“Yes, but, father, that was the horror of it!”
“Not the power to do it—no! I mean, Jack, that in this world it is well to be strong.”
“And you think that I am no longer a weakling?” Jack asked strangely; “that I carried out your instructions when you sent me away?”
“Oh, Jack, you remember my farewell remark? It was made in irritation and suffering. That hurt me. It hurt my pride and all that my work stands for. It hurt me as much as it hurt you. But if it was a whip, why, then, it served a purpose, as I wanted it to.”
“Yes, it was a whip!” said Jack, mechanically.
“Then all ends well—all quits! And, Jack,” he swung Jack, who was unresisting but unresponsive, around facing him, “if you ever have any doubts or any questions to ask bring them to me, won’t you?”
“And, Jack, a hundred a week to-morrow! You’re all right, Jack!” And he gave Jack a slap on the back as they left the dining-room.
A MEETING ON THE AVENUE TRAIL
Light sang in the veins and thoughts of a city. Light cleansed the streets of vapors. Light, the light of the sunshine of late May, made a far different New York from the New York under a blanket of March mist of the day of Jack’s arrival. The lantern of the Metropolitan tower was all blazing gold; Diana’s scarf trailed behind her in the shimmering abandon of her honi soit qui mal y pense chases on Olympus; Admiral Farragut grew urbane, sailing on a smooth sea with victory won; General Sherman in his over-brightness, guided by his guardian lady, still gallantly pursued the tone of time in the direction of the old City Hall and Trinity; and the marble facade of the new library seemed no less at home than under an Agean sky. An ecstasy, blinding eyes to blemishes, set critical faculties to rejoicing over perfections. They graciously overlooked the blotch of red brick hiding the body of St. Patrick’s on the way up town in gratitude for twin spires against the sky.
Enveloping radiance gilded the sharp lines of skyscrapers and swept away the shadows in the chasms between them. It pointed the bows of busy tugs with sprays of diamonds falling on the molten surface of rivers and bays. It called up paeans of childish trebles from tenement alleys; slipped into the sickrooms of private houses, delaying the advent of crape on the door; and played across the rows of beds in the public wards of hospitals in the primal democracy of the gift of ozone to the earth.