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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

The Inner Circle

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"As I undoubtedly should," added Arnold quietly.

"We have no doubt that you would," was the equally quiet rejoinder. "And now I will read to you the oath of membership that you will be required to sign. Even when you have heard it, if you feel any hesitation in subscribing to it, there will still be time to withdraw, for we tolerate no unwilling or half-hearted recruits."

Arnold bowed his acquiescence, and the spokesman took a piece of paper from the table and read aloud--

"I, Richard Arnold, sign this paper in the full knowledge that in doing so I devote myself absolutely for the rest of my life to the service of the Brotherhood of Freedom, known to the world as the Terrorists. As long as I live its ends shall be my ends, and no human considerations shall weigh with me where those ends are concerned. I will take life without mercy, and yield my own without hesitation at its bidding. I will break all other laws to obey those which it obeys, and if I disobey these I shall expect death as the just penalty of my perjury."

As he finished reading the oath, he handed the paper to Arnold, saying as he did so--

"There are no theatrical formalities to be gone through. Simply sign the paper and give it back to me, or else tear it up and go in peace."

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Arnold read it through slowly, and then glanced round the table. He saw the eyes of the silent figures sitting about him shining at him through the holes in their masks. He laid the paper down on the table in front of him, dipped a pen in an inkstand that stood near, and signed the oath in a firm, unfaltering hand. Then--committed for ever, for good or evil, to the new life that he had adopted--he gave the paper back again.

The President took it and read it, and then passed it to the mask on his right hand. It went from one to the other round the table, each one reading it before passing it on, until it got back to the President. When it reached him he rose from his seat, and, going to the fireplace, dropped it into the flames, and watched it until it was consumed to ashes. Then, crossing the room to where Arnold was sitting, he removed his mask with one hand, and held the other out to him in greeting, saying as he did so--

"Welcome to the Brotherhood! Thrice welcome! for your coming has brought the day of redemption nearer!"

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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