ON APRIL 28, 1918, exactly five years after his arrest in Paterson, John Reed reached what the Times, with military secretiveness, called in its dispatch "an Atlantic port." The port was, of course, New York. Being under indictment in the Masses case, he was met by federal agents, who held him on board for more than eight hours, while they searched his baggage and clothes. His papers were seized, but he was finally liberated after Morris Hillquit had promised that he would be at the Federal Building the next morning. Louise Bryant had waited for him from the time the boat docked, early in the morning, and together they went in a cab to the Brevoort. The next day he appeared before Judge Rufus E. Foster, with Dudley Field Malone as his counsel, and bail was fixed at $2000.
It was a clear warning to John Reed that wartime America was no place for the writing of poetry; there were other things that had to be done first. A year of war had successfully infected the majority of the American people with hysteria. Day after day they had read in the papers that Germans were beasts who must be destroyed. Sunday after Sunday ministers of the gospel had preached the crusade. Moving pictures and plays portrayed the frightfulness of the enemy and the heroic idealism of the American soldier, and between the acts four-minute men converted sentiment into cash. Education almost ceased that children might listen to tales of Hun atrocities or participate in liberty loan, Red Cross, war saving stamp, or Y.M.C.A. campaigns.
It was no wonder that the slightest opposition to war roused