly we had
gotten pretty sordid, just thinking about material possessions and
comforts--about electric refrigeration and television and air-
conditioning.  Kind of lost the sturdiness that characterized our
pioneer ancestors.  Why, ever so many young men were refusing to
take military drill, and the discipline and will power and good-
fellowship that you only get from military training--Oh, pardon me!
I forgot you were a pacifist."

Doremus grimly muttered, "Not any more!"

"Of course there must be any number of things we can't agree on,
Dad.  But after all, as a publicist you ought to listen to the
Voice of Youth."

"You?  Youth?  You're not youth.  You're two thousand years old,
mentally.  You date just about 100 B.C. in your fine new
imperialistic theories!"

"No, but you must listen, Dad!  Why do you suppose I came clear up
here from Worcester just to see you?"

"God only knows!"

"I want to make myself clear.  Before Windrip, we'd been lying down
in America, while Europe was throwing off all her bonds--both
monarchy and this antiquated parliamentary-democratic-liberal
system that really means rule by professional politicians and by
egotistic 'intellectuals.'  We've got to catch up to Europe again--
got to expand--it's the rule of life.  A nation, like a man, has to
go ahead or go backward.  Always!"

"I know, Phil.  I used to write that same thing in those same
words, back before 1914!"

"Did you?  Well, anyway--Got to expand!  Why, what we ought to do
is to grab all of Mexico, and maybe Central America, and a good big
slice of China.  Why, just on their OWN behalf we ought to do it,
misgoverned the way they are!  Maybe I'm wrong but--"


"--Windrip and Sarason and Dewey Haik and Macgoblin, all those
fellows, they're BIG--they're making me stop and think!  And now to
come down to my errand here--"

"You think I ought to run the Informer according to Corpo theology!"

"Why--why yes!  That was approximately what I was going to say.  (I
just don't see why you haven't been more reasonable about this
whole thing--you with your quick mind!)  After all, the time for
selfish individualism is gone.  We've got to have mass action.  One
for all and all for one--"

"Philip, would you mind telling me what the deuce you're REALLY
heading toward?  Cut the cackle!"

"Well, since you insist--to 'cut the cackle,' as you call it--not
very politely, seems to me, seeing I've taken the trouble to come
clear up from Worcester!--I have reliable information that you're
going to get into mighty serious trouble if you don't stop
opposing--or at least markedly failing to support--the government."

"All right.  What of it?  It's MY serious trouble!"

"That's just the point!  It isn't!  I do think that just for once
in your life you might think of Mother and the girls, instead of
always of your own selfish 'ideas' that you're so proud of!  In a
crisis like this, it just isn't funny any longer to pose as a
quaint 'liberal.'"

Doremus's voice was like a firecracker.  "Cut the cackle, I told
you!  What you after?  What's the Corpo gang to you?"

"I have been approached in regard to the very high honor of an
assistant military judgeship, but your attitude, as my father--"

"Philip, I think, I rather think, that I give you my parental curse
not so much because you are a traitor as because you have become a
stuffed shirt!  Good-night."


Holidays were invented by the devil, to coax people into the heresy
that happiness can be won by taking thought.  What was planned as a
rackety day for David's first Christmas with his grandparents was,
they saw too well, perhaps David's last Christmas with them.  Mary
had hidden her weeping, but the day before Christmas, when Shad
Ledue tramped in to demand of Doremus whether Karl Pascal had ever
spoken to him of Communism, Mary came on Shad in the hall, stared
at him, raised her hand like a boxing cat, and said with dreadful
quietness, "You murderer!  I shall kill you and kill Swan!"

For once Shad did not look amused.

To make the holiday as good an imitation of mirth as possible, they
were very noisy, but their holly, their tinsel stars on a tall pine
tree, their family devotion in a serene old house in a little town,
was no different at heart from despairing drunkenness in the city
night.  Doremus reflected that it might have been just as well for
all of them to get drunk and let themselves go, elbows on slopped
café tables, as to toil at this pretense of domestic bliss.  He now
had another thing for which to hate the Corpos--for stealing the
secure affection of Christmas.

For noon dinner, Louis Rotenstern was invited, because he was a
lorn bachelor and, still more, because he was a Jew, now insecure
and snubbed and threatened in an insane dictatorship.  (There is no
greater compliment to the Jews than the fact that the degree of
their unpopularity is always the scientific measure of the cruelty
and silliness of the régime under which they live, so that even a
commercial-minded money-fondling heavily humorous Jew burgher like
Rotenstern is still a sensitive meter of barbarism.)  After dinner
came Buck Titus, David's most favorite person, bearing staggering
amounts of Woolworth tractors and fire engines and a real bow-and-
arrow, and he was raucously insisting that Mrs. Candy dance with
him what he not very precisely called "the light fantastic," when
the hammering sounded at the door.

Aras Dilley tramped in with four men.

"Lookin' for Rotenstern.  Oh, that you, Louie?  Git your coat and
come on--orders."

"What's the idea?  What d'you want of him?  What's the charge?"
demanded Buck, still standing with his arm about Mrs. Candy's
embarrassed waist.

"Dunno's there be any charges.  Just ordered to headquarters for
questioning.  District Commissioner Reek in town.  Just astin' few
people a few questions.  Come on, YOU!"

The hilarious celebrants did not, as they had planned, go out to
Lorinda's tavern for skiing.  Next day they heard that Rotenstern
had been taken to the concentration camp at Trianon, along with
that crabbed old Tory, Raymond Pridewell, the hardware dealer.

Both imprisonments were incredible.  Rotenstern had been too meek.
And if Pridewell had not ever been meek, if he had constantly and
testily and loudly proclaimed that he had not cared for Ledue as a
hired man and now cared even less for him as a local governor, yet--
why, Pridewell was a sacred institution.  As well think of
dragging the brownstone Baptist Church to prison.

Later, a friend of Shad Ledue took over Rotenstern's shop.

It CAN happen here, meditated Doremus.  It could happen to him.
How soon?  Before he should be arrested, he must make amends to his
conscience by quitting the Informer.

Professor Victor Loveland, once a classicist of Isaiah College,
having been fired from a labor camp for incompetence in teaching
arithmetic to lumberjacks, was in town, with wife and babies, on
his way to a job clerking in his uncle's slate quarry near Fair
Haven.  He called on Doremus and was hysterically cheerful.  He
called on Clarence Little--"dropped in to visit with him," Clarence
would have said.  Now that twitchy, intense jeweler, Clarence, who
had been born on a Vermont farm and had supported his mother till
she died when he was thirty, had longed to go to college and,
especially, to study Greek.  Though Loveland was his own age, in
the mid-thirties, he looked on him as a combination of Keats and
Liddell.  His greatest moment had been hearing Loveland read Homer.

Loveland was leaning on the counter.  "Gone ahead with your Latin
grammar, Clarence?"

"Golly, Professor, it just doesn't seem worth while any more.  I
guess I'm kind of a weak sister, anyway, but I find that these days
it's about all I can do to keep going."

"Me too!  And don't call me 'Professor.'  I'm a timekeeper in a
slate quarry.  What a life!"

They had not noticed the clumsy-looking man in plain clothes who
had just come in.  Presumably he was a customer.  But he grumbled,
"So you two pansies don't like the way things go nowadays!  Don't
suppose you like the Corpos!  Don't think much of the Chief!"  He
jabbed his thumb into Loveland's ribs so painfully that Loveland
yelped, "I don't think about him at all!"

"Oh, you don't, eh?  Well, you two fairies can come along to the
courthouse with me!"

"And who may you be?"

"Oh, just an ensign in the M.M.'s, that's all!"

He had an automatic pistol.

Loveland was not beaten much, because he managed to keep his mouth
shut.  But Little was so hysterical that they laid him on a kitchen
table and decorated his naked back with forty slashes of a steel
ramrod.  They had found that Clarence wore yellow silk underwear,
and the M.M.'s from factory and plowland laughed--particularly one
broad young inspector who was rumored to have a passionate
friendship with a battalion-leader from Nashua who was fat,
eyeglassed, and high-pitched of voice.

Little had to be helped into the truck that took Loveland and him
to the Trianon concentration camp.  One eye was closed and so
surrounded with bruised flesh that the M.M. driver said it looked
like a Spanish omelet.

The truck had an open body, but they could not escape, because the
three prisoners on this trip were chained hand to hand.  They lay
on the floor of the truck.  It was snowing.

The third prisoner was not much like Loveland or Little.  His name
was Ben Trippen.  He had been a mill hand for Medary Cole.  He
cared no more about the Greek language than did a baboon, but he
did care for his six children.  He had been arrested for trying to
strike Cole and for cursing the Corpo régime when Cole had reduced
his wages from nine dollars a week (in pre-Corpo currency) to

As to Loveland's wife and babies, Lorinda took them in till she
could pass the hat and collect enough to send them back to Mrs.
Loveland's family on a rocky farm in Missouri.  But then things
went better.  Mrs. Loveland was favored by the Greek proprietor of
a lunch-room and got work washing dishes and otherwise pleasing the
proprietor, who brilliantined his mustache.

The county administration, in a proclamation signed by Emil
Staubmeyer, announced that they were going to regulate the
agriculture on the submarginal land high up on Mount Terror.  As a
starter, half-a-dozen of the poorer families were moved into the
large, square, quiet, old house of that large, square, quiet, old
farmer, Henry Veeder, cousin of Doremus Jessup.  These poorer
families had many children, a great many, so that there were four
or five persons bedded on the floor in every room of the home where
Henry and his wife had placidly lived alone since their own
children had grown.  Henry did not like it, and said so, not very
tactfully, to the M.M.'s herding the refugees.  What was worse, the
dispossessed did not like it any better.  "'Tain't much, but we got
a house of our own.  Dunno why we should git shoved in on Henry,"
said one.  "Don't expect other folks to bother me, and don't expect
to bother other folks.  Never did like that fool kind of yellow
color Henry painted his barn, but guess that's his business."

So Henry and two of the regulated agriculturists were taken to the
Trianon concentration camp, and the rest remained in Henry's house,
doing nothing but finish up Henry's large larder and wait for

"And before I'm sent to join Henry and Karl and Loveland, I'm going
to clear my skirts," Doremus vowed, along in late January.

He marched in to see County Commissioner Ledue.

"I want to quit the Informer.  Staubmeyer has learned all I can
teach him."

"Staubmeyer?  Oh!  You mean Assistant Commissioner Staubmeyer!"

"Chuck it, will you?  We're not on parade, and we're not playing
soldiers.  Mind if I sit down?"

"Don't look like you cared a hell of a lot whether I mind or not!
But I can tell you, right here and now, Jessup, without any monkey
business about it, you're not going to leave your job.  I guess I
could find enough grounds for sending you to Trianon for about a
million years, with ninety lashes, but--you've always been so stuck
on yourself as such an all-fired honest editor, it kind of tickles
me to watch you kissing the Chief's foot--and mine!"

"I'll do no more of it!  That's certain!  And I admit that I
deserve your scorn for ever having done it!"

"Well, isn't that elegant!  But you'll do just what I tell you to,
and like it!  Jessup, I suppose you think I had a swell time when I
was your hired man!  Watching you and your old woman and the girls
go off on a picnic while I--oh, I was just your hired man, with
dirt in my ears, your dirt!  I could stay home and clean up the

"Maybe we didn't want you along, Shad!  Good-morning!"

Shad laughed.  There was a sound of the gates of Trianon
concentration camp in that laughter.

It was really Sissy who gave Doremus his lead.

He drove to Hanover to see Shad's superior, District Commissioner
John Sullivan Reek, that erstwhile jovial and red-faced politician.
He was admitted after only half an hour's waiting.  He was shocked
to see how pale and hesitant and frightened Reek had become.  But
the Commissioner tried to be authoritative.

"Well, Jessup, what can I do for you?"

"May I be frank?"

"What?  What?  Why, certainly!  Frankness has always been my middle

"I hope so.  Governor, I find I'm of no use on the Informer, at
Fort Beulah.  As you probably know, I've been breaking in Emil
Staubmeyer as my successor.  Well, he's quite competent to take
hold now, and I want to quit.  I'm really just in his way."

"Why don't you stick around and see what you can still do to help
him?  There'll be little jobs cropping up from time to time."

"Because it's got on my nerves to take orders where I used to give
'em for so many years.  You can appreciate that, can't you?"

"My God, can I appreciate it?  And how!  Well, I'll think it over.
You wouldn't mind writing little pieces for my own little sheet, at
home?  I own part of a paper there."

"No!  Sure!  Delighted!"

("Does this mean that Reek believes the Corpo tyranny is going to
blow up, in a revolution, so that he's beginning to trim?  Or just
that he's fighting to keep from being thrown out?")

"Yes, I can see how you might feel, Brother Jessup."

"Thanks!  Would you mind giving me a note to County Commissioner
Ledue, telling him to let me out, without prejudice?--making it
pretty strong?"

"No.  Not a bit.  Just wait a minute, ole fellow; I'll write it
right now."

Doremus made as little ceremony as possible of leaving the
Informer, which had been his throne for thirty-seven years.
Staubmeyer was patronizing, Doc Itchitt looked quizzical, but the
chapel, headed by Dan Wilgus, shook hands profusely.  And so, at
sixty-two, stronger and more eager than he had been in all his
life, Doremus had nothing to do more important than eating
breakfast and telling his grandson stories about the elephant.

But that lasted less than a week.  Avoiding suspicion from Emma and
Sissy and even from Buck and Lorinda, he took Julian aside:

"Look here, boy.  I think it's time now for me to begin doing a
little high treason.  (Heaven's sake keep all of this under your
hat--don't even tip off Sissy!)  I guess you know, the Communists
are too theocratic for my tastes.  But looks to me as though they
have more courage and devotion and smart strategy than anybody
since the Early Christian Martyrs--whom they also resemble in
hairiness and a fondness for catacombs.  I want to get in touch
with 'em and see if there's any dirty work at the crossroads I can
do for 'em--say distributing a few Early Christian tracts by St.
Lenin.  But of course, theoretically, the Communists have all been
imprisoned.  Could you get to Karl Pascal, in Trianon, and find out
whom I could see?"

Said Julian, "I think I could.  Dr. Olmsted gets called in there
sometimes on cases--they hate him, because he hates them, but
still, their camp doctor is a drunken bum, and they have to have a
real doc in when one of their warders busts his wrist beating up
some prisoner.  I'll try, sir."

Two days afterward Julian returned.

"My God, what a sewer that Trianon place is!  I'd waited for
Olmsted before, in the car, but I never had the nerve to butt
inside.  The buildings--they were nice buildings, quite pretty,
when the girls' school had them.  Now the fittings are all torn
out, and they've put up wallboard partitions for cells, and the
whole place stinks of carbolic acid and excrement, and the air--
there isn't any--you feel as if you were nailed up in a box--I
don't know how anybody lives in one of those cells for an hour--and
yet there's six men bunked in a cell twelve feet by ten, with a
ceiling only seven feet high, and no light except a twenty-five
watt, I guess it is, bulb in the ceiling--you couldn't read by it.
But they get out for exercise two hours a day--walk around and
around the courtyard--they're all so stooped, and they all look so
ashamed, as if they'd had the defiance just licked out of 'em--even
Karl a little, and you remember how proud and sort of sardonic he
was.  Well, I got to see him, and he says to get in touch with this
man--here, I wrote it down--and for God's sake, burn it up soon as
you've memorized it!"

"Was he--had they--?"

"Oh, yes, they've beaten him, all right.  He wouldn't talk about
it.  But there was a scar right across his cheek, from his temple
right down to his chin.  And I had just a glimpse of Henry Veeder.
Remember how he looked--like an oak tree?  Now he twitches all the
time, and jumps and gasps when he hears a sudden sound.  He didn't
know me.  I don't think he'd know anybody."

Doremus announced to his family and told it loudly in Gath that he
was still looking for an option on an apple orchard to which they
might retire, and he journeyed southward, with pajamas and a
toothbrush and the first volume of Spengler's Decline of the West
in a briefcase.

The address given by Karl Pascal was that of a most gentlemanly
dealer in altar cloths and priestly robes, who had his shop and
office over a tea room in Hartford, Connecticut.  He talked about
the cembalo and the spinetta di serenata and the music of
Palestrina for an hour before he sent Doremus on to a busy engineer
constructing a dam in New Hampshire, who sent him to a tailor in a
side-street shop in Lynn, who at last sent him to northern
Connecticut and to the Eastern headquarters of what was left of the
Communists in America.

Still carrying his little briefcase he walked up a greasy hill,
impassable to any motorcar, and knocked at the faded green door of
a squat New England farm cottage masked in wintry old lilac bushes
and spiræa shrubs.  A stringy farm wife opened and looked hostile.

"I'd like to speak to Mr. Ailey, Mr. Bailey, or Mr. Cailey."

"None of 'em home.  You'll have to come again."

"Then I'll wait.  What else should one do, these days?"

"All right.  Cmin."

"Thanks.  Give them this letter."

(The tailor had warned him, "It vill all sount very foolish, the
passvorts und everyt'ing, but if any of the central committee gets
caught--"  He made a squirting sound and drew his scissors across
his throat.)

Doremus sat now in a tiny hall off a flight of stairs steep as the
side of a roof; a hall with sprigged wall paper and Currier & Ives
prints, and black-painted wooden rocking chairs with calico
cushions.  There was nothing to read but a Methodist hymnal and a
desk dictionary.  He knew the former by heart, and anyway, he
always loved reading dictionaries--often had one seduced him from
editorial-writing.  Happily he sat conning:

Phenyl.  n., Chem.  The univalent radical C6 H5, regarded as the
basis of numerous benzene derivatives; as, phenyl hydroxid C6 H5 OH.

Pherecratean.  n.  A choriambic trimeter catalectic, or catalectic
glyconic; composed of a spondee, a choriambus, and a catalectic

"Well!  I never knew any of THAT before!  I wonder if I do now?"
thought Doremus contentedly, before he realized that glowering from
a very narrow doorway was a very broad man with wild gray hair and
a patch over one eye.  Doremus recognized him from pictures.  He
was Bill Atterbury, miner, longshoreman, veteran I.W.W. leader, old
A. F. of L. strike-leader, five years in San Quentin and five
honored years in Moscow, and reputed now to be the secretary of the
illegal Communist Party.

"I'm Mr. Ailey.  What can I do for you?" Bill demanded.

He led Doremus into a musty back room where, at a table which was
probably mahogany underneath the scars and the clots of dirt, sat a
squat man with kinky tow-colored hair and with deep wrinkles in the
thick pale skin of his face, and a slender young elegant who
suggested Park Avenue.

"Howryuh?" said Mr. Bailey, in a Russian-Jewish accent.  Of him
Doremus knew nothing save that he was not named Bailey.

"Morning," snapped Mr. Cailey--whose name was Elphrey, if Doremus
guessed rightly, and who was the son of a millionaire private
banker, the brother of one explorer, one bishop's wife, and one
countess, and himself a former teacher of economics in the
University of California.

Doremus tried to explain himself to these hard-eyed, quick-glancing
plotters of ruin.

"Are you willing to become a Party member, in the extremely
improbable case that they accept you, and to take orders, any
orders, without question?" asked Elphrey, so suavely.

"Do you mean, Am I willing to kill and steal?"

"You've been reading detective stories about the 'Reds'!  No.  What
you'd have to do would be much more difficult than the amusement of
using a tommy-gun.  Would you be willing to forget you ever were a
respectable newspaper editor, giving orders, and walk through the
snow, dressed like a bum, to distribute seditious pamphlets--even
if, personally, you should believe the pamphlets were of no
slightest damn good to the Cause?"

"Why, I--I don't know.  Seems to me that as a newspaperman of quite
a little training--"

"Hell!  Our only trouble is keeping OUT the 'trained newspapermen'!
What we need is trained bill-posters that like the smell of flour
paste and hate sleeping.  And--but you're a little old for this--
crazy fanatics that go out and start strikes, knowing they'll get
beaten up and thrown in the bull pen."

"No, I guess I--Look here.  I'm sure Walt Trowbridge will be
joining up with the Socialists and some of the left-wing radical
ex-Senators and the Farmer-Laborites and so on--"

Bill Atterbury guffawed.  It was a tremendous, somehow terrifying
blast.  "Yes, I'm sure they'll join up--ALL the dirty, sneaking,
half-headed, reformist Social Fascists like Trowbridge, that are
doing the work of the capitalists and working for war against
Soviet Russia without even having sense enough to know they're
doing it and to collect good pay for their crookedness!"

"I admire Trowbridge!" snarled Doremus.

"You would!"

Elphrey rose, almost cordial, and dismissed Doremus with, "Mr.
Jessup, I was brought up in a sound bourgeois household myself,
unlike these two roughnecks, and I appreciate what you're trying to
do, even if they don't.  I imagine that your rejection of us is
even firmer than our rejection of you!"

"Dot's right, Comrade Elphrey.  Both you and dis fellow got ants in
your bourjui pants, like your Hugh Johnson vould say!" chuckled the
Russian Mr. Bailey.

"But I just wonder if Walt Trowbridge won't be chasing out Buzz
Windrip while you boys are still arguing about whether Comrade
Trotzky was once guilty of saying mass facing the north?  Good-
day!" said Doremus.

When he recounted it to Julian, two days later, and Julian puzzled,
"I wonder whether you won or they did?" Doremus asserted, "I don't
think anybody won--except the ants!  Anyway, now I know that man is
not to be saved by black bread alone but by everything that
proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord our God. . . .  Communists,
intense and narrow; Yankees, tolerant and shallow; no wonder a
Dictator can keep us separate and all working for him!"

Even in the 1930's, when it was radiantly believed that movies and
the motorcar and glossy magazines had ended the provinciality of
all the larger American villages, in such communities as Fort
Beulah all the retired business men who could not afford to go to
Europe or Florida or California, such as Doremus, were as aimless
as an old dog on Sunday afternoon with the family away.  They poked
uptown to the shops, the hotel lobbies, the railway station, and at
the barber shop were pleased rather than irritated when they had to
wait a quarter-hour for the tri-weekly shave.  There were no cafés
as there would have been in Continental Europe, and no club save
the country club, and that was chiefly a sanctuary for the younger
people in the evening and late afternoons.

The superior Doremus Jessup, the bookman, was almost as dreary in
retirement as Banker Crowley would have been.

He did pretend to play golf, but he could not see any particular
point in stopping a good walk to wallop small balls and, worse, the
links were now bright with M.M. uniforms.  And he hadn't enough
brass, as no doubt Medary Cole would have, to feel welcome hour on
hour in the Hotel Wessex lobby.

He stayed in his third-story study and read as long as his eyes
would endure it.  But he irritably felt Emma's irritation and Mrs.
Candy's ire at having a man around the house all day.  Yes!  He'd
get what he could for the house and for what small share in
Informer stock the government had left him when they had taken it
over, and go--well, just go--the Rockies or anywhere that was new.

But he realized that Emma did not at all wish to go new places; and
realized that the Emma to whose billowy warmth it had been
comforting to come home after the office, bored him and was bored
by him when he was always there.  The only difference was that she
did not seem capable of admitting that one might, without actual
fiendishness or any signs of hot-footing it for Reno, be bored by
one's faithful spouse.

"Why don't you drive out and see Buck or Lorinda?" she suggested.

"Don't you ever get a little jealous of my girl, Linda?" he said,
very lightly--because he very heavily wanted to know.

She laughed.  "You?  At your age?  As if anybody thought YOU could
be a lover!"

Well, Lorinda thought so, he raged, and promptly he did "drive out
and see her," a little easier in mind about his divided loyalties.

Only once did he go back to the Informer office.

Staubmeyer was not in sight, and it was evident that the real
editor was that sly bumpkin, Doc Itchitt, who didn't even rise at
Doremus's entrance nor listen when Doremus gave his opinion of the
new make-up of the rural-correspondence pages.

That was an apostasy harder to endure than Shad Ledue's, for Shad
had always been rustically certain that Doremus was a fool, almost
as bad as real "city folks," while Doc Itchitt had once appreciated
the tight joints and smooth surfaces and sturdy bases of Doremus's

Day on day he waited.  So much of a revolution for so many people
is nothing but waiting.  That is one reason why tourists rarely see
anything but contentment in a crushed population.  Waiting, and its
brother death, seem so contented.

For several days now, in late February, Doremus had noticed the
insurance man.  He said he was a Mr. Dimick; a Mr. Dimick of
Albany.  He was a gray and tasteless man, in gray and dusty and
wrinkled clothes, and his pop-eyes stared with meaningless fervor.
All over town you met him, at the four drugstores, at the shoe-
shine parlor, and he was always droning, "My name is Dimick--Mr.
Dimick of Albany--Albany, New York.  I wonder if I can interest you
in a wonnerful new form of life-insurance policy.  Wonnerful!"  But
he didn't sound as though he himself thought it was very wonnerful.

He was a pest.

He was always dragging himself into some unwelcoming shop, and yet
he seemed to sell few policies, if any.

Not for two days did Doremus perceive that Mr. Dimick of Albany
managed to meet him an astonishing number of times a day.  As he
came out of the Wessex, he saw Mr. Dimick leaning against a
lamppost, ostentatiously not looking his way, yet three minutes
later and two blocks away, Mr. Dimick trailed after him into the
Vert Mont Pool & Tobacco Headquarters, and listened to Doremus's
conversation with Tom Aiken about fish hatcheries.

Doremus was suddenly cold.  He made it a point to sneak uptown that
evening and saw Mr. Dimick talking to the driver of a Beulah-
Montpelier bus with an intensity that wasn't in the least gray.
Doremus glared.  Mr. Dimick looked at him with watery eyes,
croaked, "Devenin', Mr. D'remus; like t' talk t' you about
insurance some time when you got the time," and shuffled away.

Later, Doremus took out and cleaned his revolver, said, "Oh, rats!"
and put it away.  He heard a ring as he did so, and went downstairs
to find Mr. Dimick sitting on the oak hat rack in the hall, rubbing
his hat.

"I'd like to talk to you, if y'ain't too busy," whined Mr. Dimick.

"All right.  Go in there.  Sit down."

"Anybody hear us?"

"No!  What of it?"

Mr. Dimick's grayness and lassitude fell away.  His voice was

"I think your local Corpos are on to me.  Got to hustle.  I'm from
Walt Trowbridge.  You probably guessed--I've been watching you all
week, asking about you.  You've got to be Trowbridge's and our
representative here.  Secret war against the Corpos.  The 'N.U.,'
the 'New Underground,' we call it--like secret Underground that got
the slaves into Canada before the Civil War.  Four divisions:
printing propaganda, distributing it, collecting and exchanging
information about Corpo outrages, smuggling suspects into Canada or
Mexico.  Of course you don't know one thing about me.  I may be a
Corpo spy.  But look over these credentials and telephone your
friend Mr. Samson of the Burlington Paper Company.  God's sake be
careful!  Wire may be tapped.  Ask him about me on the grounds
you're interested in insurance.  He's one of us.  You're going to
be one of us!  Now PHONE!"

Doremus telephoned to Samson:  "Say, Ed, is a fellow named Dimick,
kind of weedy-looking, pop-eyed fellow, all right?  Shall I take
his advice on insurance?"

"Yes.  Works for Walbridge.  Sure.  You can ride along with him."

"I'm riding!"


The Informer composing room closed down at eleven in the evening,
for the paper had to be distributed to villages forty miles away
and did not issue a later city edition.  Dan Wilgus, the foreman,
remained after the others had gone, setting a Minute Man poster
which announced that there would be a grand parade on March ninth,
and incidentally that President Windrip was defying the world.

Dan stopped, looked sharply about, and tramped into the storeroom.
In the light from a dusty electric bulb the place was like a tomb
of dead news, with ancient red-and-black posters of Scotland county
fairs and proofs of indecent limericks pasted on the walls.  From a
case of eight-point, once used for the setting of pamphlets but
superseded by a monotype machine, Dan picked out bits of type from
each of several compartments, wrapped them in scraps of print
paper, and stored them in the pocket of his jacket.  The raped type
boxes looked only half filled, and to make up for it he did
something that should have shocked any decent printer even if he
were on strike.  He filled them up with type not from another
eight-point case, but with old ten-point.

Daniel, the large and hairy, thriftily pinching the tiny types, was
absurd as an elephant playing at being a hen.

He turned out the lights on the third floor and clumped downstairs.
He glanced in at the editorial rooms.  No one was there save Doc
Itchitt, in a small circle of light that through the visor of his
eye shade cast a green tint on his unwholesome face.  He was
correcting an article by the titular editor, Ensign Emil
Staubmeyer, and he snickered as he carved it with a large black
pencil.  He raised his head, startled.

"Hello, Doc."

"Hello, Dan.  Staying late?"

"Yuh.  Just finished some job work.  G'night."

"Say, Dan, do you ever see old Jessup, these days?"

"Don't know when I've seen him, Doc.  Oh yes, I ran into him at the
Rexall store, couple days ago."

"Still as sour as ever about the régime?"

"Oh, he didn't say anything.  Darned old fool!  Even if he don't
like all the brave boys in uniform, he ought to see the Chief is
here for keeps, by golly!"

"Certainly ought to!  And it's a swell régime.  Fellow can get
ahead in newspaper work now, and not be held back by a bunch of
snobs that think they're so doggone educated just because they went
to college!"

"That's right.  Well, hell with Jessup and all the old stiffs.
G'night, Doc!"

Dan and Brother Itchitt unsmilingly gave the M.M. salute, arms held
out.  Dan thumped down to the street and homeward.  He stopped in
front of Billy's Bar, in the middle of a block, and put his foot up
on the hub of a dirty old Ford, to tie his shoelace.  As he tied
it--after having untied it--he looked up and down the street,
emptied the bundles in his pockets into a battered sap bucket on
the front seat of the car, and majestically moved on.

Out of the bar came Pete Vutong, a French-Canadian farmer who lived
up on Mount Terror.  Pete was obviously drunk.  He was singing the
pre-historic ditty "Hi lee, hi low" in what he conceived to be
German, viz.:  "By unz gays immer, yuh longer yuh slimmer."  He was
staggering so that he had to pull himself into the car, and he
steered in fancy patterns till he had turned the corner.  Then he
was amazingly and suddenly sober; and amazing was the speed with
which the Ford clattered out of town.

Pete Vutong wasn't a very good Secret Agent.  He was a little
obvious.  But then, Pete had been a spy for only one week.

In that week Dan Wilgus had four times dropped heavy packages into
a sap bucket in the Ford.

Pete passed the gate to Buck Titus's domain, slowed down, dropped
the sap bucket into a ditch, and sped home.

Just at dawn, Buck Titus, out for a walk with his three Irish
wolfhounds, kicked up the sap bucket and transferred the bundles to
his own pocket.

And next afternoon Dan Wilgus, in the basement of Buck's house, was
setting up, in eight-point, a pamphlet entitled "How Many People
Have the Corpos Murdered?"  It was signed "Spartan," and Spartan
was one of several pen names of Mr. Doremus Jessup.

They were all--all the ringleaders of the local chapter of the New
Underground--rather glad when once, on his way to Buck's, Dan was
searched by M.M.'s unfamiliar to him, and on him was found no
printing-material, nor any documents more incriminating than
cigarette papers.

The Corpos had made a regulation licensing all dealers in printing
machinery and paper and compelling them to keep lists of
purchasers, so that except by bootlegging it was impossible to get
supplies for the issuance of treasonable literature.  Dan Wilgus
stole the type; Dan and Doremus and Julian and Buck together had
stolen an entire old hand printing-press from the Informer
basement; and the paper was smuggled from Canada by that veteran
bootlegger, John Pollikop, who rejoiced at being back in the good
old occupation of which repeal had robbed him.

It is doubtful whether Dan Wilgus would ever have joined anything
so divorced as this from the time clock and the office cuspidors
out of abstract indignation at Windrip or County Commissioner
Ledue.  He was moved to sedition partly by fondness for Doremus and
partly by indignation at Doc Itchitt, who publicly rejoiced because
all the printers' unions had been sunk in the governmental
confederations.  Or perhaps because Doc jeered at him personally on
the few occasions--not more than once or twice a week--when there
was tobacco juice on his shirt front.

Dan grunted to Doremus, "All right, boss, I guess maybe I'll come
in with you.  And say, when we get this man's revolution going, let
me drive the tumbril with Doc in it.  Say, remember Tale of Two
Cities?  Good book.  Say, how about getting out a humorous life of
Windrip?  You'd just have to tell the facts!"

Buck Titus, pleased as a boy invited to go camping, offered his
secluded house and, in especial, its huge basement for the
headquarters of the New Underground, and Buck, Dan, and Doremus
made their most poisonous plots with the assistance of hot rum
punches at Buck's fireplace.

The Fort Beulah cell of the N.U., as it was composed in mid-March,
a couple of weeks after Doremus had founded it, consisted of
himself, his daughters, Buck, Dan, Lorinda, Julian Falck, Dr.
Olmsted, John Pollikop, Father Perefixe (and he argued with the
agnostic Dan, the atheist Pollikop, more than ever he had with
Buck), Mrs. Henry Veeder, whose farmer husband was in Trianon
Concentration Camp, Harry Kindermann, the dispossessed Jew, Mungo
Kitterick, that most un-Jewish and un-Socialistic lawyer, Pete
Vutong and Daniel Babcock, farmers, and some dozen others.  The
Reverend Mr. Falck, Emma Jessup, and Mrs. Candy, were more or less
unconscious tools of the N.U.  But whoever they were, of whatever
faith or station, Doremus found in all of them the religious
passion he had missed in the churches; and if altars, if windows of
many-colored glass, had never been peculiarly holy objects to him,
he understood them now as he gloated over such sacred trash as
scarred type and a creaking hand press.

Once it was Mr. Dimick of Albany again; once, another insurance
agent--who guffawed at the accidental luck of insuring Shad Ledue's
new Lincoln; once it was an Armenian peddling rugs; once, Mr.
Samson of Burlington, looking for pine-slashing for paper pulp; but
whoever it was, Doremus heard from the New Underground every week.
He was busy as he had never been in newspaper days, and happy as on
youth's adventure in Boston.

Humming and most cheerful, he ran the small press, with the hearty
bump-bump-bump of the foot treadle, admiring his own skill as he
fed in the sheets.  Lorinda learned from Dan Wilgus to set type,
with more fervor than accuracy about ei and ie.  Emma and Sissy and
Mary folded news sheets and sewed up pamphlets by hand, all of them
working in the high old brick-walled basement that smelled of
sawdust and lime and decaying apples.

Aside from pamphlets by Spartan, and by Anthony B. Susan--who was
Lorinda, except on Fridays--their chief illicit publication was
Vermont Vigilance, a four-page weekly which usually had only two
pages and, such was Doremus's unfettered liveliness, came out about
three times a week.  It was filled with reports smuggled to them
from other N.U. cells, and with reprints from Walt Trowbridge's
Lance for Democracy and from Canadian, British, Swedish, and French
papers, whose correspondents in America got out, by long-distance
telephone, news which Secretary of Education Macgoblin, head of the
government press department, spent a good part of his time denying.
An English correspondent sent news of the murder of the president
of the University of Southern Illinois, a man of seventy-two who
was shot in the back "while trying to escape," out of the country
by long-distance telephone to Mexico City, from which the story was
relayed to London.

Doremus discovered that neither he nor any other small citizen had
been hearing one hundredth of what was going on in America.
Windrip & Co. had, like Hitler and Mussolini, discovered that a
modern state can, by the triple process of controlling every item
in the press, breaking up at the start any association which might
become dangerous, and keeping all the machine guns, artillery,
armored automobiles, and aeroplanes in the hands of the government,
dominate the complex contemporary population better than had ever
been done in medieval days, when rebellious peasantry were armed
only with pitchforks and good-will, but the State was not armed
much better.

Dreadful, incredible information came in to Doremus, until he saw
that his own life, and Sissy's and Lorinda's and Buck's, were
unimportant accidents.

In North Dakota, two would-be leaders of the farmers were made to
run in front of an M.M. automobile, through February drifts, till
they dropped breathless, were beaten with a tire pump till they
staggered on, fell again, then were shot in the head, their blood
smearing the prairie snow.

President Windrip, who was apparently becoming considerably more
jumpy than in his old, brazen days, saw two of his personal
bodyguard snickering together in the anteroom of his office and,
shrieking, snatching an automatic pistol from his desk, started
shooting at them.  He was a bad marksman.  The suspects had to be
finished off by the pistols of their fellow guards.

A crowd of young men, not wearing any sort of uniforms, tore the
clothes from a nun on the station plaza in Kansas City and chased
her, smacking her with bare hands.  The police stopped them after a
while.  There were no arrests.

In Utah a non-Mormon County Commissioner staked out a Mormon elder
on a bare rock where, since the altitude was high, the elder at
once shivered and felt the glare rather bothersome to his eyes--
since the Commissioner had thoughtfully cut off his eyelids first.
The government press releases made much of the fact that the
torturer was rebuked by the District Commissioner and removed from
his post.  It did not mention that he was reappointed in a county
in Florida.

The heads of the reorganized Steel Cartel, a good many of whom had
been officers of steel companies in the days before Windrip,
entertained Secretary of Education Macgoblin and Secretary of War
Luthorne with an aquatic festival in Pittsburgh.  The dining room
of a large hotel was turned into a tank of rose-scented water, and
the celebrants floated in a gilded Roman barge.  The waitresses
were naked girls, who amusingly swam to the barge holding up trays
and, more often, wine buckets.

Secretary of State Lee Sarason was arrested in the basement of a
handsome boys' club in Washington on unspecified charges by a
policeman who apologized as soon as he recognized Sarason, and
released him, and who that night was shot in his bed by a
mysterious burglar.

Albert Einstein, who had been exiled from Germany for his guilty
devotion to mathematics, world peace, and the violin, was now
exiled from America for the same crimes.

Mrs. Leonard Nimmet, wife of a Congregational pastor in Lincoln,
Nebraska, whose husband had been sent to concentration camp for a
pacifist sermon, was shot through the door and killed when she
refused to open to an M.M. raiding section looking for seditious

In Rhode Island, the door of a small orthodox synagogue in a
basement was locked from the outside after thin glass containers of
carbon monoxide had been thrown in.  The windows had been nailed
shut, and anyway, the nineteen men in the congregation did not
smell the gas until too late.  They were all found slumped to the
floor, beards sticking up.  They were all over sixty.

Tom Krell--but his was a really nasty case, because he was actually
caught with a copy of Lance for Democracy and credentials proving
that he was a New Underground messenger--strange thing, too,
because everybody had respected him as a good, decent, unimaginative
baggageman at a village railroad depot in New Hampshire--was dropped
down a well with five feet of water in it, a smooth-sided cement
well, and just left there.

Ex-Supreme Court Justice Hoblin of Montana was yanked out of bed
late at night and examined for sixty hours straight on a charge
that he was in correspondence with Trowbridge.  It was said that
the chief examiner was a man whom, years before, Judge Hoblin had
sentenced for robbery with assault.

In one day Doremus received reports that four several literary or
dramatic societies--Finnish, Chinese, Iowan, and one belonging to a
mixed group of miners on the Mesaba Range, Minnesota--had been
broken up, their officers beaten, their clubrooms smashed up, and
their old pianos wrecked, on the charge that they possessed illegal
arms, which, in each case, the members declared to be antiquated
pistols used in theatricals.  And in that week three people were
arrested--in Alabama, Oklahoma, and New Jersey--for the possession
of the following subversive books: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by
Agatha Christie (and fair enough too, because the sister-in-law of
a county commissioner in Oklahoma was named Ackroyd); Waiting for
Lefty, by Clifford Odets; and February Hill, by Victoria Lincoln.

"But plenty things like this happened before Buzz Windrip ever came
in, Doremus," insisted John Pollikop.  (Never till they had met in
the delightfully illegal basement had he called Doremus anything
save "Mr. Jessup.")  "You never thought about them, because they
was just routine news, to stick in your paper.  Things like the
sharecroppers and the Scottsboro boys and the plots of the
California wholesalers against the agricultural union and
dictatorship in Cuba and the way phony deputies in Kentucky shot
striking miners.  And believe me, Doremus, the same reactionary
crowd that put over those crimes are just the big boys that are
chummy with Windrip.  And what scares me is that if Walt Trowbridge
ever does raise a kinda uprising and kick Buzz out, the same
vultures will get awful patriotic and democratic and parliamentarian
along with Walt, and sit in on the spoils just the same."

"So Karl Pascal did convert you to Communism before he got sent to
Trianon," jeered Doremus.

John Pollikop jumped four straight feet up in the air, or so it
looked, and came down screaming, "Communism!  Never get 'em to
make a United Front!  W'y, that fellow Pascal--he was just a
propagandist, and I tell you--I tell you--"

Doremus's hardest job was the translation of items from the press
in Germany, which was most favorable to the Corpos.  Sweating, even
in the March coolness in Buck's high basement, Doremus leaned over
a kitchen table, ruffling through a German-English lexicon,
grunting, tapping his teeth with a pencil, scratching the top of
his head, looking like a schoolboy with a little false gray beard,
and wailing to Lorinda, "Now how in the heck would you translate
'Er erhält noch immer eine zweideutige Stellung den Juden
gegenüber'?"  She answered, "Why, darling, the only German I know
is the phrase that Buck taught me for 'God bless you'--'Verfluchter

He translated word for word, from the Völkischer Beobachter, and
later turned into comprehensible English, this gratifying tribute
to his Chief and Inspirer:

America has a brilliant beginning begun.  No one congratulates
President Windrip with greater sincerity than we Germans.  The
tendency points as goal to the founding of a Folkish state.
Unfortunately is the President not yet prepared with the liberal
tradition to break.  He holds still ever a two-meaning attitude the
Jews visavis.  We can but presume that logically this attitude
change must as the movement forced is the complete consequences of
its philosophy to draw.  Ahasaver the Wandering Jew will always the
enemy of a free self-conscious people be, and America will also
learn that one even so much with Jewry compromise can as with the
Bubonic plague.

From the New Masses, still published surreptitiously by the
Communists, at the risk of their lives, Doremus got many items
about miners and factory workers who were near starvation and who
were imprisoned if they so much as criticized a straw boss. . . .
But most of the New Masses, with a pious smugness unshaken by
anything that had happened since 1935, was given over to the latest
news about Marx, and to vilifying all agents of the New
Underground, including those who had been clubbed and jailed and
killed, as "reactionary stool pigeons for Fascism," and it was all
nicely decorated with a Gropper cartoon showing Walt Trowbridge, in
M.M. uniform, kissing the foot of Windrip.

The news bulletins came to Doremus in a dozen insane ways--carried
by messengers on the thinnest of flimsy tissue paper; mailed to
Mrs. Henry Veeder and to Daniel Babcock between the pages of
catalogues, by an N.O. operative who was a clerk in the mail-order
house of Middlebury & Roe; shipped in cartons of toothpaste and
cigarettes to Earl Tyson's drugstore--one clerk there was an N.U.
agent; dropped near Buck's mansion by a tough-looking and therefore
innocent-looking driver of an interstate furniture-moving truck.
Come by so precariously, the news had none of the obviousness of
his days in the office when, in one batch of A.P. flimsies, were
tidings of so many millions dead of starvation in China, so many
statesmen assassinated in central Europe, so many new churches
built by kind-hearted Mr. Andrew Mellon, that it was all routine.
Now, he was like an eighteenth-century missionary in northern
Canada, waiting for the news that would take all spring to travel
from Bristol and down Hudson Bay, wondering every instant whether
France had declared war, whether Her Majesty had safely given

Doremus realized that he was hearing, all at once, of the battle of
Waterloo, the Diaspora, the invention of the telegraph, the
discovery of bacilli, and the Crusades, and if it took him ten days
to get the news, it would take historians ten decades to appraise
it.  Would they not envy him, and consider that he had lived in the
very crisis of history?  Or would they just smile at the flag-
waving children of the 1930's playing at being national heroes?
For he believed that these historians would be neither Communists
nor Fascists nor bellicose American or English Nationalists but
just the sort of smiling Liberals that the warring fanatics of
today most cursed as weak waverers.

In all this secret tumult Doremus's most arduous task was to avoid
suspicions that might land him in concentration camp, and to give
appearance of being just the harmless old loafer he veritably had
been, three weeks ago.  Befogged with sleep because he had worked
all night at headquarters, he yawned all afternoon in the lobby of
the Hotel Wessex and discussed fishing--the picture of a man too
discouraged to be a menace.

He dropped now and then, on evenings when there was nothing to do
at Buck's and he could loaf in his study at home and shamefully let
himself be quiet and civilized, into renewed longing for the Ivory
Tower.  Often, not because it was a great poem but because it was
the first that, when he had been a boy, had definitely startled him
by evoking beauty, he reread Tennyson's "Arabian Nights":

     A realm of pleasance, many a mound
     And many a shadow-chequered lawn
     Full of the city's stilly sound,
     And deep myrrh-thickets blowing round
     And stately cedar, tamarisks,
     Thick rosaries of scented thorn,
     Tall orient shrubs, and obelisks
       Graven with emblems of the time,
       In honor of the golden prime
         Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Awhile then he could wander with Romeo and Jurgen, with Ivanhoe and
Lord Peter Wimsey; the Piazza San Marco he saw, and immemorial
towers of Bagdad that never were; with Don John of Austria he was
going forth to war, and he took the golden road to Samarcand
without a visa.

"But Dan Wilgus setting type on proclamations of rebellion, and
Buck Titus distributing them at night on a motorcycle, may be as
romantic as Xanadu . . . living in a blooming epic, right now, but
no Homer come up from the city room yet to write it down!"

Whit Bibby was an ancient and wordless fishmonger, and as ancient
appeared his horse, though it was by no means silent, but given to
a variety of embarrassing noises.  For twenty years his familiar
wagon, like the smallest of cabooses, had conveyed mackerel and cod
and lake trout and tinned oysters to all the farmsteads in the
Beulah Valley.  To have suspected Whit Bibby of seditious practices
would have been as absurd as to have suspected the horse.  Older
men remembered that he had once been proud of his father, a captain
in the Civil War--and afterward a very drunken failure at farming--
but the young fry had forgotten that there ever had been a Civil

Unconcealed in the sunshine of the late-March afternoon that
touched the worn and ashen snow, Whit jogged up to the farmhouse of
Truman Webb.  He had left ten orders of fish, just fish, at farms
along the way, but at Webb's he also left, not speaking of it, a
bundle of pamphlets wrapped in very fishy newspaper.

By next morning these pamphlets had all been left in the post boxes
of farmers beyond Keezmet, a dozen miles away.

Late the next night, Julian Falck drove Dr. Olmsted to the same
Truman Webb's.  Now Mr. Webb had an ailing aunt.  Up to a fortnight
ago she had not needed the doctor often, but as all the countryside
could, and decidedly did, learn from listening in on the rural
party telephone line, the doctor had to come every three or four
days now.

"Well, Truman, how's the old lady?" Dr. Olmsted called cheerily.

From the front stoop Webb answered softly, "Safe!  Shoot!  I've
kept a good lookout."

Julian rapidly slid out, opened the rumble seat of the doctor's
car, and there was the astonishing appearance from the rumble of a
tall man in urban morning coat and striped trousers, a broad felt
hat under his arm, rising, rubbing himself, groaning with the pain
of stretching his cramped body.  The doctor said:

"Truman, we've got a pretty important Eliza, with the bloodhounds
right after him, tonight!  Congressman Ingram--Comrade Webb."

"Huh!  Never thought I'd live to be called one of these 'Comrades.'
But mighty pleased to see you, Congressman.  We'll put you across
the border in Canada in two days--we've got some paths right
through the woods along the border--and there's some good hot beans
waiting for you right now."

The attic in which Mr. Ingram slept that night, an attic approached
by a ladder concealed behind a pile of trunks, was the "underground
station" which, in the 1850's, when Truman's grandfather was agent,
had sheltered seventy-two various black slaves escaping to Canada,
and on the wall above Ingram's weary threatened head was still to
be seen, written in charcoal long ago, "Thou preparest a table for
me in the presence of mine enemies."

It was a little after six in the evening, near Tasbrough &
Scarlett's quarries.  John Pollikop, with his wrecker car, was
towing Buck Titus, in his automobile.  They stopped now and then,
and John looked at the motor in Buck's car very ostentatiously, in
the sight of M.M. patrols, who ignored so obvious a companionship.
They stopped once at the edge of Tasbrough's deepest pit.  Buck
strolled about, yawning, while John did some more tinkering.
"Right!" snapped Buck.  Both of them leaped at the over-large
toolbox in the back of John's car, lifted out each an armful of
copies of Vermont Vigilance and hurled them over the edge of the
quarry.  They scattered in the wind.

Many of them were gathered up and destroyed by Tasbrough's foremen,
next morning, but at least a hundred, in the pockets of quarrymen,
were started on their journey through the world of Fort Beulah

Sissy came into the Jessup dining room wearily rubbing her
forehead.  "I've got the story, Dad.  Sister Candy helped me.  Now
we'll have something good to send on to other agents.  Listen!
I've been quite chummy with Shad.  No!  Don't blow up!  I know just
how to yank his gun out of his holster if I should ever need to.
And he got to boasting, and he told me Frank Tasbrough and Shad and
Commissioner Reek were all in together on the racket, selling
granite for public buildings, and he told me--you see, he was sort
of boasting about how chummy he and Mr. Tasbrough have become--how
Mr. Tasbrough keeps all the figures on the graft in a little red
notebook in his desk--of course old Franky would never expect
anybody to search the house of as loyal a Corpo as him!  Well, you
know Mrs. Candy's cousin is working for the Tasbroughs for a while,
and damn if--"


"--these two old gals didn't pinch the lil red notebook this
afternoon, and I photographed every page and had 'em stick it back!
And the only comment our Candy makes is, 'That stove t' the
Tasbroughs' don't draw well.  Couldn't bake a decent cake in a
stove like THAT!'"


Mary Greenhill, revenging the murdered Fowler, was the only one of
the conspirators who seemed moved more by homicidal hate than by a
certain incredulous feeling that it was all a good but slightly
absurd game.  But to her, hate and the determination to kill were
tonic.  She soared up from the shadowed pit of grief, and her eyes
lighted, her voice had a trembling gayety.  She threw away her
weeds and came out in defiant colors--oh, they had to economize,
these days, to put every available penny into the missionary fund
of the New Underground, but Mary had become so fire-drawn that she
could wear Sissy's giddiest old frocks.

She had more daring than Julian, or even Buck--indeed led Buck into
his riskiest expeditions.

In mid-afternoon, Buck and Mary, looking very matrimonial,
domestically accompanied by David and the rather doubtful Foolish,
ambled through the center of Burlington, where none of them were
known--though a number of dogs, city slickers and probably con-
dogs, insisted to the rustic and embarrassed Foolish that they had
met him somewhere.

It was Buck who muttered "Right!" from time to time, when they were
free from being observed, but it was Mary who calmly, a yard or two
from M.M.'s or policemen, distributed crumpled-up copies of:

                 A Little Sunday-school Life of

                       JOHN SULLIVAN REEK

                 Second-class Political Crook, &
                 Certain Entertaining Pictures of
                    Col. Dewey Haik, Torturer.

These crumpled pamphlets she took from a specially made inside
pocket of her mink coat; one reaching from shoulder to waist.  It
had been recommended by John Pollikop, whose helpful lady had
aforetime used just such a pocket for illicit booze.  The crumpling
had been done carefully.  Seen from two yards away, the pamphlets
looked like any waste paper, but each was systematically so wadded
up that the words, printed in bold red type, "Haik himself kicked
an old man to death" caught the eye.  And, lying in corner trash
baskets, in innocent toy wagons before hardware stores, among
oranges in a fruit store where they had gone to buy David a bar of
chocolate, they caught some hundreds of eyes in Burlington that

On their way home, with David sitting in front beside Buck and Mary
in the back, she cried, "That will stir 'em up!  But oh, when Daddy
has finished his booklet on Swan--God!"

David peeped back at her.  She sat with eyes closed, with hands

He whispered to Buck, "I wish Mother wouldn't get so excited."

"She's the finest woman living, Dave."

"I know it, but--She scares me so!"

One scheme Mary devised and carried out by herself.  From the
magazine counter in Tyson's drugstore, she stole a dozen copies of
the Readers' Digest and a dozen larger magazines.  When she
returned them, they looked untouched, but each of the larger
magazines contained a leaflet, "Get Ready to Join Walt Trowbridge,"
and each Digest had become the cover for a pamphlet:  "Lies of the
Corpo Press."

To serve as center of their plot, to be able to answer the
telephone and receive fugitives and put off suspicious snoopers
twenty-four hours a day, when Buck and the rest might be gone,
Lorinda chucked her small remaining interest in the Beulah Valley
Tavern and became Buck's housekeeper, living in the place.  There
was scandal.  But in a day when it was increasingly hard to get
enough bread and meat, the town folk had little time to suck
scandal like lollipops, and anyway, who could much suspect this
nagging uplifter who so obviously preferred tuberculin tests to
toying with Corydon in the glade?  And as Doremus was always about,
as sometimes he stayed overnight, for the first time these timid
lovers had space for passion.

It had never been their loyalty to the good Emma--since she was too
contented to be pitied, too sure of her necessary position in life
to be jealous--so much as hatred of a shabby hole-and-corner
intrigue which had made their love cautious and grudging.  Neither
of them was so simple as to suppose that, even with quite decent
people, love is always as monogamic as bread and butter, yet
neither of them liked sneaking.

Her room at Buck's, large and square and light, with old landscape
paper showing an endlessness of little mandarins daintily stepping
out of sedan chairs beside pools laced with willows, with a four-
poster, a colonial highboy, and a crazy-colored rag carpet, became
in two days, so fast did one live now in time of revolution, the
best-loved home Doremus had ever known.  As eagerly as a young
bridegroom he popped into and out of her room, and he was not
overly particular about the state of her toilet.  And Buck knew all
about it and just laughed.

Released now, Doremus saw her as physically more alluring.  With
parochial superiority, he had noted, during vacations on Cape Cod,
how often the fluffy women of fashion when they stripped to bathing
suits were skinny, to him unwomanly, with thin shoulder blades and
with backbones as apparent as though they were chains fastened down
their backs.  They seemed passionate to him and a little devilish,
with their thin restless legs and avid lips, but he chuckled as he
considered that the Lorinda whose prim gray suits and blouses
seemed so much more virginal than the gay, flaunting summer cottons
of the Bright Young Things was softer of skin to the touch, much
richer in the curve from shoulder to breast.

He rejoiced to know that she was always there in the house, that he
could interrupt the high seriousness of a tract on bond issues to
dash out to the kitchen and brazenly let his arm slide round her

She, the theoretically independent feminist, became flatteringly
demanding about every attention.  Why hadn't he brought her some
candy from town?  Would he mind awfully calling up Julian for her?
Why hadn't he remembered to bring her the book he had promised--
well, would have promised if she had only remembered to ask him for
it?  He trotted on her errands, idiotically happy.  Long ago Emma
had reached the limit of her imagination in regard to demands.  He
was discovering that in love it is really more blessed to give than
to receive, a proverb about which, as an employer and as a steady
fellow whom forgotten classmates regularly tried to touch for
loans, he had been very suspicious.

He lay beside her, in the wide four-poster, at dawn, March dawn
with the elm branches outside the window ugly and writhing in the
wind, but with the last coals still snapping in the fireplace, and
he was utterly content.  He glanced at Lorinda, who had on her
sleeping face a frown that made her look not older but schoolgirlish,
a schoolgirl who was frowning comically over some small woe, and who
defiantly clutched her old-fashioned lace-bordered pillow.  He
laughed.  They were going to be so adventurous together!  This
little printing of pamphlets was only the beginning of their
revolutionary activities.  They would penetrate into press circles
in Washington and get secret information (he was drowsily vague
about what information they were going to get and how they would
ever get it) which would explode the Corpo state.  And with the
revolution over, they would go to Bermuda, to Martinique--lovers on
purple peaks, by a purple sea--everything purple and grand.  Or (and
he sighed and became heroic as he exquisitely stretched and yawned
in the wide warm bed) if they were defeated, if they were arrested
and condemned by the M.M.'s, they would die together, sneering at
the firing-squad, refusing to have their eyes bandaged, and their
fame, like that of Servetus and Matteotti and Professor Ferrer and
the Haymarket martyrs, would roll on forever, acclaimed by children
waving little flags--

"Gimme a cigarette, darling!"

Lorinda was regarding him with a beady and skeptical eye.

"You oughtn't to smoke so much!"

"You oughtn't to boss so much!  Oh, my darling!"  She sat up,
kissed his eyes and temples, and sturdily climbed out of bed,
seeking her own cigarette.

"Doremus!  It's been marvelous to have this companionship with you.
But--"  She looked a little timid, sitting cross-legged on the
rattan-topped stool before the old mahogany dressing table--no
silver or lace or crystal was there, but only plain wooden
hairbrush and scant luxury of small drugstore bottles.  "But
darling, this cause--oh, curse that word 'cause'--can't I ever get
free of it?--but anyway, this New Underground business seems to me
so important, and I know you feel that way too, but I've noticed
that since we've settled down together, two awful sentimentalists,
you aren't so excited about writing your nice venomous attacks, and
I'm getting more cautious about going out distributing tracts.  I
have a foolish idea I have to save my life, for your sake.  And I
ought to be only thinking about saving my life for the revolution.
Don't you feel that way?  Don't you?  Don't you?"

Doremus swung his legs out of bed, also lighted an unhygienic
cigarette, and said grumpily, "Oh, I suppose so!  But--tracts!
Your attitude is simply a hold-over of your religious training.
That you have a DUTY toward the dull human race--which probably
enjoys being bullied by Windrip and getting bread and circuses--
except for the bread!"

"Of course it's religious, a revolutionary loyalty!  Why not?  It's
one of the few real religious feelings.  A rational, unsentimental
Stalin is still kind of a priest.  No wonder most preachers hate
the Reds and preach against 'em!  They're jealous of their
religious power.  But--Oh, we can't unfold the world, this morning,
even over breakfast coffee, Doremus!  When Mr. Dimick came back
here yesterday, he ordered me to Beecher Falls--you know, on the
Canadian border--to take charge of the N.U. cell there--ostensibly
to open up a tea room for this summer.  So, hang it, I've got to
leave you, and leave Buck and Sis, and go.  Hang it!"


She would not look at him.  She made much, too much, of grinding
out her cigarette.



"You suggested this to Dimick!  He never gave any orders till you
suggested it!"


"Linda!  Linda!  Do you want to get away from me so much?  You--my

She came slowly to the bed, slowly sat down beside him.  "Yes.  Get
away from you and get away from myself.  The world's in chains, and
I can't be free to love till I help tear them off."

"It will never be out of chains!"

"Then I shall never be free to love!  Oh, if we could only have run
away together for one sweet year, when I was eighteen!  Then I
would have lived two whole lives.  Well, nobody seems to be very
lucky at turning the clock back--almost twenty-five years back,
too.  I'm afraid Now is a fact you can't dodge.  And I've been
getting so--just this last two weeks, with April coming in--that I
can't think of anything but you.  Kiss me.  I'm going.  Today."


As usually happens in secret service, no one detail that Sissy
ferreted out of Shad Ledue was drastically important to the N.U.,
but, like necessary bits of a picture puzzle, when added to other
details picked up by Doremus and Buck and Mary and Father Perefixe,
that trained extractor of confessions, they showed up the rather
simple schemes of this gang of Corpo racketeers who were so
touchingly accepted by the People as patriotic shepherds.

Sissy lounged with Julian on the porch, on a deceptively mild April

"Golly, like to take you off camping, couple months from now, Sis.
Just the two of us.  Canoe and sleep in a pup tent.  Oh, Sis, do
you HAVE to have supper with Ledue and Staubmeyer tonight?  I hate
it.  God, how I hate it!  I warn you, I'll kill Shad!  I mean it!"

"Yes, I do have to, dear.  I think I've got Shad crazy enough about
me so that tonight, when he chases good old Emil, and whatever foul
female Emil may bring, out of the place, I'll get him to tell me
something about who they're planning to pinch next.  I'm not scared
of Shad, my Julian of jewelians."

He did not smile.  He said, with a gravity that had been unknown to
the lively college youth, "Do you realize, with your kidding
yourself about being able to handle Comrade Shad so well, that he's
husky as a gorilla and just about as primitive?  One of these
nights--God! think of it! maybe tonight!--he'll go right off the
deep end and grab you and--bing!"

She was as grave.  "Julian, just what do you think could happen to
me?  The worst that could happen would be that I'd get raped."

"Good Lord--"

"Do you honestly suppose that since the New Civilization began, say
in 1914, anyone believes that kind of thing is more serious than
busting an ankle?  'A fate worse than death'!  What nasty old side-
whiskered deacon ever invented that phrase?  And how he must have
rolled it on his chapped old lips!  I can think of plenty worse
fates--say, years of running an elevator.  No--wait!  I'm not
really flippant.  I haven't any desire, beyond maybe a slight
curiosity, to be raped--at least, not by Shad; he's a little too
strong on the Bodily Odor when he gets excited.  (Oh God, darling,
what a nasty swine that man is!  I hate him fifty times as much as
you do.  Ugh!)  But I'd be willing to have even that happen if I
could save one decent person from his bloody blackjack.  I'm not
the playgirl of Pleasant Hill any more; I'm a frightened woman from
Mount Terror!"

It seemed, the whole thing, rather unreal to Sissy; a burlesqued
version of the old melodramas in which the City Villain tries to
ruin Our Nell, apropos of a bottle of Champagne Wine.  Shad, even
in a belted tweed jacket, a kaleidoscopic Scotch sweater (from
Minnesota), and white linen plus-fours, hadn't the absent-minded
seductiveness that becomes a City Slicker.

Ensign Emil Staubmeyer had showed up at Shad's new private suite at
the Star Hotel with a grass widow who betrayed her gold teeth and
who had tried to repair the erosions in the fair field of her neck
with overmuch topsoil of brick-tinted powder.  She was pretty
dreadful.  She was harder to tolerate than the rumbling Shad--a man
for whom the chaplain might even have been a little sorry, after he
was safely hanged.  The synthetic widow was always nudging herself
at Emil and when, rather wearily, he obliged by poking her
shoulder, she giggled, "Now you SSSSTOP!"

Shad's suite was clean, and had some air.  Beyond that there was
nothing much to say.  The "parlor" was firmly furnished in oak
chairs and settee with leather upholstery, and four pictures of
marquises not doing anything interesting.  The freshness of the
linen spread on the brass bedstead in the other room fascinated
Sissy uncomfortably.

Shad served them rye highballs with ginger ale from a quart bottle
that had first been opened at least a day ago, sandwiches with
chicken and ham that tasted of niter, and ice cream with six colors
but only two flavors--both strawberry.  Then he waited, not too
patiently, looking as much like General Göring as possible, for
Emil and his woman to get the devil out of here, and for Sissy to
acknowledge his virile charms.  He only grunted at Emil's pedagogic
little jokes, and the man of culture abruptly got up and removed
his lady, whinnying in farewell, "Now, Captain, don't you and your
girl-friend do anything Papa wouldn't do!"

"Come on now, baby--come over here and give us a kiss," Shad
roared, as he flopped into the corner of the leather settee.

"Now I don't know whether I WILL or not!"  It nauseated her a good
deal, but she made herself as pertly provocative as she could.  She
minced to the settee, and sat just far enough from his hulking side
for him to reach over and draw her toward him.  She observed him
cynically, recalling her experience with most of the Boys . . .
though not with Julian . . . well, not so much with Julian.  They
always, all of them, went through the same procedure, heavily
pretending that there was no system in their manual proposals; and
to a girl of spirit, the chief diversion in the whole business was
watching their smirking pride in their technique.  The only
variation, ever, was whether they started in at the top or the

Yes.  She thought so.  Shad, not being so delicately fanciful as,
say, Malcolm Tasbrough, started with an apparently careless hand on
her knee.

She shivered.  His sinewy paw was to her like the slime and
writhing of an eel.  She moved away with a maidenly alarm which
mocked the rôle of Mata Hari she had felt herself to be gracing.

"Like me?" he demanded.

"Oh--well--sort of."

"Oh, shucks!  You think I'm still just a hired man!  Even though I
am a County Commissioner now! and a Battalion-Leader! and prob'ly
pretty soon I'll be a Commander!"  He spoke the sacred names with
awe.  It was the twentieth time he had made the same plaint to her
in the same words.  "And you still think I ain't good for anything
except lugging in kindling!"

"Oh, Shad dear!  Why, I always think of you as being just about my
oldest playmate!  The way I used to tag after you and ask you could
I run the lawnmower!  My!  I always remember that!"

"Do you, honest?"  He yearned at her like a lumpish farm dog.

"Of course!  And honest, it makes me tired, your acting as if you
were ashamed of having worked for us!  Why, don't you know that,
when he was a boy, Daddy used to work as a farm hand, and split
wood and tend lawn for the neighbors and all that, and he was awful
glad to get the money?"  She reflected that this thumping and
entirely impromptu lie was beautiful. . . .  That it happened not
to be a lie, she did not know.

"That a fact?  Well!  Honest?  Well!  So the old man used to hustle
the rake too!  Never knew that!  You know, he ain't such a bad old
coot--just awful stubborn."

"You DO like him, DON'T you, Shad!  Nobody knows how sweet he is--I
mean, in these sort of complicated days, we've got to protect him
against people that might not understand him, against outsiders,
don't you think so, Shad?  You WILL protect him!"

"Well, I'll do what I can," said the Battalion-Leader with such fat
complacency that Sissy almost slapped him.  "That is, as long as he
behaves himself, baby, and don't get mixed up with any of these Red
rebels . . . and as long as you feel like being nice to a fella!"
He pulled her toward him as though he were hauling a bag of grain
out of a wagon.

"Oh!  Shad!  You frighten me!  Oh, you must be gentle!  A big,
strong man like you can afford to be gentle.  It's only the sissies
that have to get rough.  And you're so strong!"

"Well, I guess I can still feed myself!  Say, talking about
sissies, what do you see in a light-waisted mollycoddle like
Julian?  You don't really like him, do you?"

"Oh, you know how it is," she said, trying without too much
obviousness to ease her head away from his shoulder.  "We've always
been playmates, since we were kids."

"Well, you just said I was, too!"

"Yes, that's so."

Now in her effort to give all the famous pleasures of seduction
without taking any of the risk, the amateur secret-service
operative, Sissy, had a slightly confused aim.  She was going to
get from Shad information valuable to the N.U.  Rapidly rehearsing
it in her imagination, the while she was supposed to be weakened by
the charm of leaning against Shad's meaty shoulder, she heard
herself teasing him into giving her the name of some citizen whom
the M.M.'s were about to arrest, slickly freeing herself from him,
dashing out to find Julian--oh, hang it, why hadn't she made an
engagement with Julian for that night?--well, he'd either be at
home or out driving Dr. Olmsted--Julian's melodramatically dashing
to the home of the destined victim and starting him for the
Canadian border before dawn. . . .  And it might be a good idea
for the refugee to tack on his door a note dated two days ago,
saying that he was off on a trip, so that Shad would never suspect
her. . . .  All this in a second of hectic story-telling, neatly
illustrated in color by her fancy, while she pretended that she had
to blow her nose and thus had an excuse to sit straight.  Edging
another inch or two away, she purred, "But of course it isn't just
physical strength, Shad.  You have so much power politically.  My!
I imagine you could send almost anybody in Fort Beulah off to
concentration camp, if you wanted to."

"Well, I could put a few of 'em away, if they got funny!"

"I'll bet you could--and will, too!  Who you going to arrest next,


"Oh come on!  Don't be so tightwad with all your secrets!"

"What are you trying to do, baby?  Pump me?"

"Why no, of course not, I just--"

"Sure!  You'd like to get the poor old fathead going, and find out
everything he knows--and that's plenty, you can bet your sweet life
on that!  Nothing doing, baby."

"Shad, I'd just--I'd just love to see an M.M. squad arresting
somebody once.  It must be dreadfully exciting!"

"Oh, it's exciting enough, all right, all right!  When the poor
chumps try to resist, and you throw their radio out of the window!
Or when the fellow's wife gets fresh and shoots off her mouth too
much, and so you just teach her a little lesson by letting her look
on while you trip him up on the floor and beat him up--maybe that
sounds a little rough, but you see, in the long run it's the best
thing you can do for these beggars, because it teaches 'em to not
get ugly."

"But--you won't think I'm horrid and unwomanly, will you?--but I
would like to see you hauling out one of those people, just once.
Come on, tell a fellow!  Who are you going to arrest next?"

"Naughty, naughty!  Mustn't try to kid papa!  No, the womanly thing
for you to do is a little love-making!  Aw come on, let's have some
fun, baby!  You know you're crazy about me!"  Now he really seized
her, his hand across her breasts.  She struggled, thoroughly
frightened, no longer cynical and sophisticated.  She shrieked, "Oh
don't--don't!"  She wept, real tears, more from anger than from
modesty.  He loosened his grip a little, and she had the
inspiration to sob, "Oh, Shad, if you really want me to love you,
you must give me time!  You wouldn't want me to be a hussy that you
could do anything you wanted to with--you, in your position?  Oh,
no, Shad, you couldn't do that!"

"Well, maybe," said he, with the smugness of a carp.

She had sprung up, dabbling at her eyes--and through the doorway,
in the bedroom, on a flat-topped desk, she saw a bunch of two or
three Yale keys.  Keys to his office, to secret cupboards and
drawers with Corpo plans!  Undoubtedly!  Her imagination in one
second pictured her making a rubbing of the keys, getting John
Pollikop, that omnifarious mechanic, to file substitute keys,
herself and Julian somehow or other sneaking into Corpo
headquarters at night, perilously creeping past the guards, rifling
Shad's every dread file--

She stammered, "Do you mind if I go in and wash my face?  All
teary--so silly!  You don't happen to have any face powder in your

"Say, what d'you think I am?  A hick, or a monk, maybe?  You bet
your life I've got some face powder--right in the medicine cabinet--
two kinds--how's that for service?  Ladies taken care of by the
day or hour!"

It hurt, but she managed something like a giggle before she went in
and shut the bedroom door, and locked it.

She tore across to the keys.  She snatched up a pad of yellow
scratch-paper and a pencil, and tried to make a rubbing of a key as
once she had made rubbings of coins, for use in the small grocery
shop of C. JESSUp & J. falck groSHERS.

The pencil blur showed only the general outline of the key; the
tiny notches which were the trick would not come clear.  In panic,
she experimented with a sheet of carbon paper, then toilet paper,
dry and wet.  She could not get a mold.  She pressed the key into a
prop hotel candle in a china stick by Shad's bed.  The candle was
too hard.  So was the bathroom soap.  And Shad was now trying the
knob of the door, remarking "Damn!" then bellowing, "Whayuh doin'
in there?  Gone to sleep?"

"Be right out!"  She replaced the keys, threw the yellow paper and
the carbon paper out of the window, replaced the candle and soap,
slapped her face with a dry towel, dashed on powder as though she
were working against time at plastering a wall, and sauntered back
into the parlor.  Shad looked hopeful.  In panic she saw that now,
before he comfortably sat down to it and became passionate again,
was her one time to escape.  She snatched up hat and coat, said
wistfully, "Another night, Shad--you must let me go now, dear!" and
fled before he could open his red muzzle.

Round the corner in the hotel corridor she found Julian.

He was standing taut, trying to look like a watchdog, his right
hand in his coat pocket as though it was holding a revolver.

She hurled herself against his bosom and howled.

"Good God!  What did he do to you?  I'll go in and kill him!"

"Oh, I didn't get seduced.  It isn't things like that that I'm
bawling about!  It's because I'm such a simply terribly awful spy!"

But one thing came out of it.

Her courage nerved Julian to something he had longed for and
feared: to join the M.M.'s, put on uniform, "work from within," and
supply Doremus with information.

"I can get Leo Quinn--you know?--Dad's a conductor on the
railroad?--used to play basketball in high school?--I can get him
to drive Dr. Olmsted for me, and generally run errands for the N.U.
He's got grit, and he hates the Corpos.  But look, Sissy--look, Mr.
Jessup--in order to get the M.M.'s to trust me, I've got to pretend
to have a fierce bust-up with you and all our friends.  Look!
Sissy and I will walk up Elm Street tomorrow evening, giving an
imitation of estranged lovers.  How 'bout it, Sis?"

"Fine!" glowed that incorrigible actress.

She was to be, every evening at eleven, in a birch grove just up
Pleasant Hill from the Jessups', where they had played house as
children.  Because the road curved, the rendezvous could be entered
from four or five directions.  There he was to hand on to her his
reports of M.M. plans.

But when he first crept into the grove at night and she nervously
turned her pocket torch on him, she shrieked at seeing him in M.M.
uniform, as an inspector.  That blue tunic and slanting forage cap
which, in the cinema and history books, had meant youth and hope,
meant only death now. . . .  She wondered if in 1864 it had not
meant death more than moonlight and magnolias to most women.  She
sprang to him, holding him as if to protect him against his own
uniform, and in the peril and uncertainty now of their love, Sissy
began to grow up.


The propaganda throughout the country was not all to the New
Underground; not even most of it; and though the pamphleteers for
the N.U., at home and exiled abroad, included hundreds of the most
capable professional journalists of America, they were cramped by a
certain respect for facts which never enfeebled the press agents
for Corpoism.  And the Corpos had a notable staff.  It included
college presidents, some of the most renowned among the radio
announcers who aforetime had crooned their affection for mouth
washes and noninsomniac coffee, famous ex-war-correspondents, ex-
governors, former vice-presidents of the American Federation of
Labor, and no less an artist than the public relations counsel of a
princely corporation of electrical-goods manufacturers.

The newspapers everywhere might no longer be so wishily-washily
liberal as to print the opinions of non-Corpos; they might give but
little news from those old-fashioned and democratic countries,
Great Britain, France, and the Scandinavian states; might indeed
print almost no foreign news, except as regards the triumphs of
Italy in giving Ethiopia good roads, trains on time, freedom from
beggars and from men of honor, and all the other spiritual
benefactions of Roman civilization.  But, on the other hand, never
had newspapers shown so many comic strips--the most popular was a
very funny one about a preposterous New Underground crank, who wore
mortuary black with a high hat decorated with crêpe and who was
always being comically beaten up by M.M.'s.  Never had there been,
even in the days when Mr. Hearst was freeing Cuba, so many large
red headlines.  Never so many dramatic drawings of murders--the
murderers were always notorious anti-Corpos.  Never such a wealth
of literature, worthy its twenty-four-hour immortality, as the
articles proving, and proving by figures, that American wages were
universally higher, commodities universally lower-priced, war
budgets smaller but the army and its equipment much larger, than
ever in history.  Never such righteous polemics as the proofs that
all non-Corpos were Communists.

Almost daily, Windrip, Sarason, Dr. Macgoblin, Secretary of War
Luthorne, or Vice-President Perley Beecroft humbly addressed their
Masters, the great General Public, on the radio, and congratulated
them on making a new world by their example of American solidarity--
marching shoulder to shoulder under the Grand Old Flag, comrades
in the blessings of peace and comrades in the joys of war to come.

Much-heralded movies, subsidized by the government (and could there
be any better proof of the attention paid by Dr. Macgoblin and the
other Nazi leaders to the arts than the fact that movie actors who
before the days of the Chief were receiving only fifteen hundred
gold dollars a week were now getting five thousand?), showed the
M.M.'s driving armored motors at eighty miles an hour, piloting a
fleet of one thousand planes, and being very tender to a little
girl with a kitten.

Everyone, including Doremus Jessup, had said in 1935, "If there
ever is a Fascist dictatorship here, American humor and pioneer
independence are so marked that it will be absolutely different
from anything in Europe."

For almost a year after Windrip came in, this seemed true.  The
Chief was photographed playing poker, in shirtsleeves and with a
derby on the back of his head, with a newspaperman, a chauffeur,
and a pair of rugged steel-workers.  Dr. Macgoblin in person led an
Elks' brass band and dived in competition with the Atlantic City
bathing-beauties.  It was reputably reported that M.M.'s apologized
to political prisoners for having to arrest them, and that the
prisoners joked amiably with the guards . . . at first.

All that was gone, within a year after the inauguration, and
surprised scientists discovered that whips and handcuffs hurt just
as sorely in the clear American air as in the miasmic fogs of

Doremus, reading the authors he had concealed in the horsehair
sofa--the gallant Communist, Karl Billinger, the gallant anti-
Communist, Tchernavin, and the gallant neutral, Lorant--began to
see something like a biology of dictatorships, all dictatorships.
The universal apprehension, the timorous denials of faith, the same
methods of arrest--sudden pounding on the door late at night, the
squad of police pushing in, the blows, the search, the obscene
oaths at the frightened women, the third degree by young snipe of
officials, the accompanying blows and then the formal beatings,
when the prisoner is forced to count the strokes until he faints,
the leprous beds and the sour stew, guards jokingly shooting round
and round a prisoner who believes he is being executed, the waiting
in solitude to know what will happen, till men go mad and hang

Thus had things gone in Germany, exactly thus in Soviet Russia, in
Italy and Hungary and Poland, Spain and Cuba and Japan and China.
Not very different had it been under the blessings of liberty and
fraternity in the French Revolution.  All dictators followed the
same routine of torture, as if they had all read the same manual of
sadistic etiquette.  And now, in the humorous, friendly, happy-go-
lucky land of Mark Twain, Doremus saw the homicidal maniacs having
just as good a time as they had had in central Europe.

America followed, too, the same ingenious finances as Europe.
Windrip had promised to make everybody richer, and had contrived to
make everybody, except for a few hundred bankers and industrialists
and soldiers, much poorer.  He needed no higher mathematicians to
produce his financial statements: any ordinary press agent could do
them.  To show a 100 per cent economy in military expenditures,
while increasing the establishment 700 per cent, it had been
necessary only to charge up all expenditures for the Minute Men to
non-military departments, so that their training in the art of
bayonet-sticking was debited to the Department of Education.  To
show an increase in average wages one did tricks with "categories
of labor" and "required minimum wages," and forgot to state how
many workers ever did become entitled to the "minimum," and how
much was charged as wages, on the books, for food and shelter for
the millions in the labor camps.

It all made dazzling reading.  There had never been more elegant
and romantic fiction.

Even loyal Corpos began to wonder why the armed forces, army and
M.M.'s together, were being so increased.  Was a frightened Windrip
getting ready to defend himself against a rising of the whole
nation?  Did he plan to attack all of North and South America and
make himself an emperor?  Or both?  In any case, the forces were so
swollen that even with its despotic power of taxation, the Corpo
government never had enough.  They began to force exports, to
practice the "dumping" of wheat, corn, timber, copper, oil,
machinery.  They increased production, forced it by fines and
threats, then stripped the farmer of all he had, for export at
depreciated prices.  But at home the prices were not depreciated
but increased, so that the more we exported, the less the
industrial worker in America had to eat.  And really zealous County
Commissioners took from the farmer (after the patriotic manner of
many Mid-Western counties in 1918) even his seed grain, so that he
could grow no more, and on the very acres where once he had raised
superfluous wheat he now starved for bread.  And while he was
starving, the Commissioners continued to try to make him pay for
the Corpo bonds which he had been made to buy on the instalment

But still, when he did finally starve to death, none of these
things worried him.

There were bread lines now in Fort Beulah, once or twice a week.

The hardest phenomenon of dictatorship for a Doremus to understand,
even when he saw it daily in his own street, was the steady
diminution of gayety among the people.

America, like England and Scotland, had never really been a gay
nation.  Rather it had been heavily and noisily jocular, with a
substratum of worry and insecurity, in the image of its patron
saint, Lincoln of the rollicking stories and the tragic heart.  But
at least there had been hearty greetings, man to man; there had
been clamorous jazz for dancing, and the lively, slangy catcalls of
young people, and the nervous blatting of tremendous traffic.

All that false cheerfulness lessened now, day by day.

The Corpos found nothing more convenient to milk than public
pleasures.  After the bread had molded, the circuses were closed.
There were taxes or increased taxes on motorcars, movies, theaters,
dances, and ice-cream sodas.  There was a tax on playing a
phonograph or radio in any restaurant.  Lee Sarason, himself a
bachelor, conceived of super-taxing bachelors and spinsters, and
contrariwise of taxing all weddings at which more than five persons
were present.

Even the most reckless youngsters went less and less to public
entertainments, because no one not ostentatiously in uniform cared
to be noticed, these days.  It was impossible to sit in a public
place without wondering which spies were watching you.  So all the
world stayed home--and jumped anxiously at every passing footstep,
every telephone ring, every tap of an ivy sprig on the window.

The score of people definitely pledged to the New Underground were
the only persons to whom Doremus dared talk about anything more
incriminating than whether it was likely to rain, though he had
been the friendliest gossip in town.  Always it had taken ten
minutes longer than was humanly possible for him to walk to the
Informer office, because he stopped on every corner to ask after
someone's sick wife, politics, potato crop, opinions about Deism,
or luck at fishing.

As he read of rebels against the régime who worked in Rome, in
Berlin, he envied them.  They had thousands of government agents,
unknown by sight and thus the more dangerous, to watch them; but
also they had thousands of comrades from whom to seek encouragement,
exciting personal tattle, shop talk, and the assurance that they
were not altogether idiotic to risk their lives for a mistress so
ungrateful as Revolution.  Those secret flats in great cities--
perhaps some of them really were filled with the rosy glow they had
in fiction.  But the Fort Beulahs, anywhere in the world, were so
isolated, the conspirators so uninspiringly familiar one to another,
that only by inexplicable faith could one go on.

Now that Lorinda was gone, there certainly was nothing very
diverting in sneaking round corners, trying to look like somebody
else, merely to meet Buck and Dan Wilgus and that good woman,

Buck and he and the rest--they were such amateurs.  They needed the
guidance of veteran agitators like Mr. Ailey and Mr. Bailey and Mr.

Their feeble pamphlets, their smearily printed newspaper, seemed
futile against the enormous blare of Corpo propaganda.  It seemed
worse than futile, it seemed insane, to risk martyrdom in a world
where Fascists persecuted Communists, Communists persecuted Social-
Democrats, Social-Democrats persecuted everybody who would stand
for it; where "Aryans" who looked like Jews persecuted Jews who
looked like Aryans and Jews persecuted their debtors; where every
statesman and clergyman praised Peace and brightly asserted that
the only way to get Peace was to get ready for War.

What conceivable reason could one have for seeking after
righteousness in a world which so hated righteousness?  Why do
anything except eat and read and make love and provide for sleep
that should be secure against disturbance by armed policemen?

He never did find any particularly good reason.  He simply went on.

In June, when the Fort Beulah cell of the New Underground had been
carrying on for some three months, Mr. Francis Tasbrough, the
golden quarryman, called on his neighbor, Doremus.

"How are you, Frank?"

"Fine, Remus.  How's the old carping critic?"

"Fine, Frank.  Still carping.  Fine carping weather, at that.  Have
a cigar?"

"Thanks.  Got a match?  Thanks.  Saw Sissy yesterday.  She looks

"Yes, she's fine.  I saw Malcolm driving by yesterday.  How did he
like it in the Provincial University, at New York?"

"Oh, fine--fine.  He says the athletics are grand.  They're getting
Primo Carnera over to coach in tennis next year--I think it's
Carnera--I think it's tennis--but anyway, the athletics are fine
there, Malcolm says.  Say, uh, Remus, there's something I been
meaning to ask you.  I, uh--The fact is--I want you to be sure and
not repeat this to anybody.  I know you can be trusted with a
secret, even if you are a newspaperman--or used to be, I mean, but--
The fact is (and this is inside stuff; official), there's going to
be some governmental promotions all along the line--this is
confidential, and it comes to me straight from the Provincial
Commissioner, Colonel Haik.  Luthorne is finished as Secretary of
War--he's a nice fellow, but he hasn't got as much publicity for
the Corpos out of his office as the Chief expected him to.  Haik is
to have his job, and also take over the position of High Marshal of
the Minute Men from Lee Sarason--I suppose Sarason has too much to
do.  Well then, John Sullivan Reek is slated to be Provincial
Commissioner; that leaves the office of District Commissioner for
Vermont-New Hampshire empty, and I'm one of the people being
seriously considered.  I've done a lot of speaking for the Corpos,
and I know Dewey Haik very well--I was able to advise him about
erecting public buildings.  Of course there's none of the County
Commissioners around here that measure up to a district
commissionership--not even Dr. Staubmeyer--certainly not Shad
Ledue.  Now if you could see your way clear to throw in with me,
your influence would help--"

"Good heavens, Frank, the worst thing you could have happen, if you
want the job, is to have me favor you!  The Corpos don't like me.
Oh, of course they know I'm loyal, not one of these dirty, sneaking
anti-Corpos, but I never made enough noise in the paper to please

"That's just it, Remus!  I've got a really striking idea.  Even if
they don't like you, the Corpos respect you, and they know how long
you've been important in the State.  We'd all be greatly pleased if
you came out and joined us.  Now just suppose you did so and let
people know that it was my influence that converted you to
Corpoism.  That might give me quite a leg-up.  And between old
friends like us, Remus, I can tell you that this job of District
Commissioner would be useful to me in the quarry business, aside
from the social advantages.  And if I got the position, I can
promise you that I'd either get the Informer taken away from
Staubmeyer and that dirty little stinker, Itchitt, and given back
to you to run absolutely as you pleased--providing, of course, you
had the sense to keep from criticizing the Chief and the State.
Or, if you'd rather, I think I could probably wangle a job for you
as military judge (they don't necessarily have to be lawyers) or
maybe President Peaseley's job as District Director of Education--
you'd have a lot of fun out of that!--awfully amusing the way all
the teachers kiss the Director's foot!  Come on, old man!  Think of
all the fun we used to have in the old days!  Come to your senses
and face the inevitable and join us and fix up some good publicity
for me.  How about it--huh, huh?"

Doremus reflected that the worst trial of a revolutionary
propagandist was not risking his life, but having to be civil to
people like Future-Commissioner Tasbrough.

He supposed that his voice was polite as he muttered, "Afraid I'm
too old to try it, Frank," but apparently Tasbrough was offended.
He sprang up and tramped away grumbling, "Oh, very well then!"

"And I didn't give him a chance to say anything about being
realistic or breaking eggs to make an omelet," regretted Doremus.

The next day Malcolm Tasbrough, meeting Sissy on the street, made
his beefy most of cutting her.  At the time the Jessups thought
that was very amusing.  They thought the occasion less amusing when
Malcolm chased little David out of the Tasbrough apple orchard,
which he had been wont to use as the Great Western Forest where at
any time one was rather more than likely to meet Kit Carson, Robin
Hood, and Colonel Lindbergh hunting together.

Having only Frank's word for it, Doremus could do no more than hint
in Vermont Vigilance that Colonel Dewey Haik was to be made
Secretary of War, and give Haik's actual military record, which
included the facts that as a first lieutenant in France in 1918, he
had been under fire for less than fifteen minutes, and that his one
real triumph had been commanding state militia during a strike in
Oregon, when eleven strikers had been shot down, five of them in
the back.

Then Doremus forgot Tasbrough completely and happily.


But worse than having to be civil to the fatuous Mr. Tasbrough was
keeping his mouth shut when, toward the end of June, a newspaperman
at Battington, Vermont, was suddenly arrested as editor of Vermont
Vigilance and author of all the pamphlets by Doremus and Lorinda.
He went to concentration camp.  Buck and Dan Wilgus and Sissy
prevented Doremus from confessing, and from even going to call on
the victim, and when, with Lorinda no longer there as confidante,
Doremus tried to explain it all to Emma, she said, Wasn't it lucky
that the government had blamed somebody else!

Emma had worked out the theory that the N.U. activity was some sort
of a naughty game which kept her boy, Doremus, busy after his
retirement.  He was mildly nagging the Corpos.  She wasn't sure
that it was really nice to nag the legal authorities, but still,
for a little fellow, her Doremus had always been surprisingly
spunky--just like (she often confided to Sissy) a spunky little
Scotch terrier she had owned when she was a girl--Mr. McNabbit its
name had been, a little Scotch terrier, but my! so spunky he acted
like he was a regular lion!

She was rather glad that Lorinda was gone, though she liked Lorinda
and worried about how well she might do with a tea room in a new
town, a town where she had never lived.  But she just couldn't help
feeling (she confided not only to Sissy but to Mary and Buck) that
Lorinda, with all her wild crazy ideas about women's rights, and
workmen being just as good as their employers, had a bad influence
on Doremus's tendency to show off and shock people.  (She mildly
wondered why Buck and Sissy snorted so.  She hadn't meant to say
anything particularly funny!)

For too many years she had been used to Doremus's irregular routine
to have her sleep disturbed by his returning from Buck's at the
improper time to which she referred as "at all hours," but she did
wish he would be "more on time for his meals," and she gave up the
question of why, these days, he seemed to like to associate with
Ordinary People like John Pollikop, Dan Wilgus, Daniel Babcock, and
Pete Vutong--my! some people said Pete couldn't even read and
write, and Doremus so educated and all!  Why didn't he see more of
lovely people like Frank Tasbrough and Professor Staubmeyer and Mr.
R. C. Crowley and this new friend of his, the Hon. John Sullivan

Why couldn't he keep out of politics?  She'd always SAID they were
no occupation for a gentleman!

Like David, now ten years old (and like twenty or thirty million
other Americans, from one to a hundred, but all of the same mental
age), Emma thought the marching M.M.'s were a very fine show
indeed, so much like movies of the Civil War, really quite
educational; and while of course if Doremus didn't care for
President Windrip, she was opposed to him also, yet didn't Mr.
Windrip speak beautifully about pure language, church attendance,
low taxation, and the American flag?

The realists, the makers of omelets, did climb, as Tasbrough had
predicted.  Colonel Dewey Haik, Commissioner of the Northeastern
Province, became Secretary of War and High Marshal of M.M.'s, while
the former secretary, Colonel Luthorne, retired to Kansas and the
real-estate business and was well spoken of by all business men for
being thus willing to give up the grandeur of Washington for duty
toward practical affairs and his family, who were throughout the
press depicted as having frequently missed him.  It was rumored in
N.U. cells that Haik might go higher even than Secretary of War;
that Windrip was worried by the forced growth of a certain
effeminacy in Lee Sarason under the arc light of glory.

Francis Tasbrough was elevated to District Commissionership at
Hanover.  But Mr. Sullivan Reek did not in series go on to be
Provincial Commissioner.  It was said that he had too many friends
among just the old-line politicians whose jobs the Corpos were so
enthusiastically taking.  No, the new Provincial Commissioner,
viceroy and general, was Military Judge Effingham Swan, the one man
whom Mary Jessup Greenhill hated more than she did Shad Ledue.

Swan was a splendid commissioner.  Within three days after taking
office, he had John Sullivan Reek and seven assistant district
commissioners arrested, tried, and imprisoned, all within twenty-
four hours, and an eighty-year-old woman, mother of a New
Underground agent but not otherwise accused of wickedness, penned
in a concentration camp for the more desperate traitors.  It was in
a disused quarry which was always a foot deep in water.  After he
had sentenced her, Swan was said to have bowed to her most

The New Underground sent out warning, from headquarters in
Montreal, for a general tightening up of precautions against being
caught distributing propaganda.  Agents were disappearing rather

Buck scoffed, but Doremus was nervous.  He noticed that the same
strange man, ostensibly a drummer, a large man with unpleasant
eyes, had twice got into conversation with him in the Hotel Wessex
lobby, and too obviously hinted that he was anti-Corpo and would
love to have Doremus say something nasty about the Chief and the

Doremus became cautious about going out to Buck's.  He parked his
car in half-a-dozen different wood-roads and crept afoot to the
secret basement.

On the evening of the twenty-eighth of June, 1938, he had a notion
that he was being followed, so closely did a car with red-tinted
headlights, anxiously watched in his rear-view mirror, stick behind
him as he took the Keezmet highway down to Buck's.  He turned up a
side road, down another.  The spy car followed.  He stopped, in a
driveway on the left-hand side of the road, and angrily stepped
out, in time to see the other car pass, with a man who looked like
Shad Ledue driving.  He swung round then and, without concealment,
bolted for Buck's.

In the basement, Buck was contentedly tying up bundles of the
Vigilance, while Father Perefixe, in his shirtsleeves, vest open
and black dickey swinging beneath his reversed collar, sat at a
plain pine table, writing a warning to New England Catholics that
though the Corpos had, unlike the Nazis in Germany, been shrewd
enough to flatter prelates, they had lowered the wages of French-
Canadian Catholic mill hands and imprisoned their leaders just as
severely as in the case of the avowedly wicked Protestants.

Perefixe smiled up at Doremus, stretched, lighted a pipe, and
chuckled, "As a great ecclesiast, Doremus, is it your opinion that
I shall be committing a venial or a mortal sin by publishing this
little masterpiece--the work of my favorite author--without the
Bishop's imprimatur?"

"Stephen!  Buck!  I think they're on to us!  Maybe we've got to
fold up already and get the press and type out of here!"  He told
of being shadowed.  He telephoned to Julian, at M.M. headquarters,
and (since there were too many French-Canadian inspectors about for
him to dare to use his brand of French) he telephoned in the fine
new German he had been learning by translation:

"Denks du ihr Freunds dere haben a Idee die letzt Tag von vot ve
mach here?"

And the college-bred Julian had so much international culture as to
be able to answer:  "Ja, Ich mein ihr vos sachen morning free.
Look owid!"

How could they move?  Where?

Dan Wilgus arrived, in panic, an hour after.

"Say!  They're watching us!"  Doremus, Buck, and the priest
gathered round the black viking of a man.  "Just now when I came in
I thought I heard something in the bushes, here in the yard, near
the house, and before I thought, I flashed my torch on him, and by
golly if it wasn't Aras Dilley, and not in uniform--and you know
how Aras loves his God--excuse me, Father--how he loves his
uniform.  He was disguised!  Sure!  In overalls!  Looked like a
jackass that's gone under a clothes-line!  Well, he'd been
rubbering at the house.  Course these curtains are drawn, but I
don't know what he saw and--"

The three large men looked to Doremus for orders.

"We got to get all this stuff out of here!  Quick!  Take it and
hide it in Truman Webb's attic.  Stephen: get John Pollikop and
Mungo Kitterick and Pete Vutong on the phone--get 'em here, quick--
tell John to stop by and tell Julian to come as soon as he can.
Dan: start dismantling the press.  Buck: bundle up all the
literature."  As he spoke, Doremus was wrapping type in scraps of
newspaper.  And at three next morning, before light, Pollikop was
driving toward Truman Webb's farmhouse the entire equipment of the
New Underground printing establishment, in Buck's old farm truck,
from which blatted, for the benefit of all ears that might be
concerned, two frightened calves.

Next day Julian ventured to invite his superior officers, Shad
Ledue and Emil Staubmeyer, to a poker session at Buck's.  They
came, with alacrity.  They found Buck, Doremus, Mungo Kitterick,
and Doc Itchitt--the last an entirely innocent participant in
certain deceptions.

They played in Buck's parlor.  But during the evening Buck
announced that anyone wanting beer instead of whisky would find it
in a tub of ice in the basement, and that anyone wishing to wash
his hands would find two bathrooms upstairs.

Shad hastily went for beer.  Doc Itchitt even more hastily went to
wash his hands.  Both of them were gone much longer than one would
have expected.

When the party broke up and Buck and Doremus were alone, Buck
shrieked with bucolic mirth:  "I could scarcely keep a straight
face when I heard good old Shad opening the cupboards and taking a
fine long look-see for pamphlets down in the basement.  Well, Cap'n
Jessup, that about ends their suspicion of this place as a den of
traitors, I guess!  God, but isn't Shad dumb!"

This was at perhaps 3 A.M. on the morning of June thirtieth.

Doremus stayed home, writing sedition, all the afternoon and
evening of the thirtieth, hiding the sheets under pages of
newspaper in the Franklin stove in his study, so that he could
touch them off with a match in case of a raid--a trick he had
learned from Karl Billinger's anti-Nazi Fatherland.

This new opus was devoted to murders ordered by Commissioner
Effingham Swan.

On the first and second of July, when he sauntered uptown, he was
rather noticeably encountered by the same weighty drummer who had
picked him up in the Hotel Wessex lobby before, and who now
insisted on their having a drink together.  Doremus escaped, and
was conscious that he was being followed by an unknown young man,
flamboyant in an apricot-colored polo shirt and gray bags, whom he
recognized as having worn M.M. uniform at a parade in June.  On
July third, rather panicky, Doremus drove to Truman Webb's, taking
an hour of zigzagging to do it, and warned Truman not to permit any
more printing till he should have a release.

When Doremus went home, Sissy lightly informed him that Shad had
insisted she go out to an M.M. picnic with him on the next
afternoon, the Fourth, and that, information or no, she had
refused.  She was afraid of him, surrounded by his ready playmates.

That night of the third, Doremus slept only in sick spasms.  He was
reasonlessly convinced that he would be arrested before dawn.  The
night was overcast and electric and uneasy.  The crickets sounded
as though they were piping under compulsion, in a rhythm of terror.
He lay throbbing to their sound.  He wanted to flee--but how and
where, and how could he leave his threatened family?  For the
first time in years he wished that he were sleeping beside the
unperturbable Emma, beside her small earthy hillock of body.  He
laughed at himself.  What could Emma do to protect him against
Minute Men?  Just scream!  And what then?  But he, who always slept
with his door shut, to protect his sacred aloneness, popped out of
bed to open the door, that he might have the comfort of hearing her
breathe, and the fiercer Mary stir in slumber, and Sissy's
occasional young whimper.

He was awakened before dawn by early firecrackers.  He heard the
tramping of feet.  He lay taut.  Then he awoke again, at seven-
thirty, and was slightly angry that nothing happened.

The M.M.'s brought out their burnished helmets and all the rideable
horses in the neighborhood--some of them known as most superior
plow-horses--for the great celebration of the New Freedom on the
morning of Fourth of July.  There was no post of the American
Legion in the jaunty parade.  That organization had been completely
suppressed, and a number of American Legion leaders had been shot.
Others had tactfully taken posts in the M.M. itself.

The troops, in hollow square, with the ordinary citizenry humbly
jammed in behind them and the Jessup family rather hoity-toity on
the outskirts, were addressed by Ex-Governor Isham Hubbard, a fine
ruddy old rooster who could say "Cock-a-doodle-do" with more
profundity than any fowl since Æsop.  He announced that the Chief
had extraordinary resemblances to Washington, Jefferson, and
William B. McKinley, and to Napoleon on his better days.

The trumpets blew, the M.M.'s gallantly marched off nowhere in
particular, and Doremus went home, feeling much better after his
laugh.  Following noon dinner, since it was raining, he proposed a
game of contract to Emma, Mary, and Sissy--with Mrs. Candy as
volunteer umpire.

But the thunder of the hill country disquieted him.  Whenever he
was dummy, he ambled to a window.  The rain ceased; the sun came
out for a false, hesitating moment, and the wet grass looked
unreal.  Clouds with torn bottoms, like the hem of a ragged skirt,
were driven down the valley, cutting off the bulk of Mount
Faithful; the sun went out as in a mammoth catastrophe; and
instantly the world was in unholy darkness, which poured into the

"Why, it's quite dark, isn't it!  Sissy, turn on the lights," said

The rain attacked again, in a crash, and to Doremus, looking out,
the whole knowable world seemed washed out.  Through the deluge he
saw a huge car flash, the great wheels throwing up fountains.
"Wonder what make of car that is?  Must be a sixteen-cylinder
Cadillac, I guess," reflected Doremus.  The car swerved into his
own gateway, almost knocking down a gatepost, and stopped with a
jar at his porch.  From it leaped five Minute Men, black waterproof
capes over their uniforms.  Before he could quite get through the
reflection that he recognized none of them, they were there in the
room.  The leader, an ensign (and most certainly Doremus did not
recognize HIM) marched up to Doremus, looked at him casually, and
struck him full in the face.

Except for the one light pink of the bayonet when he had been
arrested before, except for an occasional toothache or headache, or
a smart when he had banged a fingernail, Doremus Jessup had not for
thirty years known authentic pain.  It was as incredible as it was
horrifying, this torture in his eyes and nose and crushed mouth.
He stood bent, gasping, and the Ensign again smashed his face, and
observed, "You are under arrest."

Mary had launched herself on the Ensign, was hitting at him with a
china ash tray.  Two M.M.'s dragged her off, threw her on the
couch, and one of them pinned her there.  The other two guards were
bulking over the paralyzed Emma, the galvanized Sissy.

Doremus vomited suddenly and collapsed, as though he were dead

He was conscious that the five M.M.'s were yanking the books from
the shelves and hurling them on the floor, so that the covers
split, and with their pistol butts smashing vases and lamp shades
and small occasional tables.  One of them tattooed a rough M M on
the white paneling above the fireplace with shots from his

The Ensign said only, "Careful, Jim," and kissed the hysterical

Doremus struggled to get up.  An M.M. kicked him in the elbow.  It
felt like death itself, and Doremus writhed on the floor.  He heard
them tramping upstairs.  He remembered then that his manuscript
about the murders by Provincial Commissioner Effingham Swan was
hidden in the Franklin stove in his study.

The sound of their smashing of furniture in the bedrooms on the
second floor was like that of a dozen wood-choppers gone mad.

In all his agony, Doremus struggled to get up--to set fire to the
papers in the stove before they should be found.  He tried to look
at his women.  He could make out Mary, tied to the couch.  (When
had that ever happened?)  But his vision was too blurred, his mind
too bruised, to see anything clearly.  Staggering, sometimes
creeping on his hands and knees, he did actually get past the men
in the bedrooms and up the stairs to the third floor and his study.

He was in time to see the Ensign throwing his best-beloved books
and his letter files, accumulated these twenty years, out of the
study window, to see him search the papers in the Franklin stove,
look up with cheerful triumph and cackle, "Nice piece you've
written here, I guess, Jessup.  Commissioner Swan will love to see

"I demand--see--Commissioner Ledue--Dist' Commissioner Tasbrough--
friends of mine," stammered Doremus.

"Don't know a thing about them.  I'm running this show," the Ensign
chuckled, and slapped Doremus, not very painfully, merely with a
shamefulness as great as Doremus's when he realized that he had
been so cowardly as to appeal to Shad and Francis.  He did not open
his mouth again, did not whimper nor even amuse the troopers by
vainly appealing on behalf of the women, as he was hustled down two
flights of stairs--they threw him down the lower flight and he
landed on his raw shoulder--and out to the big car.

The M.M. driver, who had been waiting behind the wheel, already had
the engine running.  The car whined away, threatening every instant
to skid.  But the Doremus who had been queasy about skidding did
not notice.  What could he do about it, anyway?  He was helpless
between two troopers in the back seat, and his powerlessness to
make the driver slow up seemed part of all his powerlessness before
the dictator's power . . . he who had always so taken it for
granted that in his dignity and social security he was just
slightly superior to laws and judges and policemen, to all the
risks and pain of ordinary workers.

He was unloaded, like a balky mule, at the jail entrance of the
courthouse.  He resolved that when he was led before Shad he would
so rebuke the scoundrel that he would not forget it.  But Doremus
was not taken into the courthouse.  He was kicked toward a large,
black-painted, unlettered truck by the entrance--literally kicked,
while even in his bewildered anguish he speculated, "I wonder which
is worse?--the physical pain of being kicked, or the mental
humiliation of being turned into a slave?  Hell!  Don't be
sophistical!  It's the pain in the behind that hurts most!"

He was hiked up a stepladder into the back of the truck.

From the unlighted interior a moan, "My God, not you too,
Dormouse!"  It was the voice of Buck Titus, and with him as
prisoners were Truman Webb and Dan Wilgus.  Dan was in handcuffs,
because he had fought so.

The four men were too sore to talk much as they felt the truck
lurch away and they were thrown against one another.  Once Doremus
spoke truthfully, "I don't know how to tell you how ghastly sorry I
am to have got you into this!" and once he lied, when Buck groaned,
"Did those ----- ----- hurt the girls?"

They must have ridden for three hours.  Doremus was in such a coma
of suffering that even though his back winced as it bounced against
the rough floor and his face was all one neuralgia, he drowsed and
woke to terror, drowsed and woke, drowsed and woke to his own
helpless wailing.

The truck stopped.  The doors were opened on lights thick among
white brick buildings.  He hazily saw that they were on the one-
time Dartmouth campus--headquarters now of the Corpo District

That commissioner was his old acquaintance Francis Tasbrough!  He
would be released!  They would be freed, all four!

The incredulity of his humiliation cleared away.  He came out of
his sick fear like a shipwrecked man sighting an approaching boat.

But he did not see Tasbrough.  The M.M.'s, silent save for
mechanical cursing, drove him into a hallway, into a cell which had
once been part of a sedate classroom, left him with a final clout
on the head.  He dropped on a wooden pallet with a straw pillow and
was instantly asleep.  He was too dazed--he who usually looked
recordingly at places--to note then or afterward what his cell was
like, except that it appeared to be filled with sulphuric fumes
from a locomotive engine.

When he came to, his face seemed frozen stiff.  His coat was torn,
and foul with the smell of vomit.  He felt degraded, as though he
had done something shameful.

His door was violently opened, a dirt-clotted bowl of feeble
coffee, with a crust of bread faintly smeared with oleomargarine,
was thrust at him, and after he had given them up, nauseated, he
was marched out into the corridor, by two guards, just as he wanted
to go to the toilet.  Even that he could forget in the paralysis of
fear.  One guard seized him by the trim small beard and yanked it,
laughing very much.  "Always did want to see whether a billygoat
whisker would pull out or not!" snickered the guard.  While he was
thus tormented, Doremus received a crack behind his ear from the
other man, and a scolding command, "Come on, goat!  Want us to milk
you?  You dirty little so-and-so!  What you in for?  You look like
a little Kike tailor, you little -----"

"Him?" the other scoffed.  "Naw!  He's some kind of a half-eared
hick newspaper editor--they'll sure shoot him--sedition--but I hope
they'll beat hell out of him first for being such a bum editor."

"Him?  An editor?  Say!  Listen!  I got a swell idea.  Hey!
Fellas!"  Four or five other M.M.'s, half dressed, looked out from
a room down the hall.  "This-here is a writing-fellow!  I'm going
to make him show us how he writes!  Lookit!"

The guard dashed down the corridor to a door with the sign "Gents"
hung out in front of it, came back with paper, not clean, threw it
in front of Doremus, and yammered, "Come on, boss.  Show us how you
write your pieces!  Come on, write us a piece--with your nose!"  He
was iron-strong.  He pressed Doremus's nose down against the filthy
paper and held it there, while his mates giggled.  They were
interrupted by an officer, commanding, though leniently, "Come on,
boys, cut out the monkeyshines and take this ----- to the bull pen.
Trial this morning."

Doremus was led to a dirty room in which half-a-dozen prisoners
were waiting.  One of them was Buck Titus.  Over one eye Buck had a
slatternly bandage which had so loosened as to show that his
forehead was cut to the bone.  Buck managed to wink jovially.
Doremus tried, vainly, to keep from sobbing.

He waited an hour, standing, arms tight at his side, at the demands
of an ugly-faced guard, snapping a dog whip with which he twice
slashed Doremus when his hands fell lax.

Buck was led into the trial room just before him.  The door was
closed.  Doremus heard Buck cry out terribly, as though he had been
wounded to death.  The cry faded into a choked gasping.  When Buck
was led out of the inner room, his face was as dirty and as pale as
his bandage, over which blood was now creeping.  The man at the
door of the inner room jerked his thumb sharply at Doremus, and
snarled, "You're NEXT!"

Now he would face Tasbrough!

But in the small room into which he had been taken--and he was
confused, because somehow he had expected a large courtroom--there
was only the Ensign who had arrested him yesterday, sitting at a
table, running through papers, while a stolid M.M. stood on either
side of him, rigid, hand on pistol holster.

The Ensign kept him waiting, then snapped with disheartening
suddenness, "Your name!"

"You know it!"

The two guards beside Doremus each hit him.

"Your name?"

"Doremus Jessup."

"You're a Communist!"

"No I'm not!"

"Twenty-five lashes--and the oil."

Not believing, not understanding, Doremus was rushed across the
room, into a cellar beyond.  A long wooden table there was dark
with dry blood, stank with dry blood.  The guards seized Doremus,
sharply jerked his head back, pried open his jaws, and poured in a
quart of castor oil.  They tore off his garments above the belt,
flung them on the sticky floor.  They threw him face downward on
the long table and began to lash him with a one-piece steel fishing
rod.  Each stroke cut into the flesh of his back, and they beat him
slowly, relishing it, to keep him from fainting too quickly.  But
he was unconscious when, to the guards' great diversion, the castor
oil took effect.  Indeed he did not know it till he found himself
limp on a messy piece of gunnysacking on the floor of his cell.

They awakened him twice during the night to demand, "You're a
Communist, heh?  You better admit it!  We're going to beat the
living tar out of you till you do!"

Though he was sicker than he had ever been in his life, yet he was
also angrier; too angry to admit anything whatever, even to save
his wrecked life.  He simply snarled "No."  But on the third
beating he savagely wondered if "No" was now a truthful answer.
After each questioning he was pounded again with fists, but not
lashed with the steel rod, because the headquarters doctor had
forbidden it.

He was a sporty-looking young doctor in plus-fours.  He yawned at
the guards, in the blood-reeking cellar, "Better cut out the lashes
or this ----- will pass out on you."

Doremus raised his head from the table to gasp, "You call yourself
a doctor, and you associate with these murderers?"

"Oh, shut up, you little -----!  Dirty traitors like you deserve to
be beaten to death--and maybe you will be, but I think the boys
ought to save you for the trial!"  The doctor showed his scientific
mettle by twisting Doremus's ear till it felt as though it were
torn off, chuckled, "Go to it, boys," and ambled away, ostentatiously

For three nights he was questioned and lashed--once, late at night,
by guards who complained of the inhuman callousness of their
officers in making them work so late.  They amused themselves by
using an old harness strap, with a buckle on it, to beat him.

He almost broke down when the examining Ensign declared that Buck
Titus had confessed their illegal propaganda, and narrated so many
details of the work that Doremus could almost have believed in the
confession.  He did not listen.  He told himself, "No!  Buck would
die before he'd confess anything.  It's all Aras Dilley's spying."

The Ensign cooed, "Now if you'll just have the sense to copy your
friend Titus and tell us who's in the conspiracy besides him and
you and Wilgus and Webb, we'll let you go.  We know, all right--oh,
we know the whole plot!--but we just want to find out whether
you've finally come to your senses and been converted, my little
friend.  Now who else was there?  Just give us their names.  We'll
let you go.  Or would you like the castor oil and the whip again?"

Doremus did not answer.

"Ten lashes," said the Ensign.

He was chased out for half an hour's walk on the campus every
afternoon--probably because he would have preferred lying on his
hard cot, trying to keep still enough so that his heart would stop
its deathly hammering.  Half a hundred prisoners marched there,
round and round senselessly.  He passed Buck Titus.  To salute him
would have meant a blow from the guards.  They greeted each other
with quick eyelids, and when he saw those untroubled spaniel eyes,
Doremus knew that Buck had not squealed.

And in the exercise yard he saw Dan Wilgus, but Dan was not walking
free; he was led out from the torture rooms by guards, and with his
crushed nose, his flattened ear, he looked as though he had been
pounded by a prizefighter.  He seemed partly paralyzed.  Doremus
tried to get information about Dan from a guard in his cell
corridor.  The guard--a handsome, clear-cheeked young man, noted in
a valley of the White Mountains as a local beau, and very kind to
his mother--laughed, "Oh, your friend Wilgus?  That chump thinks he
can lick his weight in wildcats.  I hear he always tries to soak
the guards.  They'll take that out of him, all right!"

Doremus thought, that night--he could not be sure, but he thought
he heard Dan wailing, half the night.  Next morning he was told
that Dan, who had always been so disgusted when he had had to set
up the news of a weakling's suicide, had hanged himself in his

Then, unexpectedly, Doremus was taken into a room, this time
reasonably large, a former English classroom turned into a court,
for his trial.

But it was not District Commissioner Francis Tasbrough who was on
the bench, nor any Military Judge, but no less a Protector of the
People than the great new Provincial Commissioner, Effingham Swan.

Swan was looking at Doremus's article about him as Doremus was led
up to stand before the bench.  He spoke--and this harsh, tired-
looking man was no longer the airy Rhodes Scholar who had sported
with Doremus once like a boy pulling the wings off flies.

"Jessup, do you plead guilty to seditious activities?"

"Why--"  Doremus looked helplessly about for something in the way
of legal counsel.

"Commissioner Tasbrough!" called Swan.

So at last Doremus did see his boyhood playmate.

Tasbrough did nothing so commendable as to avoid Doremus's eyes.
Indeed he looked at Doremus directly, and most affably, as he spoke
his piece:

"Your Excellency, it gives me great pain to have to expose this
man, Jessup, whom I have known all my life, and tried to help, but
he always was a smart-aleck--he was a laughing-stock in Fort Beulah
for the way he tried to show off as a great political leader!--and
when the Chief was elected, he was angry because he didn't get any
political office, and he went about everywhere trying to disaffect
people--I have heard him do so myself."

"That's enough.  Thanks.  County Commissioner Ledue . . . Captain
Ledue, is it or is it not true that the man Jessup tried to
persuade you to join a violent plot against my person?"

But Shad did not look at Doremus as he mumbled, "It's true."

Swan crackled, "Gentlemen, I think that that, plus the evidence
contained in the prisoner's own manuscript, which I hold here, is
sufficient testimony.  Prisoner, if it weren't for your age and
your damn silly senile weakness, I'd sentence you to a hundred
lashes, as I do all the other Communists like you that threaten the
Corporate State.  As it is, I sentence you to be held in
concentration camp, at the will of the Court, but with a minimum
sentence of seventeen years."  Doremus calculated rapidly.  He was
sixty-two now.  He would be seventy-nine THEN.  He never would see
freedom again.  "And, in the power of issuing emergency decrees,
conferred upon me as Provincial Commissioner, I also sentence you
to death by shooting, but I suspend that sentence--though only
until such time as you may be caught trying to escape!  And I hope
you'll have just lots and lots of time in prison, Jessup, to think
about how clever you were in this entrancing article you wrote
about me!  And to remember that any nasty cold morning they may
take you out in the rain and shoot you."  He ended with a mild
suggestion to the guards:  "And twenty lashes!"

Two minutes later they had forced castor oil down him; he lay
trying to bite at the stained wood of the whipping-table; and he
could hear the whish of the steel fishing rod as a guard playfully
tried it out in the air before bringing it down across the
crisscross wounds of his raw back.


As the open prison van approached the concentration camp at
Trianon, the last light of afternoon caressed the thick birch and
maples and poplars up the pyramid of Mount Faithful.  But the
grayness swiftly climbed the slope, and all the valley was left in
cold shadow.  In his seat the sick Doremus drooped again in

The prim Georgian buildings of the girls' school which had been
turned into a concentration camp at Trianon, nine miles north of
Fort Beulah, had been worse used than Dartmouth, where whole
buildings were reserved for the luxuries of the Corpos and their
female cousins, all very snotty and parvenu.  The Trianon school
seemed to have been gouged by a flood.  Marble doorsteps had been
taken away.  (One of them now graced the residence of the wife of
the Superintendent, Mrs. Cowlick, a woman fat, irate, jeweled,
religious, and given to announcing that all opponents of the Chief
were Communists and ought to be shot offhand.)  Windows were
smashed.  "Hurrah for the Chief" had been chalked on brick walls
and other chalked words, each of four letters, had been rubbed out,
not very thoroughly.  The lawns and hollyhock beds were a mess of

The buildings stood on three sides of a square; the fourth side and
the gaps between buildings were closed with unpainted pine fences
topped with strands of barbed wire.

Every room except the office of Captain Cowlick, the Superintendent
(he was as near nothing at all as any man can be who has attained
to such honors as being a captain in the Quartermaster Corps and
the head of a prison) was smeared with filth.  His office was
merely dreary, and scented with whisky, not, like the other rooms,
with ammonia.

Cowlick was not too ill-natured.  He wished that the camp guards,
all M.M.'s, would not treat the prisoners viciously, except when
they tried to escape.  But he was a mild man; much too mild to hurt
the feelings of the M.M.'s and perhaps set up inhibitions in their
psyches by interfering with their methods of discipline.  The poor
fellows probably meant well when they lashed noisy inmates for
insisting they had committed no crime.  And the good Cowlick saved
Doremus's life for a while; let him lie for a month in the stuffy
hospital and have actual beef in his daily beef stew.  The prison
doctor, a decayed old drunkard who had had his medical training in
the late 'eighties and who had been somewhat close to trouble in
civil life for having performed too many abortions, was also good-
natured enough, when sober, and at last he permitted Doremus to
have Dr. Marcus Olmsted in from Fort Beulah, and for the first time
in four weeks Doremus had news, any news whatsoever, of the world
beyond prison.

Where in normal life it would have been agony to wait for one hour
to know what might be happening to his friends, his family, now for
one month he had not known whether they were alive or dead.

Dr. Olmsted--as guilty as Doremus himself of what the Corpos called
treason--dared speak to him only a moment, because the prison
doctor stayed in the hospital ward all the while, drooling over
whip-scarred patients and daubing iodine more or less near their
wounds.  Olmsted sat on the edge of his cot, with its foul
blankets, unwashed for months, and muttered rapidly:

"Quick!  Listen!  Don't talk!  Mrs. Jessup and your two girls are
all right--they're scared, but no signs of their being arrested.
Hear Lorinda Pike is all right.  Your grandson, David, looks fine--
though I'm afraid he'll grow up a Corpo, like all the youngsters.
Buck Titus is alive--at another concentration camp--the one near
Woodstock.  Our N.U. cell at Fort Beulah is doing what it can--no
publishing, but we forward information--get a lot from Julian
Falck--great joke: he's been promoted, M.M. Squad-Leader now!  Mary
and Sissy and Father Perefixe keep distributing pamphlets from
Boston; they help the Quinn boy (my driver) and me to forward
refugees to Canada. . . .  Yes, we carry on. . . .  About like an
oxygen tent for a patient that's dying of pneumonia! . . .  It
hurts to see you looking like a ghost, Doremus.  But you'll pull
through.  You've got pretty good nerves for a little cuss!  That
aged-in-the-keg prison doctor is looking this way.  Bye!"

He was not permitted to see Dr. Olmsted again, but it was probably
Olmsted's influence that got him, when he was dismissed from the
hospital, still shaky but well enough to stumble about, a vastly
desirable job as sweeper of cells and corridors, cleaner of
lavatories and scrubber of toilets, instead of working in the woods
gang, up Mount Faithful, where old men who sank under the weight of
logs were said to be hammered to death by guards under the sadistic
Ensign Stoyt, when Captain Cowlick wasn't looking.  It was better,
too, than the undesirable idleness of being disciplined in the "dog
house" where you lay naked, in darkness, and where "bad cases" were
reformed by being kept awake for forty-eight or even ninety-six
hours.  Doremus was a conscientious toilet-cleaner.  He didn't like
the work very much, but he had pride in being able to scrub as
skillfully as any professional pearl-diver in a Greek lunch room,
and satisfaction in lessening a little the wretchedness of his
imprisoned comrades by giving them clean floors.

For, he told himself, they were his comrades.  He saw that he, who
had thought of himself as a capitalist because he could hire and
fire, and because theoretically he "owned his business," had been
as helpless as the most itinerant janitor, once it seemed worth
while to the Big Business which Corpoism represented to get rid of
him.  Yet he still told himself stoutly that he did not believe in
a dictatorship of the proletariat any more than he believed in a
dictatorship of the bankers and utility-owners; he still insisted
that any doctor or preacher, though economically he might be as
insecure as the humblest of his flock, who did not feel that he was
a little better than they, and privileged to enjoy working a little
harder, was a rotten doctor or a preacher without grace.  He felt
that he himself had been a better and more honorable reporter than
Doc Itchitt, and a thundering sight better student of politics than
most of his shopkeeper and farmer and factory-worker readers.

Yet bourgeois pride was so gone out of him that he was flattered, a
little thrilled, when he was universally called "Doremus" and not
"Mr. Jessup" by farmer and workman and truck-driver and plain hobo;
when they thought enough of his courage under beating and his good-
temper under being crowded with others in a narrow cell to regard
him as almost as good as their own virile selves.

Karl Pascal mocked him.  "I told you so, Doremus!  You'll be a
Communist yet!"

"Yes, maybe I will, Karl--after you Communists kick out all your
false prophets and bellyachers and power drunkards, and all your
press-agents for the Moscow subway."

"Well, all right, why don't you join Max Eastman?  I hear he's
escaped to Mexico and has a whole big pure Trotzkyite Communist
party of seventeen members there!"

"Seventeen?  Too many.  What I want is mass action by just one
member, alone on a hilltop.  I'm a great optimist, Karl.  I still
hope America may some day rise to the standards of Kit Carson!"

As sweeper and scrubber, Doremus had unusual chances for gossip
with other prisoners.  He chuckled when he thought of how many of
his fellow criminals were acquaintances: Karl Pascal, Henry Veeder,
his own cousin, Louis Rotenstern, who looked now like a corpse,
unforgettingly wounded in his old pride of having become a "real
American," Clif Little, the jeweler, who was dying of consumption,
Ben Tripper, who had been the jolliest workman in Medary Cole's
gristmill, Professor Victor Loveland, of the defunct Isaiah
College, and Raymond Pridewell, that old Tory who was still so
contemptuous of flattery, so clean amid dirt, so hawk-eyed, that
the guards were uncomfortable when they beat him. . . . Pascal, the
Communist, Pridewell, the squirearchy Republican, and Henry Veeder,
who had never cared a hang about politics, and who had recovered
from the first shocks of imprisonment, these three had become
intimates, because they had more arrogance of utter courage than
anyone else in the prison.

For home Doremus shared with five other men a cell twelve feet by
ten and eight feet high, which a finishing-school girl had once
considered outrageously confined for one lone young woman.  Here
they slept, in two tiers of three bunks each; here they ate,
washed, played cards, read, and enjoyed the leisurely contemplation
which, as Captain Cowlick preached to them every Sunday morning,
was to reform their black souls and turn them into loyal Corpos.

None of them, certainly not Doremus, complained much.  They got
used to sleeping in a jelly of tobacco smoke and human stench, to
eating stews that always left them nervously hungry, to having no
more dignity or freedom than monkeys in a cage, as a man gets used
to the indignity of having to endure cancer.  Only it left in them
a murderous hatred of their oppressors so that they, men of peace
all of them, would gladly have hanged every Corpo, mild or vicious.
Doremus understood John Brown much better.

His cell mates were Karl Pascal, Henry Veeder, and three men whom
he had not known: a Boston architect, a farm hand, and a dope fiend
who had once kept questionable restaurants.  They had good talk--
especially from the dope fiend, who placidly defended crime in a
world where the only real crime had been poverty.

The worst torture to Doremus, aside from the agony of actual
floggings, was the waiting.

The Waiting.  It became a distinct, tangible thing, as individual
and real as Bread or Water.  How long would he be in?  How long
would he be in?  Night and day, asleep and waking, he worried it,
and by his bunk saw waiting the figure of Waiting, a gray, foul

It was like waiting in a filthy station for a late train, not for
hours but for months.

Would Swan amuse himself by having Doremus taken out and shot?  He
could not care much, now; he could not picture it, any more than he
could picture kissing Lorinda, walking through the woods with Buck,
playing with David and Foolish, or anything less sensual than the
ever derisive visions of roast beef with gravy, of a hot bath, last
and richest of luxuries where their only way of washing, except for
a fortnightly shower, was with a dirty shirt dipped in the one
basin of cold water for six men.

Besides Waiting, one other ghost hung about them--the notion of
Escaping.  It was of that (far more than of the beastliness and
idiocy of the Corpos) that they whispered in the cell at night.
When to escape.  How to escape.  To sneak off through the bushes
when they were out with the woods gang?  By some magic to cut
through the bars on their cell window and drop out and blessedly
not be seen by the patrols?  To manage to hang on underneath one of
the prison trucks and be driven away?  (A childish fantasy!)  They
longed for escape as hysterically and as often as a politician
longs for votes.  But they had to discuss it cautiously, for there
were stool pigeons all over the prison.

This was hard for Doremus to believe.  He could not understand a
man's betraying his companions, and he did not believe it till, two
months after Doremus had gone to concentration camp, Clifford
Little betrayed to the guards Henry Veeder's plan to escape in a
hay wagon.  Henry was properly dealt with.  Little was released.
And Doremus, it may be, suffered over it nearly as much as either
of them, sturdily though he tried to argue that Little had
tuberculosis and that the often beatings had bled out his soul.

Each prisoner was permitted one visitor a fortnight and, in
sequence, Doremus saw Emma, Mary, Sissy, David.  But always an M.M.
was standing two feet away, listening, and Doremus had from them
nothing more than a fluttering, "We're all fine--we hear Buck is
all right--we hear Lorinda is doing fine in her new tea room--
Philip writes he is all right."  And once came Philip himself, his
pompous son, more pompous than ever now as a Corpo judge, and very
hurt about his father's insane radicalism--considerably more hurt
when Doremus tartly observed that he would much rather have had the
dog Foolish for visitor.

And there were letters--all censored--worse than useless to a man
who had been so glad to hear the living voices of his friends.

In the long run, these frustrate visits, these empty letters, made
his waiting the more dismal, because they suggested that perhaps he
was wrong in his nightly visions; perhaps the world outside was not
so loving and eager and adventurous as he remembered it, but only
dreary as his cell.

He had little known Karl Pascal, yet now the argumentative Marxian
was his nearest friend, his one amusing consolation.  Karl could
and did prove that the trouble with leaky valves, sour cow
pastures, the teaching of calculus, and all novels was their
failure to be guided by the writings of Lenin.

In his new friendship, Doremus was old-maidishly agitated lest Karl
be taken out and shot, the recognition usually given to Communists.
He discovered that he need not worry.  Karl had been in jail
before.  He was the trained agitator for whom Doremus had longed in
New Underground days.  He had ferreted out so many scandals about
the financial and sexual shenanigans of every one of the guards
that they were afraid that even while he was being shot, he might
tattle to the firing-squad.  They were much more anxious for his
good opinion than for that of Captain Cowlick, and they timidly
brought him little presents of chewing tobacco and Canadian
newspapers, as though they were schoolchildren honeying up to

When Aras Dilley was transferred from night patrols in Fort Beulah
to the position of guard at Trianon--a reward for having given to
Shad Ledue certain information about R. C. Crowley which cost that
banker hundreds of dollars--Aras, that slinker, that able snooper,
jumped at the sight of Karl and began to look pious and kind.  He
had known Karl before!

Despite the presence of Stoyt, Ensign of guards, an ex-cashier who
had once enjoyed shooting dogs and who now, in the blessed escape
of Corpoism, enjoyed lashing human beings, the camp at Trianon was
not so cruel as the district prison at Hanover.  But from the dirty
window of his cell Doremus saw horrors enough.

One mid-morning, a radiant September morning with the air already
savoring the peace of autumn, he saw the firing-squad marching out
his cousin, Henry Veeder, who had recently tried to escape.  Henry
had been a granite monolith of a man.  He had walked like a
soldier.  He had, in his cell, been proud of shaving every morning,
as once he had done, with a tin basin of water heated on the stove,
in the kitchen of his old white house up on Mount Terror.  Now he
stooped, and toward death he walked with dragging feet.  His face
of a Roman senator was smeared from the cow dung into which they
had flung him for his last slumber.

As they tramped out through the quadrangle gate, Ensign Stoyt,
commanding the squad, halted Henry, laughed at him, and calmly
kicked him in the groin.

They lifted him up.  Three minutes later Doremus heard a ripple of
shots.  Three minutes after that the squad came back bearing on an
old door a twisted clay figure with vacant open eyes.  Then Doremus
cried aloud.  As the bearers slanted the stretcher, the figure
rolled to the ground.

But one thing worse he was to see through the accursed window.  The
guards drove in, as new prisoners, Julian Falck, in torn uniform,
and Julian's grandfather, so fragile, so silvery, so bewildered and
terrified in his muddied clericals.

He saw them kicked across the quadrangle into a building once
devoted to instruction in dancing and the more delicate airs for
the piano; devoted now to the torture room and the solitary cells.

Not for two weeks, two weeks of waiting that was like ceaseless
ache, did he have a chance, at exercise hour, to speak for a moment
to Julian, who muttered, "They caught me writing some inside dope
about M.M. graft.  It was to have gone to Sissy.  Thank God,
nothing on it to show who it was for!"  Julian had passed on.  But
Doremus had had time to see that his eyes were hopeless, and that
his neat, smallish, clerical face was blue-black with bruises.

The administration (or so Doremus guessed) decided that Julian, the
first spy among the M.M.'s who had been caught in the Fort Beulah
region, was too good a subject of sport to be wastefully shot at
once.  He should be kept for an example.  Often Doremus saw the
guards kick him across the quadrangle to the whipping room and
imagined that he could hear Julian's shrieks afterward.  He wasn't
even kept in a punishment cell, but in an open barred den on an
ordinary corridor, so that passing inmates could peep in and see
him, welts across his naked back, huddled on the floor, whimpering
like a beaten dog.

And Doremus had sight of Julian's grandfather sneaking across the
quadrangle, stealing a soggy hunk of bread from a garbage can, and
fiercely chewing at it.

All through September Doremus worried lest Sissy, with Julian now
gone from Fort Beulah, be raped by Shad Ledue. . . .  Shad would
leer the while, and gloat over his ascent from hired man to
irresistible master.

Despite his anguish over the Falcks and Henry Veeder and every
uncouthest comrade in prison, Doremus was almost recovered from his
beatings by late September.  He began delightedly to believe that
he would live for another ten years; was slightly ashamed of his
delight, in the presence of so much agony, but he felt like a young
man and--And straightway Ensign Stoyt was there (two or three
o'clock at night it must have been), yanking Doremus out of his
bunk, pulling him to his feet, knocking him down again with so
violent a crack in his mouth that Doremus instantly sank again into
all his trembling fear, all his inhuman groveling.

He was dragged into Captain Cowlick's office.

The Captain was courtly:

"Mr. Jessup, we have information that you were connected with
Squad-Leader Julian Falck's treachery.  He has, uh, well, to be
frank, he's broken down and confessed.  Now you yourself are in no
danger, no danger whatever, of further punishment, if you will just
help us.  But we really must make a warning of young Mr. Falck, and
so if you will tell us all you know about the boy's shocking
infidelity to the colors, we shall hold it in your favor.  How
would you like to have a nice bedroom to sleep in, all by

A quarter hour later Doremus was still swearing that he knew
nothing whatever of any "subversive activities" on the part of

Captain Cowlick said, rather testily, "Well, since you refuse to
respond to our generosity, I must leave you to Ensign Stoyt, I'm
afraid. . . .  Be gentle with him, Ensign."

"Yessr," said the Ensign.

The Captain wearily trotted out of the room and Stoyt did indeed
speak with gentleness, which was a surprise to Doremus, because in
the room were two of the guards to whom Stoyt liked to show off:

"Jessup, you're a man of intelligence.  No use your trying to
protect this boy, Falck, because we've got enough on him to execute
him anyway.  So it won't be hurting him any if you give us a few
more details about his treason.  And you'll be doing yourself a
good turn."

Doremus said nothing.

"Going to talk?"

Doremus shook his head.

"All right, then. . . .  Tillett!"


"Bring in the guy that squealed on Jessup!"

Doremus expected the guard to fetch Julian, but it was Julian's
grandfather who wavered into the room.  In the camp quadrangle
Doremus had often seen him trying to preserve the dignity of his
frock coat by rubbing at the spots with a wet rag, but in the cells
there were no hooks for clothes, and the priestly garment--Mr.
Falck was a poor man and it had not been very expensive at best--
was grotesquely wrinkled now.  He was blinking with sleepiness, and
his silver hair was a hurrah's nest.

Stoyt (he was thirty or so) said cheerfully to the two elders,
"Well, now, you boys better stop being naughty and try to get some
sense into your mildewed old brains, and then we can all have some
decent sleep.  Why don't you two try to be honest, now that you've
each confessed that the other was a traitor?"

"What?" marveled Doremus.

"Sure!  Old Falck here says you carried his grandson's pieces to
the Vermont Vigilance.  Come on, now, if you'll tell us who
published that rag--"

"I have confessed nothing.  I have nothing to confess," said Mr.

Stoyt screamed, "Will you shut up?  You old hypocrite!"  Stoyt
knocked him to the floor, and as Mr. Falck weaved dizzily on hands
and knees, kicked him in the side with a heavy boot.  The other two
guards were holding back the sputtering Doremus.  Stoyt jeered at
Mr. Falck, "Well, you old bastard, you're on your knees, so let's
hear you pray!"

"I shall!"

In agony Mr. Falck raised his head, dust-smeared from the floor,
straightened his shoulders, held up trembling hands, and with such
sweetness in his voice as Doremus had once heard in it when men
were human, he cried, "Father, Thou hast forgiven so long!  Forgive
them not but curse them, for they know what they do!"  He tumbled
forward, and Doremus knew that he would never hear that voice

In La Voix littéraire of Paris, the celebrated and genial professor
of belles-lettres, Guillaume Semit, wrote with his accustomed

I do not pretend to any knowledge of politics, and probably what I
saw on my fourth journey to the States United this summer of 1938
was mostly on the surface and cannot be considered a profound
analysis of the effects of Corpoism, but I assure you that I have
never before seen that nation so great, our young and gigantic
cousin in the West, in such bounding health and good spirits.  I
leave it to my economic confrères to explain such dull phenomena as
wage-scales, and tell only what I saw, which is that the
innumerable parades and vast athletic conferences of the Minute Men
and the lads and lassies of the Corpo Youth Movement exhibited such
rosy, contented faces, such undeviating enthusiasm for their hero,
the Chief, M. Windrip, that involuntarily I exclaimed, "Here is a
whole nation dipped in the River of Youth."

Everywhere in the country was such feverish rebuilding of public
edifices and apartment houses for the poor as has never hitherto
been known.  In Washington, my old colleague, M. le Secretary
Macgoblin, was so good as to cry, in that virile yet cultivated
manner of his which is so well known, "Our enemies maintain that
our labor camps are virtual slavery.  Come, my old one!  You shall
see for yourself."  He conducted me by one of the marvelously
speedy American automobiles to such a camp, near Washington, and
having the workers assembled, he put to them frankly:  "Are you low
in the heart?"  As one man they chorused, "No," with a spirit like
our own brave soldiers on the ramparts of Verdun.

During the full hour we spent there, I was permitted to roam at
will, asking such questions as I cared to, through the offices of
the interpreter kindly furnished by His Excellency, M. le Dr.
Macgoblin, and every worker whom I thus approached assured me that
never has he been so well fed, so tenderly treated, and so assisted
to find an almost poetic interest in his chosen work as in this
labor camp--this scientific cooperation for the well-being of all.

With a certain temerity I ventured to demand of M. Macgoblin what
truth was there in the reports so shamefully circulated
(especially, alas, in our beloved France) that in the concentration
camps the opponents of Corpoism are ill fed and harshly treated.
M. Macgoblin explained to me that there are no such things as
"concentration camps," if that term is to carry any penological
significance.  They are, actually, schools, in which adults who
have unfortunately been misled by the glib prophets of that milk-
and-water religion, "Liberalism," are reconditioned to comprehend
the new day of authoritative economic control.  In such camps, he
assured me, there are actually no guards, but only patient
teachers, and men who were once utterly uncomprehending of
Corpoism, and therefore opposed to it, are now daily going forth as
the most enthusiastic disciples of the Chief.

Alas that France and Great Britain should still be thrashing about
in the slough of Parliamentarianism and so-called Democracy, daily
sinking deeper into debt and paralysis of industry, because of the
cowardice and traditionalism of our Liberal leaders, feeble and
outmoded men who are afraid to plump for either Fascism or
Communism; who dare not--or who are too power hungry--to cast off
outmoded techniques, like the Germans, Americans, Italians, Turks,
and other really courageous peoples, and place the sane and
scientific control of the all-powerful Totalitarian State in the
hands of Men of Resolution!

In October, John Pollikop, arrested on suspicion of having just
possibly helped a refugee to escape, arrived in the Trianon camp,
and the first words between him and his friend Karl Pascal were no
inquiries about health, but a derisive interchange, as though they
were continuing a conversation broken only half an hour before:

"Well, you old Bolshevik, I told you so!  If you Communists had
joined with me and Norman Thomas to back Frank Roosevelt, we
wouldn't be here now!"

"Rats!  Why, it's Thomas and Roosevelt that started Fascism!  I ask
you!  Now shut up, John, and listen:  What was the New Deal but
pure Fascism?  Whadthey do to the worker?  Look here!  No, wait
now, listen--"

Doremus felt at home again, and comforted--though he did also feel
that Foolish probably had more constructive economic wisdom than
John Pollikop, Karl Pascal, Herbert Hoover, Buzz Windrip, Lee
Sarason, and himself put together; or if not, Foolish had the sense
to conceal his lack of wisdom by pretending that he could not speak

Shad Ledue, back in his hotel suite, reflected that he was getting
a dirty deal.  He had been responsible for sending more traitors to
concentration camps than any other county commissioner in the
province, yet he had not been promoted.

It was late; he was just back from a dinner given by Francis
Tasbrough in honor of Provincial Commissioner Swan and a board
consisting of Judge Philip Jessup, Director of Education Owen J.
Peaseley, and Brigadier Kippersly, who were investigating the
ability of Vermont to pay more taxes.

Shad felt discontented.  All those damned snobs trying to show off!
Talking at dinner about this bum show in New York--this first Corpo
revue, Callin' Stalin, written by Lee Sarason and Hector Macgoblin.
How those nuts had put on the agony about "Corpo art," and "drama
freed from Jewish suggestiveness" and "the pure line of Anglo-Saxon
sculpture" and even, by God, about "Corporate physics"!  Simply
trying to show off!  And they had paid no attention to Shad when he
had told his funny story about the stuck-up preacher in Fort
Beulah, one Falck, who had been so jealous because the M.M.'s
drilled on Sunday morning instead of going to his gospel shop that
he had tried to get his grandson to make up lies about the M.M.'s,
and whom Shad had amusingly arrested right in his own church!  Not
paid one bit of attention to him, even though he had carefully read
all through the Chief's Zero Hour so he could quote it, and though
he had been careful to be refined in his table manners and to stick
out his little finger when he drank from a glass.

He was lonely.

The fellows he had once best known, in pool room and barber shop,
seemed frightened of him, now, and the dirty snobs like Tasbrough
still ignored him.

He was lonely for Sissy Jessup.

Since her dad had been sent to Trianon, Shad didn't seem able to
get her to come around to his rooms, even though he was the County
Commissioner and she was nothing now but the busted daughter of a

And he was crazy about her.  Why, he'd be almost willing to marry
her, if he couldn't get her any other way!  But when he had hinted
as much--or almost as much--she had just laughed at him, the dirty
little snob!

He had thought, when he was a hired man, that there was a lot more
fun in being rich and famous.  He didn't feel one bit different
than he had then!  Funny!


Dr. Lionel Adams, B.A. of Yale, Ph.D. of Chicago, Negro, had been a
journalist, American consul in Africa and, at the time of Berzelius
Windrip's election, professor of anthropology in Howard University.
As with all his colleagues, his professorship was taken over by a
most worthy and needy white man, whose training in anthropology had
been as photographer on one expedition to Yucatan.  In the
dissension between the Booker Washington school of Negroes who
counseled patience in the new subjection of the Negroes to slavery,
and the radicals who demanded that they join the Communists and
struggle for the economic freedom of all, white or black, Professor
Adams took the mild, Fabian former position.

He went over the country preaching to his people that they must be
"realistic," and make what future they could; not in some Utopian
fantasy but on the inescapable basis of the ban against them.

Near Burlington, Vermont, there is a small colony of Negroes, truck
farmers, gardeners, houseworkers, mostly descended from slaves who,
before the Civil War, escaped to Canada by the "Underground
Railway" conducted by such zealots as Truman Webb's grandfather,
but who sufficiently loved the land of their forcible adoption to
return to America after the war.  From the colony had gone to
the great cities young colored people who (before the Corpo
emancipation) had been nurses, doctors, merchants, officials.

This colony Professor Adams addressed, bidding the young colored
rebels to seek improvement within their own souls rather than in
mere social superiority.

As he was in person unknown to this Burlington colony, Captain
Oscar Ledue, nicknamed "Shad," was summoned to censor the lecture.
He sat hulked down in a chair at the back of the hall.  Aside from
addresses by M.M. officers, and moral inspiration by his teachers
in grammar school, it was the first lecture he had ever heard in
his life, and he didn't think much of it.  He was irritated that
this stuck-up nigger didn't spiel like the characters of Octavus
Roy Cohen, one of Shad's favorite authors, but had the nerve to try
to sling English just as good as Shad himself.  It was more
irritating that the loud-mouthed pup should look so much like a
bronze statue, and finally, it was simply more than a guy could
stand that the big bum should be wearing a Tuxedo!

So when Adams, as he called himself, claimed that there were good
poets and teachers and even doctors and engineers among the
niggers, which was plainly an effort to incite folks to rebellion
against the government, Shad signaled his squad and arrested Adams
in the midst of his lecture, addressing him, "You God-damn dirty,
ignorant, stinking nigger!  I'm going to shut your big mouth for
you, for keeps!"

Dr. Adams was taken to the Trianon concentration camp.  Ensign
Stoyt thought it would be a good joke on those fresh beggars
(almost Communists, you might say) Jessup and Pascal to lodge the
nigger right in the same cell with them.  But they actually seemed
to like Adams; talked to him as though he were white and educated!
So Stoyt placed him in a solitary cell, where he could think over
his crime in having bitten the hand that had fed him.

The greatest single shock that ever came to the Trianon camp was in
November, 1938, when there appeared among them, as the newest
prisoner, Shad Ledue.

It was he who was responsible for nearly half of them being there.

The prisoners whispered that he had been arrested on charges by
Francis Tasbrough; officially, for having grafted on shopkeepers;
unofficially, for having failed to share enough of the graft with
Tasbrough.  But such cloudy causes were less discussed than the
question of how they would murder Shad now they had him safe.

All Minute Men who were under discipline, except only such Reds as
Julian Falck, were privileged prisoners in the concentration camps;
they were safeguarded against the common, i.e., criminal, i.e.,
political inmates; and most of them, once reformed, were returned
to the M.M. ranks, with a greatly improved knowledge of how to flog
malcontents.  Shad was housed by himself in a single cell like a
not-too-bad hall-bedroom, and every evening he was permitted to
spend two hours in the officers' mess room.  The scum could not get
at him, because his exercise hour was at a time different from

Doremus begged the plotters against Shad to restrain themselves.

"Good Lord, Doremus, do you mean that after the sure-enough battles
we've gone through you're still a bourgeois pacifist--that you
still believe in the sanctity of a lump of hog meat like Ledue?"
demanded Karl Pascal.

"Well, yes, I do--a little.  I know that Shad came from a family of
twelve underfed brats up on Mount Terror.  Not much chance.
But more important than that, I don't believe in individual
assassination as an effective means of fighting despotism.  The
blood of the tyrants is the seed of the massacre and--"

"Are you taking a cue from me and quoting sound doctrine when it's
the time for a little liquidation?" said Karl.  "This one tyrant's
going to lose a lot of blood!"

The Pascal whom Doremus had considered as, at his most violent,
only a gas bag, looked at him with a stare in which all
friendliness was frozen.  Karl demanded of his cell mates, a
different set now than at Doremus's arrival, "Shall we get rid of
this typhus germ, Ledue?"

John Pollikop, Truman Webb, the surgeon, the carpenter, each of
them nodded, slowly, without feeling.

At exercise hour, the discipline of the men marching out to the
quadrangle was broken when one prisoner stumbled, with a cry,
knocked over another man, and loudly apologized--just at the barred
entrance of Shad Ledue's cell.  The accident made a knot collect
before the cell.  Doremus, on the edge of it, saw Shad looking out,
his wide face blank with fear.

Someone, somehow, had lighted and thrown into Shad's cell a large
wad of waste, soaked with gasoline.  It caught the thin wallboard
which divided Shad's cell from the next.  The whole room looked
presently like the fire box of a furnace.  Shad was screaming, as
he beat at his sleeves, his shoulders.  Doremus remembered the
scream of a horse clawed by wolves in the Far North.

When they got Shad out, he was dead.  He had no face at all.

Captain Cowlick was deposed as superintendent of the camp, and
vanished to the insignificance whence he had come.  He was
succeeded by Shad's friend, the belligerent Snake Tizra, now a
battalion-leader.  His first executive act was to have all the two
hundred inmates drawn up in the quadrangle and to announce, "I'm
not going to tell you guys anything about how I'm going to feed you
or sleep you till I've finished putting the fear of God into every
one of you murderers!"

There were offers of complete pardon for anyone who would betray
the man who had thrown the burning waste into Shad's cell.  It was
followed by enthusiastic private offers from the prisoners that
anyone who did thus tattle would not live to get out.  So, as
Doremus had guessed, they all suffered more than Shad's death had
been worth--and to him, thinking of Sissy, thinking of Shad's
testimony at Hanover, it had been worth a great deal; it had been
very precious and lovely.

A court of special inquiry was convened, with Provincial
Commissioner Effingham Swan himself presiding (he was very busy
with all bad works; he used aeroplanes to be about them).  Ten
prisoners, one out of every twenty in the camp, were chosen by lot
and shot summarily.  Among them was Professor Victor Loveland, who,
for all his rags and scars, was neatly academic to the last, with
his eyeglasses and his slick tow-colored hair parted in the middle
as he looked at the firing-squad.

Suspects like Julian Falck were beaten more often, kept longer in
those cells in which one could not stand, sit, nor lie.

Then, for two weeks in December, all visitors and all letters were
forbidden, and newly arrived prisoners were shut off by themselves;
and the cell mates, like boys in a dormitory, would sit up till
midnight in whispered discussion as to whether this was more
vengeance by Snake Tizra, or whether something was happening in the
World Outside that was too disturbing for the prisoners to know.


When the Falcks and John Pollikop had been arrested and had joined
her father in prison, when such more timid rebels as Mungo
Kitterick and Harry Kindermann had been scared away from New
Underground activities, Mary Greenhill had to take over the control
of the Fort Beulah cell, with only Sissy, Father Perefixe, Dr.
Olmsted and his driver, and half-a-dozen other agents left, and
control it she did, with angry devotion and not too much sense.
All she could do was to help in the escape of refugees and to
forward such minor anti-Corpo news items as she could discover,
with Julian gone.

The demon that had grown within her ever since her husband had been
executed now became a great tumor, and Mary was furious at
inaction.  Quite gravely she talked about assassinations--and long
before the day of Mary Greenhill, daughter of Doremus, gold-armored
tyrants in towers had trembled at the menace of young widows in
villages among the dark hills.

She wanted, first, to kill Shad Ledue who (she did not know, but
guessed) had probably done the actual shooting of her husband.  But
in this small place it might hurt her family even more than they
had been hurt.  She humorlessly suggested, before Shad was arrested
and murdered, that it would be a pretty piece of espionage for
Sissy to go and live with him.  The once flippant Sissy, so thin
and quiet ever since her Julian had been taken away, was certain
that Mary had gone mad, and at night was terrified. . . .  She
remembered how Mary, in the days when she had been a crystal-hard,
crystal-bright sportswoman, had with her riding-crop beaten a
farmer who had tortured a dog.

Mary was fed-up with the cautiousness of Dr. Olmsted and Father
Perefixe, men who rather liked a vague state called Freedom but did
not overmuch care for being lynched.  She stormed at them.  Call
themselves men?  Why didn't they go out and DO something?

At home, she was irritated by her mother, who lamented hardly more
about Doremus's jailing than she did about the beloved little
tables that had been smashed during his arrest.

It was equally the blasts about the greatness of the new Provincial
Commissioner, Effingham Swan, in the Corpo press and memoranda in
the secret N.U. reports about his quick death verdicts against
prisoners that made her decide to kill this dignitary.  Even more
than Shad (who had not yet been sent to Trianon), she blamed him
for Fowler's fate.  She thought it out quite calmly.  That was the
sort of thinking that the Corpos were encouraging among decent
home-body women by their program for revitalizing national American

Except with babies accompanying mothers, two visitors together were
forbidden in the concentration camps.  So, when Mary saw Doremus
and, in another camp, Buck Titus, in early October, she could only
murmur, in almost the same words to each of them, "Listen!  When I
leave you I'll hold up David--but, heavens, what a husky lump he's
become!--at the gate, so you can see him.  If anything should ever
happen to me, if I should get sick or something, when you get out
you'll take care of David--won't you, WON'T you?"

She was trying to be matter-of-fact, that they might not worry.
She was not succeeding very well.

So she drew out, from the small fund which her father had
established for her after Fowler's death, enough money for a couple
of months, executed a power of attorney by which either her mother
or her sister could draw the rest, casually kissed David and Emma
and Sissy good-bye, and--chatty and gay as she took the train--went
off to Albany, capital of the Northeastern Province.  The story was
that she needed a change and was going to stay near Albany with
Fowler's married sister.

She did actually stay with her sister-in-law--long enough to get
her bearings.  Two days after her arrival, she went to the new
Albany training-field of the Corpo Women's Flying Corps and
enlisted for lessons in aviation and bombing.

When the inevitable war should come, when the government should
decide whether it was Canada, Mexico, Russia, Cuba, Japan, or
perhaps Staten Island that was "menacing her borders," and proceed
to defend itself outwards, then the best women flyers of the Corps
were to have Commissions in an official army auxiliary.  The old-
fashioned "rights" granted to women by the Liberals might (for
their own sakes) be taken from them, but never had they had more
right to die in battle.

While she was learning, she wrote to her family reassuringly--
mostly postcards to David, bidding him mind whatever his
grandmother said.

She lived in a lively boarding-house, filled with M.M. officers who
knew all about and talked a little about the frequent inspection
trips of Commissioner Swan, by aeroplane.  She was complimented by
quite a number of insulting proposals there.

She had driven a car ever since she had been fifteen: in Boston
traffic, across the Quebec plains, on rocky hill roads in a
blizzard; she had made repairs at midnight; and she had an accurate
eye, nerves trained outdoors, and the resolute steadiness of a
madman evading notice while he plots death.  After ten hours of
instruction, by an M.M. aviator who thought the air was as good a
place as any to make love in and who could never understand why
Mary laughed at him, she made her first solo flight, with an
admirable landing.  The instructor said (among other things less
apropos) that she had no fear; that the one thing she needed for
mastery was a little fear.

Meantime she was an obedient student in classes in bombing, a
branch of culture daily more propagated by the Corpos.

She was particularly interested in the Mills hand grenade.  You
pulled out the safety pin, holding the lever against the grenade
with your fingers, and tossed.  Five seconds after the lever was
thus loosened, the grenade exploded and killed a lot of people.  It
had never been used from planes, but it might be worth trying,
thought Mary.  M.M. officers told her that Swan, when a mob of
steel-workers had been kicked out of a plant and started rioting,
had taken command of the peace officers, and himself (they chuckled
with admiration of his readiness) hurled such a grenade.  It had
killed two women and a baby.

Mary took her sixth solo flight on a November morning gray and
quiet under snow clouds.  She had never been very talkative with
the ground crew but this morning she said it excited her to think
she could leave the ground "like a reg'lar angel" and shoot up and
hang around that unknown wilderness of clouds.  She patted a strut
of her machine, a high-wing Leonard monoplane with open cockpit, a
new and very fast military machine, meant for both pursuit and
quick jobs of bombing . . . quick jobs of slaughtering a few
hundred troops in close formation.

At the field, as she had been informed he would, District
Commissioner Effingham Swan was boarding his big official cabin
plane for a flight presumably into New England.  He was tall; a
distinguished, military-looking, polo-suggesting dignitary in
masterfully simple blue serge with just a light flying-helmet.
A dozen yes-men buzzed about him--secretaries, bodyguards, a
chauffeur, a couple of county commissioners, educational directors,
labor directors--their hats in their hands, their smiles on their
faces, their souls wriggling with gratitude to him for permitting
them to exist.  He snapped at them a good deal and bustled.  As he
mounted the steps to the cabin (Mary thought of "Casey Jones" and
smiled), a messenger on a tremendous motorcycle blared up with the
last telegrams.  There seemed to be half a hundred of the yellow
envelopes, Mary marveled.  He tossed them to the secretary who was
humbly creeping after him.  The door of the viceregal coach closed
on the Commissioner, the secretary, and two bodyguards lumpy with

It was said that in his plane Swan had a desk that had belonged to
Hitler, and before him to Marat.

To Mary, who had just lifted herself up into the cockpit, a
mechanic cried, admiringly pointing after Swan's plane as it
lurched forward, "Gee, what a grand guy that is--Boss Swan.  I hear
where he's flying down to Washington to chin with the Chief this
morning--gee, think of it, with the Chief!"

"Wouldn't it be awful if somebody took a shot at Mr. Swan and the
Chief?  Might change all history," Mary shouted down.

"No chance of that!  See those guards of his?  Say, they could
stand off a whole regiment--they could lick Walt Trowbridge and all
the other Communists put together!"

"I guess that's so.  Nothing but God shooting down from heaven
could reach Mr. Swan."

"Ha, ha!  That's good!  But couple days ago I heard where a fellow
was saying he figured out God had gone to sleep."

"Maybe it's time for Him to wake up!" said Mary, and raised her

Her plane had a top of two hundred and eighty-five miles an hour--
Swan's golden chariot had but two hundred and thirty.  She was
presently flying above and a little behind him.  His cabin plane,
which had seemed huge as the Queen Mary when she had looked up at
its wing-spread on the ground, now seemed small as a white dove,
wavering above the patchy linoleum that was the ground.

She drew from the pockets of her flying-jacket the three Mills hand
grenades she had managed to steal from the school yesterday
afternoon.  She had not been able to get away with any heavier
bomb.  As she looked at them, for the first time she shuddered; she
became a thing of warmer blood than a mere attachment to the plane,
mechanical as the engine.

"Better get it over before I go ladylike," she sighed, and dived at
the cabin plane.

No doubt her coming was unwelcome.  Neither Death nor Mary
Greenhill had made a formal engagement with Effingham Swan that
morning; neither had telephoned, nor bargained with irritable
secretaries, nor been neatly typed down on the great lord's
schedule for his last day of life.  In his dozen offices, in his
marble home, in council hall and royal reviewing-stand, his most
precious excellence was guarded with steel.  He could not be
approached by vulgarians like Mary Greenhill--save in the air,
where emperor and vulgarian alike are upheld only by toy wings and
by the grace of God.

Three times Mary maneuvered above his plane and dropped a grenade.
Each time it missed.  The cabin plane was descending, to land, and
the guards were shooting up at her.

"Oh well!" she said, and dived bluntly at a bright metal wing.

In her last ten seconds she thought how much the wing looked like
the zinc washboard which, as a girl, she had seen used by Mrs.
Candy's predecessor--now what was her name?--Mamie or something.
And she wished she had spent more time with David the last few
months.  And she noticed that the cabin plane seemed rather rushing
up at her than she down at it.

The crash was appalling.  It came just as she was patting her
parachute and rising to leap out--too late.  All she saw was an
insane whirligig of smashed wings and huge engines that seemed to
have been hurled up into her face.


Speaking of Julian before he was arrested, probably the New
Underground headquarters in Montreal found no unusual value in his
reports on M.M. grafting and cruelty and plans for apprehending
N.U. agitators.  Still, he had been able to warn four or five
suspects to escape to Canada.  He had had to assist in several
floggings.  He trembled so that the others laughed at him; and he
made his blows suspiciously light.

He was set on being promoted to M.M. district headquarters in
Hanover, and for it he studied typing and shorthand in his free
time.  He had a beautiful plan of going to that old family friend,
Commissioner Francis Tasbrough, declaring that he wanted by his own
noble qualities to make up to the divine government for his
father's disloyalty, and of getting himself made Tasbrough's
secretary.  If he could just peep at Tasbrough's private files!
Then there would be something juicy for Montreal!

Sissy and he discussed it exultantly in their leafy rendezvous.
For a whole half hour she was able to forget her father and Buck in
prison, and what seemed to her something like madness in Mary's
increasing restlessness.

Just at the end of September she saw Julian suddenly arrested.

She was watching a review of M.M.'s on the Green.  She might
theoretically detest the blue M.M. uniform as being all that Walt
Trowbridge (frequently) called it, "The old-time emblem of heroism
and the battle for freedom, sacrilegiously turned by Windrip and
his gang into a symbol of everything that is cruel, tyrannical, and
false," but it did not dampen her pride in Julian to see him trim
and shiny, and officially set apart as a squad-leader commanding
his minor army of ten.

While the company stood at rest, County Commissioner Shad Ledue
dashed up in a large car, sprang up, strode to Julian, bellowed,
"This guy--this man is a traitor!" tore the M.M. steering-wheel
from Julian's collar, struck him in the face, and turned him over
to his private gunmen, while Julian's mates groaned, guffawed,
hissed, and yelped.

She was not allowed to see Julian at Trianon.  She could learn
nothing save that he had not yet been executed.

When Mary was killed, and buried as a military heroine, Philip came
bumbling up from his Massachusetts judicial circuit.  He shook his
head a great deal and pursed his lips.

"I swear," he said to Emma and Sissy--though actually he did
nothing so wholesome and natural as to swear--"I swear I'm almost
tempted to think, sometimes, that both Father and Mary have, or
shall I say had, a touch of madness in them.  There must be,
terrible though it is to say it, but we must face facts in these
troublous days, but I honestly think, sometimes, there must be a
strain of madness somewhere in our family.  Thank God I have
escaped it!--if I have no other virtues, at least I am certainly
sane! even if that may have caused the Pater to think I was nothing
but mediocre!  And of course you are entirely free from it, Mater.
It's you that must watch yourself, Cecilia."  (Sissy jumped
slightly; not at anything so grateful as being called crazy by
Philip, but at being called "Cecilia."  After all, she admitted,
that probably was her name.)  "I hate to say it, Cecilia, but I've
often thought you had a dangerous tendency to be thoughtless and
selfish.  Now Mater: as you know, I'm a very busy man, and I simply
can't take a lot of time arguing and discussing, but it seems best
to me, and I think I can almost say that it seems wise to Merilla,
also, that, now that Mary has passed on, you should just close up
this big house, or much better, try to rent it, as long as the poor
Pater is--uh--as long as he's away.  I don't pretend to have as big
a place as this, but it's ever so much more modern, with gas
furnace and up-to-date plumbing and all, and I have one of the
first television sets in Rose Lane.  I hope it won't hurt your
feelings, and as you know, whatever people may say about me,
certainly I'm one of the first to believe in keeping up the old
traditions, just as poor dear old Eff Swan was, but at the same
time, it seems to me that the old home here is a little on the
dreary and old-fashioned side--of course I never COULD persuade the
Pater to bring it up to date, but--Anyway, I want Davy and you to
come live with us in Worcester, immediately.  As for you, Sissy,
you will of course understand that you are entirely welcome, but
perhaps you would prefer to do something livelier, such as joining
the Women's Corpo Auxiliary--"

He was, Sissy raged, so damned KIND to everybody!  She couldn't
even stir herself to insult him much.  She earnestly desired to,
when she found that he had brought David an M.M. uniform, and when
David put it on and paraded about shouting, like most of the boys
he played with, "Hail Windrip!"

She telephoned to Lorinda Pike at Beecher Falls and was able to
tell Philip that she was going to help Lorinda in the tea room.
Emma and David went off to Worcester--at the last moment, at the
station, Emma decided to be pretty teary about it, though David
begged her to remember that they had Uncle Philip's word for it
that Worcester was just the same as Boston, London, Hollywood, and
a Wild West Ranch put together.  Sissy stayed to get the house
rented.  Mrs. Candy, who was going to open her bakery now and who
never did inform the impractical Sissy whether or no she was being
paid for these last weeks, made for Sissy all the foreign dishes
that only Sissy and Doremus cared for, and they not uncheerfully
dined together, in the kitchen.

So it was Shad's time to swoop.

He came blusteringly calling on her, in November.  Never had she
hated him quite so much, yet never so much feared him, because of
what he might do to her father and Julian and Buck and the others
in concentration camps.

He grunted, "Well, your boy-friend Jule, that thought he was so
cute, the poor heel, we got all the dope on his double-crossing us,
all right!  HE'LL never bother you again!"

"He's not so bad.  Let's forget him. . . .  Shall I play you
something on the piano?"

"Sure.  Shoot.  I always did like high-class music," said the
refined Commissioner, lolling on a couch, putting his heels up on a
damask chair, in the room where once he had cleaned the fireplace.
If it was his serious purpose to discourage Sissy in regard to that
anti-Corpo institution, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, he was
succeeding even better than Judge Philip Jessup.  Sir William
Gilbert would have said of Shad that he was so very, very

She had played for but five minutes when he forgot that he was now
refined, and bawled, "Oh, cut out the highbrow stuff and come on
and sit down!"

She stayed on the piano stool.  Just what would she do if Shad
became violent?  There was no Julian to appear melodramatically at
the nickoftime and rescue her.  Then she remembered Mrs. Candy, in
the kitchen, and was content.

"What the heck you snickerin' at?" said Shad.

"Oh--oh I was just thinking about that story you told me about how
Mr. Falck bleated when you arrested him!"

"Yeh, that was comical.  Old Reverend certainly blatted like a

(Could she kill him?  Would it be wise to kill him?  Had Mary meant
to kill Swan?  Would They be harder on Julian and her father if she
killed Shad?  Incidentally, did it hurt much to get hanged?)

He was yawning, "Well, Sis, ole kid, how about you and me taking a
little trip to New York in a couple weeks?  See some high life.
I'll get you the best soot in the best hotel in town, and we'll
take in some shows--I hear this Callin' Stalin is a hot number--
real Corpo art--and I'll buy you some honest-to-God champagne wine!
And then if we find we like each other enough, I'm willing for us,
if you are, to get hitched!"

"But, Shad!  We could never live on your salary.  I mean--I mean of
course the Corpos ought to pay you better--mean, even better than
they do."

"Listen, baby!  I ain't going to have to get along on any miserable
county commissioner's salary the rest of my life!  Believe me, I'm
going to be a millionaire before very long!"

Then he told her: told her precisely the sort of discreditable
secret for which she had so long fished in vain.  Perhaps it was
because he was sober.  Shad, when drunk, reversed all the rules and
became more peasant-like and cautious with each drink.

He had a plan.  That plan was as brutal and as infeasible as any
plan of Shad Ledue for making large money would be.  Its essence
was that he should avoid manual labor and should make as many
persons miserable as possible.  It was like his plan, when he was
still a hired man, to become wealthy by breeding dogs--first
stealing the dogs and, preferably, the kennels.

As County Commissioner he had not merely, as was the Corpo custom,
been bribed by the shopkeepers and professional men for protection
against the M.M.'s.  He had actually gone into partnership with
them, promising them larger M.M. orders, and, he boasted, he had
secret contracts with these merchants all written down and signed
and tucked away in his office safe.

Sissy got rid of him that evening by being difficult, while letting
him assume that the conquest of her would not take more than three
or four more days.  She cried furiously after he had gone--in the
comforting presence of Mrs. Candy, who first put away a butcher
knife with which, Sissy suspected, she had been standing ready all

Next morning Sissy drove to Hanover and shamelessly tattled to
Francis Tasbrough about the interesting documents Shad had in his
safe.  She did not ever see Shad Ledue again.

She was very sick about his being killed.  She was very sick about
all killing.  She found no heroism but only barbaric bestiality in
having to kill so that one might so far live as to be halfway
honest and kind and secure.  But she knew that she would be willing
to do it again.

The Jessup house was magniloquently rented by that noble Roman,
that political belch, Ex-Governor Isham Hubbard, who, being tired
of again trying to make a living by peddling real estate and
criminal law, was pleased to accept the appointment as successor to
Shad Ledue.

Sissy hastened to Beecher Falls and to Lorinda Pike.

Father Perefixe took charge of the N.U. cell, merely saying, as he
had said daily since Buzz Windrip had been inaugurated, that he was
fed-up with the whole business and was immediately going back to
Canada.  In fact, on his desk he had a Canadian time-table.

It was now two years old.

Sissy was in too snappish a state to stand being mothered, being
fattened and sobbed over and brightly sent to bed.  Mrs. Candy had
done only too much of that.  And Philip had given her all the
parental advice she could endure for a while.  It was a relief when
Lorinda received her as an adult, as one too sensible to insult by
pity--received her, in fact, with as much respect as if she were an
enemy and not a friend.

After dinner, in Lorinda's new tea room, in an aged house which was
now empty of guests for the winter except for the constant
infestation of whimpering refugees, Lorinda, knitting, made her
first mention of the dead Mary.

"I suppose your sister did intend to kill Swan, eh?"

"I don't know.  The Corpos didn't seem to think so.  They gave her
a big military funeral."

"Well, of course, they don't much care to have assassinations
talked about and maybe sort of become a general habit.  I agree
with your father.  I think that, in many cases, assassinations are
really rather unfortunate--a mistake in tactics.  No.  Not good.
Oh, by the way, Sissy, I think I'm going to get your father out of
concentration camp."


Lorinda had none of the matrimonial moans of Emma; she was as
business-like as ordering eggs.

"Yes.  I tried everything.  I went to see Tasbrough, and that
educational fellow, Peaseley.  Nothing doing.  They want to keep
Doremus in.  But that rat, Aras Dilley, is at Trianon as guard now.
I'm bribing him to help your father escape.  We'll have the man
here for Christmas, only kind of late, and sneak him into Canada."

"Oh!" said Sissy.

A few days afterward, reading a coded New Underground telegram
which apparently dealt with the delivery of furniture, Lorinda
shrieked, "Sissy!  All you-know-what has busted loose!  In
Washington!  Lee Sarason has deposed Buzz Windrip and grabbed the

"OH!" said Sissy.


In his two years of dictatorship, Berzelius Windrip daily became
more a miser of power.  He continued to tell himself that his main
ambition was to make all citizens healthy, in purse and mind, and
that if he was brutal it was only toward fools and reactionaries
who wanted the old clumsy systems.  But after eighteen months of
Presidency he was angry that Mexico and Canada and South America
(obviously his own property, by manifest destiny) should curtly
answer his curt diplomatic notes and show no helpfulness about
becoming part of his inevitable empire.

And daily he wanted louder, more convincing Yeses from everybody
about him.  How could he carry on his heartbreaking labor if nobody
ever encouraged him? he demanded.  Anyone, from Sarason to inter-
office messenger, who did not play valet to his ego he suspected of
plotting against him.  He constantly increased his bodyguard, and
as constantly distrusted all his guards and discharged them, and
once took a shot at a couple of them, so that in all the world he
had no companion save his old aide Lee Sarason, and perhaps Hector
Macgoblin, to whom he could talk easily.

He felt lonely in the hours when he wanted to shuck off the duties
of despotism along with his shoes and his fine new coat.  He no
longer went out racketing.  His cabinet begged him not to clown in
barrooms and lodge entertainments; it was not dignified, and it was
dangerous to be too near to strangers.

So he played poker with his bodyguard, late at night, and at such
times drank too much, and he cursed them and glared with bulging
eyes whenever he lost, which, for all the good-will of his guards
about letting him win, had to be often, because he pinched their
salaries badly and locked up the spoons.  He had become as
unbouncing and unbuzzing a Buzz as might be, and he did not know

All the while he loved the People just as much as he feared and
detested Persons, and he planned to do something historic.
Certainly!  He would give each family that five thousand dollars a
year just as soon now as he could arrange it.

And Lee Sarason, forever making his careful lists, as patient at
his desk as he was pleasure-hungry on the couch at midnight
parties, was beguiling officials to consider him their real lord
and the master of Corpoism.  He kept his promises to them, while
Windrip always forgot.  His office door became the door of
ambition.  In Washington, the reporters privily spoke of this
assistant secretary and that general as "Sarason men."  His clique
was not a government within a government; it was the government
itself, minus the megaphones.  He had the Secretary of Corporations
(a former vice-president of the American Federation of Labor)
coming to him secretly every evening, to report on labor politics
and in especial on such proletarian leaders as were dissatisfied
with Windrip as Chief--i.e., with their own share in the swag.  He
had from the Secretary of the Treasury (though this functionary,
one Webster Skittle, was not a lieutenant of Sarason but merely
friendly) confidential reports on the affairs of those large
employers who, since under Corpoism it was usually possible for a
millionaire to persuade the judges in the labor-arbitration courts
to look at things reasonably, rejoiced that with strikes outlawed
and employers regarded as state officials, they would now be in
secure power forever.

Sarason knew the quiet ways in which these reinforced industrial
barons used arrests by the M.M.'s to get rid of "trouble-makers,"
particularly of Jewish radicals--a Jewish radical being a Jew with
nobody working for him.  (Some of the barons were themselves Jews;
it is not to be expected that race-loyalty should be carried so
insanely far as to weaken the pocketbook.)

The allegiance of all such Negroes as had the sense to be content
with safety and good pay instead of ridiculous yearnings for
personal integrity Sarason got by being photographed shaking hands
with the celebrated Negro Fundamentalist clergyman, the Reverend
Dr. Alexander Nibbs, and through the highly publicized Sarason
Prizes for the Negroes with the largest families, the fastest time
in floor-scrubbing, and the longest periods of work without taking
a vacation.

"No danger of our good friends, the Negroes, turning Red when
they're encouraged like that," Sarason announced to the newspapers.

It was a satisfaction to Sarason that in Germany, all military
bands were now playing his national song, "Buzz and Buzz" along
with the Horst Wessel hymn, for, though he had not exactly written
the music as well as the words, the music was now being attributed
to him abroad.

As a bank clerk might, quite rationally, worry equally over the
whereabouts of a hundred million dollars' worth of the bank's
bonds, and of ten cents of his own lunch money, so Buzz Windrip
worried equally over the welfare--that is, the obedience to
himself--of a hundred and thirty-odd million American citizens and
the small matter of the moods of Lee Sarason, whose approval of him
was the one real fame.  (His wife Windrip did not see oftener than
once a week, and anyway, what that rustic wench thought was

The diabolic Hector Macgoblin frightened him; Secretary of War
Luthorne and Vice-President Perley Beecroft he liked well enough,
but they bored him; they smacked too much of his own small-town
boyhood, to escape which he was willing to take the responsibilities
of a nation.  It was the incalculable Lee Sarason on whom he
depended, and the Lee with whom he had gone fishing and boozing and
once, even, murdering, who had seemed his own self made more sure
and articulate, had thoughts now which he could not penetrate.
Lee's smile was a veil, not a revelation.

It was to discipline Lee, with the hope of bringing him back, that
when Buzz replaced the amiable but clumsy Colonel Luthorne as
Secretary of War by Colonel Dewey Haik, Commissioner of the
Northeastern Province (Buzz's characteristic comment was that
Luthorne was not "pulling his weight"), he also gave to Haik the
position of High Marshal of the M.M.'s, which Lee had held along
with a dozen other offices.  From Lee he expected an explosion,
then repentance and a new friendship.  But Lee only said, "Very
well, if you wish," and said it coldly.

Just how COULD he get Lee to be a good boy and come play with him
again? wistfully wondered the man who now and then planned to be
emperor of the world.

He gave Lee a thousand-dollar television set.  Even more coldly did
Lee thank him, and never spoke afterward of how well he might be
receiving the still shaky television broadcasts on his beautiful
new set.

As Dewey Haik took hold, doubling efficiency in both the regular
army and the Minute Men (he was a demon for all-night practice
marches in heavy order, and the files could not complain, because
he set the example), Buzz began to wonder whether Haik might not be
his new confidant. . . .  He really would hate to throw Lee into
prison, but still, Lee was so thoughtless about hurting his
feelings, when he'd gone and done so much for him and all!

Buzz was confused.  He was the more confused when Perley Beecroft
came in and briefly said that he was sick of all this bloodshed and
was going home to the farm, and as for his lofty Vice-Presidential
office, Buzz knew what he could do with it.

Were these vast national dissensions no different from squabbles in
his father's drugstore? fretted Buzz.  He couldn't very well have
Beecroft shot: it might cause criticism.  But it was indecent, it
was sacrilegious to annoy an emperor, and in his irritation he had
an ex-Senator and twelve workmen who were in concentration camps
taken out and shot on the charge that they had told irreverent
stories about him.

Secretary of State Sarason was saying good-night to President
Windrip in the hotel suite where Windrip really lived.

No newspaper had dared mention it, but Buzz was both bothered by
the stateliness of the White House and frightened by the number of
Reds and cranks and anti-Corpos who, with the most commendable
patience and ingenuity, tried to sneak into that historic mansion
and murder him.  Buzz merely left his wife there, for show, and,
except at great receptions, never entered any part of the White
House save the office annex.

He liked this hotel suite; he was a sensible man, who preferred
straight bourbon, codfish cakes, and deep leather chairs to
Burgundy, trout bleu, and Louis Quinze.  In this twelve-room
apartment, occupying the entire tenth floor of a small unnotorious
hotel, he had for himself only a plain bedroom, a huge living room
which looked like a combination of office and hotel lobby, a large
liquor closet, another closet with thirty-seven suits of clothes,
and a bathroom with jars and jars of the pine-flavored bath salts
which were his only cosmetic luxury.  Buzz might come home in a
suit dazzling as a horse blanket, one considered in Alfalfa Center
a triumph of London tailoring, but, once safe, he liked to put on
his red morocco slippers that were down at the heel and display his
red suspenders and baby-blue sleeve garters.  To feel correct in
those decorations, he preferred the hotel atmosphere that, for so
many years before he had ever seen the White House, had been as
familiar to him as his ancestral corn cribs and Main Streets.

The other ten rooms of the suite, entirely shutting his own off
from the corridors and elevators, were filled night and day with
guards.  To get through to Buzz in this intimate place of his own
was very much like visiting a police station for the purpose of
seeing a homicidal prisoner.

"Haik seems to me to be doing a fine job in the War Department,
Lee," said the President.  "Of course you know if you ever want the
job of High Marshal back--"

"I'm quite satisfied," said the great Secretary of State.

"What do you think of having Colonel Luthorne back to help Haik
out?  He's pretty good on fool details."

Sarason looked as nearly embarrassed as the self-satisfied Lee
Sarason ever could look.

"Why, uh--I supposed you knew it.  Luthorne was liquidated in the
purge ten days ago."

"Good God!  Luthorne killed?  Why didn't I know it?"

"It was thought better to keep it quiet.  He was a pretty popular
man.  But dangerous.  Always talking about Abraham Lincoln!"

"So I just never know anything about what's going on!  Why, even
the newspaper clippings are predigested, by God, before I see 'em!"

"It's thought better not to bother you with minor details, boss.
You know that!  Of course, if you feel I haven't organized your
staff correctly--"

"Aw now, don't fly off the handle, Lee!  I just meant--Of course I
know how hard you've tried to protect me so I could give all my
brains to the higher problems of State.  But Luthorne--I kind of
liked him.  He always had quite a funny line when we played poker."
Buzz Windrip felt lonely, as once a certain Shad Ledue had felt, in
a hotel suite that differed from Buzz's only in being smaller.  To
forget it he bawled, very brightly, "Lee, do you ever wonder
what'll happen in the future?"

"Why, I think you and I may have mentioned it."

"But golly, just think of what might happen in the future, Lee!
Think of it!  Why, we may be able to pull off a North American
kingdom!"  Buzz half meant it seriously--or perhaps quarter meant
it.  "How'd you like to be Duke of Georgia--or Grand Duke, or
whatever they call a Grand Exalted Ruler of the Elks in this
peerage business?  And then how about an Empire of North and South
America after that?  I might make you a king under me, then--say
something like King of Mexico.  Howjuh like that?"

"Be very amusing," said Lee mechanically--as Lee always did say the
same thing mechanically whenever Buzz repeated this same nonsense.

"But you got to stick by me and not forget all I've done for you,
Lee, don't forget that."

"I never forget anything! . . .  By the way, we ought to liquidate,
or at least imprison, Perley Beecroft, too.  He's still technically
Vice-President of the United States, and if the lousy traitor
managed some skullduggery so as to get you killed or deposed, he
might be regarded by some narrow-minded literalists as President!"

"No, no, no!  He's my friend, no matter what he says about me . . .
the dirty dog!" wailed Buzz.

"All right.  You're the boss.  G'night," said Lee, and returned
from this plumber's dream of paradise to his own gold-and-black and
apricot-silk bower in Georgetown, which he shared with several
handsome young M.M. officers.  They were savage soldiers, yet apt
at music and at poetry.  With them, he was not in the least
passionless, as he seemed now to Buzz Windrip.  He was either angry
with his young friends, and then he whipped them, or he was in
a paroxysm of apology to them, and caressed their wounds.
Newspapermen who had once seemed to be his friends said that he had
traded the green eyeshade for a wreath of violets.

At cabinet meeting, late in 1938, Secretary of State Sarason
revealed to the heads of the government disturbing news.  Vice-
President Beecroft--and had he not told them the man should have
been shot?--had fled to Canada, renounced Corpoism, and joined Walt
Trowbridge in plotting.  There were bubbles from an almost boiling
rebellion in the Middle West and Northwest, especially in Minnesota
and the Dakotas, where agitators, some of them formerly of
political influence, were demanding that their states secede from
the Corpo Union and form a cooperative (indeed almost Socialistic)
commonwealth of their own.

"Rats!  Just a lot of irresponsible wind bags!" jeered President
Windrip.  "Why!  I thought you were supposed to be the camera-eyed
gink that kept up on everything that goes on, Lee!  You forget that
I myself, personally, made a special radio address to that
particular section of the country last week!  And I got a wonderful
reaction.  The Middle Westerners are absolutely loyal to me.  They
appreciate what I've been trying to do!"

Not answering him at all, Sarason demanded that, in order to bring
and hold all elements in the country together by that useful
Patriotism which always appears upon threat of an outside attack,
the government immediately arrange to be insulted and menaced in a
well-planned series of deplorable "incidents" on the Mexican
border, and declare war on Mexico as soon as America showed that it
was getting hot and patriotic enough.

Secretary of the Treasury Skittle and Attorney General Porkwood
shook their heads, but Secretary of War Haik and Secretary of
Education Macgoblin agreed with Sarason high-mindedly.  Once,
pointed out the learned Macgoblin, governments had merely let
themselves slide into a war, thanking Providence for having
provided a conflict as a febrifuge against internal discontent, but
of course, in this age of deliberate, planned propaganda, a really
modern government like theirs must figure out what brand of war
they had to sell and plan the selling-campaign consciously.  Now,
as for him, he would be willing to leave the whole set-up to the
advertising genius of Brother Sarason.

"No, no, no!" cried Windrip.  "We're not ready for a war!  Of
course, we'll take Mexico some day.  It's our destiny to control it
and Christianize it.  But I'm scared that your darn scheme might
work just opposite to what you say.  You put arms into the hands of
too many irresponsible folks, and they might use 'em and turn
against you and start a revolution and throw the whole dern gang of
us out!  No, no!  I've often wondered if the whole Minute Men
business, with their arms and training, may not be a mistake.  That
was your idea, Lee, not mine!"

Sarason spoke evenly:  "My dear Buzz, one day you thank me for
originating that 'great crusade of citizen soldiers defending their
homes'--as you love to call it on the radio--and the next day you
almost ruin your clothes, you're so scared of them.  Make up your
mind one way or the other!"

Sarason walked out of the room, not bowing.

Windrip complained, "I'm not going to stand for Lee's talking to me
like that!  Why, the dirty double-crosser, I made him!  One of
these days, he'll find a new secretary of state around this joint!
I s'pose he thinks jobs like that grow on every tree!  Maybe he'd
like to be a bank president or something--I mean, maybe he'd like
to be Emperor of England!"

President Windrip, in his hotel bedroom, was awakened late at night
by the voice of a guard in the outer room:  "Yuh, sure, let him
pass--he's the Secretary of State."  Nervously the President
clicked on his bedside lamp. . . .  He had needed it lately, to
read himself to sleep.

In that limited glow he saw Lee Sarason, Dewey Haik, and Dr. Hector
Macgoblin march to the side of his bed.  Lee's thin sharp face was
like flour.  His deep-buried eyes were those of a sleepwalker.  His
skinny right hand held a bowie knife which, as his hand
deliberately rose, was lost in the dimness.  Windrip swiftly
thought:  Sure would be hard to know where to buy a dagger, in
Washington; and Windrip thought:  All this is the doggonedest
foolishness--just like a movie or one of these old history books
when you were a kid; and Windrip thought, all in that same flash:
Good God, I'm going to be killed!

He cried out, "Lee!  You couldn't do THAT to me!"

Lee grunted, like one who has detected a bad smell.

Then the Berzelius Windrip who could, incredibly, become President
really awoke:  "Lee!  Do you remember the time when your old mother
was so sick, and I gave you my last cent and loaned you my flivver
so you could go see her, and I hitch-hiked to my next meeting?

"Hell.  I suppose so.  General."

"Yes?" answered Dewey Haik, not very pleasantly.

"I think we'll stick him on a destroyer or something and let him
sneak off to France or England. . . .  The lousy coward seems
afraid to die. . . .  Of course, we'll kill him if he ever does
dare to come back to the States.  Take him out and phone the
Secretary of the Navy for a boat and get him on it, will you?"

"Very well, sir," said Haik, even less pleasantly.

It had been easy.  The troops, who obeyed Haik, as Secretary of
War, had occupied all of Washington.

Ten days later Buzz Windrip was landed in Havre and went sighingly
to Paris.  It was his first view of Europe except for one twenty-
one-day Cook's Tour.  He was profoundly homesick for Chesterfield
cigarettes, flapjacks, Moon Mullins, and the sound of some real
human being saying "Yuh, what's bitin' you?" instead of this
perpetual sappy "oui?"

In Paris he remained, though he became the sort of minor hero of
tragedy, like the ex-King of Greece, Kerensky, the Russian Grand
Dukes, Jimmy Walker, and a few ex-presidents from South America and
Cuba, who is delighted to accept invitations to drawing rooms where
the champagne is good enough and one may have a chance of finding
people, now and then, who will listen to one's story and say "sir."

At that, though, Buzz chuckled, he had kinda put it over on those
crooks, for during his two sweet years of despotism he had sent
four million dollars abroad, to secret, safe accounts.  And so Buzz
Windrip passed into wabbly paragraphs in recollections by ex-
diplomatic gentlemen with monocles.  In what remained of Ex-
President Windrip's life, everything was ex.  He was even so far
forgotten that only four or five American students tried to shoot

The more dulcetly they had once advised and flattered Buzz, the
more ardently did most of his former followers, Macgoblin and
Senator Porkwood and Dr. Almeric Trout and the rest, turn in loud
allegiance to the new President, the Hon. Lee Sarason.

He issued a proclamation that he had discovered that Windrip had
been embezzling the people's money and plotting with Mexico to
avoid war with that guilty country; and that he, Sarason, in quite
alarming grief and reluctance, since he more than anyone else had
been deceived by his supposed friend, Windrip, had yielded to the
urging of the Cabinet and taken over the Presidency, instead of
Vice-President Beecroft, the exiled traitor.

President Sarason immediately began appointing the fancier of his
young officer friends to the most responsible offices in State and
army.  It amused him, seemingly, to shock people by making a pink-
cheeked, moist-eyed boy of twenty-five Commissioner of the Federal
District, which included Washington and Maryland.  Was he not
supreme, was he not semi-divine, like a Roman emperor?  Could he
not defy all the muddy mob that he (once a Socialist) had, for its
weak shiftlessness, come to despise?

"Would that the American people had just one neck!" he plagiarized,
among his laughing boys.

In the decorous White House of Coolidge and Harrison and Rutherford
Birchard Hayes he had orgies (an old name for "parties") with
weaving limbs and garlands and wine in pretty fair imitations of
Roman beakers.

It was hard for imprisoned men like Doremus Jessup to believe it,
but there were some tens of thousands of Corpos, in the M.M.'s, in
civil service, in the army, and just in private ways, to whom
Sarason's flippant régime was tragic.

They were the Idealists of Corpoism, and there were plenty of them,
along with the bullies and swindlers; they were the men and women
who, in 1935 and 1936, had turned to Windrip & Co., not as perfect,
but as the most probable saviors of the country from, on one hand,
domination by Moscow and, on the other hand, the slack indolence,
the lack of decent pride of half the American youth, whose world
(these idealists asserted) was composed of shiftless distaste for
work and refusal to learn anything thoroughly, of blatting dance
music on the radio, maniac automobiles, slobbering sexuality, the
humor and art of comic strips--of a slave psychology which was
making America a land for sterner men to loot.

General Emmanuel Coon was one of the Corpo Idealists.

Such men did not condone the murders under the Corpo régime.  But
they insisted, "This is a revolution, and after all, when in all
history has there been a revolution with so little bloodshed?"

They were aroused by the pageantry of Corpoism: enormous
demonstrations, with the red-and-black flags a flaunting
magnificence like storm clouds.  They were proud of new Corpo
roads, hospitals, television stations, aeroplane lines; they were
touched by processions of the Corpo Youth, whose faces were exalted
with pride in the myths of Corpo heroism and clean Spartan strength
and the semi-divinity of the all-protecting Father, President
Windrip.  They believed, they made themselves believe, that in
Windrip had come alive again the virtues of Andy Jackson and
Farragut and Jeb Stuart, in place of the mob cheapness of the
professional athletes who had been the only heroes of 1935.

They planned, these idealists, to correct, as quickly as might be,
the errors of brutality and crookedness among officials.  They saw
arising a Corpo art, a Corpo learning, profound and real, divested
of the traditional snobbishness of the old-time universities,
valiant with youth, and only the more beautiful in that it was
"useful."  They were convinced that Corpoism was Communism cleansed
of foreign domination and the violence and indignity of mob
dictatorship; Monarchism with the chosen hero of the people for
monarch; Fascism without grasping and selfish leaders; freedom with
order and discipline; Traditional America without its waste and
provincial cockiness.

Like all religious zealots, they had blessed capacity for
blindness, and they were presently convinced that (since the only
newspapers they ever read certainly said nothing about it) there
were no more of blood-smeared cruelties in court and concentration
camp; no restrictions of speech or thought.  They believed that
they never criticized the Corpo régime not because they were
censored, but because "that sort of thing was, like obscenity, such
awfully bad form."

And these idealists were as shocked and bewildered by Sarason's
coup d'état against Windrip as was Mr. Berzelius Windrip himself.

The grim Secretary of War, Haik, scolded at President Sarason for
his influence on the nation, particularly on the troops.  Lee
laughed at him, but once he was sufficiently flattered by Haik's
tribute to his artistic powers to write a poem for him.  It was a
poem which was later to be sung by millions; it was, in fact, the
most popular of the soldiers' ballads which were to spring
automatically from anonymous soldier bards during the war between
the United States and Mexico.  Only, being as pious a believer in
Modern Advertising as Sarason himself, the efficient Haik wanted to
encourage the spontaneous generation of these patriotic folk
ballads by providing the automatic springing and the anonymous
bard.  He had as much foresight, as much "prophetic engineering,"
as a motorcar manufacturer.

Sarason was as eager for war with Mexico (or Ethiopia or Siam or
Greenland or any other country that would provide his pet young
painters with a chance to portray Sarason being heroic amid curious
vegetation) as Haik; not only to give malcontents something outside
the country to be cross about, but also to give himself a chance to
be picturesque.  He answered Haik's request by writing a rollicking
military chorus at a time while the country was still theoretically
entirely friendly with Mexico.  It went to the tune of "Mademoiselle
from Armentières"--or "Armenteers."  If the Spanish in it was a
little shaky, still, millions were later to understand that "Habla
oo?" stood for "¿Habla usted?" signifying "Parlez-vous?"  It ran
thus, as it came from Sarason's purple but smoking typewriter:

     Señorita from Guadalupe,
          Qui usted?
     Señorita go roll your hoop,
          Or come to bed!
     Señorita from Guadalupe
     If Padre sees us we're in the soup,
          Hinky, dinky, habla oo?

     Señorita from Monterey,
          Savvy Yank?
     Señorita what's that you say?
          You're Swede, Ay tank!
     But Señorita from Monterey,
     You won't hablar when we hit the hay,
          Hinky, dinky, habla oo?

     Señorita from Mazatlán,
          Once we've met,
     You'll smile all over your khaki pan,
          You wont forget!
     For days you'll holler, "Oh, what a man!"
     And you'll never marry a Mexican.
          Hinky, dinky, habla oo?

If at times President Sarason seemed flippant, he was not at all so
during his part in the scientific preparation for war which
consisted in rehearsing M.M. choruses in trolling out this ditty
with well-trained spontaneity.

His friend Hector Macgoblin, now Secretary of State, told Sarason
that this manly chorus was one of his greatest creations.
Macgoblin, though personally he did not join in Sarason's somewhat
unusual midnight diversions, was amused by them, and he often told
Sarason that he was the only original creative genius among this
whole bunch of stuffed shirts, including Haik.

"You want to watch that cuss Haik, Lee," said Macgoblin.  "He's
ambitious, he's a gorilla, and he's a pious Puritan, and that's a
triple combination I'm scared of.  The troops like him."

"Rats!  He has no attraction for them.  He's just an accurate
military bookkeeper," said Sarason.

That night he had a party at which, for a novelty, rather shocking
to his intimates, he actually had girls present, performing certain
curious dances.  The next morning Haik rebuked him, and--Sarason
had a hangover--was stormed at.  That night, just a month after
Sarason had usurped the Presidency, Haik struck.

There was no melodramatic dagger-and-uplifted-arm business about
it, this time--though Haik did traditionally come late, for all
Fascists, like all drunkards, seem to function most vigorously at
night.  Haik marched into the White House with his picked storm
troops, found President Sarason in violet silk pajamas among his
friends, shot Sarason and most of his companions dead, and
proclaimed himself President.

Hector Macgoblin fled by aeroplane to Cuba, then on.  When last
seen, he was living high up in the mountains of Haiti, wearing only
a singlet, dirty white-drill trousers, grass sandals, and a long
tan beard; very healthy and happy, occupying a one-room hut with a
lovely native girl, practicing modern medicine and studying ancient

When Dewey Haik became President, then America really did begin to
suffer a little, and to long for the good old democratic, liberal
days of Windrip.

Windrip and Sarason had not minded mirth and dancing in the street
so long as they could be suitably taxed.  Haik disliked such things
on principle.  Except, perhaps, that he was an atheist in theology,
he was a strict orthodox Christian.  He was the first to tell the
populace that they were not going to get any five thousand dollars
a year but, instead, "reap the profits of Discipline and of the
Scientific Totalitarian State not in mere paper figures but in vast
dividends of Pride, Patriotism, and Power."  He kicked out of the
army all officers who could not endure marching and going thirsty;
and out of the civil branch all commissioners--including one
Francis Tasbrough--who had garnered riches too easily and too

He treated the entire nation like a well-run plantation, on which
the slaves were better fed than formerly, less often cheated by
their overseers, and kept so busy that they had time only for work
and for sleep, and thus fell rarely into the debilitating vices of
laughter, song (except war songs against Mexico), complaint, or
thinking.  Under Haik there were less floggings in M.M. posts and
in concentration camps, for by his direction officers were not to
waste time in the sport of beating persons, men, women, or
children, who asserted that they didn't care to be slaves on even
the best plantation, but just to shoot them out of hand.

Haik made such use of the clergy--Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and
Liberal-Agnostic--as Windrip and Sarason never had.  While there
were plenty of ministers who, like Mr. Falck and Father Stephen
Perefixe, like Cardinal Faulhaber and Pastor Niemoeller in Germany,
considered it some part of Christian duty to resent the enslavement
and torture of their appointed flocks, there were also plenty of
reverend celebrities, particularly large-city pastors whose sermons
were reported in the newspapers every Monday morning, to whom
Corpoism had given a chance to be noisily and lucratively
patriotic.  These were the chaplains-at-heart, who, if there was no
war in which they could humbly help to purify and comfort the poor
brave boys who were fighting, were glad to help provide such a war.

These more practical shepherds, since like doctors and lawyers they
were able to steal secrets out of the heart, became valued spies
during the difficult months after February, 1939, when Haik was
working up war with Mexico.  (Canada?  Japan?  Russia?  They would
come later.)  For even with an army of slaves, it was necessary to
persuade them that they were freemen and fighters for the principle
of freedom, or otherwise the scoundrels might cross over and join
the enemy!

So reigned the good king Haik, and if there was anyone in all the
land who was discontented, you never heard him speak--not twice.

And in the White House, where under Sarason shameless youths had
danced, under the new reign of righteousness and the blackjack,
Mrs. Haik, a lady with eyeglasses and a smile of resolute
cordiality, gave to the W.C.T.U., the Y.W.C.A., and the Ladies'
League against Red Radicalism, and their inherently incidental
husbands, a magnified and hand-colored Washington version of just
such parties as she had once given in the Haik bungalow in
Eglantine, Oregon.


The ban on information at the Trianon camp had been raised; Mrs.
Candy had come calling on Doremus--complete with cocoanut layer
cake--and he had heard of Mary's death, the departure of Emma and
Sissy, the end of Windrip and Sarason.  And none of it seemed in
the least real--not half so real and, except for the fact that he
would never see Mary again, not half so important as the increasing
number of lice and rats in their cell.

During the ban, they had celebrated Christmas by laughing, not very
cheerfully, at the Christmas tree Karl Pascal had contrived out of
a spruce bough and tinfoil from cigarette packages.  They had
hummed "Stille Nacht" softly in the darkness, and Doremus had
thought of all their comrades in political prisons in America,
Europe, Japan, India.

But Karl, apparently, thought of comrades only if they were saved,
baptized Communists.  And, forced together as they were in a cell,
the growing bitterness and orthodox piety of Karl became one of
Doremus's most hateful woes; a tragedy to be blamed upon the
Corpos, or upon the principle of dictatorship in general, as
savagely as the deaths of Mary and Dan Wilgus and Henry Veeder.
Under persecution, Karl lost no ounce of his courage and his
ingenuity in bamboozling the M.M. guards, but day by day he did
steadily lose all his humor, his patience, his tolerance, his easy
companionship, and everything else that made life endurable to men
packed in a cell.  The Communism that had always been his King
Charles's Head, sometimes amusing, became a religious bigotry as
hateful to Doremus as the old bigotries of the Inquisition or the
Fundamentalist Protestants; that attitude of slaughtering to save
men's souls from which the Jessup family had escaped during these
last three generations.

It was impossible to get away from Karl's increasing zeal.  He
chattered on at night for an hour after all the other five had
growled, "Oh, shut up!  I want to sleep!  You'll be making a Corpo
out of me!"

Sometimes, in his proselytizing, he conquered.  When his cell mates
had long enough cursed the camp guards, Karl would rebuke them:
"You're a lot too simple when you explain everything by saying that
the Corpos, especially the M.M.'s, are all fiends.  Plenty of 'em
are.  But even the worst of 'em, even the professional gunmen in
the M.M. ranks, don't get as much satisfaction out of punishing us
heretics as the honest, dumb Corpos who've been misled by their
leaders' mouthing about Freedom, Order, Security, Discipline,
Strength!  All those swell words that even before Windrip came in
the speculators started using to protect their profits!  Especially
how they used the word 'Liberty'!  Liberty to steal the didies off
the babies!  I tell you, an honest man gets sick when he hears the
word 'Liberty' today, after what the Republicans did to it!  And I
tell you that a lot of the M.M. guards right here at Trianon are
just as unfortunate as we are--lot of 'em are just poor devils that
couldn't get decent work, back in the Golden Age of Frank
Roosevelt--bookkeepers that had to dig ditches, auto agents that
couldn't sell cars and went sour, ex-looeys in the Great War that
came back to find their jobs pinched off 'em and that followed
Windrip, quite honestly, because they thought, the saps, that when
he said Security he meant SECURITY!  They'll learn!"

And having admirably discoursed for another hour on the perils of
self-righteousness among the Corpos, Comrade Pascal would change
the subject and discourse upon the glory of self-righteousness
among the Communists--particularly upon those sanctified examples
of Communism who lived in bliss in the Holy City of Moscow, where,
Doremus judged, the streets were paved with undepreciable roubles.

The Holy City of Moscow!  Karl looked upon it with exactly such
uncritical and slightly hysterical adoration as other sectarians
had in their day devoted to Jerusalem, Mecca, Rome, Canterbury, and
Benares.  Fine, all right, thought Doremus.  Let 'em worship their
sacred fonts--it was as good a game as any for the mentally
retarded.  Only, why then should they object to his considering as
sacred Fort Beulah, or New York, or Oklahoma City?

Karl once fell into a froth because Doremus wondered if the iron
deposits in Russia were all they might be.  Why certainly!  Russia,
being Holy Russia, must, as a useful part of its holiness, have
sufficient iron, and Karl needed no mineralogists' reports but only
the blissful eye of faith to know it.

He did not mind Karl's worshiping Holy Russia.  But Karl did, using
the word "naïve," which is the favorite word and just possibly the
only word known to Communist journalists, derisively mind when
Doremus had a mild notion of worshiping Holy America.  Karl spoke
often of photographs in the Moscow News of nearly naked girls on
Russian bathing-beaches as proving the triumph and joy of the
workers under Bolshevism, but he regarded precisely the same sort
of photographs of nearly naked girls on Long Island bathing-beaches
as proving the degeneration of the workers under Capitalism.

As a newspaper man, Doremus remembered that the only reporters who
misrepresented and concealed facts more unscrupulously than the
Capitalists were the Communists.

He was afraid that the world struggle today was not of Communism
against Fascism, but of tolerance against the bigotry that was
preached equally by Communism and Fascism.  But he saw too that in
America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst
Fascists were they who disowned the word "Fascism" and preached
enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and
Traditional Native American Liberty.  For they were thieves not
only of wages but of honor.  To their purpose they could quote not
only Scripture but Jefferson.

That Karl Pascal should be turning into a zealot, like most of his
chiefs in the Communist party, was grievous to Doremus because he
had once simple-heartedly hoped that in the mass strength of
Communism there might be an escape from cynical dictatorship.  But
he saw now that he must remain alone, a "Liberal," scorned by all
the noisier prophets for refusing to be a willing cat for the busy
monkeys of either side.  But at worst, the Liberals, the Tolerant,
might in the long run preserve some of the arts of civilization, no
matter which brand of tyranny should finally dominate the world.

"More and more, as I think about history," he pondered, "I am
convinced that everything that is worth while in the world has been
accomplished by the free, inquiring, critical spirit, and that the
preservation of this spirit is more important than any social
system whatsoever.  But the men of ritual and the men of barbarism
are capable of shutting up the men of science and of silencing them

Yes, this was the worst thing the enemies of honor, the pirate
industrialists and then their suitable successors, the Corpos with
their blackjacks, had done: it had turned the brave, the generous,
the passionate and half-literate Karl Pascals into dangerous
fanatics.  And how well they had done it!  Doremus was uncomfortable
with Karl; he felt that his next turn in jail might be under the
wardenship of none other than Karl himself, as he remembered how the
Bolsheviks, once in power, had most smugly imprisoned and persecuted
those great women, Spiridinova and Breshkovskaya and Ismailovitch,
who, by their conspiracies against the Czar, their willingness to
endure Siberian torture on behalf of "freedom for the masses," had
most brought on the revolution by which the Bolsheviks were able to
take control--and not only again forbid freedom to the masses, but
this time inform them that, anyway, freedom was just a damn silly
bourgeois superstition.

So Doremus, sleeping two-and-a-half feet above his old companion,
felt himself in a cell within a cell.  Henry Veeder and Clarence
Little and Victor Loveland and Mr. Falck were gone now, and to
Julian, penned in solitary, he could not speak once a month.

He yearned for escape with a desire that was near to insanity;
awake and asleep it was his obsession; and he thought his heart had
stopped when Squad-Leader Aras Dilley muttered to him, as Doremus
was scrubbing a lavatory floor, "Say!  Listen, Mr. Jessup!  Mis'
Pike is fixin' it up and I'm going to help you escape jus' soon as
things is right!"

It was a question of the guards on sentry-go outside the
quadrangle.  As sweeper, Doremus was reasonably free to leave his
cell, and Aras had loosened the boards and barbed wire at the end
of one of the alleys leading from the quadrangle between buildings.
But outside, he was likely to be shot by a guard on sight.

For a week Aras watched.  He knew that one of the night guards had
a habit of getting drunk, which was forgiven him because of his
excellence in flogging troublemakers but which was regarded by the
more judicious as rather regrettable.  And for that week Aras fed
the guard's habit on Lorinda's expense money, and was indeed so
devoted to his duties that he was himself twice carried to bed.
Snake Tizra grew interested--but Snake also, after the first couple
of drinks, liked to be democratic with his men and to sing "The Old

Aras confided to Doremus:  "Mis' Pike--she don't dast send you a
note, less somebody get hold of it, but she says to me to tell you
not to tell anybody you're going to take a sneak, or it'll get

So on the evening when Aras jerked a head at him from the corridor,
then rasped, surly-seeming, "Here you, Jessup--you left one of the
cans all dirty!" Doremus looked mildly at the cell that had been
his home and study and tabernacle for six months, glanced at Karl
Pascal reading in his bunk--slowly waving a shoeless foot in a sock
with the end of it gone, at Truman Webb darning the seat of his
pants, noted the gray smoke in filmy tilting layers about the small
electric bulb in the ceiling, and silently stepped out into the

The late-January night was foggy.

Aras handed him a worn M.M. overcoat, whispered, "Third alley on
right; moving-van on corner opposite the church," and was gone.

On hands and knees Doremus briskly crawled under the loosened
barbed wire at the end of the small alley and carelessly stepped
out, along the road.  The only guard in sight was at a distance,
and he was wavering in his gait.  A block away, a furniture van was
jacked up while the driver and his helper painfully prepared to
change one of the tremendous tires.  In the light of a corner arc,
Doremus saw that the driver was that same hard-faced long-distance
cruiser who had carried bundles of tracts for the New Underground.

The driver grunted, "Get in--hustle!"  Doremus crouched between a
bureau and a wing chair inside.

Instantly he felt the tilted body of the van dropping, as the
driver pulled out the jack, and from the seat he heard, "All right!
We're off.  Crawl up behind me here and listen, Mr. Jessup. . . .
Can you hear me? . . .  The M.M.'s don't take so much trouble to
prevent you gents and respectable fellows from escaping.  They
figure that most of you are too scary to try out anything, once
you're away from your offices and front porches and sedans.  But I
guess you may be different, some ways, Mr. Jessup.  Besides, they
figure that if you do escape, they can pick you up easy afterwards,
because you ain't onto hiding out, like a regular fellow that's
been out of work sometimes and maybe gone on the bum.  But don't
worry.  We'll get you through.  I tell you, there's nobody got
friends like a revolutionist. . . .  AND enemies!"

Then first did it come to Doremus that, by sentence of the late
lamented Effingham Swan, he was subject to the death penalty for
escaping.  But "Oh, what the hell!" he grunted, like Karl Pascal,
and he stretched in the luxury of mobility, in that galloping
furniture truck.

He was free!  He saw the lights of villages going by!

Once, he was hidden beneath hay in a barn; again, in a spruce grove
high on a hill; and once he slept overnight on top of a coffin in
the establishment of an undertaker.  He walked secret paths; he
rode in the back of an itinerant medicine-peddler's car and,
concealed in fur cap and high-collared fur coat, in the sidecar of
an Underground worker serving as an M.M. squad-leader.  From this
he dismounted, at the driver's command, in front of an obviously
untenanted farmhouse on a snaky back-road between Monadnock
Mountain and the Averill lakes--a very slattern of an old unpainted
farmhouse, with sinking roof and snow up to the frowsy windows.

It seemed a mistake.

Doremus knocked, as the motorcycle snarled away, and the door
opened on Lorinda Pike and Sissy, crying together, "Oh, my dear!"

He could only mutter, "Well!"

When they had made him strip off his fur coat in the farmhouse
living room, a room with peeling wall paper, and altogether bare
except for a cot, two chairs, a table, the two moaning women saw a
small man, his face dirty, pasty, and sunken as by tuberculosis,
his once fussily trimmed beard and mustache ragged as wisps of hay,
his overlong hair a rustic jag at the back, his clothes ripped and
filthy--an old, sick, discouraged tramp.  He dropped on a straight
chair and stared at them.  Maybe they were genuine--maybe they
really were there--maybe he was, as it seemed, in heaven, looking
at the two principal angels, but he had been so often fooled so
cruelly in his visions these dreary months!  He sobbed, and they
comforted him with softly stroking hands and not too confoundedly
much babble.

"I've got a hot bath for you!  And I'll scrub your back!  And then
some hot chicken soup and ice cream!"

As though one should say:  The Lord God awaits you on His throne
and all whom you bless shall be blessed, and all your enemies
brought to their knees!

Those sainted women had actually had a long tin tub fetched to the
kitchen of the old house, filled it with water heated in kettle and
dishpan on the stove, and provided brushes, soap, a vast sponge,
and such a long caressing bath towel as Doremus had forgotten
existed.  And somehow, from Fort Beulah, Sissy had brought plenty
of his own shoes and shirts and three suits that now seemed to him
fit for royalty.

He who had not had a hot bath for six months, and for three had
worn the same underclothes, and for two (in clammy winter) no socks

If the presence of Lorinda and Sissy was token of heaven, to slide
inch by slow ecstatic inch into the tub was its proof, and he lay
soaking in glory.

When he was half dressed, the two came in, and there was about as
much thought of modesty, or need for it, as though he were the two-
year-old babe he somewhat resembled.  They were laughing at him,
but laughter became sharp whimpers of horror when they saw the
gridironed meat of his back.  But nothing more demanding than "Oh,
my dear!" did Lorinda say, even then.

Though Sissy had once been glad that Lorinda spared her any
mothering, Doremus rejoiced in it.  Snake Tizra and the Trianon
concentration camp had been singularly devoid of any mothering.
Lorinda salved his back and powdered it.  She cut his hair, not too
unskillfully.  She cooked for him all the heavy, earthy dishes of
which he had dreamed, hungry in a cell: hamburg steak with onions,
corn pudding, buckwheat cakes with sausages, apple dumplings with
hard and soft sauce, and cream of mushroom soup!

It had not been safe to take him to the comforts of her tea room at
Beecher Falls; already M.M.'s had been there, snooping after him.
But Sissy and she had, for such refugees as they might be
forwarding for the New Underground, provided this dingy farmhouse
with half-a-dozen cots, and rich stores of canned goods and
beautiful bottles (Doremus considered them) of honey and marmalade
and bar-le-duc.  The actual final crossing of the border into
Canada was easier than it had been when Buck Titus had tried to
smuggle the Jessup family over.  It had become a system, as in the
piratical days of bootlegging; with new forest paths, bribery of
frontier guards, and forged passports.  He was safe.  Yet just to
make safety safer, Lorinda and Sissy, rubbing their chins as they
looked Doremus over, still discussing him as brazenly as though he
were a baby who could not understand them, decided to turn him into
a young man.

"Dye his hair and mustache black and shave the beard, I think.  I
wish we had time to give him a nice Florida tan with an Alpine
lamp, too," considered Lorinda.

"Yes, I think he'll look sweet that way," said Sissy.

"I will not have my beard off!" he protested.  "How do I know what
kind of a chin I'll have when it's naked?"

"Why, the man still thinks he's a newspaper proprietor and one of
Fort Beulah's social favorites!" marveled Sissy as they ruthlessly
set to work.

"Only real reason for these damn wars and revolutions anyway is
that the womenfolks get a chance--ouch! be careful!--to be dear
little Amateur Mothers to every male they can get in their
clutches.  HAIR DYE!" said Doremus bitterly.

But he was shamelessly proud of his youthful face when it was
denuded, and he discovered that he had a quite tolerably stubborn
chin, and Sissy was sent back to Beecher Falls to keep the tea room
alive, and for three days Lorinda and he gobbled steaks and ale,
and played pinochle, and lay talking infinitely of all they had
thought about each other in the six desert months that might have
been sixty years.  He was to remember the sloping farmhouse bedroom
and a shred of rag carpet and a couple of rickety chairs and
Lorinda snuggled under the old red comforter on the cot, not as
winter poverty but as youth and adventurous love.

Then, in a forest clearing, with snow along the spruce boughs, a
few feet across into Canada, he was peering into the eyes of his
two women, curtly saying good-bye, and trudging off into the new
prison of exile from the America to which, already, he was looking
back with the long pain of nostalgia.


His beard had grown again--he and his beard had been friends for
many years, and he had missed it of late.  His hair and mustache
had again assumed a respectable gray in place of the purple dye
that under electric lights had looked so bogus.  He was no longer
impassioned at the sight of a lamb chop or a cake of soap.  But he
had not yet got over the pleasure and slight amazement at being
able to talk as freely as he would, as emphatically as might please
him, and in public.

He sat with his two closest friends in Montreal, two fellow
executives in the Department of Propaganda and Publications of the
New Underground (Walt Trowbridge, General Chairman), and these two
friends were the Hon. Perley Beecroft, who presumably was the
President of the United States, and Joe Elphrey, an ornamental
young man who, as "Mr. Cailey," had been a prize agent of the
Communist Party in America till he had been kicked out of that
almost imperceptible body for having made a "united front" with
Socialists, Democrats, and even choir-singers when organizing an
anti-Corpo revolt in Texas.

Over their ale, in this café, Beecroft and Elphrey were at it as
usual: Elphrey insisting that the only "solution" of American
distress was dictatorship by the livelier representatives of the
toiling masses, strict and if need be violent, but (this was his
new heresy) not governed by Moscow.  Beecroft was gaseously
asserting that "all we needed" was a return to precisely the
political parties, the drumming up of votes, and the oratorical
legislating by Congress, of the contented days of William B.

But as for Doremus, he leaned back not vastly caring what nonsense
the others might talk so long as it was permitted them to talk at
all without finding that the waiters were M.M. spies; and content
to know that, whatever happened, Trowbridge and the other authentic
leaders would never go back to satisfaction in government of the
profits, by the profits, for the profits.  He thought comfortably
of the fact that just yesterday (he had this from the chairman's
secretary), Walt Trowbridge had dismissed Wilson J. Shale, the
ducal oil man, who had come, apparently with sincerity, to offer
his fortune and his executive experience to Trowbridge and the

"Nope.  Sorry, Will.  But we can't use you.  Whatever happens--even
if Haik marches over and slaughters all of us along with all our
Canadian hosts--you and your kind of clever pirates are finished.
Whatever happens, whatever details of a new system of government
may be decided on, whether we call it a 'Cooperative Commonwealth'
or 'State Socialism' or 'Communism' or 'Revived Traditional
Democracy,' there's got to be a new feeling--that government is not
a game for a few smart, resolute athletes like you, Will, but a
universal partnership, in which the State must own all resources so
large that they affect all members of the State, and in which the
one worst crime won't be murder or kidnaping but taking advantage
of the State--in which the seller of fraudulent medicine, or the
liar in Congress, will be punished a whole lot worse than the
fellow who takes an ax to the man who's grabbed off his girl. . . .
Eh?  What's going to happen to magnates like you, Will?  God knows!
What happened to the dinosaurs?"

So was Doremus in his service well content.

Yet socially he was almost as lonely as in his cell at Trianon;
almost as savagely he longed for the not exorbitant pleasure of
being with Lorinda, Buck, Emma, Sissy, Steve Perefixe.

None of them save Emma could join him in Canada, and she would not.
Her letters suggested fear of the un-Worcesterian wildernesses of
Montreal.  She wrote that Philip and she hoped they might be able
to get Doremus forgiven by the Corpos!  So he was left to associate
only with his fellow refugees from Corpoism, and he knew a life
that had been familiar, far too familiar, to political exiles ever
since the first revolt in Egypt sent the rebels sneaking off into

It was no particularly indecent egotism in Doremus that made him
suppose, when he arrived in Canada, that everyone would thrill to
his tale of imprisonment, torture, and escape.  But he found that
ten thousand spirited tellers of woe had come there before him, and
that the Canadians, however attentive and generous hosts they might
be, were actively sick of pumping up new sympathy.  They felt that
their quota of martyrs was completely filled, and as to the exiles
who came in penniless, and that was a majority of them, the
Canadians became distinctly weary of depriving their own families
on behalf of unknown refugees, and they couldn't even keep up
forever a gratification in the presence of celebrated American
authors, politicians, scientists, when they became common as

It was doubtful if a lecture on Deplorable Conditions in America by
Herbert Hoover and General Pershing together would have attracted
forty people.  Ex-governors and judges were glad to get jobs
washing dishes, and ex-managing-editors were hoeing turnips.  And
reports said that Mexico and London and France were growing alike
apologetically bored.

So Doremus, meagerly living on his twenty-dollar-a-week salary from
the N.U., met no one save his own fellow exiles, in just such
salons of unfortunate political escapists as the White Russians,
the Red Spaniards, the Blue Bulgarians, and all the other
polychromatic insurrectionists frequented in Paris.  They crowded
together, twenty of them in a parlor twelve by twelve, very like
the concentration-camp cells in area, inhabitants, and eventual
smell, from 8 P.M. till midnight, and made up for lack of dinner
with coffee and doughnuts and exiguous sandwiches, and talked
without cessation about the Corpos.  They told as "actual facts"
stories about President Haik which had formerly been applied to
Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini--the one about the man who was
alarmed to find he had saved Haik from drowning and begged him not
to tell.

In the cafés they seized the newspapers from home.  Men who had had
an eye gouged out on behalf of freedom, with the rheumy remaining
one peered to see who had won the Missouri Avenue Bridge Club

They were brave and romantic, tragic and distinguished, and Doremus
became a little sick of them all and of the final brutality of fact
that no normal man can very long endure another's tragedy, and that
friendly weeping will some day turn to irritated kicking.

He was stirred when, in a hastily built American interdenominational
chapel, he heard a starveling who had once been a pompous bishop
read from the pine pulpit:

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we
remembered Zion.  We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst
thereof. . . .  How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange
land?  If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her
cunning.  If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the
roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy."

Here in Canada the Americans had their Weeping Wall and daily cried
with false, gallant hope, "Next year in Jerusalem!"

Sometimes Doremus was vexed by the ceaseless demanding wails of
refugees who had lost everything, sons and wives and property and
self-respect, vexed that they believed they alone had seen such
horrors; and sometimes he spent all his spare hours raising a
dollar and a little weary friendliness for these sick souls; and
sometimes he saw as fragments of Paradise every aspect of America--
such oddly assorted glimpses as Meade at Gettysburg and the massed
blue petunias in Emma's lost garden, the fresh shine of rails as
seen from a train on an April morning and Rockefeller Center.  But
whatever his mood, he refused to sit down with his harp by any
foreign waters whatever and enjoy the importance of being a
celebrated beggar.

He'd get back to America and chance another prison.  Meantime he
neatly sent packages of literary dynamite out from the N.U. offices
all day long, and efficiently directed a hundred envelope-
addressers who once had been professors and pastrycooks.

He had asked his superior, Perley Beecroft, for assignment in more
active and more dangerous work, as secret agent in America--out
West, where he was not known.  But headquarters had suffered a good
deal from amateur agents who babbled to strangers, or who could not
be trusted to keep their mouths shut while they were being flogged
to death.  Things had changed since 1929.  The N.U. believed that
the highest honor a man could earn was not to have a million
dollars but to be permitted to risk his life for truth, without pay
or praise.

Doremus knew that his chiefs did not consider him young enough or
strong enough, but also that they were studying him.  Twice he had
the honor of interviews with Trowbridge about nothing in
particular--surely it must have been an honor, though it was hard
to remember it, because Trowbridge was the simplest and friendliest
man in the whole portentous spy machine.  Cheerfully Doremus hoped
for a chance to help make the poor, overworked, worried Corpo
officials even more miserable than they normally were, now that war
with Mexico and revolts against Corpoism were jingling side by

In July, 1939, when Doremus had been in Montreal a little over five
months, and a year after his sentence to concentration camp, the
American newspapers which arrived at N.U. headquarters were full of
resentment against Mexico.

Bands of Mexicans had raided across into the United States--always,
curiously enough, when our troops were off in the desert, practice-
marching or perhaps gathering sea shells.  They burned a town in
Texas--fortunately all the women and children were away on a
Sunday-school picnic, that afternoon.  A Mexican Patriot (aforetime
he had also worked as an Ethiopian Patriot, a Chinese Patriot, and
a Haitian Patriot) came across, to the tent of an M.M. brigadier,
and confessed that while it hurt him to tattle on his own beloved
country, conscience compelled him to reveal that his Mexican
superiors were planning to fly over and bomb Laredo, San Antonio,
Bisbee, and probably Tacoma, and Bangor, Maine.

This excited the Corpo newspapers very much indeed and in New York
and Chicago they published photographs of the conscientious traitor
half an hour after he had appeared at the Brigadier's tent . . .
where, at that moment, forty-six reporters happened to be sitting
about on neighboring cactuses.

America rose to defend her hearthstones, including all the
hearthstones on Park Avenue, New York, against false and
treacherous Mexico, with its appalling army of 67,000 men, with
thirty-nine military aeroplanes.  Women in Cedar Rapids hid under
the bed; elderly gentlemen in Cattaraugus County, New York,
concealed their money in elm-tree boles; and the wife of a chicken-
raiser seven miles N.E. of Estelline, South Dakota, a woman widely
known as a good cook and a trained observer, distinctly saw a file
of ninety-two Mexican soldiers pass her cabin, starting at 3:17
A.M. on July 27, 1939.

To answer this threat, America, the one country that had never lost
a war and never started an unjust one, rose as one man, as the
Chicago Daily Evening Corporate put it.  It was planned to invade
Mexico as soon as it should be cool enough, or even earlier, if the
refrigeration and air-conditioning could be arranged.  In one
month, five million men were drafted for the invasion, and started

Thus--perhaps too flippantly--did Joe Cailey and Doremus discuss
the declaration of war against Mexico.  If they found the whole
crusade absurd, it may be stated in their defense that they
regarded all wars always as absurd; in the baldness of the lying by
both sides about the causes; in the spectacle of grown-up men
engaged in the infantile diversions of dressing-up in fancy clothes
and marching to primitive music.  The only thing not absurd about
wars, said Doremus and Cailey, was that along with their
skittishness they did kill a good many millions of people.  Ten
thousand starving babies seemed too high a price for a Sam Browne
belt for even the sweetest, touchingest young lieutenant.

Yet both Doremus and Cailey swiftly recanted their assertion that
all wars were absurd and abominable; both of them made exception of
the people's wars against tyranny, as suddenly America's agreeable
anticipation of stealing Mexico was checked by a popular rebellion
against the whole Corpo régime.

The revolting section was, roughly, bounded by Sault Ste. Marie,
Detroit, Cincinnati, Wichita, San Francisco, and Seattle, though in
that territory large patches remained loyal to President Haik, and
outside of it, other large patches joined the rebels.  It was the
part of America which had always been most "radical"--that
indefinite word, which probably means "most critical of piracy."
It was the land of the Populists, the Non-Partisan League, the
Farmer-Labor Party, and the La Follettes--a family so vast as to
form a considerable party in itself.

Whatever might happen, exulted Doremus, the revolt proved that
belief in America and hope for America were not dead.

These rebels had most of them, before his election, believed in
Buzz Windrip's fifteen points; believed that when he said he wanted
to return the power pilfered by the bankers and the industrialists
to the people, he more or less meant that he wanted to return the
power of the bankers and industrialists to the people.  As month by
month they saw that they had been cheated with marked cards again,
they were indignant; but they were busy with cornfield and sawmill
and dairy and motor factory, and it took the impertinent idiocy of
demanding that they march down into the desert and help steal a
friendly country to jab them into awakening and into discovering
that, while they had been asleep, they had been kidnaped by a small
gang of criminals armed with high ideals, well-buttered words and a
lot of machine guns.

So profound was the revolt that the Catholic Archbishop of
California and the radical Ex-Governor of Minnesota found
themselves in the same faction.

At first it was a rather comic outbreak--comic as the ill-trained,
un-uniformed, confusedly thinking revolutionists of Massachusetts
in 1776.  President General Haik publicly jeered at them as a
"ridiculous rag-tag rebellion of hoboes too lazy to work."  And at
first they were unable to do anything more than scold like a flock
of crows, throw bricks at detachments of M.M.'s and policemen,
wreck troop trains, and destroy the property of such honest private
citizens as owned Corpo newspapers.

It was in August that the shock came, when General Emmanuel Coon,
Chief of Staff of the regulars, flew from Washington to St. Paul,
took command of Fort Snelling, and declared for Walt Trowbridge as
Temporary President of the United States, to hold office until
there should be a new, universal, and uncontrolled presidential

Trowbridge proclaimed acceptance--with the proviso that he should
not be a candidate for permanent President.

By no means all of the regulars joined Coon's revolutionary troops.
(There are two sturdy myths among the Liberals: that the Catholic
Church is less Puritanical and always more esthetic than the
Protestant; and that professional soldiers hate war more than do
congressmen and old maids.)  But there were enough regulars who
were fed up with the exactions of greedy, mouth-dripping Corpo
commissioners and who threw in with General Coon so that
immediately after his army of regulars and hastily trained
Minnesota farmers had won the battle of Mankato, the forces at
Leavenworth took control of Kansas City, and planned to march on
St. Louis and Omaha; while in New York, Governor's Island and Fort
Wadsworth looked on, neutral, as unmilitary-looking and mostly
Jewish guerrillas seized the subways, power stations, and railway

But there the revolt halted, because in the America, which had so
warmly praised itself for its "widespread popular free education,"
there had been so very little education, widespread, popular, free,
or anything else, that most people did not know what they wanted--
indeed knew about so few things to want at all.

There had been plenty of schoolrooms; there had been lacking only
literate teachers and eager pupils and school boards who regarded
teaching as a profession worthy of as much honor and pay as
insurance-selling or embalming or waiting on table.  Most Americans
had learned in school that God had supplanted the Jews as chosen
people by the Americans, and this time done the job much better, so
that we were the richest, kindest, and cleverest nation living;
that depressions were but passing headaches and that labor unions
must not concern themselves with anything except higher wages and
shorter hours and, above all, must not set up an ugly class
struggle by combining politically; that, though foreigners tried to
make a bogus mystery of them, politics were really so simple that
any village attorney or any clerk in the office of a metropolitan
sheriff was quite adequately trained for them; and that if John D.
Rockefeller or Henry Ford had set his mind to it, he could have
become the most distinguished statesman, composer, physicist, or
poet in the land.

Even two-and-half years of despotism had not yet taught most
electors humility, nor taught them much of anything except that it
was unpleasant to be arrested too often.

So, after the first gay eruption of rioting, the revolt slowed up.
Neither the Corpos nor many of their opponents knew enough to
formulate a clear, sure theory of self-government, or irresistibly
resolve to engage in the sore labor of fitting themselves for
freedom. . . .  Even yet, after Windrip, most of the easy-going
descendants of the wisecracking Benjamin Franklin had not learned
that Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" meant
anything more than a high-school yell or a cigarette slogan.

The followers of Trowbridge and General Coon--"The American
Cooperative Commonwealth" they began to call themselves--did not
lose any of the territory they had seized; they held it, driving
out all Corpo agents, and now and then added a county or two.  But
mostly their rule, and equally the Corpos' rule, was as unstable as
politics in Ireland.

So the task of Walt Trowbridge, which in August had seemed
finished, before October seemed merely to have begun.  Doremus
Jessup was called into Trowbridge's office, to hear from the

"I guess the time's come when we need Underground agents in the
States with sense as well as guts.  Report to General Barnes for
service proselytizing in Minnesota.  Good luck, Brother Jessup!
Try to persuade the orators that are still holding out for
Discipline and clubs that they ain't so much stalwart as funny!"

And all that Doremus thought was, "Kind of a nice fellow,
Trowbridge.  Glad to be working with him," as he set off on his new
task of being a spy and professional hero without even any funny
passwords to make the game romantic.


His packing was done.  It had been very simple, since his kit
consisted only of toilet things, one change of clothes, and the
first volume of Spengler's Decline of the West.  He was waiting in
his hotel lobby for time to take the train to Winnipeg.  He was
interested by the entrance of a lady more decorative than the
females customarily seen in this modest inn: a hand-tooled
presentation copy of a lady, in crushed levant and satin doublure;
a lady with mascara'd eyelashes, a permanent wave, and a cobweb
frock.  She ambled through the lobby and leaned against a fake-
marble pillar, wielding a long cigarette-holder and staring at
Doremus.  She seemed amused by him, for no clear reason.

Could she be some sort of Corpo spy?

She lounged toward him, and he realized that she was Lorinda Pike.

While he was still gasping, she chuckled, "Oh, no, darling, I'm not
so realistic in my art as to carry out this rôle too far!  It just
happens to be the easiest disguise to win over the Corpo frontier
guards--if you'll agree it really is a disguise!"

He kissed her with a fury which shocked the respectable hostelry.

She knew, from N.U. agents, that he was going out into a very fair
risk of being flogged to death.  She had come solely to say
farewell and bring him what might be his last budget of news.

Buck was in concentration camp--he was more feared and more guarded
than Doremus had been, and Linda had not been able to buy him out.
Julian, Karl, and John Pollikop were still alive, still imprisoned.
Father Perefixe was running the N.U. cell in Fort Beulah, but
slightly confused because he wanted to approve of war with Mexico,
a nation which he detested for its treatment of Catholic priests.
Lorinda and he had, apparently, fought bloodily all one evening
about Catholic rule in Latin America.  As is always typical of
Liberals, Lorinda managed to speak of Father Perefixe at once with
virtuous loathing and the greatest affection.  Emma and David were
reported as well content in Worcester, though there were murmurs
that Philip's wife did not too thankfully receive her mother-in-
law's advice on cooking.  Sissy was becoming a deft agitator who
still, remembering that she was a born architect, drew plans for
houses that Julian and she would some day adorn.  She contrived
blissfully to combine assaults on all Capitalism with an entirely
capitalistic conception of the year-long honeymoons Julian and she
were going to have.

Less surprising than any of this were the tidings that Francis
Tasbrough, very beautiful in repentance, had been let out of the
Corpo prison to which he had been sent for too much grafting and
was again a district commissioner, well thought of, and that his
housekeeper was now Mrs. Candy, whose daily reports on his most
secret arrangements were the most neatly written and sternly
grammatical documents that came into Vermont N.U. headquarters.

Then Lorinda was looking up at him as he stood in the vestibule of
his Westbound train and crying, "You look so well again!  Are you
happy?  Oh, be happy!"

Even now he did not see this defeminized radical woman crying. . . .
She turned away from him and raced down the station platform too
quickly.  She had lost all her confident pose of flip elegance.
Leaning out from the vestibule he saw her stop at the gate,
diffidently raise her hand as if to wave at the long anonymity of
the train windows, then shakily march away through the gates.  And
he realized that she hadn't even his address; that no one who loved
him would have any stable address for him now any more.

Mr. William Barton Dobbs, a traveling man for harvesting machinery,
an erect little man with a small gray beard and a Vermont accent,
got out of bed in his hotel in a section in Minnesota which had so
many Bavarian-American and Yankee-descended farmers, and so few
"radical" Scandinavians, that it was still loyal to President Haik.

He went down to breakfast, cheerfully rubbing his hands.  He
consumed grapefruit and porridge--but without sugar: there was an
embargo on sugar.  He looked down and inspected himself; he sighed,
"I'm getting too much of a pod, with all this outdoor work and
being so hungry; I've got to cut down on the grub"; and then he
consumed fried eggs, bacon, toast, coffee made of acorns, and
marmalade made of carrots--Coon's troops had shut off coffee beans
and oranges.

He read, meantime, the Minneapolis Daily Corporate.  It announced a
Great Victory in Mexico--in the same place, he noted, in which
there had already been three Great Victories in the past two weeks.
Also, a "shameful rebellion" had been put down in Andalusia,
Alabama; it was reported that General Göring was coming over to be
the guest of President Haik; and the pretender Trowbridge was said
"by a reliable source" to have been assassinated, kidnaped, and
compelled to resign.

"No news this morning," regretted Mr. William Barton Dobbs.

As he came out of the hotel, a squad of Minute Men were marching
by.  They were farm boys, newly recruited for service in Mexico;
they looked as scared and soft and big-footed as a rout of rabbits.
They tried to pipe up the newest-oldest war song, in the manner of
the Civil War ditty "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again":

     When Johnny comes home from Greaser Land,
          Hurray, hurraw,
     His ears will be full of desert sand,
          Hurray, hurraw,
     But he'll speaka de Spiggoty pretty sweet
     And he'll bring us a gun and a señorit',
     And we'll all get stewed when
          Johnny comes marching home!

Their voices wavered.  They peeped at the crowd along the walk, or
looked sulkily down at their dragging feet, and the crowd, which
once would have been yelping "Hail Haik!" was snickering "You
beggars 'll never get to Greaser Land!" and even, from the safety
of a second-story window, "Hurray, hurraw for Trowbridge!"

"Poor devils!" thought Mr. William Barton Dobbs, as he watched the
frightened toy soldiers . . . not too toy-like to keep them from

Yet it is a fact that he could see in the crowd numerous persons
whom his arguments, and those of the sixty-odd N.U. secret agents
under him, had converted from fear of the M.M.'s to jeering.

In his open Ford convertible--he never started it but he thought of
how he had "put it over on Sissy" by getting a Ford all his own--
Doremus drove out of the village into stubble-lined prairie.  The
meadow larks' liquid ecstasy welcomed him from barbed-wire fences.
If he missed the strong hills behind Fort Beulah, he was yet
exalted by the immensity of the sky, the openness of prairie that
promised he could go on forever, the gayety of small sloughs seen
through their fringes of willows and cottonwoods, and once,
aspiring overhead, an early flight of mallards.

He whistled boisterously as he bounced on along the section-line

He reached a gaunt yellow farmhouse--it was to have had a porch,
but there was only an unpainted nothingness low down on the front
wall to show where the porch would be.  To a farmer who was oiling
a tractor in the pig-littered farmyard he chirped, "Name's William
Barton Dobbs--representing the Des Moines Combine and Up-to-Date
Implement Company."

The farmer galloped up to shake hands, breathing, "By golly this is
a great honor, Mr. J--"


"That's right.  'Scuse me."

In an upper bedroom of the farmhouse, seven men were waiting,
perched on chair and table and edges of the bed, or just squatted
on the floor.  Some of them were apparently farmers; some
unambitious shopkeepers.  As Doremus bustled in, they rose and

"Good-morning gentlemen.  A little news," he said.  "Coon has
driven the Corpos out of Yankton and Sioux Falls.  Now I wonder if
you're ready with your reports?"

To the agent whose difficulty in converting farm-owners had been
their dread of paying decent wages to farm hands, Doremus presented
for use the argument (as formalized yet passionate as the
observations of a life-insurance agent upon death by motor
accident) that poverty for one was poverty for all. . . .  It
wasn't such a very new argument, nor so very logical, but it had
been a useful carrot for many human mules.

For the agent among the Finnish-American settlers, who were
insisting that Trowbridge was a Bolshevik and just as bad as the
Russians, Doremus had a mimeographed quotation from the Izvestia of
Moscow damning Trowbridge as a "social Fascist quack."  For the
Bavarian farmers down the other way, who were still vaguely pro-
Nazi, Doremus had a German émigré paper published in Prague,
proving (though without statistics or any considerable quotation
from official documents) that, by agreement with Hitler, President
Haik was, if he remained in power, going to ship back to the German
Army all German-Americans with so much as one grandparent born in
the Fatherland.

"Do we close with a cheerful hymn and the benediction, Mr. Dobbs?"
demanded the youngest and most flippant--and quite the most

"I wouldn't mind!  Maybe it wouldn't be so unsuitable as you think.
But considering the loose morals and economics of most of you
comrades, perhaps it would be better if I closed with a new story
about Haik and Mae West that I heard, day before yesterday. . . .
Bless you all!  Goodbye!"

As he drove to his next meeting, Doremus fretted, "I don't believe
that Prague story about Haik and Hitler is true.  I think I'll quit
using it.  Oh, I know--I know, Mr. Dobbs; as you say, if you did
tell the truth to a Nazi, it would still be a lie.  But just the
same I think I'll quit using it. . . .  Lorinda and me, that
thought we could get free of Puritanism! . . .  Those cumulus
clouds are better than a galleon.  If they'd just move Mount
Terror and Fort Beulah and Lorinda and Buck here, this would be
Paradise. . . .  Oh, Lord, I don't want to, but I suppose I'll have
to order the attack on the M.M. post at Osakis now; they're ready
for it. . . .  I wonder if that shotgun charge yesterday WAS
intended for me? . . .  Didn't really like Lorinda's hair fixed up
in that New York style at all!"

He slept that night in a cottage on the shore of a sandy-bottomed
lake ringed with bright birches.  His host and his host's wife,
worshipers of Trowbridge, had insisted on giving him their own
room, with the patchwork quilt and the hand-painted pitcher and

He dreamed--as he still did dream, once or twice a week--that he
was back in his cell at Trianon.  He knew again the stink, the
cramped and warty bunk, the never relaxed fear that he might be
dragged out and flogged.

He heard magic trumpets.  A soldier opened the door and invited out
all the prisoners.  There, in the quadrangle, General Emmanuel Coon
(who, to Doremus's dreaming fancy, looked exactly like Sherman)
addressed them:

"Gentlemen, the Commonwealth army has conquered!  Haik has been
captured!  You are free!"

So they marched out, the prisoners, the bent and scarred and
crippled, the vacant-eyed and slobbering, who had come into this
place as erect and daring men: Doremus, Dan Wilgus, Buck, Julian,
Mr. Falck, Henry Veeder, Karl Pascal, John Pollikop, Truman Webb.
They crept out of the quadrangle gates, through a double line of
soldiers standing rigidly at Present Arms yet weeping as they
watched the broken prisoners crawling past.

And beyond the soldiers, Doremus saw the women and children.  They
were waiting for him--the kind arms of Lorinda and Emma and Sissy
and Mary, with David behind them, clinging to his father's hand,
and Father Perefixe.  And Foolish was there, his tail a proud
plume, and from the dream-blurred crowd came Mrs. Candy, holding
out to him a cocoanut cake.

Then all of them were fleeing, frightened by Shad Ledue--

His host was slapping Doremus's shoulder, muttering, "Just had a
phone call.  Corpo posse out after you."

So Doremus rode out, saluted by the meadow larks, and onward all
day, to a hidden cabin in the Northern Woods where quiet men
awaited news of freedom.

And still Doremus goes on in the red sunrise, for a Doremus Jessup
can never die.


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