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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 152 pages of information about Far Country, a Volume 2.

“And then there’s Mr. Krebs, of whom we were speaking at supper, and who puts all kinds of queer notions into their heads.  Father says he’s an anarchist.  I heard father say at supper that he was at Harvard with you.  Did you like him?”

“Well,” I answered hesitatingly, “I didn’t know him very well.”

“Of course not,” she put in.  “I suppose you couldn’t have.”

“He’s got these notions,” I explained, “that are mischievous and crazy—­but I don’t dislike him.”

“I’m glad to hear you say that!” she answered quietly.  “I like him, too—­he seems so kind, so understanding.”

“Do you know him?”

“Well,—­” she hesitated—­“I feel as though I do.  I’ve only met him once, and that was by accident.  It was the day the big strike began, last spring, and I had been shopping, and started for the mills to get father to walk home with me, as I used to do.  I saw the crowds blocking the streets around the canal.  At first I paid no attention to them, but after a while I began to be a little uneasy, there were places where I had to squeeze through, and I couldn’t help seeing that something was wrong, and that the people were angry.  Men and women were talking in loud voices.  One woman stared at me, and called my name, and said something that frightened me terribly.  I went into a doorway—­and then I saw Mr. Krebs.  I didn’t know who he was.  He just said, ’You’d better come with me, Miss Hutchins,’ and I went with him.  I thought afterwards that it was a very courageous thing for him to do, because he was so popular with the mill people, and they had such a feeling against us.  Yet they didn’t seem to resent it, and made way for us, and Mr. Krebs spoke to many of them as we passed.  After we got to State Street, I asked him his name, and when he told me I was speechless.  He took off his hat and went away.  He had such a nice face—­not at all ugly when you look at it twice—­and kind eyes, that I just couldn’t believe him to be as bad as father and George think he is.  Of course he is mistaken,” she added hastily, “but I am sure he is sincere, and honestly thinks he can help those people by telling them what he does.”

The question shot at me during the meeting rankled still; I wanted to believe that Krebs had inspired it, and her championship of him gave me a twinge of jealousy,—­the slightest twinge, to be sure, yet a perceptible one.  At the same time, the unaccountable liking I had for the man stirred to life.  The act she described had been so characteristic.

“He’s one of the born rebels against society,” I said glibly.  “Yet I do think he’s sincere.”

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