Living My Life : Volume 1, Chapter 22
(1869 - 1940) ~ Russian-American Mother of Anarcho-Communism : She is an Anarchist, pure and simple. She represents the idea of Anarchism as framed by Josiah Warren, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy. Yet she also understands the psychologic causes which induce a Caserio, a Vaillant, a Bresci, a Berkman, or a Czolgosz to commit deeds of violence. (From : Hippolyte Havel Bio.)
• "Man's greatest battles have been waged against man-made obstacles and artificial handicaps imposed upon him to paralyze his growth and development. Human thought has always been falsified by tradition and custom, and perverted false education in the interests of those who held power and enjoyed privileges." (From : "The Place of the Individual in Society," by Emma ....)
• "...it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think." (From : "Anarchism: What It Really Stands For," by Emma Go....)
• "The cause lies not in prostitution, but in society itself; in the system of inequality of private property and in the State and Church. In the system of legalized theft, murder and violation of the innocent women and helpless children." (From : "Anarchy and the Sex Question," by Emma Goldman, F....)
Volume 1, Chapter 22
A LETTER FROM CARL STONE UNEXPECTEDLY CHANGED MY PLANS regarding the study of medicine. "I thought it was understood when you left for Europe, he wrote, "that you were to go to Switzerland to study medicine. It was solely for that purpose that Herman and I offered to give you an allowance. I now learn that you are at your old propaganda and with a new lover. Surely you do not expect us to support you with either. I am interested only in E. G. the woman her ideas have no meaning whatever to me. Please choose." I wrote back at once: "E. G. the woman and her ideas are inseparable. She does not exist for the amusement of upstarts, nor will she permit anybody to dictate to her. Keep your money."
I could not believe that Herman Miller had had anything to do with the miserable letter. I was sure that I should hear from him in due time. Of the amount he had given me I still had enough money left for several months. The two hundred dollars from Stone I had turned over to Eric to be used in connection with the tunnel. I experienced a sense of relief that the matter was closed. When the allowance stopped and no word reached me from Herman, I concluded that he also had changed his mind. It was rather disappointing, but I was happy that I should no longer be dependent on moneyed people. Tchaikovsky was right, after all; one could not devote himself to an ideal and to a profession at the same time. I would return to America to take up my work.
One evening as I was about to go with Hippolyte to an important committee session, the hotel maid handed me a visiting card. I was overjoyed to see on it the name of Oscar Panizza, whose brilliant writings in the Armer Teufel had delighted me for years. Presently a tall, dark man entered, introducing himself as Panizza. He had learned through Dr. Eugene Schmidt of my presence in Paris and was anxious to "meet Cassandra, our dear Robert's friend." He asked me to spend evening with him and Dr. Schmidt. "We are going up to see Oscar Wilde first," he said, "and we want you to come with us. Afterwards we will have dinner."
What a marvelous event to meet Panizza and Wilde the same evening! In a flurry of anticipation I knocked at Hippolyte's door to tell him about it. I found him pacing his room, waiting for me in great irration. "You don't mean you are not going to the session!" he cried angrily. "You have promised, you are expected, you have undertaken work to do! You can meet Oscar Wilde some other time, and Panizza too. Why must it be tonight?" In my excitement I had forgotten all about the session. Of course, I could not go back on it. With a heavy heart I went downstairs to tell Panizza that I was not able to come that evening. Could we not meet tomorrow or the next day? We agreed on the following Saturday, at luncheon. He would invite Dr. Schmidt again, but he could not promise as to Oscar Wilde. The latter was in poor health and not always able to be about; but he would try his best to arrange a meeting.
On Friday Dr. Schmidt called to say that Panizza had left unexpectedly, but he was to return to Paris before long, and he would see me then. The doctor must have read disappointment on my face. "It is lovely outside," he remarked, "come for a walk." I was grateful, sick with regret for having given up the rare opportunity of meeting Oscar Wilde and of spending an evening with Panizza.
During our walk in the Luxembourg I told the doctor of the indignation I had felt at the conviction of Oscar Wilde. I had pleaded his case against the miserable hypocrites who had sent him to his doom. "You!" the doctor exclaimed in astonishment, "why, you must have been a mere youngster then. How did you dare come out in public for Oscar Wilde in puritan America?" "Nonsense!" I replied; "no daring is required to protest against a great injustice." The doctor smiled dubiously. "Injustice?" he repeated; "it wasn't exactly that from the legal point of view, though it may have been from the psychological." The rest of the afternoon we were engaged in a battle royal about inversion, perversion, and the question of sex variation. He had given much thought to the matter, but he was not free in his approach, and I suspected that he was somewhat scandalized that I, a young woman, should speak without reservations on such tabooed subjects.
On my return to the hotel I found Hippolyte in a state of sulky depression. Somehow it irritated me more than on any previous occasion. Without a word I left for my room. On my table lay a pile of letters, among them one that sent my pulse beating faster. It was from Max. He and Puck were in Paris, he wrote. They had arrived the previous night and were anxious to see me. I ran to Hippolyte, waving the letter and crying: "Max is in town! Think of it --- Max!" He stared at me as if I had lost my wits. "Max --- what Max?" he asked darkly. Why, Max Baginski! What other Max could mean so much to me?" No sooner had I spoken than I realized my tactlessness. But to my surprise Hippolyte exclaimed: Max Baginski! Why, I know all about him and I wanted to meet him long ago. I am glad he is here." Never before had I heard my "bitter Putzi," as I called him, express such a warm interest in a member of his own sex. Throwing my arms around his neck, I cried: "Let's go to Max right away!" He pressed me to him and looked intently into my eyes. "What is it?" I asked. "Oh just to reassure myself of your love," he replied. If only I could be certain of it, I should want nothing else in the world." "Silly boy," I said, of course you can be sure of it." He declined to accompany me to see Max and Puck; he wanted me to see them first. Later he would meet us.
On my way the precious moments I had lived through with Max sprang vividly to life. It did not seem possible that a year had passed since. Even the shock of his going to Europe without me became resurrected in its old poignancy. Much had happened during the year to help me over the blow, but now it came back with renewed force. Why see Max --- why start it all over again, I asked myself bitterly. He could not have cared if he was able to give me up so easily. I would not go through the same agony again. I would write him a note to tell him that it would be best for us not to meet any more. I stepped into a cafe, got paper and pen, and began to write. I started several times, but could not formulate my thought. I was in the throes of ever-increasing agitation. At last I paid the waiter and almost ran in the direction of the hotel where Max was stopping.
At the sight of his dear face, at the sound of his gay greeting, "Well, my little one, do we actually meet in Paris!" a change instantly came over me. The sweet tenderness of his voice dissolved resentment and soothed the storm within me. Puck also welcomed me with the greatest warmth. She looked better and more vivacious than in Chicago. Soon the three of us were on our way to my hotel to Hippolyte. Our evening together, which lasted until three o'clock in the morning, was a merry celebration, worthy of the spirit of Paris. I was particularily happy to see the effect Max exerted on Hippolyte. The latter ceased to be moody; he became more sociable and less resentful towards other men.
Some of the documents I had received to be read at the congress treated of the importance of the discussion of sex problems in the anarchist press and lectures. Kate Austen's paper was particularly strong, giving the history of the American movement for freedom in love. Kate was no mincer of words; frankly and directly she set forth her views of sex as a vital factor in life. Victor assured me that certain comrades would not consent to have Kate's paper read at the congress and surely not to discuss it. I could hardly believe it. The French, people! Victor explained that not being puritanical does not mean being free. "The French have not the same serious attitudes towards sex as the idealists in America," he said. "They are cynical about it and cannot see more than the mere physical side. Our older French comrades have always loathed such an attitude, and in protest against it they have outdone the Puritans. They now fear that discussion of sex would serve only to increase the misconceptions of anarchism." I was not convinced, but a week later Victor informed me that one group had definitely decided not to have the American reports dealing with sex read at the congress. They might be taken up private gatherings, but not at public meetings with the press representatives present.
I protested, and declared that I would immediately get in touch with the comrades in the United States and ask them to relieve me of the credentials and the instructions they had given me. While realizing the matter in question was only one of the numerous issues involved in anarchism, yet I could not co-operate with a congress that attempted to silence opinion or suppress views that failed to meet the approval of certain elements.
One day, while in a café with Max and Victor, I read in the afternoon papers about the killing of King Humbert by an anarchist. The name of of the Attentäter was Gaetano Bresci.
I remembered the name as that of an active comrade of the anarchist group in Paterson, New Jersey. Strange that he should have committed such an act, I thought; he had impressed me so differently from most of the other Italians I knew. He was not at all of an exciteable temperment and not easily aroused. What could have induced him to take the life of the King of Italy, I wondered. Victor ascribed the protracted hunger riots in Milan, in 1898, as the probable cause of Bresci's deed. Many worker's lives had been lost on that ocassion through the attack of the soldiery upon the starving and unarmed people. The had marched toward the palace surrounded by a strong military force under command of General Bava Beccaris. The people ignored the order to disperse, whereupon the General gave the signal that resulted in a massacre of the demonstrants. King Humbert complimented Beccaris upon his "brave defense of the royal house," decorating him for his murderous work.
Max and Victor agreed with me that those tragic events must have induced Bresci to come all the way from America to carry out his act. Max thought I was lucky not to be in the States else I would surely be held responsible in some way for the death of Humbert, as had invariably been the case in the past whenever any political act of violence took place anywhere in the world. I was less concerned about such an eventuality than over the fate that awaited Bresci. I knew what torture would be his lot in prison and I recalled the fearful treatment of Luccheni, a similar victim of the ruthless social struggle.
We remained for some time in the cafe, discussing the incredible waste of human life involved in the terrible war of the classes in every country. I confided to my friends the doubts that had been assailing me since Sasha's act, though I fully realized the inevitability of such deeds resulting from existing conditions.
Shortly afterwards I learned through Victor that the Neo-Malthusian Congress was soon to meet in Paris. Its sessions would have to be secret because the French Government proscribed any organized attempt to limit offspring. Dr. Drysdale, the pioneer of birth limitation, and his sister were already in Paris, and other delegates were arriving from various countries. In France it was largely Paul Robin and Madeleine Verné, who were backing the Neo-Malthusian movement, Victor explained.
I knew Madeleine Verné, but who was Paul Robin? My friend informed me that he was one of the great libertarians in the field of education. Out of his own means he had bought a large tract of land on which he established a school for destitute children. Sempuis, the place was called. Robin had taken homeless waifs from the street or from orphan asylums, the poorest and the so called bad children. "You should see them now!" Victor said; "Robin's school is a living example of what can be done in education by an attitude of understanding and love for the child." He promised to afford me an opportunity to attend the Neo-Malthusian Congress and to visit Sempuis.
The Neo-Malthusian conference, having to meet under cover, every session in a different place, had a very small attendance, of not more than a dozen delegates. But what it lacked in numbers it made up in vital interest. Dr. Drysdale, the venerable advocate of family limitation, was full of enthusiasm for the cause. Miss Drysdale, his sister, Paul Robin, and their coworkers were admirable in the simplicity and earnestness with which they presented the subject, and very brave in the demonstration of preventive methods. I marveled at their ability to discuss such a delicate matter so frankly and in such an inoffensive manner. I thought of my former patients on the East Side and the blessing it would have meant to them if they could have procured the contraceptives described at these sessions. The delegates were amused when I told them of my vain efforts, as midwife, to find some way of helping the poor women in the States. They thought that, with Anthony Comstock supervising American morals, it would take many years before methods to prevent conception could be discussed openly in that country. I pointed out to them, however, that even in France they had to meet in secret and I assured them that I knew many people in America brave enough to do good, even if prohibited, work. At any rate, I decided to take the matter up on my return to New York. I was complimented on my attitude by the delegates and supplied with literature and contraceptives for my future work.
My money was dwindling fast, but still we could not forgo the pleasure of visiting theaters and museums and hearing music. The concerts at the Trocadero were particularly interesting, among them those by the Finnish orchestra, including folk songs by magnificent artists, with Mme Aïno Ackté, the prima donna of the Paris Opéra, as the soloist. The Russian Balalaika Orchestra, Wagner performances, and a recital by Ysaye, the magician of the violin, were rare treats. A favorite place was the Théâtre Libre, managed by Antoine; it was the only dramatic venture in Paris worth seeing. With the exception of Sarah Bernhardt, the Coquelins, and Mme. Réjane, the Paris stage impressed me as declamatory. Compared with Eleonora Duse even "Divine Sarah" appeared theatrical. The one play in which she was her great self was Cyrano de Bergerac, with Coquelin playing Cyrano to her Roxane. The group under Antoine had abolished the star system; their ensemble acting was of the highest order.
During in my stay in Europe I could not correspond with Sasha directly. Our letters passed through a friend, entailing long delays. Sasha was permitted to write only one letter a month; on rare occasions, thanks to the friendship of the prison chaplain, he was allowed an extra letter. In order to keep in touch with as many correspondents as possible, Sasha had devised a scheme of dividing his writing paper into four, five, or even six separate parts, each filled on both sides with diminutive writing, clear as an etching. The recipient of his letter on the outside would cut the sheet according to the indicated divisions and then mail the various parts as directed. His last note to me had been cheerful, even jocular. He had asked for souvenirs of the Exposition and detailed accounts of things happening in Paris. But that was over two months ago, nothing having reached me since. Eric also wrote seldom, only a line or two about the "invention," which was apparently progressing slowly. I was beginning to grow anxious. Max and Hippolyte tried to explain away my fears and forebodings, but it was evident that they were also very uneasy.
One morning I was awakened at an early hour by Hippolyte violently knocking on my door. He entered excitedly, a French newspaper in his hand. He started to say something; his lips moved, but he could not utter a word. "What is it?" I cried in instinctive apprehension. "Why don't you speak?" "The tunnel, the tunnel!" he whispered hoarsely, "it has been discovered. It is in the paper."
With fainting heart I throught of Sasha, his terrible disappointment at the failure of the project, the disastrous consequences, his desperate position. Sasha again thrust back into the black hopelessness of eleven more years in his inferno. What now? What now? I must go back to America at once. I should have never gone away! I had failed Sasha, I felt; I had left him when he needed me most. Yes, I must go back to America as quickly as possible.
But that very afternoon a cable from Eric B. Morton prevented my putting the plan into immediate action. "Sudden illness. Work suspended. Sailing for France," the message read. I should have to await his arrival.
The nervous tension of the days that followed would have been beyond my endurance were it not for the intensive work I had to do. Within a fortnight Eric appeared. I hardly recognized him; the change he had undergone since I saw him in Pittsburgh was appalling. The big, strong viking had grown very thin, his face ashen and covered with blisters full of pus.
As soon as Tony finally got in touch with him, Eric related, he went to Pittsburgh to attend to the preliminary arrangements. His first impression of Tony was not very favorable. Tony seemed obsessed by his self-importance over his part in Sasha's projects. Sasha had devised a special cipher for underground communications, and Tony, being the only person able to read it, exploited the situation by arbitrary behavior and directions. Not a mechanic, Tony had little idea of the difficulties involved in the construction of the tunnel, and the danger attending the digging of it. The house they had rented on Sterling Street was almost directly opposite the main gate of the prison and about two hundred feet distant from it. From the cellar of the house the tunnel had to be dug in a slightly circular line in the direction of the southern gate, then underneath it and into the prison yard towards an outhouse indicated by Sasha on his diagram. Sasha was to manage somehow to leave the cell block, reach the outhouse unobserved, tear up its wooden flooring, and, opening the tunnel, crawl through into the cellar of the house. There he would find citizen's clothes, money, and cipher directions where to meet his friends. But work on the tunnel was taking more time and money than had been expected. Eric and the other comrades working on the tunnel came upon unexpected difficulties in the rocky formation of the soil in the neighborhood of the prison wall. It was found necessary to dig underneath its foundations, and there Eric and his coworkers were nearly asphyxiated by poisonous fumes leaking into the tunnel from some unknown source. This unforeseen trouble resulted in much delay and involved the installation of machinery to supply fresh air to the men toiling prostrate in the narrow passage deep in the bowels of the earth. The sounds of digging might attract the attention of the alert look-outs on the prison wall, and Eric hit upon the idea of hiring a piano and inviting a woman friend of his, Kinsella, a splendid musician, to come to his aid. Her singing and playing masked the noises from below, and the guards on the wall greatly enjoyed the fine performances of Kinsella.
The "invention" was a most ingenious undertaking, but also very dangerous, requiring great engineering skill and the utmost care in avoiding the least suspicion on the part of the prison guards and the passersby on the street. At the first sign of danger the pianist would press an electric button near at hand to warn the diggers underground to cease operations immediately. Then all would remain quiet till she would again burst out into song. The staccato piano chords would be the signal that all was well. "Digging under such conditions was no snap," Eric continued. "To save time and expense we had decided to make the tunnel very narrow, just wide enough for a person to crawl through. Our work therefore could not be carried on even by kneeling. We had to lie flat on the stomach and do the drilling with one hand. It was so exhausting it was impossible to keep at it more than half an hour at a time. Naturally progress was slow. But what was more exasperating was that Tony constantly shifted from one idea to another. We wanted to keep strictly to Sasha's plans. The latter insisted on it all the time and we felt that he, being on the inside, knew best. But Tony was bent on carrying out his own notions. Sasha evidently considered it too dangerous to give us directions even in his underground letters; he did so only in his cipher, which no one except Tony could read. Therefore we were compelled to take our instructions from Tony. Well, at last the tunnel was finished."
"And then and then?" I cried unable to contain myself any longer.
"Why, didn't anyone write you?" Eric asked in surprise. "When Sasha tried to make his escape through the hole in the prison yard where the tunnel terminated, according to Tony's directions, he found it covered with a pile of bricks and stone. They were putting up a new building in the penitentiary and they had emptied a wagon-load of rock just over the spot that Tony had selected as the terminal of the tunnel. You can imagine how Sasha must have felt about it, and the danger to which he had exposed himself by escaping from the cell-house only to have to return again. The most dreadful thing about it was that, as we learned later, Sasha had repeatedly warned Tony against ending the tunnel in the middle of the prison yard, as Tony had proposed to him. Sasha was absolutely against it, knowing that it was bound to prove a failure. His original plan called for the tunnel to terminate in a deserted outhouse, about twenty feet from that hole. Believing that we had dug the tunnel to the point desired by Sasha, and that our work was completed, we departed for New York, only Tony remaining in Pittsburgh. Sasha was desperate at Tony's arbitrary change from his instructions. He insisted that the digging be continued farther and up to the outhouse, according to his diagram. Tony finally realized the fatal results of his mad obstinacy. He notified Sasha that his wishes would be carried out and he immediately left for New York to see us with a view to raising more money to complete the tunnel. Our house opposite the prison was left vacant. During Tony's absence children playing in the street somehow got into the cellar, discovered the secret passage, and notified their parents, among whom was the agent of the house. Strange to say, he proved also to be a guard in the Western Penitentiary."
I sat silent, crushed by the thought of what Sasha must have gone through during the weeks and months of suspense and anxious waiting for the completion of the tunnel, only to have all his hopes blighted almost in sight of liberty.
"The most amazing thing is," Eric continued, "that to this day the prison officials have been unable to find out for whom the tunnel was intended. The police departments of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, as well as the State authorities, agreed that the tunnel was one of the cleverest pieces of engineering they had ever seen. The Warden and the Board of Prison Inspectors suspect Sasha, but they can find no proof to support their charges, while the police claim the tunnel was intended for a certain Boyd, a prominent forger serving a long term. No clues have been discovered; but at any rate they put Sasha in solitary."
"In solitary!" I screamed. "No wonder I haven't heard from him for so long!" "Yes, he's under very severe punishment," Eric admitted. The purgatory Sasha had already endured, the ghastly years still ahead of him, flitted through my mind. "They will kill him!" I groaned. I knew they were killing him inch by inch, and here I was away in Paris and unable to help him, to do anything, anything! "Better a thousand times for me to have been in prison than to sit by and helplessly see them murdering Sasha!" I cried. "That wouldn't do Sasha any good," Eric retorted; "in fact, it would make it harder for him, harder to bear his lot. You must realize that, so why eat your heart out?"
Why, why? Could I explain what those years had been to me, ever since that black day in July 1892. Life is inexorable; it does not let you pause at any point. My own life had been crowded with events, following each in quick succession. There had been little time to indulge in retrospection of the past, but it had eaten into my consciousness, and nothing could ever still its gnawing. Yet it kept on its course. There was no cessation.
Eric was hardly able to keep on his feet. He was completely exhausted by what he had endured working in the tunnel; its poisonous fumes had infected his blood and produced a serious skin-disease. His condition became so bad that he had to be put to bed and I nursed him for weeks. But the dear man, true viking that he was, kept laughing and joking, with never a word of complaint or regret over the perilous hardships he had endured in the luckless venture to aid Sasha's escape.
Our scheduled congress did not take place. At the last moment the authorities prohibited the public gathering of foreign anarchists. We held some sessions, nevertheless, in private homes, in the environs of Paris. Under the circumstances and in view of the necessary secrecy of our proceedings, we had time to discuss only the most urgent problems.
The presence of Eric involved additional expenditure, and I found it imperative to earn some money. He had worked his way across and he did not have a cent left. A number of friends were living in the same hotel with me and I conceived the idea of preparing breakfast and luncheon for them. It was a big job to cook for twelve and even more persons on a single alcohol burner. Hippolyte was very helpful, being much better at marketing than I, as well as a first class chef. Our "boarders" were nearly all foreign comrades, easily satisfied with the meals we served. It enabled us to earn a little money, though far from enough. Hippolyte and I contrived to take small parties to the Exposition. I did pretty well, though it was boring to guide dull Americans about. One chap, on seeing Voltaire's statue, demanded to know who "that guy" was and what had been his business. Several school teachers, who had been recommended to me by a friend, almost fell into a faint when they saw the nude statues in the Luxembourg. I would return home thoroughly disgusted with the rôle of cicerone.
One afternoon I came back to my hotel determined never again to serve as guide to sightseers unless it be to a certain very hot place. In my room I found a huge bouquet of flowers and a note beside it. The handwriting was unfamiliar, the contents puzzling: "An admirer of long standing would like you to join him for a pleasant evening. Will you meet him tonight at the Café du Chatelet? You may bring a friend along." I wondered who the man could be.
The "admirer of long standing" turned out to be none other than Eric. With him were three other comrades from America. "What's up?" both Hippolyte and I asked simultaneously. "Have you discovered a goldmine?" "Not exactly," Eric replied; "my grandmother, who died a few months ago, left me a legacy of seven hundred francs, which I received today. We're going to blow it all in tonight." "Don't you want to get back to the United States?" I inquired. "Of course I do." "Then let me have half of your legacy for your return fare," I suggested; "the rest I am perfectly willing to help you blow in." Laughingly he turned three hundred and fifty francs over to me for safe keeping.
We dined, wined, and made merry. Everyone was gay and still firm on his feet when at two o'clock in the morning we landed at the Rat Mort, a famous Montmartre cabaret, where Eric ordered champagne. Across from us sat a very attractive French girl, and Eric asked if he might invite her to our table. "Sure," I said, "the only woman in the company of five men, I can afford to be generous." The girl joined and danced with the boys. Our viking, remarkably lith dispite his two hundred pounds, danced like a nymph. After an exciting day we lifted their glasses in a toast to E. G., and I drank mine down without a stop. Suddenly all went black before me.
I woke up in my room with a splitting headache, deathly ill. The French girl of the cabaret was sitting near my bed. "What has happened? I demanded. "Rien du tout, chérie; you felt a bit sick last night," she replied. I asked her to call my friends, and in a short time Eric and Hippolyte entered. "I feel as if I had been poisoned," I told them. "Not quite," Eric retorted; " but one of the boys poured a glass of cognac into your champagne." "And then?" "Then we had to carry you downnstairs. We hailed a cab, but we could not make you get into it. You sat down on the sidewalk and shouted that you were, Emma Goldman, the anarchist, protesting that you would not be forced. It took the five of us to get you into the cab." I was dumbfounded not remembering a thing about it.
"We were none of us any too steady on our feet," Eric went on. "But we sobered up quick enough when we saw in what condition you were." "And the girl -- how does she happen to be here?" I asked. "She simply would not let us take you without her accompanying you. She must have thought we were bandits intending to rob you. She insisted on coming with us." But the poor girl lost her earnings for the night," I protested.
Hippolyte put twenty francs in an envelope and sent the girl home in a cab. In the late afternoon she returned to me. "What do you mean by insulting me?" she cried, almost weeping; "do you think a girl who makes her living on the street has no feelings? That she would take money for helping a friend in distress? No, indeed, nursing isn't my profession, and I won't be paid for it." I held out my hand to her and drew her down to me. I was affected almost to tears by the beauty of that child woman and her fine, tender spirit.
The inspiring atmosphere of our movement in Paris and my other delightful experiences in the city made me wish to prolong my stay. But it was time to leave. Our money was almost entirely exhausted. Besides, detectives had already been at the hotel looking for information about Mme Brady. It was a wonder the police had not yet ordered me out of the country. Victor Dave suggested that it was because of the Exposition; the authorities wanted to avoid unpleasant publicity about foreigners. On an early morning, dark and drizzling, Eric, Hippolyte, and I drove to the railroad station. We were followed by several secret service men in a cab and one on a bicycle. They waved good-bye to us as the train pulled out, but one of them we found in the compartment next to our coupé. He followed us to Boulogne, leaving only when we boarded the boat.
Only thanks to the gift sent me by my dear friend Anna Stirling were we able to pay our hotel bills and fares, and still have about fifteen dollars left. It would be enough for tips and other expenses during our journey. I knew I could borrow some money in New York, and Eric said he would wire to Chicago for funds, when necessary.
When the steamer was a few hours out, Hippolyte became seasick, getting worse with the increasing motion. On the third day he was so ill that the doctor ordered iced champaigne. He looked so yellow and thin that I was afraid he would not last to the end of the trip. Meanwhile Eric had developed a ravenous appetite. Three times each day he would begin at the top of the menu and end at the bottom. "Don't make the waiter work so hard!" I pleaded with him; "we haven't enough money for tips." But he kept on feeding. He was a born sailor, he loved the sea, and he grew jollier and more hungry every day. At the end of the crossing I had just two dollars and fifteen cents left, which I divided among the stewards and stewardesses that had served Hippolyte and me. Our viking was left to face the music. The brave fellow, who had for months lived in constant danger of a cave in in the tunnel, now quailed before the employes of the ship. He actually kept in hiding. The dining room steward was inexorable and he pursued Eric. But when the latter stood before him shamefaced, like a schoolboy, with his pockets turned inside out, the cruel steward took pity and let him go.
My precious "baby" brother, tall and handsome, was at the dock to greet me. He was considerably surprised to see me return with a bodyguard of two. We went immediately to a pawnshop to hock my clam shell watch, for which I received ten whole dollars, enough to pay for a week's rent in a Clinton Street room and treat the company to dinner.
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