The Lord of the Sea
M. P. Shiel
Part 1 out of 6
Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreaders.
THE LORD OF THE SEA
By M. P. SHIEL
I. THE EXODUS
II. THE FEZ
III. THE HUNTING-CROP
IV. THE SWOON
VI. "PEARSON'S WEEKLY"
VII. THE ELM
VIII. THE METEOR
IX. HOGARTH'S GUNS
XI. WROXHAM BROAD
XII. THE ROSE
XIII. OUT OF THE WORLD
XIV. THE PRIEST
XVI. THE ROPE
XVII. OLD TOM'S LETTER
XIX. THE GREAT BELL
XX. THE INFIRMARY
XXI. IN THE DEEP
XXII. OLD TOM
XXIII. UNDER THE ELM
XXIV. FRANKL SEES THE METEORITE
XXV. CHURCH ARCHITECTURE
XXVI. FRANKL AND O'HARA
XXVII. THE BAG OF LIGHT
XXVIII. THE LETTER
XXIX. PRIORITY OF CLAIM
XXX. MR. BEECH
XXXI. THE HAMMERS
XXXIII. REEFS OF STEEL
XXXIV. THE "KAISER"
XXXV. THE CUP OF TREMBLING
XXXVI. THE "BOODAH" AND THE BATTLESHIPS
XXXVII. THE STRAITS
XXXVIII. THE MANIFESTO
XXXIX. THE "BOODAH'S" LOCK-UP
XL. THE WEDDING
XLI. THE VISIT
XLII. REBEKAH TELLS
XLIII. THE LAND BILL
XLIV. THE REGENCY
XLV. ESTRELLA, THE PROPHETESS
XLVI. THE ORDER IN COUNCIL
XLVII. THE EMIGRANTS
XLVIII. THE SEA-FORTS
XLIX. THE DÉBACLE
L. THE DECISION
LI. THE MODEL
In the Calle Las Gabias--one of those by-streets of Lisbon below St.
Catherine--there occurred one New Year a little event in the
Synagogue there worth a mention in this history of Richard, Lord of
It was Kol Nidrè, eve of the Day of Atonement, and the little Beth-
El, sweltering in a dingy air, was transacting the long-drawn
liturgy, when, behind the curtain where the women sat, an old dame
who had been gazing upward smote her palms together, and let slip a
little scream: "The Day is coming...!"
She then fainted, and till near ten lay on her bed, lit by the Yom
Kippur candle, with open eyes, but without speech, her sere face
still beautiful, on each temple a little pyramid of plaits, with
gold-and-coral ear-rings: a holy _belle._ About ten P.M. three women
watching heard her murmur: "My child, Rebekah...!"
She was childless, and whom she meant was not known. However, soon
afterwards there was a form at the amulet-guarded door, and Estrella
sat up, saying: "Rebekah, my child..."
A young lady of twenty-two ran in and embraced her, saying: "I have
been to Paris and Madrid with my father--just arrived, so flew to
see you. We leave for London to-night".
"No: I shall keep you seven days. Tell Frankl _I_ say so. What
jewels! You have grown into a rose of glory, the eyes are profounder
and blacker, and that brow was made for high purpose. Tell me--have
you a lover?"
"No, mamma Estrella".
"Then, why the blush?"
"It is nothing at all," Miss Frankl answered: "five years ago when
at school in Bristol I thrice saw through a grating a young man with
whom I was frivolous enough to speak. Happily, I do not know what
has become of him--a wild, divine kind of creature, of whom I am
well rid, and never likely to see again".
The old lady mused. "What was he?"
"Not a common sailor?"
"I fancy so, mamma".
She laughed, as the old lady's eyes opened in sacred horror, and as
she whispered: "Child!"
Within three months of that night, one midnight the people of Prague
rose and massacred most of the Jewish residents; the next day the
flame broke out in Buda-Pesth; and within a week had become a
On the twelfth morning one of two men in a City bank said to the
other: "Come, Frankl, you cannot fail a man in this crisis--I only
want 80,000 on all Westring--"
"No good to me, my lord," answered Frankl, who, though a man of only
forty--short, with broad shoulders,--already had his skin divided up
like a dry leaf; in spite of which, he was handsome, with a nose
ruled straight and long, a black beard on his breast.
But the telephone rattled and Frankl heard these words at the
receiver: "Wire to hand from Wertheimer: Austrian Abgeordneten-haus
passed a Resolution at noon virtually expelling Jewish Race...."
When Frankl turned again he had already resolved to possess Westring
Vale, and was saying to himself: "Within six months the value of
English land should be--doubled".
The bargain was soon made now: and within one week the foresight of
Frankl began to be justified.
Austria, during those days, was a nation of vengeful hearts: for the
Jews had acquired half its land, and had mortgages on the other
half: peasant, therefore, and nobleman flamed alike. And this fury
was contagious: now Germany--now France had it--Anti-Semite laws--
like the old May-Laws--but harsher still; and streaming they came,
from the Leopoldstadt, from Bukowina, from the Sixteen Provinces,
from all Galicia, from the Nicolas Colonies, from Lisbon, with
wandering foot and weary breast--the Heines, Cohens, Oppenheimers--
Sephardim, Aschkenasim. And Dover was the new Elim.
With alarm Britain saw them come! but before she could do anything,
the wave had overflowed it; and by the time it was finished there
was no desire to do anything: for within eight months such a tide of
prosperity was floating England as has hardly been known in a
The reason of this was the increased number of hands--each making
more things than its owner could consume himself, and so making
every other richer.
There came, however, a change--almost suddenly--due to the new
demand for land, the "owners" determining to await still further
rises, before letting. This checked industry: for now people,
debarred from the land, had only air.
In Westring Vale, as everywhere, times were hard. It was now the
property of Baruch Frankl: for at the first failure of Lord Westring
to meet terms, Frankl had struck.
Now, one of the yeomen of Westring was a certain Richard Hogarth.
Frankl took up residence at Westring in September, and by November
every ale-house, market, and hiring in Westring had become a scene
The cause was this: Frankl had sent out to his tenants a Circular
containing the words:
"...tenants to use for wear in the Vale a _fez with tassel_ as the
Livery of the Manor...the will of the Lord of the Manor...no
But though intense, the excitement was not loud: for want was in
many a home; though after three weeks there were still six farmers
And it happened one day that five of these at the Martinmas "Mop,"
or hiring, were discussing the matter, when they spied the sixth
boring his way, and one exclaimed: "Yonder goes Hogarth! Let's hear
what _he's_ got to say!" and set to calling.
Hogarth twisted, and came winning his way, taller than the crowd,
with "What's up? Hullo, Clinton--not a moment to spare to-day--"
"We were a-talking about that Circular--!" cried one.
At that moment two other men joined the group: one a dark-skinned
Jew of the Moghrabîm; the other a young man--an English author--on
tour. And these two heard what passed.
Hogarth stood suspended, finding no words, till one cried: "Do you
mean to put the cap on?"
He laughed a little now. "_I!_ The whip! The whip!"--he showed his
hunting-crop, and was gone.
His manner of speech was rapid, and he had a hoarse sort of voice,
almost as of sore-throat.
Of the two not farmers, one--the author--enquired as to his name,
and farm; the other man--the Moghrabîm Jew-that evening recounted to
Frankl the words which he had heard.
* * * * * * *
One afternoon, two weeks later, Loveday, the author, was leaning
upon a stile, talking to Margaret Hogarth; and he said: "I love you!
If you could _deign_--"
"Truth is," she said, "you are in love with my brother, Dick, and
you think it is me!"
She was a woman of twenty-five, large and buxom, though neat-
waisted, her face beautifully fresh and wholesome, and he of middle-
size, with a lazy ease of carriage, small eyes set far apart, a
blue-velvet jacket, duck trousers very dirty, held up by a belt, a
red shirt, an old cloth hat, a careless carle, greatly famed.
"But it isn't of your brother, but of _you_, that I am wanting to
speak! Tell me--"
"No--I can't. I am a frivolous old woman to be talking to you about
such things at all! But, since it is as you say, wait, perhaps I may
be able--But I must be going now--"
There was embarrassment in her now: and suddenly she walked away,
going to meet--another man.
She passed through stubble-wheat, disappeared in a pine-wood, and
came out upon the Waveney towing-path. On the towing-path came
Frankl to meet her.
He took her hand, holding his head sideward with a cajoling
fondness, wearing the flowing caftan, and a velvet cap which widened
out a-top, with puckers.
"Well, sweetheart..." he said.
"But, you know, I begged you not to use such words to me!"--from
"What, and I who am such a sweetheart of yours?"--his speech very
foreign, yet slangily correct, being, in fact, _all_ slang.
"No," she said, "you spoke different at first, and that is why--But
this must be the last, unless you say out clearly now what it is you
"Now, you are too hard. You know I am wild in love with you. And so
are you with me--"
"_I_?"--with shrinking modesty in her under-looking eyes. "Oh, no--
don't have any delusions like that about me, please! You said that
you liked me: and as I am in the habit of speaking the truth myself,
I thought that--perhaps--But my meeting you, to be frank with you,
was for the sake of my brother".
"Well, you are as candid as they make them," he said, eyeing her
with his mild eye. "But what's the matter with your brother? Hard
"He's worried about something". "He must have some harvest-money put
"He has something in Reid's Bank at Yarmouth, I believe".
"Well, shall I tell you what's the matter with him? He's _afraid_,
your brother. He has refused to wear the cap, and he thinks that I
shall be down upon him like a thousand of bricks...But suppose I
exempt him, and you and I be friends? That's fair".
"What _do_ you mean?"
"Give us _one_--"
"Believe me, you talk--!"
"Don't let your angry passions rise. I am going to have a kiss off
those handsome lips--"
Before she could stir he was in the act of the embrace; but it was
never accomplished: for he saw her colour fade, heard crackling
twigs, a step! as someone emerged from the wood ten yards away--
The thought in Margaret's mind was this: "Father in Heaven, whatever
will he think of me here with this Jew?"
Hogarth stopped, staring at this couple; did not understand:
Margaret should have been home from "class-meeting"...only, he
observed her heaving bosom; then twisted about and went, his walk
rapid, in his hand a hunting-crop, by which, with a very sure aim,
he batted away pebbles from his path, stooping each time.
Along the towing-path to the farmhouse. He did not look behind: was
like a man who has received a wound, and wonders whence.
A pallor lay under his brown skin, brown almost as an Oriental's,
and he was called "the Black Hogarth"--the Hogarths being Saxon, on
the mantel in the dining-room being a very simple coat--a Bull on
Gules. But Richard was a startling exception. His hair grew away
flat and sparse from his round brow; on his cheeks three moles, jet-
black in their centre. Handsome one called his hairless face: the
nose delicate, the lips negroid in their thick pout, the left eye
red, streaked with bloodshot, the eyes' brown brightness very
beautiful and strange, with a sideward stare wild as that sideward
stare of the race-horse; and the lids had a way of lifting largely
He passed through Lagden Dip orchard into the old homestead, into
the dining-room, where cowered the old Hogarth, smoking, his hair a
mist of wool-white.
He glanced up, but said nothing; and Richard said nothing, but
walked about, his arms folded, frowning turbulently, while the
twilight deepened, and Margaret did not come.
Now he planted a chair near the old man, sat, and shouted: "Listen,
Up went the old Hogarth's hand to push forward the inquiring ear,
while Richard, who, till now, had guarded him from all knowledge of
the Circular, snatched it from his breast-pocket, and loudly read.
As the sense entered his head, up the old man shot his palms,
shaking from them astonishment and deprecation, with nods; then,
with opening arms, and an under-look at Richard: "Well, there is
nothing to be said: the land is his...."
Hogarth leapt up and walked out; he muttered: "The land is his, but
he is mine...."
The question at the bottom of his mind had been this: "Does
_Margaret_, too, go with the land?" But he did not utter it even to
himself: went out, fingering the crop, stalking toward the spot
where he had left the man and the woman. But Margaret was then
coming through the wood; Frankl had gone up to the Hall; and Hogarth
crossed the bridge and went climbing toward the mansion.
It was a Friday evening, and up at the Hall the Sabbath had
commenced, two Sabbath-tapers shining now upon the Mezuzzah at the
dining-room door, Frankl being of the Cohanîm, the priestly class--a
Jew of Jews. As he had passed in, two Moghrabîm Jews had saluted him
with: "Shabbath"; and mildly he had replied: "Shabbath".
But swift upon his steps strode Hogarth: Hogarth was at the lodge-
gates--was on the drive--was in the hall.
But, since Frankl was just preparing to celebrate the _kiddush_, "He
cannot be seen now", said a man in the hall.
"He must", said Hogarth.
As he brushed past, two men raised an outcry: but Hogarth continued
his swift way, and had half traversed a _salon_ hung with a chaos of
cut-glass when from a side-door appeared the inquiring face of
Frankl in pious skull-cap.
"What is it?" he cried--"I cannot be seen--"
He recognized the man of the towing-path, and on his face grew a
look of scare, as he backed toward a study: but before he could slam
the door, Hogarth, too, was within.
"Who are you? What is it?" whined Frankl, who was both hard master
and cringing slave.
Hogarth produced the Circular: but of Margaret not a word.
"Caps-and-tassels, you?"--flicking Frankl on the cheek with a fillip
of his middle finger.
"You dare assault me! Why, I swear, I meant no harm--"
Down came the whip upon the Jew's shoulders, Frankl, as the stings
penetrated his caftan, giving out one roar, and the next instant,
seeing the two Jews at the doorway, groaned the mean whisper: "Oh,
don't make a man look small before the servants", crying out
Soon five or six servants were at the door, and, of these, two Arab
Jews rushed forward, one a tall fellow, the other an obese bulk with
bright black eyes, the former holding a slender blade--the knife
with which "shechita", or slaughtering, was done: and while the
corpulent Jew threw himself upon Hogarth, the other drew this knife
through the flesh of Hogarth's shoulder, at the same time happening
to cut the heavy Arab across the wrist.
Now, there was some quarrel between the two Arabs, and the injured
Arab, forgetting Hogarth, turned fiercely upon his fellow.
Hogarth, meanwhile, had not let go Frankl, nor delivered the
intended number of cuts: so he was again standing with uplifted
whip, when his eye happened to fall upon the doorway.
He saw there a sight which struck his arm paralysed: Rebekah Frankl.
Two months had she been here at Westring--and he had not known it!
There she stood peering, of a divine beauty in his eyes, like half-
mythical queens of Egypt and Babylon, blinking in a rather barbarous
superfluity of jewels: and, blinded and headlong, he was in flight.
As for Frankl, he locked that door upon himself, and remained there,
forgetting the sanctification of the Sabbath.
The Hebrew's eyes blazed like a wild beast's. The words: "As the
Lord liveth..." hissed in whispers from his lips.
He took up a pinch of old ashes, and cast it into the air.
As Shimei, the son of Gera, cursed David, so he cursed Richard
Hogarth that night--again and again--with grave rites, with
"I will blight him, as the Lord liveth; as the Lord liveth, I will
blight him..." he said repeatedly, his draperied arms spread in
As a beginning, he sat and wrote to Reid's Bank, requesting the
payment in gold of £14,000--to produce a stoppage of payment at the
little Bank in which were Richard's savings.
Afterwards, with mild eyes he repaired to the dining-hall, and
sanctified the Sabbath, blessing a cup of wine, dividing up two
napkined loaves, and giving to Rebekah his benediction.
Hogarth went moodily down the hillside to the Waveney, across the
bridge, and home, his sleeve stained with blood.
In the dining-room, he threw himself into an easy-chair in a gloom
lit only by the fireglow, in the room above mourning a little
harmonium which Margaret was playing, mixed with the sound of
The old man said: "Richard, my boy..."
Hogarth did not answer.
"Richard, I have somewhat to say to you--are ye hearkening?"
Richard, losing blood, moaned a drowsy "Yes".
And the old Hogarth, all deaf and bedimmed, said: "I had to say it
to you, and this night let it be: Richard, you are no son of mine".
At this point Hogarth's head dropped forward: but many a time,
during long years, he remembered a dream in which he had heard those
words: "Richard, you are no son of mine..."
The old Hogarth continued to ears that did not hear:
"I have kept it from you--for I'm under a bargain with a firm of
solicitors in London; but, Dick, it doesn't strike me as I am long
for this world: a queer feeling I've had in this left side the last
hour or two; and there's that Circular--I never heard of such a
thing in all my born days. But what can we do? You'll have to wear
the cap--or be turned out. Always I've said to myself, from a young
man: 'Get hold of a bit of land someways as your own God's own': but
I never did; the days went by and by, and it all seems no longer
than an after-dinner nap in a barn on a hot harvest-day. But a bit
of land--the man who has that can make all the rest work to keep
him. And if they turn me out, I couldn't live, lad: the old house
has got into my bones, somehow. Anyhow, I think the time is come to
tell you in my own way how the thing was. No son are you of mine,
Richard. Your mother, Rachel, who was a Londoner, served me an ill
turn while we were sweethearting, hankering after another man--a Jew
millionaire he was, she being a governess in his house; but,
Richard, I couldn't give her up: I married her three months before
you were born; and not a living creature knows, except, perhaps,
one--perhaps one: a priest he was, called O'Hara. But that's how it
was. Your father was a Jew, and your mother was a Jew, and you are a
Jew, and in the under-bottom of the old grey trunk you will find a
roll of papers. Are you hearkening? And don't you be ashamed of
being a Jew, boy--_they_ are the people who've got the money; and
money buys land, Richard. Nor your father did not do so badly by
you, either: his name was Spinoza--Sir Solomon Spinoza--"
At that point Margaret, bearing a lamp, entered, followed by
Loveday, and at the sight of Richard uttered a cry.
By noon Hogarth knew the news: his hundred and fifty at Reid's were
gone; and he owed for the Michaelmas quarter--twenty-one pounds
five, his only chattels of value being the thresher, not yet paid
for, half a rick, seed, manure, and "the furniture". If he could
realize enough for rent, he would lack capital for wages and
cultivation, for Reid's had been his credit-bank.
After dinner he stood long at a window, then twisted away, and
walked to Thring, where he captained in a football match, Loveday
watching his rage, his twisting waist, and then accompanying him
home: but in the dining-room they found the lord-of-the-manor's
bailiff; and Loveday, divining something embarrassing, took himself
The same evening there were two appraisers in the house, and the
bailiff, on their judgment, took possession of the chattels on the
holding except some furniture, and some agricultural "fixtures". The
sale was arranged for the sixth day.
From the old Hogarth the truth could no longer be hidden...
Two days he continued quiet in the old nook by the hearth,
apparently in a kind of dotage doze; but on the third, he began to
poke about, hobbled into the dairy, peered into the churn, touched
"You'll have to wear the cap", Margaret heard him mutter--"or be
As if taking farewell, he would get up, as at a sudden thought, to
go to visit something. He kept murmuring: "I always said, Get a bit
of land as your own, but I never did; the days went by and by...."
Margaret, meantime, was busy, binding beds with sheets, making
bundles, preparing for the flitting, with a heaving breast; till, on
the fifth day, a van stood loaded with their things at the hall-
door, and she, with untidy hair, was helping heave the last trunk
upon the backboard, when the carman said: "Mrs. Mackenzie says, mum,
the things mustn't be took to the cottage, except you pay in
Now Margaret stood at a loss; but in a minute went bustling,
deciding to go to Loveday, not without twinges of reluctance: for
Loveday, with instinctive delicacy, had lately kept from the farm;
and to Margaret, whose point of view was different, the words "false
friends" had occurred.
Passing through an alley of the forest, she was met by a man--a
park-keeper of Frankl's--a German Jew, who had once handed her a
note from Frankl. And he, on seeing her, said: "Here have I a letter
for your brother".
"Who from?" she asked.
"That may I not say".
When he handed her an envelope rather stuffed with papers, she went
on her flurried way; and soon Loveday was bowing before her in his
sitting-room at Priddlestone.
"You will be surprised to see me, Mr. Loveday," said she, panting.
"A little surprised, but most awfully glad, too. Is all well?"
"Oh, far from that, I'm afraid. But I haven't got any time--and, oh
my, I don't know how to say it,--but to be frank with you--could you
lend Richard two pounds--?"
Loveday coloured to the roots of his hair.
He could not tell her: "Open that envelope in your hand", for that
would have meant that it was he who had sent the £50 it contained;
and he had now only one sixpence in Priddlestone.
"That is", she said--"if it is not an inconvenience to you--"
He could find no words. Some fifteen minutes before, having enclosed
the notes, he had descended to the bar to get mine host to find him
a messenger, and direct the envelope--for Hogarth knew his
handwriting. Mine host was not there--his wife could not write: but
she had pointed out the Jewish park-keeper sipping beer; so Loveday
had had the man upstairs, had made him write the address, and had
bribed him to deliver the envelope with a mum tongue.
"I'm afraid I've taken a great liberty--" she said, shrinking at his
Then he spoke: "Oh, liberty!--but--really--I'm quite broke myself--!"
"Then, good-afternoon to you", said she: "I am very sorry--but you
will excuse the liberty, won't you--?"
In the forest she began to cry, covering her eyes, moaning: "Why,
how could he be so _mean_? And I who loved that young man with all
my heart, God knows--!"
Her eyes searched the ground for two sovereigns. Then she happened
to look at the envelope: and instantly was interested. "Why, it is
the Jew's hand!" she thought, for the letters were angular in the
German manner, making a general similarity with Frankl's writing.
Curiosity overcame her: she opened, and saw...
"Oh, well, this is _generous_ though, after all!" she exclaimed.
And now she ran, coming out from mossy path upon wide forest-road:
and there, taking promenade, was Frankl, quite near, with
phylacteried left arm.
"Why, sweetheart..." said he.
She stopped before him. "Well, you can call me what you like for the
time being", said she, laughing rather hysterically; "for I am most
grateful to you for your generous present to my brother, Mr.
She had still no suspicion of Richard's visit of chastisement to the
"Now, what do you mean?" said Frankl.
"Why, you might guess that I know your handwriting by this time!"
she said coquettishly, and held out the notes and the envelope.
His eyes twinkled; he meditated; he had, more than ever, need of
her; and he said: "Well, you are as 'cute as they make them!"
"But instead of sending us this, which I am not at all sure that
Richard will touch, why couldn't you pay it to yourself, and not
turn us out--"
"I let business take its course: and afterwards I do my charity. But
it wasn't for your brother, you know, that I sent it--but for
"I must be running--"
When she reached the farm, she gave the carman a secret glimpse of
the notes, while Hogarth, who was now there, went to seek the old
Hogarth, for whom a nest had been made among the furniture in the
He was found above-stairs in an empty room, searching the floor for
"Come, sir", said Hogarth, and led him step by step.
But as the old man passed the threshold, he fell flat on the slabs
of the porch, striking his forehead, printing a stain there.
And the next day, the day of the sale, he still lay in the old
chamber, on the ancient bed, dead.
"Rose Cottage" was without roses: but had a good-sized "garden" at
the back; and here Hogarth soon had a shed nailed together, with
bellows, anvil, sledges, rasps, setts, drifts, and so on, making a
He engaged a boy; and soon John Loveday would be leaning all a
forenoon at the shed door, watching the lithe ply of Hogarth's hips,
and the white-hot iron gushing flushes; while Margaret, peeping,
could see Loveday's slovenly ease of pose, his numberless
cigarettes, and hear the rhymes of the sledges chiming.
As to Loveday's £50, she had dared to say nothing to Richard, but
kept them, intending to make up the amount already spent, and give
them to Frankl. Loveday, meantime, she avoided with constant care.
So two weeks passed, till, one day, Loveday, leaning at the forge-
door, happened to say: "Are you interested in current politics? The
East Norfolk division is being contested, one of the candidates, Sir
Bennett Beaumont, is a friend of mine, and I was thinking that I
might go to the meeting to-night, if you could come--"
"I invite you to supper here instead".
"Not interested?" queried Loveday.
"Not at all. Stop--I'll show you something in which I _am_
He ran to a corner, picked up a _Pearson's Weekly_, and pointed to a
"FIVE HUNDRED-POUND NOTES!
"FIFTY TEN-POUND NOTES!!
"ONE HUNDRED FIVE-POUND NOTES!!!"
--a prize for "the most intelligent" article, explaining the cause,
or causes, of "the present distress and commercial crisis".
Loveday read it smiling.
"Ah", said he, "but who is to be the judge of 'the most intelligent'
article? Pearson must himself be of the highest intelligence to
"True", said Hogarth. "But the man who offered that prize has
indicated to the nation the thing which it should be doing. If I was
able to form an Association to enter this competition--and why not?
Stop--I will go with you--"
So that evening they walked to Beccles, and took train for Yarmouth.
The candidate to speak was a Mr. Moses Max, a Liberal Jew; the chair
to be taken by Baruch Frankl; and in the midst of a row, the stately
great men entered upon the platform and occupied it, hisses like the
escape of steam mixing with "He's a jolly good fellow". Midway down
the pit sat Loveday, and with him Hogarth, whose large stare ranged
solemnly round and down from galleries to floor.
Frankl sipped water, and rose, amid shouts of: "Circular!" "Caps-
He made a speech of which nothing was known, except the amiable
bows, for a continual noising filled the hall; and up rose Mr. Moses
Max, a stout fair Jew, whose fist struck with a regular, heavy
emphasis. After ten minutes, when he began to be heard, he was
"...Sir Bennett Beaumont! Is _he_ the sort of man you'd send to
represent you? (Cries of: "Yes!") What is he?--ask yourselves the
question: a fossilized Tory, a man who's about as much idea of
progress as a mummy--people actually say he's _got_ a collection of
mummies in his grand fashionable mansion at Aylesham, and it's only
what we should expect of him. (Cheers, and cries of: "Oh, oh!") And
what has he ever done for East Norfolk? Gentlemen, you may say as
you like about Jews--Jews this, and Jews that--and every man has a
right to his opinion in this land of glorious Saxon liberty--but no
one can deny that it's Jews who know how to make the money. (Cheers
and hisses.) They know how to make it for themselves (hisses)--and,
yes, they know how to make it for the nation! (Loud triumph of
cheers.) _That's_ the point--_that_ touches the spot! (Cries of:
"Oh, oh!") Righteousness, it is said, exalteth a nation: well, so do
"That is false", said a voice--Hogarth, who had stood up.
The words were the signal for a shower of cheers swept by gusts of
hisses; and immediately one region of the pit was seen to be a
scrimmage of fisticuffs, mixed with policemen, sticks, savage faces,
and bent backs; while the two galleries, craning to see, bellowed
Moses Max was leaning wildly, gesticulating, with shouts; while
Loveday, who had turned pale on Hogarth's rising, touched Hogarth's
coat-tail, whereupon Hogarth, stooping to his ear, shouted: "We will
have some fun..."
"The paid agents of Beaumont!" now shouted Moses Max; "sent to
disturb our meeting! Englishmen! will you submit to this? The nation
At that point Moses Max, in his gesticulation, happening to touch a
switch in the platform-rail, out glowered into darkness every light
at that end of the hall: at which thing the audience was thrown into
a state of boisterous lawlessness, a tumult reigning in the gloom
like the constant voice of Niagara, until suddenly the platform was
again lit up, and the uproar lulled.
And now again Moses Max was prone to speak, with lifted fist; but
before ever he could utter one single word, a voice was ringing
through the Assembly Rooms:
"_Where_ was Moses when the light went out?"
This again was Hogarth; and it ended Moses Max for that night.
Hogarth had not sat since he had called out "That is false": his
tall figure was recognized; and, with that electric spontaneity of
crowds, he was straightway the leader of the meeting, men darting
from their seats with waving hats, sticks, arms, and vociferous
mouth, the chairman half standing, with a shivering finger directed
upon Hogarth, shrieking to the police: but too late--Hogarth had
brushed past Loveday's knees--was dashing for the crowded platform-
steps--was picking his way, stumbling, darting up them.
Crumpled in his hand was a _Pearson's Weekly_.
Now he is to the front--near Frankl.
"Friends! I have ventured to take the place of our friend, Moses,
here--no ill-will to him--for with respect to the question before
us, whether we elect Beaumont or Max, I care, I confess, little. I'm
rather an Anti-Jew myself (hissing and cheers), but it strikes me
that the Jews are the least of our trouble. To a man who said to me
that the cause of all our evil days is the inability of England to
feed these few million Jews I'd answer: "I don't know how you can be
so silly!" Why, the whole human race, friends, can find room on the
Isle of Wight--the earth laughs at the insignificant drawings upon
her made by the small infantry called Man. Then, why do we suffer,
friends? We _do_ suffer, I suppose? I was once at Paris, and at a
place called 'the Morgue' I saw exposed young men with wounded
temples, and girls with dead mouths twisted, and innocent old women
drowned; and there must be a biggish cry, you know, rising each
night from the universal earth, accusing some hoary fault in the way
men live together! What is the fault? If you ask _me_, I answer that
I am only a common smith: _I_ don't know: but I know this about the
fault, that it is something simple, commonplace, yet deep-seated, or
we should all see it; but it is hidden from us by its very
ordinariness, like the sun which men seldom look at. It _must_ be
so. And shall we never find the time to think of it? Or will never
some grand man, mighty as a garrison, owning eyes that know the
glances of Truth, arise to see for us? Friends! but, lacking him,
what shall we do to be saved?--for truly this 'civilization' of ours
is a blood-washed civilization, friends, a reddish Juggernaut, you
know, whose wheels cease not: so we should be prying into it,
provided we be not now too hide-bound: for that's the trouble--that
our thoughts grow to revolve in stodgy grooves of use-and-wont, and
shun to soar beyond. Look at our Parliament--a hurdy-gurdy turning
out, age after age, a sing-song of pigmy regulations, accompanied
for grum kettledrum by a musketry of suicides, and for pibroch by a
European bleating of little children. We are still a million miles
from civilization! For what is a civilized society? It can only be
one in which the people are proud and happy! The people of Africa
are happy, not proud; not civilized; the people of England have a
certain pride, not a millionth part as superb as it might be, but
are far from happy: far from civilized. The fact is, Man has never
begun to live, but still sleeps a deep sleep. Well! let us do our
best, we here! I have here a paper offering a prize to the man of us
who will go to the root of our troubles, and my idea in usurping the
place of our friend, Mr. Max, was to ask you to form an association
with me to enter that competition. There is no reason why our
association should not be large as the nation, nor why it should not
spread to France and Turkey. For the thing presses, and to-morrow
more of the slaughtered dead will be swarming in the mortuaries of
London. Will you, then? The understanding will be this: that each
man who writes his name in a note-book which will lie at Rose
Cottage, Thring, or who sends his name, will devote sixty minutes
each day to the problem. I happen to be in a position to use a
chapel at Thring, and there I will hold a meeting--"
At this point Frankl rose: Thring was _his_, his own, own, own; and
now his eyes had in them that catlike blaze which characterized his
"Here, police! police!" he hissed low, "what's the use of police
that don't act!" And now he raised his voice to a scream: "Jews!
Shew yourselves! Don't let this man stay here...!"
About twenty Jews leapt at the challenge; at the same time Hogarth,
seeing two policemen running forward from the back, folded his arms,
and cried out: "Friends! I have not finished! Don't let me be
Whereupon practically every man in the pit was in motion, for or
against him, the galleries two oblongs of battle.
As up the two curving stairs stormed the mob, by a sudden rush like
an ocean-current he was borne off his feet toward the side, and was
about to bring down his sharp-pointed little knuckles, when his eye
fell upon the face of a lady who had fainted.
He had had no idea that she was there!--Rebekah Frankl.
She had quietly fainted, not at the rush--but before--during
Hogarth managed to fight his way to a door at the platform back with
her, entered a room where some chairs were, but, seeing a stair,
could not let her go from his embrace, but descended, passed along a
passage and out into a patch of green.
She, under the dark sky, whispered: "It is you", her forehead on his
shoulder; and added: "My carriage, I think, is yonder".
Hogarth saw the carriage-lights at the field's edge, bore her
thither, laid her with care on the cushions, kissed her hand: and
this act Frankl saw--with incredulity of his own eyes. As he
approached, Hogarth walked away.
Frankl mastered his voice to say blandly in Spanish: "Well, how did
you get through, sweet child? Who was that man--? But stay: where
are those two fools?"
This meant the two familiars--the Arabs, Isaac and Mephibosheth, one
of whom had come as footman, the other as coachman--and, as he went
raging about the carriage, with stamps, his boot struck against a
body. There was enough light to reveal to his peering that it was
Mephibosheth, whom Isaac had stabbed, and fled...
Frankl lowered his ear--doubted whether he could detect a breathing;
and though scared, he being a Cohen, and the presence of death
defilement, yet he stayed, bending over Mephi several minutes,
thinking, not of him, but of Hogarth.
"It is that fool, Isaac, has done it", he thought; "and if the man
be dead--" What then? "_If_ he be dead, I've got you, Mr. Hogarth,
in the hollow of this hand...."
His fingers passed over the body: there, sticking in the breast, was
a cangiar which Isaac, in his panic, had left, and Frankl's hand
rested on the handle; if he did not consciously press the knife
home, very heavily his hand rested on it, eyes blazing, beard
Then he drew out the knife carefully, to hide it in the carriage,
listened again close, felt sure now that death was there, and now
scuttled, as if from plague, guiltily hissing: "Putrid dog...!"
Presently he led his carriage to the station, and made a deposition
of the murder.
Asked if he had any suspicion as to the culprit, he said: "Not the
least: I left the man alone with the carriage, and who could have
had any motive for killing him beats me."
Hogarth, meantime, had made his way to the front of the room, then
vomiting its throng, discovered Loveday, and, deciding to walk home,
they were soon on the cliffs.
And suddenly Loveday: "To-morrow will conclude my fifth week in
Westring. What, do you suppose, has made me stay?"
"I have wondered".
"I work better here...Hogarth, you inspirit me".
"Is that so?"
"It is, yes. Merely your presence is for me a freshness and an
enthusiasm: I catch in the turn of your body hints of adventurous
Columbuses, Drakes, nimble Achilles; and sibylline meanings in some
glance of yours infect my fancy with images of Moses, blind old
Homers--prophet, lawgiver, poet--"
They were passing along a stretch of sand, with some lights of
Lowestoft in sight, arm in arm; and Hogarth said: "Well, you speak
some big words. But my life, you understand, has been as simple and
small as possible. I will tell you: my father sent me to an
extraordinary school--where he got the coin I could never find out--
Lancing College at Shoreham. There I did very well--only that I was
continually _getting_ it! What was the matter with me when a boy I
can't understand: I was the devil. One summer vacation (I was
fourteen) I stole three pounds from the old man, and ran away one
Sunday night. Passed through London and soon was apprentice in a
blacksmith's shop in a Kent village called Bigham. But in six months
I had the forge at my fingers' ends, and was off: nothing could hold
me long. One day I turned up before the Recruiting Office of Marines
in Bristol--just of the right age for what they call 'second-class
boys'--and decided upon the sea--that sea there--which, from the
moment I saw it at the age of four, caused me a swelling of the
breast with which, to this day, it afflicts me. Well, I got the
birth-certificate of another boy, scraped through, was entered into
a District Ship, and finally sailed in the _St. Vincent_ to the
"However, my trial of His Majesty's ships was not a success: twice I
was in irons, once leapt into mid-ocean; nor could the battleship
hold me when she had nothing to teach me; so I did to the King what
I had done to the old man--cut and ran.
"It was at Valparaiso, and I made my way across the continent to
"I forget now what took me to Bristol: but there I was one day when
I happened to see--what do you think?--a girl--sixteen--I a
stripling of nineteen, or so--but she most precocious, spoke like a
woman--a grating in a wall between us. Ah, well, God is good, and
His Mercy endureth for ever. But she said it could never be--she a
Jewess: though that, by the way, is nonsense, for she is a Jewess,
and a Parisienne, and a Hindoo, and a Negress, and a Japanese, and
the man who marries her will have a harem. My friend, I have seen
her this very night!"
He was silent. Suddenly he broke out: "I came home raving! The old
man was scared out of his wits by my frenzy--I drank like ten men--
in a month was the terror of Westring. One midnight, going home
through the beech-wood--I don't know if you have noticed a hollow
elm-tree which stands to the right of the path?"
"I think I have", said Loveday.
"We shall pass near it presently; and at the moment when we approach
it, I shall feel a little thrill in my back: always it is so with
me. But I was saying: that midnight, as I passed the tree, drunk as
I was, I saw a naked black man with a long beard run out; I took to
my heels; he was after me; till I reached the bridge, when I
stopped, faced him, fired a blow into his eyes, and he vanished.
"During the week I continued to see apparitions. My groans were
heard in the farm-yard: Lord have mercy upon me! Christ have mercy
upon me! I was visited by the Methodist preacher at Thring; and
finally I found solace: I became a class-member, a leader, a local
"For some time I have been conscious of dissatisfaction among the
people with my preaching, who say that my God 'is not a personal
God', and that my Christianity is 'rum stuff': I am therefore
meaning to give it up. But I still preach every second Thursday
"It was about that time that, by accident, I found out the power of
my hand to cure headache, and things like that, and the sensation
among these villagers was enormous, I can tell you, six years ago;
now they come to be touched without the slighest sense of the
unusual. But what I have done well in was--the farming. I knew
little of agriculture--"
At this point they turned into the lane to Westring: and Loveday
went with him a little beyond Priddlestone to see the fatal elm.
The next morning, after breakfast, Hogarth went down old Thring
Street, and spent a penny for a note-book to contain the signatures
of his association.
But this was no day for interest in that scheme: for under the
projecting first-floor of the paper-shop were newspaper placards
bearing such words as:
THE EARTH IN DANGER
SHALL WE PERISH TO-NIGHT?
and Hogarth was soon bending in the street over a paragraph, short--
but in _pica_.
M. Tissot, the astronomer, had, at half-past ten the previous night,
observed through the 40-inch telescope of the Nice observatory a
body which seemed a tiny planet or aerolite of abnormal size. It was
sighted at a point two degrees W. of _a_ Librae at an angle of
431/2° with the horizon, and had been photographed, its elements
calculated, its spectrum taken. The ascertained diameter was 3° 17",
or about 73 miles, and its substance seemed to consist of ironstone
mixed with diamond.
By noon a fresh light was thrown upon the little world, the Yerkes
observatory and Greenwich both uttering their voice, the Astronomer
Royal announcing that the so-called planet was merely a meteor--not
more than 400 yards in diameter, with a low velocity of two miles a
second; and its distance was less than a tenth of that estimated by
Tissot. The Yerkes observatory fixed the diameter at 230 yards. All,
however, agreed in the opinion that it must strike the earth between
ten and twelve that night.
These later announcements so much allayed the panic, that by one
o'clock Hogarth, on peeping into the note-book on the box before the
smithy, saw six signatures; and a young man who came about six P.M.
to sign, cried out: "Hullo! the book is filled up!" on which Hogarth
ran out, saying: "Don't run away on that account, I'll run and get--
" darting into the house to ask Margaret where a certain account-
"Didn't I throw it into the box of rubbish in the cellar at Lagden,
when we were leaving?" she asked; on which he threw off his apron,
and was off toward Lagden Dip to get it.
He had almost cleared the village when he was blocked by a crowd
before a cottage, from out of which were coming screams--a woman's;
and he ran in, found a man named Fred Bates beating his wife,
planted a blow on his chest.
The next morning the wife of Bates was found dead, greatly
disfigured about the face, whereupon Bates was arrested, and
Hogarth, as we shall see, was subpoenaed to give evidence of the
In ten minutes he was at the old farm-house of the Hogarths.
The new tenant was a Mr. Bond, a bankrupt metal-broker, who had two
hobbies--farming and astronomy; and, as Hogarth approached the yard-
gate, he saw Mr. Bond, his two daughters, his servants, grouped
round an optic tube mounted on a tripod. He asked permission to get
the account-book, got it, in a few minutes was again passing
through, and, as he went by, bowing his thanks, Mr. Bond said:
"But--have you seen the asteroid?"
"Not quite visible to the naked eye yet: but come--you shall see".
He himself looked through, fixing the sight, turning the adjuster;
then with fussy suddenness: "Now, sir--"
Hogarth put an eager eye to the glass.
"You see her?" said Mr. Bond, rubbing his soft old palms; "straight
for us she comes--in a considerable hurry by this time, I can tell
you! and if she happens to break up in the air, then, pray, sir,
that a splinter of her may fall into your back yard--not too big a
one! but a nice little comfortable _piece_"--he rubbed his palms--
"for you know, no doubt, of what her substance is composed? Diamond,
sir, in extraordinary evidence! in conjunction with specular iron
ore, commonly called the red haematite, and the ferrous carbonate,
or spathic iron. You see her, sir? you see her?"
Hogarth whispered: "Yes".
There, fairest among ten thousand, sailing the high seas she came;
and longer than was modest he stopped there, gazing, then ran,
wondering at her daisy loveliness, not dreaming that between himself
and her was--a relation.
She broke up with a European display soon after eleven that night
over the North Sea.
At the moment when Hogarth was peering through the telescope, a man
was loitering before his cottage--one of the Hall's park-keepers;
and when Margaret put out her head to look for Richard's coming, the
In a moment a note was in her hand.
"DEAR MISS HOGARTH,
"This is to ask you to be certain sure to meet me this evening at 9
P.M. on the towpath. It isn't to-day that you are well aware of the
state of my feelings toward you: but it is not to talk sweethearting
that I wish to see you now, but about your brother, and the matter
is about as important as can be. If I were in your place, I should
destroy this letter.
"Yours, with my respects,
Margaret tore it up, and "My goodness!" she thought, "what is anyone
to do? If I only had the money to make up those fifty pounds! May
the Holy Spirit guide me now...!"
Later in the evening she stole out, and met Frankl.
He assumed a very respectful tone.
"Miss Hogarth", said he at once, "have you heard?"
"You have not been told that your brother has been to the Hall?"
"What in patience for?"
"He came--you couldn't believe--to beat me!"
"Richard! I don't understand. When?"
"Yesterday". (In reality it was four weeks before.)
"But what about?"
"Revenge! Blind, murderous revenge for turning him neck and crop out
"You _are_ in a temper! But I can't understand a word of it!"
"Well, that is what I had to tell you. He came to my house--And how
good have I been to this man! Didn't I send him the fifty pounds--?"
"Well, that _was_ kind. But I must tell you, Mr. Frankl, that
Richard knows nothing of the fifty pounds--"
"Well, then it is _your_ fault! Oh, he did not know of the fifty
pounds? Then it is your fault entirely, this rage of his against me--He
threatened to shoot me dead--thrice he threatened--soon, he
"Yes, Richard!--your nice Richard! But what did I want you for to-
night? It was to let you see that I have it in my power to let your
brother in for three months hard--not less. But you know, my dear,
don't you, that I wouldn't do anything to give you pain? That is
why, so far, I've taken no steps. But your brother must be unarmed.
I can't have my life exposed, after his threats, and all".
"Yes. I have it on good authority that your brother has guns. I must
have those guns put into my own hands by you..."
"But I couldn't! He would find out..."
"Then I must act, that's all. Or no--I give you another chance--tell
him of the fifty pounds I sent--that may disarm him in another way--"
He was sure that this she would not now do, yet felt relieved when
she cried out: "I couldn't! Not now! Can't you see?"
"Well, there is nothing to be done, then. I must act, that's all".
"But don't be _hard_! What can I do? Sooner or later he'd be sure to
"Poh! he is not always shooting, I suppose? And after a few weeks
I'd give them back. Anyway, think it over: and I'll be here on
Tuesday night next at nine to receive them. Good night--"
She looked palely after him, her feet in a net, new to her, woven of
concealments and deceit.
At eleven that night she was sitting in their diminutive parlour,--
Hogarth at a table inscribing the association's names received by
post that evening; and at last, bending low over her sewing, she
said: "Richard, is it true you have been to the Hall?"
He started! "Yes. Who told you?"
"I heard it".
He looked at her piercingly. "_Answer!_"
"I heard it", she said with a stubborn nod, quite pallid.
He turned upon her a stare of displeasure; but in that second they
heard a shouting down the village, ran to the front, and saw heaven
all like cancer and cracked window-panes, for from a central plash
of passion the shattered asteroid had shot long-lingering ribbons of
lilac light over the bowl of the sky.
On the Tuesday was the inquest on the murdered Mephibosheth; ending
in a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown.
The same night at nine Frankl had Hogarth's two guns from Margaret
on the towing-path, she now well inveigled into his net, and under
"I want you", he said, "to meet me-here again on Thursday night, at
"But you will tell one why, I suppose!"
"When you come you will hear. And don't let anything keep you away--
not _anything_, mind--if you take my hint".
She left him with her head hung, praying for deliverance, but
The next (Wednesday) morning Frankl was in a high room of the Hall,
in a corner of which cowered the Arab, Isaac, and he said in his
strong bass in Arabic: "Well, Isaac, well".
A groan broke from the obese heap of grief; down each side of his
kefie streamed waves of trembling; on his square-cut beard of ritual
flecks of foam.
"Isaac, why did you kill Mephibosheth?"
Vigorously sputtered Isaac, spitting out the ill-omened words. He
said: "Your servant did not kill Mephibosheth".
"Well, there was an inquest to-day, the Court decided that you did,
and has sentenced you to be hanged by the neck like a dog".
The Arab sprang up, his thick bluish under-lip shivering.
"An eye for an eye", said Frankl solemnly: "it is written in the
"_Mercy_ My father served your father--"
"I have remembered that: that is why I have saved you from hanging
like a dog at the hands of these _Goyim_ vermin: but, Isaac, you
"You dare raise your voice! Blood for blood--"
"_Mercy_!--I did not mean to kill--!"
"Blood for blood, you dog! Raise it, and I fell you! Raise it, and
the noose sinks into your fat swine's-throat! Can't you understand?--you
have been tracked by the avengers of blood! and you may swing lingeringly,
with a crowd of Christian boys and girls mocking round you, or you may
shoot yourself in one painless flash. Which shall it be?"
Isaac, again dropping a-heap, covered his face, without answer.
"Well", said Frankl, walking away, "I can't wait all day. The
detectives are at this moment downstairs--"
Now the Arab leapt up, and, in a movement of great dignity, with an
out-rush of both arms, rent his caftan from the top to its muslin
"I will shoot myself", he said quietly.
Frankl took snuff.
The same night he took his secretary's typewriter, and spelled out
the following note:
"Permit me to ask you as an old friend of your father's if you are
aware that your sister Margaret is the lover of the lord of the
manor? Everybody seems to see it, but yourself. I have reason to
know that the very day you receive this she will be meeting him at
about 7.30 P.M. under the old elm in the beech-wood near the Hall-
"ONE WHO SHALL BE NAMELESS".
Hogarth received it by post the next morning.
He had to think, as he worked, of something to say at the service
that night on the text: "God's way is in the Sea", but the glare of
forge and heated metal swam vaguely, a fog of red, about his
consciousness. And mixed with those recurring words: "the old elm",
"God's way", something with a voice shouted inside him--a name--
_Margaret!_ Anon his face flushed to a dusky turbulence, and he
hurled the sledge high to shatter the earth, like Thor.
Suddenly he had the thought that he would clean his rifle, and,
dropping a hot iron which vanished with a stifled cry into black
water, he tossed his tongs clattering, and almost ran toward the
He had not, however, reached the back door when he heard his name
called from behind.
And now happened to him the most momentous event of his life--though
nothing could have seemed more commonplace.
It was an old fellow named Tom Bates who had called him--father to
that Fred arrested for the murder of his wife--a Yarmouth fisher and
And when Hogarth twisted round, with that stare of his large and
bloodshot eye, "Here", said the old man, "take them"--holding out a
basket of herrings.
Hogarth seemed not to understand, but then said: "All those for me?"
"Every bloomin' one!" answered Bates, with the dropped jaw of
pantomime, and a far-away look of blue astonishment which he had.
"It is extremely handsome of you. Can you spare all that--?"
"Spare, _ya'as!_ They're easy enough come by, for that matter. Why,
the day's work of a fisherman gives him enough fish to live on all
the week, and he could lie around idling the other six days, if he
chose, only anybody can't live on nothing but fish ".
These words, destined to produce a horror of great darkness, and a
cup of trembling of which all the nations should drink, hardly
affected Hogarth at the time. He _did_, indeed, shoot an interested
glance at the old man, but the next moment his mind, numb that
morning, was left dark.
"Here--take them--they are yours", said Bates. "But with regard to
that God-forsaken son of mine: you'll be givin' evidence agen him,
When his sleeve wiped a tear, Hogarth promised to make his evidence
mild, and was left alone.
Now his purpose of cleaning the rifle was turned: he went back to
the forge, and worked till Margaret, at one o'clock, called: "The
dinner is on the table".
At that table, for a long time, silence reigned, Margaret's eyes
fixed on his face, his on his plate.
Toward the end he said: "Are you going to chapel to-night?"
Her bosom heaved; she cleared her throat: she had to meet Frankl by
"I don't think I shall..."
"I have something to do".
"Something"--with a stubborn nod, and pallor--"if I tell you
_something_ that should be enough".
"You will go to chapel to-night".
"That I shan't".
A little before seven they left the cottage together for the chapel,
Hogarth taking his hunting-crop--from habit; he had also a little
Bible; in his jacket, tight at the slight waist, unbuttoned at the
breast, lay the anonymous letter, and a little poetry-book, neither
moon nor star lighting the night, bleak winds swooping like the
typhoon among the year's dead leaves.
The chapel was a paltry place, though in the wall to the right of
the preacher was a slab bearing the inscription:
ON THIS STONE
JOHN WESLEY PREACHED
IN THE VILLAGE, ON THE
9TH JULY 1768
And they sang a hymn; Hogarth "prayed"; read a chapter; once more
the harmonium mourned; Hogarth gave the text: "God's way is in the
Even as he uttered it, he happened to glance toward the "mission-
pew"--a square pew rather behind the pulpit: Margaret no longer
A paleness as of very death--then a dreadful wrath reddened his dark
He seized his hunting-crop; and, without a word, sped bent and
thievish down the steps--and was gone.
Upon which Loveday in a middle pew, perceiving here something
sinister, like a still wind flew to a back door, before ever the
amazement of the people had given place to a flutter like leafage;
and running fast, he came up with Hogarth by a stile twenty yards
behind the chapel, touched his shoulder.
"To the devil with you...!" shouted Hogarth, running still, and
there Loveday stood.
Margaret, meantime, was hurrying toward the towing-path, while
Richard, in a direction at right angles to hers, was pelting toward
that spot terrible to him--the elm.
At the moment when he entered the deep darkness of the beeches, he
heard what sounded like a pistol-shot, rain now falling drop by
drop, and through the forest with an uplifting whoop, like batsmen,
swooped the tomboy winds.
Now, approaching the elm, again he felt that thrill which the spot
had for him, and came peering, at slower pace: no sound but the
gibbering rout of the stiff-stark beech-leaves. Some steps more, and
now he was at the mound which surrounds the tree: stood, listened:
silence, sightlessness: Margaret not there.
One more forward step: and now his foot struck a body.
As he stooped, his hand touched a revolver--which was his own;
another moment, and he saw running lanterns borne by two park-
keepers, and by their light saw the body of Isaac, who but now had
shot himself with the weapon that was in Hogarth's hand.
The park-keepers had just been urged by their master to the spot, he
having, he told them, heard a pistol-shot; and before anyone could
speak Frankl himself was there, defiled with the presence of the
He looked from Hogarth to the corpse, and from the corpse to
Hogarth, then, snatching the weapon from Hogarth's hand, exclaimed:
"Why, bless my heart, you've _murdered_ the man...."
In a cottage in Thring Street, marked "E. Norfolk, E. 58,
Constabulary", Hogarth passed the night, having been arrested the
moment he returned home from the elm.
A few minutes afterwards Margaret, who had found no Frankl at the
towing-path, came home to the ghastliest amazement throughout
Thring, so that sleep overcame the village only toward morning.
At 7.30 A.M. Hogarth was marched to Beccles, then after an inquest-
verdict appeared before the magistrates' court, and was committed.
One of the witnesses in the summary-jurisdiction court had been
Loveday, who had deposed that Hogarth, on leaving the chapel, was,
beyond doubt, in a passion; and mixed with the crowd was Margaret,
who, standing thickly veiled, heard that evidence. And thought she:
"Is it possible that he can be giving evidence against Richard like
that? And smiling, the mean, false thing--"
She had disappeared on the morning after the arrest: and Loveday was
now racked by disquiet, wondering how she was living, though she and
he were in the same train, unconscious of each other, when he
followed Hogarth to Norwich; and, as Margaret stepped upon the
Thorpe platform there, a Jew, who was watching the arrival of every
train, spied and shadowed her to the old Maid's Head, this intricate
city being now crowded, the Assizes all in the air, mixed with the
At ten the next morning Margaret learned at the Guildhall the
address of her brother's defending solicitor, and set out to find
him, the wretchedest woman on earth now.
But as she passed by the archway in the tower of St. Peter Mancroft,
Loveday stood before her; and she started like a shying horse.
"Good morning"--she went on past him.
He took two steps after her. "Are you in a hurry? Can I come with
"It is quite near. Thank you--I'd liefer go alone".
He, a delicate being, all nerves, was repelled; lifted the old cloth
hat; but then again stepped after her, saying: "But are you angry
with me for something?"
"Why should I be? I have no right to expect anything from you, Mr.
"No right? You _have_, a little, I fancy!"
He said it at her ear with such a lowering of the eyelids, that it
pierced to her fond heart, and she smiled with a "H'm!" uncertain,
half turned to him; but said: "I must be getting on--"
"But it is most important that I should talk to you about
everything. Where are you staying?"
"It is some distance from here", she answered, undecided whether or
not to give her address.
"Ah--in that case--but still--will you meet me? Say here--this
"I will see if I can".
"I will see".
So they parted, she to tread that intricacy of streets round the
Market, with stoppages for enquiries, till she found the office,
where she presently sat in an inner room, veil at nose-tip, and
before her at a grate stood Hogarth's solicitor.
What, till now, for shame, she had concealed, she revealed: showing
how Richard could not possibly have taken the revolver with him to
the elm, since she, two days previously, had secretly given it to--
Mr. Carr, the solicitor, frowned, elaborating his nails.
"This is very extraordinary", he said. "Whyever did you keep us in
the dark as to all this before? And to whom was it that you gave the
revolver? and why?"
"Am I bound to tell that?"
"No, but you may be sure that the truth will be got from you. Stay--
I must ask you to excuse me now. But tomorrow morning at this hour--
will you? As for your brother, have no fears at all: he is now
Margaret went rapidly away, not knowing whither, only returning
toward late afternoon to her inn. As she entered, a letter was
handed her from Frankl.
"Dear Miss Hogarth:
"It is only due to you that I should see you at once to explain the
mystery of this affair, so as to clear your brother, and as it would
not do for me to call upon you for obvious reasons, the only thing
for us to do is to meet to-night on Mousehold Heath at 7 P.M.
What now was she to do? At "7 P.M." she had half promised Loveday to
And what had her meetings with Baruch Frankl, innocent as they were,
brought upon her and hers!
Yet Frankl _must_ be kindly intentioned, she reasoned--since he had
sent them the £50; and she thought of that agony of humiliation when
she had asked Loveday for £2, and he had refused.
And he had given evidence against Richard with his down-turned
But he had said a word at her ear--and her crushed heart had leapt.
She did not know what to do, fell by her bedside and prayed to be
taught which of the two was Richard's best friend.
As she passed over the inn-threshold, she decided in favour of
Frankl: and a few minutes past seven was on Mousehold Heath.
Frankl hurried to meet her, and the hand which he held out was
rather cold; but she did not take it.
"No, Mr. Frankl", said she, "before I give my hand, it is only what
is due to me to hear how Richard's pistol, which I trusted to you,
was found where it was--"
"Well, that is only fair", answered Frankl; "that is only fair. But
I have a carriage there, let us get into it, and sit as we talk".
She could see no carriage in that dark, yet it stood only some yards
"I think I prefer to stand..." said she.
"As you like. But with regard to the gun, I should have thought that
you could have guessed how it was--but no, you always mistrust me
instead--the Jew. Don't you know that the dead man was a servant in
my house? Well, I left the two guns in my study, and he, wanting to
shoot himself, stole one, that's all".
"It was _he_ shot himself?"
"Why, who else? You don't suppose Richard shot him! You are as cool
as they make them".
"Well, that was how it was! But couldn't you say that at the police-
"I am _going_ to at the big trial, of course. But I was ill, am ill
now, and here have I been running about all day on your brother's
behalf, and dead tired--and ill, and all--and you won't let me have
a rest in the carriage--"
"Well, as you put it in that way..." she said.
So they walked to a motor-brougham, sat within, and as they
commenced to talk again, the brougham moved.
"Tell me", said Frankl, "have you mentioned to anyone that you had
given the guns to me?"
"I told Richard's solicitor this morning--"
"That was horribly imprudent, without consulting me!"
"I think I have been silent long enough, don't you? I didn't mention
your name, but--"
"Oh, you didn't mention my name! That's all right, then! Look here,
do you know--?"
"I believe you love me in your heart. Can't help yourself".
"Oh, Mr. Frankl, do I look as if I was in the mood for that kind of
fun to-night, a poor wretch like me, steeped in misery, my God
"_I_ love _you_!"
He suddenly grasped her wrist, his eyes blazing.
"Stop--let me get out of this--" she said.
"Wait!--I give you your chance!--Listen: I am not a man whose mind
you can read right off like a book, I twist like an eel, I am deep,
I am tricky, and I never yet met the man that I didn't hoodwink.
Ninety-nine per cent of what I say is a lie; even when it is the
truth, it is a lie just the same. But at this particular moment I am
talking the God's truth: I want you! You shall be my little girl!
Chuck Richard!--chuck the swine's-flesh!--I'll take you right away--
to Paris--this very night--"
She had arisen, alarmed by his hissed fury. "But, you are stark,
staring, raving mad", she said proudly, "that is what you are".
Frankl struck the side of the brougham, it flew, and Margaret
tottered backward with an exclamation. The next moment she sent
forth a scream, the grip of Frankl on her wrist agonizing her bones.
"Where are we going?" she cried out.
"I gave you your chance!" was Frankl's fierce answer.
"Let me get out!--you must be a wretch--to take advantage--"
He put his mouth to her ear till it touched. "Your nice Richard
flogged me like a dog! I felt the cuts to the marrow of my damned
soul! Now I've got him in the hollow of this hand! Why, you helped
me! you helped me! That's good! And I've got you, too".
Blackness and swiftness bound her; a dizziness overcame her. Soon
they were by a great pool of gloomy water--Wroxham Broad--where
hern, wild duck, and the mast of the darkling boat brooded among
bulrush; and now in three minutes more the brougham was sweeping
over the lawn of a lonely building, surrounded by walls.
She, peering, saw with joy both lights and a well-dressed man and
woman; and, as the carriage stopped, she sprang out with alacrity,
Frankl with her, still grasping her wrist.
"Sir", she blurted out at once, "you will help me, I know. I am a
poor unfortunate woman--my name is Margaret Hogarth--"
"We know!" said the gentleman, and, approaching Frankl's ear, asked
in Yiddish: "How long has she had her delusion?"
"Only about a week, I think. She may be violent at first, but--"
"Come in, Miss--Hogarth", said the gentleman.
Margaret passed the threshold; the doors closed upon her...
On the third morning of his confinement in Norwich, Hogarth was
hurried into the hall of justice and the witness-box--in the dock
Bates had denied--with sufficient impudence, it seemed: for his wife
had been found dead, battered and burned about the face, Bates' own
hand also burned by the poker with which, _red-hot_, he was presumed
to have beaten her.
The same afternoon Bates was sentenced to death: but, having had
sunstroke in Egypt, was afterwards reprieved.
And two mornings later Hogarth heard the bar of the prisoner's dock
clang behind himself.
The speech of leading counsel for the Crown was short: a letter,
found on the prisoner, would be produced, in which some busybody had
falsely informed the prisoner that Mr. Frankl would meet his sister
under a certain elm-tree: and the prisoner, in a crisis of passion,
had hurried from the pulpit to that tree, on observing that his
sister had left the chapel (to keep a real appointment with Mr.
Frankl elsewhere). Under that tree the prisoner had encountered the
murdered man, whose Oriental dress on a dark night would give him a
resemblance to Mr. Frankl, himself a Jew. The prisoner had then shot
the deceased, mistaking him for Mr. Frankl, and had been found
holding the smoking weapon, which he admitted to be his own. It was
a painful case; but the chain of inference was not assailable.
"Not assailable" found an echo in the minds of solicitor and counsel
for Hogarth, who with growing anxiety were awaiting the coming of
Margaret with her story of the weapons. Margaret was where her name
was changed to Rachel.
Now was the régime of examining counsel for the prosecution. The
usher called: "Baruch Frankl!"
A voice in the gallery shouted: "Caps and tassels!" while Frankl, in
the witness box, bowed largely to both bench and bar. He put his
palms on the red-hot rail, caught them up, put them again, caught
up, put them; and still he bowed, while a trembling of the chin gave
to his beard a downward waving.
"Now explain to the court the reasons for the state of the
prisoner's feelings toward you".
"For one thing I had turned him out, because he could not pay his
rent; for another, his sister was inclined, my lord, to be a little
bit weak on my account--"
"A little bit _what_?" asked his lordship.
"Just a little bit weak, my lord".
"A _reciprocal_ weakness?"
"Well, my lord, you know the world--so do the gentlemen of the jury--"
"And of the Jewry!" screamed his lordship, amid laughter from the
As Frankl stepped down, a name was called at which Hogarth went cold
as a ghost: "Rebekah Frankl".
And in she stepped splendent, to stand like a Nubian woman, with
that retreat of the hips, her ears torn with their load of gold, her
throat and breast ablaze, she bringing into that English court the
gaudy heat of the Orient, Baal and Astarté, orgies of Hindoo women
in temples of Parvati, the pallid passion of Bacchantes. Though not
tall, she was lofty, and her ebon eyes had that very royalty of the
stare of the bent form in the dock, whose heart throbbed quick like
paddle-wheels that thrash the sea, she his wild divinity, wild wife
of his wild youth....
At her shocking beauty the Court stood hushed.
She suggested the East: but in her speech was the energy of the
West--sharp--a bass almost like her father's.
"You recognize the prisoner?"
"Yes". She smiled.
"You were present on the day of the 11th November when the prisoner
entered your father's house, and attempted to strike him?"
"Did strike him".
"Did he seem in a passion?"
"Severe! But was he not highly excited?"
"He did not seem so. Frowned and flogged".
"By whom was he ejected?"
"Went of his own accord".
"But--try to remember. What made him go?"
"He suddenly saw _me_, and fled".
Laughter droned through the court, in which she naïvely joined,
while Hogarth's eyes and hers met one instant, blazed outrageously,
That was all. Counsel bowed.
The day grew toward evening, and still the stuffy Court sat.
But Margaret Hogarth did not come; a defending counsel finished
examination, counsel on the other side again addressed the Court,
and again defending counsel. The judge then held the scales, the
jury trooped away, the crowd buzzed.
The light in the room seemed to brood to a denser yellow, and anon
to grow dim; the stuffed court festered; voices spoke, but low. The
King of Terrors was here.
When the jury came, the judge was called, Hogarth stood up, and the
clerk of arraigns put a question to the foreman.
The foreman said: "We find the prisoner guilty: but beg to recommend
him to the mercy of the Crown".
"On what grounds?" asked his lordship.
"On the grounds of past good conduct and strong provocation".
The judge then placed on his head a square of velvet and passed the
sentence of the Court.
During the reign of stillness that followed, while the court clock's
ticking was still loud, something which was thrown struck Hogarth on
the arm, a red rose, black at heart, that had lain on the breast of
Rebekah, who, when Hogarth looked round at her, was calmly drawing
her mass of cloak about her throat.
OUT OF THE WORLD
A week later a governor and a chaplain together entered Hogarth's
cell with news of his reprieve.
Eight months later he was being trundled in "Black Maria" to
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