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The stranger is likely to make other person who does not sell them is the unmistakes. If, for instance, he remembers dertaker. the amazing amount of liquor that he has The undertaker brightens Camagüey in seen stacked up in the cantinas and cafés another way peculiarly his own.
He conof Camagüey, he is likely to mention at ducts funerals so radiant that I know of home that the always faithful port of tourists who, having failed to see the Camagüey in drunkenness is rather ahead hearse and noting only what followed, of
own joyous, bar-room-blessed have gone away certain that they had witNorth. And again he will be wrong. In nessed a gorgeous military parade. all my residence there I can recollect see- They are scarlet-and-gold funerals. The ing only three drunken men in Camagüey; hearse is scarlet and gold, the horses that is, three drunken Cubans. Patriot- are hung from nostrils to tail in scarlet ism and hands-across-the-sea sentiment and gold, drivers and outriders and attenforbid my saying how many drunken dants are garbed in braided and frogged Americans and Britons I can remember. and laced coats of scarlet and gold, and
The stranger in Camagüey, if he is surmounted with cocked hats of scarlet ignorant of Spanish, is more than likely to and gold. go away with another fixed and perma- The gorgeous funeral goes to a red, nent mistaken idea in his mind. It will white, and blue cemetery, the beautiful, be that for some mysterious reason there gaudy wall of which is crowned with is an enormous demand in Camagüey for minarets and towers and little steeples, hay-tickets, possibly connected with some which are the tops of tombs. free-hay fund for the poor. He will get A sun-bright, flower-bright place is this this idea because every day there may be place of painted tombs, with no gloom of seen temporary placards affixed to scores cypresses or willows. The very tombs of shops and private houses, “No hay themselves are sociable, for rows of them billetes." These placards, however, really are apartment-tombs, whereon are painted and truly have nothing to do with hay. the names of many divers occupants who They signify simply that the person dis- had nothing to do with one another in playing the placard has sold all his lot- life. The apartment idea is carried out tery-tickets. The Cuban lottery is Cama- still further, for apartments in these tall güey's chief sport next to cock-fighting, tombs are leased for strictly limited occuand the demand is so good that the ven- pancy only. Few of the tombs are permaders do not need to advertise that they nent. After a respectable interval of years have tickets, but announce merely when has elapsed, the occupants are moved out they have none, in order to head off the to make room for new arrivals. rush.
And there, too, in the red, white, and Everybody in Camagüey sells lottery- blue cemetery one meets the Arabian tickets. The banks sell them, the chem- Nights again. There are ancient Spanish ists sell them, the shoemaker sells them, tombs let deep into the earth. Of these the doctors sell them. The men who nothing is visible above-ground except bring guinea-grass fodder and milk and gigantic slabs of stone with enormous live chickens and live piglets to one's rings in them, the very slabs that are lifted house sell them. A vivid, though impres- so often in the Arabian Nights for doomed sionistic, memory tells me that the only princes and princesses.
THE SEVENTH GLASS
BY FREDERIC ARNOLD KUMMER
HE long, hot July afternoon gave during the day. Do any of you know
promise of an even hotter night. anything of the matter?" Paul Remington found himself glancing Remington shook his head confidently. anxiously at the clock, and marveling at “Not I, sir,” he said. The other two the slowness with which the hands ap- men did likewise. proached the hour which would mark the "None of you, then, knows anything closing of the bank for the day. Baker about this missing money?" on one side of him, Zimmerman on the Again the chorus of denials. other, toiled stolidly over their books. The man with the gray mustache spoke Mr. Curtis, the paying teller, was count- a few words very low into Mr. Langing up his cash at the window.
The latter nodded, and the It still wanted a few moments to the man left the room. hour when Johnson, the president's secre- “I must ask you to wait a few moments tary, came into the inclosure. "Mr. longer," the president said, playing with Langham wants to see you in his office at a silver paper-knife that lay upon his desk. once,” he said to Remington, then went Almost immediately the gray-mustached over to Baker and Zimmerman and gave man returned. In his hands he carried them the same message. All three had three coats. Remington recognized one been about to remove their ink-stained of them as his own, the other two as bealpaca office-coats. Zimmerman, in fact, longing to Baker and Zimmerman. The had already taken his partly off.
man laid the three coats on a chair. "Come just as you are," Johnson said “ "Shall I go ahead, Mr. Langham?” he sharply, then held open the grated iron asked. door until they had filed ahead of him Again the president nodded. Remingdown the corridor leading to the presi- ton observed that his coat lay upon the dent's private office.
top of the pile. The man held it up. Paul Remington was aware of a curi- “Whose is this?” he inquired. ous presentiment of disaster.
"Mine," Remington replied, with a from no definite cause, yet it was sufficient sigh of relief. He was anxious to get to give him a sudden dryness of the throat away. Aline would be expecting him. and a trembling in the knees that were The stout man plunged his hand into annoying. This peremptory summons to the breast pocket of the coat, and drew Mr. Langham's office suggested something forth some letters and papers and a brown unpleasant, even sinister. He felt that leather wallet. Remington gave a gasp his companions shared his agitation. of surprise. The wallet was not his.
Mr. Langham, the president of the "Open it," said Mr. Langham, quickly. bank, sat behind his rosewood desk. His The other did so, and took out a bunface was grave, somber. Beside him stood dle of bank-notes, still bound together by a short, heavily built man with a grayish the paper band containing the figures mustache whom Remington had never be- $1000 upon it in red. Then he placed fore seen.
both the money and the wallet upon the Mr. Langham looked up, allowing his president's desk. eyes to stray idly over the faces of the "You may go," Mr. Langham said, three men before him. Mr. Curtis, the nodding to Baker and Zimmerman. paying teller, came in at that moment and Remington watched them file out, his whispered something in the president's mind dazed, numb. Then Mr. Langham ear. Then the latter spoke.
looked steadily at him without speaking. “Gentlemen," he said, "the sum of one “The wallet is not mine," said Remthousand dollars in hundred dollar notes ington, nervously. “I have never seen it has been taken from Vir. Curtis's counter before. I did not take the money.”
Mr. Langham frowned.
ner, and listened in silence while he told “Under the circumstances,
young her what had occurred. man,” he said, "your denials are worse “I do not know how the money came than useless. The evidence is complete." to be in my pocket," he said dully as he
“But I swear to you, on my honor, I concluded. “I did not take it." did not take it. I-"
Aline Barnes was very young and very “Then how, may I ask, do you account much in love. Hence she came up to for its presence in the pocket of your him and, putting her arms about his neck, coat?"
kissed him. Remington was silent. How, indeed? .
“Of course you did n't, dear,” she ex"I am inclined to be lenient with you, claimed. “I know that. But who did ?” Mr. Langham went on. “You are young, There was no answer to that and he you have been with us a long time. This attempted none. is your first offense. · If I turn you over “Our engagement must be broken, of to the police, as is perhaps my duty, you course,” he went on in a trembling voice. will get a long sentence. It will make a “Your mother and father would insist on hardened criminal of you. I
be that" wrong, but I do not think that you are She interrupted him with a cry, and that now. It is just possible that this ex- held him close. perience may teach you the futility of “No! no! They won't believe this crime. I am going to discharge you, of thing." course, but without pressing the case “I am disgraced,” Remington said bitagainst you further."
terly. “I shall be unable to get another Again Remington began to speak, hur- position. The moment I tell them where riedly, excitedly, denying all knowledge I last worked, they will find out everyof the theft. Mr. Langham's frown grew thing. I appreciate the way you feel now, deeper. He raised his hand.
but until I am cleared, I shall not hold “No more, if you please,” he said. “It
you to our engagement." is useless, and you may make me regret She protested against this with all the my decision not to prosecute.
fervor of her youth, but Remington was coat and go.”
firm. With a sob rising in his throat, Rem- “You must tell your parents about it ington took up his coat and staggered out. first,” he said, “and do as they say." He The other clerks looked at him curiously knew very well what the girl's mother as he passed. Some of them laughed. would say; she had never liked him very None made any effort to address him. much as it was, having aspirations for her After what seemed an eternity, he reached daughter above the meager salary of a the street.
bank clerk. For a time he staggered along, quite The tragedy of the situation made it unaware of direction. Some automatic impossible for him to remain. He left operation of the brain guided his steps to Aline in tears, and once more found himthe up-town subway station. Then he re- self in the blistering July heat. Then he membered that he had an engagement to went to his room, and threw himself on meet Aline at four o'clock.
the bed. He felt that he must be alone She was waiting for him in the hall with his grief. when he reached the apartment, and she The following day he started out to had on the white linen dress which he had look for another position. He realized always admired. They had planned to the difficulties which confronted him, and go to the beach together, and he had in- he met them bravely. For many weeks tended to go home first and dress. That, he walked the oven-like streets, searching however, made no difference now.
for work, and found none. The inevita“Why, Paul, what 's the matter?" she ble question, "Where were you last emasked quickly, noting his haggard face. ployed ?" seemed a barrier which he could “Come in and sit down,” he said, lead- not cross.
If he replied truthfully, he ing the way to the little parlor; "I have knew that he would be branded as a thief. something to tell you."
If he evaded the question, he became at She followed, dazed by his somber man- once a man without experience, and there
fore unavailable. He had been at the inevitable. No one of the several calamibank for several years; his start there, as ties which had overtaken Paul Remington a messenger, had constituted his first real could alone have robbed him of either his work. The situation seemed well-nigh courage or his hope. Taken together, hopeless. He had written to Mr. Lang- they had deprived him of both. ham the day after his discharge, protesting It was at this juncture that he made up his innocence and begging for a further his mind quite calmly and deliberately to investigation, but there had been no reply. commit suicide. The impulse came to him To all intents and purposes he was at the close of a day that, in its discourthief.
agement and suffering, had brought him Poverty early gripped him with an icy measurably nearer the bread-line. He hand. With the carefree optimism of knew that he was beaten, and he gave up youth, he had not thought of saving until the fight. For the last week even employhe met Aline. Since their engagement he ment as a day-laborer had been denied had regularly put a certain amount every him. week into a life-insurance policy, but it On his way home he made several purwas of too recent a date to be available as chases. He congratulated himself that a means of borrowing money now. In he still had a small sum of money left fact, he realized that he would be unable from what he had obtained by pawning even to keep it up. In two weeks his his only other suit. Arrived at his room, ready money was gone, and he moved to he unwrapped the parcel, done up in a cheaper room and managed to exist upon brown paper, which he carried under his what he could obtain by pawning his few arm, took from it seven small glasses of articles of jewelry and his clothes.
a cheap and coarse variety, and placed Slowly, but none the less surely, poverty them upon the top of his chiffonier. Then and disgrace wore their way into his soul. from a bottle which a second package conHe no longer faced the world head up. tained he filled the glasses nearly to the A beaten feeling came to him, growing brim with whisky. with the passage of the heartbreaking This done, he drew from his pocket a days. Aline he seldom saw now. In the small package, and carefully shook the first rush of her sympathy and love, she white powder which it contained into one had written to him daily, and they had of the glasses, stirring it about with the met from time to time in the park and at end of a penholder until it had entirely street corners. He was no longer wel- dissolved. Then he closed his eyes, and come at her home.
moved the glasses about here and there in Gradually, however, these meetings be- such a way that, upon opening his eyes came less frequent, and presently ceased again, he was unable to say in which the altogether. Aline wrote him a tearful powder had been placed. Arranging them note, informing him that her mother had in a row on the top of the chiffonier, he learned of them, and had forbidden her stood off to observe the results of his to see him again. Remington was rather work. glad. He did not blame Aline in the One of the glasses now contained a least; he felt that he was under a cloud, drug, tasteless and odorless, which through and his pride told him that there could its rapid action on the heart would probe no future for either of them until the duce death within a comparatively short disgrace that had unjustly come upon him time. The contents of the other six had been removed.
glasses were harmless. This disgrace told upon him heavily, The purpose of this singular arrangeeven more than his poverty or the loss of ment was this: Paul Remington intended Aline. There seemed something cruelly to commit suicide by drinking, upon seven unjust about the whole affair. As week successive nights, or such less number as after week of failure sapped his courage the Fates might dictate, the contents of and his hope, he became gloomy and mor- the seven glasses. bid, and believed that the Fates had con- It is true that one glass alone would spired to ruin him. It was a grotesque have accomplished the business in hand and futile state of mind, no doubt, but much more expeditiously, but the fantasone that in the circumstances was perhaps tic plan which he was about to put into
effect contained a deeper and more subtle ing. The late August heat and his lack purpose. Convinced that the Fates were of suitable food exhausted him to a point against him, he now proposed to issue to where he could scarcely stagger through them a challenge, with his life as the for- the long, hot hours, and his haggard apfeit.
pearance and his shabby clothes rendered The reason for this lay in the fact that it difficult for him even to obtain a hearwhile he had definitely decided that death ing. was the only course open to him, there On the third night he drank the third still hovered within his mind a faint glass, and realized almost with annoyance doubt. Possibly in concluding that the that his adversaries had still refused to Fates had doomed him to destruction he give the rack the final twist. No doubt, might be acting hastily. There was just he argued, they were playing with him, a chance that during the very week to as a cat plays with a mouse. For a mocome some unexpected piece of good for- ment he was tempted to drink the remaintune might arise to prove his reasoning ing glasses then and there, and settle the false. True, he had waited with extraor- whole wretched business once and for all; dinary patience for many weeks, hoping but some instinct restrained him, and bade every day for some favorable turn in the him play the game fairly. downward course of events, and none had On the fourth, fifth, and sixth nights come. There was no reason to suppose
the results had still been the same, but he that this particular week would prove an
endured phlegmatically the successive disexception to the rule. And yet it might. appointments. A curious dullness had He was willing to give his adversaries a crept over his brain, and during these final sporting chance.
days he wandered about in a daze due to There before him stood the seven lack of sleep and hunger. He no longer glasses, one of which held death. Which had money for food. one only the Fates knew. Would they, And now the seventh night had come, knowing that the week to come held for and with it certainty. He lay upon the him some better fortune, stay his hand, or bed exhausted, yet with a fierce joy in his would they guide it, perhaps even on the heart at the thought that all would soon very first night of the seven, to that one
be over. of the glasses which held the fatal dose ? The room in which he lay was small
Their hands had already directed his in and plain, and there was little in it. the arrangement of the glasses as they His trunk, against the kalsomined wall, now stood. Even now his death was un- yawned emptily. There was little in it as alterably fixed for one night of the seven well. The kerosene lamp upon the table about to come. He offered the Fates a full gasped and fickered in the thick, hot week in which either to save or destroy murk of the August night, its feeble flame him, and bade them, if they had any fa- in momentary danger of extinction. vorable cards up their sleeves, to play them Paul Remington's face, as he lay upon now. He washed his own hands of all re- the bed, showed lines of suffering more sponsibility in the matter. Destiny, not appropriate to forty than to twenty-five. he, should decide. A psychologist would There was this, however, in his favor: at doubtless have said that Paul Remington, twenty-five such lines may be erased by by reason of his sufferings, had become turn of fortune. At forty they a trifle mad.
would have become permanent.
Such a At ten o'clock on the first night he turn he no longer expected now. Despair drank the first glass. An agonizing mo- held him in its iron grip. ment of suspense followed, but the dose He was gazing with moody eyes toward proved quite harmless. His judges had the battered oak chiffonier, which faced given him a respite of twenty-four hours. the foot of the bed, but his glances were He sought for work with almost pathetic concerned not so much with this unintereagerness the following day, only to re- esting article of furniture as with the turn at night beaten and discouraged. straggling row of glasses upon its top.
. On the second night he drank the sec- The light from the lamp barely served ond glass, with the same results as before. to reveal those which he had already empThe ensuing day was even more distress- tied; their presence was manifested only