“Sure, I know,” said Jimmie.
“It is billions, fifteen billions of roubles to France alone. De Bolsheviki have said, ‘Ve do not pay dem so quick.’ And for vy? Vat did dey do vit dat money! Dey loaned it to de Tsar, and for vat? To make slaves out of de Russian people, to put dem in armies and make dem fight de Japanese, to make police-force and send hundert thousand Russian Socialists to Siberia! Is it not so? And Russian Socialists pay such debts? Not so quick! Ve say, ’Ve had nothing to do vit such money! You loaned it to de Tsar, now you collect it from de Tsar! But dey say, ‘You must pay!’ And dey send armies, to take de land of Russia, to take de oil and de coal and de gold. So, tovarish! Dey vill put down de Soviets! But if so, dey must take ever’ town, ever’ village in Russia—and all de time we make propaganda vit de soldiers, we make it vit Frenchmen and Englishmen and Americans, just like we make it vit Germans!”
The little man had made a long speech, and was exhausted; the coughing seized him, and he pressed his hands to his chest, and his white face flushed red in the firelight. The woman brought him water to drink, and stood by him with a hand on his shoulder; her broad peasant’s face, deeply lined with care, quivered at every spasm of the man’s. Jimmie quivered, too, sitting there watching, and facing in his own soul a mighty destiny. He knew the situation now, he knew his own duty. It was perfectly plain, perfectly simple—his whole life had been one long training for it. Something cried out in him, in the words of another proletarian martyr, “Let this cup pass from Me!” But he stilled the voice of his weakness, and after a while he said: “Tell me what to do, comrade.”
Kalenkin asked, “You have made propaganda in America?”
“Sure,” said Jimmie. “I went to jail once for makin’ a speech on the street.”
And the other went to a corner of the cabin, and dug under half a dozen cabbages, and brought out a packet. It contained leaflets, a couple of hundred perhaps, and the Jew handed one to Jimmie, explaining, “Dey ask me, ’How shall we make de Americans understand?’ I say, ’Dey must know how ve make propaganda vit de Germans.’ I say, ’Print de proclamations vat we give to de German troops, and make English translation, so de Americans and de Englishmen can read.’ You tink dat help?”
Jimmie took the leaflet and moved the lamp a bit nearer and read:
“Proclamation of the Army Committee of the Russian Twelfth Army (Bolshevik), posted throughout the city of Riga during its evacuation by the Russians: