"Better peg along, Jonas," he said. "The Secretary's due in a minute!"
Jonas gathered the fan to his breast and scuttled out the side door as Enoch Huntingdon came in at the Secretary's private entrance.
The years had done much for Enoch. He stood six feet one in his socks. He was not heavy but still had something of the rangy look of his boyhood. He was big boned and broad chested. College athletics had developed his lungs and flattened his shoulder blades. His hair was copper-colored, vaguely touched with gray at the temples and very thick and unruly. His features were still rough hewn but time had hardened their immaturity to a rugged incisiveness. His cheek bones were high and his cheeks were slightly hollowed. His eyes were a burning, brilliant blue, deep set under overhanging brows. His mouth was large, thin lipped and exceedingly sensitive; the mouth of the speaker. He wore a white linen suit.
"Good morning, Mr. Abbott," he said, dropping his panama hat on a corner of the conference table.
"Good morning, Mr. Secretary! I hope you are rested after yesterday. Seems to me that was as hard a day as we ever had."
Enoch dropped into his chair. "Was it really harder, Abbott, or was it this frightful weather?"
"Well, we didn't have more appointments than usual, but some of them were unusually trying. That woman who wanted to be reappointed to the Pension Office, for example."
Enoch nodded. "I'd rather see Satan come into this office than a woman. Try to head them off, Abbott, whenever you can."
"I always do, sir! Will you run through this correspondence, Mr. Huntingdon, before I call in the Idaho contingent?"
Enoch began rapidly to read letters and to dictate terse replies. They were not more than a third of the way down the pile when a buzzer sounded. Enoch looked up inquiringly.
"I told Jonas to buzz for me at 9:20," explained young Abbott. "I don't dare keep the people in the waiting-room watching the clock longer than that. We'll fit this in at odd times, as usual. Remember, Mr. Secretary, you can't give these people more than fifteen minutes. Shall I come in and speak to you, at that time?"
"Perhaps you'd better," replied Enoch.
Abbott opened the door into the outer room. "Gentlemen, the Secretary will receive you," he said. "Mr. Secretary, allow me to present Mr. Reeves, Mr. Carleton, Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Dunkel, Mr. Street, Mr. Swiftwater and Mr. Manges."
The men filing into the room bowed and mumbled. Enoch looked after Abbott's retreating back admiringly. "I've been hearing Abbott do that sort of thing for two years, but it never fails to rouse my admiration," he said.
"A wonderful memory!" commented one of the visitors.
"Abbott is going into politics later," Enoch went on. "A memory such as his will carry him far."
"Not as far as a silver tongue," suggested another man, with a twinkle in his eye.
"That remains to be seen," smiled Enoch. He had a very pleasant smile, showing even, white teeth. "Well, gentlemen, what can I do for you?"
"Mr. Secretary," said the spokesman of the delegation, "as you know, we represent the business men of the State of Idaho. There is a very bitter controversy going on in our State over your recent ruling on the matter of Water Power Control. We believe your ruling works an injustice on the business men of our state and as nothing came of correspondence, we thought we'd come along East and have a talk with you."
"I'm glad you did," said Enoch. "You see, my work is of such a nature that unless you people on the firing line keep in touch with me, I may go astray on the practical, human side. You are all States' Rights men, of course."
The delegation nodded.
"My ideas on Water Power are simple enough," said Enoch. "The time is approaching when oil, gas, and coal will not supply the power needed in America. We shall have to turn more and more to electricity produced by water power. There is enough water in the streams of this country to turn every wheel in every district. But it must be harnessed, and after it is harnessed it must be sold to the people at a just price. What I want to do is to produce all the available water power latent in our waterways. Then I want the poorest people in America to have access to it. There is enough power at a price possible even to the poorest."
"We all agree with you so far, Mr. Secretary," said the chair-man of the delegation.
"I thought you would!" Enoch's beautiful voice had a curious dignity for all its geniality. "Now my policy aims to embody the idea that the men who develop the water power of America shall not develop for themselves and their associates a water power monopoly."
"We fear that as much as you do, Mr. Secretary," said one of the delegates. "But let the state control that. We fear too much bureaucracy and centralization of authority here in Washington. And don't forget, if it came to a scratch, we could say to Uncle Sam, you own the stream, but you shan't use a street or a town facility reaching it."
Enoch raised his eyebrows. "Uncle Sam doesn't want more power. If the states had not been so careless and so corrupt in regard to their public lands and their waters, there would be no need now for the Department of the Interior to assert its authority. Show me, Mr. Delegate, that there are neither politics nor monopolistic dreams in Idaho's attitude toward her Water Power problem and I'd begin to de-centralize our policy toward your state."
Abbott opened the door and tip-toed to Enoch's desk. "I'm sorry, Mr. Secretary," he said softly, "but Senator Far has been waiting five minutes."
"I'm sorry too," replied Enoch. "Gentlemen, we have used up the time allotted. Will you make arrangements with Mr. Abbott for a longer conference, to-morrow? Come back with the proofs!" He smiled, and the gentlemen from Idaho smiled in return, but a little ruefully. The last one had not turned his back when Enoch began an attack on the pile of letters.
A ruddy-faced, much wrinkled man appeared in the door.
"Senator Far, Mr. Secretary," announced Abbott. Enoch rose and held out his hand. "Senator, you look warm. Oh, Abbott, tell Jonas to turn on the fan. What can I do for Arkansas, Senator?"
Jonas came in hurriedly. "Mr. Secretary, that fan's laid down on me. How come it to do it, I haven't found out yet. I tried to borrow one from a friend of mine, but—"
"Never mind, Jonas," said Enoch. "I don't expect you to be an electrician. Perhaps the power's still off in the building. I noticed there were no lights when I came in."
Jonas' eyes grew as big as saucers. "It sure takes brains to be a Secretary," he muttered, as he turned to hurry from the room.
The two men grinned at each other. "What I wanted was an appointment for a friend of mine," said Senator Far. "He's done a lot for the party and I want to get him into the Reclamation Service."
"He's an engineer?" asked Enoch, lighting the cigar the Senator gave him.
"I don't think so. He's been playing politics ever since I knew him. He has a good following in the state."
"Why the Reclamation Service then! By the eternal, Senator, can't you fellows leave one department clear of the spoils system? I'm here to tell you, I'm proud of the Service. It's made up of men with brains. They get their jobs on pure ability. And you fellows—"
"Oh, all right, Mr. Huntingdon!" interrupted Senator Far, rising, "I'm always glad to know where you stand! Good morning!"
He hurried from the room and Enoch sighed, looked out the window, then read a half dozen letters before Abbott announced the next caller, a man who wanted his pension increased and who had managed to reach the Secretary through a letter from the president of a great college. Then followed at five and ten minute intervals a man from Kansas who had ideas on the allotment of Indian lands; a Senator who wanted light on a bill the Secretary wished introduced; a man from Alaska who objected to the government's attitude on Alaskan coal mines; the chairman of a State Central Committee who wanted three appointments, and a well known engineer who had a grievance against the Patent Office. Followed these, an hour's conference with the Attorney General regarding the New Pension Bill, and at noon a conference with the head of the Reclamation Service on the matter of a new dam.
When this conference was over, Enoch once more attacked the correspondence pile which, during the morning, having been constantly fed by the indefatigable Abbott, was now of overwhelming proportions. It was nearly two o'clock when Jonas, having popped his head in and out of the door a half dozen times, evidently waiting for the Boss to look up, entered the room with a tray.
"Luncheon is served, sir," he said.
"Put it right here, Jonas." Enoch did not raise his head.
Jonas set the tray firmly on the conference table. "No, sir, Mr. Secretary, I ain't goin' to sit it there. You're going to git up and come over here and keep your mind on your food. How come you think you got iron insides?"
Enoch sighed. "All right, Jonas, I'm coming." He rose, stretched and moved over to the table. The man ceremoniously pulled out a chair for him, then lifted the towel from the tray and hung it over his arm. On the tray were a bottle of milk, a banana and some shredded wheat biscuit, with two cigars.
"Any time you want me to change your lunch, Mr. Secretary, you say so," said Jonas.
Enoch laughed. "Jonas, old man, how long have I been eating this fodder for lunch?"
"Ever since you was Secretary to the Mayor, boss!"
"And how many times do you suppose you've told me you were willing to change it, Jonas?"
"Every time, boss. How come you think I like to see a smart man like you living on baby food?"
Enoch grunted. "And how many times have I told you the only way for me to live through the banquets I have to attend is to keep to this sort of thing when I am alone?"
Jonas did not reply. Enoch's simple lunches never ceased to trouble him.
"Where do I go to-night, Jonas?"
"The British Ambassador's, Mr. Secretary."
Enoch finished his lunch rapidly and had just lighted the first of the cigars when Abbott appeared.
"There's a woman out here from the Sunday Times, Mr. Secretary. She wants to interview you on your ideas on marriage. She has a letter from Senator Brownlee or I wouldn't have disturbed you. She looks as if she could make trouble, if she wanted to."
"Tell her I'm sorry, but that I have no ideas about marriage and that Jonas is as near a wife as I care to get. He henpecks me enough, don't you, Jonas, old man! Abbott, just remember, once for all, I won't see the women."
"Very well," replied Abbott. "Will you dictate a few moments on your report to the President on the Pension controversy?"
"Yes!" Enoch pulled a handful of notes out of his pocket and began to dictate clearly and rapidly. For ten minutes his voice rose steadily above the raucous uproar that floated in at the window. Then the telephone rang. Abbott answered it.
"The White House, Mr. Secretary," he said. Enoch picked up the receiver. After a few moments' conversation he rose, his face eager.
"Abbott, the Mexican trouble appears to be coming to a crisis and the President has called a cabinet meeting. I doubt if I can get back here until after five. Will you express my regrets to the Argentine delegation and make a new appointment? Is there any one in the waiting-room?"
"Six people. I can get rid of them all except Alton of the Bureau of Mines. I think you must see him."
"Send him in," said Enoch. "I'll ask him to ride as far as the White House with me. And I'll be back to finish the letters, Abbott. I dare not let them accumulate a single day."
Abbott nodded and hurried out. A tall, bronzed man, wiping the sweat from his bald head, came in just as Jonas announced, "The carriage, Mr. Secretary."
"Come along, Alton," said Enoch. "We'll talk your model coal mine as we go."
It was six o'clock when Enoch appeared again in his office. His linen suit was wrinkled and sweat stained between the shoulders. He tossed his hat on a chair.
"Abbott, will you telephone Senor Juan Cadiz and ask him to meet me at my house at ten thirty to-night? He is at the Willard. Tell Jonas to interrupt us promptly at seven, I mustn't be late to dinner. Now, for this mess."
Once more he began the attack on the day's mail, which Abbott had already reduced to its lowest dimensions. Enoch worked with a power of concentration and a quick decisiveness that were ably seconded by Charley Abbott. It was a quarter before seven when Enoch picked up the last letter. He read it through rapidly, then laid it down slowly, and stared out of the window for a long moment. Abbott gave his chief's face a quick glance, then softly shoved under his hand the pile of letters that were waiting signature. The letter that Enoch had just read was dated at the Grand Canyon.
"Dear Mr. Secretary," it ran, "it is twenty-two years since I took a red-headed New York boy down Bright Angel trail. You and I have never heard from each other since, but, naturally I have followed your career with interest. And now I'm going to ask a favor of you. My daughter Diana wants a job in the Indian Bureau and she's coming to Washington to see you. Don't give her a job! She doesn't have to work. I can take care of her. I'm an old man and selfish and I don't like to be deprived of my daughter for my few remaining years.
"With heart-felt congratulations on your great career,
"I am yours most respectfully,
Enoch drew a deep breath and took up his fountain pen. He signed with a rapid, illegible scrawl that toward the end of the pile became a mere hieroglyphic. Jonas put his black face in at the door just as he finished the last.
"Coming, Jonas!" said the Secretary. "By the way, Abbott, I'll answer that letter from Frank Allen the first thing in the morning. Good night, old man! Rather a lighter day than yesterday, eh?"
"Yes, indeed, Mr. Secretary!" agreed Abbott, as Enoch picked up his hat and went hastily out the door Jonas held open for him.
It was seven twenty when Enoch reached home. His house was small, with a lawn about the size of a saucer in front, and a back yard entirely monopolized by a tiny magnolia tree. Enoch rented the house furnished and it was full of the home atmosphere created by the former diplomat's wife from whom he leased it. Jonas was his steward and his valet. While other servants came and went, Jonas was there forever. He followed Enoch upstairs and turned on the bath water, then hurried to lay out evening clothes. During the entire process of dressing the two men did not exchange a word but Jonas heaved a sigh of satisfaction when at ten minutes before eight he opened the hall door. Enoch smiled, patted him on the shoulders and ran down the stairs.
A dinner at the British Ambassador's was always exceedingly formal as to food and service, exceedingly informal as to conversation. Enoch took in a woman novelist, a woman a little past middle age who was very small and very famous.
"Well," she said, as she pulled off her gloves, "I've been wanting to meet you for a long time."
"I'm not difficult to meet," returned Enoch, with a smile.
"As to that I've had no personal experience but three; several friends of mine have been trampled upon by your secretary. They all were women, of course."
"Why, of course?" demanded Enoch.
"One of the qualities that is said to make you so attractive to my sex is that you are a woman hater. Now just why do you hate us?"
"I don't hate women." Enoch spoke with simple sincerity. "I'm afraid of them."
"I don't think I really know. Do you like men?"
"Yes, I do," replied Mrs. Rotherick promptly.
"Why?" asked Enoch.
"They aren't such cats as women," she chuckled. "Perhaps cat fear is your trouble! What are you going to do about Mexico, Mr. Huntingdon?"
Enoch smiled. "I told the President at great length, this afternoon, what I thought we ought to do. He gave no evidence, however, that he was going to take my advice, or any one else's for that matter."
"Of course, I'm not trying to pick your confidence. Mr. Secretary!" Mrs. Rotherick spoke quickly. "You know, I've lived for years in Germany. I say to you, beware of Germany in Mexico, Mr. Huntingdon."
"What kind of people did you know in Germany?" asked Enoch.
"Many kinds! But my most intimate friend was an American woman who was married to a German General, high in the confidence of the Kaiser. I know the Kaiserin well. I know that certain German diplomats are deeply versed in Mexican lore—its geography, its geology, its people. I know that Germany must have more land or burst. Mr. Secretary, remember what I say, Germany is deeply interested in Mexico and she is the cleverest nation in the world to-day."
"What nation is that, Mrs. Rotherick?" asked the Ambassador.
"Germany!" replied the little woman.
"Possibly you look at Germany through the eyes of a fiction writer," suggested the Englishman.
"It's impossible to fictionize Germany," laughed Mrs. Rotherick. "One could much more easily write a rhapsody on—"
"On the Secretary of the Interior," interrupted the Ambassador.
"Or on the Bank of England," laughed Mrs. Rotherick. "Very well, gentlemen! I hope you never will have cause to remember my warning!"
It was just as the ladies were leaving the table that Enoch said to Mrs. Rotherick: "Will you be so kind as to write me a letter telling me of your suspicions of Germany in Mexico? I shall treat it as confidential."
Mrs. Rotherick nodded, and he did not see her again that evening. Just before Enoch departed for his engagement with Senor Cadiz, the Ambassador buttonholed him.
"Look here, Huntingdon," he said, "that little Mrs. Rotherick knows a thing or two. She's better informed on international relations than many chaps in the diplomatic service. If I were you I'd pump her."
"Thanks, Mr. Johns-Eaton," replied Enoch. "Look here, just how much of a row are you fellows going to make about those mines in the Alaskan border country? Why shouldn't Canada take that trouble on?"
"Just how much trouble are you going to make about the seal misunderstanding?" demanded Johns-Eaton.
"Well," replied Enoch, with a wide smile, "I have a new gelding I'd like to try out, to-morrow morning. If you'll join me at seven-thirty on that rack of bones you call a bay mare, I'll tell you all I know."
"You will, like thunder!" laughed Johns-Eaton. "But I'll be there and jolly well give you the opportunity!"
Senor Juan Cadiz was prompt and so was Enoch. For a long hour the two sat in the breathless heat of the July night while the Mexican answered Enoch's terse questions with a flow of dramatic speech, accentuated by wild gestures. Shortly after eleven-thirty Jonas appeared in the doorway with two tinkling glasses.
"You are sure as to your facts about this bandit leader?" asked Enoch in a low voice.
"Of an absolute sureness. If I—"
The Secretary interrupted. "Could you go to Mexico for me, in entire secrecy?"
"Yes! Yes! Yes! If you could but see him and he you! If he could but know an American of your type, your fairness, your kindness, your justice! We have been taught to despise and hate Americans, you must know."
"Who has taught you?"
"Sometimes, I think partly by the Germans who have come among the people. But why should Germany do so?"
"Why indeed?" returned Enoch, and the two men stared at each other, deep intelligence in the gaze of each. Jonas tinkled the glasses again and Senor Cadiz jumped to his feet.
"I know, Senor Jonas!" he laughed. "That is the good night cap, eh!"
Jonas grinned acquiescence, and five minutes later he turned off the lights in the library. Enoch climbed the stairs, somewhat wearily. His room was stifling despite the wide-flung windows and the electric fan. He slowly and thoughtfully got himself into his pajamas, lighted a cigarette, and walked over to the table that stood in the bay window. He unlocked the table drawer and took out a large blank book of loose leafed variety, opened it, and seating himself he picked up his pen and began to write.
"July 17.—Rather an easier day than usual, Lucy, which was fortunate, for the heat has been almost unbearable and at the end of the office day came that which stirred old memories almost intolerably. A letter from Frank Allen! You remember him, Lucy? I told you about him, when I first began my diary. Well, he has written that his daughter, Diana, is coming to Washington to ask me for a job which he does not wish me to give her. I cannot see her! Only you know the pain that such a meeting could give me! It would be like going to Bright Angel again. And while the thought of going back to the Grand Canyon has intrigued me for twenty-two years, I must go in my own way and in my own time. And I am not ready yet. I had forgotten, by the way, that Frank had a daughter. There was, now that I think of it, a little thing of five or six who went down Bright Angel with us. I have only the vaguest recollection of what she looked like.
"Minetta Lane and the Grand Canyon! What a hideous, what a grotesque coupling of names! I have never seen the one of them since I was fourteen and the other but once, yet these two have absolutely made my life. Don't scold me, Lucy! I know you have begged me never to mention Minetta Lane again. But to you, I must. Do you know what I thought to-night after I left the British Ambassador? I thought that I'd like to be in Luigi's second floor again, with a deck of cards and the old gang. The old gang! They've all except Luigi been in Sing-Sing or dead, these many years. Yet the desire was so strong that only the thought of you and your dear, faithful eyes kept me from charging like a wild elephant into a Pullman office and getting a berth to New York."
Enoch dropped his pen and stared long at the only picture in his room, a beautiful Moran painting of Bright Angel trail. Finally, he rose and turned off the light. When Jonas listened at the door at half after midnight, the sound of Enoch's steady, regular breathing sent that faithful soul complacently to bed.
"If only someone had taught me ethics as Christ taught them, while I was still a little boy, I would be a finer citizen, now."—Enoch's Diary.
It rained the next day and the Secretary of the Interior and the British Ambassador did not attempt the proposed ride. Enoch did his usual half hour's work with the punching bag and reached his office punctual to the minute, with his wonted air of lack of haste and general physical fitness. Before he even glanced at his morning's mail, he dictated a letter to Frank Allen.
"Dear Frank: Your letter roused a host of memories. Some day I shall come to Bright Angel again and you and I will camp once more in the bottom of the Canyon. Whatever success I have had in after life is due to you and John Seaton. I wonder if you know that he has been dead for twenty years and that his devoted wife survived him only by a year?
"I will do my best to carry out your request in regard to your daughter.
"Cordially and gratefully yours,
After he had finished dictating this, the Secretary stared out of the window thoughtfully. Then he said, "Let me have that at once, Mr. Abbott. Who is waiting this morning?"
"Mr. Reeves of Idaho. I made an appointment yesterday for the delegation to meet you at nine-fifteen. Reeves has turned up alone. He says the committee decided it would get further if you saw him alone."
"Reeves was the short, stout man with small eyes set close together!"
"Yes, Mr. Secretary."
Enoch grunted. "Any one else there you want to tell me about before the procession begins?"
"Do you recall the man Armstrong who was here six months ago with ideas on the functions of the Bureau of Education? I didn't let him see you, but I sent you a memorandum of the matter. He is back to-day and I've promised him ten minutes. I think he's the kind of a man you want in the Bureau. He doesn't want a job, by the way."
"I'll see him," said Enoch. "It you can, let us have fifteen minutes."
Abbott sighed. "It's impossible, Mr. Secretary. I'll bring Reeves in now."
The delegate from Idaho shook hands effusively.
"The rain is a great relief, Mr. Secretary."
"Yes, it is. Washington is difficult to endure, in the summer, isn't it? Well, did you bring in the proofs, Mr. Reeves?" Enoch seated himself and his caller sank into the neighboring chair.
"Mr. Secretary," he began, with a smile, "has it ever occurred to you that we have been stupid in the number and kind of Bureaus we have accumulated in Department of the Interior?"
"Yes," replied Enoch. "I suppose you are thinking of Patents, Pensions, Parks, Geological Survey, Land, Indians and Education. Do you know that beside these we have, American Antiquities, the Superintendent of Capitol Buildings, the Government Hospital for the Insane, Freedman's Hospital, Howard University, and the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb?"
"No, I didn't. But it only goes to prove what I say. It's impossible for the Secretary of the Interior to find time to understand local conditions. Why not let the states manage the water and land problems?"
"It would be illegal," replied Enoch briefly.
"Oh, illegal! You're too good a lawyer, Mr. Secretary, to let that thought hamper your acts!"
"On the contrary," returned Enoch, succinctly, "I was a poor lawyer. In some ways of course it is impossible for me to understand local conditions in Idaho. I am told, though, that your present state administration is corrupt as Tammany understands corruption."
Reeves cleared his throat and would have spoken, but Enoch pushed on.
"I have found, as the head of this complex Department that I must limit myself as much as possible to formulating simple, basic policies and putting these policies into the hands of men who will carry them out. In general, my most important work is to administer the public domain. That is, I must discover how best the natural resources that the Federal Government still controls can be put into public service and public service that is the highest and best. I believe that the water, the land, the mines, ought to be given to the use of the average citizen. I do not think that a corrupt politician nor a favor-seeking business man has the best good of the plain citizen at heart."
"That is very interesting from the dreamer's point of view," said Reeves. "But a government to be successful must be practical. Who's going to develop the water power in our Idaho streams?"
"The people of Idaho, if they show a desire to make a fair interest on their investment. The government of the United States, if the people of Idaho fail to show the proper spirit."
"And who is to be the judge in the matter?" demanded Reeves.
"The Secretary of the Interior will be the judge. And he is not one whit interested in you and your friends growing wealthy. He is interested in Bill Jones getting electricity up on that lonely ranch of his. Never forget, Mr. Reeves, that the ultimate foundations of this nation rest on the wise distribution of its natural resources. The average citizen, Mr. Reeves, must have reason to view the future with hope. If he does not, the nation cannot endure."
"And why do you consider yourself competent to deal with these problems?" asked the caller, with a half-concealed sneer.
"Any man with education and horse sense can handle them, provided that his philosophy is sound. You have come to Washington with the idea, Mr. Reeves, of getting at me, of tempting me with some sort of share in the wealth you see in your streams. Other men have come to the Capitol with the same purpose. I have my temptations, Mr. Reeves, but they do not lie in the desire to graft. I think there are jobs more interesting in life than the job of getting rich. All the grafting in the world couldn't touch in interest the job of directing America's inland destiny. And I have a foolish notion that a man owes his country public service, that he owes it for no reward beyond a living and for no other reason than that he is a man with a brain."
Reeves, whose face had grown redder and redder, half rose from his chair.
"One moment," said Enoch. "Have you a sound, fair, policy for Idaho water power, that will help Bill Jones in the same proportion that it helps you?"
"I had no policy. I came down here to get yours. I've got it all right, and I'm going back and tell my folks they'd better give up any idea of water power during the present administration."
"I wouldn't tell them that," said Enoch, "because it wouldn't be true. I am considering a most interesting proposition from Idaho farmers. I thought perhaps you had something better."
Reeves jumped to his feet. "I'll not be made a monkey of any longer!" he shouted. "But I'll get you for this yet," and he rushed from the office.
Enoch shrugged his shoulders as he turned to the inevitable pile of letters. Abbott came in with a broad smile.
"Mr. Secretary, Miss Diana Allen is in the outer office."
Enoch scowled. "Have I got to see her?"
"Well, she's mighty easy to look at, Mr. Secretary! And more than that, she announces that if you're engaged, she'll wait, a day, a week, or a month."
Enoch groaned. "Show her in, Abbott, and be ready to show her out in five minutes."
Abbott showed her in. She entered the room slowly, a tall woman in a brown silk suit. Everything about her it seemed to Enoch at first was brown, except her eyes. Even her skin was a rich, even cream tint. But her eyes were hazel, the largest, frankest, most intelligent eyes Enoch ever had seen in a woman's head. And with the eyes went an expression of extraordinary sweetness, a sweetness to which every feature contributed, the rather short, straight nose, the full, sensitive lips, with deep, upturned corners, the round chin.
True beauty in a woman is something far deeper, far less tangible than mere perfection of feature. One grows unutterably weary of the Venus de Milo type of face, with its expressionless perfection. And yet, so careless is nature that not twice in a lifetime does one see a woman's face in which are combined fineness of intelligence and of character, and beauty of feature. But Diana was the thrice fortunate possessor of this combination. She was so lovely that one's heart ached while it exulted in looking at her. For it seemed a tragic thing that beauty so deep and so rare should embody itself in a form so ephemeral as the human body.
She was very slender. She was very erect. Her small head with the masses of light brown hair shining beneath the simple hat, was held proudly. Yet there was a matchless simplicity and lack of self-consciousness about Diana that impressed even the careless observer: if there was a careless observer of Diana!
Enoch stood beside his desk in his usual dignified calm. His keen eyes swept Diana from head to foot.
"You are kind to see me so quickly, Mr. Secretary," said Diana, holding out her hand.
Enoch smiled, but only slightly. It seemed to Diana that she never had seen so young a man with so stern a face.
"You must have arrived on the same train with your father's note, Miss Allen. Is this your first trip east?"
"Yes, Mr. Huntingdon," replied Diana, sinking into the chair opposite Enoch's. "If he had had his way, bless his heart, I wouldn't have had even a first trip. Isn't it strange that he should have such an antipathy to New York and Washington!"
The Secretary looked at the girl thoughtfully. "As I recall your father, he usually had a good reason for whatever he felt or did. You're planning to stay in Washington, are you, Miss Allen?"
"If I can get work in the Indian Bureau!" replied Diana.
"Why the Indian Bureau?" asked Enoch.
"I'm a photographer of Indians," answered Diana simply. "I've been engaged for years in trying to make a lasting pictorial record of the Indians and their ways. I've reached the limit of what I can do without access to records and books and I can't afford a year of study in Washington unless I work. That's why I want work in the Indian Bureau. Killing two birds with one stone, Mr. Secretary."
Enoch did not shift his thoughtful gaze from the sweet face opposite his for a long moment after she had ceased to speak. Then he pressed the desk button and Abbott appeared. He glanced at his chief, then his eyes fastened themselves on Diana's profile.
"Mr. Abbott, will you ask the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to come in? I believe he is with the Assistant Secretary this morning."
Charley nodded and disappeared.
"I brought a little portfolio of some of my prints," Diana spoke hesitatingly. "I left them in the other room. Mr. Abbott thought you might like to see them, but perhaps—you seem so very busy and I think there must be at least a thousand people waiting to see you!"
"There always are," said Enoch, without a smile as he pressed another button. Jonas' black head appeared. "Bring in the portfolio Miss Allen left in the other room, please, Jonas!"
"Yes, Mr. Secretary," replied Jonas, withdrawing his eyes slowly from Diana's eager face.
The portfolio and the Indian Commissioner arrived together. After the introduction had been made, Enoch said:
"Watkins, do you know anything about Indians?"
"Very little, Mr. Secretary," with a smile.
"Would you be interested in looking at some photographs of Indian life?"
"Made by this young lady?" asked Watkins, looking with unconcealed interest at Diana.
"Yes," said Enoch.
"And shown and explained by her?" asked the Indian Commissioner, a twinkle in his brown eyes.
Diana laughed, and so did Abbott. Enoch's even white teeth flashed for a moment.
"I wish I had time to join you," he said. "What I want to suggest, Mr. Watkins, is that you see if Miss Allen will qualify to take care of some of the research work you received an appropriation for the other day. You were speaking to Abbott, I think, of the difficulty of finding people with authentic knowledge of the Indians."
The Indian Commissioner nodded and tucked Diana's portfolio under his arm. "Come along, Miss Allen!"
Diana rose. "If we don't leave now, I have an idea we will be asked to do so," she said, the corners of her mouth deepening suddenly. "What happens if one doesn't leave when requested?"
"One is cast in a dungeon, deep under the Capitol building," replied Enoch, holding out his hand.
Diana laughed. "Thank you for seeing me and helping me, Mr. Huntingdon," she said, and a moment later Jonas closed the door behind her and the Commissioner.
"How come that young lady to stay so long, Mr. Abbott?" Jonas asked Charley in a low voice, as he helped the young man bring in a huge pile of Reclamation reports.
"Did you get a good look at her, Jonas?" demanded Abbott in the same tone.
"Yes," replied Jonas.
"Then why ask foolish questions?"
"The boss don't like 'em, no matter what they look like."
"Every man has his breaking point, Jonas," smiled Charley.
Enoch turned from the window where he had been standing for a moment in unprecedented idleness.
"I think you'd better let me have ten or fifteen minutes on that report to the President, Abbott."
"I will, Mr. Secretary. By the way, here is the data you asked me to get for your speech at the Willard to-night."
Enoch nodded, pocketed the notes and began to dictate. The day went on as usual, but it seemed to Jonas, when he helped the Secretary to dress for dinner that night that he was unusually weary.
"How come you to be so tired to-night, boss?" he asked finally.
"I don't know, old man! Jonas, how long since I've had a vacation?"
"Seven years, boss."
"Sometimes I think I need one, Jonas."
"Need one! Boss, they work you to death! They all say so. Your own work's enough to kill three men. And now they do say the President is calling on you for all the hard jobs he don't dare trust nobody else to do. How come he don't do 'em hisself?"
"Oh, I'm not doing more than my share, Jonas! But you and I'll have to have a vacation one of these days, sure. Maybe we'll go to Japan. I'll be home early, if I can make it, Jonas."
Jonas nodded, and looked out the window. "Carriage's here, sir," and Enoch ran quickly down the stairs. It was only eleven o'clock when he reached home. The rain had ceased at sundown and the night was humid and depressing. When Enoch was once more in his pajamas, he unlocked the desk drawer and, taking out the journal, he turned to the first page and began to read with absorbed interest.
"May 12.—This is my eighteenth birthday. I've had a long ride on the top of the bus, thinking about Mr. Seaton. He was a fine chap. He gave me a long lecture once on women. He said a guy must have a few clean, straight women friends to keep normal. Of course he was right, but I couldn't tell him or anybody else how it is with me. He said that if you can share your worries with your friends they're finished. And he was right again. But they're some things a guy can't share. I did it once, back there in the Canyon, and I'll always be glad I did. But I was just a kid then. The hunch that pulled me up straight then wouldn't work now. They never did prove she was not my mother. They never found out a thing about me, except what Luigi and the neighbors had to tell. She was my mother, all right. And I don't feel as if I ever can believe in any of them. I don't want to. All I want of women is for them to let me alone and I'll let them alone. But a few weeks ago I had a fine idea—to invent a girl of my own! I got the idea in English Literature class, from a poem of Wordsworth's.
"Three years she grew in sun and shower; Then nature said, A lovelier flower On earth was never sown; This child I to myself will take, She shall be mine and I will make A lady of my own."
"I've invented her and I'm going to keep a journal to her and I'll tell her all the things I'd tell my mother, if she'd been decent, and to my sweetheart, if I could believe in them. I don't know just how old she is. Somewhere in her twenties, I guess. She's tall and slim and she has a creamy kind of skin. Her hair is light brown, almost gold. It's very thick. She has it in braids wound all round her head. Her eyes are hazel and she has a sweet mouth and she is very beautiful. And she is good, and tender, and she understands everything about me. She knows just how bad I've been and the fight I'm putting up to keep straight. And every night before I go to bed, I'll tell her what my day has been. I'll begin to-night by telling her about myself.
"I don't know where I was born, Lucy, or who my father was. My mother was the mistress of an Italian called Luigi Giuseppi. She died a rotten death, leaving me at six to Luigi. He treated me badly but he needed me in his gambling business, and he kept me by telling me how bad my mother was and threatening to tell other people. From the time I was eight till I was fourteen, I don't suppose a day passed without his telling me of the rot I had inherited from my mother. I began gambling for him when I was about ten.
"When I was fourteen I was arrested in a gambling raid and paroled in the care of John Seaton, a lawyer. He took me to the Grand Canyon. He and Frank Allen, a guide, suggested to me the idea that Luigi's mistress was not my mother. Such an idea never had occurred to me before. They first gave it to me in the bottom of the Canyon.
"I can't put into writing what that suggestion, coupled with my first view of the Canyon meant to me. But it was as if I had met God face to face and He had taken pity on a dirty little street mucker and He had lifted me in His great hands and had told me to try to be good and He would help me. I never had believed in God before. And I came back from that trip resolved to put up a fight.
"Mr. Seaton began the search for my folks right off, but he didn't find anything before he died, which was only a year later. But I made him a solemn promise I'd go through college and study law and I'm going to do it. He was not a rich man but he left me enough money to see me through college. In one more year I'll finish the High School. I still play cards once in a while in a joint on Sixth Avenue. I know it's wrong and I'm trying hard to quit. But sometimes I just can't help it, especially when I'm worried.
"Luigi will be in the pen another seven years. When he comes out I am going to beat him up till he tells me about my mother and father. Though perhaps he's been telling the truth!"
"May 13.—Lucy, I made a speech in third year rhetoric to-day and the teacher kept me after class. He said he'd been watching me for some time and he wanted to tell me he thought I'd make a great orator, some day. He's going to give me special training out of school hours, for nothing. I'm darned lucky. If a guy's going into politics, oratory's the biggest help. But to be famous as a speaker isn't why I'm going into politics. I'm going to clean Minetta Lane up. I'm going to try to fix it in New York so's a fellow couldn't have a mother and a stepfather like mine. You know what I mean, don't you? Darn it, a kid suffers so! You know that joint on Sixth Avenue where I go and play cards once in a while? Well, it was raided to-day. I wonder what Mr. Seaton would have said if he'd been alive and I'd been there and got pinched again!
"I'm going to throw no bluffs with you, Lucy. Gambling's in my blood. Luigi used to say I came by my skill straight. And I get the same kind of craving for it that a dope fiend does for dope. I don't care to tell anybody about it, or they'd send me to an insane asylum. When I first came from the Canyon and moved out of Minetta Lane, I swore I'd never put foot in it again until I went in to clean it up. And I haven't and I won't. But for the first year my nails were bitten to the quick. If my mother—but what's the use of that! Mr. Seaton said every man has to have a woman to whom he opens up the deep within him. I have you and you know you've promised to help me."
"June 1.—Lucy, I've got a job tutoring for the summer. The rhetoric teacher got it for me. It's the son of an Episcopal vicar. He is a boy of twelve and they want him taught English and declamation. Lord! If they knew all about me! But the kid is safe in my hands. I know how kids of twelve feel. At least, the Minetta Lane variety. So I'll be at the sea shore all summer. Going some, for Minetta Lane, eh?
"Lucy, I made fifty dollars last night at poker from a Senior in the Student's Club. This morning I made him take it back."
Enoch closed the book and leaned back in his chair as Jonas appeared at the door with a pitcher of ice water.
"How come you don't try to get a little rest, boss?" asked Jonas, glancing disapprovingly at the black book.
"I am resting, old man! Don't bother your good old head about me, but tumble off to sleep yourself!"
"I don't never sleep before you do. I ain't for thirteen years, and I don't calculate to begin now." Jonas turned the bed covers back and marched out of the room.
Enoch smiled and, opening the book again, he turned the pages slowly till another entry struck his eye.
"February 6.—If I could only see you, touch you, cling to your tender hand to-night, Lucy! You know that I was chosen to represent Columbia in the dedication of the Lincoln statue. It was to have taken place next Wednesday. But the British Ambassador, who was to be the chief Mogul there, was called home to England for some reason or other and they shoved the dedication forward to to-day, so as to catch him before he sailed. And some of the speakers weren't prepared, so it came about that I, an unknown Columbia senior, had to give the chief speech of the day. Not that anybody, let alone myself, realized that it was going to be the chief speech. It just turned out that way. Lucy dear, they went crazy over it! And all the papers to-night gave it in full. It was only a thousand words. Why in the name of all the fiends in Hades do you suppose nothing relieves me in moments of great mental stress but gambling? You notice, don't you, that I talk to you of Minetta Lane only when something tremendous, either good or bad, has happened to me? Other men with the same weakness, you say, turn to drink. I suppose so, poor devils. Oh, Lucy, I wish I were in the Grand Canyon to-night! I wish you and I were together in Frank's camp at the foot of Bright Angel. It is sunset and the Canyon is full of unspeakable wonder. Even the thought of it rests me and makes me strong. . . . Those stars mean that I've torn into a million pieces a hundred-dollar bill I won in Sixth Avenue to-night."
Enoch turned many pages and then paused.
"March 28.—There is a chance, Lucy, that I may be appointed secretary to the reform Mayor of New York. I would be very glad to give up the practice of law. Beyond my gift for pleading and a retentive memory, I have no real talents for a successful legal career. You look at me with those thoughtful, tender gray eyes of yours. Ah, Lucy, you are so much wiser than I, wise with the brooding, mystical wisdom of the Canyon in the starlight. You have intimated to me several times that law was not my end. You are right, as usual. Law has its face forever turned backward. It is searching always for precedent rather than justice. A man who is going into politics should be ever facing the future. He should use the past only in helping him to avoid mistakes in going forward. And, perhaps I am wrong. I am willing to admit that my unfortunate boyhood may have made me over inclined to brood, but it seems to me very difficult to stick to the law, make money, and be morally honest, in the best sense. If I clear Bill Jones, who is, as I know, ethically as guilty as Satan, though legally within his rights, can I face you as a man who is steel true and blade straight? I hope I get that appointment! I was tired to-night, Lucy, but this little talk with you has rested me, as usual."
"March 29.—I have the appointment, Lucy. This is the beginning of my political career—the beginning of the end of Minetta Lane. You have a heavy task before you, dear, to keep me, eyes to the goal, running the race like a thoroughbred. Some day, Lucy, we'll go back to the Canyon, chins up, work done, gentlemen unafraid!"
Enoch turned more pages, covering a year or so of the diary.
"March 30.—I've been in the City Hall two years today. Lucy, the only chance on earth I'll ever have to clean out the rookeries of New York would be to be a Tammany Police Commissioner. And Tammany would certainly send its best gunman after a Police Commissioner who didn't dote on rookeries. Lucy, can't city governments be clean? Is human nature normally and habitually corrupt when it comes to governing a city? The Mayor and all his appointees are simply wading through the vast quagmire of the common citizen's indifference, fought every step by the vile creatures who batten on the administration of the city's affairs. Do you suppose that if the schools laid tremendous stress on clean citizenship and began in the kindergarten to teach children how to govern in the most practical way, it would help? I believe it would. I'm going to tuck that thought in the back of my head and some day I may have opportunity to use it. I wish I could do something for the poor boys of New York. I wish the Grand Canyon were over in Jersey!"
"Sept. 4.—I am unfit to speak to you, but oh, I need you as I never did before. Don't turn those kind, clear-seeing eyes away from me, Lucy! Lucy! It happened this way. I wanted, if possible to make our Police Commissioner see Minetta Lane through my eyes. And I took him down there, three days ago. It's unchanged, in all these years, except for the worse. And Luigi was dragging a sack of rags into his basement. He was gray and bent but it was Luigi. And he recognized me and yelled 'Bastard!' after me. Lucy, I went back and beat him, till the Commissioner hauled me off. And the dirty, spluttering little devil roared my story to all that greedy, listening crowd! I slipped away, Lucy, and I hid myself in a place I know in Chinatown. No! No! I don't drink and I don't hit the pipe. I gamble. My luck is unbelievable. And when the fit is on me, I'd gamble my very soul away. Jonas found me. Jonas is a colored porter in the City Hall who has rather adopted me. And Jonas said, 'Boss, how come you to do a stunt like this? The Police Commissioner say to the Mayor and I hear 'em, an Italian black hander take you for somebody else and he have him run in. I tell 'em you gone down to Atlantic City. You come home with me, Boss.' He put his kind black hand on my shoulder, and Lucy, his eyes were full of tears. I left my winnings with the Chinaman, and came back here with Jonas. Lucy! Oh, if I could really hear your voice!"
"Sept. 5.—I had a long talk with the Police Commissioner to-day. I can trust him the way I used to trust Mr. Seaton, Lucy. I told him the truth about Luigi and me and he promised to do what he could to ferret out the truth about my people. If I could only know that my father was half-way decent, no matter what my mother was, it would make an enormous difference to me."
Enoch turned another year of pages.
"Oct. 12.—Lucy, the Police Commissioner says he has to believe that Luigi's mistress was my mother. He advises me to close that part of my life for good and all and give myself to politics. Easy advice! But I am going to play the game straight in spite of Minetta Lane."
Enoch paused long over this entry, then turned on again.
"Nov. 6.—Well, my dear, shake hands with Congressman Huntingdon. Yes, ma'am! It's true! Aren't you proud of me? And, Lucy, listen! Don't have any illusions on how I got there. It wasn't brains. It wasn't that the people wanted me to put over any particular idea or ideal for them. I simply so intrigued them with flights of oratory that they decided I was a natural born congressman! Well, bless 'em for doing it, anyhow, and I'll play the game for them. If I ever had had a father I'd like to talk politics with him. He must have had some decency in him, or I'd have been all bad, like my mother. Or maybe I'm a throw-back from two degenerate parents. Well, we'll end the breed with me.
"Lucy, it would have been romantic if I could have cleaned out Minetta Lane and other New York rookeries. But it would have been about like satisfying one's self with washing a boy's face when his body was a mass of running sores. We've got to cure the sores and in order to do that we've got to find the cause. No one thing is going to prove a panacea. I wonder if it's possible to teach children so thoroughly that each one owes a certain amount of altruistic, clean service to his local and his federal government that an honest, responsible citizenry would result?"
Enoch drank of the ice water and continued to turn the close-written pages.
"April 12.—I don't boast much about my career as a Congressman. I've been straight and I've gabbed a good deal. That about sums up my history. If I go back as Police Commissioner, I shall feel much more useful.
"Lucy, love is a very important thing in a man's life. Sometimes, I think that the less he has of it, the more important it becomes. I had thought that as I grew older my career would more and more fill my life, that youth and passion were synonymous and that with maturity would come calm and surcease. This is not the truth. The older I grow the more difficult it becomes for me to feel that work can fully satisfy a man. Nor will merely caring for a woman be sufficient. A man must care for a woman whom he knows to be fine, who can meet his mental needs, or love becomes merely physical and never satisfies him. Well, I must not whimper. I have talent and tremendous opportunities, many friends and splendid health. And I have you. And each year you become a more intrinsic part of my life. How patient you have been with me all these years! I've been wondering, lately, if you haven't rather a marked sense of humor. It seems to me that nothing else could make you so patient, so tender and so keen! I'm sure I'm an object of mirth to Jonas at times, so I must be to you. All right! Laugh away! I laugh at myself!
"Lucy, it has been over eighteen months since I touched a card."
Jonas put his head in at the door, but Enoch turned on to the middle of the book.
"Dec. 1.—They won't let me keep it up long, Lucy, but Lord, Lord, hasn't the going been good, my dear, while it lasted! I've twisted Tammany's tail till its head's dropped off! I've 'got long poles and poked out the nests and blocked up the holes. I shall consult with the carpenters and builders and leave in our town not even a trace of the rats.' I've routed out hereditary grafters and looters. I've run down wealthy gunmen and I've turned men's fame to a notoriety that carried a stench. But they'll get me, Lucy! They'll either kill me or send me back to Congress."
Enoch turned more pages.
"Nov. 1.—Congress again, eh, Lucy? And you care for Washington as little as I! Dear, this has been a hard day. I've been saying good-by to the force! By the eternal, but they are men! And now all that wonderful machine, built up, really, by the men themselves, must fall apart! What a waste of human energy! Yet, I've come to the conclusion that the man who devotes himself to public service loses much of his usefulness if he allows himself to grow pessimistic about human nature. If there were not more good than bad in the world, we'd still be monkeys! I have ceased to search for some great single ideal for which I can fight. Whatever abilities I have in me I shall devote to helping to administer government cleanly. After all, we gave New York a great object lesson in the possibilities of cleaning out Tammany's pest house. Perhaps somebody's great-grandchild, inspired by the history of my attempt will try again and be successful for a longer period. And oh, woman! It was a gorgeous fight!
"Jonas is delighted that we are returning to Washington. He says we are to keep house. I am a great responsibility to Jonas. He is very firm with me, but I think he's as fond of me as I am of him.
"Lucy, how am I to go on, year after year like this, with only my dream of you? How am I to do my work like a man, with only half a man's life to live? What can all the admiring plaudits mean to me when I know that you are only a dream, only a dream?"
Enoch sat forward in his chair, laid the book on the desk, opened to the last entry and seized his pen.
"So your name is not Lucy, but Diana! Oh, my dearest, and you did not recognize me at all, while my very heart was paralyzed with emotion! You must have been a very lovely little girl that the memory of you should have been so impressed on my subconsciousness. Oh, how beautiful you are! How beautiful! And to think that I must never let you know what you are to me. Never! Never! The strain stops with me."
He dropped his pen abruptly and, turning off the light, flung himself down on his bed. Jonas, listening long at the door, waited for the full, even breathing that would mark the end of his day's work. But it did not come, and dawn struggling through the hall window found Jonas sitting on the floor beside the half-opened door, his black head drooping on his breast, but his eyes open.
Enoch reached his office on the stroke of nine, as usual. His face was a little haggard and set but he came in briskly and spoke cheerfully to Charley Abbott.
"A little hotter than ever, eh, Abbott? I think you're looking dragged, my boy. When are you going to take your vacation?"
"In the fall, after you have had yours, Mr. Secretary." The two men grinned at each other.
"Did the Indian Commissioner find work for Miss Allen?" asked Enoch abruptly.
"Oh, yes! And she was as surprised and pleased as a child."
"How do you know that?" demanded the Secretary.
Charley looked a little confused. "I took her out to lunch, Mr. Huntingdon. Jove, she's the most beautiful woman I ever saw!"
"Well, let's finish off that report to the President, Mr. Abbott. That must go to him to-morrow, regardless of whom or what I have to neglect to-day."
Abbott opened his note book. But the dictation hardly had begun when the telephone rang and Enoch was summoned to the White House. It was noon when he left the President. Washington lay as if scorching under a burning glass. The dusty leaves drooped on the trees. Even the carefully cherished White House lawn seemed to have forgotten the recent rains. Enoch dismissed his carriage and crossed slowly to Pennsylvania Avenue. It had occurred to him suddenly that it had been many weeks since he had taken the noon hour outside of his office. He had found that luncheon engagements broke seriously into his day's work. He strolled slowly along the avenue, watching the sweltering noon crowds unseeingly, entirely unconscious of the fact that many people turned to look at him. He paused before a Johnstown Lunch sign, wondering whimsically what Jonas would say if it were reported that the boss had eaten here. And as he paused, the incessantly swinging door emitted Miss Diana Allen.
Enoch's pause became a full stop. "How do you do, Miss Allen?" he said.
Diana flushed a little. "How do you do, Mr. Secretary! Were you looking for a cheap lunch?"
"Jonas provides the cheapest lunch known to Washington," said Enoch. "I was looking for some one to walk up Pennsylvania Avenue with me."
"You seem to be well provided with company." Diana glanced at the knot of people who were eagerly watching the encounter.
Enoch did not follow her glance. His eyes were fastened on Diana's lovely curving lips. "And I want to hear about the work in the Indian Bureau."
Diana fell into step with him. "I think the work is going to be interesting. Mr. Watkins is more than kind about my pictures. I'm to send home for the best of my collection and he is going to give an exhibition of them."
"Is he giving you a decent salary?" asked Enoch.
"Ample for all my needs," replied Diana.
"Do your needs stop with the Johnstown Lunch?" demanded Enoch.
"Well," replied Diana, "if you'd lived on the trail as much as I have, you'd not complain of the Johnstown Lunch. I've made worse coffee myself, and I've seen more flies, too."
Enoch chuckled. "What does Watkins call your job?"
"I'm a special investigator for the Indian Bureau."
Enoch chuckled again. "Right! And that title Watkins counts as worth at least five dollars a week. The remainder is the equivalent of a stenographer's salary. I know him!"
"He is quite all right," said Diana quickly. "It must be extremely difficult to manage a budget. No matter how large they are, they're always too small. To administer the affairs of a dying race with inadequate funds—"
"And in entire ignorance of the race itself," added Enoch quietly. "I know! But I had to choose between a rattling good administrator and a rattling good ethnologist."
Diana nodded slowly. "Your choice was inevitable, I suppose. And Mr. Watkins seems very efficient."
"Well, and where does your princely salary permit you to live?" Enoch concluded.
"On New Jersey Avenue, in a brown stone front with pansies in front and cats in the rear, an old Confederate soldier in the basement and rats in the attic. As for odors and furniture, any kind whatever, provided one is not too particular."
"My word! how you are going to miss the Canyon!" exclaimed Enoch.
Diana nodded. "Yes, but after all one's avocation is the most important thing in life."'
"Is it?" asked Enoch. "I've tried to make myself believe that, but so far I've failed."
"You mean," Diana spoke quickly, "that I ought to have stayed with my father?"
"No, I don't!" returned Enoch, quite as quickly. "At least, I mean that I know nothing whatever about that. I would say as a general principle, though, that parents who have adequate means, are selfish to hang on the necks of their grown children."
"Father misses mother so," murmured Diana, with apparent irrelevance.
Enoch said nothing. They were opposite the Post Office now and Diana paused. "I must go to the Post Office! Good-by, Mr. Secretary."
"Good-by, Miss Allen," said Enoch, taking off his hat and holding out his hand. "Let me know if there is anything further I can do for you!"
"Oh, I'm quite all right and shall not bother you again, thank you," replied Diana cheerfully.
Enoch was very warm when he reached his office. Jonas and the bottle of milk were awaiting him. "How come you to be so hot, boss?" demanded Jonas.
"I walked back. It was very foolish," replied Enoch meekly.
"I don't dare to let you out o' my sight," said Jonas severely.
"I think I do need watching," sighed Enoch, beginning his belated luncheon.
That night the Secretary wrote to Diana's father.
"My dear Frank: Diana came and I found a job for her in the Indian office. I feel like a dog to have broken my word with you, but her work is very interesting and very important, and I feel that she ought to have her few months of study in Washington. She is very beautiful, Frank, and very fine. You must try to forgive me. Faithfully yours,
A PHOTOGRAPHER OF INDIANS
"When I tutored boys I wondered most at their selfishness and their generosity. They had so much of both! And I believe that as men they lose none of either."—Enoch's Diary.
Enoch knew what it was to fight himself. Perhaps he knew more about such lonely, unlovely battles than any man of his acquaintance. The average man is usually too vain and too spiritually lazy to fight his inner devils to the death. But Enoch had fought so terribly that it seemed to him that he could surely win this new struggle. Nothing should induce him to break his vow of celibacy. He cursed himself for a weak fool in not obeying Frank Allen's request. Then he gathered together all his resources, to protect Diana from himself.
A week or so went by, during which Enoch made no attempt to see Diana or to hear from her. The office routine ground on and on. The Mexican cloud thickened. Alaska developed a threatening attitude over her coal fields. The farmers of Idaho suddenly withdrew their proposals regarding water power. Calmly and with clear vision, Enoch met each day's problems. But the lines about his mouth deepened.
One day, early in August, Charley Abbott came to the Secretary's desk. "Miss Diana Allen would like to see you for a few moments, Mr. Secretary."
Enoch did not look up. "Ask her to excuse me, Mr. Abbott, I am very busy."
Charley hesitated for an instant, then went quickly out.
"Luncheon is served, boss," said Jonas, shortly after.
"Is Abbott gone?" asked Enoch.
"Yes, sir! He's took that Miss Allen to lunch, I guess. He's sure gone on that young lady. How come everybody thinks she's so beautiful, boss?"
"Because she is beautiful, Jonas, very, very beautiful."
The faithful steward looked keenly at the Secretary. He had not missed the appearance of a line in the face that was the whole world to him.
"Boss," he said, "don't you ever think you ought to marry?"
Enoch looked up into Jonas' face. "A man with my particular history had best leave women alone, Jonas."
Jonas' mouth twitched. "They ain't the woman ever born fit to darn your socks, boss."
Enoch smiled and finished his lunch in silence. He would have given a month of his life to know what errand had brought Diana to his office. But Charley Abbott, returning at two o'clock with the complacent look of a man who has lunched with a beautiful girl, showed no intention of mentioning the girl's name. And Enoch went on with his conferences. But it was many days before he opened the black book again.
Diana's exhibition must have been of unusual quality, for jaded and cynical Washington learned of its existence, spoke of it and went to see it. It seemed to Enoch that every one he met took special delight in mentioning it to him.
Even Jonas, one night, as he brought in the bed-time pitcher of ice water, said, "Boss, I saw Miss Allen's pictures this evening. They sure are queersome. That must be hotter'n Washington out there. How come you ain't been, Boss?"
"How do you know I haven't seen them, Jonas?" asked Enoch quickly.
"Don't I know every place you go, boss? Didn't you tell me that was my job, years ago? How come you think I'd forget?" Jonas was eyeing the Secretary warily. "Mr. Abbott, he's got a bad case on that Miss Allen. He's give me at least a dollar's worth of ten cent cigars lately so's I'll stand and smoke and let him talk to me about her."
"He says she—" Jonas rambled on.
Enoch looked up quickly. "I don't want to hear it, Jonas." Jonas drew himself up stiffly. The Secretary laid his own broad palm over the black hand that still held the handle of the water pitcher. "Spare me that, old friend," he said.
Jonas put his free hand on Enoch's shoulder. "Are you sure you're right, boss?" he asked huskily.
"I know I'm right, Jonas."
"Well, I don't see it your way, boss, but what's right for you is right for me. Good night, sir," and shaking his head, Jonas slowly left the room.
But Enoch was destined to see the pictures after all. One day, after Cabinet meeting, the President, in his friendly way, clapped Enoch on the shoulder.
"First time in a great many years, Huntingdon, that the Indian Bureau has distinguished itself for anything but trouble! I saw Miss Allen's pictures last night. My word! What a sense of heat and peace and, yes, by jove, passion! those photographs tell. The Bureau ought to own those pictures, old man. Especially the huge enlargement of Bright Angel trail and the Navaho hunters. Eh?"
"Well, to tell the truth, Mr. President," said Enoch slowly, "I haven't seen the pictures."
"Not seen them! Why some one said you discovered Miss Allen!"
"In a way I did, but I don't deserve any credit for that."
"Not if he saw her first!" exclaimed the Secretary of State, who had loitered behind the others.
The President nodded. "She is very lovely. I saw her at a distance, and I want to meet her. Now, Mr. Huntingdon, it's very painful for me to have to chide you for dereliction in office. But a man who will neglect those pictures for the—well, the coal fields of Alaska, should be dealt with severely."
"Hear! Hear!" cried the Secretary of State.
The President laughed. "And so I must ask you, Mr. Huntingdon, to bring Miss Allen to see me, after you have gone carefully over the pictures. Jokes aside, you know my keen interest in Indian ethnology?" Enoch nodded, and the President went on. "If this girl has the brains and breadth of vision I'm sure she must have to produce a series of photographs like those, I want to know her and do what I can to push her work. So neglect Mexico and Alaska for a little while, tomorrow, will you, Huntingdon?"
Enoch's laughter was a little grim, but with a quick leap of his heart, he answered. "A man can but obey the Commander in Chief, I suppose!"
As the door swung to behind him, the President said to the Secretary of State, "Huntingdon is working too hard, I'm afraid. Does he ever play?"
"Horseback riding and golf. But he's a woman hater. At least, if not a hater, an avoider!"
"I like him," said the President. "I want him to play."
That evening Enoch went to see the pictures. There were perhaps a hundred of them, telling the story of the religion of the Navahos. Only one whom the Indians loved and trusted could have procured such intimate, such dramatic photographs. They were as unlike the usual posed portraits of Indian life as is a stage shower unlike an actual thunder storm. There was indeed a subtle passion and poignancy about the pictures that it seemed to Enoch as well as to the President, only a fine mind could have found and captured. He had made the rounds of the little room twice, threading his way abstractedly through the crowd, before he came upon Diana. She was in white, standing before one of the pictures, answering questions that were being put to her by a couple of reporters. She bowed to Enoch and he bowed in return, then stood so obviously waiting for the reporters to finish that they actually withdrew.
Enoch came up and held out his hand. "These are very fine, Miss Allen."
"I thought you were not coming to see them," said Diana. "It makes me very happy to have you here!"
"Does it?" asked Enoch quickly. "Why?"
"Because—" here Diana hesitated and looked from Enoch's stern lips to his blue eyes.
"Yes, go on, do!" urged Enoch. "For heaven's, sake, treat me as if I were a human being and not—"
It was his turn to hesitate.
"Not the Washington Monument?" suggested Diana.
Enoch laughed. "Am I as bad as that?" he asked.
Diana nodded. "Very nearly! Nevertheless, for some reason I don't understand, I've had the feeling that you would like the pictures and get what I was driving at, better than any one."
"Thank you," said Enoch slowly. "I do like them. So much so that I wish that I might own them, instead of the Indian Bureau. The President, to-day, told me the Indian Bureau ought to buy them. And also, he asked me to bring you to see him to-morrow."
A sudden flush made roses in Diana's beautifully modeled cheeks.
"Did he! Mr. Huntingdon, how am I ever going to thank you?"
"I deserve no thanks at all. It was entirely the President's own idea. In fact, I had not intended to come to your exhibition."
"No? Why not? Do you dislike me so much as that? And, after all, Mr. Secretary, if the pictures are interesting, the fact that a woman took them should not prejudice you against them."
"Abbott's been giving me a bad reputation, I see," said Enoch. "I'll have to get Jonas to tell you what a really gentle and affectionate and er—mild, person I am. I've a notion to reduce Abbott's salary."
"Charley Abbott is a dear, and he's a devoted admirer of yours," Diana exclaimed.
"And of yours," rejoined Enoch.
"He's very discerning," said Diana, her eyes twinkling and the corners of her mouth deepening. "But you shall not evade me this way, Mr. Huntingdon. Why didn't you want to see my pictures?"
"I didn't say that I didn't want to see them. Women are always inaccurate, or at least, so I have heard."
"I would say that Mr. Abbott had a great deal more data on the general subject of women than you, Mr. Secretary. You really ought to get him to check you up! Please, why didn't you intend to come to my exhibition?"
"I have been swamped with extra work of late," answered Enoch.
"Yes?" Diana's eyebrows rose and her intelligent great eyes were fastened on Enoch's with an expression so discerning and so sympathetic, that he bit his lip and turned from her to the Navaho, who prayed in the burning desert before him. The reporters, who had been hovering in the offing, closed in on Diana immediately. When she was free once more, Enoch turned back and held out his hand.
"Good night, Miss Allen. If you don't mind coming over to my office at twelve to-morrow, I can take you to the White House then."
"I shall not mind!—too much! Good night, Mr. Secretary," replied Diana, with the deepening of the corners of her mouth that Enoch now recalled had belonged to the little girl Diana.
Enoch made an entry in the black book that night.
"I wonder, Diana, how much Frank has told you of me and my unhappy history. I wonder how you would feel if a man whose mother was a harlot who died of an unspeakable disease were to ask you to marry him. Oh, my dear, don't be troubled! I shall never, never, ask you. Your pictures moved me more than I dared try to express to you. It was as if you had carried me in a breath to the Canyon and once more I beheld the wonder, the kindliness, the calm, the inevitableness of God's ways. I'm going to try, Diana, to make a friend of you. I believe that I have the strength. What I am very sure of is that I have not the strength to know that you are in Washington and never see you."
The clock struck twelve the next day, when Abbott came to the Secretary's desk. Enoch was deep in a conference with the Attorney General.
"Miss Allen is here," he said softly.
"Give me five minutes!" exclaimed the Attorney General.
"I'm sorry." Enoch rose from his desk. "I'm very sorry, old fellow, but this is an appointment with the President. Can you come about three, if that suits Abbott's schedule?"
"Not till to-morrow, I'm afraid," said the Attorney General.
Enoch nodded. "It's just as well. I think I'll have some private advices from Mexico by then that may somewhat change our angle of attack. All right, Jonas! I'm coming. Ask Miss Allen to meet me at the carriage."
But he overtook Diana in the elevator. She wore the brown silk suit, and Enoch thought she looked a little flushed and a little more lovely than usual.
"I'm a marked person, Mr. Secretary," she said, with a twinkle in her eyes. "You'd scarcely believe how many total strangers have asked me to introduce them to you, since you walked up Pennsylvania Avenue with me."
"I'm glad you have an appreciative mind," returned Enoch. "I hope that you are circumspect also, and won't impose on me because of my condescension."
"I'll try not to," Diana answered meekly, as Enoch followed her into the carriage.
They smiled at each other, and Enoch went on, "Of course, I've been feeling rather proud of the opportunity to display myself before Washington with you. I've been called indifferent to women. I'm hoping now that the gossips will say, 'Aha! Huntingdon's a deep one! No wonder he's been indifferent to the average woman!'"
Diana eyed him calmly. "That doesn't sound at all like Washington Monument," she murmured.
"More like Charley Abbott, I suppose!" retorted Enoch.
"No," answered Diana thoughtfully, "hardly like Mr. Abbott's method. I would say that he belonged to a different school from you."
"Yes? What school does Abbott represent?"
"Well, he has a dash, an ease, that shows long and varied experience. Charley Abbott is a finished ladies' man. It almost discourages me when I contemplate the serried ranks of women that must have contributed to his perfect finesse."
"Discourages you?" queried Enoch.
Diana did not answer. "But," she went on, "while Charley is a graduate of the school of experience and you—"
"Yes, and I—," pressed Enoch.
"I won't impose on your condescension by telling you," said Diana.
"Pshaw!" muttered the Secretary of the Interior.
Suddenly Diana laughed. Enoch, after a moment, laughed with her, and they entered the White House grounds still chuckling.
The President did not keep them waiting. "I may not be able to order my wife and daughter about," he said, as he shook hands with Enoch, "but I certainly have my official family well under control. Did you see the pictures, Huntingdon?"
"I saw and was conquered, Mr. President," replied Enoch.
"What would you say, Miss Allen, if I tell you that I had to force this fellow into going to see your wonderful pictures?" the President asked.
"It wouldn't surprise me," replied Diana, in an enigmatical voice that made both men smile.
"I see you understand our Secretary of the Interior," the President said complacently. "Sit down, children, and Miss Allen, talk to me. How long did it take you to make that collection of photographs?"
"I began that particular collection ten years ago. Those pictures have been sifted out of nearly two thousand prints."
"Did you take any other pictures during that period?" asked the President.
"Oh, yes! I was, I think, fourteen or fifteen when I first determined to give my life to Indian photography. I didn't at that time think of making a living out of it. I had a dream of making a photographic history of the spiritual life of some of the South-western tribes. It didn't occur to me that anything but a museum or possibly a library would care for such a collection. But to my surprise there was a ready market for really good prints of Indians and Indian subjects. So while I have kept always at work on my ultimate idea, I've made and sold many, many pictures of Indians on all sorts of themes."
Enoch looked from Diana's half eager, half abashed eyes, to the President's keen, hawk-like face, then back to Diana.
"What gave you the idea to begin with?" asked the President.
Diana looked thoughtfully out of the window. Both men watched her with interest. Enoch's rough hewn face, with its unalterably somber expression, was set in an almost painful concentration. The President's eyes were cool, yet eager.
"It is hard for me to put into words just what first led me into the work," said Diana slowly. "I was born in a log house on the rim of the Grand Canyon. My father was a canyon guide."
"Yes, Frank Allen, an old Yale man. I know him."
"Do you remember him?" cried Diana. "He'll be so delighted! He took you down Bright Angel years ago."
"Of course I remember him. Give him my regards when you write to him. And go on with your story."
"My mother was a California woman, a very good geologist. My nurse was a Navajo woman. Somehow, by the time I was into my teens, I was conscious of the great loss to the world in the disappearance of the spiritual side of Indian life. I knew the Canyon well by then and I knew the Indians well and the beauty of their ceremonies was even then more or less merged in my mind with the beauty of the Canyon. Their mysticism was the Canyon's mysticism. I tried to write it and I couldn't, and I tried to paint it, and I couldn't. And then one day my mother said to me, 'Diana, nobody can interpret Indian or Canyon philosophy. Take your camera and let the naked truth tell the story!'"
Diana paused. "I'm not clever at talking. I'm afraid I've given you no real idea of my purpose."
"One gets your purpose very clearly, when one recalls your Death and the Navajo, for instance, eh, Huntingdon?"
"Yes, Mr. President!"
"I suppose the two leading Indian ethnologists are Arkwind and Sherman, of the Smithsonian, are they not, Miss Allen?" asked the President.
"Oh, without doubt! And they have been very kind to me."
The President nodded. "They both tell me that your work is of extraordinary value. They tell me that you have actually photographed ceremonies so secret, so mystical, that they themselves had only heard vaguely of their existence. And not only, they say, have you photographed them, but you have produced works of art, pictures 'pregnant with celestial fire.'"
Diana's cheeks were a deep crimson. "Oh, I deserve so little credit, after all!" she exclaimed. "I was born in the midst of these things. And the Indians love me for my old nurse's sake! But human nature is weak and what you tell me makes me very happy, sir."
The men glanced at each other and smiled.
"Suppose, Miss Allen," said the President, "that you had the means to outfit an expedition. How long would it take you to complete the entire collection you have in mind?"
Diana's eyes widened. "Why, I could do nothing at all with an expedition! I simply wander about canyon and desert, sometimes with old nurse Na-che, sometimes alone. The Indians have always known me. I'm as much a part of their lives as their own daughters. I—I believe much of their inner hidden religion and so—oh, Mr. President, an expedition would be absurd, for me!"
"Well, then, without an expedition?" insisted the President.
Diana sighed. "You see, I'm not able to give all my time to the work. Mother died five years ago, and father is lonely and, while he thinks his little income is enough for both of us, it's enough only if I stay at home and play about the desert with my camera, cheaply as I do, and keep the house. It does not permit me to leave home. It seems to me, that working as I have in the past, it would take me at least ten years more to complete my work."
"The patience of the artist! It always astounds me!" exclaimed the President. "Miss Allen, I am not a rich man, but I have some wealthy friends. I have one friend in particular, a self-made man, of enormous wealth. The interest he and I have in common is American history in all its aspects. It seems to me that you are doing a truly important work. I want you to let this friend of mine fund you so that you may give all your time to your photography."
"Oh, Mr. President, I don't need funds!" protested Diana. "There is no hurry. This is my life work. Let me take a life-time for it, if necessary."
"That is all very well, Miss Allen, but what if you die, before you have finished? No one could complete your work because no one has your peculiar combination of information and artistic ability. People like you, my dear, belong not to themselves, but to the country."
Enoch spoke suddenly. "Why not arrange the matter with the Indian Bureau, Mr. President?"
"Why not arrange it with the Circumlocution Office!" exclaimed the President. "I'm surprised at you, Huntingdon! You know what the budget and red tape of Washington does to a temperament like Miss Allen's. On the other hand, here is my friend, who would give her absolutely free rein and take an intense pride in providing the money."
Diana laughed. "You speak, sir, as if I needed some vast fund. It costs a dollar a day in the desert to keep a horse and another dollar to keep a man. Camera plates and clothing—why a hundred dollars a month would be luxury! And I don't need help, truly I don't! The mere fact of your interest is help enough for me."
"A hundred dollars a month for your expenses," said the President, making a memorandum in his notebook, "and what is your time worth?"
"My time? You mean what would I charge somebody for doing this work? Why, Mr. President, this is not a job! It's an avocation! I wouldn't take money for it. It's a labor of love."
The chief executive suddenly rose and Diana, rising too, was surprised at the look that suddenly burned in the hawk-like eyes.
"You are an unusual woman, Miss Allen! Your angle on life is one seldom found in Washington." He took a restless turn up and down the room, glanced at Enoch, who stood beside the desk, utterly absorbed in contemplation of Diana's protesting eyes, then said, "This friend of mine is a disappointed man. He had believed that in amassing a great fortune he would find satisfaction. He has found that money of itself is dust and ashes and it is too late for him to take up a new work. Miss Allen, I too am a disappointed man. I had believed that the President of a great nation was a full man, a contented man. I find myself an automaton, whirled about by the selfish desires of a politically stupid and indifferent constituency. One of the few consolations I find in my high office is that once in a while I come upon some one who is contributing something permanent to this nation's real advancement, and I am able to help that person. Miss Allen, will you not share your great good fortune with my friend and me?"
"Gladly!" exclaimed Diana quickly. Then she added, with a little laugh, "I think I understand now, why you are President of the United States!"
Enoch and the President joined in the laugh, and Diana was still smiling when they descended the steps to the waiting carriage. But the smile faded with a sudden thought.
"The President mustn't think I will take more than expense money!" she exclaimed.
Enoch laughed again as he replied, "I don't think that need bother you, Miss Allen. I imagine a yearly sum will be placed at your disposal. You will use what you wish."
Diana shook her head uneasily. "I don't more than half like the idea. But the President made it very difficult to refuse."
Enoch nodded. The carriage stopped before the Willard Hotel. "Miss Allen, will you lunch with me?" he asked.
Diana hesitated. "I'll be late getting back to the office," she said.
"I'll ask Watkins not to dock you," said Enoch soberly.
"Docking my salary," touching Enoch's proffered hand lightly as she sprang to the curb, "would be almost like taking something from nothing. I've never lunched in the Willard, Mr. Secretary."
"The Johnstown lunch still holds sway, I suppose!" said Enoch, following Diana down the stairs to Peacock Row.
They were a rather remarkable pair together. At least the occupants of the Row evidently felt so, for there was a breathless craning of necks and a hush in conversations as they passed, Diana, with her heart-searching beauty, Enoch with his great height and his splendid, rugged head. The head waiter did not actually embrace Enoch in welcoming him, but he managed to convey to the dining-room that here was a personal and private god of his own on whom the public had the privilege of gazing only through his generosity. Finally he had them seated to his satisfaction in the quietest and most conspicuous corner of the room.
"Now, my dear Mr. Secretary, what may we give you?" he asked, rubbing his hands together.
Enoch glanced askance at Diana, who shook her head. "This is entirely out of my experience, Mr. Secretary," she said.
"Gustav," said Enoch, "it's not yet one o'clock. We must leave here at five minutes before two. Something very simple, Gustav." He checked several items on the card and gave it to the head waiter with a smile.
Gustav smiled too. "Yes, Mr. Secretary!" he exclaimed, and disappeared.
"And that's settled," said Enoch, "and we can forget it. Miss Allen, when shall you go back to the Canyon?"
"Why," answered Diana, looking a little startled, "not till I've finished the work for Mr. Watkins, and that will take six months, at least."
"I think the President's idea will be that you must get to your own work, at once. Some one else can carry on Watkins' researches."
"I ought to do some studying in the Congressional library," protested Diana. "Don't you think Washington can endure me a few months longer, Mr. Secretary?"
"Endure you!" Enoch's voice broke a little, and he gave Diana a glance in which he could not quite conceal the anguish.
A sudden silence fell between the two that was broken by the waiter's appearance with the first course. Then Diana said, casually:
"My father is going to be very happy when I write him about this. Do you remember him at all clearly, Mr. Secretary?"
"Yes," replied Enoch. Then with a quick, direct look, he asked, "Did your father, ever give you the details of his experience with me in the Canyon?"
Diana's voice was low but very steady as she replied, "Yes, Mr. Secretary. He told me long ago, when you made your famous Boyhood on the Rack speech in Congress. It was the first word he had heard of you in all the years and he was deeply moved."
"I'm glad he told you," said Enoch. "I'm glad, because I'd like to ask you to be my friend, and I would want the sort of friend you would make to know the worst as well as the best about me."
"If that is the worst of you—" Diana began quickly, then paused. "As father told me, it was a story of a boy's suffering and the final triumph of his mind and his body."
Enoch stared at Diana with astonishment in every line of his face. Then he sighed. "He couldn't have told you all," he muttered.
"Yes, he did, all! And nothing, not even what the President said to-day, can mean as much to me as your asking me to be your friend."
Enoch continued to stare at the lovely, tender face opposite him.
Diana smiled. "Don't look so incredulous, Mr. Secretary! It's not polite. You are a very famous person. I am nobody. We are lunching together in a wonderful hotel. I don't even vaguely surmise the names of the things we are eating. Don't look at me doubtingly. Look complacent because you can give a lady so much joy."
Enoch laughed with a quick relief that made his cheeks burn. "And so you are nobody! Curious, then, that you should have impressed yourself on me so deeply even when you were a child!"
It was Diana's turn to laugh. "Oh, come, Mr. Secretary! Of course I don't recall it myself, but Dad has always said that you were bored to death at having a small girl taking the trail with you."
"Do you remember that your mule slipped on the home trail and that I saved your life?" demanded Enoch.
Diana shook her head. "I was too small and there were too many canyon trips and too many tourists. I wish—"
She did not finish her sentence, but Enoch said, with a thread of earnestness in his deep voice that made Diana look at him keenly, "I wish you did remember!"
There was a moment's silence, then Enoch went on, "Shall you carry on your work with the Indians alone as you always have done? I believe I can quite understand your father's uneasiness."
"Oh, yes!" exclaimed Diana, glad of an opportunity to redirect the conversation. "Just as I always have done. I shall have no trouble unless I get soft, living at the Johnstown Lunch! Then I may have to waste time till I get fit again. Have you ever lived on the trail, excepting on your trip to the Grand Canyon, Mr. Secretary?"
"Yes, in Canada and Maine, while I was in college. I used to tutor rich boys, and they had glorious summers, lucky kids! But since getting into national politics, I've had no time for real play."