Puslapio vaizdai

enormous popular vitality is satisfied now to sit in the gallery, we cannot even keep what we have won. If we are looking for fresh fields, here is a field that is in its nature boundless.

A popular art, first-rate or fifthrate, is not an exact moral equivalent of whisky. It is at least twice an equivalent of whisky and it supplies a more powerful intoxication, which if realized, may lead to more startling abuse. But it is the thing America most needs to-day.

Energetic Americans coming home in the subway read the comic strips and never crack a smile. If each home-comer had a note-book and pencil, and spent a crowded fifteen minutes trying to draw the man who sits opposite, we should either be cracking smiles or cracking heads.

Either a smile or a blow would be preferable to bored spectatorship. There isn't one of us energetic Americans who lacks either character or capacity. What we lack is outlet.

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To be found,

Love the cryptical gleam

Of whatever it is makes you seem what you seem.



NA bright Saturday morning four days before the Cesarewich race, the paneled and roomy saloon bar of the White Horse was justifying its reputation as the brightest spot in Dulchester., Shrewd men in breeches, wise guests of the hotel in flannels, farmers and tradesmen who could teach you something and make a jolly little profit on the lesson, were gathered together in the happy feeling that the week's work was as good as done. Thirty men were lounging there in comfort, and all but one or two were prosperous and unworried. The name that flashed continually in their talk was like a magic word that joined them all as brothers in a happy secret. There was only one horse in the Cesarewich, and they had all backed it. Dulchester had famous training-stables of its own, and knew every whisper from Newmarket, and responded sagely to every quiver of the betting on a big handicap. From the mayor down to the urchins who cried the newspapers, every Dulchester sportsman was on Galloper Galloper Gem. . . the magic name.

The urchins were crying the racing editions of the evening newspapers, just arrived from London, and one or two men made for the pillared doorway. Rapson, the auctioneer and estate agent, came into the

place, looking at a copy as he walked. Somebody called a greeting to him. "Fine, thanks," said Rapson. "How's yourself?"

He looked up from the paper, grinning. He was big-shouldered, pink-faced, cordial, and, before looking up, had instinctively taken exactly the right number of steps to fetch the bar. "What "What are you taking?"

"A small one, please. What's the latest about ours?" Rapson handed him his copy of the "Evening News." "The odds have tightened up-they were still shoving money on the Galloper at the Beaufort Club last night. He's now second favorite-eleven to two."

"He'll start favorite at six to four on Wednesday," Pollock declared.

"He will and all," grinned Rapson. "Galloper Gem will dance it." He looked round the group. "Where's Tom got to?" Tom Aubrey was the most prominent of the Dulchester book-makers. There was a burst of laughter, and the well-dressed landlord of the White Horse spoke.

"I'll wager you don't see old Tom this morning. He's in hidingwishing there was no such day as next Wednesday. He's full to the back teeth with bets on Galloper Gem, and he can't lay a penny of it off. Most of the bookies in the county are in the same fix.” He

stroked a shining beer-handle and added gleefully, "It's time they had a bump; they've had enough of my money."

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Rapson glanced toward the inclosed telephone box in the corner. "I'll ring him up before I go," he said. "I mean to have another tenner on, at least. If it were the last tenner I had, I'd plank it down. It's money for jam."

"You won't get old Tom to take it, any road," observed the landlord. "We'll see. Gin and it for mehalf and half. And take the orders, please. Call for what you want, boys. It's not with me you're drinking. Next Wednesday's going to be a picnic for Dulchester. You're having this one with our friend and esteemed colleague-Galloper Gem!"

"Galloper Gem!" They uttered the magic name with solemn feeling; for a tiny space of time the saloon bar had the quality of a church. Visions were with them. More than one of the "lads" of Dulchester thought, quite honestly, that it was a shame to have to wait till next Wednesday. "Galloper Gem, boys! It's a cake-walk! The handicap certainty of the year!"


They dreamed and glowed. Rapson, his great fingers holding the tiny glass, beamed upon the company, and meditated on the new limousine he had already arranged to buy in the coming week to replace his old and sedate touring-car. His glance halted at a little man who sat in one of the small bow-windows. Although well known to all the others, he had the odd effect of being lonely in the midst of that cheerful company. He had tried half a

dozen trades to make a living, in half a dozen unimportant backstreets of Dulchester, and had failed in six of them.

He had patient eyes and a shadowy personality. It was a continual amusement to Dulchester that the two sides of his wandering fair mustache did not balance properly. His name-heaven knew why, he had once bitterly exclaimed—was Hannibal Strive. Now the great Rapson hailed him.

"Aren't you drinking, Hannibal?” There was the usual laugh.

"I've got one, thank you, Mr. Rapson," said the little man, very politely. Not quite immediately afterward, he examined his tankard. "Well, I'll have a bitter, thank you, Mr. Rapson," he said.

"Amendment carried," cried Rapson, heartily. The drink came and Hannibal Strive continued to look as if he weren't there at all.

"What are you backing on Wednesday, Hannibal?"

The little man started painfully. For the millionth time he rebuked himself for having ever given away the secret of that horrid Christian


"Nothing, Mr. Rapson."

It was incredible to discover there was somebody in Dulchester without a share in the golden gain coming next Wednesday from Galloper Gem. Hannibal Strive apologized, with penitence.

"I haven't had anything on horse since I was in the greengrocery in Earl Street, Mr. Rapson. You see, Mr. Rapson, I'm leaving Dulchester. I haven't been very lucky-not so wonderful lucky, as

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Bluff Rapson tried to look sorry. Of course, what the man really meant was that he hadn't any brass; he was a failure-down and out. Poor little chump, Rapson thought. He couldn't say boo to a goose -never could. "Australia, eh?" he muttered awkwardly. "Well, its a fine country. There's plenty of chances in a place like that, young Hannibal!"

"If there are, Hannibal will miss them," somebody said. "Fancy not backing Galloper Gem!-he'll never get a better chance than that."


"What's that?" demanded booming voice from the doorway, and everybody turned. The owner of the voice was a big-shouldered giant in tweeds, a stranger to them all. There was a splendor uncommon to Dulchester, about his expensive clothes, his wonderfully polished shoes, his Stetson hat, and the opal pin in his tie. He was magnificent as he walked to the bar. Rapson, and one or two of the other men who were near enough, saw him pull a thrilling little bundle of notes from a top-waistcoat pocket. The thrill sharpened as he took the top one. They were neither fivers nor tenners. They were fifties. He lowered his voice, as a gentleman should when he talks about money.

"Could you possibly change me fifty, landlord?" he asked politely. "For if you can't, I shall have to leave my car with you, I'm afraid. I want some lunch and I've only a bit of loose silver apart from these notes."

Even Hannibal looked interested. The stranger had taken the place as

the leading actor walks on, and possesses, the stage. And, as at a stage cue, his audience now stared through the bow-windows, and discovered the magnificent yellow Rolls-Royce that had come to rest outside the White Horse without a flicker of fuss or sound.

The fifty-pound note was changed. Hannibal Strive, worrying continually over the difficult business of getting together the fares to Australia for himself and his small family, tried unsuccessfully to stop blinking at the lordly carelessness with which the big stranger restored the bank of fifties to his vest pocket, and crammed the change the landlord gave him into his trouser pocket. It didn't seem like life, somehow. Here was a greater, even, than the prosperous Rapson. The stranger turned, and, his back to the bar, faced his congregation in the friendliest way.

"You'll honor me by having a drink, gentlemen, I hope,” he said. "I'm glad I struck your pretty town by lunch time. Some places would have made a bother about changing a note for a stranger, eh?"

Rapson murmured a polite dissent. You could trust the landlord of the White Horse to know his job properly, he explained. The ritual of fresh drinks was again observed and again Hannibal Strive, in answer to the invitation, refused gently.

"I've got one here, sir, thank you. Thank you, sir. Well, I'll have another one in this, if I may change my mind."

"Certainly," said the stranger, cordially. "I'm afraid I interrupted you when I came in, gentlemen. I spoke out of my turn, you might say.

But didn't I hear you saying something about Galloper Gem?" "You did, sir."

The big stranger raised a hand on which a wondrous diamond shone. "Not another word, sir, if you

"Are you boys backing it next please. You've lost your money. Wednesday?"

Rapson stared at him harder than ever. "We are, sir. Not only on Wednesday, either, but for the last fortnight we've been backing it-all of us."

"You are?"

"We are, sir," repeated Rapson. "We know something. There's more money for Galloper Gem here in Dulchester than from any other big town in England."

"Good Lord!" exclaimed the big stranger in a horrified tone, and looked at Rapson, and from Rapson around the other faces, as if he had suddenly found himself in a wellappointed lunatic asylum. "Bless my soul and body!"

There was a strained pause. They looked at the stranger's incredulous face, and then did not dare to look at him. Instead they looked from one to the other. If the landlord had moved a single glass a single inch along the bar, every man there would have jumped into the air. They left it to Rapson.

"May I ask, sir-" began Rapson, but the other cut in.

"Let's drink up and forget it, if you please," he said. "Galloper Gem! Galloper. . . . GEM! You may ask nothing, sir. I know a nice crowd of boys when I see them, and I don't want to upset anybody. GALLOPER. . . . GEM! Galloper GEM! Galloper Gem couldn't win a donkey-race next Wednesday-not unless he started at the winning-post and the others had to go the full distance. "But-"

Forget it. Landlord, would you show me the lunch menu, please?"

The dazed landlord found a menucard. Somebody sniggered, but the protest was unsuccessful. Rapson stopped fidgeting to look at him. It was in a dark and solemn hush that the owner of the bright yellow car weighed braised ham against sirloin, minestrone against hors-d'œuvres. It had become a world of shadows and of mystery. One would have expected the pale eyes of Hannibal Strive to make quite a noise if ever they popped back. With a struggle, a man by the fire found his voice. It was a sneering voice.

"Perhaps, sir-what do you think you know?" it demanded.

The stranger started. He did not so much as begin to look in the direction of the voice, whose owner quickly wondered if he had really used it. He gestured toward the box in the corner, and courteously asked permission to use the telephone. He confirmed the time of his watch with the clock.

"Just time to get on the one o'clock race," he muttered. Leaving behind him the change from the five-pound note with which he had paid for the round of drinks, he entered the inclosed telephone box. In his haste he did not quite shut the door. They heard him ask for the number of Sam Rogers, one of the big bookmaking firms in London. Rapson recognized the number, and so did several others there who betted with Rogers. They woke from their gloom, and their interest quickened.

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