The Daughter of a Republican
by Bernie Babcock
CHAPTER II. THE
THORNS AT HOME.
ASLEEP IN JESUS.
LESSONS OF AN
CHAPTER VI. THE
CHAPTER VII. THE
JUDGE MAKES A
HEARS A VOICE.
CHAPTER X. “THE
CHAPTER XI. AN
THE DAUGHTER OF A REPUBLICAN
THE NEW VOICE PRESS
Copyright by Dickie and Woolley 1899
The world at large gives small attention to human effort until it
has reached the full stature of a robust maturity.
By way of encouragement, it is well for many obscure toilers that
there are those who think they see a bud of promise in the yet
Because of the loving interest she has always taken in my every
first attempt, I dedicate this little volume to
[Illustration: 'I'm cold,' whined the boy.]
The Daughter of a Republican.
CHAPTER I. THE CROWLEY FAMILY.
Let me introduce the reader to the Crowley family, and when you have
become acquainted with them bear well in mind that in this broad land
of ours there are thousands upon thousands of families in a condition
as deplorable, and some whose mercury line of debauchery has dropped to
a point of miserable existence as yet unsounded by this family.
The Crowleys are all in tonight, except the father, and he is
It is a bitter night in February. The ground is covered with ice and
sleet causing many a fall to the unwary pedestrian.
The wind comes in cutting blasts directly from the north, rattling
and twisting everything in its way not securely fastened, then dying
away in a long weary moan, abandoning its effort only to seize upon the
elements with a firmer grasp and come battling back with fresh
vindictiveness and force.
There were those who did not mind this storm, people around whose
homes all was secure and whom no rattling annoyed, people who enjoyed
bright lights and warm fires, but these were not the Crowleys. The
Crowley's home consisted of two rooms in a rickety old tenement house
around which everything rattled and flapped as the wind raged. Their
light came from a dingy little lamp on a goods box. Every now and then
a more violent gust of wind struck the house with such force that the
structure trembled and the feeble light flickered dangerously.
Here and there broken windows were stopped up with rags and papers
and through the insecure crevices the wind found its way with a
rasping, tiresome groan.
What little fire there was, burned in a small rusty stove. Its door
stood open, perhaps to keep the low fire burning longer, perhaps to let
the warmth out sooner, and against the pale red glow four small hands
were visible, spread to catch the feeble heat.
On a bed in one corner, gaunt, and with wasted form, a woman lay.
This was the mother.
A girl of perhaps fifteen sat close to the stove and held a tiny
baby wrapped in a gingham apron.
A spell seemed to have fallen on the usually noisy group. Even Cora,
the family merrymaker, was quiet, until aroused from her reverie by an
act of her brother who replenished the fire.
She spoke rather severely.
Johnnie, how many pieces of coal are there left in the box?
Fiveand little ones.
Then get to work quick! Take out one of the pieces that you have
just put in. We are not rich enough to burn three pieces at once.
I'm cold, whined the boy.
So am I, awful cold, but you know that coal must do till pa comes.
I'd like to know when that will be. Any other pa would be home such
a freezing night as this. I hate my pa.
Johnnie, Johnnie, you must not talk that way. He is your father,
The voice came from the bed and was marked by that peculiar tone
noticeable when persons extremely cold try to speak without chattering.
I can't help it, mother. I'm cold, so cold, and I'm hungry, too. I
only had half a potato, and Maggie says they're all gone.
Poor child! said the mother with a sigh. Here, Maggie, give him
this, and she drew from under the pillow a small potato which she held
toward the girl.
But the girl did not stir until the hungry boy made a move in the
direction of the bed. This movement aroused her as his overdose of coal
had roused his other watchful sister a moment previous.
No! No! Johnnie. Do not take it. Our mother will starve. She has
not eaten anything for two days.
Let him have it, Maggie. I cannot eat it. Perhaps your father will
come soon and bring some tea. I think a good cup of tea would make me
And, mother, said Cora, we will take the money we were going to
spend for shoes and get a bit of flannel for you and the baby. You must
have it or you will freeze. Surely father will come soon. He said he
Nearly everyone has gone home now. Hardly a person passes, Cora
observed, with her nose pressed against the frosty pane.
That is because it is so cold. It is not late yet. We will wait a
little longer, and then Maggie
O, mother! Do not ask me to go. It is so cold, and supposesuppose
I had to go into a saloon again. It nearly kills me to go about such
You might meet him, Maggie, and keep him from going in.
If my pa don't come tonight, he's a big liar, that's all! broke in
His mother did not answer him. She was watching the face bent low
over the tiny baby. She noted the careworn look and the nervous
pressure of the hand held over the tiny one to keep it warm.
Presently the girl lifted her eyes to her mother. Those tender
pleading eyes of the mother would have melted a harder heart than hers.
She went to the bed and put the baby in, close to its mother's side.
Then she threw her arms around the haggard woman's neck and kissed her
Dear mother, she said, I would do anything for you. I will go for
father, and before it gets any later.
Pray, child! Pray every breath you draw! Pray every step you take
that you may find him before it is too late. If you do notI cannot
imagine what is to become of us. Pray! God is not cruel. Surely he will
hear us in our misery.
Would you see the drunkard's daughter dressed for a walk this bitter
night? A frail, slender girl, who should have been warmly clad, she is
dressed in thinnest, shabby cotton, through which the elements will
play as through rags of gauze, while the flesh of her feet, unprotected
by her almost soleless shoes, will press against the sleet. The two
faded pink roses that flap forlornly on the side of her coarse straw
hat bear a silent suggestion of pathosa faint remembrance, perhaps,
of the days of departed happiness.
While she is adjusting the remnant of a shawl so as to cover as much
of her shoulders as possible, the children are giving her numerous
messages to be given their father when she finds him. At last she is
ready. After hesitating a moment she kisses them all and with a shudder
steps out into the howling, swirling blast.
She walked briskly, halting a second every time she met a man to see
if he were the object of her search and passing each time with a
growing fear, as each time she was disappointed.
At last she came to the door of the saloon where her father had so
often worse than wasted the money his family were perishing for at
She knew it was warm and light inside. Perhaps her father had just
stepped inside to get warm. Should she look?
While she stood shivering in the wind, getting her courage up to the
point of entering, a man passed her and went in. As he went through the
door a familiar voice greeted her ear, a voice she well knew and had
learned to fear.
She did not hesitate longer. Opening the door she walked swiftly and
noiselessly in. For a moment the air seemed to stagger her, so laden
was it with the fumes of liquor and tobacco. There was a crowd around
the bar and the bartender was busy mixing drinks and jingling glasses.
She saw her father. He was about two-thirds drunk and she knew, poor
child, that she had found him at his worst. Her courage almost failed
her, and she took an involuntary step toward the door. Her father's
voice arrested her.
Here it goes, and it's my last. Now, who can say Dam Crow has not
done the square thing? And with the words he flung a silver dollar on
the bar. His last had joined his first. All had gone into the same
coffer while an innocent wife and helpless children were starving and
freezing at home.
A pair of hungry, pleading blue eyes came like a vision to Maggie.
Before the ring of the silver had died away, she sprang forward like a
tiger and seized the dollar.
Thief! thief! cried a chorus of voices and two or three seized
By the Lord, it's Mag! my Mag! Give that money where it belongs,
and tell what brings you here, you huzzy, and Damon Crowley seized his
daughter by the shoulder and shook her savagely.
I will give it where it belongs, and that will be to mother. I came
here for you, father. Mother is sick and cold and nearly starved. The
children are all crying for something to eat and the coal is gone; and
this is the last?
She opened her hand and looked at the dollar. Damon Crowley reached
for it, but quick as a flash she closed her fingers over it and thrust
her hand behind her.
Never, she said firmly. This is the last. It shall be ours to buy
mother some tea and the children some bread.
Give me that money, you devilish brat! and stepping forward he
struck her a blow in the face.
Some of the bystanders laughed. Some called her a plucky girl, and
one, more nearly drunk than the rest, thinking that he was in a dog pit
no doubt, called lustily, Sic 'em! Sic 'em!
Maggie cast an appealing glance around the room. All of the men had
been drinking. Some were nearly intoxicated. The bartender was sober,
but it was his dollar that was involved; he could not interfere.
Poor Maggie! She stood her ground bravely. It was the last; she
could not let it go. The enraged man gave vent to his passion in a
volley of oaths. Give me that dollar, or I'll bust your head. I
won't stand such treatment, you fool! and suiting the action to
the words, he drew from under the stove a heavy poker and started
Someone caught his upraised arm.
Let her go, Dam Crow. Let her have her dollar. You've done the
square thing. Not a stingy bone in your body.
A laugh followed this speech, in which Damon Crowley joined, and
which seemed to put him in better humor. He threw the poker down
heavily and taking the frightened girl rudely by the arm pushed her
toward the door.
Tell the sick lady her husband wants her to have tea, nice warm
tea, plenty of tea, and this is your share, and opening the door he
pushed her into the passageway and gave her a violent kick.
The crowd inside laughed loudly and then went on with their drinking
and swearing as if nothing had happened. Such visits as the visit of
Maggie were of too frequent occurrence to cause any prolonged ripple of
Poor Maggie! She lay groaning on the cold, slippery ground, just
outside this licensed, money-making pet of Uncle Sam's.
She was half crazed with pain and growing numb when two young
gentlemen came along. One stooped and picked up something lying in the
Gad! I've good luck, and he held up the dollar.
Please, mister! it's mine. Give it to me quick. It's all that's
And what did you do with the others? Come now, you've had a little
too much of the stuff inside, but you'd better move on or you'll
Let's call a policeman.
Too cold to stop. They'll find her; and if she freezes, well
enough. Her kind are of no use to the world.
Then the speaker dropped the dollar in his pocket, and taking his
companion's arm hastened away.
O God! O God! groaned Maggie. But her cry was lost on the moaning
Presently a man wrapped in a fur-trimmed coat turned the corner and
almost ran over the prostrate form. He halted suddenly and spoke to
her. No answer.
He shook her. Only a faint groan.
Then he stepped to the saloon, and after a sharp, decided knock by
way of announcement, entered.
Does the girl lying outside belong to anyone here? She is nearly
A couple of men stepped to the door and peered out.
It's Dam Crow's girl. She was in here a huntin' him.
Where is her father?
That's him, pointing to a man lying on a bench behind the stove.
Guess he's asleep, said the man, smiling broadly.
Wake him, and hurry about it, said the gentleman.
But Damon Crowley was not in a sleep that could be easily broken.
Like a beast he lay. The spittle oozed from his mouth and spread over
his dirty beard in true drunkard fashion. When told that his daughter
was just outside freezing, he could only grunt.
Where is his home?
Small use to take her there, one man observed, recounting part of
the interview that had taken place a short time before. But no one knew
where he lived. The muffled man left the saloon abruptly, evidently
Stepping into the street he called a cab just passing. After having
had the half-dead girl placed in the vehicle, the gentleman followed,
slamming the door.
Then he took off his great coat and threw it over her tattered
Judge Thorn was a tender-hearted man.
CHAPTER II. THE THORNS AT HOME.
The Thorn homestead, like the family whose name it bore, was
magnificent and substantial in an unassuming way. Its gray gables
seemed to look with a frown on the gingerbread style of architecture
that had grown up around it. Under the trees on its lawn, three
generations of Thorns had grown to man's estate, and every one of them
had become a lawyer.
It had been the hope of the present occupant that when he left the
estate he might leave it in the hands of a son, but this was not to be.
After a short married life his wife died, leaving him childless.
Some years later he married a second time. When his first child was
born and he was told it was a daughter, he was disappointed. When the
second child came and was also a girl, his disappointment verged on
resentment. Through the hours of anxious waiting that preceded the
arrival of the third child, he walked the floor in a state of mind
alternating between hope and fear, and when at last the suspense was
over and he looked upon the tiny features of a son, his joy knew no
He hurried out to break the news to the two little sisters whom he
imagined would be as pleased as he was. He found them in the yard,
Vivian swinging with her doll and Jean digging a hole in a pile of
sand. When the important announcement was made, the black-haired Vivian
clapped her hands for joy, but the other little girl kept right on
digging, just as if she had not heard. When she had passed the critical
point in the process of excavating she paused and looked up.
The expression in her father's face was something new to her, and
she studied him in silence a moment, then said, solemnly:
Are boys any better than girls, father?
Better? Why no, they are no better. They are boys, that is all.
Well, then! and the tone of her voice, no less than the words,
conveyed the meaning that the matter was settled, and she returned to
her digging as if nothing had happened. But she did not forget the
incident, and when, shortly after, the tiny baby boy in the cold arms
of his mother had been put to rest beneath a mound, and the light had
gone out of the father's face and the elasticity out of his step,
little Jean pondered and her heart went out strangely to her father in
his bitter trouble. She followed him softly about and studied him.
One evening, some time after the little son had come and gone, Jean
appeared before her father in the library to make an important
announcement. I've been thinking the matter over, father, she said,
and I've made up my mind I will be your boy. You want a boy, and you
know yourself you'll never be able to make one of Vivian, with her wee
little mouth and her long braids. Now my hair is just right and I can
throw a stone exactly over the middle of the barn and kick a ball
farther than any boy on the block. I shall kick more hereafter, for
don't you think a boy's legs ought to be cultivated?
Judge Thorn smiled and assured her that she was correct in her idea
of muscular development.
Are boys as good as girls, father?
Boys as good as girls? Why, certainly.
Well, you said once that girls were as good as boys, and if boys
are as good as girls they're as good as each other, aren't they?
Judge Thorn could not keep back the laugh this time.
I believe that is the logical conclusion, he said.
Then tell me truly, father, if I'm going to be your boy, are you
going to be as glad as you were that morning you bothered me when I was
digging my well?
Judge Thorn hesitated a moment, but the clear gray eyes were upon
him, and he felt the justice of their plea.
Yes, dear, I think so.
And may I do just as you do when I get bigread books and make
Now Judge Thorn was not an advocate of the advanced sphere of women
and was not sure he wanted his daughter to be a lawyer, but after a
short reflection, perhaps thinking the request but the passing fancy of
a child, he gave his assent.
Thank you, father, she responded gravely. I think you are a very
good man. Then she kissed him and left the room.
He sat, still smiling, when her voice close to his side startled him
with the announcement:
I think, father, if you do not care, I will not go into pants. I
might not feel at home, you know.
From the time that the little Jean had announced herself as her
father's boy, he took more interest in her; and as the child developed,
he saw unfolding the traits and abilities he had hoped to nurture in a
son. Intuitively she seemed to understand his moods and fancies, and as
her understanding developed, the books were a source of delight to her,
and many times she discussed knotty problems with her father in a way
that pleased him mightily.
So, as the years went by, she slipped into the place the father had
reserved for the son, and he loved her with a peculiarly tender love
and was never prouder of her than when he heard her say, in explanation
of her notions and her plans, I am my father's boy.
On the particular night when Maggie Crowley was wandering about in
the storm, two young women occupied a handsome room in the Thorn home.
A cheerful wood fire burned on the hearth and the clear rays from an
overhanging light cast brightness over the rows of books that lined the
These were two people who minded not the winter weather. The cold
wind blowing through the gables and leafless trees held no terror for
them. Perhaps they rather liked to hear it as by way of comparison it
made their lot seem more comfortable.
The tall slender woman with black hair was examining alternately a
fashion book and a bunch of samples. She was Vivian, a pronounced
The other sat in a low chair, by a small study table, reading, only
looking up now and then to answer some question put to her by her
sister. This was my father's boy.
The solemn little Jean was gone, in her place was this altogether
charming young person, whose shapely head was crowned with coils and
coils of red brown hair held in place by numerous quaintly carved
silver hairpins. If it had not been for the clear gray eyes and the
quaint fashion she still had of dropping her head on one side when
solving some momentous problem, the little Jean might have been a
Presently the door opened and Judge Thorn entered.
Nice evening, girls!
The young lady looked at the book quizzically a moment and then
United States history, father. Last week I reviewed Caesar. Now I
am on this, and if I do my best I think I may reasonably hope to be in
the Third Reader by next week.
The judge laughed.
I have been reading our constitution and looking over the record of
'the late unpleasantness,' said Jean. It is very interesting to me.
Do you know, father, I love every woman who gave a husband or a son to
her country, and I almost hold in reverence the memory of the men who
shed their blood to effect the abolition of human slavery in America.
The tall form of the Judge straightened and his eye brightened, like
a soldier's when he hears the names of his old battle-fields.
Do not forget, he said, that there were those who acted as brave
a part who never faced a cannon. It is easy to be borne by the force of
a great wave; but those who by their time and talents put the wave of
public opinion in motion are the real heroes.
I can remember the time when a man who preached or taught Abolition
was looked upon as narrow-minded, fanatical, bigoted and even criminal.
When the name was a stench in the nostrils of the people even in
liberty-loving Boston. When men were rotten-egged, beaten, and in some
instances killed because they dared to follow the dictates of their own
consciences and make sentiment for the overthrow of the traffic in
humanity. It took all this to bring it about. No great moral reform
takes place without agitation, or without martyrs. Those men bore the
brunt of battle before the battle was. They were most surely heroes.
They made the tidal wave of opinion that swept the country with
insistent force and struck the shackles from 3,000,000 slaves.
And you, father, were one of them, cried the enthusiastic girl.
What perils you must have braved!
I did all I could, you may be sure, answered the judge, modestly,
and I imagine it would be more agreeable to be whipped in a
hand-to-hand encounter than to be caricatured, misrepresented and lied
about, and by those, too, who claimed to have the abolition of slavery
near their hearts, who prayed unceasingly for its utter destruction,
and then split hairs as to the way in which it was to be accomplished,
and who fondly hoped to exterminate it by marking boundary lines.
But then, asked Jean, was there no way by which this terrible war
could have been averted? No way by which the government could have
regulated and gradually suppressed slavery?
Regulations and restrictions, replied the Judge, waxing eloquent,
put upon such a vice by a government are but its terms of partnership.
Gradual suppression of a mighty evil is always a signal failure, and
while we wait to prove these failures the enemy gains foothold.
I am proud of you, fatherproud to be my father's boyproud to be
the daughter of a patriot, said Jean, with tears in her clear eyes. I
am a patriot, too, and if ever such an issue comes to the front in my
day, I intend to do a patriot's part, if I am a woman.
I do not think such an issue will ever be forced to the front
again. That was a moral question as well as political. Other matters
vex the people of todaymoney matters mostlyin which more diplomacy
is required than bravery.
I must hurry now. I have but fifteen minutes in which to get down
You surely are not going out tonight?
Business appointments must be kept. The storm was not considerate
enough to leave town before 'the man' came, and 'the man' cannot wait
for the storm to take its departure, so what is to be done?
Does James know?
I do not want the horses tonight.
Jean stepped out and returned with his wraps. She held the great
coat while he thrust his long arms into it. Then she tied his muffler
around his neck.
Father, while you are out, if you run across any lonely reformer,
put in for Jean an application for the position of first assistant,
Judge Thorn left the room, and these two daughters of fortune
settled themselves for a comfortable evening.
Before it seemed possible that an hour had gone they heard a vehicle
drive up to the side gate.
The carriage stopped for several minutes, then rattled away over the
hard ground, and presently the judge re-entered the room.
Ugh! This is a tough night. Fire feels good, and he rubbed his
I brought home company, girls. Not exactly the reformer Vivian was
speaking of; perhaps someone to reform.
What do you mean?
Whom have you found?
I think I may be able to explain what I mean, but until the girl
thaws out a little we will not know who she is, said the judge
What in the world do you mean, father? But tell us about it.
Well, as usual on a night of this sort, there was a missing man.
The search for him took me a couple of blocks out of my way and in
coming back I passed a saloon of a low order and found the girl lying
in the sleet. I thought more than likely she was drunk, and stepped
into the saloon to advise them to look after their productions. Here I
found her father in a state of beastly intoxication and learned that
she had been there, a short time before, begging him to go home with
her to a sick wife and some hungry children, but I could not find out
where this home was. Just as I left the saloon a cab came along, and I
had the driver put the girl in it. This is all. Where are you going,
Going to see the object of your charity.
Judge Thorn placed his hand on Jean's shoulder and pushed her gently
back into her chair.
Possess your soul in patience. You could be of no possible service
if you were to go. Mrs. Floyd has her in charge and will do all that is
necessary. I am not sure that it was wise to bring her here. I am
almost sorry that I did so, but I hated to leave her and there was not
a policeman in sight; there never is.
It is a shame such places as the place at which I stopped tonight
are allowed to exist. Two-thirds of the crime and misery of our entire
nation can be traced directly to their doors. They are a public
nuisance, an outrage to civilization. Temperance people must see to it
that license is raised so high that this sort cannot obtain it.
Would that shut them up? said Jean.
Certainly it would.
Not all the saloons?
All the poor, low ones.
What about the rich ones?
It would make no difference with them, but they have not the bad
effect on the morals of a community that the low ones have. They are
patronized by a set of people who do not pour their last cent down
their throats and employ their time beating their families.
Jean crossed one foot over the other, leaned slightly forward and
with her head dropped a little to one side in the old-time way, sat
studying the fire. She was trying to solve some knotty problem.
Her father smiled. It seemed she was the little Jean come back.
[Illustration: Give me some, quick!]
CHAPTER III. JEAN THE ABOLITIONIST.
Come in, father, and make yourself comfortable. It was Jean
speaking, as she stood in the glow of the library lamp. I have been
waiting for you. You need not cast your eye around for the paper; you
will not find it until my case has had a hearing.
Judge Thorn sank into the great easy chair before the fire with an
air of forced resignation, and the young woman continued:
It is quite necessary nowadays, you know, for women to have
'ideas.' I have ideas on social and moral questions, but I do not know
just where I belong when it comes to politics.
The judge lifted his hands with a show of expostulation.
So our Jean would be a politician, he cried. Oh, the times! Oh,
Not quite so bad as that, father, replied the young woman, smiling
but serious; but I am in downright earnest. The making, the unmaking
and the enforcing of law are politics, and every American woman should
have an interest in these things. Every thinking woman must have an
interest in them. I must know more of politics.
You are right, said her father, thoughtfully; you are right. I do
not believe a woman should get out of her sphere, but a woman's
influence is mighty, and inasmuch as all law and reform come through
the ballot box, there can be no harm in her giving an intelligent
hearing to politics.
Then, father, please listen to me for a few minutes; I want to tell
you what has set me to thinking along these lines. Two weeks ago you
brought Maggie Crowley here. I went to see her in her room the next
morning, and she told me her story. Her mother was sick, the children
were hungry and cold, so she started out to find the father before he
had spent his money for drink.
When she finally found him, she found him in a saloon in the act of
handing over his last dollar to pay for liquor that others had drunk as
well as himself. She got the dollar some way and started home, when, as
she said, she fell. The dollar rolled into the street and a passerby
picked it up and pocketed it, in spite of the fact that she told him
that it was hers, and that it was the last.
I shall never forget the way she looked when she came to this part
of her story. Her eyes brimmed with tears and her voice was lost in a
great big sob. She begged me, for the love of heaven, to go to her
mother, who must be half-crazed with grief because of her
disappearance, and to take her something to eat.
So Mrs. Floyd fixed a basket of lunch and we went. A lump rose in
my throat when I went into that place. It was cold, very cold. Maggie's
mother was lying on a bed in one corner of the room, with one thin
quilt over her, and a tiny moaning baby at her breast. Sitting on a box
near the bed were two children, a small boy and a girl. They were
huddled under a fragment of blanket. The boy was crying for something
to eat and his sister was trying bravely to comfort him.
There was not a spark of fire nor a crumb of food about the place.
When Mrs. Floyd opened the basket and the children saw what it
contained, they bounded toward it like wolves, and the woman reached
out her thin hand and said, eagerly: 'Give me some quick! I'm nearly
starved, and the baby is so weakmy breasts are dry.'
I took off my glove and felt her hand, and I really thought she
must be frozen; but she said she had been that way so much she was
growing used to it.
We stopped on our way home and ordered some coal, and later made a
raid on our closets and pantry and made up a load of stuff to take
back. I sent some good blankets and quite an assortment of clothing, so
that by night they were fairly comfortable.
I went again the next day to see how they were getting along and to
give them news of Maggie, and while I was there the father came home
for the first time. He was over his spell of intoxication, but was
weak, and tottered like an old man. His eyes were bloodshot, and on the
whole he was not a very prepossessing looking gentleman, but I could
not help feeling sorry for him. It seemed so sad to see a being,
created in the image of God, such a miserable wreck.
Casting his eye hurriedly around the room, he went to the bedside
and asked for Maggie. His wife told him how she had gone for him, how
she fell, and the rest of the story, and then he told his tale,
andcan you believe it, fatherthat man kicked the girl out of the
doorkicked his own daughter down the steps into the storm that night,
and gave her the injury from which she lies here under our roof now.
My blood boiled, fairly boiled. I could feel it bubbling. His wife
turned her face to the tiny baby, and I could see her frame shake under
the cover. The man knelt beside the bed and wept, too, and again I was
sorry, with a sort of contempt mixed in, for the man.
After a time his wife turned to him, and, resting her thin hand on
his head, spoke kindly to him, and referred him to the Lord for the
strength that he so sorely lacked. The man did pray, and I am sure he
was in earnest; and he asked his wife's forgiveness and took a solemn
oath that he would never touch another cursed drop.
Good, ejaculated the judge.
Good? echoed Jean. Wait, I have not finished yet. I went there
several times. I liked to go. It made me happy to see the look that was
coming into the woman's eyes. She took two half-dollar pieces from
under the pillow one morning, and proudly displayed them, telling me it
was the first time in a year her husband had given her so much. She
said she had hoped in vain, so many times, for him to reform that she
had given up hope, but that now she really believed poor Maggie's
misfortune would prove their blessing. They have not always been poor.
Once, when they were younger, they owned a nice home and the husband
occupied a good position. But he chose for his associates men who spent
a good part of their time in a certain fashionable downtown saloon, and
to be social he drank with them. He was not a man who could drink a
great deal and not become intoxicated, so, when he began to lie around
drunk, they pushed him out.
Mrs. Crowley says the starting point of all their poverty and
sorrow and shame was on the threshold of the respectable gilt and glass
palace that bears over its doors the names of Allison, Russell &Joy.
She knows the place well. I think those gentlemen would not be pleased
to hear the things she says of them; for certain it is her husband
would never have been a drunkard if it had been necessary for him to
have learned the habit in a low grog shop.
Jean paused a second and looked at her father, but he seemed unaware
of her gaze, and she continued:
Then I went in to-day to tell them that Maggie would be home in a
few days, and I found a change. The girl Cora was on the bed with her
mother. The blankets and sheets had disappeared. The few pieces of
furniture that the room contained were scattered in disorder. I will
try to tell the rest of the story as Mrs. Crowley told it to me. I will
never forget, father, the helpless despair that sounded in her voice
and manner as she talked.
'Ah, Miss Thorn!' she said, wearily, 'It's all overall gone. I
should have known better than to have hoped again; but hope is so
sweet! Yesterday morning my husband seemed more like himself than he
has for years. He kissed us when he went away and promised to be home
early. We were all very happy. He is such a kind, good man when he is
himself. Oh! if only he had never crossed the threshold of that gilded
trap of hell. Those men's names burn in my mind. I wonder if such men
as Allison, Russell and Joy have hearts.
'Cora fixed supper, and then we waited. He did not come; but I felt
so sure some way that he would that I was not uneasy. The children
finally had to eat alone. About 9 o'clock he came. Dear Miss Thorn, if
you have never seen a raving, frenzied man, pray God you never may.
This was the way he came home. He had had just enough of liquor to fire
up a gnawing, burning pain and not enough to satisfy him. He came
directly to the bed and demanded the money he had given me in the
morning. I told him it was gone. He swore an oath, and asked me where.
I told him Johnnie had spent it for food. He swore another awful oath,
and took up a stick of wood, with which he began to beat the boy.
'When you are a mother you can better imagine than I can describe
how I felt, lying helpless in bed, and seeing a man, my own husband, so
cruelly beating my innocent child. Cora, poor Cora, went bravely to her
brother's rescue, and her father, God forgive him, beat her until the
blood came from his blows, and she fell to the floor, and then he
'I could stand this no longer. I sprang from the bed, but I was
weak. I could do nothing, and he, the man who promised before God to
protect me, kicked me, too. It seemed to me then that his boot-toe
pierced my heart. Johnnie ran out to call some one in, but before he
returned my husband had taken the blankets and other things that he
could pawn and had gone.
'Perhaps you think it strange for me to tell these things to you,
but my heart is bursting and my brain is on fire with such misery that
I must talk. Come and see what a man can do when crazed with ruma
good father when he is himselfand in a Christian country! Where are
the preachers and the people who call themselves God's people, that
they do not drive away forever the cause of all this?'
I looked at the girl Cora; and I wish, father, that she might be
put on exhibition in some public show window downtown, conspicuously
labeled, 'A specimen of the work done by a father when under the
effects of Christian America's legal poison.'
She was literally covered with wounds and her legs were so swollen
she could not walk.
Now, father, get out your list of political parties, examine the
candidates, and put me where I belong. This is a question that must
come into politics, as all reforms come through the ballot-box, and I
must give my influence to that political party or power making this a
clear-cut issue. I am an Abolitionist.
How is that?
Simply enough: I stand for the everlasting abolition of the liquor
traffic. It is quite the proper thing for the daughter of a Republican
to be an Abolitionist.
Judge Thorn laughed.
You put your case plain enough, he said. There is small room to
doubt how you stand, but I think that you will see that abolition in
this case would be impracticable. You know, my girl, in these days a
half-loaf is better than no bread. Political parties, like the grass of
the field, sprout up and die away. There are but two real parties. The
fight on leading issues is between them. All that is necessary for you
to do is to read the platforms of these two parties and make your
He took down a political almanac from one of the library shelves.
We are opposed, he read to all sumptuary laws as an interference
with the individual rights of the citizen.
Jean sat rocking slowly, with her hands clasped behind her head. As
her father read her forehead wrinkled. After he had finished, she
waited as if expecting something more, then said:
Is that all?
That is all.
Then it occurs to me, if I can understand plain English, that this
party proposes to do nothing to stop the terrible drink curse. Bring on
another. That is not my party.
Judge Thorn read again, and this time with an air of profound
The first concern of all good government is the virtue and sobriety
of the people and the purity of the home.
Jean's face lit up, and she looked eagerly toward her father.
We cordially sympathize, read on the judge, with all wise and
well-directed efforts for the promotion of temperance and morality.
Jean sat looking into the fire. Her father waited a few seconds,
then she turned her face to him.
And what do they propose to do?
Yes, DO! The cordial sympathy of the whole Republican party does
not make Mrs. Crowley any happier nor take any of the soreness out of
Cora's body, nor do anything toward curing poor Maggie; and I cannot
see how 'cordial sympathy' is going to shut up any saloons or keep Mr.
Crowley from getting drunk again. So far, so good, but read on. I am
anxious to learn what this party proposes to DO to promote 'temperance
That is all the platform contains on the subject, said Judge
Thorn. Individuals are left to their own judgment as to the best
methods to be used in the restriction of the evil, although the policy
of the party is well known.
Does high license promote temperance and morality?
Certainly: high license closes a great many saloons entirely, and
puts the business in the hands of men who run respectable places.
Respectable places! quoted Jean, thoughtfully.
The judge looked at the fire in silence.
And, father, persisted the earnest girl, do statistics prove that
fewer licenses are issued in cities where high license laws are in
effect and that there is a decrease in crime and poverty?
To be sure. It must be so, for Republicans, as a rule, are the
temperance people and, as a rule, they indorse high license. But you
have heard the reading, 'All wise and well-directed efforts,'
one is at liberty to substitute no license by local option, or any
other restrictive measure he deems wise.
Is there room on this broad platform for any liquor dealers?
Quite a number; and here again may be seen the higher moral tone of
the party, for nine times out of ten it is the better class of dealers
who are allied with it.
Jean leaned back in her chair and rocked. As she mused she rocked
more and more slowly, and when she stopped abruptly her father knew the
verdict was ready.
Well, father, this much is settled: I do not believe in high
license. In the first place, I think it dishonest to let the rich man,
who can afford to do so, pay for the privilege of making more money and
shut out the poor man, who is trying to earn a living, because he is
not already rich. In the second place, it occurs to my mind, more so
after knowing Mrs. Crowley, that if license laws could be so arranged
as to wipe out the 'respectable' places, the low ones would soon
follow. Public sentiment would not tolerate them, and if it did, the
coming generation would not be lured to destruction by glitter and
In the third place, and the girl sprang to her feet and stood
looking her father full in the face, a man who labored fearlessly for
the overthrow of human slavery when public opinion pointed the finger
of scorn at him, said to me not long since: 'Regulations and
restrictions put on such a vice by the government are but its terms of
It took Judge Thorn half a minute to recognize his words. Then he
Jean, child, you are getting sharp. Your logic is all right, but
you must remember times have changed. This is different.
I cannot see, father, that the moral issue is any different. Of the
two great evils, intemperance is certainly a greater curse than ever
slavery was; for while it has all the pain and heartaches and sorrow of
every description that accompanies slavery, the worst feature of it is
that hell is filling up with souls that drink their doom when they
drain the wine cup. I think I understand myself, father, and I say
again, I am an Abolitionist. Bring on some other party platform.
There are no others but the labor organizations and the 'cranks.'
What do the labor people say?
They regard intelligence, virtue and temperance, important as they
are, as secondary to the great material issues now pressing for
And the 'cranks,' as you call them?
They have no policy, and their politics consists in trying to undo
all the temperance legislation they get through other parties because
it does not come through theirs. As a political party they are the most
fanatical and narrow-minded that history takes account of. Indeed, I
doubt not that, in certain instances, their obstinate opposition to men
and measures has been little short of criminal. But I will read:
'We favor the legal prohibition by state and national legislation
of the manufacture, importation and sale of alcoholic beverages.'
Eureka! she shouted. I am not alone. How many others like me?
A quarter of a million, I presume, he answered, a trifle grimly.
And must I take my stand in politics away from my dear father, who
is so wise and just?
You are young, Jean, and impulsive. You will see the matter in a
different light when you have given the subject more thought. I am old
now. For over half a century I have studied the affairs of men, and I
tell you the time is not now expedient for such an issue to be forced
to the front.
When will it be?
When sentiment is strong enough behind the movement to enforce the
Strange, mused Jean. One might almost imagine, by the amount of
resolving that has been done in the last few years, that sentiment was
strong enough to sink the traffic five miles deep in the ocean of
righteous indignation. I tell you, father, sentiment is the prime
essential of the whole thing; but as long as it floats around
everywhere, like moonshine, what is it good for? We need concentration
and crystallization now. In other words, I believe in a party of
CHAPTER IV. ASLEEP IN JESUS.
Gilbert Allison, of the firm of Allison, Russell &Joy, wholesale and
retail liquor dealers, walking briskly along a sideway that led toward
one of the great thoroughfares of the city, halted a second before
crossing the street. As he stopped a voice reached his ear. Hearing the
voice he took a more careful glance at the surroundings and found
himself standing in front of a plain little wooden structure that he
learned, from a sign upon one corner, was some sort of an orthodox
chapel. Through the narrow, open doorway the voice floated:
Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep,
From which none ever wake to weep
A calm and undisturbed repose,
Unbroken by the last of foes.
Asleep in Jesus! Oh, how sweet
To be for such a slumber meet!
With holy confidence to sing
That death has lost its venom sting.
Both words and tune were unfamiliar to him. Was it the song itself,
sung to the sweetly pathetic tune of Rest, was it the strangely
beautiful and solemn voice of the singer, or was it common curiosity to
see the owner of the unusual voice that proved the attraction prompting
him to step into the vestibule? Unseen he watched as the song went on:
Asleep in Jesus! peaceful rest,
Whose waking is supremely blest.
No fear nor foe shall dim the hour
That manifests the Savior's power.
Asleep in Jesus! Oh, for me
May such a blissful refuge be!
Securely shall my ashes lie
And wait the summons from the sky.
The sweet voice of the singer died away, and the stillness was
broken only by low sobbing. Then the minister arose.
Gilbert Allison had seen enough. The plain, dark coffin just before
the altar railing told him that another human soul had left its earthly
body and had gone beyond.
He was not interested in this. His mind dwelt on the singer. She was
rather small, a well-formed and graceful appearing young woman of
perhaps twenty-two or twenty-four. She wore a plain dark dress, and a
round hat rested on the masses of red-brown hair that framed her face
and crowned her shapely head. Here and there in the mass a carved
silver hair-pin showed itself, and Gilbert Allison found himself
studying the effect as he walked down the street; found himself puzzled
as to why he had stopped and noticed her hair or her. Evidently she had
made an impression on him. He tried, in a way, to analyze this, and
finally gave it up, yet found himself continually recalling the face in
its frame of red-brown hair.
He had known many charming women in his three and thirty years of
life, but he had never felt before the indescribable charm that had
suddenly, like the fragrance of a hidden violet, come to him for the
unknown singer in the dingy chapel. Gilbert Allison had guarded well
his heart's affections, but there comes a time in the lives of most men
when the heart refuses to be subject to the will and obstinately goes
whither it pleases. This man's heart was about to assert its rights.
The daughter of a Republican was to have a lover, for it was Miss Thorn
That Miss Thorn should sing had been the wish of the now lifeless
sleeper, and Jean had done her best.
All that was mortal of Maggie Crowley rested in the plain, dark
coffin. A life fraught with sorrow and tears and an innocent shame was
ended; a body racked with hunger and pain and cold was at rest. From
the time of her awful hurt, now a year ago, Maggie had been an invalid.
The children had gone out to work, and the frail mother had tried to
cheer them as she toiled in the valley of despair. A new sorrow had
come into the wretched home: Cora, yet a child in years, because she
had a fair face and a drunkard for a father, had been robbed of her one
priceless possessionher unspotted characterby a man whose name was
familiar in high circles, and whose hand was courted by more than one
mother for some cherished daughter.
From the time that her sister had bartered away her purity, in the
bitter, thankless battle that she fought for bread, Maggie had steadily
grown weaker, and when the mother knew the time was near at hand for
her to go she sent for Miss Thorn.
Jean had never been beside a death-bed, but she did not hesitate.
Maggie was lying, white and thin, upon the pillow. She looked
eagerly toward the door. Her eyes lit with a lingering light, and a
faint smile came around the corners of her drawn mouth when she saw
that it was Jean. She spoke slowly and softly, without much effort, and
I'm going pretty soon, Miss Thorn, and I wanted to see you. You've
been so good to usGod will bless you for it. When I am gone, don't
forget poor mother. Please don't, Miss Thorn! She will be sad. I'm the
only one that remembered the other days, and we used sometimes to talk
of them and pray that they might come back. Maybe God will send them
back some daybut I will not be here. I'm not afraid to die. Christ
died for the drunkard's childI'm sure he did. I'm so glad to go. In
my Father's house are many mansionsmany mansionsone for us.
She closed her eyes as she repeated the words softly.
When I am gone, do not feel sad, mothernot too sad, she
continued in a moment. Think that I have only gone to sleep to wake up
where there is no more sorrow. I'll be waiting in our mansion, mother,
and there we will be happy, for the Book says he will not be there who
puts the bottle to his neighbor's lips.
She stopped to rest. The room was very quiet.
When my father comes, a look of intense longing came into her
sunken eyes, and for a moment she struggled to force back the great sob
of sorrow that seemed choking her, tell him 'goodby' for Maggie.
Perhaps he will be sorrynot like he once would have beenjust a
little. Don't let the children forget me. Dear children! How I wish I
could take them all to the mansion. And Cora, poor Cora
The last tears that ever shone in Maggie's eyes filled them now.
God knows about Cora, said Jean, tenderly, while the mother wept
The dying girl lay quite exhausted, and, while she rested, her eyes
wandered from one to the other of the few around the bed and rested
lovingly on her mother's face. Her minutes were numbered. Mortality was
ebbing away. When she spoke again it was with more of an effort,
pausing now and then for breath.
Stoop over, mother; let me putmy arms aroundyour dear, kind
neck. Put your face downso I can put my cheekagainst yoursas I
did when we were happy. I'm going backto it. I smell the roses. I
hear the pigeonson the roof. Lift memothergently. I amtired.
Mrs. Crowley drew the dying girl's head close to her heart and tried
to sing; but her voice failed. Then, in the presence of the death
angel, Jean sang for the girl's long sleeping.
Suddenly a clear, happy, childish voice rang out on the
It was the last. The arms around the mother's neck unclasped. The
weary head sank upon the pillow. The eyelids fluttered. The breaths
came shorter and shorterthe weary girl had entered into rest.
The soul of the drunkard's daughter had gone where justice reigns
supreme; where a God of justice watches the kingdoms of the earth and
in mercy stays the doom that comes a certain penalty of the nation that
sells its maids and youths to the rum fiend.
Mrs. Crowley stood looking down on the wan face of her first-born.
Thank God she is happy! But it's hardso hard!
A mother's love is the same the world around. This mother threw
herself down by the bedside, and, holding one of the lifeless hands to
her lips, sobbed bitterly.
It seemed a desecration that just now the father should come
stumbling into the scene, filling the room with the fumes of liquor and
muttering drunken curses. But Maggie was beyond the reach of human
harm. This would never pain her heart again.
Neighbors came in, and Jean stepped out into the fresh air.
It was nearly noontime. The streets were busy, and as she went
towards home she saw the beer wagons driving in every direction, loaded
with their freight of sorrow and pain and death. As she passed the
palaces of gilded doom, arrayed in cut glass and mirrors, luring the
souls of men and boys to hell, she thought of the Christian voters of
the nation who allow it to be so because, bound by party ties and
fooled by party leaders, they will not force this mighty issue to the
front and demand its recognition at the ballot-box; and these words
rang in her ears: Because I have called and ye have refused, ye have
set at naught all my counsel. I also will laugh at your calamity when
your destruction cometh as a whirlwind.
The words burned in her mind, and when she reached home she entered
the library and without removing hat or gloves threw herself upon a
It was not quite time for luncheon. The house was quiet.
Vivian had, during the year, married the rector of a large and
fashionable city church. For weeks before the eventful occasion life
had been one round of shopping and fitting, of entertaining and
rehearsing. Jean, as maid of honor, had figured conspicuously in the
different functions, and for a time her mind was so absorbed with the
fragrance and sunshine of life that its seamy side was forgotten. But
after it was all over her thoughts and sympathies went out again to
that family of the other half that she had so strangely become
interested in, and the old question pressed itself for solution, why,
in a Christian land of plenty, such a state of life for such vast
numbers was allowable or even possible.
With the sound of the dying girl's voice in her ears and the sight
of a nation's legalized poison yet before her vision she rested, and so
engrossed was she with her thoughts that she did not notice the
entrance of her father.
A penny for your thoughts, my dear.
Jean looked up suddenly. Then she caught her father's hand and drew
him to her side.
I have seen a death to-day, fathera death, a drunkard, loads of
beer and whisky.
Crowley dead at last?
Poor girl. No doubt she is better off.
Yes, better off, repeated Jean. But, father, I have been thinking
of the whirlwind. You know the Book that has voiced unerringly the
stage play of the ages says destruction is coming as a whirlwindas a
whirlwind. Can you not catch its roaring under the bluster of silver
and tariff and war? Do you never hear the mutterings of its power? Are
there not signs of the coming whirlwindsigns unmistakableroastings
in the South and lynchings in the North, bloody strikes from east to
west, deep-seated unrest among the nation's laboring masses, and the
steadily increasing cry of a multitude of suffering and helpless people
writhing under the heel of the great iniquity? Couple the signs of the
times, father, with an indisputable knowledge of corruption in
politics, the inefficacy of the law because of the absolute power of
rum and 'boodle' and the utter absence of any fixed moral principle in
the dealings of the great majority of the old party leaders, and have
we not an 'issue' that imperatively demands the attention of every
The more I think, the less I blame the laboring element for their
dissatisfaction, bordering on madness at times. I feel that they have
just cause to be alarmed. Am I a pessimist, father, or is there a
cancer eating out the nation's life?
The young woman stood in the center of the room, erect and with arm
extended. The lawyer was looking at her with a gleam of fatherly
admiration; but as she closed the outburst with her question he grew
grave and stroked his beard. The facts were not unfamiliar to him.
I do wish, he said thoughtfully, that the laboring element would
see that it is to their interests to stand by that party that promises
them the most in the way of reform, instead of making so much fuss and
striking and splitting into small parties that can hope to effect
nothing and might cripple their best friend and put the country
hopelessly in the hands of the political enemies of progress and
You look now for all the world, father, like a child whom I saw a
few days ago. I came upon her holding a doll's body, with a stump of
neck where the head had once been. She looked down at it tenderly and
smiled a dear little motherly smile. 'What do you see, child?' I asked.
'My dolly's beautiful face,' she said. 'Where is it?' said I. 'It's
gone,' she answered, proudly, but with the fond look still in her eyes.
You view the reform element in your party in about the same light.
When did you turn champion of the labor party? said the judge, a
I have done no turning. There is but one party standing for the
real good of the people. What is the use of organizing a party to
exterminate trusts and then being afraid to measure arms politically
with the greatest trust on earth? The laboring element will seek their
best interests sooner or later.
Your party has added a few labor planks to catch votes.
I beg your pardon, father. Almost from the beginning, some thirty
years ago, this party stood as it does now. The trouble with you is, if
I may be allowed to say it, you know nothing of the party I have
discovered. Let me read you its platform.
And from a small, green book Jean began her reading, while Judge
Thorn listened attentively. But before she had finished James appeared
with the evening paper, and almost unconsciously he opened it. As he
cast his eyes on the page a smile overspread his face, and the words of
the reading were lost. Jean finished presently, and frowned a little,
when she saw her father so deeply engrossed in his paper. Presently he
looked up, the broad smile still upon his face.
Jean, my girl, listen! and he read an account of the dramatic
passage of the anti-canteen law by Congress.
Judge Thorn had been deeply interested in the canteen question. He
had known a boy, the son of a professional friend, who had been most
carefully and prayerfully reared at home in fear of the inheritance of
an appetite for liquor, but who had gone at his country's call to
uphold her honor, and had become a drunkard through the regimental
canteen. He himself had seen the fifty law-breaking canteens in Camp
Thomas at Chickamauga, with their daily sales amounting to hundreds of
dollars. He had seen something of the same evil at the little army post
near their own city; and a young man who had been his confidential
clerk before the war, and who was now with one of the volunteer
regiments at Manila, had written to him of the canteen: It has been
the curse of this army, and has caused more deaths than the Mauser
bullets. It is a recognized fact that in regiments where canteens are
established drinking is not restrained, rather encouraged, and numerous
sprees are started that are finished in the saloons just outside. Six
cases of delirium tremens have resulted from the establishment of the
regimental groggery. Our army is in danger a thousand times greater
than any foreign foe may ever bring against us. When will the
government take action?
The lawyer's clear mind had seen where the responsibility for the
whole system lay, and, sorely tried by the President's inaction, partly
to lift from his party the odium of the canteen disgrace and partly as
a matter of real heart choice, he had worked with more than his usual
vigor to help bring to bear a pressure in Washington great enough to
abolish the army saloon.
Cheer, Jean! he said. Cheer for the party in power. The bill has
Was it your party or public sentiment in spite of your party that
brought about the passage of the bill? asked Jean.
Sentiment, my dear girl, said the judge, dogmatically, without
machinery back of it, is good for nothing.
Exactly. If you remember, father, that has been the burden of my
plea for a new party. Answer me a question, and I will cheer so that I
may be heard a block. You tell me that the position of this party you
ask me to cheer for is high license; now here is a list of ninety-five
of the principal cities of the country, forty-six high license and
forty-nine low license. The total arrests for drunkenness in the high
license cities was 288,907, as against 208,537 in the low license
cities. What I want to know is this: How is this sort of a temperance
measure going to 'promote temperance and morality'? Public control,
local option, mulct tax and other measures you devise figure up about
the same way. Take these statistics and in the light of them solve the
puzzle for me.
Statistics are hard to dwell in unity with. Take them to a
preacher. This is a matter for them to deal with, laughed the judge.
Why do they not deal with them, then? Seven million church member
voters in this country! Why do not they focus their religion and do
something? I divine a reason. While they live all the rest of the year
with prayers and resolutions, they go out on a moral debauch on
election day with a disreputable individual known as Party.
The judge stroked his beard and smiled. Then he turned again to his
paper. No need, he said, complacently, for a better party than what
we have. Listen! and again he read the measure that had so pleased
him. Is it not splendid, and so plainly worded that a wayfaring man,
though a fool or a third-rate lawyer, cannot mistake the meaning of it.
Now watch the machinery work. We shall have 'father's boy' back
cheering for the grand old party yet, and the judge placed his hand
fondly on Jean's shoulder.
I'll keep my eye on the 'machine,' answered Jean, playfully, but
I am woefully afraid it is punctured, though I wouldn't mention it for
[Illustration: Vote for Whisky, Boys!]
CHAPTER V. LESSONS OF AN ELECTION
It was the municipal election day. Judge Thorn was alone in his
office. He sat at his desk, which was piled with papers which he was
busy sorting. The door opened and Miss Thorn entered. The judge looked
over his shoulder. You are a bit late, he said.
Jean looked at her watch.
A trifle, she answered, but I have always wanted to know what
sort of people run our government, and I have been out satisfying my
curiosity. I have been to the polls.
To the polls, echoed the judge, sharply, whirling around from his
desk with a sudden movement that scattered his papers over the floor.
That is what I said, father. I have been to the polls; and worse, I
took an active part in the proceedings by offering the voters 'no
Jean, I must say you have overstepped the bounds of all propriety.
You are a young lady who has been allowed a good many privileges, but
this is carrying things a little too far, said the judge, almost
You were there this morning, I believe, father, Jean answered,
I believe I was, but that is no reason you should go. It is no fit
place for a decent woman.
I will admit that, father, and I will go a little further and say
it is no fit place for a decent man either.
Men have grown used to such sights and sounds as are seen and heard
around a polling place.
I suppose so. But if decent men can grow used to such things and
escape contamination, I think decent women can do the same; and if
decent men cannot I suppose you would advise them to stay away from the
No; no, indeed. The bad element largely predominates now, and it is
the duty of every good citizen to stand by his colors at the ballot
box. But we will not discuss the matter further. The fact remains the
same. Of course you are of age and can go where you choose, yet I am
I am sorry that you are displeased, father, and if my doing so will
afford you any satisfaction, I will promise you that I will not be
caught in such a howling mob again until I can go as an equal of some
of the specimens I have seen today.
Jean removed her hat and jabbed the hat pin into it with some
I have been grossly insulted, she said.
Just what I have expected to hear, said her father, and what can
be done when you put yourself in the way of it?
I have not the remotest idea how I put myself in the way of it, but
you will probably be able to explain to me. Our venerable Uncle Sam is
the offending party, and the offense is something like the indignity
you would offer me if you gave Vivian all the privileges and love that
you should share with me, because she happened to be born with black
hair, and then should try to keep me in a state of blissful delusion by
telling me I had the sweeter disposition. There would be about as much
sense and justice in such a procedure, coming from you, as there is in
the way Uncle Sam treats women.
Here I am, a woman of good moral character, fairly intelligent, I
hope, with a good education, denied my right to the ballot because,
forsooth, I chanced to be born a woman and am considered too good.
To-day's visit to the polls has reminded me of this insult, tendered by
our government to its loyal women.
By the time I got within two blocks of the polling place, I could
hear the general commotion. When I arrived on the scene of action, I
found a number of women, of good standing in the community, trying to
get men to vote against license. Truly a humiliating business! But as
they pressed me, I took a few of the ballots and started into the
crowd, while a friendly looking policeman followed me.
I had hardly made a start when some one crossed my path yelling
wildly, 'Vote for whisky, boys! Vote for whisky, boys!' He was that
half-witted, pumpkin-colored individual that you discharged last winter
because he did not know enough to keep the horses' feet clean. Armed
with his license ballot, he halted a second before me; then, fluttering
the ballot, which he held between his fingers under my nose, he shouted
again and again, 'Vote for whisky, boys!
He gave me a look that told me plainer than a volume of words could
have done that he recognized his importance. He knew that he stood head
and shoulders above me in Uncle Sam's estimation, in spite of my
learning and morality, because on him had been bestowed a gift denied
I do not like it. I want the right of citizenship. I want to stand
on an equality with folks at least that do not know enough to clean a
It sounds very foolish, Jean, said her father, for one of your
birth and breeding to be talking thus of an equality with such a
character as this.
It does sound foolish, wonderfully foolish, admitted Jean. You
and I know, father, that I am his superior, but when it comes to a
question of the social welfare, that is a very different thing. He well
understands that he is a privileged character there. He is a unit of
society's make-up, and where do I come in? Along with the Chinese, the
ex-convict and the insane! I do not relish any such sort of company.
God made woman capable of self-government, and expected it of her. Why
should she not be on a suffrage equality with man?
Why do you want to vote, Jean? asked the judge, as he would begin
with a witness.
Why do you want to vote, father? sharply replied the girl.
Why, my vote is my individuality in the body politic. I could not
do without my vote, said the judge, with a slight hesitation.
Do you not suppose I want some individuality, too? came the prompt
The judge laughed.
I have every reason to believe you do, he said.
Do you not suppose that I would not like to help make the laws that
govern me? asked Jean, taking upon her the role of inquisitor.
Men can make enough laws for both sexes, I guess, was the reply,
uttered in a tone that carried a suspicion of dismissal.
I guess they can, persisted Jean; but what sort of laws have they
been? Heathenish, some of them!
Laws that have been on our statute books allowing fathers to will
away their unborn children; laws allowing the father to appoint
guardians of whatever kind or creed over his children, leaving the
mother powerless. And what shall we say about the abominable laws made
by men everyone of them, that legalize the sale of drink?
Well, a woman is a woman, Jean, and the polls is not a fit place
for a woman, and the judge set his lips very firmly.
That is the assertion you made at the outset, father. It is no
argument, and much as I respect you, I can hardly accept it as final.
You know, father, that if polling places are not fit for decent women,
neither are they fit for decent men, and the sooner decent people get
around and clean them up, the better it will be for the country. Come,
now, if you have a sound, logical reason why women should not vote,
bring it on.
Well, said the judge, even admitting that the advent of women in
politics might have a cleansing effect, women do not want the ballot.
What women? demanded Jean.
The majority of women.
How do you know they do not?
It is to be supposed that if they were clamoring to any great
extent for it we would hear of it through the papers.
What papers? Papers that oppose it to the bitter end? I can show
you papers by the dozen and the score that would enlighten you along
this line. Women do not ask, but rather they demand, the ballot. But
this is begging the question. If it is right for women to have the
ballot, it is right, and if it is wrong, it is wrongthat is all there
is to it. Now, father, tell me the reasons.
Why, Jean, have not I given you reasons and have you not overruled
them, every one? was the almost testy answer. A woman is a woman, and
God never intended her to vote.
Jean laughed merrily.
What are you laughing at? demanded her father.
Why, at you; you are back just where you started. Women must not
vote because they are women. If you have nothing better to offer there
is no use of going over the grounds again. This makes me think of the
time I studied circulating decimals.
The judge joined in Jean's laugh, and turned again to his papers, as
if glad of a diversion.
After Judge Thorn had picked up and rearranged his papers he looked
toward Jean, who had suddenly grown quiet. In her face he saw something
that was new to him and that in some way sent a little jealous pang to
his heart. Her face was a dream study. A soft, far-away expression
rested over it, and her father knew that she was somewhere, away from
her surroundings, but he did not interrupt her. Presently she spoke:
I saw a man to-day.
I supposed that you had seen several.
Well, of course, the girl admitted, but I rarely notice men, and
that I remember this one so distinctly and think of him surprises me.
He was tall and broad shouldered and dressed in a navy blue business
suit, and I think probably he was the handsomest man I have ever seen,
though I cannot tell why I think so. His hair and eyes were brown, his
hair almost black, it was so dark, and a trifle curly. His eyes were
clear and honest looking, with a touch of fun in them and something
else that I have not been able to define, but that I liked. He wore a
mustache, but it only partially concealed his mouth. I think perhaps it
was his mouth that I liked best. It was a firm mouth, maybe a hard one,
but I admire a firm man.
Judge Thorn laughed.
You must have examined him pretty closely.
No, father, I saw him at a glance some way. Perhaps he impressed me
as he did because I was so disappointed in him. I saw him standing at a
short distance from the animated crowd around the polls, looking on
with an air of mingled amusement and disgust. I made up my mind that he
was the very individual who would take one of my 'no-license' votes, so
I asked him.
He took off his hat and looked down at me, for he is tall, a look
made of a little astonishment, a bit of fun and, I imagined, some pity,
and said: 'I am really very sorry that I cannot do as you wish, but I
cannot consistently vote against license, being myself engaged in the
Of course I said no more, but I was never so surprised in my life,
and to tell the truth, I was disappointed.
Judge Thorn looked relieved.
I believe I know now why I remembered him so well, continued Jean.
He was the only liquor dealer among those I spoke to to-day, and
ignorantly I accosted many, who refused my ticket in a gentlemanly
manner. Yes, I have now seen a gentlemanly liquor dealer. I wonder if I
will ever see him again. But see! Here are the horses, father. Come,
let us go, she said, taking his arm.
Poor father! I am sorry for you. It must be a trial to have so
strange a child, but really I cannot help it, and I am sure you will
forgive me when you remember that I am 'my father's boy.'
CHAPTER VI. THE NATION'S DEFENDERS.
It was one of those prophetic days of early spring when heaven and
earth are filled with faint, far promises of the sunshine and verdure
of the summer, and when an expectant hush fills all the air, save as
now and then a breath of the awakening south wind stirs the faded
memories of last autumn's glories where the dried leaves cluster among
the thickets or in the fence corners.
The Thorn carriage occupied by Jean and the coachman, James, was
rolling along a stretch of suburban road.
Jean had just left the home of the Crowleys', and sat in a reverie
of sympathy and indignation. Personally she felt that she was
absolutely safe from any harm from the traffic in misery and death; but
this very fact made her more pitiful and more determined to use what
influence and power she could command against it. The carriage slowed
up a bit where the road divided.
Which way, Miss Jean?
To the army post, James, and she continued her brown study,
seeming to notice nothing of the landscape until they entered the
massive iron gates of the reservation.
Just inside the gates, on either side, heavy cannons were grouped in
triangular fashion and surmounted with cones of cannon balls. At
regular intervals black sign-boards, bright with gilt lettering, gave
notice that just so far and no farther, and just so fast and no faster,
the public might travel in this well-arranged institution of the
The drive around the inclosure was a long one, and when the Thorn
carriage had reached the side farthest removed from the buildings, a
sudden jar and crash startled Jean, and suddenly she found herself
lying on the roadside.
Fortunately she was not hurt, and after she had brushed the dust
from her eyes and pinned a rent in her skirt she found that only a
slight break in the carriage had caused the accident. So after tying
the horses to a hitching post at some distance, James pushed the
carriage to one side, and with the broken part started to a blacksmith
shop at no great distance outside the post, Jean agreeing to wait for
him, unless he should be gone too long.
After James had disappeared behind the trees, Jean seated herself
comfortably on a bench near by, and with her head resting against a
majestic oak, gazed upward at the soft spring sky showing through the
brown network of the branches. A bird a great way off circled against
the floating clouds for a time and disappeared.
At one end of the inclosure the drill ground, checkered and bare,
could be seen. Through the trees the red brick walls of the houses in
the officers' quarters showed, while, looking in another direction, she
could see a number of stone buildings with porches running their entire
length, onto which opened many doors.
A little removed from all these was a common frame building, which,
judging by the number of soldiers gathered around it, was the popular
resort of the post. This was the canteen.
Jean's eyes fell with displeasure upon this. It seemed to her like a
dark blot upon an otherwise fair picture; like a grave mistake in an
otherwise well-ordered institution.
A couple of peafowl trailed their plumage over the dry brown grass
across the way from her, and in the slanting rays of the sun they
looked like brilliant jewels against the rough and dingy background.
But their harsh notes seemed at variance with their beauty, and this,
too, made Jean think of the governmenta government born more
beautiful than any other, and reared in its infancy with the care of a
child, yet presenting to the world, by its administration, which is a
government's voice, an inconsistency appalling.
Far from broken axles and torn skirts Jean's thoughts traveled,
until she was brought to a sense of her surroundings by footsteps, and
looking up she saw that two soldiers had turned the curve that shut off
the view of the main road and were coming toward her.
One was a thick-set man of about middle age. He had that untidy
appearance that marks a slovenly person, and will appear even in a
soldier in spite of all wise and well-directed efforts on the part of a
government to keep him neat. His large, light gray, campaign hat was
pulled down well over his eyes and a short cob pipe was clinched
between his teeth.
The other man was younger and not as heavy. He wore a long coat,
open from the neck down, and his cap, set on one side of his head, left
his bleared and bloated face in full view.
As they came nearer the younger man staggered fearfully, and Jean
knew that he was intoxicated. A feeling, half fear and half loathing,
took possession of her as these two ill-visaged privates came nearer;
but supposing they would pass, she kept her seat.
Take-a-hic-your pipe-a-hic-out, in-a-hic-the presence
of-a-hic-ladies, the man in the long cloak said.
The thick-set man took his pipe from his teeth and knocked the ashes
out against the palm of his hand.
They were directly in front of Jean now.
The man in the long cloak made a tottering bow and addressed her.
May a-hic we sit down?
Certainly, said Jean, the blood rushing to her face at their
boldness, and she hurriedly started to her feet.
Keep-a-hic-your seat and-a-hic-don't get agitated;
The thick-set man had already seated himself, and the other man
followed his example, forcing Jean to a place by his side.
Judging the thick-set man to be the least intoxicated and more
decent, she appealed to him for protection. The lower part only of his
face was visible, but she saw that he laughed.
He don't mean no harm. Keep still and he'll go on about his
business, he assured her.
Jean's face blazed and her heart beat with the force of four.
The tall man emptied his mouth of tobacco juice and other fluids and
substances, and the sickening mixture fell so close to Jean's foot that
her boot was spattered. Then he wiped the dribbles on the back of his
hand and turned to her.
He bent so close that his hot, foul breath struck her with
staggering force and his bloated face almost touched her cheek.
You're-a-hic-a little peach, he said, with a leer,
and-a-hic-I'm-a-hic-a going to k-k-kiss you.
It was then Jean screamed with all her might, and at the same moment
a man sprang to her rescue from a light buggy that had rounded the bend
of the drive unobserved.
The thick-set man suddenly disappeared, but the other soldier,
either too drunk for rapid movement or too muddled to understand the
gravity of the situation, only rose to his feet and stood leering at
Jean with disgusting admiration.
The next instant he was felled to the earth and a broad-shouldered
man stood over him ready to render a second blow if occasion demanded.
The soldier made an attempt to rise.
Lie there, you brute, the man cried, hotly, and the drunken fellow
Nice-a-hic-way to treat a-hic-man that's
protecting-a-hic-the-a-hic-honor-a-hic, the honor of he muttered.
But the gentleman turned to the woman, and Jean, trembling with fear
and indignation, with crimson cheeks and flashing eyes, looked a second
time into the face of the gentlemanly liquor dealer.
I am so glad you came! she gasped, and held out her hand to him.
As they turned to his buggy the gentleman cast a glance back at the
prostrate soldier, who had crawled behind a bush to sleep until removed
to the guardhouse.
Such creatures are a disgrace to a civilized government, he
exclaimed, with ill-concealed wrath.
Our government is a disgrace to itself, she added. It creates
such creatures by a legal process, and yonder is the factory, and she
pointed in the direction of the canteen.
Canteen beercanteen beer, she began again, with warmth, but
stopped, for she knew that she was very much excited and that she might
not speak wisely.
If she had opened an argument with the gentleman at her side she
would have found that he was well posted with the old arguments about
the canteen being an institution to keep the soldiers from the greed of
evil saloons outside the different posts, but her companion respected
her silence, and did not speak until they had passed the great iron
gate, when it became necessary.
Now, said he, if you will direct the way, and have no objections,
it will give me pleasure to see you safely home.
I am Miss Thorn, said Jean, giving him her address.
Miss Thorn? Perhaps you are related to Judge Thorn?
I am, replied Jean, smiling.
That is nice. I have had the pleasure of meeting the judge, and I
do not know a man whom I would rather oblige. He is a man all men
I am his daughter, Jean said, proudly, and I assure you my father
will feel under lasting obligations to you for your kindness to me this
Allison, the gentleman said.
Allison? It was Jean's turn to look surprised.
Yes, madam. AllisonGilbert Allison.
Not of the firm of Allison, Russell &Joy?
The same, madam.
She looked at him with mingled wonder and regret. The firm name of
Allison, Russell &Joy to her mind was a synonym for heartless
destruction of happiness and life. The traffic itself was a great evil
generality, and as such met condemnation. But in generalities, as in
mountain ranges, there are specific points that tower out distinctively
for consideration. Such a pinnacle of iniquity this liquor firm had
seemed to Jean to be since her acquaintance with the Crowleys.
You must be mistaken, she observed at length.
Gilbert Allison had been amused before. Now he laughed. If I am
mistaken, life has been a vast mistake, he said, for I have supposed
myself to be this same Allison for over thirty years. But why do you
Jean shook her head sadly.
I do not understand it at all, she said, gravely.
I beg your pardon; but if you will explain to me the trouble,
perhaps I may be able to enlighten your understanding.
I do not understand how the same person can be so kind and yet so
cruel. I do not understand how one person can risk his life to save a
lifefor perhaps you saved mine to-dayand yet cause death, and you
have been the cause of death.
Jean spoke slowly and looked grave.
Mr. Allison felt like laughing again, but politely refrained.
I have been accused of a number of things in my life, he said,
good-naturedly, but, until to-day, murder has been omitted from the
There are different modes of procedurebut murder is murder after
Certainly, but I was not aware that I had been connected with a
Men deal out slow death for gold and trust its clinking rattle to
still the groans and cryings that they cause. Jean spoke reflectively,
as if to herself. In savage countries where there is no Christianity,
where all is black, human life is sometimes offered as a sacrifice to
gods. Here in Christian America an altar is piled high with mother
hearts and manhood and immortal souls.
This sacrifice goes on unceasingly; the altar fires are never out,
and the wail of the little ones and the groans of the crushed that go
up from this great altar only cause this god to laugh.
This god is made of atoms. EVERY ATOM IS A MAN.
All this time the Christian men of this Christian nation stand
around in a great circle, weeping and calling on a Christian's God to
hasten the day when this other god shall be ground to dust, meantime
mocking their God by legalizing this monstrous thing with their
Mr. Allison had probably never heard a young lady talk exactly as
this one talked, and yet he enjoyed it, and watched the motion of her
hand as she used it to impress her words.
I am afraid I do not understand you even yet, he said, when she
paused. Do you refer to the tariff or seal fisheries or female
suffrage or war or what?
I refer to the rum power in America. That is the god I mean. The
most heartless, depraved monopoly on earth, yet men and governments
grovel in the dust at its feet and cringe like dogs before its power.
Mr. Allison was silent, and she continued, presently, turning her
face to him.
It has always seemed to me that the firm of Allison, Russell &Joy
was an important part of this great iniquity; partly, I presume,
because I happen to be acquainted with a family that has been utterly
destroyed by that firm. Tell me trulyhave they, have YOU never heard
wails and cries and bitter prayers in the stillness of the night? Have
you never felt the burden of your awful sin?
Mr. Allison smiled.
I am sure, he said, I have never heard any weeping or wailing
that I have been aware of, and really I hope to be pardoned, but the
burden that you speak of has failed to make itself felt.
Well, you will hear it some day. Even legal, licensed murder will
have its reckoning time. You will see a face some day; you will hear a
voice that will haunt you like the wail of a lost soul.
Mr. Allison shrugged his shoulders as if in apprehension.
I hope not, he said; but Miss Thorn, I am afraid you do not enjoy
the society of a liquor dealer.
On general principles, no. And yet I have enjoyed yours very much
this afternoon, you may be sure. I thank you for it, andI am sorry
that you are a 'man atom' of the great iniquity.
I am sorry that you are sorry, he answered, and then the Thorn
homestead rose in view.
I never was so frightened in my life, Jean said, as they drove in
front of the gate. It seems that no one is safe from insult and injury
in a land where liquor is a legalized drink. I never thought that I
should fall a victim to it.
Or be rescued by a liquor dealer.
That is true, and Jean laughed merrily.
Then she thanked him again, and for half a minute he held her small,
gloved hand in his, as he assisted her from the buggy.
It is I who am grateful that Fate allowed me to be the knight.
Then he lifted his hat gallantly, and Jean was gone, but her parting
smile stayed with him.
CHAPTER VII. THE JUDGE MAKES A
After the adventure at the army post Mr. Allison called not
infrequently at the home of the Thorns, and though, of course,
cordially received by both Jean and her father, nearly always succeeded
in leaving Jean thoroughly vexed with him. She made speeches and drew
statistics for him, enough in strength and numbers to convert the
traffic itself, and was generally rewarded for her pains by an amused
look and a good-natured laugh. He seemed to her to be asleep, sound
asleep; and try as best she might, it seemed impossible to awaken him;
and yet she looked for his visits and enjoyed the task she had set
herself about more than she would have cared to admit.
The fact was, Mr. Allison had been born asleep as far as his
relation with the liquor question was concerned. From his father he
inherited his interest in the business firm of which he was the junior
member, and having been brought up in this atmosphere, he neither knew
nor cared for any other. A man possessing even half a portion of real
integrity is so rarely found engaged in the liquor business that this
man's character was often spoken of. Whether he was honest may be
doubted, but certain it was, he was not bidding for the church vote by
making promises and prayers. Yet the cloak of respectability that he
wore made him ten times more dangerous than one of baser worth would
have been; but his cloak, it is well to remember, differed only in
color from the cloak worn by unnumbered men, to-day posing before a
long-suffering people as Christian leaders.
In spite of the indifference of Mr. Allison and the vexation of
Jean, each felt the subtle power of attraction in the other that
neither could explain.
One night when sitting closer than usual to her side, he calmly
possessed himself of one of her hands.
You are quite an enigma to me, he said. How can you be a bit
comfortable in such close proximity to a representative of the ungodly
I cannot, she answered, pulling at her hand. I will go away.
Will you? and he tightened the pressure of his fingers.
Jean dropped her head on her free hand and was very still. Mr.
Allison, watching her, presently saw a tear-drop on her cheek.
He put his arm around her, and would have drawn her to him, but with
a firm, gentle touch, the meaning of which was unmistakable, she pushed
his arm aside, and, rising, stood before him.
The faint trace of tears still marked her eyes, and her voice was a
Mr. Allison, we cannot be even friends! We just cannot! You are a
'man atom of the great iniquity.'
She crossed the room, and, raising a shade, stood looking absently
into the moonlight. Gilbert Allison leaned forward and seemed trying to
obtain the solution of some mystery from the outlines of her figure.
She still stood there when Judge Thorn entered from an adjoining
room, and while he conversed with her liquor-dealer lover, Jean left
the room to return no more that night.
But Mr. Allison was not thus to be disposed of.
A few evenings passed, and he was again announced a visitor at the
Thorn home, and Jean appeared really very glad to see him, considering
that they were never to be friends. After a few moments of casual
conversation he took from his pocket an evening paper, folded so that
she could not miss the reading, and held it before her eyes.
From the item thus displayed she learned that Gilbert Allison, late
of the firm of Allison, Russell &Joy, had withdrawn his interest in the
firm to be placed in other investments.
The conversation that followed the reading of this announcement,
while confidential, was not a long one, but at its close Gilbert
Allison knew more of that firmness born of a woman's conviction than he
had ever dreamed.
* * * * *
Judge Thorn looked comfortable in his leather chair, his slippered
feet on a hassock and a new book in his hand. At any rate, Jean thought
so, as she studied him from between the parted curtains, but she was
relentless. Stealing softly behind him, she pressed her hands over his
eyes. The judge started, and the young lady laughed merrily.
Then she tried to steal away his book, but he held it.
Let me put it up, father, I want to talk to you.
The judge still held the book.
Then I will say 'please.'
Is it to be a political conversation? he asked, gravely.
Not a breath of politics about it, she answered.
Any statistics to be brought in? he questioned further.
Jean laughed again.
Really, father, she said, I think I may hope to win you yet. When
a judge, and a Republican at that, finds it hard to vindicate his
party's doings, and finds statistics overwhelmingly against his party's
policy on moral questions, he will look for better things in better
places. At this period of his political transmigration I believe a man
is more to be pitied for misplaced confidence than blamed for tardy
understanding. No, father, not a statistic to-night, unless you compel
me to bring them out in self-defense.
Judge Thorn slowly released his book.
Now, said Jean triumphantly, we are ready for a nice long talk,
that is, if you feel equal to the task of talking. What I have to say
will not take long. It is about a little interview between Mr. Allison
andJudge Thorn's daughter, and if I had been less of a 'crank,' I
suppose you would have had another son-in-law in prospect.
Yes? questioned the judge. Then I have been mistaken when I have
thought at times that you cared for him.
Jean remained silent a few minutes, then looked up quickly into her
You are my best, my dearest friend, father. I will tell you truly.
You have not been mistaken. I love Gilbert Allison, and I cannot help
it to save my life.
When Judge Thorn spoke again his voice had changed somewhat. He
spoke as if his words were escaping from beneath a weight.
Better than you do me, Jean?
She did not answer at once; then she caught her father's eye, and
smiled as she said:
You want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Go on, was the judge's quiet reply.
Then it is 'yes,' father.
A shadow passed over the face of the judge for an instant that
carried Jean back to her childhood days, when she used to wonder, as
she mused, why it was that her father always looked so sad.
You have all the sweet ways of your mother, child, said the old
man; and in you I know the traits and intellect that I had hoped to
nurture in the boy. For years you have been my comrademy best loved
daughter. I am growing old, now, quite old, and you must leave me.
As he spoke he ran his fingers through his hair, as if in its
thinness and fading color he could discern advancing years.
Jean caught the hand that hung over the arm of the chair between her
two and pressed it to her cheek.
You make me happy, father! she whispered. Do you remember long
ago I told you that you would some day be glad I was your boy? And so
you are. Perhaps it is because I am so like youI only wish I knew I
wasor perhaps I have always loved you best, and yet I have not loved
you enough, father.
Yes, child. Yes, enough to drive away a grief and make me happy.
Then, remember, father; remember always and forever, that I do not
love you any less. If I have come to love another more, I tell you
truly, I cannot help it. It has come to mejust come andcome and
come; and I have fought it every step of the way. A few times I have
pictured to myself such a man as I might some time call my husband. He
has been learned and clean and upright, with an irrepressible spirit of
patriotism, hindered by no party ties that bind to money instead of
moral questions; daunted by no fear, and bound by no memory of a past;
and the man has come, and he isa gentlemanly liquor dealer. But I
will not leave you, father. I have no thought other than to stay here.
This information did not seem to impress the judge.
You say so, Jean. You mean so; but you will be married, and a
wife's duties come before a daughter's.
Jean laughed again.
You look almost as disconsolate as Mr. Allison did the last time I
saw him. Cheer up! I am not going to be married that I know of.
I see you know that Mr. Allison is a liquor dealer no longer, or
you would hardly ask.
I know. And I know that he sacrifices something in getting out of
it at this time. He is a clean man, and though his name has been
connected with the interest, that has been all. One could hardly
imagine him standing behind a bar.
He said something like that in his own defense. Let me seehe said
the national politics was the great mother of all lesser political
plays, and that at such elections he had cast his vote just as you and
your preacher have always done. Therefore, as you were temperance men,
so he was a temperance man. How was that for argument?
Judge Thorn laughed.
Well, I should not wonder if he were as much of a temperance man as
some other folks, after all.
The more shame for the 'other folks,' said Jean, a touch of
sternness in her voice.
Have it that way if you wish, but to the original question. I am in
no hurry for you to marry, but I suppose you will some time, and
Allison is a square man. What he has done in this business move he has
done not because he has changed his views on some matters, but all for
the love of a woman, and that means much, my girl, these days of
fortune hunters and deceivers.
All for the love of a woman, Jean repeated softly to herself.
That is what he said.
They were both silent a few seconds.
You have not answered my question, Jean.
Ah! I forgot, father. You asked me why I could not promise to be
the wife of Mr. Allison. I will tell you, as I told him, and I think
you will understand as he did.
If I ever have a husband, he must do right from an honest
conviction of right, and because humanity and justice and God demand
the right, and never for the 'love of a woman,' although that is a
Judge Thorn looked inquiringly at his daughter, and she continued:
He was not prepared for this, I think, but he understood what I
meant, and said that I asked of him the impossible; that it was
impossible for him to see the liquor traffic in the light that I do.
But I am sure, father, that the underlying principle of my idea is
right, and God makes it possible for all men to see the right, if they
Jean had risen and stood before her father, her face aglow and her
This mood passed shortly, and she returned to her chair. She clasped
her hands behind her head and began again softly, as if speaking to
And thenthen he sat down in a chair by the window, with his face
turned away. It was very still in the room.
I went and stood close by his side, but I hardly dared to speak, it
all seemed so strange somehow. I wantedOh, you do not know how I
longed to throw myself into his arms, just to try to wake him; but you
After a timeperhaps an hour, perhaps a minutehe suddenly rose
and kissed me on the forehead.
'Goodby, dear,' he said, 'I think I had better not come any more,'
and he left the room without another word.
After the door had closed behind him and I heard him stepping down
the walk, I put both my hands over my heart, just so, and held it
tight, for it seemed that it would bound out and go with him.
They sat in silence a little while after Jean ceased speaking, and
then she stepped behind her father's chair and dropped her arms around
No, father, you shall never be left alone as long as this big world
holds Jean. Lonesomeness is so big and dreary!
She pressed her lips to his forehead and turned away.
Had such a favor been meted out to the disconsolate Mr. Allison, he
would no doubt have been immediately transported to a state of
unalloyed happiness. Not so with the judge. The very act, the very
words, told him that the woman's affections had been divided, and the
streak of selfishness that runs through all humanity had not been
overlooked in his make-up.
Are you not really ashamed of me, father? Just think of it! Me,
Jean Thorn, of sound mind and adult years, falling in love with a
liquor dealer! It is too strange to believe, and yet I believe the
situation would be perfectly delightful ififwell, if I were not 'my
father's boy.' But I will survive, let it be hoped, and if this
maddening, sickening, altogether unmanageable love one reads of had
rushed upon me like a whirlwind, it would be the same. The man I marry
must not be a 'man atom of the great iniquity,' not even to the extent
of his vote.
And lest she should mar the impression she hoped to leave upon her
father, Jean hurried from the room, waving her hand to him as she
passed through the door.
* * * * *
In her own room she sat down to think. Mechanically she unbound the
coils of red-brown hair that crowned her head, and holding the quaintly
carved silver pins which seemed a part of her identity in her hand, she
began a march to and fro across the room. There was no smile on her
face, rather a pained, unnatural look that her dearest friend would not
have recognized. Presently she stopped.
Raising her hands, the shining hair rippling over her shoulders like
a garment, she lifted her face heavenward.
My Father! she whispered, brokenly, he is asleep. Touch his eyes
with kindly fingers that the scales may drop away. Put the hollow of
thy hand around his heart and kindle there the love that means the
brotherhood of man, for I love himI love him!
Even as she stood, with her face upturned from the wealth of flowing
hair, the man of her prayer was in the toils of fate, seeing a face
and hearing a voice that touched his ear and clung to his heart, like
the wail of a lost soul.
[Illustration: God, she cried, Look at my hands!]
CHAPTER VIII. WHAT FOR.
Had Jean Thorn been less interested in the family of Damon Crowley
she might have thought it impossible to keep track of them as they
moved about. Mr. Crowley reformed every time he got drunk, and got
drunk every time he reformed. At such times he made the living place he
called home, whether in the filthy garret or rickety shanty, a bedlam.
At the present period of their existence the Crowleys were living in a
forlorn hovel on the outskirts of the city.
Mr. Crowley thought himself lucky if he chanced to be about when one
of Miss Thorn's visits took place, for she paid well for the plain work
Mrs. Crowley did, and he always came in for a share. The time had been
when this man would have blushed at the thought of asking his wife, or,
indeed, any one, for help, but that time had gradually gone by as his
manhood dissolved itself in drink. Now he could whine and beg and, not
being successful that way, curse and beat to gain his end. He wanted
money for whisky worse than ever now, and had less, but the burning in
his stomach grew no less to suit the impoverished condition of his
The disease caused by the legalized drink traffic was eating his
life away little by little, and as the fire burned it called for more
One night when every little gland and fibre in his whole being and
all the great ulcers in his diseased stomach seemed like fierce flames
cutting and licking and torturing him, half-drunk, he staggered from
one grog shop to another, begging for something to drink.
He had hung around the shanty home until he was almost sure that
Miss Thorn would not come, then had started out to try his chances. He
had begged a little, had pawned a garment belonging to another for a
little more, and yet the maddening thirst was not quenched.
It was growing late. He made a circuit of his old haunts, but it was
uselessno money, no drink. For his pleading he was mocked. For his
curses he was struck and put out. He staggered toward home, the
stinging fire within him quickening his pace. One hope remained.
Perhaps Miss Thorn had been there after he had gone. Perhaps, hidden
away in the little box, he might find a few penniesenough for this
The houses that he passed were for the most part dark, except where
some low place cast its straggling light into the night. He hurried on,
stumbling now and then. No time could be more suitable for him. He
would find the family, what there was left of it, asleep. He would
sneak in like a cat and find the boxperhaps the pennies. He rubbed
his hot hands nervously together in anticipation.
It was not difficult to get into the house, and he found it still
and dark. Cautiously he tiptoed to the window and ran his fingers over
the casing above it. Nothing but dust. Next he tried the hole in the
chimney. Here his unsteady fingers grasped something he thought to be
the box, but it proved to be only a loose brick. Growing impatient, he
went to the cupboard and fumbled in the corner. No box. He was getting
reckless now. Taking a match from his pocket he drew it across the
wall. It sputtered and cast a ray long enough for him to find the lamp,
which he lit.
The little boy Johnnie, in a bed close by, stirred slightly, rolled
over a couple of times, and sat up in bed and opened his eyes. Mr.
Crowley, having lost all control of himself, was noisily peering into
every nook and cranny. As the father moved nearer, the boy crept closer
to his mother, and, huddling by her side, began to cry. It was when he
heard the boy's cry that the fire within him licked up the last of his
manhood and the Devil had full sway. He set the lamp down with a bang
and sprang toward the bed. The boy threw his arms around his mother and
gave a cry of terror.
Mamma! O mamma! Hold me tight! Don't let him get me! O mamma!
mamma! mamma! The mother held the child close, but the man had seized
They struggled for a minutea madman's strength and a devil's
cunning against a mother's loveunequal struggle!
The mana demon nowhad the child.
He cast his eye around the room and picked up a knotty piece of
wood. The boy pulled frantically back toward his mother, trembling and
screaming, but the die was cast.
A volley of oaths burst from the drunken fiend's lips.
Not much this time! No help now, till I'm done with you. Damn you!
Stand up, and he gave the boy a blow that caused him to twist with
pain, but he steadied his voice to ask:
What for, papa? What for? But the words were lost in screams, for
the blows kept falling.
Mrs. Crowley rushed up and caught his uplifted arm.
You will kill the child! You are mad. Help! Somebody help! she
cried; but no help came. Drunken rows are a part of our civilization.
The boy had succeeded in getting away, but the unequal struggle was
soon at an end, and Mrs. Crowley was struck to the floor by a heavy
The father dragged the terror-stricken little fellow from behind the
Come! Damn you! I'm not done yet! I'll teach you to be scared of
your dad and to yell like an idiot when I come into my own house, and
the blows fell rapidly.
On the little hands when they were raised to protect the head, on
the head when the hands dropped down in pain, on the legs when the body
twisted in agony, on the back when the body bent to shield the legs,
and the childish voice broke through the screams at intervals:
What for? Oh, what for?
Mrs. Crowley looked around the room for something with which to
fight the man. She seized an iron frying-pan and struck him with all
the force she could summon, but the blow was insufficient.
He loosed the child only long enough to push his wife violently to
the wall and choke her until she gasped and grew dizzy, adding a couple
of blows as a finishing touch, and after tossing her weapon from the
window again turned his attention to the child.
Not done yet! No! Not done! Take thisand thisand this, and
heavy blows sounded.
Oh, papa! tell me what for, and I'll never, never do it any more.
Please, papa, what for? and the child raised his terror-stricken face
to his father's, but the brute struck the little upturned face.
Noyou won't do it again when I get done. I'm not done yet. Not
Mrs. Crowley again sprang upon the madman, and, drawing her fingers
tightly around his neck, threw her whole force into the grasp, but he
loosened it. Then he kicked her out the door and bolted it fast.
The child had fallen to the floor, but partly arose as the father
Not done yetnonot done, and he struck the poor, bleeding body
The boy sank back on the floor. His screams were ended; but as he
lay there he still moaned, What for?
Then the moaning ceased, the eyelids quivered and the breath grew
But even then his father had not exercised enough of his personal
liberty. The imps of hell hissed him on. The torturing fire within him
leaped higher and higher, searing his soul. He bent low over the body
and beat it still, till the tender bones crushed under the blows. Then
throwing the knotty stick, quivering with his own child's blood, into a
corner, with a fearful scream the murderer dashed out into the night.
Then the mother crept back, but it was too late. The little life had
gone. From somewhere out of the mysterious, breezy night, perhaps, the
spirit of Maggie had come, and had taken the soul of her poor brother
to a city where pain and tears are unknown.
But another voice had been added to the chorus of suffering children
as by the million they cry out in their pain till the appeal of
outraged childhood goes thundering and reverberating into the ear of
the Almighty Father, while he writes the What for of their wailing
protest in the book of his remembrance as the record unto the day of
Christian America's reckoning, in letters that burn brighter as the
curse waxes worse and worse.
Against the name of the church, too, as she wraps her righteous
robes around herself and will not, in her dignity and purity, set her
mighty foot on the neck of the curse, while drunkards by unnumbered
thousands stagger under her colored glass windows to Hell, he writes
WHAT FOR? and the letters burn on.
Against the name of the Christian whose vote makes strong the party
that legalizes the saloon and the drunkard he writes WHAT FOR?
What man shall stand in the presence of the Holy One, when the books
are opened, and tell WHAT FOR?
CHAPTER IX. GILBERT ALLISON HEARS A
It was this night that two travelers were journeying across a bit of
suburban country toward their city homes. They were out later than they
had expected to be, perhaps. At any rate, it was somewhere close to the
hour of midnight and they were approaching an old graveyard.
As they neared the ancient burying ground Mr. Allison, for he was
one of the riders, became less talkative, and rode closer to his
friend, a young man of about his own age.
Hist, Sammy! Didn't you hear something? Ah! Now it has gone again.
You were not quick enough. Keep your ear open. At the turning of the
wind it may come again.
Well, by grabs! Gillie, where will you end? laughed the other.
First love, now ghosts. Listening for spooks because we happen to be
passing the burying spot of some of our ancestors. Allow me to alight
and pick a switch for the poor boy to defend himself with when the
ghosts set upon him.
Sammie! Sammie! I hear it again! It's coming on the breeze. Listen
Gilbert Allison stopped his horse and leaned eagerly forward. Sammie
listened, but was again too late. The dead leaves rustled close by over
the sunken graves; the tall, bare trees waved their skeleton arms,
while the breeze died away to a long, weary sigh and was gone.
It does not come from the cemetery, Sammie, but from beyond.
Perhaps it will come again. Listen!
The breeze was coming to them again, and they drew their horses to a
There, Sammie! You did not miss that, did you?
They listened a moment longer, but the breeze was dying away and
with it the cry, whatever it was.
The Dickens! Allison, let us hurry on. This is too ghostly a night
to tarry. That cry gives me an uneasy feeling to the marrow of my
They quickened their pace, and rode some distance in silence. The
sky seemed growing darker and the wind was rising. A thick clump of
trees hard by cast a gloomy shadow across the road, and just as they
passed into this the floating clouds covered the face of the moon, and
they were in pitchy darkness.
Suddenly there burst into the black night from somewhere in front of
them a most unearthly yell.
Allison's horse quivered and Sammie's gave a violent lurch.
Heavens, Sammie! What was that?
Blast the moon! ejaculated Sammie. Ride close to the side of the
road. It was near here.
They had passed the clump of trees, but were still in the dark. All
was still save the tiresome moaning of the trees. Then they heard the
rapid approach of some man or beast, and the next instant, directly at
their sides, there went out onto the night air a succession of
blood-curdling yells and barks.
The horses sprang and danced.
The moon came out, and in its pale yellow light they saw the
creature disappearing down the road. It was the figure of a man,
crouching and springing, rather than walking. As he neared the clump of
trees he made the night shudder with still wilder and fiercer screams.
Then he disappeared down the shadowy road.
A madman! said Allison. Heavens! What couldn't he do to a fellow
if he had him to himself?
Sammie laughed nervously.
His boots are full of snakes, if I am not mistakenbut truly a bad
fellow. He must have been what we heard back by the cemetery.
No. Not such a noise as that. That was a wailing cry. Perhapshe
surely cannot have had his hand on any human being. Let us hurry on.
The devil must be hereabouts to-night.
The suburbs seemed again to be asleep. The wind came and went over
the rickety homes, sparsely scattered, and its moaning was made more
dismal by the long-drawn out howl of some sleepless cur.
At rare intervals a light gleamed from a window.
One window from which a light shone Gilbert Allison and his friend
looked into that night, and somehow that window remained always open in
the memory of each, with a bright light burning behind it.
It was a dreary little structure that stood close to the roadside,
quite alone. The window was only a square hole, and the feeble light
inside flickered as the wind blew through. There had been glass there
once, no doubt, but that glass and many other cheap glass windows had
gone into a better, richer piece of glass, and that hung in a
Reflecting the decanters and red nosesand broken hearts? No! Ah,
no! Their reflection would have injured the trade. They remained where
the cheap glass had once been, and it was one of these hearts that
Gilbert Allison, late of the firm of Allison, Russell &Joy, caught a
glimpse of as he paused at the open window.
A woman sat on the floor in the middle of the room.
A woman of petrified misery. She gazed beyond the surrounding walls
into the happy past, the mournful futureinto Heaven and Hell, or
Close by her side lay the still warm body of the boy. She placed her
hands over his face, and, feeling the warmth, opened the tattered,
bloody little night-dress and pressed her ear over the heartpressed
it closer and closer, but the heart was still.
She did not cry, this woman. Why should she? She knew the child was
better off. She lifted a corner of her garment and wiped the thick
blood from the face, then she pressed her lips to the lips, the cheeks,
the forehead, in long, loving, mother kisses. She drooped her head
close over the childish body, and drawing the soft arms around her neck
held them there. She stroked back the hair, and her hands were
Resting the child's body tenderly on the hard floor, she raised her
face of misery and her bloodstained hands toward Heaven.
God! she cried. Look at my hands! See God! Here it ismy baby's
blood. Come, God, and see my boy. He's getting stiffbut come,
Godcome! See the bruises and the blood! See the facethe little
face, all full of pain and fearand feel the crushed bones, God! He is
getting coldcoldcold! The boy's dead!
She caught up one of the child's hands and pressed it convulsively.
After a moment's silence she began again, suddenly, fiercely:
Is there any God? Where is he? Where does he stay? Not with
Christians. They have the power, if God were with them, to stop the
curse. No, not with them. They do not stop it. No. They license it,
they do. 'Woe, woe to him that puts the bottle to his neighbor's lips.'
They do! They do! But God must be somewhere. God come out of
The wind blew and the light flickered. Allison and Sammie, looking
in, seemed riveted to the spot. It was not a pleasant picture, yet they
My husband a murderer! wailed the woman. The boy's blood on his
hands? Lord God! I never want to see his face again! Have mercy on his
soul! Perhaps he cannot help it nowhe is a madman. Love him if you
canI loved him once.
Something like a sob sounded in the woman's voice, but she choked it
back. After a moment of silence she moved a short distance from the
little corpse, and, raising herself upright on her knees, with her
hands clasped at arm's length over her head, she prayed.
It was not a Christlike prayerrather the helpless cry of a soul
tortured, in the grasp of a Christianized sin.
Lord God! Down deep in Hellaway downdown where the fire is
hottest, and the black blackest, and the smoke thickest, there let the
man be bound forever who covers the business of Hell with a respectable
covering. There forever let him see my boy's piteous, quivering face;
let him hear the dying moan and see the red blood! I know them, God!
You know them, Godyou know them! Hear my prayer!
Another gust of wind came, nearer and stronger, and the lamp
flickered out. It was quiet. Very quiet. So quiet that Allison and
Sammie heard the sigh that escaped the woman's lips. It was a heavy
sigh, filled with tears and utter despair.
A sigh that went farther than all the sighing winds had ever gone. A
sigh that was wafted far above to the great God who keeps record of the
sighs that come up from the hearts of a million drunkards' wives, and
who writes on the balance-sheet: Vengeance is mine. I will repay.
Some people, one of them an officer, entered the house from the
opposite side, and the two travelers, seeing no need for their
services, turned away and mounted their horses.
Mr. Allison was somewhat excited.
Hanging is too good for that brute! he said, loudly. I believe I
could stand by and see him roast. Heavens, what a devil! Poor woman, I
wish I had not stopped there to-night.
Sammie grunted. Thinking of the place she referred to as the
respectable dealer's future headquarters? he questioned.
Shut up, will you! This is no time for joking!
The young man complied with the request of his polite friend, and
thought to himself, but Mr. Allison was no better pleased. He knew that
if he had not seen it, it would have been. It really was. He was deeply
stirred. And as he rode on through the night he was thinking new and
CHAPTER X. THE SIN BURDEN.
After Gilbert Allison arrived home from that ride, the ghostly night
on which he saw the fruits of a sinful traffic in all its horror, he
hastily disrobed and turned into bed, hoping to sleep away the
unpleasant thoughts and pictures that had possession of his mind; but
no sooner had sleep overtaken him than a face, framed in a halo of
red-brown hair, looked down upon him from an eminence; a white hand
with a phosphorescent glow pointed at him, while a voice kept
repeating, to the accompaniment of a childish wail, Manatom of the
great iniquity, manatom of the great iniquity.
In his dream he did not recognize the face nor voice, and yet both
seemed strangely familiar to him.
When daylight came, the face and the white hand and the moaning
child went away and the face of the woman whose misery he had looked
upon haunted him, and her bitter prayer came to him in snatches.
The experience was distressing in no small degree to the ease-loving
man. He could not analyze his feelings and was not aware that what one
strange little woman called a sin burden had fallen with its weight
upon him. He was in the act of rubbing his eyes before his moral
* * * * *
Damon Crowley was behind the bars for the last time. Perhaps he did
not know, at any rate he did not care. He had reached the beginning of
From the corners of his cell dark faces leered at him; cruel, sharp
claws closed around his limbs and icy fingers grasped his throatyet
he was not dead. Outlines of things he saw became to him living
creatures of destruction and crouched over him, grinning in his face
and tearing him to bitsyet he was not dead. Snarling beasts sank
their fangs into his flesh, a thousand poison insects rushed and
swarmed upon him, and he felt the virus of their sting bounding through
his bodyyet he lived.
Slimy serpents wriggled over him, thrusting their forked tongues
into his nose and ears, and when he grabbed frantically to tear them
away they had gone.
A fire burned within him and he tore his flesh and hair, while death
like a dark shadow hovered nearer and nearer, closing in slowly but
surely. The end of Damon Crowley was not as a child falls to sleep nor
as a Christian steps into the great beyond.
It was a time of screams and groans; of frantic clutchings and hard
grapplings. Those in neighboring cells were glad for once that the
walls were thick and the bolts secure.
* * * * *
Gilbert Allison imagined he would feel better when he knew that
Damon Crowley was securely lodged under lock and key; but such was not
the case. The knowledge of this only seemed to press some real or
imaginary burden closer to him. Then he imagined that he would perhaps
feel at peace with the world and himself when white-robed justice had
had her perfect course, and the victim of a nation's sin had been hung
by the neck until dead. But even the news of the tragic death of the
murderer did not prove a cure for his nameless and indefinable
Then it occurred to him that perhaps his name had not been taken
from over the doors of the establishment of which he had so long been a
part. Being fully resolved to completely sever his connection with the
business, he looked upon this as a necessary step, and not without some
small hope that it might help a little toward restoring his upset
Turning a corner, he raised his eyes. There, in the glow of the full
sunlight, blazed the richly-wrought words, Allison, Russell &Joy.
They looked positively ugly to him and he felt that he had been injured
by the other members of the firm. Entering the establishment to request
that the sign be altered he came upon a trio discussing trade items,
and the old familiar phraseology fell upon his ears like jangling
As he passed out an old customer slapped him familiarly on the back
and asked after business. Hardly had he escaped this one before another
grasped his hand and inquired in jovial manner how times were. Then a
drummer approached him, and, on being informed that he was no longer
connected with the trade interests, assured him that the trade had
suffered a loss. As he halted a moment in front of a hotel, a
half-intoxicated man with a tale of woe, because of having been ordered
out of the palatial sample room of the late liquor dealer, drew some
attention to him and increased his feeling of disquiet and
Each time he informed his assailant that he had severed his
connection with the business, but it was not until the red-headed
proprietor of a groggery drew nigh with a grievance, that the last
straw had been put upon his already overtaxed nerves and conscience.
With more than the necessary amount of vigor he declared himself
innocent of the business and dropped remarks relative to groggeries
that would have delighted the ear of a temperance lecturer.
After this series of unpleasant encounters Gilbert Allison betook
himself to the office of his friend, Dr. Samuel Thomas, the companion
of his memorable ride, for advisement.
Entering the room without previous announcement, he dropped his hat
onto a promiscuous pile of books and papers and spread himself on the
couch. Here, with his hands clasped under his head, he studied the
pattern of the ceiling paper a few seconds before venturing a remark.
Dr. Sammie, used to moods and fancies, waited.
Would you do anything for a friend in need, Sammie? asked the
visitor at length, with a strong emphasis upon the anything.
To be sure. Speak out.
Laugh? What about?
Anything or nothingbut laugh. I have not heard a suspicion of a
laugh in weeks. I have been prowling around in a valley of dry bones,
and to save my soul I cannot find my way out. I thought I had just
begun the ascent of a slope where smiles are occasionally seen, when
the hope was shattered by the vulgar familiarity of a mob belonging to
Dr. Sammie listened to the rather unusual remarks of his friend, and
as he recounted the day's experiences in his own original way the
amused look on his face drew itself into definite shape around his
mouth, and, when Allison had delivered himself of something unusual in
the way of a tirade on dive-keepers, the climax had been reached, and
the listener rested his head against the back of his chair and laughed
in a manner sufficiently hearty to have satisfied the request of his
Soured on the fraternity, have you? he asked.
Gilbert Allison slowly raised himself to a sitting posture and, with
an elbow resting on either knee, transferred his study from the ceiling
pattern to that of the carpet. He did not answer the question.
Crowley died, he at length observed.
Yesand I should think you would be the man to be glad. I imagine
the after feeling must be anything but pleasant when one has for years
helped fit a fellow creature for the gallows.
Gilbert Allison frowned between his hands and spoke sharply.
It is a legal business, he said.
Legal? Yes, legalbut you have sense enough to know that if it is
legal for you to sell, it must be legal for some other fellow to buy;
and if some other fellow spends his money for liquor he had the right
to drink it, and you can hardly be unreasonable enough to hold a man
responsible for what he does when the lining has been eaten out of his
stomach and his brain soaked with alcohol. Such a man is a legal
murderer, and the custom that breeds him should take care of the
Mind you, I am not giving a temperance lecture; that is out of my
line. But it has always seemed to me to be a rotten sort of justice
that hangs a man for doing what the government gives him a license to
Mr. Allison looked up suddenly.
Do you suppose, Sammie, that Deacon Brown knows the Traffic as it
isas we have seen it?
His church machinery grinds out resolutions annually of such a
warlike nature that I am inclined to believe he does, said the doctor
He has been in every political caucus that I have, for the last
five years and has voted as I have from constable to President. I have
voted for the interests of the Trade. What has he been voting for?
I'll give it up, said Sammie, dusting the ashes from the end of
his cigar; but the Lord have mercy on his brains if he thinks it has
been for 'temperance and morality.'
Gilbert Allison arose and began a measured tread up and down the
Laugh some more, Sammie! I have not yet recovered my normal
condition. I had as soon be dead as morbid. Laugh. Perhaps it will
I prefer to diagnose my case before applying a remedy, said the
doctor. Tell me your symptoms. What ails you?
I am in a dilemma, Sammiea dilemma. Tell mewill it be necessary
for me to wear a staring placard on my back the rest of my mortal days
in order that people may know I have everlastingly severed my
connection with the liquor business?
Dr. Sammie was obliging enough to favor his guest with another
hearty laugh. Then he blew two clouds of smoke over his head and
watched it curl itself away around the chandelier, for notwithstanding
the fact that he knew, or should have known, the effects of nicotine on
the human system, this aspiring young member of the medical profession
wasted money and nerve force in his slavery to a habit.
I tell you, my friend, he said, with an air of confidence, there
are a set of people in the worldmind you, I do not say that they are
wisewho would tell you that by casting a single vote in a certain way
you would stamp yourself as the vile opponent of the Trade's interests
Gilbert Allison paused in his walk and looked into his friend's face
a second. A sigh of relief escaped his lips, and immediately he found
himself in the midst of a ringing laugh peculiar to one who has broken
through the meshes of a dilemma and finds himself free.
The best speech of your life, Sammie! Thank you! and hastily
donning his hat he left the room without further comment.
Dr. Sammie smiled when the door closed behind his friend. He had an
idea whither his way tended.
CHAPTER XI. AN AWAKENING.
Judge Thorn sat looking over the evening paper.
Lost in her own thoughts, Jean sat in the shadow of a palm idly
thrumming a guitar, the soft pliant strains corresponding well with the
expression of her face.
A sudden exclamation from her father caused her to look up.
His profile alone was visible to her, but there is an expression in
outlines when one understands the subject, and she knew that something
of an unusually puzzling or distressing nature engaged him.
Eagerly watching, she played on softly.
Presently the judge crushed the paper into a ball and with another
exclamation of disgust threw it across the room where it rolled behind
a scrap basket under a desk. At sight of so uncommon a procedure Jean
went to her father's side.
What news, father mine? What news? she asked.
Judge Thorn pointed in the direction of the wadded paper.
Jean, said he, solemnly, you remember how proudly I boasted to
you when Congress prohibited that blackest disgrace of our army, the
liquor-selling canteen. You know how deeply I felt the shame and
disgrace upon the whole legal profession when an officer of the cabinet
perpetrated the outrage that thwarted the will of the sovereign people.
Jean, girl, in a long life of close contact with the nation's politics
I have never met anything that has so deeply tried my loyalty to the
party in which I have helped to work out the political problems of
almost half a century as did that act that, as a life-long student of
law, I recognized as a fraud.
But I have bolstered my shattered faith in the party with my
absolute confidence in the President. I have refused to believeto
this very hour I have refused to believe that the man whose magnificent
career I have watched with such interest and of whose stainless honor I
have been so proud, would consent to be a party to such an act of
anarchy. I have insisted, as you well know, stoutly holding my position
though the long delay has made me sick at heart, that when the long
routine of official red tape had at length unrolled itself and the case
should finally come to the President, justice would be done and the
nation's honor vindicated.
Now, look there!
And with hands that trembled with suppressed anger the old jurist
unfolded the crumpled paper, which Jean had recovered, and pointed out
the telegraphic report that told how another high official of the
President's official family had disgraced himself, his profession and
the administration by the formal declaration that he accepted the
historic Griggs infamy as a correct interpretation of law.
Jean, my child, spare me. Say nothing now, child. I can not bear
it. The faith of a lifetime is shattered. On that page I read, plainly
as if it were printed there, that the President is a party to the
infamy. The party of my lifelong loyalty stands committed by the act of
its chosen leaders to the foulest anarchy that ever disgraced a
civilized people. Had I no thought for temperance, as a citizen and as
a lawyer, I could not otherwise than see in this the forerunner of the
gravest national disaster.
The young woman listened with an expression in which deepest scorn
for the treason done was mingled with tender pity for the stricken man
at her side. Sharp, cutting words crowded to her lips for a final
argument, but her love for her father checked them.
Just then, in the silence, a step was heard approaching the house.
In a twinkling the canteen outrage slipped from the mind of the girl,
for the step was one whose echo had made indelible prints on her heart
and whose owner she had been many times heartsick to see.
She had hardly time to wonder what brought him at an hour long past
the usual time for making calls before he was with them.
When he had been informed by the judge of the latest chapter in the
history of the canteen outrage, Mr. Allison laughed heartily.
What have you been voting for the last ten years, Judge, he asked.
Not for the canteen, the older man answered warmly.
I have, and for every other measure conducive to the best interests
of the tradeand we have voted the same ticket to a dot.
Finding the judge rather indisposed to talk just then the young man
turned to his hostess.
I am on a quest, he said. Tell me of some one possessed of enough
knowledge of human nature to recommend a course that will square me
with an unruly conscience anda woman.
My father is a legal light, ask him. He needs diversion now, I
think, and Jean smiled at sight of his perplexed face.
His specialty has not been 'man atoms of a great iniquity,' said
Allison with a smile that hardly concealed his anxiety. Tell me, what
would you do if you had been a 'man-atom,' had grown disgusted with the
mother mass and wished to completely sever your connection with it
before God and man?
You mean if I were a man? Well, first I would ask the Lord to
forgive me for ever having been a 'man-atom.'
I have been duly penitent, assented the questioner.
Then I would buy some papera quantity of itand I would write
yards and yards of resolutions stating that 'it can never be legalized
Then I should pray a whole lotand pursue the even tenor of my
way; and if my conscience should assert itself in the face of all this,
I should think it too cranky a conscience to be humored.
What about the woman?
Woman? Women, she said, have notions. To save their lives they
cannot see the use in wasting paper and prayers. They would DO
something. Womensome womenbelieve in standing right with God and
conscience though the heavens fall.
So do some men, said Allison, gravely.
Jean started slightly. The tone of his voice, the look of his eye,
conveyed to her the knowledge that somewhere, somehow, since she had
seen him last he had been awakened.
Involuntarily she clasped her hands and in the passing glance she
gave him Gilbert Allison caught a glimpse of the heaven that orthodox
people say follows the resurrection of the just.
Judge Thorn roused himself from the spell that had been cast over
him by the news in the crumpled paper.
A second time he took it in his hands and slowly, solemnly crushed
The rank and file, the men whose honesty and virtue have made the
party great, he said, have been defrauded, outraged. My support of
the administration and of the party of my political life is forever
ended unless it reclaim the right to a decent man's support.
While her father talked, Jean, lest in the first moments of her
delightful discovery she should clap her hands or cry or dance or in
some other unconventional way outrage grave decorum, returned to her
seat and her guitar.
The fringed palm threw long jagged shadows over her dress and
stretched away to meet the firelight dancing on the hearth-rug.
The mingled tones of the two voices reached her ear, but she heard
them indistinctly. To the soft strains that answered the strokes of her
fingers, she kept repeating over and over to herself, He is awake, he
Presently she heard her father leave the room.
Then her heart began to whirl and beat in a way unknown to her
before. She caught the faint chime of a distant steeple bell and the
notes of the low music died away to a plaintive breathing as she
counted the strokes, for she knew the fateful hour of her life was at
Just as the last stroke quivered out onto the new hour, he came. He
sat down beside her and putting aside the guitar, drew her close to
You are awake, she said softly, as if half afraid of breaking some
magic spell. Tell me about it.
He dropped his hand over one of hers and described the tragedy of
the victims of the great iniquity that he had seen on that eventful
When he spoke of the murdered child he felt her hand clinch in his
and when he told of the prayer consigning the respectable dealer to
the place prepared for Satan and his earthly henchmen, involuntarily
she would have drawn away from him, but his arm bound her like a band
A tortured facea bitter prayera bloody tragedyugly
instruments; but in the hands of the Divinity that smooths out man's
rough hewing they have cut away the last outline of a 'man-atom.' Are
you glad? Has fate fashioned me to the satisfaction of one peerless,
For one moment Jean hesitated. Then
But what business is that of ours? Our story has been of the
daughter of a Republican, and the young woman whose face is hidden upon
the shoulder of Gilbert Allison, once rum-seller, now by God's grace
Prohibitionist, is no longer the daughter of a Republican; for Judge
Thorn's resolution, slow formed, is as unbreakable as nature's laws.
Section 17 of the Army Act, passed by Congress March 2, 1899, reads:
That no officer or private soldier shall be detailed to sell
intoxicating drinks as a bartender or otherwise, in any post exchange
or canteen, nor shall any other person be required or allowed to sell
such liquor in any encampment or fort, or on any premises used for
military purposes by the United States; and the Secretary of War is
hereby directed to issue such general order as may be necessary to
carry the provisions of this section into full force and effect.
After vainly trying to find some other method of evading the law,
Secretary Alger, then the head of the War Department, obtained from
Attorney-General Griggs the opinion that the army saloon, known as the
canteen, could run as usual if only the bartenders were not soldiers.
The designation of one class of individuals as forbidden to do a
certain thing raises a just inference that all other classes not
mentioned are not forbidden. A declaration that soldiers shall not be
detailed to sell intoxicating drinks in post exchanges necessarily
implies that such sale is not unlawful when conducted by others than
soldiers.... The act having forbidden the employment of soldiers as
bartenders or salesmen of intoxicating drinks, it would be lawful and
appropriate for the managers of the post exchanges to employ civilians
for that purpose. Of course, employment is a matter of contract, and
not of requirement or permission.
This opinion, pronounced anarchy by every judge and every lawyer,
outside of the President's Cabinet, that has spoken upon it, is upheld
by Secretary Root, the new head of the War Department; and by President