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Newspaper Page Text
poor little children in her poor httle home, forecasts a bright future when
her husband's trial is past!
"I hope," said Gospogr Beilis when she finally understood the reason
for my coming "I hope you think my Mendel is innocent." " '
She spoke slowly in. Russian, not Yiddish, with the wistful dignity of
one desperately dager to put an all-important question.
"Da konctchno!"! replied as eagerly which, by interpretation, means
"Indeed I do!"
The big gray eyes, sad and faithful as a fine dog's eyes, brightened a
"I hope," urged Gospogr Beilis, determinedly audacious, "that you will
tell how my Mendel is innocent in those American papers!"
An instant the wan face smiled and age- and long anxiety fell from it
as a mask drops, leaving it girlishly
brave, yet timid,
with thin cheeks
After a journey half around the
earth I had arrived at the spot which
now focuses the world's interest
the scene of a sorcalled ritual mur
der and the actual home of the vic
tim. Right and left wooded land and the
terraced graveyards of Kiev stretch
ed along bluffs commanding the val
ley of the River Dhniker. By a foot
path, shiny and precipitous, I had
toiled around the crater-like claypit
where the murdered Christian boy
was found and bad climbed perilous
staircases of mere footholds cut in
glutinous clay, crept under vibrating
car-trestles and come at last to the
crest of the barren gray hill where
Mendel Beilis lived with his little fam
ily. A poor house hardly more than a
plastered hut, yet the home of Men
del Beilis proves the character of its
occupants. In the midst of colorless
desolation of brick-kilns and tower
ing drying-sheds, the little house
stands alone, with, rough walls care
fully whitened, its narrow yard tidy
and clean. Within doors the three
bleak rooms are neat as hands can
keep them. Of furniture there could
hardly be less a huge brick stove,
a table with five chairs, a Connecticut
clock and a couple of well-made beds.
That is all unless one includes the
'absent: father's cap on a little shelf he check off the teams. 'No; he can-
and the gay banner of a trans-Atlantic
liner hanging upon the wall.
But every whitewashed surface is
spotless, the floors well broomed,
chairs scrubbed to a creamy white
ness. "It is not right our children grow
up careless," explained Gospogr Bei
lis, gently withdrawing nervous fin
gers of the baby picking upon the
"Come, children, the American
lady expects good conduct. Go. Your
other hand, my pet."
They came at once, the three
Piscus, the schoolboy in his flat
scholar's cap; Maza, bent backward
with embarrassment, and baby Rike.
"Me know where America is,"
gasped the elder little girl, then sub
sided into silent confusion.
"Will you sit, please. Go, children,
we excuse you," said the. mother
quietly. Instantly they trooped out
Such apparently are Russian-Jewish
manners in a poor man's lonely
"Jt Is about, iiny husband you
came?" said Gospogr Beilis.
"What can I tell? It is NOT TRUE
what they say of him. NOT TRUE!
"Before this trouble 'we were con
tent just Mendel and I and the chil
dren. Mendel worked for the hos
pital. Always he drive away the
boys. You know how it is with those
boys when they see a fire. Every day