“The Russian soldiers of the Twelfth Army draw your attention to the fact that you are carrying on a war for autocracy against Revolution, freedom and justice. The victory of Wilhelm will be death to democracy and freedom. We withdraw from Riga, but we know that the forces of the Revolution will ultimately prove themselves more powerful than the force of cannons. We know that in the long run your conscience will overcome everything, and that the German soldiers, with the Russian Revolutionary Army, will march to the victory of freedom. You are at present stronger than we are, but yours is only the victory of brute force. The moral force is on our side. History will tell that the German proletarians went against their revolutionary brothers, and that they forgot international working-class solidarity. This crime you can expiate only by one means. You must understand your own and at the same time the universal interests, and strain all your immense power against imperialism, and go hand-in-hand with us—toward life and liberty!”
Jimmie looked up.
“Vat you tink of it?” cried Kalenkin, eagerly.
“Fine!” cried Jimmie. “The very thing they need! Nobody can object to that. It’s a fact, it’s what the Bolsheviki are doing.”
The other smiled grimly. “Tovarish, if dey find you vit dat paper, dey shoot you like a dog! Dey shoot us all!”
“Because it is Bolshevik.”
Jimmie wanted to say. “But it’s true!” However, he realized how naive that would sound. So he waited, while Kalenkin went on:
“You show it only to men you can trust. You hide de copies, you take vun and make it dirty, so you say, ‘I find it in de street.’ See, iss it so de Bolsheviki fight de Kaiser? If it iss so, vy do we need to fight dem? So you give dese; and some day I come vit someting new.”
Jimmie agreed that that was the way to set about it. He folded up a score of the leaflets and stowed them in an inside pocket of his jacket, and put on his heavy overcoat and gloves, which he wished he could give to the sick, half-starved and half-frozen Bolshevik. He patted him reassuringly on the back, and said: “You trust me, comrade; I’ll hand them out, and they’ll bring results, too, I’ll bet.”
“You don’t tell about me!” exclaimed Kalenkin with fierce intensity.
To which Jimmie answered. “Not if they boil me alive.”
JIMMIE HIGGINS DISCOVERS HIS SOUL
Jimmie went to supper in the mess-hall; but the piles of steaming hot food choked him—he was thinking of the half-starved little Jew. The thirty pieces of silver in the pocket of his army jacket burned each a separate hole. Like the Judas of old, he wanted to hang himself, and he took a quick method of doing it.
Next to him at the table sat a motor-cyclist who had been a union plumber before the war, and had agreed with Jimmie that working-men were going to get their jobs back or would make the politicians sweat for it. On the way out from the meal, Jimmie edged this fellow off and remarked, “Say, I’ve got somethin’ interestin’.”