Visionaries eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 233 pages of information about Visionaries.

“Like Johann Most,” he ventured.  She blazed at the name.

“No jokes, please.  Most, too, has suffered.  But I am no worshipper of bombs—­and beer.”  This made him laugh, but as the laugh was not echoed he stared about him.

“But Yetta,—­we must begin somewhere.  I wish to become—­to become—­something like you.—­”

She interrupted him roughly: 

“To become—­you an anarch!  You are a sentimental rebel because your stomach is not strong enough for the gourmands who waste their time at your clubs.  If your nerves were sound you might make a speech.  But the New England conscience of your forefathers—­they were nearly all clergymen, weren’t they?—­has ruined your strength.  The best thing you can do, my boy, is to enter a seminary and later go to China as a missionary; else turn literary and edit an American edition of Who’s Who in Hell!  But leave our East Side alone.  Do you know what New York reminds me of?  Its centre is a strip of green and gold between two smouldering red rivers of fire—­the East and West Sides.  If they ever spill over the banks, all the little parasites of greater parasites, the lawyers, brokers, bankers, journalists, ecclesiastics, and middle men, will be devoured.  Oh, what a glorious day!  And oh, that terrible night when we marched behind the black flag and muffled drums down Broadway, that night in 1887 when the four martyrs were murdered, the hero Lingg having killed himself.  What would you have done in those awful times?”

“Try me,” he muttered, as he pulled down his cuffs, “try me!”

“Very well, I’ll try you.  Like Carlo Cafiero, the rich Italian anarch, you must give your money to us—­every cent of it.  Come with me to-night.  I address a meeting of the brethren at Schwab’s place—­you know, the saloon across the street, off the square.  We can eat our supper there, and then—­”

“Try me,” he reiterated, and his voice was hoarse with emotion, his pulse painfully irregular.

II

Notwithstanding his vows of heroism, Arthur could not force himself to like the establishment of Schwab, where the meeting was to take place.  It was a beer-saloon, not one of those mock-mediaeval uptown palaces, but a long room with a low ceiling, gaslit and shabby.  The tables and chairs of hard, coarse wood were greasy—­napkins and table-cloths were not to be mentioned, else would the brethren suspect the presence of an aristocrat.  At the upper end, beyond the little black bar, there was a platform, upon it a table, a pianoforte, and a stool.  Still he managed to conceal his repugnance to all these uninviting things and he sipped his diluted Rhine wine, ate his sandwich—­an unpalatable one—­under the watchful eyes of his companion.  By eight o’clock the room was jammed with working-people, all talking and in a half dozen tongues.  Occasionally Yetta left him to join a group, and where she went

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Project Gutenberg
Visionaries from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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