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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter III
Let me tell one more story which expresses even more fully this attitude of human kindness. One day when the lunch bell went, a great, hulking, dirty, elderly man - whose appearance was terrible and who smelt to high heaven - came up to me and said, "Come around the corner with me. I want to speak to you." I have never been afraid of men and I went around the corner with him. He stuck his hand down into his jeans and hauled out half a clean, white [131] apron. He said, "See here, Miss, I swiped this off my wife this morning and I'm going to hang it on a nail here. I don't like your drying your hands on that dirty rag in the women's room. I've got the other half and will hang it up when this gets dirty." He turned on his heel before I had time to thank him and never spoke to me again, but there was always a clean rag for me on which to wipe my hands.

I am quite sure that we get what we give in life. I had learnt not to be snooty; I wasn't preachy; I just tried to be polite and kind and, therefore, got politeness and kindness from other people and anyone can do the same - which is the moral of my tale. I remember a few years ago a woman who came to consult me in my office in New York. The burden of her story was that she was having an awful time; everybody was gossiping about her; she did not know how to stop it. She cried and she wept; the world was cruel in what it said and wouldn't I please help her. Never having seen her before and not knowing any of the facts of the case, I did what I could. Curiously enough, a few days later I went into a restaurant and sat down with my husband, Foster Bailey, in a booth. In the next booth I saw this woman though she did not see me. She was with a friend and talking in a loud, clear voice and I could hear every word she said. What she didn't say about her friends is beyond belief. Not a kind word passed her lips. She was giving to her friend what is vulgarly called "the dirt" about all her acquaintances. By listening to her I solved her problem, and when she next came in to see me I told her about it, perhaps rashly for I have never seen her since. She probably did not like me and she certainly did not like the truth.

This work in the factory went on for several months. Walter Evans, in the meantime, had left Montana and had [132] gone to a university in the east to take a postgraduate course. I seldom heard from him. No money came from him and in 1916 I consulted a lawyer about getting a divorce. I could not face the prospect of going back to him or subjecting the children to his tempers and sulkiness. He had given no indication that he had learned anything and evidenced no sense of responsibility where the children and I were concerned. In 1917, when the United States entered the war, he went out to France with the Y.M.C.A., and was in France for the duration. He did most distinguished work and was given the Croix de Guerre. I, therefore, cancelled the divorce proceedings at that time, as there was a strong feeling against women getting divorces when their husbands were absent at the front. It never seemed to me really logical, because the man at the front or the man at home are just the same people. I've never understood, either, why every single soldier in the army is regarded as a hero. He has probably been drafted and has no alternative. I know soldiers very well and I know how they detest the "hero" talk of the newspapers and the public.

I had given up writing to him and began to feel a great sense of relief because he was so far away. The children were well and a great joy and I was all right though I only weighed 99 pounds. I had managed to take care of them and I seemed to be slowly weathering the storm. I was still in the dark, spiritually, but was too busy earning money and taking care of the three little girls to have time to wonder about my soul. [133]

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