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- The Devil's Paw - 44/44 -


positive genius for organisation. That Council of Socialism, Trades Unionism, and Labour generally, which was formed to bring us premature peace, seems for the first time to have brought all Labour into one party, Labour in its very broadest sense, I mean."

"The truth of the matter is," the Bishop pronounced, "that the people have accepted the dictum that whatever form of republicanism is aimed at, there must be government. A body of men who realise that, however advanced their ideas, can do but little harm. I am perfectly certain--Stenson admits it himself-- that before very long we shall have a Labour Ministry. Who cares? It will probably be a good ministry--good for the country and good for the world. There has been too much juggling in international politics. This war is going to end that, once and for ever. By the bye," he went on, in an altered tone, "there is one question which I have always had in my mind to ask you. If I do so now, will you please understand that if you think it best you need not answer me?"

"Certainly," Catherine replied.

"From what source did you get your information which saved us all?"

"It came to me from a man who is dead," was the quiet answer.

The Bishop looked steadily ahead at the row of signal lights.

"There was a young foreigner, some weeks ago," he said "a Baron Hellman--quite a distinguished person, I believe--who was discovered shot in his rooms."

She acquiesced silently.

"If you were to go to the Home Office and were able to persuade them to treat you candidly, I think that you could discover some wonderful things," she confided. "I wish I could believe that the Baron was the only one who has been living in this country, unsuspected, and occupying a prominent position, who was really in the pay of Germany."

"It was a very subtle conspiracy," the Bishop remarked thoughtfully, "subtle because, in a sense, it appeared so genuine. It appealed to the very best instincts of thinking men."

"Good has come out of it, at any rate," she reminded him. "Westminster Buildings is now the centre of patriotic England. Labour was to have brought the war to an end--for Germany. It is Labour which is going to win the victory--for England."

The train rolled into the station and rapidly disgorged its crowd of passengers, amongst whom Julian was one of the first to alight. Catherine found herself trembling. The shy words of welcome which had formed themselves in her mind died away on her lips as their glances met. She lifted her face to his.

"Julian," she murmured, "I am so proud--so happy."

The Bishop left them as they stepped into their cab.

"I am going to a mission room in the neighbourhood," he explained. "We have war talks every week. I try to tell them how things are going on, and we have a short service. But before I go, Mr. Stenson has sent you a little message, Julian. If you go to your club later on to-night, you will see it in the telegrams, or you will find it in your newspapers in the morning. There has been wonderful fighting in Flanders to-day. The German line has been broken at half a dozen points. We have taken nearly twenty thousand prisoners, and Zeebrugge is threatened. Farther south, the Americans have made their start and have won a complete victory over the Crown Prince's picked troops."

The two men wrung hands.

"This," Julian declared, "is the only way to Peace."


The Devil's Paw - 44/44

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