Upton Sinclair, ed. (18781968). The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.
By Frederik van Eeden
(The most widely read of modern Dutch novels, this story of the life of Little Johannes is perhaps the most successful of the many attempts that have been made to portray the coming of Jesus into the modern world. Johannes is a boy of good family, who meets a strange, homeless workingman, to whom he becomes devoted, and whom he calls his Brother. In the present selection Jesus has been held for examination as to his sanity)
DOES he often have those whims, Johannes, asked Dr. Cijfer, when he will not speak?
He was not questioned in such a blunt manner as that, explained Doctor Cijfer. I asked about his extraction, his age, the health of his father and mother, about his own youth, and so forththe usual memory promptings. Will you not give us some further information concerning him? Remember, it is of real importance to your brother.
Markus had on a dark-blue linen blouse, such as all the patients of the working-class wear. He stood tall and erect, and Johannes observed that his face was less pale and sad than usual. The blue became his dark curling hair, and Johannes felt happy and confident as he looked at himstanding there so proud and calm and handsome.
Colleague! exclaimed Dr. Cijfer, in gentle expostulation. And then, as he enclosed Markuss head with the shining craniometer, he gave the measurement figures. A considerable time passed, nothing being heard save the low voice of the doctor dictating the figures. Then, as if proceeding with his present occupation, taking advantage of what he considered a compliant mood of the patient, the crafty doctor fancied he saw his opportunity, and said:
Professor Bommeldoos grew impatient, and snapped at the doctor aside, in a smothered voice: Do not argue, Colleague, do not argue! Megalomaniacs are smarter, and sometimes have subtler dialectic faculties than you have. Just let me conduct the examination.
After that he uttered not a word. Dr. Cijfer questioned with gentle stress, Professor Bommeldoos with vehement energy; but Markus was silent, and seemed not to notice that there were others in the room.
Mijnheer, replied Johannes, I know but little more of him than you do yourself. I met him two years ago, and he is my dearest friend; but I have seen him rarely, and have never inquired about his life nor his origin.