TO celebrate our freedom, Mr. Keen gave a party for all the defendants. It was also a farewell party for me, One of the guests -- the artist who made that cartoon on the wall in jail -- brought a painting and proposed that it be raffled off for the benefit of the International Labor Defense in appreciation of their work in getting us free. The picture depicted the police assault on us at the time of our arrest. There were many comments and jokes as the guests pointed out each other on the canvas.
"Aren't artists supposed to fight?" a young worker teasingly asked. "I don't see you in the picture."
"Stop picking on him," said the deep voice of the worker who had the physique of a giant. "An artist's job is to paint pictures." He turned to me with a smile, and his eyes twinkled as he said: "Didn't Lenin say 'from each according to his ability'" He held up a mighty fist, and added, "And my job is to sock them according to their needs!"
"Just like Hearst," teased the young worker. "The artist makes the picture and you make the war."
"Me like Hearst?" roared the giant. "Why you can't say that even in fun. I will start a war right here!"
There were cheers and shouts of laughter.
The music struck up and we began to dance. As we danced we sang. And when the orchestra stopped, we sang our own songs -- familiar to me in Russian, familiar to these Americans, familiar in all countries. We lost all sense of time and had completely forgotten that I was to return that night to the workers' homeland. Suddenly Mr. Keen reminded us. We arrived at the boat several minutes late. They were holding the gangplank ready for me.
I did not have time to shake hands with everybody. But, of course, I did have time to kiss the girl. As I was doing so, I felt someone thrust a large object under my arm, and as I went up the gangplank I noticed it was the picture that had been raffled off at the party. The man who had won it had given it to me. At first I thought it was a last personal kindness, but as I stepped on deck I saw the following words written in red ink on the back of the picture:
"To our Russian Comrades with Revolutionary Greetings from America."
As the boat pulled out I was profoundly sorry to leave this strange land in which I had found so many comrades. Suddenly my girl's voice rang out. "NICHEVO," she cried, "I'll join you in the Soviet Union -- soon."