[Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added by the transcriber.]
VOL. XXXI MAY, 1908 No. 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ILLUSTRATIONS. THE MISADVENTURES OF CASSIDY. By Edward S. Moffat. MARY BAKER G. EDDY. By Georgine Milmine. IN CHARGE OF TRUSTY. By Lucy Pratt. FIRST DAYS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION. By Carl Schurz. Restless Foot-loose Negroes. The Freedmen's Bureau. Pickles and Patriotism. The South's Hopeless Poverty. Johnson's Haste for Reconstruction. Arming the Young Men of the South. The President Defends Southern Militia. Criticism and Personal Discomfort. The End of an Aristocracy. An Ungracious Reception. Why the President Reversed his Policy. Congress and General Grant's Report. THE FLOWER FACTORY. By Florence Wilkinson. THE SILLY ASS. By James Barnes. WAR ON THE TIGER. By W. G. Fitz-gerald. THE RADICAL JUDGE. By Anita Fitch. POVERTY AND DISCONTENT IN RUSSIA. By George Kennan. "THE HEART KNOWETH." By Charlotte Wilson. IN THE DARK HOUR. By Perceval Gibbon. "OLIVIA" and "FAUST" AT THE LYCEUM. By Ellen Terry. "Olivia" a Family Play. Ellen Terry and Eleanora Duse. "Faust." George Alexander and the Barmaids. "Faust" a Paradoxical Success. Irving on Long Runs. Irving's Mephistopheles. "Faust's" Four Hundred Ropes. THE LIE DIRECT. By Caroline Duer. THE WAYFARERS. By Mary Stewart Cutting. XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII.
"FOR FOUR LONG SUMMER MONTHS OF DUST AND HEAT CASSIDY HAD BEEN A FREIGHTER." "'I'VE SOLD THEM WHEELERS!'" "NEAREST TO THE ROUGH PINE BOX STOOD THE WIDOW, WITH LOWERED EYES" "'I HEREBY PRONOUNCE YUH MAN AND WIFE!'" GREETING THE PILGRIMS. GEORGE WASHINGTON GLOVER. THE MOTHER CHURCH IN BOSTON. "'I'SE JUS 'BLIGE WHUP 'IM ALL DE WAY TER SCHOOL'" "I KIN GET 'EM YERE, EF YER WANTS." "TWO SMALL FIGURES PUSHED THEIR WAY INTO THE ROOM" "THAT LITTLE BOY, SMILED THE ROSY-CHEEKED GENTLEMAN" MAJOR-GENERAL O. O. HOWARD. A PHOTOGRAPH OF GENERAL HOWARD. MAJOR-GENERAL H. W. SLOCUM FROM A WAR-TIME PHOTOGRAPH. MAJOR-GENERAL H. W. SLOCUM BEFORE HIS DEATH IN 1894. MAJOR-GENERAL E. R. S. CANBY. SENATOR WILLIAM LEWIS SHARKEY. "HE COULD HEAR THE CRASH, SEE THE GREAT BOW SINKING" "FIRST A MAGNIFICENT YELLOW HEAD EMERGES, THEN THE LONG, LITHE BODY" HOWDAH ELEPHANT TRAINING MADE EASY. LAST WALL OF DEFENSE. SLAYER OF SEVENTY-SIX NATIVES LAID LOW AT LAST. TIGRESS ALSO IS SLAIN. "'WADICAL!'" "AN UNTIDY MIDGET FOLLOWING CLOSELY AT HIS HEELS" "HOPE CAROLINA, FROM HER MARVELOUS BED, COULD SEE EVERYTHING." "FOREVER TURNING BACK TO KISS HIM...." "IT WAS THE QUAINT CUSTOM ... TO FOLLOW MOURNERS ... FROM THE GRAVE" PAUL MILYUKOV. P. A. STOLYPIN. THE AUDREY ARMS, OXBRIDGE, MIDDLESEX. ELLEN TERRY AS "OLIVIA." ELLEN TERRY AS OLIVIA. HENRY IRVING AS THE VICAR. H. BEERBOHM TREE. ELEANORA DUSE WITH LENBACH'S CHILD. ELLEN TERRY AS ELLALINE IN "THE AMBER HEART." HENRY IRVING AS MEPHISTOPHELES IN "FAUST." ELLEN TERRY. ELLEN TERRY'S FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPH AS OLIVIA. ELLEN TERRY AS OLIVIA AND HENRY IRVING AS THE VICAR. ELLEN TERRY AS MARGUERITE IN "FAUST." "MRS. LEVERICH BOWED INCIDENTALLY" "WITH EYES FOR NOBODY ELSE" "FLOWERS AND CHILDREN—CHILDREN AND FLOWERS!" "'THE LITTLE SPIDER WON'T HURT YOU'" "'NEVER LET HIM COME HERE AGAIN—NEVER, NEVER!'"
VOL. XXXI MAY, 1908 No. 1
THE MISADVENTURES OF CASSIDY
BY EDWARD S. MOFFAT
ILLUSTRATIONS BY N.C. WYETH
Cassidy gazed long and blankly across the desert. "Wot a life!" he muttered grimly. "Say, wot a life this is!" Cassidy made the words by putting his tongue against his set teeth and forcibly wrenching the sounds out by the roots. The words had been a long time in the making, but now, because of the infinite sourness of their birth and because of the acrid grinding and gritting that had been going on in the dark recesses of his soul, Cassidy was forced at last to listen. Rudely and forever they dispelled Cassidy's dull impression that things were well with Cassidy, and in so doing tore away the veil and revealed Truth standing before him, naked, yet gloriously unashamed. But the general outlines of the goddess had not been entirely unfamiliar to him. Although his previous skull-gropings had brought forth neither a cause nor a remedy, he had so long felt that things were far from satisfactory that when at last she fronted him brazenly, eye to eye, he only sighed heavily, spat twice in sad reflection, and——nodded for her to pass on; she had been accepted.
"Gosh, wot a thirst I got!" he pondered, and kicked the empty canteen at his feet. "Wot a simply horrible thirst! Say, pardner, I wonder did a feller ever have a thirst like this?" Luckily for Cassidy, his throat was not yet so dry but that he could amuse himself by fancifully measuring his thirst, first by pints, then by quarts.
"A quart would never do it, though," he meditated whimsically. "It would be a mean, low trick to make it think so. This yere job rightly belongs to a water-tank. Oh, gosh! And ten miles yet, across that darned dry lake, tuh Ochre. Gid-ap, Tawmm!"
In slow response, the four blacks settled into their sweaty collars, and the big Bain freighter, with its tugging trailer, heaved up the swale and lurched drunkenly down the other side to the glittering mesa.
For four long summer months of dust and heat Cassidy had been a freighter. From sun-up to sun-down he had dragged with snail-like progress up and down the canons, through the rocky washes and crooked draws; and now that the road had dropped into the Southwestern Basin it was sickening mesa work, with the fine dust running like water ahead of his wheels or whirling up in fantastic, dancing pillars of grit that drove spitefully into his slack, parched mouth and sleepy eyes.
"It's the goll-dinged monotonosity of it I cain't stand!" he whined, as he drove his boot-heel down on the rasping brake-lever and waited sullenly for the inevitable bump from the trailer. "Gawd never meant fer a feller tuh do this work. I don't know Him very good," wailed Cassidy, "but I bet He wouldn't deal no such a raw hand. It ain't human!"
He frowned heavily at the sky-line of jagged mountains blued with haze. "They look like a lot of big old alligators—just as if they was asleep and lyin' with their shoulders half out of water," he murmured in gentle, subdued reminiscence. "The darned old no-good things!"
Then, as the bitterness of his lonely life rose up and dulled his mind and soured his tongue, "Why don't yuh get some mineral into yuh?" he yelled with abrupt ferocity. "Why ain't yuh some good tuh a feller? Zing, zing, zing—I hate your old heat a-singin' in my ears all the gosh-blamed time! Why don't yuh do something? Huh? Yuh don't make it so's anything kin live. Yuh don't give no water, yuh don't give no grass, yuh don't do nothin'! Yuh jest lay there and make heat!"
Across the mesa the shimmering white surface of a dry lake caught his angry eye. As he looked, it began to rock gently from side to side. Presently, in a freakish spirit of its own, it curled up at the edges. Later, it seemed to turn into a dimpling sheet of water, cool, sweet, and alluring.
Cassidy burst into a howl of derision that startled his blacks into a jogging trot: "Oh, yuh cain't fool me, yuh darned old fake!" He shook a huge red fist in defiance of his ancient foe. "I'll beat yuh yet—darn yuh!"
Late that night, a large man with a red face and a sunburned neck on which the skin lay in little cobwebs, stumbled in under the lights of Number One Commissary Tent.
"I want my time and I want my money. I ain't a-goin' tuh work no more! he announced with a displeased frown.
"Going back home tuh Coloraydo?" asked the youthful clerk.
"Back home?" repeated Cassidy mechanically. "How—how's that, young feller?"
"I asked yuh if yuh were going tuh hit the grit fer home?" the boy repeated.
"Aoh!" said Cassidy, and a blank look spread across his countenance. He spoke as if he did not understand. For a while he stood quite still, unknowingly twiddling the time-check in his thick, fat-cushioned fingers into a moist pink ball. His face grew heavy and dull. It seemed to have been robbed, with a surprising suddenness, of all the good spirits, all the abounding, virile life, of the moment before. It grew to look old and lined under the flickering lamplight, and this was odd, because Cassidy was not by any means an old man.
For a time the only sound he made was a queer little ejaculation of surprise, the only movement a bewildered stare at the boy. Together they were the actions of a child who, in the first numbing moments of a gashed finger, only gazes at the wound in round-eyed wonder. Cassidy had begun to remember.
He remembered that "back home" a man didn't have to live all the time on sour bread and canned tomatoes; "back home" you didn't have to die of thirst, coming in with day-empty water-barrels to find the spring dried up; "back home" the mountains didn't jiggle up and down in front of you, through glassy waves of heat that rightfully belonged in a blast-furnace. Things were different—and better—"back home."
Cassidy lifted his head and listened. He had heard the sound of water. Half hidden in the brush, a little brook was running by him down a dark ravine. Joyously, tumultuously, it churked and gurgled over the smooth green stones and moss down to the level, and then slipped away, with low, contented murmurings, among the cottonwoods and willows. Cassidy found himself following that brook. It took him down through fields of dark lucerne. It led him through yellow pasturage, deep with stubble and wild oats. It showed him long-aisled orchards glinting with fruit in the sunlight. It ushered him into a wide and pleasant valley. In the distance Cassidy saw a ranch. Near by, with blowsy forelock and careless mane, a shaggy pony stood knee-deep in the river-sedge.
"Why, hello, hossy!" whispered Cassidy, with soft surprise. "Why, say! I know yuh!"
A full, warm wind began to sough through the pines on the hillside. He could hear it blowing, blowing unendingly, from across the hills. His ears rang with the whirring sound, as it came singing along with the vox humana chords of a great 'cello, streaming down from the heights, gentle-fingered, but wondrously vast-bodied—booming along with half a world behind it. Fair in the face it smote him with its resinous breath, and he felt his lips parting to inhale its fiery tonic—felt, as he used to feel, the magic glow tingling in his veins again and brightening his eyes with the pure pagan glory of his living.
And then, very sadly indeed for Cassidy, and in much the same way that whisky and he had let it all slip through their fingers long ago, the sound of the brook stilled. The valley, the meadows, the ranch, and the kind, warm wind faded, one by one. In their stead came the creak and shock of a belated wagon-train pulling into camp. He heard the panting of laboring horses. He caught the salt reek of sweaty harness. He heard the drivers curse querulously as they jammed down the brake-levers, tossed the reins away, and clambered stiffly down.
Cassidy turned a strained, hard face on the boy. "I reckon not," he said sadly, grimly. "I ain't a-goin' home. Nope; I ain't a-goin' no place that's good. Yuh kin always be sure of that, kid."
"Oh, now, that's all right. Don't get sore," soothed the boy. "That's all right, Cassidy."
"No, it ain't!" roared Cassidy, angry with the long, hot days and stifling nights, angry with the work and the scanty pay, angry most of all with himself. "No, it ain't all right!"
As a previously concealed resolve crystallized at last somewhere in his brain, his voice rasped up a whole octave.
"Nothin's all right, pardner!" he yelled. "Yuh hear me? Yuh know what I'm goin' tuh do?" He waved the time-check defiantly above his head and let go one last howl of sardonic self-derision:
"I'm goin' down tuh the Bucket of Blood tuh get drunk!"
* * * * *
The desert town of Ochre, in its more salient points, was not unlike a desert flower, although its makers were far from desiring it to blush unseen. Yesterday it had slept unborn in a nook of the sand-hills, the abiding-place of cat's-claw, mesquit, and flickering lizards.
To-day it burst, with an almost tropic vigor, into riotous growth. Flamboyant youth, calculating middle age, doddering senility, all these were there, all treading on one another's heels, to reap and be reaped. To-day a scene of marvelous activity, a maelstrom of bustling commissariat and fretting supply-trains, cut by never-ending counter-currents of hoboes to and from the front, to-morrow it would simmer down into the desuetude of a siding. Thus is vanity repaid.
Although Cassidy had begun at the "Bucket," he soon discovered that it possessed no phonograph, and, possessing a craving for music, he had removed himself and the remains of the pink check to where an aged instrument in "Red Eye Mike's" guttered forth a doubtful plea for one "Bill Bailey" to come home.
Here he had remained for five fateful, forgetting days. What Mike and Mike's friends did to him in that space of time cannot be dwelt upon. Suffice it to say that on the morning of the sixth day the bleary semblance of a man who had slept all night in the sand, alongside of a saloon, awoke to the daylight and a hell of pain.
By dint of soul-racking exertions it managed to roll to its hands and knees. Then, by slow stages, it pulled itself together, and after several unsuccessful attempts, tottering, stood on its feet. Tents, horses, sky, desert, and sun revolved in a bewildering kaleidoscope before his eyes. In the vastness of his skull a point of pain darted agonizingly back and forth. In his mouth was a taste like unto nothing known on this earth or in either bourn.
"I got money yet," he mumbled dazedly to himself, as was his conversational wont. "Say! I'm tellin' yuh, I got money yet!" Fumbling, he searched his pockets, but quite to no avail. Sadder yet, a repetition of the search, even to turning his clothes inside out and then looking anxiously on the sand, produced nothing. With a puzzled look on his haggard face, he stumbled into Mike's saloon.
Not at all disconcerted by the bedraggled form that leaned on his bar and mouthed disconnectedly, the worthy keeper of the hostel proceeded to produce a sheet of paper from the till.
"I don't savvy what you're talking about at all," he remarked ingenuously; "but seein' as you've been spendin' a few bucks amongst your friends here, I'll tell you how you stand."
"How do I stand?" asked Cassidy thickly.
Mike laughed in his face. "You don't stand, pardner. You're all in."
A moment necessarily had to be allowed Cassidy to fathom this catastrophe. When the agony had come and passed, he was heard to sigh heavily and remark: "Well, I reckon it'll be the old job again. I got the outfit yet."
"Have you, indeed?" mocked Mike, well up to his lay. "I'm glad to have you mention it. See here, pardner." He slapped the sheet of paper flat on the bar, under Cassidy's astonished eyes. "Do you figure this is your name at the bottom, or don't you?" he demanded in peremptory tones.
Cassidy frowned and regarded the paper. Then, as the words swam and blurred together in one long, discouraging line, he weakly gave it up.
"Wot's it say, Mike?" he asked feebly.
"This here paper says," responded the other, with the cold, forceful air of one well within his rights, "that last night you sold me your teams and your outfit—fer a consideration. Of course, now, I ain't sayin' just what you done with the consideration I give you. Mebbe you spent it like a gent fer booze, mebbe you was foolish and went to some strong-arm shack and got rolled. I dunno; I can't say. All I know is that you got your money and I got the outfit. Savvy?"
Cassidy's face took on a queer, pasty white. His hands clawed ineffectively at the bar.
"Sold you my outfit?" he quavered, with an awful break in his voice. "Sold it, Mike? Why, how do you figure that?"
"Is that your name?" barked Mike in answer. He thrust the paper out at arm's length and shook it under Cassidy's nose with astonishing ferocity. "Just you say one little short word, friend. Is that your name, or isn't it?"
Cassidy wavered. It was unquestionably his name; whether he had written it there or not was yet to be decided.
If psychological moments come to the Cassidys, this one felt such a thing near him. Now was the time for him to leap in the air and pound wrathfully upon the bar. Now was the instant for him to rush into the open and call vociferously on his friends. Now was the fraction of a second left for him to reach out his hard knuckles and pin Mike to the wall and tear the paper from his hands. But instead, and with a queer feeling of aloofness from it all, much as if he were the helpless spectator of activities proceeding in some fantastic dream, he felt the moment thrilling up to him; felt it stand obediently waiting; felt himself slowly gathering in response to its mute query; then felt himself drop helplessly back into a stupid coma of whisky fumes and sodden inertia.
When he came to, Mike had put the paper back in his till and was assiduously cleaning up his bar. It was all over.
Cassidy shifted irresolutely from one foot to the other. A sickening feeling of hollowness within him was crying aloud to be appeased by either food or drink, and his shaking body begged for a place to rest itself into tranquillity; but still for a while he stood there, fighting off these yearnings while he gathered his far-strayed wits. Now and then he weakly attempted to catch the other's eye, but as Mike studiously refused to be caught, Cassidy could only blink owlishly and fumble again with the tangled ends of the skein. Finally, abandoning it all as useless, he turned toward the door, yet arrested his dazed shambling to ask one last question.
"How's that?" Mike responded vaguely over his shoulder. "Still harping on that, are you?"
"Did I really sell you them blacks?" ventured Cassidy quaveringly, controlling his voice only with a tremendous effort. "Reelly, truly—did I sell 'em?"
Mike rolled a cigar over in his mouth, with a complacent lick of his tongue. "That's what," he replied laconically.
Cassidy gulped down something in his throat. He leaned for a moment against the door-jamb; his gaunt, hollow-cheeked face quivered with misery.
"I mean them black wheelers, Mike. Just them two—them wheelers," he pleaded. Hesitating a little, as the other deigned no response, he ventured weakly on:
"I was figurin', now—of course, I don't mean nothin' by it, Mike, only yuh see how a feller c'u'd figger it—that mebbe—mebbe you made some mistake in readin' that paper. Yuh see how it could happen. A feller c'u'd make a mistake in readin', now, c'u'dn't he?" With this flimsy appeal Cassidy played his last and poorest card.
In answer the other snapped some ashes from his sleeve, turned his back, slapped the cash-register shut, and strode masterfully down the room. "Not this time, pardner."
Cassidy stumbled out.
"I've sold them wheelers!" he sobbed under his breath. "Why, it seems like I was just this minute thinkin' I'd get tuh go and water 'em, and rub 'em down a bit. Now it ain't no use thinkin' about it—not any more. It ain't me that's goin' tuh do that. I cain't water 'em. I ain't got rights to even lay my hands on 'em! O-h-h!" he shuddered, and agonizedly pulled taut on every tired, aching muscle. "Yuh oughter be beat up with a club. Yuh oughter get pounded with a rawk. You're a rotten, whisky-soaked bum, that's all yuh are now, and yuh oughter be killed and kicked out in the street!"
Half whining, half crying miserably, he drove himself out of the town, for a mile or more, on the desert, then plodded painfully back again, mauling and beating himself with the bludgeon of his awful self-pity.
At the foot of a fast-rising "grade" he halted wearily and watched the work. It was well on toward noon by this time, and the sun was blazing down through a choking pall of dust that hung in the lifeless air. Men were driving horses to and fro. They were men with weak, deeply lined faces and shambling gaits. They broke into querulous curses and beat their animals savagely on ridiculously small pretexts. They handled their reins with a uniformly betraying awkwardness.
Cassidy sized them up and sniffed contemptuously to himself. He knew. "That's wot you'll be doing to-morrow," he muttered. "Durn your hide, that's all you're good for. That's yuh to-morrow, yuh and the rest of the 'boes."
Not knowing what to do with himself now, he drifted back to the town and sat in the scanty shade of a joshua, prepared to commune further with himself. Looking up after a time, his eyes descried in the distance the figures of two men who were walking toward him.
"I bet that's Con Maguire," he murmured. "Yep—him and that old 'Arkinsaw.' They've got their time-checks, tuh; I kin tell the way they walk. I bet I know wot they're sayin'. Con, he's got a little ranch up tuh Provo, and he's fer makin' right up the line and gettin' that old no-good Arkinsaw to go along and pass up the booze.
"Poor old Arkinsaw!" mused Cassidy shrewdly. "He's worked three months steady for Donovans', drivin' scraper, the poor old slob, and their chuck is rotten. I'll bet he's terrible glad to get back tuh Number One. He's got forty dollars now. I bet he's near crazy. He allers looks that way when he's got forty dollars," said Cassidy.
"Sure I'll go with you, Con," Arkinsaw was saying. "I always meant to go, reelly, truly I did. You ask any of the fellers back to Donovans'. I was allers savin', 'I'm goin' out home when Con Maguire goes'—and, sure enough, here I am. I'll be to the train the same time as you. We'll go home on the same train, Con; sure we will." The old man laughed nervously. His eyes were bright with some strange excitement—but half of it was fear.
"Say, Con," he whispered hoarsely, "I'll be all right. You jest ketch holt of my arm when we go by; I'll be all right then. Say, Con," he guttered, in an agony of fear and desperation, "you hear me? Only git me by that first saloon."
But the approaching twain had been seen by other eyes than Cassidy's. By some odd fortuity, a phonograph broke into wheezy song as the wayfarers swung down the street. Dice began to roll invitingly across the bars, and from a distant spot came the hollow sound of the roulette-ball. Quite by chance, a man appeared in a doorway, holding a glass of beer. He was seen to drain it, just as they passed. Then he noticed them for the first time.
"Come in and cool off, boys," he suggested cordially. "It's all on ice. Good, cold lager, boys!"
Under its mask of dust, Arkinsaw's face worked horribly. He stumbled, loitered along the way to fix his shoe, zigzagged from one side to the other, fumbled at his pack, and finally stopped.
"Say, Con," he rasped feebly. "Oh, Con! Say, I gotter see a feller here. Say!" as his friend looked back at him with disconcerting doubt written on every feature. "Say, Con!—reelly, truly I have!"
"Well, hurry up, then," replied the other, and went on his dogged way.
The instant his back was turned, the old man obliqued crabwise to the side of the road. Fumbling nervously at his roll of bedding, he threw it off and darted for the saloon, running and stumbling in his haste. But at this point a large, gaunt, red-faced man, bearing a club in one hand, appeared from nowhere in particular and fronted him.
"G'wan down the road!" said the red-faced man harshly.
"Why—why, Cass!" Arkinsaw bleated surprisedly. "How you did startle me! Why, where did you come from? Yessir!" and he deftly manoeuvered so as to catch a glimpse of the bar over Cassidy's shoulder. "You surely startled me bad. Excuse me," he murmured absently; "I gotter see a feller——"
"G'wan down the road!"
"No, no, Cass!" the old man begged, hopping frantically on one foot. "Just a minute. It'll only take me a minute, I tell you. I gotter see a feller."
"G'wan down the road!"
"Say, Cass! don't treat a feller that way——"
Arkinsaw retreated. Cassidy and the club advanced. Arkinsaw craftily side-stepped. So did Cassidy. They paused.
Cassidy leaned on his stick and centered the old man's wavering gaze. "Don't lie," he said softly. "If yuh lie tuh me, yuh feather-brained old cockroach, I'll just natch'lly beat your face off! I want yuh tuh go home; just clamp your mind on that, Sam Meeker! If yuh think you're goin' tuh throw your money away over that bar, yuh want tuh separate yourself from the idea mighty quick. I won't stand fer foolishness. Go over there and git your bed!"
By this time the old man had calmed down. He looked the other over with a benevolently crafty eye.
"Why, what you been doing lately, Cass?" he inquired, with an adroit turn of the conversation. "You don't look as if you were real happy."
Cassidy winced. Then he hefted the club suggestively. "I've been doin' things yuh won't do!" he said savagely. "There's your bed over there. Pick it up! Hit the breeze! Hike!"
"This yere's a friend of mine, Con," chortled Arkinsaw delightedly, as he scrambled up the steps of the swing train a little later. "He knowed my folks, back home. He's a real kind feller."
Con nodded and surveyed Cassidy's club with vast appreciation. The train underwent a preliminary convulsion and began to pull out.
"Good-by!" yelled Cassidy. "Keep sober, yuh brindle-whiskered old billy-goat!"
Arkinsaw's straggly beard waved in the air as he stuck his head out of a window. His worn, furtive old face was riotous with joy. He was going home—home! Safe and sober, with forty dollars and a clean conscience, more than had been his in many a day.
"You bet I kin!" he bellowed back. "You're all right, Cass!"
Cassidy sniffed and turned again toward the town. "I don't reckon I c'u'd stand these yere chuck-ranches off fer a meal," he soliloquized, "not lookin' the way I am. To-morrow's all right; I'll be workin' then. To-day—" He paused and ran his hand over his forehead. "Well, to-day I reckon it'll be Mike's again—if he'll stand fer it."
And Mike fed him. Cassidy was harmless now. The fact that he asked for food proved it. Mike knew it; Cassidy knew it.
The rear of the saloon was partitioned off into a "Ladies' Room," whose door opened on the alkali flat behind. From thence came the monotonous drone of a murmured conversation. Cassidy tried ineffectually to follow it, but the droning of the voices and the steady hum of the flies around the beer lees on the bar made him sleepy. Outside it was stiflingly hot. Over on the grade the horses were choking and snorting in the dust, while the shambling-gaited men cursed steadily and heaved at the heavy scrapers. The little patch of blue in the doorway was twinkling with heat. Far out on the yellow plain, a grotesque-armed joshua lurched from side to side.
Cassidy felt a hand on his shoulder. "Do you want a drink?" asked Mike. "If you do, go in there and earn it. Talk to her. She's in hard luck."
Cassidy arose obediently, and with not a little timidity ventured to open the door and peer within.
"Come in," said a woman's voice, and Cassidy, not knowing why or why not, went in.
"Put your hat on the coffin and have a chair," said the woman. "I've looked and looked, and I can't see any table in this room."
Cassidy shuffled to a seat in a moment of surprise, and looked guardedly about him. There was, in fact, no table. Indubitably there was a coffin.
"That's my husband," said the woman. "Want to see him?"
"N-n-no, ma'am," Cassidy stammered hastily.
The woman nodded appreciatively. "Few does," she said, "and I guess it wouldn't do yuh much good. What's the matter with yuh? Yuh don't seem right well."
"No, ma'am," Cassidy confessed; "I ain't very well to-day."
The woman smiled a little. There was a pause. "How long have yuh been drinkin'?" she asked in a gentle voice.
"'Bout five days now," said Cassidy, reddening to the tips of his ears and bashfully looking up for the first time.
She was a short, well-made woman, dressed in black from the hem of her shiny skirt to the long plush bonnet-strings dangling loosely in her lap. Her face was a firm, pleasant oval, quite unlined except near the eyes, where there was a multitude of fine wrinkles such as come from squinting across a desert under a desert sun. There was nothing particularly worth noting about her face, except that it had an exceptionally healthy appearance. But her eyes fascinated Cassidy. They were an uncompromising, snapping black. They seemed brimming over with vitality. They were eyes that showed a strength of will behind them only woefully expressible in her woman's voice. They had a compelling quality in their straightforward honesty that forced Cassidy at once to forego the rest of her features. If he ventured to admire the firm white chin and well-kept teeth, the eyes flashed a stern rebuke. If his gaze slipped down to the sleazy, badly fashioned dress, the eyes brought him up with a round turn, slapped him, and reduced him to obedience. If his own flitted curiously to the smooth brown hair, drawn simply, plainly away from her forehead, hers towed him mercilessly back.
"We never drank much down tuh the ranch," she remarked, with the easy deviance of one who understands another's failings and does not wish to pain him by intruding their own immunity; "and now I s'pose there won't be hardly any. I'm Sarah Gentry. Yuh know me? We live down tuh Willow Springs."
Cassidy nodded. He knew Willow Springs and its well-kept ranch. It was the only fertile neck of land that ran down to Ochre Desert, an oasis, a veritable paradise of cottonwoods, willows, dark fields of alfalfa, a capably fenced corral, long lines of beehives, and apple-and olive-trees.
Cassidy grinned feebly. "I know. I stoled a mushmelon there last week."
"I saw yuh," said Sarah Gentry quickly, but without a shadow of malice. "Your head is tuh red. Yuh better stick tuh grapes at night."
"My husband died yesterday, from consumption," she went on, with an even, steady flow of talk. "And I came in here tuh get a preacher tuh bury him. I heard the railroad was comin' this way, and I figured Christianity would come clippin' right along behind. But I guess it won't pull in for quite a spell. It just beats me how the devil always gets the head start. He kin always get in somehow, ridin' the rods, or comin' blind baggage; religion sorter tags behind and waits for the chair-car. I don't think much of this town, either. It seems like it was full of nothin' but sand, saloons, beer-bottles, and bums. Are yuh one of 'em?" she inquired, with a sudden thrust that startled Cassidy beyond bounds.
"A bum, ma'am?" gasped Cassidy.
"No; a preacher."
"I reckon not," said Cassidy definitely.
"I didn't know," said the woman vaguely. "I never saw one. Edgard an' me was married by the county clerk down tuh Hackberry, and he tried tuh kiss me, and Edgard shot him. Those would be mighty unfortunate manners for a preacher, I reckon. And now I'm all tired out and don't know what tuh do. That man outside let me sit down in here, and made me bring the coffin right inside,—he carried it in himself,—but he didn't seem tuh know much about preachers, either. If I was a Mormon I s'pose I could divide up the buryin' some, but I'm all alone now."
In a moment of unreflecting insanity Cassidy opened his mouth. "I'll help yuh, ma'am!" he said gallantly.
"All right," responded the widowed woman instantly. "Yuh kin lead."
Cassidy paled perceptibly under his tan.
"Now don't back out," she said, "even if yuh do feel sick. Mebbe some whisky would hearten yuh up." And she went quickly to the door.
Cassidy sat still in his chair, making up his mind—about the whisky.
"There!" said Sarah Gentry, suddenly appearing with a glass which she set on the coffin. "Looks real good, don't it?"
Cassidy's forehead was damp with perspiration. Inside of him something was clamoring frightfully for the stuff in the glass. Something seemed gnawing at his very heart and soul, threatening and pleading, begging and insisting, fashioning devilish excuses, promising great things. Cassidy's hand stretched slowly out for the drink—and came back. There was a silence. The woman fixed her large, strong eyes on his. Again he reached out his hand, and his face was strained and unpleasant to look upon. But again he stopped before he took the glass. A horse had whinnied outside. Cassidy shook his head grimly. Putting his toe against the glass, he deftly kicked it into the corner. "I reckon not," he said.
The woman jumped to her feet.
"Git up!" she said impulsively. "Git up and shake hands. You're a man! And now we'll go out and git tuh buryin'."
A little party of six was assembled in a gulch in the sand-hills. The coffin, marked only with a card, lay in a slight depression scooped out by the wind.
Nearest to the rough pine box stood the widow, with lowered eyes, but without the trace of an expression on her face. Heavy-handed, red-faced, gaunt and grim, Cassidy loomed up beside her. Behind them, in attitudes of more or less perfunctory interest, stood a white-capped cook from the commissary-tent, who had come out to get away from the flies, two vague-visaged unknowns from the vast under-world of hobodom, and a greasy, loose-lipped fireman with a dirty red sweater and a contemptuous eye.
"Go on!" whispered the woman. She threw one of her swift, compelling glances at Cassidy. "Say something!" And Cassidy obeyed; he could not have refused if he had tried.
It became at once apparent that he must make no rambling talk. The history of the past five days, while illuminating and diverting, could not be calculated to inspire the casual onlooker with religious awe. If aught was to be said, it must, perforce, be meaty and direct.
Cassidy grasped the irritating fireman firmly by the arm. Fixing him with a baleful eye, he spoke:
"This yere lady has wanted me to say something tuh yuh about her husband dyin'. As far as I kin understand, that part is all right. That's what he done. He's dead, all right; there ain't no mistake about that. Wot I'm askin' yuh is: Was he a man? Was he good for anything? Wot did he do when he wasn't workin'? Was he a low, mean cuss, always goin' round with bums?"
"How do I know?" asked the fireman, in an aggrieved tone. "Ouch! Say, leggo my arm!"
Cassidy's grip tightened. The fireman groaned dismally and subsided.
"Judgin' from wot I kin see, I should say he was! I mean he was good fer something. I should say he was surely a terrible weaver if he couldn't keep straight, hitched up alongside of the—the lamented widow. I don't think any feller could be much if he wasn't. Yuh see, pardner, he had all the chance in the world. He didn't need to be jay-hawkin' round, makin' eyes at every red-cheeked biscuit-shooter that fed him hot cakes. He had a nice ranch and a good wife. A feller that couldn't be grateful tuh a woman that's treated him as good as she has to-day, and hauled him clear from Willow Springs tuh git a Christian burial, and stood around fer him in a hot sun—well, he couldn't be no account at all!"
Cassidy paused and spat. "That's the way I look at it. And," thwarting the restive fireman by a startlingly painful grip on the fleshy part of his arm, "any feller that ain't got as good a wife—any feller that ain't got any, and lays round drinkin', and foolin' his money away on the 'double O,' and sittin' in tuh stud games with permiskus strangers, and gettin' ready tuh be a hobo—all I kin say is, he'd better brace up and try tuh deserve one. A feller that ain't got a wife is a no-account loafer and bum, and he ought tuh git kicked! This man had one, but he went and left her. Even then he done better than yuh done! That's all."
"Kin I go now?" queried the fireman smartly.
"Yuh kin!" responded Cassidy, malevolently, "but I'll see yuh later, young feller. I ain't overfond of yuh." And he turned away to cover the coffin with sand, digging it up laboriously and scattering it here and there with a piece of board.
"That was a mighty nice talk yuh gave the fireman," remarked the woman, during an interval in their labors. "I feel a lot better now. Mebbe the fireman will get married now and brace up. Was he really doing all those things yuh said?"
"Some feller was," answered Cassidy. "I heard about it."
"And now," announced the widow, "we'll just make him a good head-board and stop there. Edgard might have been a good husband, but he didn't try overhard. Have yuh got anything written?"
"I ain't got anything but this yere old location notice," ventured Cassidy doubtfully. "I guess, though, I'll just stake out Edgard, the same as a claim. Then it'll be regular, and there won't nobody touch him. Of course we won't put up any side centers or corner posts; jest a sort of discovery monument. He'll be safe for three months, all right."
And so Cassidy, with the nub of a pencil, and using his knee as a writing-desk, duly, and in the manner set forth in the laws of the United States, discovered and located Edgard Gentry, age thirty-five, died of consumption, extending fifteen hundred feet in a northerly and southerly direction and three hundred feet on either side, together with all his dips, spurs, and angles.
"Yuh write a nice hand," murmured the widow pensively, sitting down in the sand beside him and unwittingly breathing on his neck as he wrote. "Did yuh go tuh school, Mister Cassidy?"
"Yessum," was the confused answer. "Leastways, part of the time."
The widow surveyed him with a dreamy look in her fine eyes and pulled thoughtfully at her full lower lip.
"You're a big man," she remarked. "How much do you weigh?"
"Over two hundred," answered Cassidy consciously.
"And yuh haven't got any home?"—innocently.
"What were yuh doing tuh that poor old man to-day?"
The sudden irrelevance of the question startled Cassidy immeasurably.
"Wot? That little old Arkinsaw man? Oh—nothin'. Did yuh see me talkin' tuh him?"
"I did," said the woman; "and I also saw yuh poking him up the street with a big stick. Do yuh think that was a nice thing for a strong young man like yuh?"
"I was—I was just advisin' him," explained Cassidy thickly. "I——"
"What were yuh hurtin' that old man for?" was the forceful interruption. "Did he ever hurt yuh any?"
"Hurt me? Old Arkinsaw? No, ma'am; not tuh my knowledge. But——"
"Never mind that," said the woman stonily though the big, strong eyes had a favorable light in their depths. "Yuh tell me why yuh were sticking him in the back."
"Well—he wanted a drink—that's why," Cassidy mumbled.
"Oh!" remarked the woman, with withering comprehension. "And so, because he was tired and thirsty and wanted a drink, yuh poked him. I see."
Cassidy grew desperate. "I'm afraid, ma'am, yuh don't rightly understand," he undertook to explain.
"Yes, I do," replied the woman hotly, and burned him with her eyes. Then she turned her back on him, which hurt him a great deal more.
Cassidy groaned aloud.
"I believe you're a bully," goaded the little woman, and showed an attractive, mutinous profile over her shoulder. "Do yuh bully women, too?"
Cassidy did not answer at once. When he did, it was in a low, rather lifeless voice: "No'm; I don't bother the women-folks much."
"There, there, now," soothed the woman, quickly turning to him and putting her hand on his shoulder with a motherly gesture. "Don't go tuh feelin' bad. Don't yuh s'pose I knew all the time why yuh did it? I was glad, too. Just yuh lay down there in the sand and get rested, and tell me all about it."
And so Cassidy, stretched full length, with his face half hidden in his arm, mumbled fragmentarily—and told. After it was finished, after all his misdeeds had been related, and counted over, one by one, he ventured to look up.
The woman's face was grave, but she was smiling. She laid her hand gently on his cheek and turned his eyes to hers.
"But you've quit now?" she stated.
"I've quit," answered Cassidy honestly.
"Well, then, it'll be all right. I reckon it's time for me to be going now. Yuh better drive me home."
* * * * *
The road to Willow Springs lay straight across the mesa. Here and there, in the yellow expanse of sand, were patches of green mesquit, where some underground flow came near enough to the surface to slake their thirsty roots. Elsewhere the sand shifted noiselessly across the plain, under the touch of the wind, which fashioned innumerable oddly shaped hummocks, and then gently purred them away again, to heap on others.
After they had driven silently for some time, the woman spoke: "There's a man standing in that clump of cat's-claw ahead. Did yuh see him?"
Cassidy thoughtfully eased up the perspiring team. "I know him," he answered, although apparently he had not raised his eyes above the dash-board for a long time. "Name is Tommy."
"Well, what's Tommy hidin' in those bushes for?" demanded the woman.
"A feller broke into Number One Commissary last night."
"Did Tommy do it?"
"No, ma'am—not this time. His partner done it and skipped out."
"Does Jake think Tommy did it?"
"Yes, ma'am. I see Jake hitchin' up tuh go after him when we started out."
There was little said after that until they came abreast of the cat's-claw near the road. Cassidy pulled up.
"Say, Tommy! Oh, yuh Tommy!" he called persuasively at the silent bushes. "Come, git in here. This lady wants yuh."
"I guess Jake's a-comin'," replied Tommy, poking his head into view from his thorny retreat.
"I guess he is," said Cassidy, and looked over his shoulder at a rapidly approaching pillar of dust. "It's a good thing the county pays for his horse-flesh." There was a pause. "I reckon you'd better hurry some, Tommy," drawled Cassidy.
"Don't stand there imperiling your life, tryin' tuh guess who I am," said the widow abruptly. "Get right in here and cover up with alfalfa and them horse-blankets, and lie quiet. I want yuh."
"What for?" queried Tommy, as he clambered in, being a young man of devious thought.
"For a witness!" said Sarah Gentry unfathomably—for Tommy.
Cassidy looked puzzled for a moment. Then a slow wave of red crept over his face and crimsoned his ears. He started his horses again to cover his confusion.
The woman let him think for a moment; then her eyes drew his own startled orbs around and enveloped them in a soft light.
"Yuh know what I mean, Mister Cassidy?"
"Well—shall we?" shyly.
"Yes, ma'am," answered Cassidy, and blushed incontinently.
Behind them a light buggy was being driven over the desert at a furious pace. As it came nearer, the two in the ranch-wagon, with its confused huddle of horse-blankets and hay, beneath which lay the trustful Tommy, could hear the shock of the springs as it bumped from one chuck-hole to another; but they did not turn their heads.
"Hello, there, Cass!" shouted the sheriff genially, as he pulled down alongside of them. "How'do, Mis' Gentry! Pretty hot travelin', ain't it?"
"I s'pose it is—being July," the little woman replied, with the first trace of confusion that Cassidy had seen. "I—I hadn't been noticing lately."
"I'm in a terrible hurry," the sheriff continued rapidly. "Some are sayin' young Tommy Ivison come this way, and I want him. I hate tuh give yuh my dust. Whoa, Dick! Whoa, Pet!" He pulled in his fretting team with a heavy hand. "I've got tuh get him before he crosses the California line, so I got tuh fan right along. Gid-ap, there!"
"Wait a minute, Jake."
"Can't do it, Mis' Gentry. If he's more than a couple of miles ahead, I can't ketch him. What is it I can do for you?"
"Yuh kin marry us two!" said the little woman, with a gulp.
"Marry yuh?" roared the sheriff. "Can't do it, ma'am—not even for a friend. Awful sorry, Mis' Gentry, but I've just got tuh go." He jerked the whip from its socket for a merciless slash.
"Jake!" said the little woman commandingly.
"Ma'am?" said the sheriff in an uncertain tone.
"Yuh heard what I said?"
"Yes, ma'am; but it ain't regular at all. I ain't no justice of the peace; I ain't got power enough; I ain't got anything—Bible, nor statutes, nor nothing. I couldn't take no fee, either; it wouldn't be right. By Golly!" he exclaimed excitedly, "I bet that's him, up ahead, right now!" and he struck his horses.
"Whip up!" said the woman to Cassidy, and she stood up in the wagon and held on by the rocking top.
"Jake Bowerman!" she called across the erratic width that separated the rapidly moving vehicles, "if you've got power enough tuh 'rest people and keep 'em in jail for the rest of their lives, marryin' ain't much worse, and yuh kin do it if yuh try!"
"Yuh ain't got any witness, Mis' Gentry!" bellowed the confused Jake, as a last resort, and touched his horses again. Cassidy let out another notch, and kept even. The wagons were swaying jerkily from side to side.
"Yes, I have!" snapped the woman. "Now, yuh hurry up!"
"Better stand up, Mister Cassidy," she whispered; "we've got tuh be real quick!"
"It don't seem hardly regular!" yelled the discomfited sheriff, skilfully avoiding a dangerous hummock and crashing through a mesquit-bush which whipped away his hat. "I'll—I'll do it for yuh, Mis' Gentry. I'll marry yuh as tight as I kin; but I can't stop drivin' for that, and I've forgot a whole lot how it goes. Are yuh all ready?"
The desert had changed from its soft, yielding sand to a brown, flat floor of small stones and volcanic dust, fairly hard and unrutted. Pulling in dangerously close, the sheriff shifted his reins to one hand and faced them. The two wagons were racing neck and neck in a cloud of dust, Cassidy handling his lines with skill and growing satisfaction. From the body of the wagon under him, and quite distinguishable from the clatter of the horses' feet, came a series of sharp bumps as the unfortunate Tommy ricochetted from side to side.
"Do yuh believe in the Constitution of the United States?" bellowed Jake.
"We do!" pealed the woman.
"Do yuh—whoa, there, Pet! Goll darn your hide!—do yuh solemnly swear never tuh fight no duels?"
"What's that?" screamed the woman.
"He said a 'duel'!" shouted Cassidy in her ear, above the uproar of the wheels. "Tell him no! We won't fight many duels!"
"No! No duels!" sang the woman.
"And no aidin' or abettin'?"
"No! No bettin' at all!"
"Nor have any connection with any duels whatsoever?"
The widow looked puzzled. She didn't understand. What had duels to do with solemn marriage?
"It's all in the statutes, all right!" roared the sheriff angrily, as vast portions of the laws of Nevada fled from his agitated mind.
"Mebbe you're both grand jurors now; I dunno. I think that's the oath. I reckon it's good and bindin', anyhow." He stood up in his buggy and shook the reins furiously over his horses' backs to escape from further legal entanglements. Leaning back over the folded top, he pointed at them magisterially with his whip.
"And now, by the grace of God and me, Jake Bowerman, I hereby pronounce yuh man and wife!"
With a roar of wheels, bad language, and a cloud of dust, the sheriff vanished in pursuit of the California line and the fleet-footed Tommy.
Cassidy pulled his horses into a much-needed walk. The little woman sat down and felt for her bonnet.
"My!" gasped Mrs. Cassidy, "that was going some! Do yuh reckon we're really married?"
The team, unheeded, had swung off from the desert into a road made in damper, richer soil. Not far ahead, now, the dark foliage of the Willow Spring ranch rose in cool relief against the grim, sun-reddened buttes beyond. Their passenger had some time since dropped quietly off and was walking ahead of the plodding horses.
As Cassidy looked forward at the quiet fields, and the ranch, and the spring, in the half-circle of willows where the cattle drank, now gradually dimming in the soft twilight, and then, with an involuntary turn, at the God-forgotten waste behind him, something melted in his breast; something cleared up his mind, and wiped it free of his thoughtless appetites and sins, and made him a strong, clean-hearted man again. He turned to the now quiet, pensive little woman at his side. He found her looking up at him with trustful, softly shining, all-enveloping eyes.
"I hope we're married!" said Cassidy gravely. "I reckon we are. Jake was always a mighty brave man, and what he does, he does so it sticks. But even if we ain't married good enough fer some folks, it's good enough fer me, for all time. I won't run away, ma'am. No, ma'am—not ever!"
"I know!" said the little woman happily. "I know!"
MARY BAKER G. EDDY
THE STORY OF HER LIFE AND THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
BY GEORGINE MILMINE
TRAINING THE VINE—A STUDY IN MRS. EDDY'S PREROGATIVES AND POWERS
A Lady with a Lamp shall stand In the great history of the land Motto upon the cover of the "Christian Science Sentinel"
At the June communion of the Mother Church, 1895, a telegram from Mrs. Eddy was read aloud to the congregation, in which she invited all members who desired to do so to call upon her at Pleasant View on the following day. Accordingly, one hundred and eighty Christian Scientists boarded the train at Boston and went up to Concord. Mrs. Eddy threw her house open to them, received them in person, shook hands with each delegate, and conversed with many. This was the beginning of the Concord "pilgrimages" which later became so conspicuous.
After the communion in 1897, twenty-five hundred enthusiastic pilgrims crowded into the little New Hampshire capital. Although the Scientists hired every available conveyance in Concord, there were not nearly enough carriages to accommodate their numbers, so hundreds of the pilgrims made their joyful progress on foot out Pleasant Street to Mrs. Eddy's home.
Mrs. Eddy again received her votaries, greeted them cordially, and made a rather lengthy address. The Journal says that her manner upon this occasion was peculiar for its "utter freedom from sensationalism or the Mesmeric effect that so many speakers seem to exert," and adds that she was "calm and unimpassioned, but strong and convincing." The Journal also states that upon this occasion Mrs. Eddy wore "a royal purple silk dress covered with black lace" and a "dainty bonnet." She wore her diamond cross and the badge of the Daughters of the Revolution in diamonds and rubies.
In 1901 three thousand of the June communicants went from Boston to Concord on three special trains. They were not admitted to the house, but Mrs. Eddy appeared upon her balcony for a moment and spoke to them, saying that they had already heard from her in her message to the Mother Church, and that she would pause but a moment to look into their dear faces and then return to her "studio." The Journal comments upon her "erect form and sprightly step," and says that she wore "what might have been silk or satin, figured, and cut en traine. Upon her white hair rested a bonnet with fluttering blue and old gold trimmings."
The last of these pilgrimages occurred in 1904, when Mrs. Eddy did not invite the pilgrims to come to Pleasant View but asked them to assemble at the new Christian Science church in Concord. Fifteen hundred of them gathered in front of the church and stood in reverent silence as Mrs. Eddy's carriage approached. The horses were stopped in front of the assemblage, and Mrs. Eddy signaled the President of the Mother Church to approach her carriage. To him, as representing the church body, she spoke her greeting.
The yearning which these people felt toward Mrs. Eddy, and their rapture at beholding her, can only be described by one of the pilgrims. In the Journal, June, 1899, Miss Martha Sutton Thompson writes to describe a visit which she made in January of that year to the meeting of the Christian Science Board of Education in Boston. She says:
"When I decided to attend I also hoped to see our Mother.... I saw that if I allowed the thought that I must see her personally to transcend the desire to obey and grow into the likeness of her teachings, this mistake would obscure my understanding of both the Revelator and the Revelation. After the members of the Board had retired they reappeared upon the rostrum and my heart beat quickly with the thought 'Perhaps she has come.' But no, it was to read her message.... She said God was with us and to give her love to all the class. It was so precious to get it directly from her.
"The following day five of us made the journey to Concord, drove out to Pleasant View, and met her face to face on her daily drive. She seemed watching to greet us, for when she caught sight of our faces she instantly half rose with expectant face, bowing, smiling, and waving her hand to each of us. Then as she went out of our sight, kissed her hand to all.
"I will not attempt to describe the Leader, nor can I say what this brief glimpse was and is to me. I can only say I wept and the tears start every time I think of it. Why do I weep? I think it is because I want to be like her and they are tears of repentance. I realize better now what it was that made Mary Magdalen weep when she came into the presence of the Nazarene."
Mrs. Eddy's Last Class
After the pilgrimages were discouraged, there was no possible way in which these devoted disciples could ever see Mrs. Eddy. They used, indeed, like Miss Thompson, to go to Concord and linger about the highways to catch a glimpse of her as she drove by, until she rebuked them in a new by-law in the Church Manual: "Thou Shalt not Steal. Sect. 15. Neither a Christian Scientist, his student or his patient, nor a member of the Mother Church shall daily and continuously haunt Mrs. Eddy's drive by meeting her once or more every day when she goes out—on penalty of being disciplined and dealt with justly by her church," etc.
Mrs. Eddy did her last public teaching in the Christian Science Hall in Concord, November 21 and 22, 1898. There were sixty-one persons in this class,—several from Canada, one from England, and one from Scotland,—and Mrs. Eddy refused to accept any remuneration for her instruction. The first lesson lasted about two hours, the second nearly four. "Only two lessons," says the Journal, "but such lessons! Only those who have sat under this wondrous teaching can form a conjecture of what these classes were." "We mention," the Journal continues, "a sweet incident and one which deeply touched the Mother's heart. Upon her return from class she found beside her plate at dinner table a lovely white rose with the card of a young lady student accompanying on which she chastely referred to the last couplet of the fourth stanza of that sweet poem from the Mother's pen, 'Love.'
"Thou to whose power our hope we give Free us from human strife. Fed by Thy love divine we live For Love alone is Life," etc.
Mrs. Eddy and the Press
Mrs. Eddy now achieved publicity in a good many ways, and to such publications as afforded her space and appreciation she was able to grant reciprocal favors. The Granite Monthly, a little magazine published at Concord, New Hampshire, printed Mrs. Eddy's poem "Easter Morn" and a highly laudatory article upon her. Mrs. Eddy then came out in the Christian Science Journal with a request that all Christian Scientists subscribe to the Granite Monthly, which they promptly did. Colonel Oliver C. Sabin, an astute politician in Washington, D.C., was editor of a purely political publication, the Washington News Letter. A Congressman one day attacked Christian Science in a speech. Colonel Sabin, whose paper was just then making things unpleasant for that particular Congressman, wrote an editorial in defense of Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy inserted a card in the Journal requesting all Christian Scientists to subscribe to the News Letter. This brought Colonel Sabin such a revenue that he dropped politics altogether and his political sheet became a religious periodical. Mr. James T. White, publisher of the National Encyclopaedia of American Biography, gave Mrs. Eddy a generous place in his encyclopedia and wrote a poem to her. Mrs. Eddy requested, through the Journal, that all Christian Scientists buy Mr. White's volume of verse for Christmas presents, and the Christian Science Publication Society marketed Mr. White's verses. Mrs. Eddy made a point of being on good terms with the Concord papers; she furnished them with many columns of copy, and the editors realized that her presence in Concord brought a great deal of money into the town. From 1898 to 1901 the files of the Journal echo increasing material prosperity, and show that both Mrs. Eddy and her church were much more taken account of than formerly. Articles by Mrs. Eddy are quoted from various newspapers whose editors had requested her to express her views upon the war with Spain, the Puritan Thanksgiving, etc.
In the autumn of 1901 Mrs. Eddy wrote an article on the death of President McKinley. Commenting upon this article, Harper's Weekly said: "Among others who have spoken [on President McKinley's death] was Mrs. Eddy, the Mother of Christian Science. She issued two utterances which were read in her churches.... Both of these discourses are seemly and kind, but they are materially different from the writings of any one else. Reciting the praises of the dead President, Mrs. Eddy says: 'May his history waken a tone of truth that shall reverberate, renew euphony, emphasize human power and bear its banner into the vast forever.' No one else said anything like that. Mother Eddy's style is a personal asset. Her sentences usually have the considerable literary merit of being unexpected."
Of this editorial the Journal says, with a candor almost incredible: "We take pleasure in republishing from that old-established and valuable publication Harper's Weekly, the following merited tribute to Mrs. Eddy's utterances," etc. Then follows the editorial quoted above.
In the winter of 1898 Christian Science was given great publicity through the death, under Christian Science treatment, of the American journalist and novelist, Harold Frederic, in England. Mr. Frederic's readers were not, as a rule, people who knew much about Christian Science, and his taking off brought the new cult to the attention of thousands of people for the first time.
Mrs. Eddy and the Peerage
In December, 1898, the Earl of Dunmore, a peer of the Scottish Realm, and his Countess, came to Boston to study Christian Science. They were received by Mrs. Eddy at Pleasant View, and Lady Dunmore was present at the June communion, 1899. According to the Journal, Lady Dunmore's son, Lord Fincastle, left his regiment in India and came to Boston to join his mother in this service, and then returned immediately to his military duties. Lady Mildred Murray, daughter of the Countess, also came to America to attend the annual communion. A pew was reserved upon the first floor of the church for this titled family, although the Journal explains that "the reservation of a pew for the Countess of Dunmore and her family was wholly a matter of international courtesy, and not in any sense a tribute to their rank."
Lord Dunmore, at one of the Wednesday evening meetings, discussed the possibilities of a "Christianly-Scientific Alliance of the two Anglo-Saxon peoples." Even after his departure to England, Lord Dunmore continued to contribute very characteristic Christian Science poetry to the Journal. He paid a visit to Mrs. Eddy only a few months before his death in the summer of 1907.
In 1904 the Earl was present at the convention of the Christian Science Teachers' Association in London, and sent Mrs. Eddy the following cablegram:
"London, Nov. 28, 1904.
"REV. MARY BAKER EDDY, "Pleasant View, Concord, N. H.
"Members of Teachers' Association, London, send much love, and are striving, by doing better, to help you.
To this Mrs. Eddy gallantly replied:
"Concord, N. H., November 29, 1904.
"EARL OF DUNMORE, AND TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION, London, G. B.
"Increasing gratitude and love for your lordly help and that of your Association.
"MARY BAKER EDDY."
In these prosperous years the Reverend Irving C. Tomlinson, in commenting in the Journal upon Brander Matthews' statement that English seemed destined to become the world-language, says: "It may be that Prof. Matthews has written better than he knew. Science and Health is fast reaching all parts of the world; and as our text book may never be translated into a foreign tongue, may it not be expected to fulfill the prophet's hope, 'Then will I turn to the people a pure language,'" etc.
In January, 1901, Mrs. Eddy called her directors together in solemn conclave, and charged them to send expressions of sympathy to the British government and to King Edward upon the death of the Queen.
Truly the days of the Lynn shoemakers and the little Broad Street tenement were far gone by, and it must have seemed to Mrs. Eddy that she was living in one of those New York Ledger romances which had so delighted her in those humbler times. Even a less spirited woman than she would have expanded under all this notoriety, and Mrs. Eddy, as always, caught the spirit of the play. A letter written to her son, George Glover, April 27, 1898, conveys some idea of how Mrs. Eddy appeared to herself at this time:
Pleasant View, Concord, N. H., April 27, 1898.
DEAR SON: Yours of latest date came duly. That which you cannot write I understand, and will say, I am reported as dying, wholly decriped and useless, etc. Now one of these reports is just as true as the others are. My life is as pure as that of the angels. God has lifted me up to my work, and if it was not pure it would not bring forth good fruits. The Bible says the tree is known by its fruit.
But I need not say this to a Christian Scientist, who knows it. I thank you for any interest you may feel in your mother. I am alone in the world, more lone than a solitary star. Although it is duly estimated by business characters and learned scholars that I lead and am obeyed by 300,000 people at this date. The most distinguished newspapers ask me to write on the most important subjects. Lords and ladies, earles, princes and marquises and marchionesses from abroad write to me in the most complimentary manner. Hoke Smith declares I am the most illustrious woman on the continent—those are his exact words. Our senators and members of Congress call on me for counsel. But what of all this? I am not made the least proud by it or a particle happier for it. I am working for a higher purpose.
Now what of my circumstances? I name first my home, which of all places on earth is the one in which to find peace and enjoyment. But my home is simply a house and a beautiful landscape. There is not one in it that I love only as I love everybody. I have no congeniality with my help inside of my house; they are no companions and scarcely fit to be my help.
I adopted a son hoping he would take Mr. Frye's place as my book-keeper and man of all work that belongs to man. But my trial of him has proved another disappointment. His books could not be audited they were so incorrect, etc., etc. Mr. Frye is the most disagreeable man that can be found, but this he is, namely, (if there is one on earth) an honest man, as all will tell you who deal with him. At first mesmerism swayed him, but he learned through my forbearance to govern himself. He is a man that would not steal, commit adultery, or fornication, or break one of the Ten Commandments. I have now done, but I could write a volume on what I have touched upon.
One thing is the severest wound of all, namely, the want of education among those nearest to me in kin. I would gladly give every dollar I possess to have one or two and three that are nearest to me on earth possess a thorough education. If you had been educated as I intend to have you, today you could, would, be made President of the United States. Mary's letters to me are so misspelled that I blush to read them.
You pronounce your words so wrongly and then she spells them accordingly. I am even yet too proud to have you come among my society and alas! mispronounce your words as you do; but for this thing I should be honored by your good manners and I love you. With love to all
MARY BAKER EDDY.
P.S.—My letter is so short I add a postscript. I have tried about one dozen bookkeepers and had to give them all up, either for dishonesty or incapacity. I have not had my books audited for five years, and Mr. Ladd, who is famous for this, audited them last week, and gives me his certificate that they are all right except in some places not quite plain, and he showed Frye how to correct that. Then he, Frye gave me a check for that amount before I knew about it.
The slight mistake occurred four years ago and he could not remember about the things. But Mr. Ladd told me that he knew it was only not set down in a coherent way for in other parts of the book he could trace where it was put down in all probability, but not orderly. When I can get a Christian, as I know he is, and a woman that can fill his place I shall do it. But I have no time to receive company, to call on others, or to go out of my house only to drive. Am always driven with work for others, but nobody to help me even to get help such as I would choose.
While Mrs. Eddy was working out her larger policy she never forgot the little things. The manufacture of Christian Science jewelry was at one time a thriving business, conducted by the J. C. Derby Company, of Concord. Christian Science emblems and Mrs. Eddy's "favorite flower" were made up into cuff-buttons, rings, brooches, watches, and pendants, varying in price from $325 to $2.50. The sale of the Christian Science teaspoons was especially profitable. The "Mother spoon," an ordinary silver spoon, sold for $5.00. Mrs. Eddy's portrait was embossed upon it, a picture of Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy's signature, and the motto, "Not Matter but Mind Satisfieth." Mrs. Eddy stimulated the sale of this spoon by inserting the following request in the Journal:
"On each of these most beautiful spoons is a motto in bas relief that every person on earth needs to hold in thought. Mother requests that Christian Scientists shall not ask to be informed what this motto is, but each Scientist shall purchase at least one spoon, and those who can afford it, one dozen spoons, that their families may read this motto at every meal, and their guests be made partakers of its simple truth."
"MARY BAKER G. EDDY.
"The above-named spoons are sold by the Christian Science Souvenir Company, Concord, N. H., and will soon be on sale at the Christian Science reading rooms throughout the country."
Mrs. Eddy's picture was another fruitful source of revenue. The copyright for this is still owned by the Derby Company. This portrait is known as the "authorized" photograph of Mrs. Eddy. It was sold for years as a genuine photograph of Mrs. Eddy, but it is admitted now at Christian Science sales-rooms that this picture is a "composite." The cheapest sells for one dollar. When they were ready for sale, in May, 1899, Mrs. Eddy, in the Journal of that date, announced:
"It is with pleasure I certify that after months of incessant toil and at great expense Mr. Henry P. Moore, and Mr. J. C. Derby of Concord, N. H., have brought out a likeness of me far superior to the one they offered for sale last November. The portrait they have now perfected I cordially endorse. Also I declare their sole right to the making and exclusive sale of the duplicates of said portrait.
"I simply ask that those who love me purchase this portrait.
"MARY BAKER EDDY."
The material prosperity of the Mother Church continued and the congregation soon outgrew the original building. At the June communion in 1902 ten thousand Christian Scientists were present. In the business meeting which followed they pledged themselves, "with startling grace," as Mrs. Eddy put it, to raise two million dollars, or any part of that sum which should be needed, to build an annex.
In the late spring of 1906 the enormous addition to the Mother Church—the "excelsior extension," as Mrs. Eddy calls it—was completed, and it was dedicated at the annual communion, June 10, of that year. The original building was in the form of a cross, so Mrs. Eddy had the new addition built with a dome to represent a crown—a combination which is happier in its symbolism than in its architectural results. The auditorium is capable of holding five thousand people; the walls are decorated with texts signed "Jesus, the Christ" and "Mary Baker G. Eddy"—these names standing side by side.
According to the belief of Mrs. Eddy's followers, every signal victory of Christian Science is apt to beget "chemicalization"; that is, it stirs up "error" and "mortal mind"—which terms include everything that is hostile to Christian Science—and makes them ugly and revengeful. The forces of evil—that curious, non-existent evil which, in spite of its nihility, makes Mrs. Eddy so much trouble—were naturally aroused by the dedication of the great church building in 1906, and within a year Mrs. Eddy's son brought a suit in equity which caused her annoyance and anxiety.
Suit Brought by Mrs. Eddy's Son
Among the mistakes of Mrs. Eddy's early life must certainly be accounted her indifference to her only child, George Washington Glover. Mrs. Eddy's first husband died six months after their marriage, and the son was not born until three months after his father's death—a circumstance which, it would seem, might have peculiarly endeared him to his mother. When he was a baby, living with Mrs. Glover in his aunt's house, his mother's indifference to him was such as to cause comment in her family and indignation on the part of her father, Mark Baker. The symptoms of serious nervous disorder so conspicuous in Mrs. Eddy's young womanhood—the exaggerated hysteria, the anaesthesia, the mania for being rocked and swung—are sometimes accompanied by a lack of maternal feeling, and the absence of it in Mrs. Eddy must be considered, like her lack of the sense of smell, a defect of constitution rather than a vice of character.
Mrs. Eddy has stated that she sent her child away because her second husband, Dr. Patterson, would not permit her to keep George with her. But although Mrs. Eddy was not married to Dr. Patterson until 1853, in 1851 she sent the child to live with Mrs. Russell Cheney, a woman who had attended Mrs. Eddy at the boy's birth. George lived with the Cheneys at North Groton, New Hampshire, from the time he was seven years old until he was thirteen. During the greater part of this time his mother, then Mrs. Patterson, was living in the same town. When George was thirteen the Cheneys moved to Enterprise, Minnesota, and took him with them. Mrs. Eddy did not see her son again for twenty-three years. She wrote some verses about him, but certainly made no effort to go to him, or to have him come to her. On the whole, her separation from him seems to have caused her no real distress. The boy received absolutely no education, and he was kept hard at work in the fields until he ran away and joined the army, in which he served with an excellent record.
After he went West with the Cheneys in 1857, George Glover did not see his mother again until 1879. He was then living in Minnesota, a man of thirty-five, when he received a telegram from Mrs. Eddy, dated from Lynn, and asking him to meet her immediately in Cincinnati. This was the time when Mrs. Eddy believed that mesmerism was overwhelming her in Lynn; that every stranger she met in the streets, and even inanimate objects, were hostile to her, and that she must "flee" from the hypnotists (Kennedy and Spofford) to save her cause and her life. Unable to find any trace of his mother in Cincinnati, George Glover telegraphed to the Chief of Police in Lynn. Some days later he received another telegram from his mother, directing him to meet her in Boston. He went to Boston, and found that Mrs. Eddy and her husband, Asa G. Eddy, had left Lynn for a time and were staying in Boston at the house of Mrs. Clara Choate. Glover remained in Boston for some time and then returned to his home in the West.
George Glover's longest stay in Boston was in 1888, when he brought his family and spent the winter in Chelsea. His relations with his mother were then of a friendly but very formal nature. In the autumn, when he first proposed going to Boston, his plan was to spend a few months with his mother. Mrs. Eddy, however, wrote him that she had no room for him in her house and positively forbade him to come. Mrs. Eddy's letter reads as follows:
Massachusetts Metaphysical College. Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy, President. No. 571 Columbus ave. Boston, Oct. 31, 1887
DEAR GEORGE: Yours received. I am surprised that you think of coming to visit me when I live in a schoolhouse and have no room that I can let even a boarder into.
I use the whole of my rooms and am at work in them more or less all the time.
Besides this I have all I can meet without receiving company. I must have quiet in my house, and it will not be pleasant for you in Boston the Choates are doing all they can by falsehood, and public shames, such as advertising a college of her own within a few doors of mine when she is a disgraceful woman and known to be. I am going to give up my lease when this class is over, and cannot pay your board nor give you a single dollar now. I am alone, and you never would come to me when I called for you, and now I cannot have you come.
I want quiet and Christian life alone with God, when I can find intervals for a little rest. You are not what I had hoped to find you, and I am changed. The world, the flesh and evil I am at war with, and if any one comes to me it must be to help me and not to hinder me in this warfare. If you will stay away from me until I get through with my public labor then I will send for you and hope to then have a home to take you to.
As it now is, I have none, and you will injure me by coming to Boston at this time more than I have room to state in a letter. I asked you to come to me when my husband died and I so much needed some one to help me. You refused to come then in my great need, and I then gave up ever thinking of you in that line. Now I have a clerk who is a pure-minded Christian, and two girls to assist me in the college. These are all that I can have under this roof.
If you come after getting this letter I shall feel you have no regard for my interest or feelings, which I hope not to be obliged to feel.
Boston is the last place in the world for you or your family. When I retire from business and into private life, then I can receive you if you are reformed, but not otherwise. I say this to you, not to any one else. I would not injure you any more than myself. As ever sincerely,
M. B. G. EDDY.
After Mrs. Eddy retired to Pleasant View, neither her son nor his family were permitted to visit her, and, when they came East, they experienced a good deal of difficulty in seeing her at all. Mr. Glover believed that his letters to his mother were sometimes answered by Mr. Frye, and that some of his letters never reached his mother at all. Mr. Glover states that he finally sent his mother a letter by express, with instructions to the Concord agent that it was to be delivered to her in person, and to no one else. He was notified that Mrs. Eddy could not receive the letter except through her secretary, Calvin Frye.
January 2, 1907, Mr. Glover and his daughter, Mary Baker Glover, were permitted a brief interview with Mrs. Eddy at Pleasant View. Mr. Glover states that he was shocked at his mother's physical condition and alarmed by the rambling, incoherent nature of her conversation. In talking to him she made the old charges and the old complaints: "people" had been stealing her "things" (as she used to say they did in Lynn); people wanted to kill her; two carriage horses had been presented to her which, had she driven behind them, would have run away and injured her—they had been sent, she thought, for that especial purpose.
After this interview Mr. Glover and his daughter went to Washington, D. C., to ask legal advice from Ex-Senator William E. Chandler. While there Mr. Glover received the following letter from his mother:
Pleasant View, Concord, N. H., Jan. 11, 1907.
MY DEAR SON: The enemy to Christian Science is by the wickedest powers of hypnotism trying to do me all the harm possible by acting on the minds of people to make them lie about me and my family. In view of all this I herein and hereby ask this favor of you. I have done for you what I could, and never to my recollection have I asked but once before this a favor of my only child. Will you send to me by express all the letters of mine that I have written to you? This will be a great comfort to your mother if you do it. Send all—ALL of them. Be sure of that. If you will do this for me I will make you and Mary some presents of value, I assure you. Let no one but Mary and your lawyer, Mr. Wilson, know what I herein write to Mary and you. With love.
Mother, M. B. G. Eddy.
Mr. Glover refused to give up his letters, and on March 1, 1907, he began, by himself and others as next friends, an action in Mrs. Eddy's behalf against some ten prominent Christian Scientists, among whom were Calvin Frye, Alfred Farlow, and the officers of the Mother Church in Boston. This action was brought in the Superior Court of New Hampshire. Mr. Glover asked for an adjudication that Mrs. Eddy was incompetent, through age and failing faculties, to manage her estate; that a receiver of her property be appointed; and that the various defendants named be required to account for alleged misuse of her property. Six days later Mrs. Eddy met this action by declaring a trusteeship for the control of her estate. The trustees named were responsible men, gave bond for $500,000, and their trusteeship was to last during Mrs. Eddy's lifetime. In August Mr. Glover withdrew his suit.
This action brought by her son, which undoubtedly caused Mrs. Eddy a great deal of annoyance, was but another result of those indirect methods to which she has always clung so stubbornly. When her son appealed to her for financial aid, she chose, instead of meeting him with a candid refusal, to tell him that she was not allowed to use her own money as she wished, that Mr. Frye made her account for every penny, etc., etc. Mr. Glover made the mistake of taking his mother at her word. He brought his suit upon the supposition that his mother was the victim of designing persons who controlled her affairs—without consulting her, against her wish, and to their own advantage—a hypothesis which his attorneys entirely failed to establish.
This lawsuit disclosed one interesting fact, namely, that while in 1893 securities of Mrs. Eddy amounting to $100,000 were brought to Concord, and in January, 1899, she had $236,200, and while in 1907 she had about a million dollars' worth of taxable property, Mrs. Eddy in 1901 returned a signed statement to the assessors at Concord that the value of her taxable property amounted to about nineteen thousand dollars. This statement was sworn to year after year by Mr. Frye.
Mrs. Eddy's Removal to Newton
About a month after Mr. Glover's suit was withdrawn, Mrs. Eddy purchased, through Robert Walker, a Christian Scientist real-estate agent in Chicago, the old Lawrence mansion in Newton, a suburb of Boston. The house was remodeled and enlarged in great haste and at a cost which must almost have equaled the original purchase price, $100,000. All the arrangements were conducted with the greatest secrecy and very few Christian Scientists knew that it was Mrs. Eddy's intention to occupy this house until she was actually there in person.
On Sunday, January 26, 1908, at two o'clock in the afternoon, Mrs. Eddy, attended by nearly a score of her followers, boarded a special train at Concord. Extraordinary precautions were taken to prevent accidents. A pilot-engine preceded the locomotive which drew Mrs. Eddy's special train, and the train was followed by a third engine to prevent the possibility of a rear-end collision—a precaution never before adopted, even by the royal trains abroad. Dr. Alpheus B. Morrill, a second cousin of Mrs. Eddy and a practising physician of Concord, was of her party. Mrs. Eddy's face was heavily veiled when she took the train at Concord and when she alighted at Chestnut Hill station. Her carriage arrived at the Lawrence house late in the afternoon, and she was lifted out and carried into the house by one of her male attendants.
Mrs. Eddy's new residence is a fine old stone mansion which has been enlarged without injury to its original dignity. The grounds cover an area of about twelve acres and are well wooded. The house itself now contains about twenty-five rooms. There is an electric elevator adjoining Mrs. Eddy's private apartments. Two large vaults have been built into the house—doubtless designed as repositories for Mrs. Eddy's manuscripts. Since her arrival at Chestnut Hill, Mrs. Eddy, upon one of her daily drives, saw for the first time the new building which completes the Mother Church and which, like the original modest structure, is a memorial to her.
There are many reasons why Mrs. Eddy may have decided to leave Concord. But the extravagant haste with which her new residence was got ready for her—a body of several hundred laborers was kept busy upon it all day, and another shift, equally large, worked all night by the aid of arc-lights—would seem to suggest that even if practical considerations brought about Mrs. Eddy's change of residence, her extreme impatience may have resulted from a more personal motive. It is, indeed, very probable that Mrs. Eddy left Concord for the same reason that she left Boston years ago: because she felt that malicious animal magnetism was becoming too strong for her there. The action brought by her son in Concord last summer she attributed entirely to the work of mesmerists who were supposed to be in control of her son's mind. Mrs. Eddy always believed that this strange miasma of evil had a curious tendency to become localized: that certain streets, mail-boxes, telegraph-offices, vehicles, could be totally suborned by these invisible currents of hatred and ill-will that had their source in the minds of her enemies and continually encircled her. She believed that in this way an entire neighborhood could be made inimical to her, and it is quite possible that, after the recent litigation in Concord, she felt that the place had become saturated with mesmerism and that she would never again find peace there.
Mrs. Eddy at Eighty
The years since 1890 Mrs. Eddy has spent in training her church in the way she desires it to go, in making it more and more her own, and in issuing by-law after by-law to restrict her followers in their church privileges and to guide them in their daily walk. Mrs. Eddy, one must remember, was fifty years of age before she knew what she wanted to do; sixty when she bethought herself of the most effective way to do it,—by founding a church,—and seventy when she achieved her greatest triumph—the reorganization and personal control of the Mother Church. But she did not stop there. Between her seventieth and eightieth year, and even up to the present time, she has displayed remarkable ingenuity in disciplining her church and its leaders, and adroit resourcefulness and unflagging energy in the prosecution of her plans.
Mrs. Eddy's system of church government was not devised in a month or a year, but grew, by-law on by-law, to meet new emergencies and situations. To attain the end she desired it was necessary to keep fifty or sixty thousand people working as if the church were the first object in their lives; to encourage hundreds of these to adopt church-work as their profession and make it their only chance of worldly success; and yet to hold all this devotion and energy in absolute subservience to Mrs. Eddy herself and to prevent any one of these healers, or preachers, or teachers from attaining any marked personal prominence and from acquiring a personal following. In other words, the church was to have all the vigor of spontaneous growth, but was to grow only as Mrs. Eddy permitted and to confine itself to the trellis she had built for it.
Naturally, the first danger lay in the pastors of her branch churches. Mrs. Stetson and Laura Lathrop had built up strong churches in New York; Mrs. Ewing was pastor of a flourishing church in Chicago, Mrs. Leonard of another in Brooklyn, Mrs. Williams in Buffalo, Mrs. Steward in Toronto, Mr. Norcross in Denver. These pastors naturally became leaders among the Christian Scientists in their respective communities, and came to be regarded as persons authorized to expound "Science and Health" and the doctrines of Christian Science. Such a state of things Mrs. Eddy considered dangerous, not only because of the personal influence the pastor might acquire over his flock, but because a pastor might, even without intending to do so, give a personal color to his interpretation of her words. In his sermon he might expand her texts and infinitely improvise upon her themes until gradually his hearers accepted his own opinions for Mrs. Eddy's. The church in Toronto might come to emphasize doctrines which the church in Denver did not; here was a possible beginning of differing denominations.
So, as Mrs. Eddy splendidly puts it, "In 1895 I ordained the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, as the Pastor, on this planet, of all the churches of the Christian Science Denomination." That is what Mrs. Eddy actually did. In the Journal of April, 1895, she announced, without any previous warning to them, that her preachers should never preach again; that there were to be no more preachers; that each church should have instead a First and a Second Reader, and that the Sunday sermon was to consist of extracts from the Bible and from "Science and Health," read aloud to the congregation. In the beginning the First Reader read from the Bible and the Second Reader from Mrs. Eddy's book. But this she soon changed. The First Reader now reads from "Science and Health" and the Second reads those passages of the Bible which Mrs. Eddy says are correlative. This service, Mrs. Eddy declares, was "authorized by Christ."
When Mrs. Eddy issued this injunction, every Christian Science preacher stepped down from his pulpit and closed his lips. There was not an island of the sea in which he could lift up his voice and sermonize; Mrs. Eddy's command covered "this" planet. Not one voice was raised in protest. Whatever the pastors felt, they obeyed. Many of them kissed the rod. L. P. Norcross, one of the deposed pastors, wrote humbly in the August Journal:
"Did any one expect such a revelation, such a new departure would be given? No, not in the way it came.... A former pastor of the Mother Church once remarked that the day would dawn when the current methods of preaching and worship would disappear, but he could not discern how.... Such disclosures are too high for us to perceive. To One alone did the message come."
The "Reader" Restricted
Mrs. Eddy had no grudge against her pastors; she did not intend that they should starve, and many of them were made Readers and were permitted to read "Science and Health" aloud in the churches which they had built and in which they had formerly preached.
The "Reader," it would seem, was a safe experiment, and he was so well hedged in with by-laws that he could not well go astray. His duties and limitations are clearly defined:
He is to read parts of "Science and Health" aloud at every service.
He cannot read from a manuscript or from a transcribed copy, but must read from the book itself.
He is, Mrs. Eddy says, to be "well read and well educated," but he shall at no time make any remarks explanatory of the passages which he reads.
Before commencing to read from Mrs. Eddy's book "he shall distinctly announce its full title and give the author's name."
A Reader must not be a leader in the church.
Lest, under all these restrictions, his incorrigible ambition might still put forth its buds, there is a saving by-law which provides that Mrs. Eddy can without explanation remove any reader at any time that she sees fit to do so.
Mrs. Eddy herself seems to have considered this a safe arrangement. In the same number of the Journal in which she dismissed her pastors and substituted Readers, she stated, in an open letter, that her students would find in that issue "the completion, as I now think, of the Divine directions sent out to the churches." But it was by no means the completion. By the summer of 1902 Septimus J. Hanna, First Reader of the Mother Church in Boston, had become, without the liberty to preach or to "make remarks," by the mere sound of his voice, it would seem, so influential that Mrs. Eddy felt the necessity to limit still further the Reader's power. Of course she could have dismissed Mr. Hanna, but he was far too useful to be dispensed with. So Mrs. Eddy made a new ruling that the Reader's term of office should be limited to three years, and, Mr. Hanna's term then being up, he was put into the lecture field. Now the highest dignity that any Christian Scientist could hope for was to be chosen to read "Science and Health" aloud for three years at a comfortable salary.
Why the Readers Obeyed
Why, it has often been asked, did the more influential pastors—people with a large personal following, like Mrs. Stetson—consent to resign their pulpits in the first place and afterward to be stripped of privilege after privilege? Some of them, of course, submitted because they believed that Mrs. Eddy possessed "Divine Wisdom"; others because they remembered what had happened to dissenters aforetime. Of all those who had broken away from Mrs. Eddy's authority, not one had attained to anything like her obvious success or material prosperity, while many had followed wandering fires and had come to nothing. Christian Science leaders had staked their fortunes upon the hypothesis that Mrs. Eddy possessed "divine wisdom"; it was as expounders of this wisdom that they had obtained their influence and built up their churches. To rebel against the authority of Mrs. Eddy's wisdom would be to discredit themselves; to discredit Mrs. Eddy's wisdom would have been to destroy their whole foundation. To claim an understanding and an inspiration equal to Mrs. Eddy's, would have been to cheapen and invalidate everything that gave Christian Science an advantage over other religions. Had they once denied the Revelation and the Revelator upon which their church was founded, the whole structure would have fallen in upon them. If Mrs. Eddy's intelligence were not divine in one case, who would be able to say that it was in another? If they could not accept Mrs. Eddy's wisdom when she said "there shall be no pastors," how could they persuade other people to accept it when she said "there is no matter"? It was clear, even to those who writhed under the restrictions imposed upon them, that they must stand or fall with Mrs. Eddy's Wisdom, and that to disobey it was to compromise their own career. Even in the matter of getting on in the world, it was better to be a doorkeeper in the Mother Church than to dwell in the tents of the "mental healers."
Mrs. Stetson and Mrs. Eddy
Probably it was harder for Mrs. Stetson to retire from the pastorship than for any one else; indeed, it was often whispered that the pastors were dismissed largely because Mrs. Stetson's growing influence suggested to Mrs. Eddy the danger of permitting such powers to her vice-regents. Mrs. Stetson had gone to New York when Christian Science was practically unknown there, and from poor and small beginnings had built up a rich and powerful church. But, when the command came, she stepped out of the pulpit she had built. She is to-day probably the most influential person, after Mrs. Eddy, in the Christian Science body. Rumors are ever and again started that Mrs. Stetson is not at all times loyal to her Leader, and that she controls her faction for her own ends rather than for Mrs. Eddy's. Whatever Mrs. Stetson's private conversation may be, her public utterances have always been humble enough, and she annually declares her loyalty. In 1907 the New York World published several interviews with persons who asserted that they believed Mrs. Eddy to be controlled by a clique of Christian Scientists who were acting for Mrs. Stetson's interests. In June Mrs. Stetson wrote Mrs. Eddy a letter which was printed in the Christian Science Sentinel and which read in part: