OF THE RENEWAL OF THE GREAT ATTACK; AND HOW IT FARED
DOUGLAS had been decidedly put out by the death of his wife. After all, sh_ad been a sort of habit; a useful drudge, when all was said. Besides, h_issed, acutely, the pleasures of torturing her. His suspicions of the bon_ides of Balloch were conjoined with actual annoyance.
It was at this painful moment in his career that Cremers came to the rescue. _idowed friend of hers had left a daughter in her charge: for Cremers had th_reat gift of inspiring confidence. This daughter was being educated in _onvent in Belgium. The old woman immediately telegraphed for her, an_resented her to Douglas with the compliments of the season. Nothing coul_ave been more timely or agreeable. She was a gentle innocent child, as prett_nd charming as he had ever seen. It was a great point in the game of th_stute Cremers to have pleased the sorcerer; and she began insensibly to gai_scendancy over his spirit. He had at first suspected her of being an emissar_f his colleague, "A.B." who might naturally wish to destroy him. For the pla_f the sorcerer who wishes to be sole and supreme is to destroy all rivals, enemies, and companions; while the magician attains supremacy in Unity b_onstantly uniting himself with others, and finding himself equally in ever_lement of existence. It is the difference between hate and love.  He ha_een careful to examine her magically, and found no trace of "A.B." in her
"aura." On the contrary, he concluded that her ambition was to supplant
"A.B."; and that went well with his own ideas. But first he must get her int_is Fourteen, and have a permanent hold over her.
She, on the other hand, appeared singly desirous of making herself a treasur_o him. She knew the one torment that gnawed continually at his liver, th_ate of Cyril Grey. And she proposed to herself to win him wholly by offerin_hat gentleman's scalp. She sharpened her linguistic tomahawk.
One fine day in April she tackled him openly on the subject.
"Say, great one, you `n' I gotta have another peek at that sperrit writing.
Seems t' me that was a fool's game down there." She jerked her head toward_he river. "And I don't say but what you done right about Balloch."
Douglas glanced at her sharply in his most dangerous mood. How much did sh_now of a certain recent manoeuvre? But she went on quite placidly.
"Now, look `e here. We gotta get these guys. An' we gotta get them where the_ive. You been hitting at their strong point. Now I tell you something. Tha_irl she live five years with Lavinia King, durn her! I see that brigh_aughter of Terpsichore on'y five minutes, but she didn't leave one mora_angin' on me, no, sir. Now see here, big chief, you been beatin' the wate_or them fish, an', natural, off they goes. For the land's sake! Look `e here, I gotta look after this business. An' all I need is just one hook an' line, an' a pailful o' bait, an' ef I don' land her, never trus' me no more. Ain't _omebody, all ways? Didn' I down ole Blavatzsky? Sure I did. An' ain't thi_ike eatin' pie after that?" 
The sorcerer deliberated with himself a while. Then he consulted his familia_emons. The omens were confusing. He thought that perhaps he had put hi_uestion ambiguously, and tried again in other words. He had begun by askin_aguely "whether Cremers would succeed in her mission," which had earned him _ery positive "yes," flanked by a quite unintelligible message about
"deception," "the false Dmitri" and "the wrong horse," also some apparen_onsense about Scotland and an island. This time he asked whether Cremer_ould succeed in luring Lisa to her destruction. This time the answer was mor_avourable, though tremulous. But ever since his wife's death, his demons ha_ehaved very strangely. They seemed the prey of hesitation and even of fear.
Such as it was, however, their voice now jumped with his own convictions, an_e agreed to her proposal.
They spent the evening merrily in torturing a cat by blinding it, and the_quirting sulphuric acid on it from a syringe; and in the morning Cremers, with Abdul Bey for bait, set out upon her journey to Naples. Arrived in tha_avoured spot, she bade Abdul Bey enjoy the scenery, and hold his peace. Sh_ould warn him when the hour struck. For Cremers was a highly practical ol_erson. She was not like St. James' devils, who believe and tremble; sh_isbelieved, but she trembled all the same. She hated Truth, because the Trut_ets men free, and therefore makes them happy; but she had too much sense t_hut her eyes to it; and though she doubted the causes of magick, and scoffe_t all spiritual theory, she could not deny the effects. It was no idle boas_f hers that she had destroyed Madame Blavatzsky. Together with another woman, she had wormed her way into the big-hearted Theosophist's confidence, an_etrayed her foully at the proper moment. She  had tried the same game o_nother adept; but, when he found her out, and she knew it, he had merel_ontinued his kindnesses. The alternative before her was repentance or brai_ever; and she had chosen the latter.
Her disbelief in magick had left her with its correlate, a belief in death. I_as the one thing she feared, besides magick itself. But she did not make th_istake of being in a hurry, on that account. The strength of her characte_as very great, in its own way; and she possessed infinite reserves o_atience. She played the game with no thought of the victory; and this is hal_he secret of playing most games of importance. To do right for its own sak_s Righteousness, though if you apply this obvious truth to Art the Philistin_alls you names, and your morals in question.
Cremers was a genuine artist in malice. She was not even glad when she ha_armed a friend and benefactor, however irreparably; nothing could ever mak_er glad — but she was contented with herself on such occasions. She felt _ort of sense of duty done. She denied herself every possible pleasure, sh_ated happiness in the abstract in a genuinely Puritan spirit, and sh_bjected to eat a good dinner herself as much as to consent that anyone els_hould eat it. Her principal motive in assisting Abdul Bey to his heart'_esire was the cynical confidence that Lisa was capable of pouring him out _ell-broth at least forty per cent above proof.
The summer was well begun. The sun had turned toward the southern hemispher_nce more; he had entered the Sign of the Lion, and with fierce and noble hea_carred the dry slopes of Posilippo. Iliel spent most of her time on th_errace of the Moon at her needlework, watching the ships as they sailed by, or the peasants at their labour or their pastimes. 
It was a little before sunset on the first of August. She was leaning over th_all of the Terrace. Sister Clara had gone up to the house to make ready fo_he adoration of the setting of the sun. Up the uneven flagstones of the lan_elow toiled the old fishwife with her burden, and looked up with the usua_heery greeting. At that moment the crone slipped and fell. "I'm afraid I'v_urt my back," she cried, with an adjuration to some saint. "I can't get up."
Iliel, whether she understood the Italian words fully or no, could not mistak_he nature of the accident. She did not hesitate; in a moment she had lowere_erself from the wall. She bent down and gave her hand to the old woman.
"Say," said the woman in English, "that boy's just crazy about you; and he'_he loveliest man on God's earth. Won't you say one word to him?"
Lisa's jaw dropped in amazement. "What? Who?" she stammered.
"Why, that perfectly sweet Turk, Abdul. Sure, you know him, dearie!"
Cremers was watching Lisa's face; she read the answer. She gave a low whistle, and round the corner Abdul Bey came running. He took Lisa in his arms, an_ained kisses passionately on her mouth.
She had no thought of resistance. The situation entranced her. The captiv_rincess; the intrigue; the fairy prince; every syllable was a poem.
"I've longed for you every hour for months," she cried, between his kisses;
"why, oh why didn't you come for me before?" She had no idea that she was no_elling the truth. The past was wiped clean out of her mind by the swirl o_he new impulse; and once outside the enchanted circle of the garden, her vo_n tatters, there was nothing to remind her.
"I'm — here — now. "The words burst, like  explosions, from his lips.
"Come. I've got a yacht waiting."
"Take me — oh, take me — where you will."
Cremers was on her feet, spry and business-like. "We're best out of here," sh_aid. "Let's beat it!" Taking Lisa's arms, she and Abdul hurried her down th_teps which led to the Shore-road.
Brother Onofrio's. patrol witnessed the scene. He took no notice; it was no_gainst that contingency that he was armed. But at the summons to th_doration he reported the event to his superior.
Brother Onofrio received the news in silence, and proceeded to perform th_eremony of the Salutation.
An hour later, as supper ended, the sound of the bell rang through the House.
The visitor was Simon Iff.
He found Cyril dressed in every-day clothes, no more in his green robe. Th_oy was smoking a cigar upon the Terrace where he had read his poem on the da_fter Walpurgis Night.
He did not rise to greet his master. "Tell the Praetor that you have see_aius Marius a fugitive seated upon the ruins of Carthage!" he exclaimed.
"Don't take it so hardly, boy!" cried the old mystic. "The man who makes n_istakes makes nothing. But it is my duty to reprove you, and we had bette_et it over. Your whole operation was badly conceived; in one way or anothe_t was bound to fail. You select a woman with no moral strength — not eve_ith that code of convention which helps so many weak creatures through thei_emptations. I foresaw from the first that soon or late she would throw up th_xperiment."
"Your words touch me the more deeply because I also foresaw it from th_irst."
"Yet you went on with it." 
"Oh no!" Cyril's eyes were half closed.
"What do you mean — Oh, no!" cried the other sharply. He knew his Cyril like _ook.
"I never even began," murmured the boy, dreamily.
"You will be polite to explain yourself."
Simon's lips took a certain grimness of grip upon themselves.
"This telegram has consoled me in my grief," said Cyril, taking with langui_race a slip of paper from his pocket. "It came last week."
Simon Iff turned it towards the light. "Horatii," he read. "A code word, _uppose. But this is dated from Iona, from the Holy House where Himself is!"
"Himself" was the word used in the Order to designate its Head.
"Yes," said Cyril, softly, "I was fortunate enough to interest Himself in th_xperiment; so Sister Cybele has been there, under the charge of the Mahather_hang!"
"You young devil!" It was the first time that Simple Simon had been startle_n forty years. "So you arranged this little game to draw the enemy's fire?"
"Naturally, the safety of Sister Cybele was the first consideration."
"It's not a code word. I think it must be Roman History."
"Rather a lot, isn't it?"
"They'll be needed," said Simon grimly. "I have been doing magick too."
"Do tell me."
"The Quest of the Golden Fleece, Cyril. I've been sowing the Dragon's Teeth; you remember? Armed men sprang to life, and killed each other." 
"But I don't see any armed men."
"You will. Haven't you seen the papers?"
"I never see papers. I'm a poet, and I like my lies the way mother used t_ake them."
"Well, Europe's at war I have got your old commission back for you, with a_ppointment as Inteelligence Officer on the staf of General Cripps."
"It sounds like Anarchism. From each according to his powers; to eac_ccording to his needs, you know. By the way, what's it about? Anything?"
"The people think it's about the violation of solemn treaties, and the right_f the little nations, and so on; the governments think it's about commercia_xpansion; but I who made it know that it is the baptism of blood of the Ne_eon. How could we promulgate the Law of Liberty in a world where Freedom ha_een strangled by industrialism? Men have become such slaves that they submi_o laws which would have made a revolution in any other country since th_orld began; they have registration cards harder to bear than iron fetters; they allow their tyrants to bar them from every pleasure that even thei_overty allows them. There is only one way to turn the counter-jumper into _urtius and the factory girl into a Cornelia; and I have taken it." "How di_ou work it? "
"It has been a long business, But as you know. Sir Edward is a mystic. You sa_hat article on fishing, I suppose?"
"Oh yes; I knew that. But I didn't know it was more definite."
It was he did it. But he'll lose his place; he's too fair-minded; and in _ear they'll clamour for fanatics. It's all right; they'll butt each other'_rains out; and then the philosophers will come back, and build up a noble_ype of civilization." 
"I think you accused me recently of using strong medicine."
"I was practising British hypocrisy on you. I had to see the Prime Ministe_hat week. Excuse me if I answer a humourist according to his humour. I wan_o show you how necessary this step has been. Observe: the bourgeois is th_eal criminal, always."
"I'm with you there."
"Look at the testimony of literature. In the days of chivalry our sympathie_o with the Knight-errant, who redresses wrongs; with the King, whose courag_nd wisdom deliver his people from their enemies. But when Kingship becam_yranny, and feudalism oppression, we took our heroes from the rebels. Robi_ood, Hereward the Wake, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Rob Roy; it was always th_nder Dog that appealed to the artist. Then industrialism became paramount, and we began — in Byron's time — to sympathize with brigands and corsairs.
Presently these were wiped out, and to-day or rather, the day befor_esterday, we were reduced to loving absolute scoundrels, Arsene Lupin, Raffles, Stingaree, Fantomas, and a hundred others, or the detectives who (although on the side of society) were equally occupied in making the polic_ook like fools. That is the whole charm of Pere What's-his-name in Gaboriau, and Dupin, and Sherlock Holmes. There has never been a really sympatheti_etectlve in fiction who was on good terms with the police! And you mus_emember that the artist always represents the subconscious will of th_eople. The literary hack who panders to the bourgeois, and makes his heroe_f millionaires' sons, has never yet created a character, and never will.
Well, when the People love a burglar, and hate a judge, there's somethin_rong with the judges."
"But what are you doing here, in a world-crisis?" 
"I'm over here to buy Italy. Bowling bought Belgium, you know, some time back.
He was thick with Leopold, but the old man had too much sense to deal. He kne_e would be the first to go smash when the war came. But Albert pocketed th_ood red gold without a second thought; that's partly what the trouble i_ver. Germany found out about it."
"And why buy Italy? To keep Austria busy, I suppose? These Wops can hardl_ope to force the line, especially with the Trentino Salient on the flank."
"That's the idea. It would have been better and cheaper to buy Bulgaria. Bu_rey wouldn't see it. There's the eternal fear of Russia to remember. We'r_ighting against both sides in the Balkans! And that makes Russia half- hearted, and endangers the whole Entente. But it doesn't matter so long a_nough people are killed. The survivors must have elbow-room for their souls, and the memory of heroic deeds in the lives of them and theirs to weig_gainst the everlasting pull of material welfare. When those men come bac_rom a few years in the trenches, they'll make short work of the pious perso_hat informs them of the wickedness of smoking, and eating meat, and drinkin_eer, and being out after eleven o'clock at night, and kissing a girl, an_eading novels, and playing cards, and going to the theatre, and whistling o_he Sabbath!"
"I hope you're right. You're old, which tends, I suppose, to make yo_ptimistic. In my young ears there always rings the scream of terror of th_lave when you offer to strike off his fetters."
"All Europe will be scream and stench for years to come. But the ne_eneration will fear neither poverty nor death. They will fear weakness; the_ill fear dishonour." 
"It is a great programme. Qui vivra verra. Meanwhile, I suppose I report t_eneral Cripps."
"You will meet him, running hard, I expect, somewhere in France. It will be _luke if Paris is saved. As you know, it always takes England three years t_ut her boots on. If we had listened to the men who knew — like 'Bobs' — an_ixed up an army of three millions, there could have been no war — at least, not in this particular tangle of alliances. There would have been a Socia_evolution, more likely, an ignoble business of greed against greed, whic_ould have left men viler and more enslaved than ever. As it is, the masses o_oth sides think they are fighting for ideals; only the governments know wha_ypocrisy and sham it is; so the ideals will win, both in defeat and victory.
Man! only three days ago France was the France of Panama, and Dreyfus, an_adame Humbert, and Madame Steinheil, and Madame Caillaux; and to-day she i_lready the France of Roland and Henri Quatre and Danton and Napoleon an_ambetta and Joan of Arc!"
"And England of the Boer wars, and the Irish massacres, and the Marcon_candals, and Tranby Croft?"
"Oh, give England time! She'll have to be worse before she's better!"
"Talking of time, I must pack up if I'm to catch the morning train for th_and of Hope and Glory."
"The train service is disorganized. I came from Toulon in a destroyer; she'l_ake you back there. Jack Manners is in command. Report at Toulon to the O.C.!
You'd better start in half-an-hour, I'll see you safe on board. My car's a_he door. Here s your commission!"
Cyril Grey thrust the document into his pocket, and the two men went up int_he house.
An hour later they were aboard the destroyer;  they shook hands i_ilence. Simon Iff went down the gangway, and Manners gave the word. As the_aced northward, they passed under the lee of Abdul's yacht, where Lisa, up t_he eyes in champagne, was fondling her new lover.
Her little pig-like eyes sparkled through their rolls of fat; her cheeks, th_olour and consistency of ripe Camembert cheese, sagged pendulous upon a many- chinned neck which looked almost goitrous; and the whole surmounted one o_hose figures dear to engineers, because they afford endless food fo_peculation as to the means of support. The moon was now exercising her ful_nfluence, totally unchecked and unbalanced; and the woman's nature bein_holly of the body, with as little brain in proportion as a rhinoceros, th_ffect was seen mostly on the physical plane. Her mind was a mere swamp o_ucculent luxury. So she sat there and swayed and wallowed over Abdul Bey.
Cremers thought she looked like a snow man just beginning to melt.
With a sardonic grin, the old woman waved her hand, and went on deck. Th_acht was now well out in the open sea on her way to Marseilles. Here Cremer_as to be landed, so that she might return to Paris to report her success t_ouglas, while the lovers went on their honeymoon. The wind blew fresh fro_he south-west, and Cremers, who was a good sailor, came as near as she eve_ould to joy as she felt the yacht begin to roll, and pictured the tepid ice- cream heroine of romance in the saloon.
Meanwhile, the destroyer, her nose burrowing into the sea hike a ferre_lipped into a warren, drove passionately towards Toulon. The keenness an_cstasy of Cyril's face were so intense that Manners rallied him about it.
"I thought you were one of the all-men-are-  brothers crowd," he said. "
Yet you're as keen as mustard to slay your cousin-German."
"Puns," replied Cyril, "are the torpedo-boat destroyers of the navy wit.
Consider yourself crushed. Your matchless intelligence has not misled you a_o my views. All men _are_ brothers. As a magician, I embrace, I caress, _lobber over the cheeks of Bloody Bill. But fighting in the army is not _agical ceremony. It is the senseless, idiotic, performance of a numskull, th_ct, in a word, of a gentleman; and as, to my lasting shame, I happened to b_orn in that class, I love to do it. Be reasonable! It's no pleasure to me, a_n immortal God, to sneeze; I refuse to render myself a laughing-stock to th_ther Olympians by such indignity; but when my body has a cold in its head, i_s proper for it to blow its nose. I do not approve, much less participate; and my body is therefore the more free to act according to its nature, and i_lows its nose much harder than it would if I took a hand. That is th_dvantage of being a magician; all one's different parts are free to act wit_he utmost possible vigour according to their own natures, because the othe_arts do not interfere with them. You don't let your navigators into th_toke-hole, or your stokers into the chart-house. The first art in adeptshi_s to get your elements sorted out and specialized and organized an_isciplined. Here endeth the first lesson. I think I'll turn in."
"It's a bit beyond me, Cyril. All I know is that I'm willing to risk my lif_n a good cause."
"But it's a rotten bad cause! We have isolated Germany and hemmed her in fo_ears exactly as we did a century ago with Napoleon; Wilhelm, who wante_eace, because he was getting fat on it, knew us for his real enemy. In `ninety-nine he came within  an ace of uniting Europe against us, at th_ime of the Fashoda incident. But we baffled him, and since then he has bee_etting deeper in every moment. He tried again over the Boer war. He trie_hreats, he tried diplomacy, he tried everything. The Balkan War and th_gadir incident showed him his utter helplessness. The kingdom of Albania! Th_ar in Tripoli proved that he could no longer rely on Italy. And when Russi_esorted to so shameless an assassination as that of Sarajevo — my dear goo_an! England has been a pirate as she always was. From Hengist and Horsa, an_he Vikings, she first learnt the trick. William the Conqueror was a pirate; so was Francis Drake. Look at Morgan, whom we knighted, and all the othe_uccaneers! Look at our system of privateering! Ever hear of the 'Alabama'? W_earnt the secret of sea-power; we can cut the alimentary canal of any natio_n Europe — bar Switzerland and Russia. Hence our fear of Russia! It's th_olly Roger you should fly, Jack Manners! We stood all Germany's expansion; w_aid we were her cousins — but when she, started a Navy, that was anothe_arrel of fish!
"I don't think I can bear this, you know!"
"Cheer up! I'm one of the pirate crew!"
"Oh, you're Captain Kidd!"
"I have already stated my opinion as to the conversational value of puns. I'_oing to turn in; you get busy, and find a neutral ship to rob."
"I shall do my best to maintain the law of the sea."
"Made by the pirate to suit his game. Good God! I can't see why we shouldn'_e sensible. Why must we invoke Law and Gospel every time we want to do _irty act? My character's strong enough to let me kill all the Germans I ca_ithout persuading myself that I'm saving them from Prusian Tyranny! Good- night!"
"The youth is unintelligible or immoral," thought Manners, as he turned hi_ace to the spindrift; "but I bet he kills a lot of Germans!"