AN AMERICAN SUFFRAGETTE
A NOVEL By ISAAC N. STEVENS
Author of "The Liberators," "Popular Government Essays," etc.
New York William Rickey & Company 1911
Copyright, 1911, by William Rickey & Company
Registered at Stationers' Hall, London (All Rights Reserved)
Printed in the United States of America
PRESS OF WILLIAM G. HEWITT, 61-67 NAVY ST., BROOKLYN, N. Y.
To those noble and courageous women of England and America who are trying to demonstrate to the world that Civilization cannot reach the supreme heights of progress without giving freedom to the mental, spiritual and physical energies of women, and that government will always lack a vital element in its functions, so long as women are deprived of equal participation in its operations—THIS BOOK IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR.
"But life shall on and upward go; Th' eternal step of Progress beats To that great anthem, calm and slow, Which God repeats."
I. A DOCTOR RETURNS FROM INDIA 1 II. A MYSTICAL PARADE 15 III. THE MYSTERIOUS YOUNG WOMAN 22 IV. A SUFFRAGE BAZAAR AND BALL 33 V. HYPNOTISM USED FOR AN ANAESTHETIC 46 VI. SOME STRENUOUS ANTI-SUFFRAGISTS 56 VII. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND SURGERY 61 VIII. THE OMNIPRESENT EYES OF FIFTH AVENUE 74 IX. LOVE, JEALOUSY AND MUSIC 82 X. A DISCUSSION OF PROGRESSIVE WOMEN 91 XI. THE ADVANCING COLUMN OF DEMOCRACY 99 XII. A TUBERCULAR KNEE AND A WORRIED SURGEON 117 XIII. AN ANTI-SUFFRAGE MEETING 125 XIV. FAITH IS THE BASIS OF ALL PROGRESS 140 XV. AN EVIL PROPHECY BEGINS TO BEAR FRUIT 154 XVI. THE MYSTERIOUS MURDER OF EMMA BELL 164 XVII. THE ARREST OF DR. JOHN EARL 180 XVIII. DR. EARL IS INDICTED FOR MURDER 194 XIX. A GREAT MURDER TRIAL BEGINS 199 XX. A WOMAN AND SPOOKS FIND A LETTER 211 XXI. SILVIA HOLLAND'S GREAT PLEA TO THE JURY 225
AN AMERICAN SUFFRAGETTE
A DOCTOR RETURNS FROM INDIA
Among the hundreds of people who were awaiting the arrival of the big Cunarder there were two groups, the second of which seemed determined that the first should not get far away. The young men of which this second group was composed represented the various newspapers of New York City, and while a "beat" was evidently impossible, each of them was determined to get a line for his own journal from the returning hero, Dr. John Earl, which he would not share with the others of the fraternity, and several of them held anxious consultations with their photographers who, by special permit, had been allowed upon the pier.
The other group had moved a number of times to escape the cameras, and a red-haired youth was expatiating upon the glories of American scientific achievement, concluding with a peroration that called forth an exclamation from one of the older men:
"Oh, shut up, Bedford; you sound like a Fourth of July oration. Who are the people you are trying to snapshot for your lurid sheet?" he said wearily, as becomes a Chicago newspaper man when in New York.
The red-headed one looked at him with cheerful surprise. "Don't you know anybody?" he asked. "The tall, handsome blonde is Mrs. Ramsey, wife of George Ramsey, at whose frown the great gods sit tight and the little ones scuttle to cover. Luckily, he is a kindly disposed arbiter and the Street basks under his smile."
The Chicagoan turned and looked at the lady curiously, and the reporter went on: "The fair-haired lady with the wild-rose face is old Gordon Kimball's daughter; born with a diamond teething ring in her mouth, but has never succeeded in getting anything else of value inside her pretty head."
"Well, she doesn't have to," said the Westerner.
Young Bedford grinned. "That's what Dr. Earl thinks; he can furnish brains for the family. Their engagement was reported two months ago. The man with them is Earl's brother, Frank Earl, corporation lawyer, amateur actor, one of those guys that does everything well, and never gives away his own hand. Go after him for a story about some combination his road has gone into and you come away with a great spiel about bumper crops; always gives you the glad hand, but nothing in it. You'd never take him for Mrs. Ramsey's brother, would you? She's a looker, all right. So is Dr. Earl, one of these big, handsome, powerful-looking men that makes folks ask who he is."
"What's all the hullabaloo about, anyhow?" asked the Chicago man.
"Where have you been that you don't know about Earl?" answered Bedford. "Why, I thought everybody in the country had heard of him. He's the chap that raises the dead, you know; just takes 'em by the hand, makes a few passes, and says, 'Say, it's time to wake up, old fellow,' and the dead one sits up and asks for beefsteak. He's the man that saved Hall, the copper mines king, over in Paris. Hall was finished, all done but putting him in a box, when in comes Dr. Earl. 'Let him alone,' he says. 'He's tired out. When he finishes this nap he'll be just as good as new.' But you know how impetuous the French are, and they were going to have poor old Hall done for, sure enough, when this Earl man stands them off, and promises to bring Hall 'round in six hours. And he does it after the whole bunch of them have parleyed over him and waved looking-glasses across his mouth, and found him as dead as Rameses."
There was a general buzz among the newspaper men, and one of them, older and more dignified in manner than the others, said quietly, "Bedford, you ought not to hand out that kind of fiction, even in your unreliable journal."
Bedford winked slyly at the Chicagoan. "It was my only hope," he said in a rapid aside. "That's Tourney. He was over there at the time, and he'll tell us all about it trying to put me right."
"If you don't like my story you can give us the straight steer yourself, Tourney," he said, and, nothing loath, the older man told how Hall had been suddenly stricken with appendicitis in such severe form that an operation was necessary at once. Upon this the French surgeons agreed, but his heart action was so bad that they dared not administer an anaesthetic, and one of them, who was a noted hypnotist, expressed a doubt whether he would be able to rouse the patient from a hypnosis sufficiently profound to enable them to perform the operation.
"This Frenchman," Tourney went on, warming to his subject, "had seen Earl do some wonderful things and he knew he was in Paris and where he was stopping. He put the case to Hall, and seeing that it was all day with him unless something was done, he told them to send for Earl and they got him there on the double-quick. I was waiting in the hall when he went into the operating room and I stayed there until he came out, and as I had done him one or two good turns he told me about it before he realized that I was a newspaper man. When he saw me last I was coaching Harvard students with more money than brains. That has nothing to do with it, except to show that he isn't one of these 'for publication only' wonder workers."
"Hurry up," said the Chicagoan, "he'll be here in a few minutes, and if he's one of these human clams you are the hope of the press. What did he tell you?"
"He agreed with the others in the main points, but he said if Hall was willing to take the chance, he believed he could pull him through by a system he had seen used in India. Then he cleared them all out, and when they came back Hall was comatose. The appendix was removed in record time, and the wound cleansed. Just before Earl finished, one of the Frenchmen noticed that the patient was not breathing, apparently, and exclaimed that he was dead. Dr. Earl pointed out the fact that the blood showed no signs of other than a normal condition, such as would be found in a patient under hypnosis. His idea, as I got it, was that the patient must be kept unconscious long enough for the body to regain its functions and get over the strain of the operation. He told them if he were more familiar with Hall's constitution, he would be inclined to prolong his condition of suspended animation, but under the circumstances he would restore him to consciousness in three hours.
"One or two of them got excited and swore the man was dead, and according to a lot of tests he was, but the rest, knowing he would have died anyhow, were willing to wait, and at the end of the time Earl brought him back to consciousness in such good condition that the other doctors were wild over it. In their enthusiastic French way they heralded the story everywhere. I thought he'd never be allowed to leave Paris. They wanted to keep him right there and string medals around his neck and pin ribbons all over his coat, but he wouldn't stand for it. He's an awfully modest fellow, and he went over to London with Hall, who swears by him; says he believes he put a new heart in him, and all that sort of thing. There comes the boat now. Better have your photographers ready, for all you'll get will be a picture of him keeping his mouth shut."
As the big English boat swung slowly into its dock, with the help of half a dozen tugs that puffed and pounded at its side, the newspaper men and Dr. Earl's family caught sight of him simultaneously, as he waved his hand and called across the intervening space with all the abandon of a returning traveler.
He could make them hear now. "Leonora, dear, how are you!" as a remarkably sweet-faced girl threw a shower of kisses in his direction, which passed on their way an equal number of his own. "And Hilda! And for the life of me, there's Frank! Love to all of you!" A few minutes more and he was with them. He caught the girl in his arms and gave her a long and tender embrace. Then he turned to the others and greeted them with all the fraternal warmth natural after eighteen months' separation.
"How splendid it is to see you all again! What brought you to New York, Frank?"
"Oh, just to see if I could cross Broadway without being bumped into by a trolley car or a taxi-cab or an airship. Incidentally, to keep you from losing your breath and hearing in the new tunnels through which you will be shot under these New York rivers."
"Tubes, you mean, brother dear, tubes. I've been doing nothing else but shoot the London tubes for the last fortnight."
"Where I live, in the wild and woolly Rockies, we call them tunnels," answered his brother. "Wouldn't the railroad builder howl at the idea of 'tubing the mountains,' and the miner would have a war-dance of delight at the suggestion that he must 'tube his claim.' These English airs are all right, Dr. John Earl, but you may as well learn to talk real American if you expect to chop bones and exploit microbes in this country," and the young man glowed his admiration while plying him with badinage.
The first greetings were scarcely over when the newspaper men made known their mission, Tourney acting as spokesman for them all. Earl shook his hand warmly.
"I'm awfully glad to see you," he said, "but you know I never give interviews. I don't know how, to begin with, and I couldn't say anything that would interest your readers. I have come back to practice my profession in New York City; that is all I can tell you."
"But that Paris case," pleaded Bedford. "Do tell us about that."
"Did you use the Hindoo method of respiration that the Swami Bramachunenda gave an exposition of here two or three years ago?" asked another of the fraternity, and the others followed with different interrogatives, but Earl laughed and waved them all away.
"I don't know what the Swami did," he said, "but if he is like some of his brothers I'm ready to believe anything. All that I did, and a great deal that I never thought of doing myself, or heard of anybody else doing on this planet, was told in your papers at the time. Really, if I had anything worth your while as a news story I would be glad to give it to you—one of these days I may have, but you must excuse me now."
His manner was courteous but unmistakable, and turning away from them he was soon absorbed in conversation with the pretty girl and his brother and sister. He hardly took his eyes off the former as he recounted his adventures abroad.
Three months previously he and Leonora Kimball had been betrothed in Vienna, and it was agreed that they were to be married soon after his arrival home. In a social way, the match met the approval of New York's select set, for they belonged to equally wealthy and prominent families. The Earls had come to New York from New England, two generations ago, and the foundation of the family fortune had been laid in a small block of New York, New Haven and Hartford stock, which had grown into a huge block of both stocks and bonds from the various expansions of stock and consolidations of property that had meanwhile taken place. The Kimballs had come from the Pacific coast, where the same alchemist's result had been wrought with a block of Southern Pacific Railway stock. The family tree of the Earls had rooted itself into the subsoil of real culture, while that of the Kimballs was mostly displayed above ground with only here and there a stray fibre that had sunk to any depth.
Leonora Kimball, who at this time was slightly over twenty-three years of age, possessed a most winning and gracious manner—a face that might have served as a better model for a madonna than many of those apparently used by the old masters; a lithe and graceful figure and an abundance of vivacity when doing the things that pleased her. She had so captivated John Earl from their first meeting that he had never tried nor cared to analyze her. Indeed, had he so wished, he would have found it a difficult undertaking, for he was too content with the pleasure he felt in her presence to care to question it.
Dr. Earl had taken infinite pains to search the world for the sources of disease and its prevention and cure. He had delved deeply into the mysteries of mental and spiritual therapeutics, and had closely studied the influences surrounding the origin of individual human beings. But while he had harnessed many more or less occult forces into scientific service in treating invalids, strangely enough, it never occurred to him that similar elements might have an important mission in determining the natural affinity of those attracted by the tenderest passion in the world, and might do much, if properly regarded, to render stable that one-time sacred bond of the sexes known as the marriage relation, which at this time, everywhere, was resting upon such shifting quicksands of mismating as to menace its existence.
"Love is of man's life a thing apart," applied with full force to Dr. Earl, and he accepted his relations with Leonora Kimball with the same confidence and light heart that might characterize the least thoughtful man on Manhattan Island. While he had traveled many thousands of miles and burned many a midnight lamp to ascertain if improvement could not be made in the prevailing orthodox method of treating disease, he blindly accepted, as millions of strong men before him had done, the prevailing orthodox method of selecting a wife.
In any event, after the brother and sister had been left at the Ramsey mansion on upper Fifth Avenue, he and Leonora proceeded to spend the time from eleven to three o'clock very much as other lovers similarly situated would have consumed those four hours. They motored until one o'clock, when they went to her house, not far from his sister's residence, where he had luncheon with her and her widowed mother, and at three o'clock he arrived at the Hotel Gotham, where he had engaged apartments.
When he stepped into his new sitting-room a large photograph of Leonora confronted him on the dressing-case, his valet being a man of rare sense and tact.
As he looked into the counterfeit impression of the large blue eyes and reflected back her smile he declared to himself for the twentieth time that day that she was the most fascinating creature in the world.
A MYSTICAL PARADE
When Dr. Earl arrived at his hotel he noticed crowds of people gathering on the sidewalk, and lining up along the curbstone further down the avenue, evidently expecting a parade of some sort. He had dismissed the matter from his mind and was startled about an hour later to hear the tap of a drum on the street, then a martial air by a band, followed by the clatter of horses' hoofs and the shouts of policemen clearing the way. Throwing open a window, he witnessed a sight that dazed him for a moment, and he wondered whether or not he really was in an American city.
As if by magic, the street was now filled with women, arranging themselves in marching order, with the shout of command ringing clear upon the air, and down Fifth Avenue as far as he could see, other columns of women were forming to the strains of military music and to the stirring echoes of fife and drum.
He grabbed his hat and stick, and joined the throng that packed the sidewalk. His six feet of height and his athletic training rendered him good service in ascertaining where to go and making it possible to get there. He hurried along several blocks until he reached what he thought must be the leading column of the march. Then he elbowed his way to the curbstone and took up a position to witness this, as yet, mysterious demonstration.
The air was sharp for a day late in April, but the sky was clear and the sun shed occasional rays of splendor over some of the lower buildings upon the waiting multitude.
The crowd was remarkably quiet. There seemed to be a spell over the whole performance that savored of some of the wonders he had so recently witnessed in India. There was something electric in the air that brought with it an echo from some distant past or a promise for the future which he tried in vain to catch and recognize.
Finally the order, "Forward, march!" was given, and to the air of "Marching Through Georgia" the first column swung down the Avenue with easy grace and in perfect step.
Long before the first standard came near he knew it was a Woman Suffrage parade, and before he could get a view of the women carrying it, he read the inscription on the banner:
Forward out of Error, Leave behind the night; Forward through the darkness, Forward into Light.
Then the standard bearers were opposite him. The one nearest to him was an exceedingly pretty young woman, as was also the second one, but as his eyes rested upon the one farthest away he gave a startled exclamation that attracted the attention of those around him.
"My mystery! Again she has dropped from the clouds!" The object of his interest was a tall young woman, scarcely more than twenty-five years of age, gowned in white cloth with black trimmings, with a white hat turned straight up on the left side and lined in black. She showed grace and energy in every movement and intellect and force in every glance.
Her large, sapphire-blue eyes gleamed with the intensity of her feelings, and the touches of bronze hair that could be seen beneath her hat gave evidence of the vivacious character of her life.
As she marched with queenly grace at the head of this mighty host of six thousand American women, Dr. Earl had visions of the reality of the myth or history, whichever it may be, of Semiramis invading Assyria and the Amazons conquering Asia.
The entire line of march was no doubt interesting, but the head of the column was absorbing to our hero, so block after block he marched as nearly abreast of the banner on the sidewalk as a dense crowd would permit him, and when the column broke ranks at Union Square he was there to witness it.
No sooner did the mysterious banner bearer quit the march than she rushed to the custodian of the posters, and, gathering an armful, she coaxed, or with mock heroics terrorized, every person she approached into buying one for "the good of the Cause!"
Earl was certain his heart would never beat again when she asked him in deep, musical tones to "Please buy one for the Cause." He did so, and loitered around watching her a few moments longer, then started up Broadway.
When he swung into Fifth Avenue he was impressed again, as he had been when he came from the boat, with the changed atmosphere of the street. He had always read the mood of New York in its silent reflection in this expressive part of the city's physiognomy. Long ago, he had discovered that Fifth Avenue smiles or weeps, applauds or hisses, effervesces with enthusiasm or gazes somberly like the image of despair, revels in fervent expressions of patriotism or looks with gloomy distrust upon public affairs—all according to the mood of the dominant portion of New York's population—those who control the destinies of the huge private enterprises that are the marvel of the age, and the management of which means so much in the way of industrial slavery or economic freedom to the American people.
This evening there was a note of more seriousness in the air than he had ever before witnessed on this gay thoroughfare. The rush of automobiles and taxicabs and carriages with beautifully gowned women and fine-looking men as occupants was as great as ever; the perfectly groomed New York woman on the sidewalk, with figure and carriage such as outclasses the women of every other large city in the world, was there in numbers quite as great as formerly; the Western woman, who had come on to take New York by storm, or who imagined the acme of human existence was in New York cafe life, with all of its vulgar display and raucous manners, was abundantly in evidence.
But over the entire concourse there appeared to drift an atmosphere of the spiritual, which lifted them from the plane of the Fifth Avenue crowd of a year and a half before, and impressed him in the same manner that he had been impressed in the far East by adepts when they gave public demonstrations of their powers, or conversed with their Chelae without the medium of written or spoken language.
When he left America the woman suffrage movement in New York was a subject of more or less ridicule; a few wealthy women had begun to identify themselves with it, but they were called "faddists" and their efforts were not taken seriously. It was apparent now that the suffrage cause had been given the impetus of the world-wide movement that was reaching the women of all countries, and had changed from a gospel of tracts to a militant crusade for their share of the duties and responsibilities of life and the power properly to discharge them. Never had he seen so many of the real leaders of New York society engaged in any work, charitable or otherwise, as had taken part in this parade, marching on foot the full two miles, and often side by side with the working-women of the city.
He had once seen a painting of the Maid of Orleans in a foreign gallery that carried so much of spiritual earnestness that he felt that he could appreciate how easy it was for the French army instinctively to follow her lead, and how much easier it was for the poor dupes of ignorance and superstition to believe that this overmastering spiritual nature was the product of witchcraft.
Absorbing though these thoughts were, they did not exclude another train which had to do with the mysterious banner bearer, and as he entered his hotel he clenched his right hand suddenly and muttered to himself, "I must dismiss her from my thoughts."
THE MYSTERIOUS YOUNG WOMAN
Dr. Earl took a late dinner at his sister's house, after having spent an hour with his fiancee on the way. There were just the four of them at table, his sister and her husband, his brother and himself.
His sister was the oldest member of his family, which comprised but the three of them, his father and mother having died some years before.
During the college days of both himself and his brother, who was two years his junior, his sister had assumed the role of a mother to them, and right devotedly had she filled the part. She had been more of a "pal" to them than anything else, and some years' residence in England during her schooldays had broadened her vision of the true meaning and value of this relation between those of opposite sex and particularly between brother and sister.
She possessed now, as always, the unbounded respect and confidence of these two young men of thoroughly dissimilar character and temperament, and she was the repository of the sacred secrets of each of them, which she was warned she must never betray to the other. And she never did.
Eight years previous to these occurrences, she had married George Ramsey, President of the Gotham Trust Company, which institution had recently absorbed half a dozen weaker concerns doing a similar business, and more recently had taken over from the New York bankers, who were stockholders in the trust company, the handling of most of the public utility securities that were floated in this country. But George Ramsey was not the pretentious pawnbroker in spirit and manner that so often presides over the destinies of American banks, but he was a philosophical financier who understood perfectly the strength and weakness of the system under which he worked, and who, while he wondered at the supine idiocy of the people that would permit of the prevailing Dick Turpin methods of high finance, never took his eye from the horizon of public action, where daily he expected to see "the cloud no bigger than a man's hand" that was to expand into the storm that would engulf these and other long permitted public ills.
Many times recently he had sounded the alarm of the dangers attending recapitalization of properties that already bore a heavy weight of watered securities, but his colleagues had laughed at what they termed his fears, and had attempted to reassure him of their complete possession of the departments of government that controlled such matters. Bred to the banking business, he had no thought of transferring his abilities and energies to the realm of statesmanship, but in the sanctum of his own home he would often pour forth his disgust with, and his fear of, such methods, to the tall, clear-eyed, clear-brained and beautiful woman from whom John and Frank Earl were wont to seek advice in their perplexities. And from her he always received valuable suggestions, a keener insight into the motives of men, a broader, more humane view-point, and withal a firmness to set himself, in part, where the law of the land should have been set wholly, as a barrier against the worst of these public depredations.
Mr. and Mrs. George Ramsey were the same lovers now that they were during their honeymoon. In the crowded ballroom, at the opera, in the automobile after the harassing cares of the day, on land or sea, he was always the admiring and devoted attendant, and gave expression to his feelings in a variety of new and interesting ways. It was evident that they had not run counter to the influence of the stars in waiting for a natural affinity. In their home they entered into the spirit of whatever was borne to them by their guests. With scholars and philosophers they held their own in abstruse and abstract discussions. With musicians and music lovers they were at ease, for both played and sang with more than amateur skill. With young people bent on a frolic, they could be the gayest of the party. Their outlook upon life was always across green meadows or perfectly kept beds of beautiful flowers.
Every guest found ready sympathy for whatever was nearest and dearest to him, and went away convinced that he had never rightly understood his own hobby before.
In this atmosphere, and at table with this couple, John and Frank Earl seated themselves at eight o'clock for dinner.
It would be difficult to imagine two brothers more widely separated in physical and mental characteristics. John was tall, athletic, with dark hair, large, dreamy brown eyes, perfect poise, a silent and dignified bearing that easily commanded attention when he spoke, a low, musical voice and an exceedingly strong and graceful hand.
Frank was of medium height, spare of figure, with light hair, penetrating blue eyes, resilient voice, quick and nervous of speech, with large hands and feet, and not a shadow of dignity in his bearing.
The one personified reflection; the other action. In the eyes of one appeared the dreams of centuries; beaming from the eyes of the other was the fun of the ages.
"Did any of you people, aside from Jack, see the suffragette parade to-day?" asked Frank, with laughing eyes fixed upon his brother.
"I—how do you know I saw it?" asked John, and his confused manner brought "Eh, Jack?" from the other two.
"It's all right, Jack; I won't tell Leonora, but how jealous she would be if she could have seen you following the banner carried by those three pretty girls," answered Frank. "Why, I followed you a dozen blocks myself, almost touching you the whole time, just to see which one of the three girls was making you join the parade. The next time get right out into the street, old man, and don't block the view of us spectators, for you know you were a part of that parade to-day, in mind at least."
The absurdity of the scene as depicted by Frank made even John throw back his head and join in the unrestrained laughter of the others.
"I was in the Waldorf-Astoria at a tea-table near the window when the head of the column came in view. I, too, liked the looks of those pretty girls carrying the banner, but before I could decide which one I liked best, my dearly beloved brother hove in sight, with eyes glued on the third one, wandering down the Avenue like either a slow-hatching lunatic or a good subject for a hypnotist. I knew Jack would need me in New York to steer him right until all that Indian mysticism gets out of his system, and that is the reason I left the delights of the wilds for the barbarism of the city. Well, I excused myself and hurried out to take possession of Jack, but when I got close to him and was just about to slap him on the shoulder, I followed his eyes—and for the life of me, I couldn't touch him!"
Here Frank's tone became half serious and his changed manner hushed the laughter of the others. "I have always ridiculed the idea of hypnotism and in every experiment where I have been present I have set myself to disprove its effects. But candidly, folks, I was hypnotized. Unconsciously I followed that parade a whole dozen blocks myself, and when I finally came out of the trance, or whatever it was, and started back to the hotel, the entire atmosphere seemed filled with some kind of uncanny dope. I never witnessed such contagious energy and earnestness, and every step emanated spiritual sparks that blinded my eyes and took possession of my faculties. Who is she, Jack?"
"That is what I want to know. I call her my 'Mystery.' One day while I was in London and near Trafalgar Square I saw a demonstration of women down toward the parliament buildings. I went that way to see what was up and soon discovered that it was a body of English suffragettes making an attempt to exercise their claimed right to petition parliament. As usual, the demonstration was more or less strenuous and the police interfered. When I got close enough to identify them, I saw my 'Mystery' in the front ranks, exhorting the women, protesting and pleading with the policemen, and gradually getting nearer and nearer the parliament buildings until they had almost reached one of the entrances. It looked very much as if they might get entirely in and vindicate their claim, but just at that moment a fresh squad of police arrived under an officer superior to any present, and ordered the arrest of the leaders. My 'Mystery' was the first arrested. It was then that I discovered that she was an American girl. The speech she delivered to those police officers on human rights and human liberties and women's rights and women's liberties is worthy a place among the world's great orations. They took her and the rest of them away, but I noticed that they treated her with marked respect. I don't think any of them were jailed on that occasion, but she defied them to jail her. The next time I saw her was at the Grand Opera House in Paris, two months later. She was with some friends in an adjoining stall. It was a gala performance for the benefit of the flood sufferers and the most noted singers in the world had volunteered their services, and single acts from a number of operas were given. It was difficult to believe that this beautiful, stylish, richly-gowned girl was the one I saw arrested in a suffrage disturbance on the streets of London. Throughout the performance I watched her closely, and her expressive face reflected the emotion of every leading role. She partook of the abandon of the gayer airs in 'Carmen,' and her cheeks were flooded with tears at the misfortunes of Marguerite in 'Faust.' I was dying to know who she was, but I was with foreign surgeons, and saw no Americans that I knew. To-day is the first time I have seen her since. Who is she, Hilda?" eagerly he asked of his sister.
"You and Frank give me a lot of exclamation points, with a vivid description of how the atmosphere affected you, and then want me to name a vision for you. Please describe the physical girl, leaving out all adjectives, mystical pieces of air, et cetera, and perhaps I can tell who she is."
Jack described the girl in the parade, somewhat repressing his enthusiasm under Frank's amused scrutiny.
"I don't wonder at your captivation. That is Silvia Holland, one rich American girl who is determined to justify her existence, live a life that is worth while, and demonstrate the ability of women to be economically independent, for although her father has a half-dozen city, country and resort residences, she insists in maintaining at her own expense a modest apartment in the Whittier Studios, and keeps up her own country home on the Hudson at Nutwood. Just now her parents are on a trip around the world. You know she is a graduate of the law school at Columbia and was admitted to practice a few months ago. You should thank your stars, Jack, that it is not the medical profession she is seeking to enter, or the dry bones there would be worse shaken up than they will be by your new theories, and you would have a formidable rival."
"She is not the daughter of John J. Holland, the steel magnate?" he inquired.
"Yes, his daughter and only child."
"Whew! There is hope of the American woman after all. There certainly is a big social revolution on in America," and Jack arose with the others to go into the library for coffee.
"It might interest you young men to know that these suffragists are to finish their day's work with a ball and a bazaar to-night, and I have tickets for a box," suggested Hilda.
"Of course Jack can't go, but I shall be delighted to bask in the smiles of this modern Semiramis a while," answered Frank. "Then, too," he added, "she may convert me to suffrage, which living in Colorado among suffragists for two years has failed to do."
"Oh, that is because you are looking at the matter through a railroad attorney's eyes; long ago it was truly written that 'no man can serve two masters,' and your railroad employment is your master just now," answered his sister.
"I have heard reports that indicate that woman's suffrage in Colorado is apt quite soon to cause not only you railroad lawyers but our holders of railroad securities some concern about the quantity of water we inject into any one issue of stocks and bonds," laughingly suggested Mr. Ramsey.
"Come, gentlemen, your charming Amazon will not stay up all night, and it is ten-thirty now," called Hilda, who had already garbed herself for the automobile.
A SUFFRAGE BAZAAR AND BALL
A suffrage bazaar does not differ essentially from the same iniquity under other auspices. There are the same useless articles for sale and the same aggressive methods of disposing of them; the same varieties of fancy work, knit, embroidered, drawn, quartered and crocheted; the same display of canned goods and home-made jellies and feminine apparel; the same raffles and "drawings" and "chances" by which churches have long conducted their clerical lotteries; the same side-shows and the same appeal to the social world to come and mingle with the "high-brows" and be fashionably robbed.
Only in this instance far more ingenuity had been displayed in the number and nature of the side attractions. There were guessing machines where the cocksure were reduced to humbleness of mind by their failures to state accurately the number of women voting in the world or some section thereof; the number of countries that have recently swung into line in the woman movement; the number of subjects reigned over by women, and similar questions, all of which proved "extra hazardous" to most of the guessers. Many of them did not even know what the five stars on the suffrage flag indicated.
They had a row of Chinese examination booths, in which persons wishing a certificate of "Efficient Citizenship" were given blanks to fill out, in which they revealed their knowledge, or their crass ignorance, of conditions in various parts of their own country. Mrs. Jarley conducted a wax-works performance, and there was a moving-picture show in which Mrs. Cornelia Gracchus, the favorite example of the "Antis," was shown lecturing in the Forum on medicine to grave and reverend seigneurs, Joan of Arc leading her troops, and Florence Nightingale bending over the sick and wounded.
An educated pig told the uneducated person in how many States women have full suffrage, and which they are; where suffrage campaigns are pending, and the names of the distinguished Americans who have gone on record in favor of this reform. A Street of All Nations showed the onward march, all the way from the women of Washington casting their "recall" ballots to the women of China unbinding their feet, and Turkish ladies tearing their veils into tatters.
Dancing was going on in an adjoining room, but the crowd was so great that it was impossible to even locate Jack's "Mystery," so Frank turned his attention to a row of booths, draped in black, with silver astrological symbols, palmist signs and two flaming aces of hearts and diamonds, where past, present and future were revealed at very reasonable prices—considering. "Me for the astrologist," he said. "Jack, go in at the sign of the glowing heart and find out whether Venus is going to be good to you, and then we can swap experiences."
"I think I'll try the palmist," Jack replied. "If it's even moderately well done it is interesting," and the two brothers disappeared into the cavelike apertures before them. Frank's experience seemed to be highly satisfactory, for he reappeared grinning cheerfully. Perhaps he had cause, but he did not reveal it, and when his brother came forth from the clutches of the sorceress, he insisted that he should have his horoscope cast.
As there seemed no hope of finding the lady they sought until the crowd should have thinned a little, Jack laughed and entered the silver-spangled tent. The seeress was gowned in white, with silver chains and bracelets and girdle, and a long white veil completely enveloped her except the face, and this was concealed by her yashmak up to her mocking gray eyes, with their dark, level brows. There was something in her eyes that attracted Jack, and made him believe in her uncanny powers quite against his will, and even while he told himself that this was but the foolishness of the hour. He gave her the necessary data, and she consulted her charts, and gave him a rapid and wonderfully correct delineation of his character, "a nature which combines the characteristics of Scorpio with some of those of Sagitarrius, as is the case," she explained gravely, "with persons born near the cusp," a term which produced no impression upon his mind, though he said, "Oh, indeed," politely. She made some cabalistic marks on a square of paper and turned to him with a somewhat startled expression, which faded at once, and the mocking eyes looked full into his as she went on.
"You do not believe in anything I am telling you, and therefore I shall speak quite frankly, certain that you will be neither cast down nor elated by anything I can say. I think you are a physician; if not you ought to be; you seem to have come from afar, and to be about to begin a new phase in your life. It is well that you have two of the greatest of the planets, Mars and Jupiter, as controlling influences, for you will need them, and that very soon. You are at this moment in greater danger than ever before has been your lot."
Jack could not repress a laugh. With youth, health, ability and love he felt that it would take more than a stray comet to turn the currents of his life awry. But the woman did not smile; he could see that much through the gauzy yashmak, and her eyes grew grave and her forehead contracted.
"I am glad you don't believe it," she said, "because I should not like to tell you what I see if you did; before morning you will know whether it is all the foolishness you think it."
He apologized. "I'm immensely interested," he said, "but I didn't know any one regarded this sort of thing seriously. So far as you've gone you've hit me off very well, and I don't mind telling you that I am a physician, and I'm just back from the far East."
"Thank you," she said gravely. "Have you ever heard that if a man has made love to a girl under the constellation of Cassiopeia he should not marry until he has also made love under the Southern Cross? There is a conjunction of malign planets at this time; they threaten your happiness through love, through hate, through accident. If you have become interested in any person born under Saturn, that is between the twenty-first of December and the twentieth of January, particularly about the seventh of January, you should certainly take time to consider carefully, for there is nothing but wretchedness and misunderstanding in such an alliance; there may be much that is attractive on the surface, but you will find a complete lack of harmony, of similarity of tastes and ambition that would leave you forever alone, and there is much selfishness and stubborness of will. Saturn and Scorpio are not good marital allies." He gave her a searching glance, for the seventh of January was Leonora's birthday, but her face was quite inscrutable.
"There is something here I do not understand; this accident does not happen to you, nor to any one near you, yet it has a lasting and a terrible effect upon your life——" she shuddered and pushed the charts away from her. "I will not tell you any more," she said, "but I wonder whether you would do me the favor of giving me your name and address. I want to cast your horoscope carefully, and I will send you the chart."
He thanked her and wrote down his name as requested, somewhat impressed in spite of himself. As he rose to go she stood also and lifted her hand as if she would have drawn him back, then let it drop heavily. If it was a piece of acting, he told himself it was perfectly done. "Do be careful for the next twenty-four hours," she said, "and beware of the evil that may come out of good."
That last Delphic utterance stamped the whole affair as a clever piece of mind-reading, guesswork and acting, and, somewhat annoyed that he should have been hoaxed even for a moment, Jack withdrew.
The hour was growing late and the crowd dispersing when they turned from the fortune-telling booths and entered the ballroom, and presently Jack said to his sister, "There she is; the one in the green gown."
"Yes, that is Silvia Holland. What a superb dancer, and how democratic! The man she is dancing with is at the head of one of the labor organizations that is championing woman's suffrage. Come, Jack, let us have a whirl, as of old, and I will then bring your 'Mystery' over to the box."
In a moment they were in the midst of the waltz, and at its close Hilda had so managed that they were near Miss Holland. Stepping up to her on Jack's arm she presented her brother, and, accepting Hilda's invitation, Miss Holland joined their party.
"Did I not see you a year ago on the streets in London, the time I was arrested?" she naively asked Jack.
"Yes, but you were very busy. How in the world could you remember me?"
"Don't be flattered by the apparent compliment. While I was delivering my little speech to the police I noted how closely you followed me and that you were the only American around, and I had determined to appeal to you for assistance if they undertook to jail the feeble old woman who was with us. They didn't disturb her, and so you were not called upon, but you see how near you came to being a militant English suffragette and perhaps a prisoner for thirty days," she said, half seriously and half smilingly.
"The word of command would have made me both," he answered, with so much emphasis that Frank broke into the conversation with, "I wonder if the open door of an English jail would convert me?"
"That would depend upon who was directing your footsteps toward the jail," suggested his brother-in-law.
"Not at all; I think I am hopeless after having heard so much of the theoretical benefits of suffrage and seen the utter lack of effect in Colorado, where I live."
Silvia Holland turned her great, intense eyes upon him. They were glowing, and he felt the same fascination he had experienced in the afternoon.
"You from Colorado and talk this way!" she said in amazement. "Surely you are jesting. Take the effect on the polling places alone. Compare those of New York with those of Denver, and I have seen them in full operation in both places. In the first is the atmosphere of barrooms; in the second the manners and air of drawing-rooms. If I were a Colorado man I should be proud of the result upon Colorado women of their responsibility in citizenship. I know women of all nationalities, but I know none where the average of intelligence or womanly grace and real accomplishments are greater than with your Colorado women."
"I am a railroad attorney, sent out by the owners of some of the lines traversing Colorado to look after their interests," he answered. "It is possible that my conclusions have been influenced by my occupation. I am prepared to admit that. But I have rather old-fashioned notions in relation to the proper place for women being in the home and not in politics."
"Oh, you American professional men, particularly you corporation lawyers"—she was smiling now. "You might as well be living in the middle ages, for you take no note of the tremendous revolution that is going on all around you. What we call politics is in reality government, and home is the basis of all good government, and government to serve its legitimate aim in a democracy must reflect the sentiments of all the members of the society that created it, women as well as men, and the higher the aspirations of society the higher the purposes of government."
The others were enjoying this little scene. "Bravo, bravo, Silvia!" exclaimed Hilda. "Do make a convert of him!"
"You know," said Miss Holland, and she put as much sarcasm in her tone as possible without leaving a sting, "that this thing called government only needs a good house-cleaning and the application of a few vermin extinguishers, such as every good housekeeper knows how to administer, to make this country a congenial habitation for the gods of the Twentieth Century—the enlightened, progressive, responsible citizens of a democracy. Come to the Industrial League meeting next Thursday night and you will learn more about this than I can possibly tell you. I will send you a card," and she gaily floated away with Dr. Orrin Morris, her escort of the evening, who had been impatiently waiting for her for several minutes.
Dr. Orrin Morris and Dr. John Earl were graduated from the same class in the Harvard medical school, but Dr. Morris had immediately after graduation settled down to the exclusive practice of surgery according to orthodox methods, and was already regarded as one of the rising young surgeons of New York City.
His father had met with financial reverses in 1907 that had not only wrecked the family fortune but had carried him to an untimely grave. His mother had been dead for some years and he had no brother or sister. He maintained a house on East 57th Street and had much practice in two of the prominent hospitals.
Dr. Morris presented a rather angular appearance as he strode away with Miss Holland. He was excessively lean, of swarthy complexion, dark eyes, black hair and a domineering air. His mother had possessed a strain of that Spanish blood that was freely mixed with the Moors during their occupancy of Spain, and added to the natural tendencies of the Latin were visible some of the ear-marks of Moorish intensity. For some months he had been paying marked attention to Miss Holland, whom he had known in a general way for a long time, and, while she did not encourage him, she had not thought it necessary to dismiss him, for she found him most entertaining, as he was regarded as one of the best non-professional violinists in New York. They had spent many agreeable evenings together over their music, she playing the accompaniments on the piano.
His views on public questions were as set and conservative as were his views on medicine, and she never attempted to discuss those matters with him; the fact that she could not do so was somewhat a relief to her when she desired to get away from her public activities.
Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey, Dr. Morris and Miss Holland, and the two young men with other ladies of their acquaintance, joined in the last dance and then started for the cloakrooms together.
HYPNOTISM USED FOR AN ANAESTHETIC
Mrs. Ramsey and Miss Holland emerged from the dressing-rooms after a trifling delay, and found Hilda's party and Dr. Morris waiting in the foyer. Just as they were about making their way to their respective motors they heard a sudden commotion and wild cries from the street, and a crowd of people surged in, crying that a child had been killed by an automobile. Both Dr. Earl and Dr. Morris rushed toward the street as a man came in carrying a little girl of perhaps ten years of age, bleeding profusely from the mouth and the scalp, with one leg evidently broken. The mother of the child, a comely woman of thirty, followed, wringing her hands. Her excitement verged on hysteria, but at the sight of Dr. Morris she controlled herself by a mighty effort.
"To the hospital, to the hospital, Dr. Earl," peremptorily exclaimed Dr. Morris, as Dr. Earl threw aside his coat and, rolling back his sleeves and directing the man to place the child on a table in one of the ante-rooms, began to examine the character of the injuries.
"Oh, don't take my poor child to the hospital. I know she will die if she goes there; bring her home; it is only a few blocks," the mother pleaded with Dr. Morris, whom she seemed to know.
"Don't waste time here. Where is the telephone? I will call an ambulance immediately."
"I don't want her taken to the hospital," said the woman sullenly.
"This is no place to operate on a hysterical child," Morris answered. "She need not be kept in the hospital, but she should certainly be taken there. I know Dr. Earl will agree with me."
In the meantime, Earl had completed his examination. Silvia Holland was watching him anxiously. As Morris spoke he looked up and caught her eye.
"It is only a simple fracture, and the scalp wounds are slight. I suppose we could get along, if we can get hot water and the necessary appliances," he said dubiously, and then added, turning to the woman, "Dr. Morris is quite right, madame, in advising the hospital, and I assure you there is no danger."
The woman turned pleading eyes to Silvia. "She's all I have, and I can't let her be taken away from me. Couldn't we go home? It is only a few blocks away, and I know I can make her comfortable. Oh, please, please don't let them take her away!"
Miss Holland looked at Dr. Earl and put her arm around the woman protectingly. "If it isn't any worse than that," she said hesitatingly, "don't you think you could do as she asks? Setting a simple fracture isn't a very complicated operation, is it?"
Earl smiled. "Oh, no," he said, "it can be done in a comparatively few minutes."
"Then why not do it," she said, "and spare the mother all this protracted agony, and get the child home?"
"Because there are no appliances here to administer an anaesthetic or do anything else properly," answered Morris impatiently, "and no one can tell from a cursory examination whether or not there are other injuries, to say nothing of the danger from septicaemia if the work is done in a clumsy, slipshod manner."
Earl colored, and Miss Holland replied with some spirit that even the absence of the usual accessories need not imply clumsiness of method, and again asked Earl if he could not manage where they were. He turned to the mother.
"If you insist upon it, I have no doubt that I can do all that is necessary without bad results. As to the anaesthetic, we can dispense with that."
"I will have nothing to do with the case under these circumstances," Morris said angrily.
The woman hesitated, and then said firmly, "I should prefer the other gentleman to take charge. I won't have her taken to the hospital."
"Very well," said Earl, and taking a notebook from his pocket he wrote out a list of necessary appliances, bandages, alcohol, antiseptic solutions, surgeon's scissors, needles, silk and thread, and giving it to Frank bade him hurry to the drug-store around the corner which carried surgical supplies and procure them, and also to bring a box that would do for splints.
"I must have an assistant," he said, and without a word, Miss Holland improvised an apron from some of the bunting that was in evidence everywhere, and put herself at his disposal. He sent all the others out of the room, and bent over the child for a few minutes. What did he do? Miss Holland watched, but could not tell. The moaning ceased, the little limbs relaxed, and the child fell into a quiet sleep.
The mother stood just outside the door, listening with strained attention, and after two or three impatient turns about the foyer, Morris joined her.
"You can do as you please so far as I am concerned," he said in a low tone, "but I warn you that you are taking big risks. Allie is nervous and excitable at any time, and to-night she is close to hysterics, and she won't get over the shock of even a simple operation in a hurry, especially if he is fool enough to attempt it without an anaesthetic."
The woman wavered for a moment, and then turned away without a word, and shrugging his shoulders Morris strode down toward the entrance. A moment later Silvia Holland came out of the ante-room.
"You can go in now," she said, "only don't disturb your child; she is sleeping and you must be very quiet. Did you see Dr. Morris? Oh, there he is."
Mindful of the amenities of life, she hurried to his side. His face was dark with something more than anger, and did not lighten as she laid the tips of her fingers on his arm.
"I know you will excuse me, Orrin," she said gently. "You mustn't be angry with me, but I really feel as if I ought to see this through; the poor woman needs me. You will forgive me?"
He looked at her with sudden passion. "Oh, yes, I forgive you," he said, with unmistakable emphasis on the pronoun, and was gone. Silvia Holland looked after him for a moment, conscious that, accustomed as she was to his moods, this was quite a new one, and then joined Dr. Earl, who had come into the foyer to say goodnight to the Ramseys and Frank Earl, who had returned with the surgical appliances and found nothing more that he could do. "By the way, old man," Dr. Earl called to his brother-in-law, "send the machine back if you don't mind," and with a word of thanks he re-entered the ante-room, followed by Miss Holland, and closed the door against further interruption.
There was a sink in the room, with hot and cold water, and he directed Miss Holland to cleanse the basin and implements in the boiling water, and follow this up by dipping them in an antiseptic solution; in the meantime he ripped the box to pieces, and selected two strips, which he whittled into splints, shaping them to the child's leg, and working with great rapidity. The bandages, cotton and other things were laid out upon the table, and then he took the basin and a cloth and washed the wounds on the head, putting back the tousled locks as carefully and tenderly as a woman.
"Ordinarily," he said to his assistant, "I should have done this first, but my examination showed that this injury is very slight. Of course she has bled profusely, but it has come from the nose, and it looks pretty bad, but there is nothing serious. Half a dozen stitches will be ample for the scalp. Thread that needle with the silk, please. Now let me have it." He took it from her, and in a moment the cuts on the head were sewed, and he was pulling the leg into place, applying the cotton, the splints and bandages, working deftly and silently. "The other needle with the thread, please," he said, not looking up, and Miss Holland handed it to him. Presently he raised his head and threw back his shoulders.
"It is all done," he said simply, and called the mother. "I shall return in a quarter of an hour," he said, "and bring her out of this sleep. Do not try to rouse her, for you cannot. Do you not think, Miss Holland, that it would be well for me to get a nurse to assist in taking the little one home? I can 'phone when I return these instruments."
"Your machine is coming back, isn't it?" Miss Holland answered. "It seems to me that with what help her mother and I can render that we shall manage."
"Excellently," he said. "Then you will be on guard until my return; see that the child is not disturbed. I shall be gone but a few minutes."
He readjusted his attire, and taking up his hat strode out of the building, unconscious until he reached the door that half a dozen energetic reporters were eagerly asking particulars. Finding him unwilling to tell them anything more than the vaguest generalities, the more resourceful returned to the improvised operating-room, and before Silvia Holland knew it they had the story from her enthusiastic lips, supplemented by a few facts gathered from the woman. For thus are first-page sensations secured and created.
Silvia noticed that the woman spoke with visible reluctance, and she herself passed over the controversy between Dr. Morris and Dr. Earl, anxious to spare her friend any unnecessary annoyance.
"I am sorry, Mrs. Bell," she said contritely. "I didn't realize at first that we were being interviewed."
"Oh, there is no harm done," the woman said quietly. "I hope the doctor will not mind; won't he be back pretty soon?"
Almost as she spoke, his tall form was seen making its way through the besieging ranks of the Fourth Estate. He waved them aside good humoredly, but refusing to be interviewed, he took the child in his strong arms and, followed by her mother and Miss Holland, made his way to the auto. While she was in a profound sleep when he returned, she wakened instantly when he commanded her to do so, and the cool night air evidently refreshed her greatly as they drove to Mrs. Bell's home. Dr. Earl carried the little one upstairs, gave her mother explicit directions, and promising to call early the following day to adjust a cast, left the apartment with Miss Holland.
SOME STRENUOUS ANTI-SUFFRAGISTS
Several of the New York papers carried lurid headlines and more or less sensational accounts of the accident to the child and the treatment administered by Dr. Earl, as well as a tribute to the heroism of the volunteer nurse. All of them contained a report of some character of these occurrences.
When Dr. Earl called at the home of his fiancee, according to appointment, to take her and her mother to luncheon the next day, he found Leonora in a sullen mood, and it did not take him long to discover that he was not in high favor at this particular hour.
He greeted her with a kiss, but hers in return was perfunctory. He was not compelled to wait long for an explanation, for she poured out her feelings without any questioning.
"Oh, Jack, dear, how could you mix up with that suffrage crowd! Don't you know that mamma is vice-president of the Anti-Woman Suffrage League? She is so annoyed! And that horrid Silvia Holland—why, Jack, she is a downright socialist. Don't you know she was arrested in England for trying to break into parliament with a lot of other suffragettes, and she was arrested here only last month for defying the police and taking sides with a lot of girls who refused to work in the factories where they were employed! Even when in school she was horrid. When they wouldn't let her make a suffrage speech on the school grounds one night she took the girls to a neighboring graveyard and spoke from a flat monument! And to think the papers have you mixed up with her, and our wedding soon to be announced! Oh, it's terrible!" and she buried her face in the sofa pillows.
Had this scene occurred with any one else, Jack felt certain he could not have restrained his laughter, for he could see Miss Holland delivering an exhortation to the schoolgirls from a tombstone in a cemetery by night. But he understood the prejudices of a certain element of New York society, and while the past twenty-four hours had led him, somewhat, to believe that this progressive democratic wave sweeping over the world had engulfed all New Yorkers, he now realized how sadly mistaken he had been.
With infinite tact he told her that his sister had taken their party to the ball—pointed out his own duty when the injured child had been brought in from the street, and how he had not even suggested that Miss Holland should assist him. He saw that the present was no time for a discussion of the merits of the case or a pronouncement of his own views, but he distinctly realized, with something of a jolt, it is true, that a wide gulf separated the Bourbon element of America's supposed democracy from the advancing column of her real and inspired democracy, and he wondered whether it were at all possible to tunnel under or bridge over this gulf. He lightly changed the subject.
"I have just discovered that I can get my old offices on East 53rd Street, as the year's lease expires the first of next month, and the agents heeded my letter asking them to wait for me. So I shall feel quite at home in the old quarters," he said.
She smiled at this, but was not quite ready to drop the former subject. "Jack, dear, did you take Miss Holland home at one o'clock in the morning?"
He laughed at her this time, as he bent to kiss her. "I really believe you are jealous, you little nymph. Of course I took her home. She could not stay there all night, and there was no one else to take her."
She looked very serious. "No, I don't know what jealousy is," she slowly and emphatically said, "but I don't want to know people who do the things that Miss Holland does, and I don't want you to know them."
"My dear child," he said, taking her hands in his and catching her eyes with his own steady glance. "I must know whoever is thrown into my path either in a professional or a social way. All people are intensely interesting to me, for we are, after all, but one great family of human beings, trying to carve out lives that are worth while, and this we can do better by getting the best there is from each other." He hesitated a moment, still looking steadily at her. She quivered slightly, but he was dimly conscious of the colossal character of the will she was summoning to her aid. Then very slowly, but with all the earnestness of his nature, he added, "You must get away from these views, for they are dwarfing and not becoming to you, and if you do not we shall be very unhappy. Miss Holland is a remarkable young woman. She is destined to fill a great place in our American social and political life. She is well worthy of your friendship."
She withdrew her hands, but still kept her eyes fixed on his. Her brow contracted and with emphasis she said: "Miss Holland has forfeited her place in our set by her conduct; why, Jack, you don't know how she is criticized by our friends or you would not suggest such a thing."
He arose with a shrug of his shoulders. Fortunately, Mrs. Kimball appeared at this moment and they motored to the Plaza for luncheon, which was a somewhat formal and unsatisfactory affair, in spite of all his efforts to make it otherwise. The young man could not but feel that Mrs. Kimball shared her daughter's views—was, in fact, their author—and that in the eyes of his future mother-in-law he had been guilty of a breach of etiquette far more serious than an infraction of the moral law. He left them with the understanding that he would accompany them to the theatre in the evening.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND SURGERY
The days of a militant suffragette are full to overflowing, and Silvia Holland was not able to see Mrs. Bell and her little daughter early the following morning as she had planned. It must have been well toward the middle of the afternoon when she entered the modest apartment, and going to the bed, visible in the alcove, kissed the child and put a great, dewy bunch of violets in her hand. She took them, and hugged them tight in her thin little arms, while her eyes looked into Silvia's wonderingly, and her mother turned away to hide the sudden tears.
The apartment was well though not expensively furnished, and both mother and child had the unmistakable air of good birth and refinement. As Silvia glanced at Mrs. Bell she was conscious of something in her face at once baffling and appealing. She had the indefinable look of one who dwells with a sorrow for which there is no cure.
"Are you quite sure there is nothing I can do for either of you to-day?" Silvia asked, a trifle diffidently, for she did not want to offend by overzeal.
"You and Dr. Earl have placed us under so many obligations that we can never hope to repay them," Mrs. Bell said quietly. "If I do not speak more freely of what I feel, it is because I have no words for its expression."
"Don't speak or think of obligations," Silvia said lightly, "and here is my card, so that if at any time I might be of service to you I hope you will not hesitate to call on me. I live at the Whittier Studios." The card which she gave Mrs. Bell read:
SILVIA HOLLAND, Attorney and Counsellor-at-Law, City Investment Building, New York City.
Mrs. Bell looked at it curiously. "Oh, it isn't possible that you are that Miss Holland, the Miss Holland!" she said incredulously.
Silvia laughed. "Don't I look as if I could say 'Gentlemen of the jury' with sufficient gravity?" she said. "Probably I shall do better when we say 'Ladies of the jury,' too."
"You look like what you are, a beautiful and fashionable lady," Mrs. Bell answered. "Surely no one would ever take you for a professional woman."
"Must a fashionable lady be a listless parasite? Even if she wishes merely to be a queen of society, would she not be more queenly if she knew the trials and afflictions of others, and, better still, knew how to help them? Would she be less a queen if she were not dependent upon some man for her daily bread——"
A sudden flash of something, she could not tell whether it was pain or rebellion or despair, crossed Mrs. Bell's face, and Silvia hesitated and then went on rather hurriedly, as if, knowing she had struck a false note, she sought to distract the other woman's thought from it. "I am trying to demonstrate the glorious mission that belongs to woman when she fills her predestined sphere of economic independence and political freedom."
"Political freedom will come first and easiest," said the woman slowly. She raised her eyes, filled with trouble, and looked full into Silvia's. "The other is the greater boon, and will be harder to win. Some day I may need to consult a lawyer; there is no one I would so gladly trust; it is a personal matter and may adjust itself, if not——"
"If not, telephone to make sure that I am in, and I shall be glad to see you at any time," answered Silvia.
There was the sound of a quick, firm step in the hall, and the bell rang. Mrs. Bell opened the door and admitted Dr. Earl. After a few questions and the exchange of greetings, he went over to the bedside of his small patient. He found the child doing admirably, and glanced hastily about the room, trying to make up his mind whether he might offer any other assistance than that of a professional character. He decided that he could not, and realized with a sense of pleasure and relief that Miss Holland would be able to attend to such details with more tact and skill than he could. Nor could he help the glow of gratification that they should be associated in so vital a matter, one that he felt swept away the petty conventionalities of society, and placed them on a footing of understanding and common sympathy not to have been acquired by months, or even years, of the ordinary social amenities. After a few directions for the care of the small patient, and a promise to look in the following day, he told Mrs. Bell how to find him in case of any sudden need and took up his hat and stick.
"Were you going, Dr. Earl? Can I set you down anywhere? My car is at the door."
He bowed, and followed her out. "We have an embarrassment of riches," he said, "for my car is also here." Then, rather boyishly, moved by an impulse he would have found it hard to explain, he said, "Suppose we dismiss them both, and walk up through the Park?"
She acquiesced, and a few moments later they were strolling up the Avenue, rather silently, considering that each had many things to say. As usual, it was the woman who broke the silence.
"Tell me about all this. I never was more interested in anything in my life," she said, looking up at him with a glance that carried the subtlest flattery, and, while her query was vague, he understood and made no attempt to evade it.
"It is a long story," he said; "have you time for it to-day? And it is really no more remarkable than the effect you produced in your parade yesterday, and I think the causes are the same. The world is full of mystery, but before honest, earnest purpose of any kind the storehouses of mystery will eventually open. The fact is, that the present tremendous progressive movement in the world is spiritual and every phase of it is interdependent upon every other element. The thoughtless call these things 'fads.' In reality, each one of them marks a crystallization of centuries of thought and hope and dream for the advancement and elevation of the human race. The world, as usually happens in spiritual matters, awakened to the importance of all of them at the same time." He paused, as if realizing for the first time how personal was the story for which she had asked. "You will think me an egregious egotist, Miss Holland, I fear."
"No, whatever you may be, or I may think you, you need have no fears on that score." She answered simply, directly. "Please tell me—if you think I deserve so great a confidence."
He bowed gravely; there was no hint of coquetry in her manner.
"Directly after my graduation at Harvard, three years ago, I opened offices in New York, intending to specialize in surgery, for I had prepared for that, though I desired to obtain a general practice for a while to put into effect and improve my theoretical knowledge. In a misty way I soon realized that neither my own efforts nor those of my colleagues were crowned with the success that should attend a profession founded upon strictly scientific principles, as modern surgery is. The chief cause of disturbance with me was that so many operations were performed which subsequent developments showed might have been avoided, but which at the time seemed imperative. I redoubled my studies of materia medica, hoping to find a way by which this difficulty might be obviated or overcome, and while my constant researches helped, I still found much difficulty in arriving at accurate conclusions before attempting an operation. I found nothing that satisfied me. I was also greatly bothered and baffled by the large number of cases which the surgeon encounters, controlled or dependent upon nervous conditions and the futility of the drugs ordinarily given.
"While in this mood a friend of mine called at my office one Wednesday evening by appointment. He was the general manager of a large utility company that has to do with the people of every section of the civilized world, and a man of rare judgment, knowledge of the world, and poise. We were on most intimate terms, and I had already told him something of these perplexities. This evening, I had supposed that he was coming to see me professionally, and I had made other engagements. As soon as he stepped into my private office, he said: 'Doctor, cancel every engagement you have for this evening. I need you very badly in affairs of my own. You are to ask no questions, but do as I request and send me your bill to-morrow.'
"Of course I could not refuse him, so I arranged to go with him, and then asked whether I should require surgical instruments or only a medicine case. He replied that I would need neither, and I could gain nothing from his manner, for he was very grave. At his suggestion we walked, going up Fifth Avenue to the Park, and then across the Park to the corner of 96th Street and Central Park West, where there stands a great church. The rolling notes of the organ filled the quiet with an impressiveness I had never felt before, and the congregation was singing an old hymn with an earnestness and depth of feeling quite different from most congregational singing. We entered and were shown to seats in the balcony, in the front row, where we had an excellent view of most of those below. 'You will find many of your acquaintances here,' he said, and on looking around I was surprised at the great number of prominent New York men and women in the audience.
"After the preliminary proceedings those that desired to do so were invited to tell their experiences in combating disease, or other adverse conditions. What I heard was a revelation. This experience, corroborating, as it did, my own observations, emphasized how little of the field of suggestive and mental therapeutics the ordinary medical practitioner really filled, and I determined to explore that field before going any further with my practice. I thanked my friend for taking me to this place, and within a month I decided to go abroad. I visited the institutions of note in Europe, where suggestive therapeutics are practiced, and then went to India, where I spent many months. There I found the original source of suggestive, mental and spiritual treatment.
"If the Yogi of India could supplement his method of training the subconscious mind with the knowledge which our regular physicians possess, and could apply both with discriminating skill, we would have the greatest human healing power ever known. The best I could hope for was to apply as much of the wisdom of the Yogi and other cults in India and Europe as I could master in the brief time at my disposal, and that I am attempting to do. With all the perfection of system in training the subconscious mind that characterizes a comparatively few of the inhabitants of India, the millions are left without any appreciable benefits therefrom, just as the millions here are left without the full benefits of the special training of the few.
"We are but touching the borderland of this mysterious realm of the occult, the subconscious and the spiritual forces that have such an important bearing upon all phases of human life, and which, when intelligently applied to the child in school and the direction of the individual in his career, promise so much for the elevation, longevity and achievements of the human race.
"The world is just waking up to the vast significance of the spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ, and their bearing upon all phases and activities of human life. When Christ told the Pharisees that 'the kingdom of God is within you,' he carried the lesson, though little understood then, and so fully comprehended now, that Christianity, citizenship, government, health, happiness and progress are all dependent upon the character of the ideals and purposes and daily life of the individual.
"When Christ told the lawyer that to 'love thy neighbor as thyself' was one of the essentials of salvation, he laid the corner-stone for a pure and honest democracy, without which underlying principle there can be no lasting democratic government. We now know, in medicine, that much of longevity and good health and power of recuperation depend upon the ideals of the individual, and their inspiring influence.
"It is too bad that with all our tremendous progress we allow bigotry and prejudice to hamper us in getting the most out of the wisdom around us as well as that of the ages, all of which is correlated. Yet very often the orthodox Christian, who believes that Christ not only healed the sick but also raised the dead, decries the Christian Scientist who only professes to restore the sick on the theory that disease cannot exist in an individual properly imbued with Christ's teachings. Too often the orthodox doctor of medicine denounces the healer who overcomes apparent disease through mental suggestion or arrests a nervous breakdown in a patient by teaching that patient how to relax, when the doctor himself does not hesitate to give bread pills in the first instance and to recommend a sanitarium where relaxation is the only thing attempted in the second. And I presume this quotation from the Dhamma-pada, which is many centuries older than the Christian religion, would be denounced as heresy by some of the Christian Scientists, although it embodies the spirit and almost the words of their own teachings: 'All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with an evil thought, pain follows him as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.'"
Presently Dr. Earl hailed a passing taxi-cab, and gave the order to be taken to the Whittier Studios. The drive home was silent. Once or twice Silvia looked at her tall companion. She was frankly curious about the Paris case, but something in the quiet, self-contained face of the man beside her did not invite questions. On his part, John Earl was asking himself why he should have given his confidence to this comparative stranger, and the longer he thought about it the less able was he to answer his question.
THE OMNIPRESENT EYES OF FIFTH AVENUE
The source of gossip in a village is the corner grocery store; in a small city, what goes on about the public square; in the medium-sized city, what transpires in the leading cafe; in New York, Fifth Avenue and Central Park are the all-abounding sources of gossip. The Avenue has a thousand curious eyes; those on the sidewalk peering into automobiles and carriages for sensations; those being whirled along in vehicles, straining their power in the quest of salacious information among the throng beyond the curbstone. All New York passes along Fifth Avenue at some time or another. All of one's friends are always passing along that way when one does not particularly wish to be seen by them. If one is walking, the friends are invariably driving; if one is driving, of course the ubiquitous acquaintances are out for a stroll. Sometimes people have been known to escape two-thirds of the omnipresent eyes that line the sidewalks, pack the Avenue and infest the highways of Central Park, but no person has ever been heard of who escaped all of them.
So the lot of our strollers was but the common lot of all, visitors as well as resident New Yorkers.
While mutually absorbed, the one in reciting the tale, the other in listening to it; while diverted and interested by the thousand sparks that radiate from the batteries of youthful energy and enthusiasm and tingle the sensibilities of a congenial comrade; while speculating on the unknown vista from peep-holes that show only fragments, but realizing all the vastness and richness of the world force and universal sympathy possessed by each of them—it is not strange that in four blocks on the Avenue they were passed by two ladies in an automobile, who took more than an ordinary interest in their movements, and by a dark-eyed, dark-haired man in another car, whose eyes gleamed and whose cheeks blanched at the sight of their absorption in each other.
But the things garnered on the Avenue are never placed in cold storage, and soon enough both of them were to hear about this stroll.
When Dr. Earl called that evening to take Mrs. and Miss Kimball to the theatre he discovered that his reception in the morning had been tropical compared to this one. He was compelled to wait fully fifteen minutes before Miss Kimball appeared in house gown and slippers, indicating her purpose to remain at home, and the bearer of a message that her mother begged to be excused, as she had retired with a sick headache.
In vain he sought for a reason for his frigid reception, and feeling that his presence was an affliction he arose to go.
"I hope you had a pleasant stroll this afternoon," came in icicle tones.
This shed all the light necessary upon the character of his greeting.
The eyes of Fifth Avenue had not grown dim.
"Yes," he replied, looking at her steadily, "it was a most delightful stroll."
She could stand the strain no longer; she came close to him and he stooped and tenderly kissed her.
"Oh, Jack, why do you persist in having anything to do with her when you know how unhappy it makes me!" she said in her gentlest tone.
They sat down and he related the entire story of the occurrences of the afternoon to her. It pacified her to a degree.
"But Jack, dear, you will promise me never to see her again, will you not?" and her tone was pleading now.
"I promised to go with my brother to a suffrage meeting she is holding Thursday night. Of course you would not wish to go, and I am certain you do not want me to break my promise."
"I am certain," she said, emphasizing each word, "that I do not want you to see her again."
"Let me understand you, Leonora, dear. There are many prominent New York women in this suffrage movement. Some of my very best old-time friends, I am informed, are participating in it. Is it your desire that I shall cut their acquaintance also, or is it just Miss Holland you want me never to see again?"
"Now, don't think I am jealous of her, for I am not. She is the most conspicuous one in this suffrage movement on account of the awful things she does, but I don't care to associate with any person who is identified with this crusade. Neither does my mother, nor any of our social set, and of course I would like you to feel the same way."
"But suppose I do not feel that way. Suppose my sympathies are with them and my profession as well as my political predilections should carry me among them?" he asked earnestly.
"Oh, Jack, what has come over you that you are so plebeian! Can't you see how these women are cheapening New York society, associating with workingmen and shop girls!"
"But that is what they should do in a democracy, and I am sure I never saw better-looking women in my life than these same busy suffragists. They have something to do, and are not dying of ennui or listlessness," he answered.
"Their stock argument," she answered, "but whoever heard of an aristocracy based on such things as these women engage in. Promise me, Jack, that you will have nothing to do with any of them."
"You are unduly wrought up to-night," he answered, "but I will promise you that I shall do nothing to cause you unnecessary annoyance. You must not be too captious, dear, and remember that I go Thursday night."
She started to protest, but he drowned the effort in a shower of caresses and bade her goodnight. Each of them, in the silence of their own apartments, thought long and earnestly of this interview. Leonora Kimball had been taught to believe that the chief badges of an aristocracy were complete idleness of the women, and the possession of enough wealth to support such idleness. It mattered not how mentally insipid or morally opaque or physically inane such women might be, the true test of being fitted for the purple was whether or not they had ever done any useful work, and whether or not they had money enough so that the other members of their set might feel assured that they never would do any useful work. An aristocracy of trained brains or unselfish culture were meaningless terms to her.
But this night she was greatly disturbed over the attitude of the man she was to marry. She had been quite honest with him when she asserted that jealousy was foreign to her nature; affection did not run deep enough with her to strike its eternal renewing fountain—jealousy. The practical character with which she had been endowed easily enough conducted affairs of the heart along paths directed by the head, and while her professions of love were quite sincere and her loyalty beyond question, yet she had not the remotest idea of the grand passion. She knew that she was very fond of John Earl; that he was worthy of her; that he could sustain her manner of life and that his social standing was all that either she or her mother could desire. She also knew that she did not wish to lose him, and much as she abhorred the suffragists, she determined to be lenient with his present mood, certain she could change it ere long, else of what avail was the all-powerful "silent influence" upon which the Anti-Suffragists laid so much stress?
Earl was more than disturbed by her attitude, for he discovered traits of character and a shallowness of sympathy that shocked him. His dream of married bliss was the absolute camaraderie he expected it to bring. He feared now that she would not enter into his life or ambitions, and, like too many of his married acquaintances, they would be seeking happiness along diverse paths.
"However, it's all very new to her," he said to himself after an hour's reverie, "and she is quite young. A few weeks will properly adjust our relations."
The dominant characteristic of this young man was a deep sense of justice, and while other feelings were all too manifest in his subconscious being, he permitted himself only to try to solve the problem of what was the right thing along the lines where he had cast his future.
LOVE, JEALOUSY AND MUSIC
The telephone bell in her apartment was ringing as Miss Holland entered from her stroll, radiantly happy and at peace with all the world. She took the receiver from the maid.
"Dr. Morris? Yes, I shall be home this evening, and glad to see you, of course. Bring your violin and come by eight-thirty. Yes—yes. I meant to have called you and apologized for my somewhat cavalier desertion of you last night. I am sorry I was rude, I didn't mean to be, but come and let me ask you to forgive me." Her tone was adorable and melted the sullen mood of the man at the other end of the wire.
Having sworn that he would not see her again, having 'phoned to make an appointment at which he meant to utter as bitter reproaches as he dared, he appeared promptly at the hour set, ready to implore her grace and accept with gratitude any smallest favor, any ray of hope she might see fit to bestow upon him.
Like many another professional man in New York, in order to cater to the class in society in which he hoped to establish his reputation and clientele, Morris had found it necessary to live in a style which far exceeded his income, although that was a good one for a man still young in his profession. He was not popular with men, who regarded him as rather theatrical and a poseur, but his music, a certain deference of manner, a more romantic quality than is to be generally found among American business men, gave him a great vogue with women, and he cultivated them, especially the older ones, and they made life very pleasant for him, introduced him to the right people, and gave him much good advice now and then.
One of the smartest of these social leaders said practically one day: "My dear boy, why do you let all these rich girls marry those silly foreigners, without an idea to bless themselves with—dukes, debts and diseases seem synonymous; you are not only clever, but you have the one gift, saving the title, that commends these creatures to our girls."
He smiled his inscrutable smile and bowed. "And that is?"
"You seem to have found the lost art of making pretty speeches, and paying a woman the small attentions that we all like so well. If I were a man," went on this dreadful dame, "I should never forget to kiss my wife and send her flowers and remember all the family anniversaries. It is by attention to such small details as this that a man may purchase immunity in larger and more important matters. I know this is most immoral, but it makes the wife happy, the husband comfortable, and would go far to decimate the divorce rate, so what more could you ask?"
"Perhaps I owe this to the fact that my father was a Hungarian nobleman—oh, just a trumpery little title, with nothing to pay for the necessary gold lace, so when he came to America he decided, like so many of the revolutionists of that period, to be ultra-American, and dropped even the foreign spelling of the name, changing the 'itz' to plain 'r-i-s,'" he answered. "I'm sure my music belongs to the other side of the Atlantic."
"That accounts for it all," she said. "There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't marry almost any woman you want to. Why not find one who can give you millions in money and the social position you need without taking a generation to create one? I hope you haven't any foolish entanglements," she added.
He flushed, but did not answer, and when a few weeks later he and Silvia Holland had played together for some charitable entertainment, his venerable mentor had sought him out, ready to bestow her blessing at the earliest possible moment, approving his practical judgment and his good taste. That was a long time ago.
He had resented the implication at the time; to do him justice, had Silvia been penniless she would still have attracted him as no other woman ever had. It was partly her personal charm, partly her music. It may be true that the world of art is still the world, but it is a very different world from that in which most of us live and move and have our being, and Morris was conscious when her fingers touched the keys, and he took up his bow and drew it across the strings of his violin, that they entered upon a new and boundless universe in which sound superseded all other mediums of communication, and seemed to take the place of mere mundane sensation. Whether his passion for Silvia grew out of their music, or the wonder of the music was a result of the perfect accord of their natures, he could not tell. They had become one in his mind.
He fervently hated her various public activities. Here again the ancestral traits dominated. He thought of her as a great lady, and being that, she should have been content without anything more. Rushing madly about doing things for other people implied a certain loss of caste. But until the previous evening his discontent had been free from the bitter draught of jealousy. There had been safety in the number of Miss Holland's admirers, and when he was surest that she did not in any way return his feeling for her, there had been balm in the thought that she was too busy elevating the condition of her own sex to have much time to waste upon any member of his. Instinctively he knew, when he intercepted the first look between the lady of his dreams and his erstwhile college associate, that the hour had come that he had dreaded. Silvia Holland had at last met a man whom, consciously or unconsciously, she acknowledged king. His rival was there, upon the threshold of her life, and he was a rival to be feared. That he might also be a rival in his profession, that he was so rich that he was far above the straits in which Morris found himself more and more frequently involved, only added to the flame that consumed him; life without Silvia herself would be dull, colorless, objectless; life without her music would be but "wind along the waste."