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had been in touch for about forty-eight hours with our native land, long enough to bring our war news roughly up to date and to glance over President Wilson's Message of January 22d. As for our going into the war, the idea seemed to me at that time utterly preposterous. I hadn't believed that anything could drive us in, or that, even if we went in, anything would come of it. In Japan, Manila, and Honolulu it seemed to be assumed that there was no real intention on the part of our government to do more than make enough of a demonstration to save the national face.

I confess that, so far as I was concerned, there wasn't any national face left. To my mind, the President had been stalling from the outset. The "Peace Without Victory" speech, which we got, as I have said, at Manila, finished it for me. It was all very noble, very magnanimous, very benign, and very highfalutin, I thought. We were just fixing things up so as to be on the right side of everybody after the war was over. Mr. Wilson had said: "Victory would mean peace forced upon the loser, a victor's terms imposed upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in humiliation, under duress, at an intolerable sacrifice, and would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory, upon which terms of peace would rest-not permanently, but only as upon quicksand."

Fine, I said, if we were dealing with a government

that didn't countenance, if not order, the cutting off of women's breasts, the poisoning of wells, the drowning of babes in arms with their mothers, the violation of young and innocent girls! But you might as well consider the feelings of a ruffian who had debauched your daughter and refrain from locking him up because his confinement in jail "would be accepted in humiliation, under duress, at an intolerable sacrifice, and would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory" after he finally got out. That was how I felt about it.

The President's speech of February 3, 1917, delivered upon the severance of relations with Germany -which we picked up in Mindanao-had cheered me somewhat. That, I admitted, looked more like business. But I felt by no means sure that it was not put forth with a belief almost approaching certainty that the German Government would back down; and if it backed down I knew we should never go to war. The sentence "We are the sincere friends of the German people and earnestly desire to remain at peace with the government which speaks for them" bore an olivebranch that I expected would herald the return of Bernstorff.

Of course I know better to-day; for we all are aware now of what Mr. Wilson knew then-what Germany had been doing here in the way of distributing bloodmoney and hiring criminals, and of what the Kaiser

and his ministers had planned and even threatened against the United States.

Even if finally we actually declared war, I did not believe that that act would have any concrete result. We were entirely unprepared, and the war would be over long before we could send a properly trained and adequately armed body of troops to Europe. I figured the thing out in about the same way the German General Staff had figured it out. Nobody wanted war except a few jingoes in the East; free Americans would never stand for conscription, and our entry would have no effect except to divert back into the United States the tide of munitions flowing steadily to England and France. To that extent Germany would actually profit by our action.

We were visiting a native village, I remember, in one of the coral islands the first week in April when the captain of our revenue cutter picked up the news by wireless from Manila that the President had proclaimed a state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government. Naturally, the news occasioned a good deal of excitement on the steamer and the captain dressed ship and fired a salute, which sent the natives scurrying to the woods. Helen's first thought, of course, was of our son, a junior at Harvard. Looking at me a little anxiously, she said:

"Jack's not old enough to go, is he?"

"Oh, no!" I answered resolutely. "Jack's only a boy at college. Besides, the war will be over long before we can send any troops across. They'd send the regular army first, anyhow."

I told her that quite sincerely. It never dawned upon me to think otherwise. Jack was a kid. He didn't have sense enough to change his shoes after he had been out in the rain. Only a year or so ago I had had to stand over him with a club to make him brush his teeth, and he had hated a bath just as much as the devil is supposed to hate consecrated water.

"Oh, no!" I reassured her. "You don't need to worry a single minute about Jack. He might go to the next war, but he'll get no chance at this."

And so we steamed on among the islands, under cloudless skies, reading novels and playing bridge, until, six weeks later, we again reached Manila and regretfully bade farewell to our captain.

From Manila we took a steamer for Honolulu, and a week later arrived by coasting vessel at Ilao, where Tom Blanchard's sugar-factory is situated, and began our lotos-eating life on the plantation. There for several months we led the existence commonly referred to as idyllic, keeping no hours, sleeping fourteen out of the twenty-four when we chose, swimming in crystalline water inside the reefs, fishing for rainbowhued pauu and hilu outside the islands, and waited upon hand and foot by impassive Chinese servants,

who anticipated every thought we either had or should have had.

The bungalow was half a mile from the sugar-factory, on the other side of a point, and had its own dock. There was no telegraph; we had no neighbors; and there was no one to speak to except a taciturn superintendent, who looked like an ex-convict and who lived with a half-caste wife named Mo-a. Once a week a small steamer dropped a bag of mail at our landing, including a bundle of morning, evening, and Sunday New York papers about as big as a hogshead.

At first we used to rush down to the jetty and tear off the wrappers before the Chink could bring them up to the veranda-just couldn't wait! We wanted to know exactly what the government was doing; how many hundred yards the French and English had gained from the boches since the week before; how much nearer Cadorna was to Triest; and whether the Czar had been put at peeling potatoes or wheeling a barrow. Gradually, however, we lost interest. It took all the joy out of life to spend whole days waisthigh in newspapers-all alike and full of vain repetitions-trying to arrange the stuff in its proper sequence. When you get about forty newspapers at once there is a striking monotony, even about war


Finally we reached the point when we couldn't look at them-except for the head-lines. To see my

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