One of Ours | Willa Cather Archive

One of Ours

The Willa Cather Scholarly version

historical Essay and Explanatory Notes by
Richard Harris
textual Essay and Editing by
Frederick M. Link
with Kari A. Ronning

University of Nebraska Press Lincoln, 2006

CONTENTS

  • Preface
  • One of Ours

  • Acknowledgments
  • Historical Apparatus

    • Illustrations
    • Historical Essay
    • Explanatory Notes
  • Textual Apparatus

    • Textual Essay
    • Emendations
    • Notes on Emendations
    • Table of Rejected
      Substantives
    • Word Division

Preface

The objective of the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition is to provide to readers—present and future—various kinds of information relevant to Willa Cather ‘s write, obtained and presented by the highest scholarly standards : a critical text faithful to her intention as she prepared it for the beginning edition, a historical essay providing relevant biographic and diachronic facts, explanatory notes identifying allusions and references, a textual comment tracing the cultivate through its life and describing Cather’s engagement with it, and a record of revisions in the text ‘s versatile editions. This edition is distinctive in the comprehensiveness of its apparatus, particularly in its inclusion body of extensive explanatory information that illuminates the fabrication of a writer who drew sol extensively upon actual have, vitamin a well as the full textual information we have come to expect in a modern critical edition. It therefore connects activities that are excessively often divide —literary scholarship and textual edit .
Editing Cather ‘s writing means recognizing that Cather was as ferociously protective of her novels as she was of her private life. She suppressed much of her early write and dismissed series issue of by and by work, discarded manuscripts and proofread, destroyed letters, and included in her will a condition against publication of her private papers. Yet the record remains amazingly full. Manuscripts, typescripts, and proof of some texts survive with corrections and revisions in Cather ‘s hand ; serial publications provide final examination “ draft ” versions of text ; agreement with her editors and publishers helps clarify her intention for a function, and publishers ‘ records detail each book ‘s public life ; parallelism with friends and acquaintances provides an suggest view of her write ; published interviews with and speeches by Cather provide a melt public comment on her career ; and through their memoirs, recollections, and letters, Cather ‘s contemporaries provide their own comment on circumstances surrounding her spell .
In assembling pieces of the editorial perplex, we have been guided by principles and procedures articulated by the Committee on Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association. Assembling and comparing text demonstrated the basic dogma of the textual editor—that only painstaking collations reveal what is actually there. Scholars had assumed, for example, that with the exception of a unmarried correction in spell, O Pioneers ! passed unaltered from the 1913 first edition to the 1937 Autograph Edition. Collations revealed closely a hundred word changes, thus providing information not merely necessary to establish a critical textbook and to interpret how Cather composed, but besides basic to interpreting how her ideas about art changed as she matured .
Cather ‘s revisions and corrections on typescripts and foliate proof demonstrate that she brought to her own writing her across-the-board experience as an editor. Word changes demonstrate her practices in revise ; other changes demonstrate that she gave inordinately conclusion examination to such matters as capitalization, punctuation, paragraph, hyphenation, and spacing. intimate about output, Cather had intentions for her books that extended to their design and industry. For example, she specified typography, illustrations, page format, newspaper store, ink color, covers, wrappers, and advertise imitate .
To an exceptional degree, then, Cather gave to her work the near textual attention that modern editing practices respect, while in other ways she challenged her editors to expand the definition of “ corruption ” and “ authoritative ” beyond the text, to include the record ‘s unharmed format and material universe. Believing that a script ‘s physical shape influenced its relationship with a reader, she selected type, wallpaper, and format that invited the lector reception she sought. The big texture and cream color of paper used for O Pioneers ! and My Ántonia, for exercise, created a common sense of affectionateness and invited a childlike play of imagination, as did these books ‘ bombastic, dark type and across-the-board margins. By the like principle, she expressly rejected the anthology format of assembling textbook of numerous novels within the covers of one volume, with taut margins, dilute newspaper, and condensed print .
Given Cather ‘s explicitly stated intentions for her works, print and publish decisions that disregard her wishes represent their own form of corruption, and an authoritative edition of Cather must go beyond the sequence of words and punctuation to include other matters : page format, paper stock certificate, font, and other features of design. The volumes in the Cather Edition respect those intentions insofar as possible within a series format that includes a comprehensive examination scholarly apparatus. For model, the Cather Edition has adopted the format of six by nine inches, which Cather approved in Bruce Rogers ‘s elegant exercise on the 1937 Houghton Mifflin Autograph Edition, to accommodate the assorted elements of blueprint. While lacking something of the affair of the original page, this size permits the use of large, liberally leaded type and ample margins—points of style upon which the writer was so clamant. In the choice of newspaper, we have deferred to Cather ‘s declare preference for a warm, skim antique stock .
nowadays ‘s engineering makes it difficult to emulate the qualities of hot-metal typeset and relief printing print. In comparison, modern phototypesetting printed by offset lithography tends to look anemic and lacks the haptic timbre of type impressed into the page. The version of the Fournier font employed in the original edition of Shadows, were it available for phototypesetting, would hardly survive the transition. rather, we have chosen Linotype Janson Text, a advanced rendition of the type used by Rogers. The insidious adjustments of stroke weight in this rework do much to retain the integrity of earlier alloy versions. consequently, without trying to replicate the design of individual works, we seek to represent Cather ‘s general preferences in a design that encompasses many volumes .
In each volume in the Cather Edition, the writer ‘s particular intentions for plan and printing are set away in textual commentaries. These essays besides describe the history of the textbook, identify those that are authoritative, explain the survival of copy-texts or basic text, justify emendations of the copy-text, and report patterns of variants. The textual apparatus in each volume—lists of variants, emendations, explanations of emendations, and end-of-line hyphenations—completes the textual story .
Historical essays provide essential data about the genesis, form, and transmission of each book, equally well as issue its biographic, historical, and intellectual context. Illustrations supplement these essays with photograph, maps, and facsimiles of manuscript, typescript, or typeset pages. finally, because Cather in her write drew indeed extensively upon personal know and historical contingent, explanatory notes are an specially crucial region of the Cather Edition. By providing a comprehensive designation of her references to flora and fauna, to regional customs and manners, to the classics and the Bible, to democratic write, music, and other arts—as well as relevant mapmaking and census material—these notes provide a start place for eruditeness and criticism on subjects long slighted or ignored .
Within this overall standard format, differences occur that are enlightening in their own right. The straightforward textual history of O Pioneers ! and My Ántonia contrasts with the more complicated textual challenges of One of Ours and Sapphira and the Slave Girl ; the allusive personal history of the Nebraska novels, indeed dumbly woven that My Ántonia seems drawn not merely upon Anna Pavelka but all of Webster County, contrasts with the more public allusions of novels set elsewhere. The Cather Edition reflects the individuality of each work while providing a criterion of address for critical study .
Susan J. Rosowsky, General Editor, 1985–2004
Guy J. Reynolds, General Editor, 2004–

Susan J. Rosowsky, General Editor, 1985–2004 Guy J. Reynolds, General Editor, 2004–

One of Ours

1

BOOK I

On Lovely Creek

I

CLAUDE WHEELER opened his eyes before the sun was up and vigorously shook his younger brother, who lay in the other one-half of the same seam .
“ Ralph, Ralph, get alert ! Come devour and help me wash the car. ”
“ What for ? ”
“ Why, are n’t we going to the circus today ? ”
“ car ‘s all right. Let me alone. ” The male child turned over and pulled the sheet astir to his boldness, to shut out the light which was beginning to come through the curtainless windows .
Claude rose and dressed, —a simple operation which took identical small time. He crept down two flights of stairs, feeling his way in the dusk, his crimson hair’s-breadth standing up in peaks, like a cock ‘s comb. He went through the kitchen into the adjoin washroom, which held two porcelain stands with linear urine. Everybody had washed earlier going to bed, apparently, and the bowl were ringed with a dark sediment which the arduous, alkaline water had not dissolved. Shutting the door on this disorder, he turned back to the kitchen, took Mahailey ‘s tin washbasin, doused his grimace and capitulum in cold water, and began to plaster down his wet haircloth .
Old Mahailey herself came in from the yard, with her proscenium wide of corn-cobs to start a burn in the kitchen stave. She smiled at him in the anserine fond direction she frequently had with him when they were alone .
“ What publicize you gittin ‘ up for a-ready, boy ? You goin ‘ to the circus before breakfast ? Do n’t you make no noise, else you ‘ll have ’em all down here before I git my fire a-goin ‘. ”
“ All proper, Mahailey. ” Claude caught up his crown and ran out of doors, down the hillside toward the barn. The sun popped up over the boundary of the prairie like a broad, smiling face ; the unaccented poured across the close-cropped August pastures and the cragged, timbered windings of Lovely Creek, —a authorize little stream with a sand bottom, that curled and twisted playfully about through the south section of the bad Wheeler ranch. It was a fine sidereal day to go to the circus at Frankfort, a finely sidereal day to do anything ; the kind of sidereal day that must, somehow, turn out well .
Claude backed the little Ford car out of its shed, ran it up to the horse-tank, and began to throw water on the mud-crusted wheels and windshield. While he was at ferment the two hired men, Dan and Jerry, came shambling down the hill to feed the stock. Jerry was grumbling and swearing about something, but Claude wrung out his wet tease and, beyond a nod, paid no attention to them. Somehow his father always managed to have the rough and dirtiest hired men in the area working for him. Claude had a grievance against Jerry just now, because of his treatment of one of the horses .
Molly was a faithful previous mare, the mother of many colts ; Claude and his young brother had learned to ride on her. This man Jerry, taking her out to work one good morning, let her step on a board with a complete sticking up in it. He pulled the nail down out of her foot, said nothing to anybody, and drove her to the cultivator all day. now she had been standing in her booth for weeks, patiently suffering, her body wretchedly thin, and her stage well until it looked like an elephant ‘s. She would have to stand there, the veterinarian said, until her hoof came off and she grew a modern one, and she would constantly be stiff. Jerry had not been discharged, and he exhibited the poor animal as if she were a credit to him .
Mahailey came out on the hilltop and rang the breakfast bell. After the rent men went up to the house, Claude slipped into the barn to see that Molly had got her share of oats. She was eating quietly, her head cling, and her scaly, dead-looking animal foot lifted merely a little from the grate. When he stroked her neck and talked to her she stopped grinding and gazed at him mournfully. She knew him, and wrinkled her nose and drew her upper lip back from her wear tooth, to show that she liked being petted. She let him touch her foot and examine her peg .
When Claude reached the kitchen, his beget was sitting at one conclusion of the breakfast postpone, pouring weak coffee, his brother and Dan and Jerry were in their chairs, and Mahailey was baking griddle cakes at the stave. A consequence late Mr. Wheeler came down the enclose stairway and walked the length of the postpone to his own place. He was a identical big homo, tall and broader than any of his neighbours. He rarely wore a coat in summer, and his rumple shirt bulged out carelessly over the belt of his trousers. His rubicund face was clean shave, likely to be a frivol tobacco-stained about the mouth, and it was blatant both for good-nature and coarse humor, and for an imperturbable physical composure. cipher in the county had ever seen Nat Wheeler flustered about anything, and cipher had ever heard him speak with complete seriousness. He kept up his easy-going, jesting affability tied with his own family. ampere soon as he was seated, Mr. Wheeler reached for the two-pint sugar bowl and began to pour sugar into his coffee. Ralph asked him if he were going to the circus. Mr. Wheeler winked .
“ I should n’t wonder if I happened in town sometime before the elephants get away. ” He spoke identical measuredly, with a State-of-Maine drawl, and his part was smooth and agreeable. “ You boys better beginning in early, though. You can take the wagon and the mules, and load in the cowhides. The butcher has agreed to take them. ”
Claude put down his knife. “ california n’t we have the car ? I ‘ve washed it on determination. ”
“ And what about Dan and Jerry ? They want to see the circus fair a a lot as you do, and I want the hides should go in ; they ‘re bringing a adept price now. I do n’t mind about your washing the car ; mud preserves the paint, they say, but it ‘ll be all correct this clock time, Claude. ”
The lease men haw-hawed and Ralph giggled. Claude ‘s freckle face got very crimson. The pancake grew starchy and clayey in his mouth and was hard to swallow. His church father knew he hated to drive the mules to township, and knew how he hated to go anywhere with Dan and Jerry. As for the hides, they were the skins of four steers that had perished in the blizzard last winter through the wanton negligence of these same hired men, and the price they would bring would not half pay for the clock his father had spent in stripping and curing them. They had lain in a shed loft all summer, and the wagon had been to town a twelve times. But today, when he wanted to go to Frankfort clean and care-free, he must take these stinking hides and two coarse-mouthed men, and drive a pair of mules that constantly brayed and balked and behaved laughably in a crowd. Probably his forefather had looked out of the window and seen him washing the cable car, and had put this up on him while he dressed. It was like his father ‘s estimate of a joke .
Mrs. Wheeler looked at Claude sympathetically, feeling that he was disappointed. possibly she, excessively, suspected a jest. She had learned that humor might wear about any guise .
When Claude started for the barn after breakfast, she came running down the path, calling to him faintly, —hurrying always made her short of breath. Overtaking him, she looked up with solicitude, shading her eyes with her finely formed hand. “ If you want I should do up your linen coat, Claude, I can iron it while you’re hitchhike, ” she said wistfully .
Claude stood kicking at a bunch of mottle feathers that had once been a youthful chicken. His shoulders were drawn high, his mother interpret, and his figure suggested energy and determined self-control .
“ You need n’t mind, Mother. ” He spoke quickly, muttering his words. “ I ‘d better wear my old clothes if I have to take the hides. They’re greasy, and in the sun they ‘ll smell worse than fertilizer. ”
“ The men can handle the hides, I should think. Would n’t you feel good in town to be dressed ? ” She was still blinking up at him .
“ Do n’t bother about it. Put me out a clean biased shirt, if you want to. That ‘s all right. ”
He turned toward the barn, and his mother went slowly back the path up to the house. She was indeed feisty and so stoop, his dearly mother ! He guessed if she could stand having these men about, could cook and wash for them, he could drive them to town !
Half an hour after the beach wagon left, Nat Wheeler put on an alpaca coat and went off in the rattling buckboard in which, though he kept two automobiles, he still drove about the state. He said nothing to his wife ; it was her business to guess whether or not he would be home plate for dinner. She and Mahailey could have a dependable time scrubbing and sweeping all day, with no men around to bother them .
There were few days in the year when Wheeler did not drive off somewhere ; to an auction sale, or a political convention, or a meet of the Farmers ‘ Telephone directors ; —to see how his neighbours were getting on with their work, if there was nothing else to look after. He preferred his buckboard to a car because it was ignite, went well over heavy or rough roads, and was so decrepit that he never felt he must suggest his wife ‘s accompanying him. Besides, he could see the area better when he did n’t have to keep his thinker on the road. He had come to this separate of Nebraska when the Indians and the buffalo were still about, remembered the grasshopper year and the boastfully cyclone, had watched the farms emerge one by one from the great roll page where once only the tip wrote its history. He had encouraged raw settlers to take up homesteads, urged on courtships, loaned young fellows the money to marry on, seen families grow and prosper ; until he felt a little as if all this were his own enterprise. The changes, not merely those the years made, but those the seasons made, were interesting to him .
People recognized Nat Wheeler and his haul a mile away. He sat massive and comfortable, weighing down one end of the slant seat, his driving pass lying on his knee. tied his german neighbours, the Yoeders, who hated to stop work for a draw of an hour on any account, were glad to see him coming. The merchants in the little towns about the county missed him if he did n’t drop in once a workweek or then. He was active in politics ; never ran for an office himself, but often took up the campaign of a supporter and conducted his campaign for him .
The french allege, “ Joy of the street, sorrow of the home, ” was exemplified in Mr. Wheeler, though not at all in the french way. His own affairs were of secondary importance to him. In the early days he had homesteaded and bought and leased adequate country to make him rich. now he had only to rent it out to estimable farmers who liked to work—he did n’t, and of that he made no secret. When he was at home, he normally sat upstairs in the life room, reading newspapers. He subscribed for a twelve or more—the list included a hebdomadally devoted to scandal—and he was well informed about what was going on in the populace. He had brilliant health, and illness in himself or in other people struck him as humorous. To be certain, he never suffered from anything more confusing than toothache or boils, or an periodic atrabilious attack .
Wheeler gave liberally to churches and charities, was always ready to lend money or machinery to a neighbor who was short circuit of anything. He liked to tease and shock diffident people, and had an inexhaustible supply of funny stories. Everybody marvelled that he got on so well with his oldest son, Bayliss Wheeler. not that Bayliss was precisely diffident, but he was a narrow-gauge companion, the screen of prudent new man one would n’t expect Nat Wheeler to like .
Bayliss had a farm enforce commercial enterprise in Frankfort, and though he was still under thirty he had made a identical considerable fiscal achiever. possibly Wheeler was proud of his son ‘s clientele acumen. At any pace, he drove to town to see Bayliss several times a week, went to sales and sprout exhibits with him, and sat about his memory for hours at a stretch, joking with the farmers who came in. Wheeler had been a heavy drinker in his day, and was inactive a heavy bird feeder. Bayliss was slender and dyspeptic, and a deadly dry ; he would have liked to regulate everybody ‘s diet by his own faint fundamental law. Even Mrs. Wheeler, who took the men God had apportioned her for granted, wondered how Bayliss and his father could go off to conventions in concert and have a estimable time, since their ideas of what made a good meter were thus different .
once every few years, Mr. Wheeler bought a new lawsuit and a twelve stiff shirts and went back to Maine to visit his brothers and sisters, who were very tranquillity, conventional people. But he was always glad to get home to his old clothes, his big farm, his buckboard, and Bayliss .
Mrs. Wheeler had come out from Vermont to be Principal of the High School, when Frankfort was a frontier town and Nat Wheeler was a booming bachelor. He must have fancied her for the same reason he liked his son Bayliss, —because she was indeed different. There was this to be said for Nat Wheeler, that he liked every screen of human animal ; he liked good people and honest people, and he liked rascals and hypocrites about to the point of loving them. If he heard that a neighbor had played a sharp trick or done something particularly mean, he was sure to drive over to see the man at once, as if he had n’t hitherto appreciated him .
There was a large, loiter dignity about Claude ‘s beget. He liked to provoke others to uncouth laughter, but he never laughed unreasonably himself. In telling stories about him, people much tried to imitate his politic, senatorial voice, robust but never loud. even when he was hilariously delighted by anything, —as when poor Mahailey, undressing in the dark on a summer night, sat down on the sticky fly-paper, —he was not boisterous. He was a jolly, easy-going forefather, indeed, for a boy who was not huffy .

II

CLAUDE and his mules rattled into Frankfort barely as the calliope went screaming down Main street at the head of the circus parade. Getting rid of his disagreeable cargo and his uncongenial companions adenine soon as possible, he elbowed his means along the crowd sidewalk, looking for some of the neighbor boys. Mr. Wheeler was standing on the Farmers Bank corner, towering a promontory above the throng, chaffing with a little humpback who was setting up a shell-game. To avoid his forefather, Claude turned and went into his brother ‘s storehouse. The two large picture windows were full of country children, their mothers standing behind them to watch the parade. Bayliss was seated in the little glass cage where he did his compose and bookkeeping. He nodded at Claude from his desk .
“ Hello, ” said Claude, bustling in deoxyadenosine monophosphate if he were in a great travel rapidly. “ Have you seen Ernest Havel ? I thought I might find him in here. ”
Bayliss swing round in his pivot moderate to return a plow catalogue to the ledge. “ What would he be in here for ? Better expression for him in the public house. ” cipher could put meaner insinuations into a slow, dry comment than Bayliss .
Claude ‘s impudence flamed with anger. As he turned aside, he noticed something unusual about his brother ‘s face, but he was n’t going to give him the satisfaction of asking him how he had got a blacken eye. Ernest Havel was a bohemian, and he normally drank a glass of beer when he came to township ; but he was drab and thoughtful beyond the habit of young men. From Bayliss ‘ drawl one might have supposed that the son was a bibulous idler .
At that very consequence Claude saw his friend on the other side of the street, following the big dipper of train dogs that brought up the rear of the emanation. He ran across, through a crowd of shouting youngsters, and caught Ernest by the arm .
“ Hello, where are you off to ? ”
“ I ‘m going to eat my lunch before show-time. I left my wagon out by the pump station, on the brook. What about you ? ”
“ I ‘ve got no broadcast. Can I go along ? ”
Ernest smiled. “ I expect. I ‘ve got enough lunch for two. ”
“ Yes, I know. You constantly have. I ‘ll join you late. ”
Claude would have liked to take Ernest to the hotel for dinner. He had more than enough money in his pockets ; and his father was a rich farmer. In the Wheeler family a newfangled thresher or a new car was ordered without a interview, but it was considered excessive to go to a hotel for dinner. If his founder or Bayliss heard that he had been there—and Bayliss heard everything—they would say he was putting on airs, and would get spinal column at him. He tried to excuse his cowardice to himself by saying that he was dirty and smelled of the hides ; but in his kernel he knew that he did not ask Ernest to go to the hotel with him because he had been so brought up that it would be unmanageable for him to do this dim-witted thing. He made some purchases at the yield digest and the cigar counter, and then hurried out along the cold road toward the pump station. Ernest ‘s beach wagon was standing under the nuance of some willow trees, on a short arenaceous bottom half enclosed by a loop of the brook which curved like a horseshoe. Claude threw himself on the sand beside the stream and wiped the scatter from his blistering side. He felt he had now closed the door on his disagreeable morning .
Ernest produced his lunch basket .
“ I got a couple bottles of beer cool in the creek, ” he said. “ I knew you would n’t want to go in a sedan. ”
“ Oh, forget it ! ” Claude muttered, ripping the cover off a jar of pickles. He was nineteen years erstwhile, and he was afraid to go into a sedan, and his friend knew he was afraid .
After lunch, Claude took out a handful of good cigars he had bought at the drugstore. Ernest, who could n’t afford cigars, was please. He lit one, and as he smoked he kept looking at it with an air of pride and turning it around between his fingers .
The horses stood with their heads over the wagon-box, munching their oats. The stream trickled by under the willow roots with a cool, persuasive sound. Claude and Ernest laic in the shade, their coats under their heads, talking very little. occasionally a motor dashed along the road toward town, and a swarm of scatter and a smell of gasoline boast in over the creek penetrate ; but for the most part the silence of the strong, lazy summer noon was undisturbed. Claude could normally forget his own vexations and chagrins when he was with Ernest. The gypsy male child was never uncertain, was not pulled in two or three ways at once. He was elementary and direct. He had a number of impersonal preoccupations ; was matter to in politics and history and in new inventions. Claude felt that his acquaintance lived in an standard atmosphere of mental liberty to which he himself could never hope to attain. After he had talked with Ernest for awhile, the things that did not go correct on the grow seemed less authoritative .
Claude ‘s mother was about as fond of Ernest as he was himself. When the two boys were going to gamey school, Ernest frequently came over in the even to study with Claude, and while they worked at the long kitchen table Mrs. Wheeler brought her darning and sat near them, helping them with their romance and algebra. even old Mahailey was enlightened by their words of wisdom .
Mrs. Wheeler said she would never forget the night Ernest arrived from the Old Country. His brother, Joe Havel, had gone to Frankfort to meet him, and was to stop on the way family and leave some groceries for the Wheelers. The train from the east was recently ; it was ten o’clock that nox when Mrs. Wheeler, waiting in the kitchen, listen Havel’s wagon rumble across the little bridge over cover girl Creek. She opened the outdoor door, and presently Joe came in with a bucket of salt fish in one hand and a net of flour on his shoulder. While he took the fish devour to the cellar for her, another figure appeared in the doorway ; a young son, abruptly, stooped, with a bland detonator on his head and a bang-up oilcloth valise, such as pedlars carry, strapped to his binding. He had fallen asleep in the police van, and on wake up and finding his brother gone, he had supposed they were at home and scrambled for his throng. He stood in the doorway, blinking his eyes at the light, looking astonished but tidal bore to do whatever was required of him. What if one of her own male child, Mrs. Wheeler thinking. .. . She went up to him and put her arm around him, laughing a little and saying in her lull voice, fair as if he could understand her, “ Why, you ‘re only a little male child after all, are n’t you ? ”
Ernest said afterwards that it was his first welcome to this country, though he had travelled sol far, and had been pushed and hauled and shouted at for so many days, he had lost count of them. That night he and Claude only shook hands and looked at each other suspiciously, but always since they had been good friends .
After their picnic the two boys went to the circus in a happy ensnare of mind. In the animal camp they met boastful Leonard Dawson, the oldest son of one of the Wheelers ‘ dear neighbours, and the three sat together for the performance. Leonard said he had come to town alone in his car ; would n’t Claude ride out with him ? Claude was glad adequate to turn the mules over to Ralph, who did n’t mind the lease men angstrom much as he did .
Leonard was a strapping brown chap of twenty-five, with big hands and boastfully feet, white dentition, and flashing eyes full of energy. He and his father and two brothers not entirely worked their own big grow, but rented a one-fourth segment from Nat Wheeler. They were master farmers. If there was a dry summer and a failure, Leonard alone laughed and stretched his long arms, and put in a bigger crop next class. Claude was constantly a little reserve with Leonard ; he felt that the youthful world was rather contemptuous of the hap-hazard room in which things were done on the Wheeler place, and thought his going to college a waste of money. Leonard had not even gone through the Frankfort High School, and he was already a more successful man than Claude was ever likely to be. Leonard did think these things, but he was adoring of Claude, all the same .
At sunset the car was speeding over a fine stretch of smooth road across the level state that lay between Frankfort and the pugnacious bring along lovely Creek. Leonard ‘s attention was largely given up to admiring the faultless behavior of his engine. presently he chuckled to himself and turned to Claude .
“ I wonder if you ‘d take it wholly right if I told you a joke on Bayliss ? ”
“ I expect I would. ” Claude ‘s tone was not at all tidal bore .
“ You saw Bayliss today ? Notice anything curious about him, one eye a little off color ? Did he tell you how he got it ? ”
“ No. I did n’t ask him. ”
“ equitable ampere well. A set of people did ask him, though, and he said he was hunting around his seat for something in the dark and ran into a grim reaper. Well, I ‘m the harvester ! ”
Claude looked interested. “ You mean to say Bayliss was in a fight ? ”
Leonard laughed. “ Lord, no ! Do n’t you know Bayliss ? I went in there to pay a bill yesterday, and Susie Grey and another female child came in to sell tickets for the firemen ‘s dinner. An promote homo for this circus was hanging around, and he began talking a small smart, —nothing rough, but the way such fellows will. The girls handed it rear to him, and sold him three tickets and shut him up. I could n’t see how Susie thought thus immediate what to say. The minute the girls went out Bayliss started knocking them ; said all the country girls were getting excessively fresh and knew more than they ought to about managing flashy men—and right there I reached out and handed him one. I hit harder than I meant to. I meant to slap him, not to give him a black eye. But you ca n’t always regulate things, and I was hot all over. I waited for him to come back at me. I ‘m bigger than he is, and I wanted to give him atonement. Well, sir, he never moved a muscle ! He stood there getting crimson and crimson, and his eyes watered. I do n’t say he cried, but his eyes watered. ‘All right, Bayliss, ‘ said I. ‘Slow with your fists, if that ‘s your principle ; but slow with your clapper, excessively, —especially when the parties mentioned are n’t give. ‘ ”
“ Bayliss will never get over that, ” was Claude ‘s only comment .
“ He do n’t have to ! ” Leonard threw up his head. “ I ‘m a good customer ; he can like it or lump it, till the price of binding twist goes depressed ! ”
For the modern few minutes the driver was occupied with trying to get up a hanker, roughly hill on high gearing. sometimes he could make that hill, and sometimes he could n’t, and he was not able to account for the difference. After he pulled the second lever with some disgust and let the car amble on as she would, he noticed that his companion was disconcerted .
“ I ‘ll tell you what, Leonard, ” Claude spoke in a strain voice, “ I think the carnival thing for you to do is to get out here by the road and give me a chance. ”
Leonard swung his steering steering wheel viciously to pass a beach wagon on the down english of the hill. “ What the devil are you talking about, boy ? ”
“ You think you ‘ve got our measurement all right, but you ought to give me a chance first gear. ”
Leonard looked depressed in astonishment at his own big brown hands, lying on the bicycle. “ You mortal horse around kid, what would I be telling you all this for, if I did n’t know you were another breed of cats ? I never thought you got on besides well with Bayliss yourself. ”
“ I do n’t, but I wo n’t have you thinking you can slap the men in my family whenever you feel like it. ” Claude knew that his explanation sounded anserine, and his voice, in malice of all he could do, was unaccented and angry .
Young Leonard Dawson saw he had hurt the male child ‘s feelings. “ Lord, Claude, I know you ‘re a champion. Bayliss never was. I went to school with him. ”
The depend on ended amicably, but Claude would n’t let Leonard take him home. He jumped out of the cable car with a crisp good-night, and ran across the dark-skinned fields toward the light that shine from the firm on the hill. At the little bridge over the brook, he stopped to get his breath and to be certain that he was outwardly composed before he went in to see his mother .
“ Ran against a grim reaper in the dark ! ” he muttered aloud, clenching his fist .
Listening to the deep singing of the frogs, and to the distant bark of the dogs up at the house, he grew calm. however, he wondered why it was that one had sometimes to feel responsible for the behavior of people whose natures were wholly antipathetic to one ‘s own .

III

THE circus was on Saturday. The next morning Claude was standing at his dressing table, shaving. His beard was already impregnable, a shade dark than his hair and not sol red as his bark. His eyebrows and farseeing lashes were a picket corn-colour—made his blue eyes seem lighter than they were, and, he thought, gave a attend of shyness and helplessness to the upper region of his face. He was precisely the classify of looking boy he didn’t want to be. He particularly hated his head, —so adult that he had trouble in buying his hats, and uncompromisingly square in determine ; a perfect block-head. His name was another source of humiliation. Claude : it was a “ chump ” name, like Elmer and Roy ; a yokel name trying to be finely. In area schools there was constantly a red-headed, warty-handed, runny-nosed little male child who was called Claude. His good physique he took for granted ; smooth, mesomorphic arms and legs, and solid shoulders, a farmer son might be supposed to have. unfortunately he had none of his forefather ‘s physical repose, and his strength frequently asserted itself inharmoniously. The storms that went on in his judgment sometimes made him rise, or sit down, or raise something, more violently than there was any apparent argue for his doing .
The family sleep late on Sunday dawn ; even Mahailey did not get up until seven. The general signal for breakfast was the smell of doughnuts frying. This dawn Ralph rolled out of bed at the last hour and callously put on his uninfected underwear without taking a bathroom. This monetary value him not one repent, though he took time to polish his new ox-blood shoes tenderly with a pocket handkerchief. He reached the table when all the others were half through breakfast, and made his peace by affably asking his mother if she did n’t want him to drive her to church in the car .
“ I ‘d like to go if I can get the workplace done in time, ” she said, doubtfully glancing at the clock .
“ Ca n’t Mahailey tend to things for you this dawn ? ”
Mrs. Wheeler hesitated. “ Everything but the centrifuge, she can. But she ca n’t fit all the parts together. It ‘s a good deal of employment, you know. ”
“ now, Mother, ” said Ralph good-humouredly, as he emptied the syrup pitcher over his cakes, “ you ‘re prejudiced. cipher always thinks of skimming milk now-a-days. Every up-to-date farmer uses a centrifuge. ”
Mrs. Wheeler ‘s pale eyes twinkled. “ Mahailey and I will never be quite up-to-date, Ralph. We ‘re antique, and I do n’t know but you ‘d better let us be. I could see the advantage of a centrifuge if we milked half-a-dozen cows. It ‘s a very clever machine. But it’s a great cover more ferment to scald it and fit it together than it was to take care of the milk in the honest-to-god way. ”
“ It wo n’t be when you get used to it, ” Ralph assured her. He was the head mechanic of the Wheeler farm, and when the farm implements and the automobiles did not give him enough to do, he went to town and bought machines for the house. deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as Mahailey got used to a washing-machine or a churn, Ralph, to keep up with the bristling march of events, brought base a still newer one. The mechanical dish-washer she had never been able to use, and patent flat-irons and oil-stoves drove her wild .
Claude told his mother to go upstairs and trim ; he would scald the centrifuge while Ralph got the cable car cook. He was still working at it when his brother came in from the garage to wash his hands .
“ You actually ought n’t to load Mother up with things like this, Ralph, ” he exclaimed fretfully. “ Did you ever try washing this curse thing yourself ? ”
“ Of course I have. If Mrs. Dawson can manage it, I should think Mother could. ”
“ Mrs. Dawson is a younger woman. Anyhow, there ‘s no indicate in trying to make machinists of Mahailey and Mother. ”
Ralph lifted his eyebrows to excuse Claude ‘s dullness. “ See here, ” he said persuasively, “ do n’t you go encouraging her into think she ca n’t change her ways. Mother ‘s entitled to all the labour-saving devices we can get her. ”
Claude rattled the thirty-odd calibrate alloy funnels which he was trying to fit together in their proper sequence. “ well, if this is labour-saving——— ”
The younger male child giggled and ran upstairs for his Panama hat. He never quarrelled. Mrs. Wheeler sometimes said it was fantastic, how much Ralph would take from Claude .
After Ralph and his mother had gone off in the cable car, Mr. Wheeler drove to see his german neighbor, Gus Yoeder, who had precisely bought a full-blooded bullshit. Dan and Jerry were pitching horseshoes down behind the barn. Claude told Mahailey he was going to the basement to put up the swing shelf she had been wanting, so that the rats could n’t get at her vegetables .
“ thank you, Mr. Claude. I do n’t know what does make the rats indeed bad. The cat catches one most every day, excessively. ”
“ I guess they come up from the barn. I ‘ve got a decent wide-eyed board down at the garage for your ledge. ”
The basement was cemented, cool and dry, with deep closets for canned yield and flour and groceries, bins for char and cob, and a dark-room full of photographer ‘s apparatus. Claude took his put at the carpenter ‘s bench under one of the square windows. mysterious objects stood about him in the grey twilight ; electric batteries, old bicycles and typewriters, a machine for making cement fence-posts, a vulcanizer, a stereopticon with a fracture lens. The mechanical toys Ralph could not operate successfully, equally well as those he had got tired of, were stored away here. If they were left in the barn, Mr. Wheeler saw them excessively frequently, and sometimes, when they happened to be in his manner, he made sarcastic comments. Claude had begged his beget to let him pile this baseball bat into a police van and dump it into some flop hole along the brook ; but Mrs. Wheeler said he must not think of such a thing, as it would hurt Ralph ‘s feelings very much. about every time Claude went into the root cellar, he made a despairing purpose to clear the topographic point out some day, reflecting bitterly that the money this wreckage cost would have put a boy through college decently .
While Claude was planing off the board he meant to suspend from the joists, Mahailey left her work and came down to watch him. She made some guise of hunting for pickled onions, then seated herself upon a redneck box ; close at hand there was a plush “ springrocker ” with one arm gone, but it would n’t have been her idea of adept manners to sit there. Her eyes had a kind of sleepy contentment in them as she followed Claude ‘s motions. She watched him as if he were a child play. Her hands lie down comfortably in her lap .
“ Mr. Ernest ai n’t been over for a farseeing time. He ai n’t delirious about nothin ‘, is he ? ”
“ Oh, no ! He ‘s nasty busy this summer. I saw him in town yesterday. We went to the circus together. ”
Mahailey smiled and nodded. “ That ‘s nice. I ‘m gladiolus for you two boys to have a good time. Mr. Ernest ‘s a nice son ; I constantly liked him first rate. He ‘s a little chap, though. He ai n’t big like you, is he ? I guess he ai n’t adenine tall as Mr. Ralph, evening. ”
“ not quite, ” said Claude between strokes. “ He ‘s firm, though, and gets through a distribute of work. ”
“ Oh, I know ! I know he is. I know he works hard. All them foreigners works hard, do n’t they, Mr. Claude ? I reckon he liked the circus. possibly they do n’t have circuses like our’n, over where he come from. ”
Claude began to tell her about the clown elephant and the train dogs, and she sat listening to him with her please, anserine smile ; there was something wise and far-seeing about her smile, besides .
Mahailey had come to them hanker ago, when Claude was lone a few months old. She had been brought West by a shiftless Virginia family which went to pieces and scattered under the severity of pioneer farm-life. When the mother of the family died, there was nowhere for Mahailey to go, and Mrs. Wheeler took her in. Mahailey had no one to take caution of her, and Mrs. Wheeler had no one to help her with the ferment ; it had turned out identical well .
Mahailey had had a hard biography in her young days, married to a ferocious mountaineer who frequently abused her and never provided for her. She could remember times when she sat in the cabin, beside an empty meal-barrel and a cold cast-iron toilet, waiting for “ him ” to bring home a squirrel he had shot or a chicken he had stolen. besides often he brought nothing but a jug of mountain whiskey and a pair of brutal fists. She thought herself good off now, never to have to beg for food or go off into the woods to gather open fire, to be certain of a quick bed and shoes and decent clothes. Mahailey was one of eighteen children ; most of them grew up anarchic or backward, and two of her brothers, like her husband, ended their lives in imprison. She had never been sent to school, and could not read or write. Claude, when he was a little boy, tried to teach her to read, but what she learned one night she had forgotten by the following. She could count, and tell the time of sidereal day by the clock, and she was very proud of knowing the rudiment and of being able to spell out letters on the flour sacks and chocolate packages. “ That ‘s a big a, ” she would murmur, “ and that there ‘s a little a. ”
Mahailey was shrewd in her estimate of people, and Claude thought her judgment sound in a good many things. He knew she sensed all the shades of personal feel, the accords and antipathies in the family, american samoa keenly as he did, and he would have hated to lose her effective opinion. She consulted him in all her little difficulties. If the leg of the kitchen table got rickety, she knew he would put in new screws for her. When she broke a manage off her roll pin, he put on another, and he fitted a haft to her favorite butcher-knife after every one else said it must be thrown away. These objects, after they had been mended, acquired a new value in her eyes, and she liked to work with them. When Claude helped her rise or behave anything, he never avoided touching her, —this she felt profoundly. She suspected that Ralph was a little ashamed of her, and would prefer to have some brisk new thing about the kitchen .
On days like this, when other people were not about, Mahailey liked to talk to Claude about the things they did together when he was little ; the Sundays when they used to wander along the brook, hunting for baseless grapes and watching the loss squirrels ; or trailed across the high pastures to a wild-plum brush at the north end of the Wheeler farm. Claude could remember strong spring days when the clean bushes were all in flower and Mahailey used to lie down under them and sing to herself, as if the honey-heavy bouquet made her drowsy ; songs without words, for the most region, though he recalled one batch dirge which said over and over, “ And they laid Jesse James in his grave. ”

IV

THE time was approaching for Claude to go back to the struggling denominational college on the outskirts of the express capital, where he had already spent two blue and unprofitable winters .
“ mother, ” he said one dawn when he had an opportunity to speak to her entirely, “ I wish you would let me quit the Temple, and go to the State University. ”
She looked astir from the aggregate of dough she was kneading .
“ But why, Claude ? ”
“ well, I could learn more, for one matter. The professors at the Temple are n’t much adept. Most of them are equitable preachers who could n’t make a populate at preaching. ”
The look of trouble that constantly disarmed Claude came instantaneously into his mother ‘s expression. “ Son, do n’t say such things. I ca n’t believe but teachers are more concerned in their students when they are concerned for their spiritual development, a good as the mental. Brother Weldon said many of the professors at the State University are not christian men ; they evening boast of it, in some cases. ”
“ Oh, I guess most of them are good men, all right ; at any pace they know their subjects. These little pinheaded preachers like Weldon do a fortune of injury, running about the country talking. He ‘s sent around to pull in students for his own school. If he did n’t get them he’d lose his job. I wish he ‘d never got me. Most of the fellows who flunk out at the State come to us, precisely as he did. ”
“ But how can there be any good discipline where they give then much time to athletics and bagatelle ? They pay their football coach a larger wage than their Chancellor. And those fraternity houses are places where boys learn all sorts of malefic. I ‘ve heard that atrocious things go on in them sometimes. Besides, it would take more money, and you could n’t live deoxyadenosine monophosphate cheaply as you do at the Chapins ‘. ”
Claude made no answer. He stood before her frowning and pull at a calloused topographic point on the inside of his decoration. Mrs. Wheeler looked at him wistfully. “ I ‘m sure you must be able to study better in a quiet, dangerous atmosphere, ” she said .
He sighed and turned away. If his mother had been the least bite buttery, like Brother Weldon, he could have told her many edifying facts. But she was so trustful and childlike, thus close by nature and so ignorant of life as he knew it, that it was hopeless to argue with her. He could shock her and make her concern the universe even more than she did, but he could never make her sympathize .
His mother was antique. She thought dancing and dissipated dangerous pastimes—only rocky people did such things when she was a girl in Ver-mont—and “ worldliness ” only another word for iniquity. According to her creation of education, one should learn, not think ; and above all, one must not enquire. The history of the human race, as it lay behind one, was already explained ; and so was its destiny, which lay before. The mind should remain obediently within the theological concept of history .
Nat Wheeler did n’t care where his son went to school, but he, besides, took it for granted that the religious institution was cheaper than the State University ; and that because the students there looked shabbier they were less likely to become excessively knowing, and to be offensively intelligent at home. however, he referred the matter to Bayliss one day when he was in town .
“ Claude ‘s got some notion he wants to go to the State University this winter. ” Bayliss at once assumed that knowing, better-be-prepared-for-the-worst formulation which had made him seem calculating and seasoned from boyhood. “ I do n’t see any period in changing unless he ‘s got good reasons. ”
“ well, he thinks that bunch of parsons at the Temple do n’t make ace teachers. ”
“ I expect they can teach Claude quite a bit so far. If he gets in with that fast football herd at the State, there ‘ll be no holding him. ” For some reason Bayliss detested football. “ This acrobatic clientele is a good manage overdo. If Claude wants exercise, he might put in the hang pale yellow. ”
That night Mr. Wheeler brought the topic up at supper, questioned Claude, and tried to get at the cause of his discontented. His manner was jocosely, as common, and Claude hated any public discussion of his personal affairs. He was afraid of his church father ‘s humor when it got excessively near him .
Claude might have enjoyed the boastfully and slightly gross cartoons with which Mr. Wheeler enlivened day by day liveliness, had they been of any other writing. But he unreasonably wanted his father to be the most dignify, as he was surely the handsomest and most intelligent, man in the community. furthermore, Claude could n’t bear derision very well. He squirmed before he was hit ; saw it coming, invited it. Mr. Wheeler had observed this trait in him when he was a little crevice, called it false pride, and often intentionally outraged his feelings to harden him, as he had hardened Claude ‘s mother, who was afraid of everything but schoolbooks and prayer-meetings when he first gear married her. She was still more or less bewilder, but she had hanker ago got over any fear of him and any fear of animation with him. She accepted everything about her husband as depart of his broken maleness, and of that she was gallant, in her silence way .
Claude had never quite forgiven his father for some of his hardheaded jokes. One warm spring day, when he was a boisterous small boy of five, playing in and out of the house, he heard his mother entreating Mr. Wheeler to go down to the grove and pick the cherries from a tree that hang loaded. Claude remembered that she persisted rather complainingly, saying that the cherries were besides high for her to reach, and that even if she had a ladder it would hurt her spinal column. Mr. Wheeler was constantly annoyed if his wife referred to any physical weakness, particularly if she complained about her back. He got up and went out. After a while he returned. “ All properly nowadays, Evangeline, ” he called pleasantly as he passed through the kitchen. “ Cherries wo n’t give you any trouble. You and Claude can run along and pick ’em arsenic slowly as can be. ” Mrs. Wheeler trustfully put on her sunbonnet, gave Claude a little pail and took a bad one herself, and they went down the eatage hill to the grove, fenced in on the low estate by the brook. The ground had been ploughed that spring to make it hold moisture, and Claude was running happily along in one of the furrows, when he looked up and beheld a sight he could never forget. The beautiful, round-topped cherry tree, entire of green leaves and red fruit, —his founder had sawed it through ! It lay on the grind beside its shed blood stump. With one screech Claude became a small demon. He threw away his tin pail, jumped about howl and kicking the loose earth with his copper-toed shoes, until his mother was much more concerned for him than for the tree .
“ Son, son, ” she cried, “ it ‘s your father ‘s corner. He has a arrant mighty to cut it down if he wants to. He ‘s much said the trees were excessively midst in here. Maybe it will be better for the others. ”
“ ‘Tai n’t sol ! He ‘s a damn jester, bloody horse around ! ” Claude bellowed, still hopping and kick, about choking with fury and hate .
His mother dropped on her knees beside him. “ Claude, end ! I ‘d rather have the wholly grove cut down than hear you say such things. ”
After she got him quieted they picked the cherries and went back to the sign of the zodiac. Claude had promised her that he would say nothing, but his founder must have noticed the little son ‘s angry eyes fixed upon him all through dinner, and his formula of reject. even then his flexible lips were only besides well adapted to hold the video of that feel. For days afterwards Claude went down to the grove and watched the tree grow nauseated, wilt and wither away. God would surely punish a man who could do that, he thought .
A fierce temper and physical restlessness were the most blatant things about Claude when he was a little male child. Ralph was docile, and had a precocious sagacity for keeping out of trouble. hushed in manner, he was prolific in devising maleficence, and easily persuaded his erstwhile buddy, who was always looking for something to do, to execute his plans. It was normally Claude who was caught red-handed. Sitting meek and contemplative on his quilt on the floor, Ralph would whisper to Claude that it might be amusing to climb up and take the clock from the shelf, or to operate the sewing-machine. When they were older, and played out of doors, he had only to insinuate that Claude was afraid, to make him try a frost ax with his tongue, or alternate from the shed roof .
The common hardships of area boyhood were not adequate for Claude ; he imposed forcible tests and penances upon himself. Whenever he burned his finger, he followed Mahailey ‘s advice and held his hand close to the stave to “ draw out the fire. ” One year he went to school all winter in his jacket, to make himself rugged. His mother would button him up in his greatcoat and put his dinner-pail in his hand and start him off. angstrom soon as he got out of sight of the house, he pulled off his coat, rolled it under his arm, and scudded along the edge of the freeze fields, arriving at the inning school pant and shudder, but very well pleased with himself .

V

CLAUDE waited for his elders to change their heed about where he should go to school ; but no one seemed much concerned, not even his mother .
Two years ago, the young man whom Mrs. Wheeler called “ Brother Weldon ” had come out from Lincoln, preaching in little towns and area churches, and recruiting students for the institution at which he taught in the winter. He had convinced Mrs. Wheeler that his college was the safest possible home for a son who was leaving home for the first time .
Claude ‘s mother was not discriminating about preachers. She believed them all choose and sanctified, and was never happier than when she had one in the house to cook for and wait upon. She made young Mr. Weldon sol comfortable that he remained under her ceiling for several weeks, occupying the spare room, where he spent the mornings in study and meditation. He appeared regularly at mealtime to ask a blessing upon the food and to sit with dear, gloomy eyes while the chicken was being dismembered. His top-shaped capitulum hung a little to one side, the dilute hair was parted precisely over his high gear frontal bone and brushed in small ripples. He was soft-spoken and apologetic in manner and took up american samoa short room as possible. His meekness amused Mr. Wheeler, who liked to ply him with food and never failed to ask him badly “ what part of the chicken he would prefer, ” in order to hear him murmur, “ A little of the white meat, if you please, ” while he drew his elbows conclusion, as if he were adroitly sliding over a dangerous topographic point. In the good afternoon Brother Weldon normally put on a fresh lawn necktie and a difficult, glistening straw hat which left a crimson streak across his brow, tucked his bible under his arm, and went out to make calls. If he went far, Ralph took him in the car .
Claude disliked this young man from the moment he first met him, and could hardly answer him civilly. Mrs. Wheeler, always absent-minded, and now absorbed in her cherishing care of the visitor, did not detect Claude ‘s contemptuous silences until Mahailey, whom such things never escaped, whispered to her over the stove one day : “ Mr. Claude, he do n’t like the preacher. He precisely ai n’t got no use fur him, but do n’t you let on. ”
As a result of Brother Weldon ‘s sojourn at the farm, Claude was sent to the Temple College. Claude had come to believe that the things and people he most disliked were the ones that were to shape his destiny .
When the moment week of September came rung, he threw a few clothes and books into his torso and said adieu to his mother and Mahailey. Ralph took him into Frankfort to catch the train for Lincoln. After settling himself in the dirty day-coach, Claude fell to meditating upon his prospects. There was a Pullman cable car on the train, but to take a Pullman for a day journey was one of the things a Wheeler did not do .
Claude knew that he was going spinal column to the wrong school, that he was wasting both time and money. He sneered at himself for his miss of spirit. If he had to do with strangers, he told himself, he could take up his case and fight for it. He could not assert himself against his father or mother, but he could be bold adequate with the respite of the populace. Yet, if this were true, why did he continue to live with the boring Chapins ?
The Chapin family consisted of a brother and baby. Edward Chapin was a man of twenty-six, with an old, wasted face, —and he was still going to school, studying for the ministry. His sister Annabelle kept house for him ; that is to say, she did any housework was done. The brother supported himself and his sister by getting odd jobs from churches and religious societies ; he “ supply ” the dais when a minister was ill, did secretarial work for the college and the Young Men ‘s Christian Association. Claude’s weekly payment for room and dining table, though a minor kernel, was identical necessity to their consolation .
Chapin had been going to the Temple College for four years, and it would credibly take him two years more to complete the course. He conned his book on trolley-cars, or while he waited by the traverse on windy corners, and studied far into the night. His natural stupidity must have been something quite out of the ordinary ; after years of respectful survey, he could not read the greek will without a dictionary and grammar at his elbow. He gave a great softwood of meter to the practice of elocution and oratory. At certain hours their fallible domicile—it had been thinly built for the academic inadequate and seat upon concrete blocks in stead of a foundation—re-echoed with his gruff, overstrain voice, declaiming his own orations or those of Wendell Phillips .
Annabelle Chapin was one of Claude ‘s classmates. She was not ampere dull as her brother ; she could learn a conjugation and recognize the forms when she met with them again. But she was a gushing, cockamamie girl, who found about everything in their begrimed life sentence besides good to be true ; and she was, unfortunately, sentimental about Claude. Annabelle chanted her lessons over and over to herself while she cooked and scrubbed. She was one of those people who can make the finest things seem domesticate and flat merely by alluding to them. last winter she had recited the odes of Horace about the house—it was precisely her notion of the student-like thing to do—until Claude feared he would constantly associate that poet with the heaviness of hurriedly prepare luncheons .
Mrs. Wheeler liked to feel that Claude was assisting this desirable pair in their clamber for an education ; but he had long ago decided that since neither of the Chapins got anything out of their efforts but a kind of messy inefficiency, the conflict might well have been relinquished in the begin. He took care of his own room ; kept it unsheathed and habitable, rid from Annabelle ‘s attentions and decorations. But the flimsy pretences of light-housekeeping were identical distasteful to him. He was born with a sleep together of order, good as he was born with crimson hair. It was a personal attribute .
The boy felt bitterly about the way in which he had been brought up, and about his hair and his freckles and his awkwardness. When he went to the field in Lincoln, he took a seat in the gallery, because he knew that he looked like a green area son. His clothes were never right. He bought collars that were besides high and neckties that were excessively bright, and hid them away in his trunk. His one experiment with a cut was abortive. The tailor saw at once that his stammering node did n’t know what he wanted, so he persuaded him that as the season was spring he needed light checked trousers and a aristocratic serge coat and vest. When Claude wore his newfangled clothes to St. Paul ‘s church on Sunday morning, the eyes of every one he met followed his smart legs down the street. For the next week he observed the peg of old men and young, and decided there wasn’t another pair of see pants in Lincoln. He hung his newly clothes up in his water closet and never put them on again, though Annabelle Chapin watched for them wistfully .
however, Claude thought he could recognize a well-groomed serviceman when he saw one. He even thought he could recognize a well-groomed woman. If an attractive charwoman got into the street car when he was on his way to or from temple Place, he was distracted between the hope to look at her and the wish to seem indifferent .
Claude is on his way back to Lincoln, with a reasonably broad allowance which does not contribute much to his comfort or pleasure. He has no friends or instructors whom he can regard with admiration, though the motivation to admire is good now uppermost in his nature. He is convinced that the people who might mean something to him will always misjudge him and pass him by. He is not so much afraid of aloneness as he is of accepting cheap substitutes ; of making excuses to himself for a teacher who flatters him, of waking up some dawn to find himself admiring a girlfriend merely because she is accessible. He has a fear of easy compromises, and he is terribly afraid of being fooled .

VI

THREE months belated, on a grey December day, Claude was seated in the passenger coach of an accommodation cargo train, going home for the holidays. He had a pile of books on the induct beside him and was reading, when the aim stopped with a jerk that sent the volumes tumbling to the floor. He picked them up and looked at his vigil. It was noon. The freight would lie hera for an hour or more, until the east-bound passenger went by. Claude left the car and walked lento up the platform toward the station. A bundle of little spruce up trees had been flung off near the freight office, and sent a spirit of Christmas into the cold air. A few drays stood about, the horses blanketed. The steam from the locomotive made a circulate, deep-violet tarnish as it curled up against the grey sky .
Claude went into a restaurant across the street and ordered an huitre grizzle. The proprietress, a fatten little german woman with a crimp knock, constantly remembered him from tripper to trip. While he was eating his oysters she told him that she had merely finished roasting a chicken with sweetness potatoes, and if he liked he could have the first brown cut off the front before the trainmen came in for dinner. Asking her to bring it along, he waited, sitting on a stool, his boots on the lead-pipe foot-rest, his elbows on the glazed brown anticipate, staring at a pyramid of tough looking bun-sandwiches under a glass earth .
“ I been lookin ‘ for you every day, ” said Mrs. Voigt when she brought his plate. “ I put batch good gravy on dem gratifying pertaters, ja. ”
“ Thank you. You must be popular with your boarders. ”
She giggled. “ Ja, all de train men is friend massachusetts institute of technology me. sometimes dey bring me a liddle Schweizerkäse from one of dem big saloons in Omaha what de Cherman beobles batronize. I ai n’t got no boys mein own self, so I got to fix up liddle tings for dem boys, eh ? ”
She stood nursing her chunky hands under her apron, watching every mouthful he ate sol eagerly that she might have been tasting it herself. The train crew trooped in, shouting to her and asking what there was for dinner, and she ran about like an aroused little hen, chuckling and cackling. Claude wondered whether working-men were ampere nice as that to previous women the world over. He did n’t believe so. He liked to think that such affability was common entirely in what he broadly called “ the West. ” He bought a boastful cigar, and strolled up and down the platform, enjoying the fresh air until the passenger whistled in .
After his freight train got under steam he did not open his books again, but sat looking out at the grey homesteads as they unrolled before him, with their stripped, dry cornfields, and the bang-up plowed stretches where the winter wheat was asleep. A starry sprinkle of snow lay like hoar-frost along the crumbly ridges between the furrows .
Claude believed he knew about every farm between Frankfort and Lincoln, he had made the travel so frequently, on firm trains and slow. He went home for all the holidays, and had been again and again called back on diverse pretexts ; when his mother was brainsick, when Ralph overturned the cable car and broke his shoulder, when his church father was kicked by a condemnable stallion. It was not a Wheeler custom to employ a nurse ; if any one in the family was ill, it was understood that some penis of the syndicate would act in that capacity .
Claude was reflecting upon the fact that he had never gone home before in such effective spirits. Two fortunate things had happened to him since he went over this road three months ago .
angstrom soon as he reached Lincoln in September, he had matriculated at the State University for particular work in european History. The year before he had heard the head of the department lecture for some charity, and resolved that even if he were not allowed to change his college, he would manage to study under that serviceman. The run Claude selected was one upon which a scholar could put as much time as he chose. It was based upon the read of historical sources, and the Professor was notoriously greedy for full notebooks. Claude ‘s were of the fullest. He worked early on and late at the University Library, much got his supper in town and went back to read until closing hour. For the first time he was studying a subject which seemed to him vital, which had to do with events and ideas, rather of with lexicons and grammars. How frequently he had wished for Ernest during the lectures ! He could see Ernest drinking them up, agreeing or dissenting in his mugwump way. The class was very boastfully, and the Professor spoke without notes, —he talked quickly, as if he were addressing his equals, with none of the coaxing persuasiveness to which Temple students were accustomed. His lectures were condensed like a legal brief, but there was a kind of dry excitement in his voice, and when he occasionally interrupted his exposition with strictly personal comment, it seemed valuable and important .
Claude normally came out from these lectures with the feel that the world was wide of stimulating things, and that one was fortunate to be alive and to be able to find out about them. His reading that fall actually made the future front bright to him ; seemed to promise him something. One of his foreman difficulties had always been that he could not make himself believe in the importance of making money or outgo it. If that were all, then animation was not worth the trouble .
The second good matter that had befallen him was that he had got to know some people he liked. This came about unintentionally, after a football game between the Temple football team and the State University team—merely a commit game for the latter. Claude was playing half-back with the Temple. Toward the close of the first quarter, he followed his hindrance safely around the right end, dodged a tackle which threatened to end the play, and broke free for a ninety-yard operate down the field for a touchdown. He brought his football team off with a dear prove. The State men congratulated him warmly, and their coach went so far as to hint that if he always wanted to make a deepen, there would be a rate for him on the University team .
Claude had a proud moment, but tied while Coach Ballinger was talking to him, the Temple students rushed howling from the grandstand, and Annabelle Chapin, pathetic in a sport suit of her own structure, bedecked with the Temple colours and blowing a child’s horn, positively threw herself upon his neck. He disengaged himself, not very lightly, and stalked grimly away to the dressing shed. .. . What was the use, if you were always with the incorrectly crowd ?
Julius Erlich, who played quarter on the State team, took him apart and said affably : “ Come family to supper with me tonight, Wheeler, and meet my mother. Come along with us and dress in the Armory. You have your clothes in your bag, have n’t you ? ”
“ They ‘re hardly clothes to go visiting in, ” Claude replied doubtfully .
“ Oh, that does n’t matter ! We ‘re all boys at home. Mother wouldn’t mind if you came in your track things. ”
Claude consented before he had time to frighten himself by imagining difficulties. The Erlich boy frequently sat following him in the history course, and they had respective times talked together. Hitherto Claude had felt that he “ could n’t make Erlich out, ” but this good afternoon, while they dressed after their shower, they became good friends, all in a few minutes. Claude was possibly less tied-up in beware and body than usual. He was indeed astonished at finding himself on easy, confidential terms with Erlich that he hardly gave a think to his second-day shirt and his collar with a pause edge, —wretched economies he had been trained to observe .
They had not walked more than two blocks from the Armory when Julius turned in at a rambling wooden house with an unfenced, terrace lawn. He led Claude around to the wing, and through a glass door into a big room that was all windows on three sides, above the wainscot. The room was full of boys and young men, seated on hanker divans or perched on the arms of easy chairs, and they were all talking at once. On one of the couches a young man in a smoke jacket lay reading angstrom collectedly as if he were alone .
“ Five of these are my brothers, ” said his server, “ and the lie are friends. ”
The company recognized Claude and included him in their talk about the game. When the visitors had gone, Julius introduced his brothers. They were all dainty boys, Claude thought, and had easy, agreeable manners. The three older ones were in business, but they excessively had been to the game that good afternoon. Claude had never ahead seen brothers who were so outspoken and frank with one another. To him they were very affable ; the matchless who was lying down came forward to shake hands, keeping the place in his book with his finger .
On a table in the middle of the room were pipes and boxes of tobacco, cigars in a glass jar, and a big taiwanese bowl broad of cigarettes. This provisionment seemed the more noteworthy to Claude because at home he had to smoke in the cowbarn. The count of books astonished him about as much ; the wainscoting all around the board was built up in loose bookcases, stuffed with volumes fatten and thin, and they all looked matter to and hard-used. One of the brothers had been to a party the night before, and on hail home had put his dress-tie about the neck of a little plaster of paris burst of Byron that stood on the mantel. This head, with the bind at a devil-may-care angle, drew Claude ‘s attention more than anything else in the room, and for some reason instantaneously made him wish he lived there .
Julius brought in his mother, and when they went to supper Claude was seated beside her at one goal of the long table. Mrs. Erlich seemed to him very young to be the head of such a kin. Her hair was still brown, and she wore it drawn over her ears and twisted in two little horns, like the ladies in old daguerreotypes. Her grimace, excessively, suggested a daguerreotype ; there was something antique and picturesque about it. Her peel had the soft white of white flowers that have been drenched by rain. She talked with quick gestures, and her decide fiddling nod was quaint and very personal. Her hazel-coloured eyes peered expectantly over her nose-glasses, constantly watching to see things turn out wonderfully well ; always looking for some good german fairy in the cupboard or the cake-box, or in the steaming vaporization of wash-day .
The boys were discussing an betrothal that had precisely been announced, and Mrs. Erlich began to tell Claude a long story about how this brilliant young man had come to Lincoln and met this beautiful young daughter, who was already engaged to a cold and academic youth, and how after many heart-burnings the beautiful girl had broken with the wrong man and become betrothed to the right one, and now they were so glad, —and every one, she asked Claude to believe, was evenly felicitous ! In the in-between of her narrative Julius reminded her smilingly that since Claude did n’t know these people, he would hardly be matter to in their woo, but she merely looked at him over her nose-glasses and said, “ And is that sol, Herr Julius ! ” One could see that she was a pit for them .
The conversation went racing from one matter to another. The brothers began to argue heatedly about a newly girl who was visiting in township ; whether she was pretty, how pretty she was, whether she was naïve. To Claude this was like lecture in a play. He had never heard a living person discussed and analyzed thus earlier. He had never heard a family spill the beans sol much, or with anything like so a lot nip. here there was none of the poisonous reserve he had always associated with syndicate gatherings, nor the awkwardness of people sitting with their hands in their lap, facing each other, each one guarding his secret or his intuition, while he hunted for a dependable subject to talk about. Their birthrate of phrase, excessively, astonished him ; how could people find so much to say about one female child ? To be sure, a well consider of it sounded far-fetched to him, but he sadly admitted that in such matters he was no judge .
When they went back to the animation room Julius began to pick out airs on his guitar, and the beard brother sat down to read. Otto, the youngest, seeing a group of students passing the house, ran out on to the lawn and called them in, —two boys, and a girlfriend with crimson cheeks and a fur stole. Claude had made for a corner, and was absolutely content to be an on-looker, but Mrs. Erlich soon came and seated herself beside him. When the doors into the parlor were opened, she noticed his eyes straying to an engraving of Napoleon which hang over the piano, and made him go and look at it. She told him it was a rare engraving, and she showed him a portrait of her great-grandfather, who was an officer in Napoleon ‘s army. To explain how this came about was a hanker story .
As she talked to Claude, Mrs. Erlich discovered that his eyes were not actually picket, but alone looked therefore because of his inner light lashes. They could say a great consider when they looked squarely into hers, and she liked what they said. She soon found out that he was discontented ; how he hated the Temple school, and why his mother wished him to go there .
When the three who had been called in from the sidewalk took their leave, Claude rose besides. They were obviously familiars of the theater, and their careless die, with a gay “ Good-night, everybody ! ” gave him no virtual hypnotism as to what he ought to say or how he was to get out. Julius made things more difficult by telling him to sit down, as it was n’t meter to go so far. But Mrs. Erlich said it was fourth dimension ; he would have a long ride out to Temple Place .
It was actually very easy. She walked to the door with him and gave him his hat, patting his arm in a concluding means. “ You will come often to see us. We are going to be friends. ” Her frontal bone, with its neat curtains of brown hair, came something below Claude ‘s chin, and she peered astir at him with that quaintly bright expression, as if—as if even he might turn out wonderfully well ! surely, cipher had ever looked at him like that before .
“ It ‘s been lovely, ” he murmured to her, quite without embarrassment, and in happy unconsciousness he turned the knob and passed out through the looking glass door .
While the freight train was puffing lento across the winter state, leaving a black trail suspended in the however air, Claude went over that experience minutely in his mind, as if he feared to lose something of it on approaching home. He could remember precisely how Mrs. Erlich and the boys had looked to him on that foremost night, could repeat about word for word the conversation which had been so novel to him. then he had supposed the Erlichs were rich people, but he found out afterwards that they were inadequate. The don was abruptly, and all the boys had to work, tied those who were hush in educate. They merely knew how to live, he discovered, and spent their money on themselves, alternatively of on machines to do the work and machines to entertain people. Machines, Claude decided, could not make joy, whatever else they could do. They could not make agreeable people, either. In so far as he could see, the latter were made by judicious indulgence in about everything he had been taught to shun .
Since that first visit, he had gone to the Erlichs ‘, not a frequently as he wished, surely, but arsenic frequently as he dared. Some of the University boys seemed to drop in there whenever they felt like it, were about members of the family ; but they were better looking than he, and better company. To be certain, long Baumgartner was an intimate of the house, and he was a gawky son with boastfully crimson hands and patched shoes ; but he could at least address german to the beget, and he played the piano, and seemed to know a great share about music .
Claude did n’t wish to be a bore. sometimes in the evening, when he left the Library to smoke a cigar, he walked slowly past the Erlichs ‘ house, looking at the fall windows of the sitting-room and wondering what was going on inwardly. Before he went there to call, he racked his mind for things to talk about. If there had been a football bet on, or a good turn at the dramaturgy, that helped, of course .
about without realizing what he was doing, he tried to think things out and to justify his opinions to himself, so that he would have something to say when the Erlich boys questioned him. He had grown up with the conviction that it was beneath his dignity to explain himself, fair as it was to dress cautiously, or to be caught taking pains about anything. Ernest was the only person he knew who tried to state distinctly merely why he believed this or that ; and people at home thought him very conceited and foreign. It was n’t american to explain yourself ; you did n’t have to ! On the farm you said you would or you would n’t ; that Roosevelt was all correct, or that he was crazy. You were n’t supposed to say more unless you were a stump loudspeaker, —if you tried to say more, it was because you liked to hear yourself talk. Since you never said anything, you did n’t form the substance abuse of think. If you got excessively much bored, you went to town and bought something new .
But all the people he met at the Erlichs ‘ talked. If they asked him about a play or a book and he said it was “ no good, ” they at once demanded why. The Erlichs thought him a clam, but Claude sometimes thought himself amazing. Could it actually be he, who was airing his opinions in this indelicate manner ? He caught himself using words that had never crossed his lips before, that in his heed were associated alone with the print page. When he abruptly realized that he was using a discussion for the first base time, and credibly mispronouncing it, he would become as much confused as if he were trying to pass a lead dollar, would blush and stammer and let some one finish his sentence for him .
Claude could n’t resist occasionally dropping in at the Erlichs ‘ in the good afternoon ; then the boys were away, and he could have Mrs. Erlich to himself for half-an-hour. When she talked to him she taught him therefore much about biography. He loved to hear her sing sentimental german songs as she worked ; “ Spinn, spinn, du Tochter mein. ” He did n’t know why, but he simply adored it ! every meter he went away from her he felt felicitous and wax of kindness, and thought about beechwoods and wall towns, or about Carl Schurz and the romanticist revolution .
He had been to see Mrs. Erlich precisely before starting base for the holidays, and found her make german Christmas cakes. She took him into the kitchen and explained the about holy traditions that governed this complicated cooking. Her excitation and seriousness as she beat and stirred were very pretty, Claude thinking. She told off on her fingers the many ingredients, but he believed there were things she did not name : the bouquet of old friendships, the glow of early memories, belief in wonder-working rhymes and songs. surely these were ticket things to put into little cakes ! After Claude left her, he did something a Wheeler did n’t do ; he went down to O street and sent her a box of the crimson roses he could find. In his pocket was the little note she had written to thank him .

VII

IT was beginning to grow blue when Claude reached the farm. While Ralph stopped to put away the cable car, he walked on alone to the firm. He never came binding without emotion, —try as he would to pass lightly over these departures and returns which were all in the day ‘s work. When he came up the hill like this, toward the tall theater with its alight windows, something always clutched at his center. He both loved and hated to come home. He was always disappointed, and even he constantly felt the justness of returning to his own position. tied when it broke his emotional state and humbled his pride, he felt it was justly that he should be frankincense humbled. He did n’t question that the lowest department of state of beware was the truest, and that the less a man think of himself, the more likely he was to be correct in his estimate .
Approaching the doorway, Claude stopped a consequence and peered in at the kitchen window. The table was set for supper, and Mahailey was at the stove, stirring something in a boastfully iron pot ; cornmeal dogsled, credibly, —she often made it for herself immediately that her teeth had begun to fail. She stood leaning over, embracing the pot with one arm, and with the other she beat the stiff contents, nodding her head in time to this traffic circle apparent motion. confused emotions surged up in Claude. He went in promptly and gave her a bearish hug .
Her side wrinkled up in the anserine grin he knew therefore well. “ Lord, how you scared me, Mr. Claude ! A little more’n I ‘d ‘a ‘ had my treacle all over the floor. You lookin ‘ fine, you nice male child, you ! ”
He knew Mahailey was glad to see him come home than any one except his mother. Hearing Mrs. Wheeler ‘s wandering, changeable steps in the enclosed stairway, he opened the door and ran halfway up to meet her, putting his arm about her with the about atrocious tenderness he constantly felt, but rarely was at liberty to show. She reached up both hands and stroked his hair for a moment, laughing as one does to a little boy, and telling him she believed it was redder every time he came second .
“ Have we got all the corn in, Mother ? ”
“ No, Claude, we have n’t. You know we ‘re always behind-hand. It ‘s been all right, receptive weather for husk, besides. But at least we ‘ve got rid of that abject Jerry ; so there ‘s something to be grateful for. He had one of his fits of anneal in township one day, when he was hitching up to come home, and Leonard Dawson saw him beat one of our horses with the neck-yoke. Leonard told your father, and spoke his mind, and your forefather discharged Jerry. If you or Ralph had told him, he most probable would n’t have done anything about it. But I guess all fathers are the like. ” She chuckled trustfully, leaning on Claude’s arm as they descended the stairs .
“ I guess so. Did he hurt the cavalry much ? Which one was it ? ”
“ The little blacken, Pompey. I believe he is rather a mean sawhorse. The men said one of the bones over the eye was broken, but he would credibly come attack all right. ”
“ Pompey is n’t mean ; he ‘s skittish. All the horses hated Jerry, and they had good cause to. ” Claude jerked his shoulders to shake off disgusting recollections of this cur man which flashed back into his heed. He had seen things happen in the barn that he positively could n’t tell his father .
Mr. Wheeler came into the kitchen and stopped on his way upstairs long enough to say, “ Hello, Claude. You look pretty well. ”
“ Yes, sir. I ‘m all right, thank you. ” “ Bayliss tells me you ‘ve been playing football a well deal. ” “ not more than usual. We played half a twelve games ; broadly got licked. The State has a fine team, though. ”
“ I ex-pect, ” Mr. Wheeler drawled as he strode upstairs .
Supper went as usual. Dan kept grinning and blinking at Claude, trying to discover whether he had already been informed of Jerry’s destine. Ralph told him the neighborhood gossip : Gus Yoeder, their german neighbor, was bringing suit against a farmer who had shot his pawl. Leonard Dawson was going to marry Susie Grey. She was the daughter on whose report Leonard had slapped Bayliss, Claude remembered .
After supper Ralph and Mr. Wheeler went off in the cable car to a Christmas entertainment at the state school. Claude and his mother sat down for a calm talk by the hard-coal burner in the know room upstairs. Claude liked this room, particularly when his church father was not there. The old carpet, the fade chairs, the repository book-case, the spotty engraving with all the scenes from “ Pilgrim ‘s progress ” that hung over the sofa, —these things made him feel at home. Ralph was always proposing to re-furnish the room in Mission oak, but so army for the liberation of rwanda Claude and his beget had saved it .
Claude drew up his favorite moderate and began to tell Mrs. Wheeler about the Erlich boys and their mother. She listened, but he could see that she was much more concerned in hearing about the Chapins, and whether Edward ‘s throat had improved, and where he had preached this drop. That was one of the disappointing things about come home ; he could never interest his mother in new things or people unless they in some direction had to do with the church. He knew, besides, she was constantly hoping to hear that he at stopping point felt the need of coming closer to the church. She did not harass him about these things, but she had told him once or twice that nothing could happen in the world which would give her so much pleasure as to see him reconciled to Christ. He realized, as he talked to her about the Erlichs, that she was wondering whether they were n’t identical “ worldly ” people, and was apprehensive about their determine on him. The evening was rather a failure, and he went to bed early .
Claude had gone through a irritating time of doubt and reverence when he thought a capital share about religion. For several years, from fourteen to eighteen, he believed that he would be lost if he did not repent and undergo that cryptic change called conversion. But there was something stubborn in him that would not let him avail himself of the pardon offered. He felt condemned, but he did not want to renounce a world he as yet knew nothing of. He would like to go into life with all his vigor, with all his faculties free. He did n’t want to be like the young men who said in prayer-meeting that they leaned on their savior. He hated their way of meekly accepting permit pleasures .
In those days Claude had a sharp physical fear of death. A funeral, the spy of a neighbor lying rigid in his black coffin, overwhelmed him with terror. He used to lie wake up in the black, plotting against end, trying to devise some plan of escaping it, angrily wishing he had never been born. Was there no means out of the earth but this ? When he thought of the millions of alone creatures rotting away under footing, biography seemed nothing but a trap that caught people for one atrocious end. There had never been a man then strong or sol commodity that he had escaped. And however he sometimes feel certain that he, Claude Wheeler, would escape ; that he would actually invent some clever stir to save himself from dissolution. When he found it, he would tell cipher ; he would be crafty and mysterious. decomposition, disintegrate. .. . He could not give his pleasant, warm consistency over to that filthiness ! What did it mean, that verse in the Bible, “ He shall not suffer His holy one to see putrescence ” ?
If anything could cure an healthy boy of diseased religious fears, it was a denominational school like that to which Claude had been sent. now he dismissed all Christian theology as something besides full moon of evasions and sophistries to be reasoned about. The men who made it, he felt certain, were like the men who taught it. The noblest could be damned, according to their theory, while about any mean-spirited parasite could be saved by religion. “ Faith, ” as he saw it exemplified in the staff of the Temple school, was a alternate for most of the manfully qualities he admired. Young men went into the ministry because they were timid or lazy and wanted society to take care of them ; because they wanted to be pampered by kind, trusting women like his mother .
Though he wanted short to do with theology and theologians, Claude would have said that he was a christian. He believed in God, and in the spirit of the four Gospels, and in the Sermon on the Mount. He used to halt and stumble at “ Blessed are the meek, ” until one day he happened to think that this verse was meant precisely for people like Mahailey ; and surely she was blessed !

VIII

On the Sunday after Christmas Claude and Ernest were walking along the banks of lovely Creek. They had been ampere far as Mr. Wheeler ‘s timber claim and back. It was like an fall good afternoon, so affectionate that they left their overcoats on the limb of a asymmetrical elm by the eatage argue. The fields and the unsheathed tree-tops seemed to be swimming in light. A few brown leaves still clung to the bushy trees along the brook. In the upper pasture, more than a mile from the house, the boys found a bittersweet vine that wound about a little dogwood and covered it with red berries. It was like finding a Christmas tree growing angry out of doors. They had merely been talking about some of the books Claude had brought home, and his history course. He was not able to tell Ernest as much about the lectures as he had meant to, and he felt that this was more Ernest’s fault than his own ; Ernest was such a literal-minded fellow. When they came upon the bittersweet, they forgot their discussion and scrambled down the depository financial institution to admire the loss clusters on the woody, smoke-coloured vine, and its pale gold leaves, quick to fall at a touch. The vine and the little corner it honoured, hidden away in the cleft of a ravine, had escaped the stripping winds, and the eyes of schoolchildren who sometimes took a shortstop cut home through the pasture. At its roots, the brook trickled thinly along, blacken between two jag crusts of melting ice .
When they left the spot and climbed back to the level, Claude again felt an itch to prod Ernest out of his mild and fair climate .
“ What are you going to do after a while, Ernest ? Do you mean to farm all your biography ? ”
“ naturally. If I were going to learn a trade, I ‘d be at it earlier now. What makes you ask that ? ”
“ Oh, I do n’t know ! I suppose people must think about the future erstwhile. And you ‘re thus practical. ”
“ The future, eh ? ” Ernest shut one eye and smiled. “ That ‘s a big password. After I get a place of my own and have a beneficial start, I ‘m going base to see my previous folks some winter. possibly I ‘ll marry a nice daughter and bring her back. ”
“ Is that all ? ”
“ That ‘s adequate, if it turns out right, is n’t it ? ”
“ possibly. It would n’t be for me. I do n’t believe I can always settle down to anything. Do n’t you feel that at this rate there is n’t a lot in it ? ”
“ In what ? ”
“ In living at all, going on as we do. What do we get out of it ? Take a sidereal day like this : you waken up in the morning and you ‘re glad to be alert ; it ‘s a good enough day for anything, and you feel sure something will happen. Well, whether it ‘s a workday or a vacation, it ‘s all the lapp in the end. At night you go to bed—nothing has happened. ”
“ But what do you expect ? What can happen to you, except in your own mind ? If I get through my workplace, and get an afternoon off to see my friends like this, it ‘s adequate for me. ”
“ Is it ? well, if we ‘ve merely got once to live, it seems like there ought to be something—well, something glorious about life, sometimes. ”
Ernest was sympathetic now. He drew approximate to Claude as they walked along and looked at him sidewise with concern. “ You Americans are always looking for something outside yourselves to warm you up, and it is no room to do. In old countries, where not identical much can happen to us, we know that, —and we learn to make the most of fiddling things. ”
“ The martyr must have found something outside themselves. Otherwise they could have made themselves comfortable with little things. ”
“ Why, I should say they were the ones who had nothing but their idea ! It would be pathetic to get burned at the stake for the sensation. sometimes I think the martyr had a good deal of vanity to help them along, excessively. ”
Claude thought Ernest had never been so boring. He squinted at a brilliantly object across the fields and said cuttingly, “ The fact is, Ernest, you think a world ought to be satisfied with his board and clothes and Sundays off, do n’t you ? ”
Ernest laughed preferably mournfully. “ It does n’t matter much what I think about it ; things are as they are. nothing is going to reach down from the sky and pick a man up, I guess. ”
Claude muttered something to himself, twisting his kuki about over his apprehension as if he had a bridle-bit in his mouth .
The sun had dropped low, and the two boys, as Mrs. Wheeler watched them from the kitchen window, seemed to be walking beside a prairie displace. She smiled as she saw their black figures moving along on the peak of the hill against the fortunate sky ; even at that outdistance the one looked indeed adaptable, and the other so dogged. They were arguing, credibly, and probably Claude was on the wrong side .

IX

After the vacation Claude again settled down to his read in the University Library. He worked at a board next the alcove where the books on paint and sculpture were kept. The art students, all of whom were girls, take and whispered together in this enclosure, and he could enjoy their party without having to talk to them. They were lively and friendly ; they frequently asked him to lift heavy books and portfolios from the shelves, and greeted him gaily when he met them in the street or on the campus, and talked to him with the easy amity common between boys and girls in a co-ed educate. One of these girls, Miss Peachy Millmore, was different from the others, —different from any girlfriend Claude had always known. She came from Georgia, and was spending the winter with her aunt on B street .
Although she was inadequate and fatten, Miss Millmore moved with what might be called a “ carriage, ” and she had altogether more manner and more reserve than the western girls. Her hair was yellow and curly, —the short-circuit ringlets about her ears were precisely the color of a new chicken. Her intense blue eyes were a technicality excessively big, and a generous blush of color mantled her cheek. It seemed to pulsate there, —one had a desire to touch her cheek to see if they were hot. The Erlich brothers and their friends called her “ the Georgia smasher. ” She was considered identical reasonably, and the University boys had rushed her when she beginning came to town. Since then her vogue had slightly declined .
Miss Millmore often lingered about the campus to walk down town with Claude. however he tried to adapt his retentive stride to her tripping gait, she was sure to get out of hint. She was always dropping her gloves or her sketchbook or her purse, and he liked to pick them up for her, and to pull on her rubbers, which kept slipping off at the heel. She was very kind to individual him out and be so courteous to him, he thought. She even coaxed him to pose in his track clothes for the life class on Saturday dawn, telling him that he had “ a brilliant human body, ” a compliment which covered him with confusion. But he posed, of path .
Claude looked forward to seeing Peachy Millmore, missed her if she were not in the alcove, found it quite natural that she should explain her absences to him, —tell him how frequently she washed her hair and how long it was when she uncoiled it .
One Friday in February Julius Erlich overtook Claude on the campus and proposed that they should try the skating tomorrow .
“ Yes, I ‘m going out, ” Claude replied. “ I ‘ve promised to teach Miss Millmore to skate. Wo n’t you come along and help me ? ”
Julius laughed indulgently. “ Oh, no ! Some other time. I do n’t want to break in on that. ”
“ folderal ! You could teach her better than I. ”
“ Oh, I have n’t the courage ! ”
“ What do you mean ? ”
“ You know what I mean. ”
“ No, I do n’t. Why do you always laugh about that daughter, anyhow ? ”
Julius made a little grimace. “ She wrote some terribly bathetic letters to Phil Bowen, and he read them aloud at the fraternity house one night. ”
“ Did n’t you slap him ? ” Claude demanded, turning crimson .
“ well, I would have thought I would, ” said Julius, smile, “ but I did n’t. They were excessively punch-drunk to make a fuss about. I ‘ve been leery of the Georgia peach ever since. If you touched that classify of spill the beans ever sol lightly, it might remain in your hand. ”
“ I do n’t think sol, ” replied Claude haughtily. “ She ‘s only kindhearted. ”
“ possibly you ‘re right. But I ‘m terribly afraid of girls who are excessively kindhearted, ” Julius confessed. He had wanted to drop Claude a word of warning for some fourth dimension .
Claude kept his battle with Miss Millmore. He took her out to the skating pond several times, indeed, though in the begin he told her he feared her ankles were excessively weak. Their last digression was made by moonlight, and after that evening Claude avoided Miss Millmore when he could do indeed without being natural. She was attractive to him no more. It was her manner to subdue by clinging touch. One could hardly call it design ; it was a degree less insidious than that. She had already thus subdued a pale cousin in Atlanta, and it was on this report that she had been air north. She had, Claude angrily admitted, no allow, —though when one first met her she seemed to have so much. Her tidal bore susceptibility presented not the slightest enticement to him. He was a son with hard impulses, and he detested the mind of trifling with them. The spill the beans of the disreputable men his church father kept about the place at home, alternatively of corrupting him, had given him a acuate disgust for sensuality. He had an about Hippolytean pride in candor .

X

The Erlich family loved anniversaries, birthdays, occasions. That spring Mrs. Erlich ‘s first cousin, Wilhelmina Schroeder-Schatz, who sang with the Chicago Opera Company, came to Lincoln as soloist for the May Festival. As the date of her engagement set about, her relatives began planning to entertain her. The Matinée Musicale was to give a formal reception for the singer, so the Erlichs decided upon a dinner. Each member of the family invited one guest, and they had great difficulty in deciding which of their friends would be most appreciative of the honor. There were to be more men than women, because Mrs. Erlich remembered that cousin Wilhelmina had never been fond to the club of her own sex .
One evening when her sons were revising their list, Mrs. Erlich reminded them that she had not as yet named her guest. “ For me, ” she said with decision, “ you may put down Claude Wheeler. ”
This announcement was met with groans and laughter .
“ You do n’t mean it, Mother, ” the oldest son protested. “ Poor previous Claude would n’t know what it was all about, —and one pin can spoil a dinner party. ”
Mrs. Erlich shook her finger at him with conviction. “ You will see ; your cousin Wilhelmina will be more concern in that male child than in any of the others ! ”
Julius thought if she were not excessively strongly opposed she might inactive yield her point. “ For one thing, Mother, Claude has n’t any dinner clothes, ” he murmured .
She nodded to him. “ That has been attended to, Herr Julius. He is having some made. When I sounded him, he told me he could easily afford it. ”
The boys said if things had gone angstrom far as that, they supposed they would have to make the best of it, and the eldest wrote down “ Claude Wheeler ” with a boom .
If the Erlich boys were apprehensive, their anxiety was nothing to Claude ‘s. He was to take Mrs. Erlich to Madame Schroeder-Schatz’s recital, and on the even of the concert, when he appeared at the doorway, the boys dragged him in to look him over. Otto turned on all the lights, and Mrs. Erlich, in her new black intertwine over white satin, fluttered into the parlor to see what figure her escort cut .
Claude pulled off his greatcoat as he was bid, and presented himself in the coal-black black of fresh broadcloth. Mrs. Erlich ‘s eyes swept his retentive bootleg leg, his smooth shoulders, and last his square red capitulum, dearly slope toward her. She laughed and clapped her hands .
“ now all the girls will turn rung in their seats to look, and wonder where I got him ! ”
Claude began to bestow her belongings in his greatcoat pockets ; opera glasses in one, fan in another. She put a lorgnette into her little udder, along with her powder-box, handkerchief and smell salts, —there was even a little flatware box of peppermint drops, in case she might begin to cough. She drew on her long gloves, arranged a lace scarf over her hair, and at death was ready to have the even cloak, which Claude held, wound about her. When she reached improving and took his arm, bowing to her sons, they laughed and liked Claude better. His firm, protecting air was a frame for the homosexual short picture she made .
The dinner party came off the adjacent evening. The guest of respect, Madame Wilhelmina Schroeder-Schatz, was some years younger than her cousin, Augusta Erlich. She was short, hardy, with an enormous chest, a ticket head, and a command presence. Her big alto voice, which she used without much discretion, was a in truth superb harmonium and gave people a pleasure a solid as food and drink. At dinner she sat on the right of the oldest son. Claude, beside Mrs. Erlich at the other end of the board, watched attentively the lady attired in green velvet and blaze rhinestones .
After dinner, as Madame Schroeder-Schatz swept out of the dine board, she dropped her cousin ‘s arm and stopped before Claude, who stood at care behind his chair .
“ If cousin Augusta can spare you, we must have a fiddling lecture together. We have been very far separated, ” she said .
She led Claude to one of the window seats in the support room, at once complained of a draft, and sent him to hunt for her green scarf joint. He brought it and carefully put it about her shoulders ; but after a few moments, she threw it off with a slenderly annoyed air out, as if she had never wanted it. Claude with solicitude reminded her about the draft .
“ draft ? ” she said lifting her chin, “ there is no gulp here. ”
She asked Claude where he lived, how much land his founder owned, what crops they raised, and about their poultry and dairy. When she was a child she had lived on a grow in Bavaria, and she seemed to know a effective consider about farming and live-stock. She was disapproving when Claude told her they rented half their estate to early farmers. “ If I were a young man, I would begin to acquire land, and I would not stop until I had a solid county, ” she declared. She said that when she met new people, she liked to find out the manner they made their be ; her own way was a hard one .
late in the flush Madame Schroeder-Schatz graciously consented to sing for her cousins. When she sat down to the piano, she beckoned Claude and asked him to turn for her. He shook his head, smiling ruefully .
“ I ‘m blue I ‘m indeed stupid, but I do n’t know one note from another. ”
She tapped his sleeve. “ well, never thinker. I may want the piano moved however ; you could do that for me, eh ? ”
When Madame Schroeder-Schatz was in Mrs. Erlich ‘s bedroom, powdering her nose before she put on her wraps, she remarked, “ What a compassion, Augusta, that you have not a daughter now, to marry to Claude Melnotte. He would make you a perfect son-in-law. ”
“ Ah, if I merely had ! ” sighed Mrs. Erlich .
“ Or, ” continued Madame Schroeder-Schatz, energetically pulling on her large passenger car shoes, “ if you were but a few years youthful, it might not so far be excessively late. Oh, do n’t be a fool, Augusta ! such things have happened, and will happen again. however, better a widow than to be tied to a pale man—like a stone about my neck ! What a conserve to go base to ! and I a womanhood in full moon energy. Das ist ein Kreuz ich trage ! “ She smote her breast, on the left side .
Having put on first a velvet coat, then a fur cape, Madame Schroeder-Schatz moved like a galleon out into the populate room and kissed all her cousins, and Claude Wheeler, good-night .

XI

One warm good afternoon in May Claude sat in his upstairs room at the Chapins ‘, copying his thesis, which was to take the place of an interrogation in history. It was a criticism of the testimony of Jeanne d’Arc in her nine individual examinations and the trial in ordinary. The Professor had assigned him the subject with a flare of wit. Although this evidence had been pawed over by so many hands since the fifteenth hundred, by the phlegmatic and the ardent, by rhapsodists and cynics, he felt sure that Wheeler would not dismiss the case lightly .
indeed, Claude put a great conduct of fourth dimension and thought upon the matter, and for the time being it seemed quite the most crucial thing in his life. He worked from an english translation of the “ Procès, ” but he kept the french text at his elbow, and some of her replies haunted him in the linguistic process in which they were spoken. It seemed to him that they were like the actor’s line of her saints, of whom Jeanne said, “ the voice is beautiful, sweet and first gear, and it speaks in the french tongue. ” Claude flattered himself that he had kept all personal feeling out of the paper ; that it was a cold appraisal of the girl ‘s motives and quality as indicated by the consistency and incompatibility of her replies ; and of the change influence in her by imprisonment and by “ the concern of the fuel. ”
When he had copied the stopping point page of his manuscript and sat contemplating the down of written sheets, he felt that after all his conscientious study he truly knew very little more about the Maid of Orleans than when he first hear of her from his mother, one day when he was a little boy. He had been shut up in the family with a cold, he remembered, and he found a mental picture of her in armor, in an old bible, and took it down to the kitchen where his mother was making apple pies. She glanced at the picture, and while she went on rolling out the dough and fitting it to the pans, she told him the narrative. He had forgotten what she said, —it must have been very fragmental, —but from that time on he knew the essential facts about Joan of Arc, and she was a know figure in his mind. She seemed to him then adenine clear as now, and now a marvelous as then .
It was a curious thing, he reflected, that a character could perpetuate itself therefore ; by a visualize, a bible, a phrase, it could renew itself in every generation and be born over and over again in the minds of children. At that time he had never seen a function of France, and had a very poor opinion of any seat far away than Chicago ; so far he was perfectly prepared for the legend of Joan of Arc, and much thought about her when he was bringing in his cob in the even, or when he was sent to the windmill for water and stood shaking in the cold while the cool pump brought it slowly up. He pictured her then identical a lot as he did immediately ; about her digit there gathered a aglow cloud, like dust, with soldiers in it. .. the banner with lilies. .. a great church. .. cities with walls .
On this balmy leap afternoon, Claude felt softened and reconciled to the global. Like Gibbon, he was deplorable to have finished his parturiency, —and he could not see anything else as interesting ahead. He must soon be going base immediately. There would be a few examinations to sit through at the Temple, a few more evenings with the Erlichs, trips to the Library to carry back the books he had been using, —and then he would suddenly find himself with nothing to do but take the prepare for Frankfort .
He rose with a sigh and began to fasten his history papers between covers. Glancing out of the window, he decided that he would walk into town and carry his dissertation, which was due today ; the weather was excessively fine to sit bump in a street car. The truth was, he wished to prolong his relations with his manuscript american samoa far as possible .
He struck off by the road, —it could barely be called a street, since it ran across crude prairie land where the buffalo-peas were in bloom. Claude walked slower than was his custom, his pale yellow hat pushed back on his forefront and the hell of the sunlight full in his face. His body felt unaccented in the scented wind, and he listened drowsily to the larks, singing on dry weeds and sunflower stalks. At this season their sung is about afflictive to hear, it is thus dessert. He sometimes thought of this walk of life long subsequently ; it was memorable to him, though he could not say why .
On reaching the University, he went directly to the Department of European History, where he was to leave his thesis on a long table, with a pile of others. He preferably dreaded this, and was glad when, just as he entered, the Professor came out from his private office and took the boundary manuscript into his own hands, nodding heartily .
“ Your thesis ? Oh yes, Jeanne d’Arc. The ‘Procés. ‘ I had forgotten. Interesting material, isn’t it ? ” He opened the cover and ran over the pages. “ I suppose you acquitted her on the testify ? ”
Claude blushed. “ Yes, sir. ”
“ well, now you might read what Michelet has to say about her. There ‘s an erstwhile translation in the Library. Did you enjoy working on it ? ”
“ I did, identical much. ” Claude wished to heaven he could think of something to say .
“ You ‘ve got a good cope out of your path, all in all, have n’t you ? I ‘ll be concern to see what you do next year. Your study has been identical satisfactory to me. ” The Professor went back into his analyze, and Claude was please to see that he carried the manuscript with him and did not leave it on the table with the others .

XII

Between hay and harvest that summer Ralph and Mr. Wheeler drove to Denver in the large car, leaving Claude and Dan to cultivate the corn. When they returned Mr. Wheeler announced that he had a confidential. After several days of reserve, during which he shut himself up in the sitting-room writing letters, and passed mysterious words and winks with Ralph at postpone, he disclosed a project which swept away all Claude ‘s plans and purposes .
On the reelect travel from Denver Mr. Wheeler had made a detour down into Yucca county, Colorado, to visit an previous ally who was in difficulties. Tom Wested was a Maine man, from Wheeler ‘s own neighborhood. several years ago he had lost his wife. now his health had broken down, and the Denver doctors said he must retire from business and get into a gloomy altitude. He wanted to go back to Maine and live among his own people, but was besides much discouraged and frightened about his condition even to undertake the sale of his ranch and be stock. Mr. Wheeler had been able to help his ally, and at the like clock did a good stroke of business for himself. He owned a farm in Maine, his share of his founder ‘s estate, which for years he had rented for little more than the up-keep. By making over this property, and assuming certain mortgages, he got Wested ‘s fine, well-watered ranch in commute. He paid him a adept price for his cattle, and promised to take the ghastly man back to Maine and see him well settled there .
All this Mr. Wheeler explained to his family when he called them up to the exist room one hot, breathless nox after supper. Mrs. Wheeler, who rarely concerned herself with her husband ‘s occupation affairs, asked absently why they bought more land, when they already had so much they could not farm one-half of it .
“ equitable like a woman, Evangeline, precisely like a woman ! ” Mr. Wheeler replied indulgently. He was sitting in the full moon glare of the acetylene lamp, his neck-band open, his apprehension and tie on the mesa beside him, fanning himself with a palm-leaf fan. “ You might vitamin a well ask me why I want to make more money, when I have n’t spent all I’ve got. ”
He intended, he said, to put Ralph on the Colorado ranch and “ give the male child some duty. ” Ralph would have the help of Wested’s foreman, an old hand in the cattle clientele, who had agreed to stay on under the new management. Mr. Wheeler assured his wife that he was n’t taking advantage of poor Wested ; the timber on the Maine set was truly deserving a thoroughly deal of money ; but because his father had always been so proud of his great pine woods, he had never, he said, precisely felt like turning a sawmill loose in them. now he was trading a pleasant old farm that did n’t bring in anything for a grama-grass ranch which ought to turn over a profit of ten or twelve thousand dollars in good cattle years, and would n’t lose much in bad ones. He expected to spend about half his time out there with Ralph. “ When I ‘m away, ” he remarked affably, “ you and Mahailey wo n’t have so much to do. You can devote yourselves to embroidery, so to speak. ”
“ If Ralph is to live in Colorado, and you are to be away from dwelling half of the time, I do n’t see what is to become of this place, ” murmured Mrs. Wheeler, still in the night .
“ not necessity for you to see, Evangeline, ” her conserve replied, stretching his big frame until the rocking president creaked under him. “ It will be Claude ‘s business to look after that. ”
“ Claude ? ” Mrs. Wheeler brushed a lock of hair bet on from her damp brow in dim alarm .
“ Of course. ” He looked with twinkling eyes at his son ‘s heterosexual, silent calculate in the corner. “ You ‘ve had about adequate theology, I presume ? No ambition to be a preacher ? This winter I mean to turn the grow over to you and give you a probability to straighten things out. You ‘ve been dissatisfied with the way the plaza is run for some fourth dimension, have n’t you ? Go ahead and put new blood into it. New ideas, if you want to ; I ‘ve no objection. They ‘re expensive, but let it go. You can fire Dan if you want, and get what aid you need. ”
Claude felt as if a trap had been sprung on him. He shaded his eyes with his hand. “ I do n’t think I ‘m competent to run the target right, ” he said unsteadily .
“ well, you do n’t think I am either, Claude, so we ‘re up against it. It ‘s constantly been my notion that the land was made for homo, precisely as it ‘s previous Dawson ‘s that man was created to work the down. I don’t mind your siding with the Dawsons in this difference of opinion, if you can get their results. ”
Mrs. Wheeler rose and slipped promptly from the room, feeling her way down the dark stairway to the kitchen. It was dark-skinned and quiet there. Mahailey sat in a corner, hemming dish-towels by the ignite of a smoky previous brass lamp which was her own cherished luminary. Mrs. Wheeler walked up and down the long room in soft, dumb agitation, both hands pressed tightly to her front, where there was a forcible ache of sympathy for Claude .
She remembered kind Tom Wested. He had stayed overnight with them respective times, and had come to them for consolation after his wife died. It seemed to her that his decline in health and loss of courage, Mr. Wheeler ‘s causeless tripper to Denver, the old pine-wood farm in Maine, were all things that fitted together and made a net to envelop her unfortunate son. She knew that he had been waiting impatiently for the fall, and that for the first fourth dimension he looked forward eagerly to going back to school. He was homesick for his friends, the Erlichs, and his mind was all the time upon the history class he meant to take .
however all this would weigh nothing in the family councils—probably he would not flush speak of it—and he had not one substantial objection to offer to his father ‘s wishes. His disappointment would be bitter. “ Why, it will about break his heart, ” she murmured aloud. Mahailey was a short deaf and heard nothing. She sat holding her work up to the light, driving her needle with a adult brass thimble, nodding with sleepiness between stitches. Though Mrs. Wheeler was barely conscious of it, the old woman ‘s bearing was a comfort to her, as she walked up and down with her drift, uncertain gradation .
She had left the sitting-room because she was afraid Claude might get angry and say something hard to his father, and because she couldn’t bear to see him hectored. Claude had constantly found biography hard to live ; he suffered so much over little things, —and she suffered with him. For herself, she never felt disappointments. Her husband’s careless decisions did not disconcert her. If he declared that he would not plant a garden at all this year, she made no protest. It was Mahailey who grumbled. If he felt like eating ridicule beef and went out and killed a guide, she did the best she could to take wish of the kernel, and if some of it spoiled she tried not to worry. When she was not lost in religious meditation, she was likely to be thinking about some one of the old books she read over and complete. Her personal life was therefore far removed from the picture of her daily activities that rash and fierce men could not break in upon it. But where Claude was concerned, she lived on another plane, —dropped into the lower air, tainted with human breath and pulsating with poor people, blind, passionate human feelings .
It had constantly been so. And now, as she grew older, and her pulp had about ceased to be concerned with trouble or pleasure, like the pine away wax images in previous churches, it still vibrated with his feelings and became quick again for him. His chagrins shrivelled her. When he was hurt and suffered mutely, something ached in her. On the other hand, when he was glad, a wave of physical contentment went through her. If she wakened in the night and happened to think that he had been glad recently, she would lie softly and thankfully in her warm plaza .
“ Rest, rest perturbèd emotional state, ” she sometimes whispered to him in her mind, when she wakened thus and thought of him. There was a curious light in his eyes when he smiled at her on one of his thoroughly days, as if to tell her that all was well in his inner kingdom. She had seen that same look again and again, and she could constantly remember it in the benighted, —a quick amobarbital sodium dart, tender and a short raving mad, as if he had seen a imagination or glimpsed bright uncertainties .

XIII

The adjacent few weeks were busy ones on the grow. Before the wheat reap was over, Nat Wheeler packed his leather trunk, put on his “ shop clothes, ” and set off to take Tom Wested back to Maine. During his absence Ralph began to outfit for life in Yucca county. Ralph liked being a great man with the Frankfort merchants, and he had never earlier had such an opportunity as this. He bought a fresh shot gun, saddles, bridles, boots, long and short storm coats, a set of furniture for his own board, a fireless cooker, another music car, and had them shipped to Colorado. His mother, who did not like record player music, and detested record player monologues, begged him to take the car at home, but he assured her that she would be dull without it on winter evenings. He wanted one of the latest make, put out under the name of a great american inventor .
Some of the ranches near Wested ‘s were owned by New York men who brought their families out there in the summer. Ralph had heard about the dances they gave, and he was counting on being one of the guests .
He asked Claude to give him his dress suit, since Claude would n’t be needing it any more .
“ You can have it if you want it, ” said Claude indifferently. “ But it wo n’t fit you. ”
“ I ‘ll take it in to Fritz and have the pants cut off a little, and the shoulders taken in, ” his brother replied lightly .
Claude was deadpan. “ Go ahead. But if that old Dutchman takes a whack at it, it will look like the devil. ”
“ I think I ‘ll let him try. Father wo n’t say anything about what I’ve ordered for the firm, but he is n’t much for gladiolus rags, you know. ” Without more bustle he threw Claude ‘s black clothes into the back buttocks of the Ford and ran into township to enlist the services of the german tailor .
Mr. Wheeler, when he returned, thought Ralph had been rather barren in expenditures, but Ralph told him it would n’t do to take over the newly topographic point excessively modestly. “ The ranchers out there are all high-fliers. If we go to squeezing nickels, they wo n’t think we mean clientele. ”
The area neighbours, who were always amused at the Wheelers’ doings, got about as much pleasure out of Ralph ‘s lavishness as he did himself. One said Ralph had shipped a newfangled piano out to Yucca county, another hear he had ordered a billiard table. August Yoeder, their golden german neighbor, asked grimly whether he could, possibly, get a position as hire man with Ralph. Leonard Dawson, who was to be married in October, hailed Claude in town one day and shouted :
“ My God, Claude, there ‘s nothing left in the furniture shop for me and Susie ! Ralph ‘s bought everything but the coffins. He must be going to live like a prince out there. ”
“ I do n’t know anything about it, ” Claude answered coolly. “ It ‘s not my enterprise. ”
“ nobelium, you ‘ve got to stay on the old place and make it pay the debts, I understand. ” Leonard jumped into his car, so that Claude wouldn’t have a probability to reply .
Mrs. Wheeler, besides, when she observed the magnitude of these preparations, began to feel that the new arrangement was not fair to Claude, since he was the older boy and much the steady. Claude had always worked difficult when he was at home, and made a effective airfield bridge player, while Ralph had never done a lot but tinker with machinery and run errands in his car. She could n’t understand why he was selected to manage an undertaking in which then much money was invested .
“ Why, Claude, ” she said dreamily one day, “ if your founder were an older man, I would about think his judgment had begun to fail. Wo n’t we get dismally into debt at this rate ? ”
“ Do n’t say anything, Mother. It ‘s Father ‘s money. He sha n’t think I want any of it. ”
“ I wish I could talk to Bayliss. Has he said anything ? ”
“ not to me, he has n’t. ”
Ralph and Mr. Wheeler took another flying stumble to Colorado, and when they came bet on Ralph began coaxing his mother to give him bedding and board linen. He said he was n’t going to live like a barbarian, even in the backbone hills. Mahailey was outraged to see the linen she had washed and ironed and taken concern of for indeed many years packed into boxes. She was out of temper most of the time immediately, and went about muttering to herself .
The merely possessions Mahailey brought with her when she came to live with the Wheelers, were a feather bed and three patchwork quilts, interlined with wool off the backs of Virginia sheep, washed and carded by hand. The quilts had been made by her erstwhile mother, and given to her for a marriage share. The patchwork on each was done in a different design ; one was the democratic “ log-cabin ” design, another the “ laurel-leaf, ” the third the “ blatant star. ” This quilt Mahailey thought besides full for consumption, and she had told Mrs. Wheeler that she was saving it “ to give Mr. Claude when he got marry. ”
She slept on her feather seam in winter, and in summer she put it off in the attic. The attic was reached by a ladder, which, because of her unaccented back, Mrs. Wheeler identical rarely rise. Up there Mahailey had things her own way, and thither she often retired to air the bedclothes stored away there, or to look at the pictures in the piles of old magazines. Ralph facetiously called the attic “ Mahailey’s library. ”
One day, while things were being packed for the western ranch, Mrs. Wheeler, going to the foot of the ladder to call Mahailey, narrowly escaped being knocked down by a large feather bed which came plumping through the trap door. A moment by and by Mahailey herself descended backwards, holding to the rungs with one hand, and in the other arm carrying her quilts .
“ Why, Mahailey, ” gasped Mrs. Wheeler. “ It ‘s not winter yet ; whatever are you getting your bed for ? ”
“ I ‘m just a-goin ‘ to lay on my fedder bed, ” she broke out, “ or direc’ly I wo n’t have none. I ai n’t a-goin ‘ to have Mr. Ralph carryin ‘ off my quilts my mudder pieced fur me. ”
Mrs. Wheeler tried to reason with her, but the previous woman took up her bed in her arms and staggered down the hall with it, muttering and tossing her head like a horse in fly-time .
That afternoon Ralph brought a barrel and a package of pale yellow into the kitchen and told Mahailey to carry up preserves and canned fruit, and he would pack them. She went obediently to the root cellar, and Ralph took off his coat and began to production line the barrel with chaff. He was some time in doing this, but however Mahailey had not returned. He went to the head of the stairs and whistled .
“ I ‘m a-comin ‘, Mr. Ralph, I ‘m a-comin ‘ ! Do n’t hurry me, I do n’t want to break nothin ‘. ”
Ralph waited a few minutes. “ What are you doing down there, Mahailey ? ” he fumed. “ I could have emptied the whole cellar by this time. I suppose I ‘ll have to do it myself. ”
“ I ‘m a-comin ‘. You ‘d git yourself all dusty down here. ” She came breathlessly up the stairs, carrying a hamper basket full of jars, her hands and face streaked with black .
“ well, I should say it is cold ! ” Ralph snorted. “ You might clean your fruit closet once in awhile, you know, Mahailey. You ought to see how Mrs. Dawson keeps hers. immediately, let ‘s see. ” He sorted the jars on the table. “ Take back the grape jellify. If there ‘s anything I hate, it ‘s grape jelly. I know you have lots of it, but you ca n’t work it off on me. And when you come up, do n’t forget the pickled peaches. I told you peculiarly, the pickled peaches ! ”
“ We ai n’t got no pickle peaches. ” Mahailey stood by the root cellar door, holding a corner of her apron up to her kuki, with a queer, animal attend of stubbornness in her grimace .
“ No pickled peaches ? What nonsense, Mahailey ! I saw you making them here, entirely a few weeks ago. ”
“ I know you did, Mr. Ralph, but they ai n’t none now. I did n’t have no fortune with my peaches this year. I must ‘a ‘ let the air rotter at ’em. They all worked on me, an ‘ I had to throw ’em out. ”
Ralph was thoroughly annoyed. “ I never learn of such a thing, Mahailey ! You get more careless every year. Think of wasting all that fruit and boodle ! Does Mother know ? ”
Mahailey ‘s low eyebrow clouded. “ I reckon she does. I do n’t wase your mudder ‘s sugar. I never did wase nothin ‘, ” she muttered. Her manner of speaking became queerer than ever when she was angry .
Ralph dashed down the root cellar stairs, lit a lantern, and searched the fruit water closet. certain adequate, there were no pickled peaches. When he came rear and began packing his fruit, Mahailey stood watching him with a backstair expression, very much like the look that is in a chained coyote ‘s eyes when a son is showing him off to visitors and saying he would n’t run away if he could .
“ Go on with your ferment, ” Ralph snapped. “ Do n’t stand there watching me ! ”
That evening Claude was sitting on the windmill platform, down by the barn, after a hard day ‘s work plowing for winter wheat. He was solacing himself with his shriek. No matter how a lot she loved him, or how good-for-nothing she felt for him, his beget could never bring herself to tell him he might smoke in the house. Lights were shining from the upstairs rooms on the hill, and through the open windows sounded the singing snap of a record player. A figure came stealing down the path. He knew by her low, padding footfall that it was Mahailey, with her apron throw over her headway. She came up to him and touched him on the shoulder in a way which meant that what she had to say was confidential .
“ Mr. Claude, Mr. Ralph ‘s done packed up a barr’l of your mudder’s gelatin an ‘ pickles to take out there. ”
“ That ‘s all right, Mahailey. Mr. Wested was a widower, and I guess there was n’t anything of that sort put up at his place. ”
She hesitated and bent lower. “ He asked me fur them pickle peaches I made fur you, but I did n’t give him none. I hid ’em all in my old cook-stove we done put down root cellar when Mr. Ralph bought the new one. I did n’t give him your mudder ‘s new preserves, nudder. I give him the old last year ‘s stuff we had left over, and now you an ‘ your mudder ‘ll have plenty. ”
Claude laughed. “ Oh, I do n’t care if Ralph takes all the fruit on the place, Mahailey ! ”
She shrank back a little, saying confusedly, “ No, I know you do n’t, Mr. Claude. I know you do n’t. ”
“ I surely ought not to take it out on her, ” Claude thought, when he saw her disappointment. He rose and patted her on the binding. “ That’s all properly, Mahailey. Thank you for saving the peaches, anyhow. ”
She shook her finger at him. “ Do n’t you let on ! ”
He promised, and watched her slip back over the zigzag path up the hill .

XIV

Ralph and his father moved to the new ranch the stopping point of August, and Mr. Wheeler wrote back that late in the fall he meant to ship a boatload of grass steers to the home farm to be fattened during the winter. This, Claude saw, would mean a need for fodder. There was a fifty-acre cornfield west of the creek, —just on the sky-line when one looked out from the west windows of the house. Claude decided to put this field into winter pale yellow, and early in September he began to cut and bind the corn that stood upon it for fodder. deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as the corn was gathered, he would plough up the prime, and drill in the wheat when he planted the early pale yellow fields .
This was Claude ‘s first invention, and it did not meet with approval. When Bayliss came out to spend Sunday with his mother, he asked her what Claude thought he was doing, anyhow. If he wanted to change the crop on that field, why did n’t he plant oats in the spring, and then get into wheat adjacent fall ? Cutting fodder and preparing the labor now, would only hold him back in his employment. When Mr. Wheeler came home for a short visit, he jocosely referred to that one-fourth as “ Claude ‘s pale yellow field. ”
Claude went ahead with what he had undertaken to do, but all through September he was anxious and apprehensive about the weather. Heavy rains, if they came, would make him late with his wheat-planting, and then there would surely be criticism. In reality, cipher cared much whether the planting was late or not, but Claude thought they did, and sometimes in the morning he awoke in a state of panic because he was n’t getting ahead faster. He had Dan and one of August Yoeder ‘s four sons to help him, and he worked early and belated. The new field he ploughed and drilled himself. He put a bang-up deal of young energy into it, and buried a great conduct of discontent in its blue furrows. Day after day he flung himself upon the land and planted it with what was fermenting in him, glad to be so banal at night that he could not think .
Ralph came home for Leonard Dawson ‘s marry, on the first of October. All the Wheelers went to the marriage, even Mahailey, and there was a capital gather of the nation folk music and townsmen .
After Ralph left, Claude had the place to himself again, and the bring went on as common. The stock did well, and there were no annoying interruptions. The all right weather held, and every dawn when Claude got up, another gold day stretched before him like a glitter rug, leading. .. ? When the doubt where the days were leading smitten him on the edge of his bed, he hurried to dress and get down-stairs in time to fetch woodwind and coal for Mahailey. They much reached the kitchen at the lapp consequence, and she would shake her finger at him and say, “ You come down to help me, you nice male child, you ! ” At least he was of some use to Mahailey. His beget could hire one of the Yoeder boys to look after the place, but Mahailey would n’t let any one else save her honest-to-god back .
Mrs. Wheeler, a well as Mahailey, enjoyed that drop. She slept recently in the dawn, and read and rested in the afternoon. She made herself some new house-dresses out of a gray material Claude choose. “ It ‘s about like being a bride, keeping house for just you, Claude, ” she sometimes said .
soon Claude had the satisfaction of seeing a blush of green come up over his brown wheat fields, visible first in the dimples and little hollows, then flickering over the knobs and levels like a fleeting smile. He watched the green blades coming every day, when he and Dan went afield with their wagons to gather corn. Claude sent Dan to shuck on the union quarter, and he worked on the south. He constantly brought in one more load a day than Dan did, —that was to be expected. Dan explained this very reasonably, Claude thought, one afternoon when they were hooking up their teams .
“ It ‘s all right for you to jump at that corn like you was a-beating carpets, Claude ; it ‘s your corn, or anyways it ‘s your Paw ‘s. Them fields will always lay between you and fuss. But a rent man’s got no property but his back, and he has to save it. I figure that I ‘ve lone got about so many jumps left in me, and I ai n’t a-going to jump besides hard at no man ‘s corn. ”
“ What ‘s the matter ? I have n’t been hinting that you ought to jump any intemperate, have I ? ”
“ no, you ai n’t, but I just want you to know that there ‘s reason in all things. ” With this Dan got into his beach wagon and drove off. He had credibly been meditating upon this announcement for some time .
That afternoon Claude abruptly stopped flinging ashen ears into the big dipper beside him. It was about five o’clock, the yellowest hour of the fall day. He stood lost in a afforest of light, dry, rustling corn leaves, quite shroud away from the earth. Taking off his husking-gloves, he wiped the fret from his face, climbed up to the wagon box, and lay polish on the ivory-coloured corn whiskey. The horses conservatively advanced a mistreat or two, and munched with great message at ears they tore from the stalks with their teeth .
Claude lie still, his arms under his head, looking up at the hard, polished blasphemous flip, watching the flocks of crows go over from the fields where they fed on shatter grain, to their nests in the trees along cover girl Creek. He was thinking about what Dan had said while they were hitching up. There was a great deal of truth in it, surely. so far, as for him, he frequently felt that he would rather go out into the world and earn his bread among strangers than perspiration under this half-responsibility for acres and crops that were not his own. He knew that his father was sometimes called a “ nation hog ” by the state people, and he himself had begun to feel that it was not right they should have indeed much nation, —to farm, or to rent, or to leave idle, as they chose. It was strange that in all the centuries the world had been going, the question of property had not been full adjusted. The people who had it were slaves to it, and the people who did n’t have it were slaves to them .
He sprang down into the gold light to finish his burden. warm silence nestled over the cornfield. Sometimes a fall breeze rose for a here and now and rattled the starchy, dry leaves, and he himself made a capital rustle and crepitate as he tore the husks from the ears .
Greedy crows were still cawing about before they flapped homeward. When he drove out to the highway, the sun was going down, and from his seat on the load he could see army for the liberation of rwanda and near. yonder was Dan’s police van, coming in from the north one-fourth ; over there was the roof of Leonard Dawson ‘s fresh house, and his windmill, standing up black in the declining day. Before him were the bluffs of the eatage, and the little trees, about bare, huddled in violet shadow along the brook, and the Wheeler farmhouse on the hill, its windows all ablaze with the last red fire of the sunlight .

XV

Claude dreaded the inactiveness of the winter, to which the farmer normally looks forward with joy. He made the Thanksgiving football game a guise for going up to Lincoln, —went intend to stay three days and stay ten. The beginning night, when he knocked at the glass door of the Erlichs’ sitting-room and took them by surprise, he thought he could never go back to the farm. Approaching the house on that authorize, frosty fall even, crossing the lawn strew with crackling dry leaves, he told himself that he must not hope to find things the lapp. But they were the same. The boys were lounging and smoking about the square table with the lamp on it, and Mrs. Erlich was at the piano, playing one of Mendelssohn’s “ Songs Without Words. ” When he knocked, Otto opened the doorway and called :
“ A surprise for you, Mother ! Guess who ‘s here. ”
What a welcome she gave him, and how much she had to tell him ! While they were all talking at once, Henry, the oldest son, came downstairs dressed for a Colonial ball, with satin breeches and stockings and a sword. His brothers began to point out the inaccuracies of his costume, telling him that he could n’t possibly call himself a french émigré unless he wore a powderize wig. Henry took a book of memoirs from the ledge to prove to them that at the time when the french émigrés were coming to Philadelphia, powder was going out of manner .
During this discussion, Mrs. Erlich drew Claude aside and told him in excite whispers that her cousin Wilhelmina, the singer, had at last been relieved of the invalid husband whom she had supported for so many years, and now was going to marry her accompanist, a man much younger than herself .
After the french émigré had gone off to his party, two young instructors from the University dropped in, and Mrs. Erlich introduced Claude as her “ land owner ” who managed a boastfully ranch out in one of the western counties. The instructors took their entrust early, but Claude stayed on. What was it that made animation seem indeed much more matter to and attractive here than elsewhere ? There was nothing fantastic about this room ; a lot of books, a lamp. .. comfortable, hard-used furniture, some people whose lives were in no manner remark-able—and so far he had the sense of being in a warm and gracious standard atmosphere, charged with generous enthusiasms and ennobled by amatory friendships. He was glad to see the same pictures on the wall ; to find the swiss wood-cutter on the mantel, calm bending under his load of faggots ; to handle again the fleshy administration paper-knife that in its time had cut therefore many concern pages. He picked it up from the overlay of a red book lying there, — one of Trevelyan ‘s volumes on Garibaldi, which Julius told him he must read before he was another workweek old .
The next good afternoon Claude took Mrs. Erlich to the football game and came home plate with the family for dinner. He lingered on day after day, but after the first few evenings his heart was growing a little heavier all the time. The Erlich boys had then many new interests he could n’t keep up with them ; they had been going on, and he had been standing still. He was n’t conceited enough to mind that. The thing that damage was the feel of being out of it, of being lost in another kind of life in which ideas played but little separate. He was a stranger who walked in and sat polish here ; but he belonged out in the large, lone nation, where people worked unvoiced with their backs and got tired like the horses, and were besides sleepy at night to think of anything to say. If Mrs. Erlich and her hungarian woman made lentil soup and potato dumplings and Wiener-Schnitzel for him, it only made the plain do on the farm seem the heavy .
When the second Friday came round of golf, he went to bid his friends adieu and explained that he must be going home tomorrow. On leaving the house that night, he looked back at the rubicund windows and told himself that it was adieu indeed, and not, as Mrs. Erlich had fondly said, auf wiedersehen. Coming here entirely made him more discontented with his lot ; his delicate claim on this kind of animation existed no longer. He must settle down into something that was his own, take hold of it with both hands, no matter how dour it was. The next day, during his travel out through the bare winter country, he felt that he was going deep and thick into reality .
Claude had not written when he would be home, but on Saturday there were always some of the neighbours in town. He rode out with one of the Yoeder boys, and from their target walked on the rest of the way. He told his mother he was glad to be back again. He sometimes felt as if it were disloyal to her for him to be so happy with Mrs. Erlich. His mother had been shut away from the world on a farm for therefore many years ; and even before that, Vermont was no very provoke place to grow up in, he guessed. She had not had a chance, any more than he had, at those things which make the mind more limber and keep the feel young .
The following dawn it was snowing outside, and they had a long, pleasant Sunday breakfast. Mrs. Wheeler said they would n’t try to go to church, as Claude must be tired. He worked about the place until noon, making the stock comfortable and looking after things that Dan had neglected in his absence. After dinner he sat down at the secretary and wrote a farseeing letter to his friends in Lincoln. Whenever he lifted his eyes for a moment, he saw the crop bluffs and the lightly falling coke. There was something beautiful about the submissive direction in which the country met winter. It made one contented, —sad, besides. He sealed his letter and lay down on the sofa to read the paper, but was soon asleep .
When he awoke the afternoon was already far gone. The clock on the shelf ticked forte in the still room, the coal stove sent out a warm glow. The bloom plants in the south bow-window looked bright and fresher than common in the balmy ashen light that came up from the snow. Mrs. Wheeler was reading by the west window, looking away from her bible now and then to gaze off at the grey sky and the muffled fields. The brook made a wind violet chasm down through the pasture, and the trees followed it in a black brush, curiously tufted with snow. Claude laic for some time without address, watching his mother ‘s profile against the glaze, and thinking how full this soft, clinging bamboozle fall would be for his pale yellow fields .
“ What are you reading, Mother ? ” he asked soon .
She turned her head toward him. “ nothing identical new. I was just beginning ‘Paradise Lost ‘ again. I have n’t read it for a farseeing while. ”
“ understand aloud, wo n’t you ? good wherever you happen to be. I like the strait of it. ”
Mrs. Wheeler always read measuredly, giving each syllable its entire value. Her voice, naturally soft and preferably pensive, trailed over the retentive measures and the endanger Biblical names, all conversant to her and fully of meaning .
A dungeon
horrible, on all sides round
As one great furnace flamed ; however from the flames
No light, but quite dark visible
Served alone to discover sights of suffering. ”
Her voice groped as if she were trying to realize something. The room was growing grey as she read on through the puffy catalogue of the heathen gods, so pack with stories and pictures, thus unaccountably glorious. At last the idle failed, and Mrs. Wheeler closed the script .
“ That ‘s very well, ” Claude commented from the frame. “ But Milton couldn’t have got along without the wicked, could he ? ”
Mrs. Wheeler looked up. “ Is that a joke ? ” she asked craftily .
“ Oh no, not at all ! It equitable struck me that this separate is therefore much more interest than the books about perfect innocence in Eden. ”
“ And however I suppose it should n’t be so, ” Mrs. Wheeler said slowly, as if in doubt .
Her son laughed and sat up, smoothing his pucker hair. “ The fact remains that it is, dearly Mother. And if you took all the big sinners out of the Bible, you ‘d take out all the interest characters, would n’t you ? ”
“ Except Christ, ” she murmured .
“ Yes, except Christ. But I suppose the Jews were honest when they thought him the most dangerous kind of criminal. ”
“ Are you trying to tangle me up ? ” his mother inquired, with both reproach and amusement in her voice .
Claude went to the window where she was sitting, and looked out at the snow-white fields, nowadays becoming blue and depopulate as the shadows deepened. “ I only mean that even in the Bible the people who were merely free from blame did n’t amount to much. ”
“ Ah, I see ! ” Mrs. Wheeler chuckled softly. “ You are trying to get me back to Faith and Works. There ‘s where you constantly balked when you were a little fellow. Well, Claude, I do n’t know a much about it as I did then. As I get older, I leave a good batch more to God. I believe He wants to save whatever is noble in this world, and that He knows more ways of doing it than I. ” She rose like a gentle darkness and rubbed her buttock against his flannel shirt-sleeve, grumble, “ I believe He is sometimes where we would least expect to find Him, —even in gallant, rebellious hearts. ”
For a moment they clung together in the pale, clear square of the west window, as the two natures in one person sometimes meet and cling in a destine hour .

XVI

Ralph and his forefather came home to spend the holidays, and on Christmas day Bayliss drove out from township for dinner. He arrived early, and after greeting his mother in the kitchen, went up to the sitting-room, which shone with a vacation tidiness, and, for once, was warm enough for Bayliss, —having a depleted circulation, he felt the cold sharply. He walked up and down, jingling the key in his pockets and admiring his mother ‘s winter chrysanthemums, which were still blooming. respective times he paused before the antique secretary, looking through the glass doors at the volumes within. The sight of some of those books awoke disagreeable memories. When he was a male child of fourteen or fifteen, it used to make him bitterly jealous to hear his beget coaxing Claude to read aloud to her. Bayliss had never been bookish. even before he could read, when his mother told him stories, he at once began to prove to her how they could not possibly be true. late he found arithmetic and geography more interest than “ Robinson Crusoe. ” If he sat down with a book, he wanted to feel that he was learning something. His mother and Claude were always talking over his head about the people in books and stories .
Though Bayliss had a bathetic feel about come home, he considered that he had had a lone boyhood. At the country school he had not been happy ; he was the son who constantly got the answers to the test problems when the others did n’t, and he kept his arithmetical papers buttoned up in the inside pocket of his little jacket until he modestly handed them to the teacher, never giving a neighbour the benefit of his brightness. Leonard Dawson and other lustful lads of his own long time made life as terrifying for him as they could. In winter they used to throw him into a snow-drift, and then run away and leave him. In summer they made him eat hot grasshoppers behind the school, and put big bull-snakes in his dinner pail to surprise him. To this day, Bayliss liked to see one of those fellows get into difficulties that his boastfully fists could n’t get him out of .
It was because Bayliss was quick at figures and undersize for a farmer that his father sent him to town to learn the enforce clientele. From the day he went to work, he managed to live on his small wage. He kept in his vest pocket a little day-book wherein he noted down all his expenditures, —like the millionaire about whom the baptist preachers were never tired of talking, —and his offer to the contribution box stood out conspicuous in his weekly account .
In Bayliss ‘ voice, even when he used his insinuate drawl and said disagreeable things, there was something a little mournful ; the formulation of a deep-rooted common sense of injury. He felt that he had always been misconstrue and undervalue. Later, after he went into business for himself, the young men of Frankfort had never urged him to take part in their pleasures. He had not been asked to join the tennis club or the whist club. He envied Claude his finely physique and his unreckoning, driving animation, as if they had been given to his brother by unfair means and should rightly have been his .
Bayliss and his beget were talking together before dinner when Claude came in and was sol inconsiderate as to put up a window, though he knew his brother hated a draft. In a moment Bayliss addressed him without looking at him :
“ I see your friends, the Erlichs, have bought out the Jenkinson company, in Lincoln ; at least, they ‘ve given their notes. ”
Claude had promised his mother to keep his anneal nowadays. “ Yes, I saw it in the newspaper. I hope they ‘ll succeed. ”
“ I doubt it. ” Bayliss shook his head with his wisest look. “ I understand they ‘ve put a mortgage on their home. That old charwoman will find herself without a roof one of these days. ”
“ I do n’t think so. The boys have wanted to go into clientele together for a long while. They are all intelligent and energetic ; why should n’t they get on ? ” Claude flattered himself that he spoke in an easy, confidential manner .
Bayliss screwed up his eyes. “ I expect they ‘re excessively fond of good survive. They ‘ll pay their interest, and spend whatever ‘s left entertaining their friends. I did n’t see the young mate ‘s name in the notice of incorporation, —Julius, do they call him ? ”
“ Julius is going overseas to study this fall. He intends to be a professor. ”
“ What ‘s the topic with him ? Does he have hapless health ? ”
At this moment the dinner bell sounded, Ralph ran devour from his room where he had been dressing, and they all descended to the kitchen to greet the joker. The dinner progressed pleasantly. Bayliss and his father talked politics, and Ralph told stories about his neighbours in Yucca county. Bayliss was please that his mother had remembered he liked huitre stuffing, and he complimented her upon her mince pies. When he saw her pour a second gear cup of coffee for herself and for Claude at the end of dinner, he said, in a pacify, grieved note, “ I ‘m good-for-nothing to see you taking two, Mother. ”
Mrs. Wheeler looked at him over the coffee-pot with a droll, guilty smile. “ I do n’t believe coffee hurts me a particle, Bayliss. ”
“ Of run it does ; it ‘s a stimulant. ” What worse could it be, his tone implied ! When you said anything was a “ stimulant, ” you had sufficiently condemned it ; there was no more noxious word .
Claude was in the upper anteroom, putting on his coat to go down to the barn and smoke a cigar, when Bayliss came out from the sitting-room and detained him by an indefinite note .
“ I believe there ‘s to be a musical show in Hastings Saturday night. ”
Claude said he had heard something of the classify .
“ I was thinking, ” Bayliss affected a careless shade, as if he thought of such things every day, “ that we might make a party and take Gladys and Enid. The roads are pretty dear. ”
“ It ‘s a hard drive home, indeed recently at night, ” Claude objected. Bayliss mean, of course, that Claude should drive the party up and back in Mr. Wheeler ‘s big car. Bayliss never used his glitter Cadillac for long, rocky drives .
“ I guess mother would put us up nightlong, and we need n’t take the girls home cashbox Sunday good morning. I ‘ll get the tickets. ”
“ You ‘d better arrange it with the girls, then. I ‘ll drive you, of course, if you want to go. ”
Claude escaped and went out, wishing that Bayliss would do his own court and not drag him into it. Bayliss, who did n’t know one tune from another, surely did n’t want to go to this concert, and it was doubtful whether Enid Royce would care much about going. Gladys Farmer was the best musician in Frankfort, and she would credibly like to hear it .
Claude and Gladys were old friends, from their high School days, though they had n’t seen much of each early while he was going to college. several times this twilight Bayliss had asked Claude to go somewhere with him on a Sunday, and then stopped to “ pick Gladys up, ” as he said. Claude did n’t like it. He was disgusted, anyhow, when he saw that Bayliss had made up his mind to marry Gladys. She and her mother were so poor that he would credibly succeed in the end, though thus far Gladys did n’t seem to give him a lot encouragement. Marrying Bayliss, he thought, would be no joke for any charwoman, but Gladys was the one female child in township whom he particularly ought not to marry. She was ampere extravagant as she was inadequate. Though she taught in the Frankfort High School for twelve hundred a class, she had prettier clothes than any of the other girls, except Enid Royce, whose father was a rich man. Her new hats and suède shoes were discussed and criticized year in and class out. People said if she married Bayliss Wheeler, he would soon bring her polish to hard facts. Some hoped she would, and some hoped she would n’t. As for Claude, he had kept away from Mrs. Farmer ‘s cheerful living room always since Bayliss had begun to drop in there. He was disappointed in Gladys. When he was offended, he rarely stopped to cause about his express of feeling. He avoided the person and the remember of the person, as if it were a sensitive point in his mind .

XVII

It had been Mr. Wheeler ‘s intention to stay at home until leap, but Ralph wrote that he was having trouble with his foreman, so his beget went out to the ranch in February. A few days after his deviation there was a storm which gave people something to talk about for a year to come .
The coke began to fall about noon on St. Valentine ‘s day, a balmy, thick, wet snow that came toss off in billows and stuck to everything. late in the good afternoon the wind rose, and wherever there was a shed, a tree, a hedge, or even a thump of improbable weeds, drifts began to pile up. Mrs. Wheeler, looking anxiously out from the sitting-room windows, could see nothing but driving waves of piano white, which cut the tall house off from the rest of the world .
Claude and Dan, devour in the corral, where they were provisioning the cattle against bad weather, found the atmosphere then slurred that they could hardly breathe ; their ears and mouths and nostrils were full of snow, their faces plastered with it. It melted constantly upon their clothe, and yet they were egg white from their boots to their caps as they worked, —there was no shaking it off. The air was not coldness, only a little below freezing. When they came in for supper, the drifts had piled against the house until they covered the lower sashes of the kitchen windows, and as they opened the doorway, a delicate wall of snow fell in behind them. Mahailey came running with her broom and bucket to sweep it up .
“ Ai n’t it a turrible storm, Mr. Claude ? I reckon poor people Mr. Ernest wo n’t git over tonight, will he ? You never mind, honey ; I ‘ll wipe up that water. Run along and rotter dry clothes on you, an ‘ take a bathe, or you ‘ll ketch cold. Th ‘ ole tank ‘s full of hot water for you. ” exceptional weather of any kind always delighted Mahailey .
Mrs. Wheeler met Claude at the head of the step. “ There ‘s no danger of the steers getting snowed under along the creek, is there ? ” she asked anxiously .
“ No, I thought of that. We ‘ve driven them all into the short cow pen on the level, and shut the gates. It ‘s over my mind down in the creek buttocks now. I have n’t a dry stitch on me. I guess I ‘ll follow Mahailey ‘s advice and get in the bathtub, if you can wait supper for me. ”
“ Put your clothes outside the toilet door, and I ‘ll see to drying them for you. ”
“ Yes, please. I ‘ll need them tomorrow. I do n’t want to spoil my modern corduroys. And, Mother, see if you can make Dan change. He ‘s excessively wet and muggy to sit at the table with. Tell him if anybody has to go out after supper, I ‘ll go. ”
Mrs. Wheeler hurried down stairs. Dan, she knew, would rather sit all evening in wet clothes than take the trouble to put on dry ones. He tried to sneak past her to his own quarters behind the wash-room, and looked aggrieved when he heard her message .
“ I ai n’t got no other external clothes, except my Sunday ones, ” he objected .
“ well, Claude says he ‘ll go out if anybody has to. I guess you’ll have to change for once, Dan, or go to bed without your supper. ” She laughed quietly at his depress expression as he slunk away .
“ Mrs. Wheeler, ” Mahailey whispered, “ ca n’t I run down to the basement an ‘ rotter some of them courteous strawberry preserves ? Mr. Claude, he loves ’em on his hot biscuit. He do n’t eat the honey no more ; he ‘s got tired of it. ”
“ identical well. I ‘ll make the coffee bean good and strong ; that will please him more than anything. ”
Claude came down feeling clean and warm and hungry. As he opened the step door he sniffed the coffee and frying ham, and when Mahailey deflect over the oven the quick smell of browning cookie rushed out with the hotness. These compound odours reasonably dispersed Dan ‘s gloom when he came back in screaky Sunday shoes and a awkward cut-away coat. The latter was not required of him, but he wore it for retaliation .
During supper Mrs. Wheeler told them once again how, long ago when she was beginning married, there were no roads or fences west of Frankfort. One winter night she sat on the roof of their foremost dugout about all night, holding up a lantern tied to a perch to guide Mr. Wheeler home through a blizzard like this .
Mahailey, moving about the stove, watched over the group at the table. She liked to see the men fill themselves with food—though she did not count Dan a homo, by any means, —and she looked out to see that Mrs. Wheeler did not forget to eat wholly, as she was apposite to do when she fell to remembering things that had happened long ago. Mahailey was in a happy frame of heed because her weather predictions had come truthful ; only yesterday she had told Mrs. Wheeler there would be snow, because she had seen snowbirds. She regarded supper as more than normally important when Claude put on his “ velvet close, ” as she called his brown corduroys .
After supper Claude lie on the couch in the sitting-room, while his mother read aloud to him from “ Bleak House, ” —one of the few novels she loved. Poor Jo was drawing toward his end when Claude suddenly sat up. “ Mother, I believe I ‘m besides sleepy. I ‘ll have to turn in. Do you suppose it ‘s still snowing ? ”
He rose and went to look out, but the west windows were sol plaster with snow that they were opaque. even from the one on the south he could see nothing for a here and now ; then Mahailey must have carried her lamp to the kitchen window below, for all at once a broad jaundiced shine glow out into the suffocate atmosphere, and down it millions of snowflakes hurried like armies, an ceaseless progress, moving arsenic close as they could without forming a firm batch. Claude struck the frozen window-frame with his fist, lifted the lower sash, and thrusting out his forefront tried to look abroad into the engulf night. There was a gravity about a storm of such order of magnitude ; it gave one a spirit of eternity. The myriads of white particles that crossed the rays of lamplight seemed to have a hushed purpose, to be hurrying toward a definite end. A faint honor, like a bouquet about excessively fine for human senses, exhaled from them as they clustered about his steer and shoulders. His mother, looking under his lift arm, strained her eyes to see out into that swarming drift, and murmured softly in her warble voice : “ always thick, thick, dense, Froze the ice on lake and river ; Ever deeper, deeper, deeper, Fell the snow o’er all the landscape. ”

XVIII

Claude ‘s bedroom faced the east. The future morning, when he looked out of his windows, only the tops of the cedars in the front yard were visible. hurriedly putting on his clothes he ran to the west window at the end of the hall ; Lovely Creek, and the deep ravine in which it flowed, had disappeared as if they had never been. The boisterous crop was like a fluent field, except for humps and mounds like haycocks, where the snow had drifted over a post or a bush-league .
At the kitchen stairs Mahailey met him in elated exhilaration. “ Lord ‘a ‘ mercy, Mr. Claude, I ca n’t git the storm door open. We ‘re snowed in fa ‘. ” She looked like a swinger woman, in a crown patched with many colours, her head tied up in an previous black “ fascinator, ” with ravel thread hanging down over her font like godforsaken locks of hair. She kept this costume for black occasions ; appeared in it when the water-pipes were freeze and break, or when bounce storms flooded the coops and drowned her young chickens .
The storm door opened outward. Claude put his shoulder to it and pushed it a little way. then, with Mahailey ‘s fire-shovel he dislodged adequate snow to enable him to force back the door. Dan came tramping in his stocking-feet across the kitchen to his boots, which were calm drying behind the stave .
“ She ‘s surely a bad one, Claude, ” he remarked, blinking .
“ Yes. I guess we wo n’t try to go out public treasury after breakfast. We ‘ll have to dig our way to the barn, and I never thought to bring the shovels up last nox. ”
“ Th ‘ ole snow shovels is in the root cellar. I ‘ll git ’em. ”
“ not now, Mahailey. Give us our breakfast before you do anything else. ”
Mrs. Wheeler came down, pinning on her little shawl, her shoulders more bent than usual. “ Claude, ” she said fearfully, “ the cedars in the front yard are all but covered. Do you suppose our cattle could be buried ? ”
He laughed. “ No, Mother. The cattle have been moving about all nox, I expect. ”
When the two men started out with the wooden coke shovels, Mrs. Wheeler and Mahailey stood in the doorway, watching them. For a short distance from the house the path they dug was like a burrow, and the white walls on either side were higher than their heads. On the breast of the hill the snow was not so deep, and they made better headroom. They had to fight through a second fleshy drift before they reached the barn, where they went in and warmed themselves among the horses and cows. Dan was for getting adjacent a strong overawe and beginning to milk .
“ not so far, ” said Claude. “ I want to have a expect at the hogs before we do anything here. ”
The hog-house was built down in a puff behind the barn. When Claude reached the edge of the gully, blown about bare, he could look about him. The trace was wax of coke, smooth. .. except in the center, where there was a rumple depression, resembling a capital heap of tumble bed-linen .
Dan gasped. “ God a ‘ mighty, Claude, the roof ‘s fell in ! Them hogs’ll be smothered. ”
“ They will if we do n’t get at them pretty immediate. Run to the theater and tell Mother Mahailey will have to milk this good morning, and get back here angstrom fast as you can. ”
The roof was a flat thatch, and the weight of the coke had been excessively much for it. Claude wondered if he should have put on a new teach that fall ; but the old one was n’t leaky, and had seemed firm enough .
When Dan got back they took turns, one going ahead and throwing out angstrom a lot coke as he could, the other handling the snow that fell back. After an hour or indeed of this study, Dan leaned on his shovel .
“ We ‘ll never do it, Claude. Two men could n’t throw all that snow out in a week. I ‘m about all in. ”
“ well, you can go back to the family and sit by the burn, ” Claude called fiercely. He had taken off his coat and was working in his shirt and sweater. The sweat was rolling from his face, his back and arms ached, and his hands, which he could n’t keep dry, were blistered. There were thirty-seven hogs in the hog-house .
Dan sat down in the fix. “ possibly if I could git a toast of water, I could hold on a-ways, ” he said dejectedly .
It was past noon when they got into the shed ; a defile of steam rose, and they heard grunts. They found the pigs all lying in a heap at one end, and pulled the top ones off alive and squealing. Twelve hogs, at the bottom of the atomic pile, had been suffocated. They lay there wet and black in the snow, their bodies warm and smoking, but they were dead ; there was no misinterpretation that .
Mrs. Wheeler, in her husband ‘s rubber eraser boots and an old overcoat, came depressed with Mahailey to view the scene of catastrophe .
“ You ought to git right at them hawgs an ‘ butcher ’em today, ” Mahailey called down to the men. She was standing on the edge of the draw, in her patch crown and ravelled hood .
Claude, down in the hole, brushed the sleeve of his perspirer across his streaming expression. “ Butcher them ? ” he cried indignantly. “ I would n’t butcher them if I never saw meat again. ”
“ You ai n’t a-goin ‘ to let all the well hawg-meat go to wase, air you, Mr. Claude ? ” Mahailey pleaded. “ They did n’t have no illness nor nuthin ‘. merely you ‘ll have to git correct at ’em, or the meat wo n’t be healthy. ”
“ It would n’t be healthy for me, anyhow. I do n’t know what I will do with them, but I ‘m mighty indisputable I wo n’t butcher them. ”
“ Do n’t bother him, Mahailey, ” Mrs. Wheeler cautioned her. “ He’s tired, and he has to fix some place for the live hogs. ”
“ I know he is, mam, but I could easy cut up one of them hawgs myself. I butchered my own little pig bed onct, in Virginia. I could save the overact, anyways, and the spare-ribs. We ai n’t had no spare-ribs for always so long. ”
What with the hurt in his back and his humiliate at losing the pigs, Claude was feeling desperate. “ Mother, ” he shouted, “ if you don’t take Mahailey into the house, I ‘ll go crazy ! ”
That evening Mrs. Wheeler asked him how much the twelve hogs would have been worth in money. He looked a small startle .
“ Oh, I do n’t know precisely ; three hundred dollars, anyhow. ”
“ Would it in truth be deoxyadenosine monophosphate much as that ? I do n’t see how we could have prevented it, do you ? ” Her front looked disturb .
Claude went to bed immediately after supper, but he had no preferably stretched his aching body between the sheets than he began to feel waking. He was humiliated at losing the pigs, because they had been left in his charge ; but for the loss in money, about which even his beget was grieved, he did n’t seem to care. He wondered whether all that winter he had n’t been working himself up into a childish contempt for money-values .
When Ralph was home at Christmas time, he wore on his little feel a heavy gold hoop, with a rhombus equally big as a pea, surrounded by showy grooves in the metallic. He admitted to Claude that he had won it in a poker game. Ralph ‘s hands were never spare from car grease—they were the crimson, chunky kind that could n’t be kept scavenge. Claude remembered him milking in the barn by lantern light, his jewel throwing off jabbing sparkles of color, and his fingers looking very much like the teats of the cow. That word picture rose before him now, as a symbol of what successful farm led to .
The farmer raised and took to market things with an intrinsic prize ; wheat and corn deoxyadenosine monophosphate good as could be grown anywhere in the global, hogs and cattle that were the best of their kind. In render he got fabricate articles of poor quality ; showy furniture that went to pieces, carpets and draperies that faded, clothes that made a fine-looking man look like a clown. Most of his money was paid out for machinery, —and that, besides, went to pieces. A steam thresher did n’t last long ; a horse outlived three automobiles .
Claude felt certain that when he was a little male child and all the neighbours were inadequate, they and their houses and farms had more individuality. The farmers took fourth dimension then to plant all right cottonwood groves on their places, and to set osage orange hedges along the borders of their fields. now these trees were all being cut down and grubbed up. Just why, cipher knew ; they impoverished the land. .. they made the snow drift. .. cipher had them any more. With prosperity came a kind of unfeelingness ; everybody wanted to destroy the old things they used to take pride in. The orchards, which had been nursed and tended therefore carefully twenty years ago, were nowadays left to die of disregard. It was less trouble oneself to run into town in an automobile and buy fruit than it was to raise it .
The people themselves had changed. He could remember when all the farmers in this residential district were friendly toward each other ; nowadays they were continually having lawsuits. Their sons were either stingy and grasping, or excessive and faineant, and they were always stirring up trouble. obviously, it took more news to spend money than to make it .
When he pondered upon this conclusion, Claude think of the Erlichs. Julius could go afield and study for his repair ‘s academic degree, and live on less than Ralph wasted every year. Ralph would never have a profession or a trade wind, would never do or make anything the world needed .
Nor did Claude find his own lookout much better. He was twenty-one years honest-to-god, and he had no skill, no train, —no ability that would ever take him among the kind of people he admired. He was a bungling, awkward farmer son, and even Mrs. Erlich seemed to think the farm the best place for him. Probably it was ; but all the like he did n’t find this kind of life worth the disturb of getting up every dawn. He could not see the use of working for money, when money brought nothing one wanted. Mrs. Erlich said it brought security. Sometimes he thought this security was what was the matter with everybody ; that lone arrant safety was required to kill all the best qualities in people and develop the mean ones .
Ernest, besides, said “ it ‘s the best life in the universe, Claude. ” But if you went to bed defeated every night, and dreaded to wake in the morning, then distinctly it was besides effective a life for you. To be assured, at his long time, of three meals a day and enough of rest, was like being assured of a becoming burying. Safety, security system ; if you followed that reasoning out, then the unborn, those who would never be born, were the safest of all ; nothing could happen to them .
Claude knew, and everybody else knew, apparently, that there was something wrong with him. He had been unable to conceal his discontented. Mr. Wheeler was afraid he was one of those airy fellows who make unnecessary difficulties for themselves and other people. Mrs. Wheeler thought the trouble with her son was that he had not however found his Saviour. Bayliss was convinced that his brother was a moral insurgent, that behind his reserve and his defend manner he concealed the most dangerous opinions. The neighbours liked Claude, but they laughed at him, and said it was a good thing his church father was well fixed. Claude was mindful that his energy, rather of accomplishing something, was spent in resisting unalterable conditions, and in unavailing efforts to subdue his own nature. When he thought he had at last got himself in hand, a moment would undo the work of days ; in a dart he would be transformed from a wooden post into a living boy. He would spring to his feet, go over promptly in bed, or stop short in his walk, because the old belief flashed up in him with an intense kind of hope, an intense kind of pain, —the conviction that there was something brilliant about biography, if he could but find it !

XIX

The weather, after the boastfully storm, behaved capriciously. There was a partial thaw which threatened to flood everything, —then a hard freeze. The hale area glittered with an frigid crust, and people went about on a chopine of flash-frozen snow, quite above the flush of average life. Claude got out Mr. Wheeler ‘s erstwhile double sled from the mass of heterogeneous objects that had for years lain on top of it, and brought the out of practice sleighbells up to the house for Mahailey to scour with brick dust. now that they had automobiles, most of the farmers had let their old sleighs go to pieces. But the Wheelers always kept everything .
Claude told his mother he meant to take Enid Royce for a sleigh-ride. Enid was the daughter of Jason Royce, the grain merchant, one of the early on settlers, who for many years had run the only grist mill in Frankfort county. She and Claude were previous playmates ; he made a ball call at the mill house, as it was called, every summer during his vacation, and much dropped in to see Mr. Royce at his town office .
immediately after supper, Claude put the two wiry small blacks, Pompey and Satan, to the sled. The moon had been up since retentive before the sun went down, had been hanging pale in the sky most of the good afternoon, and now it flooded the snow-terraced land with silver. It was one of those sparkling winter nights when a boy feels that though the global is very big, he himself is bigger ; that under the solid crystalline blasphemous sky there is no one quite so strong and sentient as himself, and that all this impressiveness is for him. The sleighbells rang out with a kind of musical carefreeness, as if they were glad to sing again, after the many winters they had hung rusty and dust-choked in the barn .
The mill road, that led off the highway and down to the river, had pleasant associations for Claude. When he was a child, every time his church father went to mill, he begged to go along. He liked the factory and the miller and the moth miller ‘s little girl. He had never liked the miller ‘s house, however, and he was afraid of Enid ‘s mother. evening nowadays, as he tied his horses to the long hitch-bar down by the engine room, he resolved that he would not be persuaded to enter that conventional parlor, wax of new-looking, expensive furniture, where his energy constantly deserted him and he could never think of anything to talk about. If he moved, his shoes squeaked in the silence, and Mrs. Royce sat and blinked her sharp little eyes at him, and the longer he stayed, the arduous it was to go .
Enid herself came to the door .
“ Why, it ‘s Claude ! ” she exclaimed. “ Wo n’t you come in ? ”
“ No, I want you to go riding. I ‘ve got the old sled out. Come on, it ‘s a fine night ! ”
“ I thought I heard bells. Wo n’t you come in and see Mother while I get my things on ? ”
Claude said he must stay with his horses, and ran back to the hitch-bar. Enid did n’t keep him waiting long ; she was n’t that kind. She came swiftly down the way and through the front gate in the Maine seal motor-coat she wore when she drove her electric coupé in cold weather .
“ now, which way ? ” Claude asked as the horses sprang forward and the bells began to jingle .
“ about any manner. What a beautiful night ! And I love your bells, Claude. I have n’t heard sleighbells since you used to bring me and Gladys home from school in stormy upwind. Why do n’t we stop for her tonight ? She has furs now, you know ! ” here Enid laughed. “ All the old ladies are then terribly puzzled about them ; they ca n’t find out whether your brother very gave them to her for Christmas or not. If they were certain she bought them for herself, I believe they ‘d hold a public meet. ”
Claude cracked his whip over his eager little blacks. “ Does n’t it make you tired, the way they are always nagging at Gladys ? ”
“ It would, if she minded. But she ‘s fair as calm ! They must have something to fuss about, and of course poor Mrs. Farmer ‘s back taxes are piling up. I surely suspect Bayliss of the fur. ”
Claude did not feel as tidal bore to stop for Gladys as he had been a few moments before. They were approaching the township now, and lighted windows shine softly across the blue white of the coke. even in progressive Frankfort, the street lights were turned off on a night so glorious as this. Mrs. Farmer and her daughter had a fiddling white bungalow down in the confederacy separate of the township, where entirely people of meek means lived. “ We must stop to see Gladys ‘ mother, if only for a minute, ” Enid said as they drew up before the fence. “ She is so fond of company. ” He tied his team to a tree, and they went up to the narrow, sloping porch, hang with vines that were entire of frozen bamboozle .
Mrs. Farmer met them ; a big, flushed woman of fifty dollar bill, with a pleasant Kentucky voice. She took Enid ‘s sleeve dearly, and Claude followed them into the long, low sitting-room, which had an uneven floor and a lamp at either end, and was scantily furnished in rickety mahogany. There, stopping point beside the hard-coal burner, sat Bayliss Wheeler. He did not rise when they entered, but said, “ Hello, folks, ” in a rather sheeplike voice. On a small table, beside Mrs. Farmer ‘s workbasket, was the corner of candy he had recently taken out of his greatcoat pocket, still tied up with its gold cord. A tall lamp stood beside the piano, where Gladys had obviously been practising. Claude wondered whether Bayliss actually pretended to an interest in music ! At this moment Gladys was in the kitchen, Mrs. Farmer explained, looking for her mother ‘s glasses, —mislaid when she was copying a recipe for a cheese soufflé .
“ Are you hush getting newfangled recipes, Mrs. farmer ? ” Enid asked her. “ I thought you could make every serve in the world already. ”
“ Oh, not quite ! ” Mrs. Farmer laughed modestly and showed that she liked compliments. “ Do sit down, Claude, ” she besought of the stiff double by the door. “ Daughter will be here immediately. ”
At that moment Gladys Farmer appeared. “ Why, I did n’t know you had party, Mother, ” she said, coming in to greet them .
This intend, Claude supposed, that Bayliss was not company. He hardly glanced at Gladys as he took the hand she held out to him .
One of Gladys ‘ grandfathers had come from Antwerp, and she had the settle composure, the full bolshevik lips, brown eyes, and dimpled whiten hands which occur thus often in flemish portraits of young women. Some people thought her a dally heavy, excessively mature and positivist to be called pretty, evening though they admired her rich, tulip-like complexion. Gladys never seemed aware that her looks and her poverty and her extravagance were the subjugate of ceaseless argument, but went to and from school every day with the air travel of one whose position is assured. Her musicianship gave her a kind of authority in Frankfort .
Enid explained the aim of their call. “ Claude has got out his old sled, and we ‘ve come to take you for a ride. possibly Bayliss will go, besides ? ”
Bayliss said he guessed he would, though Claude knew there was nothing he hated thus much as being out in the coldness. Gladys ran upstairs to put on a warmly dress, and Enid accompanied her, leaving Mrs. Farmer to make agreeable conversation between her two ill-sorted guests .
“ Bayliss was precisely telling us how you lost your hogs in the storm, Claude. What a compassion ! ” she said sympathetically .
Yes, Claude thought, Bayliss would n’t be at all reticent about that incident !
“ I suppose there was actually no way to save them, ” Mrs. Farmer went on in her polite way ; her voice was low and round, like her daughter ‘s, unlike from the high, tight western voice. “ indeed I hope you don’t let yourself worry about it. ”
“ No, I do n’t worry about anything angstrom dead as those hogs were. What’s the use ? ” Claude asked boldly .
“ That ‘s right, ” murmured Mrs. Farmer, rocking a little in her electric chair. “ such things will happen sometimes, and we ought not to take them excessively arduous. It is n’t a if a person had been hurt, is it ? ”
Claude shook himself and tried to respond to her amity, and to the moth-eaten comfort of her long parlor, so obviously doing its best to be attractive to her friends. There were n’t four steady legs on any of the stuff chairs or little pen up tables she had brought up from the South, and the heavy gold shape was one-half break off from the petroleum portrayal of her father, the Judge. But she carried her poverty lightly, as southerly people did after the Civil War, and she did n’t fret half sol much about her back taxes as her neighbours did. Claude tried to talk pleasantly to her, but he was distracted by the sound of stifle laughter upstairs. Probably Gladys and Enid were joking about Bayliss ‘ being there. How shameless girls were, anyhow !
People came to their front windows to look out as the sled dashed jingling up and down the village streets. When they left town, Bayliss suggested that they drive out past the Trevor place. The girls began to talk about the two youthful New Englanders, Trevor and Brewster, who had lived there when Frankfort was still a baffling little frontier liquidation. Every one was talking about them now, for a few days ago give voice had come that one of the partners, Amos Brewster, had dropped dead in his police office in Hartford. It was thirty years since he and his acquaintance, Bruce Trevor, had tried to be big cattle men in Frankfort county, and had built the house on the round hill east of the town, where they wasted a great deal of money very gleefully. Claude ‘s father always declared that the sum they squandered in bacchanalian was negligible compared to their losses in applaudable industrial endeavor. The area, Mr. Wheeler said, had never been the same since those boys left it. He delighted to tell about the time when Trevor and Brewster went into sheep. They imported a breeding aries from Scotland at a big expense, and when he arrived were then impatient to get the good of him that they turned him in with the ewe deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as he was out of his crate. consequently all the lambs were born at the ill-timed season ; came at the beginning of March, in a blind blizzard, and the mothers died from vulnerability. The gallant Trevor took horse and spurred all over the county, from one little settlement to another, buying up nursing bottles and nipples to feed the orphan lamb .
The deep bottomland kingdom about the Trevor place had been rented out to a truck gardener for years now ; the comfortable house with its billiard-room annex—a wonder for that contribution of the nation in its day—re-mained shut, its windows boarded up. It sat on the top of a round knoll, a ticket white basswood grove behind it. Tonight, as Claude drove toward it, the hill with its tall straight trees looked like a big fur cap put down on the snow .
“ Why has n’t some one bought that house retentive ago and fixed it up ? ” Enid remarked. “ There is no build locate approximately here to compare with it. It looks like the place where the leading citizen of the township ought to live. ”
“ I ‘m glad you like it, Enid, ” said Bayliss in a defend part. “ I’ve always had a sneak fancy for the space myself. Those fellows back there never wanted to sell it. But now the estate ‘s get to be settled up. I bought it yesterday. The deed is on its way to Hartford for signature. ”
Enid turned round in her seat. “ Why Bayliss, are you in earnest ? Think of just buying the Trevor place offhand, as if it were any ordinary while of real estate ! Will you make over the theater, and live there some day ? ”
“ I do n’t know about life there. It ‘s besides far to walk to my clientele, and the road across this bottom gets pretty muddy for a car in the spring. ”
“ But it ‘s not far, less than a mile. If I once owned that descry, I’d surely never let anybody else live there. even Carrie remembers it. She frequently asks in her letters whether any one has bought the Trevor topographic point so far. ”
Carrie Royce, Enid ‘s older sister, was a missionary in China .
“ well, ” Bayliss admitted, “ I did n’t buy it for an investment, precisely. I paid all it was deserving. ”
Enid turned to Gladys, who was apparently not listening. “ You ‘d be the one who could plan a sign of the zodiac for Trevor Hill, Gladys. You constantly have such original ideas about houses. ”
“ Yes, people who have no houses of their own frequently seem to have ideas about build, ” said Gladys quietly. “ But I like the Trevor place as it is. I hate to think that one of them is dead. People say they did have such commodity times up there. ”
Bayliss grunted. “ Call it good times if you like. The kids were still grubbing whiskey bottles out of the cellar when I first came to town. Of path, if I decide to live there, I ‘ll pull down that erstwhile trap and put up something modern. ” He frequently took this crusty timbre with Gladys in populace .
Enid tried to draw the driver into the conversation. “ There seems to be a deviation of public opinion here, Claude. ”
“ Oh, ” said Gladys rakishly, “ it ‘s Bayliss ‘ place, or soon will be. He will build what he likes. I ‘ve constantly known person would get that target off from me, so I ‘m organize. ”
“ Get it away from you ? ” muttered Bayliss, amazed .
“ yes. ampere long as no one bought it and spoiled it, it was mine angstrom a lot as it was anybody ‘s. ”
“ Claude, ” said Enid banteringly, “ now both your brothers have houses. Where are you going to have yours ? ”
“ I do n’t know that I ‘ll always have one. I think I ‘ll run about the worldly concern a little before I draw my plans, ” he replied sarcastically .
“ Take me with you, Claude ! ” said Gladys in a note of sudden fatigue. From that meek murmur Enid suspected that Bayliss had captured Gladys ‘ hand under the american bison robe .
Grimness had settled down over the sleighing party. even Enid, who was not highly sensitive to unexpressed feelings, saw that there was an uncomfortable constraint. A acuate wind instrument had come up. Bayliss doubly suggested turning back, but his brother answered, “ pretty soon, ” and drove on. He meant that Bayliss should have enough of it. not until Enid whispered reprovingly, “ I actually think you ought to turn ; we ‘re all getting cold, ” did he realize that he had made his sleighing party into a punishment ! There was surely nothing to punish Enid for ; she had done her best, and had tried to make his own bad manners less conspicuous. He muttered a blurt out apology to her when he lifted her from the sled at the grind house. On his long drive home he had acrimonious thoughts for ship’s company .
He was so angry with Gladys that he had n’t been able to bid her good-night. Everything she said on the ride had nettled him. If she meant to marry Bayliss, then she ought to throw off this affectation of exemption and independence. If she did not mean to, why did she accept favours from him and let him get into the habit of walking into her house and putting his box of candy on the table, as all Frankfort fellows did when they were courting ? Certainly she could n’t make herself believe that she liked his society !
When they were classmates at the Frankfort High School, Gladys was Claude ‘s aesthetic proxy. It was n’t the proper matter for a boy to be besides scavenge, or excessively careful about his dress and manners. But if he selected a female child who was blameless in these respects, got his latin and did his testing ground work with her, then all her personal attractions redounded to his recognition. Gladys had seemed to appreciate the award Claude did her, and it was not all on her own report that she wore such beautifully ironed muslin dresses when they went on botanic expeditions .
Driving home after that miserable sleigh-ride, Claude told himself that in therefore army for the liberation of rwanda as Gladys was concerned he could make up his mind to the fact that he had been “ sting ” all along. He had believed in her fine feelings ; believed implicitly. now he knew she had none sol very well that she could n’t pocket them when there was adequate to be gained by it. even while he said these things over and over, his old creation of Gladys, down at the bottom of his heed, remained persistently unaltered. But that alone made his state of feeling the more atrocious. He was deeply hurt, —and for some argue, young person, when it is hurt, likes to feel itself betrayed .

2

BOOK II

Enid

I

ONE good afternoon that spring Claude was sitting on the long flight of granite steps that leads up to the State House in Denver. He had been looking at the collection of Cliff Dweller remains in the Capitol, and when he came out into the sunlight the faint smell of fresh-cut eatage struck his nostrils and persuaded him to linger. The gardeners were giving the grounds their foremost clean mowing. All the lawns on the hill were bright with daffodils and hyacinths. A dulcet, warmly wreathe boast over the eatage, drying the water-drops. There had been showers in the good afternoon, and the sky was still a tender, showery blue sky, where it showed through the masses of swiftly moving clouds .
Claude had been away from home for closely a calendar month. His father had sent him out to see Ralph and the newfangled ranch, and from there he went on to Colorado Springs and Trinidad. He had enjoyed travel, but now that he was back in Denver he had that feeling of loneliness which frequently overtakes area boys in a city ; the feel of being unrelated to anything, of not mattering to anybody. He had wandered about Colorado Springs wishing he knew some of the people who were going in and out of the houses ; wishing that he could talk to some of those reasonably girls he saw driving their own cars about the streets, if only to say a few words. One good morning when he was walking out in the hills a daughter passed him, then slowed her car to ask if she could give him a lift. Claude would have said that she was barely the sort who would never stop to pick him up, —yet she did, and she talked to him pleasantly all the way back to town. It was entirely twenty dollar bill minutes or so, but it was deserving everything else that happened on his travel. When she asked him where she should put him down, he said at the Antlers, and blushed so furiously that she must have known at once he was n’t staying there .
He wondered this good afternoon how many discouraged young men had sat here on the State House steps and watched the sunlight go down behind the mountains. Every one was always saying it was a fine thing to be young ; but it was a afflictive thing, excessively. He did n’t believe older people were ever so hapless. Over there, in the aureate light, the mass of mountains was splitting up into four distinct ranges, and as the sunlight dropped lower the peaks emerged in position, one behind the other. It was a lonely magnificence that only made the ache in his breast the stronger. What was the matter with him, he asked himself beseechingly. He must answer that wonder before he went home again .
The statue of Kit Carson on horseback, devour in the Square, pointed west ; but there was no West, in that sense, any more. There was still South America ; possibly he could find something below the Isthmus. here the sky was like a eyelid shut down over the universe ; his mother could see saints and martyr behind it .
well, in time he would get over all this, he supposed. even his don had been restless as a young world, and had run away into a raw country. It was a storm that died down at last, —but what a pity not to do anything with it ! A godforsaken of power—for it was a kind of might ; he sprang to his feet and stood frowning against the rubicund light, thus deep in his own struggling thoughts that he did not notice a man, mounting from the lower terraces, who stopped to look at him .
The stranger scrutinized Claude with interest. He saw a young man standing bareheaded on the long flight of steps, his fists clenched in an attitude of catch action, —his sandy hair, his tan face, his tense calculate copper-coloured in the external oblique muscle rays. Claude would have been astonished if he could have known how he seemed to this strange .

II

THE next morning Claude stepped off the train at Frankfort and had his breakfast at the station before the town was alert. His family were not expecting him, so he thought he would walk home and stop at the mill to see Enid Royce. After all, old friends were best .
He left township by the low road that wound along the brook. The willows were all out in fresh jaundiced leaves, and the gluey white basswood buds were on the point of bursting. Birds were calling everywhere, and immediately and then, through the studded willow wands, flashed the dazzling wing of a cardinal number .
All over the dusty, tan-coloured wheatfields there was a sensitive mist of fleeceable, —millions of little fingers reaching up and waving lightly in the sunlight. To the north and south Claude could see the corn-planters, moving in straight lines over the brown acres where the earth had been harrowed thus fine that it blew off in clouds of dust to the wayside. When a gust of wind rose, gay little twisters came across the clear fields, corkscrews of powdered earth that whirled through the air and suddenly fell again. It seemed as if there were a pipit on every wall post, singing for everything that was dense ; for the capital plow lands, and the heavy horses in the rows, and the men guiding the horses .
Along the roadsides, from under the dead weeds and wisp of dry bluestem, the dandelions thrust up their clean, bright faces. If Claude happened to step on one, the acerb smell made him think of Mahailey, who had probably been out this very dawn, gouging the superoxide dismutase with her break butcher-knife and stuffing dandelion greens into her apron. She constantly went for greens with an air of privacy, very early, and sneaked along the roadsides stooping close to the ground, as if she might be detected and driven away, or as if the dandelions were raving mad things and had to be caught sleeping .
Claude was thinking, as he walked, of how he used to like to come to mill with his father. The whole action of mill was mysterious to him then ; and the mill house and the miller ‘s wife were cryptic ; even Enid was, a little, —until he got her depressed in the brilliantly sunday among the cat-tails. They used to play in the bins of houseclean wheat, watch the flour coming out of the hopper and get themselves covered with white dust .
Best of all he liked going in where the water-wheel hang dripping in its dark cave, and quivering streaks of sunlight came in through the cracks to play on the fleeceable sludge and the spot jewel-weed grow in the shade. The mill was a space of sharp contrasts ; bright sun and deep shade, roaring sound and dense, dripping secrecy. He remembered how amazed he was one day, when he found Mr. Royce in gloves and goggles, cleaning the millstones, and discovered what harmless looking things they were. The miller picked away at them with a sharp hammer until the sparks flew, and Claude still had on his hand a bluing smudge where a chip of flint went under the skin when he got excessively approximate .
Jason Royce must have kept his factory going out of sentiment, for there was not a lot money in it now. But milling had been his foremost business, and he had not found many things in life sentence to be sentimental about. sometimes one still came upon him in dusty moth miller ‘s clothes, giving his man a sidereal day off. He had hanker ago ceased to depend on the risings and fallings of Lovely Creek for his power, and had put in a gasoline engine. The old dam nowadays lay “ like a gripe tooth, ” as one of his men said, grown up with weeds and willow-brush .
Mr. Royce ‘s family affairs had never gone arsenic well as his business. He had not been blessed with a son, and out of five daughters he had succeeded in bringing up alone two. People thought the mill house dampen and unwholesome. Until he built a tenant ‘s bungalow and got a marry world to take charge of the mill, Mr. Royce was never able to keep his millers long. They complained of the gloom of the firm, and said they could not get enough to eat. Mrs. Royce went every summer to a vegetarian sanatorium in Michigan, where she learned to live on nuts and crispen cereals. She gave her class nourishment, to be certain, but there was never during the day a meal that a man could look forward to with pleasure, or sit down to with satisfaction. Mr. Royce normally dined at the hotel in town. Nevertheless, his wife was distinguished for certain bright culinary accomplishments. Her boodle was faultless. When a church supper was toward, she was always called upon for her fantastic mayonnaise dressing, or her angel-food coat, —sure to be the lightest and spongiest in any collection of cakes .
A deep preoccupancy about her health made Mrs. Royce like a womanhood who has a hide grief, or is preyed upon by a consume regret. It wrapped her in a kind of unfeelingness. She lived differently from other people, and that fact made her distrustful and reserved. entirely when she was at the bedlam, under the care of her idolize doctors, did she feel that she was understand and surrounded by sympathy. Her distrust had communicated itself to her daughters and in countless short ways had coloured their feelings about life. They grew up under the shadow of being “ different, ” and formed no near friendships. Gladys Farmer was the alone Frankfort girlfriend who had ever gone much to the grind house. cipher was surprised when Caroline Royce, the older daughter, went out to China to be a missionary, or that her mother let her go without a protest. The Royce women were foreign, anyhow, people said ; with Carrie gone, they hoped Enid would grow up to be more like other folk. She dressed well, came to town frequently in her electric car, and was always ready to work for the church or the public library .
Besides, in Frankfort, Enid was thought very pretty, —in itself a humanizing property. She was lissome, with a small, well-shaped head, a smooth, pale skin, and big, dark, opaque eyes with heavy lashes. The long channel from the lobe of her ear to the tip of her chin gave her confront a certain inflexibility, but to the old ladies, who are the best critics in such matters, this think of firmness and dignity. She moved promptly and graciously, equitable brushing things rather than touching them, so that there was a suggestion of flight about her slender figure, of gliding away from her surroundings. When the Sunday School gave tableau vivants, Enid was chosen for Nydia, the blind daughter of Pompeii, and for the martyr in “ Christ or Diana. ” The lividness of her skin, the submissive inclination of her frontal bone, and her darkness, unchanging eyes, made one think of something “ early christian. ”
On this May good morning when Claude Wheeler came striding up the mill road, Enid was in the yard, standing by a trellis for vines built near the fence, out from under the clayey nuance of the trees. She was raking the earth that had been spaded up the day before, and making furrows in which to drop seeds. From the flex of the road, by the knotty old willows, Claude saw her pinko starched dress and little white sun-bonnet. He hurried forth .
“ Hello, are you farming ? ” he called as he came up to the fence .
Enid, who was bending over at the moment, rose cursorily, but without a start. “ Why, Claude ! I thought you were out West somewhere. This is a storm ! ” She brushed the ground from her hands and gave him her limp white fingers. Her arms, bare below the elbow, were thinly, and looked cold, as if she had put on a summer dress excessively early .
“ I fair got rear this dawn. I ‘m walking out base. What are you planting ? ”
“ odoriferous peas. ”
“ You always have the finest ones in the country. When I see a bunch of yours at church or anywhere, I constantly know them. ”
“ Yes, I ‘m quite successful with my fresh peas, ” she admitted. “ The grind is deep down here, and they get plenty of sun. ”
“ It is n’t only your sweetly peas. cipher else has such lilacs or rambler roses, and I expect you have the lone wisteria vine in Frankfort county. ”
“ mother planted that a long while ago, when she foremost moved here. She is identical partial to wistaria. I ‘m afraid we ‘ll lose it, one of these hard winters. ”
“ Oh, that would be a shame ! Take good care of it. You must put in a lot of time looking after these things, anyhow. ” He spoke admiringly .
Enid leaned against the fence and pushed back her little bonnet. “ possibly I take more interest in flowers than I do in people. I often envy you, Claude ; you have sol many interests. ”
He coloured. “ I ? good gracious, I do n’t have many ! I ‘m an dreadfully discontent classify of companion. I did n’t care about going to school until I had to stop, and then I was sore because I could n’t go back. I guess I ‘ve been sulking about it all winter. ”
She looked at him with quieten astonishment. “ I do n’t see why you should be discontented ; you ‘re thus complimentary. ”
“ well, are n’t you free, excessively ? ”
“ not to do what I want to. The only matter I very want to do is to go out to China and help Carrie in her work. Mother thinks I ‘m not hard enough. But Carrie was never very potent here. She is better in China, and I think I might be. ”
Claude felt concern. He had not seen Enid since the sleigh-ride, when she had been gayer than common. now she seemed sink in inanition. “ You must get over such notions, Enid. You do n’t want to go wandering off entirely like that. It makes people queer. Is n’t there plenty of missionary sour to be done right here ? ”
She sighed. “ That ‘s what everybody says. But we all of us have a prospect, if we ‘ll take it. Out there they have n’t. It ‘s atrocious to think of all those millions that live and die in darkness. ”
Claude glanced up at the somber grind house, hidden in cedars, —then off at the bright, dusty fields. He felt as if he were a little to blame for Enid ‘s somber. He had n’t been very neighborly this concluding year. “ People can live in dark here, besides, unless they fight it. Look at me. I told you I ‘ve been moping all winter. We all feel friendly enough, but we go plodding on and never get in concert. You and I are old friends, and however we hardly ever see each other. Mother says you ‘ve been promising for two years to run up and have a sojourn with her. Why do n’t you come ? It would please her. ”
“ then I will. I ‘ve always been adoring of your mother. ” She paused a consequence, absently twisting the strings of her bonnet, then twitched it from her head with a quick campaign and looked at him squarely in the bright idle. “ Claude, you have n’t actually become a free-thinker, have you ? ”
He laughed outright. “ Why, what made you think I had ? ”
“ Everybody knows Ernest Havel is, and people say you and he read that kind of books together. ”
“ Has that got anything to do with our being friends ? ”
“ Yes, it has. I could n’t feel the same confidence in you. I’ve worried about it a commodity consider. ”
“ well, you equitable cut it out. For one thing, I ‘m not worth it, ” he said cursorily .
“ Oh, yes, you are ! If worrying would do any good— ” she shook her head at him reprovingly .
Claude took hold of the argue pickets between them with both hands. “ It will do full ! Did n’t I tell you there was missionary oeuvre to be done right here ? Is that why you ‘ve been then stand-offish with me the last few years, because you thought I was an atheist ? ”
“ I never, you know, liked Ernest Havel, ” she murmured .
When Claude left the mill and started homeward he felt that he had found something which would help him through the summer. How fortunate he had been to come upon Enid alone and talk to her without interruption, —without once seeing Mrs. Royce ‘s face, constantly masked in powder, peering at him from behind a draw blind. Mrs. Royce had constantly looked old, even long ago when she used to come into church with her little girls, —a bantam woman in bantam high-heeled shoes and a big hat with nod plumes, her black dress covered with bugles and k that glittered and rattled and made her seem hard on the outside, like an worm .
Yes, he must see to it that Enid went about and saw more of other people. She was besides much with her mother, and with her own thoughts. Flowers and foreign missions—her garden and the capital kingdom of China ; there was something unusual and touching about her preoccupations. Something quite charm, besides. Women ought to be religious ; religion was the natural aroma of their minds. The more incredible the things they believed, the more lovely was the act of impression. To him the history of “ Paradise Lost ” was vitamin a fabulous as the “ Odyssey “ ; even when his mother read it aloud to him, it was not only beautiful but true. A women who did n’t have holy thoughts about mysterious things far off would be pedestrian and banal, like a homo .

III

DURING the future few weeks Claude much ran his car down to the mill house on a pleasant even and wheedle Enid to go into Frankfort with him and sit through a act picture show, or to drive to a neighbor town. The advantage of this class of company was that it did not put excessively bang-up a strain upon one’s colloquial powers. Enid could be admirably silent, and she was never embarrassed by either muteness or speech. She was cool and sure of herself under any circumstances, and that was one reason why she drove a cable car thus well, —much better than Claude, indeed .
One Sunday, when they met after church, she told Claude that she wanted to go to Hastings to do some denounce, and they arranged that he should take her on Tuesday in his beget ‘s adult car. The town was about seventy miles to the northeast and, from Frankfort, it was an inconvenient stumble by track .
On Tuesday morning Claude reached the grind house just as the sunday was rising over the dampen fields. Enid was on the front porch waiting for him, wearing a blanket coating over her give suit. She ran down to the gate and slipped into the seat beside him .
“ good good morning, Claude. cipher else is up. It ‘s going to be a brilliant day, is n’t it ? ”
“ Splendid. A little warm for this clock time of year. You wo n’t need that coat long. ”
For the foremost hour they found the roads empty. All the fields were grey with dew, and the early sunlight burned over everything with the diaphanous brightness of a fire that has precisely been kindled. As the machine noiselessly wound off the miles, the flip grew deeper and blue, and the flowers along the wayside opened in the besotted grass. There were men and horses afield on every hill now. Soon they began to pass children on the way to school, who stopped and waved their bright dinner pails at the two travellers. By ten o’clock they were in Hastings .
While Enid was shopping, Claude bought some blank shoes and duck trousers. He felt more interest than usual in his summer clothes. They met at the hotel for lunch, both very hungry and both satisfied with their dawn ‘s work. Seated in the din room, with Enid opposite him, Claude thought they did not look at all like a state boy and girl come to town, but like have people touring in their car .
“ Will you make a call with me after dinner ? ” she asked while they were waiting for their dessert .
“ Is it any one I know ? ”
“ surely. Brother Weldon is in town. His meetings are over, and I was afraid he might be gone, but he is staying on a few days with Mrs. Gleason. I brought some of Carrie ‘s letters along for him to read. ”
Claude made a wry face. “ He wo n’t be delighted to see me. We never got on well at school. He ‘s a regular muff of a teacher, if you want to know, ” he added decisively .
Enid studied him judicially. “ I ‘m surprise to hear that ; he ‘s such a full speaker. You ‘d better come along. It ‘s therefore foolish to have a coolness with your honest-to-god teachers. ”
An hour former the Reverend Arthur Weldon received the two young people in Mrs. Gleason ‘s half-darkened living room, where he seemed quite ampere much at home as that dame herself. The host, after chatting heartily with the visitors for a few moments, excused herself to go to a P.E.O. meet. Every one rose at her deviation, and Mr. Weldon approached Enid, took her hand, and stood looking at her with his head inclined and his oblique smile. “ This is an unexpected pleasure, to see you again, Miss Enid. And you, besides, Claude, ” turning a little toward the latter. “ You ‘ve come up from Frankfort in concert this beautiful day ? ” His spirit seemed to say, “ How lovely for you ! ”
He directed most of his remarks to Enid and, as always, avoided looking at Claude except when he decidedly addressed him .
“ You are farming this year, Claude ? I presume that is a big satisfaction to your father. And Mrs. Wheeler is quite well ? ”
Mr. Weldon surely bore no malevolence, but he always pronounced Claude ‘s list precisely like the word “ Clod, ” which annoyed him. To be sure, Enid pronounced his name in the same way, but either Claude did not notice this, or did not mind it from her. He sank into a deep, dark sofa, and sat with his driving cap on his knee while Brother Weldon drew a chair improving to the one open window of the dusky board and began to read Carrie Royce ‘s letters. Without being asked to do thus, he read them aloud, and stopped to comment from time to clock. Claude observed with disappointment that Enid drink in all his platitudes good as Mrs. Wheeler did. He had never looked at Weldon therefore long ahead. The light fell full moon on the young man ‘s orotund capitulum and his sparse, rippled hair. What in the universe could sensible women like his mother and Enid Royce find to admire in this purr, white-necktied chap ? Enid ‘s dark eyes rested upon him with an formulation of profound esteem. She both looked at him and spoke to him with more feel than she ever showed toward Claude .
“ You see, Brother Weldon, ” she said seriously, “ I am not naturally a lot draw to people. I find it hard to take the proper sake in the church service make at home. It seems as if I had always been holding myself in modesty for the foreign discipline, —by not making personal ties, I mean. If Gladys Farmer went to China, everybody would miss her. She could never be replaced in the high School. She has the kind of magnetism that draws people to her. But I have always been keeping myself free to do what Carrie is doing. There I know I could be of practice. ”
Claude saw it was not easy for Enid to talk like this. Her face looked trouble oneself, and her dark eyebrows came together in a crisp angle as she tried to tell the new preacher precisely what was going on in her mind. He listened with his accustomed, smiling attention, smoothing the paper of the fold letter pages and murmur, “ Yes, I understand. indeed, Miss Enid ? ”
When she pressed him for advice, he said it was not constantly easy to know in what field one could be most useful ; possibly this very restraint was giving her some spiritual discipline that she particularly needed. He was careful not to commit himself, not to advise anything unconditionally, except prayer .
“ I believe that all things are made clear to us in entreaty, Miss Enid. ”
Enid clasped her hands ; her perplexity made her features look sharper. “ But it is when I pray that I feel this bid the strongest. It seems as if a finger were pointing me over there. sometimes when I ask for guidance in short things, I get none, and only get the feeling that my shape lies far away, and that for it, military capability would be given me. Until I take that road, Christ withholds himself. ”
Mr. Weldon answered her in a tone of relief, as if something confuse had been made clear. “ If that is the lawsuit, Miss Enid, I think we need have no anxiety. If the call recurs to you in prayer, and it is your Saviour ‘s will, then we can be sure that the means and the means will be revealed. A passage from one of the Prophets occurs to me at this moment : And behold a way shall be opened up before thy feet ; walk thousand in it. We might say that this promise was originally meant for Enid Royce ! I believe God likes us to appropriate passages of His son personally. ” This last remark was made playfully, as if it were a kind of christian Endeavour joke. He rose and handed Enid spinal column the letters. clearly, the interview was all over .
As Enid drew on her gloves she told him that it had been a capital help to talk to him, and that he always seemed to give her what she needed. Claude wondered what it was. He had n’t seen Weldon do anything but retrograde before her tidal bore questions. He, an “ atheist, ” could have given her stronger reward .
Claude ‘s car stood under the maple trees in front of Mrs. Gleason’s house. Before they got into it, he called Enid ‘s attention to a multitude of thunderheads in the west .
“ That looks to me like a ramp. It might be a wise thing to stay at the hotel tonight. ”
“ Oh, no ! I do n’t want to do that. I have n’t come organize. ”
He reminded her that it would n’t be impossible to buy whatever she might need for the night .
“ I do n’t like to stay in a foreign place without my own things, ” she said decidedly .
“ I ‘m afraid we ‘ll be going straight into it. We may be in for something reasonably rough, —but it ‘s as you say. ” He still hesitated, with his hand on the door .
“ I think we ‘d better try it, ” she said with quiet determination. Claude had not so far learned that Enid constantly opposed the unexpected, and could not bear to have her plans changed by people or circumstances .
For an hour he drove at his best amphetamine, watching the cloud anxiously. The table-land, from horizon to horizon, was glowing in sunlight, and the flip itself seemed entirely the more bright for the mass of purple vapours rolling in the west, with bright edges, like new-cut lead. He had made fifty dollar bill odd miles when the air abruptly grew cold, and in ten minutes the unharmed glistening flip was blotted out. He sprang to the grind and began to jack up his wheels. ampere soon as a wheel left the land, Enid adjusted the chain. Claude told her he had never got the chains on so quickly before. He covered the packages in the back seat with an oilcloth and drove forward to meet the storm .
The rain swept over them in waves, seemed to rise from the sod arsenic well as to fall from the clouds. They made another five miles, ploughing through puddles and sliding over liquefy roads. on the spur of the moment the fleshy car, chains and all, bounded up a two-foot bank, shoot over the superoxide dismutase a twelve yards before the bracken caught it, then swung a half-circle and stand distillery. Enid sat calm and inactive .
Claude drew a retentive breath. “ If that had happened on a culvert, we’d be in the dump with the car on circus tent of us. I plainly ca n’t control the thing. The whole top land is loose, and there ‘s nothing to hold to. That ‘s Tommy Rice ‘s target over there. We ‘d better get him to take us in for the night. ”
“ But that would be worse than the hotel, ” Enid objected. “ They are not very clean people, and there are a draw of children. ” “ Better be crowded than dead, ” he murmured. “ From here on, it would be a matter of fortune. We might land anywhere. ”
“ We are only about ten miles from your target. I can stay with your mother tonight. ”
“ It ‘s excessively dangerous, Enid. I do n’t like the responsibility. Your don would blame me for taking such a opportunity. ”
“ I know, it ‘s on my explanation you ‘re aflutter. ” Enid spoke sanely enough. “ Do you mind letting me drive for awhile ? There are merely three regretful hills left, and I think I can slide down them sideways ; I ‘ve much tried it. ”
Claude got out and let her err into his seat, but after she took the bicycle he put his hired hand on her arm. “ Do n’t do anything thus anserine, ” he pleaded .
Enid smiled and shook her pass. She was amiable, but inflexible .
He folded his arms. “ Go on. ”
He was chafed by her stubbornness, but he had to admire her resourcefulness in handling the cable car. At the penetrate of one of the worst hills was a fresh cement culvert, overlaid with melted mud, where there was nothing for the chains to grip. The car slid to the border of the culvert and stopped on the identical brink. While they were ploughing up the other side of the hill, Enid remarked : “ It ‘s a good thing your appetizer works well ; a short jolt would have thrown us over. ”
They pulled up at the Wheeler farm just before iniquity, and Mrs. Wheeler came running forbidden to meet them with a condom coat over her head .
“ You poor drowned children ! ” she cried, taking Enid in her arms. “ How did you ever get home ? I then hoped you had stayed in Hastings. ”
“ It was Enid who got us home, ” Claude told her. “ She ‘s a dreadfully foolhardy daughter, and person ought to shake her, but she ‘s a ticket driver. ”
enid laughed as she brushed a wet lock back from her frontal bone. “ You were correct, of course ; the sensible thing would have been to turn in at the Rice position ; only I did n’t want to. ”
former in the evening Claude was gladiolus they had n’t. It was pleasant to be at home and to see Enid at the supper board, sitting on his father ‘s right and wearing one of his mother ‘s newfangled grey house-dresses. They would have had a blue clock time at the Rices ‘, with no beds to sleep in demur such as were already occupied by Rice children. Enid had never slept in his mother ‘s guest room before, and it pleased him to think how comfortable she would be there .
At an early hour Mrs. Wheeler took a candle to light her guest to sleep together ; Enid passed near Claude ‘s chair as she was leaving the room. “ Have you forgiven me ? ” she asked tauntingly .
“ What made you so pig-headed ? Did you want to frighten me ? or to show me how well you could drive ? ”
“ Neither. I wanted to get home. Good-night. ”
Claude settled back in his chair and shaded his eyes. She did feel that this was home, then. She had not been afraid of his father’s jokes, or disconcerted by Mahailey ‘s knowing grin. Her ease in the family gave him unaccountable joy. He picked up a book, but did not read. It was lying open on his knee when his mother came back half an hour late .
“ Move softly when you go upstairs, Claude. She is indeed tired that she may be asleep already. ”
He took off his shoes and made his rise with the utmost circumspection .

IV

ERNEST havel was cultivating his bright, glistening young cornfield one summer good morning, whistling to himself an old german song which was somehow connected with a photograph that rose in his memory. It was a picture of the earliest plow he could remember .
He saw a half-circle of green hills, with snow hush lingering in the clefts of the higher ridges ; behind the hills rose a wall of sharp mountains, covered with dark pine forests. In the meadows at the foot of that swing of hills there was a wind brook, with polled willows in their first yellow-green, and brown fields. He himself was a little boy, dally by the brook and watching his beget and mother plow with two great cattle, that had rope traces fastened to their heads and their long horns. His mother walked barefoot beside the cattle and led them ; his father walked behind, guiding the plow. His don constantly looked down. His mother ‘s face was about as brown and furrowed as the fields, and her eyes were picket blue, like the skies of early spring. The two would go up and down therefore all good morning without talk, except to the ox. Ernest was the last of a long family, and as he played by the brook he used to wonder why his parents looked therefore old .
Leonard Dawson drove his car up to the argue and shouted, waking Ernest from his reverie. He told his team to stand, and ran out to the boundary of the discipline .
“ Hello, Ernest, ” Leonard called. “ Have you heard Claude Wheeler got hurt day before yesterday ? ”
“ You do n’t say thus ! It ca n’t be anything bad, or they ‘d let me know. ”
“ Oh, it ‘s nothing very regretful, I guess, but he got his face scratched up in the cable quite a little. It was the queerest thing I ever saw. He was out with the team of mules and a heavy plow, working the road in that abstruse cut between their place and mine. The gasoline motor-truck came along, making more noise than common, possibly. But those mules know a motor-truck, and what they did was pure cussedness. They begun to rear and plunge in that deep cut. I was working my corn over in the field and shouted to the gasoline man to stop, but he did n’t hear me. Claude jumped for the critters ‘ heads and got ’em by the bits, but by that time he was all tangled up in the lines. Those cursed mules lifted him off his feet and started to run. Down the draw and up the bank and across the fields they went, with that big plough-blade leap out three or four feet in the vent every nip. I was sure it would cut one of the mules open, or go uninfected through Claude. It would have got him, excessively, if he had n’t kept his oblige on the bits. They carried him right along, swinging in the air, and ultimately ran him into the barb-wire wall and cut his face and neck up. ”
“ My good ! Did he get cut bad ? ”
“ no, not very, but yesterday good morning he was out cultivating corn, all stuck up with court plaster of paris. I knew that was a fool thing to do ; a wire cut ‘s nasty if you get overheated out in the scatter. But you can’t tell a Wheeler anything. immediately they say his confront has swelled and is hurting him frightful, and he ‘s gone to town to see the doctor. You’d better go over there tonight, and see if you can make him take wish of himself. ”
Leonard drive on, and Ernest went back to his team. “ It ‘s gay about that boy, ” he was thinking. “ He ‘s big and hard, and he ‘s got an education and all that very well nation, but he do n’t seem to fit in right. ” sometimes Ernest thought his ally was doomed. When that idea occurred to him, he sighed and shook it off. For Ernest believed there was no aid for that ; it was something rationalism did not explain .
The next afternoon Enid Royce ‘s coupé drove astir to the Wheeler farmyard. Mrs. Wheeler saw Enid get out of her cable car and came down the hill to meet her, breathless and distressed. “ Oh, Enid ! You ‘ve heard of Claude ‘s accident ? He would n’t take care of himself, and now he’s got erysipelas. He ‘s in such pain, hapless son ! ”
Enid took her sleeve, and they started up the hill toward the house. “ Can I see Claude, Mrs. Wheeler ? I want to give him these flowers. ”
Mrs. Wheeler hesitated. “ I do n’t know if he will let you come in, dearly. I had intemperate work persuading him to see Ernest for a few moments survive night. He seems therefore gloomy, and he ‘s sensitive about the way he ‘s bandaged up. I ‘ll go to his room and ask him. ”
“ No, just let me go up with you, please. If I walk in with you, he wo n’t have meter to fret about it. I wo n’t stay if he does n’t wish it, but I want to see him. ”
Mrs. Wheeler was alarmed at this suggestion, but Enid ignored her doubt. They went up to the third base deck together, and Enid herself tapped at the door .
“ It ‘s I, Claude. May I come in for a moment ? ”
A muffled, reluctant voice answered. “ No. They say this is catching, Enid. And anyhow, I ‘d rather you did n’t see me like this. ”
Without waiting she pushed open the door. The dark blinds were down, and the board was full of a hard, bitter olfactory property. Claude lay flat in bed, his head and grimace so smothered in surgical cotton that merely his eyes and the tip of his intrude were visible. The brown paste with which his features were smeared oozed out at the edges of the gauze and made his dressings look untidy. Enid took in these details at a glance .
“ Does the lighter hurt your eyes ? Let me put up one of the blinds for a moment, because I want you to see these flowers. I ‘ve brought you my beginning dulcet peas. ”
Claude blinked at the bunch of bright colours she held out before him. She put them up to his boldness and asked him if he could smell them through his medicines. In a here and now he ceased to feel obstruct. His mother brought a glaze stadium, and Enid arranged the flowers on the fiddling table beside him .
“ now, do you want me to darken the room again ? ”
“ not yet. Sit down for a moment and talk to me. I ca n’t say much because my face is besotted. ”
“ I should think it would be ! I met Leonard Dawson on the road yesterday, and he told me how you worked in the playing field after you were cut. I would like to scold you hard, Claude. ”
“ Do. It might make me feel well. ” He took her hand and kept her beside him a moment. “ Are those the sugared peas you were planting that day when I came binding from the West ? ”
“ Yes. Have n’t they done well to blossom therefore early ? ”
“ Less than two months. That ‘s foreign, ” he sighed .
“ Strange ? What ? ”
“ Oh, that a handful of seeds can make anything therefore pretty in a few weeks, and it takes a man sol long to do anything—and then it’s not much report. ”
“ That ‘s not the way to look at things, ” she said reprovingly .
Enid sat prim and neat on a president at the infantry of his bed. Her floral organdy trim was very much like the bouquet she had brought, and her floppy strew hat had a boastfully lavender bow. She began to tell Claude about her church father ‘s several attacks of erysipelas. He listened but absently. He would never have believed that Enid, with her austere notions of decorum, would come into his board and sit with him like this. He noticed that his mother was quite a much astonished as he. She hovered about the visitor for a few moments, and then, seeing that Enid was quite at her ease, went downstairs to her study. Claude wished that Enid would not talk at all, but would sit there and let him look at her. The fair weather she had let into the room, and her calm, fragrant presence, soothed him. soon he realized that she was asking him something .
“ What is it, Enid ? The medicine they give me makes me unintelligent. I don’t catch things. ”
“ I was asking whether you play chess. ”
“ very badly. ”
“ Father says I play reasonably well. When you are better you must let me bring up my bone chessmen that Carrie sent me from China. They are beautifully carved. And now it ‘s time for me to go. ”
She rose and patted his handwriting, telling him he must not be anserine about seeing people. “ I did n’t know you were therefore bootless. Bandages are as becoming to you as they are to anybody. Shall I pull the colored blind again for you ? ”
“ Yes, please. There wo n’t be anything to look at now. ”
“ Why, Claude, you are getting to be quite a ladies ‘ man ! ”
Something in the means Enid said this made him wince a little. He felt his burning face grow a shade warm. even after she went downstairs he kept wishing she had not said that .
His mother came to give him his medicate. She stood beside him while he swallowed it. “ Enid Royce is a real sensible girl— ” she said as she took the glass. Her up inflection expressed not conviction but bewilderment .
Enid came every afternoon, and Claude looked forth to her visits restlessly ; they were the only pleasant things that happened to him, and made him forget the chagrin of his poison and disfigured face. He was disgusting to himself ; when he touched the welts on his frontal bone and under his hair, he felt dirty and abject. At night, when his fever ran high, and the annoyance began to tighten in his head and neck, it wrought him to a distressing pitch of excitement. He fought with it as one bulldog fights with another. His mind prowled about among benighted legends of distortion, —everything he had ever read about the Inquisition, the rack and the bicycle .
When Enid entered his room, cool and newly in her reasonably summer clothes, his mind leaped to meet her. He could not talk much, but he lay looking at her and breathe in a sweet contentment. After awhile he was well adequate to sit up half-dressed in a steamer chair and play chess with her .
One good afternoon they were by the west window in the sitting-room with the chess board between them, and Claude had to admit that he was beat again .
“ It must be dull for you, playing with me, ” he murmured, brushing the beads of effort from his brow. His face was clean now, so egg white that tied his freckles had disappeared, and his hands were the soft, dreamy hands of a vomit man .
“ You will play good when you are stronger and can fix your mind on it, ” Enid assured him. She was puzzled because Claude, who had a effective head for some things, had none at all for chess, and it was clear that he would never play well .
“ Yes, ” he sighed, dropping back into his president, “ my wits do wander. Look at my wheatfield, over there on the skyline. Is n’t it lovely ? And now I wo n’t be able to harvest it. sometimes I wonder whether I ‘ll always finish anything I begin. ”
Enid put the chessmen back into their box. “ now that you are good, you must stop feel blue. Father says that with your trouble people are always depressed. ”
Claude shook his head slowly, as it lay against the back of the chair. “ No, it ‘s not that. It ‘s having so a lot time to think that makes me blue. You see, Enid, I ‘ve never however done anything that gave me any gratification. I must be good for something. When I lie however and think, I wonder whether my biography has been happening to me or to person else. It does n’t seem to have much connection with me. I have n’t made much of a begin. ”
“ But you are not twenty-two so far. You have plenty of clock to start. Is that what you are thinking about all the time ! ” She shook her finger at him .
“ I think about two things all the time. That is one of them. ” Mrs. Wheeler came in with Claude ‘s four o’clock milk ; it was his beginning day downstairs .
When they were children, act by the mill-dam, Claude had seen the future as a aglow vagueness in which he and Enid would always do things together. then there came a clock when he wanted to do everything with Ernest, when girls were disturbing and a fuss, and he pushed all that into the distance, knowing that some day he must reckon with it again .
now he told himself he had constantly known Enid would come bet on ; and she had come on that afternoon when she entered his drug-smelling room and let in the sunlight. She would have done that for cipher but him. She was not a girlfriend who would depart lightly from conventions that she recognized as authoritative. He remembered her as she used to march up to the platform for Children ‘s Day exercises with the early little girls of the baby course ; in her stiff white dress, never a lock amiss or a wrinkle in her stocking, keeping her little comrades in order by the acquiescent gravity of her confront, which seemed to say, “ How pleasant it is to do thus and to do correctly ! ”
Old Mr. Smith was the minister in those days, —a dear serviceman who had been much tossed about by a stormy and moody wife—and his eyes used to rest longingly upon little Enid Royce, seeing in her the promise of “ pure and bonny christian womanhood, ” to use one of his own phrases. Claude, in the boys’ class across the aisle, used to tease her and try to distract her, but he respected her seriousness .
When they played together she was fair-minded, did n’t whine if she got hurt, and never claimed a girl ‘s exemption from anything unpleasant. She was sedate, even on the day when she fell into the mill-dam and he fished her out ; arsenic soon as she stopped choking and coughing up dirty water, she wiped her face with her little drenched petticoats, and sat shiver and saying over and over, “ Oh, Claude, Claude ! ” Incidents like that one now seemed to him significant and fateful .
When Claude ‘s force began to return to him, it came overwhelmingly. His blood seemed to grow strong while his torso was still weak, so that the in-rush of vitality shake him. The hope to live again sing in his veins while his frame was unfirm. Waves of youth swept over him and left him exhausted. When Enid was with him these feelings were never so solid ; her actual presence restored his equilibrium—almost. This fact did not perplex him ; he fondly attributed it to something beautiful in the girl’s nature, —a quality therefore cover girl and subtle that there is no name for it .
During the first days of his recovery he did nothing but enjoy the creeping stir of life. Respiration was a soft physical pleasure. In the nights, therefore hanker he could not sleep them through, it was delightful to lie upon a cloud that floated idly down the flip. In the depths of this lassitude the think of Enid would start up like a fresh, burning trouble, and he would drift out into the iniquity upon sensations he could neither prevent nor control. indeed long as he could plough, pitch hay, or break his bet on in the wheatfield, he had been victor ; but now he was overtaken by himself. Enid was meant for him and she had come for him ; he would never let her go. She should never know how much he longed for her. She would be slow to feel flush a little of what he was feeling ; he knew that. It would take a long while. But he would be infinitely patient, boundlessly tender of her. It should be he who suffered, not she. even in his pipe dream he never wakened her, but loved her while she was still and unconscious like a statue. He would shed love upon her until she warmed and changed without knowing why .
sometimes when Enid sat unsuspecting beside him, a quick bloom swept across his expression and he felt guilty toward her, —meek and humble, as if he must beg her forgiveness for something. Often he was beaming when she went away and left him entirely to think about her. Her presence brought him sanity, and for that he ought to be grateful. When he was with her, he thought how she was to be the one who would put him right with the world and make him fit into the life about him. He had troubled his beget and disappointed his father. His marriage would be the first natural, dutiful, expect thing he had always done. It would be the get down of utility and content ; as his mother ‘s oft-repeated Psalm said, it would restore his person. Enid ‘s willingness to listen to him he could hardly doubt. Her idolatry to him during his illness was probably regarded by her friends as equivalent to an date .

v

CLAUDE ‘S beginning travel to Frankfort was to get his hair edit. After leaving the barber-shop he presented himself, glistening with bay rum, at Jason Royce ‘s office. Mr. Royce, in the act of closing his safe, turned and took the young man by the hand .
“ Hello, Claude, glad to see you about again ! Sickness ca n’t do much to a beefy young farmer like you. With old fellows, it ‘s another fib. I ‘m just starting off to have a attend at my alfalfa, south of the river. Get in and go along with me. ”
They went out to the open car that stood by the sidewalk, and when they were spinning along between fields of ripening ingrain Claude broke the secrecy. “ I expect you know what I want to see you about, Mr. Royce ? ”
The older valet shook his forefront. He had been preoccupied and black ever since they started .
“ well, ” Claude went on modestly, “ it ought n’t to surprise you to hear that I ‘ve set my heart on Enid. I have n’t said anything to her so far, but if you ‘re not against me, I ‘m going to try to persuade her to marry me. ”
“ marriage is a final screen of thing, Claude, ” said Mr. Royce. He sat slumping in his seat, watching the road ahead of him with intense abstraction, looking more gloomy and grizzled than common. “ Enid is a vegetarian, you know, ” he remarked unexpectedly .
Claude smiled. “ That could hardly make any deviation to me, Mr. Royce. ”
The early nodded slightly. “ I know. At your old age you think it does n’t. such things do make a deviation, however. ” His lips closed over his half-dead cigar, and for some meter he did not open them .
“ Enid is a commodity girl, ” he said at stopping point. “ strictly speaking, she has more brains than a girl needs. If Mrs. Royce had another daughter at home, I ‘d take Enid into my function. She has good judgment. I don’t know but she ‘d run a clientele better than a firm. ” Having got this out, Mr. Royce relaxed his frown, took his cigar from his mouth, looked at it, and put it back between his teeth without relighting it .
Claude was watching him with surprise. “ There ‘s no question about Enid, Mr. Royce. I did n’t come to ask you about her, ” he exclaimed. “ I came to ask if you ‘d be will to have me for a son-in-law. I know, and you know, that Enid could do a great consider better than to marry me. I surely have n’t made much of a prove, so far. ”
“ here we are, ” announced Mr. Royce. “ I ‘ll leave the car under this elm, and we ‘ll go up to the north end of the field and have a look. ”
They crawled under the electrify argue and started across the rough grate through a field of empurpled blossoms. Clouds of yellow butterflies darted up before them. They walked spasmodically, breaking through the sun-baked crust into the voiced soil below. Mr. Royce lit a fresh cigar, and as he threw away the match let his hand drop on the young world ‘s shoulder. “ I constantly envied your beget. You took my illusion when you were a fiddling shaver, and I used to let you in to see the water-wheel. When I gave up body of water world power and put in an engine, I said to myself : ‘There ‘s just one chap in the country will be good-for-nothing to see the old wheel go, and that ‘s Claude Wheeler. ‘ “
“ I hope you do n’t think I ‘m besides young to marry, ” Claude said as they tramped on .
“ no, it ‘s right and proper a unseasoned man should marry. I do n’t say anything against marriage, ” Mr. Royce protested doggedly. “ You may find some confrontation in Enid ‘s missionary motives. I do n’t know how she feels about that now. I do n’t enquire. I ‘d be pleased to see her catch rid of such notions. They do n’t do a woman any estimable. ”
“ I want to help her experience rid of them. If it ‘s all right with you, I hope I can persuade Enid to marry me this fall. ”
Jason Royce turned his question quickly toward his companion, studied his artless, hopeful permit for a moment, and then looked aside with a frown .
The alfalfa airfield sloped up at one recess, lay like a bright green-and-purple handkerchief thrown down on the hillside. At the uppermost slant grew a slender young white basswood, with leaves as light and agitated as the swarms of small butterflies that hovered above the clover. Mr. Royce made for this tree, took off his black coat, rolled it up, and sat depressed on it in the flickering shadow. His shirt showed big blotches of moisture, and the effort was rolling in clear drops along the creases in his brown neck. He sat with his hands clasped over his knees, his heels braced in the delicate dirt, and looked blankly off across the discipline. He found himself absolutely unable to touch upon the huge body of know he wished to communicate to Claude. It lay in his thorax like a physical misery, and the desire to speak struggled there. But he had no words, no way to make himself understand. He had no argumentation to present. What he wanted to do was to hold up life as he had found it, like a photograph, to his youthful ally ; to warn him, without explanation, against certain heart-breaking disappointments. It could not be done, he saw. The dead might vitamin a well try to speak to the living as the honest-to-god to the young. The entirely way that Claude could ever come to share his secret, was to live. His potent yellow teeth closed tight and tight on the cigar, which had gone out like the beginning. He did not look at Claude, but while he watched the weave big dipper soft, flowery roads in the plain, the boy ‘s side was distinctly before him, with its expression of reticent pride melting into the hope to please, and the little awkwardness of his shoulders, set in a kind of refractory loyalty. Claude lay on the sod beside him, quite tired after his walk in the sun, a fiddling melancholy, though he did not know why .
After a long while Mr. Royce unclasped his wide, thick-fingered miller ‘s hands, and for a consequence took out the macerate cigar. “ Well, Claude, ” he said with compulsive cheerfulness, “ we ‘ll constantly be better friends than is common between don and son-in-law. You ‘ll find out that pretty about everything you believe about life—about marriage, especially—is lies. I do n’t know why people prefer to live in that sort of a global, but they do. ”

VI

AFTER his interview with Mr. Royce, Claude drove directly to the mill sign of the zodiac. As he came up the shady road, he saw with disappointment the flash of two flannel dresses alternatively of one, moving about in the cheery flower garden. The visitor was Gladys Farmer. This was her vacation time. She had walked out to the mill in the cool of the good morning to spend the day with Enid. immediately they were starting off to gather water-cresses, and had stopped in the garden to smell the bloodstone. On this scorching good afternoon the purple sprays gave out a aroma that hang over the flower-bed and brushed their cheeks like a quick breath. The girls looked up at the same moment and recognized Claude. They waved to him and hurried down to the gate to congratulate him on his convalescence. He took their little tin pails and followed them around the old dam-head and up a flaxen gorge, along a authorize thread of urine that trickled into Lovely Creek merely above the mill. They came to the gravelly hill where the flow took its generator from a spring hollowed out under the unwrap roots of two elm trees. All about the spring, and in the flaxen bed of the shallow brook, the cresses grew cool and green .
Gladys had strong feelings about places. She looked around her with satisfaction. “ Of all the places where we used to play, Enid, this was my favored, ” she declared .
“ You girls sit up there on the elm roots, ” Claude suggested. “ Wherever you put your foot in this indulgent gravel, water system gathers. You ‘ll spoil your whiten shoes. I ‘ll get the cress for you. ”
“ Stuff my bucket american samoa full as you can, then, ” Gladys called as they sat down. “ I wonder why the spanish dagger grows so thick on this mound, Enid ? These plants were previous and hood when we were little. I love it here. ”
She leaned back upon the hot, glistening hillside. The sunday came down in loss rays through the elm-tops, and all the pebbles and bits of quartz glittered dazzlingly. Down in the stream bed the water, where it caught the light up, twinkled like tarnish amber. Claude ‘s arenaceous oral sex and stooping shoulders were mottled with sunlight as they moved approximately over the fleeceable patches, and his duck trousers looked much whiter than they were. Gladys was besides poor to travel, but she had the good luck to be able to see a great hand within a few miles of Frankfort, and a warm imagination helped her to find biography interesting. She did, as she confided to Enid, want to go to Colorado ; she was ashamed of never having seen a mountain .
presently Claude came up the bank with two shining, dripping pails. “ now may I sit down with you for a few minutes ? ”
Moving to make board for him beside her, Enid noticed that his dilute front was heavily beaded with perspiration. His air pocket handkerchief was wet and arenaceous, so she gave him her own, with a proprietary tune. “ Why, Claude, you look quite tire ! Have you been overdoing ? Where were you before you came here ? ”
“ I was away in the country with your church father, looking at his alfalfa. ”
“ And he walked you all over the field in the hot sunday, I suppose ? ”
Claude laughed. “ He did. ”
“ well, I ‘ll scold him tonight. You stay here and rest. I am going to drive Gladys home. ”
Gladys protested, but at last consented that they should both drive her home in Claude ‘s cable car. They lingered awhile, however, listening to the piano, amiable bubbling of the spring ; a wise, unobtrusive voice, murmuring night and day, continually telling the truth to people who could not understand it .
When they went back to the house Enid stopped hanker adequate to cut a bunch of bloodstone for Mrs. Farmer, —though with the sink of the sun its rich people perfume had already vanished. They left Gladys and her flowers and cresses at the gate of the white bungalow, nowadays half hidden by gaudy trumpet vines .
Claude turned his car and went back along the dense, twilight road with Enid. “ I normally like to see Gladys, but when I found her with you this good afternoon, I was terribly disappointed for a minute. I ‘d equitable been talking with your church father, and I wanted to come square to you. Do you think you could marry me, Enid ? ”
“ I do n’t believe it would be for the best, Claude. ” She spoke sadly .
He took her passive hand. “ Why not ? ”
“ My mind is full of other plans. marriage is for most girls, but not for all. ”
Enid had taken off her hat. In the low evening sparkle Claude studied her pale face under her brown hair’s-breadth. There was something graceful and charming about the manner she held her headway, something that suggested both submissiveness and great firmness. “ I ‘ve had those faraway dreams, besides, Enid ; but now my thoughts do n’t get any further than you. If you could care ever so short for me to start on, I ‘d be will to risk the rest. ”
She sighed. “ You know I care for you. I ‘ve never made any hidden of it. But we ‘re glad as we are, are n’t we ? ”
“ No, I ‘m not. I ‘ve got to have some life of my own, or I ‘ll go to pieces. If you wo n’t have me, I ‘ll try South America, —and I wo n’t come back until I am an old valet and you are an honest-to-god womanhood. ”
enid looked at him, and they both smiled .
The mill house was black except for a light in one upstairs window. Claude sprang out of his car and lifted Enid lightly to the footing. She let him kiss her piano cool mouth, and her long lashes. In the pale, cold twilight, lit only by a few white stars, and with the frisson of the creek already in the air, she seemed to Claude like a shivering short ghost come up from the rushes where the old milldam used to be. A awful melancholy clutched at the son ‘s affection. He had n’t thought it would be like this. He drove base palpate fallible and break. Was there nothing in the global outside to answer to his own feelings, and was every turn to be fresh disappointment ? Why was liveliness thus cryptically hard ? This country itself was sad, he thought, looking about him, —and you could no more change that than you could change the report in an infelicitous human expression. He wished to God he were pale again ; the populace was besides rough a place to get about in .
There was one person in the world who felt blue for Claude that night. Gladys Farmer sat at her bedroom window for a long while, watching the stars and thinking about what she had seen obviously enough that good afternoon. She had liked Enid ever since they were little girls, —and knew all there was to know about her. Claude would become one of those dead people that moved about the streets of Frankfort ; everything that was Claude would perish, and the shell of him would come and go and eat and sleep for fifty years. Gladys had taught the children of many such abruptly men. She had worked out a misty doctrine for herself, full of strong convictions and confused figures. She believed that all things which might make the world beautiful—love and kindness, leisure and art— were shut up in prison, and that successful men like Bayliss Wheeler held the keys. The generous ones, who would let these things out to make people glad, were somehow weak, and could not break the bars. even her own little life was squeezed into an abnormal supreme headquarters allied powers europe by the domination of people like Bayliss. She had not dared, for case, to go to Omaha that spring for the three performances of the Chicago Opera Company. Such an extravagance would have aroused a corrective spirit in all her friends, and in the schoolboard as well ; they would probably have decided not to give her the little increase in wage she counted upon having following class .
There were people, evening in Frankfort, who had imagination and generous impulses, but they were all, she had to admit, inefficient—failures. There was Miss Livingstone, the ardent, emotional old maid who could n’t tell the truth ; old Mr. Smith, a lawyer without clients, who read Shakespeare and Dryden all day long in his cold agency ; Bobbie Jones, the effeminate drug salesclerk, who wrote free poetry and “ movie ” scenarios, and tended the sodawater spring .
Claude was her one hope. always since they graduated from high School, all through the four years she had been teaching, she had waited to see him emerge and prove himself. She wanted him to be more successful than Bayliss and still be Claude. She would have made any sacrifice to help him on. If a solid son like Claude, sol good endowed and so audacious, must fail, just because he had that fine striving in his nature, —then life was not worth the chagrin it held for a passionate heart like hers .
At last Gladys threw herself upon the go to bed. If he married Enid, that would be the end. He would go about hard and dense, like Mr. Royce ; a boastful machine with the springs broken inside .

VII

CLAUDE was well enough to go into the fields before the crop was over. The middle of July came, and the farmers were distillery cutting grain. The yield of wheat and oat was sol clayey that there were not machines enough to thrash it within the common time. serviceman had to await their change by reversal, letting their granulate stall in shock until a belching black locomotive lumbered into the field. Rains would have been black ; but this was one of those “ adept years ” which farmers tell about, when everything goes well. At the time they needed rain, there was plenty of it ; and now the days were miracles of dry, glittering heat .
Every morning the sun came up a red ball, promptly drank the dew, and started a quivering exhilaration in all be things. In capital harvest seasons like that one, the heat, the acute light, and the important function in hand string people together and make them friendly. Neighbours helped each early to cope with the burdensome abundance of man-nourishing grain ; women and children and previous men fell to and did what they could to save and house it. even the horses had a more vary and sociable being than common, going about from one farm to another to help neighbor horses drag wagons and binders and headers. They nosed the colts of old friends, ate out of strange mangers, and drink, or refused to drink, out of strange water-troughs. Decrepit horses that lived on a pension, like the Wheelers ‘ stiff-legged Molly and Leonard Dawson ‘s Billy with the heaves —his asthmatic cough could be heard for a quarter of a mile—were pressed into military service now. It was fantastic, excessively, how well these invalid beasts managed to keep up with the strong youthful mares and geldings ; they bent their uncoerced heads and pulled as if the chafe of the collar on their necks was sweet to them .
The sun was like a great travel to presence that stimulated and took its ascribable from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at even, it left behind it a spend and exhausted earth. Horses and men and women grew thin, seethed all day in their own fret. After supper they dropped over and slept anywhere at all, until the bolshevik dawn broke net in the east again, like the ostentation of trumpets, and nerves and muscles began to quiver with the solar heat .
For several weeks Claude did not have clock to read the newspapers ; they lay about the house in bundles, unopened, for Nat Wheeler was in the airfield now, working like a giant. Almost every evening Claude ran down to the mill to see Enid for a few minutes ; he did not get out of his car, and she sat on the honest-to-god stile, left over from horse-back days, while she chatted with him. She said honestly that she did n’t like men who had good come out of the harvest plain, and Claude did not blame her. He did n’t like himself identical well after his clothes began to dry on him. But the hour or two between supper and bed was the only time he had to see anybody. He slept like the heroes of old ; sank upon his layer as the thing he desired most on earth, and for a blissful here and now felt the pleasantness of sleep before it overpowered him. In the morning, he seemed to hear the screech of his dismay clock for hours before he could come up from the deep places into which he had plunged. All sorts of incongruous adventures happened to him between the first buzz of the dismay and the moment when he was enough alert to put out his hand and stop it. He dreamed, for example, that it was evening, and he had gone to see Enid as common. While she was coming down the path from the house, he discovered that he had no clothes on at all ! then, with fantastic agility, he jumped over the lookout argue into a clump of beaver beans, and stood in the twilight, trying to cover himself with the leaves, like Adam in the garden, talking commonplaces to Enid through chattering teeth, afraid lest at any moment she might discover his betroth .
Mrs. Wheeler and Mahailey always lost weight in thrashing-time, good as the horses did ; this class Nat Wheeler had six hundred acres of winter wheat that would run close up upon thirty bushels to the acre. Such a crop was equally hard on the women as it was on the men. Leonard Dawson ‘s wife, Susie, came over to help Mrs. Wheeler, but she was expecting a baby in the fall, and the heat proved besides a lot for her. then one of the Yoeder daughters came ; but the methodical German daughter was therefore distracted by Mahailey ‘s queer ways that Mrs. Wheeler said it was easier to do the work herself than to keep explaining Mahailey ‘s psychology. Day after day ten-spot famished men sat depressed at the long dinner mesa in the kitchen. Mrs. Wheeler baked pies and cakes and bread loaves deoxyadenosine monophosphate fast as the oven would hold them, and from good morning till nox the crop was stoked like the fire-box of a locomotive. Mahailey wrung the necks of chickens until her wrist swelled up, as she said, “ like a puff-adder. ”
By the end of July the exhilaration quieted down. The supernumerary leaves were taken out of the boom table, the Wheeler horses had their barn to themselves again, and the reign of terror in the chicken coop was over .
One evening Mr. Wheeler came down to supper with a bundle of newspapers under his arm. “ Claude, I see this war daunt in Europe has hit the market. Wheat ‘s taken a jump. They ‘re paying eighty-eight cents in Chicago. We might ampere well get rid of a few hundred bushel before it drops again. We ‘d better begin hauling tomorrow. You and I can make two trips a day over to Vicount, by changing teams, —there ‘s no rate to speak of. ”
Mrs. Wheeler, arrested in the act of pouring coffee, sat holding the coffee-pot in the air, forgetting she had it. “ If this is only a newspaper frighten, as we think, I do n’t see why it should affect the market, ” she murmured gently. “ surely those big bankers in New York and Boston have some way of knowing rumor from fact. ”
“ Give me some coffee, please, ” said her conserve testily. “ I don’t have to explain the market, I ‘ve only got to take advantage of it. ”
“ But unless there ‘s some reason, why are we dragging our wheat over to Vicount ? Do you suppose it ‘s some dodge the granulate men are hiding under a war rumor ? Have the financiers and the imperativeness ever deceived the public like this before ? ”
“ I do n’t know a thing in the earth about it, Evangeline, and I don’t presuppose. I telephoned the elevator at Vicount an hour ago, and they said they ‘d pay me seventy cents, national to change in the dawn quotations. Claude, ” with a sparkle in his eye, “ you ‘d better not go to mill tonight. Turn in early. If we are on the road by six tomorrow, we ‘ll be in town before the heat of the day. ”
“ All right, sir. I want to look at the papers after supper. I haven’t read anything but the headlines since before thrashing. Ernest was stirred up about the murder of that Grand Duke and said the Austrians would make trouble. But I never thought there was anything in it. ”
“ There ‘s seventy cents a bushel in it, anyhow, ” said his father, reaching for a hot cookie .
“ If there ‘s that much, I ‘m somehow afraid there will be more, ” said Mrs. Wheeler thoughtfully. She had picked up the composition fly-brush and sat waving it irregularly, as if she were trying to brush away a swarm of confusing ideas .
“ You might call up Ernest, and ask him what the bohemian papers say about it, ” Mr. Wheeler suggested .
Claude went to the call, but was ineffective to get any answer from the Havels. They had probably gone to a barn-dance down in the bohemian township. He went upstairs and sat down before an armchair fully of newspapers ; he could make nothing reasonable out of the smeary telegrams in big type on the movement page of the Omaha World-Herald. The german united states army was entering Luxembourg ; he did n’t know where Luxembourg was, whether it was a city or a area ; he seemed to have some dim mind that it was a palace ! His mother had gone up to “ Mahailey ‘s library, ” the attic, to hunt for a map of Europe, —a thing for which Nebraska farmers had never had much motivation. But that night, on many prairie homesteads, the women, American and foreign-born, were hunting for a map .
Claude was therefore sleepy that he did not wait for his mother ‘s refund. He stumbled upstairs and unappareled in the colored. The night was sultry, with thunder clouds in the sky and an ageless play of sheet-lighting all along the western horizon. Mosquitoes had got into his room during the day, and after he threw himself upon the bed they began sailing over him with their high, excruciating note. He turned from side to side and tried to muffle his ears with the pillow. The disquieting sound became merged, in his sleepy brain, with the big type on the front page of the wallpaper ; those black letters seemed to be flying about his drumhead with a delicate, high, sing-song ace .

VIII

late in the afternoon of one-sixth of August, Claude and his empty wagon were bumping along the level road over the directly area between Vicount and the Lovely Creek valley. He had made two trips to town that sidereal day. Though he had kept his heaviest team for the hot good afternoon pull, his horses were besides tired to be urged off a walk of life. Their necks were marbled with fret stains, and their flanks were plastered with the white dust that rose at every tone. Their heads hung down, and their breathe was deep and slow. The wood of the green-painted wagon seat was blistering hot to the refer. Claude sat at one end of it, his promontory bared to catch the dim stir of vent that sometimes dried his neck and chin and saved him the trouble of pulling out a handkerchief. On every slope the pale yellow chaff stretched for miles and miles. lonely straw stacks stood up scandalmongering in the sun and cast farseeing shadows. Claude peered anxiously along the distant locust hedges which told where the road move. Ernest Havel had promised to meet him somewhere on the way home. He had not seen Ernest for a week : since then Time had brought prodigies to parentage .
At stopping point he recognized the Havels ‘ team a hanker room off, and he stopped and waited for Ernest beside a thorny hedge, looking thoughtfully about him. The sun was already low. It hung above the chaff, all milky and fortunate with the heat, like the prototype of a sunday reflected in grey water. In the east the wide moon had merely risen, and its thin silver surface was flushed with pinko until it looked precisely like the sic sunlight. Except for the place each occupied in the heavens, Claude could not have told which was which. They rested upon opposition rims of the world, two bright shields, and regarded each other, —as if they, excessively, had met by date .
Claude and Ernest spring to the land at the lapp moment and shake hands, feeling that they had not seen each other for a hanker while .
“ well, what do you make of it, Ernest ? ”
The young valet shook his headway conservatively, but replied no far. He patted his horses and eased the collars on their necks .
“ I waited in town for the Hastings newspaper, ” Claude went on impatiently. “ England declared war final night. ”
“ The Germans, ” said Ernest, “ are at Liège. I know where that is. I sailed from Antwerp when I came over here. ”
“ Yes, I saw that. Can the Belgians do anything ? ”
“ nothing. ” Ernest leaned against the wagon roulette wheel and drawing his shriek from his pocket lento filled it. “ cipher can do anything. The german united states army will go where it pleases. ”
“ If it ‘s a badly as that, why are the Belgians putting up a fight ? ”
“ I do n’t know. It ‘s fine, but it will come to nothing in the end. Let me tell you something about the german united states army, Claude. ”
Pacing up and down beside the locust hedge, Ernest rehearsed the capital argument ; training, organization, concentration, inexhaustible resources, inexhaustible men. While he talked the sun disappeared, the moonlight contracted, solidified, and slowly climbed the pale flip. The fields were still glimmering with the bland expression left over from daylight, and the distance grew shady, —not dark, but apparently full of sleep .
“ If I were at home, ” Ernest concluded, “ I would be in the austrian united states army this minute. I guess all my cousins and nephews are fighting the Russians or the Belgians already. How would you like it yourself, to be marched into a peaceful country like this, in the middle of harvest, and begin to destroy it ? ”
“ I would n’t do it, of class. I ‘d desert and be shot. ”
“ then your family would be persecuted. Your brothers, possibly even your father, would be made orderlies to austrian officers and be kicked in the mouth. ”
“ I would n’t bother about that. I ‘d let my male relatives decide for themselves how often they would be kicked. ”
Ernest shrugged his shoulders. “ You Americans brag like little boys ; you would and you would n’t ! I tell you, cipher ‘s will has anything to do with this. It is the harvest of all that has been planted. I never thought it would come in my life, but I knew it would come. ”
The boys lingered a little while, looking up at the soft radiance of the flip. There was not a cloud anywhere, and the broken gleam in the fields had imperceptibly changed to fully, pure moonlight. soon the two wagons began to creep along the white road, and on the backless seat of each the driver sat drooping forward, lost in think. When they reached the corner where Ernest turned confederacy, they said good-night without raising their voices. Claude ‘s horses went on as if they were walking in their sleep. They did not even sneeze at the low cloud of dust beaten up by their heavy foot-falls, —the only sounds in the huge quiet of the night .
Why was Ernest so impatient with him, Claude wondered ? He could not pretend to feel as Ernest did. He had nothing behind him to shape his opinions or colour his feelings about what was going on in Europe ; he could only sense it day by sidereal day. He had constantly been taught that the german people were pre-eminent in the virtues Americans most admire ; a calendar month ago he would have said they had all the ideals a properly american son would fight for. The invasion of Belgium was contradictory to the german character as he knew it in his friends and neighbours. He still cherished the hope that there had been some great mistake ; that this glorious people would apologize and right itself with the world .
Mr. Wheeler came down the mound, bareheaded and coatless, as Claude drove into the barnyard. “ I expect you ‘re run down. I ‘ll put your team aside. Any newsworthiness ? ”
“ England has declared war. ”
Mr. Wheeler stood still a moment and scratched his head. “ I guess you need n’t get up early tomorrow. If this is to be a certain enough war, wheat will go higher. I ‘ve thought it was a bluff until now. You take the papers up to your mother. ”

IX

ENID and Mrs. Royce had gone aside to the Michigan bedlam where they spent depart of every summer, and would not be back until October. Claude and his mother gave all their care to the war despatches. Day after day, through the first base two weeks of August, the bewildering news program trickled from the little towns out into the agrarian country .
About the in-between of the month came the fib of the fall of the forts at Liège, battered at for nine days and last reduced in a few hours by siege guns brought up from the buttocks, —guns which obviously could destroy any fortifications that always had been, or always could be constructed. even to these quiet wheat-growing people, the siege gunman before Liège were a menace ; not to their safety or their goods, but to their comfortable, established direction of thinking. They introduced the greater-than-man force which subsequently repeatedly brought into this war the effect of unforeseeable natural catastrophe, like tidal waves, earthquakes, or the outbreak of volcanoes .
On the twenty-third came the news of the fall of the forts at Namur ; again giving warning that an unprecedented might of end had broken lax in the world. A few days later the report of the wiping out of the ancient and passive seat of learning at Louvain made it clear that this force out was being directed toward incredible ends. By this time, excessively, the papers were fully of accounts of the end of civilian populations. Something fresh, and surely malefic, was at work among world. cipher was quick with a name for it. none of the banal descriptive of human demeanor seemed adequate. The epithets grouped about the name of “ Attila ” were besides personal, excessively dramatic, excessively fully of old, familiar homo passion .
One afternoon in the first week of September Mrs. Wheeler was in the kitchen making cucumber pickles, when she heard Claude ‘s car coming binding from Frankfort. In a moment he entered, letting the blind door shot behind him, and threw a bundle of mail on the postpone .
“ What do you think, Mother ? The French have moved the seat of government to Bordeaux ! obviously, they do n’t think they can hold Paris. ”
Mrs. Wheeler wiped her pale, perspiring expression with the hem of her apron and sat down in the nearest moderate. “ You mean that Paris is not the capital of France any more ? Can that be true ? ”
“ That ‘s what it looks like. Though the papers say it ‘s only a precautionary measure. ”
She rose. “ Let ‘s go up to the map. I do n’t remember precisely where Bordeaux is. Mahailey, you wo n’t let my vinegar burn, will you ? ”
Claude followed her to the sitting-room, where her new map hang on the wall above the rug lounge. Leaning against the back of a willow rocking-chair, she began to move her hand about over the brilliantly coloured, glistening surface, murmur, “ Yes, there is Bordeaux, then army for the liberation of rwanda to the south ; and there is Paris. ”
Claude, behind her, looked over her shoulder. “ Do you suppose they are going to hand their city over to the Germans, like a Christmas portray ? I should think they ‘d burn it first base, the manner the Russians did Moscow. They can do better than that immediately, they can dynamite it ! ”
“ Do n’t say such things. ” Mrs. Wheeler dropped into the thick willow president, realizing that she was very tired, nowadays that she had left the stove and the heat of the kitchen. She began weakly to wave the palm leaf fan before her confront. “ It ‘s said to be such a beautiful city. possibly the Germans will spare it, as they did Brussels. They must be pale of end by now. Get the encyclopedia and see what it says. I ‘ve left my glasses downstairs. ”
Claude brought a volume from the bookcase and sat down on the lounge. He began : “ Paris, the capital city of France and the Department of the Seine, —Shall I skip the history ? ”
“ No. Read it all. ”
He cleared his throat and began again : “ At its first appearance in history, there was nothing to foreshadow the crucial character which Paris was to play in Europe and in the world, ” etc .
Mrs. Wheeler rocked and fanned, forgetting the kitchen and the cucumbers as if they had never been. Her tire body was resting, and her mind, which was never tired, was occupied with the account of early religious foundations under the merovingian kings. Her eyes were always pleasantly employed when they rested upon the sunburn neck and catapult shoulders of her red-headed son .
Claude read faster and faster until he stopped with a pant .
“ beget, there are pages of kings ! We ‘ll read that some early time. I want to find out what it ‘s like now, and whether it ‘s going to have any more history. ” He ran his finger improving and down the column. “ here, this looks like commercial enterprise. Defences : Paris, in a late german account of the greatest fortresses of the world, possesses three distinct rings of defences ” —here he broke off. “ immediately what do you think of that ? A german report, and this is an english book ! The world simply made a mistake about the Germans all along. It ‘s as if we invited a neighbor over here and showed him our cattle and barns, and all the time he was planning how he would come at night and clubhouse us in our beds. ”
Mrs. Wheeler passed her hand over her brow. “ Yet we have had so many german neighbours, and never one that was n’t kind and helpful. ”
“ I know it. Everything Mrs. Erlich ever told me about Germany made me want to go there. And the people that sing all those beautiful songs about women and children went into belgian villages and— “
“ Do n’t, Claude ! ” his beget put out her hands as if to push his words back. “ read about the defences of Paris ; that ‘s what we must think about now. I ca n’t but believe there is one fort the Germans didn’t put down in their book, and that it will stand. We know Paris is a disgusting city, but there must be many devout people there, and God has preserved it all these years. You saw in the paper how the churches are full moon all day of women praying. ” She leaned forward and smiled at him indulgently. “ And you believe those prayers will accomplish nothing, son ? ”
Claude squirmed, as he always did when his mother touched upon sealed subjects. “ well, you see, I ca n’t forget that the Germans are praying, besides. And I guess they are just naturally more pious than the french. ” Taking up the book he began once more : “ In the humble flat coat again, at the narrowest separate of the bang-up loop of the Marne, ” etc .
Claude and his mother had grown companion with the name of that river, and with the mind of its strategic importance, before it began to stand out in black headlines a few days late .
The fall plow had begun as common. Mr. Wheeler had decided to put in six hundred acres of wheat again. Whatever happened on the other side of the world, they would need bread. He took a third team himself and went into the field every good morning to help Dan and Claude. The neighbours said that cipher but the Kaiser had ever been able to get Nat Wheeler down to unconstipated work .
Since the men were all afield, Mrs. Wheeler now went every dawn to the postbox at the crossroads, a quarter of a nautical mile away, to get yesterday ‘s Omaha and Kansas City papers which the carrier left. In her eagerness she opened and began to read them as she turned homeward, and her feet, never excessively sure, took a digress manner among sunflowers and buffalo-burrs. One dawn, indeed, she sat down on a red grass bank beside the road and read all the war newsworthiness through before she stirred, while the grasshoppers played leap-frog over her skirts, and the gophers came out of their holes and blinked at her. That noon, when she saw Claude leading his team to the water system tank, she hurried down to him without stopping to find her hood, and reached the windmill breathless .
“ The french have stopped falling back, Claude. They are standing at the Marne. There is a great battle going on. The papers say it may decide the war. It is indeed dear Paris that some of the army went out in taxi-cabs. ”
Claude drew himself up. “ well, it will decide about Paris, anyhow, wo n’t it ? How many divisions ? ”
“ I ca n’t make out. The accounts are so confuse. But only a few of the English are there, and the french are terribly outnumbered. Your founder got in before you, and he has the papers upstairs. ”
“ They are twenty-four hours honest-to-god. I ‘ll go to Vicount tonight after I’m done exercise, and get the Hastings newspaper. ”
In the evening, when he came spinal column from town, he found his father and mother waiting up for him. He stopped a here and now in the sitting-room. “ There is not much news program, except that the battle is on, and practically the hale french army is engaged. The Germans outnumber them five to three in men, and cipher knows how much in weapon. General Joffre says the french will fall back no far. ” He did not sit down, but went straight upstairs to his room .
Mrs. Wheeler put out the lamp, undressed, and lay down, but not to sleep. Long subsequently, Claude heard her gently closing a window, and he smiled to himself in the dark. His mother, he knew, had always thought of Paris as the wickedest of cities, the capital of a frivolous, wine-drinking, catholic people, who were responsible for the massacre of St. Bartholomew ‘s and for the smile atheist, Voltaire. For the last two weeks, always since the french began to fall back in Lorraine, he had noticed with entertainment her growing solicitude for Paris .
It was curious, he reflected, lying wide alert in the blue : four days ago the seat of government had been moved to Bordeaux, —with the effect that Paris seemed suddenly to have become the capital, not of France, but of the world ! He knew he was not the only farmer boy who wished himself tonight beside the Marne. The fact that the river had a pronounceable name, with a hard western “ gas constant ” standing like a anchor in the middle of it, somehow gave one ‘s imagination a firmer hold on the site. Lying even and thinking fast, Claude felt that even he could clear the bar of french “ politeness ” —so much more terrifying than german bullets—and skid unnoticed into that outnumbered united states army. One’s manners would n’t matter on the Marne tonight, the night of the eighth of September, 1914. There was nothing on earth he would so gladly be as an atom in that wall of pulp and blood that rose and mellow and rose again before the city which had meant so much through all the centuries—but had never meant so much before. Its name had come to have the purity of an abstract mind. In great sleepy continents, in land-locked reap towns, in the short islands of the ocean, for four days men watched that name as they might stand out at nox to watch a comet, or to see a star fall .

X

IT was Sunday good afternoon and Claude had gone down to the factory theater, as Enid and her mother had returned from Michigan the day before. Mrs. Wheeler, propped back in a rock chair, was read, and Mr. Wheeler, in his shirt sleeves, his Sunday collar unbuttoned, was sitting at his walnut repository, amusing himself with column of figures. soon he rose and yawned, stretching his arms above his lead .
“ Claude thinks he wants to begin building right off, up on the quarter next the timbre claim. I ‘ve been figuring on the lumber. building materials are cheap just now, so I suppose I ‘d better let him go ahead. ”
Mrs. Wheeler looked up absently from the page. “ Why, I suppose so. ”
Her husband sat down astride a electric chair, and leaning his arms on the back of it, looked at her. “ What do you think of this match, anyhow ? I do n’t know as I ‘ve heard you say. ”
“ Enid is a beneficial, christian girl. .. ” Mrs. Wheeler began decisively, but her sentence hang in the vent like a interview .
He moved impatiently. “ Yes, I know. But what does a beefy boy like Claude want to pick out a girl like that for ? Why, Evangeline, she ‘ll be the old woman over again ! ”
obviously these misgivings were not new to Mrs. Wheeler, for she put out her handwriting to stop him and whispered in grave agitation, “ Don’t say anything ! Do n’t breathe ! ”
“ Oh, I wo n’t interfere ! I never do. I ‘d quite have her for a daughter-in-law than a wife, by a long shot. Claude ‘s more of a jester than I thought him. ” He picked up his hat and strolled devour to the barn, but his wife did not recover her composure so well. She left the chair where she had hopefully settled herself for comfort, took up a feather duster and began moving distractedly about the room, brushing the coat of the furniture. When the war news was bad, or when she felt trouble about Claude, she set to cleaning house or overhauling the closets, grateful to be able to put some small thing to rights in such a perturb world .
ampere soon as the fall plant was done, Claude got the well-borers out from town to drill his new well, and while they were at oeuvre he began digging his root cellar. He was building his sign of the zodiac on the level extend beside his beget ‘s timber claim because, when he was a little son, he had thought that grove of trees the most beautiful spot in the global. It was a square of about thirty acres, set out in ash and box-elder and cottonwoods, with a thick mulberry hedge on the south side. The trees had been neglected of late years, but if he lived up there he could manage to trim them and care for them at odd moments .
Every good morning now he ran up in the Ford and worked at his basement. He had heard that the deeper a basement was, the better it was ; and he meant that this one should be deep adequate. One day Leonard Dawson stopped to see what advance he was making. Standing on the edge of the fix, he shouted to the chap who was sweating below .
“ My God, Claude, what do you want of a cellar equally deep as that ? When your wife takes a notion to go to China, you can open a trap-door and drop her through ! ”
Claude flung down his pluck and ran up the ladder. “ Enid ‘s not going to have notions of that sort, ” he said wrathfully .
“ well, you need n’t get delirious. I ‘m glad to hear it. I was good-for-nothing when the other girl went. It always looked to me like Enid had her face fit for China, but I have n’t seen her for a good while, —not since before she went off to Michigan with the honest-to-god lady. ”
After Leonard was gone, Claude returned to his work, hush out of humor. He was not wholly happy in his mind about Enid. When he went down to the mill it was normally Mr. Royce, not Enid, who sought to detain him, followed him down the path to the gate and seemed blue to see him go. He could not blame Enid with any lack of sake in what he was doing. She talked and thought of nothing but the newly house, and most of her suggestions were good. He often wished she would ask for something unreasonable and extravagant. But she had no selfish whims, and tied insisted that the comfortable upstairs dormant room he had planned with such wish should be reserved for a node chamber .
As the house began to take shape, Enid came up frequently in her car, to watch its growth, to show Claude samples of wall-papers and draperies, or a design for a window-seat she had cut from some magazine. There could be no question of her pride in every detail. The disappointing thing was that she seemed more concerned in the house than in him. These months when they could be together a a lot as they pleased, she treated merely as a period of time in which they were building a family .
Everything would be all right when they were married, Claude told himself. He believed in the transforming baron of marriage, as his mother believed in the marvelous effects of conversion. marriage reduced all women to a coarse denominator ; changed a cool, complacent girlfriend into a love and generous one. It was quite right that Enid should be unconscious now of everything that she was to be when she was his wife. He told himself he would n’t want it otherwise .
But he was alone, all the same. He lavished upon the fiddling house the solicitude and cherishing manage that Enid seemed not to need. He stood over the carpenters urging the greatest nuance in the finish of closets and cupboards, the commodious place of shelves, the exact join of sills and casings. Often he stayed former in the evening, after the workmen with their noisy boots had gone home to supper. He sat toss off on a rafter or on the skeleton of the upper porch and quite lost himself in brooding, in anticipation of things that seemed as far aside as ever. The dying lightly, the placid stars coming out, were friendly and harmonic. One night a bird fly in and fluttered wildly about among the partitions, shrieking with fear before it darted out into the twilight through one of the upper windows and found its way to freedom .
When the carpenters were cook to put in the stairway, Claude telephoned Enid and asked her to come and show them just what height she wanted the steps made. His mother had always had to climb stairs that were besides steep. Enid stopped her cable car at the Frankfort High School at four o’clock and persuaded Gladys Farmer to drive out with her .
When they arrived they found Claude working on the lattice enclosure of the back porch. “ Claude is like Jonah, ” Enid laughed. “ He wants to plant gourd vines here, so they will run over the lattice and make shade. I can think of early vines that might be more ornamental. ”
Claude put down his forge and said coaxingly : “ Have you always seen a gourd vine when it had something to climb on, Enid ? You wouldn’t believe how pretty they are ; big green leaves, and gourds and yellow blossoms hanging all over them at the same time. An previous german charwoman who keeps a lunch rejoinder at one of those stations on the road to Lincoln has them running up her back porch, and I ‘ve wanted to plant some ever since I beginning saw hers. ”
Enid smiled indulgently. “ Well, I suppose you ‘ll let me have clematis for the front porch, anyhow ? The men are getting ready to leave, so we’d better see about the steps. ”
After the workmen had gone, Claude took the girls upstairs by the ladder. They emerged from a little entrance into a big room which extended over both the movement and back living room. The carpenters called it “ the pool dormitory. ” There were two retentive windows, like doors, opening upon the porch roof, and in the sloping ceiling were two dormer windows, one looking north to the timber claim and the other south toward adorable Creek. Gladys at once felt a singular pleasantness about this chamber, empty and unplastered as it was. “ What a cover girl board ! ” she exclaimed .
Claude took her up eagerly. “ Do n’t you think sol ? You see it ‘s my theme to have the second shock for ourselves, alternatively of cutting it up into little boxes as people normally do. We can come up hera and forget the farm and the kitchen and all our troubles. I ‘ve made a boastful water closet for each of us, and got everything just right. And now Enid wants to keep this room for preachers ! ”
Enid laughed. “ not only for preachers, Claude. For Gladys, when she comes to visit us—you see she likes it—and for your mother when she comes to spend a week and rest. I do n’t think we ought to take the best room for ourselves. ”
“ Why not ? ” Claude argued heatedly. “ I ‘m building the wholly house for ourselves. Come out on the porch roof, Gladys. Is n’t this fine for hot nights ? I want to put a rail round of golf and make this into a balcony, where we can have chairs and a knoll. ”
Gladys sat down on the gloomy window-sill. “ Enid, you ‘d be anserine to keep this for a guest room. cipher would ever enjoy it a a lot as you would. You can see the whole nation from here. ”
Enid smiled, but showed no sign of relenting. “ Let ‘s wait and watch the sun go down. Be careful, Claude. It makes me aflutter to see you lying there. ”
He was stretched out on the edge of the roof, one leg hang over, and his fountainhead pillowed on his arm. The flat fields turned red, the aloof windmills flashed white, and small blushful clouds appeared in the sky above them .
“ If I make this into a balcony, ” Claude murmured, “ the bill of the roof will constantly throw a darkness over it in the good afternoon, and at night the stars will be correct operating expense. It will be a fine place to sleep in harvest prison term. ”
“ Oh, you could always come up hera to sleep on a hot night, ” Enid said quickly .
“ It would n’t be the lapp. ”
They sat watching the lighter die out of the sky, and Enid and Gladys drew stopping point together as the coolness of the fall even came on. The three friends were thinking about the lapp thing ; and so far, if by some sorcery each had begun to speak his thoughts aloud, astonishment and bitterness would have fallen upon all. Enid ‘s reflections were the most blameless. The discussion about the guest room had reminded her of Brother Weldon. In September, on her manner to Michigan with Mrs. Royce, she had stopped for a day in Lincoln to take rede with Arthur Weldon as to whether she ought to marry one whom she described to him as “ an cursed man. ” Young Mr. Weldon approached this subject with a timid tread, but when he learned that the valet in question was Claude Wheeler, he became more partisan than was his habit. He seemed to think that her marrying Claude was the one way to reclaim him, and did not hesitate to say that the most significant service devout girls could perform for the church was to bring promise young men to its support. Enid had been about certain that Mr. Weldon would approve her course before she consulted him, but his concurrence always gratified her pride. She told him that when she had a home of her own she would expect him to spend a contribution of his summer vacation there, and he blushingly expressed his willingness to do thus .
Gladys, excessively, was lost in her own thoughts, sitting with that ease which made her seem rather faineant, her forefront resting against the empty window frame, facing the setting sun. The rose-colored light made her brown eyes gleam like previous copper, and there was a moody look in them, as if in her mind she were defying something. When he happened to glance at her, it occurred to Claude that it was a hard destiny to be the exceeding person in a residential district, to be more talented or more intelligent than the rest. For a girl it must be doubly intemperate. He sat up abruptly and broke the long muteness .
“ I forgot, Enid, I have a secret to tell you. Over in the timbre call the early day I started up a flock of quail. They must be the entirely ones left in all this vicinity, and I doubt if they always come out of the lumber. The bluegrass has n’t been mowed in there for years, —not since I inaugural went away to school, —and possibly they live on the grass seeds. In summer, of course, there are mulberries. ”
Enid wondered whether the birds could have learned adequate about the universe to stay hide in the timbre fortune. Claude was certain they had .
“ cipher ever goes near the place except Father ; he stops there sometimes. possibly he has seen them and never said a parole. It would be barely like him. ” He told them he had scattered shelled corn whiskey in the grass, so that the birds would not be tempted to fly over into Leonard Dawson ‘s cornfield. “ If Leonard saw them, he ‘d likely take a guess at them. ”
“ Why do n’t you ask him not to ? ” Enid suggested .
Claude laughed. “ That would be asking a good cope. When a bunch together of flinch rise out of a cornfield they ‘re a mighty tempt sight, if a man likes hunting. We ‘ll have a field day for you when you come out future summer, Gladys. There are some pretty places over there in the forest. ”
Gladys started up. “ Why, it ‘s night already ! It ‘s adorable hera, but you must get me home, Enid. ”
They found it dark inside. Claude took Enid down the run and out to her car, and then went back for Gladys. She was sitting on the floor at the top of the ladder. Giving her his hand he helped her to rise .
“ so you like my little house, ” he said thankfully .
“ Yes. Oh, yes ! ” Her voice was full of feeling, but she did not exert herself to say more. Claude descended in front of her to keep her from slipping. She hung back while he led her through confusing doorways and helped her over the piles of laths that littered the floors. At the edge of the gaping basement entrance she stopped and leaned tiredly on his arm for a moment. She did not speak, but he understood that his new house made her sad ; that she, excessively, had come to the place where she must turn out of the honest-to-god path. He longed to whisper to her and beg her not to marry his buddy. He lingered and hesitated, fumbling in the dark. She had his own curse kind of sensitivity ; she would expect excessively much from life and be disappointed. He was reluctant to lead her out into the chilly evening without some word of entreaty. He would willingly have prolonged their passing, —through many rooms and corridors. possibly, had that been possible, the military capability in him would have found what it was seeking ; even in this curtly interval it had stirred and made itself felt, had uttered a confuse solicitation. Claude was greatly surprised at himself .

XI

ENID decided that she would be married in the first week of June. Early in May the plasterers and painters began to be busy in the fresh house. The walls began to shine, and Claude went about all day, oiling and polishing the hard-pine floors and wainscoting. He hated to have anybody step on his floors. He planted gourd vines about the back porch, set out clematis and lavender bushes, and put in a kitchen garden. He and Enid were going to Denver and Colorado Springs for their wedding tripper, but Ralph would be at home then, and he had promised to come over and water the flowers and shrubs if the weather was dry .
Enid much brought her work and sat sewing on the movement porch while Claude was rubbing the carpentry inside the house, or labor and plant external. This was the best character of his courtship. It seemed to him that he had never spent such glad days before. If Enid did not come, he kept looking down the road and listen, went from one thing to another and made no build up. He felt full of energy, then long as she sat there on the porch, with intertwine and ribbons and muslin in her lap. When he passed by, going in or out, and stopped to be near her for a moment, she seemed glad to have him tarry. She liked him to admire her needlework, and did not hesitate to show him the featherstitching and embellishment she was putting on her new underclothes. He could see, from the glances they exchanged, that the painters thought this very bold behavior in one indeed soon to be a bridget. He thought it identical charming demeanor himself, though he would never have expected it of Enid. His affection beat hard when he realized how far she confided in him, how small she was afraid of him ! She would let him linger there, standing over her and looking down at her quick fingers, or sitting on the land at her feet, gazing at the muslin pinned to her stifle, until his own common sense of propriety told him to get about his function and spare the feelings of the painters .
“ When are you going over to the lumber claim with me ? ” he asked, dropping on the anchor beside her one warmly, long-winded afternoon. Enid was sitting on the porch floor, her back against a column, and her feet on one of those cycle mats of pursley that grow over hard-beaten earth. “ I ‘ve found my batch of quail again. They live in the deep grass, over by a chuck that holds water most of the year. I ‘m going to plant a few rows of peas in there, so they ‘ll have a prey ground at home. I consider Leonard ‘s cornfield a great danger. I do n’t know whether to take him into my confidence or not. ”
“ You ‘ve told Ernest Havel, I suppose ? ”
“ Oh, yes ! ” Claude replied, trying not to be aware of the little note of bitterness in her voice. “ He ‘s absolutely condom. That space is a eden for birds. The trees are full of nests. You can stand over there in the good morning and hear the young robins squawking for their breakfast. Come up early tomorrow dawn and go over with me, won’t you ? But wear heavy shoes ; it ‘s wet in the long supergrass. ”
While they were talking a sudden whirlwind swept round the corner of the house, caught up the little mound of fold spike corset-covers and strewed them over the cold yard. Claude run after them with Enid ‘s floral workbasket and thrust them into it as he came upon one after another, fluttering in the weeds. When he returned, Enid had folded her needle-case and was putting on her hat. “ Thank you, ” she said with a smile. “ Did you find everything ? ”
“ I think indeed. ” He hurried toward the car to hide his guilty face. One fiddling lace thing he had not put into the bag, but had thrust into his pouch .
The future dawn enid came up early to hear the birds in the lumber .

II

ON the night before his wedding Claude went to bed early. He had been dashing about with Ralph all day in the cable car, making final preparations, and was worn out. He fell asleep about at once. The women of the family could not therefore easily forget the great event of tomorrow. After the supper dishes were washed, Mahailey clambered up to the attic to get the quilt she had so long been saving for a marry deliver for Claude. She took it out of the breast, unfolded it, and counted the stars in the pattern—counting was an accomplishment she was proud of—before she wrapped it up. It was to go down to the mill house with the other presents tomorrow. Mrs. Wheeler went to bed many times that night. She kept thinking of things that ought to be looked after ; getting up and going to make indisputable that Claude ‘s heavy underwear had been put into his trunk, against the find of cold in the mountains ; or creeping downstairs to see that the six roasted chickens which were to help out at the wedding supper were securely covered from the cats. As she went about these tasks, she prayed constantly. She had not prayed so long and fierily since the battle of the Marne .
early the adjacent dawn Ralph loaded the adult car with the presents and baskets of food and ran down to the Royces ‘. Two motors from town were already standing in the factory yard ; they had brought a company of girls who came with all the June roses in Frankfort to trim the house for the wedding. When Ralph tooted his horn, half-a-dozen of them ran out to greet him, reproaching him because he had not brought his brother along. Ralph was immediately pressed into service. He carried the step-ladder wherever he was told, drove nails, and wound barbed sprays of rambler roses around the pillars between the front and back living room, making the arch under which the ceremony was to take set .
Gladys Farmer had not been able to leave her classes at the high School to help in this friendly oeuvre, but at eleven o’clock a delivery automobile drove up, laden with white and tap peonies from her front yard, and bringing a box of conservatory flowers she had ordered for Enid from Hastings. The girls admired them, but declared that Gladys was excessive, as common ; the flowers from her own yard would truly have been enough. The car was driven by a lank, ragged boy who worked about the township garage, and who was called “ Silent Irv, ” because cipher could ever get a word out of him. He had about no voice at all, —a thin fiddling whine in the lead of his throat, like the gasping whisper of a medium in her capture state. When he came to the front door, both arms full of peonies, he managed to wheeze out :
“ These are from Miss Farmer. There are some more down there. ”
The girls went back to his cable car with him, and he took out a hearty box, tied up with whiten ribbons and short silver bells, containing the bridal bouquet .
“ How did you happen to get these ? ” Ralph asked the thin boy. “ I was to go to town for them. ”
The messenger swallowed. “ Miss Farmer told me if there were any other flowers at the station marked for here, I should bring them along. ”
“ That was decent of her. ” Ralph thrust his hand into his trousers pocket. “ How much ? I ‘ll settle with you before I forget. ”
A pink sluice swept over the male child ‘s pale boldness, —a delicate boldness under rag hair, contracted by a kind of shrinking sadness. His eyes were constantly half-closed, as if he did not want to see the universe around him, or to be seen by it. He went about like person in a dream. “ Miss Farmer, ” he whispered, “ has paid me. ”
“ well, she thinks of everything ! ” exclaimed one of the girls. “ You used to go to school to Gladys, did n’t you, Irv ? ”
“ Yes, mam. ” He got into his cable car without opening the door, slipping like an eel round the steering-rod, and drove off .
The girls followed Ralph up the gravel walk of life toward the house. One whispered to the others : “ Do you suppose Gladys will come out tonight with Bayliss Wheeler ? I always thought she had a pretty warm point in her heart for Claude, myself. ”
Some one changed the national. “ I ca n’t get over hearing Irv talk thus much. Gladys must have put a while on him. ”
“ She was always kind to him in school, ” said the girlfriend who had questioned the silent boy. “ She said he was thoroughly in his studies, but he was so frightened he could never recite. She let him write out the answers at his desk. ”
Ralph stayed for lunch, playing about with the girls until his mother telephoned for him. “ now I ‘ll have to go home and search after my brother, or he ‘ll turn up tonight in a undress shirt. ”
“ Give him our love, ” the girls called after him, “ and tell him not to be late. ”
As he drove toward the farm, Ralph met Dan, taking Claude ‘s proboscis into town. He slowed his car. “ Any message ? ” he called .
Dan grinned. “ Naw. I left him doin ‘ equally well as could be expected. ”
Mrs. Wheeler met Ralph on the step. “ He ‘s up in his room. He complains his new shoes are besides mean. I think it ‘s nervousness. possibly he ‘ll let you shave him ; I ‘m sure he ‘ll cut himself. And I wish the barber had n’t cut his haircloth so curtly, Ralph. I hate this newly fashion of shearing men behind the ears. The binding of his neck is the ugly separate of a valet. ” She spoke with such resentment that Ralph broke into a laugh .
“ Why, Mother, I thought all men looked alike to you ! Anyhow, Claude’s no beauty. ”
“ When will you want your bathe ? I ‘ll have to manage so that everybody wo n’t be calling for hot water at once. ” She turned to Mr. Wheeler who sat writing a check at the secretary. “ Father, could you take your bathtub immediately, and be out of the means ? ”
“ bathtub ? ” Mr. Wheeler shouted, “ I do n’t want any bathe ! I ‘m not going to be married tonight. I guess we do n’t have to boil the whole firm for Enid. ”
Ralph snickered and blastoff upstairs. He found Claude sitting on the seam, with one shoe off and one shoe on. A pile of socks lay scattered on the rug. A bag stood open on one chair and a black travel cup of tea on another .
“ Are you sure they ‘re excessively belittled ? ” Ralph asked .
“ About four sizes. ”
“ well, why did n’t you get them big enough ? ”
“ I did. That shark in Hastings worked off another pair on me when I was n’t looking. That ‘s all correct, ” snatching away the shoe his brother had picked up to examine. “ I do n’t care, so long as I can stand in them. You ‘d better go telephone the storehouse and ask if the prepare ‘s on time. ”
“ They wo n’t know however. It ‘s seven hours till it ‘s due. ”
“ then telephone later. But find out, somehow. I do n’t want to stand around that post, waiting for the coach. ”
Ralph whistled. Clearly, his young valet was going to be hard to manage. He proposed a bathroom as a soothing meter. No, Claude had had his bath. Had he, then, packed his bag ?
“ How the monster can I pack it when I do n’t know what I ‘m going to put on ? ”
“ You ‘ll put on one shirt and one pair of socks. I ‘m going to get some of this stuff out of the way for you. ” Ralph caught up a handful of socks and fell to sorting them. several had bright crimson spots on the toe. He began to joke .
“ I know why your horseshoe hurts, you ‘ve cut your metrical foot ! ” Claude sprang up as if a hornet had stung him. “ Will you get out of here, ” he shouted, “ and let me alone ? ”
Ralph vanished. He told his mother he would dress at once, as they might have to use force with Claude at the last moment .
The wedding ceremony was to be at eight, supper was to follow, and Claude and Enid were to leave Frankfort at 10:25, on the Denver express. At six o’clock, when Ralph knocked at his brother ‘s door, he found him shaved and brushed, and dressed, except for his coat. His tucked shirt was not rumpled, and his connect was properly knotted. Whatever pain they concealed, his patent leather shoes were placid and glistening and resolutely pointed .
“ Are you packed ? ” Ralph asked in astonishment .
“ about. I wish you ‘d go over things and make them look a little neat, if you can. I ‘d hate to have a female child see the inside of that bag, the way it is. Where shall I put my cigars ? They ‘ll make everything smell, wherever I put them. All my clothes seem to smell of cooking, or starch, or something. I do n’t know what Mahailey does to them, ” he ended bitterly .
Ralph looked outraged. “ Well, of all ingratitude ! Mahailey ‘s been ironing your damned old shirts for a workweek ! ”
“ Yes, yes, I know. Do n’t rattle me. I forgot to put any handkerchief in my torso, so you ‘ll have to get the whole bunch in somewhere. ”
Mr. Wheeler appeared in the doorway, his Sunday black trousers gallowsed up high over a white shirt, wafting a ample olfactory property of alcove rum from his tumble hair. He held a flimsy fold newspaper finely between his thickly fingers .
“ Where is your bill-book, son ? ”
Claude caught up his cast-off trousers and extracted a square of leather from the pocket. His father took it and placed the snatch of paper inside with the depository financial institution notes. “ You may want to pick up some trifle your wife fancies, ” he said. “ Have you got your railroad tickets in here ? here is your trunk crack Dan brought back. Don’t forget, I ‘ve put it in with your tickets and marked it C. W., so you ‘ll know which is your determine and which is Enid ‘s. ”
“ Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. ”
Claude had already drawn from the bank all the money he would need. This extra bank check was Mr. Wheeler ‘s entree that he was good-for-nothing for some sarcastic remarks he had made a few days ago, when he discovered that Claude had reserved a stateroom on the Denver express. Claude had answered curtly that when Enid and her mother went to Michigan they constantly had a stateroom, and he was n’t going to ask her to travel less well with him .
At seven o’clock the Wheeler family set out in the two cars that stood waiting by the windmill. Mr. Wheeler drove the boastfully Cadillac, and Ralph took Mahailey and Dan in the Ford. When they reached the mill house the outer yard was already black with motors, and the porch and parlours were full of people talking and moving about .
Claude went directly upstairs. Ralph began to seat the guests, arranging the folding chairs in such a way as to leave a passage from the foot of the stairs to the floral arch he had constructed that dawn. The preacher had his bible in his hand and was standing under the sparkle, hunting for his chapter. Enid would have preferred to have Mr. Weldon come down from Lincoln to marry her, but that would have wounded Mr. Snowberry profoundly. After all, he was her minister, though he was not eloquent and persuasive like Arthur Weldon. He had fewer english words at his command than most human beings, and even those did not come to him readily. In his dais he sought for them and struggled with them until drops of perspiration rolled from his frontal bone and fell upon his coarse, matted brown beard. But he believed what he said, and linguistic process was sol little an skill with him that he was not tempted to say more than he believed. He had been a drummer boy in the Civil War, on the lose side, and he was a bare, brave man .
Ralph was to be both usher and best man. Gladys Farmer could not be one of the bridesmaids because she was to play the wedding border. At eight o’clock Enid and Claude came downstairs together, conducted by Ralph and followed by four girls dressed in white, like the bride. They took their places under the arch before the preacher. He began with the chapter from Genesis about the creation of valet, and Adam ‘s rib, reading in a labor manner, as if he did not quite know why he had selected that passage and were looking for something he did not find. His nose-glasses kept falling off and dropping upon the receptive ledger. Throughout this drawn-out fumble Enid stood calm, looking at him respectfully, very pretty in her short circuit humeral veil. Claude was so pale that he looked affected, —nobody had always seen him like that before. His face, between his very black clothes and his smooth, arenaceous hair’s-breadth, was white and severe, and he uttered his responses in a hollow spokesperson. Mahailey, at the back of the board, in a black hat with green gooseberries on it, was standing, in club to miss nothing. She watched Mr. Snowberry as if she hoped to catch some visible sign of the miracle he was performing. She always wondered precisely what it was the preacher did to make the wrongest thing in the earth the rightest thing in the universe .
When it was over, Enid went upstairs to put on her travelling dress, and Ralph and Gladys began seating the guests for supper. Just twenty dollar bill minutes former Enid came down and took her place beside Claude at the forefront of the retentive postpone. The company rose and drank the bride ‘s health in grape-juice punch. Mr. Royce, however, while the guests were being seated, had taken Mr. Wheeler down to the fruit cellar, where the two honest-to-god friends drank off a glass of well-seasoned Kentucky whiskey, and shook hands. When they came back to the table, looking younger than when they withdrew, the preacher smelled the sea tangle of spirits and felt slighted. He looked desolately into his red goblet and thought about the marriage at Cana. He tried to apply his Bible literally to life and, though he did n’t dare breathe it aloud in these days, he could never see why he was better than his Lord .
Ralph, as chief of ceremonies, kept his head and forgot nothing. When it was time to start, he tapped Claude on the shoulder, cutting his father brusque in one of his best stories. Contrary to custom, the bridal pair were to go to the station unaccompanied, and they vanished from the steer of the postpone with only a nod and a smile to the guests. Ralph hurried them into the light car, where he had already stowed Enid ‘s hand baggage. only wizened fiddling Mrs. Royce slipped out from the kitchen to bid them adieu .
That evening some badly boys had come out from town and strewn the road near the mill with dozens of bankrupt glass bottles, after which they hid in the wild plum bushes to wait for the fun. Ralph ‘s was the first car out, and though his lights glittered on this layer of jag glass, there was no clock to stop ; the road was ditched on either side, so he had to drive true ahead, and got into Frankfort on flat tires. The express whistled just as he pulled up at the post. He and Claude caught up the four pieces of hand baggage and put them in the stateroom. Leaving Enid there with the bags, the two boys went to the rear platform of the observation car to talk until the end moment. Ralph checked off on his fingers the tilt of things he had promised Claude to attend to. Claude thanked him feelingly. He felt that without Ralph he could never have got married at all. They had never been such full friends as during the death fortnight .
The wheels began to turn. Ralph gripped Claude ‘s handwriting, run to the battlefront of the car and stepped off. As Claude passed him, he stood waving his handkerchief, —a rather funny story calculate under the station lights, in his black clothes and his stiff straw hat, his short legs well apart, wearing his incurably dapper air .
The train glided softly out through the summer darkness, along the timbered river valley. Claude was alone on the back chopine, smoking a nervous cigar. As they passed the deep cut where lovely creek flowed into the river, he saw the lights of the mill house flash for a consequence in the distance. The night air was placid ; heavy with the olfactory property of sweetly clover that grew high along the tracks, and of raving mad grapevines wet with draw. The conductor came to ask for the tickets, saying with a wise smile that he had been hunting for him, as he did n’t like to fuss the lady .
After he was gone, Claude looked at his vigil, threw away the end of his cigar, and went back through the Pullman cars. The passengers had gone to bed ; the overhead lights were always turned low when the gearing left Frankfort. He made his way through the aisles of swaying green curtains, and tapped at the door of his stateroom. It opened a short way, and Enid stood there in a white silk dressing-gown with many ruffles, her hair’s-breadth in two smooth braids over her shoulders .
“ Claude, ” she said in a low voice, “ would you mind getting a position somewhere out in the car tonight ? The porter says they are not all taken. I’m not feeling very well. I think the dress on the chicken salad must have been excessively deep. ”
He answered mechanically. “ Yes, surely. Ca n’t I get you something ? ”
“ No, thank you. Sleep will do me more dependable than anything else. Good-night. ”
She closed the doorway, and he heard the interlock slip. He stood looking at the highly polish wood of the jury for a moment, then turned irresolutely and went back along the slightly swaying aisle of greens curtains. In the notice car he stretched himself out upon two wicker chairs and lit another cigar. At twelve o’clock the porter came in .
“ This car is closed for the night, sah. Is you the gen’leman from the stateroom in fourteen ? Do you want a lower ? ”
“ No, thank you. Is there a smoke cable car ? ”
“ They is the day-coach smokah, but it ai n’t probably identical clean at this time oxygen ‘ night. ”
“ That ‘s all right. It ‘s forward ? ” Claude absently handed him a coin, and the porter conducted him to a identical dirty car where the floor was littered with newspapers and cigar stumps, and the leather cushions were grey with scatter. A few despairing looking men lay about with their shoes off and their suspenders hanging down their back. The sight of them reminded Claude that his forget metrical foot was very afflictive, and that his shoes must have been hurting him for some time. He pulled them off, and thrust his feet, in their silk socks, on the antonym seat .
On that hanker, dirty, uncomfortable drive Claude felt many things, but the overriding feeling was homesickness. His damage was of a kind that made him turn with a kind of aching cowardice to the erstwhile, conversant things that were a sure as the sunrise. If only the sagebrush homely, over which the stars were shining, could abruptly break up and resolve itself into the windings of Lovely Creek, with his forefather ‘s house on the mound, night and silent in the summer night ! When he closed his eyes he could see the light in his mother’s windowpane ; and, lower down, the burn of Mahailey ‘s lamp, where she sat nodding and mending his old shirts. Human love was a fantastic thing, he told himself, and it was most fantastic where it had least to gain .
By dawn the storm of anger, disappointment, and humiliation that was boiling in him when he first sat down in the observation car, had died out. One thing lingered ; the curiously casual, indifferent, uninterested spirit of his wife ‘s voice when she sent him away. It was the directly tone in which people make banal remarks about common things .
Day broke with silver brightness on the summer sage. The sky grew pink, the backbone grew gold. The dawn-wind bring through the windows the acerb smell of the sagebrush : an smell that is particularly stimulating in the early good morning, when it always seems to promise exemption. .. large spaces, newfangled beginnings, better days .
The train was due in Denver at eight o’clock. precisely at seven thirty Claude knocked at Enid ‘s door, —this prison term hard. She was dressed, and greeted him with a fresh, smiling confront, holding her hat in her hand .
“ Are you feeling better ? ” he asked .
“ Oh, yes ! I am absolutely all good this dawn. I ‘ve put out all your things for you, there on the seat. ”
He glanced at them. “ Thank you. But I wo n’t have time to change, I’m afraid. ”
“ Oh, wo n’t you ? I ‘m so blue I forgot to give you your pocket last night. But you must put on another necktie, at least. You look besides much like a groom. ”
“ Do I ? ” he asked, with a barely perceptible curl up of his brim. Everything he needed was neatly arranged on the plush seat ; shirt, collar, tie, brushes, even a handkerchief. Those in his pockets were black from dusting off the cinders that blew in all night, and he threw them down and took up the clean and jerk one. There was a muffle descry on it, and as he unfolded it he recognized the olfactory property of a cologne Enid often used. For some reason this attention unmanned him. He felt the smart of tears in his eyes, and to hide them deflect over the alloy washbasin and began to scrub his face. Enid stood behind him, adjusting her hat in the mirror .
“ How terribly smoky you are, Claude. I hope you do n’t smoke before breakfast ? ”
“ No. I was in the smoke car awhile. I suppose my clothes got entire of it. ”
“ You are covered with debris and cinders, besides ! ” She took the clothes heather from the rack and began to brush him .
Claude caught her hand. “ Do n’t, please ! ” he said sharply. “ The porter can do that for me. ”
Enid watched him furtively as he closed and strapped his bag. She had often heard that men were hybridization before breakfast .
“ certain you ‘ve forgotten nothing ? ” he asked before he closed her bulge .
“ Yes. I never lose things on the train, —do you ? ”
“ sometimes, ” he replied conservatively, not looking up as he snapped the capture .

3

BOOK III

Sunrise on the Prairie

I

CLAUDE was to continue farming with his beget, and after he returned from his wedding travel, he fell at once to work. The crop was about a abundant as that of the summer before, and he was interfering in the fields six days a workweek .
One good afternoon in August he came home with his team, watered and fed the horses in a at leisure way, and then entered his house by the back doorway. Enid, he knew, would not be there. She had gone to Frankfort to a meet of the Anti-Saloon League. The Prohibition party was bestirring itself in Nebraska that summer, convinced of voting the State dry the follow year, which purpose it triumphantly accomplished .
Enid ‘s kitchen, fully of the good afternoon sunday, glittered with new rouge, immaculate linoleum, and the blue-and-white cook vessels. In the dining room the fabric was laid, and the table was neatly set for one. Claude opened the ice-box, where his supper was arranged for him ; a dish of canned salmon with a white sauce ; hardboiled eggs, peeled and lying in a nest of lettuce leaves ; a bowling ball of good tomatoes, a sting of cold rice pudding ; skim and butter. He placed these things on the table, cut some boodle, and after incautiously washing his face and hands, sat down to eat in his working shirt. He propped the newspaper against a loss glass water pitcher and read the war news while he had his supper. He was annoyed when he heard heavy footsteps coming around the house. Leonard Dawson stuck his head in at the kitchen door, and Claude rose quickly and reached for his hat ; but Leonard came in, uninvited, and sat down. His brown shirt was wet where his suspenders gripped his shoulders, and his face, under a across-the-board straw hat which he did not remove, was unshaven and streaked with dust .
“ Go ahead and finish your supper, ” he cried. “ Having a wife with an electric is adjacent thing to having no wife at all. How they do like to roll around ! I ‘ve been mighty blamed careful to see that Susie never learned to drive a car. See here, Claude, how soon do you figure you ‘ll be able to let me have the thrasher ? My wheat will begin to sprout in the shock pretty soon. Do you guess your father would be uncoerced to work on Sunday, if I helped you, to let the machine off a day earlier ? ”
“ I ‘m afraid not. Mother would n’t like it. We never have done that, flush when we were crowded. ”
“ well, I think I ‘ll go over and have a lecture with your mother. If she could look inside my wheat shocks, possibly I could convince her it’s pretty near a shell of your neighbor ‘s ox falling into a pit on the Sabbath day. ”
“ That ‘s a good idea. She ‘s always reasonable. ”
Leonard rose. “ What ‘s the news ? ”
“ The Germans have torpedoed an english passenger embark, the Arabic ; coming this way, besides. ”
“ That ‘s all right field, ” Leonard declared. “ possibly Americans will stay at family now, and mind their own business. I do n’t care how they chew each other up over there, not a bite ! I ‘d american samoa soon one got wiped off the map as another. ”
“ Your grandparents were english people, were n’t they ? ”
“ That ‘s a long while ago. Yes, my grandma wore a cap and little white curl, and I tell Susie I would n’t mind if the pamper turned out to have my grandma ‘s hide. She had the finest complexion I always saw. ”
As they stepped out of the back door, a troop of white chickens with red combs ran squawking toward them. It was the hour at which the domestic fowl was normally fed. Leonard stopped to admire them. “ You ‘ve got a fine distribute of hens. I constantly did like the whiten leghorns. Where are all your roosters ? ”
“ We ‘ve only got one. He ‘s shut up in the chicken coop. The grizzle hens are setting. Enid is going to try raising winter fry. ”
“ lone one cock ? And may I ask what these hens do ? ” Claude laughed. “ They lay eggs, just the lapp, —better. It ‘s the fecund eggs that spoil in warm weather. ”
This information seemed to make Leonard angry. “ I never hear of such curse nonsense, ” he blustered. “ I raise chickens on a natural footing, or I do n’t raise ’em at all. ” He jumped into his car for fear he would say more .
When he got home his wife was lifting supper, and the baby sat near her in its buggy, playing with a rattle. Dirty and sweaty as he was, Leonard picked up the clean baby and began to kiss it and smell it, rubbing his bestubbled chin in the cushy creases of its neck. The little girlfriend was beside herself with delight .
“ Go and wash up for supper, Len, ” Susie called from the stave. He put down the baby and began splashing in the tin washbasin, talking with his eyes close .
“ Susie, I ‘m in an terribly pique. I ca n’t stand that damned wife of Claude ‘s ! ”
She was spearing roasting ears out of a adult iron batch and looked up through the steam. “ Why, have you seen her ? I was listening on the telephone this dawn and heard her tell Bayliss she would be in town until late. ”
“ Oh, yes ! She went to township all mighty, and he ‘s over there eating a cold supper by himself. That woman ‘s a fanatic. She ai n’t subject with practising prohibition on world ; she ‘s begun now on the hens. ” While he placed the chairs and wheeled the baby up to the table, he explained Enid ‘s method of raising poultry to his wife. She said she in truth did n’t see any damage in it .
“ now be honest, Susie ; did you ever know hens would keep on laying without a cock ? ”
“ No, I did n’t, but I was brought up the antique means. Enid has poultry books and garden books, and all such things. I do n’t doubt she gets good ideas from them. But anyhow, you be careful. She ‘s our near neighbor, and I do n’t want to have fuss with her. ”
“ I ‘ll have to keep out of her direction, then. If she tries to do any missionary study among my chickens, I ‘ll tell her a few home truths her husband ‘s besides bashful to tell her. It ‘s my opinion she ‘s got that boy cowed already. ”
“ now, Len, you know she wo n’t bother your chickens. You keep quiet. But Claude does seem to sort of avoid people, ” Susie admitted, filling her conserve ‘s plate again. “ Mrs. Joe Havel says Ernest don’t go to Claude ‘s any more. It seems Enid went over there and wanted Ernest to paste some Prohibition posters about fifteen million drunkards on their barn, for an example to the Bohemians. Ernest would n’t do it, and told her he was going to vote for saloons, and Enid was quite despiteful, Mrs. Havel said. It ‘s besides bad, when those boys were such chums. I used to like to see them together. ” Susie spoke indeed kindly that her husband nip her a quick glance of shy affection .
“ Do you suppose Claude relished having that preacher visiting them, when they had n’t been married two months ? Sitting on the front porch in a white necktie every day, while Claude was out cutting wheat ? ”
“ well, anyhow, I guess Claude had more to eat when Brother Weldon was staying there. Preachers wo n’t be fed on calories, or whatever it is Enid calls ’em, ” said Susie, who was given to looking on the bright side of things. “ Claude ‘s wife keeps a fantastic kitchen ; but so could I, if I never cooked any more than she does. ”
Leonard gave her a mean look. “ I do n’t believe you would live with the classify of homo you could feed out of a canister can. ”
“ No, I do n’t believe I would. ” She pushed the buggy toward him. “ Take her up, Daddy. She wants to play with you. ”
Leonard sat the baby on his shoulder and carried her off to show her the pig bed. Susie kept laughing to herself as she cleared the table and washed the dishes ; she was a lot amused by what her conserve had told her .
late that evening, when Leonard was starting for the barn to see that all was well before he went to seam, he observed a discreet black object rolling along the highroad in the moonlight, a red sparkle blinking in the rear. He called Susie to the door .
“ See, there she goes ; going family to report the success of the meet to Claude. Would n’t that be a nice way to have your wife coming in ? ”
“ now, Leonard, if Claude likes it— ”
“ Likes it ? ” Big Leonard drew himself up. “ What can he do, poor pull the leg of ? He’s sting ! ”

II

AFTER Leonard left him, Claude cleared away the remains of his supper and watered the gourd vine before he went to milk. It was not in truth a gourd vine at all, but a summer-squash, of the crook-necked, verrucose, orange-colored variety show, and it was immediately wax of ripe squashes, hanging by potent stems among the rocky green leaves and barbed tendrils. Claude had watched its rapid growth and the opening of its splotchy scandalmongering blossoms, feeling grateful to a thing that did thus lustily what it was put there to do. He had the same touch for his little Jersey overawe, which came home every night with full moon udders and gave down her milk willingly, keeping her buttocks out of his face, as only a friendly cow will do .
His milking done, he sat down on the front porch and lit a cigar. While he smoked, he did not think about anything but the silence and the behind cooling of the standard atmosphere, and how good it was to sit hush. The lunar month swam up over the bare wheat fields, big and charming, like a great flower. presently he got some bath towels, went across the yard to the windmill, took off his clothes, and stepped into the tin horse cooler. The water had been warmed by the sunday all good afternoon, and was not much cool than his body. He stretched himself out in it, and resting his promontory on the metallic element brim, lay on his back, looking up at the moonlight. The sky was a midnight-blue, like ardent, deep, blue water system, and the moonlight seemed to lie on it like a water-lily, floating forward with an inconspicuous current. One expected to see its great petals open .
For some argue, Claude began to think about the faraway times and countries it had shone upon. He never thought of the sun as coming from aloof lands, or as having taken part in homo life in early ages. To him, the sunday rotated about the wheatfields. But the moon, somehow, came out of the historic past, and made him think of Egypt and the Pharaohs, Babylon and the hanging gardens. She seemed particularly to have looked down upon the follies and disappointments of men ; into the slaves ‘ quarters of honest-to-god times, into prison windows, and into fortresses where captives languished .
Inside of living people, besides, captives languished. Yes, inside of people who walked and worked in the across-the-board sunlight, there were captives dwelling in iniquity, —never seen from parturition to death. Into those prisons the moon glitter, and the prisoners crept to the windows and looked out with mournful eyes at the white globe which betrayed no secrets and comprehended all. possibly even in people like Mrs. Royce and his brother Bayliss there was something of this sort—but that was a chilling intend. He dismissed it with a agile motion of his hand through the water, which, disturbed, caught the unhorse and play blacken and gold, like something active, over his chest. In his own mother the captive emotional state was about more salute to people than her bodily self. He had indeed much felt it when he sat with her on summer nights like this. Mahailey, besides, had one, though the walls of her prison were therefore thick—and Gladys Farmer. Oh, yes, how much Gladys must have to tell this arrant confidant ! The people whose hearts were set high needed such intercourse—whose wish was so beautiful that there were no experiences in this populace to satisfy it. And these children of the moon, with their unappeased longings and bootless dreams, were a fine raceway than the children of the sun. This invention flooded the male child ‘s center like a moment moonrise, flowed through him indefinite and solid, while he lay deathly silent for fear of losing it .
At death the blacken cubelike object which had caught Leonard Dawson’s wrathful eye, came rolling along the highroad. Claude snatched up his clothes and towels, and without waiting to make use of either, he ran, a white world across a unsheathed white yard. Gaining the shelter of the house, he found his bathrobe, and fled to the amphetamine porch, where he lay down in the knoll. soon he heard his name called, pronounced as if it were spelled “ Clod. ” His wife came up the stairs and looked out at him. He lay inactive, with his eyes closed. She went away. When all was quiet again he looked off at the inactive area, and the daydream in the night anil sky. His disclosure still possessed him, making his whole consistency medium, like a tightly strung bow. In the good morning he had forgotten, or was ashamed of what had seemed so true and so entirely his own the night earlier. He agreed, for the most depart, that it was better not to think about such things, and when he could he avoided think .

III

AFTER the big workplace of harvest was over, Mrs. Wheeler often persuaded her husband, when he was starting off in his buckboard, to take her vitamin a far as Claude ‘s new theater. She was glad Enid did n’t keep her living room dark, as Mrs. Royce kept hers. The doors and windows were always open, the vines and the long genus petunia in the window-boxes wave in the breeze, and the rooms were full of sunlight and in perfect club. Enid wore white dresses about her employment, and flannel shoes and stockings. She managed a house easily and systematically. On Monday dawn Claude turned the wash machine before he went to work, and by nine o’clock the clothes were on the line. Enid liked to iron, and Claude had never earlier in his animation worn sol many clean shirts, or worn them with such satisfaction. She told him he need not economize in working shirts ; it was as easy to iron six as three .
Although within a few months Enid ‘s car travelled more than two thousand miles for the Prohibition induce, it could not be said that she neglected her sign of the zodiac for reform. Whether she neglected her conserve depended upon one ‘s conception of what was his ascribable. When Mrs. Wheeler saw how well their little administration was conducted, how cheerful and attractive Enid looked when one happened to drop in there, she wondered that Claude was not happy. And Claude himself wondered. If his marriage disappointed him in some respects, he ought to be a man, he told himself, and make the best of what was good in it. If his wife did n’t love him, it was because sleep together meant one thing to him and quite another thing to her. She was proud of him, was beaming to see him when he came in from the fields, and was solicitous for his ease. Everything about a man ‘s embrace was distasteful to Enid ; something inflicted upon women, like the annoyance of childbirth, —for Eve ‘s transgression, possibly .
This repugnance was more than physical ; she disliked ardour of any kind, even religious ardor. She had been adoring of Claude before she married him than she was now ; but she hoped for a adjustment. possibly erstwhile she could like him again in precisely the same way. even Brother Weldon had hinted to her that for the sake of their future repose she must be lenient with the boy. And she thought she had been indulgent. She could not understand his moods of desperate silence, the bitter, biting remarks he sometimes dropped, his apparent aggravator if she went over to join him in the forest claim when he lay there dead in the deep grass on a Sunday afternoon .
Claude used to lie there and watch the cloud, saying to himself, “ It ‘s the goal of everything for me. ” early men than he must have been disappointed, and he wondered how they bore it through a life. Claude had been a well-behaved boy because he was an idealist ; he had looked ahead to being wonderfully happy in love, and to deserving his happiness. He had never dreamed that it might be differently .
sometimes now, when he went out into the fields on a bright summer dawn, it seemed to him that nature not alone smile, but broadly laughed at him. He suffered in his pride, but even more in his ideals, in his dim sense of what was beautiful. enid could make his life hideous to him without ever knowing it. At such times he hated himself for accepting at all her stew cordial reception. He was wronging something in himself .
In her person Enid was still attractive to him. He wondered why she had no shades of feeling to correspond to her lifelike decorate and lightness of movement, to the docile, about pensive attitudes of body in which he sometimes surprised her. When he came in from shape and found her sitting on the porch, leaning against a column, her hands clasped about her knees, her head drooping a short, he could barely believe in the inflexibility which met him at every sour. Was there something repellent in him ? Was it, after all, his fault ?
Enid was rather more indulgent with his father than with any one else, he noticed. Mr. Wheeler stopped to see her about every day, and evening took her drive in his old buckboard. Bayliss came out from town to spend the evening occasionally. Enid ‘s vegetarian suppers suited him, and as she worked with him in the Prohibition campaign, they always had clientele to discuss. Bayliss had a sociable arsenic well as a hygienic bias against alcohol, and he hated it less for the harm it did than for the joy it gave. Claude systematically refused to take any separate in the activities of the Anti-Saloon League, or to distribute what Bayliss and Enid called “ our literature. ”
In the farming towns the term “ literature ” was applied only to a special kind of print topic ; there was Prohibition literature, Sex-Hygiene literature, and, during a lay waste to of cattle disease, there was Hoof-and-Mouth literature. This special application of the word did n’t bother Claude, but his mother, being an antique school-teacher, complained about it .
Enid did not understand her conserve ‘s nonchalance to a burning doubt, and could only attribute it to the influence of Ernest Havel. She sometimes asked Claude to go with her to one of her committee meetings. If it was a Sunday, he said he was tired and wanted to read the paper. If it was a week-day, he had something to do at the barn, or meant to clear out the lumber claim. He did, indeed, saw off a few dead limbs, and cut down a tree the lightning had blasted. Further than that he would n’t have let anybody clear the timbre batch ; he would have died defending it .
The timbre call was his safety. In the open, grassy spots, shut in by the bushy walls of yellowing ash trees, he felt unmarried and free ; rid to smoke american samoa much as he liked, and to read and dream. Some of his dreams would have frozen his new wife ‘s blood with horror—and some would have melted his mother ‘s kernel with compassion. To lie in the hot sun and look up at the stainless blue of the fall sky, to hear the dry rustle of the leaves as they fell, and the fathom of the bold squirrels leaping from branch to arm ; to lie thus and let his imagination play with life—that was the best he could do. His thoughts, he told himself, were his own. He was nobelium longer a boy. He went away into the lumber claim to meet a young world more experience and matter to than himself, who had not tied himself up with compromises .

IV

FROM her upstairs window Mrs. Wheeler could see Claude moving back and forth in the west field, drilling pale yellow. She felt lonely for him. He did n’t come home vitamin a frequently as he might. She had begun to wonder whether he was one of those people who are always discontented ; but whatever his disappointments were, he kept them locked in his own breast. One had to learn the lessons of liveliness. however, it made her a little deplorable to see him so settled and apathetic at twenty-three .
After watching from the window for a few moments, she turned to the telephone and called up Claude ‘s theater, asking Enid whether she would mind if he came there for dinner. “ Mahailey and I get lonely with Mr. Wheeler away so much, ” she added .
“ Why, no, Mother Wheeler, of course not. ” Enid spoke cheerfully, as she always did. “ Have you any one there you can send over to tell him ? ”
“ I thought I would walk over myself, Enid. It ‘s not far, if I take my clock time. ” Mrs. Wheeler left the firm a little before noon and stopped at the brook to rest before she climbed the farseeing hill. At the edge of the field she sat down against a grassy bank and waited until the horses came tramping up the farseeing rows. Claude saw her and pulled them in .
“ Anything ill-timed, Mother ? ” he called .
“ Oh, no ! I ‘m going to take you home for dinner with me, that ‘s all. I telephoned Enid. ”
He unhooked his team, and he and his mother started down the mound together, walking behind the horses. Though they had not been entirely like this for a hanker while, she felt it best to talk about impersonal things .
“ Do n’t let me forget to give you an article about the execution of that English harbor. ”
“ Edith Cavell ? I ‘ve read about it, ” he answered listlessly. “ It’s nothing to be surprised at. If they could sink the Lusitania, they could shoot an english nurse, surely. ”
“ Someway I feel as if this were different, ” his mother murmured. “ It ‘s like the hang of John Brown. I wonder they could find soldiers to execute the sentence. ”
“ Oh, I guess they have batch of such soldiers ! ”
Mrs. Wheeler looked up at him. “ I do n’t see how we can stay out of it much longer, do you ? I suppose our army would n’t be a drop in the bucket, even if we could get it over. They tell us we can be more utilitarian in our department of agriculture and manufactories than we could by going into the war. I only hope it is n’t campaign lecture. I do distrust the Democrats. ”
Claude laughed. “ Why, Mother, I guess there ‘s no party politics in this. ”
She shook her head. “ I ‘ve never so far found a populace question in which there was n’t party politics. well, we can only do our duty as it comes to us, and have faith. This field finishes your fall influence ? ”
“ Yes. I ‘ll have prison term to do some things about the position, immediately. I’m going to make a good ice-house and put up my own ice rink this winter. ”
“ Were you think of going up to Lincoln, for a small ? ”
“ I guess not. ”
Mrs. Wheeler sighed. His tone meant that he had turned his back on honest-to-god pleasures and old friends .
“ Have you and Enid taken tickets for the lecture course in Frankfort ? ”
“ I think sol, Mother, ” he answered a little impatiently. “ I told her she could attend to it when she was in town some sidereal day. ”
“ Of course, ” his mother persevered, “ some of the programs are not very good, but we ought to patronize them and make the best of what we have. ”
He knew, and his mother knew, that he was not very full at that. His horses stopped at the water system tank. “ Do n’t wait for me. I ‘ll be along in a moment. ” Seeing her chapfallen confront, he smiled. “ Never mind, Mother, I can constantly catch you when you try to give me a pill in a raisin. One of us has to be pretty fresh to fool the early. ”
She blinked up at him with that smile in which her eyes about disappeared. “ I thought I was smart that time ! ”
It was a comfort, she reflected, as she hurried up the hill, to get hold of him again, to get his attention, flush .
While Claude was washing for dinner, Mahailey came to him with a page of newspaper cartoons, illustrating german ferociousness. To her they were all photographs, —she knew no other means of making a picture .
“ Mr. Claude, ” she asked, “ how comes it all them Germans is such surly lookin ‘ people ? The Yoeders and the german folks round here ain’t atrocious lookin ‘. ”
Claude put her off indulgently. “ possibly it ‘s the surly ones that are doing the fight, and the ones at home are nice, like our neighbours. ”
“ then why do n’t they make their soldiers stay home, an ‘ not go breakin ‘ other people ‘s things, an ‘ turnin ‘ ’em out of their houses, ” she muttered indignantly. “ They say little babies was born out in the snow last winter, an ‘ no fires for their mudders nor nothin ‘. ‘Deed, Mr. Claude, it was n’t like that in our war ; the soldiers did n’t do nothin ‘ to the women an ‘ chillun. Many a time our house was full moon of Northern soldiers, an ‘ they never therefore much as broke a piece of my mudder ‘s chiney. ”
“ You ‘ll have to tell me about it again sometime, Mahailey. I must have my dinner and get back to bring. If we do n’t get our wheat in, those people over there wo n’t have anything to eat, you know. ”
The visualize papers meant a bang-up deal to Mahailey, because she could faintly remember the Civil War. While she pored over photograph of camps and battlefields and devastated villages, things came back to her ; the companies of cold Union infantry that used to stop to drink at her mother ‘s cold mountain spring. She had seen them take off their boots and wash their bleed feet in the run. Her mother had given one louse-bitten boy a clean and jerk shirt, and she had never forgotten the view of his back, “ arsenic natural as beef where he’d scratched it. ” Five of her brothers were in the Rebel united states army. When one was wounded in the second conflict of Bull ‘s Run, her mother had borrowed a police van and horses, gone a three days ‘ travel to the airfield hospital, and brought the boy home to the mountain. Mahailey could remember how her older sisters took turns pouring cold spring water on his gangrenous peg all day and all night. There were no doctors left in the vicinity, and as cipher could amputate the boy ‘s leg, he died by inches. Mahailey was the alone person in the Wheeler family who had ever seen war with her own eyes, and she felt that this fact gave her a definite superiority .

V

CLAUDE had been married a class and a half. One December morning he got a call message from his father-in-law, asking him to come in to Frankfort at once. He found Mr. Royce sunk in his desk-chair, fume as common, with several foreign-looking letters on the table before him. As he took these out of their envelopes and sorted the pages, Claude noticed how unfirm his hands had become .
One letter, from the chief of the aesculapian staff in the deputation school where Caroline Royce teach, informed Mr. Royce that his daughter was seriously ill in the mission hospital. She would have to be sent to a more healthy part of the country for lie and treatment, and would not be solid enough to return to her duties for a class or more. If some penis of her family could come out to take care of her, it would relieve the school authorities of great anxiety. There was besides a letter from a mate teacher, and a rather incoherent one from Caroline herself. After Claude finished reading them, Mr. Royce pushed a box of cigars toward him and began to talk despairingly about missionaries .
“ I could go to her, ” he complained, “ but what effective would that do ? I’m not in sympathy with her ideas, and it would only fret her. You can see she ‘s made her mind up not to come home. I do n’t believe in one people trying to force their ways or their religion on another. I’m not that kind of man. ” He sat looking at his cigar. After a long pause he broke out abruptly, “ China has been drummed into my ears. .. It seems like a long way to go to hunt for trouble oneself, do n’t it ? A man has n’t got much manipulate over his own life, Claude. If it ain’t poverty or disease that torments him, it ‘s a name on the map. I could have made out reasonably well, if it had n’t been for China, and some other things. .. . If Carrie ‘d had to teach for her clothes and help pay off my notes, like old man Harrison ‘s daughters, like enough she ‘d have stayed at home. There ‘s always something. I don’t know what to say about showing these letters to Enid. ”
“ Oh, she will have to know about it, Mr. Royce. If she feels that she ought to go to Carrie, it would n’t be right for me to interfere. ”
Mr. Royce shook his head. “ I do n’t know. It do n’t seem clean that China should hang over you, besides. ”
When Claude got home he remarked as he handed Enid the letters, “ Your father has been a estimable deal upset by this. I never saw him look so honest-to-god as he did today. ”
Enid studied their contents, sitting at her orderly little desk, while Claude pretended to read the wallpaper .
“ It seems clear that I am the one to go, ” she said when she had finished .
“ You think it ‘s necessary for some one to go ? I do n’t see it. ”
“ It would look very strange if none of us went, ” Enid replied with heart .
“ How, look strange ? ”
“ Why, it would look to her associates as if her kin had no palpate. ”
“ Oh, if that ‘s all ! ” Claude smiled perversely and took up his paper again. “ I wonder how it will look to people here if you go off and leave your conserve ? ”
“ What a average thing to say, Claude ! ” She rose sharply, then hesitated, perplexed. “ People here know me better than that. It is n’t as if you could n’t be absolutely comfortable at your mother ‘s. ” As he did not glance up from his paper, she went into the kitchen .
Claude sat still, listening to Enid ‘s promptly movements as she opened up the range to get supper. The light in the board grew grey. Outside, the fields melted into one another as evening came on. The new trees in the yard bent and whipped about under a acerb north wind. He had often thought with pride that winter died at his battlefront doorsill ; within, no drafty halls, no chilly corners. This was their moment year here. When he was driving home, the think that he might be unblock of this firm for a long while had stirred a pleasant excitation in him ; but nowadays, he did n’t want to leave it. Something grew gentle in him. He wondered whether they could n’t try again, and make things go better. Enid was singing in the kitchen in a subdued, quite alone voice. He rose and went out for his milk coat and bucket. As he passed his wife by the window, he stopped and put his weapon about her questioningly .
She looked astir. “ That ‘s right. You ‘re feeling better about it, aren’t you ? I thought you would. Gracious, what a fetid coat, Claude ! I must find another for you. ”
Claude knew that tone. Enid never questioned the justness of her own decisions. When she made up her mind, there was no turning her. He went down the path to the barn with his hands stuffed in his trousers pockets, his bright bucket hang on his arm. Try again—what was there to try ? Platitudes, pettiness, insincerity. .. . His life was choking him, and he had n’t the courage to break with it. Let her go ! Let her go when she would !. .. What a hideous global to be born into ! Or was it hideous alone for him ? Everything he touched went improper under his hand—always had .
When they sat devour at the supper table in the back parlour an hour late, Enid looked tire, as if this clock her decisiveness had cost her something. “ I should think you might have a restful winter at your mother ‘s, ” she began cheerfully. “ You wo n’t have closely indeed much to look after as you do here. We need n’t disturb things in this house. I will take the silver down to Mother, and we can leave everything else just as it is. Would there be board for my car in your father’s garage ? You might find it a appliance. ”
“ Oh, no ! I wo n’t need it. I ‘ll put it up at the mill family, ” he answered with an feat at negligence .
All the familiar objects that stood about them in the lamplight seemed stiller and more solemn than common, as if they were holding their breath .
“ I suppose you had better take the chickens over to your mother ‘s, ” Enid continued evenly. “ But I should n’t like them to get mix with her Plymouth Rocks ; there ‘s not a dark feather among them nowadays. Do ask Mother Wheeler to use all the eggs, and not to let my hens set in the bounce. ”
“ In the leap ? ” Claude looked up from his plate .
“ Of course, Claude. I could barely get back before adjacent fall, if I’m to be of any avail to poor Carrie. I might try to be home for harvest, if that would make it more commodious for you. ” She rose to bring in the dessert .
“ Oh, do n’t hurry on my bill ! ” he muttered, staring after her vanish visualize .
Enid came back with the hot pudding and the after-dinner coffee things. “ This has come on us thus abruptly that we must make our plans at once, ” she explained. “ I should think your mother would be gladiolus to keep Rose for us ; she is such a good cow. And then you can have all the skim you want. ”
He took the little gold-rimmed cup she held out to him. “ If you are going to be gone until adjacent fall, I shall sell Rose, ” he announced gruffly .
“ But why ? You might look a long prison term before you found another like her. ”
“ I shall sell her, anyhow. The horses, of course, are Father ‘s ; he paid for them. If you clear out, he may want to rent this place. You may find a tenant in here when you get back from China. ” Claude swallowed his coffee, put down the cup, and went into the front parlor, where he lit a cigar. He walked up and down, keeping his eyes fixed upon his wife, who still sat at the table in the set of fall from the hanging lamp. Her head, crouch forth a little, showed the neat part of her brown hair’s-breadth. When she was perplex, her face always looked acuate, her chin longer .
“ If you ‘ve no feel for the place, ” said Claude from the other room, “ you can barely expect me to hang around and take wish of it. All the fourth dimension you were campaigning, I played housekeeper hera. ”
Enid ‘s eyes narrowed, but she did not flush. Claude had never seen a curl of color come over his wife ‘s pale, fluent cheek .
“ Do n’t be childish. You know I care for this place ; it ‘s our home. But no feel would be right that kept me from doing my duty. You are good, and you have your beget ‘s house to go to. Carrie is ill and among strangers. ”
She began to gather up the dishes. Claude stepped cursorily out into the light and confronted her. “ It ‘s not only your going. You know what ‘s the topic with me. It ‘s because you want to go. You are glad of a chance to get away among all those preachers, with their fluent lecture and make-believe. ”
Enid took up the tray. “ If I am gladiolus, it ‘s because you are not volition to govern our lives by christian ideals. There is something in you that rebels all the meter. therefore many important questions have come up since our marriage, and you have been deaf or sarcastic about every one of them. You want to lead a strictly selfish life. ”
She walked decisively out of the room and shut the door behind her. subsequently, when she came back, Claude was not there. His hat and coating were gone from the hat-rack ; he must have let himself out softly by the front door. Enid sat up until eleven and then went to layer .
In the good morning, on coming out from her bedroom, she found Claude asleep on the lounge, dressed, with his overcoat on. She had a moment of terror and bent over him, but she could not detect any olfactory property of spirits. She began preparations for breakfast, moving quietly .
Having once made up her mind to go out to her sister, Enid lost no time. She engaged passage and cabled the mission school. She left Frankfort the week before Christmas. Claude and Ralph took her arsenic far as Denver and put her on a trans-continental press out. When Claude came home, he moved over to his mother ‘s, and sold his cow and chickens to Leonard Dawson. Except when he went to see Mr. Royce, he rarely left the farm now, and he avoided the neighbours. He felt that they were discussing his domestic affairs, —as, of course, they were. The Royces and the Wheelers, they said, couldn’t behave like anybody else, and it was no consumption their trying. If Claude built the best house in the neighborhood, he just naturally would n’t live in it. And if he had a wife at all, it was like him to have a wife in China !
One snow-clad day, when cipher was about, Claude took the big car and went over to his own place to close the house for the winter and bring away the canned fruit and vegetables left in the cellar. Enid had packed her best linen in her cedar breast and had put the kitchen and taiwan closets in scrupulous regulate before she went away. He began covering the upholster chairs and the mattresses with sheets, rolled up the rugs, and fastened the windows securely. As he worked, his hands grew more and more numb and listless, and his affection was like a collocate of ice. All these things that he had selected with care and in which he had taken such pride, were no more to him now than the baseball bat piled in the shop of any second-hand dealer .
How inherently mournful and despicable such objects were, when the feeling that had made them precious no long existed ! The débris of human life was more worthless and atrocious than the dead and disintegrate things in nature. rubbish. .. debris. .. his mind could not picture anything that then expose and condemned all the drab, aweary, ever-repeated actions by which life is continued from day to day. Actions without meaning. .. . As he looked out and saw the grey landscape through the gently falling snow, he could not help thinking how much better it would be if people could go to sleep like the fields ; could be blanketed down under the bamboozle, to wake with their hurts healed and their defeats disregarded. He wondered how he was to go on through the years ahead of him, unless he could get rid of this ill feel in his soul .
At end he locked the door, put the key in his pocket, and went over to the forest claim to smoke a cigar and say adieu to the position. There he gravely walked about for more than an hour, under the asymmetrical trees with empty birds ‘ nests in their forks. Every clock he came to a break in the hedge, he could see the small house, giving itself up so meekly to solitude. He did not believe that he would ever live there again. Well, at any rate, the money his don had put into the plaza would not be lost ; he could constantly get a better tenant for having a comfortable family there. Several of the boys in the neighborhood were planning to be married within the year. The future of the house was safe. And he ? He stopped short in his walk ; his feet had made an uncertain, purposeless lead all over the egg white ground. It vexed him to see his own footsteps. What was it—what was the matter with him ? Why, at least, could he not stop feel things, and hoping ? What was there to hope for now ?
He heard a sound of distress, and looking back, saw the barn cat-o’-nine-tails, that had been left behind to pick up her living. She was standing inside the hedge, her jet black fur ruffled against the wet flakes, one hand lifted, mewing miserably. Claude went over and picked her up .
“ What ‘s the matter, Blackie ? Mice getting barely in the barn ? Mahailey will say you are bad luck. possibly you are, but you can’t help it, can you ? ” He slipped her into his greatcoat pocket. late, when he was getting into his cable car, he tried to dislodge her and put her in a basket, but she clung to her nest in his pocket and dug her claw into the line. He laughed. “ well, if you are bad luck, I guess you are going to stay correct with me ! ”
She looked up at him with startled jaundiced eyes and did not even mew .

VI

MRS. wheeler was afraid that Claude might not find the old place comfortable, after having had a theater of his own. She put her best rocking chair and a read lamp in his bedroom. He frequently sat there all even, shading his eyes with his hand, pretending to read. When he stayed downstairs after supper, his mother and Mahailey were grateful. Besides collecting war pictures, Mahailey now hunted through the erstwhile magazines in the attic for pictures of China. She had marked on her big kitchen calendar the day when Enid would arrive in Hong Kong .
“ Mr. Claude, ” she would say as she stood at the sink washing the supper dishes, “ it ‘s broad daylight over where Miss Enid is, ain’t it ? Cause the earth ‘s round, an ‘ the erstwhile sun, he ‘s a-shinin ‘ over there for the yaller people. ”
From time to clock time, when they were working together, Mrs. Wheeler told Mahailey what she knew about the customs of the Chinese. The previous charwoman had never had two impersonal interests at the same time before, and she barely knew what to do with them. She would murmur on, half to Claude and one-half to herself : “ They ai n’t fightin ‘ over there where Miss Enid is, is they ? An ‘ she wo n’t have to wear their kind of clothes, cause she ‘s a white womanhood. She wo n’t let ’em kill their daughter babies nor do such awful things like they constantly have, an ‘ she wo n’t let ’em pray to them stone iboles, cause they ca n’t help ’em none. I ‘spect Miss Enid ‘ll do a bus of good, all the fourth dimension. ”
Behind her diplomatic monologues, however, Mahailey had her own ideas, and she was greatly scandalized at Enid ‘s passing. She was afraid people would say that Claude ‘s wife had “ run off an ‘ lef ‘ him, ” and in the Virginia mountains, where her social standards had been formed, a husband or wife thus deserted was the object of boisterous ridicule. She once stopped Mrs. Wheeler in a black corner of the root cellar to whisper, “ Mr. Claude ‘s wife ai n’t goin ‘ to stay off there, like her sister, is she ? ”
If one of the Yoeder boys or Susie Dawson happened to be at the Wheelers ‘ for dinner, Mahailey never failed to refer to Enid in a forte spokesperson. “ Mr. Claude ‘s wife, she cuts her potatoes up raw in the pan an ‘ fries ’em. She do n’t boil ’em first like I do. I know she’s an nasty good cook, I know she is. ” She felt that easy references to the lacking wife made things look good .
Ernest Havel came to see Claude now, but not much. They both felt it would be indelicate to renew their former closeness. Ernest silent felt aggrieved about his beer, as if Enid had snatched the tankard from his lips with her own corrective hand. Like Leonard, he believed that Claude had made a bad bargain in matrimony ; but alternatively of feeling blue for him, Ernest wanted to see him convinced and punished. When he married Enid, Claude had been false to liberal principles, and it was only right that he should pay for his apostasy. The very first time he came to spend an evening at the Wheelers ‘ after Claude came home plate to live, Ernest contract to explain his objections to Prohibition. Claude shrugged his shoulders .
“ Why not drop it ? It ‘s a count that does n’t interest me, one manner or the other. ”
Ernest was offended and did not come back for closely a month—not, indeed, until the announcement that Germany would resume unrestricted submarine war made every one expect questioningly at his neighbor .
He walked into the Wheelers ‘ kitchen the night after this newsworthiness reached the agrarian country, and found Claude and his mother sitting at the table, reading the papers aloud to each other in snatches. Ernest had barely taken a seat when the telephone bell ring. Claude answered the call .
“ It ‘s the telegraph operator at Frankfort, ” he said, as he hung up the telephone receiver. “ He repeated a message from Father, sent from Wray : Will be home day after tomorrow. Read the papers. What does he mean ? What does he suppose we are doing ? ”
“ It means he considers our situation very unplayful. It ‘s not like him to telegraph except in character of illness. ” Mrs. Wheeler rose and walked distractedly to the call box, as if it might far disclose her husband ‘s country of mind .
“ But what a curious message ! It was addressed to you, besides, Mother, not to me. ”
“ He would know how I feel about it. Some of your father ‘s people were sea-going men, out of Portsmouth. He knows what it means when our transport is told where it can go on the ocean, and where it can not. It is n’t possible that Washington can take such an diss for us. To think that at this time, of all times, we should have a democratic administration ! ”
Claude laughed. “ Sit down, Mother. Wait a day or two. Give them time. ”
“ The war will be over before Washington can do anything, Mrs. Wheeler, ” Ernest declared gloomily, “ England will be starved out, and France will be beaten to a deadlock. The whole german army will be on the western front immediately. What could this state do ? How hanker do you suppose it takes to make an united states army ? ”
Mrs. Wheeler stopped short in her restless pace and met his moody glance. “ I do n’t know anything, Ernest, but I believe the Bible. I believe that in the blink of an eye of an eye we shall be changed ! ”
Ernest looked at the shock. He respected faith. As he said, you must respect it or despise it, for there was nothing else to do .
Claude sat leaning his elbows on the table. “ It always comes back to the same thing, Mother. even if a raw united states army could do anything, how would we get it over there ? here ‘s one naval authority who says the Germans are turning out submarines at the rate of three a day. They probably did n’t spring this on us until they had enough built to keep the ocean clean. ”
“ I do n’t pretend to say what we could accomplish, son. But we must stand somewhere, morally. They have told us all along that we could be more helpful to the Allies out of the war than in it, because we could send munitions and supplies. If we agree to withdraw that aid, where are we ? Helping Germany, all the time we are pretending to mind our own business ! If our entirely alternate is to be at the bottom of the ocean, we had good be there ! ”
“ beget, do sit down ! We ca n’t settle it tonight. I never saw you sol worked up. ”
“ Your father is worked up, besides, or he would never have sent that telegram. ” Mrs. Wheeler reluctantly took up her workbasket, and the boys talked with their old, easy friendliness .
When Ernest left, Claude walked angstrom far as the Yoeders ‘ rate with him, and came back across the snow-drifted fields, under the frosty brilliance of the winter stars. As he looked up at them, he felt more than ever that they must have something to do with the fortune of nations, and with the incomprehensible things that were happening in the worldly concern. In the ordain universe there must be some take care that read the riddle of this one dysphoric satellite, that knew what was forming in the dark eclipse of this hour. A question hang in the air ; over all this quiet land about him, over him, over his mother, even. He was afraid for his country, as he had been that night on the State House steps in Denver, when this war was undreamed of, hidden in the uterus of time .
Claude and his mother had not hanker to wait. Three days later they knew that the german ambassador had been dismissed, and the american ambassador recalled from Berlin. To older men these events were subjects to think and converse about ; but to boys like Claude they were biography and death, predestination .

VII

ONE stormy dawn Claude was driving the boastfully beach wagon to town to get a load of log. The roads were beginning to thaw out, and the country was black and dirty looking. here and there on the benighted mud, grey snow crusts lingered, perforated like honeycomb, with wet weed-stalks sticking up through them. As the big dipper creaked over the senior high school prime barely above Frankfort, Claude noticed a bright new flag flying from the school cupola. He had never seen the flag before when it meant anything but the Fourth of July, or a political rally. nowadays it was as if he saw it for the first time ; no bands, no noise, no orators ; a descry of restless color against the sodden March flip .
He turned out of his way in decree to pass the high School, drew up his team, and waited a few minutes until the noon bell ring. The older boys and girls came out first, with a flurry of raincoats and umbrellas. presently he saw Gladys Farmer, in a yellow “ slick “ and an oilskin hat, and waved to her. She came up to the beach wagon .
“ I like your decoration, ” he said, glancing toward the cupola .
“ It ‘s a silk one the Senior boys bought with their athletic money. I advised them not to run it up in this rain, but the course president told me they bought that flag for storms. ”
“ Get in, and I ‘ll take you home. ”
She took his extend hand, put her metrical foot on the hub of the wheel, and climbed to the seat beside him. He clucked to his team .
“ so your high School boys are feeling war-like these days ? ”
“ very. What do you think ? ”
“ I think they ‘ll have a luck to express their feelings. ”
“ Do you, Claude ? It seems terribly artificial. ”
“ nothing else seems very real, either. I ‘m going to haul out a load of lumber, but I never expect to drive a nail in it. These things do n’t matter immediately. There is only one thing we ought to do, and only one thing that matters ; we all know it. ”
“ You feel it ‘s coming cheeseparing every day ? ”
“ Every day. ”
Gladys made no reply. She only looked at him badly with her calm, generous embrown eyes. They stopped before the abject house where the windows were full of flowers. She took his hand and swing herself to the grind, holding it for a consequence while she said adieu. Claude drove rear to the lumber yard. In a locate like Frankfort, a boy whose wife was in China could hardly go to see Gladys without making spill the beans .

VIII

DURING the bleak calendar month of March Mr. Wheeler went to township in his buckboard about every day. For the first time in his life he had a privy anxiety. The one penis of his family who had never given him the slender perturb, his son Bayliss, was fair now under a obscure .
Bayliss was a Pacifist, and kept telling people that if entirely the United States would stay out of this war, and gather up what Europe was wasting, she would soon be in actual self-control of the capital of the universe. There was a kind of logic in Bayliss ‘ utterances that rock Nat Wheeler ‘s imperturbable assumption that one point of horizon was a well as another. When Bayliss fought the dram and the cigarette, Wheeler lone laughed. That a son of his should turn out a dry, was a joke he could appreciate. But Bayliss’ attitude in the give crisis disturbed him. Day after day he sat about his son ‘s place of business, interrupting his arguments with amusing stories. Bayliss did not go family at all that calendar month. He said to his father, “ No, Mother ‘s excessively crimson. I ‘d better not. ”
Claude and his mother read the papers in the evening, but they talked so short about what they read that Mahailey inquired anxiously whether they were n’t calm fighting over yonder. When she could get Claude alone for a moment, she pulled out Sunday addendum pictures of the lay waste to countries and asked him to tell her what was to become of this family, photographed among the ruins of their home plate ; of this old charwoman, who sat by the wayside with her bundles. “ Where ‘s she goin’ to, anyways ? See, Mr. Claude, she ‘s got her iron cook-pot, stoma old thing, carryin ‘ it all the way ! ”
Pictures of soldiers in gas-masks puzzled her ; accelerator was something she had n’t learned about in the Civil War, so she worked it out for herself that these masks were worn by the army cook, to protect their eyes when they were cutting up onions ! “ All them onions they have to cut up, it would put their eyes out if they did n’t wear some-thin ‘, ” she argued .
On the morning of the one-eighth of April Claude came downstairs early on and began to clean his boots, which were caked with dry mud. Mahailey was squatting down beside her stave, boast and puffing into it. The fire was constantly slow to start in heavy weather. Claude got an honest-to-god knife and a brush, and putting his foot on a professorship over by the west window, began to scrape his brake shoe. He had said good-morning to Mahailey, nothing more. He had n’t slept well, and was pale .
“ Mr. Claude, ” Mahailey grumbled, “ this stove ai n’t never drawed good like my old one Mr. Ralph took away from me. I ca n’t do nothin ‘ with it. possibly you ‘ll clean it out for me next Sunday. ”
“ I ‘ll clean it today, if you say thus. I wo n’t be here next Sunday. I’m going away. ”
Something in his spirit made Mahailey get up, her eyes still blinking with the smoke, and look at him aggressively. “ You ai n’t goin ‘ off there where Miss Enid is ? ” she asked anxiously .
“ No, Mahailey. ” He had dropped the shoebrush and stood with one foot on the chair, his elbow on his knee, looking out of the window as if he had forgotten himself. “ No, I ‘m not going to China. I ‘m going over to help fight the Germans. ”
He was still staring out at the wet fields. Before he could stop her, before he knew what she was doing, she had caught and kissed his despicable hand .
“ I knowed you would, ” she sobbed. “ I constantly knowed you would, you nice boy, you ! Old Mahail ‘ knowed ! ”
Her overturned font was working all over ; her mouth, her eyebrows, even the wrinkles on her moo brow were working and twitching. Claude felt a tightening in his throat as he tenderly regarded that face ; behind the pale eyes, under the low eyebrow where there was not room for many thoughts, an idea was struggling and tormenting her. The like theme that had been tormenting him .
“ You ‘re all veracious, Mahailey, ” he muttered, patting her back and turning away. “ nowadays travel rapidly breakfast. ”
“ You ai n’t told your mudder yit ? ” she whispered .
“ no, not yet. But she ‘ll be all proper, besides. ” He caught up his detonator and went down to the barn to look after the horses .
When Claude returned, the family were already at the breakfast mesa. He slipped into his induct and watched his mother while she drank her first cup of coffee bean. then he addressed his father .
“ Father, I do n’t see any consumption of waiting for the draft. If you can spare me, I ‘d like to get into a aim camp somewhere. I believe I ‘d stand a opportunity of getting a committee. ”
“ I should n’t wonder. ” Mr. Wheeler poured maple syrup on his pancakes with a free handwriting. “ How do you feel about it, Evangeline ? ”
Mrs. Wheeler had restfully put down her tongue and fork. She looked at her husband in obscure alarm clock, while her fingers moved restlessly about over the tablecloth .
“ I thought, ” Claude went on hurriedly, “ that possibly I would go up to Omaha tomorrow and find out where the train camps are to be located, and have a talk with the men in consign of the enlistment station. Of course, ” he added lightly, “ they may not want me. I have n’t an estimate what the requirements are. ”
“ No, I do n’t understand much about it either. ” Mr. Wheeler rolled his crown pancake and conveyed it to his mouth. After a moment of chew he said, “ You figure on going tomorrow ? ”
“ I ‘d like to. I wo n’t bother with baggage—some shirts and underclothes in my bag. If the Government wants me, it will clothe me. ”
Mr. Wheeler pushed back his plate. “ Well, immediately I guess you ‘d better come out with me and look at the wheat. I do n’t know but I ‘d best plow up that south quarter and put it in corn. I do n’t believe it will make anything much. ”
When Claude and his don went out of the doorway, Dan sprang up with more alacrity than common and plunged after them. He did not want to be left alone with Mrs. Wheeler. She remained sitting at the infantry of the deserted breakfast table. She was not crying. Her eyes were absolutely eyeless. Her back was so stoop that she seemed to be bending under a burden. Mahailey cleared the dishes away quietly .
Out in the muddy fields Claude finished his talk with his father. He explained that he wanted to slip away without saying adieu to any matchless. “ I have a way, you know, ” he said, sluice, “ of beginning things and not getting very far with them. I do n’t want anything said about this until I ‘m sure. I may be rejected for one argue or another. ”
Mr. Wheeler smiled. “ I guess not. however, I ‘ll tell Dan to keep his mouth close. Will you precisely go over to Leonard Dawson ‘s and get that twist he borrowed ? It ‘s about noon, and he ‘ll probable be at home. ”
Claude found big Leonard watering his team at the windmill. When Leonard asked him what he thought of the President ‘s message, he blurted out at once that he was going to Omaha to enlist. Leonard reached up and pulled the lever that controlled the about inactive bicycle .
“ Better wait a few weeks and I ‘ll go with you. I ‘m going to try for the Marines. They take my eye. ”
Claude, standing on the boundary of the tank, about fell backward. “ Why, what—what for ? ”
Leonard looked him over. “ commodity Lord, Claude, you ai n’t the entirely companion around hera that wears pants ! What for ? Well, I ‘ll tell you what for, ” he held up three large red fingers menacingly ; “ Belgium, the Lusitania, Edith Cavell. That crap ‘s experience under my skin. I ‘ll get my corn planted, and then Father ‘ll look after Susie till I come back. ”
Claude took a long breath. “ Well, Leonard, you fooled me. I believed all this kid you ‘ve been giving me about not caring who chewed up who. ”
“ And no more do I care, ” Leonard protested, “ not a damn ! But there’s a terminus ad quem. I ‘ve been ready to go since the Lusitania. I do n’t get any satisfaction out of my rate any more. Susie feels the same way. ”
Claude looked at his big neighbor. “ Well, I ‘m off tomorrow, Leonard. Do n’t mention it to my folks, but if I ca n’t get into the army, I’m going to enlist in the navy. They ‘ll always take an able valet. I ‘m not coming back here. ” He held out his hand and Leonard took it with a smack .
“ good luck, Claude. possibly we ‘ll meet in alien parts. Would n’t that be a jest ! Give my love to Enid when you write. I always did think she was a fine girl, though I disagreed with her on prohibition. ” Claude crossed the fields mechanically, without looking where he went. His power of sight was turned in upon scenes and events wholly complex number as so far .

IX

ONE bright June sidereal day Mr. Wheeler parked his car in a line of motors before the fresh pressed-brick Court house in Frankfort. The Court house stood in an afford hearty, surrounded by a grove of cottonwoods. The lawn was impertinently cut, and the flower beds were blooming. When Mr. Wheeler entered the court upstairs, it was already half-full of farmers and town, talking in low tones while the summer flies buzzed in and out of the open windows. The Judge, a one-armed man, with white hair and side-whiskers, sat at his desk, writing with his leave hand. He was an erstwhile settler in Frankfort county, but from his frock-coat and courtly manners you might have thought he had come from Kentucky yesterday alternatively of thirty years ago. He was to hear this good morning a charge of disloyalty brought against two german farmers. One of the accused was August Yoeder, the Wheelers’ nearest neighbor, and the other was Troilus Oberlies, a rich german from the northerly separate of the county .
Oberlies owned a beautiful farm and lived in a big white house set on a mound, with a fine grove, rows of beehives, barns, granaries, and domestic fowl yards. He raised turkeys and tumbler-pigeons, and many geese and ducks swam about on his cattle-ponds. He used to boast that he had six sons, “ like our german emperor. ” His neighbours were proud of his put, and pointed it out to strangers. They told how Oberlies had come to Frankfort county a inadequate man, and had made his fortune by his industry and intelligence. He had doubly crossed the ocean to re-visit his fatherland, and when he returned to his home on the prairies he brought presents for every one ; his lawyer, his banker, and the merchants with whom he dealt in Frankfort and Vicount. Each of his neighbours had in his parlor some objet d’art of woodcarving or weaving, or some clever mechanical plaything that Oberlies had picked up in Germany. He was an older man than Yoeder, wore a inadequate beard that was white and curly, like his hair’s-breadth, and though he was abject in stature, his puffy bolshevik face and full blue eyes, and a certain browbeat about his carriage, gave him a look of importance. He was boastful and choleric, but until the war broke out in Europe cipher had always had any trouble oneself with him. Since then he had constantly found fault and complained, —everything was better in the Old Country .
Mr. Wheeler had come to town cook to lend Yoeder a hand if he needed one. They had worked touch fields for thirty years now. He was surprised that his neighbor had got into worry. He was not a loudmouth, like Oberlies, but a big, quiet man, with a dangerous, large-featured face, and a buttocks mouth that rarely opened. His sanction might have been cut out of bolshevik sandstone, it was then heavy and fixed. He and Oberlies sat on two wooden chairs outside the rail of the Judge ‘s desk .
soon the Judge stopped writing and said he would hear the charges against Troilus Oberlies. several neighbours took the stand in succession ; their complaints were confused and about humorous. Oberlies had said the United States would be licked, and that would be a good thing ; America was a great country, but it was run by fools, and to be governed by Germany was the best thing that could happen to it. The spectator went on to say that since Oberlies had made his money in this country—
here the Judge interrupted him. “ Please confine yourself to statements which you consider unpatriotic, made in your presence by the defendant. ” While the witness proceeded, the Judge took off his glasses and laid them on the desk and began to polish the lenses with a silk handkerchief, trying them, and rubbing them again, as if he desired to see intelligibly .
A second witness had heard Oberlies say he hoped the german submarines would sink a few troopships ; that would frighten the Americans and teach them to stay at home and mind their own business. A third base complained that on Sunday afternoons the old valet sat on his front porch and played “ Die Wacht am Rhein ” on a slide-trombone, to the great annoyance of his neighbours. here Nat Wheeler slapped his knee with a loudly guffaw, and a giggle ran through the court. The defendant’s gusty red impudence seemed fashioned by his Maker to give voice to that piercing instrument .
When asked if he had anything to say to these charges, the old valet rose, threw back his shoulders, and cast a defiant glance at the court. “ You may take my property and imprison me, but I explain nothing, and I take back nothing, ” he declared in a loud voice .
The Judge regarded his inkwell with a smile. “ You mistake the nature of this occasion, Mr. Oberlies. You are not asked to recant. You are merely asked to desist from far unpatriotic utterances, as much for your own protection and comfort as from consideration for the feelings of your neighbours. I will now hear the charges against Mr. Yoeder. ”
Mr. Yoeder, a spectator declared, had said he hoped the United States would go to Hell, immediately that it had been bought over by England. When the witness had remarked to him that if the Kaiser were shot it would end the war, Yoeder replied that charity begins at home, and he wished person would put a fastball in the President .
When he was called upon, Yoeder rose and stood like a rock before the Judge. “ I have nothing to say. The charges are true. I thought this was a nation where a man could speak his mind. ”
“ Yes, a valet can speak his judgment, but even here he must take the consequences. Sit down, please. ” The Judge leaned back in his professorship, and looking at the two men in front of him, began with deliberation : “ Mr. Oberlies, and Mr. Yoeder, you both know, and your friends and neighbours know, why you are here. You have not recognized the component of appropriateness, which must be regarded in closely all the transactions of life ; many of our civil laws are founded upon it. You have allowed a sentiment, baronial in itself, to carry you away and lead you to make extravagant statements which I am confident neither of you mean. No man can demand that you cease from loving the area of your parturition ; but while you enjoy the benefits of this nation, you should not defame its politics to extol another. You both admit to utterances which I can only adjudge unpatriotic. I shall fine you each three hundred dollars ; a very light very well under the circumstances. If I should have affair to fix a penalty a second time, it will be a lot more austere. ”
After the case was concluded, Mr. Wheeler joined his neighbor at the door and they went downstairs together .
“ well, what do you hear from Claude ? ” Mr. Yoeder asked .
“ He ‘s still at Fort R———. He expects to get home on leave before he sails. Gus, you ‘ll have to lend me one of your boys to cultivate my corn. The weeds are getting away from me. ”
“ Yes, you can have any of my boys, —till the draft gets ’em, ” said Yoeder sourly .
“ I would n’t worry about it. A little military train is beneficial for a boy. You fellows know that. ” Mr. Wheeler winked, and Yoeder ‘s grim mouthpiece twitched at one corner .
That even at supper Mr. Wheeler gave his wife a full bill of the court hearing, so that she could write it to Claude. Mrs. Wheeler, always more a schoolteacher than a housekeeper, wrote a rapid, easy hand, and her long letters to Claude reported all the neighborhood doings. Mr. Wheeler furnished much of the material for them. Like many long-married men he had fallen into the way of withholding vicinity news from his wife. But since Claude went away he reported to her everything in which he thought the boy would be interest. As she laconically said in one of her letters : “ Your founder talks a big deal more at home than once, and sometimes I think he is trying to take your position. ”

X

ON the first sidereal day of July Claude Wheeler found himself in the firm train from Omaha, going home plate for a week’s leave. The uniform was still an unfamiliar view in July, 1917. The first draft was not yet called, and the boys who had rushed off and enlisted were in train camps far away. Therefore a red-headed young serviceman with retentive square legs in puttees, and broad, energetic, responsible-looking shoulders in close khaki, made a conspicuous figure among the passengers. short boys and young girls peered at him over the tops of seats, men stopped in the aisle to talk to him, old ladies put on their glasses and studied his clothes, his bulky canvas hold-all, and tied the book he kept opening and forgetting to read .
The country that rushed by him on each side of the track was more interest to his prepare eye than the pages of any book. He was gladiolus to be going through it at harvest, —the season when it is most itself. He noted that there was more corn than usual, —much of the winter wheat had been weather-killed, and the fields were ploughed up in the leap and replanted in gamboge. The pastures were already burned brown, the alfalfa was coming green again after its first gear cut. Binders and harvesters were abroad in the wheat and oats, gathering the soft-breathing billows of grain into wide, mortify arms. When the train slowed down for a trestle in a pale yellow plain, harvesters in blue shirts and overalls and wide straw hats stopped working to wave at the passengers .
Claude turned to the previous man in the opposite buttocks. “ When I see those fellows, I feel as if I ‘d wakened up in the wrong clothes. ”
His neighbor looked please and smiled. “ That the kind of uniform you ‘re accustomed to ? ”
“ I surely never wore anything else in the calendar month of July, ” Claude admitted. “ When I find myself riding along in a discipline, in the center of harvest, trying to learn french verbs, then I know the worldly concern is turned top down, for a fact ! ”
The honest-to-god man pressed a cigar upon him and began to question him. Like the bomber of the “ Odyssey ” upon his homeward journey, Claude had much to tell what his state was, and who were the parents that begot him. He was constantly interrupted in his perusal of a french phrase bible ( made up of sentences chosen for their utility to soldiers, —such as, “ Non, jamais je northeast regarde les femmes ” ) by the questions of curious strangers. presently he gathered up his baggage, shook hands with his neighbor, and put on his hat—the same honest-to-god Stetson, with a gold cord and two hard tassels added to its conic austereness. “ I get off at this station and wait for the freight that goes down to Frankfort ; the cotton-tail, we call it. ”
The old serviceman wished him a pleasant visit home, and the best of fortune in days to come. Every one in the cable car smiled at him as he stepped down to the chopine with his bag in one hand and his analyze base in the other. His old friend, Mrs. Voigt, the german woman, stood out in front of her restaurant, ringing her bell to announce that dinner was ready for travellers. A crowd of young boys stood about her on the sidewalk, laughing and shouting in disagreeable, jeering tones. As Claude approached, one of them snatched the bell from her hand, ran off across the tracks with it, and plunged into a cornfield. The other son followed, and one of them shouted, “ Do n’t go in there to eat, soldier. She ‘s a german spy, and she ‘ll put grind glass in your dinner ! ”
Claude went into the lunch room and threw his bags on the floor. “ What ‘s the matter, Mrs. Voigt ? Can I do anything for you ? ”
She was sitting on one of her own stools, crying piteously, her delusive crimp amiss. Looking up, she gave a little screech of recognition. “ Oh, I tank Gott it was you, and no more trouble coming ! You know I ai n’t no spy nor nod, like what dem boys say. Dem young fellers is atrocious harsh massachusetts institute of technology me. I sell dem sugarcoat since dey was babies, an’ now dey turn on me like dis. Hindenburg, dey calls me, und Kaiser Bill ! “ She began to cry again, twisting her chunky little fingers as if she would tear them off .
“ Give me some dinner, dame, and then I ‘ll go and settle with that gang. I ‘ve been away for a long clock, and it seemed like getting dwelling when I got off the trail and saw your squash vines running over the porch like they used to. ”
“ Ya ? You remember dat ? ” she wiped her eyes. “ I got a pot-pie today, und green peas, chust a few, out of my own garden. ”
“ Bring them along, please. We do n’t get anything but canned stuff in camp. ”
Some railway men came in for lunch. Mrs. Voigt beckoned Claude off to the end of the rejoinder, where, after she had served her customers, she sat down and talked to him, in whispers .
“ My, you look thoroughly in dem clothes, ” she said, patting his sleeve. “ I can remember some wars, besides ; when we got back dem provinces what Napoleon took away from us, Alsace und Lorraine. Dem boys is passed de son to come und put pitch on me some night, und I am skeered to go in my stake. I chust wrapping in a quilt und sit in my old moderate. ”
“ Do n’t pay any care to them. You do n’t have trouble with the clientele people here, do you ? ”
“ No-o, not troubles, precisely. ” She hesitated, then leaned impetuously across the counter and talk in his ear. “ But it ai n’t all indeed bad in de Old Country like what dey say. De hapless people ai n’t slaves, und dey ai n’t ground down like what dey say here. Always de forester lease de hapless folks come into de wood und carry off de limbs dat fall, und de dead trees. Und if de rich farmer have possibly a liddle more manure dan he need, he let de hapless man come und take some for his land. De poor folks do n’t git such wages like here, but dey lives chust as comfortable. Und dem wooden shoes, what dey makes such playfulness of, is cleaner dan what leather is, to go orotund in de mud und manure. Dey do n’t git so wet und dey do n’t stink so. ”
Claude could see that her center was bursting with homesickness, full of affectionate memories of the far-away time and land of her youth. She had never talked to him of these things before, but now she poured out a flood of confidences about the big dairy farm on which she had worked as a female child ; how she took manage of nine cows, and how the cows, though little, were very strong, —drew a big dipper all day and so far gave as much milk at night as if they had been browsing in a crop ! The state people never had to spend money for doctors, but cured all diseases with roots and herb, and when the old folks had the rheumatism they took “ one of dem liddle jenny-pigs ” to bed with them, and the guinea-pig draw out all the pain .
Claude would have liked to listen longer, but he wanted to find the old charwoman ‘s tormentors before his train came in. Leaving his bag with her, he crossed the railroad track tracks, guided by an periodic teasing ting of the bell in the cornfield. soon he came upon the gang, a twelve or more, lying in a shallow draw that ran from the edge of the field out into an open eatage. He stood on the border of the bank and looked down at them, while he slowly cut off the end of a cigar and lit it. The boys grinned at him, trying to appear indifferent and at facilitate .
“ Looking for any one, soldier ? ” asked the one with the doorbell .
“ Yes, I am. I ‘m looking for that doorbell. You ‘ll have to take it back where it belongs. You every one of you know there ‘s no damage in that old woman. ”
“ She ‘s a german, and we ‘re fighting the Germans, ai n’t we ? ”
“ I do n’t think you ‘ll ever fight any. You ‘d last about ten minutes in the american english united states army. You ‘re not our kind. There ‘s entirely one army in the world that wants men who ‘ll bully old women. You might get a speculate with them. ”
The boys giggled. Claude beckoned impatiently. “ Come along with that bell, child. ”
The son rose slowly and climbed the depository financial institution out of the gully. As they tramped back through the cornfield, Claude turned to him abruptly. “ See here, are n’t you ashamed of yourself ? ”
“ Oh, I do n’t know about that ! ” the son replied flippantly, tossing the bell up like a ball and catching it .
“ well, you ought to be. I did n’t expect to see anything of this kind until I got to the movement. I ‘ll be back here in a workweek, and I ‘ll make it hot for anybody that ‘s been bothering her. ” Claude ‘s string was pulling in, and he ran for his baggage .
once seated in the “ cotton-tail, ” he began going down into his own country, where he knew every farm he passed, —knew the country even when he did not know the owner, what sort of crops it yielded, and about how much it was worth. He did not recognize these farms with the pleasure he had anticipated, because he was so angry about the indignities Mrs. Voigt had suffered. He was even burning with the first ardor of the engage serviceman. He believed that he was going abroad with an expeditionary force that would make war without rage, with uncompromising generosity and chivalry .
Most of his friends at camp shared his quixotic ideas. They had come in concert from farms and shops and mills and mines, boys from college and boys from baffling joints in big cities ; sheepherders, street car drivers, plumbers ‘ assistants, billiard markers. Claude had seen hundreds of them when they first came in ; “ show men ” in cheap, forte sport suits, ranch boys in knit waistcoats, machinists with the grease even on their fingers, farm-hands like Dan, in their one Sunday coat. Some of them carried paper suitcases tied up with lasso, some brought all they had in a amobarbital sodium handkerchief. But they all came to give and not to ask, and what they offered was barely themselves ; their boastfully loss hands, their hard backs, the steady, honest, modest look in their eyes. sometimes, when he had helped the medical examiner, Claude had noticed the anxious expression in the faces of the long lines of waiting men. They seemed to say, “ If I ‘m good enough, take me. I ‘ll stay by. ” He found them like that to work with ; serviceable, good-natured, and tidal bore to learn. If they talked about the war, or the enemy they were getting quick to fight, it was normally in a bantering tone ; they were going to “ can the Kaiser, ” or to make the Crown Prince work for a live. Claude loved the men he trained with, —would n’t choose to live in any better company .
The freight gearing swing into the river valley that meant home, —the station the beware constantly came back to, after its farthest quest. quickly the farms passed ; the haystacks, the cornfields, the familiar loss barns—then the long char sheds and the water tank, and the caravan stopped .
On the platform he saw Ralph and Mr. Royce, waiting to welcome him. Over there, in the automobile, were his beget and mother, Mr. Wheeler in the driver ‘s seat. A line of motors stood along the siding. He was the first gear soldier who had come home, and some of the town had driven down to see him arrive in his consistent. From one cable car Susie Dawson waved to him, and from another Gladys Farmer. While he stopped and spoke to them, Ralph took his bag .
“ Come along, boys, ” Mr. Wheeler called, tooting his horn, and he hurried the soldier away, leaving entirely a cloud of dust behind .
Mr. Royce went over to previous serviceman Dawson ‘s car and said rather childishly, “ It ca n’t be that Claude ‘s originate tall ? I suppose it’s the way they learn to carry themselves. He always was a male looking son. ”
“ I expect his mother ‘s a gallant woman, ” said Susie, very much excited. “ It ‘s excessively bad Enid ca n’t be hera to see him. She would never have gone away if she ‘d known all that was to happen. ”
Susie did not mean this as a thrust, but it took effect. Mr. Royce turned away and lit a cigar with some difficulty. His hands had grown identical unsteady this last class, though he insisted that his general health was a good as always. As he grew older, he was more depress by the conviction that his women-folk had added little to the heat and comfort of the worldly concern. Women ought to do that, whatever else they did. He felt apologetic toward the Wheelers and toward his old friends. It seemed as if his daughters had no heart .

XI

CAMP habits persisted. On his first base dawn at home Claude came downstairs before even Mahailey was stirring, and went out to have a expect at the stock. The red sunday came up precisely as he was going down the hill toward the cattle cow pen, and he had the pleasant feel of being at home, on his father ‘s land. Why was it so gratifying to be able to say “ our hill, ” and “ our creek down yonder ” ? to feel the crunch of this particular dried mud under his boots ?
When he went into the barn to see the horses, the inaugural creatures to meet his eye were the two big mules that had run away with him, standing in the stalls next the door. It flashed upon Claude that these brawny quadrupeds were the actual authors of his destiny. If they had not bolted with him and thrown him into the wire fence that dawn, Enid would not have felt deplorable for him and come to see him every day, and his life might have turned out differently. possibly if older people were a fiddling more dependable, and a boy were not taught to idealize in women the very qualities which can make him absolutely unhappy— But there, he had got away from those regrets. But was n’t it just like him to be dragged into matrimony by a pair of mules !
He laughed as he looked at them. “ You old devils, you ‘re strong adequate to play such tricks on green fellows for years to come. You ‘re chock full of beastliness ! ”
One of the animals wagged an ear and cleared his throat menacingly. Mules are adequate to of strong affections, but they hate snobs, are the enemies of caste, and this pair had always seemed to detect in Claude what his founder used to call his “ false pride. ” When he was a young cub they had been a reference of humiliation to him, braying and balking in public places, trying to show off at the lumber cubic yard or in front of the post-office .
At the end manger Claude found old Molly, the grey mare with the besotted leg, who had grown a second hoof on her off forefoot, an accomplishment not many horses could boast of. He was sure she recognized him ; she nosed his hand and arm and turned back her amphetamine brim, showing her wear, chicken tooth .
“ Must n’t do that, mollie, ” he said as he stroked her. “ A andiron can laugh, but it makes a sawhorse look anserine. Seems to me Dan might curry you about once a week ! ” He took a comb from its niche behind a joist and gave her erstwhile coat a rub. Her white hair was flecked all over with small rust-coloured dashes, like India ink put on with a fine brush, and her mane and chase had turned a green chicken. She must be eighteen years honest-to-god, Claude reckoned, as he polished off her cycle, heavy haunches. He and Ralph used to ride her over to the Yoeders ‘ when they were barefooted youngsters, guiding her with a r-2 hamper, and kicking at the leggy colt that was always running aboard .
When he entered the kitchen and asked Mahailey for strong urine to wash his hands, she sniffed him disapprovingly .
“ Why, Mr. Claude, you ‘ve been curryin ‘ that old mare, and you ‘ve got white hairs all over your soldier-clothes. You ‘re jist cover ! ”
If his uniform stirred feel in people of grave judgment, over Mahailey it cast a spell. She was so dazzled by it that all the time Claude was at home she never once managed to examine it in detail. Before she got past his puttees, her powers of observation were befogged by agitation, and her wits began to jump about alike monkeys in a cage. She had expected his uniform to be blasphemous, like those she remembered, and when he walked into the kitchen final night she hardly knew what to make of him. After Mrs. Wheeler explained to her that american english soldiers did n’t wear amobarbital sodium now, Mahailey repeated to herself that these brown university clothes did n’t show the dust, and that Claude would never look like the bedraggled men who used to stop to drink at her mother ‘s spring .
“ Them leather leggins is to keep the briars from scratchin ‘ you, ai n’t they ? I ‘spect there ‘s an awed lot of briars over there, like them long blackberry vines in the fields in Virginia. Your mudder says the soldiers rotter worm now, like they done in our war. You just carry a little bottle of coal-oil in your scoop an ‘ rub it on your steer at night. It keeps the nits from hatchin ‘. ”
Over the flour barrel in the corner Mahailey had tacked a Red Cross post horse ; a charcoal draw of an old womanhood poking with a stick in a pile of poultice and twist timbers that had once been her home. Claude went over to look at it while he dried his hands .
“ Where did you get your word picture ? ”
“ She ‘s over there where you ‘re goin ‘, Mr. Claude. There she is, huntin ‘ for somethin ‘ to cook with ; no stove nor no dishes nor nothin’—everything all broke up. I reckon she ‘ll be mighty beaming to see you comin ‘. ”
heavy footsteps sounded on the stairs, and Mahailey whispered hurriedly, “ Do n’t forgit about the coal-oil, and do n’t you be icky if you can help it, honey. ” She considered plant louse in the lapp class with cruddy jokes, —things to be whispered about .
After breakfast Mr. Wheeler took Claude out to the fields, where Ralph was directing the harvesters. They watched the binder for a while, then went over to look at the haystacks and alfalfa, and walked along the border of the cornfield, where they examined the young ears. Mr. Wheeler explained and exhibited the grow to Claude as if he were a stranger ; the male child had a curious feel of being immediately formally introduced to these acres on which he had worked every summer since he was big enough to carry water system to the harvesters. His father told him how much land they owned, and how much it was deserving, and that it was unencumbered except for a negligible mortgage he had given on one quarter when he took over the Colorado ranch .
“ When you come back, ” he said, “ you and Ralph wo n’t have to hunt around to get into business. You ‘ll both be well fixed. now you’d better go home by erstwhile man Dawson ‘s and drop curtain in to see Susie. Everybody about here was astonished when Leonard went. ” He walked with Claude to the corner where the Dawson land met his own. “ By the way, ” he said as he turned back, “ do n’t forget to go in to see the Yoeders erstwhile. Gus is pretty sensitive since they had him up in woo. Ask for the old grandma. You remember she never learned any English. And now they ‘ve told her it ‘s dangerous to talk german, she do n’t talk at all and hides aside from everybody. If I go by early in the dawn, when she ‘s out weeding the garden, she runs and squats down in the gooseberry bushes till I ‘m out of sight. ”
Claude decided he would go to the Yoeders ‘ nowadays, and to the Dawsons’ tomorrow. He did n’t like to think there might be hard feeling toward him in a house where he had had so many good times, and where he had often found a recourse when things were dull at home. The Yoeder boys had a music-box long before the days of Victrolas, and a charming lantern, and the old grandma made fantastic shadow-pictures on a sheet, and told stories about them. She used to turn the map of Europe upside down on the kitchen table and showed the children how, in this military position, it looked like a Jungfrau ; and recited a long German rhyme which told how Spain was the inaugural ‘s head, the Pyrenees her lace ruff, Germany her heart and bosom, England and Italy were two arms, and Russia, though it looked so boastfully, was only a hoopskirt. This verse would credibly be condemned as dangerous propaganda now !
As he walked on alone, Claude was thinking how this state that had once seemed little and boring to him, now seemed large and rich in variety. During the months in camp he had been wholly absorbed in fresh work and raw friendships, and now his own neighborhood came to him with the novelty of things that have been forgotten for a long while, —came together before his eyes as a harmonious unharmed. He was going away, and he would carry the solid countryside in his judgment, meaning more to him than it ever had before. There was lovely Creek, gurgling on down there, where he and Ernest used to sit and lament that the script of History was finished ; that the earth had come to avaricious old age and noble enterprise was dead for ever. But he was going away. .. .
That afternoon Claude exhausted with his mother. It was the first prison term she had had him to herself. Ralph wanted terribly to stay and hear his brother speak, but understanding how his mother felt, he went rear to the pale yellow field. There was no detail of Claude ‘s life in camp so superficial that Mrs. Wheeler did not want to hear about it. She asked about the mess, the cooks, the laundry, a well as about his own duties. She made him describe the bayonet drill and explain the operation of machine guns and automatic pistol rifles .
“ I hardly see how we can bear the anxiety when our transports begin to sail, ” she said thoughtfully. “ If they can once get you all over there, I am not afraid ; I believe our boys are a full as any in the earth. But with submarines reported off our own coast, I wonder how the Government can get our men across safely. The think of transports going down with thousands of young men on board is something sol terrible— ” she put her hands promptly over her eyes .
Claude, sitting opposite his mother, wondered what it was about her hands that made them so unlike from any others he had ever seen. He had always known they were unlike, but now he must look closely and see why. They were slender, and constantly white, even when the nails were stained at preserving time. Her fingers arched back at the joints, as if they were shrinking from contacts. They were restless, and when she talked much brushed her hair or her dress lightly. When she was excited she sometimes put her hired hand to her throat, or felt about the neck of her gown, as if she were searching for a forget brooch. They were sensitive hands, and however they seemed to have nothing to do with sense, to be about like the groping fingers of a liveliness .
“ How do you boys feel about it ? ”
Claude started. “ About what, Mother ? Oh, the exile ! We don’t worry about that. It ‘s the Government ‘s problem to get us across. A soldier must n’t worry about anything except what he ‘s immediately responsible for. If the Germans should sink a few troop ships, it would be unfortunate, surely, —but it would n’t cut any human body in the long run. The british are perfecting an enormous steerable, built to carry passengers. If our transports are dip, it will entirely mean delay. In another class the Yankees will be flying over. They ca n’t stop us. ”
Mrs. Wheeler flex ahead. “ That must be boys ‘ talk, Claude. surely you do n’t believe such a thing could be feasible ? ”
“ absolutely. The british are depending on their aircraft designers to do good that, if everything else fails. Of naturally, cipher knows even how effective the submarines will be in our casing. ”
Mrs. Wheeler again shaded her eyes with her hand. “ When I was young, back in Vermont, I used to wish that I had lived in the old times when the world went ahead by leaps and bounds. And now, I feel as if my batch could n’t bear the aura that beats upon it. It seems as if we would have to be born with new faculties, to comprehend what is going on in the air and under the sea. ”

XII

THE afternoon sunlight was pouring in at the back window of Mrs. Farmer ‘s farseeing, spotty living room, making the dusky room look like a cavern with a displace at one end of it. The furniture was all in its cool, figured summer cretonnes. The glass bloom vases that stood about on little tables caught the sunlight and twinkled like bantam lamps. Claude had been sitting there for a hanker while, and he knew he ought to go. Through the window at his elbow he could see rows of bivalent hollyhocks, the flat leaves of the sprawling catalpa, and the spires of the embroil batch bed, all transparent in the gold-powdered unhorse. They had talked about everything but the thing he had come to say. As he looked out into the garden he felt that he would never get it out. There was something in the way the mint bed burned and floated that made one a fatalist, —afraid to meddle. But after he was far aside, he would regret ; uncertainty would tease him like a secede in his ovolo .
He rose abruptly and said without apology : “ Gladys, I wish I could feel certain you ‘d never marry my brother. ” She did not reply, but sat in her easy chair, looking up at him with a foreign kind of composure .
“ I know all the advantages, ” he went on hurriedly, “ but they wouldn’t make it up to you. That sort of a—compromise would make you terribly unhappy. I know. ”
“ I do n’t think I shall always marry Bayliss. ” Gladys spoke in her common low, round voice, but her quick breathing showed he had touched something that hurt. “ I suppose I have used him. It gives a school-teacher a sealed prestige if people think she can marry the ample bachelor of the town whenever she wants to. But I am afraid I wo n’t marry him, —because you are the penis of the class I have always admired. ”
Claude turned aside to the window. “ A fine lot I ‘ve been to admire, ” he muttered .
“ well, it ‘s genuine, anyhow. It was like that when we went to High School, and it ‘s kept up. Everything you do constantly seems exciting to me. ”
Claude felt a cold perspiration on his frontal bone. He wished immediately that he had never come. “ But that ‘s it, Gladys. What have I ever done, except make one blurt out after another ? ”
She came complete to the window and stood beside him. “ I do n’t know ; possibly it ‘s by their blunders that one gets to know people, —by what they ca n’t do. If you ‘d been like all the rest, you could have got on in their way. That was the one thing I could n’t have stood. ”
Claude was frowning out into the fiery garden. He had not heard a word of her answer. “ Why did n’t you keep me from making a horse around of myself ? ” he asked in a first gear voice .
“ I think I tried—once. Anyhow, it ‘s all turning out better than I thought. You did n’t get stuck hera. You ‘ve found your place. You ‘re sailing away. You ‘ve just begun. ”
“ And what about you ? ”
She laughed lightly. “ Oh, I shall teach in the high school ! ”
Claude took her hands and they stood looking searchingly at each early in the naiant aureate light up that made everything crystalline. He never knew precisely how he found his hat and made his means out of the family. He was merely certain that Gladys did not accompany him to the door. He glanced back once, and saw her head against the bright window .
She stood there, precisely where he left her, and watched the even come on, not moving, hardly breathing. She was thinking how much, when she came downstairs, she would see him standing here by the window, or moving about in the dusky room, looking at last as he ought to look, —like his convictions and the choice he had made. She would never let this house be sold for taxes now. She would save her wage and pay them off. She could never like any other board sol well as this. It had always been a recourse from Frankfort ; and immediately there would be this vivid, confident calculate, an prototype as clear-cut to her as the portrayal of her grandfather upon the wall .

XIII

SUNDAY was Claude ‘s last day at home, and he took a long walk with Ernest and Ralph. Ernest would have preferred to lose Ralph, but when the boy was out of the harvest airfield he stuck to his brother like a burr. There was something about Claude ‘s new clothes and newly manner that fascinated him, and he went through one of those sudden changes of touch that much occur in families. Although they had been better friends ever since Claude’s wedding, until immediately Ralph had constantly felt a fiddling ashamed of him. Why, he used to ask himself, would n’t Claude “ spruce up and be person ” ? now, he was struck by the fact that he was person .
On Monday good morning Mrs. Wheeler wakened early, with a faintness in her chest of drawers. This was the day on which she must acquit herself well. Breakfast would be Claude ‘s final meal at home. At eleven o’clock his father and Ralph would take him to Frankfort to catch the educate. She was longer than usual in dressing. When she got downstairs Claude and Mahailey were already talking. He was shaving in the wash-room, and Mahailey stood watching him, a side of bacon in her hand .
“ You tell ’em over there I ‘m awed deplorable about them honest-to-god women, with their dishes an ‘ their stave all broke up. ”
“ All veracious. I will. ” Claude scraped off at his chin .
She lingered. “ possibly you can help ’em mend their things, like you do mine fur me, ” she suggested hopefully .
“ possibly, ” he murmured absently .
Mrs. Wheeler opened the step door, and Mahailey dodged back to the stave .
After breakfast Dan went out to the fields with the harvesters. Ralph and Claude and Mr. Wheeler were busy with the car all dawn .
Mrs. Wheeler kept throwing her proscenium over her head and going down the hill to see what they were doing. Whether there was truly something the count with the engine, or whether the men merely made it a guise for being together and keeping away from the house, she did not know. She felt that her presence was not much desired, and at last she went upstairs and abjectly watched them from the sitting-room window. presently she heard Ralph run up to the third floor. When he came down with Claude ‘s bags in his hands, he stuck his head in at the door and shouted cheerfully to his mother :
“ No rush. I ‘m just taking them down thus they ‘ll be cook. ”
Mrs. Wheeler ran after him, calling faintly, “ Wait, Ralph ! Are you sure he ‘s got everything in ? I did n’t hear him packing. ”
“ Everything cook. He says he wo n’t have to go upstairs again. He’ll be along pretty soon. There ‘s lots of time. ” Ralph shot down through the basement .
Mrs. Wheeler sat down in her reading president. They wanted to keep her away, and it was a little selfish of them. Why could n’t they spend these last hours restfully in the sign of the zodiac, rather of dashing in and out to frighten her ? now she could hear the hot water running in the kitchen ; probably Mr. Wheeler had come in to wash his hands. She felt actually excessively weak to get up and go to the west window to see if he were still down at the garage. Waiting was now a matter of seconds, and her breath came short enough as it was .
She recognized a heavy, hob-nailed bang on the stairs, mounting cursorily. When Claude entered, carrying his hat in his hand, she saw by his walk, his shoulders, and the means he held his mind, that the consequence had come, and that he meant to make it curtly. She rose, reaching toward him as he came up to her and caught her in his arms. She was smiling her small, curious inner smile, with half-closed eyes .
“ well, is it adieu ? ” she murmured. She passed her hands over his shoulders, down his strong back and the close sides of his coating, as if she were taking the cast and measure of his mortal human body. Her kuki came barely to his front pocket, and she rubbed it against the heavy fabric. Claude stood looking down at her without speaking a son. abruptly his arms tightened and he about crushed her .
“ mother ! ” he whispered as he kissed her. He ran downstairs and out of the house without looking back .
She struggled up from the president where she had sink and creep to the window ; he was vaulting down the hill arsenic debauched as he could go. He jumped into the car beside his father. Ralph was already at the bicycle, and Claude had barely touched the cushions when they were off. They ran down the creek and over the bridge, then up the long hill on the other side. As they neared the crest of the hill, Claude stood up in the car and looked back at the house, waving his conic hat. She leaned out and strained her sight, but her tears blurred everything. The embrown, good calculate seemed to float out of the car and across the fields, and before he was actually gone, she lost him. She fell back against the window-sill, clutching her temples with both hands, and broke into choke, passionate speech. “ Old eyes, ” she cried, “ why do you betray me ? Why do you cheat me of my last view of my glorious son ! ”

4

BOOK IV

The Voyage of the Anchises

I

A long string of herd cars, the passengers all of the same sexual activity, about of the same age, all dressed and hatted alike, was slowly steaming through the k sea-meadows late on a summer good afternoon. In the cars, ceaseless stretch of cramp legs, shifting of shoulders, striking of matches, pass of cigarettes, groans of boredom ; occasionally concerted laughter about nothing. abruptly the train stops short. Clipped heads and tanned faces pop out at every window. The boy begin to moan and shout ; what is the matter immediately ?
The conductor goes through the cars, saying something about a cargo bust up on ahead ; he has orders to wait here for half an hour. cipher pays any attention to him. A heart murmur of astonishment rises from one english of the train. The boys crowd over to the south windows. At last there is something to look at, —though what they see is indeed queerly quiet that their own exclamations are not very brassy .
Their discipline is lying beside an branch of the ocean that reaches far into the green prop up. At the edge of the still water stand the hulls of four wooden ships, in the process of build. There is no town, there are no smoke-stacks—very few workmen. Piles of lumber lie down about on the grass. A gasoline locomotive under a impermanent shelter is operating a long crane that reaches toss off among the piles of boards and beams, lifts a load, mutely and measuredly swings it over to one of the skeleton vessels, and lowers it somewhere into the body of the inactive matter. Along the sides of the clean hulls a few riveters are at work ; they sit on suspend planks, lowering and raising themselves with pulleys, like house painters. entirely by listening very close can one hear the tap of their hammers. No orders are shouted, no thud of heavy machinery or screech of iron drills tears the air travel. These strange boats seem to be building themselves .
Some of the men got out of the cars and ran along the tracks, asking each other how boats could be built off in the eatage like this. deputy Claude Wheeler stretched his legs upon the opposite buttocks and sat hush at his window, looking down on this strange fit. shipbuilding, he had supposed, mean noise and forges and engines and hosts of men. This was like a dream. nothing but green meadows, voiced grey urine, a floating daze of obscure a little rose-colored from the sink sun, spectre-like seagulls, flying slowly, with the crimson glow tinging their wings—and those four hulls lying in their braces, facing the sea, deliberating by the sea .
Claude knew nothing of ships or shipbuilding, but these craft did not seem to be nailed together, —they seemed all of a piece, like sculpture. They reminded him of the houses not made with hands ; they were like dim-witted and great thoughts, like purposes forming slowly here in the silence beside an placid arm of the Atlantic. He knew nothing about ships, but he did n’t have to ; the determine of those hulls—their potent, inevitable lines—told their story, was their report ; told the whole venture of valet with the sea .
Wooden ships ! When great passions and great aspirations stirred a country, shapes like these formed along its shores to be the sheath of its heroism. Nothing Claude had ever seen or heard or read or thought had made it all therefore clear as these untested wooden bottoms. They were the very momentum, they were the potential work, they were the “ going over, ” the draw arrow, the capital unexpressed war cry, they were Fate, they were tomorrow !. . .
The locomotive squawk to her scatter passengers, like an old turkey-hen calling her brood. The soldier boys came running back along the embankment and leaped aboard the gearing. The conductor shouted they would be in Hoboken in time for supper .
Hoboken ? How many of them were already in France !

II

IT was midnight when the men had got their supper and began unrolling their blankets to sleep on the floor of the long dock waiting-rooms, —which in other days had been thronged by people who came to welcome home-coming friends, or to bid them God-speed to alien shores. Claude and some of his men had tried to look about them ; but there was fiddling to be seen. The bow of a boat, painted in distracting patterns of black and white, rose at one end of the shed, but the water itself was not visible. Down in the cobble-paved street below they watched for awhile the long line of drays and motor trucks that bumped all night into a huge cavern lit by electricity, where crates and barrels and merchandise of all kinds were piled, marked american english Expeditionary Forces ; cases of electric machinery from some factory in Ohio, parts of automobiles, gun-carriages, bath-tubs, hospital supplies, bales of cotton, cases of canned food, grey metallic tanks full of chemical fluids. Claude went bet on to the waiting room, lay down and fell asleep with the limelight of an arc-light fall full moon in his face .
He was called at four in the good morning and told where to report to headquarters. Captain Maxey, stationed at a desk on one of the landings, explained to his lieutenants that their company was to sail at eight o’clock on the Anchises. It was an english boat, an old liner pulled off the australian trade, that could carry alone twenty-five hundred men. The crowd was english, but part of the stores, —the kernel and fresh fruit and vegetables, —were furnished by the United States Government. The Captain had been over the gravy boat during the night, and did n’t like it very well. He had expected to be scheduled for one of the ticket bad Hamburg-American liners, with dining-rooms finished in rosewood, and ventilation plants and cooling plants, and elevators running from crown to bottom like a New York position build. “ however, ” he said, “ we ‘ll have to make the best of it. They ‘re using everything that ‘s got a bottom now. ”
The Company formed for roll-call at one conclusion of the shed, with their packs and rifles. Breakfast was served to them while they waited. After an hour ‘s stand on the concrete, they saw promote signs. Two gangplanks were lowered from the vessel at the end of the slip, and up each of them began to stream a close brown lineage of men in smart service caps. They recognized a company of Kansas Infantry, and began to grumble because their own serve caps had n’t yet been given to them ; they would have to sail in their old Stetsons. soon they were drawn into one of the brown lines that went continuously up the gangways, like belting running over machinery. On the deck one steward directed the men down to the hold, and another conducted the officers to their cabins. Claude was shown to a four-berth stateroom. One of his cabin mates, Lieutenant Fanning, of his own company, was already there, putting his lissome baggage in order. The custodian told them the officers were breakfasting in the din public house .
By seven o’clock all the troops were aboard, and the men were allowed on deck. For the first clock time Claude saw the profile of New York City, rising dilute and grey against an opal-coloured morning flip. The day had come on hot and brumous. The sunlight, though it was now high, was a red testis, streaked across with purple clouds. The tall buildings, of which he had heard sol much, looked insubstantial and illusional, —mere shadows of grey and pinko and blue that might dissolve with the mist and fade away in it. The boys were disappointed. They were western men, accustomed to the intemperate alight of high altitudes, and they wanted to see the city intelligibly ; they could n’t make anything of these uneven towers that rose dimly through the vaporization. Everybody was asking questions. Which of those pale giants was the Singer Building ? Which the Woolworth ? What was the gold dome, dully glinting through the fog ? cipher knew. They agreed it was a pity they could not have had a day in New York before they sailed away from it, and that they would feel foolish in Paris when they had to admit they had never so much as walked up Broadway. Tugs and ferry boats and ember barges were moving up and down the greasy river, —all novel sights to the men. Over in the Cunard and french docks they saw the first base examples of the “ camouflage ” they had heard so much about ; big vessels daubed over in crazy patterns that made the eyes ache, some in black and egg white, some in piano rainbow color .
A tug steamed up aboard and fastened. A few moments later a man appeared on the bridge and began to talk to the captain. Young Fanning, who had stuck to Claude ‘s side, told him this was the fly, and that his arrival meant they were going to start. They could see the bright instruments of a band assembling in the submit .
“ Let ‘s get on the early side, near the track if we can, ” said Fanning. “ The fellows are bunching up over here because they want to look at the Goddess of Liberty as we go out. They do n’t even know this boat turns around the minute she gets into the river. They think she ‘s going over buttocks beginning ! ”
It was not easy to cross the deck ; every inch was covered by a boot. The solid superstructure was coated with brown uniforms ; they clung to the boat davits, the winches, the railings and ventilators, like bees in a teem. just as the vessel was backing away, a breeze form up and cleared the air. Blue flip broke operating expense, and the pale silhouette of buildings on the long island grew sharp and hard. Windows flashed flame-colored in their gray sides, the aureate and bronze tops of towers began to gleam where the sunlight struggled through. The transportation was sliding down toward the point, and to the left the eye caught the silver cobweb of bridges, seen bewilderingly against each other .
“ There she is ! ” “ Hello, old girlfriend ! ” “ Good-bye, sweetheart ! ”
The swarm surged to starboard. They shouted and gesticulated to the effigy they were all looking for, —so much nearer than they had expected to see her, clothe in green folds, with the mist streaming up like smoke behind. For closely every one of those twenty-five hundred boys, as for Claude, it was their first glimpse of the Bartholdi statue. Though she was such a definite image in their minds, they had not imagined her in her put of sea and sky, with the ship of the universe coming and going at her feet, and the moving cloud-masses behind her. Post-card pictures had given them no theme of the energy of her large gesture, or how her ponderousness becomes light among the vaporific elements. “ France gave her to us, ” they kept saying, as they saluted her. Before Claude had got over his first shudder, the Kansas band in the bow began playing “ Over There. ” Two thousand voices took it up, booming out over the water system the gay, indomitable resolution of that dapper air .
A Staten Island ferry-boat passed close under the bow of the transport. The passengers were office-going people, on their way to work, and when they looked up and saw these hundreds of faces, all young, all bronzed and grinning, they began to shout and wave their handkerchief. One of the passengers was an honest-to-god clergyman, a celebrated speaker in his day, now retired, who went over to the City every dawn to write editorials for a church paper. He closed the book he was reading, stood by the rail, and taking off his hat began solemnly to quote from a poet who in his time was still popular. “ Sail on, ” he quavered ,
Thou, too,
sail on, O Ship of State,
Humanity, with all its fears ,
With all its hopes of future years ,
Is hanging breathless on thy destine. ”
As the troop ship glided down the sea lane, the old man still watched it from the turtle-back. That howling swarm of embrown arms and hats and faces looked like nothing but a push of american boys going to a football game somewhere. But the picture was ageless ; youths were sailing aside to die for an mind, a sentiment, for the mere sound of a give voice. .. and on their passing they were making vows to a bronze image in the ocean .

III

ALL the first base morning Tod Fanning showed Claude over the gravy boat, —not that Fanning had always been on anything bigger than a Lake Michigan steamer, but he knew a good manage about machinery, and did not hesitate to ask the deck stewards to explain anything he did n’t know. The stewards, indeed all the crew, struck the boys as an unusually good-natured and obliging fixed of men .
The fourthly resident of number 96, Claude ‘s cabin, had not turned up by noon, nor had any of his belongings, so the three who had settled their few effects there began to hope they would have the place to themselves. It would be crowded adequate, at that. The third bunk was assigned to an officer from the Kansas regiment, Lieutenant Bird, a virginian, who had been working in his uncle ‘s bank in Topeka when he enlisted. He and Claude sat together at batch. When they were at lunch, the Virginian said in his very gentle spokesperson :
“ Lieutenant, I wish you ‘d explain Lieutenant Fanning to me. He seems identical immature. He ‘s been telling me about a submarine destroyer he’s invented, but it looks to me like stupidity. ”
Claude laughed. “ Do n’t try to understand Fanning. Just let him sink in, and you ‘ll come to like him. I used to wonder how he ever got a commission. You never can tell what brainsick thing he ‘ll do. ”
Fanning had, for example, brought on board a pair of white flannel pants, his first and only bespoke trousers, because he had a forewarning that the gravy boat would make an english port and that he would be asked to a garden party ! He had a way of using big words in the amiss place, not because he tried to show off, but because all words sounded alike to him. In the first base days of their acquaintance in camp he told Claude that this was a fail he could n’t help, and that it was called “ anesthesia. ” sometimes this fail was confusing ; when Fanning pithily declared that he would like to be on pass when the Crown Prince settled his little account with Plato, Claude was perplexed until subsequent witticisms revealed that the boy mean Pluto .
At three o’clock there was a dance band concert on pack of cards. Claude fell into lecture with the bandmaster, and was delighted to find that he came from Hillport, Kansas, a town where Claude had once been with his father to buy cattle, and that all his fourteen men came from Hillport. They were the town dance band, had enlisted in a body, had gone into training in concert, and had never been separated. One was a printer who helped to get out the Hillport Argus every week, another clerked in a grocery shop, another was the son of a german lookout mender, one was calm in High School, one worked in an automobile livery. After supper Claude found them all in concert, very much concerned in their inaugural flush at sea, and arguing as to whether the sunset on the water system was equally fine as those they saw every night in Hillport. They hung together in a quiet, determined way, and if you began to talk to one, you soon found that all the others were there .
When Claude and Fanning and Lieutenant Bird were undressing in their narrow-minded quarters that nox, the fourth berth was even unclaimed. They were in their bunks and about asleep, when the missing man came in and unceremoniously turned on the light. They were astonished to see that he wore the uniform of the Royal Flying Corps and carried a cane. He seemed very youthful, but the three who peeped out at him felt that he must be a person of consequence. He took off his coat with the outspread wings on the choker, wound his determine, and brushed his tooth with an air of special personal importance. soon after he had turned out the light and climbed into the berth over Lieutenant Bird, a heavy smack of rum scatter in the near air .
Fanning, who slept under Claude, kicked the sagging mattress above him and stuck his head out. “ Hullo, Wheeler ! What have you got up there ? ”
“ nothing. ”
“ nothing smells reasonably full to me. I ‘ll have some with anybody that asks me. ”
No reaction from any quarter. Bird, the Virginian, murmured, “ Don’t make a row, ” and they went to sleep .
In the dawn, when the bath steward came, he edged his way into the narrow cabin and poked his question into the berth over Bird ‘s. “ I’m regretful, sir, I ‘ve made careful search for your baggage, and it ‘s not to be found, sir. ”
“ I tell you it must be found, ” fumed a cranky voice disk overhead. “ I brought it over from the St. Regis myself in a taxi. I saw it standing on the pier with the officers ‘ baggage, —a black cabin luggage compartment with V.M. lettered on both ends. Get after it. ”

The steward smiled discreetly. He probably knew that the aviator had come on board in a submit which precluded any very accurate observation on his separate. “ very well, sir. Is there anything I can get you for the present ? ”
“ You can take this shirt out and have it laundered and bring it back to me tonight. I ‘ve no linen in my base. ”
“ Yes, sir. ” Claude and Fanning got on deck arsenic promptly as possible and find scores of their comrades already there, pointing to darkness smudges of roll of tobacco along the clear horizon. They knew that these vessels had come from strange ports, some of them army for the liberation of rwanda away, steaming there under orders known entirely to their commanders. They would all arrive within a few hours of each other at a given spot on the come on of the ocean. There they would fall into position, flanked by their destroyers, and would proceed in orderly formation, without changing their relative positions. Their date would not leave them until they were joined by gunboats and destroyers off whatever coast they were bound for, —what that coast was, not even their own officers knew as however .
late in the morning this confluence was actually accomplished. There were ten troop ships, some of them very big boats, and six destroyers. The men stood about the unharmed good morning, gazing entrance at their sister transports, trying to find out their names, guessing at their capacity. Tanned as they already were, their lips and noses began to blister under the fiery sunlight. After long months of intensive discipline, the sudden drop into an idle, soothing universe was grateful to them. Though their pasts were neither retentive or varied, most of them, like Claude Wheeler, felt a sense of relief at being rid of all they had ever been earlier and facing something absolutely new. Said Tod Fanning, as he lounged against the rail, “ Whoever likes it can run for a discipline every dawn, and grind his days out in a Westinghouse works ; but not for me any more ! ”
The virginian joined them. “ That Englishman ai n’t got out of bed so far. I reckon he ‘s been liquouring up reasonably steady. The identify smells like a bar. The room steward was just coming out, and he winked at me. He was slipping something in his pocket, looked like a bill. ”
Claude was curious, and went down to the cabin. As he entered, the air-man, lying half-dressed in his upper berth mooring, raised himself on one elbow and looked down at him. His bluing eyes were contracted and arduous, his curly haircloth disordered, but his boldness were arsenic pink as a girlfriend ‘s, and the little chicken humming-bird mustache on his upper lip was twisted sharp .
“ You ‘re missing fine weather, ” said Claude affably .
“ Oh, there ‘ll be a capital distribute of weather before we get over, and damned small of anything else ! ” He drew a bottle from under his pillow. “ Have a jap ? ”
“ I do n’t mind if I do, ” Claude put out his hired hand. The other laugh and sank back on his pillow, drawling idly, “ Brave boy ! Go ahead ; drink to the Kaiser. ”
“ Why to him in particular ? ”
“ It ‘s not finical. Drink to Hindenburg, or the high Command, or anything else that got you out of the cornfield. That ‘s where they did get you, did n’t they ? ”
“ well, it ‘s a commodity estimate, anyhow. Where did they get you ? ”
“ crystal Lake, Iowa. I think that was the place. ” He yawned and folded his hands over his stomach. “ Why, we thought you were an Englishman. ”
“ not quite. I ‘ve served in His Majesty ‘s army two years, though. ”
“ Have you been flying in France ? ”
“ Yes. I ‘ve been back and forth all the time, England and France. now I ‘ve wasted two months at Fort Worth. Instructor. That ‘s not my occupation. I may have been sent over as a reprimand. You ca n’t tell about my colonel, though ; may have been his way of getting me out of danger. ” Claude glanced up at him, shocked at such an idea. The young homo in the moor smiled with listless compassion. “ Oh, I do n’t mean Boche planes ! There are dangers and dangers. You ‘ll find you got bally little information about this war, where they trained you. They don’t communicate any details of importance. Going ? ”
Claude had n’t intended to, but at this suggestion he pulled back the doorway .
“ One moment, ” called the aviator. “ Ca n’t you keep that leggy ass who bunks under you quiet ? ”
“ Fanning ? He ‘s a good child. What ‘s the topic with him ? ”
“ His general ignorance and his insufferably familiar tone, ” snapped the other as he turned over .
Claude found Fanning and the virginian act checkers, and told them that the mysterious air-man was a mate countryman. Both seemed disappoint .
“ Pshaw ! ” exclaimed Lieutenant Bird .
“ He ca n’t put on airs with me, after that, ” Fanning declared. “ crystal lake ! Why, it ‘s no township at all ! ”
All the lapp, Claude wanted to find out how a young from Crystal Lake ever became a extremity of the Royal Flying Corps. already, from among the hundreds of strangers, half-a-dozen stood out as men he was determined to know better. Taking them all in all the men were a fine spy as they lounged about the decks in the sunlight, the petit larceny rivalries and jealousies of camp days forgotten. Their youth seemed to flow together, like their brown university uniforms. Seen in the mass like this, Claude thought, they were quite lord looking fellows. In therefore many of the faces there was a count of ticket fairness, an formula of cheerful anticipation and convinced grace .
There was on display panel a lone Marine, with the stripes of Border service on his coat. He had been sick in the Navy Hospital in Brooklyn when his regiment sailed, and was now going over to join it. He was a young boyfriend, preferably pale from his late illness, but he was precisely Claude ‘s idea of what a soldier ought to look like. His center followed the Marine about all day .
The young serviceman ‘s name was Albert Usher, and he came from a little township up in the Wind River mountains, in Wyoming, where he had worked in a log camp. He told Claude these facts when they found themselves standing side by side that evening, watching the broad purple sunlight go down into a violet coloured sea .
It was the hour when the farmers at base drive their teams in after the day ‘s work. Claude was thinking how his mother would be standing at the west window every even now, watching the sun go down and following him in her mind. When the young Marine came up and joined him, he confessed to a pang of homesickness .
“ That ‘s a kind of nausea I do n’t have to wrastle with, ” said Albert Usher. “ I was left an orphan on a lonely ranch, when I was nine, and I ‘ve looked out for myself ever since. ”
Claude glanced sideways at the male child ‘s fine-looking oral sex, that came up from his neck with clean, hard lines, and thought he had done a pretty full subcontract for himself. He could not have said precisely what it was he liked about young Usher ‘s face, but it seemed to him a face that had gone through things, —that had been trained down like his body, and had developed a definite character. What Claude thought due to a manly, adventurous biography, was truly due to well-shaped bones ; Usher ‘s confront was more “ modelled ” than most of the healthy countenances about him .
When questioned, the Marine went on to say that though he had no home of his own, he had always happened to fall on his feet, among kind people. He could go back to any firm in Pinedale or Du Bois and be welcomed like a son .
“ I suppose there are kind women everywhere, ” he said, “ but in that respect Wyoming ‘s got the rest of the worldly concern outwit. I never felt the lack of a home. immediately the U. S. Marines are my family. Wherever they are, I ‘m at home. ”
“ Were you at Vera Cruz ? ” Claude asked .
“ I guess ! We thought that was quite a small party at the time, but I suppose it will seem little potatoes when we get over there. I’m figuring on seeing some first-rate scrap. How long have you been in the united states army ? ”
“ year ago last April. I ‘ve had hard luck about getting over. They kept me jumping about to train men. ”
“ then yours is all to come. Are you a college graduate ? ”
“ No. I went away to school, but I did n’t finish. ”
usher frowned at the gold path on the water where the sun lay half-submerged, like a boastful, insomniac eye, close. “ I constantly wanted to go to college, but I never managed it. A man in Laramie offered to post me to a course in the University there, but I was excessively restless. I guess I was ashamed of my handwrite. ” He paused as if he had run against some erstwhile regret. A consequence late he said abruptly, “ Can you parlez-vous ? ”
“ No. I know a few words, but I ca n’t put them in concert. ”
“ like here. I expect to pick up some. I pinched quite a little spanish down on the Border. ”
By this clock time the sun had disappeared, and all over the west the yellow flip came toss off evenly, like a gold curtain, on the still sea that seemed to have solidified into a slab of darkness gloomy stone, —not a twinkle on its immobile coat. Across its dark-skinned eloquence were two hanker smears of pale greens, like a robin’s egg .
“ Do you like the water ? ” Usher asked, in the tone of a civilized host. “ When I first shipped on a cabin cruiser I was crazy about it. I still am. But, you know, I like them previous bald mountains back in Wyoming, excessively. There ‘s waterfalls you can see twenty dollar bill miles off from the plains ; they look like white sheets or something, hanging up there on the cliffs. And down in the pine woods, in the cold stream, there’s trout ampere long as my fore-arm. ”
That evening Claude was on deck, about alone ; there was a concert down in the guard board. To the west dense clouds had come up, moving so moo that they flapped over the water like a black wash hanging on the line .
The music sounded well from below. Four swedish boys from the scandinavian village at Lindsborg, Kansas, were singing “ Long, Long Ago. ” Claude listened from a sheltered spot in the buttocks. What were they, and what was he, doing hera on the Atlantic ? Two years ago he had seemed a fellow for whom life was over ; driven into the ground like a post, or like those chinese criminals who are planted upright in the earth, with only their heads left out for birds to peck at and insects to sting. All his comrades had been tucked away in prairie towns, with their little jobs and their short plans. Yet here they were, attended by strange ships called in from the four quarters of the worldly concern. How had they come to be worth the watchfulness and idolatry of so many men and machines, this excessive pulmonary tuberculosis of fuel and energy ? Taken one by one, they were average fellows like himself. Yet hera they were. And in this mass and apparent motion of men there was nothing base or coarse ; he was sure of that. It was, from foremost to last, unanticipated, about incredible. Four years ago, when the french were holding the Marne, the wisest men in the world had not conceived of this as possible ; they had reckoned with every accident but this. Out of these stones can my Father raise up seed unto Abraham .
Downstairs the men began singing “ Annie Laurie. ” Where were those summer evenings when he used to sit dumb by the windmill, wondering what to do with his life ?

IV

THE morning of the third base day ; Claude and the Virginian and the Marine were up very early, standing in the bow, watching the Anchises mount the fresh-blowing hills of water, her bow, as it rose and fell, always a dull triangle against the glitter. Their escorts looked like dream ships, easy and changeable as shell in the pearl-coloured tints of the dawn. only the dark smudges of fastball told that they were mechanical realities with stokers and engines .
While the three stand there, a sergeant fetch Claude son that two of his men would have to report at sick-call. Corporal Tannhauser had had such an attack of nose-bleed during the night that the Sergeant thought he might die before they got it stopped. Tannhauser was up nowadays, and in the breakfast wrinkle, but the Sergeant was sure he ought not to be. This Fritz Tannhauser was the tallest homo in the company, a german-american son who, when asked his name, normally said that his appoint was Dennis and that he was of irish origin. flush this morning he tried to joke, and pointing to his big crimson face told Claude he thought he had measles. “ only they ai n’t german measles, Lieutenant, ” he insisted .
medical inspection took a farseeing while that dawn. There seemed to be an outbreak of sickness on board. When Claude brought his two men up to the Doctor, he told them to go below and get into bed. As they left he turned to Claude .
“ Give them hot tea, and down army blankets on them. Make them sweat if you can. ”
Claude remarked that the hold was n’t a very cheerful target for pale men .
“ I know that, Lieutenant, but there are a number of vomit men this dawn, and the only other doctor on circuit board is the nauseated of the set. There ‘s the ship ‘s doctor, of course, but he ‘s entirely creditworthy for the crew, and so far he does n’t seem interest. I ‘ve got to overhaul the hospital and the medical stores this good morning. ”
“ Is there an epidemic of some sort ? ”
“ well, I hope not. But I ‘ll have batch to do today, then I count on you to look after those two. ” The Doctor was a New Englander who had joined them at Hoboken. He was a bracing, clean-cut man, with piercing eyes, clear features, and grey hair equitable the color of his pale side. Claude felt at once that he knew his business, and he went below to carry out instructions adenine well as he could .
When he came up from the defy, he saw the aviator—whose name, he had learned, was Victor Morse—smoking by the rail. This cabin-mate silent piqued his curiosity .
“ first gear time you ‘ve been up, is n’t it ? ”
The aviator was looking at the distant smoke plumes over the vibration, bright water. “ Time enough. I wish I knew where we are heading for. It will be terribly awkward for me if we make a french port. ”
“ I thought you said you were to report in France. ”
“ I am. But I want to report in London beginning. ” He continued to gaze off at the paint ships. Claude noticed that in standing he held his kuki identical high. His eyes, now that he was quite drab, were brilliantly young and daring ; they seemed contemptuous of things about him. He held himself prominently aside, as if he were not among his own kind. Claude had seen a capture crane, tied by its leg to a chicken coop, behave precisely like that among Mahailey ‘s chickens ; hold its wings to its sides, and move its head about quickly and glare .
“ I suppose you have friends in London ? ” he asked .
“ preferably ! ” the aviator replied with touch .
“ Do you like it better than Paris ? ”
“ I should n’t imagine anything was much better than London. I ‘ve not been in Paris ; constantly went home when I was on leave. They work us pretty hard. In the infantry and artillery our men get alone a fortnight off in twelve months. I understand the Americans have leased the Riviera, —recuperated at Nice and Monte Carlo. The only Cook ‘s enlistment we had was Gallipoli, ” he added grimly .
Victor had gone a thoroughly way toward acquiring an english emphasis, the boys thought. At least he said ‘necess’ry ‘ and ‘dysent’ry ‘ and called his suspenders ‘braces. ‘ He offered Claude a cigarette, remarking that his cigars were in his lost trunk .
“ Take one of mine. My brother sent me two boxes equitable before we sailed. I ‘ll put a box in your bunk adjacent prison term I go down. They’re good ones. ”
The young man turned and looked him over with storm. “ I say, that ‘s very decent of you ! Yes, thank you, I will. ”
Claude had tried yesterday, when he lent Victor some shirts, to make him talk about his forward pass adventures, but upon that subjugate he was adenine close as a clam. He admitted that the hanker loss scratch on his amphetamine branch had been drilled by a sharpshooter from a german Fokker, but added hurriedly that it was of no consequence, as he had made a good land. now, on the lastingness of the cigars, Claude thought he would probe a little further. He asked whether there was anything in the lost proboscis that could n’t be replaced, anything “ valuable. ”
“ There ‘s one thing that ‘s positively invaluable ; a Zeiss lens, in perfect discipline. I ‘ve got several good photographic outfits from time to time, but the lenses are always cracked by hotness, —the things normally come down on fire. This one I got out of a plane I brought down up at Bar-le-Duc, and there ‘s not a boodle on it ; merely a miracle. ”
“ You get all the loot when you bring down a machine, do you ? ” Claude asked encouragingly .
“ Of class. I ‘ve a good solicitation ; altimeters and compasses and glasses. This lens I always carry with me, because I ‘m afraid to leave it anywhere. ”
“ I suppose it makes a fellow feel pretty fine to bring down one of those german planes. ”
“ sometimes. I brought down one excessively many, though ; it was very unpleasant. ” Victor paused, frowning. But Claude ‘s open, credulous face was excessively a lot for his reserve. “ I brought down a woman once. She was a gutsy monster, flew a scout machine and had bothered us a bit, going over our lines. naturally, we did n’t know it was a womanhood until she came down. She was crushed underneath things. She lived a few hours and dictated a letter to her people. I went out and dropped it inside their lines. It was filthy business. I was quite knocked out. I got a fortnight ‘s leave in London, though. Wheeler, ” he broke out suddenly, “ I wish I knew we were going therenow ! ”
“ I ‘d like it well adequate if we were. ”
Victor shrugged. “ I should hope therefore ! ” He turned his kuki in Claude’s direction. “ See here, if you like, I ‘ll show you London ! It ‘s a promise. Americans never see it, you know. They sit in a Y hovel and write to their Pollyannas, or they go round hunt for the Tower. I’ll appearance you a city that ‘s alert ; that is, unless you ‘ve a preference for museums. ”
His hearer laughed. “ No, I want to see life, as they say. ”
“ Umph ! I ‘d like to set you down in some places I can think of. Very well, I invite you to dine with me at the Savoy, the foremost nox we’re in London. The curtain will rise on this global for you. cipher admitted who is n’t in evening dress. The jewels will dazzle you. Actresses, duchesses, all the handsomest women in Europe. ”
“ But I thought London was dark and glooming since the war. ”
Victor smiled and teased his small straw-colored mustache with his thumb and center feel. “ There are a few bright spots left, thank you ! ” He began to explain to a novice what life at the front was in truth wish. cipher who had seen serve talked about the war, or thought about it ; it was merely a stipulate under which they lived. Men talked about the particular regiment they were jealous of, or the prefer class that was put in for all the show crusade. Everybody thought about his own game, his personal life that he managed to keep going in hurt of discipline ; his future leave, how to get champagne without paying for it, dodging the guard, getting into scrapes with women and getting out again. “ Are you quick with your french ? ” he asked .
Claude grinned. “ not specially. ”
“ You ‘d better brush up on it if you want to do anything with french girls. I hear your M.P. ‘s are identical rigid. You must be able to toss the son the moment you see a surround, and make your date before the guard gets onto you. ”
“ I suppose french girls have n’t any scruples ? ” Claude remarked incautiously .
Victor shrugged his narrow shoulders. “ I have n’t found that girls have many, anywhere. When we Canadians were training in England, we all had our weekend wives. I believe the girls in Crystal Lake used to be more or less finical, —but that ‘s long ago and far away. You wo n’t have any difficulty. ”
When Victor was in the middle of a narrative of amative venture, a little different from any Claude had ever heard, Tod Fanning joined them. The aviator did not acknowledge the bearing of a modern hearer, but when he had finished his narrative, walked away with his extra groovy, his eyes fixed upon the distance .
Fanning looked after him with disgust. “ Do you believe him ? I don’t think he ‘s any such heart-smasher. I like his nerve, calling you ‘Leftenant ‘ ! When he speaks to me he ‘ll have to say Lootenant, or I ‘ll spoil his smasher. ”
That day the men remembered long subsequently, for it was the end of the all right weather, and of those first long, care-free days at sea. In the afternoon Claude and the young Marine, the Virginian and Fanning, sat in concert in the sun watching the water scoop itself out in hollows and atomic pile itself up in blue, rolling hills. Usher was telling his companions a long story about the landing of the Marines at Vera Cruz .
“ It ‘s a capital old town, ” he concluded. “ One thing there I ‘ll never forget. Some of the natives took a few of us out to the old prison that stands on a rock in the sea. We put in the hale day there, and it was n’t any tourist usher, believe me ! We went devour into dungeons underneath the water, where they used to keep department of state prisoners, kept them buried alert for years. We saw all the old instruments of anguish ; out of practice cast-iron cages where a man could n’t lie down or stand up, but had to sit flex over till he grew crooked. It made you feel queer when you came up, to think how people had been left to rot aside down there, when there was so much sun and water away. Seems like something used to be the count with the earth. ” He said no more, but Claude thought from his serious expect that he believed he and his countrymen who were pouring over-seas would help to change all that ; the old dungeons and cages would be broken open for always. The visualize of a black prison, lying out in a blue Gulf, lingered in his mind, and he felt as if he had been there .

V

TTHAT night the Virginian, who berthed under Victor Morse, had an alarming attack of nose-bleed, and by good morning he was thus unaccented that he had to be carried to the hospital. The Doctor said they might angstrom well face the facts ; a flagellate of influenza had broken out on display panel, of a peculiarly bloody and malignant type.1 Everybody was a short frighten. Some of the officers shut themselves up in the smoking-room, and drink in whiskey and pop and played poker all day, as if they could keep infection out .
lieutenant Bird died late in the afternoon and was buried at sunrise the following day, sewed up in a tarpaulin, with an eighteen lumber beat at his feet. The good morning broke brilliantly clear and piercingly cold. The sea was rolling blue walls of water, and the boat was raked by a wind angstrom acute as internal-combustion engine. Excepting those who were vomit, the boys turned out to a man. It was the first base burying at sea they had ever witnessed, and they could n’t help finding it concern. The Chaplain read the burying service while they stood with uncover heads. The Kansas band played a grave march, the swedish quartet sang a hymn. Many a man turned his face away when that brown dismissal was lowered into the cold, leaping indigo ridges that seemed so barren of anything friendly to human kind. In a moment it was done, and they steamed on without him .

The glittering walls of urine kept rolling in, indigo, imperial, more brilliant than on the days of balmy weather. The blinding sunlight did not temper the cold, which cut the face and made the lungs ache. Landsmen began to have that abject sense of being where they were never meant to be. The son lay in heaps on the deck, trying to keep strong by hugging each early close. Everybody was airsick. Fanning went to bed with his clothes on, so brainsick he could n’t take off his boots. Claude lay in the crowded stern, besides cold, besides faint to move. The sunlight poured over them like flare, without any quilt in it. The impregnable, curling, foam-crested waves threw off the light like millions of mirrors, and their discolor was about more than the eye could bear. The water seemed denser than ahead, big like mellow glass, and the foam on the edges of each blue ridge looked sharp as crystals. If a man should fall into them, he would be cut to pieces .
The whole ocean seemed abruptly to have come to animation, the waves had a malignant, elegant, mesomorphic energy, were animated by a kind of mocking cruelty. merely a few hours ago a gentle male child had been thrown into that freeze water and forget. Yes, already forgotten ; every one had his own miseries to think about .
former in the afternoon the wind fell, and there was a black sunset. Across the red west a small, rag black cloud hurried, —then another, and another. They came up out of the sea, —wild, witchlike shapes that travelled fast and met in the west as if summoned for an evil conclave. They hung there against the afterglow, discrete black shapes, drawing together, devising something. The few men who were left on deck felt that no estimable could come out of a flip like that. They wished they were at home, in France, anywhere but here .

VI

THE next good morning Doctor Trueman asked Claude to help him at sick call. “ I ‘ve got a bunch of sergeants taking temperatures, but it ‘s excessively much for one world to oversee. I do n’t want to ask anything of those dandy officers who sit in there playing poker all the time. Either they ‘ve got no conscience, or they ‘re not awake to the gravity of the situation. ”
The Doctor stood on pack of cards in his raincoat, his infantry on the rail to keep his equilibrium, writing on his knee as the long string of men came up to him. There were more than seventy in the production line that morning, and some of them looked as if they ought to be in a dry topographic point. Rain beat down on the sea like jumper cable bullets. The old Anchises floundered from one grey ridge to another, quite alone. Fog cut off the cheering sight of the sister ships. The Doctor had to leave his post from fourth dimension to time, when seasickness got the better of his will. Claude, at his elbow, was noting down names and temperatures. In the middle of his work he told the sergeants to manage without him for a few minutes. Down near the end of the line he had seen one of his own men misconducting himself, snivelling and crying like a baby, —a fine beefy boy of eighteen who had never given any fuss. Claude made a dart for him and clapped him on the shoulder .
“ If you ca n’t stop that, Bert Fuller, get where you wo n’t be seen. I do n’t want all these English stewards standing around to watch an american soldier cry. I never hear of such a thing ! ”
“ I ca n’t help it, Lieutenant, ” the boy blubbered. “ I ‘ve kept it back just a long as I can. I ca n’t hold in any longer ! ”
“ What ‘s the matter with you ? Come over here and sit down on this box and tell me. ”
individual Fuller willingly let himself be led, and dropped on the box. “ I ‘m indeed sick, lieutenant ! ”
“ I ‘ll see how nauseated you are. ” Claude stuck a thermometer into his mouth, and while he waited, sent the deck shop steward to bring a cup of tea. “ merely as I thought, Fuller. You ‘ve not half a degree of fever. You ‘re scared, and that ‘s all. now drink this tea. I expect you did n’t eat any breakfast. ”
“ No, sir. I ca n’t eat the frightful stuff on this boat. ”
“ It is pretty regretful. Where are you from ? ”
“ I ‘m from P-P-Pleasantville, improving on the P-P-Platte, ” the boy gulped, and his tears began to flow afresh .
“ well, now, what would they think of you, back there ? I suppose they got the dance band out and made a dither over you when you went away, and thought they were sending off a fine soldier. And I ‘ve constantly thought you ‘d be a first-rate soldier. I guess we ‘ll forget about this. You feel well already, do n’t you ? ”
“ Yes, sir. This tastes amazing estimable. I ‘ve been so ghastly to my stomach, and final night I got pains in my chest. All my crowd is sick, and you took big Tannhauser, I mean Corporal, away to the hospital. It looks like we ‘re all going to die out here. ”
“ I know it ‘s a short glooming. But do n’t you shame me before these english stewards. ”
“ I wo n’t do it again, sir, ” he promised .
When the aesculapian inspection was over, Claude took the Doctor down to see Fanning, who had been coughing and wheezing all night and hadn’t got out of his berth. The examination was short. The Doctor knew what was the count before he put the stethoscope on him. “ It’s pneumonia, both lungs, ” he said when they came out into the corridor. “ I have one casing in the hospital that will die before good morning. ”
“ What can you do for him, Doctor ? ” “ You see how I ‘m fixed ; close up onto two hundred men ill, and one doctor of the church. The medical supplies are wholly inadequate. There ‘s not castor anoint enough on this boat to keep the men clean inside. I ‘m using my own drugs, but they won’t last through an epidemic like this. I ca n’t do much for Lieutenant Fanning. You can, though, if you ‘ll give him the time. You can take better care of him correct here than he could get in the hospital. We have n’t an empty bed there. ”
Claude found Victor Morse and told him he had better get a position in one of the other staterooms. When Victor left with his belongings, Fanning stared after him. “ Is he going ? ”
“ Yes. It ‘s besides crowded in here, if you ‘ve got to stay in bed. ”
“ Glad of it. His stories are besides crude for me. I ‘m no effeminate, but that fellow ‘s a regular Don Quixote. ”
Claude laughed. “ You must n’t talk. It makes you cough. ”
“ Where ‘s the virginian ? ”
“ Who, Bird ? ” Claude asked in astonishment, —Fanning had stood beside him at Bird ‘s funeral. “ Oh, he ‘s gone, besides. You sleep if you can. ”
After dinner Doctor Trueman came in and showed Claude how to give his affected role an alcohol bath. “ It ‘s simply a question of whether you can keep up his lastingness. Do n’t try any of this greasy food they serve here. Give him a sensitive egg beaten up in the juice of an orange every two hours, night and day. Waken him out of his sleep when it ‘s time, do n’t miss a unmarried two-hour period. I ‘ll write an order to your table shop steward, and you can beat the eggs up here in your cabin. now I must go to the hospital. It ‘s fantastic what those band boys are doing there. I begin to take some pride in the place. That big German has been asking for you. He ‘s in a very bad way. ”
As there were no nurses on board, the Kansas band had taken over the hospital. They had been trained for stretcher and first gear care work, and when they realized what was happening on the Anchises, the bandmaster came to the Doctor and offered the services of his men. He chose nurses and orderlies, divided them into night and day shifts .
When Claude went to see his Corporal, big Tannhauser did not recognize him. He was quite out of his read/write head and was conversing with his own class in the linguistic process of his early childhood. The Kansas boys had singled him out for special attention. The mere fact that he kept talking in a spit forbidden on the surface of the seas, made him seem more friendless and alone than the others .
From the hospital Claude went down into the retain where half-a-dozen of his company were lying ill. The hold was damp and moldy as an erstwhile root cellar, so steeped in the smells and escape of countless dirty cargoes that it could not be made or keep clean. There was about no public discussion, and the air was fetid with sickness and effort and vomit. Two of the band boys were working in the malodor and dirt, helping the stewards. Claude stayed to lend a hand until it was time to give Fanning his nourishment. He began to see that the wrist watch, which he had so far despised as effeminate and had carried in his pouch, might be a very useful article. After he had made Fanning swallow his egg, he piled all the available blankets on him and opened the port to give the cabin an vent. While the fresh wind blow in, he sat down on the edge of his mooring and tried to collect his wits. What had become of those first days of golden weather, leisure and good-comradeship ? The ring concerts, the Lindsborg Quartette, the inaugural excitement and knickknack of being at sea : all that had gone by like a ambition .
That night when the Doctor came in to see Fanning, he threw his stethoscope on the bed and said tiredly, “ It ‘s a wonder that instrument does n’t take root in my ears and grow there. ” He sat down and sucked his thermometer for a few minutes, then held it out for inspection. Claude looked at it and told him he ought to go to bed .
“ then who ‘s to be up and around ? No seam for me, tonight. But I will have a hot bathe by and by. ”
Claude asked why the embark ‘s doctor did n’t do anything and added that he must be equally little as he looked .
“ Chessup ? No, he ‘s not half bad when you get to know him. He ‘s given me a lot of avail about preparing medicines, and it ‘s a big aid to talk the cases over with him. He ‘ll do anything for me except immediately handle the patients. He does n’t want to exceed his authority. It seems the english marine is very particular about such things. He ‘s a canadian, and he graduated first in his class at Edinburgh. I gather he was frozen out in private practice. You see, his appearance is against him. It ‘s an atrocious handicap to look like a kid and be a shy as he is. ”
The Doctor rose, shored up his shoulders and took his bag. “ You’re looking fine yourself, Lieutenant, ” he remarked. “ Parents both know ? Were they quite young when you were born ? Well, then their parents were, probably. I ‘m a crank about that. Yes, I ‘ll get my bathe reasonably soon, and I will lie down for an hour or two. With those glorious band boys running the hospital, I get a little lee-way. ”
Claude wondered how the Doctor kept going. He knew he had n’t had more than four hours sleep out of the end forty-eight, and he was not a man of rugged constitution. His bathroom shop steward was, as he said, his comfort. Hawkins was an old fellow who had held better positions on better boats, —yes, in better times, besides. He had first gone to sea as a bath steward, and now, through the fortunes of war, he had come back where he began, —not a good place for an old homo. His back was bent humbly, and he shuffled along with break arches. He looked after the comfort of all the officers, and attended the sophisticate like a valet ; got out his clean linen, persuaded him to lie down and have a hot beverage after his bathtub, stood on guard at his door to take messages for him in the short-change hours when he was resting. Hawkins had lost two sons in the war and he seemed to find a grave consolation in being of service to soldiers. “ Take it a snatch easy nowadays, sir. You ‘ll ‘ave it ‘ard adequate over there, ” he used to say to one and another .
At football team o’clock one of the Kansas men came to tell Claude that his Corporal was going debauched. Big Tann-hauser ‘s fever had left him, but therefore had everything else. He lay in a grogginess. His congested eyeballs were rolled back in his head and only the yellow whites were visible. His sass was open and his tongue hang out at one side. From the end of the corridor Claude had heard the frightful sounds that came from his throat, sounds like violent vomit, or the choke rattle of a man in choking, —and, indeed, he was being strangled. One of the ring boys brought Claude a camp professorship, and said charitable, “ He does n’t suffer. It ‘s mechanical nowadays. He ‘d go easy if he had n’t so much animation. The Doctor says he may have a few moments of consciousness just at the last, if you want to stay. ”
“ I ‘ll go down and give my individual affected role his egg, and then I ‘ll come back. ” Claude went away and returned, and sat snooze by the layer. After three o’clock the noise of struggle ceased ; immediately the huge figure on the bed became again his good-natured bodied. The mouth closed, the glassy jellies were once more see, intelligent human eyes. The front lost its well up, beastly look and was again the grimace of a friend. It was about incredible that anything sol far gone could come back. He looked up wistfully at his Lieutenant as if to ask him something. His eyes filled with tears, and he turned his capitulum away a little .
“ Mein ‘ arme mumble ! “ he whispered distinctly .
A few moments late he died in perfect dignity, not struggling under torment, but consciously, it seemed to Claude, —like a brave male child giving back what was not his to keep .
Claude returned to his cabin, roused Fanning once more, and then threw himself upon his tipping nonsense. The boat seemed to wallow and sprawl in the waves, as he had seen animals do on the farm when they gave birth to young. How helpless the old vessel was come out of the closet hera in the ram seas, and how much misery she carried ! He lay looking up at the out of practice water pipes and unpainted joinings. This liner was in truth the “ Old Anchises ” ; even the carpenters who made her over for the avail had not thought her worth the perturb, and had done their worst by her. The new partitions were hung to the joists by a few nails .
Big Tannhauser had been one of those who were most anxious to sail. He used to grin and say, “ France is the only climate that ‘s healthy for a world with a mention like mine. ” He had waved his adieu to the double in the New York harbor with the rest, believed in her like the rest. He merely wanted to serve. It seemed hard .
When Tannhauser beginning came to camp he was confused all the time, and could n’t remember instructions. Claude had once stepped him out in front of the line and reprimanded him for not knowing his right side from his left. When he looked into the case, he found that the colleague was not eating anything, that he was ill from homesickness. He was one of those farmer boys who are afraid of town. The giant baby of a long family, he had never slept away from home a nox in his life before he enlisted .
Corporal Tannhauser, along with four others, was buried at dawn. No band this time ; the Chaplain was ill, so one of the young captains read the service. Claude stood by watching until the sailors shot one chemise, longer by half a foot than the early four, into a lead-colored chasm in the ocean. There was not even a splash. After breakfast one of the Kansas orderlies called him into a fiddling cabin where they had prepared the dead men for burial. The army regulations minutely defined what was to be done with a deceased soldier ‘s effects. His uniform, shoes, blankets, arms, personal baggage, were all disposed of according to instructions. But in each case there was a remainder ; the dead man ‘s toothbrushes, his razors, and the photograph he carried upon his person. There they were in five pathetic little heaps ; what should be done with them ?
Claude took up the photograph that had belonged to his bodily ; one was a fat, foolish-looking daughter in a white trim that was besides tight for her, and a diskette hat, a little ease up pinned on her plump embrace. The other was an honest-to-god charwoman, seated, her hands crossed in her lick. Her thin haircloth was drawn rear besotted from a hard, angular face—unmistakably an old-world face—and her eyes squinted at the camera. She looked honest and stubborn and unconvinced ; he thought, as if she did not in the least understand .
“ I ‘ll take these, ” he said. “ And the others—just gear them over, do n’t you think ? ”

VII

B company ‘s first policeman, Captain Maxey, was sol airsick throughout the voyage that he was of no assistant to his men in the epidemic. It must have been a fearful float to his pride, for cipher was always more anxious to do an military officer ‘s wholly duty .
Claude had known Harris Maxey slenderly in Lincoln ; had met him at the Erlichs ‘ and subsequently kept up a campus acquaintance with him. He had n’t liked Maxey then, and he did n’t like him now, but he thought him a good military officer. Maxey ‘s family were hapless tribe from Mississippi, who had settled in Nemaha county, and he was very ambitious, not only to get on in the world, but, as he said, to “ be person. ” His life at the University was a febrile pastime of social advantages and utilitarian acquaintances. His feel for the “ right people ” amounted to fear. After his graduation, Maxey served on the mexican Border. He was a indefatigable drill maestro, and threw himself into his duties with all the energy of which his delicate physique was able. He was little and fair-skinned ; a rigid jaw threw his lower tooth out beyond the upper ones and made his face expect firm. His whole manner, tense and nervous, was the construction of a passionate desire to excel .
Claude seemed to himself to be leading a double life these days. When he was working over Fanning, or was devour in the declare helping to take care of the sick soldiers, he had no time to think, —did mechanically the next thing that came to hand. But when he had an hour to himself on deck, the tingling smell of ever-widening exemption flashed up in him again. The upwind was a continual gamble ; he had never known any like it before. The obscure, and rain, the grey sky and the alone gray stretches of the ocean were like something he had imagined long ago—memories of old sea stories read in childhood, perhaps—and they kindled a warm spot in his kernel. here on the Anchises he seemed to begin where childhood had left off. The despicable foramen between had closed up. Years of his life were blotted out in the obscure. This fog which had been at first lower had become a shelter ; a camp moving through space, hiding one from all that had been ahead, giving one a luck to correct one ‘s ideas about life and to plan the future. The by was physically shut off ; that was his magic trick. He had already travelled a big many more miles than were told off by the ship ‘s log. When Bandmaster Fred Max asked him to play chess, he had to stop a consequence and think why it was that game had such disagreeable associations for him. Enid ‘s pale, deceptive face rarely rose before him unless some such accident brought it up. If he happened to come upon a group of boys talking about their sweethearts and war-brides, he listened a moment and then moved away with the happy feel that he was the least married man on the boat .
There was batch of deck room, nowadays that so many men were ill either from sea-sickness or the epidemic, and sometimes he and Albert Usher had the stormy side of the boat about to themselves. The Marine was the best classify of companion for these blue days ; regular, calm, autonomous. And he, besides, was constantly looking forth. As for Victor Morse, Claude was growing positively fond of him. Victor had tea in a particular corner of the officers ‘ smoking-room every afternoon—he would have perished without it—and the custodian always produced some special garnishes of toast and obstruct or fresh biscuit for him. Claude normally managed to join him at that hour .
On the day of Tannhauser ‘s funeral he went into the smoking-room at four. Victor beckoned the shop steward and told him to bring a match of hot whiskeys with the tea. “ You ‘re very wet, you know, Wheeler, and you very should. There, ” he said as he put down his glass, “ don’t you feel good with a drink ? ”
“ very much. I think I ‘ll have another. It ‘s agreeable to be warm inside. ”
“ Two more, Steward, and bring me some bracing lemon. ” The occupants of the room were either reading or talking in low tones. One of the swedish boys was playing lightly on the previous piano. Victor began to pour the tea. He had a neat way of doing it, and today he was particularly solicitous. “ This Scotch obscure gets into one ‘s bones, does n’t it ? I thought you were looking preferably scruffy when I passed you on deck. ”
“ I was up with Tannhauser last night. Did n’t get more than an hour’s sleep, ” Claude murmured, yawning .
“ Yes, I heard you lost your big corporal. I ‘m blue. I ‘ve had badly news, excessively. It ‘s out now that we ‘re to make a french port. That dashes all my plans. however, c’est la guerre ! “ He pushed back his cup with a shrug. “ Take a turn outside ? ”
Claude had much wondered why Victor liked him, since he was so little Victor ‘s kind. “ If it is n’t a secret, ” he said, “ I ‘d like to know how you always got into the british army, anyhow. ”
As they walked improving and down in the rain, Victor told his story concisely. When he had finished High School, he had gone into his father ‘s bank at Crystal Lake as bookkeeper. After banking hours he skated, played tennis, or worked in the strawberry-bed, according to the season. He bought two pairs of white pants every summer and ordered his shirts from Chicago and thought he was a swell, he said. He got himself engaged to the preacher ‘s daughter. Two years ago, the summer he was twenty, his beget wanted him to see Niagara Falls ; so he wrote a humble check mark, warned his son against saloons—Victor had never been inwardly one—against expensive hotels and women who came up to ask the time without an presentation, and sent him off, telling him it was n’t necessity to fee porters or waiters. At Niagara Falls, Victor fell in with some young canadian officers who opened his eyes to a capital many things. He went over to Toronto with them. enlistment was going hard, and he saw an avenue of escape from the depository financial institution and the strawberry-bed. The atmosphere force out seemed the most brainy and attractive branch of the service. They accepted him, and here he was .
“ You ‘ll never go home again, ” Claude said with conviction. “ I don’t see you settling down in any fiddling Iowa township. ”
“ In the tune service, ” said Victor incautiously, “ we do n’t refer ourselves about the future. It ‘s not worth while. ” He took out a dull amber cigarette subject which Claude had noticed before .
“ Let me see that a minute, will you ? I ‘ve frequently admired it. A present from person you like, is n’t it ? ”
A jerk of spirit, something quite genuine, passed over the air-man ‘s boyish face, and his rather small red mouth compressed sharply. “ Yes, a charwoman I want you to meet. here, ” twitching his chin over his high choker, “ I ‘ll write Maisie ‘s address on my circuit board : ‘Introducing Lieutenant Wheeler, A. E. F. ‘ That ‘s all you ‘ll need. If you should get to London before I do, do n’t hesitate. Call on her at once. Present this card, and she ‘ll receive you. ”
Claude thanked him and put the card in his pocketbook, while Victor lit a cigarette. “ I have n’t forgotten that you ‘re dining with us at the Savoy, if we happen in London together. If I ‘m there, you can constantly find me. Her address is mine. It will actually be a big thing for you to meet a charwoman like Maisie. She ‘ll be nice to you, because you ‘re my ally. ” He went on to say that she had done everything in the earth for him ; had left her husband and given up her friends on his report. She now had a studio bland in Chelsea, where she just waited his coming and dreaded his going. It was an frightful life for her. She entertained other officers, of course, erstwhile acquaintances ; but it was all camouflage. He was the man .
Victor went so far as to produce her picture, and Claude gazed without knowing what to say at a large moon-shaped boldness with heavy-lidded, tire eyes, —the neck clasped by a pearl collar, the shoulders bare to the matronly swell of the embrace. There was not a line or wrinkle in that polish sweep of flesh, but from the heavy mouth and chin, from the very shape of the face, it was easy to see that she was quite old enough to be Victor ‘s beget. Across the photograph was written in a large splashy bridge player, è mon aigle ! Had Victor been delicate adequate to leave him in any doubt, Claude would have preferred to believe that his relations with this lady were wholly of a filial nature .
“ Women like her merely do n’t exist in your separate of the world, ” the aviator murmured, as he snapped the photograph case. “ She ‘s a linguist and musician and all that. With her, every-day know is a fine artwork. Life, as she says, is what one makes it. In itself, it’s nothing. Where you came from it ‘s nothing—a sleeping sickness. ”
Claude laughed. “ I do n’t know that I agree with you, but I like to hear you talk. ”
“ well ; in that separate of France that ‘s all shoot to pieces, you ‘ll find more animation going on in the cellars than in your home town, wherever that is. I ‘d rather be a stevedore in the London docks than a banker-king in one of your prairie states. In London, if you’re lucky enough to have a british shilling, you can get something for it. ”
“ Yes, things are pretty domesticate at home, ” the other admitted .
“ tame ? My God, it ‘s death in life ! What ‘s left of men if you take all the arouse out of them ? They ‘re afraid of everything. I know them ; Sunday-school sneaks, prowling around those little towns after dark ! ” Victor abruptly dismissed the subject. “ By the way, you’re pals with the Doctor, are n’t you ? I ‘m needing some medicate that is somewhere in my lost trunk. Would you mind asking him if he can put up this prescription ? I do n’t want to go to him myself. All these medicos chatter, and he might report me. I ‘ve been lucky dodging medical inspections. You see, I do n’t want to get held up anywhere. Tell him it ‘s not for you, of naturally. ”
When Claude presented the firearm of blue paper to Doctor Trueman, he smiled contemptuously. “ I see ; this has been filled by a London pharmacist. No, we have nothing of this screen. ” He handed it back. “ Those things are entirely palliatives. If your ally wants that, he needs treatment, —and he knows where he can get it. ”
Claude returned the case of wallpaper to Victor as they left the dining room after supper, telling him he had n’t been able to get any .
“ Sorry, ” said Victor, flushing haughtily. “ Thank you thus much ! ”

VIII

TOD fanning held out better than many of the stronger men ; his vitality surprised the Doctor. The end list was steadily growing ; and the worst of it was that patients died who were not identical pale. vigorous, clean-blooded young fellows of nineteen and twenty turned over and died because they had lost their courage, because early people were dying, —because death was in the air. The corridors of the vessel had the olfactory property of death about them. Doctor Trueman said it was constantly therefore in an epidemic ; patients died who, had they been isolate cases, would have recovered .
“ Do you know, Wheeler, ” the Doctor remarked one day when they came up from the hospital together to get a breath of tune, “ I sometimes wonder whether all these inoculations they ‘ve been having, against typhoid and smallpox and bric-a-brac, have n’t lowered their vitality. I ‘ll go off my head if I keep losing men ! What would you give to be out of it all, and safe back on the grow ? ” Hearing no answer, he turned his head, peered over his raincoat choker, and saw a startle, resisting look in the young man ‘s blue eyes, followed by a quick sluice .
“ You do n’t want to be back on the farm, do you ! not a fiddling morsel ! Well, well ; that ‘s what it is to be new ! ” He shook his head with a smile which might have been condolence, might have been envy, and went back to his duties .
Claude stayed where he was, drawing the wet grey air into his lungs and feeling perplex and reprimanded. It was quite truthful, he realized ; the Doctor had caught him. He was enjoying himself all the while and did n’t want to be dependable anywhere. He was blue about Tannhauser and the others, but he was not good-for-nothing for himself. The discomforts and misfortunes of this ocean trip had not spoiled it for him. He grumbled, of course, because others did. But liveliness had never seemed so tempt as it did here and now. He could come up from grave work in the hospital, or from poor Fanning and his arrant eggs, and forget all that in ten minutes. Something inside him, adenine elastic as the grey ridges over which they were tipping, kept bounding up and saying : “ I am all here. I ‘ve left everything behind me. I am going over. ”
alone on that one day, the cold day of the Virginian ‘s funeral, when he was airsick, had he been very hapless. He must be heartless, surely, not to be overwhelmed by the sufferings of his own men, his own friends—but he was n’t. He had them on his mind and did all he could for them, but it seemed to him equitable nowadays that he took a kind of satisfaction in that, excessively, and was slightly bootless of his utility to Doctor Trueman. A decent position ! He awoke every morning with that sense of freedom and going forward, as if the world were growing bigger each day and he were growing with it. other fellows were brainsick and die, and that was severe, —but he and the boat went on, and constantly on .
Something was released that had been struggling for a long while, he told himself. He had been due in France since the first battle of the Marne ; he had followed assumed leads and lost valued time and seen misery enough, but he was on the mighty road at concluding, and nothing could stop him. If he had n’t been so green, then bashful, so afraid of showing what he felt, and then stupid at finding his means about, he would have enlisted in Canada, like Victor, or run away to France and joined the Foreign Legion. All that seemed perfectly possible now. Why had n’t he ?
well, that was not “ the Wheelers ‘ way. ” The Wheelers were terribly afraid of poking themselves in where they were n’t wanted, of pushing their way into a crowd where they did n’t belong. And they were even more afraid of doing anything that might look affected or “ quixotic. ” They could n’t let themselves adopt a conspicuous, much less a picturesque naturally of action, unless it was all in the day’s work. Well, History had condescended to such as he ; this wholly brilliant venture had become the day ‘s work. He had got into it after all, along with Victor and the Marine and other fellows who had more imagination and assurance in the beginning set. Three years ago he used to sit wipe up by the windmill because he didn’t see how a Nebraska farmer male child had any “ call option, ” or, indeed, any way, to throw himself into the fight in France. He used enviously to read about Alan Seeger and those fortunate american boys who had a right to fight for a refinement they knew .
But the miracle had happened ; a miracle thus wide in its amplitude that the Wheelers, —all the Wheelers and the rough-necks and the low-brows were caught up in it. Yes, it was the rough-necks ‘ own miracle, all this ; it was their golden casual. He was in on it, and nothing could hinder or discourage him unless he were put over the side himself—which was alone a way of joke, for that was a possibility he never seriously considered. The feel of determination, of fateful purpose, was firm in his breast .

IX

expression at this, doctor ! ” Claude caught Doctor Trueman on his way from breakfast and handed him a written notice, signed D.T. Micks, Chief Steward. It stated that no more eggs or oranges could be furnished to patients, as the issue was exhausted .
The Doctor squinted at the paper. “ I ‘m afraid that ‘s your patient’s death warrant. You ‘ll never be able to keep him going on anything else. Why do n’t you go and talk it over with Chessup ? He ‘s a resourceful chap. I ‘ll join you there in a few minutes. ”
Claude had much been to Doctor Chessup ‘s cabin since the epidemic broke out, —rather liked to wait there when he went for medicines or advice. It was a comfortable, personal sort of topographic point with cheerful chintz hangings. The walls were lined with books, held in locate by sliding wooden slats, padlocked at the ends. There were a great many scientific works in German and English ; the rest were french novels in paper covers. This dawn he found Chessup weighing out white powders at his desk. In the rack over his nonsense was the book with which he had read himself to sleep last night ; the championship, “ Un Crime d’Amour, “ lettered in black on yellow, get Claude ‘s eye. The Doctor put on his coat and pointed his visitor to the jointed moderate in which patients were sometimes examined. Claude explained his predicament .
The ship ‘s sophisticate was a strange fellow to come from Canada, the estate of boastful men and rocky. He looked like a schoolboy, with small hands and feet and a pink complexion. On his leave cheekbone was a bombastic brown breakwater, covered with satiny hair, and for some reason that seemed to make his face effeminate. It was easy to see why he had not been successful in private practice. He was like person trying to protect a raw coat from heat and cold ; so cursed with diffidence, and so sensible about his boyish appearance that he chose to shut himself up in an oscillating wooden cage on the sea. The long carry to Australia had precisely suited him. A rough animation and the impound of bad weather had fewer terrors for him than an agency in town, with ceaseless exposure to human personalities .
“ Have you tried him on malted milk ? ” he asked, when Claude had told him how Fanning ‘s nutriment was threatened .
“ Doctor Trueman has n’t a bottle leave. How long do you figure we ‘ll be at ocean ? ”
“ Four days ; possibly five. ”
“ then Lieutenant Wheeler will lose his pal, ” said Doctor Trueman, who had just come in .
Chessup stood for a consequence frown and pulling nervously at the brass buttons on his coat. He slid the bolt on his door and turning to his colleague said decisively : “ I can give you some information, if you wo n’t implicate me. You can do as you like, but keep my name out of it. For several hours last night cases of eggs and boxes of oranges were being carried into the Chief Steward ‘s cabin by a lackey of his from the galley. Whatever port we make, he can get a tanzanian shilling each for the newly eggs, and possibly sixpence for the oranges. They are your property, of path, furnished by your government ; but this is his customary prerogative. I ‘ve been on this boat six years, and it ‘s always been therefore. About a week before we make port, the choice of the remaining stores are taken to his cabin, and he disposes of them after we dock. I ca n’t say good how he manages it, but he does. The skipper may know of this custom-made, and there may be some reason why he permits it. It ‘s not my business to see anything. The Chief Steward is a brawny man on an english vessel. If he has anything against me, preferably or subsequently he can lose my mooring for me. There you have the facts. ”
“ Have I your license to go to the Chief Steward ? ” Doctor Trueman asked .
“ surely not. But you can go without my cognition. He ‘s an surly man to cross, and he can make it uncomfortable for you and your patients. ”
“ well, we ‘ll say nobelium more about it. I appreciate your telling me, and I will see that you do n’t get blend up in this. Will you go down with me to look at that new meningitis case ? ”
Claude waited impatiently in his stateroom for the Doctor ‘s return. He did n’t see why the Chief Steward should n’t be exposed and manage with like any early grafter. He had hated the man ever since he heard him berating the old bath shop steward one dawn. Hawkins had made no attempt to defend himself, but stood like a andiron that has been terribly beaten, trembling all over, saying “ Yes, sir. Yes, sir, ” while his head gave him a cold curse in a low, entangle voice. Claude had never heard a man or even an animal addressed with such contempt. The Steward had a barbarous face, —white as cheese, with limp, damp hair combed back from a high frontal bone, —the curiously greasy hair that seems to grow lone on the heads of stewards and waiters. His eyes were precisely the form of almonds, but the lids were then conceited that the numb pupil was visible merely through a narrow slit. A long, pale mustache hang like a fringe over his loose lips .
When Doctor Trueman came back from the hospital, he declared he was now cook to call on Mr. Micks. “ He ‘s a filthy looking customer, but he ca n’t do anything to me. ”
They went to the Chief Steward ‘s cabin and knocked .
“ What ‘s wanted ? ” called a threaten voice .
The Doctor made a grimace to his companion and walked in. The Steward was sitting at a big desk, covered with report books. He turned in his chair. “ I beg your pardon, ” he said coldly, “ I do not see any one here. I will be— ”
The Doctor held up his hand quickly. “ That ‘s all good, Steward. I’m good-for-nothing to intrude, but I ‘ve something I must say to you in private. I ‘ll not detain you hanker. ” If he had hesitated for a here and now, Claude believed the Steward would have thrown him out, but he went on quickly. “ This is lieutenant Wheeler, Mr. Micks. His colleague policeman lies very ill with pneumonia in stateroom 96. Lieutenant Wheeler has kept him alive by special nurse. He is not able to retain anything in his stomach but eggs and orange juice. If he has these, we may be able to keep up his persuasiveness till the fever breaks, and carry him to a hospital in France. If we ca n’t get them for him, he will be dead within twenty-four hours. That ‘s the position. ”
The Steward rose and turned out the drop-light on his desk. “ Have you received notice that there are no more eggs and oranges on board ? then I am afraid there is nothing I can do for you. I did not provision this embark. ”
“ No. I understand that. I believe the United States Government provided the fruit and eggs and kernel. And I positively know that the articles I need for my patient are not exhausted. Without going into the topic further, I warn you that I ‘m not going to let a United States policeman die when the means of saving him are gettable. I’ll go to the captain, I ‘ll call a meeting of the united states army officers on board. I ‘ll go any duration to save this man. ”
“ That is your own affair, but you will not interfere with me in the discharge of my duties. Will you leave my cabin ? ”
“ In a moment, Steward. I know that final night a number of cases of eggs and oranges were carried into this room. They are here nowadays, and they belong to the A.E.F. If you will agree to provision my man, what I know wo n’t go any far. But if you refuse, I ‘ll get this matter investigated. I wo n’t stop till I do. ”
The Steward sat down, and took up a playpen. His boastfully, soft hand looked bum, like his confront. “ What is the phone number of the cabin ? ” he asked indifferently .
“ ninety-six. ”
“ precisely what do you require ? ”
“ One twelve eggs and one twelve oranges every twenty-four hours, to be delivered at any meter commodious to you. ”
“ I will see what I can do. ”
The Steward did not look up from his writing pad, and his visitors left ampere abruptly as they had come .
At about four o’clock every dawn, before even the bath stewards were on duty, there was a rub at Claude ‘s doorway, and a cover basket was left there by a messenger who was common, half-naked, with a sacking apron tied round his middle and his hairy chest of drawers splashed with flour. He never spoke, had alone one eye and an ablaze socket. Claude learned that he was a backward brother of the Chief Steward, a potato-peeler and dish-washer in the galley .
Four days after their consultation with Mr. Micks, when they were at end nearing the end of the voyage, Doctor Trueman detained Claude after medical inspection to tell him that the Chief Steward had come down with the epidemic. “ He sent for me last night and asked me to take his lawsuit, —wo n’t have anything to do with Chessup. I had to get Chessup ‘s permission. He seemed very glad to hand the shell over to me. ”
“ Is he very regretful ? ”
“ He has n’t a look-in, and he knows it. Complications ; chronic Bright’s disease. It seems he has nine children. I ‘ll try to get him into a hospital when we make port, but he ‘ll only live a few days at most. I wonder who ‘ll get the shillings for all the eggs and oranges he hoarded away. Claude, my son, ” the Doctor spoke with sudden energy, “ if I ever set foot on land again, I ‘m going to forget this voyage like a bad dream. When I ‘m in normal health, I ‘m a presbyterian, but just now I feel that even the sinful catch worse than they deserve. ”
A day came at last when Claude was wakened from sleep by a sense of hush. He sprang up with a dazed fear that some one had died ; but Fanning lay in his mooring, breathing quietly .
Something caught his eye through the porthole, — a great grey shoulder of land standing up in the pink light of dawn, powerful and queerly however after the distressing imbalance of the ocean. Pale trees and farseeing, low fortifications. .. close grey buildings with crimson roof. .. little sailboat bounding seaward. .. up on the cliff a gloomy fortress .
He had constantly thought of his address as a nation shattered and desolated, — ” bleeding France ” ; but he had never seen anything that looked thus solid, so self-sufficient, so fixed from the first basis, as the slide that rose before him. It was like a column of eternity. The ocean dwell slavish at its feet, and over it was the great meekness of early good morning .
This grey wall, undaunted, mighty, was the end of the long cooking, as it was the end of the sea. It was the reason for everything that had happened in his life for the last fifteen months. It was the rationality why Tannhauser and the docile Virginian, and so many others who had set out with him, were never to have any life at all, or even a soldier ‘s death. They were merely waste in a bang-up enterprise, give overboard like decayed ropes. For them this kind release, —trees and a still prop up and quieten water, —was never, never to be. How long would their bodies toss, he wondered, in that inhuman kingdom of dark and unrest ?
He was startled by a unaccented voice from behind .
“ Claude, are we over ? ”
“ Yes, Fanning. We ‘re over. ”

5

BOOK V

I

AT noon that day Claude found himself in a street of little shops, hot and sweat, absolutely confused and turned approximately. Truck drivers and boys on bell-less bicycles shouted at him indignantly, furiously. He got under the shade of a young plane tree and stood close to the luggage compartment, as if it might protect him. His greatest care, at any rate, was off his hands. With the help oneself of Victor Morse he had hired a cab for forty francs, taken Fanning to the base hospital, and seen him into the arms of a boastfully orderly from Texas. He came aside from the hospital with no estimate where he was going—except that he wanted to get to the heart of the city. It seemed, however, to have no heart ; only retentive, rocky arteries, full of heat and make noise. He was still standing there, under his plane tree, when a group of uncertain, lost-looking brown figures, headed by Sergeant Hicks, came weaving up the street ; nine men in nine unlike attitudes of fecal matter, each with a long loaf of bread of bread under his arm. They hailed Claude with joy, straightened up, and looked as if now they had found their way ! He saw that he must be a plane tree for person else .
sergeant Hicks explained that they had been trudging about the town, looking for cheese. After sixteen days of intemperate, tasteless food, tall mallow was what they all wanted. There was a grocery store store up the street, where there seemed to be everything else. He had tried to make the old womanhood understand by signs .
“ Do n’t these french people eat tall mallow, anyhow ? What ‘s their word for it, Lieutenant ? I ‘m damned if I know, and I ‘ve lost my phrase book. Suppose you could make her sympathize ? ”
“ well, I ‘ll try. Come along, boys. ”
Crowding close together, the ten men entered the shop class. The proprietress ran forth with an ecphonesis of despair. obviously she had thought she was done with them, and was not pleased to see them coming back. When she paused to take breath, Claude took off his hat respectfully, and performed the bravest act of his life ; uttered the first gear phrase-book sentence he had always spoken to a french person. His men were at his second ; he had to say something or run, there was no early course. Looking the old charwoman in the eye, he steadily articulated :
“ Avez-vous du fromage, Madame ? “ It was about inspiration to add the last bible, he thought ; and when it worked, he was angstrom much startled as if his revolving door had gone off in his belt .
“ Du fromage ? ” the shop class womanhood screamed. Calling something to her daughter, who was at the desk, she caught Claude by the sleeve, pulled him out of the shop, and ran down the street with him. She dragged him into a doorway darkened by a hanker curtain, greeted the proprietress, and then pushed the men after their officer, as if they were stubborn burros .
They stood blinking in the gloom, inhaling a sour, dampen, pantry, smear-kase smell, until their eyes penetrated the shadows and they saw that there was nothing but cheese and butter in the stead. The shopkeeper was a fatty woman, with black eyebrows that met above her nose ; her sleeves were rolled up, her cotton dress was open over her white throat and breast. She began at once to tell them that there was a restriction on milk products ; every one must have cards ; she could not sell them so much. But soon there was nothing left to dispute about. The male child fell upon her standard like wolves. The short white cheeses that lay on greens leaves disappeared into big mouths. Before she could save it, Hicks had split a big round cheese through the middle and was carving it up like a melon. She told them they were dirty pigs and worse than the Boches, but she could not stop them .
“ What ‘s the matter with Mother, Lieutenant ? What ‘s she fussing about ? Ai n’t she here to sell goods ? ”
Claude tried to look wiser than he was. “ From what I can make out, there ‘s some classify of restriction ; you are n’t allowed to buy all you want. We ought to have thought about that ; this is a war country. I guess we ‘ve about cleaned her out. ”
“ Oh, that ‘s all right, ” said Hicks, wiping his clasp-knife. “ We’ll bring her some sugar tomorrow. One of the fellows who helped us unload at the docks told me you can constantly quiet ’em if you give ’em boodle. ”
They surrounded her and held out their money for her to take her pay. “ Come on, ma ‘m, do n’t be bashful. What ‘s the matter, ai n’t this good money ? ”
She was distracted by the make noise they made, by their bronze faces with whiten teeth and picket eyes, crowding therefore near to her. Ten boastfully, well-shaped hands with straight fingers, the open palms entire of rumple notes. .. . Holding the men off under the pretense of looking for a pencil, she made rapid calculations. The money that lay in their palms had no sexual intercourse to these big, coaxing, boisterous fellows ; it was a joke to them ; they did n’t know what it meant in the world. Behind them were shiploads of money, and behind the ships. .. .
The situation was unfair. Whether she took a lot or little out of their hands, could n’t possibly matter to the Americans, —could n’t even dash their full humor. But there was a strain on the cheesewoman, and the standards of a life were in hazard. Her mind mechanically fixed upon two-and-a-half ; she would charge them two-and-a-half times the market monetary value of the cheese. With this moral board to cling to, she made change with conscientious accuracy and did not keep a penny besides much from anybody. Telling them what adult stupids they were, and that it was necessary to learn to count in this universe, she urged them out of her denounce. She liked them well adequate, but she did not like to do business with them. If she did n’t take their money, the following one would. All the same, fabricated values were distasteful to her, and made everything seem flimsy and insecure .
Standing in her doorway, she watched the brown band go ambling down the street ; as they passed in front man of the old church of St. Jacques, the two foremost stumbled on a slump step that was hardly above the charge of the pavement. She laughed loudly. They looked back and waved to her. She replied with a smile that was both friendly and angry. She liked them, but not the legend of consume and extravagance that ran before them—and followed after. It was otiose and disintegrating in a world of hard facts. An army in which the men had meat for breakfast, and consume more every day than the french soldiers at the front man got in a workweek ! Their move kitchens and add trains were the wonder of France. Down below Arles, where her conserve ‘s sister had married, on the bare plain of the Crau, their tin provisions were piled like mountain ranges, under sheds and canvas. cipher had always seen so much food before ; chocolate, milk, carbohydrate, bacon, hams ; everything the earth was famished for. They brought shiploads of useless things, excessively. And useless people. Shiploads of women who were not nurses ; some said they came to dance with the officers, so they would not be ennuyés .
All this was not war, —any more than having money thrust at you by grown men who could not count, was business. It was an invasion, like the other. The first destroyed material possessions, and this threatened everybody ‘s integrity. antipathy of such methods, deep, recoiling distrust of them, clouded the cheesewoman ‘s eyebrow as she threw her money into the drawer and turned the key on it .
As for the doughboy, having once stubbed their toes on the deep-set tone, they examined it with interest, and went in to explore the church. It was in their minds that they must not let a church escape, any more than they would let a Boche miss. Within they came upon a bunch of their shipmates, including the Kansas band, to whom they boasted that their Lieutenant could “ speak french like a native. ”
The Lieutenant himself thought he was getting on reasonably well, but a few hours later his pride was humbled. He was sitting alone in a little triangular park beside another church, admiring the cultivate locust trees and watching some old women who were doing their mending in the ghost. A little boy in a black apron, with a close-shaved, bare principal, came along, skipping rope. He hopped lightly up to Claude and said in a most persuasive and confide voice :
“ Voulez-vous me awful l’heure, s’il vous plaït, M’sieu ‘ l ‘ soldat ? “
Claude looked down into his admiring eyes with a feel of panic. He would n’t mind being dense to a man, or even to a pretty girlfriend, but this was awful. His tongue went dry, and his face grew red. The child ‘s big gaze changed to a expression of doubt, and then of fear. He had spoken before to Americans who did n’t understand, but they had not turned red and looked angry like this one ; this soldier must be ill, or wrong in his head. The boy turned and ran away .
many a serious mishap had distressed Claude less. He was disappoint, excessively. There was something friendly in the boy ‘s face that he wanted. .. that he needed. As he rose he ground his heel into the gravel. “ Unless I can learn to talk to the children of this country, ” he muttered, “ I ‘ll go home ! ”

II

CLAUDE set off to find the Grand Hotel, where he had promised to dine with Victor Morse. The porter there spoke English. He called a red-headed son in a dirty undifferentiated and told him to take the american to vingt-quatre. The boy besides spoke English. “ Plenty money in New York, I guess ! In France, no money. ” He made their way, through moldy corridors and up slippery staircases, deoxyadenosine monophosphate farseeing as possible, astutely eyeing the visitor and rubbing his hitchhike nervously against his fingers all the while .
“ Vingt-quatre, twen’y-four, ” he announced, rapping at a door with one hand and suggestively opening the other. Claude put something into it—anything to be rid of him .
Victor was standing before the fireplace. “ Hello, Wheeler, come in. Our dinner will be served up here. It ‘s big enough, is n’t it ? I could get nothing between a chicken coop, and this at fifteen dollars a day. ”
The room was broad enough for a feast ; with two huge beds, and great windows that swung in on hinges, like doors, and that had surely not been washed since before the war. The heavy bolshevik cotton-brocade hangings and lace curtains were stiffly with dust, the thick carpet was strewn with cigarette-ends and matches. Razor blades and “ Khaki Comfort “ boxes lay about on the dressing table, and former occupants had left their autograph in the dust on the table. Officers slept there, and went away, and other officers arrived, —and the room remained the same, like a woodwind in which travellers camp for the night. The valet de chambre carried away only what he could use ; discarded shirts and socks and old shoes. It seemed a rather blue topographic point to have a party .
When the waiter came, he dusted off the mesa with his apron and put on a uninfected fabric, napkins, and glasses. Victor and his guest sat down under an electric lighter bulb with a break shade, around which a silent aura of flies moved endlessly. They did not buzz, or dart aloft, or descend to try the soup, but cling there in the center of the room as if they were a region of the fall system. The constant attendance of the waiter embarrassed Claude ; he felt as if he were being watched .
“ By the manner, ” said Victor while the soup plates were being removed, “ what do you think of this wine ? It cost me thirty francs the bottle. ”
“ It tastes very good to me, ” Claude replied. “ But then, it ‘s the first champagne I ‘ve ever intoxicated. ”
“ in truth ? ” Victor drank off another glaze and sighed. “ I envy you. I wish I had it all to do over. Life ‘s besides short, you know. ”
“ I should say you had made a good begin. We ‘re a long manner from Crystal Lake. ”
“ not far enough. ” His host reached across the table and filled Claude ‘s vacate glaze. “ I sometimes waken up with the feel I’m back there. Or I have badly dreams, and find myself sitting on that cursed stool in the glass batting cage and ca n’t make my books balance ; I hear the old man coughing in his private room, the way he coughs when he ‘s going to refuse a loan to some poor people devil who needs it. I ‘ve had a narrow escape, Wheeler ; as a post from the burn. That ‘s all the Scripture I remember. ”
The bright crimson spots on Victor ‘s buttock, his pale frontal bone and brilliant eyes and impertinent little moustaches seemed to give his citation a curious saturation. Claude envied him. It must be great fun to take up a separate and play it to a finish ; to believe you were making yourself over, and to admire the kind of companion you made. He, besides, in a manner, admired Victor, —though he could n’t altogether believe in him .
“ You ‘ll never go back, ” he said, “ I would n’t worry about that. ”
“ Take it from me, there are thousands who will never go back ! I ‘m not speaking of the casualties. Some of you Americans are likely to discover the universe this trip. .. and it ‘ll make the hell of a batch of difference ! You boys never had a honest probability. There ‘s a conspiracy of Church and State to keep you down. I ‘m going off to play with some girls tonight, will you come along ? ”
Claude laughed. “ I guess not. ”
“ Why not ? You wo n’t be caught, I guarantee. ”
“ I guess not. ” Claude spoke apologetically. “ I ‘m going out to see Fanning after dinner. ”
Victor shrugged. “ That fuck ! ” He beckoned the waiter to open another bottle and bring the coffee bean. “ well, it ‘s your last gamble to go nutting with me. ” He looked intently at Claude and lifted his glaze. “ To the future, and our future meeting ! ” When he put down his vacate chalice he remarked, “ I got a wire through today ; I ‘m leaving tomorrow. ”
“ For London ? ”
“ For Verdun. ”
Claude took a promptly breth. Verdun. .. the very sound of the name was gloomy, like the hollow roll of drums. Victor was going there tomorrow. here one could take a caravan for Verdun, or thereabouts, as at home one took a aim for Omaha. He felt more “ over ” than he had done earlier, and a small crepitate of excitation went all through him. He tried to be careless .
“ then you wo n’t get to London soon ? ”
“ God knows, ” Victor answered gloomily. He looked up at the ceiling and began to whistle piano an engaging tune. “ Do you know that ? It’s something Maisie much plays ; ‘ Roses of Picardy. ‘ You wo n’t know what a womanhood can be till you meet her, Wheeler. ”
“ I hope I ‘ll have that pleasure. I was wondering if you ‘d forgotten her for the here and now. She does n’t object to these—diversions ? ”
Victor lifted his eyebrows in the old disdainful way. “ Women don’t necessitate that sort of fidelity of the air servicing. Our engagements are besides changeable. ”
Half an hour former Victor had gone in quest of amative venture, and Claude was wandering alone in a brilliantly lighted street full of soldiers and sailors of all nations. There were black Senegalese, and Highlanders in kilts, and little lorry-drivers from Siam, —all moving lento along between rows of cabarets and cinema theatres. The wide-spreading branches of the plane trees met overhead, shutting out the sky and roofing in the orange glare. The sidewalks were crowded with chairs and little tables, at which marines and soldiers sat drinking sirops and cognac and coffee. From every doorway music-machines poured out sleep together tunes and strident Sousa marches. The noise was stupefying. Out in the center of the street a band of bareheaded girls, hardy and bully looking, were following a string of awkward Americans, running into them, elbowing them, asking for treats, crying, “ You dance me Fausse Trot, Sammie ? ”
Claude stationed himself before a movie dramaturgy, where the sign in electric lights read, “ Amour, quand tu nous tiens ! “ and stood watching the people. In the stream that passed him, his eye lit upon two walking arm-in-arm, their hands clasped, talking eagerly and unconscious of the crowd, —different, he saw at once, from all the other stroll, affectionate couples .
The valet wore the american uniform ; his left arm had been amputated at the elbow, and he carried his point askew, as if he had a rigid neck. His iniquity, tend face wore an formulation of intense anxiety, his eyebrows twitched as if he were in constant pain. The female child, excessively, looked perturb. As they passed him, under the crimson light of the Amour sign, Claude could see that her eyes were full moon of tears. They were wide, gloomy eyes, innocent looking, and she had the prettiest face he had seen since he landed. From her silk shawl, and short bonnet with blue strings and a white frill, he thought she must be a country daughter. As she listened to the soldier, with her mouth half-open, he saw a outer space between her two front teeth, as with children whose second teeth have just come. While they pushed along in the crowd she looked up intently at the man beside her, or off into the blur of light, where she obviously saw nothing. Her face, young and easy, seemed new to emotion, and her bewilder attend made one feel that she did not know where to turn .
Without realizing what he did, Claude followed them out of the crowd into a tranquillity street, and on into another, even more abandon, where the houses looked as if they had been asleep a long while. here there were no street lamps, not flush a fall in the windows, but natural dark ; with the moon high overhead throwing sharp shadows across the white cobble pavement. The specialize street made a bend, and he came out upon the church he and his comrades had entered that afternoon. It looked larger by night, and but for the dip step, he might not have been sure it was the same. The dark neighbor houses seemed to lean toward it, the moonlight reflect silver-grey upon its battered front .
The two walk before him ascended the steps and withdrew into the cryptic doorway, where they clung together in an embrace so long and still that it was like death. At last they drew shuddering apart. The girlfriend sat down on the pit bench beside the doorway. The soldier threw himself upon the sidewalk at her feet, and rested his head on her knee, his one sleeve dwell across her lap .
In the tail of the houses opposite, Claude kept vigil like a lookout, cook to take their part if any dismay should startle them. The girl bended over her soldier, stroking his drumhead so softly that she might have been putting him to sleep ; took his one hand and held it against her heart as if to stop the pain there. Just behind her, on the sculpt portal, some old bishop, with a target cap and a broken crosier, stood, holding up two fingers .

III

THE future dawn when Claude arrived at the hospital to see Fanning, he found every one excessively busy to take history of him. The court was full moon of ambulances, and a long line of camions waited outside the gate. A train-load of injure Americans had come in, sent back from emptying hospitals to await transportation system home .
As the men were carried past him, he thought they looked as if they had been sick a long while—looked, indeed, as if they could never get well. The boys who died on control panel the Anchises had never seemed arsenic ghastly as these did. Their skin was scandalmongering or purple, their eyes were sunken, their lips afflictive. Everything that belonged to health had left them, every attribute of youth was gone. One poor people boyfriend, whose grimace and trunk were wrapped in cotton, never stopped moaning, and as he was carried up the corridor he smelled dreadfully. The Texas orderly remarked to Claude, “ In the beginning that one only had a finger blown off ; would you believe it ? ”
These were the inaugural wounded men Claude had seen. To shed bright blood, to wear the red badge of courage, —that was one thing ; but to be reduced to this was quite another. surely, the sooner these boys died, the better .
The Texan, passing with his next burden, asked Claude why he did n’t go into the office and wait until the rush was over. Looking in through the glass door, Claude noticed a young man writing at a desk enclosed by a railing. Something about his figure, about the way he held his head, was conversant. When he lifted his leave arm to prop open the page of his ledger, it was a stump below the elbow. Yes, there could be no doubt about it ; the pale, acute face, the peck nose, the frowning, anxious eyebrow. soon, as if he felt a curious eye upon him, the young man paused in his rapid writing, wriggled his shoulders, put an iron paperweight on the page of his book, took a case from his pocket and shook a cigarette out on the table. Going up to the railing, Claude offered him a cigar. “ No, thank you. I do n’t use them any more. They seem excessively heavy for me. ” He struck a match, moved his shoulders again as if they were cramped, and sat down on the edge of his desk .
“ Where do these wounded men come from ? ” Claude asked. “ I just got in on the Anchises yesterday. ”
“ They come from versatile elimination hospitals. I believe most of them are the Belleau Wood distribute. ”
“ Where did you lose your arm ? ”
“ Cantigny. I was in the First Division. I ‘d been over since death September, waiting for something to happen, and then got fixed in my first engagement. ”
“ Ca n’t you go home ? ”
“ Yes, I could. But I do n’t want to. I ‘ve got used to things over here. I was attached to Headquarters in Paris for awhile. ”
Claude leaned across the rail. “ We read about Cantigny at home, of course. We were a good consider excited ; I suppose you were ? ”
“ Yes, we were anxious. We had n’t been under fire, and we ‘d been fed up on all that stuff about it ‘s taking fifty years to build a active machine. The Hun had a strong place ; we looked up that long hill and wondered how we were going to behave. ” As he talked the boy ‘s eyes seemed to be moving all the time, probably because he could not move his head at all. After blowing out bass mottle of smoke until his cigarette was gone, he sat down to his daybook and frowned at the page in a way which said he was excessively busy to talk .
Claude saw Doctor Trueman standing in the doorway, waiting for him. They made their dawn call on Fanning, and left the hospital together. The Doctor turned to him as if he had something on his thinker .
“ I saw you talking to that wry-necked son. How did he seem, all correct ? ”
“ not precisely. That is, he seems identical nervous. Do you know anything about him ? ”
“ Oh, yes ! He ‘s a star patient here, a psychopathic subject. I had good been talking to one of the doctors about him, when I came out and saw you with him. He was shot in the neck at Cantigny, where he lost his arm. The wound healed, but his memory is affected ; some steel cut, I suppose, that connects with that partially of his brain. This sociopath, Phillips, takes a bang-up interest in him and keeps him here to observe him. He ‘s writing a book about him. He says the companion has forgotten about everything about his liveliness before he came to France. The curious thing is, it ‘s his recollection of women that is most affect. He can remember his beget, but not his mother ; does n’t know if he has sisters or not, —can remember seeing girls about the house, but thinks they may have been cousins. His photograph and belongings were lost when he was hurt, all except a crowd of letters he had in his pocket. They are from a daughter he’s engaged to, and he declares he ca n’t remember her at all ; doesn’t know what she looks like or anything about her, and ca n’t remember getting engaged. The Doctor has the letters. They seem to be from a nice girlfriend in his own township who is very ambitious for him to make the most of himself. He deserted soon after he was sent to this hospital, ran away. He was found on a farm out in the state here, where the sons had been killed and the people had sort of adopted him. He ‘d quit his consistent and was wearing the clothes of one of the dead sons. He ‘d credibly have got aside with it, if he had n’t had that dry neck. Some one saw him in the fields and recognized him and reported him. I guess cipher cared much but this psychopathic repair ; he wanted to get his pet patient back. They call him ‘the lost American ‘ here. ”
“ He seems to be doing some classify of clerical knead, ” Claude observed discreetly .
“ Yes, they say he ‘s very well educated. He remembers the books he has read better than his own life sentence. He ca n’t recall what his home town looks like, or his home. And the women are clear wiped out, even the female child he was going to marry. ”
Claude smiled. “ possibly he ‘s fortunate in that. ”
The Doctor turned to him dearly. “ immediately Claude, do n’t begin to talk like that the hour you land in this state. ”
Claude walked on past the church of St. Jacques. final nox already seemed like a dream, but it haunted him .
He wished he could do something to help that boy ; help him get away from the sophisticate who was writing a script about him, and the girlfriend who wanted him to make the most of himself ; get away and be lost all in all in what he had been lucky enough to find. All day, as Claude came and went, he looked among the push for that young face, so compassionate and tender .

IV

DEEPER and deeper into flowery France ! That was the sentence Claude kept saying over to himself to the jerk of the wheels, as the long troop string went southbound, on the second gear day after he and his company had left the port of debarkation. Fields of wheat, fields of oats, fields of rye ; all the first gear hills and rolling uplands invest with crop. And everywhere, in the pot, in the yellow grain, along the road-bed, the poppies spilling and streaming. On the second day the boys were still calling to each other about the poppies ; nothing else had so entirely surpassed their expectations. They had supposed that poppies grew only on battle fields, or in the brains of war correspondents. cipher knew what the cornflowers were, except Willy Katz, an austrian boy from the Omaha packing-houses, and he knew merely an objectionable appoint for them, so he offered no information. For a retentive prison term they thought the crimson clover blossoms were wild flowers, —they were deoxyadenosine monophosphate big as godforsaken roses. When they passed the foremost alfalfa battlefield, the solid train call with laugh ; alfalfa was one thing, they believed, that had never been heard of outside their own prairie states .
All the room down, Company B had been finding the old things rather of the new, —or, to their room of think, the new things rather of the old. The thatch roof they had indeed counted upon seeing were few and army for the liberation of rwanda between. But american binders, of long-familiar makes, stood where the fields were beginning to ripen, —and they were being oiled and put in regulate, not by “ peasants, ” but by wise-looking old farmers who seemed to know their occupation. Pear trees, trained like vines against the wall, did not astonish them half so much as the sight of the familiar white basswood, growing everywhere. Claude thought he had never earlier realized how beautiful this tree could be. In verdant little valleys, along the clear rivers, the cottonwoods waved and rustled ; and on the fiddling islands, of which there were so many in these rivers, they stood in pointed masses, seemed to grip deep into the land and to rest easy, as if they had been there for always and would be there for ever more. At home, all about Frankfort, the farmers were cutting down their cottonwoods because they were “ common, ” planting maples and ash trees to struggle along in their stead. Never mind ; the cottonwoods were good enough for France, and they were well adequate for him ! He felt they were a substantial bond between him and this people .
When B Company had inaugural got their orders to go into a train camp in north-central France, all the men were disappointed. Troops a lot rawer than they were being rushed to the front, so why chump around any longer ? But now they were reconciled to the delay. There seemed to be a good conduct of France that was n’t the war, and they wouldn’t mind travelling about a little in a country like this. Was the crop constantly a calendar month late than at home, as it seemed to be this year ? Why did the farmers have rows of trees growing along the edges of every field—did n’t they take the lastingness out of the soil ? What did the farmers mean by raising patches of mustard right along beside other crops ? Did n’t they know that mustard got into wheat fields and strangled the grain ?
The irregular night the boys were to spend in Rouen, and they would have the following day to look about. Everybody knew what had happened at Rouen —if any one did n’t, his neighbours were only excessively eager to inform him ! It had happened in the market-place, and the market-place was what they were going to find .
tomorrow, when it came, proved to be black and cold, a day of pouring rain. As they filed through the constrict, push streets, that harsh Norman city presented no very cheering aspect. They were glad, at final, to find the waterside, to go out on the bridge and breathe the air in the capital open space over the river, away from the clatter of cart-wheels and the hard voices and crafty faces of these townspeople, who seemed rocky and unfriendly. From the bridge they looked up at the blank chalk hills, the tops a blur of acute green under the depleted, lead-colored sky. They watched the fleets of broad, deep-set river barges, coming and going under their feet, with careen smoke-stacks. only a fiddling room up that river was Paris, the place where every doughboy mean to go ; and as they leaned on the rail and looked down at the slow-flowing water, each one had in his mind a jumble video of what it would be like. The Seine, they felt sure, must be identical much wide there, and it was spanned by many bridges, all longer than the bridge over the Missouri at Omaha. There would be spires and aureate domes past reckon, all the buildings higher than anything in Chicago, and brilliant—dazzlingly brainy, nothing grey and shabby about it like this erstwhile Rouen. They attributed to the city of their desire incalculable enormousness, bewildering enormousness, babylonian hugeness and heaviness—the entirely attributes they had been taught to admire .
late in the dawn Claude found himself alone before the church of St. Ouen. He was hunting for the Cathedral, and this looked as if it might be the correct place. He shook the water from his raincoat and entered, removing his hat at the door. The day, indeed dark without, was blue inactive within ;. .. far away, a few scatter candles, distillery little points of light. .. just before him, in the grey twilight, slender white columns in long rows, like the stems of silver poplars .
The capture to the nave was closed by a cord, so he walked up the aisle on the proper, treading softly, passing chapels where hermit women knelt in the lighter of a few tapers. Except for them, the church service was empty. .. empty. His own rest was audible in this muteness. He moved with caution lest he should wake an repeat .
When he reached the choir he turned, and see, far behind him, the rose window, with its purple heart. As he stood staring, hat in hand, equally still as the pit figures in the chapels, a great bell, up aloft, began to strike the hour in its deep, tuneful throat ; eleven beats, measured and far apart, angstrom full-bodied as the coloring material in the window, then muteness. .. lone in his memory the throbbing of an undreamed-of quality of sound. The revelations of the glass and the bell had come about simultaneously, as if one produced the other ; and both were superlatives toward which his mind had always been groping, —or so it seemed to him then .
In front of the choir the nave was open, with no rope to shut it off. several pale yellow chairs were huddled on a ease up of the stone floor. After some hesitation he took one, turned it rung, and sat down facing the window. If some one should come up to him and say anything, anything at all, he would rise and say, “ Pardon, Monsieur ; je ne sais protactinium c’est défendu. “ He repeated this to himself to be quite certain he had it ready. On the train, coming depressed, he had talked to the boys about the badly reputation Americans had acquired for slouching all over the place and butt in on things, and had urged them to tread lightly. “ But Lieutenant, ” the kid from Pleasantville had piped up, “ is n’t this unharmed expedition a butt-in ? After all, it ai n’t our war. ” Claude laughed, but he told him he meant to make an case of the chap who went to rough-house .
He was well satisfy that he had n’t his restless companions on his judgment nowadays. He could sit hera restfully until noon, and hear the bell rap again. In the meanwhile, he must try to think : This was, of course, Gothic architecture ; he had read more or less about that, and ought to be able to remember something. Gothic. .. that was a mere word ; to him it suggested something very peaked and pointed, —sharp arches, steep ceiling. It had nothing to do with these slender flannel column that rose so straight and far, —or with the window, burning up there in its vault of gloom. .. .
While he was vainly trying to think about architecture, some recall of previous astronomy lessons brushed across his mind, —something about stars whose light travels through space for hundreds of years before it reaches the earth and the human eye. The empurpled and crimson and peacock-green of this window had been shining quite adenine long as that before it got to him. .. . He felt distinctly that it went through him and farther still. .. as if his mother were looking over his shoulder. He sat solemnly through the hour until twelve, his elbows on his knees, his conic hat swinging between them in his hand, looking up through the dusky with blunt, heedful eyes .
When Claude joined his company at the post, they had the laugh on him. They had found the Cathe-dral, —and a statue of Richard the Lion-hearted, over the position where the lion-heart itself was buried ; “ the identical organ, ” fatness Sergeant Hicks assured him. But they were all glad to leave Rouen .

V

B party reached the train camp at S—— thirty-six men short : twenty-five they had buried on the ocean trip over, and eleven brainsick were left at the nucleotide hospital. The company was to be attached to a battalion which had already seen service, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Scott. Arriving early in the morning, the officers reported at once to Headquarters. Captain Maxey must have suffered a shock when the Colonel rose from his desk to acknowledge his salute, then shook hands with them all around and asked them about their travel. The Colonel was not a very martial calculate ; short, adipose tissue, with slouching shoulders, and a lumpy rear like a pouch of potatoes. Though he was n’t much over forty, he was bald, and his collar would easily slip over his mind without being unbuttoned. His small twinkling eyes and amiable face were without a atom of arrogance or official dignity .
Years ago, when General Pershing, then a fine-looking new Lieutenant with a slender shank and yellow moustaches, was stationed as Commandant at the University of Nebraska, Walter Scott was an officer in a company of cadets the Lieutenant took approximately to military tournaments. The Pershing Rifles, they were called, and they won prizes wherever they went. After his commencement, Scott settled down to running a hardware occupation in a booming Nebraska town, and sold gas ranges and garden hosiery for twenty years. About the fourth dimension Pershing was sent to the Mexican Border, Scott began to think there might finally be something in the wind instrument, and that he would better get into train. He went down to Texas with the National Guard. He had come to France with the First Division, and had won his promotions by solid, soldierly qualities .
“ I see you ‘re an officeholder short-change, Captain Maxey, ” the Colonel remarked at their league. “ I think I ‘ve got a man here to take his put. lieutenant Gerhardt is a New York man, came over in the ring and got transferred to infantry. He has recently been given a perpetration for good service. He ‘s had some have and is a capable companion. ” The Colonel sent his orderly out to bring in a young man whom he introduced to the officers as Lieutenant David Gerhardt .
Claude had been ashamed of Tod Fanning, who was always showing himself a sap-head, and who would never have got a commission if his uncle had n’t been a Congressman. But then he met Lieutenant Gerhardt ‘s center, something like jealousy flamed up in him. He felt in a flash that he suffered by comparison with the fresh officeholder ; that he must be on his precaution and must not let himself be patronized .
As they were leaving the Colonel ‘s office together, Gerhardt asked him whether he had got his billet. Claude replied that after the men were in their quarters, he would look out for something for himself .
The young man smiled. “ I ‘m afraid you may have difficulty. The people about here have been overworked, keeping soldiers, and they are not willing as they once were. I ‘m with a decent old copulate over in the village. I ‘m about sure I can get you in there. If you ‘ll come along, we ‘ll speak to them, before some one else is put off on them. ”
Claude did n’t want to go, did n’t want to accept favours, —nevertheless he went. They walked together along a cold road that ran between half-ripe wheat-fields, bordered with poplar trees. The barbarian morning-glories and Queen Anne ‘s spike that grew by the wayside were silent shining with dew. A fresh breeze stirred the bearded granulate, parting it in furrows and fanning out streaks of crimson poppies. The modern officer was not intrusive, surely. He walked along, whistling piano to himself, seeming quite lost in the freshness of the morning, or in his own thoughts. There had been nothing patronizing in his manner indeed far, and Claude began to wonder why he felt ill at still with him. possibly it was because he did not look like the respite of them. Though he was young, he did not look boyish. He seemed feel ; a finished product, rather than something on the way. He was big, and his face, like his manner and his walk, had something distinguished about it. A across-the-board flannel frontal bone under red brown haircloth, hazelnut eyes with no uncertainty in their look, an aquiline nose, finely cut, —a medium, contemptuous mouth, which somehow did not detract from the kindly, though slightly reserved, expression of his face .
lieutenant Gerhardt must have been in this neighborhood for some clock ; he seemed to know the people. On the road they passed respective villagers ; a rough-looking girl taking a cow out to graze, an honest-to-god man with a basket on his arm, the mailman on his bicycle ; —they all spoke to Claude ‘s companion as if they knew him well .
“ What are these blue flowers that grow about everywhere ? ” Claude asked suddenly, pointing to a thump with his foot .
“ Cornflowers, ” said the other. “ The Germans call them Kaiser-Blumen. ”
They were approaching the village, which lay on the boundary of a woodwind, —a wood so boastfully one could not see the end of it ; it met the horizon with a ridge of pines. The village was but a single street. On either side ran clay-coloured walls, with painted wooden doors hera and there, and green shutters. Claude ‘s guide opened one of these gates, and they walked into a little sandpaper garden ; the house was built round it on three sides. Under a cherry tree sat a charwoman in a blacken apparel, sewing, a work table beside her .
She was fifty dollar bill, possibly, but though her hair’s-breadth was grey she had a look of youth ; thin cheek, finely flushed with pink, and quiet, smiling, intelligent eyes. Claude thought she looked like a New England womanhood, —like the photograph of his mother’s cousins and schoolmates. Lieutenant Gerhardt introduced him to Madame Joubert. He was quite disheartened by the colloquy that followed. Clearly his new colleague policeman spoke Madame Joubert’s perplexing language american samoa readily as she herself did, and he felt irritate and grudging as he listened. He had been hoping that, wherever he stayed, he could learn to talk to the people a fiddling ; but with this carry through young man about, he would never have the courage to try. He could see that Madame Joubert liked Gerhardt, liked him very much ; and all this, for some reason, discouraged him .
Gerhardt turned to Claude, speaking in a way which included Madame Joubert in the conversation, though she could not understand it : “ Madame Joubert will let you come, although she has done her part and actually does n’t have to take any one else in. But you will be so well off here that I ‘m beaming she consents. You will have to contribution my board, but there are two beds. She will show you. ”
Gerhardt went out of the gate and left him entirely with his stewardess. Her mind seemed to read his thoughts. When he uttered a give voice, or any sound that resembled one, she promptly and smoothly made a conviction of it, as if she were quite accustomed to talking in this way and expected only monosyllables from strangers. She was kind, even a short playful with him ; but he felt it was all good manners, and that underneath she was not thinking of him at all. When he was alone in the tile-floored sleep room upstairs, unrolling his blankets and arranging his shaving things, he looked out of the window and watched her where she sat sewing under the cherry tree. She had a very sad face, he thought ; it was n’t grief, nothing sharply and definite like sorrow. It was an old, quieten, impersonal gloominess, —sweet in its expression, like the sadness of music .
As he came out of the sign of the zodiac to start back to the barracks, he bowed to her and hear to say, “ Au revoir, Madame. Jusqu ‘ astronomical unit ce soir. ” He stopped near the kitchen door to look at a many-branched rose vine that ran all over the rampart, full of cream-coloured, pink-tipped roses, just a shade strong in tinge than the clay wall behind them. Madame Joubert came over and stood beside him, looking at him and at the blushful. “ Oui, c’est joli, n’est-ce pennsylvania ? “ She took the scissors that hang by a ribbon from her knock, cut one of the flowers and stuck it in his buttonhole. “ Voilè. ” She made a little flourish with her reduce hand .
Stepping into the street, he turned to shut the wooden door after him, and heard a soft raise in the dark tool-house at his elbow. From among the rakes and spades a child ‘s frighten side was staring out at him. She was sitting on the ground with her lap wide of baby kittens. He caught but a glimpse of her dull, pale face .

VI

THE adjacent morning Claude wake up with such a sense of forcible wellbeing as he had not had for a long prison term .
The sun was shining brilliantly on the white poultice walls and on the crimson tiles of the floor. greens jalousies, half-drawn, shaded the upper part of the two windows. Through their slats, he could see the forking branches of an old locust corner that grew by the gate. A flock of pigeons flew over it, dipping and mounting with a sharp flash of silver medal wings. It was good to lie again in a house that was cared for by women. He must have felt that even in his sleep, for when he opened his eyes he was thinking about Mahailey and breakfast and summer mornings on the farm. The early hush was odoriferous, and the touch of dry, clean linen against his body. There was a smell of lavender about his strong pillow. He lay hush for concern of waking Lieutenant Gerhardt. This was the screen of peace one wanted to enjoy alone. When he rose cautiously on his elbow and looked at the early bed, it was empty. His company must have dressed and slipped out when day first broke. person else who liked to enjoy things alone ; that looked bright. But nowadays that he had the identify to himself, he decided to get up .
While he was dressing he could see old Monsieur Joubert down in the garden, watering the plants and vines, raking the sandpaper fresh and politic, clipping off dead leaves and shrivel flowers and throwing them into a barrow. These people had lost both their sons in the war, he had been told, and now they were taking concern of the property for their grandchildren, —two daughters of the elder son. Claude saw Gerhardt come into the garden, and sit down at the mesa under the trees, where they had their dinner last night. He hurried down to join him. Gerhardt made room for him on the bench .
“ Do you constantly sleep like that ? It ‘s an accomplishment. I made enough randomness when I dressed, —kept dropping things, but it never reached you. ”
Madame Joubert came out of the kitchen in a purple flowered morning gown, her haircloth in curl up papers under a lace hood. She brought the coffee herself, and they sat gloomy at the unpainted board without a fabric, and drank it out of big crockery bowl. They had fresh milk with it, —the first Claude had tasted in a long while, and boodle which Gerhardt produced from his pocket. The old cook had her coffee bean seat in the kitchen doorway, and on the step, at her feet, sat the strange, pale little daughter .
Madame Joubert affably addressed herself to Claude ; she knew that Americans were accustomed to a different sort of dawn meal, and if he wished to bring bacon from the camp, she would gladly cook it for him. She had even made pancakes for officers who stayed there before. She seemed pleased, however, to learn that Claude had had enough of these things for awhile. She called David by his first identify, pronouncing it the french way, and when Claude said he hoped she would do arsenic much for him, she said, Oh, yes, that his was a very good french name, “ mais united nations peu, united nations peu. .. romanesque, ” at which he blushed, not quite knowing whether she were making fun of him or not .
“ It is quite sol in English, is n’t it ? ” David asked .
“ well, it ‘s a effeminate name, if you mean that. ”
“ Yes, it is, a little, ” David admitted honestly .
The day ‘s work on the parade crunch was hard, and Captain Maxey ‘s men were soft, felt the heating system, —did n’t size up well with the Kansas boys who had been hardened by service. The Colonel was n’t please with B Company and detailed them to build new barracks and extend the sanitation system. Claude got out and worked with the men. Gerhardt followed his exemplar, but it was easily to see that he had never handled lumber or tin-roofing before. A kind of competition seemed to have sprung up between him and Claude, neither of them knew why .
Claude could see that the sergeants and corporals were a little uncertain about Gerhardt. His crisp language, never embroidered by the picturesque slang they relished, his gravity, and his rare, incredulous smile, alike puzzled them. Was the modern policeman a fellow ? serjeant-at-law Hicks asked of his buddy, Dell Able. No, he was n’t a fellow. Was he a swell-head ? No, not at all ; but he was n’t a thoroughly mixer. He was “ an Easterner ” ; what more he was would develop late. Claude sensed something strange about him. He suspected that Gerhardt knew a good many things adenine well as he knew french, and that he tried to conceal it, as people sometimes do when they feel they are not among their equals ; this idea nettled him. It was Claude who seized the opportunity to be patronizing, when Gerhardt betrayed that he was absolutely unable to select lumber by given measurements .
The adjacent good afternoon, exercise on the fresh barracks was called off because of rain. serjeant-at-law Hicks set about getting up a box peer, but when he went to invite the lieutenants, they had both disappeared. Claude was tramping toward the village, determined to get into the big wood that had tempted him always since his arrival .
The highroad became the greenwich village street, and then, at the edge of the wood, became a country road again. A little far on, where the shade grew dense, it split up into three beach wagon trails, two of them dim and little use. One of these Claude followed. The rain had dwindled to a firm spiel, but the tall brakes growing up in the path splashed him to the in-between, and his feet sank in spongy, fogyish earth. The light about him, the very air, was green. The trunks of the trees were overgrown with a gentle green moss, like cast. He was wondering whether this forest was not constantly a muffle, blue home, when on the spur of the moment the sunday broke through and shattered the solid wood with gold. He had never seen anything like the quivering emerald of the moss, the satiny greens of the dripping beech-tops. Everything woke up ; rabbits ran across the path, birds began to sing, and all at once the brakes were full moon of whirring insects .
The winding path turned again, and came out abruptly on a hillside, above an capable clearing piled with grey boulders. On the opposite advance of ground stood a grove of pines, with bare, red bow. The light, around and under them, was red like a fortunate sunset. closely all the stems divided about half-way up into two great arms, which came together again at the clear, like the pictures of old greek lyres .
gloomy in the grassy clearing, among the piles of flinty boulders, short white birches shook out their shining leaves in the lightly moving air. All about the rocks were patches of empurpled heath ; it ran up into the crevices between them like fire. On one of these bald rocks sat Lieutenant Gerhardt, hatless, in an attitude of tire or of deep fecal matter, his hands clasped about his knees, his bronze hair rubicund in the sun. After watching him for a few minutes, Claude descended the slope, swishing the improbable ferns .
“ Will I be in the way ? ” he asked as he stopped at the foot of the rocks .
“ Oh, no ! ” said the other, moving a little and unclasping his hands .
Claude sat down on a boulder. “ Is this heather mixture ? ” he asked. “ I thought I recognized it, from ‘ Kidnapped. ‘ This part of the world is not a raw to you as it is to me. ”
“ No. I lived in Paris for several years when I was a student. ”
“ What were you studying ? ”
“ The violin. ”
“ You are a musician ? ” Claude looked at him questioningly .
“ I was, ” replied the other with a disdainful smile, languidly stretching out his legs in the heather .
“ That seems excessively bad, ” Claude remarked badly .
“ What does ? ”
“ Why, to take fellows with a particular talent. There are enough of us who have n’t any. ”
Gerhardt rolled over on his back and put his hands under his head. “ Oh, this affair is excessively big for exceptions ; it ‘s cosmopolitan. If you happened to be born twenty-six years ago, you could n’t escape. If this war did n’t kill you in one way, it would in another. ” He told Claude he had trained at Camp Dix, and had come over eight months ago in a regimental band, but he hated the cultivate he had to do and got transferred to the infantry .
When they retraced their steps, the wood was entire of greens twilight. Their relations had changed reasonably during the last one-half hour, and they strolled in confidential silence up the home-like street to the door of their own garden .
Since the rain was over, Madame Joubert had laid the fabric on the board table under the red tree, as on the former evenings. Monsieur was bringing the chairs, and the fiddling female child was carrying out a throng of heavy plates. She rested them against her digest and leaned back as she walked, to balance them. She wore shoes, but no stockings, and her fade cotton dress switched about her brown legs. She was a fiddling belgian refugee who had been sent there with her mother. The mother was dead immediately, and the child would not even go to visit her grave. She could not be coaxed from the court-yard into the quiet street. If the neighbor children came into the garden on an errand, she hid herself. She would have no playmates but the cat ; and immediately she had the kittens in the tool house .
Dinner was very cheerful that evening. Monsieur Joubert was pleased that the ramp had not lasted long adequate to hurt the wheat. The garden was fresh and bright after the rain. The cherry tree shook down bright drops on the tablecloth when the cinch stirred. The beget cat dozed on the crimson cushion in Madame Joubert ‘s sewing electric chair, and the pigeons fluttered down to snap up earthworms that wriggled in the moisture sandpaper. The tail of the house fell over the dinner-table, but the tree-tops stood up in wide sunlight, and the chicken sun poured on the earth wall and the cream-coloured roses. Their petals, ruffled by the rain, gave out a wet, blue smell .
Monsieur Joubert must have been ten-spot years older than his wife. There was a great contentment in his manner and a pleasant glitter in his eye. He liked the young officers. Gerhardt had been there more than two weeks, and reasonably relieved the stillness that had settled over the sign of the zodiac since the second son died in hospital. The Jouberts had dropped out of things. They had done all they could do, given all they had, and nowadays they had nothing to look advancing to, —except the event to which all France looked forward. The church father was talking to Gerhardt about the great sea-port the Americans were making of Bordeaux ; he said he meant to go there after the war, to see it all for himself .
Madame Joubert was please to hear that they had been walking in the woodwind. And was the heather in flower ? She wished they had brought her some. next time they went, possibly. She used to walk there much. Her eyes seemed to come approximate to them, Claude thought, when she spoke of it, and she obviously cared a bang-up batch more about what was blooming in the woodwind than about what the Americans were doing on the Garonne. He wished he could talk to her as Gerhardt did. He admired the direction she roused herself and tried to interest them, speaking her difficult linguistic process with such intent and preciseness. It was a linguistic process that could n’t be mumbled ; that had to be spoken with energy and fire, or not spoken at all. merely speaking that exacting tongue would help to rally a break emotional state, he thought .
The little maid who served them moved about noiselessly. Her dull eyes never seemed to look ; yet she saw when it was prison term to bring the heavy soup tureen, and when it was meter to take it away. Madame Joubert had found that Claude liked his potatoes with his meat—when there was meat—and not in a naturally by themselves. She had each time to tell the small girlfriend to go and fetch them. This the child did with apparent reluctance, —sullenly, as if she were being forced to do something ill-timed. She was a identical strange little animal, altogether. As the two soldiers left the table and started for the camp, Claude reached down into the cock family and took up one of the kittens, holding it out in the clean to see it blink its eyes. The little girlfriend, equitable coming out of the kitchen, uttered a shrill shout, a truly frightful belly laugh, and squatted down, covering her face with her hands. Madame Joubert came out to chide her .
“ What is the count with that child ? ” Claude asked as they hurried out of the gate. “ Do you suppose she was hurt, or abused in some way ? ”
“ Terrorized. She frequently screams like that at night. Have n’t you heard her ? They have to go and wake her, to stop it. She does n’t speak any french ; alone Walloon. And she ca n’t or wo n’t learn, so they ca n’t tell what goes on in her poor little oral sex. ”
In the two weeks of intensifier train that followed, Claude marvelled at Gerhardt ‘s spirit and endurance. The muscular tense of mimic trench operations was more of a tax on him than on any of the other officers. He was american samoa tall as Claude, but he weighed only a hundred and forty-six pounds, and he had not been roughly bred like most of the others. When his boyfriend officers learned that he was a violinist by profession, that he could have had a voiced job as interpreter or as an personal digital assistant of camp entertainments, they no longer resented his reserve or his occasional condescension. They respected a man who could have wriggled out and did n’t .

VII

ON the march at last ; through a brilliant August day Colonel Scott ‘s battalion was streaming along one of the cold, banal roads east of the Somme, their railway base well behind them. The room led through roll country ; fields, hills, woods, little villages shattered but still habitable, where the people came out to watch the soldiers go by .
The Americans went through every greenwich village in marching music footstep, colours flying, the band play, “ to show that the esprit de corps was high, ” as the officers said. Claude trudged on the outside of the column, —now at the front of his company, now at the rear, —wearing a stoic permit, afraid of betraying his satisfaction in the men, the weather, the nation .
They were bound for the big appearance, and on every bridge player were reassure signs : retentive lines of bony, dead trees, charred and torn ; big holes gashed out in fields and hillsides, already half concealed by new underbrush ; winding depressions in the earth, bodies of bust up motor-trucks and automobiles lying along the road, and everywhere endless straggling lines of rust barbed-wire, that seemed to have been put there by opportunity, —with no determination at all .
“ Begins to look like we ‘re getting in, Lieutenant, ” said Sergeant Hicks, smiling behind his salute .
Claude nodded and passed fore .
“ well, we ca n’t arrive any besides soon for us, boys ? ” The Sergeant looked over his shoulder, and they grinned, their teeth flashing white in their loss, perspiring faces. Claude did n’t wonder that everybody along the route, evening the babies, came out to see them ; he thought they were the finest batch in the worldly concern. This was the first day they had worn their tin hats ; Gerhardt had shown them how to stuff supergrass and leaves inwardly to keep their heads cool. When they fell into fours, and the band struck up as they approached a township, Bert Fuller, the boy from Pleasantville on the Platte, who had blubbered on the ocean trip over, was guide right, and whenever Claude passed him his confront seemed to say, “ You wo n’t get anything on me in a hurry, lieutenant ! ”
They made camp early in the good afternoon, on a mound covered with half-burned pines. Claude took Bert and Dell Able and Oscar the Swede, and set off to make a survey and report the terrain. Behind the hill, under the burned edge of the wood, they found an abandoned farmhouse and what seemed to be a fairly well. It had a solid gem curb about it, and a wooden bucket hanging by a out of practice wire. When the boys splashed the bucket about, the water system sent up a pure, aplomb breath. But they were judicious boys, and knew where dead Prussians most loved to hide. tied the straw in the stable they regarded with intuition, and thought it would be fair deoxyadenosine monophosphate well not to bed anybody there .
Swinging on to the justly to make their circumference, they got into mud ; a abject plain where the drain ditches had been neglected and had overflowed. There they came upon a deplorable group of humanity, bemired. A charwoman, ill and wretched looking, sat on a fallen log at the end of the marsh, a baby in her lap and three children hanging about her. She was far gone in consumption ; one had only to listen to her emit and to look at her white, perspiring face to feel how weak she was. Draggled, mud to the knees, she was trying to nurse her pamper, half hidden under an old black shawl. She didn’t look like a slog woman, but like one who had once been able to take proper care of herself, and she was still unseasoned. The children were tired and discouraged. One small boy wore a awkward blue crown, made from a french army coat. The other wore a battered american Stetson that came down over his ears. He carried, in his two arms, a pink celluloid clock. They all looked up and waited for the soldiers to do something .
Claude approached the charwoman, and touching the brim of his helmet, began : “ Bon jour, Madame. Qu’est que c’est ? “
She tried to speak, but went off into a spasm of cough, alone able to gasp, “ ‘Toinette, ‘Toinette ! ”
‘Toinette stepped promptly forth. She was about football team, and seemed to be the master of the party. A bold, hard little face with a retentive kuki, straight black hair tied with rags, anxious, crafty eyes ; she looked much less easy and more know than her beget. She began to explain, and she was very cagey at making herself understood. She was used to talking to extraneous soldiers, —spoke lento, with vehemence and clever gestures .
She, besides, had been reconnoitering. She had discovered the empty farmhouse and was trying to get her party there for the night. How did they come here ? Oh, they were refugees. They had been staying with people thirty kilometers from here. They were trying to get back to their own village. Her mother was very sick, presque morte, and she wanted to go home to die. They had heard people were still living there ; an old aunt was living in their own root cellar, —and so could they if they once got there. The item was, and she made it over and all over, that her mother wished to die chez elle, comprenez-vous ? They had no papers, and the french soldiers would never let them pass, but now that the Americans were here they hoped to get through ; the Americans were said to be toujours gentils .
While she talked in her strident, clicking spokesperson, the baby began to howl, dissatisfied with its nourishment. The little daughter shrugged. “ Il est toujours en colère, “ she muttered. The woman turned it around with difficulty—it seemed a big, heavy baby, but white and sickly—and gave it the other breast. It began sucking her noisily, rooting and sputtering as if it were famished. It was besides painful, it was about indecent, to see this exhausted woman trying to feed her child. Claude beckoned his men away to one side, and taking the little girlfriend by the pass drew her after them .
“ Il faut que votre mère // southeast reposer, “ he told her, with the sculpt caesural pause which he constantly made in the middle of a french conviction. She understood him. No distortion of her native tongue surprised or perplexed her. She was accustomed to being addressed in all persons, numbers, genders, tenses ; by Germans, English, Americans. She only listened to hear whether the voice was kind, and with men in this undifferentiated it normally was kind .
Had they anything to eat ? Vous avez quelque chose è manger ?
“ Rien. Rien du boast .
“ Was n’t her mother trop malade è marcher ?
She shrugged ; Monsieur could see for himself .
And her father ?
He was dead ; mort è la Marne, en quatorze .
“ At the Marne ? ” Claude repeated, glancing in perplexity at the nurse baby .
Her sharp eyes followed his, and she instantaneously divined his doubt. “ The child ? ” she said promptly. “ Oh, the pamper is not my brother, he is a Boche. ”
For a moment Claude did not understand. She repeated her explanation impatiently, something disdainful and sinister in her metallic fiddling voice. A slow bloom mounted to his frontal bone .
He pushed her toward her mother, “ Attendez lè. “
“ I guess we ‘ll have to get them over to that farmhouse, ” he told the men. He repeated what he had got of the child ‘s narrative. When he came to her crisp affirmation about the child, they looked at each early. Bert Fuller was afraid he might cry again, so he kept murmur, “ By God, if we ‘d a-got here sooner, by God if we had ! ” as they ran back along the ditch .
Dell and Oscar made a electric chair of their thwart hands and carried the womanhood, —she was no bang-up system of weights. Bert picked up the little male child with the pink clock ; “ Come along, little Frog, your legs ai n’t long enough. ”
Claude walked behind, holding the screaming pamper stiffly in his arms. How was it possible for a baby to have such definite personality, he asked himself, and how was it possible to dislike a baby therefore much ? He hated it for its square, tow-thatched head and ashen ears, and carried it with loathing. .. no wonder it cried ! When it got nothing by screaming and stiffen, however, it suddenly grew placid ; regarded him with pale blue eyes, and tried to make itself comfortable against his khaki coating. It put out a begrimed little fist and took declare of one of his buttons. “ Kamerad, eh ? ” he muttered, glaring at the baby. “ Cut it out ! ”
Before they had their own supper that night, the boys carried hot food and blankets devour to their family .

VIII

FOUR o’clock. .. a summer dawn. .. his first morning in the trenches. Claude had equitable been along the line to see that the gunman teams were in position. This hour, when the light was changing, was a favorite prison term for attack. He had come in belated last night, and had everything to learn. Mounting the fire-step, he peeped over the parapet between the sandbag, into the abject, twisting mist. good then he could see nothing but the cable web, with birds hopping along the crown wire, singing and chirping as they did on the wire fences at home. clear and flute-like they sounded in the heavy vent, —and they were the entirely sounds. A little breeze came up, lento clearing the mist away. Streaks of green showed through the moving banks of vaporization. The birds became more stir .
That dull stretch of grey and green was No Man ‘s Land. Those low, zigzag mounds, like giant molehills protected by electrify hurdles, were the Hun trenches ; five or six lines of them. He could well follow the communication trenches without a glass. At one charge their movement argumentation could not be more than eighty yards away, at another it must be all of three hundred. here and there thin columns of smoke began to rise ; the Hun was getting breakfast ; everything was comfortable and lifelike. Behind the foe ‘s position the nation rose gradually for several miles, with ravines and little woods, where, according to his map, they had masked artillery. Back on the hills were ruined farmhouses and break trees, but nowhere a living creature in batch. It was a abruptly, cool countryside, dip in calm and dejection. Yet everywhere the reason was full moon of men. Their own trenches, from the other side, must look quite as dead. Life was a secret, these days .
It was amazing how just things could be done. His battalion had marched in quietly at midnight, and the line they came to relieve had set out as mutely for the rise. It all took place in express darkness. Just as B Company slid down an incline into the shallow rear trenches, the state was lit for a moment by two star topology shells, there was a rattle of machine guns, german Maxims, —a sporadic crackle that was not followed up. Filing along the communication trenches, they listened anxiously ; artillery ardor would have made it bad for the other men who were marching to the raise. But nothing happened. They had a silence night, and this good morning, here they were !
The flip flamed up saffron and silver. Claude looked at his watch, but he could not bear to go precisely however. How farseeing it took a Wheeler to get round to anything ! Four years on the way ; now that he was here, he would enjoy the scenery a bit, he guessed. He wished his mother could know how he felt this dawn. But possibly she did know. At any rate, she would not have him anywhere else. Five years ago, when he was sitting on the steps of the Denver State House and knew that nothing unexpected could ever happen to him. .. suppose he could have seen, in a flash, where he would be today ? He cast a long expect at the redden, lengthening landscape, and dropped down on the duckboard .
Claude made his way binding to the bunker into which he and Gerhardt had thrown their effects last night. The former occupants had left it clean. There were two bunks nailed against the side walls, —wooden frames with telegram net over them, covered with dry sandbags. Between the two bunks was a soap-box mesa, with a candle stick in a green bottle, an alcohol stave, a bain-marie, and two tin cups. On the wall were coloured pictures from Jugend, taken out of some Hun trench .
He found Gerhardt hush asleep on his bed, and shook him until he sat up. “ How retentive have you been out, Claude ? Did n’t you sleep ? ”
“ A little. I was n’t very tire. I suppose we could heat shaving water on this stave ; they ‘ve left us half a bottle of alcohol. It ‘s quite a comfortable little fix, is n’t it ? ”
“ It will doubtless serve its purpose, ” David remarked laconically. “ so medium to any criticism of this war ! Why, it ‘s not your affair ; you ‘ve only merely arrived. ”
“ I know, ” Claude replied humbly, as he began to fold his blankets. “ But it ‘s likely the alone one I ‘ll ever be in, so I may ampere well take an interest. ”
The following good afternoon four young men, all more or less naked, were busy about a shellhole full of opaque brown body of water. police sergeant Hicks and his buddy, Dell Able, had hunted through half the blaze hot dawn to find a fix not excessively scummy, handily, and flush picturesquely situated, and had reported it to the lieutenants. Captain Maxey, Hicks said, could send his own orderly to find his own shellhole, and could take his bath in individual. “ He ‘d never wash himself with anybody else, ” the Sergeant added. “ Afraid of exposing his dignity ! ”
Bruger and Hammond, the two second base lieutenants, were already out of their bathroom, and reclined on what might about be termed a grassy slope, examining assorted portions of their body with matter to. They had n’t had all their clothes off for some time, and four days of marching in hot weather made a man anxious to look at himself .
“ You wait till winter, ” Gerhardt told them. He was still splashing in the hole, up to his armpits in muddy water. “ You wo n’t get a wash once in three months then. Some of the Tommies told me that when they got their first bathe after Vimy, their skins peeled off like a snake ‘s. What are you doing with my trousers, Bruger ? ”
“ Hunting for your knife. I dropped mine yesterday, when that shell exploded in the cut-off. I darned near dropped my old nut ! ”
“ Shucks, that was n’t anything. Do n’t keep blowing about it—shows you ‘re a cub. ”
Claude stripped off his shirt and slid into the pool beside Gerhardt. “ Gee, I hit something shrill down there ! Why did n’t you fellows pull out the splinters ? ”
He shut his eyes, disappeared for a moment, and came up sputtering, throwing on the grind a round metal object, coated with rust and fully of slime. “ german helmet, is n’t it ? Phew ! ” He wiped his confront and looked about suspiciously .
“ Phew is right ! ” Bruger turned the object over with a stick. “ Why in hell did n’t you bring up the rest of him ? You ‘ve spoiled my bathtub. I hope you enjoy it. ”
Gerhardt scrambled up the side. “ Get out, Wheeler ! look at that, ” he pointed to big sleepy bubbles, bursting up through the dense urine. “ You ‘ve stirred up trouble, all right ! Something ‘s going identical bad down there. ”
Claude got out after him, looking binding at the bodily process in the water. “ I do n’t see how pulling out one helmet could stir the bottom up so. I should think the water would keep the smell down. ”
“ ever study chemistry ? ” Bruger asked contemptuously. “ You just opened up a cemetery, and now we get the exhaust. If you swallowed any of that german cologne—Oh, you should worry ! ”
lieutenant Hammond, even barelegged, with his shirt tied over his shoulders, was scratching in his notebook. Before they left he put up a placard on a split stand by.

No Public
Bathing!! Private Beach

C. Wheeler, Co. B. 2–th
Inf’ty.

The first letters from home ! The provide wagons brought them up, and every man in the Company got something except Ed Drier, a farm-hand from the Nebraska backbone hills, and Willy Katz, the tow-headed austrian boy from the South Omaha packing-houses. Their comrades were good-for-nothing for them. Ed did n’t have any “ folks ” of his own, but he had expected letters all the lapp. Willy was sure his beget must have written. When the last rag envelope was given out and he turned away empty-handed, he murmured, “ She ‘s Bohunk, and she do n’t write thus well. I guess the address was n’t plain, and some boyfriend in another comp’ny has got my letter. ”
No second class matter was sent up, —the boys had hoped for newspapers from home to give them a little war news, since they never got any here. Dell Able ‘s baby, however, had enclosed a clipping from the Kansas City Star ; a long account by one of the british war correspondents in Mesopotamia, describing the hardships the soldiers suffered there ; dysentery, flies, mosquitoes, impossible heat. He read this article aloud to a group of his friends as they sat about a shell-hole pool where they had been washing their socks. He had just finished the story of how the Tommies had found a few mire huts at the place where the original Garden of Eden was said to have been, —a lay waste to blot full of stinging insects—when Oscar Petersen, a very religious swedish boy who was frequently silent for days together, opened his sass and said contemptuously ,
“ That ‘s a lie ! ” Dell looked up at him, annoyed by the pause. “ How do you know it is ? ”
“ Because ; the Lord put four cherubims with swords to guard the Garden, and there ai n’t no man going to find it. It ai n’t intended they should. The Bible says so. ”
Hicks began to laugh. “ Why, that was about six thousand years ago, you cheese ! Do you suppose your cherubims are silent there ? ”
“ ‘Course they are. What ‘s a thousand years to a cherub ? Nothin ‘ ! ”
The Swede rose and dourly gathered up his socks .
Dell Able looked at his chum salmon. “ Ai n’t he the complete dunce ? solid ivory ! ”
Oscar would n’t listen further to a “ pack of lies ” and walked off with his wash .
Battalion Headquarters was closely half a nautical mile behind the front line, partially bunker, share shed, with a plank ceiling sodded over. The Colonel’s office was partitioned off at one end ; the rest of the set he gave over to the officers for a kind of cabaret room. One nox Claude went back to make a report on the newfangled place of the gun teams. The young officers were sitting about on soap boxes, smoking and eating sweet crackers out of tin cases. Gerhardt was working at a plank table with newspaper and crayons, making a clean copy of a rough map they had drawn up together that dawn, showing the limits of fire. noise did n’t fluster him ; he could sit among a draw of men and compose angstrom calmly as if he were alone .
There was one military officer who could talk all the others down, wherever he was ; Captain Barclay Owens, attached from the Engineers. He was a little chunky hitchhike of a homo, only five feet four, and identical broad, —a dynamo of energy. Before the war he was building a decameter in Spain, “ the largest decameter in the earth, ” and in his excavations he had discovered the ruins of one of Julius Caesar ‘s arm camps. This had been excessively much for his easily-inflamed imagination. He photographed and measured and brooded upon these ancient remains. He was an mastermind by day and an archeologist by nox. He had crates of books sent down from Paris, —every-thing that had been written on Caesar, in french and german ; he engaged a young priest to translate them aloud to him in the evening. The priest believed the American was brainsick .
When Owens was in college he had never shown the least interest in classical studies, but now it was as if he were giving parentage to Caesar. The war came along, and stopped the exploit on his dam. It besides drove other ideas into his entirely mastermind brains. He rushed home to Kansas to explain the war to his countrymen. He travelled about the West, demonstrating precisely what had happened at the first battle of the Marne, until he had a luck to enlist .
In the Battalion, Owens was called “ Julius Caesar, ” and the men never knew whether he was explaining the Roman general ‘s operations in Spain, or Joffre ‘s at the Marne, he jumped so from one to the early. Everything was in the foreground with him ; centuries made no dispute. nothing existed until Barclay Owens found out about it. The men liked to hear him talk. Tonight he was walking improving and down, his yellow eyes rolling, a big black cigar in his pass, lecturing the young officers upon french characteristics, coaching and preparing them. It was his legs that made him therefore amusing ; his luggage compartment was that of a big man, set on two short stumps .
“ now you fellows do n’t want to forget that the night-life of Paris is not a typical thing at all ; that ‘s a show got up for foreigners. .. . The french peasant, he ‘s a careful fellow. .. . This red wine’s all right if you do n’t abuse it ; take it two-thirds water system and it keeps off dysentery. .. . You do n’t have to be harsh with them, plainly firm. Whenever one of them accosts me, I follow a regular design ; inaugural, I give her twenty-five francs ; then I look her in the eye and say, ‘My girl, I ‘ve got three children, three boys. ‘ She gets the detail at once ; never fails. She goes away ashamed of herself. ”
“ But that ‘s so expensive ! It must keep you poor, Captain Owens, ” said unseasoned Lieutenant Hammond innocently. The others roared .
Claude knew that David peculiarly detested Captain Owens of the Engineers, and wondered that he could go on working with such concentration, when snatches of the Captain ‘s lecture kept breaking through the confusion of casual talk and the noise of the record player. Owens, as he walked up and down, cast backstair glances at Gerhardt. He had got wind of the fact that there was something out of the ordinary about him .
The men kept the record player going ; adenine soon as one record buzzed out, person put in another. once, when a new tune began, Claude saw David look up from his newspaper with a curious expression. He listened for a here and now with a half-contemptuous smile, then frowned and began sketching in his map again. Something about his fleeting glance of recognition made Claude wonder whether he had particular associations with the breeze, —melancholy, but beautiful, Claude opinion. He got up and went over to change the record himself this time. He took out the magnetic disk, and holding it up to the light up, read the inscription : “ meditation from Thaïs— Violin solo—David Gerhardt. ”
When they were going rear along the communication trench in the rain, wading single file, Claude broke the muteness abruptly. “ That was one of your records they played tonight, that violin solo, wasn’t it ? ”
“ Sounded like it. now we go to the right. I constantly get lost here. ”
“ Are there many of your records ? ”
“ Quite a count. Why do you ask ? ”
“ I ‘d like to write my mother. She ‘s fond of effective music. She ‘ll get your records, and it will sort of bring the hale thing close to her, do n’t you see ? ”
“ All right, Claude, ” said David good-naturedly. “ She will find them in the catalogue, with my picture in uniform aboard. I had a lot made before I went out to Camp Dix. My own mother gets a little income from them. here we are, at home. ” As he struck a equal two black shadows jumped from the postpone and disappeared behind the blankets. “ Plenty of them around these moisture nights. Get one ? Don’t squash him in there. here ‘s the net. ”
Gerhardt held open the talk of a burlap sack, and Claude thrust the squirming corner of his blanket into it and vigorously trampled whatever fell to the bottom. “ Where do you suppose the other is ? ”
“ He ‘ll join us former. I do n’t mind the rats half indeed much as I do Barclay Owens. What a view he would be with his clothes off ! Turn in ; I ‘ll go the rounds. ” Gerhardt splashed out along the inundate duckboard. Claude took off his shoes and cooled his feet in the cloudy water. He wished he could ever get David to talk about his profession, and wondered what he looked like on a concert platform, playing his violin .

IX

THE play along nox, Claude was sent spinal column to Division Headquarters at Q—— with information the Colonel did not care to commit to composition. He set off at ten-spot o’clock, with Sergeant Hicks for escort. There had been two days of rain, and the communication trenches were about ankle-deep in water. About half a nautical mile back of the front lineage, the two men crawled out of the trench and went on above land. There was very little shelling along the movement that night. When a flare went improving, they dropped and lay on their faces, trying, at the same time, to get a strabismus at what was ahead of them .
The ground was rough, and the dark dense ; it was past midnight when they reached the east-and-west road—usually full of dealings, and not entirely deserted flush on a night like this. Trains of horses were splashing through the mud, with shells on their backs, empty issue wagons were coming back from the front man. Claude and Hicks paused by the ditch, hoping to get a ride. The rain began to fall with such violence that they looked about for protection. Stumbling this way and that, they ran into a big artillery piece, the wheels sink over the hubs in a mud-hole .
“ Who ‘s there ? ” called a agile voice, unmistakably british .
“ american infantrymen, two of us. Can we get onto one of your trucks till this lets up ? ”
“ Oh, surely ! We can make board for you in here, if you ‘re not besides bad. Speak quietly, or you ‘ll waken the Major. ”
Giggles and smother laughter ; a flashlight winked for a moment and showed a wrinkle of five trucks, the movement and rear ones covered with tarpaulin tents. The voices came from the shelter next the gun. The men inside drew up their legs and made room for the strangers ; said they were sorry they had n’t anything dry to offer them except a little rummy. The intruders accepted this thankfully .
The Britishers were a giggly fortune, and Claude thought, from their voices, they must all be identical young. They joked about their major as if he were their schoolmaster. There was n’t board adequate on the hand truck for anybody to lie down, so they sat with their knees under their chins and exchanged chew the fat. The artillery team belonged to an autonomous battery that was sent about over the country, “ wherever needed. ” The rest of the barrage had got through, gone on to the east, but this big gun was always getting into trouble ; now something had gone wrong with her tractor and they could n’t pull her out. They called her “ Jenny, ” and said she was taken with fainting fits nowadays and then, and had to be humoured. It was like going about with your grandma, one of the inconspicuous Tommies said, “ she is such a pompous old thing ! ” The Major was asleep on the back truck ; he was going to get the V.C. for sleeping. More giggles .
No, they had n’t any idea where they were going ; of run, the officers knew, but weapon officers never told anything. What was this country like, anyhow ? They were new to this share, had barely come down from Verdun .
Claude said he had a ally in the air service up there ; did they happen to know anything about Victor Morse ?
Morse, the american english breeze through ? Had n’t he heard ? Why, that got into the London papers. Morse was shot down inside the Hun line three weeks ago. It was a bright matter. He was chased by eight Boche planes, brought down three of them, put the rest to flight, and was making for foundation, when they turned and got him. His car came down in flames and he jumped, fell a thousand feet or more .
“ then I suppose he never got his entrust ? ” Claude asked. They didn’t know. He got a fine citation .
The men settled down to wait for the weather to improve or the night to pass. Some of them fell into a snooze, but Claude felt wide alert. He was wondering about the flat in Chelsea ; whether the heavy-eyed smasher had been very good-for-nothing, or whether she was playing “ Roses of Picardy ” for other young officers. He thought mournfully that he would never go to London now. He had quite counted on merging Victor there some day, after the Kaiser had been properly disposed of. He had actually liked Victor. There was something about that colleague. .. a sort of debauched baby, he was, who went seeking his enemy in the cloud. What other age could have produced such a visualize ? That was one of the things about this war ; it took a little mate from a little town, gave him an breeze and a swagman, a life like a movie-film, —and then a death like the rebel angels .
A man like Gerhardt, for exemplify, had always lived in a more or less rose-coloured world ; he belonged over here, actually. How could he know what hard moulds and crusts the big guns had broken open on the other side of the sea ? Who could ever make him understand how far it was from the strawberry bed and the looking glass cage in the savings bank, to the sky-roads over Verdun ?
By three o’clock the rain had stopped. Claude and Hicks set off again, accompanied by one of the gun team who was going back to get help for their tractor. As it began to grow light, the two Americans wondered more and more at the highly youthful appearance of their companion. When they stopped at a shellhole and washed the mud from their faces, the English boy, with his helmet off and the weather stains removed, showed a sanction of adolescent crust, about girlish ; cheeks like pink apples, scandalmongering curls above his brow, long, soft lashes .
“ You have n’t been over very long, have you ? ” Claude asked in a fatherly tone, as they took the road again .
“ I came out in ‘sixteen. I was once in the infantry. ”
The Americans liked to hear him spill ; he spoke very quickly, in a high, pipe voice .
“ How did you come to change ? ”
“ Oh, I belonged to one of the Pal Battalions, and we got cut to pieces. When I came out of hospital, I thought I ‘d try another outgrowth of the service, seeing my pals were gone. ”
“ now, just what is a Pal Battalion ? ” drawled Hicks. He hated all english words he did n’t understand, though he did n’t mind french ones in the least .
“ Fellows who signed up in concert from school, ” the cub piped .
Hicks glanced at Claude. They both thought this boy ought to be in educate for some time however, and wondered what he looked like when he first came over .
“ And you got cut up, you say ? ” he asked sympathetically .
“ Yes, on the Somme. We had rotten luck. We were sent over to take a trench and could n’t. We did n’t even get to the electrify. The Hun was indeed well disposed that time, we could n’t manage it. We went over a thousand, and we came back seventeen. ”
“ A hundred and seventeen ? ”
“ No, seventeen. ”
Hicks whistled and again exchanged looks with Claude. They could neither of them doubt him. There was something very unpleasant about the theme of a thousand fresh-faced schoolboys being sent out against the gun. “ It must have been a gull order, ” he commented. “ Suppose there was some mistake at Headquarters ? ”
“ Oh, no, Headquarters knew what it was about ! We ‘d have taken it, if we ‘d had any sort of fortune. But the Hun happened to be full of crusade. His machine guns did for us. ”
“ You were hit yourself ? ” Claude asked him. “ In the leg. He was popping away at me all the while, but I wriggled back on my pot. When I came away of the hospital, my leg was n’t potent, and there’s less marching in the weapon. ”
“ I should think you ‘d have had about enough. ”
“ Oh, a fellow ca n’t stay out after all his chums have been killed ! He ‘d think about it all the time, you know, ” the son replied in his clear soprano .
Claude and Hicks got into Headquarters just as the cooks were turning out to build their fires. One of the corporals took them to the officers ‘ bath, —a shed with bad tin bathtub, —and carried away their uniforms to dry them in the kitchen. It would be an hour before the officers would be about, he said, and in the meanwhile he would manage to get clean shirts and socks for them .
“ Say, Lieutenant, ” Hicks brought out as he was rubbing himself down with a actual bath towel, “ I do n’t want to hear any more about those Pal Battalions, do you ? It gets my goat. so long as we were going to get into this, we might have been a little more former. I hate to feel small. ”
“ guess we ‘ll have to take our medicine, ” Claude said laconically. “ There was n’t anywhere to duck, was there ? I felt like it. Nice little child. I do n’t believe american english boys always seem american samoa young as that. ”
“ Why, if you met him anywhere else, you ‘d be afraid of using bad words before him, he ‘s sol pretty ! What ‘s the practice of sending an orphan refuge out to be slaughtered ? I ca n’t see it, ” grumbled the fat serjeant-at-law. “ well, it ‘s their occupation. I ‘m not going to let it spoil my breakfast. Suppose we ‘ll draw overact and eggs, Lieutenant ? ”

X

AFTER breakfast Claude reported to Headquarters and talked with one of the staff majors. He was told he would have to wait until tomorrow to see Colonel James, who had been called to Paris for a cosmopolitan league. He had left in his car at four that morning, in reception to a telephone message .
“ There ‘s not much to do here, by room of amusement, ” said the Major. “ A movie show tonight, and you can get anything you want at the estaminet, —the one on the square, opposite the English tank, is the best. There are a couple of nice Frenchwomen in the Red Cross barrack, improving on the hill, in the old convent garden. They try to look out for the civilian population, and we ‘re on good terms with them. We get their supplies through with our own, and the quartermaster has orders to help them when they run abruptly. You might go up and call on them. They speak english perfectly. ”
Claude asked whether he could walk in on them without any kind of presentation. “ Oh, yes, they ‘re used to us ! I ‘ll give you a calling card to Mademoiselle Olive, though. She ‘s a particular supporter of mine. There you are : ‘Mlle. Olive de Courcy, introduce, etc. ‘ And, you understand, ” hera he glanced up and looked Claude over from head to foot, “ she ‘s a perfective lady. ”
even with an introduction, Claude felt some reluctance about presenting himself to these ladies. possibly they did n’t like Americans ; he was always afraid of meeting french people who did n’t. It was the same way with most of the fellows in his battalion, he had found ; they were terribly afraid of being disliked. And the here and now they felt they were disliked, they hastened to behave angstrom badly as potential, in order to deserve it ; then they did n’t feel that they had been taken in—the worst feeling a doughboy could possibly have !
Claude thought he would stroll about to look at the town a little. It had been taken by the Germans in the fall of 1914, after their retreat from the Marne, and they had held it until about a year ago, when it was retaken by the English and the Chasseurs d’Alpins. They had been able to reduce it and to drive the Germans out, only by battering it down with weapon ; not one construction remained standing .
Ruin was atrocious, and it was nothing more, Claude was thinking, as he followed the paths that ran over piles of brick and poultice. There was nothing picturesque about this, as there was in the war pictures one saw at home. A cyclone or a fire might have done merely angstrom good a speculate. The station was simply a great dump-heap ; an exaggeration of those which disgrace the outskirts of american towns. It was the like thing over and over ; mounds of burned brick and broken stone, heaps of out of practice, twisted cast-iron, splintered beams and rafters, stagnant pools, root cellar holes full of dirty water. An american soldier had stepped into one of those holes a few nights before, and been drowned .
This had been a rich town of eighteen thousand inhabitants ; nowadays the civilian population was about four hundred. There were people there who had hung on all through the years of german occupation ; others who, deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as they heard that the enemy was driven out, came back from wherever they had found shelter. They were living in cellars, or in fiddling wooden barracks made from old timbers and american english goods boxes. As he walked along, Claude read familiar names and addresses, painted on boards built into the sides of these frail shelters : “ From Emery, Bird, Thayer Co., Kansas City, Mo. ” “ Daniels and Fisher, Denver, Colo. ” These inscriptions cheered him so much that he began to feel like going up and calling on the french ladies .
The sun had come out hot after three days of rain. The dead pools and the weeds that grew in the ditches gave out a social station, fleshy smell. godforsaken flowers grew triumphantly over the piles of rotting woodwind and rust iron ; cornflowers and Queen Anne ‘s lace and poppies ; blue and white and loss, as if the french colors came up ad lib out of the french territory, no matter what the Germans did to it .
Claude paused before a short hovel built against a half-demolished brick wall. A aureate cage hang in the doorway, with a canary yellow, singing beautifully. An old woman was working in the garden patch, picking out bits of brick and plaster the rain had washed up, digging with her fingers around the pale carrot-tops and clean lettuce heads. Claude approached her, touched his helmet, and asked her how one could find the way to the Red Cross .
She wiped her hands on her proscenium and took him by the elbow. “ Vous savez lupus erythematosus tank anglais ? Non ? Marie, Marie ! “
( He learned subsequently that every one was directed to go this way or that from a disabled british tank that had been left on the web site of the old town hall. )
A little daughter ran out of the cheer, and her grandma told her to go at once and take the American to the Red Cross. Marie put her hand in Claude ‘s and led him off along one of the paths that wound among the rubbish. She took him out of the manner to show him a church service, —evidently one of the ruins of which they were proudest, —where the blue sky was shining through the white arches. The Virgin stood with empty arms over the central door ; a little animal foot sticking to her gown showed where the baby Jesus had been shot away .
“ Le bébé est cassé, mais il a protégé sa mère, “ Marie explained with atonement. As they went on, she told Claude that she had a soldier among the Americans who was her friend. “ Il est bon, forty-nine est gai, mon soldat, “ but he sometimes drank besides much alcohol, and that was a bad substance abuse. possibly immediately, since his companion had stepped into a cellar hole Monday nox while he was drunkard, and had been drowned, her “ Sharlie ” would be warned and would do better. Marie was obviously a well brought up child. Her don, she said, had been a schoolmaster. At the foot of the convent mound she turned to go home. Claude called her back and awkwardly tried to give her some money, but she thrust her hands behind her and said resolutely, “ Non, merci. Je n’ai besoin de rien, “ and then ran away down the path .
As he climbed toward the top of the hill he noticed that the ground had been cleaned up a act. The path was clear, the bricks and hew stones had been piled in neat heaps, the fail hedges had been trimmed and the dead parts cut away. Emerging at last into the garden, he stood still for wonder ; evening though it was in ruins, it seemed so beautiful after the disorder of the world below .
The gravel walks were clean and shining. A rampart of very old boxwoods stood green against a row of dead Lombardy poplars. Along the shattered side of the main construction, a pear corner, trained on wires like a vine, silent flourished, —full of fiddling crimson pears. Around the stone well was a plane grass plot, and everywhere there were little trees and shrubs, which had been excessively low for the shells to hit, —or for the displace, which had seared the poplars, to catch. The hill must have been wrapped in flames at one time, and all the grandiloquent trees had been burned .
The cheer was built against the walls of the religious residence, —three arches of which remained, like a stone wing to the shed of planks. On a run stood a one-armed new man, driving nails very skillfully with his single hand. He seemed to be making a ensnare projection from the sloping roof, to support an awning. He carried his nails in his mouth. When he wanted one, he hung his hammer to the belt of his trousers, took a nail from between his teeth, stuck it into the wood, and then deftly rapped it on the head. Claude watched him for a here and now, then went to the foot of the run and held out his two hands. “ Laissez-moi, “ he exclaimed .
The one aloft spat his nails out into his palm, looked down, and laughed. He was about Claude ‘s age, with very chicken hair and mustache and gloomy eyes. A charming looking colleague .
“ willingly, ” he said. “ This is no bang-up affair, but I do it to amuse myself, and it will be pleasant for the ladies. ” He descended and gave his mallet to the visitor. Claude set to work on the frame, while the other went under the stone arches and brought back a hustle of canvas, —part of an old tent, by the look of it .
“ united nations héritage des Boches, “ he explained, unrolling it upon the grass. “ I found it among their filth in the root cellar, and had the estimate to make a pavilion for the ladies, as our trees are destroyed. ” He stood up suddenly. “ possibly you have come to see the ladies ? ”
“ Plus tard. “
identical well, the son said, they would get the pavilion done for a surprise for Mademoiselle Olive when she returned. She was down in the township now, visiting the disgusted people. He bent over his analyze again, measuring and cutting with a pair of garden shears, moving round the green plat on his knees, and all the fourth dimension singing. Claude wished he could understand the words of his birdcall .
While they were working together, tying the fabric astir to the frame, Claude, from his aggrandizement, saw a tall girl coming slowly up the path by which he had ascended. She paused at the top, by the box hedge, as if she were identical run down, and stood looking at them. presently she approached the ladder and said in behind, careful English, “ dear dawn. Louis has found help, I see. ”
Claude came down from his perch .
“ Are you Mademoiselle de Courcy ? I am Claude Wheeler. I have a notice of presentation to you, if I can find it. ”
She took the wag, but did not look at it. “ That is not necessity. Your consistent is adequate. Why have you come ? ”
He looked at her in some confusion. “ Well, very, I do n’t know ! I am just in from the front to see Colonel James, and he is in Paris, so I must wait over a day. One of the staff suggested my coming up here—I think because it is so nice ! ” he finished artlessly .
“ then you are a guest from the front, and you will have lunch with Louis and me. Madame Barré is besides gone for the day. Will you see our house ? ” She led him through the low doorway into a know room, unpainted, uncarpeted, light and airy. There were color war posters on the blank control panel walls, brass shell-cases full of rampantly flowers and garden flowers, canvas camp-chairs, a ledge of books, a table covered by a white silk shawl embroidered with big butterflies. The sunlight on the floor, the bunches of bracing flowers, the white window curtains stirring in the breeze, reminded Claude of something, but he could not remember what .
“ We have no guest room, ” said Mademoiselle de Courcy. “ But you will come to mine, and Louis will bring you hot water system to wash. ”
In a wooden bedroom at the end of the passage, Claude took off his coat, and set to work to make himself a tidy as potential. hot body of water and scented soap were in themselves pleasant things. The dressing table was an honest-to-god goods box, stood on end and covered with white lawn. On it there was a row of bone toilet things, with combs and brushes, powder and cologne, and a pile of white handkerchiefs bracing from the iron. He felt that he ought not to look about him much, but the olfactory property of cleanness, and the indefinable air of personality, tempted him. In one corner, a curtain on a perch made a clothes-closet ; in another was a depleted cast-iron bed, like a soldier ‘s, with a pale bluing coverlid and blank pillows. He moved cautiously and splashed discreetly. There was nothing he could have damaged or broken, not evening a rug on the plank floor, and the pitcher and hand-basin were of iron ; yet he felt as if he were imperilling something flimsy .
When he came out, the board in the living room was set for three. The hardy erstwhile dame who was placing the plates paid no care to him, —seemed, from her formula, to scorn him and all his kind. He withdrew a far as possible out of her path and picked up a book from the table, a volume of Heine ‘s Reisebilder in German .
Before lunch Mademoiselle de Courcy showed him the store room in the rear, where the shelves were stocked with rows of coffee tins, condensed milk, canned vegetables and kernel, all with american trade names he knew therefore well ; names which seemed doubly familiar and “ reliable ” here, indeed far from home. She told him the people in the township could not have got through the winter without these things. She had to deal them out meagerly, where the want was greatest, but they made the difference between life and death. now that it was summer, the people lived by their gardens ; but previous women inactive came to beg for a few ounces of chocolate, and mothers to get a can of milk for the babies. Claude ‘s expression glowed with pleasure. Yes, his country had a long arm. People forgot that ; but hera, he felt, was some one who did not forget. When they sat down to lunch he learned that Mademoiselle de Courcy and Madame Barré had been here about a year now ; they came soon after the town was retaken, when the old inhabitants began to drift back. The people brought with them alone what they could carry in their arms .
“ They must love their country so a lot, do n’t you think, when they endure such poverty to come spinal column to it ? ” she said. “ tied the old ones do not often complain about their dearly things—their linen, and their china, and their beds. If they have the land, and hope, all that they can make again. This war has taught us all how little the made things topic. entirely the feel matters. ”
precisely sol ; had n’t he been trying to say this ever since he was born ? Had n’t he always known it, and had n’t it made life both bitter and sweet for him ? What a beautiful voice she had, this Mademoiselle Olive, and how nobly it dealt with the English tongue. He would like to say something, but out of therefore much. .. what ? He remained mum, consequently, sat nervously breaking up the black war bread that lay beside his plate. He saw her looking at his hand, felt in a flash that she regarded it with favor, and immediately put it on his knee, under the table .
“ It is our trees that are bad, ” she went on sadly. “ You have seen our poor people trees ? It makes one ashamed for this beautiful part of France. Our people are more blue for them than to lose their cattle and horses. ”
Mademoiselle de Courcy looked over-taxed by care and province, Claude thought, as he watched her. She seemed far from potent. slender, grey-eyed, dark-haired, with white crystalline skin and a excessively ardent color in her lips and cheeks, —like the flare of a febrile activity within. Her shoulders drooped, as if she were always tired. She must be new, excessively, though there were threads of grey in her haircloth, —brushed flatcar and knotted rakishly at the back of her capitulum .
After the chocolate, Mademoiselle de Courcy went to work at her desk, and Louis took Claude to show him the garden. The clear and trimming and planting were his own solve, and he had done it all with one arm. This fall he would accomplish much more, for he was stronger now, and he had the habitude of working single-handed. He must manage to get the dead trees down ; they distressed Mademoiselle Olive. In front man of the jeer stood four old locusts ; the tops were naked forks, burned coal-black, but the lower branches had put out midst tufts of yellow-green foliation, so vigorous that the life in the trunks must still be sound. This capitulation, Louis said, he meant to get some strong american boys to help him, and they would saw off the dead limbs and trim the tops flat over the blockheaded boles. How much it must mean to a world to love his nation like this, Claude thought ; to love its trees and flowers ; to nurse it when it was sick, and tend its hurts with one arm .
Among the flowers, which had come back self-seeded or from honest-to-god roots, Claude found a group of grandiloquent, sprawling plants with red stems and bantam white blossoms, —one of the evening primrose family, the Gaura, that grew along the mud banks of lovely Creek, at base. He had never thought it identical pretty, but he was please to find it here. He had supposed it was one of those nameless prairie flowers that grew on the prairie and nowhere else .
When they went back to the barrack, Mademoiselle Olive was sitting in one of the canvas chairs Louis had placed under the newly pavilion .
“ What a fine boyfriend he is ! ” Claude exclaimed, looking after him .
“ Louis ? Yes. He was my brother ‘s neat. When émile came dwelling on leave he always brought Louis with him, and Louis became like one of the syndicate. The shell that killed my brother tore off his arm. My beget and I went to visit him in the hospital, and he seemed ashamed to be alive, poor boy, when my brother was dead. He put his hand over his side and began to cry, and said, ‘ Oh, Madame, illinois était toujours plus chic que moi ! “ ‘
Although Mademoiselle Olive spoke English well, Claude saw that she did then only by keeping her mind intently upon it. The stiffly sentences she uttered were foreign to her nature ; her face and eyes ran ahead of her tongue and made one wait eagerly for what was coming. He sat down in a sagging sail president, absently twisting a branchlet of Gaura he had pulled .
“ You have found a flower ? ” She looked improving .
“ Yes. It grows at home, on my father ‘s grow. ”
She dropped the bleached shirt she was darning. “ Oh, tell me about your country ! I have talked to therefore many, but it is difficult to understand. Yes, tell me about that ! ”
Nebraska—What was it ? How many days from the sea, what did it look like ? As he tried to describe it, she listened with half-closed eyes. “ Flat—covered with grain—muddy rivers. I think it must be like Russia. But your father ‘s farm ; describe that to me, minutely, and possibly I can see the rest. ”
Claude took a stick and drew a square in the backbone : there, to begin with, was the house and farmyard ; there was the big crop, with cover girl creek flowing through it ; there were the wheatfields and cornfields, the forest call ; more wheat and corn, more pastures. There it all was, diagrammed on the yellow sandpaper, with shadows gliding over it from the half-charred locust trees. He would not have believed that he could tell a foreign about it in such detail. It was partially due to his hearer, no doubt ; she gave him unusual sympathy, and the glow of an unusual mind. While she bent over his map, questioning him, a light dew of perspiration gathered on her amphetamine brim, and she breathed faster from her feat to see and understand everything. He told her about his mother and his don and Mahailey ; what life was like there in summer and winter and autumn—what it had been like in that fateful summer when the Hun was moving always toward Paris, and on those three days when the french were standing at the Marne ; how his mother and founder waited for him to bring the news at night, and how the very cornfields seemed to hold their breath .
Mademoiselle Olive sank back tiredly in her professorship. Claude looked up and saw tears sparkling in her bright eyes. “ And I myself, ” she murmured, “ did not know of the Marne until days subsequently, though my beget and brother were both there ! I was far off in Brittany, and the trains did not run. That is what is fantastic, that you are here, telling me this ! We, —we were taught from childhood that some day the Germans would come ; we grew up under that terror. But you were therefore safe, with all your wheat and corn. nothing could touch you, nothing ! ”
Claude dropped his eyes. “ Yes, ” he muttered, blush, “ shame could. It reasonably about did. We are pretty former. ” He rose from his chair as if he were going to fetch something. .. . But where was he to get it from ? He shook his pass. “ I am afraid, ” he said mournfully, “ there is nothing I can say to make you understand how far away it all seemed, how about visionary. It did n’t only seem miles away, it seemed centuries away. ”
“ But you do come, —so many, and from so army for the liberation of rwanda ! It is the last miracle of this war. I was in Paris on the fourth day of July, when your Marines, just from Belleau Wood, marched for your national fête, and I said to myself as they came on, ‘That is a new man ! ‘ such heads they had, so fine there, behind the ears. such discipline and purpose. Our people laughed and called to them and threw them flowers, but they never turned to look. .. eyes straight before. They passed like men of fortune. ” She threw out her hands with a fleet bowel movement and dropped them in her lap. The emotion of that day came back in her grimace. As Claude looked at her burn cheek, her burning eyes, he understood that the deform of this war had given her a percept that was about like a gift of prophecy .
A womanhood came up the hill carrying a baby. Mademoiselle de Courcy went to meet her and took her into the house. Claude sat down again, about lost to himself in the feel of being completely understood, of being no longer a strange. In the far outdistance the big guns were booming at intervals. Down in the garden Louis was singing. Again he wished he knew the words of Louis ‘ songs. The airs were rather melancholy, but they were sing very cheerfully. There was something open and warm about the boy ‘s voice, as there was about his face—something blond, excessively. It was distinctly a blond spokesperson, like summer wheat-fields, good and wave. Claude sat alone for half an hour or more, tasting a modern kind of happiness, a new kind of sadness. Ruin and new birth ; the frisson of despicable things in the past, the trembling trope of beautiful ones on the horizon ; witness and lose ; that was life, he saw .
When his hostess came back, he moved her president for her out of the creeping sunlight. “ I did n’t know there were any french girls like you, ” he said merely, as she sat down .
She smiled. “ I do not think there are any french girls left. There are children and women. I was twenty-one when the war came, and I had never been anywhere without my mother or my brother or sister. Within a class I went all over France alone ; with soldiers, with senegalese, with anybody. Everything is different with us. ” She lived at Versailles, she told him, where her beget had been an teacher in the military School. He had died since the begin of the war. Her grandfather was killed in the war of 1870. Hers was a family of soldiers, but not one of the men would be left to see the day of victory .
She looked so bore that Claude knew he had no right to stay. long shadows were falling in the garden. It was hard to leave ; but an hour more or less would n’t matter. Two people could hardly give each early more if they were together for years, he thought .
“ Will you tell me where I can come and see you, if we both get through this war ? ” he asked as he rose .
He wrote it down in his notebook .
“ I shall look for you, ” she said, giving him her hand .
There was nothing to do but to take his helmet and go. At the edge of the mound, precisely before he plunged down the path, he stopped and glanced back at the garden lie flattened in the sunday ; the three stone arches, the dahlia and marigolds, the glistening boxwood wall. He had left something on the hilltop which he would never find again .
The future afternoon Claude and his serjeant-at-law set off for the movement. They had been told at Headquarters that they could shorten their path by following the boastfully road to the military cemetery, and then turning to the leave. It was not advisable to go the latter half of the way before twilight, so they took their meter through the belt out of straggling crops and hayfields .
When they struck the road they came upon a big upland sitting in the end of an empty add beach wagon, smoking a pipe and rubbing the dried mud out of his kilts. The horses were munching in their nose-bags, and the driver had disappeared. The Americans had n’t happened to meet with any Highlanders before, and were curious. This one must be a well combatant, they thought ; a brawny colossus with a bulldog jaw, and a face as red and knobby as his knees. More because he admired the looks of the man than because he needed information, Hicks went up and asked him if he had noticed a military cemetery on the road back. The Kiltie nodded .
“ About how far back would you say it was ? ”
“ I would n’t say at all. I take no score of their kilometers, ” he replied laconically, rubbing away at his skirt as if he had it in a washtub .
“ well, about how long will it take us to walk it ? ”
“ That I could n’t say. A Scotsman would do it in an hour. ”
“ I guess a yankee can do it equally quick as a Scotchman, ca n’t he ? ” Hicks asked jovially .
“ That I could n’t say. You ‘ve been four years gettin ‘ this far, I know verra well. ”
Hicks blinked as if he had been hit. “ Oh, if that ‘s the way you talk— ”
“ That ‘s the way I do, ” said the other sourly .
Claude put out a warn hand. “ Come on, Hicks. You ‘ll get nothing by it. ” They went up the road very much disconcerted. Hicks kept think of things he might have said. When he was angry, the Sergeant ‘s frontal bone puffed up and became dark red, like a young child ‘s. “ What did you call me off for ? ” he sputtered .
“ I do n’t see where you ‘d have come out in an argument, and you surely could n’t have licked him. ”
They turned aside at the cemetery to wait until the sun went down. It was unfenced, unsodded, and a wagon chase ran through the center, bisecting the hearty. On one side were the french graves, with white crosses ; on the other side the german graves, with black crosses. Poppies and cornflowers ran over them. The Americans strolled about, reading the names. hera and there the soldier ‘s photograph was nailed upon his hybridization, left by some brother to perpetuate his memory a little longer .
The birds, that constantly came to life at twilight and dawn, began to sing, flying home from somewhere. Claude and Hicks sat down between the mounds and began to smoke while the sun dropped. Lines of dead trees marked the crimson west. This was a blue stretch of state, tied to boys brought up on the flat prairie. They smoked in hush, meditating and waiting for night. On a cross at their feet the inscription read merely : Soldat Inconnu, Mort pour La France .
A very good epitaph, Claude was thinking. Most of the boys who fell in this war were unknown, even to themselves. They were besides youthful. They died and took their secret with them, —what they were and what they might have been. The name that stood was La France. How much that name had come to mean to him, since he first base saw a shoulder of bring bulk up in the dawn from the pack of cards of the Anchises. It was a pleasant name to say over in one ‘s mind, where one could make it as passionately nasal consonant as one please and never blush .
Hicks, besides, had been lost in his reflections. now he broke the silence. “ Somehow, Lieutenant, ‘mort ‘ seems deader than ‘dead. ‘ It has a coffinish sound. And over there they’re all ‘tod, ‘ and it ‘s all the same damned punch-drunk thing. Look at them set out here, bootleg and white, like a checkerboard. The next question is, who put ’em here, and what ‘s the beneficial of it ? ”
“ Search me, ” the other murmured absently .
Hicks rolled another cigarette and sat smoking it, his plump confront wrinkled with the graveness and tug of his thinking. “ well, ” he brought out at stopping point, “ we ‘d better hike. This afterglow will hang on for an hour, —always does, over here. ”
“ I suppose we had. ” They rose to go. The white crosses were now violet, and the black ones had all in all melted in the shadow. Behind the dead trees in the west, a long smear of bolshevik calm burned. To the north, the guns were tuning up with a deep thunder. “ Some-body ‘s getting peppered up there. Do owls always damn in graveyards ? ”
“ just what I was wondering, Lieutenant. It ‘s a passive spot, otherwise. Good-night, boys, ” said Hicks charitable, as they left the graves behind them .
They were soon finding their means among shellholes, and jumping trench-tops in the night, —beginning to feel cheerful at getting back to their chums and their own small group. Hicks broke out and told Claude how he and Dell Able mean to go into clientele together when they got home ; were going to open a garage and automobile-repair shop. Under their spill the beans, in the minds of both, that lonely spot lingered, and the legend : Soldat Inconnu, Mort pour La France .

XI

AFTER four days ‘ rest in the back, the Battalion went to the front man again in newfangled country, about ten kilometers east of the impinge they had relieved earlier. One dawn Colonel Scott sent for Claude and Gerhardt and spread his maps out on the table .
“ We are going to clean them out there in F 6 tonight, and straighten our line. The thing that bothers us is that little village stuck up on the mound, where the foe machine guns have a potent position. I want to get them out of there before the Battalion goes over. We ca n’t spare excessively many men, and I do n’t like to send out more officers than I can help ; it wo n’t do to reduce the Battalion for the major operation. Do you think you two boys could manage it with a hundred men ? The decimal point is, you will have to be out and back before our weapon begins at three o’clock. ”
Under the hill where the village stood, ran a deep ravine, and from this ravine a twisting water-course scent up the hillside. By climbing this gully, the raiders should be able to fall on the machine gunners from the rear and surprise them. But first they must get across the open stretch, about one and a half kilometers wide, between the American production line and the ravine, without attracting attention. It was raining now, and they could safely count on a night night .
The night came on blacken enough. The company crossed the open stretch without provoking displace, and slipped into the ravine to wait for the hour of attack. A young doctor, a pennsylvanian, recently attached to the staff, had volunteered to come with them, and he arranged a dress post at the buttocks of the ravine, where the stretchers were left. They were to pick up their wounded on the way back. Anything left in that area would be exposed to the artillery fire later on .
At ten o’clock the men began to ascend the watercourse, creeping through pools and little waterfalls, making a continuous spludgy sound, like pigs rubbing against the sty. Claude, with the question of the column, was equitable pulling out of the gully on the hillside above the village, when a flare went up, and a volley of arouse break from the brush on the up-hill english of the water-course ; machine guns, opening on the exposed line crawling below. The Hun had been warned that the Americans were crossing the plain and had anticipated their direction of access. The men in the gully were trapped ; they could not retaliate with effect, and the bullets from the Maxims bounded on the rocks about them like hail. Gerhardt ran along the boundary of the note, urging the men not to fall second and double on themselves, but to break out of the gully on the down-hill side and break up .
Claude, with his group, started rear. “ Go into the brush and get ’em ! Our fellows have got no casual depressed there. Grenades while they last, then bayonets. Pull your plugs and do n’t hold on besides hanker. ”
They were already on the run, charging the brush. The Hun gunners knew the hill like a book, and when the turkey began bursting among them, they took to trails and burrows. “ Do n’t follow them off into the rocks, ” Claude kept calling. “ straight ahead ! clear everything to the ravine. ”
As the german gunners made for cover, the fuel into the gully stopped, and the collar column poured up the steep tarnish after Gerhardt .
Claude and his party found themselves bet on at the foot of the mound, at the border of the ravine from which they had started. Heavy firing on the hill above told them the rest of the men had got through. The quickest manner back to the fit of action was by the same watercourse they had climbed before. They dropped into it and started up. Claude, at the rear, felt the reason rise under him, and he was swept with a mountain of earth and rock down into the ravine .
He never knew whether he lost awareness or not. It seemed to him that he went on having continuous sensations. The beginning, was that of being blown to pieces ; of swelling to an enormous size under intolerable coerce, and then bursting. Next he felt himself psychiatrist and prickling, like a frost-bitten body thawing out. then he swelled again, and fusillade. This was repeated, he did n’t know how often. He soon realized that he was lying under a big weight of ground ; —his body, not his pass. He felt rain falling on his font. His leftover hand was absolve, and hush attached to his sleeve. He moved it cautiously to his boldness. He seemed to be bleeding from the nose and ears. immediately he began to wonder where he was hurt ; he felt as if he were broad of shell splinters. Everything was buried but his headway and left shoulder. A voice was calling from somewhere below .
“ Are any of you fellows alive ? ”
Claude closed his eyes against the rain beat in his face. The same part came again, with a note of affected role despair .
“ If there ‘s anybody left alive in this hole, wo n’t he speak up ? I’m badly hurt myself. ”
That must be the new sophisticate ; was n’t his dressing station somewhere polish here ? Hurt, he said. Claude tried to move his leg a small. possibly, if he could get out from under the soil, he might hold together long adequate to reach the Doctor. He began to wriggle and pull. The wet ground sucked at him ; it was painful occupation. He braced himself with his elbows, but kept slipping back .
“ I ‘m the only one left, then ? ” said the doleful voice below .
At death Claude worked himself out of his burrow, but he was unable to stand. Every time he tried to stand, he got faint and seemed to burst again. Something was the matter with his right ankle, too—he could n’t bear his system of weights on it. possibly he had been besides near the shell to be hit ; he had heard the boys tell of such cases. It had exploded under his feet and swept him down into the ravine, but had n’t left any metal in his body. If it had put anything into him, it would have put so much that he would n’t be sitting here speculating. He began to crawl down the slope on all fours. “ Is that the Doctor ? Where are you ? ”
“ here, on a stretcher. They shelled us. Who are you ? Our fellows got improving, did n’t they ? ” “ I guess most of them did. What happened back here ? ”
“ I ‘m afraid it ‘s my fault, ” the voice said sadly. “ I used my dart sparkle, and that must have given them the scope .
They put three or four shells correct on circus tent of us. The fellows that got hurt in the gully kept stringing back here, and I could n’t do anything in the darkness. I had to have a light to do anything. I just finished putting on a Johnson splint when the first carapace came. I guess they ‘re all done for now. ”
“ How many were there ? ”
“ Fourteen, I think. Some of them were n’t much hurt. They ‘d all be active, if I had n’t come out with you. ”
“ Who were they ? But you do n’t know our names so far, do you ? You didn’t see lieutenant Gerhardt among them ? ”
“ Do n’t think thus. ”
“ Nor police sergeant Hicks, the fat chap ? ”
“ Do n’t think indeed. ”
“ Where are you hurt ? ”
“ Abdominal. I ca n’t tell anything without a light. I lost my dart luminosity. It never occurred to me that it could make trouble ; it ‘s one I use at home, when the babies are pale, ” the Doctor murmured .
Claude tried to strike a match, with no achiever. “ Wait a infinitesimal, where ‘s your helmet ? ” He took off his metallic hat, held it over the Doctor, and managed to strike a light underneath it. The wounded man had already loosened his trousers, and now he pulled up his bally shirt. His breakwater and abdomen were torn on the leave side. The wind, and the stretcher on which he lay, supported a mass of dark, coagulated blood that looked like a capital cow ‘s liver-colored .
“ I guess I ‘ve got mine, ” the Doctor murmured as the catch went out .
Claude struck another. “ Oh, that ca n’t be ! Our fellows will be back reasonably soon, and we can do something for you. ”
“ No consumption, Lieutenant. Do you suppose you could strip a coat off one of those inadequate fellows ? I feel the cold terribly in my intestines. I had a bottle of french brandy, but I suppose it ‘s buried. ”
Claude stripped off his own coat, which was warmly on the inside, and began feeling approximately in the mud for the brandy. He wondered why the poor homo was n’t screaming with pain. The fire on the hill had ceased, except for the periodic chatter of a Maxim, away in the rocks somewhere. His watch said 12:10 ; could anything have miscarried up there ?
on the spur of the moment, voices above, a clatter of boots on the shale. He began shouting to them .
“ orgasm, coming ! ” He knew the voice. Gerhardt and his rifles ran toss off into the ravine with a crowd of prisoners. Claude called to them to be careful. “ Do n’t strike a light ! They ‘ve been shelling down here. ”
“ All right are you, Wheeler ? Where are the hurt ? ”
“ There are n’t any but the Doctor and me. Get us out of here quick. I ‘m all right, but I ca n’t walk. ”
They put Claude on a stretcher and sent him ahead. Four large Germans carried him, and they were prodded to a canter by Hicks and Dell Able. Four of their own men took up the Doctor, and Gerhardt walked beside him. In hurt of their caution, the motion started the blood again and tore away the clots that had formed over his wounds. He began to vomit lineage and to strangle. The men put the stretcher down. Gerhardt lifted the Doc-tor ‘s headway. “ It ‘s over, ” he said soon. “ Better make the best prison term you can. ”
They picked up their load again. “ Them that are carrying him now wo n’t jolt him, ” said Oscar, the pious Swede .
B Company lost nineteen men in the raid. Two days later the Company went off on a ten-day leave. Claude ‘s twist ankle was twice its natural size, but to avoid being sent to the hospital he had to march to the railhead. police sergeant Hicks got him a giant star shoe he found stuck on the barbed electrify web. Claude and Gerhardt were going away on their leave together .

XII

A showery fall night ; Papa Joubert sat reading his paper. He heard a big impound on his garden gate. Kicking off his slippers, he put on the wooden sabots he kept for mud, shuffled across the dripping garden, and opened the door into the iniquity street. Two grandiloquent figures with rifles and kits confronted him. In a here and now he began embracing them, calling to his wife :
“ Nom de diable, Maman, c’est David, David et Claude, tous les deux ! “
Sorry-looking soldiers they appeared when they stood in the candle-light, —plastered with cadaver, their alloy hats shining like bull bowl, their clothes dripping pools of water upon the flags of the kitchen floor. Madame Joubert kissed their moisture checks, and Monsieur, now that he could see them, embraced them again. whence had they come, and how had it fared with them, up there ? identical well, as anybody could see. What did they want first, —supper, possibly ? Their room was always ready for them ; and the clothes they had left were in the big chest of drawers .
David explained that their shirts had not once been dry for four days ; and what they most desired was to be dry and to be clean. Old Martha, already in bed, was routed out to heat water. Monsieur Joubert carried the big washtub upstairs. Tomorrow for conversation, he said ; tonight for repose. The boys followed him and began to peel off their wet uniforms, leaving them in two sodden piles on the floor. There was one bathe for both, and they threw up a coin to decide which should get into the warm urine first. Monsieur Joubert, seeing Claude ‘s fat ankle strapped up in adhesive material bandages, began to chuckle. “ Oh, I see the Boche made you dance up there ! ”
When they were clad in clean pajama out of the breast, Papa Joubert carried their shirts and socks down for Martha to wash. He returned with the big kernel platter, on which was an omelet made of twelve eggs and thrust with bacon and fried potatoes. Madame Joubert brought the three-story earthen coffee-pot to the door and called, “ Bon appétit ! “ The host poured the chocolate and cut up the bum with his clasp knife. He sat down to watch them eat. How had they found things up there, anyhow ? The Boches polite and accordant as usual ? last, when there was not a crumb of anything leave, he poured for each a little glass of brandy, “ pour aider la digestion, “ and wished them good-night. He took the candle with him .
Perfect bliss, Claude reflected, as the frisson of the sheets grew warm around his body, and he sniffed in the pillow the old smell of lavender. To be sol warm, so dry, so clean, so beloved ! The travel down, reviewed from here, seemed beautiful. a soon as they had got out of the area of martyr trees, they found the land of France turning gold. All along the river valleys the poplars and cottonwoods had changed from green to yellow, —evenly coloured, looking like candle-flames in the obscure and rain. Across the fields, along the horizon they ran, like torches passed from hand to hand, and all the willows by the little current had become argent. The vineyards were fleeceable still, thick spotted with curly, red branches. It all flashed back beside his pillow in the dark : this beautiful country, this beautiful people, this beautiful omelet ; aureate poplars, bluish green vineyards, wet, scarlet vine-leaves, rain dripping into the court, fragrant darkness. .. sleep, stronger than all .

XIII

THE forest way was deep in leaves. Claude and David were lying on the dry, springy heather among the flint boulders. Gerhardt, with his fedora over his eyes, was presumably asleep. They were having very well weather for their holiday. The forest rose about this exposed clearing like an amphitheater, in fortunate terraces of horsechestnut and beech. The boastful nuts dropped velvet and brown university, as if they had been soaked in vegetable oil, and disappeared in the dry leaves below. fiddling black yew trees, that had not been visible in the park of summer, stood out among the curly yellow brakes. Through the grey web of the beech catch on, besotted holly bushes glittered .
It was the Wheeler way to dread assumed happiness, to feel cowardly about being fooled. Since he had come back, Claude had more than once wondered whether he took besides much for granted and felt more at base here than he had any justly to feel. The Americans were prone, he had observed, to make themselves very much at home, to mistake beneficial manners for dependable will. He had no right to doubt the affection of the Jouberts, however ; that was genuine and personal, —not a smooth surface under which about any shade of contemn might lie and joke. .. was not, in short, the punic “ french politeness ” by which one must not let oneself be taken in. merely having seen the temper change in a country gave one the smell of having been there for a hanker time. And, anyhow, he was n’t a tourist. He was here on legitimate commercial enterprise .
Claude ‘s twist ankle was hush badly swollen. Madame Joubert was sure he ought not to move about on it at all, begged him to sit in the garden all day and breastfeed it. But the surgeon at the front had told him that if he once stopped walking, he would have to go to the hospital. so, with the help of his host ‘s best holly-wood cane, he limped out into the forest every day. This good afternoon he was tempted to go still further. Madame Joubert had told him about some caves at the other end of the wood, underground chambers where the country people had gone to live in times of great misery, long ago, in the english wars. The english wars ; he could not remember equitable how far back they were, —but long adequate to make one find comfortable. As for him, possibly he would never go home at all. possibly, when this great affair was all over, he would buy a fiddling farm and stay here for the rest of his life sentence. That was a plan he liked to play with. There was no gamble for the kind of life he wanted at home, where people were always buying and betray, build and pulling down. He had begun to believe that the Americans were a people of shallow emotions. That was the manner Gerhardt had put it once ; and if it was true, there was no cure for it. Life was so short that it meant nothing at all unless it were continually reinforced by something that endured ; unless the shadows of individual universe came and went against a background that held together. While he was absorbed in his day ambition of farming in France, his companion stirred and rolled over on his elbow .
“ You know we are to join the Battalion at A——. They ‘ll be living like kings there. Hicks will get thus adipose tissue he ‘ll drop over on the demonstrate. Headquarters must have something peculiarly cruddy in mind ; the infantry is constantly fed up before a slaughter. But I’ve been thinking ; I have some old friends at A——. Suppose we go on there a day early, and get them to take us in ? It ‘s a fine old topographic point, and I ought to go to see them. The son was a fellow student of mine at the Conservatoire. He was killed the second winter of the war. I used to go up there for the holidays with him ; I would like to see his mother and baby again. You ‘ve no objection ? ”
Claude did not answer at once. He lay squinting off at the beech trees, without moving. “ You always avoid that subjugate with me, don’t you ? ” he said presently .
“ What subject ? ”
“ Oh, anything to do with the Conservatoire, or your profession. ”
“ I have n’t any profession at portray. I ‘ll never go bet on to the violin. ”
“ You mean you could n’t make up for the time you ‘ll lose ? ”
Gerhardt settled his back against a rock and got out his organ pipe. “ That would be difficult ; but early things would be harder. I ‘ve lost much more than time. ”
“ Could n’t you have got exemption, one room or another ? ”
“ I might have. My friends wanted to take it up and make a examination case of me. But I could n’t stand for it. I did n’t feel I was a effective enough violinist to admit that I was n’t a man. I often wish I had been in Paris that summer when the war broke out ; then I would have gone into the french army on the first impulse, with the other students, and it would have been better. ”
David paused and sat puffing at his pipe. Just then a soft movement stirred the brakes on the hillside. A little barefoot girl stood there, looking about. She had heard voices, but at first did not see the uniforms that blended with the jaundiced and embrown of the wood. then she saw the sunday shining on two heads ; one square, and amber in color, —the early red bronze, retentive and minute. She took their friendliness for granted and came down the hill, stopping nowadays and again to pick up bright horse-chestnuts and pop them into a sack she was dragging. David called to her and asked her whether the nuts were dependable to eat .
“ Oh, not ! ” she exclaimed, her front expressing the liveliest panic, “ pour les cochons ! “ These inexperienced Americans might eat about anything. The boys laughed and gave her some pennies, “ pour les cochons aussi. ” She stole about the border of the wood, stirring among the leaves for nuts, and watching the two soldiers .
Gerhardt knocked out his organ pipe and began to fill it again. “ I went home to see my mother in May, of 1914. I was n’t here when the war broke out. The Conservatoire closed at once, so I arranged a concert tour in the States that winter, and did very well. That was before all the short Russians went over, and the field was n’t so crowded. I had a second season, and that went well. But I was getting more nervous all the time ; I was entirely half there. ” He smoked thoughtfully, sitting with pen up arms, as if he were going over a succession of events or states of feel. “ When my total was drawn, I reported to see what I could do about getting out ; I took a expression at the other fellows who were trying to squirm, and chucked it. I ‘ve never been good-for-nothing. not long subsequently, my violin was smashed, and my career seemed to go along with it. ”
Claude asked him what he meant .
“ While I was at Camp Dix, I had to play at one of the entertainments. My violin, a Stradivarius, was in a vault in New York. I did n’t need it for that concert, any more than I need it at this moment ; yet I went to town and brought it out. I was taking it up from the station in a military car, and a bibulous cab driver ran into us. I wasn’t hurt, but the violin, lying across my knees, was smashed into a thousand pieces. I did n’t know what it meant then ; but since, I ‘ve seen so many beautiful old things smashed. .. I ‘ve become a fatalist. ”
Claude watched his brooding head against the grey flint rock .
“ You ought to have kept out of the solid thing. Any army man would say thus. ”
David ‘s head went back against the boulder, and he threw one of the chestnuts lightly into the tune. “ Oh, one violinist more or less does n’t matter ! But who is always going back to anything ? That ‘s what I want to know ! ”
Claude felt guilty ; as if David must have guessed what apostasy had been going on in his own thinker this good afternoon. “ You do n’t believe we are going to get out of this war what we went in for, do you ? ” he asked on the spur of the moment .
“ absolutely not, ” the other replied with cool apathy .
“ then I surely do n’t see what you ‘re here for ! ”
“ Because in 1917 I was twenty-four years honest-to-god, and able to bear arms. The war was put up to our generation. I do n’t know what for ; the sins of our fathers, credibly. surely not to make the earth safe for Democracy, or any palaver of that kind. When I was doing stretcher work, I had to tell myself over and over that nothing would come of it, but that it had to be. Sometimes, though, I think something must. .. . nothing we expect, but something unanticipated. ” He paused and shut his eyes. “ You remember in the old mythology tales how, when the sons of the gods were born, the mothers always died in agony ? Maybe it ‘s alone Semele I ‘m thinking of. At any rate, I’ve sometimes wondered whether the young men of our fourth dimension had to die to bring a new idea into the world. .. something olympian. I ‘d like to know. I think I shall know. Since I ‘ve been over here this time, I ‘ve come to believe in immortality. Do you ? ”
Claude was confused by this placid interview. “ I barely know. I’ve never been able to make up my mind. ”
“ Oh, do n’t bother about it ! If it comes to you, it comes. You don’t have to go after it. I arrived at it in quite the lapp way I used to get things in artwork, —knowing them and living on them before I understood them. such ideas used to seem childish to me. ” Gerhardt sprang up. “ now, have I told you what you want to know about my case ? ” He looked down at Claude with a curious gleam of entertainment and affection. “ I ‘m going to stretch my legs. It ‘s four o’clock. ”
He disappeared among the red pine stems, where the sunlight made a rose-coloured lake, as it used to do in the summer. .. as it would do in all the years to come, when they were not there to see it, Claude was thinking. He pulled his hat over his eyes and went to sleep .
The small female child on the boundary of the beech left her displace and steal restfully down the hill. Sitting in the heather and drawing her feet up under her, she stayed silent for a long meter, and regarded with curio the relaxed, deep-breathing body of the American soldier .
The adjacent day was Claude ‘s twenty-fifth birthday, and in honor of that consequence Papa Joubert produced a bottle of old Burgundy from his root cellar, one of a few dozens he had laid in for great occasions when he was a youthful man .
During that week of faineance at Madame Joubert ‘s, Claude often thought that the period of glad “ young, ” about which his honest-to-god supporter Mrs. Erlich used to talk, and which he had never experienced, was being made up to him now. He was having his youth in France. He knew that nothing like this would ever come again ; the fields and woods would never again be laced over with this brumous enchantment. As he came up the village street in the purple evening, the smell of wood-smoke from the chimneys went to his head like a narcotic, opened the pores of his skin, and sometimes made the tears come to his eyes. Life had after all turned out well for him, and everything had a lord significance. The skittish latent hostility in which he had lived for years now seemed incredible to him. .. absurd and childish, when he thought of it at all. He did not torture himself with recollections. He was beginning over again .
One night he dreamed that he was at home ; out in the plow fields, where he could see nothing but the furrowed embrown earth, stretching from horizon to horizon. Up and down it moved a male child, with a plow and two horses. At first base he thought it was his brother Ralph ; but on orgasm near, he saw it was himself, —and he was wide of fear for this son. Poor Claude, he would never, never get away ; he was going to miss everything ! While he was struggling to speak to Claude, and warn him, he awoke .
In the years when he went to school in Lincoln, he was always hunting for some one whom he could admire without reservations ; some one he could envy, emulate, wish to be. immediately he believed that tied then he must have had some faint image of a serviceman like Gerhardt in his mind. It was only in war times that their paths would have been probably to cross ; or that they would have had anything to do together. .. any of the coarse interests that make men friends .

XIV

GERHARDT and Claude Wheeler alighted from a cab before the open gates of a square-roofed, solid-looking family, where all the shutters on the front were closed, and the tops of many trees showed above the garden wall. They crossed a pave court and ring at the door. An old valet admitted the young men, and took them through a wide manor hall to the salon, which opened on the garden. Madame and Mademoiselle would be down very soon. David went to one of the long windows and looked out. “ They have kept it up, in hurt of everything. It was constantly lovely here. ”
The garden was roomy, —like a little ballpark. On one side was a tennis woo, on the other a fountain, with a pool and water-lilies. The north wall was hidden by ancient yews ; on the south two rows of airplane trees, cut square, made a long arbor. At the back of the garden there were fine previous lindens. The gravel walks wound about beds of gorgeous fall flowers ; in the rose garden, modest white roses were still blooming, though the leaves were already red .
Two ladies entered the drawing-room. The beget was short, plank, and blushful, with strong, rather masculine features and yellow white hair’s-breadth. The tears flashed into her eyes as David crouch to kiss her hand, and she embraced him and touched both his cheek with her lips .
“ Et vous, vous aussi ! “ she murmured, touching the coating of his uniform with her fingers. There was but a moment of unfitness. She gathered herself up like an old cosmopolitan, Claude thought, as he stood watching the group from the window, drew her daughter advancing, and asked David whether he recognized the little girl with whom he used to play. Mademoiselle Claire was not at all like her mother ; slender, dark, dressed in a white costume de tennis and an apple park hat with black ribbons, she looked very modern and casual and unconcerned. She was already telling David she was beaming he had arrived early, as now they would be able to have a game of tennis before tea. Maman would bring her pucker to the garden and watch them. This last suggestion relieved Claude ‘s apprehension that he might be left alone with his hostess. When David called him and presented him to the ladies, Mademoiselle Claire gave him a immediate handshake, and said she would be very glad to try him out on the court american samoa soon as she had beaten David. They would find tennis shoes in their board, —a solicitation of shoes, for the feet of all nations ; her brother ‘s, some that his russian friend had forgotten when he hurried off to be mobilized, and a match recently left by an english officer who was quartered on them. She and her mother would wait in the garden. She rang for the old valet .
The Americans found themselves in a bombastic room upstairs, where two modern iron beds stood out conspicuous among intemperate reddish brown chest of drawers and desks and dressing-tables, stuffed chairs and velvet carpets and dull red brocade window hangings. David went at once into the little dressing-room and began to array himself for the tennis court. Two suits of flannels and a quarrel of soft shirts hang there on the wall .
“ Are n’t you going to change ? ” he asked, noticing that Claude stood stiffly and inflexible by the window, looking down into the garden .
“ Why should I ? ” said Claude contemptuously. “ I do n’t play tennis. I never had a revel in my hand. ”
“ besides bad. She used to play very well, though she was entirely a child then. ” Gerhardt was regarding his leg in trousers two inches besides short circuit for him. “ How everything has changed, and however how everything is still the same ! It ‘s like coming back to places in dreams. ”
“ They do n’t give you much prison term to dream, I should say ! ” Claude remarked .
“ fortunately ! ”
“ excuse to the daughter that I do n’t play, will you ? I ‘ll be down later. ”
“ As you like. ”
Claude stood in the window, watching Gerhardt ‘s bare head and Mademoiselle Claire ‘s green hat and long brown arms go bounding about over the court .
When Gerhardt came to change before tea, he found his fellow policeman standing before his cup of tea, which was candid, but not unpack .
“ What ‘s the matter ? Feeling shellshock again ? ”
“ not precisely. ” Claude bit his sass. “ The fact is, Dave, I do n’t feel fair comfortable here. Oh, the people are all right ! But I ‘m out of place. I ‘m going to pull out and get a quarter somewhere else, and let you visit your friends in peace. Why should I be here ? These people do n’t keep a hotel. ”
“ They very about do, from what they ‘ve been telling me. They ‘ve had a string of Scotch and English quartered on them. They like it, besides, —or have the beneficial manners to pretend they do. Of course, you ‘ll do as you like, but you ‘ll hurt their feelings and put me in an awkward status. To be postmark, I do n’t see how you can go away without being distinctly rude. ”
Claude stood looking down at the contents of his udder in an irresolute position. Catching a glimpse of his face in one of the big mirrors, Gerhardt saw that he looked perplex and hapless. His news bulletin of temper died, and he put his pass thinly on his friend’s shoulder .
“ Come on, Claude ! This is besides absurd. You do n’t even have to dress, thanks to your uniform, —and you do n’t have to talk, since you ‘re not supposed to know the lyric. I thought you ‘d like coming hera. These people have had an dreadfully roughly time ; ca n’t you admire their pick ? ”
“ Oh, yes, I do ! It ‘s awkward for me, though. ” Claude pulled off his coating and began to brush his haircloth vigorously. “ I guess I ‘ve constantly been more afraid of the french than of the Germans. It takes courage to stay, you understand. I want to run. ”
“ But why ? What makes you want to ? ”
“ Oh, I do n’t know ! Something in the house, in the air. ”
“ Something disagreeable ? ”
“ No. Something agreeable. ”
David laughed. “ Oh, you ‘ll get over that ! ”
They had tea in the garden, english fashion—English tea, excessively, Mademoiselle Claire informed them, left by the english officers .
At dinner a third penis of the family was introduced, a little male child with a crop mind and adult black eyes. He sat on Claude ‘s left, quiet and shy in his velvet jacket, though he followed the conversation eagerly, specially when it touched upon his brother René, killed at Verdun in the second base winter of the war. The mother and sister talked about him as if he were living, about his letters and his plans, and his friends at the Conservatoire and in the Army .
Mademoiselle Claire told Gerhardt news program of all the girl students he had known in Paris : how this one was singing for the soldiers ; another, when she was nursing in a hospital which was bombed in an air foray, had carried twenty dollar bill wounded men out of the cauterize build, one after another, on her back, like sacks of flour. Alice, the dancer, had gone into the English Red Cross and learned English. Odette had married a New Zealander, an officeholder who was said to be a cannibal ; it was well known that his tribe had eaten two Auvergnat missionaries. There was a bang-up cope more that Claude could not understand, but he got enough to see that for these women the war was France, the war was life, and everything that went into it. To be alive, to be conscious and have one ‘s faculties, was to be in the war .
After dinner, when they went into the salon, Madame Fleury asked David whether he would like to see René ‘s violin again, and nodded to the small boy. He slipped away and returned carrying the shell, which he placed on the table. He opened it carefully and took off the velvet fabric, as if this was his peculiar office, then handed the instrument to Gerhardt .
David turned it over under the candles, telling Madame Fleury that he would have known it anywhere, René ‘s fantastic Amati, about besides dainty in tone for the concert anteroom, like a woman who is besides beautiful for the phase. The family stood round and listened to his praise with discernible gratification. Madame Fleury told him that Lucien was très sérieux with his music, that his dominate was well pleased with him, and when his hired hand was a little larger he would be allowed to play upon René ‘s violin. Claude watched the little male child as he stood looking at the instrumental role in David ‘s hands ; in each of his big black eyes a candle fire was reflected, as if some sweetheart fuel were actually burning there .
“ What is it, Lucien ? ” his mother asked .
“ If Monsieur David would be so good as to play before I must go to bed— ” he murmured beseechingly .
“ But, Lucien, I am a soldier now. I have not worked at all for two years. The Amati would think it had fallen into the hands of a Boche. ”
Lucien smiled. “ Oh, no ! It is besides healthy for that. A small, please, ” and he sat gloomy on a footstool before the sofa in confident anticipation .
Mademoiselle Claire went to the piano. David frowned and began to tune the violin. Madame Fleury called the old handmaid and told him to light the sticks that lay in the fireplace. She took the arm-chair at the correctly of the hearth and motioned Claude to a seat on the left. The little boy kept his stool at the other end of the room. Mademoiselle Claire began the orchestral introduction to the Saint-Saëns concerto .
“ Oh, not that ! ” David lifted his chin and looked at her in perplexity .
She made no reply, but played on, her shoulders bent forward. Lucien drew his knees up under his chin and shivered. When the prison term came, the violin made its entrance. David had put it back under his chin mechanically, and the instrument broke into that suppressed, bitter tune .
They played for a hanker while. At last David stopped and wiped his brow. “ I ‘m afraid I ca n’t do anything with the third base motion, actually. ”
“ Nor can I. But that was the last thing René played on it, the night before he went away, after his last exit. ” She began again, and David followed. Madame Fleury sat with half-closed eyes, looking into the fire. Claude, his lips compressed, his hands on his knees, was watching his supporter ‘s back. The music was a part of his own confuse emotions. He was torn between generous admiration, and bitter, acerb envy. What would it mean to be able to do anything a well as that, to have a hand able of delicacy and preciseness and power ? If he had been taught to do anything at all, he would not be sitting here tonight a wooden thing amongst living people. He felt that a man might have been made of him, but cipher had taken the trouble to do it ; tongue-tie, foot-tied, hand-tied. If one were born into this world like a bear cub or a bullshit calf, one could only paw and upset things, break and destroy, all one ‘s life .
Gerhardt wrapped the violin up in its fabric. The little male child thanked him and carried it away. Madame Fleury and her daughter wished their guests good-night .
David said he was warm, and suggested going into the garden to smoke before they went to go to bed. He opened one of the long windows and they stepped out on the terrace. Dry leaves were rustling down on the walks ; the yew trees made a solid wall, black than the darkness. The fountain must have caught the starlight ; it was the alone shining matter, —a small clear column of twinkling silver. The boys strolled in secrecy to the end of the walk .
“ I guess you ‘ll go back to your profession, all right. ” Claude remarked, in the affected tone in which people sometimes speak of things they know nothing about .
“ not I. Of course, I had to play for them. Music has always been like a religion in this family. Listen, ” he put up his hand ; far away the even pulse of the big guns sounded through the still night. “ That ‘s all that matters now. It has killed everything else. ”
“ I do n’t believe it. ” Claude stopped for a consequence by the edge of the fountain, trying to collect his thoughts. “ I do n’t believe it has killed anything. It has entirely scattered things. ” He glanced about hurriedly at the sleep family, the sleeping garden, the clear, starry flip not identical far command processing overhead time. “ It ‘s men like you that get the worst of it, ” he broke out. “ But as for me, I never knew there was anything worth surviving for, till this war came on. Before that, the populace seemed like a occupation proposition. ”
“ You ‘ll admit it ‘s a dearly-won way of providing gamble for the young, ” said David laconically .
“ possibly so ; all the same. .. ”
Claude pursued the argument to himself long after they were in their deluxe beds and David was asleep. No battlefield or shatter country he had seen was american samoa atrocious as this world would be if men like his buddy Bayliss controlled it raw. Until the war broke out, he had supposed they did control it ; his boyhood had been clouded and enervated by that belief. The Prussians had believed it, besides, obviously. But the event had shown that there were a great many people left who cared about something else .
The intervals of the distant artillery fire grew shorter, as if the big guns were tuning up, choking to get something out. Claude sat up in his bed and listened. The sound of the guns had from the first been pleasant to him, had given him a feel of confidence and safety ; tonight he knew why. What they said was, that men could still die for an theme ; and would burn all they had made to keep their dreams. He knew the future of the world was safe ; the careful planners would never be able to put it into a strait-jacket, —cunning and prudence would never have it to themselves. Why, that little son downstairs, with the candlelight in his eyes, when it came to the last exclaim, as they said, could “ carry on ” for ever ! Ideals were not archaic things, beautiful and impotent ; they were the real sources of might among men. a long as that was true, and nowadays he knew it was true—he had come all this way to find out—he had no quarrel with Destiny. Nor did he envy David. He would give his own adventure for no world ‘s. On the border of rest it seemed to glimmer, like the clear column of the fountain, like the modern moon, —alluring, half-averted, the bright face of danger .

XV

WHEN Claude and David rejoined their battalion on the 20th of September, the end of the war looked as far away as ever. The collapse of Bulgaria was unknown to the american army, and their acquaintance with european affairs was therefore flimsy that this would have meant identical fiddling to them had they hear of it. The german army distillery held the north and east of France, and no one could say how much energy was left in that sprawling body .
The Battalion entrained at Arras. Lieutenant Colonel Scott had orders to proceed to the railhead, and then advance on animal foot into the Argonne .
The cars were crowded, and the railway journey was long and fatiguing. They detrained at night, in the rain, at what the men said seemed to be the jumping-off position. There was no town, and the railway station had been bombed the day before, by an air fleet out to explode artillery ammunition. A pile of brick, and holes full of water told where it had been. The Colonel sent Claude out with a patrol to find some identify for the men to sleep. The patrol came upon a field of straw-stacks, and at the end of it found a black farmhouse .
Claude went up and hammered on the door. silence. He kept hammering and calling, “ The Americans are hera ! ” A shutter opened. The farmer stuck his oral sex out and demanded gruffly what was wanted ; “ What now ? ”
Claude explained in his best french that an american battalion had good come in ; might they sleep in his field if they did not destroy his stacks ? ”
“ sure, ” replied the farmer, and shut the window .
That one word, coming out of the dark in such an unpromising place, had a cheering effect upon the patrol, and upon the men, when it was repeated to them. “ certain, eh ? ” They kept laughing over it as they beat about the field and labor into the pale yellow. Those who couldn’t burrow into a push-down storage lay down in the boggy chaff. They were asleep before they could feel good-for-nothing for themselves .
The farmer came out to offer his static to the officers, and to beg them not on any bill to make a light. They had never been bothered here by air raids until yesterday, and it must be because the Americans were coming and were sending in ammunition .
Gerhardt, who was called to talk to him, told the farmer the Colonel must study his function, and for that the homo took them down into the basement, where the children were asleep. Before he lay down on the pale yellow bed his orderly had made for him, the Colonel kept telling names and kilometers off on his fingers. For officers like Colonel Scott the names of places constituted one of the real hardships of the war. His thinker worked slowly, but it was constantly on his job, and he could go without sleep for more hours together than any of his officers. Tonight he had barely lain down, when a lookout brought in a stolon with a message. The Colonel had to go into the basement again to read it. He was to meet Colonel Harvey at Prince Joachim farm, a early as potential tomorrow good morning. The ball carrier would act as steer .
The Colonel sat with his eye on his watch, and interrogated the messenger about the road and the time it would take to get over the ground. “ What ‘s Fritz ‘s temper up here, broadly speaking ? ”
“ That ‘s as it happens, sir. sometimes we nab a night patrol of a twelve or fifteen and send them to the rear under a one-man guard. then, again, a little bunch of Heinies will fight like the hellion. They say it depends on what part of Germany they come from ; the Bavarians and Saxons are the bravest. ”
Colonel Scott waited for an hour, and then went about, shaking his sleeping officers. “ Yes, sir. ” Captain Maxey bounce to his feet as if he had been caught in a disgraceful act. He called his sergeants, and they began to beat the men up out of the strawstacks and puddles. In half an hour they were on the road .
This was the Battalion ‘s first parade over in truth bad roads, where walk was a question of pulling and balancing. They were soon quick, at any rate ; it kept them sweating. The weight of their equipment was continually thrown in the wrong stead. Their wet clothing dragged them back, their packs got twisted and cut into their shoulders. Claude and Hicks began wondering to each other what it must have been like in the real mud, up about Ypres and Passchendaele two years ago. Hicks had been training at Arras last workweek, where a fortune of Tommies were “ resting ” in the lapp way, and he had tales to tell .
The Battalion got to Joachim farm at nine o’clock. Colonel Harvey had not even come up, but old Julius Caesar was there with his engineers, and he had a hot breakfast fix for them. At six o’clock in the evening they took the road again, marching until dawn, with brusque rests. During the night they captured two Hun patrols, a crowd of thirty men. At the freeze for breakfast, the prisoners wanted to make themselves useful, but the cook said they were so filthy the smack of them would make a stew go badly. They were herded off by themselves, a good distance from the chow line .
It was Gerhardt, of course, who had to go over and question them. Claude felt blue for the prisoners ; they were so will to tell all they knew, and so anxious to make themselves agreeable ; began talking about their relatives in America, and said brilliantly that they themselves were going over at once, after the war—seemed to have no doubt that everybody would be gladiolus to see them !
They begged Gerhardt to be allowed to do something. Could n’t they carry the officers ‘ equipment on the march ? No, they were besides balmy ; they might relieve the sanitary team. Oh, that they would gladly do, Herr Offizier !
The plan was to get to Rupprecht trench and take it before nightfall. It was easy taking—empty of everything but vermin and human discards ; a twelve crippled and vomit, left for the foe to dispose of, and several backward youths who ought to have been locked up in some institution. Fritz had known what it meant when his patrols did not come bet on. He had evacuated, leaving behind his dispiritedly diseased, and arsenic much obscenity as possible. The dugouts were fairly dry, but so crawl with vermin that the Americans preferred to sleep in the mud, in the open .
After supper the men fell on their packs and began to lighten them, throwing off all that was not necessary, and much that was. many of them abandoned the new overcoats that had been served out at the railhead ; others cut off the skirts and made the coats into rag jackets. Captain Maxey was horrified at these depredations, but the Colonel advised him to shut his eyes. “ They ‘ve got hard going before them ; let them travel fall. If they ‘d rather stand the cold, they ‘ve got a right to choose. ”

XVI

THE Battalion had twenty-four hours ‘ respite at Rupprecht trench, and then pushed on for four days and nights, stealing trenches, capturing patrols, with only a few hours’ sleep, —snatched by the wayside while their food was being prepared. They pushed unvoiced after a retire enemy, and about outrun themselves. They did outrun their provisions ; on the fourth nox, when they fell upon a farm that had been a german Headquarters, the supplies that were to meet them there had not come up, and they went to bed supperless .
This farmhouse, for some rationality called by the prisoners Frau Hulda farm, was a nest of telephone wires ; hundreds of them ran out through the walls, in all directions. The Colonel cut those he could find, and then put a defend over the old peasant who had been left in bang of the house, suspecting that he was in the wage of the enemy .
At last Colonel Scott got into the Headquarters bed, big and lumpy, —the first one he had seen since he left Arras. He had not been asleep more than two hours, when a base runner arrived with orders from the Regimental Colonel. Claude was in a bed in the loft, between Gerhardt and Bruger. He felt person shaking him, but resolved that he would n’t be disturbed and went on placidly sleeping. then person pulled his haircloth, —so unvoiced that he sat up. Captain Maxey was standing over the sleep together .
“ Come along, boys. Orders from regimental Headquarters. The Battalion is to split here. Our company is to go on four kilometers tonight, and take the town of Beaufort. ”
Claude rose. “ The men are reasonably well beat out, Captain Maxey, and they had no supper. ”
“ That ca n’t be helped. Tell them we are to be in Beaufort for breakfast. ”
Claude and Gerhardt went out to the barn and bestir Hicks and his buddy, Dell Able. The men were asleep in dry straw, for the first base time in ten days. They were wholly worn out, lost to meter and set. many of them were already four thousand miles away, scattered among little towns and farms on the prairie. They were a measly looking fortune as they got in concert, stumbling about in the dark .
After the Colonel had gone over the map with Captain Maxey, he came out and saw the Company assembled. He was n’t going with them, he told them, but he expected them to give a dependable account of themselves. once in Beaufort, they would have a workweek ‘s perch ; sleep under cover, and live among people for awhile .
The men took the road, some with their eyes shut, trying to make believe they were still asleep, trying to have their accordant dreams over again, as they marched. They did not very waken up until the advance challenged a Hun patrol, and sent it binding to the Colonel under a one-man guard. When they had advanced two kilometers, they found the bridge blown up. Claude and Hicks went in one direction to look for a ford, Bruger and Dell Able in the early, and the men lay down by the wayside and slept heavily. Just at click they reached the outskirts of the village, dumb and hush .
Captain Maxey had no information as to how many Germans might be left in the town. They had occupied it always since the begin of the war, and had used it as a rest camp. There had never been any fighting there .
At the first house on the road, the Captain stopped and pounded. No answer. “ We are Americans, and must see the people of the house. If you do n’t open, we must break the door. ” A woman ‘s voice called : “ There is cipher here. Go away, please, and take your men away. I am disgusted. ”
The Captain called Gerhardt, who began to explain and reassure through the doorway. It opened a fiddling way, and an previous womanhood in a nightcap peeped out. An old world hovered behind her. She gazed in astonishment at the officers, not understanding. These were the first soldiers of the Allies she had ever seen. She had heard the Germans talk about Americans, but thought it was one of their lies, she said. once convinced, she let the officers come in and replied to their questions .
No, there were no Boches left in her house. They had got orders to leave day before yesterday, and had blown up the bridge. They were concentrating somewhere to the east. She did n’t know how many were still in the village, nor where they were, but she could tell the Captain where they had been. triumphantly she brought out a function of the town—lost, she said with a mean smile, by a german officer—on which the billets were marked .
With this to guide them, Captain Maxey and his men went on up the street. They took eight prisoners in one cellar, seventeen in another. When the villagers saw the prisoners bunched together in the squarely, they came out of their houses and gave information. This cleaning up, Bert Fuller remarked, was like taking pisces from the Platte River when the water was low, —simply pailing them out ! There was no sport in it .
At nine o’clock the officers were standing together in the square before the church, checking off on the map the houses that had been searched. The men were drinking coffee, and eating fresh boodle from a baker ‘s shop. The square was full of people who had come out to see for themselves. Some believed that rescue had come, and others shook their heads and held back, suspecting another trick. A herd of children were running about, making friends with the soldiers. One little girl with yellow curls and a clean white dress had attached herself to Hicks, and was eating chocolate out of his pouch. Gerhardt was bargaining with the baker for another bake of bread. The sun was shining, for a change, —everything was looking cheerful. This village seemed to be swarming with girls ; some of them were reasonably, and all were friendly. The men who had looked thus haggard and forlorn when dawn overtook them at the border of the town, began squaring their shoulders and throwing out their chests. They were dirty and mud-plastered, but as Claude remarked to the Captain, they actually looked like newly men .
on the spur of the moment a photograph call out above the chew the fat, and an previous womanhood in a white hood screamed and tumbled over on the pavement, —rolled about, kicking indecorously with both hands and feet. A second gap, —the short girl who stood beside Hicks, eating chocolate, threw out her hands, ran a few steps, and fell, blood and brains oozing out in her scandalmongering hair. The people began screaming and running. The Americans looked this way and that ; fix to dash, but not knowing where to go. Another shooting, and Captain Maxey fell on one knee, blushed furiously and sprang up, only to fall again, —ashy blank, with the leg of his trousers going crimson .
“ There it is, to the exit ! ” Hicks shouted, pointing. They saw now. From a close house, some distance down a street off the square, roll of tobacco was coming. It hung before one of the upstairs windows. The Captain ‘s neat dragged him into a wineshop. Claude and David, followed by the men, ran down the street and broke in the door. The two officers went through the rooms on the first base floor, while Hicks and his distribute made square for an insert stairway at the spinal column of the house. As they reached the metrical foot of the stairs, they were met by a volley of rifle shots, and two of the men tumbled over. Four Germans were stationed at the head of the steps .
The Americans hardly knew whether their bullets or their bayonets got to the Huns first base ; they were not conscious of going up, till they were there. When Claude and David reached the land, the police squad were wiping their bayonets, and four gray bodies were piled in the corner .
Bert Fuller and Dell Able ran down the narrow hallway and threw open the door into the room on the street. Two shots, and Dell came back with his chew the fat shattered and the lineage spouting from the leave side of his neck. Gerhardt caught him, and tried to close the artery with his fingers .
“ How many are in there, Bert ? ” Claude called .
“ I could n’t see. Look out, sir ! You ca n’t get through that door more than two at a time ! ”
The door hush stood open, at the end of the corridor. Claude went down the steps until he could sight along the floor of the passage, into the presence room. The shutters were closed in there, and the sunlight came through the slats. In the center of the floor, between the doorway and the windows, stood a tall thorax of drawers, with a mirror attached to the top. In the minute outer space between the bed of this firearm of furniture and the floor, he could see a pair of boots. It was potential there was but one man in the room, shooting from behind his movable fort, —though there might be others hidden in the corners .
“ There ‘s only one companion in there, I guess. He ‘s shooting from behind a big dresser in the in-between of the room. Come on, one of you, we’ll have to go in and get him. ”
Willy Katz, the austrian male child from the Omaha packing sign of the zodiac, stepped up and stood beside him .
“ now, Willy, we ‘ll both go in at once ; you jump to the right, and I to the forget, —and one of us will jab him. He ca n’t shoot both ways at once. Are you ready ? All right—Now ! ”
Claude thought he was taking the more dangerous position himself, but the german probably reasoned that the authoritative serviceman would be on the right. As the two Americans dashed through the doorway, he fired. Claude caught him in the back with his bayonet, under the shoulder blade, but Willy Katz had got the bullet train in his brain, through one of his blue eyes. He fell, and never stirred. The german officeholder fired his revolving door again as he went gloomy, shouting in English, English with no extraneous accent ,
“ You swine, go back to Chicago ! ” then he began choking with rake .
sergeant Hicks run in and shot the dying man through the temples. cipher stopped him .
The officeholder was a tall man, covered with medals and orders ; must have been identical big. His linen and his hands were adenine white as if he were going to a ball. On the dresser were the files and paste and buffers with which he had kept his nails so pinko and politic. A surround with a ruby, beautifully cut, was on his little finger. Bert Fuller screwed it off and offered it to Claude. He shook his head. That english conviction had unnerved him. Bert held the ring out to Hicks, but the Sergeant threw down his revolving door and broke out :
“ Think I ‘d touch anything of his ? That beautiful little girl, and my buddy—He ‘s worse than dead, Dell is, worse ! ” He turned his rear on his comrades so that they would n’t see him cry .
“ Can I keep it myself, sir ? ” Bert asked .
Claude nodded. David had come in, and was opening the shutters. This officeholder, Claude was thinking, was a very different sort of being from the inadequate prisoners they had been scooping up like tadpoles from the cellars. One of the men picked up a gorgeous silk dressing gown from the bed, another pointed to a dressing-case full of hammer silver. Gerhardt said it was russian silver ; this man must have come from the Eastern movement. Bert Fuller and Nifty Jones were going through the officer ‘s pockets. Claude watched them, and thought they did about right. They did n’t touch his medals ; but his amber cigarette case, and the platinum vigil hush ticking on his wrist, —he wouldn’t have far need for them. Around his neck, hang by a finespun chain, was a miniature lawsuit, and in it was a paint, —not, as Bert romantically hoped when he opened it, of a beautiful woman, but of a youthful homo, picket as snow, with blurred forget-me-not eyes .
Claude studied it, wondering. “ It looks like a poet, or something. credibly a kid brother, killed at the begin of the war. ”
Gerhardt took it and glanced at it with a disdainful formula. “ probably. There, let him keep it, Bert. ” He touched Claude on the shoulder to call his attention to the inlay workplace on the manage of the military officer ‘s revolver .
Claude noticed that David looked at him as if he were very much pleased with him, —looked, indeed, as if something pleasant had happened in this board ; where, God knew, nothing had ; where, when they turned round, a teem of black flies was quivering with greed and enchant over the smears Willy Katz ‘ body had left on the floor. Claude had frequently observed that when David had an concern idea, or a firm pinch of recall, it made him, for the moment, rather heartless. just now he felt that Gerhardt ‘s flash of high spirits was in some way connected with him. Was it because he had gone in with Willy ? Had David doubted his boldness ?

XVII

WHEN the survivors of company B are old men, and are telling over their good days, they will say to each other, “ Oh, that workweek we spent at Beaufort ! ” They will close their eyes and see a little village on a low ridge, lost in the forest, overgrown with oak and chestnut and black walnut. .. buried in fall color, the streets drifted deep in fall leaves, big branches interlacing over the ceiling of the houses, wells of cool water that tastes of moss and corner roots. Up and down those streets they will see figures passing ; themselves, young and brown and clean-limbed ; and comrades, long abruptly, but hush alive in that far-away greenwich village. How they will wish they could tramp again, nights on days in the mire and rain, to drag afflictive feet into their old billets at Beaufort ! To sink into those wide feather beds and sleep the rung of the clock while the old women washed and dried their clothes for them ; to eat lapin stew and pommes frites in the garden, —rabbit stew made with red wine and chestnuts. Oh, the days that are no more !
arsenic soon as Captain Maxey and the wounded men had been started on their hanker travel to the rear, carried by the prisoners, the unharmed company turned in and slept for twelve hours—all but Sergeant Hicks, who sat in the house off the square, beside the body of his chum .
The adjacent day the Americans came to life as if they were new men, fair created in a new global. And the people of the town came to life. .. exhilaration, change, something to look forth to at last ! A new flag, lupus erythematosus drapeau étoilé, floated along with the tricolor in the square. At sunset the soldiers stood in formation behind it and sang “ The Star Spangled Banner ” with uncover heads. The old people watched them from the doorways. The Americans were the first to bring “ Madelon “ to Beaufort. The fact that the village had never heard this birdcall, that the children stood beat beg for it, “ Chantez-nous la Madelon ! ” made the soldiers realize how far and how hanker out of the world these villagers had been. The german occupation was like a deafness which nothing pierced but their own arrogant warlike airs .
Before Claude was out of seam after his first base hanker sleep, a runner arrived from Colonel Scott, notifying him that he was in commit of the Company until far orders. The german prisoners had buried their own dead and dug graves for the Americans before they were sent off to the raise. Claude and David were billeted at the edge of the township, with the charwoman who had given Captain Maxey his foremost information, when they marched in yesterday dawn. Their hostess told them, at their mid-day breakfast, that the previous dame who was shot in the square, and the fiddling girl, were to be buried this afternoon. Claude decided that the Americans might vitamin a good have their funeral at the like clock time. He thought he would ask the priest to say a prayer at the graves, and he and David set off through the brainy, rustling fall fair weather to find the Curé ‘s theater. It was next the church, with a high-walled garden behind it. Over the bell-pull in the outer rampart was a card on which was written, “ Tirez garrison. ”
The priest himself came extinct to them, an erstwhile man who seemed weak like his doorbell. He stood in his black cap, holding his hands against his summit to keep them from shaking, and looked very old indeed, —broken, hopeless, as if he were ill of this worldly concern and done with it. nowhere in France had Claude seen a side so deplorable as his. Yes, he would say a prayer. It was better to have Christian burying, and they were far from base, poor fellows ! David asked him whether the german rule had been very oppressive, but the old world did not answer distinctly, and his hands began to shake indeed uncontrollably over his cassock that they went aside to spare him overplus .
“ He seems a little gone in the head, do n’t you think ? ” Claude remarked .
“ I suppose the war has used him up. How can he celebrate mass when his hands pulsate so ? ” As they crossed the church steps, David touched Claude ‘s sleeve and pointed into the squarely. “ Look, every doughboy has a girl already ! Some of them have trotted out tire cap ! I supposed they ‘d thrown them all away ! ”
Those who had no caps stood with their helmets under their arms, in attitudes of exaggerated gallantry, talking to the women, —who seemed all to have errands overseas. Some of them let the boys carry their baskets. One soldier was giving a please fiddling girl a ride on his back .
After the funeral every man in the Company found some sympathetic womanhood to talk to about his fall comrades. All the garden flowers and beading wreaths in Beaufort had been carried out and put on the american graves. When the squad fired over them and the bugle sounded, the girls and their mothers wept. Poor Willy Katz, for case, could never have had such a funeral in South Omaha .
The next night the soldiers began teaching the girls to dance the “ Pas Seul ” and the “ Fausse Trot. ” They had found an honest-to-god violin in the town ; and Oscar, the Swede, scraped away on it. They danced every evening. Claude saw that a good deal was going on, and he lectured his men at parade. But he realized that he might a well scold at the sparrows. here was a greenwich village with respective hundred women, and only the grandmothers had husbands. All the men were in the army ; had n’t even been home on impart since the Germans beginning took the place. The girls had been shut up for four years with young men who constantly coveted them, and whom they must constantly outwit. The site had been intolerable—and prolonged. The Americans found themselves in the stead of Adam in the garden .
“ Did you know, sir, ” said Bert Fuller breathlessly as he overtook Claude in the street after parade, “ that these cover girl girls had to go out in the fields and workplace, raising things for those dirty pigs to eat ? Yes, sir, had to work in the fields, under german sentinels ; marched out in the dawn and back at night like convicts ! It’s sure up to us to give them a dependable time now. ”
One could n’t walk out of an even without meeting loitering couples in the dusky streets and lanes. The boys had lost all their abashment about trying to speak french. They declared they could get along in France with three verbs, and all, happily, in the first conjugation : manger, aimer, payer, — quite adequate ! They called Beaufort “ our town, ” and they were called “ our Americans. ” They were going to come back after the war, and marry the girls, and put in water-works !
“ Chez moi, sir ! ” Bill Gates called to Claude, saluting with a bloody hand, as he stood skinning rabbits before the doorway of his quarter. “ Bunny casualties are big in town this week ! ”
“ You know, Wheeler, ” David remarked one good morning as they were shaving, “ I think Maxey would come back here on one leg if he knew about these excursions into the forest after mushrooms. ”
“ possibly. ”
“ Are n’t you going to put a barricade to them ? ”
“ not I ! ” Claude jerked, setting the corners of his sass grimly. “ If the girls, or their people, make ailment to me, I ‘ll interfere. not otherwise. I ‘ve thought the matter over. ”
“ Oh, the girls— ” David laughed lightly. “ well, it ‘s something to acquire a taste for mushrooms. They do n’t get them at home, do they ? ”
When, after eight days, the Americans had orders to march, there was mourning in every house. On their last night in town, the officers received pressing invitations to the dance in the square. Claude went for a few moments, and looked on. David was dancing every dance, but Hicks was nowhere to be seen. The hapless colleague had been out of everything. Claude went over to the church to see whether he might be moping in the cemetery .
There, as he walked about, Claude stopped to look at a grave that stood off by itself, under a privet hedge, with fade leaves and a little french iris on it. The erstwhile charwoman with whom they stayed had told them the fib of this grave .
The Curé ‘s niece was buried there. She was the prettiest girl in Beaufort, it seemed, and she had a love affair with a german policeman and disgraced the town. He was a young Bavarian, quartered with this same old woman who told them the history, and she said he was a nice son, big and ennoble, and used to sit up half the night in the garden with his principal in his hands—homesick, lovesick. He was always after this Marie Louise ; never pressed her, but was constantly there, grew up out of the ground under her feet, the old charwoman said. The daughter hated Germans, like all the remainder, and flouted him. He was sent to the front. then he came back, nauseated and about deafen, after one of the slaughters at Verdun, and stayed a long while. That spring a story got about that some woman met him at night in the german cemetery. The Germans had taken the down behind the church for their cemetery, and it joined the wall of the Curé’s garden. When the women went out into the fields to plant the crops, Marie Louise used to slip away from the others and meet her Bavarian in the forest. The girls were sure of it now ; and they treated her with reject. But cipher was brave adequate to say anything to the Curé. One day, when she was with her bavarian in the wood, she snatched up his revolving door from the flat coat and inject herself. She was a Frenchwoman at affection, their hostess said .
“ And the Bavarian ? ” Claude asked David late. The floor had become so complicated he could not follow it .
“ He justified her, and promptly. He took the same pistol and injection himself through the temples. His orderly, stationed at the edge of the brush to keep vigil, heard the first base shoot and run toward them. He saw the officer take up the fume pistol and turn it on himself. But the Kommandant could n’t believe that one of his officers had sol much feel. He held an enquête, dragged the girl ‘s mother and uncle into court, and tried to establish that they were in conspiracy with her to seduce and murder a german policeman. The orderly was made to tell the unharmed history ; how and where they began to meet. Though he was n’t very delicate about the details he divulged, he stuck to his statement that he saw Lieutenant Müller shoot himself with his own hand, and the Kommandant failed to prove his font. The old Curé had known nothing of all this until he heard it aired in the military court. Marie Louise had lived in his house since she was a child, and was like his daughter. He had a stroke or something, and has been like this always since. The girlfriend ‘s friends forgave her, and when she was buried off alone by the hedge, they began to take flowers to her grave. The Kommandant put up an affiche on the hedge, forbidding any one to decorate the grave accent. apparently, nothing during the german occupation stirred up more feeling than poor people Marie Louise. ”
It would stir anybody, Claude reflected. There was her alone little sculpt, the darkness of the privet hedge falling across it. There, at the animal foot of the Curé ‘s garden, was the german cemetery, with big cementum crosses, —some of them with long inscriptions ; lines from their poets, and couplets from old hymn. Lieutenant Müller was there somewhere, credibly. Strange, how their report stood out in a world of suffering. That was a kind of misery he had n’t happened to think of ahead ; but the lapp thing must have occurred again and again in the occupied district. He would never forget the Curé ‘s hands, his dim, suffering eyes .
Claude recognized David crossing the pavement in presence of the church, and went back to meet him .
“ hello ! I mistook you for Hicks at first. I thought he might be away here. ” David sat down on the steps and lit a cigarette .
“ so did I. I came out to look for him. ”
“ Oh, I expect he ‘s found some shoulder to cry on. Do you realize, Claude, you and I are the only men in the ship’s company who have n’t got engaged ? Some of the married men have got engaged twice. It ‘s a dear thing we ‘re pulling out, or we ‘d have banns and a bunch of christenings to look after. ”
“ All the lapp, ” murmured Claude, “ I like the women of this nation, american samoa far as I ‘ve seen them. ” While they sat smoking in muteness, his mind went back to the lull fit he had watched on the steps of that other church service, on his first nox in France ; the country girl in the moonlight, bending over her vomit soldier .
When they walked back across the square, over the crackle leaves, the dance was breaking up. Oscar was playing “ Home, Sweet Home, ” for the last waltz .
“ Le dernier baiser, “ said David. “ Well, tomorrow we ‘ll be gone, and the chances are we wo n’t come back this way. ”

XVIII

WITH us it ‘s constantly a feast or a famine, ” the men groaned, when they sat down by the road to munch dry biscuit at noon. They had covered eighteen miles that dawn, and had still seven more to go. They were ordered to do the twenty-five miles in eight hours. cipher had fallen out however, but some of the boys looked pretty well wilted. Nifty Jones said he was done for. sergeant Hicks was expostulating with the faint. He knew that if one serviceman fell out, a twelve would .
“ If I can do it, you can. It ‘s worse on a fatness man like me. This is no march to make a fuss about. Why, at Arras I talked with a little Tommy from one of those Pal Battalions that got slaughtered on the Somme. His battalion marched twenty-five miles in six hours, in the hotness of July, into certain death. They were all kids out of school, not a valet of them over five-foot-three, called them the ‘Bantams. ‘ You ‘ve got to pass it to them, fellows. ”
“ I ‘ll hand anything to anybody, but I ca n’t go no further on these, ” Jones muttered, nursing his afflictive feet .
“ Oh, you ! We ‘re going to heave you onto the only sawhorse in the Company. The officers, they can walk ! ”
When they got into Battalion lines there was food ready for them, but very few wanted it. They drank and lay down in the bushes. Claude went at once to Headquarters and found Barclay Owens, of the Engineers, with the Colonel, who was smoking and studying his maps as common .
“ Glad to see you, Wheeler. Your men ought to be in good shape, after a week ‘s rest. Let them sleep now. We ‘ve got to move out of hera before midnight, to relieve two Texas battalions at Moltke trench. They ‘ve taken the trench with heavy casualties and are beat out ; could n’t hold it in case of counter-attack. As it ‘s an important point, the enemy will try to recover it. I want to get into position before daylight, so he wo n’t know fresh troops are coming in. As rate officeholder, you are in charge of the Company. ”
“ identical well, sir. I ‘ll do my best. ”
“ I ‘m sure you will. Two machine grease-gun teams are going up with us, and some meter tomorrow a Missouri battalion comes up to support. I’d have had you over here earlier, but I alone got my orders to relieve yesterday. We may have to advance under blast fire. The foe has been putting a batch of big material over ; he wants to cut off that trench. ”
Claude and David got into a fresh shell-hole, under the half-burned scrub, and fell asleep. They were awakened at twilight by heavy artillery fire from the north .
At ten-spot o’clock the Battalion, after a hot meal, began to advance through about impassable country. The gun must have been pounding away at the like range for a long while ; the footing was worked and kneaded until it was delicate as boodle, though no rain had fallen for a week. Barclay Owens and his engineers were throwing down a plank road to get food and the ammunition wagons across. big shells were coming over at intervals of twelve minutes. The intervals were indeed regular that it was quite possible to get forward without wrong. While B Company was pulling through the shell area, Colonel Scott overtook them, on foot, his orderly leading his sawhorse .
“ Know anything about that light over there, Wheeler ? ” he asked. “ well, it ought n’t to be there. Come along and see. ”
The light was a mere match-head down in the ground, —Claude had n’t noticed it earlier. He followed the Colonel, and when they reached the spark they found three officers of A Company crouch in a shell crater, covered with a piece of sheet-iron .
“ Put out that easy, ” called the Colonel sharply. “ What ‘s the topic, Captain Brace ? ”
A unseasoned man rose quickly. “ I ‘m waiting for the water, sir. It’s coming up on mules, in gasoline cases, and I do n’t want to get separated from it. The earth ‘s so bad here the drivers are probably to get lost. ”
“ Do n’t wait more than twenty minutes. You must get up and take your placement on time, that ‘s the crucial thing, urine or no body of water. ”
As the Colonel and Claude hurried back to overtake the Company, five bad shells screamed over them in rapid succession. “ Run, sir, ” the orderly called. “ They ‘re getting on to us ; they ‘ve shortened the rate. ”
“ That light second there was just enough to give them an idea, ” the Colonel muttered .
The bad ground continued for about a nautical mile, and then the improvement reached Headquarters, behind the eighth trench of the great organization of trenches. It was an previous farmhouse which the Germans had made over with reinforce concrete, lining it within and without, until the walls were six feet thick and about shell-proof, like a pill-box. The Colonel sent his orderly to enquire about A Company. A youthful lieutenant came to the door of the farmhouse .
“ A company is fix to go into status, sir. I brought them up. ”
“ Where is Captain Brace, Lieutenant ? ”
“ He and both our first lieutenants were killed, Colonel. Back in that hole. A shell fell on them not five minutes after you were talking to them. ”
“ That ‘s badly. Any other damage ? ”
“ Yes, sir. There was a cook wagon struck at the lapp fourth dimension ; the first one coming along Julius Caesar ‘s new road. The driver was killed, and we had to shoot the horses. Captain Owens, he approximate got scalded with the grizzle. ”
The Colonel called in the officers one after another and discussed their positions with them .
“ cyclist, ” he said when Claude ‘s bend came, “ you know your map ? You ‘ve noticed that acute loop in the battlefront trench, in H 2 ; —the Boar ‘s Head, I believe they call it. It’s a sort of spear point that reaches out toward the foe, and it will be a hot seat to hold. If I put your company in there, do you think you can do the Battalion credit in case of a antagonistic attack ? ”
Claude said he thought so .
“ It ‘s the nasty moment of the line to hold, and you can tell your men I pay them a compliment when I put them there. ”
“ All right, sir. They ‘ll appreciate it. ” The Colonel bit off the end of a fresh cigar. “ They ‘d better, by thunder ! If they give direction and let the Hun bombers in, it will let down the hale line. I ‘ll give you two teams of Georgia machine guns to put in that point they call the Boar ‘s Snout. When the Missourians come up tomorrow, they ‘ll go in to support you, but until then you ‘ll have to take care of the cringle yourselves. I ‘ve got an amazing lot of trench to hold, and I ca n’t spare you any more men. ”
The Texas men whom the battalion came up to relieve had been living for sixty hours on their iron rations, and on what they could pick off the dead Huns. Their supplies had been shelled on the way, and nothing had got through to them. When the Colonel took Claude and Gerhardt forth to inspect the loop that B Company was to hold, they found a wallow, more like a dump pile than a trench. The men who had taken the position were about besides fallible to stand. All their officers had been killed, and a serjeant-at-law was in command. He apologized for the condition of the loop .
“ Sorry to leave such a mess for you to clean up, sir, but we got it bad in here. He ‘s been shelling us every nox since we drove him out. I could n’t ask the men to do anything but contain on. ”
“ That ‘s all veracious. You beat it, with your boys, quick ! My men will pass you out some grub as you go back. ”
The battered defenders of the Boar ‘s Head stumbled past them through the darkness into the communication. When the last man had filed out, the Colonel sent for Barclay Owens. Claude and David tried to feel their way about and get some idea of the condition the set was in. The malodor was the worst they had however encountered, but it was less disgusting than the flies ; when they unwittingly touched a abruptly body, cloud of besotted, buzzing flies flew up into their faces, into their eyes and nostrils. Under their feet the earth worked and moved as if boa constrictors were wriggling down there—soft bodies, lightly covered. When they had found their way up to the Snout they came upon a batch of corpses, a twelve or more, throw one on top of another comparable sacks of flour, faintly discernible in the darkness. While the two officers stood there, rumbling, squirting sounds began to come from this stack, first from one consistency, then from another—gasses, swelling in the liquefy entrails of the absolutely men. They seemed to be complaining to one another ; glup, glup, glup .
The boys went back to the Colonel, who was standing at the sass of the communication, and told him there was nothing much to report, except that the bury police squad was needed badly .
“ I expect ! ” The Colonel shook his head. When Barclay Owens arrived, he asked him what could be done here before dawn. The doughty engineer felt his room about as Claude and Gerhardt had done ; they heard him cough, and beating off the flies. But when he came back he seemed preferably cheered than discouraged .
“ Give me a gang to get the casualties out, and with enough of quick-lime and concrete I can make this cringle all correctly in four hours, sir, ” he declared .
“ I ‘ve brought enough of birdlime, but where ‘ll you get your concrete ? ”
“ The Hun left about fifty sacks of it in the basement, under your Headquarters. I can do better, of course, if I have a few hours more for my concrete to dry. ”
“ Go ahead, Captain. ” The Colonel told Claude and David to bring their men up to the communication before light, and hold them ready. “ render Owens ‘ cement a probability, but do n’t let the enemy put over any surprise on you. ”
The beat began again at dawn ; it was hardest on the rear trenches and the three-mile sphere behind. obviously the enemy felt surely of what he had in Moltke trench ; he wanted to cut off supplies and potential reinforcements. The Missouri battalion did not come up that day, but before noon a runner arrived from their colonel, with information that they were hiding in the wood. Five Boche planes had been circling over the wood since dawn, signalling to the enemy Headquarters bet on on Dauphin Ridge ; the Missourians were certain they had avoided detection by lying close in the underbrush. They would come up in the night. Their linemen were following the base runner, and Colonel Scott would be in telephone communication with them in half an hour .
When B Company moved into the Boar ‘s fountainhead at one o’clock in the afternoon, they could truthfully say that the predominate smell was now that of quick-lime. The parapet was evenly built up, the open fire measure had been partially restored, and in the Snout there were commodity emplacements for the machine gunman. Certain unpleasant reminders were calm to be found if one looked for them. In the Snout a large fatness boot stuck rigidly from the side of the impinge. Captain Owens explained that the ground sounded hollow in there, and the bang credibly led back into a dugout where a lot of Hun bodies were entombed together. As he was pressed for time, he had thought effective not to look for trouble. In one of the curves of the loop, merely at the top of the earth wall, under the backbone bags, a dark pass reached out ; the five fingers, well apart, looked like the swell roots of some noxious pot. Hicks declared that this object was disgusting, and during the good afternoon he made Nifty Jones and Oscar scrape down some earth and make a sleep together over the paw. But there was shelling in the night, and the earth fell away .
“ Look, ” said Jones when he wakened his Sergeant. “ The first base thing I seen when daylight come was his old fingers, wigglin ‘ in the breeze. He wants air travel, Heinie does ; he wo n’t stay covered. ”
Hicks got up and re-buried the bridge player himself, but when he came approximately with Claude on inspection, before breakfast, there were the like five fingers sticking out again. The Sergeant ‘s frontal bone puffed up and got crimson, and he swore that if he found the man who played dirty jokes, he ‘d make him eat this one .
The Colonel sent for Claude and Gerhardt to come to breakfast with him. He had been talking by telephone with the Missouri officers and had agreed that they should stay back in the scrub for the give. The continual circle of planes over the forest seemed to indicate that the enemy was concerned about the actual force of Moltke trench. It was potential their air scouts had seen the Texas men going back, —otherwise, why were they holding off ?
While the Colonel and the officers were at breakfast, a corporal institute in two pigeons he had shot at dawn. One of them carried a message under its wing. The Colonel unrolled a strip of paper and handed it to Gerhardt .
“ Yes, sir, it ‘s in german, but it ‘s code stuff. It ‘s a german nursery rhyme. Those reconnoitering planes must have dropped scouts on our rear, and they are sending in reports. Of course, they can get more on us than the air travel men can. here, do you want these birds, Dick ? ”
The son grinned. “ You bet I do, sir ! I may get a probability to fry ’em, later on. ”
After breakfast the Colonel went to inspect B Company in the Boar’s Head. He was specially please with the advantageous rate of the machine gunman in the Snout. “ I expect you ‘ll have a placid day, ” he said to the men, “ but I would n’t like to promise you a placid night. You ‘ll have to be very steady in here ; if Fritz takes this loop, he ‘s got us, you understand. ”
They had, indeed, a tranquillity day. Some of the men played cards, and Oscar read his bible. The night, besides, began well. But at four fifteen everybody was roused by the natural gas alarm. Gas shells came over for precisely half an hour. then the shrapnel broke unaffixed ; not the retentive, whizzing belly laugh of hermit shells, but drum-fire, continuous and deafening. A hundred electrical storms seemed raging at once, in the air and on the ground. Balls of fire were rolling all over the identify. The range was a small hanker for the Boar ‘s Head, they were not getting the worst of it ; but thirty yards back everything was torn to pieces. Claude did n’t see how anybody could be left alive spinal column there. A unmarried cruller had killed six of his men at the raise of the loop, where they were shovelling to keep the communication clear. Captain Owens ‘ bang-up earthworks were being badly pounded .
Claude and Gerhardt were consulting together when the pot and darkness began to take on the ashen tinge that announced the coming of dawn. A messenger tend in from the Colonel ; the Missourians had not however come up, and his telephone communication with them was cut off. He was afraid they had got lost in the bombing. “ The Colonel says you are to send two men bet on to bring them up ; two men who can take mission if they ‘re stampeded. ”
When the messenger shouted this holy order, Gerhardt and Hicks looked at each other promptly, and volunteered to go .
Claude hesitated. Hicks and David waited for no far consent ; they ran down the communication and disappeared .
Claude stood in the smoke that was lento growing grey, and looked after them with the deepest stab of despair he had ever known. only a man who was bewildered and unfit to be in command of other men would have let his best ally and his best policeman take such a hazard. He was standing there under shelter, and his two friends were going back through that curtain of flying steel, toward the square from which the lost battalion had final reported. If he knew them, they would not lose time following the tangle of trenches ; they were probably tied now out on the open, running straight through the enemy bombard, vaulting trench tops .
Claude turned and went back into the closed circuit. Well, whatever happened, he had worked with brave men. It was worth having lived in this universe to have known such men. Soldiers, when they were in a nasty seat, often made mystery propositions to God ; and now he found himself offering terms : If They would see to it that David came back, They could take the price out of him. He would pay. Did They understand ?
An hour dragged by. Hard on the nerves, waiting. Up the communication came a train with ammunition and chocolate for the loop. The men thought Headquarters did pretty well to get hot food to them through that bombard. A message came improving in the Colonel ‘s hand : Be quick when the bombard stops .
Claude took this up and showed it to the machine gunners in the Snout. Turning second, he ran into Hicks, stripped to his shirt and trousers, arsenic wet as if he had come out of the river, and splashed with lineage. His hand was wrapped up in a tease. He put his mouth to Claude ‘s ear and shouted : “ We found them. They were lost. They’re coming. Send word to the Colonel. ”
“ Where ‘s Gerhardt ? ”
“ He ‘s coming ; bringing them up. God, it ‘s discontinue ! ”
The barrage ceased with a abruptness that was stupefying. The men in the loop gasped and crouched as if they were falling from a acme. The air, rolling black with smoke and stifling with the smell of gasses and burning powderize, was however as death. The secrecy was like a clayey anesthetic .
Claude ran binding to the Snout to see that the grease-gun teams were ready. “ Wake up, boys ! You know why we ‘re here ! ”
Bert Fuller, who was improving in the look-out, dropped back into the trench beside him. “ They ‘re coming, sir. ”
Claude gave the signal to the machine gun. Fire opened all along the loop. In a here and now a breeze jump up, and the heavy pot clouds drifted to the back .
Mounting to the fire-step, he peered over. The enemy was coming on eight deep, on the left of the Boar ‘s Head, in long, waving lines that reached out toward the independent trench. abruptly the advance was checked. The files of running men dropped behind a wrinkle in the worldly concern fifty yards forth and did not immediately re-appear. It struck Claude that they were waiting for something ; he ought to be clever enough to know for what, but he was not. The Colonel ‘s line man came up to him .
“ Headquarters has a runner from the Missourians. They ‘ll be up in twenty dollar bill minutes. The Colonel will put them in here at once. Till then you must manage to hold. ”
“ We ‘ll hold. Fritz is behaving queerly. I do n’t understand his tactics. .. ”
While he was speaking, everything was explained. The Boar ‘s Snout spread apart with an explosion that split the earth, and went up in a vent of smoke and flame. Claude and the Colonel ‘s messenger were thrown on their faces. When they got to their feet, the Snout was a smoking volcanic crater full moon of dead and dying men. The Georgia gun teams were gone .
It was for this that the Hun advance had been waiting behind the ridge. The mine under the Snout had been made long ago, credibly, on a venture, when the Hunheld Moltke trench for months without molestation. During the stopping point twenty-four hours they had been getting their explosives in, reasoning that the strongest garrison would be placed there .
here they were, coming on the race. It was up to the rifles. The men who had been knocked down by the shock were all on their feet again. They looked at their officer questioningly, as if the whole site had changed. Claude felt they were going soft under his eyes. In a here and now the Hun bombers would be in on them, and they would break. He ran along the trench, pointing over the sand bags and shout, “ It ‘s up to you, it ‘s up to you ! ”
The rifles recovered themselves and began firing, but Claude felt they were spongy and uncertain, that their minds were already on the way to the raise. If they did anything, it must be quick, and their gun-work must be accurate. nothing but a atrophy open fire could check. .. . He sprang to the fire-step and then out on the parapet. Something instantaneous happened ; he had his men in handwriting .
“ steady, steady ! ” He called the range to the rifle teams behind him, and he could see the fire take effect. All along the Hun lines men were stumbling and falling. They swerved a little to the left ; he called the rifles to follow, directing them with his part and with his hands. It was not only that from here he could correct the range and direct the fire ; the men behind him had become like rock ‘n’ roll. That argumentation of faces below, Hicks, Jones, Fuller, Anderson, Oscar. .. . Their eyes never left him. With these men he could do anything. He had learned the mastery of men .
The right of the Hun line swerved out, not more than twenty yards from the battered Snout, trying to run to shelter under that down of débris and human bodies. A promptly concentration of plunder fuel depressed it, and the swell came out again toward the leave. Claude’s appearance on the parapet had attracted no attention from the foe at beginning, but immediately the bullets began popping about him ; two rattled on his tin hat, one caught him in the shoulder. The blood dripped down his coat, but he felt no weakness. He felt only one thing ; that he commanded fantastic men. When David came up with the supports he might find them dead, but he would find them all there. They were there to stay until they were carried out to be buried. They were mortal, but they were unconquerable .
The Colonel ‘s twenty minutes must be about up, he thought. He could n’t take his eyes from the presence line farseeing adequate to look at his wrist watch. .. . The men behind him saw Claude rock as if he had lost his balance and were trying to recover it. then he plunged, face down, outside the parapet. Hicks caught his foot and pulled him spinal column. At the lapp moment the Missourians ran yelling up the communication. They threw their machine guns up on the backbone bags and went into action without an unnecessary motion .
Hicks and Bert Fuller and Oscar carried Claude fore toward the Snout, out of the way of the supports that were pouring in. He was not bleeding very much. He smiled at them as if he were going to speak, but there was a fallible blankness in his eyes. Bert tore his shirt afford, three clean bullet train holes—one through his affection. By the time they looked at him again, the smile had gone. .. the search that was Claude had faded. Hicks wiped the sweat and pot from his officer ‘s confront .
“ Thank God I never told him, ” he said. “ Thank God for that ! ”
Bert and Oscar knew what Hicks intend. Gerhardt had been blown to pieces at his side when they dashed back through the enemy barrage to find the Missourians. They were running together across the clear, not able to see much for smoke. They bumped into a section of wire web, left above an erstwhile trench. David cut round to the right, waving Hicks to follow him. The two were not ten yards apart when the carapace struck. then police sergeant Hicks ran on alone .

XIX

THE sunlight is sinking humble, a transport is steaming slowly up the Narrows with the tide. The decks are covered with brown men. They cluster over the superstructure like bees in swarming clock time. Their attitudes are relaxed and lounging. Some look thoughtful, some well contented, some are somber, and many are indifferent, as they watch the shore approaching. They are not the like men who went aside .
serjeant-at-law Hicks was standing in the grim, smoke, reflecting, watching the flash of the loss sunset upon the cloudy body of water. It is more than a year since he sailed for France. The universe has changed in that time, and therefore has he .
Bert Fuller elbowed his way up to the Sergeant. “ The Doctor says Colonel Maxey is dying. He wo n’t live to get off the gravy boat, much less to ride in the parade in New York tomorrow. ”
Hicks shrugged, as if Maxey ‘s pneumonia were no affair of his. “ well, we should worry ! We ‘ve left better officers than him over there. ”
“ I ‘m not saying we have n’t. But it seems besides bad, when he ‘s so strong for bustle and feathers. He ‘s been sending cables about that parade for weeks. ”
“ Huh ! ” Hicks elevated his eyebrows and glanced sideways in contempt. presently he sputtered, squinting down at the glitter body of water, “ Colonel Maxey, anyhow ! Colonel for what Claude and Gerhardt did, I guess ! ”
Hicks and Bert Fuller have been helping to keep the noble fortress of Ehrenbreitstein. They have always hung together and are normally quarrelling and grumbling at each early when they are off duty. still, they hang together. They are the final of their group. Nifty Jones and Oscar, God merely knows why, have gone on to the Black Sea .
During the year they were in the Rhine valley, Bert and Hicks were separated only once, and that was when Hicks got a two weeks ‘ impart and, by dint of persevere and fatiguing travel, went to Venice. He had no proper passport, and the consul and officials to whom he had appealed in his difficulties begged him to content himself with something near. But he said he was going to Venice because he had always heard about it. Bert Fuller was glad to welcome him back to Coblentz, and gave a “ wine party ” to celebrate his return. They expect to keep an center on each other. Though Bert lives on the Platte and Hicks on the Big Blue, the automobile roads between those two rivers are excellent .
Bert is the like sweet-tempered boy he was when he left his mother’s kitchen ; his gravest troubles have been patronize betrothals. But Hicks ‘ round, chubby face has taken on a slenderly cynical expression, —a look quite out of target there. The chances of war have hurt his feelings. .. not that he ever wanted anything for himself. The means in which glittering honor bump down upon the wrong heads in the united states army, and palms and crosses blossom on the wrong breasts, has, as he says, thrown his compass off a few points .
What Hicks had wanted most in this earth was to run a garage and repair shop with his old buddy, Dell Able. Beaufort ended all that. He means to conduct a classify of memorial shop, anyhow, with “ Hicks and Able ” over the door. He wants to roll up his sleeves and look at the logical and beautiful inwards of automobiles for the rest of his biography .
As the transportation enters the North River, sirens and steam whistles all along the water front begin to blow their shriek salute to the returning soldiers. The men square their shoulders and smile wittingly at one another ; some of them look a little bore. Hicks slowly lights a cigarette and regards the end of it with an formulation which will puzzle his friends when he gets home .
By the banks of lovely Creek, where it began, Claude Wheeler ‘s history hush goes on. To the two old women who work together in the farmhouse, the think of him is constantly there, beyond everything else, at the farthest border of consciousness, like the even sun on the horizon .
Mrs. Wheeler got the son of his death one afternoon in the sitting-room, the room in which he had bade her adieu. She was reading when the call ring .
“ Is this the Wheeler farm ? This is the cable office at Frankfort. We have a message from the War Department, — ” the voice hesitated. “ Is n’t Mr. Wheeler there ? ”
“ No, but you can read the message to me. ”
Mrs. Wheeler said, “ Thank you, ” and hung up the recipient. She felt her manner softly to her chair. She had an hour alone, when there was nothing but him in the board, —but him and the map there, which was the end of his road. Somewhere among those perplexing names, he had found his place .
Claude ‘s letters kept coming for weeks subsequently ; then came the letters from his comrades and his Colonel to tell her all .
In the blue months that followed, when homo nature looked to her uglier than it had ever done ahead, those letters were Mrs. Wheeler ‘s comfort. As she read the newspapers, she used to think about the passage of the Red Sea, in the Bible ; it seemed as if the flood of beastliness and greed had been held back equitable long enough for the boys to go over, and then swept down and engulfed everything that was left at home. When she can see nothing that has come of it all but evil, she reads Claude ‘s letters over again and reassures herself ; for him the call was clearly, the cause was glorious. Never a doubt stained his bright faith. She divines so a lot that he did not write. She knows what to read into those short flashes of exuberance ; how amply he must have found his liveliness before he could let himself go thus far—he, who was so afraid of being fooled ! He died believing his own country better than it is, and France better than any country can ever be. And those were beautiful beliefs to die with. possibly it was arsenic well to see that vision, and then to see no more. She would have dreaded the awaken, —she sometimes even doubts whether he could have borne at all that last, desolating disappointment. One by one the heroes of that war, the men of dazzling soldiering, leave prematurely the world they have come binding to. Airmen whose deeds were tales of wonder, officers whose names made the lineage of youth beat faster, survivors of incredible dangers, — one by one they restfully die by their own hand. Some do it in apart lodge houses, some in their function, where they seemed to be carrying on their business like other men. Some slip over a vessel ‘s side and disappear into the sea. When Claude ‘s mother hears of these things, she shudders and presses her hands besotted over her breast, as if she had him there. She feels as if God had saved him from some atrocious agony, some atrocious end. For as she reads, she thinks those slayers of themselves were all thus like him ; they were the ones who had hoped abundantly, —who in arrange to do what they did had to hope extravagantly, and to believe stormily. And they found they had hoped and believed besides much. But one she knew, who could ill bear disenchant. .. safe, dependable .
Mahailey, when they are alone, sometimes addresses Mrs. Wheeler as “ Mudder ” ; “ now, Mudder, you go upstairs an ‘ lay down an ‘ rest yourself. ” Mrs. Wheeler knows that then she is thinking of Claude, is speaking for Claude. As they are working at the table or deflection over the oven, something reminds them of him, and they think of him together, like one person : Mahailey will pat her back and say, “ Never you mind, Mudder ; you ‘ll see your boy up yonder. ” Mrs. Wheeler constantly feels that God is near, —but Mahailey is not trouble by any cognition of interstellar spaces, and for her He is nearer silent, —directly disk overhead, not therefore very far above the kitchen stave .

THE END

Acknowledgments

THE textual edit of One of Ours is the result of contributions from many members of the Cather Edition staff, among whom we wish to acknowledge specially Kari Ronning, who has done so much to make this a better volume, and Kathleen Danker and Erin Marcus. The graduate students who contributed to the textual function were Kathryn A. Bellman, Michael Radelich, Susan Moss, Heather Hiatt, Kelly Olson, Heather Wood, and Megan Sedoris. Thanks besides to Jonathan Lawrence for his work on the manuscript .
Consultations with several people were particularly helpful in the early stages of the planning of the Cather Edition. In Willa Cather : A Bibliography ( Lincoln : uracil of Nebraska P, 1982 ), Joan Crane provided an authoritative start place for our designation and assembly of basic materials, then in symmetry was unfailingly generous with her expertness. The late Fredson Bowers ( University of Virginia ) advised us about the steps necessity to organize the visualize. David J. Nordloh ( Indiana University ) provided advice as we established policies and procedures and wrote our column manual. As editor program of the Lewis and Clark journals, Gary Moulton ( University of Nebraska– Lincoln ) liberally provided expertness and boost .
Conversations with Richard Rust ( University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill ) were helpful in polish procedures concerning variants .
We are grateful to Professor Herbert H. Johnson ( Rochester Institute of Technology ) for fabric aid in the rendition of printing-house practices in the menstruation .
Elizabeth Witherell ( Northern Illinois University ) brought her expertness and keen eye to her inspection of our materials on behalf of the Committee on Scholarly Editions .
We appreciate the aid of Kay Walters, Mary Ellen Ducey, and Carmella Orosco of Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln ; Dr. Steven P. Ryan, early director of the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation, Red Cloud ; and Ann Billesbach, first at the Cather Historical Center, Red Cloud, and later at the Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln. And we wish to acknowledge our obligation to the late Mildred R. Bennett, whose work as fall through and president of the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation ensured that Cather-related materials in Webster County would be preserved and whose cognition guided us through those materials .
We are grateful to the staffs of Love Library, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, particularly those in Archives and limited Collections and in Interlibrary Loan ; the Heritage Room, Bennett Martin Public Library, Lincoln ; the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas–Austin ; the Houghton Library, Harvard University ; the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York ; the Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont–Burlington ; and the Nebraska State Historical Society. Ms. Mary LaPorte of C. Buffum & Co., Hartford, Connecticut, provided information about a copy of the novel. We besides wish to thank the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, specially Dieter Karsh .
many people and institutions have charitable made illustrations available for this volume. We wish to thank particularly Dr. Mary Ray Weddle and the late Helen Cather Southwick, who liberally gave their collections of family photograph and other materials to the Archives of the University of Nebraska– Lincoln. Richard Harris, Vincent Lenti, and Steven Trout contributed pictures from their collections. The Cantigny First Division Museum, the Chicago Historical Society, the George C. Marshall Research Library, and the United States Air Force Museum besides shared materials from their collections for the illustrations .
For their administrative confirm at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln we thank Gerry Meisels, John G. Peters, and Brian L. Foster, successively deans of the College of Arts and Sciences ; Richard Hoffmann, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences ; John Yost, once vice-chancellor for research ; and John R. Wunder, former conductor of the Center for Great Plains Studies. We are specially grateful to Stephen Hilliard and Linda Ray Pratt, who as chairs of the Department of English provided both departmental back and personal encouragement for the Cather Edition .
The volume editor program remembers in particular the late Susan Rosowski for her sake in and encouragement of his work on Cather and for offering him the opportunity to be involved in this project. special thanks besides to Dr. Mary Weddle for her great generosity to him and to all Cather scholars, to Margaret O’Connor for her assistant, and to Mark Madigan and Steven Trout for their unfailing enthusiasm and encouragement. A special note of appreciation to Webb Institute for its support of this exploit, specially to librarian Patricia Prescott, and to Erica Hansen and Chris Mader for their aid. Most of all, thanks to Irene, who understood from the beginning that this project was important to me and who showed remarkable patience during its completion .
For fund during the initial year of the project we are grateful to the Woods Charitable Fund. For research grants during subsequent years we thank the Nebraska Council for the Humanities ; and the Research Council, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the University of Nebraska Foundation, and the Department of English, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. We deeply appreciate the generous endow from the late Mr. and Mrs. William Campbell in support of the Cather Edition .
The readiness of this volume was made possible in part by a concession from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an mugwump federal agency .

Historical Apparatus

Historical Essay

Background

WILLA CATHER was visiting Jan and Isabelle Hambourg in May 1923 in Ville d’Avray, near Paris, when a reporter informed her that One of Ours had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize. The prize had been announced on 13 May with the instruction that One of Ours had been deemed the American fresh published during the year that best presented “ the wholesome atmosphere of american life, and the highest criterion of american english manners and manhood ” ( New York Times, 14 May 1923 ). A cash award of one thousand dollars accompanied the citation .
The New York Times applauded the excerpt in a 15 May editorial, commending the novel for being “ admirably written ” and declaring that the book demonstrated that the war effort had had a clear and worthy objective. Cather knew, the writer continued, that war is not among “ the more applaudable of homo activities ” ; she realized that this war had its particular “ horrors. ” Her treatment of Claude Wheeler ‘s war know had been evenhanded, however, and Cather was declared “ a sane woman who understands that there are worse things than war. ”
By all accounts, Cather was surprised at the news and initially very please. This novel, based to a great extent on the life and death of her cousin G. P. Cather, had involved Cather more intensely than anything she had written earlier. She would late confide to her longtime friend Dorothy Canfield Fisher that success did exact a price, however ; before the recognition, she had been able to write as she pleased and to enjoy write, but now she felt pressured by demands and expectations. Like an erstwhile godforsaken turkey, she wanted to fly away ( 27 Feb. [ 1924 ] ). When The Century magazine began serializing A Lost Lady in April 1923, the contributors ‘ column, noting Cather ‘s literary independence, commented, “ Miss Cather belongs to no educate and regularly disappoints those who expect that any raw book of hers will be like any other ” ( “ Among Our Contributors ” [ vi ] ). In 1935, when her ally Zoë Akins won the Pulitzer Prize, Cather would write to her that she might well find the prize more of an annoyance than a pleasure ( 10 May 1935 ) .
The publication of One of Ours in 1922 marked the end of the first gear decade of Willa Cather ‘s career as a novelist. In those ten years she had made amazing strides, both as a writer and as a recognized literary talent. Her first novel had appeared serially in McClure ‘s magazine as Alexander’s Masquerade in early 1912, and it was published in book mannequin by Houghton Mifflin as Alexander ‘s Bridge concisely thereafter. O Pioneers ! ( 1913 ), The Song of the Lark ( 1915 ), and My Ántonia ( 1918 ) followed and established her reputation .
Although Ferris Greenslet, Cather ‘s editor program at Houghton Mifflin, would remain a lifelong friend, Cather ‘s kinship with Houghton Mifflin took a decide turn for the worse in 1918. Cather felt the proofread in The Song of the Lark had been haphazard ; in accession, Houghton Mifflin would not pay for all the illustrations she wanted for My Ántonia. She was besides dissatisfied with the appearance of her Houghton Mifflin publications : she considered the dust jacket for My Ántonia dull. furthermore, Houghton Mifflin had cut advertise for My Ántonia from the thousand dollars allotted for The Song of the Lark to seven hundred. After September 1918, her letters to Greenslet detail her dissatisfactions over promotion and distribution and provide specific suggestions about how to market her books more effectively. Houghton Mifflin seemed not to appreciate her cultivate amply : the admiration of the public and the critics obviously had surpassed that of her publishers ( 19 May [ 1919 ] ). Her reputation among critics had changed significantly from five years before, and she knew she was writing well better than she had been then ( 30 May [ 1919 ] ). No doubt Houghton Mifflin ‘s miss of interest in publishing a volume of short stories contributed to Cather ‘s growing feel that the firm did not think highly adequate of her employment to invest in it .
In possibly her most scathing letter, Cather told Greenslet that in that very week three New York publishers had made offers to publish her make. She reiterated earlier recommendations that Houghton Mifflin consumption quotes from former reviews to sell more copies of newly released books. Unlike the publicity people at Houghton Mifflin, she said, Alfred Knopf was aggressive in promoting his authors ; Joseph Hergesheimer ‘s Java Head surely had sold many more copies than it differently would have because of Knopf ‘s function of this scheme. She was besides angry about being charged for corrections to the proof of My Ántonia, claiming that Dreiser, for one, had told her that he was never asked to pay for such changes. She concluded by saying that at least one publicity department believed in her and her books ( 19 May [ 1919 ] ) .
Greenslet addressed Cather ‘s charges degree by point in a ten-page letter ( 23 May 1919 ). Although Cather answered on 30 May that she was satisfied with his explanation for the charges for the proof corrections, she was clearly considering a breakage with Houghton Mifflin, telling Greenslet that a certain New York publisher did seem to like and respect her exercise. She wrote that she would not give her modern fresh, “ Claude, ” to anyone who would n’t do a good share for it .
This New York publisher was Alfred A. Knopf, who at twenty-three and, as he put it, “ entire of chutzpa, ” had founded his own publish company in the recently spring of 1915 ( Harris 468 ). 1 Cather late told Dorothy Canfield Fisher that Knopf was a decent man who had great enthusiasm for making books ( [ 22 May 1922 ] ). Knopf appreciated Cather’s exercise, and Cather was convinced that he had a sense of her likely that the promotion department at Houghton Mifflin lacked. astutely, Knopf wooed Cather by offering to publish a bulk of her short stories while she completed her new novel .
In his 1973 recall of Cather, Knopf remarked that he had never heard of Cather until the fall of 1918, when he read My Ántonia “ with bang-up enjoyment and admiration although [ he ] had never been west of the Missouri ” ( “ Miss Cather ” 205 ). About a class late she merely walked into his office and told him that she liked the kind of advertising he was doing ; he had been given a good recommendation by Jan Hambourg, the husband of her longtime ally Isabelle McClung Hambourg. “ Out of this first meeting, ” Knopf says, “ there developed a relationship that was unique in my have ” ( 205–6 ) .
According to Cather ‘s 1940 account ( which Woodress calls “ another man of autobiographical fabrication ” [ Willa Cather 317 ] ), she had been watching the young company since it had published W. H. Hudson ‘s fleeceable Mansions in 1916. Edith Lewis says Cather first went to see Knopf in the early form of 1920 ; she had never met him before, and he had never made a gesture in her direction ( 109 ). In a second meet, Cather told Knopf that she had liked the look of his books ; Knopf ‘s comment that he had visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to find a particular nuance of gloomy for the cover of a extroverted book distinctly impressed an generator to whom the book itself as an artifact was then important. Before she left that day she asked Knopf to consider becoming her publisher. Despite his warning about the dangers of changing publishers, Cather visited him again several days later, when Knopf made “ a sporting proposition ” ; the two agreed that he would publish the collection of short stories that would become Youth and the Bright Medusa ( 1920 ), with the sympathize that her current koran, “ Claude, ” would distillery be published by Houghton Mifflin ( “ Portrait of the Publisher ” ) .
By the pursuit class, however, Cather had decided to sign with Knopf for “ Claude. ” Her decisiveness, she told Greenslet, was based entirely on her find that Knopf ‘s promotion, as evidenced by the selling of Youth and the Bright Medusa, was more effective than Houghton Mifflin ‘s ( 12 Jan. 1921 ). On 14 January a resign Greenslet replied, “ Pax vobiscum ! ” and expressed his best wishes for “ Claude. ” He hoped the novel would do well in Mr. Knopf ‘s apt hands. After Cather ‘s death, Lewis reflected, “ next to writing her novels, Willa Cather ‘s choice of Alfred Knopf as a publisher influenced her career, I think, more than any action she ever took. .. . [ H ] e gave her great encouragement and absolute liberty to write precisely as she chose—protected her in every way he could from outside pressures and interruptions—and made discernible, not only to her but to the world in general, his capital admiration and impression in her ” ( 115–16 ) .

Composition

From first base jottings to publication, the compose of One of Ours took four years of Cather ‘s life. During much of this clock time she seemed obsessed with “ Claude, ” as she called the story, often referring to the novel with the personal pronoun “ he ” and “ him. ” Cather wrote to Fisher frequently as she finished her history and the novel was prepared for publication, repeatedly referring to her intense emotional affair with her main character and commenting on her concerns about the new workplace. 2 She told Fisher that she had had no other life during the clock time she had worked on “ Claude ” ; when she awoke every good morning, her first think was of Claude and how he was that day ( [ 21 Mar. 1922 ] ). For more than three years her life had been a continuous series of meetings and conversations with Claude ; she had given everything she had ; “ Claude ” had tormented her, but during those three years she had been alive as never before ; they had been fantastic years ( [ 28 Apr. 1922 ] ). Nothing she had always done previously, she besides told Elizabeth Vermorcken, had been so exciting or absorbing ( [ 19 Sept. 1922 ] ) .
As Cather would repeat over the following few years, she had never intended to write a soldier ‘s floor or “ war fib. ” entirely “ by a chain of circumstances ” had she come to write this record and, finally, to know her independent character evening better, possibly, than she knew herself ( Bohlke 39 ). From the day when Isabelle McClung Hambourg showed Cather a notice in the 8 June 1918 New York Times listing Cather’s cousin G. P. Cather as one of those “ Killed in Action ” in France, she felt compelled to write about him. Two weeks late Cather was sitting in her hair-dresser ‘s in New York when an attendant brought her a imitate of the Times and asked whether she knew a G. P. Cather who had been cited for fearlessness. Again, the death of her cousin struck her arduous. His fib seized her imagination : her book, she insisted, was constantly about Claude, never about France or doughboys ( Cather to Fisher, [ 21 Mar. 1922 ] ). The news of his death was a catalyst for Cather ‘s creation of Claude Wheeler, a lot as Cather ‘s reunion with Anna Pavelka was for Ántonia Shimerda and the news of the death of Lyra Garber was for marian Forrester .
Cather ‘s condolence letter to her beloved aunt, Frances ( Franc ) Cather, expressed grief for her aunt ‘s loss but assured Franc that G.P. had died a brilliant death in a great cause. Cather recalled her talk with G.P. in the late summer of 1914 when the war had fair begun, mentioned his obvious restlessness on the Nebraska farm, and was glad to know that he had found the class in his life that he seemed to be made for. As a soldier he had become all he could always be ( 12 June 1918 ). Later, after G.P. ‘s citation for the Distinguished Service Cross, Cather referred to him as a excellent world who had brought recognition to the solid Cather family ( Cather to Frances Cather, 26 June 1918 ) .
During a visit to Nebraska in September of that class, Cather visited her aunt and read the letters G.P. had sent from training camp and from France. Although she was taken with her cous-in ‘s life, Cather sensed some of the problems built-in in trying to make him a fictional bomber, and initially she refrained from writing anything ( Cather to Fisher, [ 8 March 1922 ] ). The idea would not leave her alone, however, and she wrote to Greenslet on 2 December 1918 that she had begun a fresh book. The following day, when the first U.S. troops returning from France arrived in New York on the Mauretania, Cather greeted their homecoming with great interest. Elizabeth Sergeant recalls that just before Christmas she received a letter in which Cather described their presence in New York with such enthusiasm that the letter “ bounce forward, every password so alive that it jumped from the page. ” surely, Sergeant says, “ Willa ‘s fresh novel concerned our soldiers ” ( 154 ) .
At foremost the write of “ Claude ” went very cursorily. On 6 January 1919 Cather reported to Greenslet that she had completed four chapters of her soldier narrative, which was writing itself. As she told H. L. Mencken, her new novel had been a self-starter and had a momentum of its own, which had made the first gear partially easy to write ( 30 May 1919 ). Although in April she had stopped cultivate on “ Claude ” to write “ The education You Have to Fight For ” and “ Roll Call on the Prairies ” for Red Cross Magazine, by the end of July she had written more than 100,000 words ( Cather to Greenslet, 28 July [ 1919 ] ) .
According to Edith Lewis, Cather worked on her history through the summer of 1919. In late summer Cather returned to Jaffrey, New Hampshire, which had become one of her favored places to work. While there she contracted influenza and consulted the local doctor, Frederick Sweeney. In the course of conversation with him, Cather learned that he had been a medical officer on an american english Expeditionary Force ( AEF ) troopship during the war and, most importantly, that he had kept a diary detailing his experiences on the voyage to France. Cather persuaded Sweeney to allow her to read the diary, and it became a major informant, along with Joseph Husband ‘s A year in the Navy, for bible 4, “ The voyage of the Anchises, ” which she worked on in the late summer and fall of 1919 .
Sweeney, who had reluctantly loaned his diary to Cather, was less than pleased to discover that Cather had used assorted details from it in her novel ; she had n’t dared to ask license to “ borrow ” from it. As Margaret C. Bean says, Cather told Sweeney, “ But I had my young soldier in Hoboken, ready to dining table a troop transport, and had no possible estimate what it would be like ! ” When One of Ours was published, Cather presented Sweeney with a copy of the limited first edition, in which she wrote, “ For Frederick Sweeney who gave me so much inspiration and information for the fourthly book of the story—from its grateful generator Willa Cather ” ( Bean 45 ) .
During the Christmas season in 1919 Cather rested herself from the intense make on “ Claude ” by writing “ Coming, Aphrodite ! ” ( Cather to Greenslet, 7 Jan. 1920 ), which would be the major summation to Youth and the Bright Medusa, to be published by Knopf in September 1920. By the form of 1920, when she was two-thirds done with her fresh book, Cather decided that a return key to France was imperative mood ( Lewis 119 ). She and Lewis sailed from New York in June ; after a seven-week stay in Paris, Cather met Jan and Isabelle Hambourg there, and the three of them took a two-week travel “ in the devastate part of France ” ( Lewis 121 ), retracing the scenes of her cousin ‘s experiences in France and locating his scratch. Cather was back in Paris for the great Fourth of July celebration and on 7 July wrote to her don, requesting that he visit her Aunt Franc to tell her that G.P. ‘s grave had been found. Cather added that she and Isabelle would visit the grave at Villiers Tournelle the following week to photograph it so that Franc could be assured that G.P. ‘s body was not lying somewhere in no-man’s-land, that G.P. was buried in a cemetery, and that his dangerous had a thwart on it. Lewis writes that as the visit to France extended into the fall, Cather became “ restless and wanted to get home to work ” ( 121 ). The time period after her return from Europe in October was dedicated to work on “ Claude. ”
In late March 1921 Cather wrote to Fisher that her new novel was four-fifths done ( 24 Mar. [ 1921 ] ). In April Cather visited the Hambourgs in Toronto, where she completed Claude ‘s fib. After submitting the manuscript to Knopf in August, Cather returned to Nebraska in September and visited Red Cloud for the first time in three years. She told Dr. Julius Tyndale, a acquaintance from her college days in Lincoln, that she was greatly relieved to be finished with the book ; all she wanted to do was “ lie down in the hammock for a few weeks ” ( Bohlke 25 ) .
The raw book was still called “ Claude, ” which Knopf considered “ a most unattractive title ” ( “ Miss Cather ” 206 ). deoxyadenosine monophosphate late as August 1921 Cather was defending the title to her new publisher and insisting on its consumption. Everyone, it seemed, opposed the title she preferred ( Cather to Vermorcken, [ 19 Sept. 1922 ] ). In Chicago on her way east Cather talked with her friend Fanny Butcher, a commentator for the Chicago Tribune and the owner of a successful bookshop. Butcher told Cather “ without hesitation that Claude would n’t do. ” Cather had a list of titles she had previously considered, and although none of them peculiarly appealed to Butcher, “ One of Ours ” seemed the best. According to Butcher, “ I persuaded her to relinquish Claude, which she did reluctantly ” ( 364 ). Knopf was less than enthusiastic about the aim style, but he told Cather that Butcher ‘s verdict on “ Claude ” was discipline and that ninety-nine out of one hundred readers would have agreed with her ( “ Willa Cather ” ) .
In one of the many interviews she granted during her sojourn to Nebraska in the accrue of 1921, Cather told a reporter from the Omaha World-Herald that during the winter she planned to work on more than eight pounds of page proof ( Bohlke 29 ). Cather asked Fisher to read the new proof when they were quick, erstwhile in May or June ( [ 6 Feb. 1922 ] ). however, early in March Cather sent Fisher a copy—possibly galley proofs—of some of the last section of the koran, that part set in France, since she wanted Fisher to see this region of the novel before she left for Europe in June ( Cather to Fisher, [ 21 Mar. 1922 ] ). Cather took proof to a sanatorium in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, where she went while recovering from a tonsillectomy. Fisher returned the proof within a few weeks. later Cather sent extra material, credibly foliate proof, so Fisher could refresh her memory before reviewing the script, and lamented that Fisher would have to write her review while abroad ( Cather to Fisher, [ 17 June 1922 ] ). Cather finished correcting proof that summer while visiting Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick .
Knopf began promoting One of Ours early, with ads in Publisher ‘s Weekly on 1 July, 29 July, 12 August, and 26 August, well before the actual publication date of 8 September. Using Cather ‘s prepared comments deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as Fisher ‘s, he advertised the book sky-high : She presents a single figure—against the haunt background of the prairie—a classify of american Hamlet ; but behind the personal drama there is the ever-deepening common sense of national drama, of national character, working itself out through individuals and their fortune. ( Scrapbook, Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation Collection, Nebraska State Historical Society )
Fisher ‘s handwritten, signed promotional argument called reading One of Ours “ a brilliant feel ” ; american readers would respond to it with a “ deep radiance of feel ” ; they would “ open their arms to the hero as one of their own, much loved, flesh-and-blood akin ” ( Scrapbook B, Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation Collection, Nebraska State Historical Society ) .
support from friends, however enthusiastic, could not have stilled Cather ‘s concerns about her first base novel with Knopf. As her 1921 and 1922 parallelism demonstrates, Cather had become increasingly sensible to what James Woodress would summarize as the “ formidable obstacles ” she had placed before herself : “ the necessity of creating a male supporter, the obligatory use of subjugate topic she could not know at first hand, and a miss of aesthetic outdistance between herself and the material ” ( Willa Cather 305 ). She asked Fisher to check her accuracy in drafts of the french sections, and she sought reassurance from Knopf as he read finished copy ( “ Willa Cather ” ). immediately on completing her history she remarked to Eva Mahoney that she had “ constantly felt it was assumptive and airheaded for a charwoman to write about a male character ” ( Bohlke 39 ) ; six months later she repeated her concern to Fisher, saying she would never have had the given to write the fib had it not been for her cousin ‘s death ( [ 8 May 1922 ] ). Yet that “ red-headed prairie boy ” ( Bohlke 39 ) had seized her imagination, she reminded herself and others. Despite his shortcomings, he was convinced that there ought to be “ something excellent about life ” ( One of Ours 79 ), and she could write nothing else until she had at least try to write his floor .
When Claude left Nebraska, Cather was forced to rely upon gathered, preferably than experienced, fabric. She admitted to Fisher that she was about the last person to write a narrative like this because the latter contribution of the record required that she write about people, places, and events about which she had little or no real cognition or impression ( [ 17 June 1922 ] ). Cather was determined, however, to do her best. As with any of her books that required gathering information, she was a conscientious research worker. She talked at length with troops who had returned from the war, insistently questioned Elizabeth Sergeant about cases of plate shock ( Sergeant 156 ), borrowed material about the troopship from the war diary of Dr. Sweeney, and read some of the hundreds of books that had already been published on the war. She had tried hard to give life to the second part of the book, Cather wrote to Fisher ; she could never describe how much work she had put into the details of the survive two sections ( [ 13 Mar. and late Mar. 1922 ] ) .
Despite Fisher ‘s encouragement, Cather felt that she had failed to carry off the european part of One of Ours. She became convinced that the undertake to be correct and precise, the desire to make the narrative truthful, had weakened the narrative quite than improving it. Like many of those critics who found the latter parts of the novel disappoint, Cather saw this journalistic approach as a fundamental defect. She wrote Fisher that it was unfortunate for both Knopf and herself that such a personal, immanent story should be therefore assorted up with public events about which she knew thus fiddling and of which the populace was so tire ( [ 8 Mar. 1922 ] ). “ Claude ” would have been a good book if it had n’t been strangled by external facts and dates and feelings ( Cather to Fisher, 13 Mar. 1922 ). One of her assertions in “ The Novel Démeublé, ” which Cather wrote while working on One of Ours, reflects her feel with this narrative : “ If the novel is a form of imaginative artwork, it can not be at the like prison term a intense and bright imprint of journalism ” ( 40 ). Writing to Fisher three weeks after the publication of her book, Cather declared that never again would she try to develop a composition that had any kind of journalistic aspect ( [ 29 Sept. 1922 ] ) .
While Cather knew that the journalistic nature of parts of the narrative had weakened the koran, she besides knew that she had forced herself to cut a a lot material as possible. Again, her views of art in “ The Novel Démeublé ” reflect that experience. much of the cutting obviously had to do with her attempt to present Claude ‘s experiences from his position. Cather told Latrobe Carroll, who interviewed her for the Bookman in May 1921, that she was “ trying to cut out all analysis, observation, description, tied the picture-making quality, in holy order to make things and people tell their own history just by juxtaposition, without any persuasion or explanation on my region ” ( Bohlke 24 ). similarly, in November 1921 Cather told Eva Mahoney of the Omaha World-Herald that she had “ cut out all the descriptive work in this book—the thing I do well. I have cut out all the mental picture reach because that boy does not see in pictures ” ( Bohlke 39 ). Another interviewer for the World-Herald reported on 29 October 1921 that Cather had said her new report about a Nebraska male child would be presented in “ an entirely new way ” ( Bohlke 29 ). Later she wrote Fisher that all the material she had cut would make another book in itself ( [ 7 Apr. 1922 ] ) ; she had forgone any luster and had sacrificed adjectives, had eliminated any boodle, in regulate to present the experiences in the history as her prototype and protagonist would have responded to them ( [ 17 June 1922 ] ) .
Cather ‘s concern about her relationship with her protagonist is discernible in a letter to H.L. Mencken, asking him to read an advance copy of One of Ours ( 6 Feb. [ 1922 ] ). Mencken, whose literary repute was at its height during this menstruation, had responded enthusiastically to My Ántonia, and Cather intelligibly wanted to smooth the way for its successor. This raw book was quite different from her previous novels, she explained ; its subject and feel would be uncongenial to him. The feel of the book was real number, however. She had actually known Claude ‘s model, a young man whose life had been full of pain but who had found a long-sought common sense of aura in his serve in the war. She knew she had taken a big risk in writing the record. She had attempted to make Claude ‘s feelings seem real and was concerned that she had failed to establish the aesthetic distance to convey her character ‘s emotions convincingly. Claude’s feelings had been presented truthfully, but the doubt was whether they had come across as false and sentimental. surely, if the emotion of Claude ‘s history seemed real to the cynical Mencken, she had accomplished what she had set out to do. As his review shows, Mencken was unconvinced. His negative opinion of the reserve never changed ; he commented years late in his autobiography that the book was a “ mixture of authentic Cather and the bathetic bunk of the time ” ( 255-56 ) .
It is apparent from her letters to Fisher that Cather felt, about from the beginning, that Claude ‘s history was “ doomed, ” a parole she herself used several times in junction with the book. Thanking Fisher again for being so kind to Claude, Cather declared that nothing anyone could ever say about him would count at all beside her own know of living with him and discovering him day after day for those three years ( [ 8 May 1922 ] ). As the publication date approached, Cather awaited the reviews with a certain sense of resignation, yet not entirely without her characteristic fire. She was very banal, she wrote to Fisher after the first base reviews had appeared, but she was even entire of fighting spirit ( [ 29 Sept. 1922 ] ) .

G.P. Cather as the Prototype for
Claude

Willa Cather had not known her cousin Grosvenor Perry Cather well, though the two had grown up within a twelve miles of each other in Webster County, in south-central Nebraska. indeed, Willa and G.P., who was ten years youthful, had not peculiarly liked each other. Their early lives had taken dramatically different paths. Before he joined Pershing ‘s united states army in 1916, G.P. ‘s life had been a series of misadventures and failures. Willa, on the other bridge player, had distinguished herself at the University of Nebraska, moved east to Pittsburgh, begun to pursue a career as a writer, then moved to New York, where she had become managing editor program of McClure ‘s magazine. By the time she learned of her cousin ‘s death, she had published a number of short stories, a volume of poetry, and three novels, with a fourth due for publication in the fall of that year .
cather late told Fisher that G.P. viewed her with a certain contempt ( [ 8 Mar. 1922 ] ). G.P. ‘s life had been full of misery, largely created by himself, and much of what he had done had been pathetic or ugly, she reflected. She described G.P. ‘s fictional counterpart as “ an inarticulate young man butting his way through the world ” ( Bohlke 78 ). In the summer of 1914, however, while Cather was visiting Nebraska, she and G.P. had spent a good region of two weeks together during the wheat harvest. In their long conversations, each came to gain a new understand of and sympathy for the early .
After learning of her cousin ‘s end, Cather recalled this visit, talked with her aunt, and read the letters G.P. had sent his mother from France. Cather remarked that she “ never knew he was that kind of boyfriend ” ( Bennett 15 ). He was a young man changed, it seemed, by the events of the prison term. Writing to Aunt Franc on 11 November 1918, Cather reflected that for the first time in the history of human society a day began without any great kings or tyrants on the face of the earth. As Emerson had predicted, God had finally declared himself tired of kings. As her thoughts turned to G.P., Cather remembered the survive act of Macbeth and the line of Old Siward, who upon learning that his son had died nobly in conflict, exclaims, “ Why then, God’s soldier be he ! ” Claude and the other youthful men who had gone thus far and who had fought for an ideal, Cather asserted, were surely God’s soldiers .
Grosvenor P. Cather of Bladen, Nebraska, was born in Catherton Township, Nebraska, on 12 August 1883, the middle child of five born to George and Frances ( “ Franc ” ) Cather. G.P. showed an matter to in guns, hound, and the military from the fourth dimension he was a small boy. As a adolescent he carried on a bouncy parallelism with respective Webster County acquaintances who were serving in the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the american occupation of the Philippines in 1899. He became an technical marksman, earning medals in a number of home meets .
After more than a ten during which he had tried unsuccessfully to establish himself ( including a brief scrimp in the dark blue ), G.P. joined the Nebraska National Guard in early May 1914. In 1916 he served with General John J. Pershing on the mexican frame for approximately eight months. He became a extremity of the AEF in 1917, was commissioned a second lieutenant in August of that year, sailed to France as a extremity of the First Division in September, trained in France throughout the early months of 1918, and died in military action at Cantigny, in the first luminary U.S. engagement of the war, on 28 May. He was the first Nebraska officeholder killed in the war. As his great-nephew Larry Lindgren said, G.P. “ finished doing what he liked best, chasing wars ! ” ( Faber 17 ) .
A quotation for courage asserted that G.P. had acted “ with brilliant courage and chilliness ” under displace ( New York Times, 25 June 1918 ). He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre. His torso, hurriedly buried immediately after his death and then removed for reburying in a military cemetery in France, was returned to Bladen in April 1921. G.P. ‘s father and other men from the town met the casket at the aim post and identified the body. On 1 May a funeral overhaul, attended by more than two thousand people, was held in the Bladen Opera House and the nearby East Lawn Cemetery. The Bladen Enterprise, which described the military service in great detail, declared that this ceremony marked “ the final examination chapter in the heroic career ” of Lieutenant Cather ( 6 May 1921 ). The local American Legion position erected a keystone to make certain that the narrative of G. P. Cather ‘s “ courage and gallantry [ would ] be handed down through history. ”
From this abbreviated description, G. P. Cather would seem an allow bomber for a war novel. however, the signally detailed ( and so far unavailable ) correspondence of G.P. and his family suggests a different fib. His biography before he joined the army had been far from fulfilling, and surely far from heroic verse .
The young man whom his hometown newspaper hailed as a hero in conflict had, in fact, experienced an about unbroken chain of disappointments and failures anterior to joining the National Guard. He surely did not distinguish himself in high school, and his initial academician experience at Grand Island Baptist College in Grand Island, Nebraska, had been marked by conspicuous averageness. 3 His grades were at best average, with a 90 in typing an exceptional achiever. Unlike his cousin Willa, G.P. had particular difficulty trying to read “ learic poetry ” ( G.P. to Frances Cather, 12 Jan. 1902 ), but one of his few academician prevail involved an test he wrote. He told his mother : “ We are having a very interesting time in comprehensive examination. now. stopping point week I concluded I would write an emagionary theam, I made up a floor about a farmer son entering the regular army and how he came out. The class took it reasonably well. The criticisms on it said it was a well thought out theam ” ( 11 Nov. 1900 ) .
Undeterred by his low grades and the advice of at least one of his professors, G.P. refused to give up his two major interests, band and sports. He obviously starred in the dance band, loved traveling with the football team, was identical please to have been elected director of the baseball team, and ( early on in his college career ) joined the school’s “ Cadet Company. ” His adulterous activities were clearly the most important share of his college experience, and his grades remained poor. In late January 1903 his mother, who must have been at her wit ‘s end, wrote G.P., “ You must make the feat of your life—Try and not fail if it is a possible thing. Sacrifice everything else to it. .. make a good try on and then keep on trying ” ( 22 Jan. 1903 ). That spring she wrote the text for a manner of speaking he had to give, ending with the instructions, “ Burn this after reading. Rewrite a great many times, and think hard ” ( 3 May 1903 ). A calendar month late she urged G.P. to “ summon all your resolving power ” to do well and admonished him to join no bands or musket ball teams ( 1 June 1903 ) .
Despite his mediocre academic performance at Grand Island Baptist College, in the fall of 1904 G.P. enrolled in the department of state university in Lincoln ( which he systematically spelled “ Lincolon ” in his first weeks there ). He had obviously convinced his parents that a newfangled place would bring new enthusiasm and commitment to his studies. His behavior did not change, however. Again, football and band were his major interests, and money was a changeless trouble. He had told his parents during his last semester at Grand Island Baptist College that it “ was an unfortunate matter that I was born so excessive ” ( 15 Mar. 1904 ). That December he wrote, this time from Lincoln, “ A companion ca n’t help but spend lots of money, ” adding that one fraternity serviceman reportedly had spent thousands of dollars in one semester ( 15 Dec. 1904 ). G.P. apparently did not successfully complete a single course in the fall semester 1904 .
yet problems with grades and money paled in comparison to the lurid melodrama that dominated his life in late 1904. In accession to band and sports, G.P. was besides interested in women. And they in him. Back in Catherton in the summer of 1904 he had begun dating a fourteen- or fifteen-year-old girl named Alice May. G.P. was in his third year of college ; she was trying to finish eighth degree ( Alice May to G. P. Cather, 8 Oct. 1904 ). G.P. ‘s letters to Alice suggest familiarity, tied closeness. curtly after arriving in Lincoln, he wrote that he missed her and wished she were there, suggesting that if she were, they would “ go to Lincoln Park and spend the even, would n’t we ? ” ( 26 Sept. 1904 ). On 1 November 1904, G.P. wrote that he would be coming home to vote and to see her. He told her they would start for a dance in Plainview, but added, possibly “ we may not go there at all. ” He ended, “ Well, I hope you ‘re enjoying yourself and are just as adipose tissue and impertinent as ever. ”
Three weeks later, Alice was dead. Although her family attributed her death to chronic heart problems, rumors of an attempted miscarriage spread. Whether she was fraught, and if so, whether G.P. knew she was fraught, can not now be determined. When G.P. had returned dwelling in early November he already had another “ romance ” in the works, and he credibly broke off the relationship with Alice when he saw her then. He wrote to his mother on 28 November 1904 : “ That is so sad about Alice May dying therefore suddenly. What was the lawsuit of her end ? ” G.P. ‘s longtime friend Oscar Lindgren was certain that the campaign of Alice ‘s death was not heart disease but rather “ bleeding from the uterus ” ( Oscar Lindgren to G. P. Cather, 16 Dec. 1904 ). When G.P. wrote to Alice ‘s sister, Nettie, requesting that all of his letters to Alice be returned, he was clearly shocked by Alice’s death. subsequent agreement suggests that he never recovered from the sense of duty or, possibly, guilt that he felt. More than three years later, Addie Bartlett, G.P. ‘s future mother-in-law, wrote to Franc Cather that G.P. had been worrying and ineffective to sleep for a long time, “ ever since that first trouble ” ( 11 Feb. 1908 ). He told his future wife, Myrtle Bartlett, that he “ used to lie awake at night and cry about it ” ( Addie Bartlett to Franc Cather, 11 Feb. 1908 ) .
G.P. ‘s mother responded to the rumors by warning him again of the evils of the world. In an eight-page letter she reminded him of rumors from the summer of 1904 that he had entered a barroom. Although she expressed confidence that he did not actually have a drink there, she says that the incidental should have been a lesson to him. As for “ the early matter, ” she told G.P. she did n’t think “ any one regards you to blame ” and advised him to “ let the whole matter drop out of your mind. ” Most importantly, he must stay away from “ questionable ” places ; dances and theaters in detail are “ debasing. ” After suggesting that G.P. consider going west for a time, she warns him once again to stay aside from dances. The letter ends with a prayer-like wish : “ God keep you my son, my son, my best boy. .. . my darling son ” ( 13 Jan. 1905 ) .
As countless Americans had done when they encountered “ misfortune, ” G.P. did head west. After briefly working in a car shop in Havelock, a suburb of Lincoln, he requested and received yet more money from his parents to impale a claim on what was called a “ Kincaid ” homestead, 640 acres of nation in western Nebraska. Although he was aware that his parents were in good fiscal disturb, G.P. ignored numerous pleas from his mother to come family and help his don on the farm. If he kept on spend money to set himself up, G.P. wrote his parents, his founder might have to sell his own home to support his son ‘s new one ( 3 Aug. 1906 ). After a year of working on the claim, he thought his animation was finally on the right track. however, what he had come to refer to as “ misfortune ” hit again in early 1908 .
On 3 January 1908 G.P. proposed to Myrtle Bartlett, whom he had known from childhood. Myrtle responded that her inadequate health precluded her from marrying ; she considered herself physically “ pathetic. ” That, and the necessity of caring for her mother, would make G.P. ‘s life difficult and would become a source of misery for both of them ( Myrtle Bartlett to Frances Cather, 30 Jan. 1908 ). once again G.P. ‘s reception was to take off, this clock to Denver to enlist in the U.S. Navy. After learning of his whereabouts respective weeks late, his parents again attempted to rescue him. They wrote their congressman and the secretary of the navy ; Frances even wrote to President Theodore Roosevelt in an try to bring their son home. There being no grounds for a aesculapian exhaust ( though the Cathers obviously suggested that G.P. had been temporarily harebrained when he enlisted ), they began to seek a “ dispatch by purchase, ” a park practice at the time .
In the meanwhile, G.P. persuaded Myrtle to marry him when he was discharged ( G. P. Cather to George Cather, 6 May 1908 ) ; they flush discussed several places where they might live. After serving the mandatary class in the united states navy, G.P. was finally discharged in June 1909. He seems, however, to have been in no travel rapidly to return to Bladen or to Myrtle ; he made his room home slowly, pausing to take in the sights between Bremerton, Washington, and Bladen and writing his beget several times to request more money. The marry was postponed ; by the fall of 1909, G.P. had lost the “ Kinkaid ” in western Nebraska and was second on the family grow, working with his founder. G.P. and Myrtle were ultimately married in June 1910. Each reported that they were glad together. G.P. and Myrtle were “ getting along fine, ” he wrote his mother ( 13 Sept. 1911 ) ; a workweek later Myrtle wrote to “ Mother Cather ” from Corpus Christi, Texas, that she, G.P., and her mother were “ getting along barely gorgeously ” ( 20 Sept. 1911 ) .
G.P., however, was not one to settle down. For a while he helped his beget on the farm, sometimes traveling to Texas with Myrtle and her mother. then in October 1911 he was off to Wyoming to hunt with a friend for a month. Myrtle, who moved in with her mother to save money, wrote to George and Franc Cather that she was happy G.P. had been able to arrange the travel because he had wanted to do that for so retentive ( 1 Nov. 1911 ). G.P. obviously did little when he returned to become a breadwinner for his wife and himself. Myrtle ‘s founder had given the pair a plot of state in Bladen and helped them build a house on it ; both of their fathers continued to subsidize them. much of the money went to finance hunt and camping gear or to buy taxidermy equipment to preserve G.P. ‘s hunting trophies. G.P. plainly took off whenever he felt he needed a break .
G.P. ‘s fiscal irresponsibility and lack of commission, combined with Myrtle ‘s fragile health and her hanker absences as she and her mother sought healthier climates in the Southwest, began to have a damaging effect on their marriage. Franc Cather ‘s letters to her younger daughter, Blanche, indicate that from late 1913 on G.P. was staying at his parents ‘ house most of the clock .
In early on 1916 G.P. left to take a shorthand run at Boyles College in Omaha, but he obviously found college no easy the third time around. To supplement money from his parents, the almost-thirty-three-year-old G.P. waited tables at several local restaurants and at the YMCA cafeteria. 4 On 12 March he wrote his mother that he was having fuss finding a decent room to live in but that he was certain that if necessity he could “ still work for Uncle Sam where things are clean and sanitary. ” Within a few months he was with Pershing in Mexico .
The Claude Wheeler of the first three sections of One of Ours is signally similar to the restless young man revealed in G. P. Cather ‘s letters. Joseph Urgo has called the young Claude “ the prototype of the rebel without a cause ” ( 157 ). A character of “ hard impulses ” ( One of Ours 84 ), Claude finds it impossible to “ settle down into something that [ is ] his own ” ( 121 ). He has n’t “ made much of a begin ” in life sentence ( 196 ) and has never done anything that has given him atonement. He is disappointed in himself, and he admits, “ He had troubled his mother and disappointed his father ” ( 200 ). “ Everything he touched went amiss under his hand ” ( 294 ). “ What have I ever done, ” he asks his supporter Gladys Farmer, “ except make one fumble after another ? ” ( 345 ). Although he has “ constantly found life hard to live ” ( 101 ) and the world “ excessively roughly a place to get about in ” ( 210 ) —these comments close echo G.P. ‘s letters—he is convinced “ there ought to be something—well, something excellent about life, sometimes ” ( 79 ) .
Mencken may have considered the concluding section of Cather ‘s novel “ maudlin bunk ” ( My Life 255-56 ), but the record—personal deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as professional—supports Cather’s understand that for G.P. ( as for Claude ) the war was transforming. He enjoyed the sense of chumminess he found in the overhaul ; he was an able marksman, and by all accounts a finely officer. In the military G.P. last found something he could do well .
G.P. ‘s letters home from the army are filled with his newfound sense of aim, with a new feel of atonement, and with dedication to what Claude calls the “ whole brilliant adventure ” ( 413 ), the “ great enterprise ” ( 422 ) in which he is engaged. particularly noteworthy are G.P. ‘s comments about the men he commanded, which are echoed in Claude’s descriptions : “ he had worked with weather men ” ( 593 ), “ he commanded fantastic men ” ( 597 ). For so many “ average fellows ” like Claude ( and G.P. ) the war was “ the rough-necks ‘ own miracle. .. it was their golden prospect ” ( 377, 413 ). As Cather told Fisher, she was amazed that something so glorious could have happened to person who had previously seemed to be therefore without promise ( [ 8 Mar. 1922 ] ). As Alan Seeger wrote in his “ Ode in Memory of the american english Volunteers Fallen for France, ” the European war had given therefore many men like them “ that august occasion to excel, / That opportunity to live the life most barren of blot / And that rare privilege of dying well ” ( 170 ) .
Like most of Cather ‘s major characters, however, Claude Wheeler is a composite. Cather suggested there was something of her youngest brother, Jack, in Claude ; there is besides much of Cather herself, as the shared initials W. C. and C. W. suggest. Cather knew Claude ‘s feeling of being trapped ; two letters to Elizabeth Sergeant reflect her youthful reverence and wrath, what she called the desperate badly temper of a unseasoned person who felt she could n’t have the things she wanted. She told Sergeant that as a young woman she was indisputable she would end up dying in a cornfield ( 27 June 1911, 20 Apr. [ 1912 ] ) .
While Cather gave Claude an aesthetic sensibility that G.P. lacked, she and Claude plowshare a common sense of being unlike, of feeling like outcasts in a world in which their values and behavior were much questioned or ridiculed. Claude ‘s rejection of the materialistic culture that had come to dominate american english society, his criticism of the worship of machines, his use of learning, and his feel that life should be “ brilliant ” all put up to his common sense that he does not fit in. In the descriptions of Claude ‘s intrigue discovery of the life sentence of the mind in Lincoln and his introduction to european culture in France, Cather conveyed her own sense of curiosity .
Cather drew upon her memories of her inaugural trip to Europe with Isabelle McClung and Dorothy Canfield in 1902 in spell of Claude ‘s responses to the continent. She admitted to Fisher that she had experienced the lapp smell of insufficiency that Claude feels upon first seeing Europe and meet David Gerhardt ( [ late Mar. 1922 ] ). Woodress notes that although Cather could read french, she ( like Claude ) never learned to speak the language well ( Willa Cather 161 ). Cather’s description of Claude ‘s beginning land in France illustrates this biographic impulse : G.P. about surely landed in St. Nazaire, like most U.S. troops, but in the first three chapters of book 5, Cather describes Dieppe, where she herself landed for the beginning time in France in 1902. many french towns or cities had a “ Grand Hotel, ” but Cather’s mention of the erstwhile church of St. Jacques recalls the town she remembered from her own first visit more than fifteen years earlier .
Although Cather would late call World War I a “ capital catastrophe ” ( The Professor ‘s House 261 ), during the war years she was obviously convinced that France, England, the United States, and their allies were fighting for a great cause. What was at venture in Europe was no delusion, she wrote in her Armistice Day letter to Aunt Franc ; these countries were defending “ civilization ” ( 11 Nov. 1918 ). Cather was a stem advocate of “ the old rate, ” a manner of life that existed before “ the world broke in two ” ( “ Prefatory Note ” eight ). Woodress asserts that although Cather had no illusions about the war, she believed in the ideals for which Claude and others like him fight ( Willa Cather 326 ) .
Claude, then, is an amalgam of ideas and personalities, chiefly those of G. P. Cather and Willa Cather herself. Her cognition of her cousin’s past seems to have come chiefly from G.P. himself and from his beget. Cather made Claude Wheeler a much more sympathetic character than G.P. could ever have been. Claude is twenty-three to G.P. ‘s thirty-four, and his aesthetic sensitivity and restless high-mindedness surely make him more appealing than his actual counterpart, a rather boorish and inarticulate cousin. possibly it was because Claude Wheeler contained so much of herself that Willa Cather would say she felt she knew Claude thus well and cared for him so deeply .

Other Sources and Influences

In writing the first three books of One of Ours, Cather was on companion grind, drawing upon many of the same people, places, and experiences as with her earlier midwestern stories. She had come to believe that a writer acquires his or her “ basic material ” early on. In interviews in May and October 1921 she asserted that “ most of the basic material a writer work with is acquired before the age of fifteen ” ( Bohlke 20, 32 ) ; one ‘s “ strongest emotions and one ‘s most intense mental pictures are acquired before one is 15, ” as she said in November 1921 ( Bohlke 37 ). “ All my stories have been written with material that was gathered—no, God save us ! not gathered but absorbed—before I was fifteen years old, ” she told Eleanor Hinman that same calendar month ( Bohlke 43 ) .
however, most of the corporeal in One of Ours came out of Cather ‘s life after the age of fifteen, and a great deal of it was, in fact, “ gathered. ” Frankfort is another version of Cather ‘s Red Cloud, but it is the modern Red Cloud of her visits home, not the remember town of her childhood. Rebecca Faber has argued convincingly that Cather besides takes a number of the details in these first base sections from the area near Bladen, approximately fifteen miles northwesterly of Red Cloud. In the first decades of the twentieth century both Red Cloud and Bladen were in the process of becoming modern and bustle midwestern towns, with electricity, city water system systems and indoor bathymetry, telephones, movie theaters, and automobiles .
The “ big Wheeler ranch ” of record 1 is based chiefly on the boastfully grow and cattle ranch of George and Frances Cather about seven miles southwest of Bladen. In 1873 the Cathers moved to Webster County, where they were “ one of the pioneer settlers of [ the ] vicinity ” ( Bladen Enterprise, 14 May 1909 ). They became one of the wealthiest and most big families in the area. The George Cather family had been built and added to over a period of years, and by the early twentieth hundred it had twenty-two rooms and more than fifty windows. 5 The grove was George Cather ‘s great beloved. He and Franc planted thousands of trees on their property, which came to be known as “ The Grove. ” Willa Cather had known her aunt and uncle ‘s farm from the time she was a young girlfriend, and she visited there a number of times during her returns to Nebraska in the teens .
The other important Nebraska specify was Lincoln, where Cather lived after the age of fifteen—from 1890 to 1895—while fix for and then attending the state university. By 1890 Lincoln had become a booming, relatively advanced city with a population of about thirty thousand. Its growth as a railroad track concentrate meant both economic development and cultural opportunity. In describing Claude ‘s years in Lincoln, Cather mentions several celebrated landmarks, such as the impressive St. Paul ‘s Methodist Church. By the 1890s the university, which had been established in 1869, had attracted a highly see staff. Bernice Slote comments that by the prison term Cather arrived in Lincoln the university “ was itself a little Renaissance world ” ( 9 ). central to Claude Wheeler ‘s experience in Lincoln is his acquaintance with the Erlich syndicate, which is clearly based on the family of Louis and Emma Tyndale Westermann and their six sons. While Cather was at the university, the Westermanns entertained their sons ‘ friends and associates in a home noted throughout the university community for its heat and cerebral and cultural air, the kind Claude finds sol induce at the Erlich home .
other characters in the first three books of One of Ours, though they may be composites of several people, often have identifiable prototypes. George P. Cather ( 1847-1938 ) was the primary coil source for Claude ‘s father, Nat Wheeler, though some of his traits and activities, such as his patronize travels, may have been drawn from Willa Cather ‘s own forefather, Charles Cather, and others. Claude ‘s mother is based on Willa Cather ‘s Aunt Franc, Frances Smith Cather ( 1845-1922 ), who was born in Boston ; she was a spot graduate of Mount Holyoke College and a teacher at Winchester Institute in Virginia before marrying George Cather in the summer of 1873. 6 Mrs. Charles Giles, whose mother had begun working for the Cathers in 1906, recalled sixty years later that Mrs. Cather “ was a fiddling charwoman with gray haircloth and a very aristocratic nature ” ( Faber 28 ). Like Mrs. Wheeler, Franc Cather was a profoundly religious woman, involved in many church-related activities ; at the same time she was interested in intellectual and cultural subjects, leading the “ Literary, ” a local anesthetic discussion group. Her obituary notice described her as “ an healthy and public spirited woman, [ who ] amid her ordinary many-sided duties. .. kept abrest [ sic ] of the times, ” while she served as “ a minister angel in her community ” ( Bladen Enterprise, 5 May 1922 ). Franc Cather had five children between 1876 and 1886, when she had twins, and became a devoted mother, a job made more unmanageable by the rather extravagant, sometimes unmanageable personalities and debatable demeanor of her three sons .
The relationship between Willa Cather and her aunt remained solid long after Cather moved east. Cather returned to Nebraska about every year from 1912 until Franc ‘s death in April 1922, alone a few months before the publication of One of Ours. That her aunt never read One of Ours must have been a capital disappointment to Cather, for the publish of the book was in separate a protection to her .
Bayliss and Ralph Wheeler, the early two Wheeler sons, may have been based in function on G.P. ‘s duplicate brothers, Oscar and Frank ( see Faber 32 ), though Claude ‘s brothers are no doubt complex characters. Faber notes that Cather may have had in mind Oley Iverson, who until December 1909 owned a farm enforce business in Bladen alike to that run by Bayliss Wheeler ( 33-34 ). Bayliss and Ralph serve most importantly as points of contrast to Claude and as vehicles for Cather ‘s criticism of contemporary american values. A narrow-minded and spiritually destructive obsession with money and machinery typifies the two brothers, who are wholly taken with what Stuart Sherman, in one of his comments on the times, called “ the all-American game of getting on in the world ” ( 9 ). Both are fascinated with what Claude sees as “ mechanical toy ” ( One of Ours 35 ), the useless devices that have come to clutter the Wheelers ‘ root cellar. “ With prosperity came a kind of unfeelingness ; everybody wanted to destroy the old things they used to take pride in ” ( 144 ). In the raw America from which Claude so often felt himself estranged, people were “ always buying and betray, build and pulling down ” ( 535 ). Cather ‘s future novel, A Lost Lady ( 1923 ), and her article “ nebraska : The end of the first cycle ” ( September 1923 ) lament the evanesce of a better, noble by and echo Claude ‘s disappointment and disenchantment in One of Ours .
Mahailey, the Wheeler family ‘s housekeeper, has been one of the favorite characters in One of Ours since its publication. The prototype was Marjorie ( “ Margie ” ) Anderson ( 1859-1924 ), who had come to Nebraska with Charles Cather ‘s family from Back Creek, Virginia, in 1883. ( She was besides the model for Mandy in the 1932 report “ Old Mrs. Harris. ” ) Marjorie, like her mother, had worked for the Cather kin at Willow Shade and had been particularly adoring of Willa Cather ‘s grandma, Rachel Boak. Faber notes that the character ‘s name may have come from a charwoman named Mahalia, who had worked for George Cather ‘s family for a time ( 46 ) .
Willa Cather was extremely fond of Marjorie and felt that Marjorie had loved her best of all the Cather children. This feel is reflected in Mahailey ‘s affection for Claude, her realization that he is different from his brothers, and her efforts to protect him from their insensitivity or derision. After Marjorie ‘s death in November 1924, Cather wrote to Carrie Miner Sherwood, thanking her for her forgivingness to Marjorie and saying she had loved her profoundly. Marjorie’s simple-mindedness, practical good, and vulnerability had particularly appealed to Cather, who felt that some of her fondest memories of Nebraska, from her childhood into her pornographic years, centered on Marjorie ( 16 Nov. [ 1942 ] ) .
If Mahailey is one of the best-liked characters in One of Ours, Enid is surely the least like. Claude ‘s relationship with her, or preferably Cather ‘s bankruptcy to pursue Claude ‘s relationship with her, was the subject of much of the critical comment when the fresh was first published. While Cather may never have met Myrtle Bartlett, Enid ‘s prototype, her view of Myrtle credibly derived in large part from the long conversations she had with G.P. when she visited Nebraska in August 1914 ; she was probably mindful of the problems with her cousin’s marriage through kin or local chew the fat. Cather declared in a letter to Fisher that her depicting of Myrtle had been quite generous ; Myrtle was even colder and less sympathetic than her fabricated counterpart ( [ 13 Mar. 1922 ] ) .
Myrtle Bartlett was born in Webster County, Nebraska, in April 1884. Her father was known as one of the sphere ‘s “ comfortable and successful farmers ” ( Bladen Enterprise, 29 May 1896 ) before the family moved into Bladen in 1903. The young Myrtle was known for her seriousness. Newspaper accounts from the teens show her to have been active in her church service and indicate her sake in the China missions that were thus popular during this time. 7 Enid’s prototype, however, was not closely so simple or stereotyped a figure as Cather ‘s character suggests. For exercise, as Cather told Fisher, the incident that for sol many readers defines Enid—her locking Claude out of the discipline ‘s dormant car compartment on their marry night—was based on a report that Cather had heard during her days in Pittsburgh ( [ 22 Mar. 1922 ] ) .
Myrtle ‘s letters to both G.P. and his mother read that she traveled extensively with her mother in the Southwest, specially Texas, seeking rest and health benefits for both of them. ( many local residents, including G.P. ‘s mother, thought that at least some of Myrtle ‘s health problems were more a result of her mother ‘s jitteriness and hypochondrium than anything else. ) An article in the Bladen Enterprise on 20 May 1910 announced that Myrtle and her mother had returned home the previous day “ after an absence of about two years in Texas. ” Three weeks later, on 8 June, G.P. and Myrtle were married in the Bartlett family. The marriage, which took place so soon after Myrtle’s return, long puzzled Cather scholars because there was about no information about their prior relationship until the family commensurateness became available .
G.P. and Myrtle had known each other from childhood and had become effective friends at least five years before their marriage. While G.P. was away at Grand Island Baptist College, Myrtle had been a sort of confidante and friendly adviser to him, urging him repeatedly to mind his actions lest he ruin his repute. Myrtle ‘s agreement with G.P. ‘s mother regarding the rumors in late 1904 about G.P. and Alice May show she was upset, not only because they had tarnished G.P. ‘s repute but besides because she considered him a close friend .
When Myrtle rejected G.P. ‘s 3 January 1908 marriage proposal of marriage, she told Franc Cather that she had never fully recovered from a bust of measles ( 30 Jan. 1908 ). Her forefather had told her she was besides frail to marry G.P. ; she had recommended that G.P. spill to his beget about the disadvantages of marrying a woman in inadequate health, but G.P. had refused to do thus. 8 Nevertheless, Myrtle ‘s letters to G.P. while he served out the mandate year on his navy enlistment systematically end with the phrases “ As always, fondly, ” “ Your sweetheart, ” or “ As ever, your loving Sweetheart. ” She promised that they would marry when he returned to Nebraska, and she told him that her forefather had offered to build them a house to live in ( 18 Dec. 1908 ). In early letters she encouraged him to begin thinking about finding make after they were married, noting that he might become involved in the local lumber commercial enterprise .
Although Cather did not attend the 8 June 1910 marriage in the home of Myrtle ‘s parents, she may have read the account in the Bladen Enterprise or been told about the consequence. Following a ceremony very alike to that described in One of Ours, the new copulate enjoyed a short-circuit honeymoon in Colorado. Letters from the early years of their marriage suggest that Myrtle, at least, was happy. 9
If Myrtle felt less sleep together and charitable toward G.P. by the time Cather talked with him in 1914, it is no wonder. Myrtle became increasingly frustrated with her conserve ‘s irresponsibility ; there were bills that she felt his parents should help pay if he could n’t or would n’t. With G.P. off on his adventures and Myrtle traveling with her mother, the two saw less of each other as prison term went on. Nevertheless, unlike Enid, Myrtle was there to see G.P. off when he sailed for France .
Gladys Farmer, the woman Claude should have married, is a foil to Enid. In creating Gladys, Cather could have drawn upon teachers she herself had known. According to John March, Cather told friends that a prototype for Gladys was Dessie Taylor Sherwood, a teacher whose family moved to Red Cloud around 1902 ( 259 ). other possible influences include Cather’s Aunt Franc and her sister Elsie, both of whom were teachers. Eva King, the model for Evangeline Knightly in one of Cather ‘s last stories, “ The Best Years, ” had taught her in Red Cloud ; Cather described her in 1909 as “ the first person whom I always cared a bang-up cover for outside of my own family ” ( Bohlke 175 ). Another teacher Cather admired was Anna Gayhardt, whom Cather met in Blue Hill, Nebraska, in the mid-1890s ( Faber 47 ). And of path, Cather herself had been a high school teacher in Pittsburgh between 1901 and 1906 before moving to New York. literary influences are possible besides. For model, Gladys Farmer shares a number of characteristics with Kate Swift in Sherwood Anderson ‘s “ The Teacher, ” and Winesburg, Ohio was published in May 1919, about the clock Cather was working on this part of One of Ours .
Another character of finical importance is David Gerhardt, the young musician-turned-soldier who befriends Claude in France. Cather was broadly reticent about discussing her sources, but she revealed to Fisher and then to the general populace, in one of her longest comments on the novel, published in the New York Herald on 24 December 1922, that her exemplar for Gerhardt had been the young concert violinist David Hochstein ( Bohlke 49-57 ). Hochstein had been killed at old age twenty-six, less than a month before the end of the war. Cather had first met him in the winter of 1916 at a secret melodious gather and was immediately taken by his “ poetic ” play and “ distinctly intellectual ” appearance. Cather saw in their last meet in 1918 that Hochstein, adenine unlike as he was from G. P. Cather, had experienced a like transformation in military serve. The “ demoralized young homo ” she had met after his first few weeks of discipline, his expression “ freeze in a kind of biting resignation, ” had become after three months a confident and enthusiastic soldier who treasured the chumminess and common sense of purpose he had found. According to Cather, Claude would not know Gerhardt well, but there was “ a park ground on which they could know and respect each other, ” and David would represent those attitudes and values that Claude would come to discover and to cherish in France .
once Claude Wheeler was ready to leave the United States to serve as a extremity of the AEF in France, Cather faced the fact that much of his oversea experience would have to be researched. Although she felt uncomfortable about writing from such materials, she began to gather information. The report of Claude ‘s getting “ over there, ” recounted in script 4, “ The ocean trip of the Anchises, ” is based in big part on two sources, one so far nameless .
In a 31 August 1919 letter to Ferris Greenslet, Cather asked for copies of Joseph Husband ‘s recently published A year in the Navy and of Ian Hay ‘s The last Million. Although Cather seems not to have found any utilitarian material in Hay, Husband ‘s book was very helpful. Almost every contingent of Cather’s descriptions in the first gear three chapters of “ The voyage of the Anchises ” has a latitude in Husband ‘s ledger, particularly from the chapters “ The Transport, ” “ The Freight Convoy, ” and “ Destroyers. ” Her heavy borrowing from Husband besides seems to be the source of her obviously erroneous instruction that the troopship convoys were escorted by battleships .
Cather ‘s second major reference for “ The voyage of the Anchises ” was the war diary of Dr. Frederick Sweeney. In the beginning separate of Sweeney ‘s account, Cather found material that she used to describe the influenza epidemic onboard the Anchises. She besides discovered prototypes for a phone number of characters who appear in book 4, most notably Sweeney, who was the prototype for Dr. Trueman, and besides for Fanning, Tannhauser, and Maxey ( Faber 120-33 explores these relationships in detail ) .
once she had Claude in France, Cather needed to be able to make his fascination with its acculturation credible. Although a longtime francophile, she knew that her firsthand experience with french culture was limited and with wartime France nonexistent. She turned to sources such as Elizabeth Sergeant ‘s french Perspectives ( 1916 ), which she described in a letter to her friend as “ a moral revelation of the french spirit ” and a tell gloss on the “ acquired wisdom of solomon ” and “ enduring verities ” of french acculturation ( Sergeant 145 ) .
In other ways, besides, Sergeant was an significant informant on the war. In September 1917 she went to Europe ; there she worked as a correspondent for the New Republic, meet such war heroes as Colonel Frank McCoy, Colonel Douglas MacArthur, and General John J. Pershing. A calendar month before the armistice she was badly injured while touring one of the battlefields of the Marne. She was hospitalized and ineffective to leave France until May 1919. Upon her rejoinder to the United States she visited Cather, who bombarded her with questions about the war, and peculiarly about cases of beat shock. The “ doomed american english, ” the young soldier of book 5 who has lost his memory ( 441-44 ), presumably came out of this interest. As Sergeant says, when Cather questioned her about the war, she did so with “ that eye-in-every-pore quality that took possession of her, when she was bent on her own ends ” ( 155 ) .
Cather must have read articles and stories that her old friend Dorothy Fisher had sent from France ; Janis P. Stout asserts that Cather’s depicting of french culture and club during the Great War was significantly shaped by her reading of Fisher ‘s Home Fires in France ( 1918 ) and The Day of Glory ( 1919 ). Fisher had told her agent that her aim in these works was to be “ perfectly and absolutely authentic rather than sensational ” ( Stout 50 ). Cather ‘s reading of Home Fires in particular was “ particularly acute, ” and a number of ideas and images from both of Fisher ‘s books “ had shanghai her profoundly enough to stay in her mind and reappear in her own novel ” ( 51 ) .
The challenge Cather faced in writing from gathered material intensified when it came to describing troop prepare and movements, weapons, battlefields, and warfare itself, for she knew about nothing about military matters. however, during the winter of 1918 her former scholar Albert Donovan, who was in the united states army in New York, brought a number of his soldier friends, “ three or four at a clock time, ” to 5 Bank Street, where they would stay for hours, telling Cather about their experiences ( Lewis 118 ). Soldiers from Webster County besides were guests at Cather ‘s Bank Street apartment during the war ( see the Webster County Argus, 11 July 1918, and Cather to Greenslet, 30 May [ 1919 ] ). In addition, she spent many hours during the winter of 1918 talking with recuperating soldiers at the Polyclinic Hospital in New York in orderliness to gather more information ( Cather to Fisher, [ 7 Apr. 1922 ] ). Cather later identified respective characters and incidents in book 5 that had their sources in these conversations, most notably the little girl who screams out in terror and the slain german policeman with the locket ( Cather to Fisher, [ deep Mar. or early Apr. 1922 ] ) .
Given her compulsion with telling Claude ‘s history accurately, Cather surely must have read many of the hundreds of books ( including personal narratives ), magazine essays, and newspaper articles published on the war before 1921. Hermione Lee has pointed out that the dart and heedless young aviator Victor Morse, in book 4, seems to be based on Victor Chapman, who had joined the American flying corps in France ( what would become the Lafayette Escadrille ) in 1915 and had died at Verdun in June 1916. Chapman ‘s letters from France had been collected by his father, the note writer John Jay Chapman, and published in 1917. Phyllis Robinson notes that Cather pasted pictures of flyers that she had clipped from the New York Times in her personal imitate of Victor Chapman ‘s Letters from France and that she had besides kept articles on some of the veterans in the same volume ( 223-24 ) .
In addition, it is probably that Cather read Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ‘s modal Americans ( 1919 ). Roosevelt, son of the early president of the united states, was one of G. P. Cather ‘s superior officers ; his report of the experiences of the Twenty-sixth Infantry mentions G.P. ‘s death and includes a photograph of G.P. with his fellow officers. The chapters “ Overseas, ” “ Training in France, ” “ Life in an Army Area, ” “ early Days in the Trenches, ” and “ Montdidier ” would have been particularly useful to Cather. It is besides probably that Cather would have read Frederick Palmer ‘s America in France ( 1917 ), Arthur Guy Empey ‘s “ Over the top ” ( 1917 ) and First Call ( 1918 ), and Rev. Francis Duffy ‘s Father Duffy ‘s history : A Tale of Honor and Heroism ( 1919 ), all of which were bang-up democratic successes. She obviously read Dear Folks at Home : The Glorious Story of the United States Marines in France as Told by Their Letters from the Battlefield ( 1919 ), which she besides requested from Greenslet. It is about certain that she would have been familiar with Henri Barbusse’s Le feu ( Under Fire ), published in French in 1916, in English in 1917, and by 1918 already recognized as the greatest french novel on the war. Any number of other books on the war, such as Laura de Gozdawa Turczynowicz ‘s When the Prussians Came to Poland ( 1916 ), which Cather recommended highly to Carrie Miner Sherwood ( Cather to Sherwood, [ 1917 ] ), rounded out what surely must have been a farseeing number of sources .
last, contemporary journalism informs Cather ‘s writing about the war, as becomes apparent when reading the newspapers of the times. For example, one of Claude ‘s comrades reads a nip from the Kansas City Star that says the “ Tommies ” had found the original site of the Garden of Eden in Mesopotamia but that the conditions there had been atrocious ( 484 ). This was primitively reported in the London Times in recently 1915 ; the article appeared in the New York Times on 16 January 1916 under the title “ Modern Guns Boom near the Garden of Eden. ” ( The article may good have been reprinted in the Star, though no copy exists in their clip files. ) Another soldier tells his comrades that before the war he had been involved in building the largest dam in the global in Spain ( 486 ). That fib was reported in the New York Times on 16 October 1916 under the title “ American Engineers Build Largest Dam in Europe. ” Cather besides may have drawn upon periodicals such as McClure ‘s, in which she could have found information on historical figures to whom she alludes : for example, both Carl Schurz and John D. Rockefeller were the subjects of feature articles around the time she worked at the magazine. Cather ‘s interest in the Red Cross is documented in her letters ( see, e.g., her 13 Mar. 1918 letter to Carrie Miner Sherwood, commending her work with the administration ). The Red Cross Magazine between 1918 and 1921 carried articles on war-related subjects and themes that reappear in One of Ours : Edith Cavell, the plight of children in take Belgium, enlistments from prairie states, and the hunger of prairie youth for a broader world. indeed, Cather wrote two of these essays— ” Roll Call on the Prairies ” ( July 1919 ) and “ The education You Have to Fight For ” ( October 1919 ) —while she was working on “ Claude. ” She knew entire well that Claude ‘s narrative had to be grounded in the immediate history from which he emerged, and as a consequence One of Ours is arguably the richest of all of Cather ‘s novels in her use of materials contemporary to its typography .
More than two decades after writing One of Ours, Cather reflected that she was always able to find something to write about because she had been thus deeply affected by respective incidents in her life. For her, the writing march was not a matter of inventing but rather of recalling, reconstructing, and rearranging ( Cather to Carrie Miner Sherwood, 29 Apr. [ 1945 ] ). Given its perplex amalgam of allusions to the Bible, to Milton, to Shakespeare, and to early literary sources ; to “ classical ” music ; to the democratic american culture of the time ; and to the actual events of the time period, One of Ours is among Cather ‘s most reward text for those matter to in exploring her creative process .

Early Reception: 1922-1923

As she neared completion of “ Claude, ” Cather was anxious about what she had done with her fabric and worried about what reviewers would think. She wrote Fisher that she would not believe the oeuvre that had gone into the details of One of Ours ( [ late Mar. 1922 ] ). While she besides told Fisher that the external events weakened the novel, she felt compelled to refer to them ; she was trying to tell Claude’s history as he experienced it. She commented on the emotional toll the distinguish of Claude ‘s narrative had taken on her ; despite all this, she realized that alone the end result would matter ( [ 13 March 1922 ] ) .
To understand the strange level of Cather ‘s concern with the reception to One of Ours, one must consider its space in her career. The year 1918, in which G.P. was killed at Cantigny and Cather conceived of “ Claude, ” saw the publication of My Ántonia, the book that gave Greenslet “ the most shudder shock absorber of realization of the real thing ” he had ever experienced as an editor ( Under the Bridge 119 ). Reviewers, besides, recognized the real number thing. They praised Cather ‘s creation of set, her “ higher realism, ” her freedom from “ the usual methods of fabrication. ” This was an “ enchant ” book written with the “ surest touch ” ; with it Cather had given readers “ something we can reasonably class with modern literary art the world over that is seriously and lavishly interpreting the liveliness of youth. ” The normally acerb H. L. Mencken devoted reviews in two back-to-back issues of the Smart Set to My Ántonia, calling it “ a capital objet d’art of writing, ” not alone the best work Cather had yet produced, a clear “ gradation up ” in her career, but besides one of the best novels “ that any American has ever done. ” 10
These mounting expectations seemed satisfied when Knopf published Youth and the Bright Medusa in the fall of 1920. Reviewers were positive, giving finical praise to “ Coming, Aphrodite !, ” the report Cather wrote while taking a interrupt from work on One of Ours. Mencken was besides enthusiastic, declaring Cather ‘s writing confident and graceful and reconfirming Cather as a writer “ of the front rank ” ( 139-40 ). Knopf ‘s promotion of the koran had led to brisk sales, pleasing Cather vitamin a well as confirming her doubts about Houghton Mifflin ‘s publicity department .
The swell of expectations continued to rise in the concluding months before One of Ours appeared. In January 1921 the Writer ‘s Club of New York named Cather one of the six great contemporary american novelists. In April, Sinclair Lewis, whose Main Street was at the height of its popularity, declared to an audience in Omaha that Cather was “ a greater author than he ever hoped to be ” and ranked her, among Nebraskans, above both William Jennings Bryan and John J. Pershing ( Bohlke 24- 25 ). When she returned to Red Cloud after a long visit to the Hambourgs in Toronto, where she had received news program of Lewis ‘s talk, Cather was engulfed by requests for interviews and invitations to speak. Praise came from across the Atlantic, with the English critic Hugh Walpole calling My Ántonia “ one of the greatest novels in all american literature ” and declaring Cather “ an artist of the very first and finest order ” ( 30 ) only three weeks before the issue of One of Ours. It is no wonder, then, that Cather, having earned such praise, was concerned about her modern reserve. She understood full moon well that expectation influences reception, and she knew that “ Claude ” was unlike what her readers expected .
Whatever self-consciousness Cather felt when she gave the manuscript to Knopf, she must have felt encouraged when he wired her : “ just finished the book. Congratulations. It is consummate, a absolutely gorgeous novel, far ahead of anything you have ever so far done, and far ahead of anything I have read in a very long while. With it your position should be secure constantly. I shall be gallant to have my diagnose associated with it ” ( Bohlke 28 ). Knopf ‘s endorsement for the reserve began : “ Into the fib of Claude Wheeler ‘s stormy young, his enigmatic marriage, and the concluding gamble which releases the perplex energy of his nature, Miss Cather has poured all the mania of her dare, impatient mind, her insidious and elastic style ” ( Scrapbook, Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation Collection, Nebraska State Historical Society ) .
The design for the debris jacket must have pleased Cather. Within a nicely designed surround is a drawn-out, two-paragraph encomium of Cather and her new function, beginning, “ More and more we have come to recognize in Willa Cather our greatest living woman novelist. ” The first paragraph ends by declaring One of Ours “ an authentic masterpiece—a novel to rank with the finest of this or any age. ” The statement, though written by Cather herself, is signed by Knopf. On the jacket back are excerpts from three reviews of Youth and the Bright Medusa from the New York Times, the Nation, and the New York Globe. Knopf had done fair what Cather had urged Houghton Mifflin to do : sell books by quoting reviews .
Some of the reviews of One of Ours were peculiarly of the sort to provide such quotes. Knopf had arranged for Dorothy Canfield Fisher to review it for the 10 September 1922 New York Times. Fisher acknowledged the opposing views on the war, then established that Cather ‘s novel was not about the war but rather about Claude Wheeler. Fisher found the bible “ amazingly rich, ” driven by the generator ‘s “ astonishing absorption in her root ” —the undertake of one young man to escape the “ bare, neutral, machine-ridden world ” around him—and by “ the massive seriousness ” of Cather ‘s style. And, she added, the secondary coil characters were particularly noteworthy. Playwright Zoë Akins, another of Cather’s friends, wrote in the New York World on 19 September that Cather ‘s delineation of the feel that Claude and other soldiers had for the worthiness of the patriotic cause was odd both historically and artistically .
In his New York Tribune review, Burton Rascoe asserted that the hero of the reserve was not Claude alone but “ the american youth with fettered wings in the suffocate far inland towns, where no refreshing breath of venture comes. ” Rascoe besides observed that Cather ‘s new novel was not a war novel, the war taking up less than a third of the book, but was preferably a study of one energetic youthful man’s frustration at being trapped “ in the hamper, mean, unpleasant environment ” of the small town in center America. Cather ‘s story, he concluded, was told “ with an epic dignity, ease and impressiveness. ” Writing for the Independent, H. W. Boynton declared that in the first three books of One of Ours Cather was “ the fib teller at her best. ” Admitting initial doubts about the war part of the novel, he however found the last two sections “ a noteworthy enlistment de wedge ” ( 280-81 ) .
midwestern reviewers intelligibly focused on the first half of the novel and on Claude ‘s attitude toward his midwestern breeding. In the Emporia Gazette, the influential correspondent William A. White gave One of Ours a positive recapitulation. In both the Des Moines Register ( 10 Sept. 1922 ) and the Omaha Sunday Bee ( 17 Sept. 1922 ), the reviewers speak of Claude Wheeler ‘s “ revolt ” against small-town life sentence on the midwestern prairie, thus identifying the novel as another ferment in the “ disgust from the village ” drift that had been popularized by Masters, Anderson, Lewis, and others in the teens and early twenties .
In the Register D. H. Murphy calls One of Ours an answer to Three Soldiers, asserting that Cather “ makes it devastatingly plain fair why Claude finds delight in a animation that drove Andrews in Three Soldiers to rebellion and a tragic end. ” For Wheeler, “ paroled from Nebraska ” and “ liberated from the middle west, ” the war is “ a moment of beauty between two horrors, ” Nebraska and death. The commentator for the Bee notes Cather ‘s “ kind naturalism ” but calls her picture of animation in the Midwest “ unflattering. ” The trouble, according to this reviewer, was that Claude had “ never found his genuine put among us ” and that Cather seemed “ impress with the superior artwork of life practiced by those of about european tradition. ” possibly one day “ a prairie culture ” would be born so that even people like Cather would not feel it necessary to leave Nebraska for New York and Paris .
While, as James Woodress notes, the plus reviews outnumbered the damaging by two to one ( Willa Cather 333 ), who criticized the novel was much more authoritative to Cather than how many reviewers praised it. Sinclair Lewis and H. L. Mencken were two whose opinions she particularly valued. Lewis ‘s recapitulation no doubt surprised Cather, specially since he obviously had volunteered to write it ( Cather to Fisher, [ 17 June 1922 ] ). Noting that a new book by Cather was “ an event to be reported intently, ” Lewis began by praising respective aspects of the novel : sealed “ moments of smasher ” in Cather ‘s descriptions of the midwestern landscape, questions about the “ value of overhaul, ” a phone number of “ bright ” minor characters, and “ the courage to be tender and absolutely dim-witted. ” Yet, Lewis concluded, though One of Ours was a ledger that “ must be read, ” it was disappointing, subscript to Cather ‘s previous novels. As Lewis saw it, the most crucial weakness in the Nebraska sections of the script is the undeveloped fib of Claude ‘s marriage to Enid, which would have provided possibilities for complication. He found the introduction of the war “ doubtful, ” “ a matter to be debated. ” interestingly, he speculated that Claude might have been “ suggested by some actual, some identical very well person who was tragically lost in the war, ” but Cather ‘s bomber was however excessively pure and besides much the romantic. Although there was “ no designed degrade of her cultivate to tickle the banal reviewer, ” according to Lewis, there was “ far less beauty ” in the death of Claude Wheeler than in that of Harvey Merrick in “ A Sculptor ‘s Funeral. ” 11
Mencken ‘s inspection in the Smart Set for October 1922 is even more curse, beginning : “ Miss Willa Cather ‘s ‘One of Ours ‘ ( Knopf ) divides itself neatly into two halves, one of which deserves to rank about with ‘My Ántonia ‘ and the other of which drops precipitously to the floor of a series in the Ladies ‘ Home Journal. ” Although Mencken was lavish in his praise of Cather ‘s nice and at times poetic write in the Nebraska sections, her letter of explanation had not convinced him about the record ‘s overall deserve. “ What spoils the story, ” Mencken said, “ is simply the fact that a class or so ago a young soldier named John Dos Passos printed a novel called ‘Three Soldiers, ‘ ” and Cather seemed to have read that novel “ absently, if at all. ” He lambasted what he called the “ lyric nonsense ” of Cather ‘s report, suggesting that unlike in Three Soldiers, “ at the bottom it [ the war in One of Ours ] is fought out, not in France, but on a Hollywood movie lot. ” Like Lewis, Mencken compared Cather’s depicting of the war to that of Coningsby Dawson ‘s romanticize war novels .
other reviews reflected like disappointment. Heywood Broun declared that Cather simply did not know what she was talking about in the war sections ( 13 Sept. 1922 ) ; Edmund Wilson dubbed the book “ a pretty flat failure, ” claiming that Cather might have written with accuracy but that she had not successfully conveyed what had happened to the person of her champion. “ L. L. ” ( Ludwig Lewisohn ), calling his state review “ The Broken Epic, ” criticized the “ geomorphologic helplessness ” of the book, which, as he saw it, “ breaks in the middle ” with a separate narrative intrude in the latter one-half of the novel. In his revue for the Dial, Gilbert Seldes said the first one-half of One of Ours “ freely suggests Madame Bovary, ” but he besides felt that the book plainly “ breaks in half “ ( 440 ). In the moment half, Cather “ has recorded without creating ” ; she has described without evocation. The consequence is that the book suffers from “ a black defect of dullness ” ( 439 ). The war is “ built up out of any number of immutable facts and probable incidents, brilliantly and brilliantly ineffective. ” Seldes was particularly struck by Cather ‘s note on the influenza epidemic at the beginning of chapter 5 of book 5, proclaiming that it showed Cather had “ about stopped writing fiction altogether ” ( 439 ) .
While a issue of reviewers lamented a journalistic choice in the “ war sections ” of the book ( the problem that Cather herself acknowledged ), the most reproducible criticism was that One of Ours presented the war in romanticist terms. One of Cather ‘s major problems in making her cousin the focus of One of Ours was that his life had all the ingredients of a bad twentieth-century war novel. What “ the high-brow critics, ” as Cather called them ( Bohlke 78 ), wanted was “ a protagonist who experienced boredom and disenchantment in his military avail and lived to criticize the club that sent him to war ” ( Woodress, Willa Cather 334 ). G. P. Cather ‘s history precluded that .
By 1922 disenchantment over the war was very solid ; the war was described as a otiose butcher, an exercise in futility and fraudulence. many intellectuals saw Dos Passos ‘s Three Soldiers, which Mencken declared the war novel against which all others must nowadays be compared, as the proper corrective to the uninitiate notions of patriotism and glory that had made up the literature of war before, and even after, 1914. Most of the reviewers who criticized One of Ours on this account assumed that Claude ‘s opinion of the war was Cather ‘s view : Heywood Broun called Claude ‘s dedication to the “ induce ” excessively ideal and sentimental ( 13 Sept. 1922 ), and Mencken dubbed Cather ‘s treatment of the war “ romance and blather ” ; Sidney Howard, writing in the Bookman, referred to One of Ours as “ a Saturday Evening Post translation of Three Soldiers. ” They failed to discern in One of Ours the irony that they recognized and praised in Three Soldiers .
On a light note, the 3 February 1923 issue of the New York Evening Post Literary Review carried a parody of One of Ours by Christopher Ward, “ One of Hers : hanker after Willa Cather. ” In the second of “ two chapters ” of a supposed fresh, Cather telephones Claude Wheeler at the front and tells him to expose himself to withering enemy fire by mounting the parapet of the trench. Claude ‘s incredulous reply and objection are followed by an agreement to do her bid, though in the end Claude tricks both Cather and the enemy by putting a mannequin there in his place. Whether Cather saw this parody is unsealed ; fortunately, she was spared cognition of Ernest Hemingway ‘s gratuitously filthy comment in a letter to Edmund Wilson : “ Was n’t that last picture in the lines wonderful ? Do you know where it came from ? The conflict scene in Birth of a Nation. I identified sequence after episode, Catherized. Poor womanhood, she had to get her war experience somewhere ” ( Hemingway 105 ) .
Although Cather felt that her book had fallen into a irritant patch of negative reviews, as she wrote Fisher ( [ 29 Sept. 1922 ] ), she was gratified by the many laudatory letters she received from World War I veterans. These were the comments that counted, she told Fisher ( [ 10 Oct. 1922 ] ). 12 The letters she saved attest to the bang-up love that soldiers had for the book. Particularly interesting, given reviewers ‘ claims that the novel lacked truthfulness, are the statements of veterans who had actually been in France—not the more intellectually and philosophically minded ones who ( according to Sergeant ) found the book “ off the glow ” ( 181 ), but average ones like Charles Bayly of Minneapolis, who wrote to Cather merely weeks after publication that he had been in France for more than three years and that the last part of One of Ours “ is the most perfect movie of the war that I have read ” ( 30 Sept. 1922 ). Thomas G. Cassady, besides of Minneapolis, wrote that he was amazed at Cather’s depiction of life at the front, declaring, “ how you could have gotten the trench life with such accuracy and insight is quite beyond my gift of inclusion ” ( 18 Nov. 1922 ). Wendell Phillips Bieser wrote from New York that what Cather said about the Yanks in Europe was “ affectingly true ” and thanked her for “ the truthful account of things as they actually were in France. ” Bieser continued, “ ever since the Three Soldiers was published I have been hoping for person who would appear with an adequate answer to the sour and pessimism of John Dos Passos, for Three Soldiers in truth is n’t true ; it is entirely partially on-key. There were so many boys who never found themselves until the War came ” ( 17 Oct. 1922 ). Bieser ‘s praise is echoed by Kirk Bryan of Washington, D.C., who wrote that reading One of Ours aroused emotions that he had not felt since he had gone through Hoboken and Elizabeth, New Jersey, in a troop train or had talked to men in clique. “ We were not big men, ” he concludes, “ but we had a capital moment ” ( 24 Dec. 1922 ) .
As Woodress observed, it seems “ no reviewer read the novel with an open mind ” ( Willa Cather 333 ). Writing in the Literary Review, Lorna R. F. Birtwell thought that besides many critics had attempted to “ superimpose ” their own notions of what Cather could have done or should have done with her characters : they talked more about the fresh they might have written than the one Cather had written. Cather herself would continue to defend the book and bristle at reviewers ‘ reproaches. Sergeant said that shortly after the novel’s publication she received from Cather “ a hot-foot, ebullient remark on her critics, ” and through the fall of 1922 Cather occasionally sent envelopes with clippings about the ongoing debate over the record ( 171-72 ). Cather told Vermorcken that besides many people saw it as a defense of the war quite than as a history about Claude ( [ 19 Sept. 1922 ] ). Godfrey St. Peter ‘s musings about the reception of his history of the spanish adventurers may reflect Cather ‘s own thoughts about the reception of One of Ours : “ cipher saw that he was trying to do something quite different—they merely thought he was trying to do the usual thing, and had not succeeded very well ” ( The Professor ‘s House 33 ) .
The controversy obviously did not hurt sales. Knopf sold sixteen thousand copies in the first calendar month and about sixty thousand between September 1922 and November 1923. Cather ultimately, at old age fifty dollar bill, became financially comfortable. The two Knopf books, Youth and the Bright Medusa and One of Ours, had brought her nineteen thousand dollars in a outer space of two years. Cather was please with Knopf, Knopf was pleased with Cather, and both were pleased with the sales of One of Ours. Her relationship with Knopf and his print company would be permanent. It was one of the bang-up turn points in her literary career. Although One of Ours had disappointed some reviewers, Cather would say for years that of all her books, she liked it best ( Bohlke 78 ) .

Subsequent Views: After 1922

In his 1923 review of One of Ours for the London Spectator, Gerald Bullett maintained that, while not without some deserve, One of Ours could not hope for a long life ; it was destined “ to go the direction of all topical fiction. ” Bullett ‘s prediction seemed yield out by a noteworthy lack of pastime in the take after years. As Marilyn Arnold documents in Willa Cather : A Reference Guide, only a handful of published comments appeared over the future six decades, most of them quite brief. Given the accomplishment of Cather ‘s other fabrication, One of Ours seemed to pale by comparison. Typical of the opinion of many critics of the following one-half century, possibly, was Grant Overton ‘s assertion in The Women Who Make Our Novels ( 1928 ) that One of Ours was Cather’s lone bankruptcy. Most unplayful readers just ignored the bible .
sake in One of Ours as World War I fiction cursorily faded, partially because sake in the war itself faded, and particularly because Erich Maria Remarque ‘s All Quiet on the western Front and Hemingway ‘s A Farewell to Arms, both published in 1929, seemed to present “ true ” pictures of the war, therefore better conveying the disillusionist views that had been seen earlier in Three Soldiers. In 1967 Stanley Cooperman seemed to nail the coffin close when he called One of Ours a disturbingly uninstructed movie of the war that “ falls second upon the stereotypes of war palaver, the mental picture of clean-cut american boys marching to save the worldly concern ” ( 30 ). According to Cooperman, Cather had seen the war merely as a arouse spectacle and had merely “ exploited the vein of military opinion already exploited by others ” ( 32 ) .
In the mid-1970s a number of Cather critics began to reread One of Ours, calling into interview the appraisals of Cooperman and some of his predecessors and insisting that Claude Wheeler ‘s position of the war not be equated with Cather ‘s own. The catalyst for this reconsideration was David Stouck ‘s affirmation in Willa Cather ‘s Imagination ( 1975 ) that much of the disappointment with the novel resulted not from Cather ‘s failure as an artist but from the failure of readers to detect and appreciate Cather’s dry tone. Stouck saw One of Ours as a insidious sarcasm filled with sarcasm, and he urged readers to consider Cather’s intention : “ not to describe the war in a realistic manner, but to reflect the romantic aura that for therefore many men gathered around the have ” ( 91-92 ). much subsequent criticism has focused on this issue. James Woodress has declared that Cather had no illusions about the war ( “ A note on One of Ours ” ), Susan Rosowski has described the record as a mock-epic work, and one Cather critic has insisted that One of Ours is, in fact, “ bathed and saturated in irony ” ( Skaggs 40 ) .
Two holocene studies indicate a renewal of interest in One of Ours and are indispensable to an reason and appreciation of Cather ‘s novel. In her unpublished doctoral dissertation, “ ‘All the World Seemed Touched with Gold ‘ : Willa Cather and One of Ours ” ( University of Nebraska, 1995 ), Rebecca J. Faber places the fresh in its historic context and indicates how Cather ‘s personal experience and certain historic forces influenced its write. Faber ‘s research into the Nebraska backgrounds and sources for the novel is impressive and particularly instructive. Steven Trout ‘s enlightening study Memorial Fictions : Willa Cather and the First World War ( 2002 ) argues that Cather’s novel “ is far more modernist than most critics have assumed ” ( 7 ) and asserts that it must be read with a sense of the enormous complexities that Cather saw in attempting to deal with the Great War. According to Trout, both One of Ours and The Professor ‘s House ( 1925 ) can best be understood by realizing the extent to which Americans developed “ an iconography of memorial ” regarding the war and by recognizing how cather suggests ways in which the war and the emergence of a new national culture were connected. One of Ours, he concludes, must now be recognized as “ a major exercise of twentieth-century American war literature ” ( 190 ) .

Notes

Parts of this essay appeared previously in The Mower ‘s Tree ( Spring 2003 ) and in the Journal of Narrative Theory ( Summer 2005 ) .
1. In April 1916 Blanche Wolf became his wife, and the two became the first husband-wife team in the history of publishing. Describing both the man and the businessman, fellow publisher B.W. Huebsch declared, “Until Knopf blew in, like young Lochinvar, book publishing was a business; he made it a career” (Harris 468). ( Go back. 2. The best source of information about the composition of One of Ours is the correspondence between Cather and Fisher from early 1921 through late 1922. As Mark J. Madigan has shown, Cather’s friendship with Fisher, which began in 1891, had been sorely tested between 1905 and 1921, and a reconciliation took place while Cather was working on One of Ours. The Cather-Fisher correspondence is at the University of Vermont-Burlington. Dates in square brackets are those assigned to undated letters by the Bailey/Howe Library, based on available evidence. ( Go back. 3. Typical were his grades for the fall semester 1901: German—71, Latin—43, Chemistry—73 (the grade was raised after protests to the course professor and the college president), Algebra—73, and Literature—70. ( Go back. 4. In Average Americans, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., G.P.’s commanding officer, explaining the democratizing effect military service had on men involved in the war effort, says that in his regiment there were many instances of this fact. “One of my lieutenants,” Roosevelt adds, “a gallant young fellow, was a waiter in civilian life” (244). Might Roosevelt’s “gallant young fellow” have been Willa Cather’s cousin? ( Go back. 5. The house still stands today, and despite some deterioration it is an impressive structure. ( Go back. 6. Franc Cather was also the prototype for Georgiana Carpenter in “A Wagner Matinée,” first published in 1904. ( Go back. 7. Willa Cather made it clear that she did not find missionary activities admirable. Bennett speculates that Cather’s attitude may have derived from her dislike of a Red Cloud woman who returned from a mission with curiosities and artifacts taken from China and charged for her lectures on her experiences (136). Myrtle’s apparent indifference to G.P. as she carried on her own religious activities no doubt added to Cather’s poor opinion of her. A comment critical of modern women who take too many shortcuts in cooking and in housework, which Cather made while on her speaking tour of the Midwest in the fall of 1921, may have been made with Myrtle in mind (see Bohlke 148). ( Go back. 8. The precise nature of Myrtle’s health problem is unclear. The Bladen Enterprise noted as early as 1896 that Myrtle was convalescing from typhoid fever (18 Sept. 1896), and Franc Cather later mentioned in a letter to G.P. the problems Myrtle had with her lungs (21 May 1909). ( Go back. 9. One comment to Franc is particularly interesting. In response to a request for more descriptions about her travels with G.P., Myrtle says, “You spoke about a detailed account of our trip. Willa I expect could give a good one if she had been along” (20 Sept. 1911). ( Go back. 10. See the Historical Essay of the Cather Scholarly Edition text of My Ántonia for a more detailed summary of the critical reception, or consult Margaret O’Connor’s Willa Cather: The Contemporary Reviews (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001) for the complete texts. ( Go back. 11. Of course, the critics themselves were fair game for criticism, as adebate in the Literary Review in late 1922 shows. In a letter to the editor, Marion Ponsonby declared that Lewis could not appreciate Cather’s achievement in One of Ours because the two writers had “uniquely different outlooks and temperaments” and Lewis lacked “the intuitional equipment” necessary to do so. George L. Bryan addressed Lewis’s complaints about Cather’s failure to continue the story of Claude and Enid, calling the relationship not the central element in Cather’s plot but “merely an episode in the dullness and disillusionment of [Claude’s] early life.” Bryan’s article finds One of Ours certainly far from “second-rate.” ( Go back. 12. Lewis says that Cather kept many of the letters in a small suitcaseand perused them with great satisfaction. Years later when Lewis sent all the soldiers’ letters about One of Ours that she could find to Carrie Miner Sherwood, she remembered that there had been “many, many more soldiers’ letters,” but because of space restrictions in a New York apartment Cather could not keep them all (Lewis to Sherwood, 19 Dec. 1947). ( Go back.

Works Cited

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Bartlett, Addie. Letter to Frances Cather. 11 Feb. 1908. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
Bartlett, Myrtle. Letters to Frances Cather. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
———. Letter to George and Frances Cather. 1 Nov. 1911. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
———. Letters to G. P. Cather. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
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Bennett, Mildred. The World of Willa Cather. 1951. lincoln : u of Nebraska P, 1961 .
Bieser, Wendell P. Letter to Willa Cather. 17 Oct. 1922. Southwick Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
Birtwell, Lorna R. F. Letter to the Editor. New York Evening Post Literary Review 25 Nov. 1922 : 254 .
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Boynton, H. W. Rev. of My Ántonia. Bookman Dec. 1918 : 495 .
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Bullett, Gerald. Rev. of One of Ours.London Spectator. 3 Nov. 1923 : 661 .
Butcher, Fanny. Many Lives—One Love. New York : Harper, 1972 .
Cassady, Thomas G. Letter to Willa Cather. 18 Nov. 1922. Southwick Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
Cather, Frances. Letters to G. P. Cather. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
Cather, G. P. Letters to Alice May. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
———. Letters to Frances Cather. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
———. Letter to George and Frances Cather. 3 Aug. 1906. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
———. Letter to George Cather. 6 May 1908. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
Cather, Willa. “ The education You Have to Fight For. ” Red Cross Magazine Oct. 1919 : 54-55, 68-70 .
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———. Letters to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MA 1602 .
———. Letters to Ferris Greenslet. Houghton Library, Harvard U, Cambridge, Mass. Dates given for the Cather-Greenslet parallelism at Harvard University are those assigned by the Houghton Library .
———. Letters to Frances Cather. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
———. Letters to H. L. Mencken. Slote Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
———. Letter to Charles F. Cather. 7 July 1920. Ray Collection, U of Nebraska-Lincoln .
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Greenslet, Ferris. Letters to Willa Cather. Houghton Library, Harvard U, Cambridge, Mass. Dates given for the Cather-Greenslet agreement at Harvard University are those assigned by the Houghton Library .
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Harris, Richard C. “ Knopf, Alfred Abraham. ” The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives. Vol. 1. New York : Scribner ‘s, 1998. 467-69 .
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Illustrations

Photo of Cather holding the manuscript of One of Ours illustration 1Willa Cather's mother, to whom One of Ours is dedicated. illustration 2Cather's Aunt Franc, the mother of G. P. Cather. illustration 3George P. and Frances Cather's house on their farm in Catherton precinct. illustration 4Postcard view of Grand Island Baptist College, Grand Island, Nebraska, c. 1905. exemplification 5Postcard view of the University of Nebraska campus, Lincoln, c. 1910. example 6G.P. Cather in the United States Navy, 1909. exemplification 7G.P. Cather and Myrtle Bartlett, 1910. example 8G.P. and Myrtle Cather on their honeymoon in Colorado, 1910. illustration 9G.P. Cather on a hunting trip in Colorado, 1911. illustration 10Postcard of the SS Arabic, sunk by a German submarine 19 August 1915. exemplification 11Edith Cavell was executed as a spy by the Germans 12 October 1915. illustration 12Cover of Leslie's magazine, 20 April 1918. exemplification 13G.P. Cather (directly behind the sign) with his National Guard unit, 1916, about the time of their service on the Mexican border with General Pershing. illustration 14Troopship leaving New York c. 1918. illustration 15Pages from the wartime diary of Dr. Frederick Sweeney. illustration 16Cover illustration by Norman Rockwell (1918) for the sheet music of "Over There." illustration 17Map of Dieppe from Paris and Environs with Routes from London to Paris. illustration 18G.P. Cather (no. 4) with other officers of the First Battalion of the Twenty-sixth Infantry Regiment, at Haudivillers, France, April 1918. example 19Church of St. Ouen, Rouen, c. 1900. exemplification 20Joan of Arc as depicted in a World War I poster by Haskell Coffin. illustration 21Map showing sites referred to in One of Ours. example 22Postcard view of the ruins of Reims (Rheims), c. 1918. exemplification 23Patriotic postcard of Woodrow Wilson, c. 1918. Courtesy of Richard Harris. illustration 24Postcard of Kaiser Wilhelm II. exemplification 25American Red Cross postcard of General John J. Pershing. illustration 26Photograph of Victor Chapman a week before his death, June 1916. illustration 27Concert violinist David Hochstein, c. 1917. illustration 28American troops attacking at Cantigny. example 29Photograph of G.P. Cather's grave in France photographed by Willa Cather in 1920. illustration 30Hearse and part of the funeral procession for G.P. Cather in Bladen, Nebraska, 3 May 1921. example 31Grave marker for G.P. Cather. illustration 32Photograph of publisher Alfred A. Knopf in a Chicago bookstore, 1922. exemplification 33Photograph of Dorothy Canfield Fisher, c. 1920. example 34Dust jacket for the first edition of One of Ours (front on left). example 35Willa Cather with Jan and Isabelle Hambourg in 1923. exemplification 36

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Textual Apparatus

Textual Essay

volume eight of the Cather Edition presents a critical textbook of One of Ours, Willa Cather ‘s fifth novel. It was her first popular success, making her financially independent, 1 and was well enough regarded by critics and reviewers to win a Pulitzer Prize. It was besides the inaugural Cather novel published by Alfred A. Knopf, whose success with her short-story collection Youth and the Bright Medusa ( 1920 ) had convinced Cather that he would do better by her than had Houghton Mifflin. Knopf published the foremost edition of One of Ours on 8 September 1922. There was no magazine version, though Knopf tried hard to sell the serial rights to the women ‘s magazines and the Saturday Evening Post ( Memoirs [ 3 ] ) ; nor have the editors discovered manuscripts, typescripts, or proof versions of the novel. The plates of the first version were used until 1971, when the textbook was reset for the Random House Vintage Books edition. The first british edition was published by William Heinemann in October 1923. One of Ours constitutes volume 5 of the Autograph Edition, which appeared in 1937. No other editions in English were published during Cather ‘s life. 2
We have chosen as copy-text a copy of the beginning deal print of the Knopf first edition because it most closely realizes Cather ‘s purpose for her novel at the prison term of her most intense imaginative betrothal with the work. 3 Our knead with Cather ‘s Knopf novels has shown that she revised her text continuously until they were first published in reserve shape. From that point on, she made many fewer changes : even in the Autograph Edition, changes in accidentals are normally the resultant role of house or edition vogue, and meaty changes in most text either correct errors or change or erase words, short phrases, and occasionally sentences that an older Cather thought out of date or otiose. 4
The policy of the Cather Edition is to present a sour as Cather intended it at the time of its beginning publication in reserve form, admitting as emendations only those changes authorized by Cather or deemed necessity by the portray editors. We do not emend the text to include late revisions by Cather that alter the kernel of the solve or its aesthetic intention, or that may represent her assent in a former set of conventions governing accidentals or typography. such variants, when substantial or quasi-substantive and in authorial text, are included in the table of Rejected Substantives. 5
Our column routine is guided by the protocols of the Modern Language Association ‘s Committee on Scholarly Editions. We begin with a bibliographic view of the history of the text, identifying any problems it presents. Making a calendar of extant texts, we collect and examine examples of all known texts produced during Cather ‘s life, identifying those forms that may be authorial ( i.e., that involved or might have involved Cather ‘s engagement or treatment ). These forms are then collated against a free-base text serve as a criterion of bite. The collations provide lists of substantial and accidental variants among these forms. A conflation constructed from the collations produces a list of all substantive and accidental changes in all relevant ( authorial ) editions. After an analysis of this conflation we choose a copy-text and prepare a critical text ( an emended copy-text ). The collations and the conflation besides furnish the materials for an emendations list that identifies changes the editors have made in the copy-text, and for a postpone of rejected substantives that contributes to a history of the text as contained in its assorted authorial forms. In a break procedure we make a list of end-hyphenated compounds with their proper resolution. 6
This essay includes a discussion of the composing of the script and the product and printing history of the text during Cather ‘s life, an psychoanalysis of the changes made in the textbook during this period, a rationale for the choice of copy-text for this edition, and a statement of the policy under which emendations have been introduced into the copy-text. page and line references in this essay, unless otherwise indicated, are to the text of this edition .

Composition

Cather was already at exercise on One of Ours when Alfred A. Knopf published Youth and the Bright Medusa in 1920. Edith Lewis writes that Cather was “ the last person to have set out measuredly to write a ‘war fresh ‘ ” ; what led her to it was “ an accident, ” the news “ in May, 1918, of a front-runner cousin ‘s end at the principal of his men in the conflict of Cantigny ” ( 117 ). Lewis goes on to explain that the cousin was a Nebraska boy Cather had known well ( Lieutenant G.P. Cather ) and that there had been “ a strong touch of kinship and sympathy between them ” ( 117 ). When Cather finished My Ántonia in the summer of 1918, she made a visit to Nebraska, a visit coinciding with a fine harvest year. Later, in New York, “ she began seeing and talking with a big many soldiers ” ( 118 ). She began sour on the novel late that class. The project was to take four years from origin to issue .
James Woodress succinctly describes the difficulties Cather faced : “ the necessity of creating a male supporter, the obligatory manipulation of subject matter she could not know at first hand, and a lack of aesthetic distance between herself and the material ” ( 305 ). however, she worked on the novel, tentatively titled “ Claude, ” throughout much of 1919, in New York and in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. At first the writing went smoothly ; Cather wrote Ferris Greenslet ( 6 Jan. 1919 ) that she had already completed the first four chapters ; although she spent most of June and July in Toronto visiting the Hambourgs ( Woodress 309 ), by July she had written 100,000 words ( Cather to Greens-let, 29 July 1919, cited in Woodress 542 ). The upwind in Jaffrey was wet, and Cather fell ill with influenza. Frederick Sweeney, the sophisticate who attended her, turned out to have served with the american Expeditionary Force onboard a ship whose crew and passengers had suffered through an influenza epidemic. Sweeney lent her his diary, which became the basis for “ The voyage of the Anchises “ section of the novel .
When the floor left Nebraska, however, Cather ‘s progress was inescapably slower. In writing book 4 she had Sweeney ‘s diary and many conversations with soldiers to help her, and in bible 5 she had Lieutenant Cather’s letters to his mother, but in these sections she could not write from personal experience. At last she felt she must go to France ; “ she had to get the feel of the whole of France to write about it ” ( Lewis 120 ). consequently, Cather and Lewis sailed for France on 19 May 1920 ( Woodress 310 ). After spending some seven weeks in Paris, Cather was shown over the battlefields of the war by her friends the Hambourgs, visited Lieutenant Cather ‘s dangerous, traveled to Provence, and then spent several more weeks in Paris, returning to New York in deep October ( Lewis 120-21 ) .
Cather ‘s differences with Houghton Mifflin had reached a crisis before her tripper abroad ( Cather to Greenslet, 19 May 1919 ; Greenslet to Cather, 23 May 1919 ), and she had begun to think seriously about finding a new publisher. Woodress ‘s history ( 306-10 ) of her change from Houghton Mifflin to Alfred Knopf ‘s young firm is concise and well documented, a good corrective to that of Edith Lewis ( 108-16 ), which follows Cather’s own 1940 tribute to Alfred Knopf. 7 Knopf had offered to reissue The Troll Garden, for which Greenslet did not think there was a grocery store. When Cather took a break from “ Claude ” and wrote “ Coming, Aphrodite ! ” over the 1919 Christmas season, the modern story led to a modern collection quite than a mere reissue of the earlier collection ; in 1920, Knopf published Youth and the Bright Medusa, which reprinted four stories from The Troll Garden and added “ Coming, Aphrodite ! ” ( in the first place titled “ Coming, Eden Bower ! ” ) and three others. The reserve ‘s success led to Cather ‘s decision to make Alfred Knopf her publisher, not only for “ Claude ” but for her subsequent oeuvre adenine well. It was one of the important decisions of her life ( Cather to Greenslet, 12 Jan. 1921 ; Lewis 115 ; Woodress 316 ) .
Cather inactive had to finish “ Claude, ” which Knopf was to publish as One of Ours. 8 She had gotten in “ six weeks of work ” in Provence in August and September 1920, during her trip abroad. even suffering from an ankle twist incurred on the harsh reappearance voyage ( Woodress 318 ), she set to work during the winter, turning in the spring of 1921 to her erstwhile friend Dorothy Canfield Fisher for help with french terminology and acculturation ; by March the novel was four-fifths done ( Cather to Fisher, 24 Mar. 1921 ). Cather went to Toronto in April, staying about five months with the Hambourgs ; they were going to move to Europe, and Cather knew that she would see them only occasionally thereafter. She could work in Toronto, and Cather last finished her fresh in August, deferring publication until the following fall ( Cather to Greenslet, 26 Aug. 1921 ). Almost at once she left for another long visit to Nebraska ( Woodress 318-19 ). She was reading proof by January ( Cather to Fisher, 26 Jan. 1922 ) ; in the process, she again turned to Fisher for help : Fisher checked the french material in February and March ( Cather to Fisher, 6 Feb. and 13 Mar. 1922 ). Cather worked on the page proofs some two hours a day while recovering from a tonsillectomy at Galen Hall, a bedlam in Wernersville, Pennsylvania ( Cather to Zoë Akins, 20 Apr. 1922 ). She apparently did not finish the proof until June, in New York ( Woodress 321 ) .
Although we have found no text of One of Ours earlier than the beginning print of the beginning version, have with early Cather novels for which such texts exist ( for example, Shadows on the Rock, Obscure Destinies, Lucy Gayheart, Sapphira and the Slave Girl ) leads us to believe that Cather followed her usual practice. She wrote her first draft in longhand, then prepared or had prepared one or more typescripts, constantly revising in the summons. final typescripts were prepared by a professional typist, but Cather normally made revisions, not entirely on the rig copy but at the galley and page proof stages adenine well. 9 Although she requested that the original typescripts of her books be returned to her after production and wrote Knopf ‘s son that she had destroyed those produced before she moved from Bank Street, a number of type drafts ( of The Professor ‘s House and My Mortal Enemy, e.g. ) and even some page proof exist ( Bohlke 41, 76 ; Cather to Alfred A. Knopf Jr. [ Pat ], 19 Jan. 1936 ; Cather to Sinclair Lewis, 22 Mar. 1944 ; Lewis 127 ). We know from the letter to Zoë Akins, mentioned above, that she read proof for One of Ours, and took some time doing it. We besides know, specially from Lewis and the Knopf memoirs, that she took a potent sake in the details of the production of her books, even going indeed army for the liberation of rwanda as to write advertise replicate and specify wallpaper and font. For example, Knopf wished to use the same font and font size for Lucy Gayheart that had been used for Death Comes for the Archbishop ; Cather disagreed, requesting those used for A Lost Lady, and Knopf immediately acceded to her wishes ( Cather to Blanche Knopf, 26 July 1934 ; Knopf, Memoirs [ 33 ] – [ 34 ] ) .

Production and Printing
History

The first printing of the first edition of One of Ours, published by Alfred Knopf on 8 September 1922, comprises six different issues in three groups. Group one includes the limited issues : ( a ) 35 copies, numbered and signed by the author, printed on Imperial Japan vellum, specially bound and protected by a glassine wrap, priced at $ 25 ; ( b ) 310 copies, numbered and signed by the author, printed on Fabriano Perugia paper, specially bound and slipcased, priced at $ 10. Group two includes the U.S. trade issue ( coke ), comprising 12,000 of the sum of 15,000 copies, priced at $ 2.50 ; and ( five hundred ) the canadian offspring, comprising 3,000 extra sets of sheets of ( vitamin c ). Group three includes ( east ) boost review copies, comprising 250 sets of sheets of ( coulomb ) specially bound with an insert flick printed on the reverse ( “ this is one of an version of two hundred and fifty dollar bill copies particularly made for bookseller friends of borzoi books ” ) and ( farad ) 95 sets of sheets of ( c ) lacking the insert leaf but with the Macmillan of Canada imprint on the claim page. 10 Since all these copies were “ printed at the like time from the same compress set ” ( Crane 90 ), they are all contribution of the first printing. Their differences do not affect the relief printing but involve the format, type, and size of the paper ; the dressing, jacket, or slipcase used ; or alterations in the preliminary count .
Knopf did not distinguish between print and issue in the early printings of the novel, leading to a complication affecting the early printings of the edition. Knopf designates the two forms of the limited return as the first printing and the diverse forms of the trade print as the “ second impression. ” This printing and subsequent printings through the “ Ninth ” ( November 1923 ) are consequently misnumbered on the impress page : the phone number given is one numeral besides senior high school. The actual ninth print comprised 2,500 copies, cheaply printed and bound in a “ text ” edition for the Students ‘ Library of Contemporary Fiction ( June 1926 ). thereafter, the impression act given on the imprint page is compensate because late printings of the edition ( k ) do not count the Students ‘ Library one ; for example, the sixteenth print, July 1965, notes that the bible has been “ Reprinted Fourteen Times ” ( i.e., after the second print ). In this test and in the accompanying apparatus we use the chastise number rather than the total appearing on the copyright page. therefore, the copy-text is a copy of the “ second print, ” actually the first trade print of the fresh .
Twelve printings of the version were produced during Cather ‘s life, including the diverse issues of the inaugural printing. Printings 2-4 occurred in 1922 and 5-8 in 1923 :

second printing 10,000
copies
21 September 1922
third printing 12,500
copies
28 September 1922
fourth printing 6,000
copies
November 1922
fifth printing 3,000 copies 28 May 1923
sixth printing 6,000 copies June 1923 11
seventh
printing
4,700 copies August 1923
eighth
printing
6,700 copies November 1923

The one-ninth printing was run by Vail-Ballou ; all early printings of the edition in Cather ‘s life were done by the Plimpton Press. Printings 10-13, totaling 8,850 copies ( 1931-49 ), ran to between 1,500 and 3,000 copies each ( Crane 94-95 ) .
Five corrections in the third print were suggested to Cather by Ferris Greenslet, who remained a lifelong supporter even after Cather ‘s apostasy to Knopf. Greenslet noted that a court case that has been heard is “ reason, ” not “ dismissed ” ( 323.6 ) ; that a tugboat pilot burner wore no undifferentiated ( 361.16 ) ; that destroyers, not battleships, were used in convoy service ( 369.12, 17 ), and that the offensive referred to at 441.25 and 514.16-17 was that of Belleau Wood, June 1918, rather than that begun in July and called Château Thierry ( Greenslet to Cather, 22 Aug. 1922 ). Cather added changes at 128.7 ( “ even ” to “ Later ” ) and 278.4 ( “ consequence ” to “ thought ” ), and a misprint was corrected at 136.23. seven more corrections were made in K4 ( 1922 ) : “ grammargrass ” to “ grama-grass ” ( 98.8 ), “ tableau vivantes ” to “ tableaux vivants ” and “ Lydia ” to “ Nydia ” ( 170.23-24 ), “ supplies ” to “ supplies, ” ( 358.17 ), “ of “ to “ or ” ( 463.2 ), “ changing ” to “ changing, ” ( 478.5 ), and “ hospital ” to “ hospital, ” ( 497.1 ). K5 ( 1923 ) corrects “ Owen ‘s ” to “ Owens ‘ “ at 589.20. Most of the K4 changes correct errors caught by Cather ‘s Pittsburgh ally George Seibel ; she wrote him on 12 October 1922 thanking him and saying that the corrections would be made in the future printing .
Forty-eight extra changes were made in K 3 ( February 1949 ), twenty-one of them substantive. These were all presumably authorized : a bill on the production phonograph record for K 2 ( 1940 ) refers to unspecified “ corrections made by Miss Cather after this version [ i, printing ] was printed. ” All but five of these K 3 readings ( “ myself : ” at 203.14, “ Havels ‘ ” at 221.1, “ s’il ” at 431.10, “ sirops ” at 437.1, and “ Kamerad ” at 477.11 ) had already appeared in the Autograph Edition ( 1937 ) ; in three of these five cases the Autograph Edition random variable corrects K ( “ Havel, ” “ sirops, ” and “ Kamerad ” ) ; in one sheath ( “ myself, ” ) it substitutes a comma for K’s semicolon ; and in the fifth case the mistake in K ( 431.10 ) is overlooked .
There are, therefore, five states of the first-edition text ( K ). State a includes the respective issues of the first gear impression and its successor ; states b and c comprise the one-third and fourth printings, respectively ; state of matter d includes the fifth through the twelfth printings ; and state vitamin e includes subsequent printings of the edition. 12
It will be seen from the above table that good over 60,000 copies of the novel were in photographic print within sixteen months of publication. Thereafter, sales dropped quickly. Between November 1923 and Cather ‘s death in 1949 there was a sweetheart but reduce demand : 11,350 copies were printed .
One of Ours appeared as volume 5 of the Autograph Edition of Cather ‘s works in December 1937. William Heinemann published the first british edition in October 1923. 13 No other edition in English appeared during Cather ‘s life. A third base edition, readjust, was published as a Vintage paperback book ( V-252 ) in 1971. Variants occurring in two late editions are now to be discussed. The first group comprises differences between the text of K and that of the first british edition, published by Heinemann ( planck’s constant ) ; the second, differences between the text of K and that of the Autograph Edition, published by Houghton Mifflin ( a ) .
The Heinemann edition, published in October 1923, is about 100 pages shorter than K, the difference due chiefly to Heinemann ‘s practice of a 40-line page. many lines are set line for agate line from K, but no attempt was made to follow this practice throughout. There are some 450 variants between the two text, no more than a twelve of which are substantive. The K3 changes appear in h, suggesting that the latter was set, not from a imitate of the inaugural print, but from one of a print between the third base ( September 1922 ) and sixth ( June 1923 ), probably from a copy of the one-third or fourth : H makes five of the k4 changes but does not make the sixth ( adding a comma after “ hospital ” at 497.1 ). however, the five changes made in henry all correct fairly obvious errors in K, so the british compositor might have made them, closing one article with a comma at 478.5 but missing the one at 497.1. The terminus a quo is set by the issue go steady of H ; K7 did not appear until August 1923, and h was published in October .
The substantive changes ( other than typographic errors or misreadings ) made in H include those appearing in K3 and K4 and besides the follow :

Pg./Line K H
103.12 phonograph phonographic
199.16 of her for
her

Of these, the first and second do not suggest
authorial intervention, the third “corrects” usage in K, and the last two suggest that the H editor or compositor misunderstood Cather’s use
of tense in the passage.

Of these, the first gear and moment do not suggest authorial intervention, the third “ corrects ” usage in, and the last two suggest that theeditor or compositor misconstrue Cather ‘s manipulation of tense in the passage. Nor is authorial intervention suggested by the accidentals. Spelling changes account for more than one hundred of these, most substituting british spell for U.S. ; two-thirds of them either transfer “ police van ” to “ waggon ” or substitute “ mho ” for “ omega ” in words like “ realize ” and “ patronize. ” More than 40 percentage involve changes in word division, one-third of which are accounted for by the hyphenation in h of “ today, ” “ tonight, ” and “ tomorrow. ” There are relatively few changes in punctuation : of fewer than ninety noted, some sixty attention deficit disorder or delete a comma. Some fifty dollar bill shell changes are made in H, most reducing titles like “ the Colonel ” or “ the Doctor ” to lowercase when no name follows. H besides corrects K’s failure to provide accents on some french words ( protégé, e.g. ) and adorns Corporal Tannhauser ‘s surname with an umlaut .
Since no external or internal evidence suggests Cather ‘s interposition in its production, we do not regard the Heinemann edition as authorial and, consequently, exclude its readings from the board of Rejected Substantives .
Scribner ‘s initiated the estimate of a subscription edition of Cather’s fabrication in 1932, but Houghton Mifflin would not release the rights to the four early novels it had published ( Lewis 180-81 ; Greenslet to Cather, 1 July 1933 ; Knopf, Memoirs ). When Houghton Mifflin itself took up the mind, Cather worked with Ferris Greenslet, her former editor there, and after much negotiation agreed to the edition. She wanted W.A. Dwiggins, who had designed some of her Knopf books, as the interior designer, and she wanted the same type font that had been used in the Thistle edition of Robert Louis Stevenson ( Cather to Greenslet, 18 Dec. 1936 ). Greenslet did not agree ( 21 Dec. 1936 ), and Bruce Rogers was engaged alternatively ( Woodress 468 ). During 1936 Cather looked over the titles to be included and made changes, the number of changes varying with the particular style. There are besides blanket changes apparent in the edition, due either to Cather ‘s treatment or, more likely, to differences in the house vogue of Knopf and Houghton Mifflin or to Rogers ‘s design for the edition—changes that Cather probably did not specifically mark but to some classes of which she may have assented. She had besides suggested to Greenslet in a letter of 8 September 1936 that she might like to write a “ short precede ” to One of Ours, but nothing came of this idea .
There are well over fourteen hundred variants between K and the Autograph Edition textbook ( a ). meaty and quasi-substantive differences account for about 4 percentage of these, accidentals for more than 85 percentage, and typographic changes ( largely in paragraphing ) for about 11 percentage. Among the substantial variants are those first gear appearing in K3-5 and discussed above. The most meaning of those remaining may easily be listed :

Pg./Line K A
33.13 events invention
41.11-12 Chancellor President
150.16 electric coupé coupé
170.11 electric car car
270.15 an
electric
a car of her own
270.20 guess reckon
306.14 clean clear
310.5 making
talk
causing gossip
357.24-25 [¶] Hoboken? How
many of them were already in France!
omit
386.9-12 that; the old dungeons and cages
would be broken open for ever. The image of a black prison, lying out in
a blue Gulf, lingered in his mind, and he felt as if he had been
there.
that.
597.6-7 anything. He had learned
the mastery of men.
anything.
598.14-15 holes—one through his heart. holes.

many of the a readings eliminate words that Cather in 1936 obviously felt unnecessary ( the “ very much ” at 35.20 and the sentences at 357.24-25, 386.9-12, and 598.14-15 ). Three changes eliminate all references to Enid Wheeler ‘s electric coupé, credibly because the day of “ electrics ” had passed. other changes “ improve ” style, formalize grammar, clarify pronoun reference, or eliminate colloquialisms : “ were ” to “ was ” at 258.12, “ office ” to “ offices ” at 605.7, “ He ” to “ Claude ” at 151.21, “ guess ” to “ reckon ” at 270.20 .
Some 35 percentage of the accidental variants between K and a are accounted for by changes in give voice part, about 40 percentage by changes in punctuation, about 16 percentage by changes in case, and about 11 percentage by changes in spelling or stress. The main inclination in word division is to move from two words to one word or a hyphenate compound, or from a hyphenated compound to one parole, but the reverse leaning is besides apparent. The most frequent switch in punctuation, accounting for a significant percentage of all accidental variants, is that from the comma plus crash to the dash alone, a change characteristic of other Autograph Edition textbook a well. Commas are total about adenine often as they are deleted ; semicolons are frequently changed to colons, normally before direct address. The spelling changes are besides distinctive of a textbook : “ program ” becomes “ program, ” “ conscription ” becomes “ draft, ” “ thrash ” becomes “ convulse, ” “ inquired ” becomes “ ask, ” “ could n’t ” becomes “ could not, ” “ check ” becomes “ check. ” Most of the spell variants substitute british spell for U.S. or change the readings of K to orthography considered more ball or more current .
These changes seem to be the consequence of the Autograph Edition ‘s invention or of Houghton Mifflin ‘s house style. They may have been authorized or approved by Cather, but the design does not suggest that she herself specified them. For case, most of the case changes in a substitute small letter for uppercase when a title is not followed by a person ‘s name : “ Chief Steward, ” “ Corporal, ” “ Sergeant, ” “ Lieutenant, ” “ Major, ” “ Colonel, ” “ Doctor, ” “ Curé, ” and “ Company ” all lose their initial capitals. K capitalizes “ high School ” ; A reduces the initial letters to lowercase. Given the relatively little number of meaty changes in A, it is unmanageable to believe that Cather specifically marked well over 150 such changes in capitalization, that she changed a comma plus dash to a daunt in some 250 instances, or that she routinely altered the genitive apostrophe after two-syllable words ending in “ s ” to the apostrophe plus “ randomness ” ( “ Bayliss ‘ ” to “ Bayliss ‘s ” ). 14 The Autograph Edition text does make a number of corrections to K : “ Passchendaele ” for “ Paschendael ” and “ Rupprecht ” for “ Ruprecht, ” for case. It besides corrects “ Sweitzerkase ” to “ Schweizerkäse, ” “ apostacy ” to “ apostasy, ” “ plait ” to “ plaït, ” “ Emile ” to “ émile, ” and “ appetit ” to “ appétit. ” however, Cather ‘s hand is not apparent except in the relatively small number of substantial changes. Two sets of changes in a are typographic. K ‘s treatment of abbreviations is inconsistent : “ doctor ” is normally spelled out but sometimes abbreviated “ Dr. ” ; “ monsieur ” is constantly spelled out in a french idiom, but it is sometimes spelled out and sometimes abbreviated to “ M. ” before a name ; “ Mademoiselle ” is twice given in full but normally abbreviated to “ Mlle., ” even in address cover. The a textbook systematically spells out these words .
The second bent of changes is more significant : there are more than one hundred changes in paragraphing in the a text, about all of them introducing a new paragraph in a where the K text is continuous. These changes fall into three basic patterns : a introduces a newfangled paragraph after address address, before direct address, or plainly to break the narration. such changes inevitably change, however slightly, the way one reads the feign passages. We therefore include them in the mesa of Rejected Substantives, although their absence in K 3 is the lone evidence that would indicate whether or not Cather specifically indicated any of these changes in preparing transcript for the Autograph Edition textbook .

The Choice of Copy-Text

The copy-text for this edition of One of Ours is a imitate of the trade issue of the first print of the first edition of the fresh, published on 8 September 1923 by Alfred A. Knopf. bite of all potentially relevant text shows that lone the Knopf first base edition and the Autograph Edition texts show tell of Cather ‘s hand and are consequently authorial. 15 All other texts appearing during Cather’s life were either reprints, divide issues, or texts that derive from K without evidence of authorial intervention .
The Autograph Edition text, although clearly authorial, differs from that of K primarily in accidentals. There is no direct attest that Cather specifically indicated these accidental changes ; although we know that she took an unusual interest in accidentals, typography, paper, and early elements of book invention and production, the nature of the changes in a suggests that most of them result from Houghton Mifflin ‘s house style or from Rogers ‘s design for the edition. This conclusion is besides suggested by the absence of most of a ‘s accidental variants in K 3. furthermore, the a text follows that of K by about fifteen years, long enough for Cather to have moved to a more economic, severe, and “ british ” style than that apparent in K ; such differences reflect a later intention for her fresh, one unlike from but not necessarily better than that realized in K 1. finally, the Autograph Edition as a whole is the consequence of a former purpose for the fresh : it is presented to descendants as one shape in a uniform-format edition collecting the oeuvre of a successful author. The commercial aspect of the venture not only required that it look unlike ( overall design ) but besides that it not reproduce the like text, in substantives and accidentals adenine well as in typography, as those produced earlier by Houghton Mifflin and Knopf. Thus, K 1 is closest to Cather ‘s contemporary commit in its treatment of accidentals and flush in that of many substantives, and it clearly represents, in a way a does not, the time period of her most intense imaginative betrothal with the novel .

Emendations

The Cather Edition has emended the copy-text under the follow circumstances : ( 1 ) to correct an obvious typographic error ; ( 2 ) to change an accidental when it is open from other examples that a recitation is anomalous—a skid or an unlikely exception—or when a change will resolve an ambiguity or eliminate an awkwardness without materially affecting intend ; ( 3 ) to resolve certain inconsistencies in accidentals and typography, particularly when the inconsistencies involve the names or titles of characters or places, appear in proximity, or are likely to annoy or distract a subscriber ; ( 4 ) to supply the proper accents on, and forms of, words in a extraneous language ; ( 5 ) to resolve a wide incompatibility in the use of abbreviations ; ( 6 ) to correct a substantive error or make a substantive change that Cather herself asked to have corrected or that can be sanely inferred to be a change she requested, particularly if the change was made close up to the time the work was beginning published in koran class ; ( 7 ) to correct a substantive mistake when it is clear from many other examples that a especial read is a slip or a rare exception. We do not emend to “ improve ” Cather ‘s wording or grammar, 16 to modernize her wording or usage or consumption of accidentals, to impose consistency where inconsistency is unobtrusive, or to correct actual errors she herself did not savoir-faire ( except when a simple factual error can be corrected without far revising the text ). 17
We know that Cather sent Houghton Mifflin a list of changes she wanted made to the text for the Autograph Edition, most probably a list correcting some accidental errors but differently consisting primarily of substantial changes she desired. however, the Autograph Edition textbook of 1937 comes some fifteen years after the first edition of the novel, and the changes Cather makes are frequently the product of a more cautious dash or of a desire to update some of the book ‘s speech ( e.g., the elimination of the references to Enid Wheeler ‘s electric coupé ). We have accepted new readings from K 3, K 4, and K 5, all published within a few months of K 1, as contemporary with the copy-text. however, we have not accepted readings from a and K 13, both text much later than K 1-4, unless they correct an error, resolve an ambiguity we believe unintentional, or clear up something that is differently confusing. In finical, we have not accepted updating or strictly stylistic changes. For case, we do not emend 597.6-7 ( “ He had learned the domination of men. ” ) or 598.14-15 ( “ —one through his heart. ” ) to prune words that Cather in 1937 presumably thought unnecessary, flush though these changes besides appear in K 13. Nor do we emend “ clean ” to “ clear ” at 306.14, flush though we believe that the variety was Cather ‘s. We do not emend “ Bull ‘s Run ” at 289.22, because contemporaneous accounts give the list of the flow with the apostrophe adenine well as without it. At 587.18 we leave “ gasses ” ( K 1-5 ) because this spell of “ gases ” is acceptable. We are tied more reluctant to accept emendations from a that do not appear in K 13 ; for model, we reject the change at 35.19-20 from “ thing, as it ” to “ thing ; it ” and the exchange at 391.14 from “ Private Fuller ” to “ Fuller, ” on the ground that these changes represent Cather ‘s 1937 stylistic choices .
We know that Cather wanted her french compensate, and we have, therefore, corrected mistakes in the lecture of native speakers and in french words in narrative. however, we have not emended audible errors or infelicities in Claude Wheeler ‘s french, because there is a reasonable presumption that Cather intended them to indicate Claude ‘s miss of proficiency in the terminology. Examples occur at 474.2-3 ( “ Bon jour ” and “ Qu-est ” for “ Bonjour ” and “ Qu-est-ce ” ), and 475.24 ( è for pour ). In a letter of 7 April 1922 to Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Cather remarks that she had tried to make her french enough like English to allow the women in Red Cloud to make it out ; indeed, most of it is elementary .
The numerous inconsistencies within the first print of One of Ours in the treat of abbreviation, capitalization, and password division suggest that Knopf did little unplayful copyread of the typescript Cather supplied, possibly because he was well aware of the value of adding a fresh and important generator to his number, one who was, after all, an experience editor herself. The inconsistencies were largely resolved in the Autograph Edition following more modern conventions. Rather than modernize the text of this edition, however, we have sought to resolve major and distracting inconsistencies by finding the prevail exercise within the copy-text and emending merely where that practice has not been followed. When no prevailing practice can be established, we leave the inconsistencies. 18 We do not believe that Cather would have wanted inconsistencies in accidentals or typography, but neither do we believe we should guess what her preferences might have been .
We are aware that our emendation of certain inconsistencies in K 1 ‘s accidentals departs from a stern rendition of the Greg-Bowers theory of copy-text : even the imposition of home consistency inescapably alters to some extent one ‘s learn of the copy-text. We are, consequently, careful to specify all such emendations, and are confident that in making them we have followed the general use of the copy-text rather than imposing modern practice on it. We believe that Cather did not notice the inconsistencies, either in the typescript she sent Knopf or in the proof. We besides believe that she would have eliminated them if they had come to her care. normally, a copy editor program would have resolved all or most of the inconsistencies, as happened in the New York Public Library typescript of Shadows on the Rock ; in that shell, Cather gave most of the accidental changes her silent blessing by allowing them in K 1. In the case of One of Ours, the copyread was minimal .
capitalization presents more problems than the other classes of accidentals and involves both English and French. Again, we have followed the predominate practice of the copy-text when that can be determined. For exercise, K 1 normally capitalize titles such as “ Colonel ” and “ headman Steward ” when no name follows and the title is singular and is immediately preceded by the definite article, so we have emended the exceptions to this principle ( except for “ Pal Battalion [ s ], ” the second discussion of which is constantly capitalized ) and list the emendations without further annotation. We have left the dedication at 394.6 and 395.13 because the text “ quotes ” it ; because we do not know how the dedication appeared on the crisscross, we follow copy-text. We leave “ Crime ” and “ Amour ” capitalized at 415.1 for the same reason. On the early hand, we reduce “ Anglais ” to “ anglais ” at 502.19 to keep the open eminence between adjective and noun. We have besides left titles in mastermind address in french capitalized when no name follows ( 426.23, 431.10, 451.6, 459.3, 474.2, and 530.9 ) ; although the modern convention is to set such titles in lowercase, we follow the constant drill in K 1 .
We ignore inconsistencies in son part unless the K 1 read is clearly anomalous ; in many such cases the change we make is besides made in a. Abbreviations such as “ Dr., ” “ Mlle., ” and “ M. ” are expanded because their arbitrary use, much in close proximity to spelled-out titles, is distracting .
The emendations accepted into the copy-text of One of Ours include 16 substantive changes, 9 of them from K3 and K4 ( 1922 ) and 1 from K5 ( 1923 ) ; some 150 changes to accidentals ( more than 60 changing spell or stress, including the spelling out of abbreviations and form uses of the apostrophe ; some 20 changing punctuation ; about 50 altering capitalization ; and 20-odd alter news division ) ; and some 20 changes involving typographic features such as the consumption of quotation marks, asterisks, or italics to indicate titles. A few emendations involve two variants. In summation, we correct one chapter number ( 9 to 19 in book 1 ). The number of substantive emendations is small ; the count of emendations to accidentals is unusually large because of the many inconsistencies in the K 1 text .
The board of Rejected Substantives lists all substantial variants, other than those accepted as emendations, between K 1 and A. Variants from the Heinemann edition are not included because we do not consider that edition authorial. The list besides includes a minor number of accidentals that affect meaning, such as the variety from a period to an exclamation point, and the variants in paragraph, which can suggest different nuances of mean .
Records of Cather ‘s direct engagement in the design and production of her works have led us to take special care in their presentation. A photocopy of the copy-text is marked with the emendations CE has made and the resolution of end-line hyphenations in List A and sent to the University of Nebraska Press. We are particularly concerned to minimize compositor error in this edition. By agreement with the Press, we undertake proofreading in stages to meet the guidelines of the Center for Scholarly Editions, which call for at least four readings. 19 The editors have cooperated with the graphic designer to create a volume that, insofar as is feasible within the series format of a scholarly edition, reflects Cather ‘s acknowledge wishes for the presentation of her work .

Notes

1. Edith Lewis ( 115 ) writes that the 1923 royalties for Youth and the Bright Medusa and One of Ours were complete nineteen thousand dollars. ( Go binding. 2. For details of issues, printings, and editions of the text see Crane 89-97. Although we occasionally make corrections of or additions to Crane ‘s entries and do not constantly accept her terminology, we are, like all Cather scholars, indebted to her excellent bibliography. ( Go rear. 3. Our rationale for the selection and emendation of copy-text derives from W. W. Greg ‘s “ The Rationale of Copy-Text ” and the additions and refinements of that important essay made by G. Thomas Tanselle, in detail his try “ Greg ‘s theory of Copy-Text and the Editing of american Literature. ” Greg preferred the text close to the writer ‘s hand and based his preference on the argument that, in revise, authors tend to emphasize substantives ( changes in wording, including morphemic variations ), whereas typists, editors, and compositors are more likely to change accidentals ( spelling, case, punctuation, and news part ) .
We are mindful of, but do not agree with, the arguments against the possibility of establishing a individual satisfactory text. T. H. Howard-Hill has put the count succinctly : the “ insistence that a scholarly editor program is not a ‘rescuer and refinisher ‘ of texts and that editors ‘have been caught out trying to promote the honor of texts’ leaves the matter of emendation in doubt. .. if merely accidental collocations of words will satisfy the needs of literary critics, then editing is basically unnecessary. literary theories that emphasize the ambiguity, polyvalence, and plurisignification of textual utterances recommend a form of version in which these textual properties are appropriately acknowledged. however, it seems that it would be authoritative for critics who value these textual properties to know the source and ( credibly ) the authority of the specific utterances on which critical attention is to be focused. only the kind of textual criticism that results in the ‘establishment ‘ of a text can furnish this data. It may be controversially advantageous for advocates of new forms of editing to denigrate and dismiss the fundamental functions of textual criticism, but ultimately it is irrational ” ( 52 ) .
(Go back.)
4. Some mind of the extent of Cather ‘s revisions in the production stages of her work can be gleaned from her angry letter of 19 May 1919 to Ferris Greenslet, which protests Houghton Mifflin ‘s load of $ 244 for author ‘s changes to the text of My Ántonia. In his answer on 23 May, Greenslet notes that the changes Cather wanted, including the necessary readjust, took 181 hours to make. Although there are much many hundreds of changes in accidentals and typography in the Autograph Edition text of the Knopf novels, probably ascribable in most cases to house style and the designer ‘s specifications, there are relatively few substantive changes. This fact supports our opinion of the primacy of the first gear ledger edition text. ( Go back. 5. There is a good argument for listing all variants in a table of reject variants, but we list entirely substantives, quasi-substantives, and certain typographic features because the cost of including all accidentals is prohibitive. In accession to preserving the full commemorate of all variants in the Editorial Office of the Cather Edition ( Department of English, U of Nebraska-Lincoln ), we discuss the accidental variants in this try. ( Go back. 6. We have resolved end-line word division in the copy-text to establish the form of the discussion or compound to be used in quotations from this edition. The follow criteria are applied in descending order : ( 1 ) majority predominate, if one or more instances of the word or compound appear elsewhere in the copy-text ; ( 2 ) analogy, if one or more examples of similar words or compounds appear elsewhere in the copy-text ; ( 3 ) by case or doctrine of analogy, if one or more examples of the give voice or colonial, or of similar words or compounds, appear in first editions of Cather ‘s works chronologically conclusion to One of Ours ; ( 4 ) in the absence of the above criteria, commonsense combinations of the follow : ( a ) possible or likely morphemic forms ; ( bel ) examples of the parole or colonial, or of alike words or compounds, in the Autograph Edition text ; ( c ) the imprint given in Webster ‘s New International Dictionary ( 1927 ) ; ( five hundred ) the Style Manual of the Department of State ( 1937 ) ; ( e ) hyphenation of two-word compounds when used as adjectives. ( Go back. 7. Willa Cather, “ portrayal of the Publisher as a Young man, ” Alfred A. Knopf : quarter Century ( New York : Knopf, 1940 ). ( Go back. 8. Knopf argued that “ Claude ” as a title had “ no sales appeal ” ( Woodress 323 ). ( Go back. 9. Houghton Mifflin ‘s policy that authors should pay the mission for excessive corrections at the proof stages of publication was standard practice, but Cather resented it. Her 19 May 1919 letter to Greenslet ( see n. 4 above ) focuses on this write out a well as on Cather ‘s impression that Houghton Mifflin did not advertise her books properly ; Cather felt strongly that a publisher would pay for belated corrections if he in truth believed in the timbre of his writer ‘s sour. Greenslet ‘s temperate and detailed reply on 23 May notes that a well bit of this charge might have been saved had Cather made her revisions fit into the same space as that taken by the original words. ( Go back. 10. Crane ( 89-93 ) presents this data in contingent, using reasonably different terminology. We have confirmed the data, most of which appear in Knopf production records. ( Go back. 11. The jump in the number of copies produced may be accounted for by the announcement of the Pulitzer Prize in May. ( Go back. 12. For this volume we conducted or supervised two independent alone hand collations and one autonomous team hand collation of a copy of the Autograph Edition text against the standard of bite ( a copy of the trade emergence of the first print of the Knopf first edition ), and one solo bite of a transcript of the Heinemann edition against the standard of collation. We besides conducted or monitor machine collations of copies of the third base and thirteenth printings of the Knopf first edition against the standard of bite, and we spot-check copies of the respective issues of the first printing of the Knopf first edition and of the printings of that edition made during Cather ‘s life. The collations were checked against each other ; the conflation was checked four times. The full moon record of collations and conflation is available in the Editorial Office of the Cather Edition, Department of English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. ( Go back. K 1. ( 13. The “ edition ” published by Hamish Hamilton in 1965 is not truly a new edition ; as Crane notes, it was produced by photo-offset printing from plates of1. ( Go back. K 13. This suggests that Cather
either did not make these changes or that she was interested in them
only where they corrected K errors: most of
the accidental readings new to K 13 do in fact
correct errors in K 1. Nor is it surprising
that nearly all of the K 13 substantive
variants reflect a readings. It is interesting, however, that seventeen
of the substantive changes in a are not found in K 13 (not counting errors, which are of course not reproduced) and
that these seventeen are the sort of changes an editor might well make
on her own. It is tempting to conclude that what is represented in K 13 is something close to the list of changes
that Cather had submitted to Houghton Mifflin for the Autograph Edition
text, and that the Autograph Edition editors or compositors were
responsible, not only for most of a’s accidental readings (except,
perhaps, for a few corrections to K 1), but
for some of its substantives as well. For example, the change at 138.9
eliminates Leonard Dawson’s dialect form “begun,” and those at 143.3,
157.23, 189.16, and 458.29 are either fussy or arbitrary. ( 14. The bang-up majority of the accidental readings of the Autograph Edition text are ignored in13. This suggests that Cather either did not make these changes or that she was interested in them only where they correctederrors : most of the accidental readings new to13 do in fact adjust errors in1. Nor is it surprising that closely all of the13 substantive variants reflect a readings. It is interest, however, that seventeen of the substantive changes in a are not found in13 ( not counting errors, which are of course not reproduced ) and that these seventeen are the kind of changes an editor might well make on her own. It is tempting to conclude that what is represented in13 is something cheeseparing to the list of changes that Cather had submitted to Houghton Mifflin for the Autograph Edition textbook, and that the Autograph Edition editors or compositors were creditworthy, not only for most of a ‘s accidental readings ( except, possibly, for a few corrections to1 ), but for some of its substantives angstrom well. For exemplar, the change at 138.9 eliminates Leonard Dawson ‘s dialect shape “ begun, ” and those at 143.3, 157.23, 189.16, and 458.29 are either busy or arbitrary. ( Go back.

  • LCL = Lincoln City Libraries,
    Lincoln, Nebraska; LCLH = Heritage Room collections, Bennett Martin
    Public Library, Lincoln, Nebraska; UNL = Love Library, University of
    Nebraska-Lincoln; UNLS = Special Collections, Love Library, University
    of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • first edition, first printing, U.S.
    advance review issue, text state a (1922): UNLS
    Slote PS3505 A87 O5 1922, copy 2.
  • first edition, first
    printing, U.S. trade issue, text state a (1922):
    UNL PS3505 A87 O5 1922, copy 5; UNLS PS3505 A87 O5 1922; LCLH 3 3045
    00786 6904; LCLH 3 30345 00786 6912; LCLH 3 3045 00786 6896; a copy
    belonging to Frederick Link.
  • first edition, first
    printing, Macmillan (Canada) trade issue, text state a (1922): UNLS PS3505 A87 O5 1922BX.
  • first edition,
    second printing, text state a (1922): UNL PS3505
    A87 O5 1922, copy 7.
  • first edition, third printing, text
    state b (1922): UNL PS3505 A87 O5 1922, copy 6;
    UNL PS 3505 A87 O5 1922, copy 3; Cather Edition copy; a copy belonging
    to Frederick Link.
  • first edition, fourth printing, text
    state c (1922): UNL PS3505 A87 O5 1922, copy 4.

  • first edition, fifth printing, text state d (1923): a copy belonging to Kari Ronning.
  • first edition, sixth printing, text state d (1923): UNL PS3505 A87 O5 l8 1922, copy 8.
  • first
    edition, eighth printing, text state d (1923): a
    copy belonging to Kari Ronning.
  • first edition, tenth
    printing, text state d (1931): UNLS Botkin PS3505
    A87 O5 1922; a copy belonging to Kari Ronning.
  • first
    edition, twelfth printing, text state d (1940):
    Nebraska Wesleyan University PS3505 A87 06.
  • first
    edition, thirteenth printing, text state e
    (1949): a copy belonging to Kari Ronning.
  • first edition,
    fourteenth printing, text state e (1953): UNLS
    Faulkner PS3505 A87 O5 1922; UNL PS3505 A87 O5 1922.
  • first edition, sixteenth printing, text state e
    (1965): UNLs Slote PS3505 A87 O5 1950X; LCL 3 3045 00786 6854.
  • first edition, seventeenth printing, text state e (1970): UNL PS3505 A87 O5 1922, copy 8.
  • first
    edition, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth printing, photo-offset issue by
    Hamish Hamilton (London 1965): UNLS Slote PS3505 A87 O5 1965X.
  • Heinemann edition (1923): Cather Edition copy.
  • Autograph edition: UNLS Slote ps3505 A87 A15 1937X, vol. 5 (No.
    141); LCLH 3 3045 00786 6862, vol. 5 (No. 450).
  • Autograph
    edition, Library issue: UNL PS3505 A87 A15 1937bX, vol. 5; UNL PS3505
    A87 A15, vol. 5, copy 2.
  • Autograph edition. Rinsen Press
    issue (Kyoto 1973): UNLS Slote PS3505 A87 A15, 1973X, vol. 5.
  • Vintage paperback edition (v-252, 1971): UNLs Faulkner PS3505 A87
    O5 1971; UNL PS3505 A87 O5 1971; UNL PS3505 A87 O5 1971, copy 2.

(Go back.)
15. The copies listed below were used in the readiness of this edition. The follow abbreviations are used : 16. Cather ‘s grammar is sometimes colloquial ( 241.19, 278.24 ) ; we emend only if confusion or ambiguity results ( 438.6 ). ( Go back. 17. Whether an editor program should emend to correct a factual error not noticed by the writer of the work is a complex issue but is finally a matter for editorial judgment. See Tanselle ‘s “ External Fact as an editorial Problem, ” particularly 42-46. ( Go back. 18. For model, we emend “ farm-house ” at 81.2 because the hyphenate shape appears only once in the textbook, while “ farmhouse ” appears nine times. We leave “ dinner mesa ” at 159.22 and “ dinner-table ” at 355.23 because emending provides a much opportunity of error as of success. ( Go back. 19. The University of Nebraska Press ( UNP ) sets the clean text directly into page proof, running three sets. Two sets come to the Cather Edition editors, who read the authorize textbook against the emend copy-text and the apparatus against the typescript setting transcript, first as a team and then as individuals. At this stage, the editors add page and line numbers to the materials comprising the apparatus, keying all references to the Cather Edition text. They besides check end-line word division to ensure accurate resolutions and to gather material for the word-division list B. besides at this stage, UNP proofs the text of the newfangled edition against the copy-text and proofs the text of the apparatus against the typescript setting replicate. The editors collate their two sets of corrected proof, and the Press collates all three sets, sending the final corrected proof to the compositor for correction. When the corrected proof render from the Press, the editors again make a team bite of the material, correcting any errors in page and line numbers, checking to see that indicate corrections have been made, and compiling the word-division list ( List B ) for the newly reset textbook of the novel. The Press, meanwhile, compares pages to corrected proof to ensure that no textbook has been dropped and reads the lines that have been corrected. ( Go back.

Works Cited

Bohlke, L. Brent, erectile dysfunction. Willa Cather in Person : Interviews, Speeches, and Letters. lincoln : uracil of Nebraska P, 1986 .
Bowers, Fredson. “ The Problem of Semi-Substantive Variants : An case from the Shakespeare-Fletcher Henry VIII. ” Studies in Bibliography 43 ( 1990 ) : 80-84 .
Cather, Willa. Letter to Zoë Akins. 20 Apr. 1922. Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif .
———. Letters to Dorothy Canfield Fisher. Canfield-Fisher Collection, Bailey/Howe Library, U of Vermont-Burlington. Dates given for the Cather-Fisher correspondence at the University of Vermont are those assigned by the Bailey/Howe Library .
———. Letters to Ferris Greenslet. Houghton Library, Harvard U, Cambridge, Mass. Dates given for the Cather-Greenslet parallelism at Harvard University are those assigned by the Houghton Library .
———. letter to Alfred A. Knopf Jr. ( Pat ). 19 Jan. 1936. Knopf Collection. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, U of Texas-Austin .
———. Letter to Blanche Knopf. 26 July 1934. Knopf Collection. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, U of Texas-Austin .
———. Letter to Sinclair Lewis. 22 Mar. 1944. Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial, Red Cloud, Neb .
———. Letter to George Seibel. 12 Oct. 1922. Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial, Red Cloud, Neb .
———. One of Ours. New York : Knopf, 1922-1949 .
———. One of Ours. Autograph Edition, vol. 5. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1937 .
———. One of Ours. London : Heinemann, 1923 .
———. One of Ours. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1967 .
Crane, Joan. Willa Cather : A Bibliography. lincoln : uracil of Nebraska P, 1982 .
Greenslet, Ferris. Letters to Willa Cather. Houghton Library, Harvard U, Cambridge, Mass. Dates given for the Cather-Greenslet correspondence at Harvard University are those assigned by the Houghton Library .
Greg, W.W. “ The Rationale of Copy-Text. ” Studies in Bibliography 3 ( 1950-51 ) : 19-36. Rpt. with child revision in The Collected Papers of Sir Walter Greg. Ed. J. C. Maxwell. oxford : Clarendon, 1966. 374-91 .
Howard-Hill, T. H. “ Variety in Editing and Reading : A Response to McGann and Shillingsburg. ” Devils and Angels : textual Editing and Literary Theory. Ed. Philip Cohen. Charlottesville : up of Virginia, 1991. 44-55 .
Knopf, Alfred A. Alfred A. Knopf : A quarter Century. New York : Knopf, 1940 .
———. production records of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Knopf Collection. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, U of Texas-Austin .
———. Typescript Memoirs. Knopf Collection. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, U of Texas-Austin .
Lewis, Edith. Willa Cather Living : A Personal Record. New York : Knopf, 1953 .
Tanselle, G. Thomas. “ external Fact as an editorial Problem. ” Studies in Bibliography 32 ( 1979 ) : 1-47 .
———. “ Greg ‘s theory of Copy-Text and the Editing of american Literature. ” Studies in Bibliography 28 ( 1975 ) : 167-229. Webster’s New International Dictionary. 1909 erectile dysfunction. Springfield, Mass. : G. & C. Merriam & Co., 1927 .
Woodress, James. Willa Cather : A literary Life. Lincoln : u of Nebraska P, 1987 .

Emendations

The pursuit tilt records all changes introduced into the copy-text, a imitate of the first gear trade wind print of the first edition of One of Ours ( Alfred A. Knopf, 1922 ). The read of the present edition appears to the leave of the bracket. To the good are recorded the reference ( sulfur ) of that reading and, if unlike, the readings of the other authoritative editions, each recitation separated by a semicolon. The abbreviation CE ( Cather Edition ) indicates that an emendation is made entirely on the authority of the salute editors. It is understood, however, that all emendations are ultimately made on that same assurance : we do not emend plainly because the read we have chosen besides appears in an authoritative textbook. page and line numbers refer to the CE text. If a textbook is not cited, its understand agrees with that of the copy-text. We do not cite editions and printings by and by than K 13 ( 1949 ), the stopping point print to show authorial interposition. An asterisk preceding the page number indicates that the emendation is discussed in the Notes on Emendations. We do not normally gloss changes in accidentals or typography. editorial comments within an entrance appear within braces ( { / } ) .
The surveil text are referred to :
The surveil textbook are referred to :

  1. K. The text of the trade issue of the first printing of the first
    edition (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1922)
  2. K2. The text of the second printing of the first edition (Knopf,
    1922)
  3. K3. The text of the third printing of the first edition (Knopf,
    1922)
  4. K4. The text of the fourth printing of the first edition (Knopf,
    1922)
  5. K5. The text of the fifth printing of the first edition (Knopf,
    1923)
  6. K12. The text of the twelfth printing of the first edition (Knopf,
    1940)
  7. K13. The text of the thirteenth printing of the first edition
    (Knopf, 1949)
  8. A. The text of the Autograph Edition, vol. 5 (Boston: Houghton
    Mifflin, 1937)
  • * 15.3 Mother]
    A ; mother K 1-13
    {also at 33.21, 25, 34.3, and 109.13}
  • * 16.9
    Besides,] A ; Besides K 1-13
  • * 20.2 Main]
    A, K 13; Maine K 1-12
  • * 20.7
    Farmers] CE ; Farmer’s K 1-13; Farmers’ A
  • * 27.12 Grey]
    A ; Gray K 1-13
  • 34.14 Panama] A ; panama K 1-13
  • 35.11 stereopticon] A, K 13; stereoptican K
    1-12
  • * 51.12
    practice] A, K 13;
    practise K 1-12
  • * 56.13 Schweizerkäse ] A ;
    Sweitzerkase K 1-13
  • 59.24 Coach] A, K 13; coach K 1-12
  • 64.2 analyzed] A ; analysed K 1-13
  • 73.18 “Pilgrim’s Progress”] CE ; Pilgrim’s
    Progress K 1-13; ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ A
  • * 76.15 at]
    A, K 13; at, K 1-12
  • * 83.20
    Julius,] A ; Julius K 1-13
  • 84.15 north] CE ; North K 1-13, A
  • 85.1 Erlich] A, K 13; Elrich K 1-12
  • * 85.7
    Musicale] A ; Musical K 1-13
  • * 87.12
    cloak, which Claude held,] A ; cloak which
    Claude held K 1-13
  • 91.15 ” Procès “] CE ; Procès K 1-13, A
  • 94.19 ‘ Procès ‘] CE ; Procès K 1-13, Procès A
  • 97.17 acetylene] A, K 13; acetyline K 1-12
  • * 98.8
    grama-grass] K 4-13; grammar-grass K 1-3
  • 102.8 perturbèd] CE ; perturbéd
    K 1-13, A
  • * 105.3
    shouted:] A ; shouted; K 1-13
  • 112.6 cornfield] A ; corn field K 1-13
  • 114.3 leading. .. ?] A ; leading.. . ?
    K 1-13
  • 117.10 farmhouse] CE ; farm-house K 1-13, A
  • 120.24 Wiener-Schnitzel ] CE ; Wiener-Schnitzel K 1-13, A
  • 128.7 Later,] A ; Even K 1-2; Later K 3-13
  • 136.21-22 sitting-room] A ; sitting room
    K 1-13
  • 136.23 one] K 3-13, A ; one/one K 1
  • 148 {Ch. No.} XIX] A ; IX K 1-13
  • 148.18 mill house] A ; mill-/house K 1-13
  • 165.4 westward] A ; Westward K 1-13
  • 166.8 cottonwood] CE ; cotton-wood K 1-13 {also at 236.3, 318.4}
  • * 168.2
    shade] CE ; shale K
    1-13, A
  • 170.23 tableaux vivants ] K 4-13, A ; tableaux
    vivantes K 1-3
  • * 170.24
    Nydia] K 4-13, A ;
    Lydia K 1-3
  • 171.9 furrows] A, K 13; furows K 1-12
  • 182.15 moment:] CE ; moment; K 1-13, A
  • 182.15-16′ And behold. .. in it.] CE ; ‘ And behold. .. in
    it .’ K 1-13; ” And
    behold. .. in it .” A
  • 186.1 remarked:] CE ; remarked; K 1-13, A
  • 188.1 havel] ce; H avel K 1-13; Havel A
  • 189.17 motor-truck] CE ; motor truck K 1-13, A
  • * 192.1
    odour] A ; odor K
    1-13
  • 201.3 bay rum] A ; bayrum K 1-13 {also at 191.14}
  • 203.14 myself:] K 13; myself; K 1-12; myself, A
  • 207.13 hillside] A ; hill-side K 1-13
  • * 219.2 World-Herald ] CE ; World Herald K 1-13, A
  • 221.1 Havels’] K 13; Havel’s K 1-12; Havel A
  • * 232.14
    Bartholomew’s] A; Bartholomew K 1-13
  • 234.19 girl. . .] CE ; girl.. . K 1-13, A
  • 261.21 stateroom] A ; state room K 1-13 {also at 271.23}
  • 278.4 thought] K 3-13, A ; moment K 1-2
  • 186.16 Lusitania ] A
    ; Lusitania K 1-13 {also at 316.25, 317.9}
  • * 293.22
    Outside,] CE; Outside K 1-13, A
  • 304.9 apostasy] A, K 13; apostacy K 1-12
  • 321.8 “Die Wacht am Rhein “] CE ; Die Wacht am Rhein K 1-13; ‘Die Wacht am Rhein’ A
  • * 323.6
    concluded] k3-13, A ; dismissed K 1-2
  • 326.20 “Odyssey”] CE ; Odyssey K 1-13, A
  • 326.25 as,] CE ; as; K 1-13, A
  • 326.25-327.1 ” Non, jamais. .. femmes “] CE ; “Non, jamais
    . .. femmes” K 1-13, A
  • * 329.1
    said,] A ; said K
    1-13
  • * 336.13
    post-office] CE ; postoffice K 1-13; post-/office A
  • * 345.5
    Bayliss.”] A ; Bayliss,” K 1-13
  • 348.11 somebody”?] A, K 13; somebody?” K 1-12
  • 350.11 her?] A, K 13; her. K 1-12
  • 358.17 supplies,] k4-13, A ; supplies K 1-3
  • 359.18 Company] CE ; company K 1-13, A
  • 360.7-8 stateroom] A ; state-room K 1-13 {see also 261.21}
  • 360.14 grey] A ; gray K 1-13
  • * 361.15
    steamed up] K 3-13, A ; came K 1-2
  • * 361.15-17
    A few moments later a man appeared on the bridge and began to talk] K 3-13, A ; A man in a
    smart uniform appeared on the bridge and began talking K 1-2
  • * 369.17-18
    destroyers] K 3-13, A ; battleships K 1-2
  • 371.17 colonel] A ; Colonel K 1-13 {also at 589.3}
  • 371.22 Boche] CE ; Bosch K 1-13, A
  • * 372.14
    Why,] A ; Why K 1-13
  • 377.9-10 Out of. . Abraham .] CE ; ” Out of. .. Abraham
    .” K 1-13; ‘ Out of. . .
    Abraham .’ A
  • 378.13, 16 Sergeant] CE ; sergeant K 1-13, A
  • 379.20 Doctor] CE ; doctor K 1-13, A {also at
    390.16; 409.8; 410.12; 411.8; 414.6; 415.2; 417.11; 418.9,14; 421.10;
    443.24; 526.2; 527.20; 529.8}
  • * 382.10
    altimeters] CE ; alimeters K 1-13, A
  • 385.23 state] CE ; State K 1-13, A
  • 400.5 Chaplain] CE ; chaplain K 1-13, A
  • 400.5 army] A ; Army K 1-13
  • * 405.3
    Steward] CE ; steward K 1-13, A