When The World Was Young



He was a very quiet, self-possessed sort of man, sitting a moment on top

of the wall to sound the damp darkness for warnings of the dangers it

might conceal. But the plummet of his hearing brought nothing to him

save the moaning of wind through invisible trees and the rustling of

leaves on swaying branches. A heavy fog drifted and drove before the
br />
wind, and though he could not see this fog, the wet of it blew upon his

face, and the wall on which he sat was wet.

Without noise he had climbed to the top of the wall from the outside,

and without noise he dropped to the ground on the inside. From his

pocket he drew an electric night-stick, but he did not use it. Dark as

the way was, he was not anxious for light. Carrying the night-stick in

his hand, his finger on the button, he advanced through the darkness.

The ground was velvety and springy to his feet, being carpeted with dead

pine-needles and leaves and mold which evidently had been undisturbed

for years. Leaves and branches brushed against his body, but so dark was

it that he could not avoid them. Soon he walked with his hand stretched

out gropingly before him, and more than once the hand fetched up against

the solid trunks of massive trees. All about him he knew were these

trees; he sensed the loom of them everywhere; and he experienced a

strange feeling of microscopic smallness in the midst of great bulks

leaning toward him to crush him. Beyond, he knew, was the house, and he

expected to find some trail or winding path that would lead easily to


Once, he found himself trapped. On every side he groped against trees

and branches, or blundered into thickets of underbrush, until there

seemed no way out. Then he turned on his light, circumspectly, directing

its rays to the ground at his feet. Slowly and carefully he moved it

about him, the white brightness showing in sharp detail all the

obstacles to his progress. He saw an opening between huge-trunked trees,

and advanced through it, putting out the light and treading on dry

footing as yet protected from the drip of the fog by the dense foliage

overhead. His sense of direction was good, and he knew he was going

toward the house.

And then the thing happened--the thing unthinkable and unexpected. His

descending foot came down upon something that was soft and alive, and

that arose with a snort under the weight of his body. He sprang clear,

and crouched for another spring, anywhere, tense and expectant, keyed

for the onslaught of the unknown. He waited a moment, wondering what

manner of animal it was that had arisen from under his foot and that now

made no sound nor movement and that must be crouching and waiting just

as tensely and expectantly as he. The strain became unbearable. Holding

the night-stick before him, he pressed the button, saw, and screamed

aloud in terror. He was prepared for anything, from a frightened calf or

fawn to a belligerent lion, but he was not prepared for what he saw. In

that instant his tiny searchlight, sharp and white, had shown him what a

thousand years would not enable him to forget--a man, huge and blond,

yellow-haired and yellow-bearded, naked except for soft-tanned moccasins

and what seemed a goat-skin about his middle. Arms and legs were bare,

as were his shoulders and most of his chest. The skin was smooth and

hairless, but browned by sun and wind, while under it heavy muscles were

knotted like fat snakes.

Still, this alone, unexpected as it well was, was not what had made the

man scream out. What had caused his terror was the unspeakable ferocity

of the face, the wild-animal glare of the blue eyes scarcely dazzled by

the light, the pine-needles matted and clinging in the beard and hair,

and the whole formidable body crouched and in the act of springing at

him. Practically in the instant he saw all this, and while his scream

still rang, the thing leaped, he flung his night-stick full at it, and

threw himself to the ground. He felt its feet and shins strike against

his ribs, and he bounded up and away while the thing itself hurled

onward in a heavy crashing fall into the underbrush.

As the noise of the fall ceased, the man stopped and on hands and knees

waited. He could hear the thing moving about, searching for him, and he

was afraid to advertise his location by attempting further flight. He

knew that inevitably he would crackle the underbrush and be pursued.

Once he drew out his revolver, then changed his mind. He had recovered

his composure and hoped to get away without noise. Several times he

heard the thing beating up the thickets for him, and there were moments

when it, too, remained still and listened. This gave an idea to the man.

One of his hands was resting on a chunk of dead wood. Carefully, first

feeling about him in the darkness to know that the full swing of his arm

was clear, he raised the chunk of wood and threw it. It was not a large

piece, and it went far, landing noisily in a bush. He heard the thing

bound into the bush, and at the same time himself crawled steadily away.

And on hands and knees, slowly and cautiously, he crawled on, till his

knees were wet on the soggy mold. When he listened he heard naught but

the moaning wind and the drip-drip of the fog from the branches. Never

abating his caution, he stood erect and went on to the stone wall, over

which he climbed and dropped down to the road outside.

Feeling his way in a clump of bushes, he drew out a bicycle and prepared

to mount. He was in the act of driving the gear around with his foot for

the purpose of getting the opposite pedal in position, when he heard the

thud of a heavy body that landed lightly and evidently on its feet. He

did not wait for more, but ran, with hands on the handles of his

bicycle, until he was able to vault astride the saddle, catch the

pedals, and start a spurt. Behind he could hear the quick thud-thud of

feet on the dust of the road, but he drew away from it and lost it.

Unfortunately, he had started away from the direction of town and was

heading higher up into the hills. He knew that on this particular road

there were no cross roads. The only way back was past that terror, and

he could not steel himself to face it. At the end of half an hour,

finding himself on an ever increasing grade, he dismounted. For still

greater safety, leaving the wheel by the roadside, he climbed through a

fence into what he decided was a hillside pasture, spread a newspaper on

the ground, and sat down.

"Gosh!" he said aloud, mopping the sweat and fog from his face.

And "Gosh!" he said once again, while rolling a cigarette and as he

pondered the problem of getting back.

But he made no attempt to go back. He was resolved not to face that road

in the dark, and with head bowed on knees, he dozed, waiting for


How long afterward he did not know, he was awakened by the yapping bark

of a young coyote. As he looked about and located it on the brow of the

hill behind him, he noted the change that had come over the face of the

night. The fog was gone; the stars and moon were out; even the wind had

died down. It had transformed into a balmy California summer night. He

tried to doze again, but the yap of the coyote disturbed him. Half

asleep, he heard a wild and eery chant. Looking about him, he noticed

that the coyote had ceased its noise and was running away along the

crest of the hill, and behind it, in full pursuit, no longer chanting,

ran the naked creature he had encountered in the garden. It was a young

coyote, and it was being overtaken when the chase passed from view. The

man trembled as with a chill as he started to his feet, clambered over

the fence, and mounted his wheel. But it was his chance and he knew it.

The terror was no longer between him and Mill Valley.

He sped at a breakneck rate down the hill, but in the turn at the

bottom, in the deep shadows, he encountered a chuck-hole and pitched

headlong over the handle bar.

"It's sure not my night," he muttered, as he examined the broken fork of

the machine.

Shouldering the useless wheel, he trudged on. In time he came to the

stone wall, and, half disbelieving his experience, he sought in the road

for tracks, and found them--moccasin tracks, large ones, deep-bitten

into the dust at the toes. It was while bending over them, examining,

that again he heard the eery chant. He had seen the thing pursue the

coyote, and he knew he had no chance on a straight run. He did not

attempt it, contenting himself with hiding in the shadows on the off

side of the road.

And again he saw the thing that was like a naked man, running swiftly

and lightly and singing as it ran. Opposite him it paused, and his heart

stood still. But instead of coming toward his hiding-place, it leaped

into the air, caught the branch of a roadside tree, and swung swiftly

upward, from limb to limb, like an ape. It swung across the wall, and a

dozen feet above the top, into the branches of another tree, and dropped

out of sight to the ground. The man waited a few wondering minutes, then

started on.


Dave Slotter leaned belligerently against the desk that barred the way

to the private office of James Ward, senior partner of the firm of Ward,

Knowles & Co. Dave was angry. Every one in the outer office had looked

him over suspiciously, and the man who faced him was excessively


"You just tell Mr. Ward it's important," he urged.

"I tell you he is dictating and cannot be disturbed," was the answer.

"Come to-morrow."

"To-morrow will be too late. You just trot along and tell Mr. Ward it's

a matter of life and death."

The secretary hesitated and Dave seized the advantage.

"You just tell him I was across the bay in Mill Valley last night, and

that I want to put him wise to something."

"What name?" was the query.

"Never mind the name. He don't know me."

When Dave was shown into the private office, he was still in the

belligerent frame of mind, but when he saw a large fair man whirl in a

revolving chair from dictating to a stenographer to face him, Dave's

demeanor abruptly changed. He did not know why it changed, and he was

secretly angry with himself.

"You are Mr. Ward?" Dave asked with a fatuousness that still further

irritated him. He had never intended it at all.

"Yes," came the answer. "And who are you?"

"Harry Bancroft," Dave lied. "You don't know me, and my name don't


"You sent in word that you were in Mill Valley last night?"

"You live there, don't you?" Dave countered, looking suspiciously at the


"Yes. What do you mean to see me about? I am very busy."

"I'd like to see you alone, sir."

Mr. Ward gave him a quick, penetrating look, hesitated, then made up his


"That will do for a few minutes, Miss Potter."

The girl arose, gathered her notes together, and passed out. Dave looked

at Mr. James Ward wonderingly, until that gentleman broke his train of

inchoate thought.


"I was over in Mill Valley last night," Dave began confusedly.

"I've heard that before. What do you want?"

And Dave proceeded in the face of a growing conviction that was


"I was at your house, or in the grounds, I mean."

"What were you doing there?"

"I came to break in," Dave answered in all frankness. "I heard you lived

all alone with a Chinaman for cook, and it looked good to me. Only I

didn't break in. Something happened that prevented. That's why I'm here.

I come to warn you. I found a wild man loose in your grounds--a regular

devil. He could pull a guy like me to pieces. He gave me the run of my

life. He don't wear any clothes to speak of, he climbs trees like a

monkey, and he runs like a deer. I saw him chasing a coyote, and the

last I saw of it, by God, he was gaining on it."

Dave paused and looked for the effect that would follow his words. But

no effect came. James Ward was quietly curious, and that was all.

"Very remarkable, very remarkable," he murmured. "A wild man, you say.

Why have you come to tell me?"

"To warn you of your danger. I'm something of a hard proposition myself,

but I don't believe in killing people ... that is, unnecessarily. I

realized that you was in danger. I thought I'd warn you. Honest, that's

the game. Of course, if you wanted to give me anything for my trouble,

I'd take it. That was in my mind, too. But I don't care whether you give

me anything or not. I've warned you anyway, and done my duty."

Mr. Ward meditated and drummed on the surface of his desk. Dave noticed

that his hands were large, powerful, withal well-cared for despite their

dark sunburn. Also, he noted what had already caught his eye before--a

tiny strip of flesh-colored courtplaster on the forehead over one eye.

And still the thought that forced itself into his mind was unbelievable.

Mr. Ward took a wallet from his inside coat pocket, drew out a

greenback, and passed it to Dave, who noted as he pocketed it that it

was for twenty dollars.

"Thank you," said Mr. Ward, indicating that the interview was at an end.

"I shall have the matter investigated. A wild man running loose is


But so quiet a man was Mr. Ward, that Dave's courage returned. Besides,

a new theory had suggested itself. The wild man was evidently Mr. Ward's

brother, a lunatic privately confined. Dave had heard of such things.

Perhaps Mr. Ward wanted it kept quiet. That was why he had given him the

twenty dollars.

"Say," Dave began, "now I come to think of it that wild man looked a lot

like you--"

That was as far as Dave got, for at that moment he witnessed a

transformation and found himself gazing into the same unspeakably

ferocious blue eyes of the night before, at the same clutching

talon-like hands, and at the same formidable bulk in the act of

springing upon him. But this time Dave had no night-stick to throw, and

he was caught by the biceps of both arms in a grip so terrific that it

made him groan with pain. He saw the large white teeth exposed, for all

the world as a dog's about to bite. Mr. Ward's beard brushed his face as

the teeth went in for the grip of his throat. But the bite was not

given. Instead, Dave felt the other's body stiffen as with an iron

restraint, and then he was flung aside, without effort but with such

force that only the wall stopped his momentum and dropped him gasping to

the floor.

"What do you mean by coming here and trying to blackmail me?" Mr. Ward

was snarling at him. "Here, give me back that money."

Dave passed the bill back without a word.

"I thought you came here with good intentions. I know you now. Let me

see and hear no more of you, or I'll put you in prison where you belong.

Do you understand?"

"Yes, sir," Dave gasped.

"Then go."

And Dave went, without further word, both his biceps aching intolerably

from the bruise of that tremendous grip. As his hand rested on the door

knob, he was stopped.

"You were lucky," Mr. Ward was saying, and Dave noted that his face and

eyes were cruel and gloating and proud. "You were lucky. Had I wanted, I

could have torn your muscles out of your arms and thrown them in the

waste basket there."

"Yes, sir," said Dave; and absolute conviction vibrated in his voice.

He opened the door and passed out. The secretary looked at him


"Gosh!" was all Dave vouchsafed, and with this utterance passed out of

the offices and the story.


James G. Ward was forty years of age, a successful business man, and

very unhappy. For forty years he had vainly tried to solve a problem

that was really himself and that with increasing years became more and

more a woeful affliction. In himself he was two men, and,

chronologically speaking, these men were several thousand years or so

apart. He had studied the question of dual personality probably more

profoundly than any half dozen of the leading specialists in that

intricate and mysterious psychological field. In himself he was a

different case from any that had been recorded. Even the most fanciful

flights of the fiction-writers had not quite hit upon him. He was not a

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, nor was he like the unfortunate young man in

Kipling's Greatest Story in the World. His two personalities were so

mixed that they were practically aware of themselves and of each other

all the time.

His one self was that of a man whose rearing and education were modern

and who had lived through the latter part of the nineteenth century and

well into the first decade of the twentieth. His other self he had

located as a savage and a barbarian living under the primitive

conditions of several thousand years before. But which self was he, and

which was the other, he could never tell. For he was both selves, and

both selves all the time. Very rarely indeed did it happen that one self

did not know what the other was doing. Another thing was that he had no

visions nor memories of the past in which that early self had lived.

That early self lived in the present; but while it lived in the present,

it was under the compulsion to live the way of life that must have been

in that distant past.

In his childhood he had been a problem to his father and mother, and to

the family doctors, though never had they come within a thousand miles

of hitting upon the clue to his erratic conduct. Thus, they could not

understand his excessive somnolence in the forenoon, nor his excessive

activity at night. When they found him wandering along the hallways at

night, or climbing over giddy roofs, or running in the hills, they

decided he was a somnambulist. In reality he was wide-eyed awake and

merely under the night-roaming compulsion of his early life. Questioned

by an obtuse medico, he once told the truth and suffered the ignominy of

having the revelation contemptuously labeled and dismissed as "dreams."

The point was, that as twilight and evening came on he became wakeful.

The four walls of a room were an irk and a restraint. He heard a

thousand voices whispering to him through the darkness. The night

called to him, for he was, for that period of the twenty-four hours,

essentially a night-prowler. But nobody understood, and never again did

he attempt to explain. They classified him as a sleep-walker and took

precautions accordingly--precautions that very often were futile. As his

childhood advanced, he grew more cunning, so that the major portion of

all his nights were spent in the open at realizing his other self. As a

result, he slept in the forenoons. Morning studies and schools were

impossible, and it was discovered that only in the afternoons, under

private teachers, could he be taught anything. Thus was his modern self

educated and developed.

But a problem, as a child, he ever remained. He was known as a little

demon of insensate cruelty and viciousness. The family medicos privately

adjudged him a mental monstrosity and a degenerate. Such few boy

companions as he had, hailed him as a wonder, though they were all

afraid of him. He could outclimb, outswim, outrun, outdevil any of them;

while none dared fight with him. He was too terribly strong, too madly


When nine years of age he ran away to the hills, where he flourished,

night-prowling, for seven weeks before he was discovered and brought

home. The marvel was how he had managed to subsist and keep in condition

during that time. They did not know, and he never told them, of the

rabbits he had killed, of the quail, young and old, he had captured and

devoured, of the farmers' chicken-roosts he had raided, nor of the

cave-lair he had made and carpeted with dry leaves and grasses and in

which he had slept in warmth and comfort, through the forenoons of many


At college he was notorious for his sleepiness and stupidity during the

morning lectures and for his brilliance in the afternoon. By collateral

reading and by borrowing the notebook of his fellow students he managed

to scrape through the detestable morning courses, while his afternoon

courses were triumphs. In football he proved a giant and a terror, and,

in almost every form of track athletics, save for strange Berserker

rages that were sometimes displayed, he could be depended upon to win.

But his fellows were afraid to box with him, and he signalized his last

wrestling bout by sinking his teeth into the shoulder of his opponent.

After college, his father, in despair, sent him among the cow-punchers

of a Wyoming ranch. Three months later the doughty cowmen confessed he

was too much for them and telegraphed his father to come and take the

wild man away. Also, when the father arrived to take him away, the

cowmen allowed that they would vastly prefer chumming with howling

cannibals, gibbering lunatics, cavorting gorillas, grizzly bears, and

man-eating tigers than with this particular young college product with

hair parted in the middle.

There was one exception to the lack of memory of the life of his early

self, and that was language. By some quirk of atavism, a certain portion

of that early self's language had come down to him as a racial memory.

In moments of happiness, exaltation, or battle, he was prone to burst

out in wild barbaric songs or chants. It was by this means that he

located in time and space that strayed half of him who should have been

dead and dust for thousands of years. He sang, once, and deliberately,

several of the ancient chants in the presence of Professor Wertz, who

gave courses in old Saxon and who was a philologist of repute and

passion. At the first one, the professor pricked up his ears and

demanded to know what mongrel tongue or hog-German it was. When the

second chant was rendered, the professor was highly excited. James Ward

then concluded the performance by giving a song that always irresistibly

rushed to his lips when he was engaged in fierce struggling or fighting.

Then it was that Professor Wertz proclaimed it no hog-German, but early

German, or early Teuton, of a date that must far precede anything that

had ever been discovered and handed down by the scholars. So early was

it that it was beyond him; yet it was filled with haunting reminiscences

of word-forms he knew and which his trained intuition told him were true

and real. He demanded the source of the songs, and asked to borrow the

previous book that contained them. Also, he demanded to know why young

Ward had always posed as being profoundly ignorant of the German

language. And Ward could neither explain his ignorance nor lend the

book. Whereupon, after pleadings and entreaties that extended through

weeks, Professor Wertz took a dislike to the young man, believed him a

liar, and classified him as a man of monstrous selfishness for not

giving him a glimpse of this wonderful screed that was older than the

oldest any philologist had ever known or dreamed.

But little good did it do this much-mixed young man to know that half of

him was late American and the other half early Teuton. Nevertheless, the

late American in him was no weakling, and he (if he were a he and had a

shred of existence outside of these two) compelled an adjustment or

compromise between his one self that was a night-prowling savage that

kept his other self sleepy of mornings, and that other self that was

cultured and refined and that wanted to be normal and love and prosecute

business like other people. The afternoons and early evenings he gave to

the one, the nights to the other; the forenoons and parts of the nights

were devoted to sleep for the twain. But in the mornings he slept in bed

like a civilized man. In the night time he slept like a wild animal, as

he had slept the night Dave Slotter stepped on him in the woods.

Persuading his father to advance the capital, he went into business, and

keen and successful business he made of it, devoting his afternoons

whole-souled to it, while his partner devoted the mornings. The early

evenings he spent socially, but, as the hour grew to nine or ten, an

irresistible restlessness overcame him and he disappeared from the

haunts of men until the next afternoon. Friends and acquaintances

thought that he spent much of his time in sport. And they were right,

though they never would have dreamed of the nature of the sport, even if

they had seen him running coyotes in night-chases over the hills of Mill

Valley. Neither were the schooner captains believed when they reported

seeing, on cold winter mornings, a man swimming in the tide-rips of

Raccoon Straits or in the swift currents between Goat Island and Angel

Island miles from shore.

In the bungalow at Mill Valley he lived alone, save for Lee Sing, the

Chinese cook and factotum, who knew much about the strangeness of his

master, who was paid well for saying nothing, and who never did say

anything. After the satisfaction of his nights, a morning's sleep, and a

breakfast of Lee Sing's, James Ward crossed the bay to San Francisco on

a midday ferryboat and went to the club and on to his office, as normal

and conventional a man of business as could be found in the city. But as

the evening lengthened, the night called to him. There came a quickening

of all his perceptions and a restlessness. His hearing was suddenly

acute; the myriad night-noises told him a luring and familiar story;

and, if alone, he would begin to pace up and down the narrow room like

any caged animal from the wild.

Once, he ventured to fall in love. He never permitted himself that

diversion again. He was afraid. And for many a day the young lady,

scared at least out of a portion of her young ladyhood, bore on her arms

and shoulders and wrists divers black-and-blue bruises--tokens of

caresses which he had bestowed in all fond gentleness but too late at

night. There was the mistake. Had he ventured love-making in the

afternoon, all would have been well, for it would have been as the quiet

gentleman that he would have made love--but at night it was the uncouth,

wife-stealing savage of the dark German forests. Out of his wisdom, he

decided that afternoon love-making could be prosecuted successfully; but

out of the same wisdom he was convinced that marriage would prove a

ghastly failure. He found it appalling to imagine being married and

encountering his wife after dark.

So he had eschewed all love-making, regulated his dual life, cleaned up

a million in business, fought shy of match-making mamas and bright- and

eager-eyed young ladies of various ages, met Lilian Gersdale and made it

a rigid observance never to see her later than eight o'clock in the

evening, ran of nights after his coyotes, and slept in forest lairs--and

through it all had kept his secret save for Lee Sing ... and now, Dave

Slotter. It was the latter's discovery of both his selves that

frightened him. In spite of the counter fright he had given the burglar,

the latter might talk. And even if he did not, sooner or later he would

be found out by some one else.

Thus it was that James Ward made a fresh and heroic effort to control

the Teutonic barbarian that was half of him. So well did he make it a

point to see Lilian in the afternoons and early evenings, that the time

came when she accepted him for better or worse, and when he prayed

privily and fervently that it was not for worse. During this period no

prize-fighter ever trained more harshly and faithfully for a contest

than he trained to subdue the wild savage in him. Among other things, he

strove to exhaust himself during the day, so that sleep would render him

deaf to the call of the night. He took a vacation from the office and

went on long hunting trips, following the deer through the most

inaccessible and rugged country he could find--and always in the

daytime. Night found him indoors and tired. At home he installed a score

of exercise machines, and where other men might go through a particular

movement ten times, he went hundreds. Also, as a compromise, he built a

sleeping porch on the second story. Here he at least breathed the

blessed night air. Double screens prevented him from escaping into the

woods, and each night Lee Sing locked him in and each morning let him


The time came, in the month of August, when he engaged additional

servants to assist Lee Sing and dared a house party in his Mill Valley

bungalow. Lilian, her mother and brother, and half a dozen mutual

friends, were the guests. For two days and nights all went well. And on

the third night, playing bridge till eleven o'clock, he had reason to be

proud of himself. His restlessness he successfully hid, but as luck

would have it, Lilian Gersdale was his opponent on his right. She was a

frail delicate flower of a woman, and in his night-mood her very frailty

incensed him. Not that he loved her less, but that he felt almost

irresistibly impelled to reach out and paw and maul her. Especially was

this true when she was engaged in playing a winning hand against him.

He had one of the deer-hounds brought in, and, when it seemed he must

fly to pieces with the tension, a caressing hand laid on the animal

brought him relief. These contacts with the hairy coat gave him instant

easement and enabled him to play out the evening. Nor did any one guess

the terrible struggle their host was making, the while he laughed so

carelessly and played so keenly and deliberately.

When they separated for the night, he saw to it that he parted from

Lilian in the presence of the others. Once on his sleeping porch, and

safely locked in, he doubled and tripled and even quadrupled his

exercises until, exhausted, he lay down on the couch to woo sleep and to

ponder two problems that especially troubled him. One was this matter

of exercise. It was a paradox. The more he exercised in this excessive

fashion, the stronger he became. While it was true that he thus quite

tired out his night-running Teutonic self, it seemed that he was merely

setting back the fatal day when his strength would be too much for him

and overpower him, and then it would be a strength more terrible than he

had yet known. The other problem was that of his marriage and of the

stratagems he must employ in order to avoid his wife after dark. And

thus fruitlessly pondering he fell asleep.

Now, where the huge grizzly bear came from that night was long a

mystery, while the people of the Springs Brothers' Circus, showing at

Sausalito, searched long and vainly for "Big Ben, the Biggest Grizzly in

Captivity." But Big Ben escaped, and, out of the mazes of half a

thousand bungalows and country estates, selected the grounds of James J.

Ward for visitation. The first Mr. Ward knew was when he found himself

on his feet, quivering and tense, a surge of battle in his breast and on

his lips the old war-chant. From without came a wild baying and

bellowing of the hounds. And sharp as a knife-thrust through the

pandemonium came the agony of a stricken dog--his dog, he knew.

Not stopping for slippers, pajama-clad, he burst through the door Lee

Sing had so carefully locked, and sped down the stairs and out into the

night. As his naked feet struck the graveled driveway, he stopped

abruptly, reached under the steps to a hiding-place he knew well, and

pulled forth a huge knotty club--his old companion on many a mad night

adventure on the hills. The frantic hullabaloo of the dogs was coming

nearer, and, swinging the club, he sprang straight into the thickets to

meet it.

The aroused household assembled on the wide veranda. Somebody turned on

the electric lights, but they could see nothing but one another's

frightened faces. Beyond the brightly illuminated driveway the trees

formed a wall of impenetrable blackness. Yet somewhere in that blackness

a terrible struggle was going on. There was an infernal outcry of

animals, a great snarling and growling, the sound of blows being struck,

and a smashing and crashing of underbrush by heavy bodies.

The tide of battle swept out from among the trees and upon the driveway

just beneath the onlookers. Then they saw. Mrs. Gersdale cried out and

clung fainting to her son. Lilian, clutching the railing so

spasmodically that a bruising hurt was left in her finger-ends for days,

gazed horror-stricken at a yellow-haired, wild-eyed giant whom she

recognized as the man who was to be her husband. He was swinging a great

club, and fighting furiously and calmly with a shaggy monster that was

bigger than any bear she had ever seen. One rip of the beast's claws had

dragged away Ward's pajama-coat and streaked his flesh with blood.

While most of Lilian Gersdale's fright was for the man beloved, there

was a large portion of it due to the man himself. Never had she dreamed

so formidable and magnificent a savage lurked under the starched shirt

and conventional garb of her betrothed. And never had she had any

conception of how a man battled. Such a battle was certainly not modern;

nor was she there beholding a modern man, though she did not know it.

For this was not Mr. James J. Ward, the San Francisco business man, but

one unnamed and unknown, a crude, rude savage creature who, by some

freak of chance, lived again after thrice a thousand years.

The hounds, ever maintaining their mad uproar, circled about the fight,

or dashed in and out, distracting the bear. When the animal turned to

meet such flanking assaults, the man leaped in and the club came down.

Angered afresh by every such blow, the bear would rush, and the man,

leaping and skipping, avoiding the dogs, went backwards or circled to

one side or the other. Whereupon the dogs, taking advantage of the

opening, would again spring in and draw the animal's wrath to them.

The end came suddenly. Whirling, the grizzly caught a hound with a wide

sweeping cuff that sent the brute, its ribs caved in and its back

broken, hurtling twenty feet. Then the human brute went mad. A foaming

rage flecked the lips that parted with a wild inarticulate cry, as it

sprang in, swung the club mightily in both hands, and brought it down

full on the head of the uprearing grizzly. Not even the skull of a

grizzly could withstand the crushing force of such a blow, and the

animal went down to meet the worrying of the hounds. And through their

scurrying leaped the man, squarely upon the body, where, in the white

electric light, resting on his club, he chanted a triumph in an unknown

tongue--a song so ancient that Professor Wertz would have given ten

years of his life for it.

His guests rushed to possess him and acclaim him, but James Ward,

suddenly looking out of the eyes of the early Teuton, saw the fair frail

Twentieth Century girl he loved, and felt something snap in his brain.

He staggered weakly toward her, dropped the club, and nearly fell.

Something had gone wrong with him. Inside his brain was an intolerable

agony. It seemed as if the soul of him were flying asunder. Following

the excited gaze of the others, he glanced back and saw the carcass of

the bear. The sight filled him with fear. He uttered a cry and would

have fled, had they not restrained him and led him into the bungalow.

* * * * *

James J. Ward is still at the head of the firm of Ward, Knowles & Co.

But he no longer lives in the country; nor does he run of nights after

the coyotes under the moon. The early Teuton in him died the night of

the Mill Valley fight with the bear. James J. Ward is now wholly James

J. Ward, and he shares no part of his being with any vagabond

anachronism from the younger world. And so wholly is James J. Ward

modern, that he knows in all its bitter fullness the curse of civilized

fear. He is now afraid of the dark, and night in the forest is to him a

thing of abysmal terror. His city house is of the spick and span order,

and he evinces a great interest in burglar-proof devices. His home is a

tangle of electric wires, and after bed-time a guest can scarcely

breathe without setting off an alarm. Also, he has invented a

combination keyless door-lock that travelers may carry in their vest

pockets and apply immediately and successfully under all circumstances.

But his wife does not deem him a coward. She knows better. And, like any

hero, he is content to rest on his laurels. His bravery is never

questioned by those of his friends who are aware of the Mill Valley