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    Chapter 24

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    Chapter 24
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    There was a crowd following us, of course; and I sought to keep Carpenter busy in conversation, to indicate that the crowd was not wanted. But before we had gone half a block I felt some one touch me on the arm, and heard a voice, saying, "I beg pardon, I'm a reporter for the 'Evening Blare'."

    Now, of course, I had known this must come; I had realized that I would be getting myself in for it, if I went to join Carpenter that morning. I had planned to warn him, to explain to him what our newspapers are; but how could I have foreseen that he was going to get into a riot before breakfast, and bring out the police reserves and the police reporters?

    "Excuse us," I said, coldly. "We have something urgent--"

    "I just want to get something of this gentleman's speech--"

    "We are on our way to the Labor Temple. If you will come there in a couple of hours, we will give you an interview."

    "But I must have a story for our first edition, that goes to press before that."

    I had Carpenter by the arm, and kept him firmly walking. I could not get rid of the reporter, but I was resolved to get my warning spoken, regardless of anything. Said I: "This is a matter extremely urgent for you to understand, Mr. Carpenter. This young man represents a newspaper, and anything you say to him will be read in the course of a few hours by perhaps a hundred thousand people. If it is found especially senational, the Continental Press may put it on its wires, and it will go to several hundred papers all over the country--"

    "Twelve hundred and thirty-seven papers," corrected the young man.

    "So you see, it is necessary that you should be careful what you say--far more so than if you were speaking to a handful of Mexican laborers or Jewish housewives."

    Said Carpenter: "I don't understand what you mean. When I speak, I speak the truth."

    "Yes, of course," I replied--and meantime I was racking my poor wits figuring out how to present this strange acquaintance of mine most tactfully to the world. I knew the reporter would not tarry long; he would grab a few sentences, and rush away to telephone them in.

    "I'll tell you what I'm free to tell," I began. "This gentleman is a healer, a man of very remarkable gifts. Mental healing, you understand."

    "I get you," said the reporter. "Some religion?"

    "Mr. Carpenter teaches a new religion."

    "I see. A sort of prophet! And where does he come from?"

    I tried to evade. "He has just arrived--"

    But the blood-hound of the press was not going to be evaded. "Where do you come from, sir?" he demanded, of Carpenter.

    To which Carpenter answered, promptly: "From God."

    "From God? Er--oh, I see. From God! Most interesting! How long ago, may I ask?"


    "Oh! That is indeed extraordinary! And this mob that you've just been addressing--did you use some kind of mind cure on them?"

    I could see the story taking shape; the headlines flamed before my mind's eye--streamer heads, all the way across the sheet, after the fashion of our evening papers:

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