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back seat when the Group for Liberation was called to order-a paradoxical proceeding, by the way, considering the character of the organization. He did not feel himself entitled to the congratulations he knew would come, yet did not like to admit frankly that all the parrot knew had been learned in spite of his own best efforts. Still, he wanted to see how things would turn out. Within the first five minutes, Schmitz had deftly drawn attention to the parrot, but as the bird persisted in hanging by his beak from the top of the cage and saying nothing whatever, he concluded his introduction in somewhat the spirit of the amateur conjurer who finds the half dollar at the bottom of the silk hat, when it should be in the tumbler.

"Never mind," said one of the others. "Those birds never like to talk, except when somebody else is talking. Go on with the meeting and pretty soon he'll join in." So the meeting went on, and a glorious meeting it was. Five hundred miles away the ears of a certain governor who had recently called out militia to quell a riot must have burned as if bound in capsicum plasters that night. More distant potentates trembled on their thrones. Gottlieb himself trembled, though neither magistrate nor potentate.

At last up spoke the most fiery of them all, a visitor of renown from a distant city. From his seat he began, but in two minutes he was on his feet, and in three on the improvised rostrum. The component elements of his face were glowering spectacles, and grizzled hair which grew upward and downward with the same defiant luxuriance. As the beer mugs began to be pounded on the table, and guttural shouts of approval to come from his audience, his eloquence changed from the hoarse snarl of the wild creature at bay, to the thrilling howl of the pack's leader. The other men were out of their seats and thronged around him with excited faces.

Every living thing in the room, indeed, was excited. As the eager crowd closed about him, the orator, whose style of delivery demanded that he have not merely elbow, but wrist, hand, and finger room, had given back until he stood right beside the parrot's cage, and his hands, in their never-ending sweep, missed the wires only by fractions of inches. Wellington, as we VOL. XXXVI.-16

may still call him in his changed environment, regarded these demonstrations with alarm. At first he shrank backward whenever the swinging hand went by, hitching himself over to the opposite end of his perch. But as he saw the threatening member pass by again and again without doing him bodily harm, he gathered courage and became disposed to take the aggressive. Presently he was extending his neck toward the enemy, at every gesture making more than half ready to snatch.

"Just as much tyrants they are, just as much usurpers, for all that they make the people put their little bits of dirty paper in the ballot-box! They think they have security in that, but I tell you, their flag is no redder than our blood, no whiter than our hate, no bluer than the sky of the new day we are to bring. How long, how long can they keep us all slaves under that rag --that rag? RAG, I say!"

Down came the hand on top of the cage, with its third finger between the wires. Never before had Wellington had such an opportunity to rise to. He acted as if a life had been spent training for that emergency. His head shot forward like the cobra's when it strikes, and the sharp edges of his beak met over the intruding finger.

The oppression of mankind at large was forgotten in the suffering of one particular man. A vigorously sucked finger put an end to the flow of eloquence. The crowd stood hushed about the sorely wounded leader-disabled, for where was his oratory when his right hand must remain motionless?

Then it was that Wellington, with en-. sanguined mandibles, settled his emerald plumage and regarded them all squarelythese men to whom the flags of nations were but hated symbols, and "fatherland" a name for a place of bondage.

Above the excited whispers, angry mutterings and ejaculations of pain, a voice, not clear, but distinct in utterance as that of the bird which made more sombre a certain midnight dreary, was lifted in exhortation:

"Breat's der a man vit soul so det
Dat neffer to himself hat' said

"Vellington, Vellington," shouted Gottlieb, pushing forward. "I take you back to me again. Dis is no place for neider of us!"

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By Edith Wharton


HE devil!" Paul Garnett exclaimed as he re-read his note; and the dry old gentleman who was at the moment his only neighbour in the quiet restaurant they both frequented, remarked with a smile: "You don't seem particularly annoyed at meeting him."

Garnett returned the smile. "I don't know why I apostrophized him, for he's not in the least present-except inasmuch as he may prove to be at the bottom of anything unexpected."

The old gentleman who, like Garnett, was an American, and spoke in the thin rarefied voice which seems best fitted to emit sententious truths, twisted his lean neck toward the younger man and cackled out shrewdly: "Ah, it's generally a woman

who is at the bottom of the unexpected. Not," he added, leaning forward with deliberation to select a tooth-pick, "that that precludes the devil's being there too."

Garnett uttered the requisite laugh, and his neighbour, pushing back his plate, called out with a perfectly unbending American intonation: "Gassong! L'addition, silver play."

His repast, as usual, had been a simple one, and he left only thirty centimes in the plate on which his account was presented; but the waiter, to whom he was evidently a familiar presence, received the tribute with Latin affability, and hovered helpfully about the table while the old gentleman cut and lighted his cigar.

"Yes," the latter proceeded, revolving the cigar meditatively between his thin lips, "they're generally both in the same hole,

like the owl and the prairie-dog in the natural history books of my youth. I believe it was all a mistake about the owl and the prairie-dog, but it isn't about the unexpected. The fact is, the unexpected is the devil-the sooner you find that out, the happier you'll be." He leaned back, tilting his smooth bald head against the blotched mirror behind him, and rambling on with gentle garrulity while Garnett attacked his omelet.

nett, lifted his hat politely to the broadbosomed lady behind the desk, and passed out into the street.

Garnett looked after him with a musing smile. The two had exchanged views on life for two years without so much as knowing each other's names. Garnett was a newspaper correspondent whose work kept him mainly in London, but on his periodic visits to Paris he lodged in a dingy hotel of the Latin Quarter, the chief merit of which 66 Get your life down to routine-elimin- was its nearness to the cheap and excellent ate surprises. Arrange things so that, when restaurant where the two Americans had you get up in the morning, you'll know ex- made acquaintance. But Garnett's assiactly what is going to happen to you during duity in frequenting the place arose, in the the day-and the next day and the next. I end, less from the excellence of the food don't say it's funny-it ain't. But it's bet- than from the enjoyment of his old friend's ter than being hit on the head by a brick- conversation. Amid the flashy sophisticabat. That's why I always take my meals at tions of the Parisian life to which Garnett's this restaurant. I know just how much trade introduced him, the American sage's onion they put in things-if I went to the conversation had the crisp and homely flanext place I shouldn't. And I always take vor of a native dish-one of the domestic the same streets to come here--I've been compounds for which the exiled palate is doing it for ten years now. I know at which supposed to yearn. It was a mark of the crossings to look out-I know what I'm go- old man's impersonality that, in spite of the ing to see in the shop-windows. It saves a interest he inspired, Garnett had never got lot of wear and tear to know what's coming. beyond idly wondering who he might be, For a good many years I never did know, where he lived, and what his occupations from one minute to another, and now I like were. He was presumably a bachelor-a to think that everything's cut-and-dried, man of family ties, however relaxed, though and nothing unexpected can jump out at he might have been as often absent from me like a tramp from a ditch." home would not have been as regularly present in the same place and there was about him a boundless desultoriness which renewed Garnett's conviction that there is no one on earth as idle as an American who is not busy. From certain allusions it was plain that he had lived many years in Paris, yet he had not taken the trouble to adapt his tongue to the local inflections, but spoke French with the accent of one who has formed his conception of the language from a phrase-book.

He paused calmly to knock the ashes from his cigar, and Garnett said with a smile: "Doesn't such a plan of life cut off nearly all the possibilities?"

The old gentleman made a contemptuous motion. "Possibilities of what? Of being multifariously miserable? There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there's only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy there's no reason why you shouldn't have a fairly good time."

"That was Schopenhauer's idea, I believe," the young man said, pouring his wine with the smile of youthful incredulity. "I guess he hadn't the monopoly," responded his friend. "Lots of people have

found out the secret-the trouble is that so few live up to it."

He rose from his seat, pushing the table forward, and standing passive while the waiter advanced with his shabby overcoat and umbrella. Then he nodded to Gar

The city itself seemed to have made as little impression on him as its speech. He appeared to have no artistic or intellectual curiosities, to remain untouched by the complex appeal of Paris, while preserving, perhaps the more strikingly from his very detachment, that odd American astuteness which seems the fruit of innocence rather than of experience. His nationality revealed itself again in a mild interest in the political problems of his adopted country, though they appeared to preoccupy him only as illustrating the boundless perversity of

mankind. The exhibition of human folly never ceased to divert him, and though his examples of it seemed mainly drawn from the columns of one exiguous daily paper, he found there matter for endless variations on his favorite theme. If this monotony of topic did not weary the younger man, it was because he fancied he could detect under it the tragic implication of the fixed idea of some great moral upheaval which had flung his friend stripped and starving on the desert island of the little café where they met. He hardly knew wherein he read this revelation-whether in the resigned shabbiness of the sage's dress, the impartial courtesy of his manner, or the shade of apprehension which lurked, indescribably, in his guileless yet suspicious eye. There were moments when Garnett could only define him by saying that he looked like a man who had seen a ghost.


AN apparition almost as startling had come to Garnett himself in the shape of the mauve note received from his concierge as he was leaving the hotel for luncheon.

Not that, on the face of it, a missive announcing Mrs. Sam Newell's arrival at Ritz's, and her need of his presence there that afternoon at five, carried any special mark of the portentous. It was not her being at Ritz's that surprised him. The fact that she was chronically hard up, and had once or twice lately been so brutally confronted with the consequences as to accept-indeed solicit-a loan of five pounds from him: this circumstance, as Garnett knew, would never be allowed to affect the general tenor of her existence. If one came to Paris, where could one go but to Ritz's? Did he see her in some grubby hole across the river? Or in a family pension near the Place de l'Etoile? There was no affectation in her tendency to gravitate toward what was costliest and most conspicuous. In doing so she obeyed one of the profoundest instincts of her nature, and it was another instinct which taught her to gratify the first at any cost, even to that of dipping into the pocket of an impecunious newspaper correspond

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Her recourse to Garnett had of course marked a specially low ebb in her fortunes. Save in moments of exceptional dearth she had richer sources of supply; and he was nearly sure that, by running over the "society column" of the Paris Herald, he should find an explanation, not perhaps of her presence at Ritz's, but of her means of subsistence there. What really perplexed him was not the financial but the social aspect of the case. When Mrs. Newell had left London in July she had told him that, between Cowes and Scotland, she and Hermy were provided for till the middle of October: after that, as she put it, they would have to look about. Why, then, when she had in her hand the opportunity of living for three months at the expense of the British aristocracy, did she rush off to Paris at heaven knew whose expense in the beginning of September? She was not a woman to act incoherently; if she made mistakes they were not of that kind. Garnett felt sure she would never willingly relax her hold on her distinguished friends-was it possible that it was they who had somewhat violently let go of her?

As Garnett reviewed the situation he began to see that this possibility had for some time been latent in it. He had felt that something might happen at any moment

and was not this the something he had obscurely foreseen? Mrs. Newell really moved too fast: her position was as perilous as that of an invading army without a base of supplies. She used up everything too quickly-friends, credit, influence, forbearance. It was so easy for her to acquire all these-what a pity she had never learned to keep them! He himself, for instance— the most insignificant of her acquisitions— was beginning to feel like a squeezed sponge at the mere thought of her; and it was this sense of exhaustion, of the inability to provide more, either materially or morally, which had provoked his exclamation on opening her note. From the first days of their acquaintance her prodigality had amazed him, but he had believed it to be surpassed by the infinity of her resources. If she exhausted old supplies she always found new ones to replace them. When one set of people began to find her impossible, another was always beginning to find her indispensable. Yes-but there were limits there were only so many sets of

people, at least in her social classification, and when she came to an end of them, what then? Was this flight to Paris a sign that she had come to an end-was she going to try Paris because London had failed her? The time of year precluded such a conjecture. Mrs. Newell's Paris was non-existent in September. The town was a desert of gaping trippers he could as soon think of her seeking social restoration at Margate. For a moment it occurred to him that she might have to come over to replenish her wardrobe; but he knew her dates too well to dwell long on this hope. It was in April and December that she visited the dressmakers: before December, he had heard her explain, one got nothing but "the American fashions." Mrs. Newell's scorn of all things American was somewhat illogically coupled with the determination to use her own Americanism to the utmost as a means of social advance. She had found out long ago that, on certain lines, it paid in London to be American, and she had manufactured for herself a personality independent of geographical or social demarcations, and presenting that remarkable blend of plantation dialect, Bowery slang and hyperbolic statement, which is the British nobility's favorite idea of an unadulterated Americanism. Mrs. Newell, for all her talents, was not naturally either humorous or hyperbolic, and there were times when it would doubtless have been a relief to her to be as monumentally stolid as some of the persons whose dulness it was her fate to enliven. It was perhaps the need of relaxing which had drawn her into her odd intimacy with Garnett, with whom she did not have to be either scrupulously English or artificially American, since the impression she made on him was of no more consequence than that which she produced on her footman. Garnett was perfectly aware that he owed his success to his insignificance, but the fact affected him only as adding one more element to his knowledge of Mrs. Newell's character. He was as ready to sacrifice his personal vanity in such a cause as he had been, at the outset of their acquaintance, to sacrifice his professional pride to the opportunity of knowing her.

When he had accepted the position of "London correspondent" (with an occasional side-glance at Paris) to the New York Searchlight, he had not understood that

his work was to include the obligation of "interviewing"; indeed, had the possibility presented itself in advance, he would have met it by unpacking his valise and returning to the drudgery of his assistanteditorship in New York. But when, after three months in Europe, he received a letter from his chief, suggesting that he should enliven the Sunday Searchlight by a series of "Talks with Smart Americans in London" (beginning, say, with Mrs. Sam Newell), the change of focus already enabled him to view the proposal without passion. For his life on the edge of the great world-caldron of art, politics and pleasure of that high-spiced brew which is nowhere else so subtly and variously compounded—had bred in him an eager appetite to taste of the heady mixture. He knew he should never have the full spoon at his lips, but he recalled the peasant-girl in one of Browning's plays, who has once eaten polenta cut with a knife which has carved an ortolan. Might not Mrs. Newell, who had so successfully cut a way into the dense and succulent mass of English society, serve as the knife to season his polenta ?

He had expected, as the result of the interview, to which she promptly, almost eagerly, assented, no more than the glimpse of brightly lit vistas which a waiting messenger may catch through open doors; but instead he had found himself drawn at once into the inner sanctuary, not of London society, but of Mrs. Newell's relation to it. She had been candidly charmed by the idea of the interview: it struck him that she was conscious of the need of being freshened up. Her appearance was brilliantly fresh, with the inveterate freshness of the toilet-table; her paint was as impenetrable as armor. But her personality was a little tarnished: she was in want of social renovation. She had been doing and saying the same things for too long a time. London, Cowes, Homburg, Scotland, Monte Carlo-that had been the round since Hermy was a baby. Hermy was her daughter, Miss Hermione Newell, who was called in presently to be shown off to the interviewer and add a paragraph to the celebration of her mother's charms.

Miss Newell's appearance was so full of an unassisted freshness that for a moment Garnett made the mistake of fancying that she could fill a paragraph of her own. But

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