It is difficult to imagine a more exasperating condition of affairs than obtained in Washington while Lincoln was awaiting the day of inauguration. The government appeared to be crumbling away under the nerveless direction, or lack of direction, of President Buchanan and his associates. In his last message to Congress, Buchanan had taken the ground that the Constitution made no provision for the secession of States or for the breaking up of the union; but that it also failed to contain any provision for measures that could prevent such secession and the consequent destruction of the nation. The old gentleman appeared to be entirely unnerved by the pressure of events. He could not see any duty before him. He certainly failed to realise that the more immediate cause of the storm was the breaking down, through the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, of the barriers that had in 1820, and in 1850, been placed against the extension of slavery. He evidently failed to understand that it was his own action in backing up the infamous Lecompton Constitution, and the invasion of Kansas by the slave-owners, which had finally aroused the spirit of the North, and further that it was the influence of his administration which had given to the South the belief that it was now in a position to control for slavery the whole territory of the Republic.
The business of my abortion, not to mince words, was good training for my new role. The concierge at my hotel looked at me with the world-weary eyes of all concierges and said that the hotel doctor was on holiday but that there was another who was equally proficient. (Did he know? Did he guess?) Dr. Sьsskind examined me and asked if I had enough money. When I said I had, he seemed disappointed. The gynecologist was more explicit. It seemed that he had a chalet. Hotels in Zьrich were so expensive. Would I not care to have a period of rest before the operation? I looked at him with stony eyes and said that the British Consul, who was my uncle, had invited me to recuperate with his family and I would be glad if I could enter the clinic without any delay. It was he who had recommended Dr. Sь
Georges didn't smile. He said briefly, 'I think we can fool them,' and went about his business.
'And you are happily married at last, my dear Traddles!' said I. 'How rejoiced I am!'
Bond shrugged his shoulders. "What would I do with this kind of merchandise?" he said carelessly. "Too big for me. And what happens the other end?"
Must never be fanciful, foolish, or vain.
鈥楴ov. 1. 1888.鈥擳he first of November, darling Laura, and I am preparing for cold weather. I have taken my chhota janwar (little animal, alias dear Fred鈥檚 splendid foot-muff) out of its bag, to keep my feet warm in the morning, before my bath is ready. Eiderdown petticoat, etc., etc. O luxurious Char! It was a pleasure to me to-day to pay F., my new ayah, her first month鈥檚 wages; there was a pleasant, half-grateful look in her eyes.... I like paying wages.
“You make me apologies!” he commenced: but Julia, as she turned from him, with something of indignation at his supposed obstinacy, forgetting the narrow plank on which she stood, slipped her foot, and would certainly have fallen into the water had he not caught her in his arms, and lifted her to sure footing. Julia, partly from alarm, and partly from the previous exertion of her spirits in saying so much, was a good deal overcome, and even shed tears. The sight of these threw Edmund off his guard. “Would to heaven, Julia!” he exclaimed, “that I were indeed your brother! entitled to the happy privilege of guarding one more precious than life from every danger! of sheltering one dearer than happiness itself—from every sorrow!”
'Who said this was police action? When, in England, I heard rumours about this place, I thought the whole project smelled of you. I obtained permission to come and have a look. But my whereabouts is known and retribution will result if I do not return.'