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DRAGON'S

TEETH

Upton Sinclair

The Viking Press New York

1942

Contents

Book One: The Morning Opes Her Golden Gates

I. THE OLD BEGINNING

3

II. THOSE FRIENDS THOU HAST 22

III. AND THEIR ADOPTION TRIED 42

IV CAN CALL SPIRITS

64

V. FROM THE VASTY DEEP

82

Book Two: A Cloud That's Dragonish

VI. DEUTSCHLAND ERWACHE!

103

VII. I HAVE SEEN TEMPESTS 126

VIII. TO GIVE AND TO SHARE 147

IX. LAND WHERE MY FATHERS DIED

167

X. CONSCIENCE DOTH MAKE COWARDS

188

Book Three: Blow, Winds, and Crack Your Cheeks

XI. 'TIS WOMAN'S WHOLE EXISTENCE

211

XII. PLEASURE AT THE HELM 234

XIII. EVEN TO THE EDGE OF DOOM 255

XIV. THE STORMY WINDS DO BLOW

276

XV. DIE STRASSE FREI299

Book Four: As on a Darkling Plain

XVI.

ROOT OF ALL EVIL

323

XVII.

WILL YOU WALK INTO MY PARLOR? 346

XVIII.

I AM A JEW

369

XIX.

NO PEACE IN ZION

392

XX.

SUFFERANCE IS THE BADGE 415

Book Five: This Is the Way the World Ends

XXI. IN FRIENDSHIP'S NAME

441

XXII. STILL GET MONEY, BOY!

463

XXIII. ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD

483

XXIV. DIE JUDEN SIND SCHULD

503

Book Six: Blood Hath Been Shed

XXV.

GRASPING AT AIR

531

XXVI.

OUT OF THIS NETTLE, DANGER

553

XXVII. A DEED OF DREADFUL NOTE 575

XXVIII. BLOODY INSTRUCTIONS

594

XXIX.

TOO DEEP FOR TEARS 6 l l

BOOK ONE

The Morning Opens Her Golden Gates

1

The Old Beginning

I

LANNY BUDD was the only occupant of a small-sized reception-room. He was seated in a well-padded armchair, and had every reason to be comfortable, but did not appear so. He fidgeted a good deal, and found occasions for looking at his watch; then he would examine his fingernails, which needed no attention; he would look for specks of lint on his tropical worsted trousers, from which he had removed the last speck some time ago. He would look out of the window, which gave on one of the fashionable avenues of the city of Cannes; but he had already become familiar with the view, and it did not change. He had a popular novel on his knee, and every now and then would find that he could not interest himself in the conversation of a set of smart society people.

Now and then one of several white-clad nurses would pass through the room. Lanny had

asked them so many questions that he was ashamed to speak again. He knew that all husbands

behave irrationally at this time; he had seen a group of them in a stage play, slightly risqué but

harmless. They all fidgeted and consulted their watches; they all got up and walked about

needlessly; they all bored the nurses with futile questions. The nurses had stereotyped replies,

which, except for the language, were the same all over the world. "Oui, oui, monsieur. . . . Tout

va bien. . . . Il faut laisser faire. . . . Ilfaut du temps. . . . C’est la nature."

Many times Lanny had heard that last statement in the Midi; it was a formula which excused

many things. He had heard it more than once that afternoon, but it failed to satisfy him. He

was in rebellion against nature and her ways. He hadn't had much suffering in his own life,

and didn't want other people to suffer; he thought that if he had been consulted he could have

suggested many improvements in the ways of this fantastic universe. The business of having

people grow old and pass off the scene, and new ones having to be supplied! He knew persons

who had carefully trained and perfected themselves; they were beautiful to look at, or

possessed knowledge and skills, yet they had to die before long — and, knowing that fact, must

provide a new lot to take their places.

Lanny Budd belonged to the leisure classes. You could tell it by a single glance at his smiling

unlined face, his tanned skin with signs of well-nourished blood in it, his precise little mustache,

his brown hair neatly trimmed and brushed, his suit properly tailored and freshly pressed, his

shirt and tie, shoes and socks, harmonizing in color and of costly materials. It had been some time

since he had seen any bloodshed or experienced personal discomfort. His life had been arranged

to that end, and the same was true of his wife. But now this damnable messy business, this

long-drawn-out strain and suffering—good God, what were doctors and scientists for if they

couldn't devise something to take the place of this! It was like a volcanic eruption in a well-ordered

and peaceful community; not much better because you could foresee the event, going in advance

to an immaculate hospice de la maternité and engaging a room at so much per week, an

accoucheur at so much for the job.

A surgeon! A fellow with a lot of shiny steel instruments, prepared to assist nature in opening

a woman up and getting a live and kicking infant out of her! It had seemed incredible to Lanny

the first time he had heard about it, a youngster playing with the fisherboys of this Mediterranean

coast, helping them pull strange creatures out of the sea and hearing them talk about the "facts

of life." It seemed exactly as incredible to him at this moment, when he knew that it was going

on in a room not far away, the victim his beautiful young playmate whom he had come to love

so deeply. His too vivid imagination was occupied with the bloody details, and he would clench

his hands until the knuckles were white. His protest against nature mounted to a clamor. He

thought: "Any way but this! Anything that's decent and sensible!" He addressed his ancient

mother, asking why she hadn't stuck to the method of the egg, which seemed to work so well with

birds and snakes and lizards and fishes? But these so-called "warm-blooded creatures," that had

so much blood and spilled it so easily!

II

Lanny knew that Irma didn't share these feelings. Irma was a "sensible woman," not troubled

with excess of imagination. She had said many times: "Don't worry. I'll be all right. It doesn't

last forever." Everybody agreed that this young Juno was made for motherhood; she had ridden

horseback, swum, played tennis, and had a vigorous body. She hadn't turned pale when she

crossed the threshold of this hospital, or even when she heard the cries of another woman.

Things always went all right with Irma Barnes, and she had told Lanny to go home and play

the piano and forget her; but here he sat, and thought about the details which he had read in an

encyclopedia article entitled "Obstetrics." From boyhood he had had the habit of looking up

things in that dependable work; but, damn it all, the article gave an undue proportion of space

to "breech presentations" and other variations from the normal, and Lanny might just as well

have been in the delivery-room. He would have liked to go there, but that would have been

considered an extreme variation from the normal in this land of rigid conventions.

So he sat in the little reception-room, and now and then the perspiration would start on his

forehead, even though it was a cool spring day on the Riviera. He was glad that he had the

room to himself; at times, when somebody came through, he would lower his eyes to his book

and pretend to be absorbed. But if it was one of the nurses, he couldn't keep from stealing a

glance, hoping that it was the nurse and the moment. The woman would smile; the conventions

permitted her to smile at a handsome young gentleman, but did not permit her to go into

obstetrical details. "Tout va bien, monsieur. Soyez tranquille." In such places the wheel of life

revolves on schedule; those who tend the machinery acquire a professional attitude, their phrases

become standardized, and you have mass production of politeness as well as of babies.

III

Lanny Budd was summoned to the telephone. It was Pietro Corsatti, Italian-born American

who represented a New York newspaper in Rome and was having a vacation on the Riviera. He

had once done Lanny a favor, and now had been promised one in return. "Pete" was to have the

news the moment it happened; but it refused to happen, and maybe wasn't going to happen. "I

know how you feel," said the correspondent, sympathetically. "I've been through it."

"It's been four hours!" exclaimed the outraged young husband.

"It may be four more, and it may be twenty-four. Don't take it too hard. It's happened a lot of

times." The well-known cynicism of the journalist.

Lanny returned to his seat, thinking about an Italian-American with a strong Brooklyn accent

who had pushed his way to an important newspaper position, and had so many funny stories

to tell about the regime fascista and its leaders, whom, oddly enough, he called "wops." One of

his best stories was about how he had become the guide, philosopher, and friend of a New York

"glamour girl" who had got herself engaged to a fascinating aristocrat in Rome and had then made

the discovery that he was living with the ballerina of the opera and had no idea of giving her up.

The American girl had broken down and wept in Pete's presence, asking him what to do, and

he had told her: "Take a plane and fly straight to Lanny Budd, and ask him to marry you in

spite of the fact that you are too rich!"

It is tough luck when a journalist cannot publish his best story. Pete hadn't been asked not to,

but, all the same, he hadn't, so now Lanny was his friend for life, and would go out of his way

to give him a break whenever he could. They talked as pals, and Lanny didn't mind telling

what only a few of his friends knew, that Irma had done exactly what Pete had said, and she and

Lanny had been married on the day she had found him in London. As the Brooklyn dialect had

it, they had "gone right to it," and here was the result nine months later: Lanny sitting in a

reception-room of an hospice de la maternité, awaiting the arrival of Sir Stork, the blessed

event, the little bundle from heaven—he knew the phrases, because he and Irma had been in New

York and had read the "tabs" and listened to "radio reporters" shooting out gossip and slang

with the rapid-fire effect of a Budd machine gun.

Lanny had promised Pete a scoop; something not so difficult, because French newspapermen

were not particularly active in the pursuit of the knightly stork; the story might be cabled back

to Paris for the English language papers there. Lanny had hobnobbed with the correspondents

so much that he could guess what Pete would send in his "cablese" and how it would appear

dressed up by the rewrite man in the sweet land of liberty. Doubtless Pete had already sent a

"flash," and readers of that morning's newspapers were learning that Mrs. Lanny Budd, who

was Irma Barnes, the glamour girl of last season, was in a private hospital in Cannes awaiting

the blessed event.

The papers would supply the apposite details: that Irma was the only daughter of J.

Paramount Barnes, recently deceased utilities magnate, who had left her the net sum of twenty-

three million dollars; that her mother was one of the New York Vandringhams, and her uncle was

Horace Vandringham, Wall Street manipulator cleaned out in the recent market collapse; that

Irma's own fortune was said to have been cut in half, but she still owned a palatial estate on

Long Island, to which she was expected to return. The papers would add that the expectant

father was the son of Robert Budd of Budd Gunmakers Corporation of Newcastle, Connecticut;

that his mother was the famous international beauty, widow of Marcel Detaze, the French

painter whose work had created a sensation in New York last fall. Such details were eagerly

read by a public which lived upon the doings of the rich, as the ancient Greeks had lived upon

the affairs of the immortals who dwelt upon the snowy top of Mount Olympus.

IV

Lanny would have preferred that his child should be born outside the limelight, but he knew it

wasn't possible; this stream of electrons, or waves, or whatever it was, would follow Irma on

her travels—so long as she had the other half of her fortune. As a matter of fact the fortune

wasn't really diminished, for everybody else had lost half of his or hers, so the proportions

remained the same. Irma Barnes still enjoyed the status of royalty, and so did the fortunate

young man whom she had chosen for her prince consort. In the days of the ancien regime,

when a child was born to the queen of France it had been the long-established right of noblemen

and ladies to satisfy themselves that it was a real heir to the throne and no fraud; no stork

stories were accepted, but they witnessed with their own eyes the physical emergence of the

infant dauphin. Into the chamber of Marie Antoinette they crowded in such swarms that the

queen cried out that she was suffocating, and the king opened a window with his own hands. It

wasn't quite that bad now with the queen of the Barnes estate, but it was a fact that the

newspaper-reading and radio-listening public would have welcomed hourly bulletins as to what

was going on in this hospice de la maternité.

But, damn it, even Lanny himself didn't know what was going on! What was the use of

planning what to say to newspaper reporters about the heir or heiress apparent to the Barnes

fortune, when it refused so persistently to make itself apparent, and for all the prince consort

knew the surgeon might be engaged in a desperate struggle with a "cross-birth," or perhaps

having to cut the infant to pieces, or perform a Caesarean section to save its life! Lanny dug his

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