A Far Country

XVII

The remembrance of that dinner when with my connivance the Scherers made their social debut is associated in my mind with the coming of the fulness of that era, mad and brief, when gold rained down like manna from our sooty skies. Even the church was prosperous; the Rev. Carey Heddon, our new minister, was well abreast of the times, typical of the new and efficient Christianity that has finally buried the hatchet with enlightened self-interest. He looked like a young and prosperous man of business, and indeed he was one.

The fame of our city spread even across the Atlantic, reaching obscure hamlets in Europe, where villagers gathered up their lares and penates, mortgaged their homes, and bought steamship tickets from philanthropists,—philanthropists in diamonds. Our Huns began to arrive, their Attilas unrecognized among them: to drive our honest Americans and Irish and Germans out of the mills by "lowering the standard of living." Still—according to the learned economists in our universities, enlightened self-interest triumphed. Had not the honest Americans and Germans become foremen and even presidents of corporations? What greater vindication for their philosophy could be desired?

The very aspect of the city changed like magic. New buildings sprang high in the air; the Reliance Trust (Mr. Grierson's), the Scherer Building, the Hambleton Building; a stew hotel, the Ashuela, took proper care of our visitors from the East,—a massive, grey stone, thousand-awninged affair on Boyne Street, with a grill where it became the fashion to go for supper after the play, and a head waiter who knew in a few weeks everyone worth knowing.

To return for a moment to the Huns. Maude had expressed a desire to see a mill, and we went, one afternoon, in Mr. Scherer's carriage to Steelville, with Mr. Scherer himself,—a bewildering, educative, almost terrifying experience amidst fumes and flames, gigantic forces and titanic weights. It seemed a marvel that we escaped being crushed or burned alive in those huge steel buildings reverberating with sound. They appeared a very bedlam of chaos, instead of the triumph of order, organization and human skill. Mr. Scherer was very proud of it all, and ours was a sort of triumphal procession, accompanied by superintendents, managers and other factotums. I thought of my childhood image of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and our progress through the flames seemed no less remarkable and miraculous.

Maude, with alarm in her eyes, kept very close to me, as I supplemented the explanations they gave her. I had been there many times before.

"Why, Hugh," she exclaimed, "you seem to know a lot about it!"

Mr. Scherer laughed.

"He's had to talk about it once or twice in court—eh, Hugh? You didn't realize how clever your husband was did you, Mrs. Paret?"

"But this is so—complicated," she replied. "It is overwhelming."

"When I found out how much trouble he had taken to learn about my business," added Mr. Scherer, "there was only one thing to do. Make him my lawyer. Hugh, you have the floor, and explain the open-hearth process."

I had almost forgotten the Huns. I saw Maude gazing at them with a new kind of terror. And when we sat at home that evening they still haunted her.

"Somehow, I can't bear to think about them," she said. "I'm sure we'll have to pay for it, some day."

"Pay for what?" I asked.

"For making them work that way. And twelve hours! It can't be right, while we have so much, and are so comfortable."

"Don't be foolish," I exclaimed. "They're used to it. They think themselves lucky to get the work—and they are. Besides, you give them credit for a sensitiveness that they don't possess. They wouldn't know what to do with such a house as this if they had it."

"I never realized before that our happiness and comfort were built on such foundations;" she said, ignoring my remark.

"You must have seen your father's operatives, in Elkington, many times a week."

"I suppose I was too young to think about such things," she reflected. "Besides, I used to be sorry for them, sometimes. But these men at the steel mills—I can't tell you what I feel about them. The sight of their great bodies and their red, sullen faces brought home to me the cruelty of life. Did you notice how some of them stared at us, as though they were but half awake in the heat, with that glow on their faces? It made me afraid—afraid that they'll wake up some day, and then they will be terrible. I thought of the children. It seems not only wicked, but mad to bring ignorant foreigners over here and make them slaves like that, and so many of them are hurt and maimed. I can't forget them."

"You're talking Socialism," I said crossly, wondering whether Lucia had taken it up as her latest fad.

"Oh, no, I'm not," said Maude, "I don't know what Socialism is. I'm talking about something that anyone who is not dazzled by all this luxury we are living in might be able to see, about something which, when it comes, we shan't be able to help."

I ridiculed this. The prophecy itself did not disturb me half as much as the fact that she had made it, as this new evidence that she was beginning to think for herself, and along lines so different from my own development.

While it lasted, before novelists, playwrights, professors and ministers of the Gospel abandoned their proper sphere to destroy it, that Golden Age was heaven; the New Jerusalem—in which we had ceased to believe—would have been in the nature of an anticlimax to any of our archangels of finance who might have attained it. The streets of our own city turned out to be gold; gold likewise the acres of unused, scrubby land on our outskirts, as the incident of the Riverside Franchise—which I am about to relate—amply proved.

That scheme originated in the alert mind of Mr. Frederick Grierson, and in spite of the fact that it has since become notorious in the eyes of a virtue-stricken public, it was entered into with all innocence at the time: most of the men who were present at the "magnate's" table at the Boyne Club the day Mr. Grierson broached it will vouch for this. He casually asked Mr. Dickinson if he had ever noticed a tract lying on the river about two miles beyond the Heights, opposite what used to be in the old days a road house.

"This city is growing so fast, Leonard," said Grierson, lighting a special cigar the Club kept for him, "that it might pay a few of us to get together and buy that tract, have the city put in streets and sewers and sell it in building lots. I think I can get most of it at less than three hundred dollars an acre."

Mr. Dickinson was interested. So were Mr. Ogilvy and Ralph Hambleton, and Mr. Scherer, who chanced to be there. Anything Fred Grierson had to say on the question of real estate was always interesting. He went on to describe the tract, its size and location.

"That's all very well, Fred," Dickinson objected presently, "but how are your prospective householders going to get out there?"

"Just what I was coming to," cried Grierson, triumphantly, "we'll get a franchise, and build a street-railroad out Maplewood Avenue, an extension of the Park Street line. We can get the franchise for next to nothing, if we work it right." (Mr. Grierson's eye fell on me), "and sell it out to the public, if you underwrite it, for two million or so."

"Well, you've got your nerve with you, Fred, as usual," said Dickinson. But he rolled his cigar in his mouth, an indication, to those who knew him well, that he was considering the matter. When Leonard Dickinson didn't say "no" at once, there was hope. "What do you think the property holders on Maplewood Avenue would say? Wasn't it understood, when that avenue was laid out, that it was to form part of the system of boulevards?"

"What difference does it make what they say?" Ralph interposed.

Dickinson smiled. He, too, had an exaggerated respect for Ralph. We all thought the proposal daring, but in no way amazing; the public existed to be sold things to, and what did it matter if the Maplewood residents, as Ralph said; and the City Improvement League protested?

Perry Blackwood was the Secretary of the City Improvement League, the object of which was to beautify the city by laying out a system of parkways.

The next day some of us gathered in Dickinson's office and decided that Grierson should go ahead and get the options. This was done; not, of course, in Grierson's name. The next move, before the formation of the Riverside Company, was to "see" Mr. Judd Jason. The success or failure of the enterprise was in his hands. Mahomet must go to the mountain, and I went to Monahan's saloon, first having made an appointment. It was not the first time I had been there since I had made that first memorable visit, but I never quite got over the feeling of a neophyte before Buddha, though I did not go so far as to analyze the reason,—that in Mr. Jason I was brought face to face with the concrete embodiment of the philosophy I had adopted, the logical consequence of enlightened self-interest. If he had ever heard of it, he would have made no pretence of being anything else. Greatness, declares some modern philosopher, has no connection with virtue; it is the continued, strong and logical expression of some instinct; in Mr. Jason's case, the predatory instinct. And like a true artist, he loved his career for itself—not for what its fruits could buy. He might have built a palace on the Heights with the tolls he took from the disreputable houses of the city; he was contented with Monahan's saloon: nor did he seek to propitiate a possible God by endowing churches and hospitals with a portion of his income. Try though I might, I never could achieve the perfection of this man's contempt for all other philosophies. The very fact of my going there in secret to that dark place of his from out of the bright, respectable region in which I lived was in itself an acknowledgment of this. I thought him a thief—a necessary thief—and he knew it: he was indifferent to it; and it amused him, I think, to see clinging to me, when I entered his presence, shreds of that morality which those of my world who dealt with him thought so needful for the sake of decency.

He was in bed, reading newspapers, as usual. An empty coffee-cup and a plate were on the littered table.

"Sit down, sit down, Paret," he said. "What do you hear from the Senator?"

I sat down, and gave him the news of Mr. Watling. He seemed, as usual, distrait, betraying no curiosity as to the object of my call, his lean, brown fingers playing with the newspapers on his lap. Suddenly, he flashed out at me one of those remarks which produced the uncanny conviction that, so far as affairs in the city were concerned, he was omniscient.

"I hear somebody has been getting options on that tract of land beyond the Heights, on the river."

He had "focussed."

"How did you hear that?" I asked.

He smiled.

"It's Grierson, ain't it?"

"Yes, it's Grierson," I said.

"How are you going to get your folks out there?" he demanded.

"That's what I've come to see you about. We want a franchise for Maplewood Avenue."

"Maplewood Avenue!" He lay back with his eyes closed, as though trying to visualize such a colossal proposal....

When I left him, two hours later, the details were all arranged, down to Mr. Jason's consideration from Riverside Company and the "fee" which his lawyer, Mr. Bitter, was to have for "presenting the case" before the Board of Aldermen. I went back to lunch at the Boyne Club, and to receive the congratulations of my friends. The next week the Riverside Company was formed, and I made out a petition to the Board of Aldermen for a franchise; Mr. Bitter appeared and argued: in short, the procedure so familiar to modern students of political affairs was gone through. The Maplewood Avenue residents rose en masse, supported by the City Improvement League. Perry Blackwood, as soon as he heard of the petition, turned up at my office. By this time I was occupying Mr. Watling's room.

"Look here," he began, as soon as the office-boy had closed the door behind him, "this is going it a little too strong."

"What is?" I asked, leaning back in my chair and surveying him.

"This proposed Maplewood Avenue Franchise. Hugh," he said, "you and I have been friends a good many years, Lucia and I are devoted to Maude."

I did not reply.

"I've seen all along that we've been growing apart," he added sadly. "You've got certain ideas about things which I can't share. I suppose I'm old fashioned. I can't trust myself to tell you what I think—what Tom and I think about this deal."

"Go ahead, Perry," I said.

He got up, plainly agitated, and walked to the window. Then he turned to me appealingly.

"Get out of it, for God's sake get out of it, before it's too late. For your own sake, for Maude's, for the children's. You don't realize what you are doing. You may not believe me, but the time will come when these fellows you are in with will be repudiated by the community,—their money won't help them. Tom and I are the best friends you have," he added, a little irrelevantly.

"And you think I'm going to the dogs."

"Now don't take it the wrong way," he urged.

"What is it you object to about the Maplewood franchise?" I asked. "If you'll look at a map of the city, you'll see that development is bound to come on that side. Maplewood Avenue is the natural artery, somebody will build a line out there, and if you'd rather have eastern capitalists—"

"Why are you going to get this franchise?" he demanded. "Because we haven't a decent city charter, and a healthy public spirit, you fellows are buying it from a corrupt city boss, and bribing a corrupt board of aldermen. That's the plain language of it. And it's only fair to warn you that I'm going to say so, openly."

"Be sensible," I answered. "We've got to have street railroads,—your family has one. We know what the aldermen are, what political conditions are. If you feel this way about it, the thing to do is to try to change them. But why blame me for getting a franchise for a company in the only manner in which, under present conditions, a franchise can be got? Do you want the city to stand still? If not, we have to provide for the new population."

"Every time you bribe these rascals for a franchise you entrench them," he cried. "You make it more difficult to oust them. But you mark my words, we shall get rid of them some day, and when that fight comes, I want to be in it."

He had grown very much excited; and it was as though this excitement suddenly revealed to me the full extent of the change that had taken place in him since he had left college. As he stood facing me, almost glaring at me through his eye-glasses, I beheld a slim, nervous, fault-finding doctrinaire, incapable of understanding the world as it was, lacking the force of his pioneer forefathers. I rather pitied him.

"I'm sorry we can't look at this thing alike, Perry," I told him. "You've said solve pretty hard things, but I realize that you hold your point of view in good faith, and that you have come to me as an old friend. I hope it won't make any difference in our personal relations."

"I don't see how it can help making a difference," he answered slowly. His excitement had cooled abruptly: he seemed dazed. At this moment my private stenographer entered to inform me that I was being called up on the telephone from New York. "Well, you have more important affairs to attend to, I won't bother you any more," he added.

"Hold on," I exclaimed, "this call can wait. I'd like to talk it over with you."

"I'm afraid it wouldn't be any use, Hugh," he said, and went out.

After talking with the New York client whose local interests I represented I sat thinking over the conversation with Perry. Considering Maude's intimacy with and affection for the Blackwoods, the affair was awkward, opening up many uncomfortable possibilities; and it was the prospect of discomfort that bothered me rather than regret for the probable loss of Perry's friendship. I still believed myself to have an affection for him: undoubtedly this was a sentimental remnant....

That evening after dinner Tom came in alone, and I suspected that Perry had sent him. He was fidgety, ill at ease, and presently asked if I could see him a moment in my study. Maude's glance followed us.

"Say, Hugh, this is pretty stiff," he blurted out characteristically, when the door was closed.

"I suppose you mean the Riverside Franchise," I said. He looked up at me, miserably, from the chair into which he had sunk, his hands in his pockets.

"You'll forgive me for talking about it, won't you? You used to lecture me once in a while at Cambridge, you know."

"That's all right—go ahead," I replied, trying to speak amiably.

"You know I've always admired you, Hugh,—I never had your ability," he began painfully, "you've gone ahead pretty fast,—the truth is that Perry and I have been worried about you for some time. We've tried not to be too serious in showing it, but we've felt that these modern business methods were getting into your system without your realizing it. There are some things a man's friends can tell him, and it's their duty to tell him. Good God, haven't you got enough, Hugh,—enough success and enough money, without going into a thing like this Riverside scheme?"

I was intensely annoyed, if not angry; and I hesitated a moment to calm myself.

"Tom, you don't understand my position," I said. "I'm willing to discuss it with you, now that you've opened up the subject. Perry's been talking to you, I can see that. I think Perry's got queer ideas,—to be plain with you, and they're getting queerer."

He sat down again while, with what I deemed a rather exemplary patience, I went over the arguments in favour of my position; and as I talked, it clarified in my own mind. It was impossible to apply to business an individual code of ethics,—even to Perry's business, to Tom's business: the two were incompatible, and the sooner one recognized that the better: the whole structure of business was built up on natural, as opposed to ethical law. We had arrived at an era of frankness—that was the truth—and the sooner we faced this truth the better for our peace of mind. Much as we might deplore the political system that had grown up, we had to acknowledge, if we were consistent, that it was the base on which our prosperity was built. I was rather proud of having evolved this argument; it fortified my own peace of mind, which had been disturbed by Tom's attitude. I began to pity him. He had not been very successful in life, and with the little he earned, added to Susan's income, I knew that a certain ingenuity was required to make both ends meet. He sat listening with a troubled look. A passing phase of feeling clouded for a brief moment my confidence when there arose in my mind an unbidden memory of my youth, of my father. He, too, had mistrusted my ingenuity. I recalled how I had out-manoeuvred him and gone to college; I remembered the March day so long ago, when Tom and I had stood on the corner debating how to deceive him, and it was I who had suggested the nice distinction between a boat and a raft. Well, my father's illogical attitude towards boyhood nature, towards human nature, had forced me into that lie, just as the senseless attitude of the public to-day forced business into a position of hypocrisy.

"Well, that's clever," he said, slowly and perplexedly, when I had finished. "It's damned clever, but somehow it looks to me all wrong. I can't pick it to pieces." He got up rather heavily. "I—I guess I ought to be going. Susan doesn't know where I am."

I was exasperated. It was clear, though he did not say so, that he thought me dishonest. The pain in his eyes had deepened.

"If you feel that way—" I said.

"Oh, God, I don't know how I feel!" he cried. "You're the oldest friend I have, Hugh,—I can't forget that. We'll say nothing more about it." He picked up his hat and a moment later I heard the front door close behind him. I stood for a while stock-still, and then went into the living-room, where Maude was sewing.

"Why, where's Tom?" she inquired, looking up.

"Oh, he went home. He said Susan didn't know where he was."

"How queer! Hugh, was there anything the matter? Is he in trouble?" she asked anxiously.

I stood toying with a book-mark, reflecting. She must inevitably come to suspect that something had happened, and it would be as well to fortify her.

"The trouble is," I said after a moment, "that Perry and Tom would like to run modern business on the principle of a charitable institution. Unfortunately, it is not practical. They're upset because I have been retained by a syndicate whose object is to develop some land out beyond Maplewood Avenue. They've bought the land, and we are asking the city to give us a right to build a line out Maplewood Avenue, which is the obvious way to go. Perry says it will spoil the avenue. That's nonsense, in the first place. The avenue is wide, and the tracks will be in a grass plot in the centre. For the sake of keeping tracks off that avenue he would deprive people of attractive homes at a small cost, of the good air they can get beyond the heights; he would stunt the city's development."

"That does seem a little unreasonable," Maude admitted. "Is that all he objects to?"

"No, he thinks it an outrage because, in order to get the franchise, we have to deal with the city politicians. Well, it so happens, and always has happened, that politics have been controlled by leaders, whom Perry calls 'bosses,' and they are not particularly attractive men. You wouldn't care to associate with them. My father once refused to be mayor of the city for this reason. But they are necessities. If the people didn't want them, they'd take enough interest in elections to throw them out. But since the people do want them, and they are there, every time a new street-car line or something of that sort needs to be built they have to be consulted, because, without their influence nothing could be done. On the other hand, these politicians cannot afford to ignore men of local importance like Leonard Dickinson and Adolf Scherer and Miller Gorse who represent financial substance and' responsibility. If a new street-railroad is to be built, these are the logical ones to build it. You have just the same situation in Elkington, on a smaller scale.

"Your family, the Hutchinses, own the mills and the street-railroads, and any new enterprise that presents itself is done with their money, because they are reliable and sound."

"It isn't pleasant to think that there are such people as the politicians, is it?" said Maude, slowly.

"Unquestionably not," I agreed. "It isn't pleasant to think of some other crude forces in the world. But they exist, and they have to be dealt with. Suppose the United States should refuse to trade with Russia because, from our republican point of view, we regarded her government as tyrannical and oppressive? or to cooperate with England in some undertaking for the world's benefit because we contended that she ruled India with an iron hand? In such a case, our President and Senate would be scoundrels for making and ratifying a treaty. Yet here are Perry and Tom, and no doubt Susan and Lucia, accusing me, a lifetime friend, of dishonesty because I happen to be counsel for a syndicate that wishes to build a street-railroad for the convenience of the people of the city."

"Oh, no, not of dishonesty!" she exclaimed. "I can't—I won't believe they would do that."

"Pretty near it," I said. "If I listened to them, I should have to give up the law altogether."

"Sometimes," she answered in a low voice, "sometimes I wish you would."

"I might have expected that you would take their point of view."

As I was turning away she got up quickly and put her hand on my shoulder.

"Hugh, please don't say such things—you've no right to say them."

"And you?" I asked.

"Don't you see," she continued pleadingly, "don't you see that we are growing apart? That's the only reason I said what I did. It isn't that I don't trust you, that I don't want you to have your work, that I demand all of you. I know a woman can't ask that,—can't have it. But if you would only give me—give the children just a little, if I could feel that we meant something to you and that this other wasn't gradually becoming everything, wasn't absorbing you more and more, killing the best part of you. It's poisoning our marriage, it's poisoning all your relationships."

In that appeal the real Maude, the Maude of the early days of our marriage flashed forth again so vividly that I was taken aback. I understood that she had had herself under control, had worn a mask—a mask I had forced on her; and the revelation of the continued existence of that other Maude was profoundly disturbing. Was it true, as she said, that my absorption in the great game of modern business, in the modern American philosophy it implied was poisoning my marriage? or was it that my marriage had failed to satisfy and absorb me? I was touched—but sentimentally touched: I felt that this was a situation that ought to touch me; I didn't wish to face it, as usual: I couldn't acknowledge to myself that anything was really wrong... I patted her on the shoulder, I bent over and kissed her.

"A man in my position can't altogether choose just how busy he will be," I said smiling. "Matters are thrust upon me which I have to accept, and I can't help thinking about some of them when I come home. But we'll go off for a real vacation soon, Maude, to Europe—and take the children."

"Oh, I hope so," she said.

From this time on, as may be supposed, our intercourse with both the Blackwoods began to grow less frequent, although Maude continued to see a great deal of Lucia; and when we did dine in their company, or they with us, it was quite noticeable that their former raillery was suppressed. Even Tom had ceased to refer to me as the young Napoleon of the Law: he clung to me, but he too kept silent on the subject of business. Maude of course must have noticed this, must have sensed the change of atmosphere, have known that the Blackwoods, at least, were maintaining appearances for her sake. She did not speak to me of the change, nor I to her; but when I thought of her silence, it was to suspect that she was weighing the question which had led up to the difference between Perry and me, and I had a suspicion that the fact that I was her husband would not affect her ultimate decision. This faculty of hers of thinking things out instead of accepting my views and decisions was, as the saying goes, getting a little "on my nerves": that she of all women should have developed it was a recurring and unpleasant surprise. I began at times to pity myself a little, to feel the need of sympathetic companionship—feminine companionship....

I shall not go into the details of the procurement of what became known as the Riverside Franchise. In spite of the Maplewood residents, of the City Improvement League and individual protests, we obtained it with absurd ease. Indeed Perry Blackwood himself appeared before the Public Utilities Committee of the Board of Aldermen, and was listened to with deference and gravity while he discoursed on the defacement of a beautiful boulevard to satisfy the greed of certain private individuals. Mr. Otto Bitter and myself, who appeared for the petitioners, had a similar reception. That struggle was a tempest in a tea-pot. The reformer raged, but he was feeble in those days, and the great public believed what it read in the respectable newspapers. In Mr. Judah B. Tallant's newspaper, for instance, the Morning Era, there were semi-playful editorials about "obstructionists." Mr. Perry Blackwood was a well-meaning, able gentleman of an old family, etc., but with a sentiment for horse-cars. The Era published also the resolutions which (with interesting spontaneity!) had been passed by our Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce and other influential bodies in favour of the franchise; the idea—unknown to the public—of Mr. Hugh Paret, who wrote drafts of the resolutions and suggested privately to Mr. Leonard Dickinson that a little enthusiasm from these organizations might be helpful. Mr. Dickinson accepted the suggestion eagerly, wondering why he hadn't thought of it himself. The resolutions carried some weight with a public that did not know its right hand from its left.

After fitting deliberation, one evening in February the Board of Aldermen met and granted the franchise. Not unanimously, oh, no! Mr. Jason was not so simple as that! No further visits to Monahan's saloon on my part, in this connection were necessary; but Mr. Otto Bitter met me one day in the hotel with a significant message from the boss.

"It's all fixed," he informed me. "Murphy and Scott and Ottheimer and Grady and Loth are the decoys. You understand?"

"I think I gather your meaning," I said.

Mr. Bitter smiled by pulling down one corner of a crooked mouth.

"They'll vote against it on principle, you know," he added. "We get a little something from the Maple Avenue residents."

I've forgotten what the Riverside Franchise cost. The sum was paid in a lump sum to Mr. Bitter as his "fee,"—so, to their chagrin, a grand jury discovered in later years, when they were barking around Mr. Jason's hole with an eager district attorney snapping his whip over them. I remember the cartoon. The municipal geese were gone, but it was impossible to prove that this particular fox had used his enlightened reason in their procurement. Mr. Bitter was a legally authorized fox, and could take fees. How Mr. Jason was to be rewarded by the land company's left-hand, unknown, to the land company's right hand, became a problem worthy of a genius. The genius was found, but modesty forbids me to mention his name, and the problem was solved, to wit: the land company bought a piece of downtown property from—Mr. Ryerson, who was Mr. Grierson's real estate man and the agent for the land company, for a consideration of thirty thousand dollars. An unconfirmed rumour had it that Mr. Ryerson turned over the thirty thousand to Mr. Jason. Then the Riverside Company issued a secret deed of the same property back to Mr. Ryerson, and this deed was not recorded until some years later.

Such are the elaborate transactions progress and prosperity demand. Nature is the great teacher, and we know that her ways are at times complicated and clumsy. Likewise, under the "natural" laws of economics, new enterprises are not born without travail, without the aid of legal physicians well versed in financial obstetrics. One hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand, let us say, for the right to build tracks on Maplewood Avenue, and we sold nearly two million dollars worth of the securities back to the public whose aldermen had sold us the franchise. Is there a man so dead as not to feel a thrill at this achievement? And let no one who declares that literary talent and imagination are nonexistent in America pronounce final judgment until he reads that prospectus, in which was combined the best of realism and symbolism, for the labours of Alonzo Cheyne were not to be wasted, after all. Mr. Dickinson, who was a director in the Maplewood line, got a handsome underwriting percentage, and Mr. Berringer, also a director, on the bonds and preferred stock he sold. Mr. Paret, who entered both companies on the ground floor, likewise got fees. Everybody was satisfied except the trouble makers, who were ignored. In short, the episode of the Riverside Franchise is a triumphant proof of the contention that business men are the best fitted to conduct the politics of their country.

We had learned to pursue our happiness in packs, we knew that the Happy Hunting-Grounds are here and now, while the Reverend Carey Heddon continued to assure the maimed, the halt and the blind that their kingdom was not of this world, that their time was coming later. Could there have been a more idyl arrangement! Everybody should have been satisfied, but everybody was not. Otherwise these pages would never have been written.



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