THE FACE AND THE MASK
THE FACE AND THE MASK
[Illustration: "THE GIRL KISSED THE TIPS OF HER FINGERS."]
THE HON. WILLIAM E. QUINBY
(_United States Minister to the Netherlands_)
HAS HELPED SO MANY UNKNOWN LITERARY ASPIRANTS THAT HE CAN
HARDLY HAVE HOPED TO ESCAPE THE DEDICATION TO HIM OF A BOOK BY AT LEAST
ONE OF THEM
I. THE WOMAN OF STONE
II. THE CHEMISTRY OF ANARCHY
III. THE FEAR OF IT
IV. THE METAMORPHOSES OF JOHNSON
V. THE RECLAMATION OF JOE HOLLENDS
VI. THE TYPE-WRITTEN LETTER
VII. THE DOOM OF LONDON
VIII. THE PREDICAMENT OF DE PLONVILLE
IX. A NEW EXPLOSIVE
X. THE GREAT PEGRAM MYSTERY
XI. DEATH COMETH SOON OR LATE
XII. HIGH STAKES
XIII. "WHERE IGNORANCE IS BLISS"
XIV. THE DEPARTURE OF CUB MCLEAN
XV. OLD NUMBER EIGHTY-SIX
XVI. PLAYING WITH MARKED CARDS
XVII. THE BRUISER'S COURTSHIP
XVIII. THE RAID ON MELLISH
XIX. STRIKING BACK
XX. CRANDALL'S CHOICE
XXI. THE FAILURE OF BRADLEY
XXII. RINGAMY'S CONVERT
XXIII. A SLIPPERY CUSTOMER
XXIV. THE SIXTH BENCH
_The Personal Conductor:_ "It is a statue of no importance
_The Personally Conducted:_ "Yes but what does it mean?"
_The Personal Conductor:_ "I don't suppose it means anything in
particular. It is not by any well-known artist and the guidebooks say
nothing about it."
_The Personally Conducted:_ "Perhaps the sculptor intended to
typify life; the tragic face representing one side of existence and the
comic mask another."
_The Personal Conductor:_ "Very likely. This way to the Louvre if
THE WOMAN OF STONE.
Lurine was pretty _petite_ and eighteen. She had a nice
situation at the Pharmacie de Siam in the Rue St. Honore. She had no
one dependent upon her and all the money she earned was her own. Her
dress was of cheap material perhaps but it was cut and fitted with
that daintiness of perfection which seems to be the natural gift of the
Parisienne so that one never thought of the cheapness but admired
only the effect which was charming. She was book-keeper and general
assistant at the Pharmacie and had a little room of her own across the
Seine in the Rue de Lille. She crossed the river twice every day--once
in the morning when the sun was shining and again at night when the
radiant lights along the river's bank glittered like jewels in a long
necklace. She had her little walk through the Gardens of the Tuileries
every morning after crossing the Pont Royal but she did not return
through the gardens in the evening for a park in the morning is a
different thing to a park at night. On her return she always walked
along the Rue de Tuileries until she came to the bridge. Her morning
ramble through the gardens was a daily delight to her for the Rue de
Lille is narrow and not particularly bright so it was pleasant to
walk beneath the green trees to feel the crisp gravel under her feet
and to see the gleaming white statues in the sunlight with the sparkle
on the round fountain pond by the side of which she sometimes sat. Her
favorite statue was one of a woman that stood on a pedestal near the
Rue de Rivoli. The arm was thrown over her head and there was a smile
on the marble face which was inscrutable. It fascinated the girl as she
looked up to it and seemed to be the morning greeting to her busy
day's work in the city. If no one was in sight which was often the
case at eight o'clock in the morning the girl kissed the tips of her
fingers and tossed the salute airily up to the statue and the woman
of stone always smiled back at her the strange mystical smile which
seemed to indicate that it knew much more of this world and its ways
than did the little Parisienne who daily gazed up at her.
Lurine was happy as a matter of course for was not Paris always
beautiful? Did not the sun shine brightly? And was not the air always
clear? What more then could a young girl wish? There was one thing
which was perhaps lacking but that at last was supplied; and then
there was not a happier girl in all Paris than Lurine. She almost cried
it aloud to her favorite statue the next morning for it seemed to her
that the smile had broadened since she had passed it the morning
before and she felt as if the woman of stone had guessed the secret of
the woman of flesh.
Lurine had noticed him for several days hovering about the Pharmacie
and looking in at her now and then; she saw it all but pretended not
to see. He was a handsome young fellow with curly hair and hands long
slender and white as if he were not accustomed to doing hard manual
labor. One night he followed her as far as the bridge but she walked
rapidly on and he did not overtake her. He never entered the
Pharmacie but lingered about as if waiting for a chance to speak with
her. Lurine had no one to confide in but the woman of stone and it
seemed by her smile that she understood already and there was no need
to tell her that the inevitable young man had come. The next night he
followed her quite across the bridge and this time Lurine did not walk
so quickly. Girls in her position are not supposed to have normal
introductions to their lovers and are generally dependent upon a
haphazard acquaintance although that Lurine did not know. The young
man spoke to her on the bridge raising his hat from his black head as
he did so.
"Good evening!" was all he said to her.
She glanced sideways shyly at him but did not answer and the young
man walked on beside her.
"You come this way every night" he said. "I have been watching you.
Are you offended?"
"No" she answered almost in a whisper.
"Then may I walk with you to your home?" he asked.
"You may walk with me as far as the corner of the Rue de Lille" she
"Thank you!" said the young fellow and together they walked the short
distance and there he bade her good night after asking permission to
meet her at the corner of the Rue St. Honore and walk home with her
the next night.
"You must not come to the shop" she said.
"I understand" he replied nodding his head in assent to her wishes.
He told her his name was Jean Duret and by-and-by she called him Jean
and he called her Lurine. He never haunted the Pharmacie now but
waited for her at the corner and one Sunday he took her for a little
excursion on the river which she enjoyed exceedingly. Thus time went
on and Lurine was very happy. The statue smiled its enigmatical smile
though when the sky was overcast there seemed to her a subtle warning
in the smile. Perhaps it was because they had quarrelled the night
before. Jean had seemed to her harsh and unforgiving. He had asked her
if she could not bring him some things from the Pharmacie and gave her
a list of three chemicals the names of which he had written on a
"You can easily get them" he had said; "they are in every Pharmacie
and will never be missed."
"But" said the girl in horror "that would be stealing."
The young man laughed.
"How much do they pay you there?" he asked. And when she told him he
laughed again and said
"Why bless you if I got so little as that I would take something from
the shelves every day and sell it."
The girl looked at him in amazement and he angry at her turned upon
his heel and left her. She leaned her arms upon the parapet of the
bridge and looked down into the dark water. The river always
fascinated her at night and she often paused to look at it when
crossing the bridge shuddering as she did so. She cried a little as
she thought of his abrupt departure and wondered if she had been too
harsh with him. After all it was not very much he had asked her to do
and they did pay her so little at the Pharmacie. And then perhaps her
lover was poor and needed the articles he had asked her to get.
Perhaps he was ill and had said nothing. There was a touch on her
shoulder. She looked round. Jean was standing beside her but the frown
had not yet disappeared from his brow.
"Give me that paper" he said abruptly.
She unclosed her hand and he picked the paper from it and was turning
"Stop!" she said "I will get you what you want but I will myself put
the money in the till for what they cost."
He stood there looking at her for a moment and then said--"Lurine I
think you are a little fool. They owe you ever so much more than that.
However I must have the things" and he gave her back the paper with
the caution--"Be sure you let no one see that and be very certain that
you get the right things." He walked with her as far as the corner of
the Rue de Lille. "You are not angry with me?" he asked her before they
"I would do anything for you" she whispered and then he kissed her
She got the chemicals when the proprietor was out and tied them up
neatly as was her habit afterwards concealing them in the little
basket in which she carried her lunch. The proprietor was a sharp-eyed
old lynx who looked well after his shop and his pretty little
"Who has been getting so much chlorate of potash?" he asked taking
down the jar and looking sharply at her.
The girl trembled.
"It is all right" she said. "Here is the money in the till."
"Of course" he said. "I did not expect you to give it away for
nothing. Who bought it?"
"An old man" replied the girl trembling still but the proprietor did
not notice that--he was counting the money and found it right.
"I was wondering what he wanted with so much of it. If he comes in
again look sharply at him and be able to describe him to me. It seems
suspicious." Why it seemed suspicious Lurine did not know but she
passed an anxious time until she took the basket in her hand and went
to meet her lover at the corner of the Rue des Pyramides. His first
"Have you brought me the things?"
"Yes" she answered. "Will you take them here now?"
"Not here not here" he replied hurriedly and then asked anxiously
"Did anyone see you take them?"
"No but the proprietor knows of the large package for he counted the
"What money?" asked Jean.
"Why the money for the things. You didn't think I was going to steal
them did you?"
The young man laughed and drew her into a quiet corner of the Gardens
of the Tuileries.
"I will not have time to go with you to the Rue de Lille to-night" he
"But you will come as usual to-morrow night?" she asked anxiously.
"Certainly certainly." he replied as he rapidly concealed the
packages in his pockets.
The next night the girl waited patiently for her lover at the corner
where they were in the habit of meeting but he did not come. She stood
under the glaring light of a lamp-post so that he would recognize her
at once. Many people accosted her as she stood there but she answered
none looking straight before her with clear honest eyes and they
passed on after a moment's hesitation. At last she saw a man running
rapidly down the street and as he passed a brilliantly-lighted window
she recognized Jean. He came quickly towards her.
"Here I am" she cried running forward. She caught him by the arm
saying "Oh Jean what is the matter?"
He shook her rudely and shouted at her--"Let me go you fool!" But she
clung to him until he raised his fist and struck her squarely in the
face. Lurine staggered against the wall and Jean ran on. A stalwart
man who had spoken to Lurine a few moments before and not
understanding her silence stood in a doorway near watching her sprang
out when he saw the assault and thrust his stick between the feet of
the flying man flinging him face forward on the pavement. The next
instant he placed his foot upon Jean's neck holding him down as if he
were a snake.
"You villain!" he cried. "Strike a woman would you?"
Jean lay there as if stunned and two gens d'armes came pantingly upon
"This scoundrel" said the man "has just assaulted a woman. I saw
"He has done more than that" said one of the officers grimly as if
after all the striking of a woman was but a trivial affair.
They secured the young man and dragged him with them. The girl came up
to them and said falteringly--
"It is all a mistake it was an accident. He didn't mean to do it."
"Oh he didn't and pray how do you know?" asked one of the officers.
"You little devil" said Jean to the girl through his clinched teeth
"it's all your fault."
The officers hurried him off.
"I think" said one "that we should have arrested the girl; you heard
what she said."
"Yes" said the other "but we have enough on our hands now if the
crowd find out who he is."
Lurine thought of following them but she was so stunned by the words
that her lover had said to her rather than by the blow he had given
her that she turned her steps sadly towards the Pont Royal and went to
The next morning she did not go through the gardens as usual to her
work and when she entered the Pharmacie de Siam the proprietor cried
out "Here she is the vixen! Who would have thought it of her? You
wretch you stole my drugs to give to that villain!"
"I did not" said Lurine stoutly. "I put the money in the till for
"Hear her! She confesses!" said the proprietor.
The two concealed officers stepped forward and arrested her where she
stood as the accomplice of Jean Duret who the night before had flung
a bomb in the crowded Avenue de l'Opera.
Even the prejudiced French judges soon saw that the girl was innocent
of all evil intent and was but the victim of the scoundrel who passed
by the name of Jean Duret. He was sentenced for life; she was set free.
He had tried to place the blame on her like the craven he was to
shield another woman. This was what cut Lurine to the heart. She might
have tried to find an excuse for his crime but she realized that he
had never cared for her and had but used her as his tool to get
possession of the chemicals he dared not buy.
In the drizzling rain she walked away from her prison penniless and
broken in body and in spirit. She passed the little Pharmacie de Siam
not daring to enter. She walked in the rain along the Rue des
Pyramides and across the Rue de Rivoli and into the Tuileries
Gardens. She had forgotten about her stone woman but unconsciously
her steps were directed to her. She looked up at her statue with
amazement at first not recognizing it. It was no longer the statue of
a smiling woman. The head was thrown back the eyes closed. The last
mortal agony was on the face. It was a ghastly monument to Death. The
girl was so perplexed by the change in her statue that for the moment
she forgot the ruin of her own life. She saw that the smiling face was
but a mask held in place by the curving of the left arm over it. Life
she realized now was made up of tragedy and comedy and he who sees
but the smiling face sees but the half of life. The girl hurried on to
the bridge sobbing quietly to herself and looked down at the grey
river water. The passers-by paid no attention to her. Why she
wondered had she ever thought the river cold and cruel and merciless?
It is the only home of the homeless the only lover that does not
change. She turned back to the top of the flight of steps which lead
down to the water's brink. She looked toward the Tuileries Gardens
But she could not see her statue for the trees which intervened. "I
too will be a woman of stone" she said as she swiftly descended the
THE CHEMISTRY OF ANARCHY.
It has been said in the London papers that the dissolution of the Soho
Anarchist League was caused by want of funds. This is very far from
being the case. An Anarchist League has no need for funds and so long
as there is money enough to buy beer the League is sure of continued
existence. The truth about the scattering of the Soho organization was
told me by a young newspaper-man who was chairman at the last meeting.
The young man was not an anarchist though he had to pretend to be one
in the interests of his paper and so joined the Soho League where he
made some fiery speeches that were much applauded. At last Anarchist
news became a drug in the market and the editor of the paper young
Marshall Simkins belonged to told him that he would now have to turn
his attention to Parliamentary work as he would print no more
Anarchist news in the sheet.
One might think that young Simkins would have been glad to get rid of
his anarchist work as he had no love for the cause. He was glad to get
rid of it but he found some difficulty in sending in his resignation.
The moment he spoke of resigning the members became suspicious of him.
He had always been rather better dressed than the others and besides
he drank less beer. If a man wishes to be in good standing in the
League he must not be fastidious as to dress and he must be
constructed to hold at least a gallon of beer at a sitting. Simkins was
merely a "quart" man and this would have told against him all along if
it had not been for the extra gunpowder he put in his speeches. On
several occasions seasoned Anarchists had gathered about him and begged
him to give up his designs on the Parliament buildings.
The older heads claimed that desirable as was the obliteration of the
Houses of Parliament the time was not yet ripe for it. England they
pointed out was the only place where Anarchists could live and talk
unmolested so while they were quite anxious that Simkins should go
and blow up Vienna Berlin or Paris they were not willing for him to
begin on London. Simkins was usually calmed down with much difficulty
and finally after hissing "Cowards!" two or three times under his
breath he concluded with "Oh very well then you know better than I
do--I am only a young recruit; but allow me at least to blow up
Waterloo Bridge or spring a bomb in Fleet Street just to show that we
are up and doing."
But this the Anarchists would not sanction. If he wanted to blow up
bridges he could try his hand on those across the Seine. They had
given their word that there would be no explosions in London so long as
England afforded them an asylum.
"But look at Trafalgar Square" cried Simkins angrily; "we are not
allowed to meet there."
"Who wants to meet there?" said the chairman. "It is ever so much more
comfortable in these rooms and there is no beer in Trafalgar Square."
"Yes yes" put in several others; "the time is not yet ripe for it."
Thus was Simkins calmed down and beer allowed to flow again in
tranquillity while some foreign Anarchist who was not allowed to set
foot in his native country would get up and harangue the crowd in
broken English and tell them what great things would yet be done by
But when Simkins sent in his resignation a change came over their
feelings towards him and he saw at once that he was a marked man. The
chairman in a whisper advised him to withdraw his resignation. So
Simkins who was a shrewd young fellow understanding the temper of the
assembly arose and said:--
"I have no desire to resign but you do nothing except talk and I want
to belong to an Anarchist Society that acts." He stayed away from the
next meeting and tried to drop them in that way but a committee from
the League called upon him at his lodgings and his landlady thought
that young Simkins had got into bad ways when he had such evil-looking
men visiting him.
Simkins was in a dilemma and could not make up his mind what to do.