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I did not move. My experience of earthly animals had taught methat few will attack without provocation, and I staked my life onthe chance that the same rule prevailed on Venus. But there areother provocations besides those that arouse fear or anger; amost potent one is hunger. However, this creature lookedherbivorous; and I hoped that it was herbivorous. But I couldnot forget the basto; that somewhat resembled an American bison,yet was omnivorous.
I was oppressed by forebodings of ill. I wished that we hadnever entered the place, but I tried to brush my fears aside. Iargued that Skor had given no indications of being other than akindly and solicitous host. He had seemed anxious to befriend us.That he was a jong I had commenced to doubt, for there was nosuggestion of royalty in his mode of living.
But a million men--to paraphrase Bryan--cannot spring from arms overnight. There were still over three and a half million Americans in the military service, over two million of them in Europe. Uniforms were everywhere. Even after the tumult and shouting of November 11th had died, the Expeditionary Forces were still in the trenches, making ready for the long, cautious march into Germany; civilians were still saving sugar and eating strange dark breads and saving coal; it was not until ten days had passed that the "lightless" edict of the Fuel Administration was withdrawn, and Broadway and a dozen lesser white ways in other cities blazed once more; the railroads were still operated by the government, and one bought one's tickets at United States Railroad Administration Consolidated Ticket Offices; the influenza epidemic, which had taken more American lives than had the Germans, and had caused thousands of men and women to go about fearfully with white cloth masks over their faces, was only just abating; the newspapers were packed with reports from the armies in Europe, news of the revolution in Germany, of Mr. Wilson's peace preparations, of the United War Work Campaign, to the exclusion of almost everything else; and day after day, week after week, month after month, the casualty lists went on, and from Maine to Oregon men and women searched them in daily apprehension.
The President must have been fully aware of the ugly imperfections in the Treaty of Versailles as he sailed back to America with it at the end of June, 1919, more than six months after his departure for France. He must have realized that, despite all his efforts, the men who had sat about the council table at Paris had been more swayed by fear and hate and greed and narrow nationalism than by the noble motives of which he had been the mouthpiece. No rational man with his eyes and ears open could have failed to sense the disillusionment which was slowly settling down upon the world, or the validity of many of the objections to the Treaty which were daily being made in the Senate at Washington. Yet what could Wilson do?
Senator Lodge was also a politician. Knowing that his Massachusetts constituents numbered among them hundreds of thousands of Irish, he asked the overworked peace delegates at Paris to give a hearing to Messrs. Frank P. Walsh, Edward F. Dunn, and Michael J. Ryan, the so-called American Commission for Irish Independence, though it was difficult for anyone but an Irishman to say what Irish independence had to do with the Treaty. Remembering, too, the size of the Italian vote, Lodge was willing to embarrass President Wilson, in the midst of the Italian crisis at the Conference, by saying in a speech to the Italians of Boston that Italy ought to have Fiume and control the Adriatic. Finally, Lodge had no love for Woodrow Wilson. So strongly did he feel that Wilson's assumption of the right to speak for American opinion was unwarranted and iniquitous, that when Henry White, the only Republican on the American Peace Commission, sailed for Europe, Lodge put into White's hands a secret memorandum containing his own extremely un-Wilsonian idea of what peace terms the American people would stand for, and suggested that White show it in strict confidence to Balfour, Clemenceau, and Nitti, adding, "This knowledge may in certain circumstances be very important to them in strengthening their position." No honorable man could have made such a suggestion unless he believed the defeat of the President's program to be essential to the country's welfare.
United with Lodge in skepticism about the Treaty, if in nothing else, was a curious combination of men and of influences. There were hard-shelled tories like Brandegee; there were Western idealists like Borah, who distrusted any association with foreign diplomats as the blond country boy of the old-fashioned melodrama distrusted association with the slick city man; there were chronic dissenters like La Follette and Jim Reed; there were Republicans who were not sorry to put the Democratic President into a hole, and particularly a President who had appealed in war-time for the election of a Democratic Congress; there were Senators anxious to show that nobody could make a treaty without the advice as well as the consent of the Senate, and get away with it; and there were not a few who, in addition to their other reasons for opposition, shared Lodge's personal distaste for Wilsonian rhetoric. Outside the Senate there was opposition of still other varieties. The Irish were easily inflamed against a League of Nations that gave "six seats to England." The Italians were ready to denounce a man who had refused to let Italy have Fiume. Many Germans, no matter how loyal to the United States they may have been during the war, had little enthusiasm for the hamstringing of the German Republic and the denial to Germany of a seat in the League. There were some people who thought that America had got too little out of the settlement. And there were a vast number who saw in the League Covenant, and especially in Article X, obligations with which they were not willing to have the nation saddled.
The analysis was sound; but the Republican bosses, however open to criticism they may have been as statesmen, were at least good politicians. They had their ears where a good politician's should be--to the ground--and what they heard there was a rumble of discontent with Wilson and all that he represented. They determined that at the election of 1920 they would choose as the Republican standard-bearer somebody who would present, both to themselves and to the country, a complete contrast with the idealist whom they detested. As the year rolled round and the date for the Republican Convention approached, they surveyed the field. The leading candidate was General Leonard Wood, a blunt soldier, an inheritor of Theodore Roosevelt's creed of fearing God and keeping your powder dry; he made a fairly good contrast with Wilson, but he promised to be almost as unmanageable. Then there was Governor Lowden of Illinois--but he, too, did not quite fulfill the ideal. Herbert Hoover, the reliever of Belgium and war-time Food Administrator, was conducting a highly amateur campaign for the nomination; the politicians dismissed him with a sour laugh. Why, this man Hoover hadn't known whether he was a Republican or Democrat until the campaign began! Hiram Johnson was in the field, but he also might prove stiff-necked, although it was to his advantage that he was a Senator. The bosses' inspired choice was none of these men: it was Warren Gamaliel Harding, a commonplace and unpretentious Senator from Ohio.
The summer of 1919 passed. The Senate debated the Peace Treaty. The House passed the Volstead Act. The Suffrage Amendment passed Congress and went to the States. The R-34 made the first transatlantic dirigible flight from England to Mineola, Long Island, and returned safely. People laughed over The Young Visiters and wondered whether Daisy Ashford was really James M. Barrie. The newspapers denounced sugar-hoarders and food profiteers as the cost of living kept on climbing. The first funeral by airplane was held. Ministers lamented the increasing laxity of morals among the young. But still the fear and hatred of Bolshevism gripped the American mind as new strikes broke out and labor became more aggressive and revolution spread like a scourge through Europe. And then, in September, came the Boston police strike, and the fear was redoubled.
But not only the Communists were dangerous; they had, it seemed, well-disguised or unwitting allies in more respectable circles. The Russian Famine Fund Committee, according to Ralph Easley of the National Civic Federation, included sixty pronounced Bolshevist sympathizers. Frederick J. Libby of the National Council for the Reduction of Armaments was said by one of the loudest of the super-patriots to be a Communist educated in Russia who visited Russia for instructions (although as a matter of fact the pacifist churchman had never been in Russia, had no affiliations with Russia, and had on his board only American citizens). The Nation, The New Republic, and The Freeman were classed as "revolutionary" by the executive secretary of the American Defense Society. Even The Survey was denounced by the writers of the Lusk Report as having "the endorsement of revolutionary groups." Ralph Easley pointed with alarm to the National League of Women Voters, the Federal Council of Churches, and the Foreign Policy Association. There was hardly a liberal civic organization in the land at which these protectors of the nation did not bid the citizenry to shudder. Even the National Information Bureau, which investigated charities and was headed by no less a pillar of New York respectability than Robert W. DeForest, fell under suspicion. Mr. DeForest, it was claimed, must be too busy to pay attention to what was going on; for along with him were people like Rabbi Wise and Norman Thomas and Oswald Villard and Jane Addams and Scott Nearing and Paul U. Kellogg, many of whom were tainted by radical associations.
The bull market was now in full swing, the labor movement was enfeebled, prosperity had given radicalism what seemed to be its coup de grce--but still the predicament of these two simple Italians had the power briefly to recall the days of Mitchell Palmer's Red raids and to arouse fears and hatreds long since quieted. People who had almost forgotten whether they were conservatives or liberals found themselves in bitter argument once more, and friendships were disrupted over the identification of Sacco's cap or the value of Captain Proctor's testimony about the fatal bullet. But only briefly. The headlines screamed that Sacco and Vanzetti had been executed, and men read them with a shiver, and wondered, perhaps, if this thing which had been done with such awful finality were the just desserts of crime or a hideous mistake--and glanced at another column to find where Lindbergh was flying today, and whipped open the paper to the financial page. . . . What was General Motors doing? 2b1af7f3a8