The Devil's Paw HTML version

Chapter 17
Julian, on, the morning following his visit to the Prime Minister, was afflicted with a
curious and persistent unrest. He travelled down to the Temple land found Miles Furley
in a room hung with tobacco smoke and redolent of a late night.
"Miles," Julian declared, as the two men shook hands, "I can't rest."
"I am in the same fix," Furley admitted. "I sat here till four o'clock. Phineas Cross came
around, and half-a-dozen of the others. I felt I must talk to them, I must keep on
hammering it out. We're right, Julian. We must be right!"
"It's a ghastly responsibility. I wonder what history will have to say."
"That's the worst of it," Furley groaned. "They'll have a bird's-eye view of the whole
affair, those people who write our requiem or our eulogy. You noticed the Press this
morning? They're all hinting at some great move in the West. It's about in the clubs. Why,
I even heard last night that we were in Ostend. It's all a rig, of course. Stenson wants to
gain time."
"Who opened these negotiations with Freistner?" Julian asked.
"Fenn. He met him at the Geneva Conference, the year before the war. I met him, too, but
I didn't see so much of him. He's a fine fellow, Julian - as unlike the typical German as
any man you ever met."
"He's honest, I suppose?"
"As the day itself," was the confident reply. "He has been in prison twice, you know, for
plain speaking. He is the one man in Germany who has fought the war, tooth and nail,
from the start."
Julian caught his friend by the shoulder.
"Miles," he said, - "straight from the bottom of your heart, mind - you do believe we are
"I have never doubted it."
"You know that we have practically created a revolution - that we have established a
dictatorship? Stenson must obey or face anarchy."
"It is the voice of the people," Furley declared. "I am convinced that we are justified. I am
convinced of the inutility of the prolongation of this war."