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must have the best seats at the theatre, the corner suite at the hotel, and a private stateroom on the Pull
"The choicest cuts of beef, the most expensive automobiles, the richest man in town to marry our daughter, and the most famous surgeon in the country to operate on us. Well, it isn't going to be so any longer. There aren't going to be any favorites. First come will be first served-and maybe the last will go without."
"I see where we have simply got to keep well!” I remarked.
"I forbid you to have appendicitis," she said.
I had not been to my office since the eventful day of our return, having availed myself of my partner's suggestion that I should get my domestic affairs in order before bothering my head about business. The task of readjusting those affairs to the new conditions in which we found ourselves had proved far less difficult than I had anticipated. For example, save for the fact that we were unable to take our customary Sunday afternoon run into the country I should not have noticed the absence of our motor. We had not as yet had time to ascertain who of our friends had returned to town and we had all been so busy that the influence of the war had hardly made itself felt; save
for the necessity of the comparatively trifling economies we had inaugurated.
As I walked down-town I was struck by the profusion of "To Let" and "For Sale" signs displayed upon both sides of the street. In place of the previous scattering few, they now everywhere thrust themselves upon one's notice. At the apartment-house on the corner I found that they had replaced the elevator men with women. Two military service motors passed me driven by young ladies in khaki, and I observed with interest two little girls delivering telegrams. I wasn't looking for war signs. In fact, my attitude had been rather one of scepticism. Apart from the slump in my own business I had as yet seen no reflection of war in actual conditions. Business seemed to be going on as usual, and Fifth Avenue had never been so crowded with motors. However, I encountered Jim Lockwood, and farther along Horace Gibson, both men of about my age and in uniform, taking their small girls to school, and wondered what sort of military service they were engaged in. Between Seventy-second and Thirty-fourth Streets I passed or overtook, by actual count, twenty-seven men in army or navy uniforms-before nine o'clock-and at Sixtieth Street I heard a humming like that of a gigantic cockchafer and, looking overhead, saw a monoplane sailing across Central Park, going west toward Jersey. Mind you, if I had been in New York right along I
probably shouldn't have paid any attention to these phenomena, but I had been away, practically asleep on a sugar-plantation, for nearly ten months, and everything as the saying is-"hit me between the eyes." That aeroplane particularly! A year ago the whirr of its propeller would have brought every housemaid out into the street within the radius of three miles, and now-nobody paid the slightest attention to it!
Along Fifth Avenue in the course of my walk of only two miles I saw innumerable service-flags, the stars running from one to five in private houses and as high as fifty or sixty on one or two of the largest stores. The sidewalks, of course, were just as full of people as ever, but there, before my eyes, was the tangible evidence that at least a regiment of men had gone to the front from the immediate neighborhood. Two crowded buses containing a company of negro guardsmen came out of Fifty-seventh Street and turned up Fifth Avenue without attracting more than a casual glance from the pedestrians. In the Subway I read the notice that the Interborough Railroad had lost no less than twelve hundred and sixty employees on account of enlistment. Three officers in uniform in adjacent seats to my own, going down-town, seemed to excite no interest. But when I reached the Bridge and, emerging upon Broadway, perceived the huge service-flag of the New York Telephone Company
with its more than six thousand stars I grasped, for the first time, the reality of the thing. For every man a star-for every star a hero! What a host of them! What a glory.
Somehow my eyes grew moist at the vision of those hundreds of boys-round-shouldered, pastyfaced, undernourished-chaps you wouldn't have credited with any particular idealism-whose chief interest you would have assumed to be an evening spent at the movies with some gum-chewing, muddycomplexioned girl-now stumping along with set faces to the whistle of the fife under the Stars and Stripes. Youthful cynics, most of them, sophisticated to the ways of business and of politics, suspicious of motives, creedless, churchless, rebellious to authority, sceptics. What had sent them? What had sent my Jack? For answer the inscription upon the monument in "Soldier's Field" at Harvard floated across the curling folds of the great flag with its myriad of stars:
"Though love repine and reason chafe,
When for the Truth he ought to die!”
Below Fulton Street the city was all aflutter with flags, and many motors passed in both directions driven by or carrying officers. It occurred to me that, as I was in his neighborhood, I would drop in on Fred
Hawkins, the senior member of the firm of Hawkins, Ludlow & Fowler, who attended to our law business when we were unfortunate enough to have any. To my surprise I noticed that the name on the door now read merely "Ludlow & Fowler." The clerk in the outer office informed me that Mr. Hawkins was away, but that Mr. Ludlow would be glad to see me in the library, where he was working.
"How d'you do, Stanton?" he exclaimed cordially, holding out his hand. "Why, no, Hawkins hasn't been with us since last May. He went over with Pershing; he was very lucky-got a major's commission on the judge-advocate general's staff."
"Isn't he a bit over age?" I inquired, finding it difficult to imagine my rather elderly attorney in epaulets. "And hasn't he got several children?"
"He's fifty-one," conceded Ludlow. "But his wife has a little money of her own and the three children are all away at school. I think they spend most of their vacations at their grandmother's, anyhow. But that wouldn't have made any difference. Fred began to get uneasy long before the war actually started. He's a sentimental cuss, sort of mediæval and romantic-inherited a chivalric side from his mother's family-she was part French, you know. The day after the declaration he simply walked in here and said: 'Well, boys, I'm off for the war.' And he went. He'd had his pipes all laid for some