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    Chapter 61

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    Chapter 61
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    I expected to find my prophet nearly dead; I made ready to get him onto my shoulders and find some place to hide him. But to my surprise he started to his feet. I could not see much of him, because of the streams of paint; but I could see enough to realize that his face was contorted with fury. I remembered that gentle, compassionate countenance; never had I dreamed to see it like this!

    He raised his clenched hands. "I meant to die for this people! But now--let them die for themselves!" And suddenly he reached out to me in a gesture of frenzy. "Let me get away from them! Anywhere, anyway! Let me go back where I was--where I do not see, where I do not hear, where I do not think! Let me go back to the church!"

    With these words he started to run down the street; hauling up his long robes--never would I have dreamed that a prophet's bare legs could flash so quickly, that he could cover the ground at such amazing speed! I set out after him; I had stuck to him thus far, and meant to be in at the finish, whatever it was. We came out on Broadway again, and there were more crowds of soldier boys; the prophet sped past them, like a dog with a tin-can tied to its tail. He came to a cross-street, and dodged the crowded traffic, and I also got through, knocking pedestrians this way and that. People shouted, automobiles tooted; the soldiers whooped on the trail. I began to get short of breath, a little dizzy; the buildings seemed to rock before me, there were mobs everywhere, and hands clutching at me, nearly upsetting me. But still I followed my prophet with the bare flying legs; we swept around another corner, and I saw the goal to which the tormented soul was racing--St. Bartholomew's!

    He went up the steps three at a time, and I went up four at a time behind him. He flung open the door and vanished inside; when I got in, he was half way up the aisle. I saw people in the church start up with cries of amazement; some grabbed me, but I broke away--and saw my prophet give three tremendous leaps. The first took him up the altar-steps; the second took him onto the altar; the third took him up into the stained-glass window.

    And there he turned and faced me. His paint-smeared robes fell down about his bare legs, his convulsed and angry face became as gentle and compassionate as the paint would permit. With a wave of his hand, he signalled me to stand back and let him alone. Then the hand sank to his side, and he stood motionless. Exhausted, dizzy, I fell against one of the pews, and then into a seat, and bowed my head in my arms.
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