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The Devil's Paw

Chapter 20
Julian and Furley left the place together. They looked for the Bishop but found that he
had slipped away.
"To Downing Street, I believe," Furley remarked. "He has some vague idea of suggesting
a compromise."
"Compromise!" Julian repeated a little drearily. "How can there be any such thing! There
might be delay. I think we ought to have given Stenson a week - time to communicate
with America and send a mission to France."
"We are like all theorists," Furley declared moodily, stopping to relight his pipe. "We
create and destroy on palter with amazing facility. When it comes to practice, we are
funks."
"Are you funking this?" Julian asked bluntly.
"How can any one help it? Theoretically we are right - I am sure of it. If we leave it to the
politicians, this war will go dragging on for God knows how long. It's the people who are
paying. It's the people who ought to make the peace. The only thing that bothers me is
whether we are doing it the right way. Is Freistner honest? Could he be self-deceived? Is
there any chance that he could be playing into the hands of the Pan-Germans?"
"Fenn is the man who has had most to do with him," Julian remarked. "I wouldn't trust
Fenn a yard, but I believe in Freistner."
"So do I," Furley assented, "but is Fenn's report of his promises and the strength of his
followers entirely honest?"
"That's the part of the whole thing I don't like," Julian acknowledged. "Fenn's practically
the corner stone of this affair. It was he who met Freistner in Amsterdam and started
these negotiations, and I'm damned if I like Fenn, or trust him. Did you see the way he
looked at Stenson out of the corners of his eyes, like a little ferret? Stenson was at his
best, too. I never admired the man more."
"He certainly kept his head," Furley agreed. "His few straight words were to the point,
too."
"It wasn't the occasion for eloquence," Julian declared. "That'll come next week. I
suppose he'll try and break the Trades Unions. What a chance for an Edmund Burke! It's
all right, I suppose, but I wonder why I'm feeling so damned miserable."
"The, fact is," Furley confided, "you and I and the Bishop and Miss Abbeway are all to a
certain extent out of place on that Council. We ought to have contented ourselves with
 
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