The captain allowed me to have a candle and sit up in the saloon, where I worried through the night as I best might. How could I be in a fit condition to accept the attention of my friends in Liverpool, after sitting up every night for more than a week; and how could I be in a mood for the catechizing of interviewers, without having once lain down during the whole return passage?
Among the "occasional American visitors" spoken of above must have been some of those self-appointed or hired agents called "interviewers," who do for the American public what the Venetian spies did for the Council of Ten, what the familiars of the Inquisition did for the priesthood, who invade every public man's privacy, who listen at every key-hole, who tamper with every guardian of secrets; purveyors to the insatiable appetite of a public which must have a slain reputation to devour with its breakfast, as the monster of antiquity called regularly for his tribute of a spotless virgin.
They held the ground that Roosevelt retreated from and saved them from annihilation." To a Massachusetts soldier in another group of interviewers, the same question was put: "How about the colored soldiers?" "They fought like demons," came the answer. "Before El Caney was taken the Spaniards were on the heights of San Juan with heavy guns.
"We can't deny it, but we will not affirm it. We will tell interviewers that we prefer not to talk about it." "It's our only chance," replied Stevens, cautiously. "Yes; and we owe it all to Jake Steinert," went on Peabody. "That fellow Telfer will do anything to please Jake. Jake has convinced Telfer that Langdon was responsible for the defeat of Gulf City, and the Mayor is wild for revenge."
It had always been reckoned a little mysterious that nothing whatever had been known of Bernard Maddison's antecedents, great though had been his fame, and assiduous his interviewers.
"He come from the Africa, and his name is Noah good name for so much drink, I reckon." "Yes," say the eager interviewers, "go on." "Go on! Go on yourselves. That's all." There is no profit in catechising Corkey. He has spoken. There is Indian blood in him. He saw nothing. It was dark. "It wasn't no shipwreck, I tell you: not like a real shipwreck. She just drap. She's where she belongs now.
But it was a revelation to us that it was possible to keep so quiet as that in the latter half of the nineteenth century the age of newspapers and telegrams and photographs and interviewers. And she had taken no great trouble about it either: she had not hidden herself away in an undiscoverable hole; she had boldly settled down in a city of exhibition.
In no time at all, as it seemed, another and more formidable tentacle had folded round me in the shape of two interviewers. I had been warned by Americans of its piquant dangers. And here I was suddenly up against it! Beneath a casual and jaunty exterior, I trembled. I wanted to sit, but dared not. They stood; I stood. These two men, however, were adepts.
"Not at all, my dear," said the Great Author firmly. "Your present style of dress becomes you amazingly. I am the only one who has to do the primitive." So the arrangements were completed. The interviewers who came to the house described the Great Author in his loose flannels and velveteens, with bare feet, returning from labor in the fields. The moving pictures were full of him.
As it was, a hunt of interviewers ensued for us severally and jointly. I could remain aloof in my hotel apartment, returning answer to such guardians of the public right to know everything that I had nothing to say of Gorky's domestic affairs; for the public interest had now strayed far from the revolution, and centred entirely upon these.
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