(PROLOGUE)
THE TREE BEARS FRUIT

Our roots, transplanted from Europe, bear fruit here. On free American soil we have the opportunity to achieve all the great dreams, all the great resolves, all the promises of human dignity which are so often stifled and destroyed in the Old World.

ONE night in the spring of the year, when seed in the earth breaks sharp through the crust, I left my bed quietly, locked the door, and walked into the night. The rain--a full-bodied, lusty rain, driven by a furious wind--beat hard against the pavement, formed into rivulets, and flowed down slopes into the gutter. It slashed at the tops of trees and beat down the saplings and young shoots till they seemed to become one with the earth.

It was past midnight as I walked, drenched, in old clothes and old shoes. Sleep? I was beyond sleep. For days now something had been boiling and churning within me, seeking to come through. Solitude wouldn't bring it out, nor long walks in the country. Meditation in the back pew of a church didn't help. It was in the nature of things that the inner storm would subside only in the atmosphere of a storm outside. There was no other way of quieting me down.

I had no idea where I was going. I remember only that my head was bent to break the fury of the rain against my face. I kept staring at my feet, watching first one then the other shoe splash into a puddle and pull out, dripping, and ever be-

-3-

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