John Reed: The Making of a Revolutionary

By Granville Hicks; John Stuart | Go to book overview
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IX
THIS IS NOT OUR WAR

CARL HOVEY kept his eyes on Europe, and by the end of July he wired Reed, asking him to be ready to go to France as the Metropolitan's war-correspondent. Mabel Dodge was indignant at the interruption of the Provincetown idyll, but, almost before she could explain the unimportance of wars, Reed was on his way to Portland, for the first visit he had paid his mother in two years. He found that his fame had reached the city, and persons who once had made fun of him were now eagerly proposing teas, luncheons, and dinners. He took pleasure enough in the recognition of his success, but the affairs themselves bored him, and he was glad to escape from the stuffy atmosphere of polite parlors to an I.W.W. hall in which Emma Goldman was speaking. There he met a young artist, Carl Walters, and his wife. It was surprising to find an artist in Portland, and especially a good one, and Reed, learning that no one was paying any attention to Walters' work, wrote an article about it for the local paper. He would like to have seen more of Carl and Helen Walters, but his mother was eager to have all of his time. And after all, it was only a few days before, proud and worried, she saw him start back across the continent on the fastest, most expensive train available.

There was an Englishman on the train--a clean-cut young man, with nice color, a neat mustache, clothes that fitted exquisitely, and shoes much too large. When tea was served, the cattle- kings and wheat-barons and their wives watched him eagerly as a guide to proper procedure. Reed was fascinated by the absolute correctness of everything the man did, and could not resist

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