OCR Interpretation


Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 27, 1938, Image 78

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1938-03-27/ed-1/seq-78/

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Destiny's Daughter
Continued from pogo sovon
“Whatever happens at the Palace,
Madame is to obey the instructions
of only one person.”
"What are you talking about?”
‘‘ Who knows? These are sad times.
There was a putsch in St. Beloise at
dawn — ”
"In St. Beloise — ”
The woman nodded. "Remember,
the person whose instructions you
are to take will say to you the word
‘chivalry’.”
Josephine stared at her. She saw
again the darkness of the St. Beloise —
Nauburg— Domm road, with Johnfritz
Ohe der Asche standing on her car
with his machine pistol dangling from
his hand. She heard his voice again —
"because I believe in chivalry to ladies.
I am not a mad dog.”
“Then he got to Donmi?” Josephine
asked.
The woman nodded. "He lives.”
Then she took Josephine’s dress for
pressing and went out.
Josephine was ready when Captain
Batron came for her, at one. They
drove together to the Preobregan
Palace in a staff Daimler.
There was a quietness in the old
streets of Domm — a hushed ex
pectancy that hung in the noonday air
like skeins of smoke from fires on the
Dusselhom.
The policemen of Domm. in their
pale blue coats with the silver buttons
— their black leather kepis, were gone
from the streets, and in their place at
every other street comer there was a
rigid trooper of Party Militia, with
short carbine and dagger. But they
were not like the police with their
benevolent civic casualness; they were
like guards of honor at a catafalque,
immobile, in the presence of eternity
itself.
Then suddenly there was life in the
whole picture—quick, pulsating
American life. The staff Daimler
turned slowly at the Tashno Gates to
the Park of Prince Oscar, for the
approach up the long dfive to the
Preobregan Palace. Coming out be
tween the open gates was Lathrop
MacAfee, walking quickly, without
coat or hat. He heard the car, looked
up and saw Josephine. He cupped his
hands and yelled.
“Are you all right. Josephine?"
She jerked at the handle of the win
dow beside her and yelled “Yes!” be
fore Batron could stop her — but not
before two Party Militiamen stopped
I.athrop; for they rushed him from
their sentry boxes and got him.
“Go back!” Josephine turned fiercely
to Batron.
“I cannot—I dare not,” Batron said.
"He’s a friend of mine!” Josephine
said. "You must.”
“Sit quietly, Madame!" He grasped
her wrists in both of his hands. “Sit
quietly!" The car picked up speed in
the Palace Drive. The last she saw of
Lathrop through the back window
was his furious, dirty face, yelling at
the men who held him. tearing his
press credentials from his pocket and
waving them. The car went on up the
approach and drew in under the east
portico of the Palace.
Josephine was ushered at once into
’ the Hall of the Princes. That is breath
taking in its massive grandeur. It is
not the size of it that does it, it’s the
moving symmetry. It is alive. Its
columns move in stately procession
between the black and white Parian
squares of its floor and Carriotti’s
golden ceiling.
The portraits are gone — one of
them to Mark Wayne on a slick theft
twenty years before, but the bannerets
of the Knights of the Order of St.
Geneve still hung above the carven
ebony stalls, with the black crepe of
death pendant from those at the left
and the white of life from the stalls
of the twenty living knights; for those
bannerets are history from the time of
the Second Crusade, and the State
holds them as a fine tradition for pos
terity. even though the Party forbids
the Knights to convocate.
As she and Batron came into the
north end, there was nothing but mov
ing emptiness in the great hall. Then
as Captain Batron stopped ar.d saluted.
Josephine saw the Director, standing
at the further end of the hall, tall and
slender against the light of LatrCs
gorgeous rose window — waiting there
— an integral part of the whole pic
ture, aloof from it as he always was,
but polite, waiting through an innate
courtesy, not bored, not doing any
thing but waiting. She remembered
from newspaper accounts that it was
part of his ritual that you take three
hundred steps down to him for official
audiences.
Batron bowed to her and she started
alone down the long pathway between
the flanking columns, hearing her foot
falls, feeling suddenly awkward, hold
ing her chin high to fight off her
inclination to stop and shriek at the
ridiculousness of it. But suddenly it
wasn’t ridiculous. He was standing
there, still far from her, his arm slung
to his side in black silk — standing on
his feet not quite eight hours after
having fainted in the street from a
compound fracture. The steel of the
man was an actuality then, not a part
of Party propaganda. He was watch
ing her closely — every move of her
walk down to him, but there was
nothing of his personal thoughts in
his eyes.
For one awful moment, panic caught
her. She had no faint idea what she
would do or say when she got to him.
Then she was in front of him and be
fore he could speak she smiled and
said: “How is your arm?”
He said, “You are a very courageous
woman.” He was studying her care
fully now, looking at her face as if he
wished tosetch all of the details of it
on his memory so that there would be
no-chance of.'his not remembering it
the next time he saw it.
“You arc perhaps as courageous as
I am,” he continued, “and I pride
myself on my courage, for I know fear
and have to fight it to be courageous.
Do you know fear?”
“Have you ever been sentenced to
death,” she asked him “ — for no
reason?”
“I am sentenced to death,” he said
quietly, "for an excellent reason. I
have allowed a man to become too
strong. And that is why you were sen
tenced to death — to create an inter
national incident that would kill me."
He smiled. “But I didn’t know you
were to die when I sent for you,” he
said. “That was merely a coincidence
— Batron’s reaching you in time with
my orders."
“Why did you send for me?”
“I should have sent for you any
way,” he said. "I wanted to see you
again.”
“Why?”
“I don’t know,” he said slowly.
"One meets so few people that one
does want to meet again.”
“That is true,” she said.
“Did you feel that you wanted to
meet me again?” he asked her.
She nodded. "Yes — I did.”
“Why?”
“I don't know," she said.
He stared at her intently for a
moment; then almost with a visible
effort he came back from his thoughts.
He said: “Your entire sentence is, of
course, revoked."
“Thank you. I didn’t think it fit the
crime.”
“It did under normal conditions —
for a National,” he said. “We allow
no middle course here. We eliminate
any opposition. It is the only intel
ligent method.”
“I suppose that is what gives
Americans such a supreme contempt
for Europe today.”
“There is nothing contemptuous
about first principles,” he said. “Fight
to win. Loot when you do win.”
“There is something supremely con
temptuous about absolutism.”
He smiled. “How young America
is,” he said, “to believe the things it
does believe.”
"Such as what?”
“That it is, for instance, a democ
racy.”
“Why isn’t it?”
"Principally because democracies
cannot exist and it was not founded as
one because the men who founded it
knew that. Your George Washington
was a gentleman — your Alexander
Hamilton — your Thomas Jefferson.
They didn’t write your Declaration of
Independence to mean what it is con
strued to mean. They believed in fam
ily, inheritance, prestige. They owned
slaves. 1 low could they believe all men
were created equal? They believed all
English gentlemen were created equal
at home or in English colonies. And
that is all they believed.”
“It's a little too late now to ask
them!”
"Yes,” he nodded gravely, “for the
damage is done — as it was done here
by a decadent monarchy. But we have
found a remedy — quite by accident.”
"Are you the remedy?”
“I am,” he said. "I am an absolute
and a benevolent ruler."
“And yet you are sentenced to die?”
He shrugged. “All rulers are bom
under sentence of death. If they have
'the strength, they reprieve them
selves. If they don’t, they are better
dead.”
He was talking no theory, but his
own deep-seated conviction of truth,
and again, as she had that morning,
she felt the magnetism of the man.
(Continued on page IS)
Stranger than Man
by Carl Kulberg
^hite elephants are not really white, of a wild elephant. Where he roams in
but light gray in color. They are wor- a wild state and dies a natural death,
shipped in Siam. his remains have often been sought,
T * but they have never been found.
he fish research department of the * * *
University of Michigan has found the Hatchetftsh, so named because of
common garter snake as serious a their ax-1,ke appearance, have such
menace to fish, as the water snake. muscular pectoral fins or "wings” that
N* * * they can fly over water in astonishing
o one knows the final resting place eight-foot flights.

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