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Beresina where his dream had come to him, Ivan Berloff, Big Ivan of the Bridge. It was in the spring, as he walked behind the plow, and for a few minutes it had made his heart pound mightily.
That evening after the day's labor was done Ivan spoke to his wife Anna.
“Wife, we are going away from here."
There was a strange look in his big blue eyes, the look of a man to whom has come a vision.
“What is it, Ivan? Tell me."
And then he gathered his little wife to him and told her how the dream had come to him as he was plowing in the field. A wonderful dream.
“It wouldn't come to weak men. It is a dream that comes only to those who are strong and those who want —who want something they haven't got—who want what we want, Anna! What you and I and millions like us want, and over there we will get it.”
Anna took a small earthenware jar from a side-shelf, and placed it upon a mantel. From a knotted cloth about her neck she took a rouble and dropped it into the jar.
“It is to make legs for your dream, Ivan. It is a great distance to America and one rides on roubles.”
Through the hot, languorous summertime the dream grew until it became a part of him. All through the
long winter he and his wife worked steadily and earnestly toward their goal, putting every rouble that could possibly be spared into the precious hoard.
When at last Spring came, Ivan took up the earthenware pot and carried it to the table, spilled its contents upon the well-scrubbed boards and together they counted it.
"It is enough. We will go at once. I am glad, for the dream is upon me and I hate this place.”
All the little village rendered assistance and it was not long before, hand in hand, the big man and his little wife were on their way.
They came to Bobruisk and were walking down a dark side street when they saw a score of men and women creep from the door of a squat, unpainted building. Then from the corner of the street came a cry of “Police !” and mounted policemen charged down the dark thoroughfare swinging their swords at the scurrying men and women who raced for shelter. Big Ivan dragged Anna into a doorway, and towards their hiding place ran a young boy, who, like themselves, had no connection with the group and who merely desired to get out of harm's way till the storm was over.
The boy, however, was not quick enough to escape the charge. A trooper overtook him before he reached the sidewalk, and knocked him prostrate with a quick stroke given with the flat side of his sword.
Ivan growled like an angry bear, and sprang from his hiding place, but Anna dragged him back into the passageway.
"Ivan! Ivan! Remember the dream! America, Ivan! Come this way!"
They left Bobruisk next morning. The real journey had begun. On and on went the train, the wheels singing the song of the road.
When they reached the seaport, the master of the Harbor spoke to Ivan and Anna as they watched the restless water.
“Where are you going, children?” “To America.”
“A long way. Three ships bound for America went down last month."
“Ours will not sink.”
The Harbor master smiled as he walked swiftly away, but he dropped a rouble into Anna's hand as he passed her. “For luck. May the little saints look after you on the big waters."
The Atlantic was kind to the ship that carried Ivan and Anna. Through sunny days they sat on the deck and watched the horizon, for they wanted to be among those who would get the first glimpse of the wonderland.
They saw it one fine morning with sunshine and warm winds. The two left the Government Ferryboat at the Battery and started to walk up town.
The city was bathed in sunlight and the well dressed men and women who crowded the sidewalks made the immigrants think it was a festal day.
“They are dressed like princes and princesses. There are no poor here, Anna, none."
Like two simple children they walked along the streets of the City of Wonders. What a contrast it was to
the gray, stupid towns, where the Terror waited to spring upon the crowded people. Ivan and Anna attempted to cross the Avenue, but they became confused in the snarl of traffic. Anna screamed, and, in response, a traffic policeman, resplendent in a new uniform, rushed to her side, took her arm and flung up a commanding hand at which the charging autos stopped.
“Don't be flurried, little woman. Sure I can tame 'em by lifting me hand.” And in front of the automobiles he led her, with a sharp whistle unloosed the waiting stream of cars that had been held up so two Russian immigrants could cross the avenue in safety.
Big Ivan of the Bridge reached out his arm to Anna.
The President was nearing the close of his address, and Ivan came out of his trance. He sat up and listened intently.
We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.
They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let those great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them, nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.
The President finished. For a moment he stood looking at the faces turned up to him, and it seemed to Ivan and his little wife that the President smiled at them. Ivan seized Anna's hand and held it tight.
“He knew of my dream! He knew of it. Ah, Anna, my wife
we are citizens now—you and I.” The band started to play "My Country 'Tis of