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- Love's Pilgrimage - 1/102 -


LOVE'S PILGRIMAGE

A NOVEL

Upton Sinclair

NEW YORK AND LONDON

CONTENTS

PART I

Love's Entaglement

BOOK I THE VICTIM BOOK II THE SNARE BOOK III THE VICTIM HESITATES BOOK IV THE VICTIM APPROACHES BOOK V THE BAIT IS SEIZED BOOK VI THE CORDS ARE TIGHTENED BOOK VII THE CAPTURE IS COMPLETED

PART II

Love's Captivity

BOOK VIII THE CAPTIVE BOUND BOOK IX THE CAPTIVE IN LEASH BOOK X THE END OF THE TETHER BOOK XI THE TORTURE-HOUSE BOOK XII THE TREADMILL BOOK XIII THE MASTERS OF THE SNARE BOOK XIV THE PRICE OF RANSOM BOOK XV THE CAPTIVE FAINTS BOOK XVI THE BREAK FOR FREEDOM

LOVE'S PILGRIMAGE

PART I

Loves Entanglement

BOOK I

THE VICTIM

It was in a little woodland glen, with a streamlet tumbling through it. She sat with her back to a snowy birch-tree, gazing into the eddies of a pool below; and he lay beside her, upon the soft, mossy ground, reading out of a book of poems. Images of joy were passing before them; and there came four lines with a picture--

"Hard by, a cottage-chimney smokes, From betwixt two aged oaks, Where Corydon and Thyrsis, met, Are at their savory dinner set."

"Ah!" said she. "I always loved that. Let us be Corydon and Thyrsis!"

He smiled. "They were both of them men," he said.

"Let us change it," she responded--"just between ourselves!"

"Very well--Corydon!" said he.

Then, after a moment's thought, she added, "But we didn't have the cottage."

"No," said he--"nor even the dinner!"

Section 1. It was the Highway of Lost Men. They shivered, and drew their shoulders together as they walked, for it was night, and a cold, sleety rain was falling. The lights from saloons and pawn-shops fell upon their faces--faces haggard and gaunt with misery, or bloated with disease and sin. Some stared before them fixedly; some gazed about with furtive and hungry eyes as they shuffled on. Here and there a policeman stood in the shelter, swinging his club and watching them as they passed. Music called to them from dives and dance-halls, and lighted signs and flaring- colored pictures tempted them in the entrances of cheap museums and theatres; they lingered before these, glad of even a moment's shelter. Overhead the elevated trains pounded by; and from the windows one could see men crowded about the stoves in the rooms of lodging-houses, where the steam from their garments made a blur in the air.

Down this highway walked a lad, about fifteen years of age, pale of face, and with delicate and sensitive features. His overcoat was buttoned tightly about his neck, and his hands thrust into his pockets; he gazed around him swiftly as he walked. He came to this place every now and then, but he never grew used to what he saw.

He eyed the men who passed him; and when he came to a saloon he would push open the door and gaze about. Sometimes he would enter, and hurry through, to peer into the compartments in the back; and then go out again, giving a wide berth to the drinkers, and shrinking from their glances. Once a girl appeared in a doorway, and smiled and nodded to him; he started and hurried out, shuddering. Her wanton black eyes haunted him, hinting unimaginable things.

Then, on a corner, he stopped and spoke to a policeman. "Hello!" said the man, and shook his head--"No, not this time." So the boy went on; there were several miles of this Highway, and each block of it the same.

At last, in a dingy bar-room, with saw-dust strewn upon the floor, and the odor of stale beer and tobacco-smoke in the air--here suddenly the boy sprang forward, with a cry: "Father!" And a man who sat with bowed head in a corner gave a start, and lifted a white face and stared at him. He rose unsteadily to his feet, and staggered to the other, and fell upon his shoulder, sobbing, "My son! My son!"

How many times had Thyrsis heard those words--in how many hours of anguish! They sank into the deeps of him, waking echoes like the clang of a bell: they voiced all the terror and grief of defeated life--"My son! My son!"

The man clung to him, weeping, and pouring out the flood of his shame. "I have fallen again--I am lost--I am lost!"

The occupants of the place were watching the scene with dull curiosity; and the boy was trembling like a wild deer trapped.

"Yes, father, yes! Let us go home."

"Home--home, my son? Will you take me home? Oh, I couldn't bear to go!"

"But you must come home."

"Do you mean that you still love me, son?"

"Yes, father, I still love you. I want to try to help you. Come with me."

Then the boy would gaze about and ask, "Where is your hat?"

"Hat, my son? I don't know. I have lost it." The boy would see his torn and mud-stained clothing, and the poor old pitiful face, with the eyes blood-shot and swollen, and the skin, that had been rosy, and was now a ghastly, ashen gray. He would choke back his feelings, and grip his hands to keep himself together.

"Come, father, take my hat, and let us go."

"No, my son. I don't need any hat. Nothing can hurt me--I am lost! Lost!"

So they would go out, arm in arm; and while they made their progress up the Highway, the man would pour out his remorse, and tell the story of his weeks of horror.

Then, after a mile or so, he would halt.

"My son!"

"What is it, father?"

"I must stop here, son."

"Why, father?"

"I must have something to drink."

"_No_, father!"

"But, my boy, I can't go on! I can't walk! You don't know what I'm suffering!"

"No, father!"

"I've got the money left--I'm not asking you. I'll come right with you--on my word of honor I will!"

And so they would fight it out--all the way back to the lodging-house where they lived, and where the mother sat and wept. And here they would put him to bed, and lock up his clothing to keep him in; and here, with drugs and mineral-waters, and perhaps a


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