Randal, having now squeezed his orange dry, had no desire to waste his time in brushing up the rind with his coat-sleeve, so he unhooked his arm from Avenel's, and, looking at his watch, discovered he should be just in time for an appointment of the most urgent business, hailed a cab, and drove off.
He had realised that new men were needed in the direction of affairs in order to accomplish the more urgent, indispensable reforms; and very ambitious and intelligent as he was, knowing many things, he already had a programme, the application of which he was quite capable of attempting, in part at any rate.
But he became so urgent that I was at last compelled to answer. "Yes, that key, chance " "What is that you are saying?" he shouted with indescribable emotion. "There, read that!" I said, presenting a sheet of paper on which I had written. "But there is nothing in this," he answered, crumpling up the paper. "No, nothing until you proceed to read from the end to the beginning."
Narrow, tortuous, unworked substitutes for highways wound around and over steep, rocky hills, through miry creek bottoms, and over bridgeless streams, now so swollen as to be absolutely unfordable by less determined men, starting on a less urgent errand. For three weary, discouraging days they pressed onward through the dispiriting rain and over all the exhausting obstacles.
Old planters constantly tell you, that such cattle as they used to get are not now procurable for love or money. Within the last twenty years prices have more than doubled, because the demand for good plough-bullocks has been more urgent, as a consequence of increased cultivation, and the supply is not equal to the demand.
But the question of supplying food for this great array was every day becoming more urgent, and the remark of the Commissary-General that his Chief would soon have to seek his provisions in Pennsylvania was significant of the situation.
All he could do was to strive to shield his head from the blows that rained upon him, and breathe a prayer for succour in the midst of his urgent need. And then he heard a voice speaking in accents of authority: where had he heard that voice before? "Hold, men! have I not warned you to do him no hurt? Kill him not, but take him alive." That was the last thing Raymond remembered.
Stephen advanced quickly and shook hands with Mrs. Stonehouse, saying heartily: 'I am so glad you have come. I am honoured in being trusted. 'Thank you so much, Lady de Lannoy. I felt that you would not mind, especially when you know why we came. Indeed I had no choice. Pearl insisted on it; and when Pearl is urgent we who love her have all to give way. This is Pearl!
We find that while there is a perfectly genuine danger of fanaticism from the men who have unworldly ideals, the permanent and urgent danger of fanaticism is from the men who have worldly ideals. People who say that an ideal is a dangerous thing, that it deludes and intoxicates, are perfectly right. But the ideal which intoxicates most is the least idealistic kind of ideal.
In this: around every set of principles guiding men, there grows up a corresponding set of prejudices that with the majority in practice often supersede the principles; and these prejudices with the march of time assume such proportions, gather such power, both by the numbers of their adherents and the authority of many supporting them, that for a man of spirit, knowing them to be evil and urgent of resistance, there is needed a vigour and freedom of mind that but few understand and even fewer appreciate or encourage.