I suppose the fact is that the Church can only work on the material it finds, and do a little here and a little there. It would be a sword in the hands of such men as Gideon; on the other hand, it can’t do much with the Clare Potters. The real thing frightens them if ever they see it; the sham thing they mould to their own liking, till it is no more than a comfortable shelter from the storms of life. It is the world’s Potters who have taken the Church and spoilt it, degraded it to the poor dull thing it is. It is the Potterism in all of us which at every turn checks and drags it down. Personally, I can forgive Potterism everything but that.
What is one to do about it?
TOLD BY R.M.
THE END OF A POTTER MELODRAMA
While Clare talked to Juke in the vestry, Jane talked to her parents at Potter’s Bar. She was trying to make them drop their campaign against Gideon. But she had no success. Lady Pinkerton said, ’The claims of Truth are inexorable. Truth is a hard god to follow, and often demands the sacrifice of one’s personal feelings.’ Lord Pinkerton said, ’I think, now the thing has gone so far, it had better be thoroughly sifted. If Gideon is innocent, it is only due to him. If he is guilty, it is due to the public. You must remember that he edits a paper which has a certain circulation; small, no doubt, but still, a circulation. He is not altogether like a private and irresponsible person.’
Lady Pinkerton remarked that we are none of us that, we all owe a duty to society, and so forth.
Then Clare came in, just as they had finished dinner. She would not have any. Her face was red and swollen with crying. She said she had something to tell them at once, that would not keep a moment. Mr. Gideon mustn’t be suspected any more of having killed Oliver, for she had done it herself, after Mr. Gideon had left the house.
They did not believe her at first. She was hysterical, and they all knew Clare. But she grew more circumstantial about it, till they began to believe it. After all, they reasoned, it explained her having been so completely knocked over by the catastrophe.
Jane asked her why she had done it. She said she had only meant to push him away from her, and he had fallen.
Lady Pinkerton said, ‘Push him away, my dear! Then was he ...’
Was he too close, she meant. Clare cried and did not answer. Lady Pinkerton concluded that Oliver had been trying to kiss Clare, and that Clare had repulsed him. Jane knew that Lady Pinkerton thought this, and so did Clare. Jane thought ’Clare means us to think that. That doesn’t mean it’s true. Clare hasn’t got what Arthur calls a grip on facts.’
Lord Pinkerton said, ’This is very painful, my dears; very painful indeed. Jane, my dear ...’