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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 22, 1929, Image 87

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very low. “From all that I know of him—why,
she didn't even pretend to be sorry when they
told her he had fallen from the raft. Sh»
wasn't even sorry they didn't And his body *
“She loved him once. And, if I had lwved
him, they would have gene away together just
the same,” Bertha reminded her.
“No! Because then you could have kept
him!” Anne cried, and stopped.
“Well, I didn’t want to keep him,” said B;rtha
distinctly. “The whole thing was a miserable
failure. But it didn’t occur to me that the way
to make a success was by changing the law
myself.”
“Why not?” cried Carl.
“My dear Carl,” said Mrs. Millet, “one person
or two persons cannot make a law for society—
or change a law. One person or two persons
can merely break it.”
“But a law is made ” Carl began.
“By majorities,” she said. “Where is your
majority?”
“All over the country!” cried Anne. “Every
where. You know how strong the feeling is ”
“In that case,” said Bertha serenely, “get your
majority together. Have them act together—
as in any other lawmaking. Just now we are
following a law made by one majority. Weil,
that’s our law—until another majority changes
it. Dodging is no solution.’*
In her words there was something electric.
Carl went again restlessly to the window. The
storm was still driving, but now, where the
Glen road opened, the light which they had
seen below was nearing the summit.
“It's somebody coming here!" he exclaim^
Anne ran to look. Bertha said indifferently:
“Nobody comes here.”
JJUT the light was the light of a car whose
laboring ascent was now audible. And it
panted into Bertha’s little yard and halted,
with a rasp of the brakes which was like a
hoarse and relieved breath.
In the flash of time before the stamping
steps were heard on the walk there came to
Bertha a triumphant sense of these two—to
neither "of whom did it seem to occur to try
to evade the moment by hiding. She smiled
at them and went to open the door.
The figure making its way through the drift
in the door-yard was small and agile, but it was
so bundled that the door was closed before
Bertha recognized her. The snow-laden shawls
were thrown back and there was Jane Graham.
“Why, Jane!” Bertha cried. “Jane—in all this
storm ”
“Mother,” Anne tried to say, “what a night
for you to be out ” but the words died on
her lips.
Mechanically taking off her wet cloak, Jane
said not a word, nor did she speak when Carl
brought her a chair by the Are. She sat there,
breathing quickly, and seemed not to notice
when Anne came and pinned back her wet
hair. Bertha busied herself m»Hn g fresh cof
fee and otherwise the room was in silence.
But when Bertha sat down by Jane she started
and drew back, looked at Bertha with a terri
ble intentness and said:
“So this is the way you’ve gone about it to
pay me back.”
“I don’t understand.” said Bertha gently.
“Are you going to pretend I haven't caught
you red-handed making things easy for these
two?”
“Mrs. Graham ” Carl burst out, but she
cried:
"Nothing from you!”
• Mother,” Anne tried to say, “she was doing
her best ”
“And nothing from you!” cried her mother
vehemently. “I know what I see. I found your
note tonight that you thought I wouldn’t see
till morning. Carl’s folks told me he’d come up
here with supplies. I guessed the rest. You
two keep still. It’s with this woman I’ve got my
settling to do.”
When they broke into protest Bertha said to
them: “Please. I want to hear ”
Jane Graham turned and faced her.
“I should think you would want to hear,” she
said. “You only know what the village tells
you. They tell you I was sorry for Bart Millet,
seeing you couldn't keep house for him nor
cook nor make a home. Well, that wasn't it. I
didn’t like housekeeping any better than you
did. But I loved him. I loved him from the
first minute I set eyes on him. Anne was a
little thing—l had her by the hand and I came
face to face with him in the grove on a picnic.
We stood and talked—he was taken by me just
the same as I was by him. Anne let go my
hand and ran away into the grove and I never
knew she was gone.
- “From that minute I loved him. I saw what
he was—selfish and complaining; but I didn’t
care. I knew he belonged to you, but I didn’t
care about that, either.
“Well, for a while I was glad. Anne remem
bers that—she knows I was happy. I sang all
day about my work—l was happy. And
Bertha’s level voice broke in upon hers.
“Tell me something, please,” she said curious
ly. “Did you never think of me at ail?"
Jane looked at her Indifferently.
“I knew you wanted to get rid of him,” she
•aid. “He told me that.”
“If I hadn’t,” Bertha persisted, “if I had
loved him "
Jane’s eyes fell. “I loved him,” she said, “and
X was a fool.”
“Mother.” said Anne quietly, “if you loved
each other, you would have been right. Love is
the only thing In the world.”
“And freedom,” Bertha put In dryly.
“Yes, of course, and freedom,” Anne added
hastily.
THE SUNDAY STAR, WASHINGTON. D. C„ DECEMBER 22, 1029.
He leaned n~ inst the closed door, breathing hard, like a man spent by more
then : rtf wing. “You thought l was dead, and / guess you didn't care”
“Freedom!” cried Jane. “That’s tfee kind of
stuff you’re teaching them ”
Carl sprang to his feet before her.
“Mrs. Graham,” he cried, “she's teaching us
nothing of the sort. She’s been try ”
But he heard Bertha’s voice saying evenly:
“Carl, let’s hear what Mrs. Graham has to
say. I won’t interrupt again.”
“Mrs. Graham has this to say," said Jane,
“that in two years’ time I was sick to death of
my bargain. He—he was all that you knew he
was. Anne was 10—old enough to sense things.
I had a little money from her father—l sent her
°ff to school. For nine years Bart and I hated
each other. Then the raft tipped him off and
I was glad. It was his punishment. I always
wondered what mine would be. When I read
Anne's note tonight and heard that Carl had
come up here, then I knew It was going to he
through you.”
“Mother!" cried Anne. “Mother ”
£|ARL bent over Mrs. Graham and spoke with
a gentleness which lowered the high key of
the room. “It isn’t true.” he said. “Well tell
you the whole truth ”
Jane Graham swept the young people aside
and got to her feet and faced Bertha.
“You’re right.” said Jane, “this thing is be
tween you and me. I'll tell you what I’ve com?
to say. It’s this: I know you’ve got the right to
hate me. But take it out some way on me.
Don’t hurt these children—don’t hurt Anne!
And it's this: If you’ll help me keep things right
for them, 1 won’t say a word to anything you
want to do to me—not one word. I’ll give up
the farm—l’ll go off—but don’t you teach them
so’s harm'll come their way."
“Jane,” said Bertha, “why, Jane ”
Bertha rose, trembling, stretched out her h*nrt
to the other woman, and neither of them heard
the confused words of Anne and Carl trying
to put their case.
But they all heard the voice outside which
abruptly came cutting the storm and sounding
within the room. And they heard th« feet
treading the snow of the porch.
“Bertha!” they heard. “Bertha!’! And they
all knew whose voice it was. They stared at
one another as if it were the voice of the dead,
given back by the river.
“It’s Bart!” cried Jane terribly.
Bertha Millet was moving slowly toward the
door, but Jane turned like a thing struggling in
a net. She saw the threshold to the dark inner
room and darted toward it Then, as the voice
echoed once more—“ Bertha! Bertha!”—and a
sharp knock sounded, Jane cried to Anne and
Carl, “Let her see him alone!” The two, in an
instinctive obedience, like that of little children
In a crisis, went with her, and when Bertha
quietly and with an odd way of smiling had
thrown open the door, the room was empty as
Bart Millet entered. He must have walked up
Glen road, for he was caked white with the
snow, and his face was white, too, like the snow
that covered him. But his eyes burned, live and
wild.
“Bertha!” he said, and stood staring at her.
He leaned against the closed door, breathing
hard, like a man spent by more than running
He was gaunt, unshaven, but neatly dressed
With a manner of strangeness, as if he had
come from a long distance or a long past, he
said, “You thought I was dead, and I guess you
didn’t care.”
“Every one thought you were dead,” said
Bertha. “Drowned, they said ”
“Drowned I would have been if I hadn’t swum
under the water and got ashore downstream by
the hut of a man I knew. It took him weeks to
thaw the ice out of me—and when I found how
things were thought to be—well, I let them
think that way.”
Bertha looked at him thoughtfully, not so
much weighing his words as noting a certain
hunger in his eyes.
“Sit down, Bart,” she said kindly.
He threw aside his coat and drew a chair to
the Are, but he seemed aware of neither cold
nor heat. When he saw that her look met his
and did not turn from him, he cried:
“Bertha! Are you glad to see me?”
“What have I to do with you?” she asked.
“You were my wife," he said shortly.
"You’re Jane’s husband.” she replied.
At that his head went down, but he said noth
ing. Only his great hand shot out and came
to its rest on her knee. For a moment she did
not draw away, but leaned forward, watching
him intently.
“Bertha,” he said, “I want you back.”
At this she laughed lightly and, “Will you tell
that to Jane?" she asked.
"To Jane—to everybody,” he shouted, and
then he caught the look in her face as she
turned to the room. “Jane!” she called.
From that dark room Jane Graham walked
out as if from a tomb of her own.
"Tell what to Jane?” she asked.
He sprang up, overturning his chair.
“All right,” he said suddenly. “I tell you
both. I was a fool to leave Bertha. I love
her yet.”
“And what made you leave her, then?” cried
Jane.
Before he could speak, Bertha answered for
him. for them all. quite gently.
“The same thing made him leave me.” she
said, “that made him leave you and that brings
him back here now.”
JJART threw out his hands. "I wanted love,”
he said simply, and looked at neither
woman, but stood staring at the lire. The raw
truth brought them all to quiet. It was in quiet
that Bertha spoke.
“I wanted love, too,” she said.
And Jane said roughly:
“Didn’t I want love? I was always one that
wanted love as much as anybody.”
In the heavy silence that settled upon the
room, abruptly Jane began again to speak.
“I saw you with Bertha. I thought she didn’t
want you. I did want you. I figured it out that
it wasn’t right for you two to stay together, il
you didn’t love each other.”
“Wait!” Bertha’s voice came doggedly. “I
saw that you liked him. I wanted to be free ot
him. Time after time I threw you two together.”
Bart Millet laughed.
“I saw you both maneuvering.” he said, "Jane
vo get me and Bertha to get rid of me. I was
mad because you didn’t love me and glad you
did. I wanted love—but I don’t know whether
I loved either of you, and I know now that
neither of you loved me.”
The eyes of these three turned back along the
dark paths down which they had passed, alonj
or together, looking for love. And the three
stood there empty. The silence continued and
seemed about to snap when Bart Millet stirred
and shifted. “I guess I'll go now,” said he some
what foolishly.
Neither woman spoke. He got into his coat.
turned up its collar, nodded with stiff and al
most ludicrous formality and left.
Bertha whirled. “Oh, Anne!” she called. “Oh,
Carl!"
Against the dark doorway Anne and Carl were
like two spirits.
“It was most fearful eavesdropping ” Anne
began, but Bertha cried:
“Promise each other—here and now—that no
such ugliness as this shall ever touch either one
of you. Promise!”
Carl stretched out his hand. “Why, of course,”
s he said proudly, “I can promise to love and
cherish Anne all her life, so that nothing like -
this shall ever come near her.”
“Oh. I can promise,” said Anne gravely. “But
you two poor ”
“Wait,” said Bertha. "You two are promising
to love each other all your lives!”
“Why. yes. yes!” Anne cried. “Carl is not like
that man—Carl and I ”
“Anne and I ” began Carl.
“That’s all that marriage is,” said Bertha.
"Are you really afraid to say such things before
your friends and the law?”
In the silence that fell Bertha’s words came
unforgettably: "Our failure did not come from
being married too much,” she said; “it whm
from not being married enough.”
Jane Graham’s voice came shrilly: “But I
thought you were arguing them out of marriage,
Bertha Millet!”
“Even if that had been true,” said Bertha
gently, “I couldn’t have borne it to bring any
more suffering on you.”
At this Jane Graham covered her face with
her hands. She did not weep—it was as if she
remembered how no longer; but her hands upon
her face were of sovereign eloquence—toil-worn,
tired hands that had made nothing of life and
had from life but one gift—Anne.
Anne looked at Carl and their eyes spoke to
each other. “Mrs. Millet,” Anne said only, “if
we’re married on Christmas day, will you come
down to the wedding?”
Bertha’s eyes were on the window, and the
storm having lessened a little, she could see
again the light left burning in Jane's house.
“I’ll come,” she said.
Jane's harsh voice steadied them all.
“It’s your own house,” she said to Bertha,
“and your own things. You’d better stay, ami
I’ll go ”
“Isn’t there room enough in that house for
both of us?” said Bertha. “Anyway, we can
spend Christmas there, and then we'll see ~
The word Christmas hung in the air like a
star.
Co-operatives iti Switzerland
associations of farmers,
which are just nicely getting into their
stride in this country, are an old story to the
Swiss, who have joined various co-operative or
ganizations to the extent of about nine members
per farm in their country.. Perhaps the nature
of the farms In Switzerland, where a fanner
may own a number of sections of land, scat
tered about between holdings of various neigh
bors, has a lot to do with it.
In reporting on the results of investigations
carried on in the republic, Asher Hobson, a col
laborator of the Department of Agriculture, says
that out of a total population of about 4,000.000
people in Switzerland, about one-fourth depend
upon agriculture for a livelihood. Production
and co-operative marketing are more highly de
veloped in that country than in any other coun
try in Europe, except, perhaps, Denmark.
In 1920 there were 10,942 local co-opera tires
with 897,082 members, or an average of nine
co-operative memberships for every farm in the
country. A single individual may be enrolled in
more than one local co-operative, a local co
operative may be affiliated with more than one
central organization, and more than one mem
ber of a farm household may be a member of
one or more co-operatives.
Co-operation and dairying are almost synony
mous in Switzerland. In 1920 there were S.SI9
local dairy co-operatives, with 102,689 members.
These locals are united into a number of differ
ent types of federations, the Central Union of
Swiss Milk Producers being the hub of the or
ganised dairy movement.
This union has 25 member federations, repre
senting 3,392 local societies, with 99,059 mem
liers. It controlled the product of 534,852 cows
of the total cow population of 810,000 in 1924.
Hence the production of 66 per cent of all the
cows in that country is controlled by one cen
tral federation. *
Switzerland produces about three-fourths of'
its food supply, but only one-sixth of its wheat
requirement. The value of agricultural imports -
is about four times that of exports. Two-thirds
of the farm receipts of the country come from
dairying, cattle feeding and hog raising. Animal
products of high quality are exported.
“Perhaps the greatest single handicap to
Swiss agriculture,” Mr. Hobson declares, “is
that many of the farms are divided into a num
ber of separated strips. There is great loss of
time in going from one parcel of land to an- ’
other, inasmuch as many of the pieces belong
ing to a single farm may be one, two or three
mites away.
“Labor and Interest on land and capital v«
the largest items of cost of farm operation, in
terest at 5 per cent on capital investment ac
counted for approximately one-fourth of total
farm costs in 1924. Labor represented 42 per
cent. Approximately SSO worth of labor was
applied to each acre of land in farms in 1924.
Farm labor that is hired on a permanent
such as dairy hands and horsemen, receives
about $4.25 a week with board. Harvest help
hired by the day is paid around $1.20. Day
labor during other seasons of the year may to
had for 90 cents a day.”
7

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