preliminary trial Steger was almost afraid to suggest confidently
what the State Supreme Court would or would not do; but he had to say
"I don't think you need worry about what the outcome of my appeal will
be, Frank. I'll get a certificate of reasonable doubt, and that's as
good as a stay of two months, perhaps longer. I don't suppose the bail
will be more than thirty thousand dollars at the outside. You'll be out
again in five or six days, whatever happens."
Cowperwood said that he hoped so, and suggested that they drop matters
for the night. After a few by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница fruitless parleys his father and Steger
finally said good night, leaving him to his own private reflections. He
was tired, however, and throwing off his clothes, tucked himself in his
mediocre bed, and was soon fast asleep.
Say what one will about prison life in general, modify it ever so much
by special chambers, obsequious turnkeys, a general tendency to make one
as comfortable as possible, a jail is a jail, and there is no getting
away from that. Cowperwood, in a room which was not in any way inferior
to that of the ordinary boarding-house, was nevertheless conscious of
the character by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница of that section of this real prison which was not yet his
portion. He knew that there were cells there, probably greasy and smelly
and vermin-infested, and that they were enclosed by heavy iron bars,
which would have as readily clanked on him as on those who were now
therein incarcerated if he had not had the price to pay for something
better. So much for the alleged equality of man, he thought, which gave
to one man, even within the grim confines of the machinery of justice,
such personal liberty as he himself was now enjoying, and to another,
because he chanced by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница to lack wit or presence or friends or wealth, denied
the more comfortable things which money would buy.
The morning after the trial, on waking, he stirred curiously, and
then it suddenly came to him that he was no longer in the free and
comfortable atmosphere of his own bedroom, but in a jail-cell, or rather
its very comfortable substitute, a sheriff's rented bedroom. He got up
and looked out the window. The ground outside and Passayunk Avenue
were white with snow. Some wagons were silently lumbering by. A few
Philadelphians were visible here and there, going to and fro on morning
errands. He began to by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница think at once what he must do, how he must act
to carry on his business, to rehabilitate himself; and as he did so he
dressed and pulled the bell-cord, which had been indicated to him, and
which would bring him an attendant who would build him a fire and later
bring him something to eat. A shabby prison attendant in a blue uniform,
conscious of Cowperwood's superiority because of the room he occupied,
laid wood and coal in the grate and started a fire, and later brought
him his breakfast, which was anything but prison fare, though poor
enough at that by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница.
After that he was compelled to wait in patience several hours, in spite
of the sheriff's assumption of solicitous interest, before his brother
Edward was admitted with his clothes. An attendant, for a consideration,
brought him the morning papers, and these, except for the financial
news, he read indifferently. Late in the afternoon Steger arrived,
saying he had been busy having certain proceedings postponed, but that
he had arranged with the sheriff for Cowperwood to be permitted to see
such of those as had important business with him.
By this time, Cowperwood had written Aileen under no circumstances to
try to see him, as he would be by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница out by the tenth, and that either that
day, or shortly after, they would meet. As he knew, she wanted greatly
to see him, but he had reason to believe she was under surveillance by
detectives employed by her father. This was not true, but it was preying
on her fancy, and combined with some derogatory remarks dropped by Owen
and Callum at the dinner table recently, had proved almost too much for
her fiery disposition. But, because of Cowperwood's letter reaching her
at the Calligans', she made no move until she read on the morning of the
tenth that Cowperwood's plea for a certificate by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница of reasonable doubt had
been granted, and that he would once more, for the time being at least,
be a free man. This gave her courage to do what she had long wanted to
do, and that was to teach her father that she could get along without
him and that he could not make her do anything she did not want to do.
She still had the two hundred dollars Cowperwood had given her and some
additional cash of her own--perhaps three hundred and fifty dollars in
all. This she thought would be sufficient to see her to the end of her
adventure by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница, or at least until she could make some other arrangement for
her personal well-being. From what she knew of the feeling of her family
for her, she felt that the agony would all be on their side, not hers.
Perhaps when her father saw how determined she was he would decide to
let her alone and make peace with her. She was determined to try it,
anyhow, and immediately sent word to Cowperwood that she was going to
the Calligans and would welcome him to freedom.
In a way, Cowperwood was rather gratified by Aileen's message, for
he felt that by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница his present plight, bitter as it was, was largely due to
Butler's opposition and he felt no compunction in striking him through
his daughter. His former feeling as to the wisdom of not enraging Butler
had proved rather futile, he thought, and since the old man could not be
placated it might be just as well to have Aileen demonstrate to him that
she was not without resources of her own and could live without him. She
might force him to change his attitude toward her and possibly even to
modify some of his political machinations against him, Cowperwood. Any
port in a storm--and besides by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница, he had now really nothing to lose, and
instinct told him that her move was likely to prove more favorable than
otherwise--so he did nothing to prevent it.
She took her jewels, some underwear, a couple of dresses which she
thought would be serviceable, and a few other things, and packed them
in the most capacious portmanteau she had. Shoes and stockings came into
consideration, and, despite her efforts, she found that she could not
get in all that she wished. Her nicest hat, which she was determined to
take, had to be carried outside. She made a separate bundle of it,
which was not by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница pleasant to contemplate. Still she decided to take it.
She rummaged in a little drawer where she kept her money and jewels, and
found the three hundred and fifty dollars and put it in her purse. It
wasn't much, as Aileen could herself see, but Cowperwood would help
her. If he did not arrange to take care of her, and her father would not
relent, she would have to get something to do. Little she knew of the
steely face the world presents to those who have not been practically
trained and are not economically efficient. She did not understand the
bitter reaches of life by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница at all. She waited, humming for effect, until she
heard her father go downstairs to dinner on this tenth day of December,
then leaned over the upper balustrade to make sure that Owen, Callum,
Norah, and her mother were at the table, and that Katy, the housemaid,
was not anywhere in sight. Then she slipped into her father's den, and,
taking a note from inside her dress, laid it on his desk, and went out.
It was addressed to "Father," and read:
Dear Father,--I just cannot do what you want me to. I have
made up my mind that I love by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница Mr. Cowperwood too much, so I am
going away. Don't look for me with him. You won't find me
where you think. I am not going to him; I will not be
there. I am going to try to get along by myself for a
while, until he wants me and can marry me. I'm terribly
sorry; but I just can't do what you want. I can't ever
forgive you for the way you acted to me. Tell mama and Norah
and the boys good-by for me.
To insure its discovery, she picked up Butler's heavy by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница-rimmed spectacles
which he employed always when reading, and laid them on it. For a moment
she felt very strange, somewhat like a thief--a new sensation for
her. She even felt a momentary sense of ingratitude coupled with pain.
Perhaps she was doing wrong. Her father had been very good to her. Her
mother would feel so very bad. Norah would be sorry, and Callum and
Owen. Still, they did not understand her any more. She was resentful of
her father's attitude. He might have seen what the point was; but no, he
was too old, too hidebound in religion and conventional ideas--he by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница never
would. He might never let her come back. Very well, she would get along
somehow. She would show him. She might get a place as a school-teacher,
and live with the Calligans a long while, if necessary, or teach music.
She stole downstairs and out into the vestibule, opening the outer door
and looking out into the street. The lamps were already flaring in the
dark, and a cool wind was blowing. Her portmanteau was heavy, but she
was quite strong. She walked briskly to the corner, which was some fifty
feet away, and turned south, walking rather nervously and irritably, for
this was a new by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница experience for her, and it all seemed so undignified, so
unlike anything she was accustomed to doing. She put her bag down on
a street corner, finally, to rest. A boy whistling in the distance
attracted her attention, and as he drew near she called to him: "Boy!
He came over, looking at her curiously.
"Do you want to earn some money?"
"Yes, ma'am," he replied politely, adjusting a frowsy cap over one ear.
"Carry this bag for me," said Aileen, and he picked it up and marched
In due time she arrived at the Calligans', and amid by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница much excitement was
installed in the bosom of her new home. She took her situation with
much nonchalance, once she was properly placed, distributing her toilet
articles and those of personal wear with quiet care. The fact that she
was no longer to have the services of Kathleen, the maid who had served
her and her mother and Norah jointly, was odd, though not trying. She
scarcely felt that she had parted from these luxuries permanently, and
so made herself comfortable.
Mamie Calligan and her mother were adoring slaveys, so she was not
entirely out of the atmosphere which she craved and to which she was
Meanwhile by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница, in the Butler home the family was assembling for dinner. Mrs.
Butler was sitting in rotund complacency at the foot of the table, her
gray hair combed straight back from her round, shiny forehead. She had
on a dark-gray silk dress, trimmed with gray-and-white striped ribbon.
It suited her florid temperament admirably. Aileen had dictated her
mother's choice, and had seen that it had been properly made. Norah was
refreshingly youthful in a pale-green dress, with red-velvet cuffs and
collar. She looked young, slender, gay. Her eyes, complexion and hair
were fresh and healthy. She was trifling with a string by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница of coral beads
which her mother had just given her.
"Oh, look, Callum," she said to her brother opposite her, who was
drumming idly on the table with his knife and fork. "Aren't they lovely?
Mama gave them to me."
"Mama does more for you than I would. You know what you'd get from me,
He looked at her teasingly. For answer Norah made a face at him. Just
then Owen came in and took his place at the table. Mrs. Butler saw
"Well, that'll win no love from your brother, ye by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница can depend on that,"
"Lord, what a day!" observed Owen, wearily, unfolding his napkin. "I've
had my fill of work for once."
"What's the trouble?" queried his mother, feelingly.
"No real trouble, mother," he replied. "Just everything--ducks and
drakes, that's all."
"Well, ye must ate a good, hearty meal now, and that'll refresh ye,"
observed his mother, genially and feelingly. "Thompson"--she was
referring to the family grocer--"brought us the last of his beans. You
must have some of those."
"Sure, beans'll fix it, whatever it is, Owen," joked Callum. "Mother's
got the by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница answer."
"They're fine, I'd have ye know," replied Mrs. Butler, quite unconscious
of the joke.
"No doubt of it, mother," replied Callum. "Real brain-food. Let's feed
some to Norah."
"You'd better eat some yourself, smarty. My, but you're gay! I suppose
you're going out to see somebody. That's why."
"Right you are, Norah. Smart girl, you. Five or six. Ten to fifteen
minutes each. I'd call on you if you were nicer."
"You would if you got the chance," mocked Norah. "I'd have you know I
wouldn't let you. I'd feel by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница very bad if I couldn't get somebody better
"As good as, you mean," corrected Callum.
"Children, children!" interpolated Mrs. Butler, calmly, looking about
for old John, the servant. "You'll be losin' your tempers in a minute.
Hush now. Here comes your father. Where's Aileen?"
Butler walked heavily in and took his seat.
John, the servant, appeared bearing a platter of beans among other
things, and Mrs. Butler asked him to send some one to call Aileen.
"It's gettin' colder, I'm thinkin'," said Butler, by way of
conversation, and eyeing Aileen's empty chair. She would come soon
now--his heavy by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница problem. He had been very tactful these last two
months--avoiding any reference to Cowperwood in so far as he could help
in her presence.
"It's colder," remarked Owen, "much colder. We'll soon see real winter
Old John began to offer the various dishes in order; but when all had
been served Aileen had not yet come.
"See where Aileen is, John," observed Mrs. Butler, interestedly. "The
meal will be gettin' cold."
Old John returned with the news that Aileen was not in her room.
"Sure she must be somewhere," commented Mrs. Butler, only slightly
perplexed. "She'll be comin by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница', though, never mind, if she wants to. She
knows it's meal-time."
The conversation drifted from a new water-works that was being planned
to the new city hall, then nearing completion; Cowperwood's financial
and social troubles, and the state of the stock market generally; a new
gold-mine in Arizona; the departure of Mrs. Mollenhauer the following
Tuesday for Europe, with appropriate comments by Norah and Callum; and a
Christmas ball that was going to be given for charity.
"Aileen'll be wantin' to go to that," commented Mrs. Butler.
"I'm going, you bet," put in Norah.
"Who's going to take by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница you?" asked Callum.
"That's my affair, mister," she replied, smartly.
The meal was over, and Mrs. Butler strolled up to Aileen's room to see
why she had not come down to dinner. Butler entered his den, wishing so
much that he could take his wife into his confidence concerning all that
was worrying him. On his desk, as he sat down and turned up the light,
he saw the note. He recognized Aileen's handwriting at once. What could
she mean by writing him? A sense of the untoward came to him, and
he tore it open slowly, and, putting on his by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница glasses, contemplated it
So Aileen was gone. The old man stared at each word as if it had been
written in fire. She said she had not gone with Cowperwood. It was
possible, just the same, that he had run away from Philadelphia and
taken her with him. This was the last straw. This ended it. Aileen
lured away from home--to where--to what? Butler could scarcely believe,
though, that Cowperwood had tempted her to do this. He had too much at
stake; it would involve his own and Butler's families. The papers would
be certain to get it quickly. He by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница got up, crumpling the paper in his
hand, and turned about at a noise. His wife was coming in. He pulled
himself together and shoved the letter in his pocket.
"Aileen's not in her room," she said, curiously. "She didn't say
anything to you about going out, did she?"
"No," he replied, truthfully, wondering how soon he should have to tell
"That's odd," observed Mrs. Butler, doubtfully. "She must have gone out
after somethin'. It's a wonder she wouldn't tell somebody."
Butler gave no sign. He dared not. "She'll be back," he said, more in
order to by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница gain time than anything else. He was sorry to have to pretend.
Mrs. Butler went out, and he closed the door. Then he took out
the letter and read it again. The girl was crazy. She was doing an
absolutely wild, inhuman, senseless thing. Where could she go, except
to Cowperwood? She was on the verge of a public scandal, and this would
produce it. There was just one thing to do as far as he could see.
Cowperwood, if he were still in Philadelphia, would know. He would go to
him--threaten, cajole, actually destroy him, if necessary. Aileen must
come back. She need not go by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница to Europe, perhaps, but she must come back
and behave herself at least until Cowperwood could legitimately marry
her. That was all he could expect now. She would have to wait, and some
day perhaps he could bring himself to accept her wretched proposition.
Horrible thought! It would kill her mother, disgrace her sister. He got
up, took down his hat, put on his overcoat, and started out.
Arriving at the Cowperwood home he was shown into the reception-room.
Cowperwood at the time was in his den looking over some private papers.
When the name of Butler was announced he by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница immediately went down-stairs.
It was characteristic of the man that the announcement of Butler's
presence created no stir in him whatsoever. So Butler had come. That
meant, of course, that Aileen had gone. Now for a battle, not of words,
but of weights of personalities. He felt himself to be intellectually,
socially, and in every other way the more powerful man of the two. That
spiritual content of him which we call life hardened to the texture of
steel. He recalled that although he had told his wife and his father
that the politicians, of whom Butler was one, were trying to make by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница a
scapegoat of him, Butler, nevertheless, was not considered to be wholly
alienated as a friend, and civility must prevail. He would like very
much to placate him if he could, to talk out the hard facts of life in a
quiet and friendly way. But this matter of Aileen had to be adjusted now
once and for all. And with that thought in his mind he walked quickly
into Butler's presence.
The old man, when he learned that Cowperwood was in and would see him,
determined to make his contact with the financier as short and effective
as possible. He moved the least bit when he by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница heard Cowperwood's step, as
light and springy as ever.
"Good evening, Mr. Butler," said Cowperwood, cheerfully, when he saw
him, extending his hand. "What can I do for you?"
"Ye can take that away from in front of me, for one thing," said Butler,
grimly referring to his hand. "I have no need of it. It's my daughter
I've come to talk to ye about, and I want plain answers. Where is she?"
"You mean Aileen?" said Cowperwood, looking at him with steady, curious,
unrevealing eyes, and merely interpolating this to obtain a moment for
reflection. "What can I tell by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница you about her?"
"Ye can tell me where she is, that I know. And ye can make her come back
to her home, where she belongs. It was bad fortune that ever brought ye
across my doorstep; but I'll not bandy words with ye here. Ye'll tell me
where my daughter is, and ye'll leave her alone from now, or I'll--" The
old man's fists closed like a vise, and his chest heaved with suppressed
rage. "Ye'll not be drivin' me too far, man, if ye're wise," he added,
after a time, recovering his by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница equanimity in part. "I want no truck with
ye. I want my daughter."
"Listen, Mr. Butler," said Cowperwood, quite calmly, relishing the
situation for the sheer sense of superiority it gave him. "I want to
be perfectly frank with you, if you will let me. I may know where your
daughter is, and I may not. I may wish to tell you, and I may not. She
may not wish me to. But unless you wish to talk with me in a civil way
there is no need of our going on any further. You are privileged to do
what you like. Won't you come up-stairs to by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница my room? We can talk more
Butler looked at his former protege in utter astonishment. He had
never before in all his experience come up against a more ruthless
type--suave, bland, forceful, unterrified. This man had certainly
come to him as a sheep, and had turned out to be a ravening wolf. His
incarceration had not put him in the least awe.
"I'll not come up to your room," Butler said, "and ye'll not get out of
Philadelphy with her if that's what ye're plannin'. I can see to that.
Ye think ye have the by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница upper hand of me, I see, and ye're anxious to make
something of it. Well, ye're not. It wasn't enough that ye come to me
as a beggar, cravin' the help of me, and that I took ye in and helped ye
all I could--ye had to steal my daughter from me in the bargain. If it
wasn't for the girl's mother and her sister and her brothers--dacenter
men than ever ye'll know how to be--I'd brain ye where ye stand. Takin'
a young, innocent girl and makin' an evil woman out of her by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница, and ye a
married man! It's a God's blessin' for ye that it's me, and not one of
me sons, that's here talkin' to ye, or ye wouldn't be alive to say what
The old man was grim but impotent in his rage.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Butler," replied Cowperwood, quietly. "I'm willing to
explain, but you won't let me. I'm not planning to run away with your
daughter, nor to leave Philadelphia. You ought to know me well enough to
know that I'm not contemplating anything of that kind; my interests are
too large by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница. You and I are practical men. We ought to be able to talk
this matter over together and reach an understanding. I thought once
of coming to you and explaining this; but I was quite sure you wouldn't
listen to me. Now that you are here I would like to talk to you. If you
will come up to my room I will be glad to--otherwise not. Won't you come
Butler saw that Cowperwood had the advantage. He might as well go up.
Otherwise it was plain he would get no information.
"Very well," he said.
Cowperwood led the way by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница quite amicably, and, having entered his private
office, closed the door behind him.
"We ought to be able to talk this matter over and reach an
understanding," he said again, when they were in the room and he had
closed the door. "I am not as bad as you think, though I know I appear
very bad." Butler stared at him in contempt. "I love your daughter, and
she loves me. I know you are asking yourself how I can do this while
I am still married; but I assure you I can, and that I do. I am not
happily married. I had expected by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница, if this panic hadn't come along, to
arrange with my wife for a divorce and marry Aileen. My intentions are
perfectly good. The situation which you can complain of, of course, is
the one you encountered a few weeks ago. It was indiscreet, but it was
entirely human. Your daughter does not complain--she understands." At
the mention of his daughter in this connection Butler flushed with rage
and shame, but he controlled himself.
"And ye think because she doesn't complain that it's all right, do ye?"
he asked, sarcastically.
"From my point of view, yes; from yours no. You have one view of by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница life,
Mr. Butler, and I have another."
"Ye're right there," put in Butler, "for once, anyhow."
"That doesn't prove that either of us is right or wrong. In my judgment
the present end justifies the means. The end I have in view is to marry
Aileen. If I can possibly pull myself out of this financial scrape that
I am in I will do so. Of course, I would like to have your consent
for that--so would Aileen; but if we can't, we can't." (Cowperwood was
thinking that while this might not have a very soothing effect on the
old by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница contractor's point of view, nevertheless it must make some appeal to
his sense of the possible or necessary. Aileen's present situation
was quite unsatisfactory without marriage in view. And even if he,
Cowperwood, was a convicted embezzler in the eyes of the public, that
did not make him so. He might get free and restore himself--would
certainly--and Aileen ought to be glad to marry him if she could
under the circumstances. He did not quite grasp the depth of Butler's
religious and moral prejudices.) "Lately," he went on, "you have been
doing all you can, as I understand it, to pull by Theodore Dreiser 33 страница me down, on account of
Aileen, I suppose; but that is simply delaying what I want to do."
"Ye'd like me to help ye do that, I suppose?" suggested Butler, with
infinite disgust and patience.
"I want to marry Aileen," Cowperwood repeated, for emphasis' sake. "She
wants to marry me. Under the circumstances, however you may feel, you
can have no real objection to my doing that, I am sure; yet you go on