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the “Gass ” without a curse. “ Matri
their children, on whom the moral of a cide" was the favorite name given him, familiar story was lost, for they gazed with and he was held up as a warning example delight at the wicked infidel'; indeed, to ali unruly children. As time passed never had a nobler-looking inan been seen he was almost forgotten, and it was only in the “ Gass.” His hair was gray, his his old-time friend Yaikew Holzman, smoothly shaven face lined with care and whose business often brought him to disease, but he sat, a manly figure of perVienna, who kept his memory alive. fect elegance and grace, on a high-stepping
Once he came home with the announce- milk-white horse, and the large black eyes ment that Peretz, or rather Professor Doc- glanced with haughty indifference about tor Franz Josef Neuer, as he was now
him. called, being named after the Emperor, “He is not even ashamed," cried the was going to be married to the daughter people with rage, as the riders disappeared of Baron von Waldeck-Schleierbach. An- in a cloud of dust. other time that he was acknowledged the finest Greek scholar in all Europe. Then The great Passover festival had arrived. that his text-books were used in every Through all the village, aye, even at the school in Austria, and that he was princely Schloss Maritz, was its wide and making money " like hay."
subtle influence manifest. Professor NeuLater this changed. He then reported er, his heart heavy with memories, feverthat Peretz had two daughters, but did not ishly paced a long dark corridor, when live happily with his wife. Then they suddenly the clear voice of the young were speaking of a separation. Then he Countess Gisela reached his ear. brought the exciting news that the Pro- “ That Jew girl," she cried angrily, fessor had been wounded in a duel with “sends me word that, on account of one his brother-in-law, the young Baron, who of their heathenish festivals, she cannot had called him “ a damned Jew.” Years mend my tunic. It is most exasperating ! after they heard that he was separated She is the only lace-maker in the village.” from his wife and family and lived alone “ We shall admire the fair penitent in in a great stately mansion, with servants another gown," replied her husband, jestand carriages and all manner of riches. ingly.
Once they read in a paper which Yaikew “You know," pursued the Countess, petbrought from Vienna that the eminent ulantly, “ that I have vowed my Lenten Greek scholar, Dr. Neuer, was to spend gowns shall be only of black or gray. the coming Easter holidays with his old 'Tis my long tunic of black Duchessefriend Count Reichenberg at Schloss only a small tear-a few hours' work. Maritz. The excitement in the “Gass The ungrateful creature ! I have given was great.
her no end of work, and now, for nothing " So he is coming back!” “ To show at all—oh, they are all alike, these Jews i off his greatness!” “ To taunt us with his I cannot understand papa's infatuation riches !" “ The accursed apostate !" were for this Jew—this Dr. Neuer. His haughthe comments of the people.
tiness irritates me. Haughtiness! It is The Jews listened eagerly for gossip his Jewish impudence." about Peretz, but all they heard was that “I had thought the baptismal waters his handkerchiefs were always spotted washed away that taint these twenty with blood, and that he took pellets at years ago,” interposed the young Count, night to stop his cough.
laughingly. “ 'Tis the wasting disease,” they said; * Absurd ! as if baptism could wash it “God's judgment is upon him."
A Jew is a Jew, and reOne day the children of the “ Gass” mains a Jew. 'Tis in the blood-Judas's came running home with the cry that the blood !” Count and his guests were riding through Dr. Neuer smiled bitterly as he walked the village on their way to the hunt. on and the voices died away behind the
The gay cavalcade, at its head Dr. heavy portières. Neuer, came cantering down the street. But in the "Gass," the despised, they
" Seest him, the wretch ?” whispered of the Judas blood, were seating themselves the Jewish women, pointing him out to joyfully at the snowy Seder tables, there
to celebrate symbolically and with praise pitifully, his eyes roved large and pleadand song the redemption of the children ing over the happy family group and the of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
old familiar scene. The festival in Yaikew Holzman's “ I was—so homesick,” he murmured, house was particularly happy.
faintly, trembling in every limb. Old Holzman read the service, filling "Father, let him remain," urged Yaiin the intervals with merry jokes and kew. “ Dost thou not see that the man is reminiscences. The children crammed sick ? Surely he is penitent." themselves with sweets, toyed with the “ Penitentl" cried the old man, fiercely. sprigs of horseradish which they were " See the sign of his penitence. See ! he bidden to eat in commemoration of the wears it on his bosom!" And he pointed bitterness of their ancestors' lives in with trembling finger at the cross on Egypt, and giggled as they slyly threw the Peretz’s breast. bitter herb under the table.
For a moment the bitter smile which “ Granddaddy, dear,” said Isserl, Yai- the Countess's scorn had called forth hovkew's youngest, in the midst of the ered again on Peretz's lips. It was quickly the resting-place in the service, “ for replaced by his habitual haughtiness. whom is that glass of wine there that no “Pardon my intrusion !” he said, coldly, one drinks?"
but he clutched the doorpost and reeled “ Listen to our little one," laughed old like a drunken man as he walked away Holzman, patting the child proudly ; “he and disappeared in the darkness. questions like a Talmud scholar."
An hour later the “Gass” was disturbed “ That,” he explained, “is for the by breathless ejaculations and hurried prophet Elijah. After we have eaten and footsteps on the quiet street. said grace, we will throw wide open the “What has happened?” cried Yaikew door, that Elijah may enter.
If he comes,
from his doorway. it will be a forerunner of the Messiah; “A corpse—–they have found a corpse then next year we shall all be in Jerusalem.” in the cemetery,” whispered a passer-by.
“ Let' me open the door for Elijah," Yaikew seized a lantern and ran with cried Isserl, leaping from his chair after the rest. The joy of the festival was at grace had been said.
The men hurried down the street He flung wide open the door.
with pale faces, the terror-stricken women “Here he is," he piped gleefully. clasped their children, and in every mind
The company uttered a cry of terror, raged the horrible memories of the “ blood for in the doorway stood a man ; not the accusation.” long-haired, barefoot Nazarite, but an All hearts failed when, arrived at the elegant gentleman in faultless evening cemetery, they saw the form of a man attire. A sable-lined cloak hung upon his stretched lifeless across a grave. shoulders, and around his neck on “ The Meshummed !" gasped a dozen ribbon hung an imperial decoration-the breaths. Golden Cross of the Legion of Honor. The grave on which he lay was that of
“ Pardon me,” said he, timidly, stepping his mother. Beside him was an old, black into the room. ** Did I frighten you? prayer-book, bearing Schedel's name on Dost thou not know me, Yaikew?" the fly-leaf. It lay open at the Kaddish,
• Peretz,” gasped Yaikew, white to the the mourner's prayer for the dead, that lips.
glorious exaltation of God, that deathless, " Have you not room for an old friend ancient cry which with mysterious power at your Seder table?" pleaded Neuer, with binds together all Israel as with imperisha faint smile.
able bonds of steel. The company stared, with pale, troubled faces, but old Holzman cried scornfully: Peretz the Renegade sleeps in the ceme
“ This is a Jewish festival; it is not tery of St. Benedictine, under a massive intended for the Goy. Why do you come marble cross; but every year, at the anniand disturb my festival ?” he added, versary of his death, that ancient Kaddish roughly.
prayer rises to heaven, and a deathlight Neuer stood at the door, hat in hand, is kindled in his memory, in the house of meekly as a beggar. His lips trembled Yaikew Holzman of the "Gass.”
Special Commissioner in South Africa for The Outlook
The with electric lights, and a little button khaki people are out- below a card directing you to press so side on the slopes of many times for anything you want. There the great hills; one is a carpet on the floor, and curtains at the
would scarcely know windows. I have been here a week, and they were there. A sentry paces up and am just beginning to get used to the butdown before the bank at the corner ; there ton, the hot and cold water faucets, and is another up the street. The army rests; the big brass bedstead. The first night it is a breathing-space, perhaps, but the of it was miserable; I worried myself long march is done; the fighting is nearly sleepless trying to persuade myself how over. They are here at last—the place wonderfully comfortable it all was, and they started for so many months ago. endeavoring to convince myself, moreover,
I can see them now if I close my eyes, and that this was really Pretoria—Pretoria, I will see them all my life—the plodding that shook her fist in Great Britain's face, grimy, hawk-faced men !—line upon line that took up arms and defiantly dared her of them sweeping over the sun-dried, dusty to come on. It couldn't be Pretoriaveldt. I can see them sitting, weary and this quiet little town, with its churches and listless, by the side of the trampled, public buildings, its open shops, its waterwheel-hacked road. I can hear the rum- ing-carts spraying the dusty streets, its bling of artillery, the groaning of the great English signs, and tennis-courts and flowerwagons, the yawping of the Kaffir drivers, gardens. It was Pittsfield, Massachusetts. the swishing of the long-lashed whips. It was Trenton, New Jersey. It was any
Marked here and there with the tell- quiet, better-class town in any prosperous tale earthen mounds six feet by two, mile- State in the Union. The long pilgrimage stoned with dead horses, dotted with the could not be ended! Why, we had walked bivouac sites, the trail of the armed pil- in. When we did walk in, after a few grimage stretches behind us. And it salutes at the gates, just as if we had seems long ago to me, for the simple been invited, which is more or less fact, Copyright, 1900, the Outlook Company,
we were guests apparently welcome and
expected. The forts of Swartz Kop, there were men who yet had on their Klapper Kop, and Schanze Kop had not bandoliers filled with sharp-pointed Maueven frowned at us. Here came uniformed sers, their rifles were yet in their hands. porters to take our luggage at the hotels! It was wonderful! As the dun-colored Hack-drivers stood outside waiting for lines went by, these men watched them fares! Could Kruger and his Cabinet with an expression of mere curiosity. have been sincere when they said Pretoria They asked the names of the regiments, would be defended to the last gasp ? Was and when it was all over they asked what it not all a good-humored joke when the they should do with their arms. They Transvaal shook her apparently threaten- were tired fighting; they had no ing and defiant fist ? No, the graves out desire to kill the men in helmets. Their on the veldt and up on the stony kopjes, homes were safe. They could call their the dreary war-swept country outside, were liberty their own. They were not dissatisno joke. Nor was the past a dream. fied. Even Mrs. Kruger, who appeared on Yet it was Pretoria.
her doorstep, was not worried. I could not help thinking what would Thus it was that the whole scene struck have been the difference if the Boers the beholder as confusing. It had to be had entered any of the English towns thought over and puzzled out to be propthey had tried so hard to get at. Pale, erly understood. It was a relieved city, half-starved people would have glared not a conquered one—that was the forced at them, little children weakened by deduction. There a diversity of long diet of horse food and horse flesh opinion, doubtless, but a city that had would have clung to their frightened undergone seven changes of government mothers—the mothers who had worked in seven days, whose citizens had lived in the crowded hospitals, who had through a week of terror from internal passed sleepless days and nights under- threatenings, must have felt relieved. ground in the bomb-proofs, near the Their President and his Cabinet had deruined, blackened houses, everywhere serted and robbed them, foreign adventurthe marks of the blasting shells ! There ers had foisted themselves upon them, might have been a few handfuls of weary- the burghers themselves before the British eyed prisoners, worn by the long watching entry had looted their own government in the trenches; there would have been stores. They had been misled and lied wounded men in the market-place and to. It was their sole revenge. dead men on the corners—suffering and Said a prominent burgher to me: desolation—war! That would have been “ For months we have spoken quietly the story of Ladysmith, of Kimberley, of among ourselves, “When the English plucky little Mafeking. There would have come,' and talked so of the future. Our been smashing of windows, wild riding on officials were saying, “The English will the streets. But why these imaginings? never reach here—they are starving—they
There is no sign here of conquerors or mutiny—they will not face our burghersconquered. It is the amazing part of it! their officers drive them to fight with whips,' When, at two o'clock on Tuesday, June 5, and our papers, under orders, printed Lord Roberts and his staff took their posi- stories of victories that never happened, tion on the north side of the public square, till we smiled among ourselves. Only and the little silken flag that Lady Roberts the very ignorant were deceived. Oh, yes, had made (that had floated at Bloemfon- I fought. I was wounded at Colenso. tein, at Kroonstad, at Johannesburg) lifted I came back to fight no more. I knew. to the flagstaff, there sounded an Eng. But see here—" lish cheer. That minute the Transvaal He pulled a newspaper clipping from became British territory. The released his pocket. It was from the “ Volkstim " officers from the bird-cage were perhaps of a recent issue. It detailed a number the loudest-voiced, but there were many of British reverses that I could not recall burghers who joined in with a feeling of having ever heard of, which, seeing I had relief. There was assurance of safety in been on the spot, was not a strange thing, the very order, there was the comfort of but they were in the form of official des. stability in the sense of power behind it. patches, giving them, on paper at least, In the crowd were men who had fought; an air of authenticity. The editor, out