Such was the message I read,
the words of that fire-writ warning.
Then peace came back to my spirit, calm peace, and hope and
Then, through my anger and heat, I thought of the Retribution.
But even more clearly I saw the New Birth of this weary world,
This world now groaning in chains, with the bloody sweat of
These things and many more, such as were hard to write of,
I read in the words of the Socialist, patient, peaceful and sober,
Full of prophetic vision, above all things hopeful and patient,
Written in living flame at the Feast of the Leaders of Men....
“APRES NOUS LE DELUGE!”
As Gabriel’s voice fell to silence, after the last words, a stillness came upon the lamp-lit room, a hush broken only by the snapping of the pine-root fire on the hearth and by the busy ticking of the clock upon the chimneypiece. Then, after a minute’s pause, Craig reached over and took Gabriel by the hand.
“I salute you, O poet of the Revolution now impending!” he cried, while Catherine’s eyes gleamed bright with tears. “Would God that I could write like that, old man!”
“And would God that my paper was still being issued!” Brevard added, making a gesture with the pipe that, in his eagerness to hear, he had allowed to die. “If it were I’d give that poem my front page, and fling its message full in the faces of Plutocracy!”
Gabriel smiled a bit nervously.
“Don’t, please don’t,” he begged. “If you really do like it help me spread it. Don’t waste words on praise, but plan with me, tonight, how we can get this to the people—how we can perfect our final arrangements—what we must do, now, at once, to meet the Air Trust and defeat it before its terrible and unrelenting grip closes on the throat of the world!”
“Right!” said Craig. “We must act at once, while there’s yet time. today, all seems safe. The Air Trust spies haven’t ferreted this place out. A week from now, they may have, and one of the most secure and useful Socialist refuges in the country may be only a heap of ashes—like the ones at Kenwyck, Hampden, Mount Desert and Loftiss. Every day is precious. Every one helps to perfect Gabriel’s disguise and adds materially to his strength.”
“True,” assented Gabriel. “We mustn’t wait too long, now. That last report we got yesterday, by our wireless, ought to stimulate us. Brainard says, in it, that the Air Trust people are now putting the finishing touches on the Niagara plant. That will give them condensing machinery for over 90,000,000 horsepower, all told. As I see the thing, it looks absolutely as though, when that is done, the whole Capitalist system of the world will center right there—focus there, as at a point. Let kings and emperors continue to strut and mouth vain phrases; let our own President and Congress make the motions of governing; even let Wall Street play at finance and power. All, all are empty and meaningless!