Jimmie Higgins eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 312 pages of information about Jimmie Higgins.
speech had ever been made by a Socialist.  He had no way of proving it was a lie, of course; he just knew it!  But then, when he went away and thought it over, he began to wonder; suppose it were true!  Suppose the German workers had been so drilled and schooled in childhood that even those who called themselves revolutionists were patriots at heart!  Jimmie would begin to piece this and that together—­things he had heard or read.  Certainly these German Socialists were not displaying any great boldness in fighting their government!

The answer was that they could not oppose their government, because they would be put in jail.  But that was a pretty poor answer; it was their business to go to jail—­if not, what right had they to expect Jimmie Higgins to go here in America?  Jimmie presented this problem to Comrade Meissner, who answered that if Jimmie would go first, then doubtless the German comrades would follow.  But Jimmie could not see why he should be first; and when they tried to clear up the reason, it developed that down in his heart Jimmie had begun to believe that Germany was more to blame for the war than America.  And not merely would Comrade Meissner not admit that, but he became excited and vehement, trying to convince Jimmie that the other capitalist governments of the world were the cause of the war—­Germany was only defending herself against them!  So there they were, involved in a controversy, just like any two non-revolutionary people!  Repeating over the same arguments which had gone on in the local between Norwood, the lawyer, and Schneider, the brewer; only this time Jimmie was taking the side of Norwood!  Jimmie found himself face to face with the disconcerting fact that his devoted friend Meissner was a German—­and therefore in some subtle way different from him, unable to see things as he did!

CHAPTER XIII

JIMMIE HIGGINS DODGES TROUBLE

I

War or no war, the soil had to be ploughed and seed sown; so John Cutter came to his tenant and proposed that he should resume his job as farm-hand.  Only he must agree to shut up about the war, for while Cutter himself was not a rabid patriot, he would take no chances of having his tenant-house burned down some night.  So there was another discussion in the Higgins family.  Lizzie remembered how, during the previous summer, Jimmie had worked from dawn till dark, and been too tired even to read Socialist papers, to say nothing of carrying on propaganda; which seemed to the distracted wife of a propagandist the most desirable condition possible!  Poor Eleeza Betooser—­twice again she had been compelled to take down the stocking from her right leg, and unsew the bandage round her ankle, and extract another of those precious yellow twenty-dollar bills; there were only seven of them left now, and each of them was more valuable to Lizzie than her eye-teeth.

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Jimmie Higgins from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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