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school, where the press was densest, they ing, it was to turn upon Watton with impawere recognized as probably belonging to the tience. How long was this thing going on? Maxwell party, and found themselves a good The British workman spoke with deplorable deal jeered and hustled, and could hardly fluency. Couldn't they push their way make any way at all. However, a friendly through to the platform? policeman came to their aid. They were Watton looked at the crowd, and shrugged passed into a lobby, and at last, with much his shoulders. elbowing and pushing, found themselves in- « Not yet. I say, who 's this they 've put side the school-room.
up? Come, my dear fellow, that looks like the So crowded was the place, and so steaming real thing.» the atmosphere, that it was some minutes be- Tressady turned, and saw an old man, a fore Tressady could make out what was going Jew with a long grayish beard, coming slowly on. Then he saw that Naseby was speaking to the front of the platform. His eyes were
- Naseby, looking remarkably handsome and black and deep sunk under white brows; he well curled, and much at his ease, besides, in was decently but poorly dressed; and he began the production of a string of Laodicean com- to speak with a slight German accent, in an ments on the bill, his own workshop scheme, even, melancholy voice, rather under-pitched, and the general prospects of East End labor. which soon provoked the meeting. He was He described the scheme, but in such a way vociferously invited to speak up or sit down, as rather to damn it than praise it; and as for and at the first interruption he stopped the bill itself, which he had undertaken to timorously and looked toward the chair. compare with former factory bills, when he An elderly, gray-haired woman was presidsat down he left it, indeed, in a parlous case ing, no doubt to mark the immense impor-a poor, limping, doubtful thing, quite as tance of the bill for the women of the East likely to ruin the East End as to do it a End. She came forward at the man's appeal. hand's turn of good.
« My friends,” she said quietly, «you let Just as the speaker was coming to his this man speak, and don't you be hard on him. peroration Tressady suddenly caught sight of He's got a sad story to tell you, and he a delicate upraised profile on the platform won't be long about it. You give him his behind Naseby. The repressed smile on it set chance. Some of you shall have yours soon.) him smiling, too.
The speaker was the paid secretary of one What on earth do they make Naseby of the women's unions; but she had been a speak for?» said Watton, indignantly. «Idi- tailoress for years, and had known a tragic ocy! He spoils everything he touches. Let life. Once, at a meeting where some flippant him give the money, and other people do the speaker had compared the reality and fretalking. You can see the people here don't quency of «starvation » in London to the realknow what to make of him in the least. Look ity and frequency of the sea-serpent, Tressady at their faces. Who 's he talking to ? » had seen her get up, and, with a sudden pas
« Lady Madeleine, I think,» said Tressady. sion, describe the death of her own daughter • What amazing red hair that girl has, and from hardship and want, with the tears runwhat queer, scared eyes! It is like an animal- ning down her cheeks. one wants to stroke her.)
Her appeal to the justice of the meeting • Well, Naseby strokes her,” said Watton, succeeded, and the old man was allowed to laughing. «Look at her; she brightens up go on. It soon appeared that he had been put directly he comes near.»
up by one of the tailoring unions to denounce Tressady thought of the tale Fontenoy had the long hours worked in some of the Whitejust told him, and wondered. Consolation chapel and Spitalfields workshops. His facts seemed to come easy to maidens of quality. were appalling. But he put them badly, with
Meanwhile various trade-unionists, sturdy, a dull, stumbling voice, and he got no hold capable men in black coats, were moving and on the meeting at all till suddenly he stepped seconding resolutions; flinging resentful com- forward, paused, his miserable face working, ments, too, at Naseby whenever occasion of- his head turning from side to side, and finally fered. Tressady heard very little of what said, with a sharp change of note: they had to say. His eyes and thoughts were « And now, if you please, I will tell you busy with the beautiful figure to the left of how it was about Isaac-my brother Isaac. the chair. Its dignity and charm worked upon It was Mr. Jacobs » — he looked round, and him like a spell-infused a kind of restless pointed to the trade-union secretary who had happiness.
been speaking before him- « Mr. Jacobs it When he woke from his trance of watch- was that put it in my mind to come here and
tell you about Isaac. For the way Isaac died opened his eyes once, and groaned. And he was like this. He and I were born in Spital- never spoke no more; he was gone before fields; he was n't one of your greeners; he mornin'. And his master gave Judith five was a reg'lar good worker, first-rate general shillings toward the coffin, and the men in the coat-hand, same as me. But he got with a shop they raised the rest.» hard master, and last winter season but one The old man paused. He stood considering there came a rush. And Isaac must be work- a moment, his face and ragged beard thrown ing six days a week, and he must be working out, a spot of grayish white against the figfourteen hours a day; and more ’n that, he ures behind, his eyes blinking painfully under must be doing his bastes overtime, two hours the gas. one time, and an hour or so, perhaps, another; «Well, we've tried many things,» he said anyway, they made it up to half a day-eight at last. «We've tried strikes and unions, hours and more, in the week. You know how and it is n't no good. There 's always one they reckon it.»
treading on another, and if you don't do it He stopped, grinning feebly. The trade- some one else will. It's the law as 'll have unionists about the platform shouted or to do it. You may take that and smoke it! groaned in response. The masters round the You won't get nothing else. Why,»- his door, with their «greeners,» stood silent. hoarse voice trembled, — « why, they use us «And about Wednesday in the third week,” up cruel in the sort of shop I work for. Ten »
. he went on, « he come to the master, and he or twelve years, and a man 's all to pieces. says, - Isaac was older than me, and his chest It's the irons and the heat and the sittingit would be beginning to trouble him pretty you know what it is. I've lasted fifteen year, bad, -so he says: "I'm done,” he says; (I but I'm breaking up now. If my master give must go home. You can get another chap to me the sack for speaking here, I 'll have do my bastes to-night; will you?) And the nothing but the Jewish Board of Guardians master says to Isaac, (If you don't do your to look to. All the same, I made up my mind bas overtime, if you 're too high and as I'd come and say how they served Isaac. mighty, he says, (why, there 's plenty as He stopped abruptly, and stood quite still will, and you don't need to come to-morrow a moment, fronting the meeting, as though neither. And Isaac had his wife Judith at appealing to them through the mere squalid home, and four little uns; and he stopped and physical weakness he could find no more done his bastes, of course. And next night he words to express. Then, with a sort of could n't well see, and he'd been dreadful shambling bow, he turned away, and the main sick all day, and he says to the master again, body of the meeting clapped excitedly, while he says as he must go home. And the master at the back some of the « sweaters » grinned he says the same to him; and Isaac stops. and chatted sarcastic things in Yiddish with And on Friday afternoon he come home. And their neighbors. Tressady saw Lady Maxwell the shop had been steamin' hot, but outside rise eagerly as the old man passed her, take it was a wind to cut you through. And his his hand, and find him a seat. wife Judith says to him, (Isaac, you look « That, I suppose, was an emotion,» said starved, and she set him by the fire. And Tressady, looking down upon his companion. he sat by the fire, and he did n't say nothing. «Or an argument,» said Watton, « as you Then his hands fell down sudden like that--like.»
The old man let his hands drop heavily by his side, with a simple dramatic gesture. By ONE other « emotion » of the same kind-the this time there was not a sound in the human reality at its simplest and cruelestcrowded room. Even the wildest and most Tressady afterward remembered. wolfish of the greeners were staring silently, A « working-woman » was put up to second craning brown necks forward.
an amendment condemning the workshops « And his wife ran to him, and he falls clause, which had been moved in an angry against her, and he says, "Lay me down, speech by one of «Fontenoy's ladies,» a shrillJudith, and don't you let 'em wake me—not voiced fashionable person, the secretary to the young uns, he says, “not for nothing the local branch of the Free Workers' League. and nobody. For if it was the trump of the Tressady had yawned impatiently through the Most High, he says, -and Isaac was a reli- speech, which had seemed to him a violent gious man, and careful in his speech, - I must and impertinent performance; but as the have my sleep. And she laid him down, and speaker sat down he was roused by an exthe children and she watched, and by mid- clamation from a man beside him. night Isaac turned himself over. He just « That woman! » cried a tall curate, strain
ing on tiptoe to see. «No! They ought to be She stopped, and pointed significantly to ashamed of themselves!»
her chest. Tressady shuddered as the curate Tressady wondered who and why; but all whispered to him. he saw was that a thin, tall woman was be- «I've been in ’orspital-cut about fearful. ing handed along the bench in front of him, I can't go at the pace them shops works at. while her neighbors and friends clapped her They'd give me the sack double-quick if I on the back as she passed, laughing and was to go tryin' 'em. No; it 's settin' as does urging her on. Then, presently, there she it-settin' an' settin'. I'm at it by seven, an' stood on the platform, a wand-like creature, my 'usband-yer can see 'im there-'e 'll tell with her battered bonnet sidewise on her yer.» head, a woolen crossover on her shoulders in She stopped, and pointed to a burly ruffian spite of July, her hands clasped across her standing amid a group of pals about the door. chest, her queer light eyes wandering and This gentleman had his arms folded, and was smiling hither and thither. In her emacia- alternately frowning and grinning at this tion, her weird cheerfulness, she was like a novel spectacle of his wife as a public perfigure from a Dance of Death. But what was former. Bribes had probably been necessary amazing was her self-possession.
to bring him to consent to the spectacle at Now yer laughin' at me,» she began in a all; but he was not happy, and when his wife conversational tone, nodding toward the group pointed at him, and the meeting turned to of women she had just left. «You go 'long! look, he suddenly took a dive head foremost I told the lidy I'd speak, an' I will. Well, into the crowd about him, so that when the they comes to me an' they says, (Mrs. Dickson, laughter and horse-play that followed had yer not to work at 'ome no longer; they'll put subsided, it was seen that Mr. Tom Dickson's yer in prison if yer do 't, they says; yer place knew him no more. to go out ter work, same as the shop ’ands;) Meanwhile Mrs. Dickson stood grinningthey says; and, what 's more, if they cotch grinning wide and visibly. It was the stranMr. Butterford)—that 's my landlord; p'raps gest mirth, as though hollow pain and laughter yer don' know 'im-»
strove with each other for the one poor inShe looked down at the meeting with a domitable face. whimsical grin, her eyes screwed up and her « Well, 'e could ’a’ told yer, if 'e 'd 'ad the crooked brows lifted, so that the room roared mind,” she said, nodding; « for 'e knows. 'E's merely to look at her. The trim lady sec- been out o' work this twelve an'a 'arf year; retary, however, bent forward with an air well, come, I 'll bet yer, anyway, as 'e 'as n't of annoyance. She had not, perhaps, re- done a 'and's turn this three year-an' I don't alized that Mrs. Dickson was so much of a blime 'im. Fust, there is n't the work to be character.
got, and then yer git out of the way o' wantin' ««If they cotch Mr. Butterford, they 'll it. An' beside, I 'm used to 'im. When Janey make 'im pay up smart for lettin' yer do such – no, it were Sue-- were seven month old, he a thing as make knickers in 'is 'ouse. So I come in one night from the public, an'after asks the lidy, "Wot's ter become o' me an' 'e'd broke up most o’ the things, he says to the little uns?) An' she says she don'know. me, «Clear out, will yer!) An' I cleared out, (But yer mus' come and speak Tuesday night, and Sue and me set on the door-step till she says-Manx Road Schools, she says- mornin'. And when mornin' come, Tom if yer want to perwent 'em makin' a law of opened the door, and 'e says, “What are you it. Which I 'm a-doin' of--ain't I?»
doin' there, mother? Why ain't yer got my Fresh laughter and response from the breakfast? An' I went in an' got it. But, room. She went on, satisfied:
bless yer, nowadays-the women won't do « An', yer know, if I can't make the knick- it ! » ers at ’ome, I can't make 'em aw'y from 'ome. Another roar went up from the meeting. For ther' ain't no shops as want kids squallin' Mrs. Dickson still grinned. round, as fer as I can make out. An’Jimmy's « An' so there 's nothink but settin', as I a limb, as boys mos’ly are in my egsperience. said before-settin' till yer can't set no more. Larst week 'e give the biby a 'alfpenny and If I begin o' seven, I gets Mr. Dickson to put two o' my biggest buttons to swaller, an' I the tea-things an' the loaf 'andy, so as I don't on'y jest smacked 'em out of 'er in time. ’ave to get up more ’n jes’ to fetch the kettle; Ther'd be murder done if I was to leave 'em. and the children gets the same as me-tea An' 'ow 'u'd I be able to pay any one fer an' bread, and a red 'erring Sundays; an’ Mr. lookin' after 'em? I can't git much, yer know, Dickson 'e gets 'is meals out; I gives 'im the shop or no shop. I ain't wot I was.» needful, and 'e don't make no trouble; an' the
children is dreadful fractious sometimes, and pass gradually from expectation to nervousgets in my way fearful. But there, if I can ness, from nervousness to dismay. set-set till I'ear Stepney Church goin' twelve What was happening? She had once told - I can earn my ten shillin' a week, an' keep him that she was not a speaker, and he had the lot of 'em. Wot does any lidy or genel- not believed her. She had begun well, he man want, a-comin' meddlin' down 'ere? Now, thought, though with a hesitation he had not
a that's the middle an' both ends on it. Done? expected. But now-had she lost her thread, Well, I dessay I is done. Lor', I says to 'em in or what? Incredible, when one remembered the 'orspital, it do seem rummy to me to be her in private life, in conversation. Yet these layin' abed like that. If Tom was 'ere, why, stumbling sentences, this evident distress! 'e'd
Tressady found himself fidgeting in symShe made a queer, significant grimace. But pathetic misery. He and Watton looked at the audience laughed no longer. They stared each other. silently at the gaunt creature, and with their A little more, and she would have lost her silence her own mood changed.
audience. She had lost it. At first there had Suddenly she whipped up her apron. She been eager listening, for she had plunged drew it across her eyes, and flung it away straightway into a set explanation and deagain passionately.
fense of the bill point by point, and half the «I dessay we shall be lyin' abed in kingdom room knew that she was Lord Maxwell's wife. come,” she said defiantly, yet piteously; «but But by the end of ten minutes their attention we've got to git there fust. An’ I don't want was gone. They were only staring at her beno shops, thank yer! »
cause she was handsome and a great lady. She rambled on a little longer; then, at a Otherwise, they seemed not to know what to sign from the lady secretary, made a grinning make of her. She grew white; she wavered. courtesy to the audience, and departed. Tressady saw that she was making great
«What do they get out of that? » said Wat- efforts, and all in vain. The division between ton in Tressady's ear. «Poor galley-slave in her and her audience widened with every senpraise of servitude! »
tence, and Fontenoy's lady organizer in the « Her slavery keeps her alive, please.» background sat smilingly erect. Tressady,
« Yes, and drags down the standard of a who had been at first inclined to hate the whole class.
thought of her success in this inferno, grew « You 'll admit she seemed content ? » hot with wrath and irritation. His own vanity
« It's that content we want to kill. Ah! at suffered in her lack of triumph. last, and Watton clapped loudly, followed Amazing! How could her personal magic, by about half the meeting, while the rest sat so famous on so many fields, have deserted silent. Then Tressady perceived that the her like this in an East End school-room, bechairwoman had called upon Lady Maxwell to fore people whose lives she knew, whose move the next resolution, and that the tall griefs she carried in her heart? figure had risen.
Then an idea struck him. The thought was She came forward slowly, glancing from an illumination; he understood. He shut his side to side, as though doubtful where to look eyes and listened. Maxwell's sentences, Maxfor her friends. She was in black, and her well's manner-even, at times, Maxwell's head was covered with a little black lace voice! He had been rehearsing to her his bonnet, in the strings of which, at her throat, coming speech in the House of Lords, and shone a small diamond brooch. The delicate she was painfully repeating it! To his diswhiteness of her face and hands, and this gust, Tressady saw the reporters scribbling sparkle of light on her breast, that moved as away; no doubt they knew their business. she moved, struck a thrill of pleasure through Ay, there was the secret. The wife's adoTressady's senses. The squalid monotony and ration showed through her very failurephysical defect of the crowd about him passed through this strange conversion of all that from his mind. Her beauty redressed the bal- was manly, solid, and effective in Maxwell ance. « « Loveliness, magic, and grace-they into a confused mass of facts and figures, are here; they are set in the world!) and pedantic, colorless, and cold! ugliness and pain have not conquered while Edward Watton began to look desperately this face still looks and breathes. This, and unhappy. « Too long," he said, whispering in nothing less, was the cry of the young man's Tressady's ear, « and too technical. They heart and imagination as he strained forward, can't follow.) waiting for her voice.
And he looked at a group of rough factory Then he settled himself to listen-only to girls beginning to scuffle with the young men
near them, at the restless crowd of « green- looked ahead, he wished that they were ers, at the women in the center of the hall safely off, and that there were more police. lifting puzzled faces to the speaker, as though For this meeting, which had been only! in a pain of listening.
mildly disorderly and inattentive while MarTressady nodded. In the struggle of devo- cella was speaking, had suddenly flamed, tion with a half-laughing annoyance, he could after she sat down, into a fierce confusion only crave that the thing should be over. and tumult; why, Tressady hardly now under
But the next instant his face altered. He stood. As she sat down, a man had sprung up pushed forward instinctively, turning his to speak who was apparently in bad repute back on Watton, hating the noisy room that with most of the unions of the district. At would hardly let him hear.
any rate, there had been immediate uproar Ah! those few last sentences, that voice, and protest. The trade-unionists would not that quiver of passion-they were her own, hear him, hurled names at him-- « Thief! » herself, not Maxwell. The words were very «Blackleg!» -as he attempted to speak. Then simple, and a little tremulous-words of per- the Free Workers, for whom this dubious sonal reminiscence and experience. But for person had been lately acting, rose in a mass one listener there they changed everything. and « booed » at the unionists; and finally some The room, the crowd, the speaker-he saw of the dark-eyed, black-bearded « greeners >> them for a moment under another aspect- near the door, urged on, probably, by the that poetic, eternal aspect which is always masters, whose slaves they were, had leaped there, behind the veil of common things, the benches near them, shouting strange ready to flash out on mortal eyes. He felt tongues, and making for the hostile throng the woman's heart, oppressed with a pity too about the platform. great for it; the delicate, trembling conscious- Then it had been time for Naseby and the ness, like a point in space, weighed on by the police to clear the platform and open a pasburden of the world; he stood, as it were, be- sage for the Maxwell party. Unfortunately, side her, hearing with her ears, seeing the there was no outlet to the back, no chance of earth spectacle as she saw it with that ter- escaping the shouting crowd in Manx Road. rible second-sight of hers: the all-environing Tressady, joining his friends at last by dint woe and tragedy of human things, the creep- of his height and a free play of elbows, found ing hunger and pain, the struggle that leads himself suddenly alone with Lady Maxwell, nowhither, the life that hates to live and Naseby and Lady Madeleine borne along far yet dreads to die, the death that cuts all behind, and no chance but to follow the curshort, and does but add one more hideous rent, with such occasional help as the police question to the great pile that hems the path stationed along the banks of it might be able
to give. A hard, reluctant tear rose in his eyes. Is Outside Tressady strained his eyes for a it starved tailoresses and shirt-makers alone cab. who suffer? Is there no hunger of the heart « Here, sir!» cried the sergeant in front, that matches and overweighs the physical? carving a passage by dint of using his own Is it not as easy for the rich as for the poor stalwart frame as a ram. to miss the one thing needful, the one thing They hurried on, for some rough lads on that matters and saves? Angrily, and in a kind the edges of the crowd had already begun of protest, he put out his hand to claim, as stone-throwing. The faces about them seemed it were, his own share of the common pain. to be partly indifferent, partly hostile. «Look
at the bloomin' bloats!» cried a wild factory • MAKE way there! make way,» cried a police girl with a tousled head as Lady Maxwell sergeant, holding back the crowd, « and let passed. «Let'em stop at 'ome and mind their the lady pass!»
own 'usbands-yah!» Tressady did his best to push through with « Garn! who paid for your bonnet?» shouted Lady Maxwell on his arm. But there was an another, until a third girl pulled her back, angry hum of voices in front of him, an angry panting, « If you say that any more I 'll scrag pressure round the doors.
yer! » For this third girl had spent a fortnight « We shall soon get a cab,» he said, bend- in the Mile End Road house, getting fed and ing over her. «You are very tired, I fear. strengthened before an operation. Please lean upon me.
But here was the cab. Lady Maxwell's foot Yet he could but feel grateful to the was already on the step when Tressady felt crowd. It gave him this joy of protecting something fly past him. and supporting her. Nevertheless, as he There was a slight cry. The form in front