Chapter LXXVIII
 

As the Keiths, on the way, drove across what is now Harbour View, they stopped to watch a bark standing out through the Golden Gate before the gentle morning land breeze. She made a pretty sight, for the new-risen sun whitened her sails. Aboard her was the arch-plotter, Morrell. Had they known of that fact, it is to be doubted whether they would have felt any great disappointment over his escape, or any deep animosity at all. The outcome of his efforts had been clarifying. The bark was bound for the Sandwich Islands. Morrell's dispositions for flight at a moment's notice had been made long since; in fact, since the first days of Vigilante activity. He lingered in the islands for some years, at first cutting quite a dash; then, as his money dwindled and his schemes failed, he degenerated slowly. His latter end was probably as a small copra trader in the South Seas; but that is unknown. Mrs. Morrell--if indeed she was the man's legal wife at all--thus frankly abandoned, put a bold front on the whole matter. She returned to her house. As the Keiths in no manner molested her, she took heart. With no resources other than heavily mortgaged real property, she found herself forced to do something for a living. In the course of events we see Mrs. Morrell keeping a flashy boarding-house, hanging precariously on the outer fringe of the lax society of the times, frowned upon by the respectable, but more or less sought by the fast men and young girls only too numerous among the idle of that day.

Ben Sansome went south. For twenty years he lived in Los Angeles, where he cut a figure, but from which he always cast longing eyes back upon San Francisco. He had a furtive lookout for arrivals from the north. One day, however, he came face to face with Keith. As the latter did not annihilate him on the spot, Sansome plucked up courage. He returned to San Francisco, There in time he attained a position dear to his heart; he became an "old beau," frequenting the teas and balls, appraising the debutantes, giving his opinion on vintage wines, leading a comfortable, idle, selfish, useless, graceful life. His only discomfort was his occasional encounters with the Keiths. Mrs. Keith never distinguished him from thin air unless others were present. Keith had always in his eye a gleam of contempt which, perhaps, Sansome acknowledged, was natural; but it was a contempt with a dash of amusement in it, and that galled. Still--Ben was satisfied. He gained the distinction of having discovered the epicurean value of sand- dabs.

The Sherwoods founded the family of that name.

Terry, arrested for the stabbing of Hopkins, was at first very humble, promising to resign his Supreme Court Judgeship. As time went on he became arrogant. The Committee of Vigilance was rather at a loss. If Hopkins died, they could do no less than hang Terry: and they realized fully that in executing a Justice of the Supreme Court they were entering deep waters. To the relief of everybody Hopkins fully recovered. After being held closely in custody, Terry was finally released, with a resolution that he be declared unfit for office. Once free, however, he revised his intention of resigning. His subsequent career proved as lawless and undisciplined as its earlier promise. Finally he was killed while in the act of attempting to assassinate Justice Stephen Field, an old, weak, helpless, and unarmed man. If Terry holds any significance in history, it is that of being the strongest factor in the complete wrecking of the Law and Order party!

For with the capture of the arsenals, and all their arms, open opposition to the Committee of Vigilance came to an end. The Executive Committee continued its work. Numberless malefactors and suspects were banished; two more men, Hetherington and Brace, were solemnly hanged. On the 8th. of August the cells were practically empty. It was determined to disband on the 21st.

That ceremony was signalized by a parade on the 18th. Four regiments of infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, a battalion of riflemen, a battalion of pistol men, and a battalion of police were in line. The entire city turned out to cheer.

As for the effects of this movement, the reader must be referred to the historians. It is sufficient to say that for years San Francisco enjoyed a model government and almost complete immunity from crime.

One evening about twilight two men stood in the gathering shadows of the Plaza. They were old friends, but had in times of stress stood on opposite sides. The elder man shook his head skeptically.

"That is all very well," said he, "but where are your Vigilantes now?"

The other raised his hand toward the great bell of the Monumental silhouetted against the afterglow in the sky.

"Toll that bell, sir, and you will see!" replied Coleman solemnly.