100%: the Story of a Patriot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about 100%.
she was waiting for one of them to come back.  What was the matter with Peter that he wasn’t doing his part?  Was he a draft-dodger?  Rosie had never had anything to do with slackers, and wasn’t keen for the company of a man who couldn’t give an account of himself.  Only that day she had been reading in the paper about the atrocities committed by the Huns.  How could any man with red blood in his veins sympathize with these pacifists and traitors?  And if Peter didn’t sympathize with them, why did he travel round with them and give them his moral support?  When Peter made a feeble effort at repeating some of the pacifists’ arguments, Rosie just said, “Oh, fudge!  You’ve got too much sense to talk that kind of stuff to me.”  And Peter knew, of course, that he had too much sense, and it was hard to keep from letting Rosie see it.  He had just lost one girl because of his Red entanglements.  Was it up to him to lose another?

For a couple of weeks they sparred and fought.  Rosie would let Peter kiss her, and Peter’s head would be quite turned with desire.  He decided that she was the most wonderful girl he had ever known; even Nell Doolin had nothing on her.  But then once more she would pin Peter down on this business of his Redness, and would spurn him, and refuse to see him any more.  At last Peter admitted to her that he had lost his sympathy with the Reds, she had converted him, and he despised them.  So Rosie replied that she was delighted; they would go at once to see Miriam Yankovich, and Peter would tell her, and try to convert her also.  Peter was then in a bad dilemma; he had to insist that Rosie should keep his conversion a secret.  But Rosie became indignant, she set her lips and declared that a conversion that had to be kept secret was no conversion at all, it was simply a low sham, and Peter Gudge was a coward, and she was sick of him!  So poor Peter went away, heartbroken and bewildered.

Section 72

There was only one way out of this plight for Peter, and that was for him to tell Rosie the truth.  And why should he not do it?  He was wild about her, and he knew that she was wild about him, and only one thing—­his great secret—­stood in the way of their perfect bliss.  If he told her that great secret, he would be a hero of heroes in her eyes; he would be more wonderful even than the men who were driving back the Germans from the Marne and writing their names upon history’s most imperishable pages!  So why should he not tell?

He was in her room one evening, and his arms were about her, and she had almost but not quite yielded.  “Please, please, Peter,” she pleaded, “stop being one of those horrid Reds!” And Peter could stand it no longer.  He told her that he really wasn’t a Red, but a secret agent employed by the very biggest business men of American City to keep track of the Reds and bring their activities to naught.  And when he told this, Rosie stared at him in consternation.  She refused to believe him; when he insisted, she laughed at him, and finally became angry.  It was a silly yarn, and did he imagine he could string her along like that?

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100%: the Story of a Patriot from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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