Sabatini escorted his guest to the door. As they stood there together, looking down into the quiet street, he laid his hand upon the young man’s shoulder.
“I will not say good-bye,” he declared, “because, although I am here waiting all the time, I do not believe that the hour has come for me to go. It will be soon but not just yet. When we first met, I thought that I should like to take you with me. I thought that the life in what will become practically a new country, would appeal to you. Since then I have changed my mind. I have thought of my own career, and I have seen that it is not the life or career for a young man to follow. The adventures of the worker in the cities are a little grayer, perhaps, than those which come to the man who is born a wanderer, but they lead home just as surely—perhaps more safely. Au revoir!”
He turned away abruptly. The door was softly closed. Arnold went down the steps and set his face citywards.
ISAAC IN HIDING
Arnold, as he neared the end of his journey, felt, indeed, that he had found his way into some alien world. The streets through which, after many directions, he had passed, had all been strange to him, strange not only because of their narrowness, their poverty, their ill flavor, but on account, also, of the foreign names above the shops, the street cries, and the dark, unfamiliar aspects of the people. After losing his way more than once, he discovered at last a short street branching out of a narrow but populous thoroughfare. There were no visible numbers, but counting the houses on the left-hand side, and finding the door of the seventh open, he made his way inside. The place was silent and seemed deserted. He climbed the stairs to the second story and knocked at the door of the front room. So far, although barely a hundred yards away was a street teeming with human beings, he had not seen a soul in the place.
His first knock remained unanswered. He tried again. This time he heard a movement inside which he construed as an invitation to enter. He threw open the door and stepped in. The blind was closely drawn, and to his eyes, unaccustomed to the gloom, there seemed to be no one in the place. Suddenly the fire of an electric torch flashed into his eyes, a familiar voice from a distant corner addressed him.
“What the devil are you doing here?”
The light was as suddenly turned off. Arnold could see now that the man whom he had come to visit had barricaded himself behind an upturned table in a distant corner of the room.
“I want a word or two with you, Isaac,” Arnold said.
“Who told you where to find me?”
“Have you told any one else?”
“Are you alone?”
Isaac came slowly out into the room. His appearance, if possible, was a little more ghastly even than when Arnold had seen him last. He was unshaven, and his eyes shone with the furtiveness of some hunted animal. In his hand he was holding a murderous-looking pistol.