Every Week

$100 a Year

Copyright, 1917, By the Crowell Publishing Co.
© July 16, 1917
Retta Rosemary by Nancy Gunter Boykin

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The Times that Try Men's Souls

MOST of us had our little spiritual worlds in apple-pie order in July, 1914.

We had figured out a comfortable philosophy for ourselves.

The world was a good place to live in: it was gradually growing better.

War was a thing of the past. With woman suffrage, widows' pensions, minimum wage laws, direct primaries, national prohibition, and all the rest, we were almost within sight of the millennium.

God in His Heaven, all right with the world.

And then, suddenly, out of the clouds there burst upon us the most terrible war in the history of the world, shattering our comfortable philosophies, rocking our faith.

We saw school-teachers, lawyers, bankers, and clergymen marching forth in clean new uniforms—cultured, civilized human beings. A day or two of war, and presto! mud and blood spattered, they were tearing at one another like savages.

I remember once talking to an ex-missionary who had worked in Turkey.

He had come back to this country, resigned from the ministry, and entered business.

"I should like to go on believing," he said; "but how can I, when I have seen the helpless Armenians massacred in the streets for no crime except that of being Christians? How can I continue to believe in a God who allows His people to perish because they worship Him?"

B. Fay Mills, the great evangelist, traveled in his middle years through some of the towns where he had held meetings as a young man and gained thousands of converts.

His converts had back-slidden: there was almost nothing to show that the towns had ever been swept by a great religious revival.

Mills, saddened, exclaimed: "If the work was of God, why did not God preserve it?" And he ceased to call himself a Christian.

Thousands of men have, in the quiet of their own hearts, gone through a searching process in the past two years.

Is all civilization, then, a sham? Is all our faith in a gradual progress toward better things a mere delusion? Is there no God? Or, if there be a God, is He One who does not care—who sits idly in His heaven, watching the evil in the world blot out the good?

A hundred years ago the wars of Napoleon shook men's faith as the war with Germany has shaken it to-day.

The finest young men of Europe bled to death; the wealth of civilization spilled in war to feed one man's crazed ambition.

Why were such things allowed to be?

In the search for the answer to that question, men lost their faith.

But one man, Baron Stein, did not lose faith. It was his influence on Prussia and Austria, and later on the unstable Czar, that did as much as anything else to compass the downfall of Napoleon.

"His whole conduct at this period," says Andrew D. White, "and indeed throughout all the years of his official life, was due, not merely to his hatred of the oppressor of his country, but to a deep faith that Napoleon's career was a challenge to the Almighty, and that it therefore could not continue."

Against that faith Napoleon fought in vain.

We have passed through trying days: we face days even more difficult.

It is no time to lose faith. It is a time to know, as Stein knew, that we fight to win, because there fight against' us those whose whole career in this war has been "a challenge to the Almighty"—such a challenge as never has and never can finally prevail.

Bruce Barton, Editor.

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Illustrations by Robert McCaig


"'Why did you run away, child? You don't have to run from me.'"

WHEN Madame Le Page, after a confidential chat with the police, decided to move her beauty parlors to green fields and pastures new, Loretta Benson shed a few tears on her friend's ample bosom, then philosophically powdered her nose and cast about for another abode.

The "Furnished Rooms" column in the paper offered one shelter that Retta felt was near enough Park Avenue to have style and near enough Lexington to be inexpensive; so, with two shabby suitcases, three hat-boxes, and a bird-cage, she set out in a taxicab for Cornelia Podmore's.

Cornelia was a born librarian. Her small, sharp eyes and pointed nose seemed designed for peering into musty books, and visions so vividly gay as Loretta Benson rarely came within her knowledge.

"'The face that launched a thousand ships,'" was Cornelia's first startled thought; then her gaze took in the green sport coat, the striped green stockings, the languishing sweep of the huge velvet hat. "But a chorus girl!" was her outraged conclusion.

Her decision was prompt, although it meant tea and crackers indefinitely.

"I've decided not to rent the room," she declared emphatically.

Loretta, however, had optimistically paid the cab-driver—indeed, a hurried comparison of the taxi-meter and her pocket-book had made this necessary—and had dragged her baggage up three flights; so she dropped her burdens in the hall and amicably elbowed past Cornelia.

"Some stairs," she panted, perching on the arm of a chair in Cornelia's little sitting-room. "But it's great when you get here." She glanced admiringly about. "I don't know where I'll go, you being full. I've got two sisters down on Henry Street—but I have to live in a refined place, now I'm a lead in the Superbo. The last lady I stayed with was a beauty doctor, until her Painless Permanent Reducing Powders made an old hen sick and the police got wise to it. Her rooms were elegant,—the loves of Lewis Cans in gilt frames on the walls,—but not any prettier than these."

Cornelia had remained rigidly standing; but, being only human, she could not resist a question:

"A lead in the Superbo?"

"That's me," nodded Retta. "My screen name's Dorothy Daring. You know the big serial, 'The Dangers of Dorothy Daring'?"

Cornelia knew the Odes of Horace, but not the "Dangers of Dorothy"; however, she remembered reading that queens of filmdom received fabulous salaries.

"A film actress? Then you'll want something more elaborate. We'd have to eat in the kitchen."

"Right-o," agreed Retta. "I want a suite at the Ritz. But the Superbo is nix on the money-box, and there's Mamie and Lou at business college."

She settled down in a chair.

"What was I saying? Oh, yes; explaining the family feenances. Of course, I've been working since I was twelve; but then, I got all the looks in the family. Mame's cross-eyed, and Lou's worse. When a girl's ugly she's got to be educated."

"But a pretty girl?" queried Cornelia, disapproving, yet unable to resist Loretta's beaming sociability.

Loretta pulled out a vanity glass, and, twisting the huge hat to a wilder angle, cast a cheerful wink at her hostess.

"Oh, she should worry, she should care,
She should marry a millionaire!

"Why, everybody says Bertie Dolan's stuck on me already! He owns the Superbo, and just oozes money. You ought to see his diamond rings."

Cornelia stared, fascinated, at the delicate oval of her visitor's immature but lovely face, at the pure features, the bronze-gold hair, the wonderful black lashes, fringing china-blue eyes whose frank, wide stare gave no hint of the depths of worldly knowledge that must be hidden in that small head. A soul must go with such a face, thought Cornelia, a likable soul whose warmth had already reached the librarian's ill-nourished heart.

"Do you really like my rooms?" she asked. "Even without the loves of Louis Quinze? If so, I'd like to have you stay."

"I love them," said Loretta earnestly. "They're so peaceful, like the little chapels where they lay the stiffies out."

IT was several weeks later that quite a different Loretta Benson stood before the small dresser mirror in a Jersey farmhouse. The Superbo had gone out for the day to stage some scenes for their new film, "Rosemary's Memories," and Loretta was playing Rosemary. "A girl of refined birth and ladylike demeanor," the manuscript read. Monsieur Lavalle, the seedy little Superbo costumer, and Cornelia Podmore had insisted that Retta wear a plain blue serge dress for the part. It made her feel queer and subdued, this prim frock with the plain sailor hat; and Loretta, yearning for a nifty Georgette waist and pink silk jersey, stuck out her tongue at herself in the glass and murmured resentfully, "Some dowd!"

To Dolan, however, her bright color and flaming hair redeemed the humble frock. His sultry eyes fairly devoured her as she came before the camera.

"Gee, Retta!" He whistled. "You're some kid! Some kid, ain't she, Ormy?"

This with a challenging, suspicious glance at the carefully manicured young man who was to play the rustic lover in "Rosemary's Memories."

Retta ignored their admiring comments, and held out her arms to the juvenile.

"Here, Bobbie, come give us a kiss."

"Let's get to business," growled Dolan at once. "We didn't come out here to play kissing games." He picked up the manuscript. "You get the idea, don't you? This Rosemary's a country school- ma'am who gets stage-struck and hikes to New York. Maurice is the drunken profligate. He gets her going strong—say, Retta, you was great doing that dance on the studio table— 'About to yield to his sordid wiles,' " Dolan was half reading, half improvising, "'Rosemary recalls her girlhood home, how at close of day her mother read from the Good Book.' That turns the trick. Maurice gets the bounce, and Rosemary goes home to tie up with Edgar, the rube hero. Now, then, we'll clean up Rosemary's girlhood. Grab that Bible, Lena Martin, and do the loving mother act. Show your crutch, Bob; you're lame, you know. Say, Retta, that's great. Hold it, kid, hold it. Close in, George."

George, the agile camera-man, carried a tape-measure from the camera to the tip of Retta's nose without in any way disturbing the look of rapt piety she had cast upon the ceiling.

"Hold it, kid," cried Bertie Dolan, mopping his great red face. "That's right, George; that's the stuff. The sunlight streamed across the floor; the quaint old

kitchen was a scene of perfect peace; the little family raised their eyes to heaven in rustic piety—'"

Bertie Dolan raised his eyes from the manuscript at this point, and, with a roar like an angry walrus, sprang upon the juvenile.

"You will, will you? Hand over that sucker! Doing sob stuff with candy in your jaw!"

Bobbie, recovering the use of both legs, tried to run; but Dolan throttled him, shaking him into spluttering incoherence. Lena Martin drew back her skirts, but dared not move a muscle of her stereotyped piety. Loretta, however, took her flower-like gaze from the ceiling and began impotently pounding Dolan's broad back with the brass-edged Bible.

"Quit choking the kid, Bertie. What's a foot of reel, anyway? Quit it, I say."

Dolan extracted the wad of candy and went spluttering back to his chair. Bobbie, a more realistic cripple, resumed his former pose; and Retta, somewhat flushed by her exertions, again cast her angel face toward heaven.' The camera clicked gently, and the 'scene of perfect peace' was reconstructed.

WHEN the day's work was over, Retta Benson slipped out to the side porch, intending to try the tangled path through the fields back to her hotel. As she hurried down the steps, however, Dolan saw her; in fact, he had been waiting impatiently for her appearance.

"Hello, kid; ride back with me. I'll stand for the rube clothes." For Retta still wore the dress designed for Rosemary Waltern, the village schoolma'am.

"I thought I'd follow the path home, Bertie, and feel the earth under my feet again."

She tried to dodge under Dolan's arm, but he stopped her. Any attempt to escape his attentions was interpreted as interest in some other man.

"You ain't getting crazy about Orman?" he demanded. "He's a high-brow, but I've got more money in the bank right now than Ormy'll ever have. Besides, kid, you needn't put on airs. Seems I've heard your father used to be thrown out of Mike's on Henry Street. But I'll hand it to you, you've got the looks. And I've got the coin, kid. It'll make a good combination."

He clutched at her, but Retta flashed past him and down the steps.

"We'll speak of matrimony, Mr. Dolan," she informed him gaily from the path, "when I've bought a flat-iron and a broom to keep our happy home 'a scene of perfect peace.'"

As long as she was in sight, Dolan stood blinking and scowling after her; but Retta wasted no thought on him. She was proud of her conquest of the lordly director, and supposed she would have to marry him eventually. Dolan had married the two preceding stars of his company, and later disposed of them by swift legal proceedings, so Retta felt that her turn came next. She had no illusions about men of Dolan's stamp. She knew she would need the broom and the flat-iron. Still, it was all in the day's work. She would put it off as long as possible, and in the meantime she enjoyed being a star.

What puzzled Retta to-day was "Rosemary's Memories." How would it feel, she wondered, to have had a childhood like that? Retta's own childhood had passed on the lower East Side, an inchoate jumble of evil sights, sounds, and smells. The Benson home had been two dingy rooms filled with old beer bottles, boxes, and papers. The rickety fire-escapes, where they slept on July nights, were cluttered with rusty tin cans. And leading to the rooms was a stairway of Stygian blackness, with varying odors of cabbage and fish to tantalize one on long, hungry evenings.

Down below, on the teeming sidewalk, centered the life of the district. At the corner was Mike's saloon, whither Retta always resorted, dragging one of the younger children in a cracker-box wagon. Many were the attractions Mike's offered—shaky-kneed gentlemen staggering through its swinging doors, teamsters unable to climb back to their trucks, fights, profanity, and not infrequently old man Benson being violently ejected from the side door.

Retta's mother, who had died when Retta was six, was a vaguely unpleasant memory—a peevish person who made snatchy, fretful attempts to keep their faces clean and their manners "ladylike." Her father, that hardy perennial pickled in alcohol, was an acutely unpleasant memory. At first he had been Retta's hero, a super-being to be mentioned with bated breath to the boys and girls on the block, a man of terrible language, who beat his children mercilessly. But one day he struck Mamie—Mamie, who should have been a boy because she had cross eyes and a wart; and at Mamie's cries the twelve-year-old Retta, crouching terror-stricken in a corner, felt something within her grow hot and reckless. She snatched the broom and charged upon her father. Her eyes were shut. She expected to be killed—but her idol crumbled. Old Benson made only a feeble resistance to this wasplike attack. She drove him, whimpering, into the hall; and after that the broom kept him in complete submission.

Since she had gone to live with Cornelia Podmore, Retta realized that something was wrong with that childhood. Evidently there were many girls, like the fictitious Rosemary, of very different experience. Evidently there were homes where flat-irons were not needed.

BUSY as she was with her thoughts, Retta presently noticed that the sun was going down, and she, apparently, was not getting any nearer her hotel. Farther on, the path crossed a well traveled road, so she waited there to ask for directions, and hailed the first car that came in sight. It was a small car, not the dashing style Retta would have liked; still, a spirit of adventure cheered her when she saw that it contained a lone young man.

"I'm lost," she told him glibly. "I've followed this path an hour, and can't seem to get to the Home View Hotel."

The lone young man climbed out into the road and pulled off his cap, showing himself a big, slow, kind-looking person.

"You'll never get there by the path," he protested. "This road passes the hotel—but it's a long way." He looked uncertainly at Retta, then down the empty road. "I'd like—it's getting very late, you know—I wonder if you'll let me take you in my car?"

This was exactly what Retta wanted, and she tried to think of some flippant sally to voice her pleasure as she scrambled to the front seat. The ride, however, proved a bitter disappointment. The stage setting was perfect: the gathering twilight cast romantic shadows over them, the new moon lent a silvery, sentimental shimmer to the prosaic Jersey road. Under such circumstances the Bertie Dolans of her acquaintance always grew amorous, and, although she would have promptly rebuffed him, Retta expected Peter Tyler to try to hold her hand, if merely as a tribute to her beauty.

The moonlight shimmered in vain, however; for Peter Tyler kept his eye on the wheel and talked about the weather. When Retta tried to lead him to more interesting topics by naïvely asking him if he "didn't think she looked a fright, so wind-blown and dusty," he actually seemed embarrassed. There was nothing embarrassing to Retta in riding through the dusk with a strange young man; it happened regularly to movie heroines, and, armed with a sharp hat-pin, she knew she could take care of herself.

The star of the Superbo lapsed into indignant silence. It was the Rosemary dress, she decided. At the hotel she gave him a chilly farewell and hurried to her room.

Back in New York, Retta took her grievance to Cornelia; for, although she laughed at Cornelia's wisdom, she secretly stood in awe of it.

"Wasn't he a pill to give me such a frost, Corney? I don't look that countrified in the Rosemary clothes, now do I?"

"You look like a lady," said Cornelia severely, "and a very beautiful one. So he treated you as any gentleman would."

A puzzled line appeared on Retta's white forehead; but she whistled scornfully.

"If that's a gentleman, give me Bertie Dolan. Bertie's a live wire."

"Meaning a human hog," sniffed Cornelia.

"And he's getting hard to manage," continued Loretta, ignoring Cornelia's thrust. "He says it's up to me to marry him."

"Which it isn't, as you know very well. You've outgrown him, Retta Benson, and all his breed. Do try to marry a gentleman."

"Like Peter Tyler," chuckled Retta, shaking down her glorious hair. "And talk about the weather the rest of my life. Nix. Bertie's the boy for me. I'm the same breed myself, you remember."

"ROSEMARY'S MEMORIES" proved most successful, for Retta had never done better acting, and the story was an ancient but ever popular theme. Dolan reaped a harvest of golden praise and golden dollars, and Retta received a mass of impassioned love-letters, which found their way promptly into the waste-basket. One, however, she chose from the pile and carried triumphantly to Cornelia Podmore.

"The pink of propriety has fallen! Peter Tyler has seen me at the movies, and wants to call. I told you he gave me that frost because he thought I was a country school-teacher."

"Written you one of those silly letters?" frowned Cornelia. "I didn't think he was that kind."

She glanced through the note in deep disgust, although she had to admit that it was mild and inoffensive.

Peter Tyler had seen "Rosemary's Memories," and had been delighted by Retta's acting. More than that, he felt sure she was not really acting, but had simply portrayed her own girlhood in the country. He was from the country himself, and knew New York was no place for a girl like Rosemary. He remembered meeting her out his way some weeks earlier. Would she let him call on her? Perhaps he could be of service.

"So you see," cried Retta, trying to look worldly-wise, "your perfect gentleman is just like all the others!"

"But maybe he does think you need a friend," Cornelia insisted.

"That's what they all think! A lot you know about men, Corney! I'll let him call, and I'll play Rosemary, the lonely country maiden, until he shows his hand. Then he'll suddenly learn I was raised in the green fields of Broadway."

WHEN Peter Tyler called next evening, the stage was set for rural simplicity. Retta sat in the warm glow of Cornelia's shaded lamp, a bit of sewing in her hand and Cornelia's fat gray kitten at her feet. Kittens and sewing—she had learned in the movies—added the proper domestic touch. She wore Rosemary's dark blue dress, and her flaming hair was in a demure coil on her neck. Cornelia sat near by, for Rosemary Waltern must be properly chaperoned.

"Funny." said Peter, setting the gray kitten on his knee. "I knew you lived in just such a cozy little nest as this."

And in a few minutes he was telling them all about his home and his sisters,—there was nobody quite so clever as his sisters,—and Retta had forgotten that she wasn't Rosemary Waltern, and was enjoying Cornelia's and Peter's accounts of barn-dances up-State.

"A very nice chap," Cornelia declared, when he was gone.

Retta came back to Broadway with a start.

"Good night, nurse!" she cried, doing a hula-hula with the kitten. "I ache all over from trying to act and look and talk like that sissified Rosemary."

However, Peter Tyler, big, jovial, and friendly, kept coming to see them; in fact, he seemed vastly to prefer their society to that of the wonderful sisters. To walk up the avenue of a crystal clear afternoon, or to ramble through the park with Peter, became to Retta a deeper pleasure than the noisiest joy-ride in Dolan's big car or the gayest studio dance. And soon she made the strange and disconcerting discovery that, for all his easygoing friendliness, Peter had "standards"—certain fixed ideas as to how people should look and talk and behave. From that day on, Retta unconsciously adopted Rosemary Waltern's simple dresses and modeled her speech after Cornelia's careful English. From that day, also, she came to avoid Bertie Dolan—so much so that at last she paid for it.

The Superbo was at its busiest that afternoon. At one end of the long hall Romeo and Juliet were dying in a papier-mâché vault while their director explained to a press-agent the cost of Romeo's velvet tights. At the other end carpenters were noisily constructing a trick staircase which was to fall with the comedian.

In the center was the circus ring where was being staged the latest episode in that great Superbo serial, "The Dangers of Dorothy Daring."

Retta—otherwise Dorothy Daring—stepped out of her dingy dressing-room in fluffy white skirts, with bare arms and a low bodice. She had just had a few words with Peter over the telephone, and felt very conspicuous in her circus dress—almost as if Peter had seen her in it. She found Dolan near her door, and tried to get past him unnoticed; but he caught her arm.

"Some chicken, eh, George?" He twirled her round before the camera-man. "And some costume!"

"Bertie, don't!" cried Retta, shrinking back.

AN angry glow mounted to Dolan's temples, and he strode over to the ring in silence. Retta knew that silence was portentous. Bertie expected all women to adore him, and it was much the safest thing for women of his company to do.

An ancient circus horse, fattened for film service, was led into the ring, its blind eye turned from the camera; and Retta, as the intrepid Dorothy Daring, gingerly climbed atop him. The electric lights were wheeled into place, the camera made ready, Dolan growled an order, and Dauntless—so Retta's nag was named—ambled slowly forward. Twice they circled the ring; then young Barrow, as the clown, hopped in front of Dauntless, who obediently shied, throwing Retta. Orman Oswald, as the millionaire onlooker, dashed out and caught her in his arms.

Perhaps it was because he himself never felt comfortable in evening clothes; at any rate, the sight of them on Ormy Oswald always made Dolan peculiarly exacting. As Orman crushed Retta to his well posed bosom, the director's roar thundered through the studio:

"Confound it, you fool! That's no way to hold her. Do as I tell you. Who's running this picture, me or you?"

Dolan ran the picture—he owned the Superbo as well; so Oswald dropped Retta with a hasty apology.

Dolan fumed and raged while George readjusted the camera and Retta and Dauntless patiently repeated their act. Five times Retta fell into Oswald's arms, and by that time Tony Barrow had a crick in his neck and Dauntless had developed a perceptible limp. But Dolan still objected to Orman's acting.

"You wooden dummy!" he stormed. "Can't you put any 'pep' in the play? If you can't act, why don't you say so?"

"I get your idea, Mr. Dolan; I'm sure I get it this time," stammered Oswald, wiping beads of perspiration from his shapely brow. He was frightened an ashen gray, his knees trembled, and his beautiful wavy pompadour was flat with dejection; but he was trying desperately hard to make the camera and Dolan take him for a bold hero full of "pep."

Retta had no fondness for Orman and his perfect pompadour, but he looked so like a badly scared and helpless little boy that she forgot herself and interposed:


"'Look here,' demanded Dolan. 'When will you tie up with me?'"

"Marry you?' Retta clutched at the door-knob. 'Oh, Bertie—a star can't afford to many.'"

"Oh, Bertie, please! What's the use of making such a fuss? Ormy's all right."

The vials of Dolan's wrath overflowed. He brought his chair down with a resounding bang. "Oh, he is, is he?" and his profanity blazed a blue trail through the atmosphere.

A frightened silence fell upon the circus ring, while Dolan glared at his trembling subordinates.

"Picture's off for the day," he growled. "And I'd like a word with you, kid."

He stormed into his office, and Retta shakily followed. Everything she ate and wore came from this job, and at an early age she had learned what it meant not to have enough to eat and to wear.

"Look here," demanded Dolan, turning on her. "We'll have an understanding, kid, and have it quick. When will you tie up with me?"

"Marry you?" Retta clutched at the door-knob. "Oh, Bertie—a star can't afford to marry."

"All right," said Dolan, watching her through narrowed lids. "You won't set a date, so I will. We'll go to the magistrate to-morrow at ten."

"No, Bertie—please, I can't. I—don't want to marry."

"All right"—and Dolan's face grew purple. "If I ain't good enough for you to marry, I ain't good enough for you to work for. Put that in your pipe and smoke it."

"You don't mean—I'm fired?"

"Sure I do." Bertie sat down, putting his feet on his desk and leisurely lighting a cigar. "And I'll tell you what's wrong with you, kid. You're trying to be a highbrow since you took to acting these society reels. It's all right on the screen, but it don't go in real life. Now, you'll have a merry chase, looking for work. Pretty girls are as thick about the movies as flies about a jam-jar."

That was true enough. There flashed over Retta a vision of the outer office of the Superbo—that small, overcrowded room where girls of all ages, sizes, and classes sat, patiently hoping.

"It won't be easy," she admitted slowly.

"No, it won't. And when you're tired of hunting another job, you'll remember how soft it was down here. Then maybe I'll take you back. But if I do there won't be any 'don't, Berties' and 'please, Berties' around this office. Not if I know it!" He looked up at Retta, smiling, but with a covert brutality that left her faint. "You get me, kid?"

Rotta nodded.

"Perhaps I need a rest," she stammered. "Good-by, Bertie."

Dolan ignored her outstretched hand.

Continued on page 21



Illustrations by Frank Snapp

HOW many men are there in America to-day who have not, at one time or another, felt themselves settling into a rut, without the initiative or the resourcefulness to lift themselves out again? The number is few—almost as meager as the roll-call of those who have risen against this oppression of habit and familiar environment and fought their way to freedom along unbroken trails. There is something in this absorption into routine, which is constantly going on in every large office, that, seems to smother individuality and suggest a helplessness abhorrent to any man of ordinary force and grit.

The slavery of the rut is the nightmare of millions, and escape from it is so seldom achieved by deliberate intent as to be accounted almost a miracle. No kind of slavery is more common, but liberation from its benumbing, sapping grasp generally comes disguised as misfortune: most men who get out of ruts have to be knocked out by the blow of a discharge from the pay-roll. Occasionally, however, there are those with the rare resourcefulness to make their own way to liberty by "malice aforethought"—by a combination of initiative, courage, and determination that stamps them as true pioneers.

There is no rut that is more retentive, more seductive, more absorbing, than that of the bank clerk—unless, perhaps, it is that of the clerk in a government bureau. Here is the story of how a bank clerk lifted himself out of the rut by sheer force of his capacity to see the rut in which he was imprisoned and then see beyond it.

Three years ago Ross was classed a "dead one"; which is another way of saying that his individuality had been lost in the in'ards of the big banking institution for which he worked. Back among the great rows of adding machines and typewriters—far enough back so that the clink of the currency sorter and the thud of the adressograph could not reach the sensitive ears of the depositors—labored Billy Ross. Back there he was intimately known and liked; but to the officers out in front he existed only as "one of the clerks."

So, the other day, when I re-discovered him as the cashier of a prosperous little Western bank—a position the very mention of which will draw a sigh of envy from the most calloused bank clerk—I smelled a story of genuine human achievement. Here it is—just as Ross told it to me:

PERHAPS you think some obliging relative left me a nice little block of this bank's stock and that this position was wished on me as a result. No such luck! I hustled for this job, and the stock now in my name was bought with money for which I sweated good and hard. I earned most of it—borrowed the rest. Don't imagine for a minute that any good fairy dropped me in this chair and tacked the word "cashier" after my name.

You remember how old Lamplin used to assemble us in his office and hand out those little loyalty and efficiency love talks—usually just before he cut our wages or let a few of us out. "Anesthetic con" we called it. But them was one of his pet theories in which I always more than half believed: that a man can get anything he wants, provided he wants it hard enough and is willing to pay the price. So I decided to take him at his word and try the thing out. I wanted a berth like this, and wanted it a whole lot. So did about ninety-five per cent. of the other boys. But I made up my mind to pay the price, and they didn't.

Believe me, we never know how deep we are in until we try to climb out! It wasn't until I attempted to move up the banking ladder a rung or two that I discovered how hopelessly a man can be buried in his job. But, as I had decided to cast my lot with some wide-awake country bank and then develop with it, I was just naturally too busy trying to locate my first toe-hold in that direction to worry about the rut.

My first efforts along that line taught me three things. First, that the country bank doesn't want a bank clerk who can not furnish good references; second, that for moral reasons big banking


"How my muscles ached; and how my hands and feet burned!"

institutions can not recommend clerks whose services they do not really value, and that for business reasons they will not recommend those whose services they do value; third, that the average small-town bank is looking for the young man who can put a few thousand dollars into its capital when he takes the job.

At first I considered this requirement by the small bank a rather cheap way by which to entice a few extra dollars into the till—but I see it differently now! The money it brings to the bank is as nothing compared to the security it offers. It automatically eliminates the man who can not save, and warns away the insincere, the man who might be inclined to "take a whirl at it for luck." Next, it assures the bank of an employee of steady character and of persistent purpose, and it naturally indicates that he will have a live interest in the prosperity of the bank. Most important of all, it makes the applicant take the proposition seriously at the very start. It made me, anyhow, and it would any one else under similar circumstances.

IT'S one thing to stand ready to pay the price of success, whatever it may be, but quite another thing to rake up the wherewithal to pay. I guess I spent most of the month following my determination to climb in the banking world unearthing difficulties I didn't dream existed. I knew I stood about deuce-high with the powers that be in the big bank, and that there were better men than me stuck hopelessly in the same rut, waiting for those ahead of them to resign, get fired, or die. And here is something to remember: there are better men than either of us back there in the harness, pulling down the blind alley of routine work. About ninety-five per cent. of making good lies in the trick of breaking away from the crowd and getting off where the bosses can take a look at you.

I got my first tip from a friendly officer who told me that if I wasn't employed in the bank he would be glad to recommend me for a position with one of his country friends sometime. But he added that I couldn't expect to secure a desirable connection without at least a little capital. I thanked him and filed his information under the head of "immediate business."

At eighty dollars a month, and with no prospects for a substantial increase in salary, it didn't look much as if I would soon become a stockholder in a bank. So I talked it over with friend wife, and she stepped right in and took hold with both hands. We would economize on everything except my linen. And we did, too! Just as soon as our lease was up, my wife said, we'd go hunting a smaller, cheaper flat, and we'd have a garden, too.

We did everything that you have heard of determined household economists doing. My cigar, lunch, and pool allowance was cut to a mere shadow of its former size, and my wife managed to reduce her personal expenditures and save a penny here and a penny there. We didn't stop attending movies altogether, but I imagine we cut down on the film shows about fifty cents' worth a week. We didn't miss any bets, I can assure you. For instance, we saved thirty cents a month by foregoing the luxury of a morning paper, limiting ourselves to the evening sheet. Also I stopped buying extra ones on the train and at street corners in order to get the news while the ink was wet.

With all our economies, we were able to save just about twenty dollars a month. You know, a bank clerk's salary doesn't allow much latitude for fancy surgery.

One Saturday afternoon, while on a window-gazing tour, taking pleasure in seeing just how many attractive things we were getting along without, we saw a little phonograph that won our hearts instantly. We stepped inside and heard it demonstrated. Twenty-five dollars—five dollars down and two dollars a month—would deliver it at our home. We were sorely tempted. And as I gazed at my wife in mute appeal for moral aid, I witnessed a transaction that threatened to wreck our economy crusade right there and then.

A YOUNG man, whose grease-stained working clothes had caught my attention when we first entered the store, had just selected a two hundred dollar machine and an expensive combination of records, and paid for the entire purchase in cash. The transaction cost him almost three hundred dollars, and he still returned a very respectable remnant of a roll to his pocket.

How could he do it? What was his business? I forgot everything about my problem, and stepped right up and introduced myself. I made no efforts to hide my astonishment at his cash purchase, and asked him point-blank how on earth he could do it.

He proved to be an agreeable young machinist, who was not afraid to talk of his work. He told me of the profits of the munitions worker.

"Me for that!" I exclaimed enthusiastically. "I'll quit the white-shirt brigade to-morrow and get in line with the dinner- pail toters."

"Yes," dryly interrupted my new-found friend, "and be lucky to draw three dollars a day, if they take you on at all! The foremen and superintendents of the munitions plants are pretty wise to the soft-handed recruits from the offices now, and they are not biting on that kind of bait the way they did a few months ago. Too many perfectly good clerks have

fallen by the wayside and proved to be excess baggage in the munitions plant. Even if you weren't a 'soft-back,' as they call the office help that tries the stiff game of munitions making, but proved to be a regular husky instead, you'd find that the fat rewards are not going to the unskilled laborer. If you want to tackle the game, take my tip and come in as a skilled worker, seasoned for the job. I know a simple little lathe job in our plant that pays from eight to ten dollars a day. If you really want to try the game, why not learn that trick, and then come in as an experienced machine man? Does that look good to you?"

It certainly did look good to me, and at my request he went into the matter in detail. If I could get the use of a lathe he would be willing to spend an hour or two the following Saturday afternoon to teach me to perform the decidedly simple operation required. Then, with two or three weeks' practice, I would be ready to apply for the job.

Instantly I forgot all about the little phonograph, and so did my wife. We plunged headlong into the prospects opened up by the young machinist. I had but to learn to run a lathe, and then I could earn from eight to ten dollars a day, with chances for big bonuses for overtime! At that rate, within a year I would have enough cash to meet the stock requirements of some small-town bank in the market for a capable young assistant cashier or teller.

BUT after supper my wife exploded the first bomb of the series that threatened to ruin our air-castle. Where would I get the use of a lathe? And then, while we were still gazing stupidly at each other, I asked when I would have any chance to practise on this lathe, and who would furnish the material for my experiments.

We couldn't answer any of these questions, and then my wife wondered what we would live on if I threw up my job to learn shell-making; and I wondered what would happen if I left the bank and then couldn't master the lathe, or if the young machinist wasn't quite sure of his ground, or had been stringing me just to be genial.

For two days and three nights there was misery and indecision in the Ross home, until, in desperation, the morning of the third day after meeting the munitions worker, I took my problem to the friendly bank official. He listened attentively, and then said:

"Ross, I can't advise you. It's your problem. It's up to you and your wife." Then, as I turned to go, he added:

"I saw Bert Hollister the other day. He used to be in the transit department, you know. He was in line for something fairly good here at the bank, I think. Would have done well if he had stuck it out. But he had a notion he wanted to be an advertising specialist. He threw up the sure thing here and took a chance—a hundred-to-one shot, you might say. He cut in ahead of Mr. Lamplin a few months ago, and bought the old Hogan estate up on the bay. You remember him—had a mop about the same shade of scarlet as yours."

I had my answer, and I shot a quick question at him:

"Do you know anybody who owns a plant and might be willing to let me use an old lathe?"

"That's a peculiar request, Ross. Mr. Berkly, who owns the Unique Manufacturing Company, takes rather queer notions once in a while. But as a banker I can only advise you to give us the best work you can and be patient."

I had been putting in quite a lot of overtime, and so didn't experience any difficulty in getting off at three that afternoon. I was at the office of the Unique Manufacturing Company by three-thirty, and learned that Mr. Berkly was in.


"I said to him, in a casual may: 'I need thirty-five hundred dollars.'"

Without hesitation I wrote, "At the suggestion of R. R. Jackman" on my card, and sent it in.

"Ah, yes; Mr. Ross," was Mr. Berkly's greeting as I entered his office. "Mr. Jackman called me from the bank this morning and said you would interest me. Now tell me what's on your mind."

I told him the story from start to finish—with the result that he called in the plant superintendent and instructed him to assign me a lathe.

"But," he said to the superintendent, "business is business, and Mr. Ross will be under your orders from one to five each day. He can pay for the power and material he uses in the morning by giving us his services in the afternoon."

Of course I was getting the best of it; but it was Mr. Berkly's way of helping me out.

I went straight to the bank and threw up my job. The chief clerk didn't like my three-day-notice idea,—I was leaving Saturday noon,—but that couldn't be helped. I knew I would get a recommendation from Mr. Jackman when the time came.

That night I told my wife just what I had done, and she was game to take the chance. We took stock, and found that we had exactly sixty-eight dollars between us and starvation.

You may be sure that I didn't lose any time in calling the number that the young machinist had given me, and telling him, over the telephone, that I was depending upon him for Saturday afternoon. He said he would not disappoint me.

The next morning I put on my oldest clothes and appeared at the Unique plant bright and early. I buckled right in and tried to make myself useful. I couldn't do anything for myself before Saturday, but perhaps I could get solid with the men. Apparently I did, for a couple of days later one of the foremen announced his intention of dropping in during the afternoon to see how I was making out.

The young munitions worker was a high-grade machinist, and the foreman was a lathe expert. Between them, they soon taught me how to set and adjust my die and the easiest and safest method of cutting. In fact, the old foreman quickly grasped the idea, and simplified the process still more by slightly altering the adjustment of the machine. Then the young man retired and left me in the hands of this expert.

FOR three weeks I spent the morning hours before that obstinate lathe, being in turn coached and scolded by the old foreman, and I bent and lifted and strained away the afternoon doing odd jobs about the factory. How my muscles ached; and how my hands and feet burned! At times I had to stop and rest—a weakness that would have spelled defeat in the munitions plant. The way that lathe twisted and tore my hands, wrists, and arms was something to be remembered.

Finally I was given a short note "To Whom It May Concern" by the old foreman, stating that I had worked under him and that he considered me a competent lathe man at my particular class of work. What a stickler he was for the exact truth! He did not recommend me as a competent machine man, nor yet as a general lathe man, but as a competent lathe man for my special class of work.

Armed with this recommendation, I experienced no difficulty in securing the coveted job in the big munitions plant at the edge of our town. The first week in that plant I earned thirty-eight dollars. My highest earnings for a single week totaled sixty-two dollars. But that required too great an exertion. I couldn't stand so swift a pace. The pay was not quite so high as the machinist had promised; but, by putting in a reasonable amount of overtime, I was able to earn an average of forty-five dollars a week.

When the renting agency sent us our lease to be signed, I was for renewing it—feeling that we could afford to forget a little of our economy, now that I was making a comfortable wage. But my wife insisted that we had started out to economize and save enough money to accomplish a certain purpose, and that we would stick to that plan to the finish. She had married a banker and not a machinist, and I would please remember that! My present job was merely a makeshift, a life-saver, and the sooner we could afford to drop it the better. Of course she had her way, and we moved to a little house not far from the munitions plant. We had the garden she had planned on, too.

NATURALLY, I kept several lines out for a country bank job. Finally the chance came—steered my way by Mr. Jackman, I believe, though I have never learned the truth of that. A live Western bank wanted a cashier, a man who could invest five or ten thousand dollars. It was decidedly a job worth having, as it would pay $125 a month for the first three months and then $150 until the first of the year. If the man proved competent he would then receive a substantial raise. It certainly looked good to me.

At that time I had been working in the munitions plant for fourteen' months and had saved $1620. I just yearned for that job—but how could I ever swing the deal? Whatever I did would have to be done quickly. So I wrote, the bank that I believed I could qualify for the place, and referred to Mr. Jackman. Then I offered to buy five thousand dollars' worth of stock.

As soon as that letter was mailed I started out to get the money. I could put up fifteen hundred dollars right then, and could earn enough to make up another five hundred within thirty days. But I didn't have that five hundred on hand, so I really needed thirty-five hundred dollars, and needed it right away. How could I get it? Borrow it, of course. But where? The only place I knew of was the bank.

You remember the story of Jeff Young, don't you? He was hard up and needed a little extra money. The bank officials always said that the clerks were to bring their troubles to them. So Jeff took his there. He wanted to borrow fifty dollars, to be taken out of his salary at the rate of ten dollars each pay-day. The chief clerk looked wise when he heard Jeff's story, and said he would see what could be done. He did. He notified the bonding company, who investigated the matter and found that Jeff was living beyond his salary. Consequently they could not carry his bond longer and the bank was compelled to let him go.

But I had learned that the way to get up in the banking world is to get out of it—get far enough away from it to give it a chance to take a good look at you and see how good you are. That's the magic sesame for getting out of a rut. I wondered if it wouldn't work in borrowing money, too. When you are working in a bank they know your prospects better than you do; and they'll lend you nothing on them. If you are on the outside it's different. Anyhow, I figured it that way, and walked right into the old bank and up to the V. P's desk. He was as nice as you like. Apparently he had never seen me before—there are so many of those clerks back there, you know. I said to him, in a casual way:

"I need thirty-five hundred dollars; three thousand on demand, secured by five thousand in bank stock, and five hundred due in sixty days. I will pay the five hundred at due date. The three thousand I wish to carry for at least a year. What rate can you make on that?"

"Five per cent. if we lent it to you—but we would have to have good security," was his answer.

That suited me, and I outlined my plan. I would have the stock sent to his bank for transfer, and turn it over to him upon receipt of the thirty-five hundred dollars. He would hold a three thousand dollar note of mine secured by five thousand dollars' worth of bank stock. The five-hundred-dollar note would be taken up at maturity.

It looked plausible to the V. P., so I explained who I was and what I was trying to do. I told him that I would get what I went after, and recited my achievements to date as proof. On top of this I talked figures to him. I showed him first of all that my five thousand dollars of bank stock would pay me six per cent., or three hundred dollars a year. The interest on the three thousand borrowed from the bank would be only $150 a year. Right there I would have a net profit of $150 on the stock. Further, I pointed out to him that the new position would soon pay me $1800 a year as against the $960 I got with his bank, or a gain of $840 a year. This $840, plus the $150 interest, together with the $5000 in stock and my ability at any time to go back into the munitions game and earn big money there, ought to furnish a safe margin for the loan.

Well, the banker said O. K. and the deal was put through. I got the job, and here I am. I'm making $2500 a year now, and I owe just thirteen hundred dollars on my stock. In another year I'll have cleaned up the loan entirely.

SINCE that story was told me I've visited the banker, Mr. Jackman, and told him how Ross had more than doubled his salary and secured a comfortable nest-egg and promising future besides.

"Yes," replied the banker, "I know all about it. And I know, too, that he has come to the attention of Mr. Lamplin, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him back here again soon, at triple his old salary. It's just a case of being resourceful and jumping the rut. That's what the rut is for—to find the man who can jump it."

everyweek Page 8Page 8


In Which the New Books and Magazines are Boiled Down to Give You Fifteen Minutes of Health, Efficiency, Travel, Biography, and Adventure



© International Film Service

Fires are avoidable, say the insurance men. Yet in America for 1916 there was more than one fire every minute; and the whole fire loss for the year was nearly fifty millions more than for the preceding year.

IF a pedestrian is run over while he is crossing a Paris street, he is punished, rather than the driver who ran over him. The theory is that the man who gets in the way of a vehicle that he could avoid is guilty of contributory negligence. This principle, says Commerce and Finance, should be applied to those who through carelessness burn themselves out of shop and home.

In America for 1916 there was more than one fire every minute and a destruction of $600,000 every day. The whole loss during the year was $214,530,995, against the loss in 1915 of $170,033,200. The Black Tom Island explosion and fire in New York harbor accounted for $11,000,000. War munitions hazards and high values generally swelled the total. But much of the destruction was due to carelessness. The premium receipts of fire insurance companies aggregated $424,272,461. This sum was more than absorbed by loses and expenses.

"Fires are in most cases avoidable," says Commerce and Finance, "and those who allow them to occur should be penalized instead of being able to penalize the insurance companies. At 4 per cent., the annual fire loss in the United States would pay the interest on $15,000,000 of Liberty Bonds, and if the government could find a way to prevent this waste or save any substantial portion of it, the burden of financing the war would be greatly reduced."

New York, says the quarterly of the National Fire Protection Association, has found such a way in the new zoning law. Every building in every block will be restricted as to height, size, and use according to its location and the width of the street on which it faces. A future Equitable Building could be only one third as high as the present one, because it faces a narrow street; the Woolworth Building, on the other hand, if facing a park, might be as high as it is to-day.

The size of buildings will be controlled by the amount of open space required by law on each lot.

This new measure for fire protection will not destroy the glory of New York's sky-line, say the authorities, but will add to it the quaint charm of mansard and terraced roofs, dormer windows, and towers.


BY the end of this year the German war debt will amount to 85,000,000,000 marks," says a long-time resident of Berlin who has just returned to this country, writing in the New York Evening Post. That means an annual interest charge of 4,250,000,000 marks.

"To get the full significance of this huge sum for the German mind, the reader should recall the Wehrsteuer, or special military tax, levied shortly before the war. Although that tax amounted to only 1,000,000,000 marks, the government's financiers thought it necessary to spread its collection over three years. They thought they were placing an extremely heavy burden upon the tax-payers then; but now the annual burden already visible, if interest on the loan is to be met by taxes, has been increased almost thirteen-fold as compared with that earlier tax, and the end is not yet in sight."

Will Germany repudiate? The writer believes that the question will never even come up for discussion. Almost every man, woman, and child in the whole nation has given of his or her savings. Germany must keep faith with her people.

"Even if we assume that as much as 500,000,000 marks can be set aside annually for debt extinguishment, it would require 170 years to pay it off entirely. How hard this would be for the German people may be judged from the fact that during the decades before the war, when the national debt was steadily growing as the result of military expenditures, practically nothing was done to extinguish it."


TRAVELING is not what it was. If you escape the submarine, you still have to face the questionnaire, writes Bassett Digby in the Chicago News.

The Sicilian war-time questionnaire inquires minutely not only about you and your parents, but it demands intimate information also anent your grandparents, including your grandmother's maiden name. A St. Louis man I met in Malta told me that when he ejaculated, "Search me!" on being asked his grandmother's maiden name by the Messina police, they wrote it down phonetically as "Scercmi" in the allotted column of the register.

Worst of all is the bread-card crisis. The following describes a typical occasion:

I checked my baggage and went over to a hotel for breakfast. Presently they brought me fried plaice and coffee. But no bread. After a while I reminded the waiter that the bread was lacking. He remarked that it would continue to lack until I produced my bread-card. Two days since, bread-cards had been introduced in Sweden. I explained that I could hardly be expected to have a bread-card, as I was merely in Sweden for three hours, as a transient. During our discussion the other lone breakfaster in the restaurant finished his coffee, paid his bill, pocketed all the remaining bread on his table, and went out. This spoiled my idea of asking him to lend me a piece of bread; I would have sent him another piece subsequently by registered mail.

I told the waiter I knew nothing and cared less about his wretched bread-card ritual and had him 'phone the police. The police graciously replied that if I cared to leave my coffee and plaice, go out and grope through the blizzard for several blocks until I found the police headquarters, and could then produce satisfactory evidence of my good standing as a transient, they would try to get me a special permit for a breakfast roll.

So I breakfasted carnivorously on fish, like an Eskimo, and got no bread until I arrived in Denmark.


IT started out as an "old man's war, with men beyond the peak of life in command of all the cabinets and forces. Of the old men, Hindenburg alone remains. In Russia, the youngest of the democracies, whatever central power there may be said to be is in the hands of a man only a few years past his thirtieth birthday.

Alexander Feodorovitch Kerensky—at the moment of writing, at least—is the hope of a united Russia, and the single star on which the gaze of all the allied nations is fixed. He was the one connecting link between the first Provisional Government and the Council of Workingmen and Soldiers, says Current Literature—the one man who was a member of both


Paul Thompson

Kerensky, the new War Minister of Russia, has a young wife who has enlisted in a women's regiment. This regiment not only wears khaki and salutes the flag. It leads charges across No Man's Land.

bodies, enjoying the confidence of both. He is a lawyer by profession, and, an able one, whose ability had won him reputation and position even before the revolution. He might have risen to high place under the favor of the old regime, but he preferred always the part of the people.

In appearance he is "neither tall nor short, his figure characterized by a stoop that comes from much poring over books, brown hair brushed straight from the forehead, a sharp nose, and quick, restless, steel-gray eyes. His hand wanders restlessly to a pencil in his vest pocket as he talks. It is not easy for him to sit still. In the middle of a conversation he will and fro. . . . He is anything but a dandy in dress, and his shoes sadly need polish, a striking contrast to the pre-revolutionary ministers, who were always immaculate.

"The first Provisional Government had in it brainy men of many professions; but, of them all, Kerensky alone had the innate power of handling a crowd. He can, with a single gesture, stir them into uproar, and with a sentence quiet them again. Yet, with all his devotion to socialism, his years of popular leadership, he is looked upon as a conservative, conscious of the need for making progress slowly, eager to avoid the chaos of internal strife.

"In all of which he stands in distinct contrast to Tcheidze, the fire-brand leader of the Council of Workingmen and Soldiers. The difference between the two men is illustrated by what occurred when Kerensky went over to the council to report the progress made by the Duma in ushering in the new Russia. 'We've got rid of the Czar,' explained Kerensky; `we have got rid of the monks. We have got rid of the bureaucrats.'

"'Good!' cried Tcheidze. 'Now we'll start the revolution."


A CERTAIN rich man boasted in the eighty-eighth year of his career that he had not once taken a vacation. "What right," asked he, "has a clerk to demand or expect pay for two weeks' time for which he renders no equivalent? Is it not absurd to suppose that a man who can work eleven and a half months can not as well work the whole year?"

"I am not misquoting this very rich man," writes Horace Kephart in Camping and Woodcraft (Outing Publishing Company). "His signed statement lies before me—the sorriest thing that ever I saw in print!"

It will take centuries to adapt the white race to a life in office chairs and on asphalt, to noise and dust, to air that enters from a dark, narrow court. Perhaps, after generations of suffering, we may become like the Chinaman, "who, being of a breed that has been crowded and coerced for thousands of years, seems to have done away with nerves. He will stand all day in one position without seeming in the least distressed; he thrives amid the most unsanitary surroundings; overcrowding and bad air are nothing to him; he does not demand quiet when he would sleep, nor even when he is sick; he can starve to death with supreme complacency." But of the white race experience in cities has been short. Probably most of our grandparents were pioneers or farmers. That is why the man or woman who works in an office must have relief—must live out of doors, away from people, every once in a while. And the words of the very rich man—who probably arrived at his office at ten-thirty and played golf every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday afternoon—are bunk! The only way to revive the vigor and cheerfulness of a city man is to give him a long vacation."


Photograph by Paul Thompson.

A fisherman must be able to entertain himself with his own thoughts. Easy enough. But do they still use those fat white grub-worms for bait?


HOME is the girl's prison and the woman's workhouse," says George Bernard Shaw. And, "The home is the enemy of woman. Purporting to be her protector, it is her oppressor," declares W. L. George. But Mrs. Walter M. Gallichan, in her book Motherhood(Dodd, Mead & Company), thoroughly discourages these eager gentlemen who want to abolish homes and set up communal houses and kitchens, with armies of experts to run them and specialists to bring up all the babies.

"Feminists tell me that the breaking up of the individual home, with the institutional rearing of children, will liberate women," writes Mrs. Gallichan. "By this plan of reform they will be free, able to have children and also to devote themselves to gainful work. Motherhood will be but a short interruption in the professional or industrial career.

"What can I say to show how misplaced and how mischievous is the outlook of those who thus turn away from the long experience of the past? The past gives us proof enough that woman's creation, the home, has been her great contribution to civilization.

"The supervision of the home and the maintenance of any true form of family life is not compatible with the regular outside occupation of married women. Such a duplication of a woman's energies can be undertaken only by her using for herself and her work' the reserve of physical, mental, and spiritual energy that should be stored and given to her children. To deny this is foolishness. Are women possessed of inexhaustible stores of energy? Do the ordinary rules of arithmetic and subtraction not hold good in their ease?

"Modern experience makes it daily more evident that to do any work well requires the employment of one's whole time, with a complete concentration of attention. Now, the woman is rare who can put the best of herself both into professional work and into her home. One or the other must suffer; and, since the standard required in the outside work is fixed, and can not, as a rule, be lowered if the position is to be retained, it is the home that is certain to suffer.

"The demand that women shall prepare for competition with men at all costs will fall into foolishness under wiser conditions of life. For women's qualities and capacities are different from those of men. As a worker she has at all times and in all races occupied a secondary place; as a woman she is the strongest force in life."


A MAN who had learned Spanish in Spain picked up one of the numerous American business catalogues that are sent to Latin-American countries in alleged Spanish. This is what he read, according to the Pan-American Review:

"In an automobile catalogue, splendidly issued and richly illustrated, but full of absurdities on account of its insufferable translation, I read this caption at the foot of a magnificent illustration: Cinco pasajeros carros para viajando—just as if we would say in English: "To traveling car five passengers," instead of "Five-passenger car for traveling." In a leather goods catalogue, the caption, "Harness for a single-horse buggy," is translated into Spanish in this way: "Harness for a bachelor horse full of bugs."

The title of another catalogue was this: "Rough on rats"; and the translator put it in Spanish: To h— with rats! You can find in many hardware or machinery catalogues the most striking translations; for instance: Cork-screw for screw-driver; nut for screw; gobbler for bolt; and hair-curl for cork-screw!

All of which must spread laughter and sunshine in South America.




The ideal clerk smiles at her customer; and when a ribbon doesn't match, she says so. Neither does she worry about her back hair or ever nag at the cash girl.

"A WOMAN, quite feeble, wandered into a big bank, looking around rather helplessly. In an instant, an assistant cashier whose desk is near the door was at her side, inquiring with marked courtesy what he could do for her. She only wanted information on some trivial matter; but she got as good attention as if she had called to open an account. A few weeks later a young man came in and opened an account with a first deposit of one thousand dollars, and volunteered the information that he came into that bank because of the courteous attention his mother—the old lady—had received."

This may sound like a paragraph out of Horatio Alger, but it is from Short Talks on Retail Selling, by S. Roland Hall (Funk & Wagnalls Company).

"The observer went to a store where a clothing man was as earnest and careful as if his customer had been his brother. He wasn't effusive; didn't weary you with his chatter; he didn't say a thing you would suspect was insincere. He didn't even follow that rule of salesmanship that you sometimes hear—'Always agree with the customer.' When he could not honestly agree with the customer, he pleasantly disagreed, and gave his reasons. He knew fabrics, he knew styles; and he studied his customers so as to know what they wanted without any waste of time. The result was that he sold two suits, when the observer had come in for only one.

"An acquaintance of the observer recently spent several, months studying a large sales organization, in the effort to find why some people succeed, while others do only mediocre work or fail.

"He discovered that every successful salesman had a powerful motive that spurred him on toward success. In some cases the motive was the love of power. In other cases it was the love of money. Sometimes the successful man had a wife or a family that he loved to provide with the comforts and luxuries of life.

You can't get very far without a purpose, without a mainspring. So get a motive."




A learned essayist says that a man should always read memoirs at the breakfast table—or, better yet, meditative essays. What's the matter with the sporting editor in his town?

THE hopeful nature of breakfast makes it, on first thought, seem like a sociable meal; but on second thought society at such an early hour is dangerous. Therefore breakfast alone, says Henry Dwight Sedgwick in the Yale Review. The next problem is what to read; for read you must. A newspaper does not bring out the best in breakfast. Moralizing literature is inappropriate. Poetry is too delicate. Novels are out of the question. What is left?

"Letters and memoirs," says the author, "make excellent reading, if they are not too emotional (Mrs. Browning's letters could not be read), and fit in admirably between oatmeal and toast; but essays are best—Charles Lamb, Stevenson, Barrie, Crothers, according as your taste demands the perspective of time. If I were called upon to chain one book to a breakfast-table, as in more pious times a Bible was chained to the bed-post, I should choose Thackeray's 'Roundabout Papers.' There you have a capital breakfast book.

"It is safer not to take any feminine author to table. Miss Repplier is delightful out of doors after a tramp, when one has finished sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs and watches the coffee begin to bubble."

But suppose you are traveling and have to fit your breakfast to any book you can find, rather than fit the book to the breakfast? With O. Henry, says the author, eat New England sausages, cakes and syrup. With Mrs. Wharton, take black coffee, toast, and radishes; for "cream, even boiled milk, would curdle in company with 'Ethan Frome.' As for Henry James, he would require 'salad macedoine, with a lively sprinkling of red peppers, onion, and nutmeg, preceded by fried canteloupe and followed by grapes stewed in claret.'"


"FROM the time we left Revigny, we no longer saw a green tree or a blade of green grass," writes Kathleen Burke in the Forum. "Owing to the dry summer, the roads are thick with white dust. The continual passing of the transport wagons of the French army has stirred up the dust and coated the fields, trees, and hedges with a thick layer of white. It is almost as painful to the eyes as the snow-fields of the Alps.

"We passed a group of German prisoners, and amongst them was a wounded man, who was lying in a small cart. A hand-bag had fallen across his leg, and none of his companions attempted to remove it. A Frenchwoman, pushing her way between the guards, lifted it off and gave it to one of the Germans to carry. When the guards tried to remonstrate, she replied simply: 'I have a son who is a prisoner in their land; let us hope that some German woman will do as much for him.'

"I never see a hand grenade without thinking how difficult it is just now to be a hero in France. Every man is really a hero, and the men who have medals are almost ashamed, since they know that nearly all their comrades merit them. It is especially difficult to be a hero in one's own family. One of the men in our hospital had been in the trenches during an attack. A grenade thrown by one of the French soldiers struck the parapet and rebounded amongst the men. With that rapidity of thought which is part of the French character, Jules sat on the grenade and extinguished it. For this act of bravery he was decorated by the French government, and wrote home to tell his wife. I found him sitting up in bed gloomily reading her reply, and I inquired why he looked so glum. 'Well, Mademoiselle, I wrote to my wife to tell her of my new honor, and see what she says: 'My dear Jules: We are not surprised you got a medal for sitting on a hand grenade. We never knew you to do anything else but sit down at home!'

"A young French medical student told me that he owed his life to the quick wit of the women of a village. He was captured by a small German patrol, and, in spite of his papers proving that he was attached to the Red Cross service, he was tried as a spy and condemned to be shot. At the opening of his trial the women had been interested spectators. Toward the end all of them had vanished. He was placed against a barn door, the firing squad lined up, when from behind a hedge the women began to bombard the soldiers with eggs. The aim was excellent; not one man escaped. The German officer laughed at the plight of his men, and in the brief respite the young man dashed toward the hedge and vanished in the undergrowth. The Germans fired a few shots, but there was no organized attempt to follow him, probably because their own position was not too secure. Later he again visited the village, and the women told him that, beyond obliging them to clean the soldiers' clothes, the German officer had inflicted no other punishment."



Drawn by O. Cunningham. From London Opinion.

"Bridget, what on earth are you doing in my gasmask?"

"Shure, sir, it's a grand invention entirely to keep yer eyes from watherin' when yer peelin' the onions."

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Illustrations by Clark Fay

THEY were after him, all right. Two plain-clothes men—he knew them all, and they all knew him—had beaten him to the railway station; he spotted them just in time to retreat. Another was watching at the ferry landing; but here he had approached cautiously, and had easily got away unseen. The trolley cars remained, but he knew well that every conductor and motorman must long before have been notified to watch for him.. Of course scores of roads led into the country; but Cully the Bum was a city man, unused to country ways, and he did not dare to venture into the unknown perils of the rural regions.

Every avenue of escape seemed barred; yet by one of them he must escape speedily. Already the police would be combing the lower sections of the city for him—and dozens' of stool-pigeons would be waiting to betray him. Chief Duffy, of the police, had threatened to "do" him, and Duffy had a way of keeping his word.

He had been a fool to snatch that money; he knew it was the act of a fool,


"She got him a towel and handed him a cake of soap. 'Take this, and make a good job of it.'"

even as he did it. But the temptation had been sudden and too great. To get away with it would mean a year of luxury, not a year of luxury as he had known it in his younger days, but a year of the cheaper delights he had learned to prize in later years. Morally the theft did not trouble him, although it was his first important one: for he remembered that he was only repeating history by wresting money from a rich fool who had too much, just as another thief had wrested an even larger sum from him years and years before.

So he had snatched it, and had got away with it—temporarily. If he was to got away permanently he must do so by his wits. And his wits were not what they had been years before: whisky and cold and wet and bad air and hunger had damaged them beyond repair. Nevertheless, in them lay his only resource.

THE trouble was that he was too conspicuous. He had not consciously looked in a mirror for years,—he had never been proud of his looks, even in his younger days,—but he knew only too well that he was a marked man. Intent, now, on ascertaining just how conspicuous he was, he crossed the street to an iron horse-trough, and stared down into the placid water.

It was even worse than he had feared. No one could see him and not remember him. His thick brows met above a pasty-white face; his eyes were shifty and filled with greenish lights; his lips curled backward from yellow fangs; his neck and chin were thick—like a bulldog's; and his ragged, reddish beard did nothing to lessen the evil appearance of his face. Moreover, his clothes were tattered and filthy.

No disguise could conceal a physiognomy such as that, except—his wits, were stirring faintly—except perhaps the disguise that had once been no disguise—the guise of a gentleman. If he could assume such an attire, and could call back the long-disused manners that had once been second nature to him, he might get past the policemen at the railway station. Certainly one so dressed would be suspected least of all.

But how was he to get such clothes? He had plenty of money; but no one knew better than he that it would not help him. He knew, of course, of many old-clothes shops in the slums, but he dared not visit them—dared not even go into their vicinity: to do so would be to court arrest. And, in his present condition, he could not enter a tailor's or a clothing store or a shoe store and show his money without arousing suspicion. He could not even enter a barber-shop in the better part of the town without attracting comment that would be quickly ruinous.

Desperately he looked about for inspiration—and found it. He was in a well-to-do residential quarter, in which the houses stood well apart, with wide yards. At the back of one of these yards he saw a woman scrubbing the side-door steps. Close behind her was a hydrant. Deliberately he opened the gate and went toward her.

He was very near when she saw him and sprang up with a gasp of fear. But before she could run list had whipped off his hat.

"Don't be afraid," he begged. "I only want to wash at your hydrant, if you'll let me. I've had an accident."

His voice, hoarse and cracked, rumbled none too pleasantly.

But the woman seemed to be reassured by his words.

"An 'accident, is it?" she answered keenly. I misdoubt it's more than an accident it is. But I'll not be standing in the way of any man that wants to clean himself. Here!" She handed him the cake of soap with which she had been scrubbing. "Take this, an' make a good job of it. Sure, it's needin' it you are."

She' stood watching while he scrubbed himself, then went into the house and came back with a coarse towel.

SUCCESS encouraged the man. He looked at the woman and tried to smile ingratiatingly; then he looked at his clothes.

"My garments seem to have suffered as much as my face," he said. "Is there a cast-off suit about the place that I could have? I—I can pay two dollars."

He knew by experience that nearly every house held at least one suit of outworn clothes, and that nearly every housewife, no matter how well-to-do, would be glad to get an unexpected dollar or two for it. He would have been glad to pay almost any amount for decent clothes, but he dared not appear to have too much money.

The upshot was that he, went away in a cast-off chauffeur's uniform, with a pair of shoes on his feet that would pass muster unless inspected too closely. So attired, he found a barber-shop and had himself shaved and cropped. Semi-respectable now, he bought clean linen and underclothes and new shoes, and, greatly daring, sought a Turkish bath.

When he came out half an hour later, he could venture, unabashed, into a big clothing store and buy the best suit and hat in the place. Throughout, the chauffeur's costume helped him wonderfully. A chauffeur may be any one, from a graduated cab-driver to a duke.

Throughout his progress he had avoided looking into a mirror. Even when he bought his hat, he refused the urgings of the salesman to see how it fitted. Throughout he had been feeling a curious sense of uplift. The years seemed to be rolling backward to the old days when he was 'young and strong and rich—the days when the world lay before him, fresh, sunny, hazy with the wonders of the future. The soft water, the clean linen, the new clothes made him feel young; almost he believed that he was young. But he dared not look in a glass, lest the illusion should vanish.

Only at the very last, when he strode out of a drug-store with a brand-new suitcase, to whose contents he had just added an array of toilet articles, did he stop before a big mirror.

AT first lie closed his eyes in absolute terror of what he might see. When at last he opened them, he stood quite still for a moment, staring. Could this be he—this elegant, deep-chested, upstanding gentleman with the dark, curly hair, the clean-shaven cheeks, and the aquiline nose? What if he were a little too heavy about the paunch? The shadow of his deep chest concealed it. What if his cheeks did hang flabbily beneath his eyes? A pair of glasses would mask them. What if his face were pallid? To one arrayed like himself pallor would be no drawback. The clothes had not brought back the boy he had been, but they had shown him, for the moment at least, the man he might have been.

Could he not be that man? Could he not once more be George Cullinane and not Cully the Bum? He had attired himself as a gentleman solely to make possible his escape, with no thought of sustaining the role later. He had never dreamed that he could look like this! But now—now—if mere external concomitants like a bath and a shave and clothes could so metamorphose him, could so "deck the sensual slave of sin," could not the "freeborn soul within" rise to the opportunity?

The stolen money was sufficient to take him back East and to support him decently while he hunted up old friends. They had disowned him when he fell from grace years before; but if he went to them like this, with money in his pocket, surely some of them would welcome him. Oh, yes! He could get "back"; he saw the way clear before him.

Boldly he strode out of the drug-store and to the railway station. He had no fear of the officers on watch there. If they gave him a second glance they would probably recognize him; but he felt very sure they would not give him a second glance. No one seeking Cully the Bum could possibly look for him in such a guise as this.

Quite boldly he strode into the railway station, bought a ticket and a sleeping-car berth, gave his newly purchased suit-case to a porter, and joined the crush that was filing through the train gates. Be did not look for detectives; he had practically forgotten them—a fact that probably contributed not a little to his safety. Beyond the gate he found the porter waiting, and followed him down the long platform, barely noticing, from a movable sign, that he had taken passage on the Century Limited, composed exclusively of sleepers. It was just as well, he decided. The Century Limited made few stops, and those at long intervals. It was safer than most trains. Mechanically he climbed the steps of his car, and sat down, opposite a woman, in the seat to which he had been guided. His mind was so far in the future that he did not even draw a breath of relief when the wheels began to revolve and the danger of arrest seemed over.

MILE after mile he rode, staring out of the window, gazing, not at the unlovely roads and raw, disheveled prairie that flitted endlessly by, but at vacancy— a vacancy teeming with men and things that he had thought gone forever, but that he now saw rising before him in a splendid vision of the coining years. To the woman opposite he gave absolutely no thought.

But at last something, perhaps some quick gasp of breath, drew his attention to her. A veil shaded her face, but he could see that beneath it she was staring rigidly toward the end of the car. Involuntarily his eyes followed hers, and he saw that she was watching the approach of the conductor, much as a wounded deer might watch the approach of a hunter.

Swiftly he studied her. Her tawny hair, crinkly beneath an exaggerated sailor hat, was drawn low down over her ears, concealing them. A pink underwaist glowed like a conflagration through a cheap crêpe blouse that gave place lower down to a tan skirt. Below, sleazy white stockings showed for an inch or two above high-laced near-white boots. Somehow, she seemed bucolic, but she wore the city brand.

Cullinane's first feeling was one of resentment. He felt as he would have felt years before. Such women ought not to be allowed on the Century Limited, he told himself. She was too patently out of place, as patently—Cullinane's mouth dropped in sudden recollection—as patently as he himself!

Then the girl—he saw now that she was only a girl—gasped again, with a terror even more deadly than before.

Instantly Cullinane reverted. The habit of the last fifteen years was, at least momentarily, stronger than the

Continued on page 15

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LITTLE Miss Norah Cook used to bring in the sausage-and-mashed and a cut-o'-mince to the boarders in the Keystone Hotel in a Southwest mining town. It was a nice little job at $3.50 per, with nickels and dimes and sometimes quarters to help along. When, presto! came the war, and all the mines began to boom. Norah invested her little savings in a mine, and to-day she has $5000 in the bank, and a $2000 home nearly paid for, and a mine that still pays $25 a week But she's still waiting at the Keystone—still waiting.


HAVE a look at this gentleman, ford- owners. If he stops you because you are driving so fast that the rattle of your fenders Keeps the children awake, don't try to slip him a two-beaner and expect to glide happily home. He can not be bought. He is Patrolman B. H. Throop of Scranton, the richest citizen of that town. Because of his interest in police matters, and especially in the breeding of police dogs, he has been appointed by the Mayor of Scranton a member of the regular force. We hope that this business of being a policeman will not become a fad among rich young men. Think of being arrested by Harry Thaw!


DO not feed or annoy the waiters. Be careful of your language and actions in their presence. For all you know, the individual to whom you complain at noon about the athletic character of the butter may appear in the evening as your landlord and eject you from your apartment. Otto Steenus of Chicago still accepts orders (also tips), but he owns two apartment-houses whose annual rentals are more than $4000, and other real estate to the value of $100,000 or so. Please, Otto, a glass of water? No? All right; just as you say.


CONTRARY to your impression, not all chauffeurs are rich. Some of the money they take away from you is taken away from them. Big fleas have little fleas to bite 'em, and these still littler ones ad infinitum. But Philip Neuman of Chicago had so ready a smile and so nice a manner that tips flowed his way. And part of the tips he invested in a new automobile accessory concern. To-day Philip's income from the investment is something like $5000 a year; but it hasn't spoiled Philip a bit.


MOSE JACOBS, of Des Moines, is the world's richest newsboy. He is forty-five years old, and has been selling papers for twenty-five years. All his $40,000 and his big touring car have come to him a penny at a time. One secret of his success is shown in the picture. What easier way to grow rich than by selling something for which people will force money on you like—but why speak of it?


CHARLES FORD is janitor in a local newspaper office in Madison, Wisconsin, and he janits from choice. If Charles Ford were to invest all his money in autos, and set them parading down Main Street, they would be seventy-two hours in passing a given point (assuming they ran all the time—which, as any auto owner knows, is some assumption). Charles loves the editorial sanctum. And, when we consider all the bright things that we ourselves write and then have to throw in the waste-basket, where only the janitor's eyes ever-see them, we don't wonder that Charles would rather janit than loaf.

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THESE are neurasthenic days. In a modern art gallery you find a picture of whipped syllabub entitled "Intermezzo"; or a fine picture of some fire-works called "Nocturne." It's a comfort to recall the dear old pictures long since relegated to the tin trunk. This pony, for instance, that a mere child' could recognize. Forgotten is printed under it in big letters, and above the tavern door are the significant words, "Licensed to Be Drunk on the Premises." In a flash you know that the pony will stand unhitched until morning, waiting for his master—drunken rapscallion though he be.



THE great American wedding gift of forty years ago, At Last Alone, depicts the embrace of bride and groom after the wedding guests have left the room and are looking through the key-hole. It recalls the somber days when a girl's fiancé was entertained by her immediate family, her relatives, and her mere connections, as well as herself. The "Let's make fudge ruse" had not yet been hit upon. The picture also shows how an extraordinarily beautiful girl of sixteen and a half looked in those days.



COPIES of Alone sold by the hundred thousand. It was pasted on trunk trays, over the pendulum of the kitchen clock, and rich people hung it in their dark red plush parlors, next to the Battle of Gettysburg. The girl is not exactly pretty—she would never do for a magazine cover. An illustrator who likes to draw those slab-sided girls with curly hair and eyebrows in the middle of the forehead looked at Alone and said meanly, "No wonder." Yet we like it. It's that sad something about it!



EVEN Royal Academicians used to paint pictures like The Doctor. They put in every detail—the doctor's finger ring, the canary, huddled and mournful, even the liter marks on the medicine bottle. Then cameras became as cheap as hat-bands. Thought artists, "What's the use of working all our lives to make a picture realistic when a camera can make it realistic in the fraction of a second?" This explains—as we understand it—why these futurists, in order to avoid the slightest semblance to photography, draw a riot of color and say it's a picture of mid-day noises or of an industrial smell.



ART critics will stand before a real good picture of a snow-storm, labeled "Hate," "Nude Ancestors," or "Primitive Man with Tangerine," as the case may be, and say: "Nice rhythm. Splendid movement there. Has emotional significance. I like the cosmic note you have caught!" That is why a fine old thing like The First Real Sorrow baffles them. There is absolutely nothing to say about it. Of course the dog isn't as good as the rest; but still you can tell it is a dog, get fond of it as such—and don't have to take some one's word for it.



SIR EDWIN LANDSEER, the man who made dogs look much more intellectual than any human being has ever yet looked, painted Saved. This St. Bernard, with infinite tenderness, self-sacrifice. and the deepest sympathy playing on his features, has saved the little girl from drowning without disturbing a hair of her head or ruining her clothes. There are a lot of questions we often ask ourselves about the picture. How did the dog get her up on the wharf? Why did the artist make the ground look like calves' brains? And why in thunder do we still like this picture?



DOGS are rarely made the center of a picture now. Sometimes a Russian wolf-hound gets in as the prop for a society lady's hand. A Disgrace to His Family and a lot of other dog family groups used to hang in the children's bedroom. Something about the eyes of the good little dogs still suggests Aunt Hattie when her temperance beverage exploded. But this homey old thing has been taken down and turned in for two framed mottoes—"Ain't It Awful to Be Poor" and "It's the Voice with the Smile that Wins."



THE story of The Lion's Bride runs like this: A beautiful girl, with her tender charm and exquisite tact, tamed a roaring lion. She alone would he permit to enter the cage and run her fingers through his mane. Finally, friendship flowered into love—on the lion's part, that is. But, the girl becoming betrothed to a young man, the lion was filled with inordinate jealousy. He could hardly contain himself. It was on her wedding day. With a song on her lips and joy in her heart, she came to bid farewell to her old playmate. Unable to bear it longer, he killed her. Aren't her ear-rings and the gleam of the lion's eyes just as natural?

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THERE are two kinds of automobiles—"factory built" and "assembled." Which kind of a family is yours? The old-fashioned kind—just your own children? You are away out of style. The new-fashioned family isn't built, it's assembled: some of the parts made in Belgium, some in Italy, some in Japan. The new idea has started in Los Angeles and will spread everywhere. Here's Blanche Sterry, made in Belgium, but now adopted by Miss Nora Sterry of Los Angeles, and guaranteed 100 per cent. American.


IN these days of censorship we hesitate to print the words Shinogu Fukasako, lest the censor suppose they are a code by which we are trying to signal to one of our subscribers who runs a delicatessen store on Sixth Avenue. Not so. Shinogu Fukasako is the name that was given this young man in faraway Japan. Then Shinogu came to America; Dr. and Mrs. C. C. Pierce saw him; the Doctor performed an operation, removing the name Shinogu Fukasako and grafting on the name William Pierce. The patient is doing well.


WHEN the Kaiser calls the class of 1926 to the colors there will be one vacancy in the ranks. "Who iss missig?" Wilhelm will demand sternly. And Hindenburg will answer: "Vun liddle kid ran avay and god adopted in America." Whereupon the army will sing. "Gott strafe America," and the war will go on. The little boy about whom all this trouble will take place is Charles Churchill Sterry (new name), who has been adopted by Miss Ruth Sterry, and is therefore growing up a cousin to the little Belgian-American on the left.


WHAT Billie Bartlett's name used to be, not even Billy knows. Doubtless it was "little boy with a hole in his moccasins," or some poetic Indian name like that. But Dr. and Mrs. Dana Bartlett are raising him to be a noble white man. We wish you all the luck in the world. Billie, and we are glad that you are not going into the Kickapoo medicine business. We once took some of that medicine, Billie, and it made us wish our ancestors had not been quite so kind to yours.


THE per capita wealth of the Aleo family, after Mr. Aleo took his unceremonious departure, leaving no forwarding address, was 2.5 cents—twenty-five cents to be divided among Mrs. Aleo and nine children. It was about this time that Mr. and Mrs. Klein, of Los Angeles, got interested in James D. Aleo. James is now a regular member of the Klein household. Not even the fragrant spaghetti, substituted for the snobbish potato, makes him long for the shores of sunny Italy nor the sunny Italians whom—as the poet hath it—he used to be which.


AMELIA WAINWRIGHT doesn't believe in the unluckiness of thirteen. She was the thirteenth of thirteen children. The other twelve are still down in Tennessee, picking cotton; but Amelia was adopted by Miss Catherine Cocke, head of the music department in a school in Los Angeles. Amelia is having her voice trained, and can sing nearly every song except "Try to picture me 'way down in Tennessee." Trusting that this page has been instructive, and that you will now adopt a few children of various colors, and thanking you for your kind attention, we will pass on to the next page.

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—Continued from page 10

memory of the twenty that had preceded them. The kinship of the under-world claimed him, conscripted him as an ally in its life-long battle against authority, however represented. From between his closed teeth he spoke.

"Buck up," he ordered hoarsely. "Wot's eatin' you? Buck up! Don't lie down! Throw 'em a bluff. Wotever cards you got, play 'em strong. I'll back you 's much as I can!"

The girl gasped; then her rigid frame relaxed. The worst of her terror seemed to fall away.

"Gawd!" she exclaimed. "I didn't know you was—"

SHE broke off, pretended for the first time to see the conductor, now near at hand, and began to search through the jingly shopping-bag that lay in her lap.

As the conductor came up her search became hurried, and then, speedily, frantic. Again and again she turned over the tawdry contents of the tawdry bag; again and again she felt in her only pocket; again and again she bent down and searched (amid heliotrope flounces) in some veiled receptacle that was too obviously a stocking. Steadily her agitation grew. Cullinane guessed that it was not all counterfeit.

The conductor waited for a moment, then took Cullinane's ticket, punched it, and handed it back. Then he turned to the people in the opposite section. At last he came back to the girl.

She looked up at him cringingly.

"I can't find my ticket," she gasped.

A smaller, narrower red strip showed in her hand, and this the conductor reached over and took. "Let me see your sleeper ticket," he said, unfolding it. "This seems to be all right," he went on encouragingly. "How far are you going?"

"To New York. An' I had my ticket right here. Oh, I'm sure I had it. The man at the gate punched it, an'—an'—Oh! What 'm I goin' to do? I gotter get to New York; I gotter get there. Oh! What 'm I goin' to do? I had it on the platform! I did! I did! An' now I've lost it. Oh! What'm I goin' to do?"

The conductor looked puzzled. Like Cullinane, he recognized the girl's type at a glance. Still, even one of that type might conceivably travel by the Century Limited. The Pullman ticket was strong though of course not conclusive evidence that she really owned a railway ticket calling for the same trip.

"Oh, well!" he said."Take your time. I'll be back later."

He passed on as the Pullman conductor came up behind him, collected the Pullman tickets, and returned the numbered stubs.

While the two men were in sight the girl continued her pretended search; but when they had disappeared at the end of the car she desisted, panting slightly. Her fingers, in her cheap soiled gloves, picked nervously at each other.

Cullinane watched her in silence, frowning. He was repenting of his encouragement of a few moments before. It had been instinctive; and instinct had given place to reason and was reminding him that he was flying from the law and hoping for regeneration, and warning him of the danger of becoming in any way identified with a girl like this. In sudden panic he rose to take refuge in the smoking compartment.

But the girl, in terror, clutched him.

"You ain't a-goin' to leave me?" she gasped. "Oh! You ain't a-goin' to leave me?"

Cullinane dropped back in his seat. He wanted to escape, but somehow he could not.

"Tell me all about it," he ordered. "Tell me the truth!"

The girl obeyed. She was like a swimmer, perishing in the sea, into whose hands a straw had drifted.

"My mother's dying," she panted. "She lived on a farm near Albany. She wrote me the doctor said she'd have to go to town to be operated on or she'd die. It would cost two hundred dollars or more. She asked if I would spare her the money! I—I been lyin' to her, y' understand. I been writin' her that I had a little store of my own an' was savin' money, an' she thought I'd have the money. Two hundred dollars! An' I didn't have scarcely two hundred cents! I been lyin' to her, y' understand. She didn't kn w about me—what I was. An' I—I tried to beg money. I tried to steal it. But I couldn't. I didn't know anybody that had ten dollars, let alone two hundred dollars.

"Then came a telegram, to-day, tellin' me to come at once or it would be too late. An' I didn't have but three dollars in the world. But I had to get there somehow. I had to! So I came to the station an' got a ticket 's far as my money'd bring me, an' I came through the gate and started for my train. And then I saw a sleeper ticket lying on the platform right before—me. An' I picked it up, an' saw it read clear through to New York. An' I knew God had put it there as a sign that He knew that I wasn't really bad, that I'd only—that I just couldn't help myself. I used to be a good girl once, and—and—oh, I never wanted to be anything but good; but I couldn't help myself.

"An' while I was lookin' at it a porter came up an' took it, an' then he grabbed my bag and told me to 'come this way,' an' he took me clear across the station to this train, an' then another porter put me in this seat. An' I thought it was a sign that God knew I never meant to be bad and that He'd forgive me, an' for a minute I felt happy. An' then I saw the conductor comin', an' I knew I hadn't any business here and that I didn't have any real railroad ticket, and I was scared, scared, scared. And then you spoke to me, an' I knew for sure that God had forgiven me an' was goin' to get me home somehow, an' had sent you to help me."

The girl spoke hurriedly. From time to time she caught her breath with a little gasp, then rushed on again, her words tumbling over each other.

CULLINANE was shaken. The girl's identification of him as a messenger of Omnipotence passed him over; it was too preposterous even to amuse him. Her declaration of trust did not accord very well with her terror when he had sought to leave her a moment before. Nevertheless he was shaken. Dimly he remembered days when he had heard his own mother express just such trust—a trust that he himself would quit his evil ways. And he remembered that her, trust had not been fulfilled—not yet.

"Not yet." His thoughts hung on the words. Could the appearance of this girl be an omen? Was she a living message sent to tell him that his project was to succeed—that the stolen money was to open the way back to decency for him? Slowly he shook his head. Neither his long-dead mother nor God would welcome one who rose on a stolen foundation.

Besides, the girl might be a fraud, trying to beat her way East by bluffing the conductor or by playing on the sympathies of her fellow passengers. Cullinane had been taught in a hard school, and he had learned to suspect every one.

"Let me see the letter you got," he croaked. "And the telegram!"

The girl found them and passed them over. The telegram said: "Come at once and bring money or it will be too late." Undoubtedly it was genuine. He glanced at it and passed it back; then he read the letter:


"Cullinane dropped back in his seat. He wanted to escape, but somehow he could not. 'Tell me all about it,' he ordered. 'Tell me the truth.'"

Dear Mary:

It hurts me to write you this. You've been a good daughter to me, Mary; and I know how hard you been working and saving for your own little store, and I hate to take even a single dollar from you, much less as much as I got to ask you for. I reckon it'll take about all you've saved, Mary; and I wouldn't ask you for it, but I know you'd never really forgive me if you found out I'd died without letting you know.

I ain't been so well for a long time, Mary. There's something inside me gone wrong. I don't know just what it is, but it's hurting worse and worse every day. The doctor says I got to go to Albany to be operated on. He says we ain't got proper hospitals or doctors in the country for an operation like what this has got to be. It'll cost two hundred dollars and maybe more. He says it's got to be done soon or I'll die. And I don't know anybody that can give me the money but you, Mary. I know it's going to set you back something awful, Mary; but I know you're going to win out some day, anyhow. Maybe God let you do as well as you have just so you could have the joy of saving your mother. For it will be a joy to you, Mary; nobody knows that better than the woman that bore you. Nobody knows that better'n me, Mary.

You mustn't leave your business, Mary. It ain't that I don't want to see you. I want to see you so bad that it hurts. But I know how stores go when you leave some _one. in charge that ain't got any real interest in them. That's what ruined your Pa. It's bad enough to take out all your savings and maybe, have to borrow more, without taking yourself out, too, Don't do it, Mary. Mrs. Mason is mighty good to me, and she and the doctor will see me through. I wish—but I guess I can't write any more now, Mary, and anyhow I got to send this letter to the post right away. So good-by, Mary.


While Cullinane read, the girl sat stolidly, and even when he had finished she spoke no word. She merely waited. But her appeal was unmistakable.

Cullinane withered under it. The elation that had carried him so far had suddenly deserted him, and the full burden of his years of degradation descended upon him. It was amazing that he had thrown it off for so long a time as he had. Physically he had no stamina; pure nervous force had sustained him, and the girl's story had stricken this into nothingness.

He could not help her! He would not help her. To identify himself with her in any way would be madness. He was a fugitive—momentarily safe, but still in danger. Sooner or later the police would find his trail. It was broad enough, in all conscience—broad enough for even a "bull" to follow. The mere presence of this girl in the section with him would probably be enough to make the conductor remember him when asked, later, about him. Already the other passengers had seen him talking to her; he must not let them associate her with him further.

Blindly he rose, intent on getting away —somewhere, anywhere, so long as it was away.

But the girl interfered. She had been watching him dumbly. Now, at his sudden movement, she roused. With a quick motion she threw back the veil that had shadowed her face and looked up at him with wide, desperate eyes.

"You ain't going to leave me?" she implored, in almost the same words she had used before.

Cullinane hesitated. The decision that had marked his actions for an hour or two had given place to an habitual vacillation. Harsh words rose to his lips—words that would end her importunity once and forever. But he did not speak them. Instead he equivocated.

"I'll be back soon," he promised weakly, and made his escape.

Somehow he found his way to the smoking compartment. For a wonder, he found it empty. He dropped into a chair, and tried to dismiss the girl from his thoughts and to get back once more the jubilant mood.

BUT he could not do it. Strive as he might, the girl's pitiful face obtruded itself. What did she expect him to do? he asked himself irascibly. Pay her way to Albany? He could do it. Oh, yes; he could do it. But it would cost him. And he had little enough money for a campaign such as he contemplated. How much did he have, anyway? He had had no chance to count it. Furtively he looked about, then took out the stolen roll and thumbed it hastily. Two hundred and fifty-odd dollars. Only two hundred and fifty-odd dollars! He had thought it much more! Disappointment, deep and overwhelming, rolled over him. Two hundred and fifty dollars was nothing, nothing! Only by amazing luck could he hope to find his friends and rehabilitate himself on such a sum. To lessen it even by twenty or twenty-five dollars would mean eclipse to all his hopes. It would surely take him a lot of time to find even one friend who would help him.

Now he thought of it, he was not so sure that he would ever be able to find even one. He was not sure that he had ever had any friends. He had had plenty of companions while his money had lasted, but none of them had stood by him after the last of it was gone. From these men, even if he found them, he could hope for nothing. And from the older men, those who might help him for his mother's sake, he could hope for little more. They must be getting old; probably many of them were dead.

No! he could not spare a single cent.

And why should he spare a single cent? The girl was nothing to him. Why should she have settled on him, anyway? Why had she chanced into his section, of all those on all the cars on all the trains on all the days of the year? Why had she appealed to him, of all the people in the world? It was not fair. What if her case was hard? His case was hard, too! It had been hard for many a year! Now that he had a chance—

But had he a chance?

Abruptly he leaned forward and looked narrowly into one of the many mirrors that lined the compartment. When he had viewed himself an hour or two before, he had been delighted; the transformation worked by soap and water and good clothes had seemed to him marvelous. But, now that he scanned his features closely, he read on them the unmistakable stamp of misused years. It was not so much that his cheeks were drawn and his eyes dull; these were mere outward signs that could in time be eradicated. But behind these he saw his naked soul—the soul that no Turkish bath could cleanse.

He had no chance! It was madness to think that he had. It was not a question of a few dollars more or less. It was not a question of any amount of money he could possibly command. Money alone would not suffice. He must have force, driving force, to make it avail. And he had no force; he had frittered it away, and could not call it back. This girl—she had it. Yes, she had it! She would never have dared what she had dared unless she had it. If she had a chance she might get "back."

He would give her a chance. He would pay her fare. Perhaps it might count for him at the last great day when his record was made up.

HE rose to go back to her. Then he heard the door of the car slam, and he paused, waiting for those who had entered the car to pass on.

But they did not pass on. In the passage, just beyond the curtains that marked the door of the compartment, not two feet from his face, they stopped and spoke together.

"Oh, yes; he's the man," one of them was saying. Cullinane recognized his voice as that of the conductor. "The description fits perfectly. I knew he was queer the minute I saw him. But I'll hand it to him, all right. He's got nerve, he has. Fancy a bum disguising himself as a gentleman and running away with his loot on the Century Limited."

CULLINANE'S hand dropped from the curtain. So it was all over—over before it had really begun! The police had been quicker than he had thought possible. And modern science had enabled them to overtake him in mid-flight. Grimly he smiled as he remembered his hesitation over a few dollars. All his money had turned to dross.

The voice of the other man beyond the curtains sounded, and Cullinane listened. It was the Pullman conductor:

"I guess it wasn't altogether a disguise," he was saying meditatively. "It was more like a resumption. The man's a horn gentleman, unless I miss my guess. I'm kind of sorry for him. Maybe he was trying to get 'back.' Anyway, there's no use arresting him now. We don't want any rough-house in the Pullman; the company wouldn't like it. We'll be at Midville in fifteen minutes. Why not wait till then? You can wire ahead for officers to meet us; and when we get there I'll send a porter to call him to the door."

"Suits me! I'll wire ahead at once."

The conductor's voice died away. Obviously he had departed to find the operator of the train telegraph.

Cullinane threw back his shoulders. The game was up! It only remained for him to play the last cards. What was it that the Pullman conductor had said? That he had been born a gentleman? Well, so he had been! He had fallen far, but he had been born a gentleman. For a brief hour he had been a gentleman once more, and he intended to stay one.

He had fifteen minutes left—fifteen minutes before the train reached Midville. He remembered the station at Midville: he had been there years before. It would serve his turn. And the fifteen minutes would suffice for preparation.

Firmly he trod the swaying aisle to his section, and sat down. The girl looked up at him anxiously; then shrank back, affrighted by his face. Then Cullinane spoke, quietly, conversationally.

"I find I have to leave the train at the next station," he said. "I've been thinking. Perhaps God did send me here to meet you. God works with mighty queer instruments sometimes—instruments that are so worthless that they break in the using—after they have done their work. Anyway! I want to help you and your mother. Take this." He slipped his two hundred and fifty dollars into her hands. "Don't look at it now: wait till I've gone. You'll find enough money there to save your mother and to provide for you and her till she is strong again. Stay in the country with her. Don't go back to the city—ever. Everything is going to come right with you, and in time you'll forget what you have been through, and will look back on the past as an evil dream. Believe me, it is true. When the conductor comes again, just pay your fare out of the money. Do you understand?"

The girl seemed to have difficulty in doing so.

"But—but—" she gasped.

"Don't worry. It's all right! The money is nothing to me—nothing at all! I have plenty left for all my needs. But promise me one thing."

"Anything—anything!" The girl seemed choking.

Cullinane smiled faintly.

"Whatever people say to you, you must not admit that you know me," he said. "You must insist that I was just a chance passenger, assigned to this section. Do not admit for one instant that I gave you anything."



"I promise."

Perhaps the girl suspected something; perhaps she did not. Some women are amazingly unsuspicious.

Unmoved, Cullinane went on.

"I am going now," he said. "Pay no attention to me!"

"Can't—can't I do anything—say anything?"

"Yes, you may do one thing. You may believe, if you can, that God picked me out of the ruck for a single instant to act as his messenger. And you may say 'God bless you,' if you will. It may—help me—at the last."

The girl clasped her hands.

"Oh! I do say it! I do! I do! God bless you, bless you, bless you! You are God's messenger. You are! You are!"

"Let us hope so. Good-by!"

The train was jarring with the action of the brakes and was beginning to slow down. Cullinane rose and walked jauntily to the door.

The Pullman conductor and the porter met him as he reached it, but drew back to let him pass, watching him hesitantly, then following closely at his heels as he passed through the vestibule, entered the next car, and walked to its farther end.

AS he reached the door, the train stopped, and a porter threw open the vestibule steps. Cullinane stepped down to the cement platform of the station.

Before him he saw two officers hurrying up; and over his shoulder he saw the Pullman conductor gesticulating to them madly. But chance had timed his movement accurately. At his feet yawned the well of the steep iron stairway leading to the lower level. Before the officers could reach him he stepped to it, pretended to stumble, and fairly dived headlong into its depth.

When they picked him up he was quite dead.

But as the hurrying train once more took up its iron trail, the girl, unknowing, lay back in her seat, clutching the bills that spelled life and redemption.

"He was God's messenger," she sobbed. "He was! He was!"

The Flag of Lolonnois


Illustration by George Gibbs

SETH DORLAND FITCH, twenty-six years old, opens a law office in New York in 1914, just before the Great War. For fifty dollars the young man buys from a curio shop a worn, old flag said to have been carried by the pirate Lolonnois. Refusing to sell it to the' agents of a rich hunchback, Ransome, the flag is stolen from Fitch's room, and in its place he finds two hundred dollars. When later he sees Ransome step from his bank into a taxi, he follows, and tracks the man to a yacht, the Corinna. He is forcibly detained on board the yacht, where he learns that the hunchback is a monomaniac on the subject of piracy. Ransome apparently takes a liking to Fitch, and commands his followers—among whom are the two agents, Barron and Pelletier—to treat him as a guest. He tells Fitch that he hates mankind because of his deformity, and is determined to be powerful in spite of this handicap. His plan is to seize an American war-ship and with it to loot the seas. Fitch refuses to become one of Ransome's followers, and is cast adrift on a raft. Later he is picked up by a British tramp, the Beeston. The captain scoffs at his story of the pirate craft, and refuses to send broadcast a wireless to warn other vessels. Meantime the Corinna has managed to capture an American war-ship, the Comet, and a few hours later makes an attack on the Beeston. The captain makes no resistance in face of superior numbers, and Ransome orders Fitch and the captain's niece, Mary Richley, aboard the Comet. He takes possession of the oil on board the Beeston, and then, turning the Comet's guns on the Beeston, blows the tramp up—killing all on board. Fitch and Mary Richley look on in horror. The girl, after making a futile effort to get to her uncle, faints.

PELLETIER helped me carry the girl below. Rather—inasmuch as I would not let him touch her—he showed me the way to the cabin to which he had assigned her. Shortly after I had loosened her collar and belt, one of the Chinese stewards that I had seen aboard the Corinna came to the room with a tray of liquids, from which I selected brandy. I moistened her temples and lips, and chafed her wrists.

In carrying her below I had somehow loosened her hair, and as she lay on the berth I took note of her beauty for the first time. She was very beautiful, with plenty of brown hair, grayish blue eyes under well defined eyebrows, a straight nose with fine, high-bred nostrils, a mouth that could be firm enough, with not too full lips, a strong, rounded chin with a tiny dimple, a strong, graceful throat, and a figure rather above medium height. Lying there on the berth, pale, unconscious, with the soft curves of her accentuated by her pose, it would have been a queer sort of man who would not have felt the protective masculine impulse within him.

Looking at her, I wondered how much Ransome's word was worth. He did not harm women, he had told Richley. But truth was not in the hunchback. Even as he had said this to Richley he might have been inwardly exulting in the youth and beauty of the captain's niece.

A lone woman aboard the pirate craft faced a future of horror. A wholesale murderer is not apt to have any scruples about his treatment of a feminine captive.

I looked desperately about the cabin. Evidently it had belonged to one of the higher officers of the Comet, and it did not seem yet to have been preempted by any of the buccaneers. There, above the wash-stand, was a picture of a young girl, and scrawled across it were the words: "To Jimmy, from his best beloved."

She was a pretty girl; I had no doubt but that Jimmy had been a stalwart, handsome youth, out of Annapolis, judging by his quarters and his accordingly probable rank, about seven or eight years. Perhaps he had waited for his first lieutenancy ere marrying his "best beloved." Perhaps—and I was suddenly faint and sick—he was already married to her.

Somewhere, back on the land, the "best beloved" had said her prayers for Jimmy last night, this morning on arising: had prayed that the perils of the deep might not beset her man; had thanked God that the United States was not a participant in the Great War, and that the risks of her Jimmy's trade were not imminent.

And now, somewhere in the slimy ooze of the ocean bed— For a moment I shut my eyes; I visualized the crew of the Corinna turning suddenly upon their rescuers, winning by treachery the assault that would never have succeeded openly, by surprise conquering where otherwise they would have lost. I thought of the Beeston, just now sunk before my very eyes; I thought of the Annabel Johnson, reported burned by the French ship. Men and ships slaughtered! For a few paltry dollars, and a couple of hundred barrels of oil that the Comet might have plenty of fuel for her engines, a score or more of men had been ruthlessly blotted out of existence. And there were other ships cruising the ocean at this moment, ships of belligerent nations, who, attacked by an enemy raider, had at least the right to hope for their lives, but who, once the Comet heaved in sight, must die. Die!

WITH what devilish cunning Ransome had gone about his work! Already it was bruited abroad that a German raider was in these waters. Although American war-vessels were within a few hundred miles, possibly closer, it was not their business that Germany destroyed her enemies' merchant marine. Ransome could continue; provided he avoided French and British cruisers, he was safe. And the Comet was one of the fastest craft afloat!

I opened my eyes, and saw something that made my pulses beat. At least, this bloody murderer would offer no insult to the helpless girl upon the berth. Better that she should die before suffering it; and better—oh, far better—that I die with her! I had let myself be ordered aboard the Comet, leaving those aboard the Beeston to die, because it seemed useless folly for me to refuse. But now—

I seized the revolver that I had glimpsed in the half-open drawer of the washstand. It was a small one, but at its muzzle I might make terms with Ransome. I might even—and I saw red at this idea—kill him, and then, his crew

disorganized by their leader's death, prevail upon them to withdraw from their planned career. But I had sense enough to discard that idea almost as soon as it came to me. For their career was no longer a planned matter—it was a thing accomplished. The halter or the electric chair awaited every one of these ruffians. Was it likely that even the death of their leader would halt them midway in their course, when they could expect no mercy from the law?

But, though there would be no profit in the slaying of Ransome, though it would mean my instant death, I had nothing but death to hope for, anyway. Ransome, to amuse himself, might play with me again in a mouse-and-cat fashion; but death was my inevitable end at his hands. I would know too much ever to be permitted to go free. So I would lose nothing by making Ransome go before me. Indeed, I would gain much; I would glut the vengeance that I felt was my due.

Then the figure on the couch stirred; a faint moan came from her lips. Swiftly it came to me that, while I had the right to refuse any hours or days of grace for myself, I had no right to do so for her. Though Ransome's word were worth less than nothing, it was my part to get a repetition of his promise to spare her. Weak reed to lean upon though that were, it was better than the certainty of having Miss Richley die, either at my hands or at her own. For that was what would inevitably happen if I were to shoot Ransome.

Quickly I hid the revolver in my waistband. As she sat up, with wonderment, dawning horror in her eyes, I offered her some brandy. But she pushed it away from her. She put her feet upon the cabin floor, and placed her hand against the wall, trying to rise. Then, without warning, the door opened, and Ransome stepped inside the room.

His entrance drove the bewilderment from her brain, the silence from her lips. The red color blazed in her cheeks, and her eyes, wide with horror, held anger in them too. She shrank against the wall.

"You!" she whispered. "You—monster!"

RANSOME sat down in a chair; his legs dangling from it, his feet several inches from the floor, made him an absurd figure. Yet, he seemed to me to be the spirit of evil incarnate.

"Facts, Miss Richley," he said, "are the vital things just now. Calling me names, while perhaps easing your mind, does not alter conditions—facts. It is unpleasant for you to be here; it is equally unpleasant for me to have you here. Believe me, I would infinitely have preferred it that you had not been aboard the Beeston. As I told your uncle, I do not make war upon women."

"War! Murder, you mean!" she blazed.

"In Europe to-day men are killing each other by the scores of thousands. You, Miss Richley, as a loyal Englishwoman, do not call that murder. You call it war. It is war, and not murder, because a state has legalized the killing, has authorized its citizens to kill its enemies. Yet what is a state but a collection of individuals? And how can water rise higher than its source? Individuals, then, calling themselves a state, legalize killing. The formation of a state depends almost solely upon the ability of a group of individuals to weld themselves together and preserve themselves as a state. If I should take a hundred men to a solitary island and form a kingdom of my own, and later declare war upon a neighboring island, you would hesitate to call it murder; you would call it war. But because, instead of making a piece of land the basis of my declaration of war, I take a ship, you call it murder. The distinction is very fine, Miss Richley. If I am a monster, what are your rulers in Europe?"

But she only stared at him. I think that he was a little disappointed because she would not be drawn into argument. He waited a moment, then continued:

"I am sorry that you should have witnessed an unpleasant sight. I am sorry that I find it necessary to keep you aboard this craft."

"But you can let me go," she cried.

"Certainly," he said. "I have it all figured out. I will steam close to the coast. I will put you in a small boat within a short row of the land. You can easily save yourself. On landing, you will say that you are the only survivor of the Beeston, which is true. From there, however, you will deviate a trifle from the truth. You will say that the Beeston caught fire and blew up; that many of the crew were killed in the explosion; that the captain, your uncle, put you into the small boat, but that the two sailors who were with you climbed aboard the


"As the girl screamed faintly, I pressed the trigger once, twice, three times, four and five! 'My dear fellow,' said Ransome, 'I happened to know that your gun is empty.'"

Beeston to rescue your uncle, who—the last to leave the ship—had been caught beneath a falling smoke-stack. While the sailors were aboard there was a second explosion, and they were all killed. The other boats, four of them, we'll say, drifted apart from you. Your story will never be denied, Miss Richley. Promise that this is the story you will tell, and you will be free as soon as the Comet can make the coast."

I WILL confess that my heart leaped as I listened to him. For, though I did not trust him, it was so unnecessary for him to lie like this that I was compelled to believe him. I admit that I hoped that the girl would accept his offer and make the promise required. But I should have known better than to expect that she would do so. A girl whose honesty was so apparent that Ransome would have been willing to trust her to go ashore—and he meant his words, I am sure of that—would be compelled to refuse his offer.

She did so with a shake of the head.

"The first chance I get, I shall inform the world of what you have done," she replied boldly.

He nodded. "I supposed so. Well, Miss Richley, have you thought of the alternative?"

"You can only kill me," she replied. But I saw her start a trifle.

"But I have told you I do not kill women," he retorted. "No, Miss Richley; your life is safe. But—you are, if you will pardon me for saying it, a young lady of great attractions. My men, many of them, despite their roughness, are gentle at heart. A lovely young lady appeals to them. And where the appeal is so wide, and where only one may hope to win, there is bound to be jealousy, discord, strife. And these I can not permit upon the Comet."

Slowly, cautiously, my hand stole to my waist-band.

"I have taken away your uncle, your natural protector," continued Ransome. "It is only right that I should provide you with another protector. You can not remain aboard this ship as a single woman. While you are single you are an object to be won. But if you are married— Ah, you object?"

"I shall die first," she answered, with a calmness belied by her trembling lips.

And it was then that I got the revolver loose from my waist-band.

"Don't cry out; don't move," I said softly to Ransome.

He turned his head and surveyed me with eyes that I could have sworn held a twinkle in them.

"I don't know what you plan to do with me," I told him. "I don't care. In the end, I presume, you'll finish what you failed to finish aboard the Corinna. So, knowing how you feel, you can believe that I mean what I'm telling you. Unless you promise me here and now, and convince me that you mean the promise, that you will not molest Miss Richley in any way, that you will not permit her to be molested by any one else, and that as soon as feasible you will land her—"

He interrupted me, and I thought I could detect mirth in his tones.

"I know that; I'm not asking you to land her now. I know you'd break your word. And I could tell by your manner if you intended breaking it. I'm in earnest, Ransome, and you'd do well to be the same. Do you promise?"

"What about yourself?" he asked.

"Never mind about me," I answered. The girl broke in.

"Make him promise to let you alone, too," she cried. "You have him—"

"He might keep his promise concerning you; indeed, I think he will," I told her. "But about myself—what's the use?"

"Right," said Ransome softly. "What's the use? You have perspicacity, Mr. Fitch. To ask too much means to get nothing. To be content with little often means to get something."

"It's both or nothing!" cried the girl. "Make him promise that or—or—"

"Or what?" queried Ransome, with a smile. "True, Mr. Fitch might kill me, but—in five minutes? What then? Let's be reasonable; and, now that Mr. Fitch has put in his side, let's hear mine. It can be stated briefly. I am the master of this ship; my word is law. But I am master and my word is law only to a certain point. I can spare your life, Miss Richley; I can spare Mr. Fitch's life. But,

with the presence of a good-looking young woman aboard this boat, unattached—my men would be unmanageable within a week. That I can not permit to happen. Therefore you must be married. Have you any choice among the men on this boat?"

I cocked the revolver.

"Ransome," I said, "if that's your last word, there is only one thing more to be said. This revolver will say that."

He looked at me, and his lips drew back in a smile.

"My dear fellow," he said, "it has been quite amusing. I'd have told you long ago, only I wanted to see just how much was in you. I actually believe you would shoot me down."

"As God watches me, I would," I told him.

HE yawned and stretched his arms.

He folded them, and one of his hands went inside his coat, to reappear with an automatic pistol gripped in it. As the girl screamed faintly, I pressed my trigger—once, twice, three times, four and five! Each time merely a click as the hammer descended upon the empty cylinder. I dropped the useless weapon upon the floor and faced Ransome's gun.

"Go ahead," I said bitterly.

He laughed. "My dear fellow, had your revolver been loaded, I could have shot you a dozen times before you had pressed the trigger. I didn't choose to. I happened to know that the gun was empty. No, don't move, Fitch; I have you covered, you know."

Sick at heart, I could make no answer. As for the girl, she still stared at Ransome, and what was going on in her heart I could only imagine.

"Who would imagine me as a matchmaker?" said Ransome. "Yet such, it seems, I must be. Now, then, Miss Richley, you must make up your mind soon. I hardly think you want to marry any of my crew, so—"

"I will not marry any one!" she cried.

"No? Yet here was a gentleman ready, a moment ago, to lose his own life, if only he could assure you yours. He thought his own life a small price to pay for your safety. Now, then, is your maidenhood too great a price to pay for his life?"

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"It's very simple, isn't it? If my men know that an outsider has won you, Miss Richley, some awkward moments, some very serious trouble, will be avoided. However, you can do as you choose. I can only promise you this: You say that you will marry no one. Very well; but if you do not marry Mr. Fitch this very day, he will die this very night."

"But—but—" she stammered.

He cut her short: "Burnham, sailing- master of this expedition, is a licensed captain; captains have the right to perform marriages at sea. It will be entirely legal, Miss Richley. What do you say?"

"She refuses, of course," I cried. "Don't pay any attention to him, Miss Richley."

"But if he killed you—I'd be—"

"It would be no affair of yours; you couldn't help it," I told her.

"But I can help it, and it is my affair," she said. "I—I—" She colored, and her bosom heaved. "I'll marry you, Mr. Fitch. And if you should refuse," she went on swiftly, "you will merely be making me responsible for your death; and—and—this sort of a marriage—it can be broken later on, and—"

-"Of course," said Ransome suavely. "Coercion, duress—all the rest of it. It's merely a matter of convenience, to avoid jealousy and its consequences among my crew. Certainly it can be annulled later—unless you should change your minds and—"

"You can spare us that, can't you?" I snapped.

"Will you let us talk it over alone?" Miss Richley asked Ransome.

He looked at his watch. "Five minutes should be sufficient," he said coolly. "I will return at the end of that time."

With a sort of bow to us, he descended from his chair and disappeared through the door.

I turned to the girl, and she lifted her hand.

"I know what you would say, Mr. Fitch; you have proved yourself. But listen to me. This marriage means nothing. It can be annulled, as Ransome says. Your life will be saved. And further—think of me. You are a gentleman; you will protect me. Without you—can't you see?"

I could see, readily enough. And, of course, I wanted to see. Yet, looking back at that moment, I wonder if I did not love her already. I wonder if it was solely to save my own life, or to be able to protect her, that I consented to her sacrifice. I stepped close to her.

"Miss Richley," I said, trembling, "God be my witness as I swear to you that never—"

She touched my mouth with her soft palm, and the exquisite contact thrilled.

"Don't, Mr. Fitch. I need no oaths, no vows from you; for I am sure of you."

And I wonder did ever bride on the eve of her wedding, loving the man who loved her, pay a prettier compliment to her husband-to-be than did Mary Richley pay me then, in the cabin of the pirate Comet?

Ransome came back in five minutes. He looked at us and smiled.

"A swift wooing, but a most successful

Bought Your War-Time Over-alls?


Photograph by 0. R. Geyer.

THE high cost of living is on the run in the town of Mangum, Oklahoma. No more expensive clothes while the war lasts, is the slogan. The school children set the example when the boys adopted over-alls and the girls elected to wear gingham dresses as a means of reducing living expenses. Almost every student joined in this crusade.

Then the fever spread to the older men and women: the photograph shows the county and city officials, who by official order adopted over-alls as their working uniform. Barbers, business and professional men have joined in; ueber-alls—ueber alles.

one, eh? And I am glad. Will you come on deck?"

The feminine instinct is strong at the most unreekoned moments. Mary Richley, witness of the brutal sinking of the Beeston, bereft of her uncle, her sole masculine protector, and about to be married to the man of a pirate's choice whom she had known hardly a dozen hours, stepped before the mirror above the wash-stand and dabbed at her eyes and straightened her hair before she left the cabin. Then, white of face, though firm of step, she went on deck with me.

RANSOME had gone ahead. Indeed, I think he guessed the outcome of our conversation as soon as he left us for our five minutes' conversation; for, drawn up on the deck amidships, were practically all of the crew, grinning, and they set up a cheer at our arrival. Sailors, among their many superstitions, may or may not consider it lucky to have a marriage performed at sea—I do not know. But the men of the Comet, many of whom had hardly set foot on a ship until they started on their piratical excursion, evidently considered the wedding a lucky omen.

The men lined up in two rows, converging at a point where stood Burnham.

He held a prayer-book in his hands, and I remember that I inwardly smiled at the incongruity of its presence aboard the pirate. Later I learned that it had been found among the effects of the rightful commander of the converted destroyer.

An argument was in full swing between Barron and Pelletier as we approached. Ransome, with a bow to my bride, spoke to me.

"There is competition for the honor of being your best man," he said gravely. His eyes, that could show such wickedness, now were twinkling with the mischievous mirth of a school-boy. "Barron believes he's entitled to it because of a certain solar-plexus blow that he received; Pelletier because his head struck the Corinna's rail. They think the debts can be erased this way. Which do you prefer?"

Had it not been so serious it would have been excruciatingly funny. However the rest of the crew might feel, it was certain that Barron and the Canadian had their share of superstition, for they were in deadly earnest, and threats were freely interchanged between them. To be my best man would be lucky, and neither of them was willing to relinquish his hold on fortune.

"It's all one to me; let them draw lots for the place. That is, if I must have a best man," I answered. "Heaven knows, I'd prefer doing without one, but—"

"Certainly you must be attended," he interrupted. "I only regret that there is no one to attend the bride. However, I shall do myself the honor of giving her away."

And if Mary felt disgust at the words, she had too great a command of herself to evince it.

Ransome put my suggestion to his warring lieutenants, and they promptly matched coins, Barron winning. He approached me and stuck out his hand.

"Not as a buccaneer, but as your best man," he grinned; and, not for the first time, I noted that, though an utter and vile scoundrel, he was a most engaging one. And, as temporizing gains one more than insult, I gripped his hand. At this moment I seemed to bear no malice toward him—toward any one. Even the grinning scum who formed the crew seemed to me to be very decent fellows.

Ransome offered Mary his arm. Bravely she took it, and he started down the human aisle toward Burnham. Barron clumsily offered me his elbow, and, arms linked like the closest of friends, we followed.

AND then, considering the circumstances, sounded something amazing. From among the line of men at my left lifted a sweet tenor voice; and the song it sang was "The Voice that Breathed O'er Eden."

I turned my head. It was Carey, the wireless man, and as he met my eyes he flushed, his voice broke, and the song ceased. And then I was before Burnham, and the ceremony began.

Farce, I tried to tell myself that it was. But my heart would not listen to my silent speech. I thrilled at Burnham's first words, and felt a proprietorship over the girl at my side that made me want to do something to show my feelings.

And Mary has since confessed that at the same moment she had something of the same feeling. Perhaps marriage is so solemn an affair that even those entering into it from reasons of interest or policy are affected by its gravity, and maybe it was the mere ceremony that made us feel as we did. But I do not like to think so: I prefer to believe that it was not the ceremony, but the fact that it was she who promised me and I who promised her that made us feel this way.

The mockery left Ransome's voice when he gave the bride away. Burnham's reading of the marriage ceremony was most sedate. About us stood men who had embarked upon the bloodiest cruise of history. And thus, in such strange surroundings, were Mary Richley and I, Seth Dorland Fitch, made man and wife.

THERE was a rush toward us as Burnham pronounced us married; but Ransome stopped the rush with a look.

"The bride will be kissed only by her husband," he said; and the men fell back.

Mary shot him a glance of gratitude, and, to my amazement, Ransome actually colored. Suddenly, as I looked at my wife, erect beside me, I felt gratitude toward the chief of the buccaneers. For, if only for a short while, he had given me the privilege of calling Mary Richley wife. I was obsessed with sentimentality, and was grateful for Mary's cool voice, bringing me to a realization of the fact that sentiment had been superseded by convenience in this wedding of ours.

"I am tired," she said. "May I go to my cabin now?"

"Certainly," said Ransome. He detained her a moment, and spoke loudly, for the benefit of his men. "You and your husband are my guests, Mrs. Fitch. If you suffer any annoyance from any one, tell me. 1 can not let you go—indeed, I feel that your husband's presence is lucky for me. But a time may come when you may leave us. Meanwhile, don't be frightened."

"I'll not," she answered.

She gave me a glance which I interpreted as meaning that she wished to be alone; and so I let her go below, while I remained behind. And then these amazing men, denied kissing the bride, gathered around me, pounded my back, shook my hand, and burst into vociferous reminiscences of marriages they had witnessed, even, some of them, taken part in. Indeed, Schmidt, leading me apart, volunteered good advice, as if this marriage of mine were a serious affair.

"I been married seven times," said Schmidt, "and thank God I ran away each time within a month. if I hadn't there'd been the expense of divorce. I never had no luck with my wives. Still, I kept on tryin', more fool me, thinkin' the next one would be all right. But they're all the same: they want money. That's the way it's always been with me. I get comfortably married, and the woman I'm married to promptly quits her job, which is usually why I married her, and expects me to support her. You take my advice; it's a fine young woman you got, but if she's got talent for work you let her stick to it and—"

Then Ransome ordered him to cease his croaking, jocularly reminded him that a honeymoon was no time to groan to a man, and finally cut short all talk by ordering those who had no duties on deck to go below.

Then he linked his arm through mine and made me walk around the deck with him, discussing every matter under the sun, until it was supper-time, when he led me below to what had been the private saloon of the captain of the Comet.

"I don't mess with my officers any more," he said. "But I shall esteem it an honor if you and Mrs. Fitch will dine with me."

There was nothing else to be done, so I consented. He showed me my cabin,

which adjoined that of Mary. Then, with the announcement that supper would be ready in ten minutes, he left me at her door.

I knocked, and she bade me enter. Rather awkwardly I did so, and for a moment we stood there in silence. I noticed that her eyes were red as if from weeping, and I longed to put my arms about her and comfort her. Yet this was the very thing that I, her husband, must not do.

She spoke first.

"We must make the best of this, Mr. Fitch," she said, "until we are free from this ship."

I bowed. "We must," I agreed. "And, in the meantime, my first name is Seth. It would be less awkward."

She blushed; then she laughed. "And I suppose that a husband can call his wife Mary, if that happens to be her name."

I laughed too, and, little thing that it was, it served to relieve the strain of the situation. Then, as we looked smilingly at each other, her eyes suddenly clouded.

"Tell me," she said, "was there—I mean, is there—some other—some girl to whom you— Will what has just happened interfere with—"

"Do you mean am I in love with any one else? Most assuredly not," I told her. "And what about you?" I asked.

"Oh, I? I shall never love any man," she replied.

Yet her eyes lowered before mine, and I felt an elation that certainly was baseless, but that would not be dismissed. However, I turned the subject by telling her of Ransome's request that we dine with him, and advising her to accept his orders. Also, I told her that, while I must have played a sorry enough part thus far, I was not entirely beaten. I had no definite plans,—how could I?—but I would watch eternally, and sooner or later must come our chance for freedom.

"You have not played a sorry part," she told me. "I—I—I'll be ready within five minutes—Seth."

But, as I closed the door behind me, I was certain that that was not what she had been going to say. Also, I wondered at her curiosity about my love affairs, if she considered this marriage so little binding. Man is a conceited animal. I could not but wonder if Mary were not more than casually interested in my heart affairs, if she had been thinking solely of my predicament. Also, I plumed myself on her words. For, if she said that she would never love any man, it were reasonable to think that she loved no one at present. I had no rival, then. Little enough consolation or boast to an ordinary bridegroom, it, meant much to me. I found myself whistling as I went to the captain's saloon, where Ransome was waiting for me, and where Mary soon joined us.

THE meal, everything considered, passed off pleasantly. Ransome made no reference to his cruise or to our marriage. He merely contented himself with telling of his experiences in various parts of the world; and if Mary were shocked by his callous unconcern for the law, she hid it. As a matter of fact, I think that she was beyond being shocked. No one could have seen what she had seen that day, endured what she had endured, and care much that some one else had variously outwitted or defied the rules of society. She was not hardened, of course; but grief and horror had dulled her nerves a little. Moreover, she had courage and tact, and made the best of a bad situation.

It humored Ransome to exact our attention and our audience. Ransome held our lives in his hands. To berate him, to act hysterically, meant, under the circumstances, to be a silly fool; and Mary was far from that. Like a heroine she bore herself, and I wondered how many men had wives as gallant as mine.

She made no mock-heroic scenes; she did not refuse to break bread with the murderer of her uncle; she was pleasant and affable to the buccaneer: and if anybody could have done more wisely, I am sure that I do not know how.

But after dinner, when Ransome would have started a phonograph, she begged to be excused. 1 went with her to her cabin, and at its door we exchanged a few whispered words. I told her that I was in the next room, and to call out at any danger; and she said that she would. Then she held out her hand, and I took it, and kept it a moment. That was all; she turned, and the door closed behind her.

I WENT back to the saloon. Too excited to sleep so early, I listened to Ransome talk on various subjects for an hour or more, and even took some sort of pleasure in hearing his phonograph. Then, on his signifying that he was willing to call it a day, and on his assuring me that I had the freedom of the ship, provided I kept away from the engine-room,—"For you see, Mr. Fitch, I can't afford to have you putting us out of commission," he smiled,—I went on deck.

The sputter of the wireless attracted me, and I went to the wireless room. As on the Corinna, Carey, the half-wit, was the operator here. He looked up pleasantly.

"You have a fine voice," I told him.

He blushed with pleasure. "I was in a choir once," he told me. "That was before I got going with a bad crowd and got bad myself."

"Oh, you're bad, are you?" I said.

"I guess I'm about as wicked as any man alive," he said, with naïve pride. "That is, not all the time; when my head aches I feel sorry. It ached when I tied you to the raft."

"Oh, it was you, was it? I certainly want to thank you," I said.

"What for?"

"For tying me aboard the raft, of course."

He stared at me. "What raft? What you talking about?"

I looked at him closely. The electric light shone full upon his face, and he looked really puzzled at my words. Then I shrugged my shoulders. I had heard of his kind of dementia before. He could be perfectly sane for a few moments, could remember events and discuss them, and in the next breath be entirely unaware that she had referred to them or that they had ever happened. And he spoke of a headache. I wondered if some blow upon the skull, and not innate viciousness, were responsible for Carey's presence aboard this pirate craft.

But his sane moments, when he had conscientious scruples, must be rare indeed, and could not jeopardize Ransome, or else he would not be the wireless operator of this expedition. I gave up trying to understand his case for the moment, trusting to get hold of him at some time when his head hurt. I got up to go; and as I did so he handed me something—a handful of cartridges.

"I got more than I need," he boasted, "and everybody ought to have plenty, don't you think?"

Strange as it may seem, this was not meant to be help, such as had been his tying me aboard the Corinna's raft. This was a mere amenity that might pass between him and any of the crew. He had forgotten my status aboard the Comet for the moment.

"Yes, I do; thank you," I told him.

Then I bade him good night and made my way below. The passage before my room and that of Mary was deserted. I knocked gently at her door.

"It's Seth," I said.

And as I heard her crossing the little room and turning the key in the lock, my heart bounded at this evidence of trust.

"May I come in?" I asked.

She gathered her dressing-gown closer about her, and nodded, wide-eyed.

I entered, and from a table picked up the weapon with which I had threatened Ransome that afternoon. I showed her the cartridges in my hand. They fitted the gun, and I whispered:

"You can use it?"

She nodded assent.

"Then keep it," I said. "We aren't unprotected. Hide it."

Again she nodded, flashing me a smile, and I tiptoed from her room into my own.

To be continued next week


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The Daredevils


CAPTAIN CORCORAN was a despatch rider in the British army from August, 1914, to July, 1915—a period that included the Mons retreat and the battles of the Marne, the Aisne, and Neuve Chapelle. He received his commission for carrying despatches under fire between the towns of Hooge and St. Eloi, over a road where six despatch riders had been killed within a few days. Captain Corcoran wrote the article in a recent number of this magazine entitled "Spies As I Saw Them," and will contribute other sidelights on the war from time to time.

THE Tommies laughed at him in August, 1914, as he pushed his motorcycle off the boat at Boulogne. A bally civilian going to war with seasoned soldiers!

"'E's tikin' 'is bike along, so 'e won't 'urt 'is bloomin' feet," commented the regimental wit.

But two weeks later all England was reëchoing with the praise of the despatch rider, to whose courage and initiative, Lord French declared, was mainly due the success of the great retreat. Cable and telephone lines had gone down before the German shells, but the D. R. had maintained constant communication. "The daredevils," a great novelist christened the new heroes. Come on a trip with them, and see for yourself how they earned the title.

Outside the Signal Office the cycles are standing. A sharp order rings out:

"Next D. R."

In rushes our hero, salutes, takes his despatch, receives his instructions, and in two minutes is on his way. It is night, but no lights are permissible. It is pitch-dark, but he goes at sixty miles an hour. He has been over this road earlier in the day, and has memorized all the obstacles in his path. Here was a shell-hole; he swerves. Here a turning; he takes it at an angle that gives you a strange sensation in the pit of your stomach.

Now the road is new. But for a while all goes well, with nothing to break the monotony but the boom of a distant gun or the roar of exploding shells. Quite suddenly the explosion comes near. Bang, slide, bang! As many stars shine before your eyes as there are crackers at a Fourth of July celebration. He has fallen into a shell-hole some twenty feet deep, bike, body, and bones.

Is he done for? Not by a long shot! It takes a few minutes to crawl out, but no further delay is necessary. On he dashes, as if nothing had happened. Smooth going now, you think. And the next second there is a sudden application of the brakes, and the rider's body is thrown violently forward. Five yards in front are some huge motor lorries. He had managed to miss them by a hair's breadth. Cautiously he crawls through the slow-moving lines of these clumsy carriers of ammunition. Once out in the open, he resumes his reckless speed. Do you wonder that seventy-five per cent. of his companions have been killed? But lie arrives safely—or so you think, until you see him in the light. Then you find that two of his fingers are in need of splints.

Yet that ride was a dull one, its dangers few, compared with some that I myself have survived. But for genuine "thrillers" let me tell you a few stories of friends of mine who were with me on the front.

Von Kluck's Welsh Under-Study

IN the early weeks of the war, Ivor Robinson and I were attached to the First Cavalry Corps. He was a little chap, Welsh, whose name was well known because of his many victories in the Isle of Man world races. One day he was sent out, and failed to return. Dead, we concluded; and I confess we forgot him. Dead men were very common in those days. Imagine our astonishment when, five or six days later, he walked in, looking as fit as a fiddle.

"Where was I? Well, I was acting as under-study to von Kluck."

When half way on the journey which we had concluded was fatal, he had run into a whole Prussian regiment. In a desperate effort to escape, he turned his machine; but a shot punctured his back tire. He was thrown and, of course, taken captive. As the men were on the march and he was a lone prisoner, they decided not to waste time in sending him back. Instead they presented him with a German infantry outfit and forced him to march in their ranks. It was not long before he was in the thick of the fight.

Their destination was Souchez, that war-scarred town. It was in one of the principal streets that this scrap took place. The Germans were ambushed in the houses on one side. The British occupied those on the other. To use Robinson's own words:

"There were our boys across the way, and here was I with the sausage-stranglers.


Photograph by Paul Thompson.

If you are in a hurry to get to the front, join the despatch riders. But you must be fearless, intelligent, discreet, and above all have initiative.

lers. Somehow, I thought I'd be more comfortable on the other side. So off I hopped, shouting for fear they'd put a bullet in me, mistaking me for Fritz."

They Escape Death by Miracles

HOW he escaped is really a miracle. But equally miraculous was the luck of Smith, even though his strategy is to be highly commended. He was carrying a despatch, when he lost his way, and in trying to find it came full tilt into six Uhlans. He had no chance of turning. His only chance was to rush them.

Jamming his throttle wide open, he charged ahead, at the same time whipping out his revolver. Guessing his maneuver, they formed a cordon across the road—a stupid move for them, as it happened. Twenty-five yards from them, Smith began to fire. He hit two, and their fall knocked out two more. In the confusion caused by the firing and the din of the throbbing motor, the other horses began to rear, and became unmanageable. The German line was broken. He shot easily through, and, as he went, he sent a few more bullets flying. Whether they hit or not is no great matter. He escaped. His despatch was delivered. And now he wears a D. C. M.

But, for dogged loyalty to duty and sheer physical endurance, there is probably no case to compare with that of Hodder, who has also been honored by his King.

In carrying a despatch from one unit to another, he found that he had to skirt a large wood. As ill luck would have it, this place had been chosen as an ambush for a troop of Prussian cavalry. They saw him coming, and opened fire. He was thrown, and his foot was broken.

Now, the only possible way to survive such a situation as this is to look and act as if you were dead. So Hodder did his best to behave like a corpse. Evidently he succeeded admirably, for they left him alone. He lay there until darkness fell. Then he resumed his journey.

There is no need to describe to you the agony of a broken foot, and the added discomfort of being for hours without food and drink. And it is likewise needless to say that, with such a handicap, he could neither walk nor ride to his destination. Yet he got there, though that wood was two miles long. He crawled through it on his stomach. I leave you to imagine the condition in which he arrived. But that despatch was delivered on time.

"Let Nothing and Nobody Stop You"

GET through with it—those are the main directions that a despatch rider receives. Let nothing and nobody stop you. That is a law, printed in regulations, that gives a despatch rider a position all his own, and one that occasionally makes him exceedingly unpopular.

If a rider's bike breaks down and he has still a considerable distance to travel, he is entitled to commandeer the first vehicle he meets, no matter how exalted its occupant. Many an officer have turned out of his saddle, and many a motor-bus has been diverted from its route, in spite of the muttered curses of its driver.

There is no need for me to descant on the peculiar qualities that would fit a man to fill this post. Force of character, obviously, is as necessary as fearlessness; and intelligence, discretion, and above all initiative, are indispensable, if he is to be of any use. Officially he ranks as a corporal, and that only because in the British Army no man under the rank of a non-com. may approach an officer, unless accompanied by a non-com. As the despatch rider's duties consist in carrying messages from one commissioned man to another, it is obvious that he must have the necessary rank.

But, though practically a private, he is as a rule recruited from a class whose education is much higher than that of the Tommies. In the first batch to go, fully ninety per cent. of the men, if not the entire corps of despatch riders, belonged to big British universities. The only essentials for the job were a familiarity with guns and a capacity for riding a bicycle. But the examination in riding was particularly difficult, and necessitated a good physique.

Are you in a hurry to get to the front? Then join up as a despatch rider, if you can. I was no soldier before the war, but I was on the firing line three days after I joined.

everyweek Page 21Page 21


Lucky Strike

Retta Rosemary

—Continued from page 6

"I'm not saying good-by," he threw over his shoulder. "I know this little old world. And I know your sort, kid. You'll be back."

As Retta stumbled out into the street, a slow rain was falling—one of those chill, dreary rains that come in the early spring. Through its gray mist the streets of New York stretched bleak and cold—not a cheerful prospect for a girl without work and without funds; yet, in spite of her financial outlook, Retta felt a deep elation. Although she could not explain it, she had a stubborn, comfortable conviction that she would not be back.

NEXT day, walking in Central Park with Peter Tyler, she told him quite cheerfully of her dismissal.

"But Corney thinks she can get me some work at the library; so I'm through with the Superbo forever, Peter."

"Of course you are," cried Peter earnestly. "Because you're to marry me. Say you will, dear; say it quick. I've loved you so long—since that first night when I took you in my car. I've waited a long time to ask you, Rosemary, because marriage is such a sacred thing."

Retta forgot she had once lightly thought to "tie up" with Bertie Dolan. Her eyes were as solemn as Peter's when she answered:

"Indeed it is, Peter—a terribly sacred thing."

She forgot all the seductive lovemaking, too, that she had used so aptly on the screen, and instead sat dumbly happy in a magical world while Peter told her of his love.

But suddenly, quite innocently, he brought her back to the world of cold, hard facts:

"You must meet my mother, Rosemary, and the girls. They'll write, asking you out to East Orange. And you'll come, won't you?"

Peter's mother! Retta caught her breath. Peter had always accepted her pose as the gentle Rosemary Waltern. He had asked no questions. But women, she knew, were different.

"You know, Peter," she said tremulously, "I wasn't born in the country, as you thought. I was born here in New York—down on Henry Street—not a very nice part of the city. Your mother might not like me."

"Pshaw!" cried Peter indignantly. "What difference does it make where you were born? Any one with eyes can see you're a regular queen!"

Retta promised to go to East Orange, and she laughed and chattered the rest of the afternoon; but Cornelia, coming in at dusk, found her curled up on the couch, her head buried in the pillows.

"Cornelia," she sobbed, in a small, scared voice, "Peter's asked me to visit his mother! You know what kind she is! They've always lived in the Oranges and always gone to the same church and sat in the same pew and married clergymen and people like that. Even Peter had to admit they don't exactly approve of the movies. And me a movie star!"

Cornelia had never seen Retta in tears. She hovered about in dismay.

"Never mind; they'll love you, Retta darling. They couldn't help it."

"Besides," wailed Retta, crawling into Cornelia's comforting arms, "his mother's president of the Ibsen Intensive Study Club! And one sister teaches school! And one sister's secretary to a society that ameliorates something! If only I'd ever been to school, Corney. If somebody'd learned me something, like Mamie and Lou!"

"But you have picked up so much this winter," Cornelia insisted, though rather aghast at the Ibsen. "Just go on playing you're Rosemary, dear, and they'll be satisfied."

"I wouldn't try," sniffed Retta, wiping her eyes, "if it wasn't for Peter. But you know, Corney, he's so big and gentle and different from all the others. Not one bit fresh—I mean impertinent. He's been a real friend, like you said he would be, Corney."

So Retta, with a carefully censored wardrobe and a painfully acquired vocabulary, set out for Peter's home. It was a dignified, well regulated, uncomfortable home, where the chairs sat in certain preordained places and the books were not supposed to be intimately handled.

The president of the Ibsen Study Club was a serenely austere personage; the sisters—rather older than Peter—were homely, well read women who regarded Retta with the vaguely distrustful interest that unattractive women feel toward sirens of their sex. But the whole family worshiped Peter, and showed a well bred, if obvious, determination to be nice to Peter's friend.

The mornings were the greatest problem for Retta; for then Mrs. Tyler and Ella sat on the sun-porch with their embroidery.

Retta's twenty-two years of struggle had not taught her to sit in the sun and sew, and Cornelia had warned her that she must not fidget.

In the afternoons, however, she enjoyed the long walk to the station, where they got the late mail and met Peter coming out from his work.

Her work in society reels, moreover, had taught Retta many small airs and graces, and, by keeping her china-blue eyes wide open and her nimble wits alert, she passed the week safelyÔso safely that she was not at all disturbed when Peter telephoned on Friday that he would be detained overnight in New York, but would come out early the next day.

The evening before, the long-tabooed subject of Retta's work in the films had come up, and Mrs. Tyler had actually praised her "independence." Later Peter waylaid her on the stairs to ask if he might tell his mother next day of their engagement.

"You've won her over, Rosemary, so why keep asking me to wait?"

SHE went to bed that night in a state of triumphant happiness, and its roseate glow was over her next morning.

Ella, who ameliorated the condition of the poor, had heard of a "sad case" some distance out of town, and asked Maud and Retta to walk out with her, as she must get a report for the society.

They walked out a busy auto road, then turned into a weed-grown lane leading through stretches of uncultivated fields. Their faint, early green moved Maud to poetry:

"I care not, Fortune, what you me deny;
You can not rob me of free Nature's grace,
You can not shut the windows of the sky,
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face."

Retta wanted to quote something about

Springtime, springtime,
The only pretty ring-time,
the one appropriate verse she knew; but, as she could not remember whether Corney had said Shakespeare or Long- fellow was responsible for the lines, she paused in an agony of indecision. Who wrote it remained unsolved, for Ella, walking beside her, caught her arm.

"Wait! Listen! What's that?"

Before them was a tumble-down shanty, evidently the domicile of the "sad case"; and from the neglected back yard came sounds of a sudden scuffle, then the thin, high screams of a child.

They ran to the fence, and through its broken palings saw a great hulk of a man, much the worse for drink, beating a red-nosed, blue-faced, frost-bitten little boy.

Maud Tyler covered her face with her hands.

"How dreadful!" she shivered. "I can't look at it!"

"He'll kill that child," Ella fretted helplessly. "We must call somebody."

Retta pushed her way through the broken fence.

"Have a heart, there!" she called, her eyes ablaze. "Quit killing that kid!"

"Begone to the divil," the man advised


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her, pausing to shake his buggy whip at her.

He turned to his task with redoubled ardor. But Retta tore a paling from the fence, and brought it down with all her young strength on his head.

The man sprang at her, but Retta's weapon was of good, stout wood, like a certain broom-handle of long ago, and she had the immense advantage of being sober.

Her hat was lost, her flaming hair streamed down; she forgot what she had learned from society reels—forgot all Cornelia's cautions.

"Ye she-divil," yelled the drunken sot.

"You bottle-nosed booze-fighter," retorted Retta, hopping about like an enraged Valkyrie. "Don't dare touch the kid."

She edged in front of the whimpering boy, and drove her opponent steadily across the yard. His blows became merely defensive. Presently he dropped the whip, and, driven to a corner of the barn, made one last effort at self-preservation:

"Mickey, ye white-livered lubber, go call yer ma."

Mickey shot down the road toward town; but Retta's experienced eye knew that the work was already done. A few more blows, a vigorous scolding, and Mickey's father crouched on the ground, assuring her it was "just for the bye's good, pretty lady."

Retta picked up her hat and went back to the road, where Peter's sisters stood as 1 she had left them. Maud was crying nervously, and Ella made futile dabs at a note-book. Retta tucked her hair into the demure little coil on her neck, and pulled down her sleeves.

"He'll lie there," she nodded gaily toward the barn, "until he sobers up. So Mickey's safe for to-day."

She laid a hand on Ella's arm, and Ella drew back ever so slightly.

"It was shocking!" she gasped, and Maud echoed her sister's "Shocking!"

Retta stared a moment; then she understood.

She was part of that shocking picture; Peter's sisters knew now that she was not really Rosemary, a girl "of refined birth and ladylike demeanor."

A short but dreadful silence followed. then, "We'll go on to the post-office," Retta suggested.

SHE stumbled down the road, a little in front of the sisters, her head high, her eyes unseeing. They followed slowly. At the post-office there was a letter from Cornelia—an answer to a triumphant note sent by Retta two days earlier.

"Of course you're coming through safely," Cornelia exulted. "You've come into your own at last, Retta Rosemary."

Then, across Cornelia's fine handwriting Bertie Dolan's words suddenly leered up at Retta:

"I know this little old world. And I know your sort, kid. You'll be back."

Retta folded the letter with a shudder, and dropped it into her hand-bag.

"I'll have to take that early train tomorrow," she told Peter's sisters. "I must get back to my work in the movies."

"So soon?" said Ella. "What a pity!"

"And Peter comes out at lunch-time—" Maud ventured.

That was all the protest they made; and next morning, when Retta came down with her bags, the Tyler car was waiting to take her to the train. Peter's mother and sisters tried to be cordial. Mrs. Tyler even kissed her at parting; but it was a funereal, farewell-forever kind of kiss, and the atmosphere was clammy with the sense of sacrilege befallen cherished standards.

Retta, however, did not notice it. She had only one thought, one blind intention—to be gone before Peter learned of her shame.

AT the apartment she faced the astounded Cornelia with gay bravado.

"It's all over. I've deserted the ranks of aristocracy. It's the movies for me, Cornelia."

Cornelia, just leaving for the library, stopped aghast on the threshold.

"Not back to the Superbo, Retta? What of Peter?"

"Peter—oh, that's all off!" Retta laughed as she spilled her things about the room. "Don't look so ghastly, Corney. You can't make canaries out of barn-yard fowls."

"I don't know what's come over you," mourned Cornelia uncertainly.

Retta caught up the telephone.

"I must call up Bertie Dolan. I'm going back where I belong."

Cornelia stepped toward her; but the look on Retta's face kept her silent. She gathered her books and reluctantly left the room.

When the door closed after Cornelia, Retta turned to the telephone.

"That you, Bertie? . . . Yes, it's Retta, back from a week in the country. . . . I want to come down to work tomorrow. . . . Of course I'll be good. . . . You're right; just nerves, I guess. . . . Glad to come back? You know I am. . . . A little dinner at a road-house? Splendid; simply splendid . . . You'll come at five? . . . Yes, yes, Bertie. . . . How perfectly jolly!"

She hung up the receiver, and slow tears gathered and splashed on the table before her. She forced them back and began dressing, humming a rowdy song from the cabarets:

"I should worry, I should care,
I should marry a millionaire."

She delved into her trunk and brought out the clothes that Dolan liked—a short

The Kaiser Rode in It Just Once

SOME years before the war, my wife and I were traveling in Europe, and came to Berlin. I had heard of the magnificent carriage which was Queen Victoria's wedding gift to the Kaiser, and wanted very much to see it.

The guards at the Royal Palace consented, and we were shown into a barn which, in its cleanliness and appointments, was much better than the average home. And there, in the center of a shining floor, it stood, a glittering chariot, gold-decked and lace-trimmed inside.

We were warned to leave all umbrellas and packages outside, particularly cameras; but I held on to my new tint-photo box, which was so small and interesting in appearance that it attracted the guard's attention. I told him that pictures could be taken with it, and he examined it very curiously, warning me at the same time not to think of taking a picture of the


carriage. I assented to the warning. And not until he reads this—if he does—will he know that the tint-box takes its picture from the side, not the front, and that this picture was made while the guard was bending over the "interesting little box."


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plaid skirt, a gay coat, high velvet shoes. She added a touch of quite unnecessary rouge, accentuated the shape of her pretty mouth with a lip-stick, did her hair in the extreme style that was Broadway's fad of the moment, slapped on a modish sailor hat.

"I should worry, I should care,
I should marry a millionaire."

A motor buzzed far down the street. Bertie's big touring car, probably. It was early for him, but Bertie it must be, for the front bell rang and impatient feet clattered up the stairs. So some one was glad she was back.

"I should worry, I should care—"

Retta started for the hall door, and a vision of life at the Superbo flashed over her: the coarse jests, the endless innuendoes, the noisy, senseless midnight hilarities. And outside the door was Bertie Dolan, with his great red jowls and his pouched eyes and his reeking animality.

Retta stood still and quietly pulled off her hat.

"I won't go back. I'll tell him the truth—that I've left all that forever."

THERE came a hurried tattoo on the door. Resolutely she threw it open. In the hall stood Peter Tyler, big, gentle, and strong, his kind face all anxiety.

"Rosemary! Thank God, I've found you."

"Peter! Peter! It's you!"

She tumbled into his arms, and Peter gathered her close and carried her into the sitting-room.

"Why did you run away, child? You don't have to run from me."

She buried her face in his coat.

"Oh, Peter," she cried in agony. "They haven't told you! I can see you haven't heard!"

"Yes, they told me," said Peter in his slow, quiet way. "It made me so proud, Rosemary—to think you belong to me. Education and Ibsen, its all very fine; but there are finer things than that. I told the family, Rosemary, we were to be married at once."

"Married at once? Peter, it wouldn't be fair to you. I've tried so hard—all these months I've known you—to learn to be a lady. But I'm not one—not a real one."

"There, there, don't cry," Peter begged. "You're such a little scrap and so darned plucky. Starving yourself for Mamie and Lou—trying to fight the battles of all the kids in the world. Get your hat, Rosemary—I want to marry you quick."

Retta sprang up, and for the first time Peter became aware of her bizarre costume.

"But, Rosemary child, what on earth have you got on?"

"Oh," gasped Retta, "it's"—then she breathed a long sigh of relief—"it's a part I used to play in the movies: a tough little Broadway scout, Peter, who'd come up from the slums."

"Throw it away," laughed Peter. "You'll never need it again. And hurry, child; we can't get a license after five."

Five o'clock! Retta glanced at Cornelia's small Swiss clock. Five o'clock and Bertie Dolan were well on their way; but they would not find her there. She clapped her hands joyfully.

"Don't worry, Peter. We'll be gone—you and I—long before five o'clock!"

The Vital Spark


IN the two preceding articles of this series the subjects of electrical starting and lighting, as installed on the modern automobile, were considered briefly. There is still another electrical element which affords food for thought—namely, ignition.

Ignition wasn't always electrical—in the earlier days it consisted of an involved arrangement whereby the heating of a platinum tube which passed through the cylinder wall fired the mixture (sometimes). Later on, there was the primary battery, with coils and troublesome tremblers, which were usually out of adjustment or sulking from some (then) unknown cause; and afterward came the high-tension magneto. The latter was a perfectly satisfactory instrument, and is still, used on some cars of the highest grade; but the advent of the almost universal electric starting and lighting of today has resulted in the general adoption of what is generally known as the battery and distributor system. In this the storage battery, which forms a necessary part of the starting and lighting systems, is also the source of current for ignition.

Although these systems vary in detail, they are usually made up of the battery, from which current flows to a coil and distributor, and thence to the spark plugs. The function of the coil is to change the low voltage from the battery into one sufficiently high to enable the spark to jump between the points of the several spark plugs. The distributor is a device that insures the spark plugs firing in their correct order.

After all, it's not the question of how the average ignition system is designed or why it operates that is of paramount interest to the motorist. It is, rather, a question of the correct treatment of the system, a consideration of its possible weaknesses, and an indication of ways and means of tracing trouble when it occurs, that are of primary importance to the man who runs his own car. And just here let us agree that cleanliness is the fundamental principle involved. Keep everything in connection with the running parts of your car clean, and keep your ignition system doubly so, and you destroy the enemy's trouble-trenches right away.

Supposing your engine is firing erratically,—in other words, misfiring,—you begin to wonder whether your ignition has failed or whether your fuel system has gone wrong. Of course, your ignition may be perfect in all respects, and yet no explosion can take place because there is no properly proportioned charge in your cylinders. Let's assume that your carburetor is all right and that the fault is in the ignition. If your engine fails absolutely, it is obvious that the trouble must be in those parts of the system that take part in the production of sparks for all cylinders—it isn't likely that all the spark plugs are faulty. If the plugs are suspected, it is a good plan to substitute a new plug, known to be in good condition, for the doubtful one. This, by a process of elimination, enables the faulty plug to be located.

Contact points on timers require adjustment from time to time, and the distances between the spark plug points may need to be altered. There are no hard and fast rules for the distance,—manufacturers have varying ideas on the subject,—but a worn dime makes a good distance gauge. if contacts become pitted they should be squared up with one another by means of a very fine file, and the distributor plate should be kept free from carbon by occasional wiping with a soft cloth—don't leave any threads sticking around.

Prevention is better than cure; and as it is impossible in this limited space to enumerate all the possible troubles to which the ignition system is liable, you are invited (should you be past the "prevention" stage) to tell us all about your individual difficulties. We shall gladly try to assist you—and it only costs you the stamp for your letter.

Mr. Stephens' book, "Running Your Car at a Minimum Cost," written for our readers, will be mailed on receipt of a nickel. Address 381 Fourth Avenue, New York.


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