Read Books Online, for Free
|The Man Who Was Thursday||Gilbert K. Chesterton|
The Man Who Was Thursday
|Page 6 of 7||
The heavy clamour gradually died away, but before it had ceased Witherspoon had jumped to his feet, his hair and beard all on end, and had said--
"I move, as an amendment, that Comrade Syme be appointed to the post."
"Stop all this, I tell you!" cried Gregory, with frantic face and hands. "Stop it, it is all--"
The voice of the chairman clove his speech with a cold accent.
"Does anyone second this amendment?" he said. A tall, tired man, with melancholy eyes and an American chin beard, was observed on the back bench to be slowly rising to his feet. Gregory had been screaming for some time past; now there was a change in his accent, more shocking than any scream. "I end all this!" he said, in a voice as heavy as stone.
"This man cannot be elected. He is a--"
"Yes," said Syme, quite motionless, "what is he?" Gregory's mouth worked twice without sound; then slowly the blood began to crawl back into his dead face. "He is a man quite inexperienced in our work," he said, and sat down abruptly.
Before he had done so, the long, lean man with the American beard was again upon his feet, and was repeating in a high American monotone--
"I beg to second the election of Comrade Syme."
"The amendment will, as usual, be put first," said Mr. Buttons, the chairman, with mechanical rapidity.
"The question is that Comrade Syme--"
Gregory had again sprung to his feet, panting and passionate.
"Comrades," he cried out, "I am not a madman."
"Oh, oh!" said Mr. Witherspoon.
"I am not a madman," reiterated Gregory, with a frightful sincerity which for a moment staggered the room, "but I give you a counsel which you can call mad if you like. No, I will not call it a counsel, for I can give you no reason for it. I will call it a command. Call it a mad command, but act upon it. Strike, but hear me! Kill me, but obey me! Do not elect this man." Truth is so terrible, even in fetters, that for a moment Syme's slender and insane victory swayed like a reed. But you could not have guessed it from Syme's bleak blue eyes. He merely began--
"Comrade Gregory commands--"
Then the spell was snapped, and one anarchist called out to Gregory--
"Who are you? You are not Sunday"; and another anarchist added in a heavier voice, "And you are not Thursday."
"Comrades," cried Gregory, in a voice like that of a martyr who in an ecstacy of pain has passed beyond pain, "it is nothing to me whether you detest me as a tyrant or detest me as a slave. If you will not take my command, accept my degradation. I kneel to you. I throw myself at your feet. I implore you. Do not elect this man."
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Man Who Was Thursday
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004