Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/122

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man to shame. These traits are all the more extraordinary because they are found in a race who for centuries have been steeped in superstition with its attendant cruelty, and who are considered incapable even of love because they sell their women.

“You, Le Blanc, naturally break out and want to burn them alive. Lemois, more humane, as he always is, would exercise more patience if he could see anything to build upon. You are both wrong. Indeed, between the educated white man freed from all restraint and turned loose in a savage wilderness, and the uneducated savage I would have more hope of the cannibal than the freebooter, and I say this because the older I grow the more I am convinced that with a great majority of men, public opinion, and public opinion only, keeps them straight, and that when they are far from these restraints they often stoop to a lower level than the savage, unless some form of religion controls their actions. To make this clear I will tell you two stories.

“My first is about a young fellow, a graduate of one of the first universities of Europe. I am not going to preach, nor throw any blame. Some of us in our twenties might have done