Page images

went with him knowing that he was going to demand of her relentlessly a supreme devotion.

She had wanted power, he was seeking a greater power. She was unscrupulous, but to gain his ends he would have let his children die. She was hard as steel, but Grayson was as relentless as death itself, as relentless as any force of nature. She had loved the most difficult thing, and he challenged her to do the impossible, to let him walk over her heart to gain his purposes in life, and not only to do this, but to be unaware that he even demanded any sacrifice. So, having formed an ideal, she worked toward its fulfilment even though its fulfilment came in a form of which she had not dreamed. That is my explanation.

Mrs. Nevers's is that Vivian fell in love with Grayson's youth, like any schoolgirl, and McAndrew thinks something like the same thing.

"Women can't starve their primitive impulses without paying," is how he put it. "You can't count on them. But that young man will go far. He 'll have to," he added.

The world shared their opinions. It did n't forgive Vivian what it termed her anticlimax, and showed its lack of forgiveness in its deadliest form by losing all interest in her.

Here are the two explanations of the affair. You can take your choice, or Sydney Grayson's, who still naïvely believes that they were intended for each other from all time.

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]


E had not made the team. The ultimate mor

momentLast practice for the big game, his senior yearHad come and gone again with dizzying swiftness.

It was all over now, and the sudden cheer That rose and swelled to greet the elect eleven

Sounded his bitter failure on his ear.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

He had not made the team. He was graduating:

The last grim chance was gone, and the last hope Aled; The final printed list tacked up in the quarters;

A girl in the bleachers turned away her head. He knew that she was trying to keep from crying;

Under his tan there burned a painful red.

He had not made the team. The family waiting

His wire, up State; the little old loyal town
That had looked to him year by year to make it famous,

And laureled him each time home with fresh renown;
The men from the house there, tense, breathlessly watching,

And, after all, once more, he 'd thrown them down.

[ocr errors]

He had not made the team, after years of striving ;

After all he had paid to try, and held it cheap,The sweat and blood and strain and iron endurance,

And the harassed nights, too aching-tired to sleep; The limp that perhaps he might be cured of some day;

The ugly scar that he would always keep.

He had not made the team. He watched from the side lines,

Two days later, a part of a sad patrol,
Battered and bruised in his crouched, blanketed body,

Sick and sore to his depths, and aloof in dole,
Until he saw the enemy's swift advancing

Sweeping his team-mates backward. Then from his soul Was cleansed the sense of self and the sting of failure,

And he was one of a pulsing, straining whole, Bracing to stem the tide of the on-fung bodies,

Helping to halt that steady, relentless roll; Then he was part of a fighting, frenzied unit

Forcing them back and back and back from the goal. There on the side lines came the thought like a whip-crack

As his team rallied and rose and took control:


He had not made the team, but for four long seasons,

of ten grinding weeks, he had given the flower, The essence, and strength of body, brain, and spirit,

He and his kind - the second team- till the power To cope with opposition and to surmount it

Into the team was driven against this hour!

What did it matter who held fast to the leather,

He or another? What was a four-year dream? Out of his heart the shame and rancor lifted ;

There burst from his throat a hoarse, exultant scream. Not in the fight, but part of it, he was winning!

This was his victory: he had made the team!

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


HERE is a spirit of smugness abroad to add to their knowledge and enlightenin our

fair land of America that ment at our summer gatherings. bodes ill for our spiritual and mental Any one reading what is written or growth. In the Eastern States there is listening to what is said would believe it much talk of war contracts, the profits was through the exercise of some great therefrom, and speculation as to what the virtue not given to other nations that this price of so-called war stocks will be to- country is as prosperous and peaceful as it morrow and the next day. When a Wall- is. The people who swallow this flattery Street man asks another, “How long will return to their homes in an exalted state the war last?” he does not mean how soon of mind, thank God that the American will the bloodshed and misery come to an nation is not as other peoples, and their end and people be allowed to live normal hearts are full of pity for those foreign lives; he means in most cases how long communities which cannot be as we are. will the boom in munition industrials We prate of the principles underlying the continue.

American Government; we quote WashOn the Pacific coast and in the Middle ington's Farewell Address to stiffen our West hundreds of lecturers are visiting argument for an insularity that will the towns, villages, and picnic-groves, and deafen our ears to the din in Europe. We these eloquent speakers are addressing the see nothing but slaughter in the European conventions and meetings of all kinds in- cockpit, and fail to thrill with the greatcident to the summer season. By word of ness of the conflict there in progress, of mouth and in the printed text we are be- which the killing of men is only an outing told what a great and good people we ward sign. are, how rich we are, how safe we are We are indeed a rich and satisfied nafrom the wars that ravage other coun- tion, momentarily annoyed at the check tries. We are praised for our charity, given to our own prosperity by war elseour ideals, and our patience. We are where, but thoroughly convinced of our told that our example is one for the world own righteousness, and content with our to follow-one the world will follow as own condition. We constitute at present soon as it sees the light given off by an the greatest mutual-admiration society exclusively American flame.

the world has ever seen, and, like all such Never was

a great nation in more organizations, are blind to our own great deadly peril from within than ours at shortcomings and our own follies. Even this particular moment. Americans have the first flush of our charity is fading laughed at German egoism, have scoffed away, and our work for the stricken peoat the superman of Germany, but nothing ple of Belgium and the sick and wounded that has been said by German publicists is of all Europe is in a fair way to cease for as dangerous to the mind of the great lack of funds. German nation as the gross flattery and One eminently respectable American

that are now being handed citizen, formerly a member of a Presiout to the millions of American citizens, dent's cabinet, proposes that a fund of one their wives, and their children who seek hundred billion dollars be raised and used

mental pap


as a bribe to persuade Germany to leave tries involved could continue their miliBelgium, as though such a thing were tary operations without embarrassment feasible, logical, or just from any point of even if America ceased to export. view, and as though the war in Europe Really to affect the situation in Europe, were a struggle for the possession of such our country would have to put an emmoney as was now in circulation through- bargo upon all exports, to prevent food, out the world. Another eminent Ameri- raw material, and general supplies from can, still more recently a member of the reaching the belligerents. Such drastic cabinet, quotes the Scriptures to his spell- action as this is not even suggested by bound audience to prove that the only those who would stop ammunition export, way to prevent a burglar from looting and these same people would probably be your house is to leave your doors and the first to protest against an interference windows open, and carefully refrain from with what they would call legitimate having any weapons of defense upon the trade. The support given President Wilplace. Moral force carries to a certain son in his demand for freedom of the seas point, but beyond that point it is necessary for non-contraband and neutral traffic is to employ a police force. The hand of the proof of this, for non-contraband goods traffic policeman is backed by the power of are as valuable in a general way to a peothe government, or it would be as power- ple at war as are actual munitions of war. less to regulate as his individual strength The moral stand taken by those who would be to stop a motor-car. This is the advocate an embargo is equally unreal, for reason why thousands of thoughtful if it is wrong to send shot and shell to Americans are in favor of putting our na- peoples fighting one another, it is equally tional defenses upon a workable basis. wrong to send them in times of peace.

Three obsessions have apparently taken There is no protest being made against the hold of our people, or a large number of large amount of supplies now going to them. One is that the war in Europe is Spain, and yet there is no guaranty that merely a "rough house" in which a num- Spain will not soon engage in the war. ber of nationalities are involved, having Even if this does not come to pass, these divested themselves of all pretense to the same munitions may be used against those restraining influences of civilization, and striving to establish a republic in that that it is only the superior intelligence and country.

Munitions of war bought in morality of the American people that have times of peace are for use in case of future kept us from joining the fracas.

wars; indeed, there is no guaranty that Another idea that has apparently taken they will not be used against the country hold of the minds of the people is the as- from which they are purchased. This is sumption that America is furnishing the true of the present war, for before it bemunitions of war for the struggle, and gan every one of the European countries that if we put an embargo on these ship- bought war material from the others. ments, the war will stop. It is worth The only tenable position for the advowhile elaborating this particular point, for cates of an embargo is that no munitions it is illuminating as to the lack of know- of war should be manufactured for sale at ledge, thought, and reasoning power any time; that it should be a government which we bring to the consideration of monopoly, to be exercised only in arming affairs other than those touched by our our own people. Then again comes the daily lives. Careful estimates show that question of definition of terms, for barbed the money expended in the United States wire, cotton, fax, oil, motors, and a thou

, for munitions of war is a very small per- sand other things are as much war matecentage of the total cost of such material rial as powder and shot, as is shown by to the warring nations, and with the daily the contraband lists of the warring naexpansion of European production, it is tions. There are probably twelve million probable that in a short time all the coun- or more people now engaged in Europe in the manufacture of war material. These In the earlier history of the United figures alone demonstrate the small per- States, and then again not so long ago, the centage furnished by America, and if am- women of America denied themselves munition and guns are considered as our everything that their men might serve only immoral exports, the percentage be- their country in arms, and, when needed, comes inconsiderable. Germany, Eng- they stood behind the barricades and land, France, Italy, and all the other loaded the guns themselves that the tricombatants are now getting supplies of umph of what they believed to be right one kind or another from America, the and just should come the sooner. No relative amounts being determined by ship- great people has ever been too proud to ping facilities.

fight for conviction, especially the AmeriIt is said that about three million peti- can nation. Our history would not be tions have reached Washington asking what it is had we lacked the manhood and for an embargo upon the export of muni- the womanhood to use force when it was tions of war. It would be interesting to needed. know just how many of the signers of To many of our people, in fact to a these petitions have ever given any real majority, this war means merely the menthought to the question, or would be able tal picture of a horribly mutilated and to draft a resolution for Congress to enact dying soldier or a burning home. We are which would draw the line between moral aghast with horror, as in the presence of a and immoral export even from their own terrible railway accident. It is the only point of view as to the object to be accom- thing we seem able to visualize. We are plished.

angry because there is a war, but at whom The greatest obsession of all, however,

we are angry we know only vaguely. It one in which lies the greatest spiritual is the anger of a man who is disagreeably

a danger to our own people, is the unthink- interrupted when he is having a good

, ing cry for peace; not a peace which set- time. tles anything, that guarantees any rights, That the German people are engaged that does justice or affords rehabilitation heart and soul, with everything at stake, to the oppressed, that prevents other wars in an effort to extend the power of the in the immediate future, but just peace- German Empire; that the people of Great peace at any price. We would have all Britain and her colonies are putting forth lay down their arms; and if some one else the last man and the last dollar to save was occupying their old homes, for them for themselves their own empire, already to find homes and happiness elsewhere. great; that the French have enlisted every

If by any chance the United States was man, woman, and child to rid French soil engaged in this war, and the enemy, who- of a hated invader; and that one and all ever it might be, had invaded our terri- of the peoples at war are now fighting to tory, damaged our property, and killed retain possession of what they believe to many thousands of our citizens, and at be their rights and property, do not enthis juncture came a demand from neutral ter into the philosophy of our American nations elsewhere that we should stop peace-makers. fighting to put an end to bloodshed, there Our people are being robbed of their is no question as to the answer the Ameri- power to think, which is at least latent in can people would give to such a sugges- the mind of every intelligent human being. tion. It would be a unanimous and Our educational system, the public press, indignant refusal. Those very peace-ad- with some few exceptions, our movingvocates who are now vigorously shouting picture shows, and our public speakers forth their amiability would be found have so long administered anesthetics to either volunteering for war if they were our minds that the possibility of a contenmen, or helping in every other way within tious individualism, a sign of mental indetheir great power if they were women. pendence, becoming a national trait has

« PreviousContinue »