Manassas: A Novel of the War

By Upton Sinclair | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX

THE scene upon the piazza was out of his mind the instant it was out of his sight. What were his troubles, what was he? But the senator! The senator struck down by a cowardly assassin, weltering in his blood on the floor of his country's forum! Allan had seen him once at college, a towering figure, six feet and more in height, with the head of an Apollo. Champion of all things free and noble he was--the unconquerable defender of every outraged soul; and now to be beaten into insensibility by a ruthless bully--oh, God, it was too terrible to be true! It drove Allan wild to think of it--he strode up and down the room, kneading his hands together; he sank down upon a chair, sobbing. How were things like these to be borne? How dare an iniquity so hideous to show its face upon God's earth?

This was their latest, these slave drivers, it was the last of their crimes! What was Kansas to this--what could have deserved like this the description of Sumner himself, "the Crime of Crimes, the Crime against Nature, at which the soul revolts, and which language refuses to describe"? The exultation of the people which he had just witnessed rang still in his ears--seemed to him like the jeering of a thousand hateful demons. They crowded around him-- hustling him--leering at him--goading him, spitting into his face; until suddenly he leaped to his feet and flung up his arms into the air, crying: "No, no! I cannot bear it! It is too much; it is too horrible! I will go out into the world and fight it! Down with it, I say--down with it!"

He stood in the centre of the floor, his hands clenched in sudden passion, his arms grown stiff, his soul flaring white-hot in a frenzy of revolt. He saw the monster rearing its head before him, towering above him, menacing; he flung himself at the throat of it--this Slavery!

-163-

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Manassas: A Novel of the War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Notes xxvi
  • Book I - The Morning 1
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 12
  • Chapter III 27
  • Chapter IV 31
  • Chapter V 31
  • Chapter VI 52
  • Chapter VII 62
  • Book II - The Crisis 79
  • Chapter I 81
  • Chapter II 93
  • Chapter III 100
  • Chapter IV 106
  • Chapter V 116
  • Chapter VI 128
  • Chapter VII 141
  • Chapter VIII 155
  • Chapter IX 163
  • Chapter X 168
  • Chapter XI 174
  • Chapter XII 180
  • Chapter XIII 188
  • Book III - The Climax 195
  • Chapter I 197
  • Chapter II 210
  • Chapter III 218
  • Chapter IV 230
  • Chapter V 234
  • Chapter VI 240
  • Chapter VII 252
  • Chapter VIII 261
  • Book IV - The Storm 275
  • Chapter I 277
  • Chapter II 292
  • Chapter III 304
  • Chapter IV 320
  • Chapter V 329
  • Chapter VI 339
  • Book V - The Battle 349
  • Chapter I 351
  • Chapter II 359
  • Chapter III 370
  • Chapter IV 384
  • Chapter V 400
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