Chapter 39

           Overthecoffee,inhislittleroom,Martinreadnextmorning’spaper. Itwasanovelexperiencetofindhimselfhead-lined,onthefirstpageatthat; andhewassurprisedtolearnthathewasthemostnotoriousleaderoftheOaklandsocialists. Heranovertheviolentspeechthecubreporterhadconstructedforhim,and,thoughatfirsthewasangeredbythefabrication,intheendhetossedthepaperasidewithalaugh. 

           "Eitherthemanwasdrunkorcriminallymalicious,"hesaidthatafternoon,fromhisperchonthebed,whenBrissendenhadarrivedanddroppedlimplyintotheonechair. 

           "Butwhatdoyoucare?"Brissendenasked. "Surelyyoudon’tdesiretheapprovalofthebourgeoisswinethatreadthenewspapers?" 

           Martinthoughtforawhile,thensaid:- 

           "No,Ireallydon’tcarefortheirapproval,notawhit. Ontheotherhand,it’sverylikelytomakemyrelationswithRuth’sfamilyatrifleawkward. HerfatheralwayscontendedIwasasocialist,andthismiserablestuffwillclinchhisbelief. NotthatIcareforhisopinionbutwhat’stheodds? IwanttoreadyouwhatI’vebeendoingto-day. It’s‘Overdue,’ofcourse,andI’mjustabouthalfwaythrough." 

           HewasreadingaloudwhenMariathrustopenthedoorandusheredinayoungmaninanattysuitwhoglancedbrisklyabouthim,notingtheoil-burnerandthekitcheninthecornerbeforehisgazewanderedontoMartin. 

           "Sitdown,"Brissendensaid. 

           Martinmaderoomfortheyoungmanonthebedandwaitedforhimtobroachhisbusiness. "Iheardyouspeaklastnight,Mr.Eden,andI’vecometointerviewyou,"hebegan. 

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