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    Chapter 51

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    Chapter 51
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    But, of course, it wasn't long before this little company became serious again. Carpenter told Franklin that he ought not stay here; he, Carpenter, was too conspicuous a figure, the authorities were certain to be watching him. Korwsky backed him up. There were sure to be spies here! They would never leave such a man unwatched. They would set to work to get something on him, and if they couldn't get it they would make it. When Carpenter asked what he meant, he explained, "Dey'll plant dynamite in de place vere you are, or dey'll fake up some letters to show you been plannin' violence."

    "And do people believe such things?" asked Carpenter.

    "Believe dem?" cried Korwsky. "If dey see it in de papers, dey believe it--sure dey do!"

    The prophet answered, "Let a man live so that the world will believe him and not his enemies." Then he added a startling remark. "There is one among us who will betray me."

    Of course, they all looked at one another in consternation. They were deeply distressed, and each tried in turn--"Comrade," or "Brother," or "Fellow-worker," or whatever term they used--"is it I?" Presently the sturdy looking fellow named Hamby, who called himself a pacifist, asked, "Is it I?" And Carpenter answered, quietly, "You have said it."

    Then, of course, some of the others started up; they wanted to throw him out, but Carpenter bade them sit down again, saying, "Let things take their course; for the powers of this world will perish more quickly if they are permitted to kill themselves."

    Apparently he saw no reason why this episode should be permitted to interfere with the festivities. Mary Magna came in laughing, bearing the strawberry short-cake, and set it on the table and proceeded to portion it out. When it was served, Carpenter said, "I shall not be with you much longer, my friends; but you will remember me when you see this beautiful red fruit on top of a cake; and also you will think of me and my message when you taste rich purple grape-juice that has perhaps stayed a day or two too long in the bottle!"

    Some of the company laughed, but others of them had tears in their eyes; and I noticed that in the midst of the merriment the fellow Hamby got up and slipped out of the room. Not long after that the company began to disperse for various reasons. Karlin explained that his old horse had been working all day, and had had no supper. Colver was uneasy, not for himself, but for his friend, and I saw him start every time the door was opened. Also, T-S was having some night-scenes taken, and he and Mary were to see the work. Finally Carpenter dismissed the Company, with the statement that he wished to retire to Comrade Abell's private office to pray; and Abell and his friend Lynch and the young Mexican said they would watch and wait for him. The rest of us took our departure, not without misgivings and sorrow in our hearts.
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