They are unequaled. Human documents, heart-interest, delicate and piquant sex-tang the very sort of thing the dear public devours. I told you once they meant a great deal to me, remember? They're going to mean more. Come about four, please." He lifted his hat, bowed, and was gone. Mary Virginia went to his office at four o'clock the next afternoon, as he had planned she should.
But just as the half-obliterated figures take form and life as our eyes grow accustomed to the dimness, and our minds get attuned to the days that knew their living representatives, so these women of whom we are speaking may live again for us if only we treat their works as human documents, and not as archæological curiosities.
In spite of his expressed scepticism, I could see that he was eager to learn what the product was really like. Strong, meanwhile, had opened the safe and was going over the papers. A low exclamation from him brought us around the little pile of documents. He was holding a will in which nearly everything belonging to Cushing was left to Miss Winslow.
In the first place, those who have for a long time studied documents of a given class or of a given period possess, in regard to these, incommunicable knowledge in virtue of which they are able to deal better than others with new documents which they may meet with of the same class or period; nothing can replace the "special erudition" which is the specialist's reward for hard work.
Although the social position of the pastor in a German village is less than that of a minor Government official, yet he and his wife wield considerable influence. The leading pastors receive each week many of the Government propaganda documents, including a digest carefully prepared for them by the foreign Press Department.
His correspondence, which was seized by the French Government, was at first placed amongst the documents to be produced on the trial of Georges, Moreau, and the other prisoners; but in the course of the preliminary proceedings the Grand Judge received directions to detach them, and make them the subject of a special report to the First Consul, in order that their publication beforehand might influence public opinion, and render it unfavourable to those who were doomed to be sacrificed.
At Tell-Sifr, Abu-Habba, and elsewhere, many thousands also have been found, belonging chiefly to the second period. A feature of these documents is the invocation of the gods, introduced for various purposes, at times in connection with oaths, at times as a guarantee against the renewal of claims.
In the midst of this financial confusion Law appeared upon the scene. No man felt more deeply than the Regent the deplorable state of the country, but no man could be more averse from putting his shoulders manfully to the wheel. He disliked business; he signed official documents without proper examination, and trusted to others what he should have undertaken himself.
The same resolution provided that his name hitherto used in all public acts should be for ever discarded, that his seal should be broken, and that the name and seal of the Prince of Orange should be substituted in all commissions and public documents. At almost the same time the states of Utrecht passed a similar resolution.
"Good evening, Dorling," he said. "Before you do anything else I should advise you to secure those charred fragments of paper from the grate. I know nothing about this affair, but some one has been burning documents." The detective went down on his hands and knees. With delicate touch he rescued all that was possible of them, and made a careful little parcel.