Puslapio vaizdai

assembling of discriminating decisions. Britain there were two young men who I think Great Britain will float on were most especially getting on and ice-rafts in the Gulf Stream for a long growing as national figures. One was time yet. And I cannot help adding Mr. Hodges; the other was the Prince that I think so partly because I think of Wales. Proletarian influence was that some day there will be a Lord growing. Royal popularity was growMilner for Ireland as well as for ing. I left for America with no better Egypt. And I cannot help adding final thought than the one that I supfurther that one of the reasons why I pose occurs to every departing Amerthink there will be a Lord Milner for ican traveler; namely, that if a social Ireland is because I think Ireland will fabric is strong that uses as many as insist on it. I think, however, that in possible of all known human instincts any case it is Great Britain within and impulses and developments, then itself that is complicated and ingen- perhaps Great Britain is still weaving ious and amazing beyond any conceiv- a social fabric that is strong with a able settlement of Ireland. While I

While I most exceptionally accumulated and was diligently sojourning in Great accumulating strength.

The Travel Bureau


All day she sits behind a bright brass rail

Planning proud journeyings in terms that bring

Far places near; high-colored words that sing, "The Taj Mahal at Agra," "Kashmir's Vale," Spanning wide spaces with her clear detail,

"Sevilla or Fiesole in spring,

Through the fiords in June.” Her words take wing;
She is the minstrel of the great out-trail.

At half past five she puts her maps away,

Pins on a gray, meek hat, and braves the sleet,
A timid eye on traffic. Dully gray

The house that harbors her in a gray street,

The close, sequestered, colorless retreat
Where she was born, where she will always stay.


Jack London's Last Days

From "The Book of Jack London"

O death, when Ernest

Hopkins and


Let me lie drunken with the dreamer's

wine! two camera men had been photo

Let me not see this soul-house built of graphing him both for movies and

mud “stills," I had suddenly, in one or

Go toppling to the dust a vacant

shrine! two of the poses, noticed something in Jack's face, an accession of some

When he was gone, I smiled with thing more than dimly felt of late, that struck fear into me. It can only appreciation of an enthusiastic, but that struck fear into me. It can only uninformed, reviewer who, despite be described as a deadness or an absence of life; something that no face,

Jack's fifty-odd books written within

seventeen years, credited him with upon an erect figure, should have. Sometimes when I gallop along the

more than double that number, “to

say nothing of other forms of blossoming ways of Jack's mountain

literature." meadows, missing my strong traveler,

And there was also a letter that it takes little effort still to hear his blithe, companionable "Toot! Toot!pleased me, written on November 20, I should feel no startling did he

and never read by Jack. emerge, reining the Outlaw from the

I have just seen your picture, driving shadows of the trees, laughing from

two huge draft-horses to a under the cow-boy hat.

spreader. This is the picture of a man He had been radiant in his hope with a wagon-load of fertilizer. He is that had no horizon. "I want to live going to spread it over an acre of ground a hundred years!" was his lusty slogan, and make it fertile. In reality the man repeated within a fortnight of his has an inexhaustible supply of mental death. "See the dozens of boxes of pabulum which he spreads over the notes filed away? Why, writers I

whole world, the dark spots are made know are looking about for plots, and lighter, the sloughs of despond are I 've enough here to keep me busy drained and made to blossom, with twice a hundred novels."

the weary and heavy laden are lifted up.

In reality you are subsoilIt was the expression of just such

plowing the world, preparing it for the exuberance that Jack felt in this

seeds of Universal Brotherhood, the stanza, which was a favorite with

while you dream dreams. him:

It would not be hard to imagine Let me live out my years in heat of him a happy ghost revisiting his beblood! loved lands or the running tides of



San Francisco Bay, irresistibly drawn many plans and so much to do! Come back to

on up with me.”

It hurt to refuse, but I felt too weak the horses in the wagons with

and tired to face the long ride; so he their kind long faces, And little boats that climb upon the

went out alone, looking uncommonly

disappointed. Yet what strength was wave.

mine but half a hundred hours later And I could but think, viewing the to meet the worst and not fail! So excellence he left behind, the purity strangely are we constituted! of his purpose, the way he went Upon his return he came breaking straight to his goal, that he made a through the house with his merriest shining exception to the rule that

step to tell me every detail of his

exploration. The evil that men do lives after them;

"I found the trail without any The good is oft interred with their bones.

trouble," he told me, "and when I

came to the field I had in mind, there I was sad when, on Saturday the was a young fellow plowing. We nineteenth, our tenth wedding anni- talked quite a while, and I got off old versary, I was unable to join Jack and Fritz to handle the soil myself. I a quaint woman guest at dinner. found it of very good quality. It ran Jack brought her in to meet me, and through my fingers so friable, you later, having settled her somewhere know. I 've discovered who owns it, with a book, returned to stroke my and I 'm going to take up the matter throbbing head. I remember remind- as soon as I can land the prospect of ing him of the fact that I was born and some money in New York. Maybe married in the same month, and that that autobiographical stuff will pay for eight days hence, the twenty-seventh, it.” Then further: "I'm planning to would be my birthday. How little I go on the twenty-ninth. And you 're imagined that there would intervene still not coming with me?" he finished the date of my widowhood! Yet doom wistfully. Then he resumed the tale was in the air. Subtly I felt its clutch, of his projects for increasing the and this was all my malady.

abundance upon his acres. Jack wrote with unabated industry

§ 2 on Monday morning, and in the afternoon he came and coaxed me in a There followed a wakeful night for cheery and loving way to pull myself Jack, and he rose very late, frankly together and accompany him up-moun- blue and complaining of fatigue. tain. He wanted to see again a piece The dysentery was so much worse of land that adjoined the ranch, which that I protested at his taking no he recalled as being well watered by measures to check an alarming consprings.

dition. He worked but a short time, “I may buy it,” he said. “I could and the few pages of manuscript were develop the springs, and that would the last he ever set hand to. The seymean bigger crops, bigger and better eral letters he dictated to the machine cattle and horses, life, more life, Mate were transcribed afterward by his Woman. Oh, it 's big, and I have so secretary, and the very last letter

he ever talked into the horn was the ing of Jack's brain. As far as possible following:

she met him, yet wondered how he

expected her to put the enormous tasks Editor Every Week,

he prepared into prompt execution. My dear sir:

A lesser man, in the throes of the Curses on you, "Every Week"! You keep a busy man busy over-time trying toxemia that was destroying him,

would have evinced a lesser "mania." to get rid of you while unable to tear himself away.

I wish the man who Jack's mental vigor was spent logically writes the captions for your photographs along the lines of his ambition. had never been born. I just can't re- When Jack at length parted from frain from reading every word he writes. Eliza that night of the twenty-first, he

And the rest of your staff bothers me brought with him into the warm and the same way.

cozy veranda the sweeping current of Hereby registering my complaint,

his fervor, and talked in the same vein. Sincerely yours,

But I saw that he was strung to a JACK LONDON.

breaking pitch of excitement. He did not go out all day, and slept "Your duck was perfection half an in the afternoon, rousing himself with hour ago," I said, "but I 'm afraid it an effort. Eliza came over to talk is far from that by now.” ranch business, and they were still at But he was not interested in ducks, it when the first and then the second and spoke much more than he ate, gong sounded for our supper. Having roving into a future heyday of the shaken off the half-stupor in which he ranch. I distinctly recall one part of had awakened, he had become very his conversation: excited outlining his immediate inten- “There 's a big slump coming in tion to erect on the ranch a general real estate, country, not city. Recolstore, a school, and a post-office. I I lect that man who came the other day heard him wind up:

to interest me in some of the land "There are enough children on the among the little hills north of us? I ranch to open a school. The ranch did n't like the looks of his speculation. people can have their homes here, But if I cared to play the dirty busine trade here at better prices, be born game, I could buy in largely when the here, grow up here, get their schooling slump comes, cut up the property, and here, and if they die, they can be buried later on sell, as that man expects to on the Little Hill, where the two do, to poor people at big profit. But Greenlaw children's graves are.

I don't care to make money that way, No, I have n't in mind a community Mate Woman," he broke off earnestly. in the usual sense of a reform colony. “My hands are pretty clean, are n't I only look forward to making the they?place self-sustaining for every soul I could thankfully respond to that.

His business was clean: his vocation, Five days after that utterance, the making of books; his avocation, Jack London's own ashes were laid agriculture. there on the whispering ridge.

He did not ask for music, nor did Eliza told me later that in those he frolic with the fox-terrier Possum, days she worried about the overwork- as he had done much of late, testing

[ocr errors]

upon it."

[ocr errors]

that keen little brain and great heart his face, and I could not see his eyes. in a hundred ways. In half an hour But the corners of his mouth drooped Jack's exuberance had worn out; and pathetically. Poor lad, my poor boy! with an apprehension to which I had he was, indeed, tired to death. been no stranger of late, I saw that he We lay there for an hour, he restwas getting argumentative, as if look- ing, sometimes sighing, saying little. ing for trouble lest he fall into melan- He put his arms around my neck. choly. He picked up two wooden “I'm so tired for lack of sleep. I'm box-trays of reading matter that he going to turn in."

going to turn in.” Rising, he gave had brought with him, and lifted voice to something that startled me. them to the table on which stood his "Thank God, you 're not afraid of almost untasted supper.

anything!" “Look,” he said, his voice low and Never shall I know why that came lifeless, "see what I 've got to read from him unless it was that he knew to-night.”

the unthinkable was upon him, that I “But you don't have to do it, Mate," would very shortly lose his dear I said, trying to stir his spirit. “Al- comradeship, and felt that I would be ways remember that you make all this gallant to cope with that disaster. work and overwork for yourself, and

§ 3 it must be because you choose to do it rather than to rest. My ancient When in the days to follow Jack's argument, you know!"

holographic will was read, first in the There followed a colloquy upon family circle, next by Judge T. C. relative values, and then he stood up Denny in court, and tacit responsiabruptly, came around the small bilities were made known, I could not table, and flung himself on the couch, help reverting to that fervent exclainto my arms.

mation. Or was it an entreaty, a sup“Mate Woman, Mate Woman, you plication? If a prayer, at least he had 're all I 've got, the last straw for me to answered it by his own passive action cling to, my last bribe for living. You in neglecting, during the half-decade know. I have told you before. You the will had lain in deposit, to alter must understand. If you don't under- a line of it. In effect it is a love-letter, stand, I'm lost. You 're all I've got." written by a wise man who knew our

I do understand," I cried. “I un- metal, and he named Eliza Shepard derstand that there 's too much for and my cousin Willard L. Growall as you to do, and that you 're straining executors. But Jack gave loophole too hard to get it done. Are you so for discontent and criticism in that, bound on the wheel that you cannot beyond trifling provision for various ease up a little, both working and beneficiaries, he stipulated, “Whatever thinking? You are going too fast. additional may be given them shall be You are too aware. And you are ill. a benefaction and a kindness from Something will snap if you don't pull Charmian K. London and shall arise up. You are tired, perilously tired, out of Charmian K. London's goodtired almost to death. What shall we ness and desire." do? We can't go on this way!"

Having not forfeited his trust, I am The green shade was well down over proud to append his closing paragraph:

« AnkstesnisTęsti »