And when I get ready to retire I'm going to build me an up-to-date bungalow in some lovely resort, not in Como or any other of the proverbial Grecian isles you may be sure, but in somewheres like Florida, California, Santa Fe, & etc., and devote myself just to reading the classics, like Longfellow, James Whitcomb Riley, Lord Macaulay, Henry Van Dyke, Elbert Hubbard, Plato, Hiawatha, & etc. Some of my friends laugh at me for it, but I have always cultivated a taste for the finest in literature. I got it from my Mother as I did everything that some people have been so good as to admire in me.
Zero Hour, Berzelius Windrip.
Certain though Doremus had been of Windrip's election, the event was like the long-dreaded passing of a friend.
"All right. Hell with this country, if it's like that. All these years I've worked—and I never did want to be on all these committees and boards and charity drives!—and don't they look silly now! What I always wanted to do was to sneak off to an ivory tower—or anyway, celluloid, imitation ivory—and read everything I've been too busy to read."
Thus Doremus, in late November.
And he did actually attempt it, and for a few days reveled in it, avoiding everyone save his family and Lorinda, Buck Titus, and Father Perefixe. Mostly, though, he found that he did not relish the "classics" he had so far missed, but those familiar to his youth: Ivanhoe, Huckleberry Finn, Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, L'Allegro, The Way of All Flesh (not quite so youthful, there), Moby Dick, The Earthly Paradise, St. Agnes' Eve, The Idylls of the King, most of Swinburne, Pride and Prejudice, Religio Medici, Vanity Fair.
Probably he was not so very different from President-Elect Windrip in his rather uncritical reverence toward any book he had heard of before he was thirty… . No American whose fathers have lived in the country for over two generations is so utterly different from any other American.
In one thing, Doremus's literary escapism failed him thoroughly. He tried to relearn Latin, but he could not now, uncajoled by a master, believe that "Mensa, mensae, mensae, mensam, mensa"—all that idiotic A table, of a table, to a table, toward a table, at in by or on a table—could bear him again as once it had to the honey-sweet tranquillity of Vergil and the Sabine Farm.
Then he saw that in everything his quest failed him.
The reading was good enough, toothsome, satisfying, except that he felt guilty at having sneaked away to an Ivory Tower at all. Too many years he had made a habit of social duty. He wanted to be "in" things, and he was daily more irritable as Windrip began, even before his inauguration, to dictate to the country.
Buzz's party, with the desertions to the Jeffersonians, had less than a majority in Congress. "Inside dope" came to Doremus from Washington that Windrip was trying to buy, to flatter, to blackmail opposing Congressmen. A President-Elect has unhallowed power, if he so wishes, and Windrip—no doubt with promises of abnormal favors in the way of patronage—won over a few. Five Jeffersonian Congressmen had their elections challenged. One sensationally disappeared, and smoking after his galloping heels there was a devilish fume of embezzlements. And with each such triumph of Windrip, all the well-meaning, cloistered Doremuses of the country were the more anxious.
All through the "Depression," ever since 1929, Doremus had felt the insecurity, the confusion, the sense of futility in trying to do anything more permanent than shaving or eating breakfast, that was general to the country. He could no longer plan, for himself or for his dependants, as the citizens of this once unsettled country had planned since 1620.
Why, their whole lives had been predicated on the privilege of planning. Depressions had been only cyclic storms, certain to end in sunshine; Capitalism and parliamentary government were eternal, and eternally being improved by the honest votes of Good Citizens.
Doremus's grandfather, Calvin, Civil War veteran and ill-paid, illiberal Congregational minister, had yet planned, "My son, Loren, shall have a theological education, and I think we shall be able to build a fine new house in fifteen or twenty years." That had given him a reason for working, and a goal.
His father, Loren, had vowed, "Even if I have to economize on books a little, and perhaps give up this extravagance of eating meat four times a week—very bad for the digestion, anyway—my son, Doremus, shall have a college education, and when, as he desires, he becomes a publicist, I think perhaps I shall be able to help him for a year or two. And then I hope—oh, in a mere five or six years more—to buy that complete Dickens with all the illustrations—oh, an extravagance, but a thing to leave to my grandchildren to treasure forever!"
But Doremus Jessup could not plan, "I'll have Sissy go to Smith before she studies architecture," or "If Julian Falck and Sissy get married and stick here in the Fort, I'll give 'em the southwest lot and some day, maybe fifteen years from now, the whole place will be filled with nice kids again!" No. Fifteen years from now, he sighed, Sissy might be hustling hash for the sort of workers who called the waiter's art "hustling hash"; and Julian might be in a concentration camp—Fascist or Communist!
The Horatio Alger tradition, from rags to Rockefellers, was clean gone out of the America it had dominated.
It seemed faintly silly to hope, to try to prophesy, to give up sleep on a good mattress for toil on a typewriter, and as for saving money—idiotic!
And for a newspaper editor—for one who must know, at least as well as the Encyclopædia, everything about local and foreign history, geography, economics, politics, literature, and methods of playing football—it was maddening that it seemed impossible now to know anything surely.
"He don't know what it's all about" had in a year or two changed from a colloquial sneer to a sound general statement regarding almost any economist. Once, modestly enough, Doremus had assumed that he had a decent knowledge of finance, taxation, the gold standard, agricultural exports, and he had smilingly pontificated everywhere that Liberal Capitalism would pastorally lead into State Socialism, with governmental ownership of mines and railroads and water-power so settling all inequalities of income that every lion of a structural steel worker would be willing to lie down with any lamb of a contractor, and all the jails and tuberculosis sanatoria would be clean empty.
Now he knew that he knew nothing fundamental and, like a lone monk stricken with a conviction of sin, he mourned, "If I only knew more! … Yes, and if I could only remember statistics!"
The coming and the going of the N.R.A., the F.E.R.A., the P.W.A., and all the rest, had convinced Doremus that there were four sets of people who did not clearly understand anything whatever about how the government must be conducted: all the authorities in Washington; all of the citizenry who talked or wrote profusely about politics; the bewildered untouchables who said nothing; and Doremus Jessup.
"But," said he, "now, after Buzz's inauguration, everything is going to be completely simple and comprehensible again—the country is going to be run as his private domain!"
Julian Falck, now sophomore in Amherst, had come home for Christmas vacation, and he dropped in at the Informer office to beg from Doremus a ride home before dinner.
He called Doremus "sir" and did not seem to think he was a comic fossil. Doremus liked it.
On the way they stopped for gasoline at the garage of John Pollikop, the seething Social Democrat, and were waited upon by Karl Pascal—sometime donkey-engine-man at Tasbrough's quarry, sometime strike leader, sometime political prisoner in the county jail on a thin charge of inciting to riot, and ever since then, a model of Communistic piety.
Pascal was a thin man, but sinewy; his gaunt and humorous face of a good mechanic was so grease-darkened that the skin above and below his eyes seemed white as a fish-belly, and, in turn, that pallid rim made his eyes, alert dark gipsy eyes, seem the larger… . A panther chained to a coal cart.
"Well, what you going to do after this election?" said Doremus. "Oh! That's a fool question! I guess none of us chronic kickers want to say much about what we plan to do after January, when Buzz gets his hands on us. Lie low, eh?"
"I'm going to lie the lowest lie that I ever did. You bet! But maybe there'll be a few Communist cells around here now, when Fascism begins to get into people's hair. Never did have much success with my propaganda before, but now, you watch!" exulted Pascal.
"You don't seem so depressed by the election," marveled Doremus, while Julian offered, "No—you seem quite cheerful about it!"
"Depressed? Why good Lord, Mr. Jessup, I thought you knew your revolutionary tactics better than that, way you supported us in the quarry strike—even if you are the perfect type of small capitalist bourgeois! Depressed? Why, can't you see, if the Communists had paid for it they couldn't have had anything more elegant for our purposes than the election of a pro-plutocrat, itching militarist dictator like Buzz Windrip! Look! He'll get everybody plenty dissatisfied. But they can't do anything, barehanded against the armed troops. Then he'll whoop it up for a war, and so millions of people will have arms and food rations in their hands—all ready for the revolution! Hurray for Buzz and John Prang the Baptist!"
"Karl, it's funny about you. I honestly believe you believe in Communism!" marveled young Julian. "Don't you?"
"Why don't you go and ask your friend Father Perefixe if he believes in the Virgin?"
"But you seem to like America, and you don't seem so fanatical, Karl. I remember when I was a kid of about ten and you—I suppose you were about twenty-five or -six then—you used to slide with us and whoop like hell, and you made me a ski-stick."
"Sure I like America. Came here when I was two years old—I was born in Germany—my folks weren't Heinies, though—my dad was French and my mother a Hunkie from Serbia. (Guess that makes me a hundred per cent American, all right!) I think we've got the Old Country beat, lots of ways. Why, say, Julian, over there I'd have to call you 'Mein Herr' or 'Your Excellency,' or some fool thing, and you'd call me, 'I say-uh, Pascal!' and Mr. Jessup here, my Lord, he'd be 'Commendatore' or 'Herr Doktor'! No, I like it here. There's symptoms of possible future democracy. But—but—what burns me up—it isn't that old soap-boxer's chestnut about how one tenth of 1 per cent of the population at the top have an aggregate income equal to 42 per cent at the bottom. Figures like that are too astronomical. Don't mean a thing in the world to a fellow with his eyes—and nose—down in a transmission box—fellow that doesn't see the stars except after 9 P.M. on odd Wednesdays. But what burns me up is the fact that even before this Depression, in what you folks called prosperous times, 7 per cent of all the families in the country earned $500 a year or less—remember, those weren't the unemployed, on relief; those were the guys that had the honor of still doing honest labor.
"Five hundred dollars a year is ten dollars a week—and that means one dirty little room for a family of four people! It means $5.00 a week for all their food—eighteen cents per day per person for food!—and even the lousiest prisons allow more than that. And the magnificent remainder of $2.50 a week, that means nine cents per day per person for clothes, insurance, carfares, doctors' bills, dentists' bills, and for God's sake, amusements—amusements!—and all the rest of the nine cents a day they can fritter away on their Fords and autogiros and, when they feel fagged, skipping across the pond on the Normandie! Seven per cent of all the fortunate American families where the old man has got a job!"
Julian was silent; then whispered, "You know—fellow gets discussing economics in college—theoretically sympathetic—but to see your own kids living on eighteen cents a day for grub—I guess that would make a man pretty extremist!"
Doremus fretted, "But what percentage of forced labor in your Russian lumber camps and Siberian prison mines are getting more than that?"
"Haaa! That's all baloney! That's the old standard come-back at every Communist—just like once, twenty years ago, the muttonheads used to think they'd crushed any Socialist when they snickered 'If all the money was divided up, inside five years the hustlers would have all of it again.' Prob'ly there's some standard coup de grace like that in Russia, to crush anybody that defends America. Besides!" Karl Pascal glowed with nationalistic fervor. "We Americans aren't like those dumb Russki peasants! We'll do a whole lot better when we get Communism!"
And on that, his employer, the expansive John Pollikop, a woolly Scotch terrier of a man, returned to the garage. John was an excellent friend of Doremus; had, indeed, been his bootlegger all through Prohibition, personally running in his whisky from Canada. He had been known, even in that singularly scrupulous profession, as one of its most trustworthy practitioners. Now he flowered into mid-European dialectics:
"Evenin', Mist' Jessup, evenin', Julian! Karl fill up y' tank for you? You want t' watch that guy—he's likely to hold out a gallon on you. He's one of these crazy dogs of Communists—they all believe in Violence instead of Evolution and Legality. Them—why say, if they hadn't been so crooked, if they'd joined me and Norman Thomas and the other intelligent Socialists in a United Front with Roosevelt and the Jeffersonians, why say, we'd of licked the pants off Buzzard Windrip! Windrip and his plans!"
("Buzzard" Windrip. That was good, Doremus reflected. He'd be able to use it in the Informer!)
Pascal protested, "Not that Buzzard's personal plans and ambitions have got much to do with it. Altogether too easy to explain everything just blaming it on Windrip. Why don't you read your Marx, John, instead of always gassing about him? Why, Windrip's just something nasty that's been vomited up. Plenty others still left fermenting in the stomach—quack economists with every sort of economic ptomain! No, Buzz isn't important—it's the sickness that made us throw him up that we've got to attend to—the sickness of more than 30 per cent permanently unemployed, and growing larger. Got to cure it!"
"Can you crazy Tovarishes cure it?" snapped Pollikop, and, "Do you think Communism will cure it?" skeptically wondered Doremus, and, more politely, "Do you really think Karl Marx had the dope?" worried Julian, all three at once.
"You bet your life we can!" said Pascal vaingloriously.
As Doremus, driving away, looked back at them, Pascal and Pollikop were removing a flat tire together and quarreling bitterly, quite happily.
Doremus's attic study had been to him a refuge from the tender solicitudes of Emma and Mrs. Candy and his daughters, and all the impulsive hand-shaking strangers who wanted the local editor to start off their campaigns for the sale of life insurance or gas-saving carburetors, for the Salvation Army or the Red Cross or the Orphans' Home or the Anti-cancer Crusade, or the assorted magazines which would enable to go through college young men who at all cost should be kept out of college.
It was a refuge now from the considerably less tender solicitudes of supporters of the President-Elect. On the pretense of work, Doremus took to sneaking up there in mid-evening; and he sat not in an easy chair but stiffly, at his desk, making crosses and five-pointed stars and six-pointed stars and fancy delete signs on sheets of yellow copy paper, while he sorely meditated.
Thus, this evening, after the demands of Karl Pascal and John Pollikop:
"'The Revolt against Civilization!'
"But there's the worst trouble of this whole cursed business of analysis. When I get to defending Democracy against Communism and Fascism and what-not, I sound just like the Lothrop Stoddards—why, I sound almost like a Hearst editorial on how some college has got to kick out a Dangerous Red instructor in order to preserve our Democracy for the ideals of Jefferson and Washington! Yet somehow, singing the same words, I have a notion my tune is entirely different from Hearst's. I don't think we've done very well with all the plowland and forest and minerals and husky human stock we've had. What makes me sick about Hearst and the D.A.R. is that if they are against Communism, I have to be for it, and I don't want to be!
"Wastage of resources, so they're about gone—that's been the American share in the revolt against Civilization.
"We can go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin! It would just take a few thousand big shells and gas bombs to wipe out all the eager young men, and all the libraries and historical archives and patent offices, all the laboratories and art galleries, all the castles and Periclean temples and Gothic cathedrals, all the cooperative stores and motor factories—every storehouse of learning. No inherent reason why Sissy's grandchildren—if anybody's grandchildren will survive at all—shouldn't be living in caves and heaving rocks at catamounts.
"And what's the solution of preventing this debacle? Plenty of 'em! The Communists have a patent Solution they know will work. So have the Fascists, and the rigid American Constitutionalists—who call themselves advocates of Democracy, without any notion what the word ought to mean; and the Monarchists—who are certain that if we could just resurrect the Kaiser and the Czar and King Alfonso, everybody would be loyal and happy again, and the banks would simply force credit on small businessmen at 2 per cent. And all the preachers—they tell you that they alone have the inspired Solution.
"Well, gentlemen, I have listened to all your Solutions, and I now inform you that I, and I alone, except perhaps for Walt Trowbridge and the ghost of Pareto, have the perfect, the inevitable, the only Solution, and that is: There is no Solution! There will never be a state of society anything like perfect!
"There never will be a time when there won't be a large proportion of people who feel poor no matter how much they have, and envy their neighbors who know how to wear cheap clothes showily, and envy neighbors who can dance or make love or digest better."
Doremus suspected that, with the most scientific state, it would be impossible for iron deposits always to find themselves at exactly the rate decided upon two years before by the National Technocratic Minerals Commission, no matter how elevated and fraternal and Utopian the principles of the commissioners.
His Solution, Doremus pointed out, was the only one that did not flee before the thought that a thousand years from now human beings would probably continue to die of cancer and earthquake and such clownish mishaps as slipping in bathtubs. It presumed that mankind would continue to be burdened with eyes that grow weak, feet that grow tired, noses that itch, intestines vulnerable to bacilli, and generative organs that are nervous until the age of virtue and senility. It seemed to him unidealistically probable, for all the "contemporary furniture" of the 1930's, that most people would continue, at least for a few hundred years, to sit in chairs, eat from dishes upon tables, read books—no matter how many cunning phonographic substitutes might be invented, wear shoes or sandals, sleep in beds, write with some sort of pens, and in general spend twenty or twenty-two hours a day much as they had spent them in 1930, in 1630. He suspected that tornadoes, floods, droughts, lightning, and mosquitoes would remain, along with the homicidal tendency known in the best of citizens when their sweethearts go dancing off with other men.
And, most fatally and abysmally, his Solution guessed that men of superior cunning, of slyer foxiness, whether they might be called Comrades, Brethren, Commissars, Kings, Patriots, Little Brothers of the Poor, or any other rosy name, would continue to have more influence than slower-witted men, however worthy.
All the warring Solutions—except his, Doremus chuckled—were ferociously propagated by the Fanatics, the "Nuts."
He recalled an article in which Neil Carothers asserted that the "rabble-rousers" of America in the mid-'thirties had a long and dishonorable ancestry of prophets who had felt called upon to stir up the masses to save the world, and save it in the prophets' own way, and do it right now, and most violently: Peter the Hermit, the ragged, mad, and stinking monk who, to rescue the (unidentified) tomb of the Savior from undefined "outrages by the pagans," led out on the Crusades some hundreds of thousands of European peasants, to die on the way of starvation, after burning, raping, and murdering fellow peasants in foreign villages all along the road.
There was John Ball who "in 1381 was a share-the-wealth advocate; he preached equality of wealth, the abolition of class distinctions, and what would now be called communism," and whose follower, Wat Tyler, looted London, with the final gratifying result that afterward Labor was by the frightened government more oppressed than ever. And nearly three hundred years later, Cromwell's methods of expounding the sweet winsomeness of Purity and Liberty were shooting, slashing, clubbing, starving, and burning people, and after him the workers paid for the spree of bloody righteousness with blood.
Brooding about it, fishing in the muddy slew of recollection which most Americans have in place of a clear pool of history, Doremus was able to add other names of well-meaning rabble-rousers:
Murat and Danton and Robespierre, who helped shift the control of France from the moldy aristocrats to the stuffy, centime-pinching shopkeepers. Lenin and Trotzky who gave to the illiterate Russian peasants the privileges of punching a time clock and of being as learned, gay, and dignified as the factory hands in Detroit; and Lenin's man, Borodin, who extended this boon to China. And that William Randolph Hearst who in 1898 was the Lenin of Cuba and switched the mastery of the golden isle from the cruel Spaniards to the peaceful, unarmed, brotherly-loving Cuban politicians of today.
The American Moses, Dowie, and his theocracy at Zion City, Illinois, where the only results of the direct leadership of God—as directed and encouraged by Mr. Dowie and by his even more spirited successor, Mr. Voliva—were that the holy denizens were deprived of oysters and cigarettes and cursing, and died without the aid of doctors instead of with it, and that the stretch of road through Zion City incessantly caused the breakage of springs on the cars of citizens from Evanston, Wilmette, and Winnetka, which may or not have been a desirable Good Deed.
Cecil Rhodes, his vision of making South Africa a British paradise, and the actuality of making it a graveyard for British soldiers.
All the Utopias—Brook Farm, Robert Owen's sanctuary of chatter, Upton Sinclair's Helicon Hall—and their regulation end in scandal, feuds, poverty, griminess, disillusion.
All the leaders of Prohibition, so certain that their cause was world-regenerating that for it they were willing to shoot down violators.
It seemed to Doremus that the only rabble-rouser to build permanently had been Brigham Young, with his bearded Mormon captains, who not only turned the Utah desert into an Eden but made it pay and kept it up.
Pondered Doremus: Blessed be they who are not Patriots and Idealists, and who do not feel they must dash right in and Do Something About It, something so immediately important that all doubters must be liquidated—tortured—slaughtered! Good old murder, that since the slaying of Abel by Cain has always been the new device by which all oligarchies and dictators have, for all future ages to come, removed opposition!
In this acid mood Doremus doubted the efficacy of all revolutions; dared even a little to doubt our two American revolutions—against England in 1776, and the Civil War.
For a New England editor to contemplate even the smallest criticism of these wars was what it would have been for a Southern Baptist fundamentalist preacher to question Immortality, the Inspiration of the Bible, and the ethical value of shouting Hallelujah. Yet had it, Doremus queried nervously, been necessary to have four years of inconceivably murderous Civil War, followed by twenty years of commercial oppression of the South, in order to preserve the Union, free the slaves, and establish the equality of Industry with Agriculture? Had it been just to the Negroes themselves to throw them so suddenly, with so little preparation, into full citizenship, that the Southern states, in what they considered self-defense, disqualified them at the polls and lynched them and lashed them? Could they not, as Lincoln at first desired and planned, have been freed without the vote, then gradually and competently educated, under federal guardianship, so that by 1890 they might, without too much enmity, have been able to enter fully into all the activities of the land?
A generation and a half (Doremus meditated) of the sturdiest and most gallant killed or crippled in the Civil War or, perhaps worst of all, becoming garrulous professional heroes and satellites of the politicians who in return for their solid vote made all lazy jobs safe for the G.A.R. The most valorous, it was they who suffered the most, for while the John D. Rockefellers, the J. P. Morgans, the Vanderbilts, Astors, Goulds, and all their nimble financial comrades of the South, did not enlist, but stayed in the warm, dry counting-house, drawing the fortune of the country into their webs, it was Jeb Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, Nathaniel Lyon, Pat Cleburne, and the knightly James B. McPherson who were killed … and with them Abraham Lincoln.
So, with the hundreds of thousands who should have been the progenitors of new American generations drained away, we could show the world, which from 1780 to 1860 had so admired men like Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, the Adamses, Webster, only such salvages as McKinley, Benjamin Harrison, William Jennings Bryan, Harding … and Senator Berzelius Windrip and his rivals.
Slavery had been a cancer, and in that day was known no remedy save bloody cutting. There had been no X-rays of wisdom and tolerance. Yet to sentimentalize this cutting, to justify and rejoice in it, was an altogether evil thing, a national superstition that was later to lead to other Unavoidable Wars—wars to free Cubans, to free Filipinos who didn't want our brand of freedom, to End All Wars.
Let us, thought Doremus, not throb again to the bugles of the Civil War, nor find diverting the gallantry of Sherman's dashing Yankee boys in burning the houses of lone women, nor particularly admire the calmness of General Lee as he watched thousands writhe in the mud.
He even wondered if, necessarily, it had been such a desirable thing for the Thirteen Colonies to have cut themselves off from Great Britain. Had the United States remained in the British Empire, possibly there would have evolved a confederation that could have enforced World Peace, instead of talking about it. Boys and girls from Western ranches and Southern plantations and Northern maple groves might have added Oxford and York Minster and Devonshire villages to their own domain. Englishmen, and even virtuous Englishwomen, might have learned that persons who lack the accent of a Kentish rectory or of a Yorkshire textile village may yet in many ways be literate; and that astonishing numbers of persons in the world cannot be persuaded that their chief aim in life ought to be to increase British exports on behalf of the stock-holdings of the Better Classes.
It is commonly asserted, Doremus remembered, that without complete political independence the United States could not have developed its own peculiar virtues. Yet it was not apparent to him that America was any more individual than Canada or Australia; that Pittsburgh and Kansas City were to be preferred before Montreal and Melbourne, Sydney and Vancouver.
No questioning of the eventual wisdom of the "radicals" who had first advocated these two American revolutions, Doremus warned himself, should be allowed to give any comfort to that eternal enemy: the conservative manipulators of privilege who damn as "dangerous agitators" any man who menaces their fortunes; who jump in their chairs at the sting of a gnat like Debs, and blandly swallow a camel like Windrip.
Between the rabble-rousers—chiefly to be detected by desire for their own personal power and notoriety—and the un-self-seeking fighters against tyranny, between William Walker or Danton, and John Howard or William Lloyd Garrison, Doremus saw, there was the difference between a noisy gang of thieves and an honest man noisily defending himself against thieves. He had been brought up to revere the Abolitionists: Lovejoy, Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Beecher Stowe—though his father had considered John Brown insane and a menace, and had thrown sly mud at the marble statues of Henry Ward Beecher, the apostle in the fancy vest. And Doremus could not do otherwise than revere the Abolitionists now, though he wondered a little if Stephen Douglas and Thaddeus Stephens and Lincoln, more cautious and less romantic men, might not have done the job better.
"Is it just possible," he sighed, "that the most vigorous and boldest idealists have been the worst enemies of human progress instead of its greatest creators? Possible that plain men with the humble trait of minding their own business will rank higher in the heavenly hierarchy than all the plumed souls who have shoved their way in among the masses and insisted on saving them?"