It is one of Windover’s pet theories that if a man will but be natural, he can go anywhere and do anything. He claims that the Public School benefits a man not by what it bestows; but rather by what it destroys.
“It clips the ragged edges of a man’s ego,” he would remark, “and teaches him that as an entity he has no place in the universe.” Windover will talk for hours on this subject. Simplicity of nature and the faculty of adapting himself to any environment are, according to him, the ideal results the Public Schools achieve.
In all probability Bindle never had any ragged edges to his ego. Simple-minded and large-hearted, as much at home with the denizens of Mayfair as the inhabitants of Hounsditch, he seems never at a loss. He is always just Bindle, and that is why everyone seems instinctively to like him. He always does the right thing, because he knows no wrong thing to do. Unlike Angell Herald, he is not burdened with two distinct sets of “manners.” Bindle would discuss regicides with Hamlet, or noses with a Cyrano de Bergerac with entire unconsciousness of giving offence. He is one thing to all men, as Dare once told him, whereat Bindle remarked, “But don’t forget the ladies, sir.”
One Sunday evening, just as the Club was breaking up, Sallie remarked to Bindle, “Next Saturday, Mr. Bindle, you must get a whole day’s holiday and come with me for a pic-nic.”
“Me, miss?” enquired the astonished Bindle. “Me an’ you at a pic-nic. Well I’m blessed.”
Bindle was taken by surprise. He looked from Sallie to Windover and then to me, as if seeking an explanation of why Sallie should invite him.
“Just we four,” Sallie went on in that inimitable way of hers, which would make purgatory a paradise. “We’ll take the car and luncheon and tea-baskets. It will be splendid. You will come Mr. Bindle, won’t you?” Sallie looked at him with sparkling eyes.
“Come, miss?” cried Bindle. “Come? I’ll come if it costs me Mrs. B.’s love. You did say a motor car, miss?” he enquired anxiously, and Sallie’s assurance that she had, seemed all that was necessary to complete his happiness.
That evening Bindle and I left Dick Little’s flat together. For some time we walked along in silence, each engaged with his own thoughts. Suddenly Bindle broke the silence.
“Wot did I ought to wear, sir?” he enquired. There was a look of anxiety on his face, and unusual corrugations on his forehead.
“Well, J.B.,” I remarked, “you’d look nice in muslin with a picture hat.” His reproachful look, however, showed me that I had made a mistake.
“I can’t wear them Oxford togs with ‘er,” he remarked.
It should be explained that when Bindle went to Oxford, impersonating the millionaire uncle of an unpopular undergraduate, he had been fitted out with a wardrobe to suit the part. Included in it were a loud black and white check suit, a white waistcoat, a Homburg hat with a puggaree, a red necktie and a cane heavily adorned with yellow metal. Involuntarily I shuddered at the thought of what Sallie would suffer if Bindle turned up in such a costume.
“No,” I said with great seriousness, “they’re not quite suited to motoring. You must get a new rig out, J.B.,” I added.
Still Bindle’s face did not clear, and I guessed that it was a question of finance.
I proffered assistance; but that did not help matters. It seemed to make things worse: Bindle is very independent. For some time we walked along in silence. Suddenly I had an inspiration.
“I’ll sell one of your yarns to an unsuspecting editor,” I said, “and we’ll share the plunder. I’ll advance you something on account of your share.”
In a second the clouds disappeared.
“You’re sure it’ll earn enough?” he enquired suspiciously.
I proceed to swear that it would in a manner that would have made Lars Porsena envious. I was interrupted by a taxi pulling up with a grind just behind, and Windover jumped out, paid the man and joined us.
“I quite forget,” Windover began. “Sallie told me to arrange to meet at Putney Town Station, she’ll run the car through and pick us up there.”
Bindle explained to Windover that the question of his wardrobe had been under discussion and the upshot was that Windover, who is a supreme artist in the matter of clothes, undertook to see Bindle properly turned out.
On Saturday morning I was at the appointed place a few minutes before nine, I looked round for Bindle, and then forgot him in watching the struggles of a horse to drag a heavily-laden coal-cart up the rise where the High Street passes over the railway.
The level reached, the carter drew up to the curb where the horse stood quivering and panting, bathed in sweat. Suddenly I became aware that one of the men I had observed pushing behind the cart was Bindle; but such a Bindle. No wonder I had at first failed to recognise a blue-suited, brown-booted, dark-tied Bindle. Everything about him was the perfection of fit and cut, from his simple crook cane to his wash-leather gloves. Most wonderful of all, Bindle carried his clothes as if accustomed to them every day of the week.
With perfect gravity he drew off his right glove before shaking hands.
“D’yer like it, sir?”
I drew a sigh of relief. The vernacular was unchanged; it was still the same Bindle.
“J.B.,” I said gravely, “I’ve never seen a better dressed man in my life. It’s an entire metamorphosis.”;
“There you’re sort o’ wrong, sir. It’s ‘is Lordship. D’yer think she’ll like it, sir?” he enquired anxiously.
By “she” I knew he meant Sallie.
“Sure of it,” I replied with confidence. Bindle seemed reassured. Suddenly his eye caught the black line across the palm of his right glove.
“Look wot I done.” He held out the glove for my inspection as a child might a torn pinafore. “Wot’ll she think?” There was anxiety in his voice.
“She’ll be rather pleased when I tell her how it happened,” I replied, at which his face cleared.
“I wanted a red tie to sort o’ give it a bite; but ‘e wouldn’t ‘ave it, so ‘ere I am,” and Bindle drew on his right glove once more.
“Tell me all about it,” I urged. “Those clothes were made in the West-End, I swear.”
“Got it first time, sir,” he remarked, as he drew from his breast-pocket a suspicious-looking cigar with an enormous red and gold band round its middle.
“Let me cut it for you,” I broke in hastily, seizing the weed without waiting for his acquiescence. That band would have killed Sallie, so I ripped it off. As I did so Bindle made a movement as if to stop me, but he said nothing. As I raised my eyes from the operation, I saw his regretful gaze fixed upon the band lying on the pavement, a shameless splash of crimson and of gold.
Bindle lighted his cigar and I manoeuvred to get to windward of him.
“You was talkin’ about these ‘ere duds, sir,” remarked Bindle puffing contentedly at what made me pray for Windover’s swift arrival: I do not carry cigars. “You was right, sir.”
“In what?” I queried.
“They came from Savile Row, from ‘is Lordship’s own snips. You should a seen ‘is face when ‘is Lordship said ‘e was out for reach-me-downs for yours truly.”
It was easy to visualise the scene. Windover easy, courteous, matter-of-fact. His tailor staggered, yet striving to disguise his astonishment under a veneer of urbanity and “yes-my-lords.” Windover is the most perfectly bred creature I have ever met. If he were to order riding breeches for a camel, he would do so in such a way that no one would think of laughing, or even regarding it as strange.
“Took me round ‘isself everywhere,” continued Bindle. “We got this ‘at in Piccadilly, these boots an’ gloves in Bond Street, also the tie.” Bindle looked round cautiously and then bending a little closer he confided, “I’m silk underneath!” He leaned back upon his stick to see the effect. I smiled. “Wi’ funny things round me legs to keep me socks up,” and he grinned joyously at the thought of his own splendour.
“What did Mrs. Bindle say?” I enquired.
“‘Ush, sir, ‘ush! She said about every think she could think of, and a good many things she didn’t ought to know. She talked about Mammon, keepin’ ‘oly the Sabbath day, about Abraham’s bosom. Jest fancy a woman married to a man like me a-talkin’ about another cove’s bosom. Why can’t she say chest and be respectable?”
“And what did you say?” I queried.
“Oh!” replied Bindle, “I jest asked ‘er wot ole Abraham did when he got a chill, an’ if ‘e called it a cold on ‘is bosom?”
I laughed, but Bindle continued seriously, “She arst me where I’d be if the end of the world was to come sudden like.”
Scenting a good rejoinder I enquired what he had said.
“I told ‘er to look in the saloon-bar first, an’ if I wasn’t there to try the bottle-an’-jug department. I come away then. Mrs. B.’s a rummy sort o’ send-off for an ‘oliday,” he soliloquised.
After a pause he added, “I’d like to ‘ave jest a peep at ‘eaven to see if Gawd is really like wot Mrs. B. says. Seems to me ‘e must be like one o’ them quick-change coves I seen at the Granville. Ole War-an-Whiskers [the Kayser] says ‘E ‘elps the Germans to kill kids an’ ‘ack women about, Mrs. B. says ‘e’s goin’ to give me pickles when I die, an ole ‘Earty seems to think ‘E’s collectin’ ‘oly greengrocers. There was one parson chap wot told me that ‘E was kind an’ just, with eyes wot smiled. I don’t see ‘ow ‘e can be the ole bloomin’ lot cause——”
Bindle suddenly broke off, straightened himself, lifted his hat and proceeded to pull off his glove. I turned and saw Sallie bringing her “Mercedes” along at a thumping pace. She bore in towards us and brought the car up in a workmanlike manner. Windover, who was seated behind her, jumped out.
“Cheer-o!” said Bindle.
“Cheer-o!” replied Windover. Probably it was the first time in his life that he had ever used the expression: he is inclined to be a purist.
“You been stealin’ a march on us, sir,” said Bindle.
“I was literally picked out of my taxi,” explained Windover, “hardly given time to pay the man, I should say over-pay the man, I had forgotten the war.”
I saw from the look in Sallie’s eyes that she was pleased with Bindle’s appearance.
“Jump in,” she said. Sallie is always brisk and business-like when running “Mercy,” as she calls her car.
“You must sit by me, Mr. Bindle.”
Bindle’s cup of happiness was now full to overflowing. When he took his seat beside Sallie I caught his eye. In it was a look of triumph. It said clearly, “Jest fancy ‘er wantin’ me when she could have a lord.”
As we swung up Putney hill, Windover told me of his experiences in clothing Bindle. At my particular request he also gave me an approximate idea of the sum involved. It was worthy both of Windover and the West End.
“But my dear Windover,” I expostulated, “was silk underwear absolutely necessary for this pic-nic?”
Windover turned upon me a pair of reproachful eyes. “Phillips is sensitive,” he remarked, “and if he knew that any of his ‘creations’ were put over anything but silk, he would close my account.”
With that I had to rest content. Personally I had seen no need to take Bindle to Phillips at all; but Windover is an artist, he “composes” his wearing-apparel as a painter composes a picture, or a poet a sonnet. If providence be discriminating it will punish Windover in the next world for his misdemeanours in this by making him wear odd socks, or a hard hat with a morning coat. I told him so.
As we talked I noticed Windover snuffing the air like a hound. He looked at me, then moved the rug to see if there were anything at the bottom of the car. Finally he smelt the rug, still he seemed dissatisfied, continuing to turn his head from side to side sniffing, as if endeavouring to trace some evil smell. Finally his eyes fixed themselves on Bindle sitting complacently smoking his cigar.
“Good God!” he muttered as he screwed his eye-glass into his eye. “I thought it was a dead dog. He must have run out of ‘coronels.'” I heard him mutter.
“You can’t raise a man from Fulham to Curzon Street in a few hours, Windover,” I remarked reproachfully. “You taught Bindle to remove his glove before shaking hands, and you also gave him very creditable instructions in how to lift his hat so as not to look like a third rate actor in a Restoration melodrama; but you omitted to instruct him in the choice of cigars.”
Windover has as delicate a taste in tobacco as in women; in other words he is extremely fastidious. I watched him as he turned the problem over in his mind. I could follow his train of thought. It was obviously impossible to sit inhaling the fumes of Bindle’s cigar. It was unthinkable again to tell the dear chap it was nothing short of a pollution. In all probability it was a threepenny cigar, the extra penny being in honour of the occasion. Therefore some other way out of the difficulty must be devised. I, had every confidence in Windover and his sense of delicacy. His eyeglass dropped from his eye, a sure sign that the strain of deep-thinking was past.
Taking his cigar case from his pocket, he tapped Bindle on the shoulder and whispered to him. Bindle gave a quick look at Sallie, surreptitiously threw away his cigar and accepted one proffered by Windover, the end of which he promptly bit off. Windover sank back into his seat with a sigh, and I saw Bindle turn to Sallie, who changed speed and put on the brakes. He then calmly proceeded to light his new cigar, quite unconscious that, in asking her to stop a car going at nearly forty miles an hour, he had transgressed against one of the “Thou shalt nots” of motoring.
“How did you do it?” I asked Windover.
“I told him that Sallie would be mortally offended if she knew he was smoking one of his own cigars, it was her pic-nic and she had given me some cigars with which to keep him supplied.”
Lunch we had in a field well off the main road. Bindle’s face was a study as we unpacked the luncheon hamper. Sallie is very thorough, and her pic-nic appointments are the most perfect I have ever encountered, from the folding legless table to the dainty salt-spoons. For once Bindle was silent; but his eyes were busy. When the champagne appeared with the ice and the ice-cream cooler, his emotions overcame him. I heard him mutter to himself, “Well I’m blowed.”
During the meal the rest of us talked; but Bindle said little.
“You’re very quiet, Mr. Bindle,” said Sallie at last, smiling.
“I’m too ‘appy to talk, miss,” said Bindle with unusual gravity, and there was a look in his eyes that was more eloquent than his words. “You see, miss, you can do this any day yer likes, and yer gets sort o’ used to it; but I don’t suppose I shall ever do it again, and I want to make sure that I’m enjoyin’ every bit of it. I can talk any time.”
Sallie turned her head quickly, and I could see that her eyes were moist. Bindle’s remark was not without its pathos.
After lunch Sallie took Bindle off for a walk, whilst Windover and I stayed by the car. During the half hour they were absent, only one remark was made as we sat smoking, and that was by Windover.
“I have come to regard Bindle as a social antiseptic,” he said.
I knew it had taken Windover since lunch to arrive at this definition.
As the hours sped, Bindle remained silent and Sallie was content to devote herself to the car. Snug in one of Carruthers’ motor coats, Bindle devoured with his eyes everything he saw; but what a changed Bindle. There was no cracking jokes, or passing remarks with passers-by. He did not even look at a public-house. Instinctively he had adapted himself to his environment.
“I think he’s the most perfect gentle-person I’ve met,” Sallie had once said.
After dinner Bindle became more conversational. It was an evening when the silence could be heard. In the distance was an occasional moan of a train, or the bark of a dog; but nothing else. The sky was clear, the sun was spilling itself in deep gold upon the landscape. The dinner had been good, and within us all was a feeling of content.
“How is Mrs. Bindle?” enquired Sallie of Bindle.
“Oh jest ordinary like, miss. ‘Er soul still gives ‘er a lot o’ trouble.”
“Don’t you think,” said Sallie with that smile of hers which seemed to disarm her remark of the criticism it contained, “that you sometimes tease her too much?”
Bindle’s grin faded. “I been thinkin’ that too, miss,” he said seriously. “But some’ow the things seem to come out, an’ I don’t mean ‘er no ‘arm really, miss.”
“I’m sure you don’t,” Sallie hastened to say.
“Well, take last night, for instance,” said Bindle. “We was talkin’ about the German Corpse Factory. I’d been readin’ to ‘er from the paper ‘ow they turned the poor devils wot ‘ad died doin’ their bit to kill our chaps into marjarine, candles, oils for motor-cars, and that sort o’ stuff. We was ‘aving supper an’ I ‘appens to say quite innocent like: ‘If you an’ me was ‘Uns, Lizzie and poor ole ‘Earty ‘ad died for ‘is country, a thing wot ‘Earty never will do if ‘e can ‘elp it, we might be a’spreadin’ of ‘im on this ‘ere bread, and that there candle might be a bit of ‘Earty an’ us not knowin’ it.’ Well, there ain’t much ‘arm in that miss, is there? Yet she said I’d spoilt ‘er supper, an’ she pushed the salmon away from ‘er an’ said I wasn’t fit to live with, an’ that I’d got a dirty mind.”
“J.B.,” said Windover. “My sympathies are entirely with Mrs. Bindle. Your remark was extremely inappropriate.”
Bindle looked round him from one to another. “Well, sir,” he expostulated, “wasn’t I right?”
“It was not a question of right, J.B.,” said Windover, with mock severity. “It was a question of tact.”
“Tack!” said Bindle. “‘Adn’t I taken ‘ome a tin of salmon, and when the breeze started didn’t I whistle ‘er favourite ‘ymn Gospel Bells? Look ‘ere, sir, I ain’t got much to learn in the way of tack wi’ women.”
“You see,” said Sallie gently, “a remark like that sometimes turns people against their food.”
“Yes, miss,” said Bindle, “that may be; but if you’re a German you never know what you’re spreadin’ on your bread. It may be your uncle, or it may be somebody else’s uncle, an’ that’s worse still.”
“Mr. Bindle,” cried Sallie, “if you say another word about anything so horrible I shall—I shall—well, I shall drive on and leave you alone in the field.”
“I’m sorry, miss,” said Bindle with great seriousness. “I didn’t know that you—that you——”
“That I was like Mrs. Bindle,” interpolated Sallie.
“Good Lord! miss, you ain’t like ‘er.”
“Well, let’s change the subject,” said Sallie smiling, “or I shan’t be able to eat for a week.”
“But it didn’t really spoil ‘er supper, miss,” said Bindle earnestly. “She finished the salmon.”
For some time we continued to smoke in silence.
“Funny thing, religion,” remarked Bindle at last, a propos of nothing; “it seems to get different people different ways. Now ‘Earty and Mrs. B., they seem to think Gawd is near ’em in that smelly little chapel o’ theirs; as for me this is what makes me think o’ Gawd.” And Bindle waved the hand holding his cigar to embrace everything about us.
“But why,” enquired Windover wickedly, “should a cigar make you feel nearer to God?”
Bindle turned to Windover and looked him straight in the eyes.
“I wasn’t jokin’, sir,” he said simply.
“I beg your pardon, J.B.,” and there was a something in Windover’s tone which showed that he regarded the reproof as merited.
“If I was startin’ a religion,” continued Bindle, “I’d ‘ave people go out in the country, an’ kneel down in a field, an’ look up at the sky when the sun was shinin’. They’d get a better idea o’ Gawd than wot ‘Earty and Mrs. B.’s got.”
“You’re a sun-worshipper then,” said Sallie.
“Jest fancy anyone who made all this,” Bindle’s eyes roamed about him, “wantin’ to grill a poor cove like me because I ain’t done all the things I ought to a’ done.”
“But,” said Sallie, “don’t you think that everybody has their own idea of God?”
“Yes, miss,” said Bindle. “But they want to ram their own ideas down everybody else’s throat. I see in the paper the other day, when we brought a Zepp. down, that they buried all the poor chaps wot was burnt together. They’re ‘Uns,” he added; “but you can’t ‘elp feelin’ sorry for wot they ‘ad to suffer. They ‘ad a clergyman an’ a Catholic priest, to read the burial service over them. The papers said the priest was there in case some of the dead ‘Uns was Catholics. It looks as if a chap ‘adn’t got a chance of goin’ to heaven unless ‘e sort of got a ticket from the parson of ‘is own church.”
Someone has described Anatole France as “a pagan preoccupied with Christ.” The same description applies to Joseph Bindle. He cannot keep long off the subject of religion, and in all his comments there seems to be the same instinctive groping for light.
“‘Earty reminds me of a cove I used to know wot never seemed to get thirsty except when ‘e saw a pub; well, ‘Earty never seems to feel religious except when ‘e sees a chapel, then it sort o’ comes over ‘im. If ‘e really feels ‘e wants to pray, why can’t ‘e kneel down beside ‘is own ‘taters. If there’s a Gawd, ‘e’s just as much in a greengrocer’s shop as in a dirty little tin chapel, that’s wot I says.” Bindle looked round as if defying contradiction.
“I think you are right,” said Sallie; “but you must not forget that Mr. Hearty does not share your views, any more than you share his. If religion helps people to do good, it doesn’t much matter when they get it, or where they get it from.”
“Yes, miss, but does it ‘elp? You remember when the Lusitania went down, well there was a pretty good scrap round Fulham way. One night they went for a poor chap wot ‘ad got a German name, an’ they wrecked ‘is shop. They’d jest got ‘old o’ ‘im, when a big chap comes up wot’s done time more’n once an’ tells ’em to chuck it.
“‘But ‘e’s an ‘Un,’ yells the crowd.
“‘Yus, but there’s only one o’ ‘im and there’s ‘undreds o’ you,’ says Bill, an’ as they wouldn’t chuck it Bill let fly, an’ there was a pretty old mess.”
There was silence for a full minute broken at last by Bindle.
“Don’t you think Gawd likes a man to do wot Bill did, miss?” enquired Bindle ingenuously.
“I am sure he did,” said Sallie, “and what did you do?”
“Oh, I got a black eye, an’ Mrs. B. said she was more sure than ever that ‘ell was waitin’ for me.
“Wot does me about religion,” continued Bindle after a pause, “is wot people’ll swallow. There’s Mrs. B. now: she can’t take a pill without a bucket o’ water an’ about a dozen tries, looks like an ‘en ‘avin’ a drink, she does; yet tell ‘er it’s religion an’ she’d swallow anythink, an’ make believe she likes it. If that whale ‘adn’t been religious, ‘e’d never ‘ave got Jonah down.”
Bindle paused and for a few moments watched a trail of white smoke from a distant train.
“There was a cove somewhere in the bible called ‘Fairy.'”
“Pharaoh, King of Egypt,” murmured Windover.
“That’s ‘im, sir,” cried Bindle. “Well look ‘ow they say Gawd treated ‘im.”
“I’m afraid I’ve forgotten,” I said with guile.
“Well,” began Bindle, settling himself down for a story, “‘E took to collectin’ Jews, sort o’ got ‘old of all there was in the market, same as them Americans wi’ food. One day the Jews got a-talkin’ to each other about ‘ome, though I never see a Jew yet wot wanted to get ‘ome when ‘e could stay in someone else’s backyard.”
Bindle paused to suck vigorously at his cigar, which showed signs of going out.
“Pharaoh said there wasn’t nothin’ doin’, an’ they couldn’t go. Though ‘ow anyone can want to keep a Jew wot is willin’ to go ‘ome does me.
“Then the Jews prayed to Gawd, and ‘E made Pharaoh say ‘e’d let ’em go. Then ‘E ‘ardened Pharaoh’s ‘eart an’ started givin’ Pharaoh beans.”
“Was it not boils?” murmured Windover, examining the tip of his cigarette with great intentness.
“Maybe, sir. Well, first Gawd made Pharaoh agree to let the Jews catch the next bus, then ‘E strafed ‘im, ‘ardening the poor ole chap’s ‘eart till ‘e didn’t know where ‘e was. Wot I say is it wasn’t sportin’.”
“I’m afraid you cannot judge bible history by Queensberry rules,” said Windover.
“It’s like lettin’ a bird go and then pullin’ it back by a bit o’ string tied to its leg. Poor ole Pharaoh couldn’t ‘elp ‘isself with Gawd a-‘ardenin’ of ‘is ‘eart. That’s wot I don’t like.”
“Your theology is a trifle unconventional, I fear,” said Windover. “Where did you learn about Pharaoh?”
“Yer can’t live wi’ Mrs. B., sir, without pickin’ up a lot about ‘eaven an’ ‘arps an’ things,” was the reply.
“Go on, Mr. Bindle,” said Sallie.
“Well, miss,” proceeded Bindle. “There’s somethink about visitin’ sins on children an’ grand-children. I ‘ad that out with ‘Earty one night. ‘Earty don’t like talkin’ religion wi’ me. ‘E says I ain’t got no faith.”
“What happened?” Sallie enquired.
“Well, I asked ‘Earty why Gawd should punish a man for wot ‘is father did.”
“‘Because,’ says ‘Earty, ”e ‘ad an ‘ard ‘eart, and wouldn’t believe in Gawd.’
“‘Wot ‘ud you say, ‘Earty,’ I says, ‘if the police was to pinch you ’cause your father flitted without ‘avin’ paid ‘is rent?’ O’ course ‘Earty says nothink to that; but mutters that we can’t understand the ways o’ Gawd.
“Them ain’t the ways of Gawd, it’s the things these chaps says about ‘Im. When you’re strong, yer don’t go knockin’ over things wot can’t ‘it back. I knew a bruiser once, an’ ‘e was as gentle as a lamb. I seen a chap want ‘im to fight, an’ ‘e wouldn’t, ’cause ‘e was afraid of ‘urtin’.”
Bindle paused to relight his cigar, then when it was once more in full blast he continued:
“Then they tells yer to love yer neighbours as yourself. I’d like ’em to look out of our window when Sandy ‘Iggins an’ ‘is missus is scrappin’ in their back-yard. No,” he remarked meditatively, “a religion like that’s wasted on Fulham.”
That is just Bindle, bringing down the divine to the level of men’s eyes: and raising the earthly to the mountain tops.
It was nearly one o’clock on Sunday morning when the car slid from the Fulham road into the street that leads to Fenton Street. When we pulled up, Bindle slipped out of Carruthers’ overcoat and got down. As he said good-night to Sallie we heard him whisper:
“I never ‘ad a day like this before, miss.”
We continued on our way in silence. When Sallie dropped me into a passing taxi, Windover remarked:
“I hope I shall be dead when Democracy discovers all it has been denied.”
I knew he was referring to Bindle’s remark to Sallie.
It is one of Windover’s pet theories that if a man will but be natural, he can go anywhere and do anything. He claims that the Public School benefits a man not by what it bestows; but rather by what it destroys.