“They say second and third wards have gone almost solid for no-license. If that is so, the whiskey men have been beaten.”
“Thank God! I hope it is true!” exclaimed Maxwell. “Marsh, we are in danger here. Do you realize our situation? We ought to get the ladies to a place of safety.”
“That is true,” said Marsh gravely. At that moment a shower of stones and other missiles fell over them. The narrow street and sidewalk in front of them was completely choked with the worst elements of the Rectangle.
“This looks serious,” said Maxwell. With Marsh and Rollin and Dr. West he started to go forward through a small opening, Virginia, Rachel, and Loreen following close and sheltered by the men, who now realized something of their danger. The Rectangle was drunk and enraged. It saw in Marsh and Maxwell two of the leaders in the election contest which had perhaps robbed them of their beloved saloon.
“Down with the aristocrats!” shouted a shrill voice, more like a woman’s than a man’s. A shower of mud and stones followed. Rachel remembered afterwards that Rollin jumped directly in front of her and received on his head and chest a number of blows that would probably have struck her if he had not shielded her from them.
And just then, before the police reached them, Loreen darted forward in front of Virginia and pushed her aside, looking up and screaming. It was so sudden that no one had time to catch the face of the one who did it. But out of the upper window of a room, over the very saloon where Loreen had come out a week before, someone had thrown a heavy bottle. It struck Loreen on the head and she fell to the ground. Virginia turned and instantly kneeled down by her. The police officers by that time had reached the little company.
President Marsh raised his arm and shouted over the howl that was beginning to rise from the wild beast in the mob.
“Stop! You’ve killed a woman!” The announcement partly sobered the crowd.
“Is it true?” Maxwell asked it, as Dr. West kneeled on the other side of Loreen, supporting her.
“She’s dying!” said Dr. West briefly.
Loreen opened her eyes and smiled at Virginia, who wiped the blood from her face and then bent over and kissed her. Loreen smiled again, and the next minute her soul was in Paradise.
“He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.”
The body of Loreen lay in state at the Page mansion on the avenue. It was Sunday morning and the clear sweet spring air, just beginning to breathe over the city the perfume of early blossoms in the woods and fields, swept over the casket from one of the open windows at the end of the grand hall. The church bells were ringing and people on the avenue going by to service turned curious, inquiring looks up at the great house and then went on, talking of the recent events which had so strangely entered into and made history in the city.