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THE DAY OF SOULS
* j| poetry," continued Mr. Jarbo,
8 dining with Mannie Murasky
at Sedaini's, "beside getting
*ne words to match at the ends of your
lines. Technique's a.big thing, but then
you've got to look out for the poetic
principle. Many a good lad's had to
quit the business and go unhonored
ri'^wn tUe corridors of time because ha
Tva's a shine when it came to handling
* the poetic, principle."
Mr. Murasky, uncertain but-disputa
tious, continued to polish a loaf of
Italian broad across his sleeve, spar
ring mentally for what he termed a
f* comeback." 1
The poet moved far from Mannle's
•sphere.; He was a fellow always dumb
struck by a pretty face or good things
• to eat. and an alliterative line or a
felicitous measure, suggesting to his
vag^ue conceits the great thing he
ehbul'd some time do, would play the
devil with a whole day's work for him.
"Never neglect the poetic principle,"
the v^rsif>r contijiued to admonish,
"and if a snar ever wants to land the
Tr>i£ Etulf he's got to- look out for tech
nique. Poo. was strong on technique—
if h«?'<J.hay«-cut the booze "
"Poe,-- nothin*." pu,t In Mannie loftily.
"If he'd, over hit th* street alongside of
Hani Arnold he'd been nothln* but a
trail of smoke ln th* distance. How's
Ham feelin' this morning?"
\u25a0f"hn Hamilton Arnold was. indeed,
Mannie's »<-cret exemplar. He would
like to have idled about- the town
Iri that fashion, being seen fashion
•'ably dressed along Market street in
debonair Chaffing with the politicians,
t!;e sporting writers and racetrack men.
lie now looked on the downfall of his
patron "with mixed feellng-s, proud to
have it said that he and J. Ham were
on -a "toot"' "together, but what Indeed
No one knew^none questioned the
prodigal, though about his bedside re
v.-.lved a world of solicitude. A hero
returned battered from the war? could
not.haye evoked such a going on of
mustard and hot water, towels and ice.
tipa -an<l toa^t as Miss Granberry got
urnler^ waj- from the moment Arnold
was found unconscious on the balcony.
Mary Mellody. home from the shop,
bathed his browr; Sammy ran to the
drus store; Angrelo played the fiddle;
Theresa watched him from the window
\u25a0witl: limpid Italian eyes, while the
Cookhouse Kid sat on the bed — the
fa.!!»?:i champion .was hedged about
wUh 'interest. When Captain Calhoun
put his head in the door he was" lied
to with easy subterfuge: Mr. Arnold
merely "had a headache, and indeed he
did! Even Bernice Murasky, the im
perious shop lady, put by her shrewish
disdain and came up with a softened
judgment of tills foolish business.
Tint none upbraided the sufferer.
I>*wn in the world of half lights, where
chastity must smil« and' honor devise
rretrxts; where life wounds itself,
beating a slow -way with crippled
wingrs, there is an amplitude of charity
like vivo that revealed for the stranger
; In the tent of Abraham; the indwellers
can not moralize nor draw scientific
Reductions from the grind of the gods.
Therefore. Ham, though he got drunk,
tvas most patiently restored, jestingly
rehabilitated, and in nowise scolded.
But there was an astonished note
among them all. What of the romance?
Was Arnold married, and If so. what
of the bride in blue? Among all the
varying circles ln which he revolved.
Impossible stories had run. Here, at
Miss Granberry's, the thing focused —
they had seen her; she was no street
jnyth, but what had become of the
country girl in blue? But none ques
tioned the recreant, his mood did not
invite; for 30 hours he was uncom
; The Blue Star laundry poet had' his
6 theory.- To Xella Free and Mary and
Bernice Murasky, In the dusk of the
hail, he whispered a complete, evolved
recorfstruction of the downfall.
"So wedding bells for her," asserted
Mr. Jarbo. "She shook him, and he
took to drink. It's elemental. It's epic,
• In- Its. simple grandeur — a fair, false
face — a broken heart — and then quick
•to th-e booze." The poet was scratching
through his pockets for a pencil and
the back of a laundry tag whereon to
"She wouldn't!" cried. Miss Mellody
; indignantly. "That little thing with
the big eyes? — she wouldn't!"
" *O, Woman, in our hours of ease',"
.-eighed Sammy, the pencil in his mouth.
''My lands!" Miss Granberry routed
the gossips from the hall. "Don't clut
ter up the place with any more poetry;
The drawer of your washtand is most
full fioWj Mr. Jarbo."
But on the balcony outside, the poet
mooned an hour over the deceit of
women. "What a man wants to do is
to cret '^m out of his system," mused
he, and then went down to Unc' Pop's
back, room-to place his fe*fet on the
table and read The Compendium of Uni
versal Knowledge and World's Gazet
teer. It was new and bound In shiny
red morocco, with gilt letters, and one
could carry it in one's vest pocket. It
is not often one can procure universal
knowledge for 40" cents. Mr. Jarbo saw
that- though the print was fine, yet the
volume was small; and that if he began
at half past- 7 o'clock and read dili
gently until 10, he would have assimi
lated the cumulative wisdom of the
human race for 6,000 years.
Arnold lay that night in a stupor.
The sparrows were shrilling about the
gable and on the rails of the balcony
he came back to actualities; the door
of his room was open on a glad morn-
Ing with the fog twisted Into ringlets
on the hills. Miss Granberry vras tip
toeing about his bed. her gray hair
escaping from a sweeping cap.
"Granny T' The voice from the bed
was the first lucid utterance since his
return from the quest of forgetfulness.
• < "There, there, dearie!" She sat by
the bed, her hand on the cold compress
across his brow. "Xever mmd — never
There, was a long silence, while they
listened to the sparrows.
"I was drunk as a fool," he muttered;
"did I lose my watch— dad's watch?"
"No, no; only the crystal's broken.
There — be aulet."
"Granny," he 'continued, "I was ar
rested and rode ln the wagon — that's
getting pretty low."
"Now, boy," she whispered, crouching
lower to stroke his cheek, "don't you
mind. Theresa's got some pretty shoes
with beads on them — that Nella girl
brought them for her."
"That's like Nel," li*o mused, "and did
Unc' Pop get the rope -for the barrel
"Yes — and the expressman gave us a
lime barrel—" Miss Granberry pressed
Arnold's hand on the coverlet. There
were few small "concerns of the block
into which he did not stop to inquire
on his way downtown of a sunny morn
ing when the Happy Alley kids were all
around Aurelio Pico, the letired
vaquero, who was wont to bring Us
ypindle Into the. alley and braid hla
.horsehair riatas along its 90 foot free ,
space. Even the solemn, tarry faced
students in the Japanese boarding
houses across the street knew him and
he them; he was curiously attached to
the nondescript old block "which was
neither of the Latin quarter, nor of the
respectable "hill," nor yet Chinatown,
though the oriental wave was fast
Arnold lay quiet • with Miss Gran
berry's hand on his compressed brow.
"Granny, I had a fipfht — a big Swede
and a lad of the cavalry — "
"There, there, never, mina, -I know."
"And the police ran in a girl — a grirl
who wasn't doing a thing—"
"Never mind, boy; you rest. Dearie,
I know how weak and foolish we are!"
He turned, beaten by his recollec- \u25a0
tlons. to the wall. "Granny, I didn't
marry Sylvia. You can't understand
— but I had to, get out of It."
*T know, boy." she quavered. "I be
lieve you must have tried. And there's
a God who cares for trying. O, yes;
I've not lived TO years .down here not
A shadow fell ln the door's sun. A
manikin In bine overalls and red knit
cap stared in. The £oung- man started.
It Feemed odd-r-that child? His mind
went back — it was his, then? — the waif ;
from the country up In back?
'•That kid.", he muttered, "didn't she
— didn't they — "
"She never came back and the woods
man left Tuesday. He waited for the
wedding, but you did not come, and his
ship was leaving for the north."
Ho turned away again and, crooning
a lullaby, the old. woman left the room.
After while the young man drew up in
bed and motioned to the infant.
"I'll call you Bill," he began, "and
I'll see you through — you and the pup."
The Cookhouse Kid gouged its ear
"Bill." continued the foster guardian,
"for you and the pup I'll have to make
good." And when Miss Granberry re
turned, his voice came thickly from tha
coverlet. "Bill, when I get through
this, I'll finish the barrel swing for the
alley bunch — you and Angelo and
Theresa and the Joost kids."
"Mr. Hammy," put In the old lady,
shaking her finger from end of the
bedstead, "I'd rather have you get roar
ing drunk seven days a week than to
forget to finish the barrel swing." But
she sighed as she departed.
Mr. Hammy passed a restful day. He
dwelt on a multitude of things, and a
deal of others he shut steadfastly from
his mind. "What was I saying?" he
muttered.- "Who'd I talk to? Did I
drag her name into all that bar room
gossip? Poor kid— poor little girl — I'll
write — I'll tell her — "
He broke oft, staring at the paper
joss in the dim corner of his'room, a
single Idea beginning to form out of
chaos: "I'll write and explain — I'll send
the money — or 'did I send the money?"
He thought slowly, then whirled out
of bed with a cry, searching for his
clothes, and knelt, going through the ,
pockets with shaking fingers.
"Granny," he called, rushing to the
door, "did I have any money left?"
"It's on the dresser with your keys,"
she answered, and he looked feverishly
for it. There were sold and sliver and
a crumpled note — of tho $ICY of his
legislative salary, there r'emaired $51.
But nothing else — not a bill cf hers!
He sat unsteadily down on the bed and
called back a jarring memory of white
aproned men, laughing cronies, lunch
counters, sawdust, the voices of ,
women, Japanese galleries, liquor
smells, gold woven tapestries, glittering
lncandescents, the blare of bands, quar- .
rels — and oblivion.
"How'd I get home?" he muttered.
"Somebody found me — somebody! A
•woman! Robbed — robbed! O, you
damned fool — her money — ten thou
He reeled backward and fell face
downward across the bed.
At half past 6 o'clock Mary Mellody
came down the hill from the Powell
street car. She was tired, thinly
dressed, and the mist felt damp. Under
the awning of the Family liquor store
she met a woman who seemed taller,
broader, more radiant in every way of
physical personality than she really
was, because of a curious emanation of
an inxer self. Her dark hair clustered,
low on her brow and about the fine
ears; her nostrils were wide, her chin
a trifle sharp, her neck beautifully
modeled under the skin's pallor; her
eyes lndistlnguishably uncertain In
color. She wore a pale gray silk water
proof enveloping her to the chin, a cap
of the same stuff, suggesting the ele
gant ease of simplicity.
"Does Mr. Arnold live above — In these
lodgings?" she asked.
"Yes," answered Mary.
"I wish to see him." She was ascend
ing the stairs, but, with a smile, stepped
aside for the lame girl to precede. Miss
Mellody faltered before the stranger's
sureness. "I think — Mr. Arnold's sick — J
"He'll see me. It's another day of
San Francisco winter, isn't it?" Her
arm was assisting Mary as they reached
the floor above. Almost by a gesture
of command she won from the other
the direction of Arnold's rooms, and
passed on to them, leaving the lame
girl with an intense and envying doubt
of the inexplicable grace of her car
In the passage the stranger saw an
old woman clucking to a parrot hung
In the dirty window of a kitchen be
yond. She paused, and at the Instant
% from a door directly' by her, a young
'man appeared. He wore a beflotvered
lounging robe of padded Chinese silk
and a cigarette was between his teeth.
His dark face was hard; a feverish
surprise shot over It, then . he calmly
threw away the cigarette and stepped
back, as if expecting her to enter. She
did — their recognition was mutual and
instantaneous. She looked an Instant
about the jumbled apartments dim In
the ray of a shaded student lamp on
the table. The place seemed to sur
prise her more than did the., occupant.
Then she turned; the man was smil
ing at her with a faint amusement.
"I wished to see you," she began .
coldly. . **You may remember our meet
"On Grant avenue? I was very drunk.
Please be seated."
She sank into the chair Indicated; he
stood at the table's end, the splotch of;
light from under the lamp lighting
vividly his flowered robe, but dimly his.
face. She wished to see It plainer, feel-
Ing an Insecurity, apparently, in her
situation. Then she realized that he
was studying her Intently; when^her
COPYKBSHT- 8510 BY" TH£ " BQBB^sMERMM^ GOMBINY.
eyeg rose to his, he still held her In
"And later — you had a hard fall — •"
"Still— and very — *irunk." He in
terrupted her again gravely. "You're"
the street evangelist." He fingered his
cigarette case. "I suppose our; meeting
explains Itself. Perhaps you called to
illuminate me on my ways of life — " •
"Quite the contrary. I've called to
apologize — rather to explain what Is
hard to explain." She sat forward nerv
ously in the big chair. "Did you have
money — quite a sum of money- — that
Arnold's face lit with reassurance.
He came nearer, eagerly, as though he
would have touched her hand lying on
"I did— and I lost It. And you— why,
1 can't begin to thank you!"
She sat back with a sudden wincing,
shading her face with her glove.
"Please don't. I didn't save It for
you. It's lost." .
"I found a roll of money in the cab
it must have been considerable — and it
seemed to me unsafe for you to have.
I didn't know the cabman, or where
you might possibly go later, and I
thought I would keep it for you."
"Yes. But lost — " J
"It's desperately hard to say. I am
a stranger to you"— she -put her hand
to her hair nervously, and again leaned
to h-m — "but I lost the money that
night. When we reached the bottom of
the hill it had slipped somewhere. I
searched in the cab and up the street
again, and everywhere. I couldn't find
it — It couldn't have been dropped on the
\u25a0 "You couldn't find it?"
"No. I put it in my dress — heife^ —
but — well, I've lost your' money." She
rose and faced him abruptly: "How
much was it?"
Arnold was lighting another cigar
ette: "You don't mind if I smoke? I'm
a bit shot to pieces today."
"But the money!" she demanded. "It's
a desperate matter with me — how much
The young man rested his hands leis
urely on the table and looked at her
with a smile. "Nothing — I'm not quite
"You know," she retorted; "It was a
large amount. How much?" \u25a0 -
"Very little." -
"It was not. lam a stranger here —
I am preaching In the street, but that
is no title to honesty. I've lost your
money and I'm going to account for it.
How much was It?- I demand to know."
Her voice rose sharply.'
"Well," Arnold's was vel
vety nonchalant, "forty-five dollars."
"You know better. I saw a hundred
dollar bill on the outside, and there
were many more. I wish the truth."
"That hundred was merely phony — I
mean counterfeit.: I beg your pardon
but the language of the street comes a
deal easier with this present head."
"I wish to know the truth of this
money I have lost for you."
"Well, one hundred, and two twen
i ties, and three tens, and— honestly, I
believe it was one hundred and sixty
five in all— merely that — -don't distress
yourself," Arnold flicked: his cigarette
ash airily. She did not guess, beneath
his measuring ease, the splitting,sick
ness on him, "I suppose, as; you, are a
preacher, youworried a deal, it was a
hard fix," he murmured. :
"You' think I am an evangelist, which
I am not. in the least." -Her voice had
a suggestion of Irritation iat being put !
on the defensive before, this unregen
erate and his languid eye interest of the
silken movement of, her, raincoat.
"It was something about our souls,- I '.
recall," said he; "and didn't I 6ay some
thing foolish? I was in. the devil's own
humor. ,1 - suppose I was; -unusually
drunk, but I wanted to Ibe drunk, I'm
glad I was drunk. • But it's a shame to
"This is not you who Is speaking."
She watched steadily .; his mordant eyes.
"You belittle your. soul." V, •*\u25a0',\u25a0
"I have none. I'* am; a liar and a
thief." \He sml led :' slowly at her flush
ing face, the brightening of her, eye, the
Imperious "daintiness about, her. ' •
"You're the earth man— your, feet in
| the- clay,'*; she went on, "but -.your 's'oul
is above ; all ; this. And t you can't v even'
.deceive yourself. *\u25a0. You ;- got .j. drunk ;to
try It,* for some reason.'andiyoufailed!"
He watched, her still with a"? g'entle
satire of interest. She* went>6n with a
direct charge ;, to 'his -rebuffing. "You
can find the serene and inner life. Be
yond that, nothing matters— nothing is'
;'real."\v ' V • ; : - -' '. -'. \u25a0 '
-"Beg pardon/ but in my world every
thing -matters and is real. ; You your
self are .very-real— behind;.this patter, of
yours; l believe you're magnificently
human.". . \u25a0 ' .
She, steeled herself against the ad
miration his. eyes -paid to her regal
figure, her face,- her sensuous woman
hood. Arid yet he' had defeated her;
she 'could not find way against his
"Well," she turned at the door, "I lost
your money-^-I'll recover it or repay you
every, cent." : ;: \u25a0'
"Why bother?/ I Imagine you're a
scientist, ora theosophist, or something
extremely, superior. , : ; Anyhow,' you just
said nothing. mattered,; nothing is reaL
Well, my money was | a .mere ; human
hallucination-^why;' worry about It?
What's, a handful ' of paper/; to do with
the eternal verities?** :>\u25a0-•;•'. ! "l. ; .-.-"j2^
She hesitated to coritrohthe anger on
her tongue. -The, jester broke" th»e hol
low sphere of "her serenity ; he^wont on
undaunted. ' '.• .\u25a0. : * \u25a0.;•\u25a0 \."y ?
' "I remember &\u25a0 deal df^ your. talk. I
wonder how you come to be doing that
sort of thing. You're a creature far
different" — he, also; ' hesitated — • "It
doesn't fit you. "Who sent ypu?"
She recovered.; her control. "The
saintliest man I ever knew— a clergy
man, a worker lri" the .worst "of London's
east end." „
She stopped, arid the man went on
with shrewd mercllessness. "He aske.d
you to — a dying request — and he loved
•She started at his guess. "Yes," she
answered simply, but ln wonder. "He
asked me to give men his message on
the streets of every city In the world-
He had worked among them— tho very
worst. He left me money for this and I
could not refuse. And I've taught as
I saw — Christ, a symbolic promise for
the race, one of the spiritually devel
oped figures, a prophet."
."I thought he was -a man who fought
through a hard game— and lost- . But
you have It that there's nothing to lose
or. suffer. Let's apply this to my case.
I wasn't drunk, and money— nothing!
Stuff of dreams." ..
She bit her lip. "You don't believe
me!" And to her swift anger his
admiration again paid tribute, "It is
insufferable to rest under this im
"Do you Imagine for a moment that
I believe you have j.that money? 1 '
' She was silent and he .went on
gravely: "Now, please don't. , I have
an awful headache— one of the worst
headaches that an earth • man with his
feet In the clay could have. I take
it you're a prophet of the new spirltuv
ality — I'm reading a bit about it;in the
magazines. Well, I'm back with the
cavemen. I get down one day and
bump my head on the ground to God,
and the next crack the bones of my
enemies and offer them to the devil.
Real bones— real \u25a0 devlL"
.At the door she turned again,. calmly
disregarding him. *1 shall advertise—
try every "way; to find that money.
And then, if It Isn't found, I'll -have to
acceDt-your word : and j repay you. One
hundred and . sixty-five ' dollars?"
"Yes, thank you;; it will keep, me ln
cigarettes a month— real cigarettes, the
kind a man -with his feet in clay
smokes — '*
Her face showed nothing; he was
suddenly . contrite. .... "I' beg .pardon.
Don't mind me. They'll. tell you around
this town I was never serious In m>
life.". -\u25a0 \u25a0 .•\u25a0; ,- .-\u25a0 \u0084' -;..;,,;
"But you believe that I lost that
money?: You believe me T
"Absolutely. And -you me?"
"Not In the least." :>
. "Thank you. You- are a ; person of ex
cellent judgment." J , v
. : Bhe extended a card, with her gloved
hand. "My name . is : Grace Wayne.;; My
address Is 26 Westori road; Melbourne."
y "Australia, ; eh? I thought you were
an : American straight 'through."
She, continued ; coldly: '."lam' touring
the -world on ; a mission-— sent, iI , told
>'°v, by a dying man's , request that I
could not evade," v
: "TO: tell men of rthe new scientific
God. I; don't believe* that's what he
meant you to, do. I ] had a curious Idea
the; other i night £,that§ you had § failed/;
somehow— you were an actress Ted ting
lines of some \ magnificent | vanity or
other. -. God' knows what! But . no man
;Cared.? '.y. \u0084:. ;. \u25a0'; > . \u25a0\u25a0:-\u25a0 .\u25a0.-\u25a0\u25a0 ."\u25a0
; She watched him steadily ; he went
on with a suddem new 'interest. •
?"Right up -theVlineVfromiyou there's
a. crowd Ibeating.' out -sinners with a
drum— the Salvation , Army. -What do
you think of. them?" ' - ,' " r:; r ".'
\ She smiled with: a trifle of supercil
ious amusement." .j t"They . are . very ; good
people-^-they are attemptirigr. much";
then , added, "on i "their level, In their
way ; very good people.? I; . -
"No, they're :bad ; people— most C of '.
them have been. ; That's why, :. I % can '
blow In on; Adjutant; Hogjaw;:Frem
stedt today i and ! ask : him i to ; take charge
of a girl from a : dance '" hall that t I'm
going to get out of jail. I wouldn't
dare ask any good people to mix ln
that. But Fremstedt — he was a bum
She ignored him, and then smiled,
putting out her hand, and he felt <w
firm pressure arid was/ puzzled at, It.
"Goodby. I ahall come to inquire about
So in the end she - had confused
his jesting. Under the lamp he
read the card again. "Grace Wayne —
she's Interesting. She's got class above
the rest of those fakirs. But science or
theosophy, or whatever it Is — -oh my
head— my head!" His hand went to
the wet compress. "And Sylvia — her
But after a while he muttered: "Ah,
well— let It go — let everything go! I
didn't care for her— but. O, little girl.!"
And in the silent room his sick fancies
visualized' dim figures from the night
abouf him; the preacher's simple
daughter, kind and young and fair In
her steadfast faith, and then this other
woman he had later, mocked, a sort "of
noble sweetness in her grace and bear
ing—she, too, had believed in his soul;
and the faith of neither had he been
able to crush, outrage them as he
But shortly he refused to think of
them. "I'll go on now," he'murmured.
"It was a last chance, but I broke
with It. I'll go the limit now."
After a moment was himself
again — a hard faced young man of the
town, lighting a cigarette with a wax
thread from the delicate Satsuma bowl
on the table, and then lying back fo
blow smoke rings moodily into the vio
let gloom of his apartments."
A SSEMBLYMAN FRED WELDY of
i\ the fifty-second, district came
/"""% down from the capital every
Saturday to see his wife and
babies, his mother, a few political-per
sons with whom there were matters to
discuss,' and to pass an hour at cards
with his uncle, Mr. Radke, of the.Fam
ily liquor store. This -was a long es
tablished custom; ever since his job
printing "prentice days, Fred flad made
It a point to be In the little back room >
of the saloon Saturday evening, to
drink three beers, smoke limitless
pipes and play a* "series." There were
five games for which the job printer
and the grocer contended/and Unc'
Pop- had, ma greasy ; notebook behind
his bar, a record of hundreds of games
and thousands of points of j Mississippi
high low, seven up, casino, hearts and
At. these, silent sessions business
could ;go ; smash. Never would Unc*
. Pop leave the back bar to watt on
fretful . women ln his grocery depart
ment; they would come In and pound
a nickel on his counter in vain, while
the merchant grunted his displeasure
behind the screened door. Customers
usually went behind the counters and
helped themselves on these occasions,
but never would^ the , grocer protest.
"Fritzie had to be stuck," custom or
Another rule of Fred's was to dine
with Arnold on i his over Sunday so
journs in * the city. They invariably
went to the Odeori, where; the best
German 'dishes were; .where one came
on a dear of sardellen \u25a0 and cheese
smells; and -where, after the Sunday
schuetzen "• f est ; at | Shell . Mound, there
'would be a brave array' of green coats,
cockades and ; impressive bronze and
silver. medals along the bar. v -
Here the two friends were at a . se
cluded corner on, a Saturday of the
midwinters legislative; session, . and
with, them Louis . Ferreri and Eddie
Ledyard- of sthe5 the : Market street shoe
. house. : The , four- were Intimately at
ease;; they .had.; "joshed"^ one 'another
over ;a~ score, of reminiscent and fa
miliar; matters, of 'the street and ' town.
The .i three [\u25a0• 6t.\ them were .'"digging"
Louis Ferreri, -who ,was part owner of
: a*; horse i that had \ finished last in three
consecutive- starts. across the '-bay. The
:slot machine man chewed this cigar and
he shifted his": tiger's head dia
mond, ; : sticking; \u25a0: the - forget-me-not pin
In its? place -through his four in hand,
and: grinned . again helplessly,; until
? Mannie Murasky. came \u25a0 In : and went*
; joyously ; back >to •,: joInV them. That
; shifted * the" conversation, from Louis'
luckless "skate'*; for : a mmu te." Mannie
• had a , fervent story. :• Yes, sir, over in
San; Leandro there was;a : "comer"— a
. boiler; maker .whom \u25a0- Mr.; Murasky. at
the ;ncxt- meeting? of ;the"-Potrero 5 ath
letic club,; was to translate to pugilistic
V 'J'C'n 'heput *crn -retorted the
discoverer. "A -wallop from tat guy,
would stop a ferry boat — a straight
left an' t'en a shift; in an' out he c'n
fight — seesaw, duck an' stall; on foot
work tat mutt'd make Gans look like
he was nailed to th* mat. He's a won
der, a wiz— "
"Yes, like that other farmer you Ira
ported who fought three rounds, and
then suddenly remembered his mother
was opposed to boxing," said Ledyard."
And the quartet hooted Mr. Murasky
and his "champ." Ledyard, the boyish
book keeper at the shoe store, brougnt
the conversation again to. the races,
and again Mannie breasted the onset.
He had a horse in pickle — yes, he did
—something juicy in the fifth, and
magnanimously would let his friends in
to. the roof. "Th' talent t'ink this horse
is a jungler from Spokane," confided
Mannie, shaking his thin shoulders un
til his yellow diamond let loose a
headlight radiance. "It's exclusive —
Bomba, in th* flff — don't forget tat
name. Sell your sister's hatpins an*
The shoe store man's eyes glittered
nervously; Mannie had landed a long
shot one time; he busied himself much
about the track. Perhaps? —
At his side, Arnold suddenly muttered
unintelligibly. He had been in some
queer moods the past month, his cro
nies said — ever since his big drunk, in
fact. He was still Immaculate in dress,
but he drank more than he had ever
been known to before, and had been
at the racetrack every afternoon while
drawing his salary from the state
treasury for his clerical work at the
Strange stories had gone about con
cerning Ham — things at which even the
tenderloin winced a bit; they centered
about some unknown country girl
whom he was said to have brought to
the city, robbed and turned adrift. The
street was pretty swift, but that was a
raw deal — it didn'.t seem like the fel
low. But there was Fergy, of the Ma
plewood, who had seen the money, and
a half dozen who had seen the girl, and
some had even heard Arnold's declara
tion that he was to marry her. And
then she had disappeared, and J. Ham
had been going it strong. He had
spent more money than ever before,
plunged higher on the ponies, drifted
deeper into the after midnight life,
reckless, mordant, untiring, unappeased.-
But in the hectic life of the street,
the affair was already almost forgotten
by his familiars. It was some queer
work, but then it was no one's business.
The grand jury Inquiry into the regis
tration frauds had also dropped from
view; some unseen machinations of the
sinuous ' power that creeps for ever
about the underpinning of the social
structure had intervened and an ac
quiescent if doubting public was gulled
from the issue. The banded evil of the
city flung John Hamilton Arnold for
ward as a challenge; honest men dared
not accept the wage of battle, and his
nonchalant perjury was now of the
past. He, himself, had bothered about
it least of all; he had been busily tak
ing to himself the aids of oblivion.
"What odds are you getting, Ham?
How's Presldente posted?" repeated Ed
die Ledyard curiously.
"Five to 'one, straight. . Just a flyer;
I don't know anything about the horse."
But young Ledyard's face grew crafty;
there was "something doing" — sure
"I c'n' get you better," Interposed
Mannie Murasky; "five an* a half."
I "Presldente — Presidente — " repeated
Ledyard, "let's look up the form." He
rose, and then" turned to the table:
"Coming out some - night, Hammy?
We've got a. new piano, and Stella's
home from school. And mother's al
ways asking why you never come."
Arnold waved an indifferent goodbye
as Mannie went with the clerk.
"That lad's got no call to play a cent,"
he muttered. "I used to run with him
In school, and now he's keeping his
mother and sister on his salary."
"There's nobody compelled to play the
races," Ferrer! protested sluggishly.
"Why don't these lambs stay out of the.
"Well, as the game Is shoved at 'em
night and day on every corner, in every
newspaper and by every sure thing man
they meet, I guess staying away isn't
so easy. They don't think — they don't
consider until the dope Is soaking out
of them — and there's another long term
sucker or another vote for the push,
•when we need to lift anything."
Ferrerl sat up with slow interest.
'And what's getting into you?" he
"Oh, nothing! I just watch the game
played out — that's all."
*You ought to see the sports hanging
out at Sacramento," put In Weldy.
"They can't do "enough for us, either."
"You're on that committee to inves
tigate ,the charges that bribery beat
the Lacy bills, ain't you?" queried Fer
reri, with renewed interest. "What'll
the farmers scare up next?" -
The legislator shot a nervous glance
"They want an investigation, all
right," said he. "I guess the track
must have done some raw work last
"Cost my company ten thousand."
The slot machine agent languidly ad
justed himself in his seat. His con
cern had C.OOO gambling machines in
the city, reaping a harvest that made
510,000 for buying the legislature a
pittance; Ferrer! himself had a con
tempt for the statesmen.
Weldy was restless, seeming to rise
against some implication of himself
in 'this nonchalant recital; he glanced
about the cafe and then turned de
fensively to the others.
"Twenty-eight suicides and nine men
In the . pen from playing the races — *
that's what -Lacy said was the record
in this city during, the season, when
he demanded this bribery investigation
to see .what beat his bill. That's
pretty tough — everything so open for
boys like Eddie 'Ledyard."
"God's sake," retorted the slot ma
chine man, "hear him talk! Say, you
ain't bucking, are you "
"I'm 'on the committee." - Weldy
shifted his big red hands. "It's pretty
close. Lots of the members are afraid
the Investigation will be made."
Ferrerl sat up straight.
"Well, don't \u25a0 you know how . you're
going. to .vote? If your committee re
ports against the investigation that'll
settle It, won't Itr*
."Well, there's a lot to be said," an
swered Weldy, and then , he felt Ar
nold's foot. against his leg," a pressure
that stopped htm. "Oh, it's all : right,
of course; every thingil go all right,"
he concluded lamely. "Stlllman — Ham,
here— everybody knows I'm not buck
' "I guess, not," retorted the slot ma
chine politician. "Just remember "who
elected you, who put you in line for
the easy money."
The assemblyman's big face red
dened. "Here, you," he growled and
glanced at his sponsor for • support-
"no crook sporting man runs me!"
Ferreri laughed shortly. "Crooks
eh?*- o-. ' I
\u25a0;"All crooks," Interposed. Arnold. "No ;
such thing, as a straight sport.
Crooks?— why, we're^ all crooks!
" 'We're most of us liars an* *arf of us
- . .thieves —
.An' the rest are as rank as can be;
But once Ina while,; we can finish In
style—' " .
, Ferreri laughed again. This vra.3
well enough from Arnold— every one
The San Francisco Sunday Call
was used to J. Ham; but Veldy-h. •
was only a cheap legislator.
But Louis wouldn't , argue wlta
Ham; he would always make some re
tort that" you could only answer with
a laugh, ana the laugh sounded
"Louis had. he said, a date over oa
Golden Gate. He presently left th»
two friends alone. "Weldy &***
sprawled on the small of his back .
suekins his cigar, his big legs
stretched under the table. •
"It makes me sick," he prowled. >
"Ham, it's taken for granted, that I m
out for the money. You don't know .
anything about it—the pushing and \u25a0
hauling and whispering— we're a hot ;
bunch of law makers, we are. au me
dirty little rats in the_ state are up .
there to give us orders."
"How's the bribery business com
Weldy threw up his hands with a
gesture pathetic in his virile manli
ness. "God's sake. I wish I was out!
It's all on me. the way the committee
stands, two to two. I just wanted. to
ask you. Ham. The whole administra- *
tion 'is trying to stop a report in favor
of an inquiry, and here's my union, and
all the decent people I know, hounainy-^
us the other way. There's a delegation 1 W
of preachers up there now — my wi£e \u25a0 „
uncle's one of 'em— from AJameda .
county — ** _, .
Arndld studied his friend's worried
face. He was surprised. He-had taken
it for granted that Weldy was getting .
his "bit" in every, chance that came. ,^
It was a fool statesman who didn't pick
up his five thousand a session thea*
days when the prize fights, the gam
bling machines and the races were all „
on the rack, and the big money from
higher Tip was also, abroad.
And then Arnold had a curious »en
sation; he suddenly recalled a day when ;
he and Fred Weldy would have thought,
exactly the- same on the ethics of ."easy
money." but now he was calloused* to '
it, while Fred hemmed and hawed.
Arnold remembered further that he had ,
in his own mind, .thsough all tnelr
friendship, assured himself of a certain .
superiority to the job printer.
"The union's playing hell." resumed,.
Fred. "I thought they'd stand for th«
program, but the boys passed resolu- .
tions against that bribery Jleal. You ;
see where it puts me. Ham." ,
Arnold smiled at the assemblyman's
"But it just struck -me all of a red
den,the other day why the cans gat
behind me so strong on that grand iury
business, and why you were put up -
to swear what you did! The house i»
torn up pretty bad, and I see now ho"vr
badly the track and the gambling men,
"Fred." Arnold leaned to him across -
the table, "the men who run this town,
haven't any use for you pi» me. They'll
use us and throw us aside "when th«
time shows fit. They don't owe me any
thing, and I've no love -for them— it'»
every man for himself in this garni
But you're my friend- I didn't go be
fore the grand jury to help the- gam-. .
biers at Sacramento, but to help you.
You were in more danger than yoji'U
ever know. And there was your mother,
and I—"I — " \u25a0 *
"I know you did. Ham. • But you toolc
awful chances. You're the most reck
less man I ever k^iew!**
"Program." Ham smiled distantly.
"Fred, it was all cut and dried — «om«
men on .that jury knew exactly how I *
would testify. Man, you don't know
yet how smooth things run, do you?'*
i "I wish I was out of it," sighed
Weldy. "The union's knocking me, and
my business is running down. Lord,
Ham, I was happier in the shop. Don't
you remember when you used to coma
in every afternoon and I'd bo kidking
the job press and we'd talk socialism- 1 - \
how we read Marx and w«re* red hot
for the brotherhood of man? You were
just out of college and I'd -just got •
through 'prentieing, and we were both
straight and full of big ideas, and no
man could mutter anything about easy
money to us like Louis did just now. *
We've gone pretty far, ain't we. old .
"Pretty far." said the other. "They
grind you through the mill — Fred, * I •
"We thought we were socialists,"
laughed Weldy mirthlessly. "We wert •
chuckablock with big schames, weren't.
we? We were going to get into union
politics and hammer away, and lead
the boys to our way of thinkfng, and
crack over some of the dirt we saw all
around. The Social Commonwealth, the
Fraternity of Man — Lord, Lord!"
"Fred, there's nothing wrong with \u25a0•* -
our theories — our beautiful scheme .of •
human betterment and all that — but *
we're wrong — that's it. The run of men
aren't intelligent enough, aren't honest
enough, to conduct a' highly organized
state. Character, that's what's lack- ••
"Well, they ain't all as bad a3 that."
"Aren't they? Well, now, take the *
organization here, the thing that rules,
the real life of the present social state—
for the outward form of government
doesn't cut any figure — take it from
Barron Chatom. who runs things here
for a half dozen moneyed men in New
York — take It from 3 Chatom down
through every class of men who con
cern themselves with public affairs, who
do things, down throi:gh them all to the
hypo fiends we beat out of the lodging
houses on election day — who's honest
among them all? Can you name oner*
The statesman shut his eyes, against
the fmoke of his cigar for a minute;
then he murmured In protest: "Thun
der — thunder!"
"Oh. there are some," retorted Arnold.
•Unc* Pop, Captain Calhoun. Sammy
Jarbo, poor devil driving a laundry
wagon for ten a week and writing his
verses to Mary Mellody— but show m«
the men who are shoved against" Ufa
where It's white hot. who win. and who
aren't willing: to stand for crooked
work? I don't say they do it— they
don t need to do it — they stand for it.
which Is the same thing when results
are figured. Socialism? Hell! As long
as men haven't sand enough to run a.
ward primary straight they'll- never run
an industrial revolution. Show me I'm
crooked — but I deal with crooks"
i*T^ thunder— thunder!" protested the
legislator feebly. : •
"Show me a man Jn politics who Isn't
advanced by crookedness, who isn't
willing to keep his mouth shut about
the thousand deals away down beneath
£" i ?* boost him along— one man
who fights against raw work in and out
of season! Why. he'd be crazy, wouldn't
dog fight?' be elected to «feree a
"You're putting it pretty strong; Ham.
pretty strong. Here's the people, tha
great, strong heart of the people—"
"l'J?h* Pe °K Ple be darane< 3!" said Arnold.
Let them be gouged— they stand for it."
You're anti-social." answered Weldy
an outlaw. Ham. you're the most dan
gerous man in the community"
.i The other smiled and broke off sud
de?"y - «? w ' s Lilli * and the babi«'"
w w8;w 8 ; 11* re b «"w lns over ln Berke
ley but it's p. tight rub to get the
money I'm going to get the mortgage
renewed next week. And when I g\ t
through with this cursed legislature Bl
stick close to the office «„„ fco nome ti^
Lillie and mother and the kids cve r 3f
night, and pay my union dues and at™
tend the meetings. But the boys'll
never; get me intb politics again. No
dirty, gambler can say he owns me!"
T. Be CoaUnued Next Sand.,