HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE
EARLY one morning I was making ready to leave the apartment in order to meet my girl, when Mr. Keen declared: "This is the date set for your trial. And you had better be there -- I want that bail money back." As he said the last words, there was a twinkle in his eye.
When we arrived at the courtroom, we found it packed with sympathetic workers. Several lawyers from the International Labor Defense were present to defend us. One of them informed me that several thousand letters and telegrams protesting against our arrest, addressed to the judge, came from all parts of the country.
A few minutes later the lawyer returned with the news that the charges against us would not be pressed! Mr. Keen got his money back, but his prophecy proved correct: my visa was not renewed, and I was told that I would have to leave the country.
The Soviet trading vessel, which was to take me home, was in port, and I took my girl down to see it and to meet the comrades from my homeland. Two German seamen, whose ship was docked near by, were visiting aboard our ship.
We all stayed for dinner. The Captain sat between the two German seamen, who were guests of honor. One of the Germans lifted his glass to the Captain and said: "Just imagine our Captain, or any captain on a Hitler boat, sitting down to table with the crew!"
"The captain doesn't eat with the crew on American ships either," said my girl.
"But Hitler promised a revolution," said the German sailor. "He promised us lots -- he was going to satisfy everybody."
"That sounds just like Huey Long and Father Coughlin," said my girl, looking to me for approval.
"But the only promises he fulfilled were the promises he made to his financiers," exclaimed the German sailor. "They used to hold us down with words," he said very quietly but with terrible intensity. "Now they use bullets and the executioner's axe. They have nothing more to use. Our turn comes next!