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“I haven’t any more idea than you have what it all means," said Mrs. Brelin to Herbert when he finally saw her alone. “At Zurich he suddenly told me he wanted me to come here to Berlin and rent an apartment for Edith and me. Said he had a ‘very great and wonderful work' for her to do and wanted her to study in Berlin for a year or two."

“He didn't say what the work was?"

“No. Everything was vague-you know how he talks sometimes, as if he knew all kinds of world­-shaking secrets he couldn't disclose. It was just ‘ex­tremely confidential and important work' and ‘the most distinguished career ever undertaken by a woman,' and ‘a position in which no living woman, not excepting queens and empresses, could take pre­cedence' of her. Oh, Herbert, what do you think of it all?"

“I don't know what to think. Nan says her guess is he's going to make your daughter his ambassador to royal courts. His talk sounds something like that, but I don't know. What does he want her to study?"

“He hasn't said yet-just talks largely and gener­ally about ‘very important studies.' Of course, it's all thrilling to Edith. Poor child, she was all bound up in her career in fiction-had been ever since her school days. She was beginning to feel that she was on her



way. Then we came into Zion and the General Over­seer put a stop to it. She's been at a loose end ever since and, I'm afraid, was beginning to get discour­aged. She's done well with her other writing, but she couldn't get absorbed in it as she had in her fiction. So when the General Overseer, in Marseilles that day, began to talk about this wonderful career for her, she drank it in as if it had been spring water and she hadn't had a drink for a month. She's still all taken up with it.

“One thing worries me. The General Overseer isn't quite comfortable with me any more. He's self-­conscious, and I've a feeling that he's not entirely frank. That's all new-he and I have always got along famously together. That bothers me. I can't make it out. What do you make of it?"

“God knows I wish I could tell you, Mrs. Brelin, but I can't. But it's prob'ly all right. How could it be any thin' else? Edith is certainly equipped in every way for a distinguished career-he's only four or five years late in finding it out. We ought to be thank­ful he's seen it at last and be mighty glad she's to have her chance. What is there to worry about?"

“I know; I know; but somehow I feel terribly un­easy about it. I suppose it's because there's so much I don't understand."

When the General Overseer and his party went on to London next day, Edith and her mother were left in Berlin, and Herbert barely had an opportunity to say good-by to her.

Mrs. Dowie and Gladstone came to London from Paris to meet the doctor. On account of reports from



Australia that Dr. Dowie had vilified the King, they were turned away from one hotel after another and were finally, in desperation, obliged to try to be com­fortable in Overseer and Mrs. Hebbs's tiny suburban flat.

At their first meeting they were besieged for hours in Zion Tabernacle in Euston Road. The General Overseer escaped, at last, in the darkness, by use of a disguise. He sneaked into the Cecil, under an as­sumed name, spent one night there, was discovered, and invited to leave. Discouraged, he fled to Boulogne, taking his family and Colonel Erdman with him.

Passage to New York had been engaged on the Lucania, and it was still two weeks before she sailed. This gave Nancy, Harold, and Herbert a much-ap­preciated breathing spell and leisure to see London and its environs. Two days before sailing time they went to Liverpool for sight-seeing in that part of England.

The night before the Lucania sailed, the General Overseer and his family came. They went directly to their state-room on the boat. To Herbert's astonish­ment and perplexity, Edith Brelin was with them. He saw her but could not speak to her. The General Overseer was in haste to reach his state-room before he was recognized and mobbed. He and Edith, fol­lowed by Mrs. Dowie, Gladstone, and the colonel, scurried across the station platform, where Herbert had met them, and disappeared into their carriages. He got a cab and followed to the boat, but was not permitted on board. Disconsolately he went back to his hotel.



They sailed at one o'clock. Herbert first saw Edith at dinner. She sat on Dr. Dowie's right.

"I'm delighted to see you changed your mind about staying in Berlin," he said, across the table.

"Thank you," she smiled, "I'm glad to be going back."

“Your charming mother is coming soon too, I hope."

“No, she's to remain in Berlin for the present."

The General Overseer, having inhaled what little puree of peas he had not spilled into his beard, began to talk with her in a low tone, shutting Herbert out. As that unhappy young man sat and watched them, mechanically talking with Nancy, who was beside him, a horrid suspicion chilled the pit of his stomach as if a blizzard howled in it. He struggled out of its clutches in a panic of self-loathing. "Gosh, my mind must be a cesspool," he thought.

That night the Lucania ran into a storm. Four days she drunkenly wrestled with head winds and racing seas. The air was full of spray and foam, the decks torrents of green water. Edith proved to be an unstable sailor and kept her state-room. Colonel Erd­man and Harold Winans were up and dressed, but snoozed all day long in big, upholstered chairs in the social saloon. The General Overseer was in agi­tated attendance upon Edith, while Mrs. Dowie and Gladstone preferred reading in the parlor of their suite to walking about. This left Nancy and Herbert to each other. In borrowed sou'easters and slickers they scampered about, dodging seas that washed aboard.



During the fourth night out the storm ceased. When morning came the Atlantic was lazily smiling and dimpling in the sun as if she had never lifted a violent wave. Breakfast-tables were nearly filled and all forenoon more people thronged the decks. Herbert had hoped to see Edith at breakfast, but was disap­pointed. About ten o'clock he saw her coming down the deck on Dr. Dowie's arm. As always, her loveli­ness took his breath. Then he happened to look at his General Overseer. The reverend gentleman was hug­ging an arm of his fair companion and gazing into her eyes with a dazed, languishing, sugary smile.

"Why," thought Herbert, "the old scoundrel's in love with her!"

That Edith might reciprocate the General Over­seer's infatuation did not even occur to him. She was simply dazzled by the glamour of some mysteri­ous "career" he offered her.

"Career, huh?" sneered Herbert to himself. “’Take precedence of queens and empresses'! Of course, as favorite wife of the ruler of the world. The old megalomaniac! "

“General Overseer," said Herbert during luncheon that day, "may I have a talk with you alone im­mediately after lunch?"

There was a quick, black scowl on the preacher's face, but it cleared, and turning to Edith with his languishing smile he said, "If this imperious young lady will excuse me for a few moments."

"Oh, don't mind me, General Overseer," she begged, giving Herbert a smile which heartened him more than anything that had come to him for weeks,



''I'm sure I'm guilty of taking too much time that really belonged to Deacon Renbrush."

“Oh," he said, a little crossly, “Deacon Renbrush gets plenty of my time. However, Herbert, come to my suite as soon as you finish your lunch."

"General Overseer," said Herbert when they were seated in the parlor of that suite, “we shall be in New York to-morrow. I presume that, as usual, I shall be called upon to meet the press?"

“Yes, my son. No one can do that so well as you."

"Thank you, General Overseer. In thinking over what they may ask and what I shall answer, a certain matter has occurred to me I think I ought to take up with you. You may have considered it already­ I presume you have-but it is, at least to me, of such importance that I do not feel I ought to take the risk of keeping silent. You know, of course, that these reporters watch everything you do and say like hawks; that they never fail to put the worst possible construction upon what they see and hear. Nothing would delight them more, especially in New York, than to stir up a scandal out of nothing. I suggest, therefore, that while you are in that city you appear nowhere except in company with Mrs. Dowie."

"What do you mean?" shouted the General Over­seer, springing to his feet and stamping angrily about. “Have you the insolence to insinuate your foul-­minded criticism of my conduct? Whose chestnuts are you trying to pull out of the fire?"

“I mean only what I have said, General Overseer. I insinuate nothing. I represent no one but you. You cannot afford even a hint of scandal at this time. I


do not need to tell you that. Furthermore, you are too much a Christian gentleman to take the slightest risk of causing even one whisper to smirch the spot­less reputation of one you love."

As suddenly as he had sprung up the white-bearded preacher sat down. His eyes beamed and twinkled, his mustache twitched, then  smile spread over his face.

“Thank you, Herbert, my son. You are right. My own heart is so pure, my whole life and thought so hid with Christ in God, that I sometimes do not realize what vileness wicked men may impute to perfectly innocent action. Your suggestion is wise and timely and I shall carry it out."






When Herbert met the ship news men next morning at Quarantine he was not long in learning that, if he had succeeded in making the General Overseer more circumspect, he was none too early. Almost the first question asked him was about the "beautiful blonde traveling with Dr. Dowie."

She was, he told them, Miss Edith Brelin of Chi­cago, long a member of Dr. Dowie's Church, who had been spending the winter in Europe with her mother and was now returning with the Zion party.

Questions were fired at him from every angle, but Herbert answered them all good-naturedly and with such disarming frankness as he could muster, but added nothing to what he had said in reply to their first question.

The party went to the old Fifth Avenue Hotel. There he fenced with another flock of reporters. To his dismay, they were more curious about “Dr. Dowie's beautiful blonde" than anything else. He knew that with these men he needed to keep cool, to seem perfectly and carelessly frank, and to avoid as he would murder any faintest appearance of apology, explanation, defense, or evasion.

Not being able to make anything else sensational of Edith, the papers made her a “mystery." It was



hinted that she might be a great heiress, that Dr. Dowie might adopt her, that she might some day be Mrs. Gladstone Dowie, that she had been on some secret :financial mission for the General Overseer, that she was slated for some mysterious high priestess's role in Zion City.

Now if no one who saw Dr. Dowie with Edith on the boat talked, and if the doctor kept his promise and didn't get away from his wife's side, the :first, imminent peril would be safely passed.

Deacon Jesse Stoneham had met the party in New York. He took Herbert into an empty smoking com­partment in a Pullman ahead of the private car and told his news.

It had been a hard winter and many people had suffered. Deacon Gaines had ordered reductions in office and factory forces. All building had been sus­pended. There had been some revisions downward in wages and salaries. But Herbert, being away, had not suffered. He still drew the :five thousand a year that heads of Institutions and Industries had been accorded.

Zion City General Stores were carrying little merchandise except necessities. So they had got through the winter, and since spring came things were a little better. The North Shore Electric Rail­road was being built through the city, and a lot of men had good jobs on construction. But it hadn't rained for weeks, gardens, lawns, and :fields were dry­ing up, and there was danger of :fire. People were getting nervous. A lot of 'em said that, soon's Elijah got back, it would rain.


"Zion City's gettin' to be quite a lively little town for scandals, too," he said. "Garod Henderhook and Beatrice Jessard had to get married early in Janu­ary. Now they have a baby boy.

"Will Vanslate was fired about six weeks ago because Gladys Glendora complained he'd tried to rape 'er.

"Elder Possute and Evangelist Derran went to Overseer Darling and confessed that they had fallen in love with each other. The overseer sent Evangelist Derran back to her husband and Elder Possute out of town-but the evangelist went with the elder.

"Anna Gersman-you know, the girl in Deacon Bolus' office--suddenly toppled over in a faint some time last February. Overseer Darling was called in. The coming child's papa not being a Zion man, was outside the overseer's jurisdiction.

"I hate to repeat such stuff, or I could tell you more. In a way, you are to blame, anyhow, because you prophesied just such things when the rules were first made."


As their private car rolled into Zion City at two o'clock on the afternoon of June 30, the exact day Dr. Dowie had promised to return, Colonel Erdman remarked, with a ring of exultation in his voice, "It's General Overseer's weather!"

"Yes," boomed the great man, smiling at Edith Brelin, "God has answered my prayer and sent His glorious sunshine. But I have heard the requests of many people here, and have prayed that His reviving and refreshing rain may follow."



All Zion City was waiting and cheering at the station. The band played, the choir sang, and they all marched to a new wooden, white-painted arch at the corner of Shiloh Boulevard and Elijah Avenue. Over­seer Darling and Judge Shelbrace made addresses of welcome, the General Overseer talked about twenty minutes, Mrs. Dowie, Gladstone, Colonel Erdman, Nancy, Harold, and Herbert each talked about a minute.

Then everybody scampered for cover. A shower had swept down upon the parched city!

It was almost a cloud-burst for half an hour and a good, soaking downpour for two hours more.

"Now," said Herbert to himself, in utter bewilder­ment, "what cart you do with a man like that?"

Nancy was still working on "Leaves of Healing." Leon Steelhaver had been appointed general associate editor in place of John Harrow.

Herbert heard from John occasionally. He had worked on newspapers in nearly every large city in Australia, then had got a job as war correspondent in the Japanese-Russian War and was now in Man­churia. Nan also heard from him, not so frequently. Her attitude toward him seemed entirely friendly. "Jack is at his best out there with a lot of men," she said, "and I'm glad he has this chance. He never really belonged in Zion."

Edith Brelin had taken a suite of rooms in the big, comfortable brick house of Elder Brownlee, across Shiloh Boulevard from Shiloh House.

Of Edith herself Herbert saw little. Mrs. Brownlee




was always with her at Shiloh Tabernacle meetings, and Deaconess Favorill had been employed by Dr. Dowie as her companion in her walks, her rides, her swimming, and her tennis.

Elsie Favorill, a woman of thirty-five, a former school-teacher, had long been a friend of Herbert's. She was a natural-born older sister to any number of young men who adored her in that capacity. She had probably been the recipient of more confidences from love-sick men than any other woman in the world, except Beatrice Fairfax and Dorothy Dix. She had learned wisdom from the things she suffered (just imagine having to listen to hours of conversation about some other girl!) and she never betrayed a friend. But she evidently had received orders from Dr. Dowie, for no men were encouraged to linger near her protégée.


Herbert went to see Deacon Gaines, with many questions. That weary man said:

"You ask about Zion's financial condition. I wish I were free to tell you, but for various reasons I am not free. But I think I can tell you enough so you can see what we've got cut out for us.

"We've got a chance to pull through if those of us at the head of things quietly cut expenses--especially pay-roIls -to the bone, and we can keep the General Overseer from any more such big cash outlays as New York and around the world. They hit us hard-­nearly swamped us. What we need is to make our industries profitable and to get all our unused labor



employed outside Zion City. We've made some prog­ress this year, especially when the General Overseer was away. Since he came back he has pretty much left us alone-hasn't even more than glanced at the weekly financial reports sent to him. Of course, when he'll break out next and what his new scheme will be nobody knows.

"But get rid of your dead-wood. I mean employees you don't need. Deacon Stoneham did well while you were away-as you know. But there are still a lot of titled men with you that you could get along without. You think you can't fire 'em because they would go to the General Overseer and he would make you take 'em back. That's so. But you get them jobs in Waukegan, Kenosha, or Chicago and they'll go. You can do the same thing with some of your clerks and stenographers.

"Then don't start any new work. There's a lot to be done, I know, but it will have to wait. If the General Overseer orders you to begin any new job that will cost a lot of money, talk him out of it. If he won't listen, come and tell me and I'll help you. Some of us have talked pretty straight to him within the last year or so. He gets mad and talks loud, but he finally promises to spend less money-and some­times he keeps his promise for a little while.

"One thing more-under present circumstances it isn't wise to talk freely about what we think and feel, but most of the heads of departments in Zion City now believe as you do, that their first duty is to our leaseholders and investors. From one at a time, now, you will find out which ones they are. We are all



thinking a great deal about how we can protect our people's interests. We are glad to know you will help us.

"Until after midnight the two deacons discussed ways and means. Herbert went to his room en­couraged. More than anything else, he had wanted to know that he did not stand alone in his determina­tion to serve Zion's people rather than Zion's auto­crat.